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The usual crew have assembled for another fun filled week of flying that is Canungra Classic.
Our first taste of Canungra this year was from Mount Tamborine. The locals were sceptical expecting that day would blow out. As usual though, our optimism prevailed and we managed a great little triangle down towards Witherin, across to Beaudesert and back to the turf farm.
Barnsie, Dave and I flew a lot of the course together. I really enjoy flying with these guys as our flying styles work in well together. Hopefully we can share more flights in the coming week.
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Nic scores a very nice Little flight at Stanwell…
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Andrew has really been wracking up the airtime over the past week. Wracking up this sort of experience during what used to be considered the off season is exactly what is required to perform at your best as next season rolls around. Let’s hear about it:
The weekend of 9 – 10 May saw Dave and myself crack up around 3+ hours. Sat Dave and I hit up Pig and enjoyed two extended sled runs turning in little bubbles that never managed to provide enough to climb in as they were short and sharp. After 2 turns it would be gone and it was time to move on. We observed two eagles fly past climb a few meters then fly off never getting any higher than the hill. The inversion around was visible and it seemed that we were about at the top of it on the hill! Top notch fun all the same.
Sunday Dave, Turtle, Barnsy, Marty (from VIC) and late in the arvo Porter flew Lake G (no cars were damaged during Porters Landing which was a relief ). It was an absolute ripper of a day with smooth air and nice ridge lift. About 1km North of Gearies Gap on the top of the ridge line there was a back burn happening and Dave managed to get up to 4500ft in a steady 200ft/min up. I also managed to climb up but only to around 3700ft.
From here Dave flew the ridge all the way to Collector with my self and Turtle getting to the wineries a little low. I turned back to the south to head back to the higher ridge and better lift where as Turtle kept going and ended up landing in a rather unusual landing paddock. As he flew around to the winery he ended up lower than the ridge and lost lift and then couldn’t make it out to the lake so landed in a paddock between the highway and the ridge. Funny as, but gutsy effort to try to punch north. Lesson Learned here is to always have a nice place to land within glide Dave and I top landed back at Gearies a little later and Dave headed home. I stayed on to keep flying and enjoyed a number of top landings and flying on the south side flying in the air around my mates R/C gliders. It is always cool flying around with R/C slope gliders. I managed to grab one of my mates planes and turned it tail wind and let is go hahahaha. Not nice I know but he was high and had plenty of height to recover in – fun times!
Tuesday 12 May saw Dave and I head to Stanwell Park for a leisurely Maz. Our enthusiasm paid off with both of us cracking up over 2 hours. After about an hour in the air Dave headed South to the next ridge. I decided to go hell for leather for it also and was defiant to the end, which was a very low end at that!!! I go to the south ridge very low and ended up having to turn back and land on the south side of Stanwell beach. Lucky for me Tony Armstrong was on his way back to launch so after he confirmed that I was a Hangy I was in the car and on the way back to launch to get my car. I drove back down to get my glider and after the quickest pack up and and then set up once back on launch I was airborne again. By this point the wind had eased and the chance of flying up and down the coast any great distance had gone. After a while Dave went into land approaching over a pond on the Southern side of the beach. From the air it looked cool and once down he was straight on the radio telling me that I had to make the same approach as it was awesome. After 20min I decided to land and came screaming in over the pond and landed on the beach. It was nice to land in the silky smooth coastal air as it feels like you are landing on a bed of foam as it is so smooth you wouldn’t know you were flying which is a little different feeling after flying inland all summer!!! A big thanks to Tony for taking me up to my car and having a laugh or two on the way. Cheers.
Anyway a great week has been had as usual with the Canberra crew. If only we were all keen we might get out there and fly more often !!!!!
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The thief sent in some pics from first trip to Stanwell.
Dave and I headed to Stanwell Park for a relaxing day yesterday!!! Its a hard life
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Wednesday mid morning I get a call from John asking me if I would like to join him on Saturday for a flight from the lake to Tumut in his trike. Without even having to think about it I say ‘for sure’. The offer even extended to crashing the night at John’s place which included a game of pool and some home brew!
Saturday morning we arrived at the lake around 9am. After setting up the trike, including my cheap untrained labour and a pull start, we take off and head for Tumut. In saying cheap untrained labour I am pointing to the fact that I always thought that batten clips simply snapped undone and then snapped closed again. John soon pointed out that I had been doing it wrong and weakening a number of clips! As for the pull start, well we thought we had a flat battery as the girl would not turn over (pardon the pun).
After nearly 2 hours we finally take off. 15 minutes into the flight we pass over Ngunnawal (northern most suburb of the ACT) where Trent, Deb, my parents and neighbours live. We spend 5 minutes flying around taking pictures of the houses and waving to our friends below before getting back on course to head over the Brindies through to Tumut. As we approach the tiger country I became a little nervous to say the least. The fact that we had 3 batten clips that had snapped undone made me very nervous! John kept me reassured and we head on.
Flying over the Brindies was a real eye opener as I was thinking to myself that there would be little or no landing options if you were hang gliding over the back. Unless you were really high and in air space to get through you would have to travel a little further north to ensure you had landing options within glide. That said, I am still flying a beginner glider and have no real idea of what the glide feels like when flying in a topless.
We landed in Tumut about 1 hour 20 minutes after takeoff and to my relief manage to score some new batten clips and replace our broken ones and worked out that we had to pull start the girl when we took off from the lake due to a solenoid that had broken off. This problem was solved through some soldering by Michael I with his little tool box of goodies (thanks Michael)! After heading into town with John and Bobby for some good old KFC we take off again and head for home. The trip back was much more pleasant as I was feeling much more comfortable in the fact that we now had a clean wing with no broken clips!
I must admit that I found it very nerve racking flying over the ranges. I let the little mishaps of the morning get to me which put me in a bad mind set for the day. For me it is a different feeling flying in a trike than it is flying in a hang glider. When in a trike I think you notice the turbulence more as it is not just you being throne around but the trike it self which exaggerates the pendulum feeling I suppose you could say. You are also flying a hell of a lot faster which makes the bumps feel a little more sudden. I am keen to get back up in the trike to over come the small amount of reservations that I have as I would love to learn how to fly one in the near future.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank John for the invite and taking me on a great flight and I hope to be able to fly with you again soon. He would have to be one of the nicest ‘old farts’ around I would have to say!
Happy flying – Andrew
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Nice flying Scott! He was excited about the new sail cut on the C4 – Now I can see why!
A short video of Scott lanuching here
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First from the NSW State titles in Manilla…
Then photos from Chop’s triumphant return to Canberra
See all Ed’s photos here.
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Looks like our Philippines correspondent, Chop, will be in the air after all…
When there’s no launch in the jungle you just employ a few locals and away you go! Took them about 2 hours and cost 600 Pesos to clear an area to launch (about AU$7.50) and they carried our paragliders out for us! Phil Robbo could use a few of these guys at Spring. Simon arrived last night and we have already had few local beers.