Evening Wave                  

Five flying days for the month with about three good soaring days and a busy day with ATC flying at the finish.

Five flights for March 2nd, all training flights with Peter Cook and Brian Ruddell in the Janus then with Peter Williams were Hunter Nunes-Vaz followed by Isaac Buroughs.  Ten flights on March 17th, three instruction flights for Liam Finer in the Twin AStir with Les Sharp and all the rest were for the private owners, several flights over the hour with Clinton Steele leading the pack with nearly two hours.  10 hours 30m glider time for the day.  Pilots would have felt quite encouraged by this but more was to come.   This was the trip to Te Wera on March 23rd.  Gliders were towed out towards Will Hopkirks ranch.  Casting off they soared over to the Te Wera airstrip and landed there.  An hour thirty for John Spence and Tim Hardwick-Smith in the Janus before landing.  Les Sharp was overhead but he elected not to land there.  Bad move, for his lunch had been taken out to Te Wera!  Nonetheless he landed back at Stratford after reaching Whangamomona having flown for 2hrs 44m.  Clinton Steele who probably had taken his lunch, happily soared all over the place for 3hrs 13m in his ASW15.  Glyn Jackson and Kevin Koch flew the Twin Astir out.  Whilst it was there, John Tullett did some local soaring for 90m.  Likewise for Glyn Jackson though just a circuit in the Janus.  Then he did a 90m local with Will Hopkirk.  Peter Cook and Dennis Green flew the Twin back to Stratford, followed by John Tullett and John Spence in the Janus.  Thirteen hours twenty-eight minutes for the day.  Good enough. And this was followed on the 24th - a good club day back at Stratford.  A couple of check flights for Clinton Steele by Tim with the Janus later followed up by Clinton with Joh Spence, the flight lasting over two hours as did John Tullett's flight in his K6.  A check BFR for Dennis Green by Tim with the Twin Astir which Dennis followed up with an hours flight.  Peter Cook covered 152km in his Discus during a flight of 3hrs 25m.  Tim took off in his Discus, did not contact, towed higher on the next flight with better results.  All in all just over 13 hours for the day.  People would have been tired but happy with the weekend.  To end the month, March 30th saw the annual ATC endeavour.  The instructors were busy.  John Tullett, Peter Cook, Les Sharp, Will Hopkirk, Tim Hardwick-Smith all strove mightily to provide flights for ATC cadets from the Stratford and New Plymouth squadrons.  Kevin Koch and Clinton Steele gave their single seaters some airtime.   John Tullett provided a rear seat conversion check for Clinton Steele and Les Sharp gave a 'lucky draw' flight in the towplane for the winning cadet.  Five hours glider time for the day.  All in al there was 42hrs & 22m glider time for the month.  Good work everyone.

25 Years back:  March 1994 - interesting bits from the newsletter - The NP No. 8 Squadron ATC held their annual camp at German Hill.  Ian Hayton flew his SHK glider out to Tarata & returned to Norfolk.  Frank Ferrier (ex RNZAF- Pacific & an aerial topdressing pioneer) had a flight. $20,000 club funds invested.  Circuit warning from CFI John Spence - 1000ft over the sock and round-outs about opposite the fertiliser bin.  Mike Gibson leading the the Normona Cup stakes - Mta field to Te Aroha & back and did 4 hours too.  Mrs Jean Gaustad of Uruti won the Colour TV raffle.  A visit from Clive Sherman during the ATC Camp.

And 50 years back: a trip to Soler's airstrip in the Mahoenui Valley.  Reputed to have DC3 capability.  Both the Rhonlerche and the Oympia flying.  A successful visit though a worringly search for petrol for Bob Shewry.  He managed to find a topdressing loader somewhere and 'acquired' petrol from it.

Papa Mike.