Sunday, 21 February 2016

Day 7 (Contest Day 4) - 20th February 2016

Well it would have been nice to end the competition on a boomer day as the forecast was for good conditions in the area from Norsewood north. However the westerly wind was stronger at lower levels than forecast and sheared off the thermals and blued out the Takapau plains to leave the day to be “not as advertised” and quite difficult.

The conditions after launch were good with 3-6kt thermals to 5,500ft. Conditions were similar for the start of the first leg to Kereru but with some big gaps. Then it got progressively harder although getting down to Norsewood wasn't too difficult. By then the sky was largely blue except for a long way to the east. Some pilots went that way but the "faster" finishers went directly on track and found a few reasonable climbs to get north again. The next leg south to Ormondville was a challenge with just enough lift about in the blue to get there and then a final glide around the last turn and home. All that effort for a 73km/h flight when it promised to be 100km/h+ task at launch.

There were a few finishers in the Open class but neither World class pilot went far enough to make it a contest day despite their best efforts.

The final results saw Tony van Dyk take home the Open class trophy and Robert Laskey the Club class with Richard Keir taking out the World class trophy.

Congratulations all and a big thank you to all the volunteer help.

Friday, 19 February 2016

Day 6 - Friday 19th February 2016

With another cold front approaching, a no contest day was declared at morning briefing as the expected clearance was due too late for a task. However, it duly came and about a third of the field flew and took advantage of some good wave. Graham White, as met man, thought he had better fly as he had called the clearance and useable wave from 2pm local time. It was actually closer to 3pm but the wave was there and strong too - 8-10kts at times with 6kts average. It was one of those days when the sky east of the Manawatu gorge was clear and allowed Graham to fly south to Featherston and return, an OLC distance of 452km, at 174 km/h. Rob Laskey from Fielding went to over 22,000ft and others to around 10,000ft.

The evening was rounded off with the competition dinner at a local establishment where thanks were given to the organisers and helpers along with the sharing of a few humorous limericks.

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Day 5 - Thursday 18th February 2016

The weather again did not play ball with cloud, rain, drizzle and strong winds forecast from ground level and increasing with altitude. Flying was thus again cancelled with Friday looking possible and Saturday and Sunday likely.

Today the local newspaper, the HB Today, and radio station, CentralFM, ran reports and results on the contest to date which gave the gliding movement some publicity.

There is a contest Facebook page with some photos of this year event at courtesy of Trev Terry.

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Day 4 - Wednesday 17th February 2016

While morning drizzle and rain had lessened during briefing with more high cloud and a strong northerly wind forecast, flying was cancelled for the day.

After watching a “maggot race” of some of yesterday’s flights, the set up and use of the Spot tracking system was explained to interested pilots.

After that, they all went their own ways for the day before returning for an evening wine tasting, courtesy of sponsors Alpha Domus Winery and the Noetzli Family Winery, followed by another superb BBQ thanks to a great team of helpers.

The day was finished off with Hugh de Lautour showing a video of his air safari through southern Africa.

Monday, 15 February 2016

Contest Day 3 - Tuesday 16th February 2016

Again morning high cloud burnt off and the weather played ball to provide another good soaring day. Three pilots shared a paddock at the northern turn point while most other pilots completed the task. The task setter experimented with the task minimum time by setting it at one hour but didn't achieve what he'd hoped which was for pilots to ignore the minimum time and use the conditions available to fly as far as possible around the designated task area. Thermals of up to 10kts and to over 6,000ft were reported with a southern convergence aiding pilots in that part of the task.

Both PW5’s completed their task and obtained a data log. The scorekeeper will  post the results to Soaring Spot when possible but has been frustrated by it telling him he has an outdated version of SeeYou despite it only being downloaded two days ago and no new updates being available.

The Open class scores are available at 

Some pilot’s flights cans also be seen on the OLC at

Some photos taken by Trev Terry are below. 

Sunday, 14 February 2016

Contest Day 2 - Monday 15th February 2016

It looked pretty hopeless at the start with high cirrus coming over the task area after the launch but there were good thermals marked by little wisps of cumulus. Just as it got a bit difficult mid task, the cirrus thinned out and good cu's developed. So again most pilots completed the task but not without a challenge. There were some issues with data loggers and some issues with three files thanks to the start going through the change of date with UTC time. Overall it was another good day.

Saturday, 13 February 2016

Contest Day 1 - Sunday 14th February 2016

Early morning cloud burnt off to allow launching to start soon after 1pm. With AAT tasks set for all pilots, this allowed for possible weather variations and pilots to determine the length of task they completed. The day turned out better than yesterday which allowed a slightly larger area to play in.

Thermals started late, as they do when there is complete cloud cover until about 10.30am, but picked up to a good 4-5 kts in places. The resident convergence set up in the mid afternoon to allow most pilots to complete the task including both PW5s. Unfortunately no data log was obtainable for one PW5 but both started and finished close together.

The day was completed with a tasty BBQ in the evening and everyone went to bed smiling except for the scorer Graham White as his scoring program decided to call it a day and depart for the discarded computer bits and pieces in the rings of Saturn!

Practice Day - Saturday 13th February 2016

The airfield was covered in gliders by 11:30am reminding pilots of competitions of many years ago. With 22 confirmed entrants plus club gliders from Wellington, Manawatu and Hawkes Bay present, the airfield was busy.

The day was hot and humid with an easterly wind. Thermals popped a bit after midday. An informal task was called after an introduction and midday briefing. Aircraft were soon launching into a sky looking full of thermals and most gliders had launched by 2:30pm. Some pilots completed the task, some chose to only fly locally for a look see while a couple practiced their landout skills. Vaughan Ruddick had a pleasant flight over to Mount Ngauruhoe in the central North Island which is quite an adventure from Waipukurau. Two photos taken by Vaughan are below.

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Information for Pilots

2016 Central Districts Gliding Championships
Saturday 13th February (practice day), competition Sunday 14th February to Saturday 20th February inclusive

Welcome to all.

We thank our sponsors including SBS Bank, Centralines, Alpha Domus Winery and the Noetzli Family Winery and recommend them to you.

Daily briefings will be held in the club rooms on the aerodrome at Waipukurau (there is a map to the airfield on our club web site at

The draft programme is as follows:

1. 10:30am Saturday 13th February - initial briefing if flyable starting at 10:30am. If wet, nothing formal will be arranged. A decision on setting a practice task will be made on the day. All entrants will be required to fully complete and sign an entry form if they have not already done so.

2. Sunday 14th through to Saturday 20th inclusive - contest days. 10:30am daily briefing – everyday Sunday through Saturday inclusive unless otherwise advised.

3. Planned Meals (subject to confirmation):
a. Sunday evening – our Club is running a Gourmet BBQ at the airfield
b. Wednesday evening – our Club is running a Gourmet BBQ at the airfield
c. Friday evening - at a location yet to be confirmed
Numbers will be requested and costs confirmed closer to each planned meal.

There are a number of supermarkets, bakeries and cafes in Waipukurau for other food requirements.

4. Further information will be given at the briefings each morning.

5. Glider trailers - the paddock next to the clubhouse is available for trailer parking. All trailers are to be parked in there or parked immediately to the north of the gliding hangar rather than scattered around in aircraft maneuvering  and parking areas.

6. Please ensure that the area where aircraft cross the drive where the concrete pad is  remains clear of parked gliders and vehicles at all times.

7. For those wishing to camp on the airfield at Waipukurau Airfield, please contact prior to arrival Ross McDonald, aka Roscoe, phone 021 262 9550 and tell him you are coming for the gliding competition. The camping cost charged by the Aeroclub is $15 per night per person. They normally charge us this and it is added to the pilots competition account. Please advise Gliding Hawkes Bay & Waipukurau Club Treasurer John McConville of the number of nights you have camped.

8. Tow fees, meal costs, camping costs and any outstanding entry fees will be invoiced by e-mail after the completion of the contest for prompt payment. Actual tow costs will be charged based on the costs incurred.

Enjoy your time in Hawkes Bay and further afield.

Keep the weather gods happy by having some refreshments for them each evening at the friendly aeroclub bar which is scheduled to be open at least from 5pm to 7pm each night.

Competition Information

1. Grid lines will be allocated for Sunday and then rotated every flying day for fairness. First to arrive in each line are to grid on the far side of the runway so the next glider can go alongside.

2. Contest Director is Neil Faulknor - 027-496-6372. Text landout co-ordinates to this number if possible.

3. The Gliding Hawkes Bay & Waipukurau Club contact phone is 027-288-7522. This is for general club inquiries only.

4. Aerodrome phone number is 06 858-8226. Note this is not always manned.

5. Within 5km of the airfield all traffic will use 119.1
                           a. Outside this range use 133.55
                           b. In Napier Control call 124.8
                           c. In Hastings CFZ use 125.8
                           d. In upper airspace call Ohakea on 126.2
                           e. In the Dannevirke/Gorge airspace call Ohakea 125.1
                           f. Transponders are mandatory in Napier and Ohakea airspace
Refer to current airways maps for required frequencies and airspace requirements. These will also be covered in the briefings.

6. All thermalling within 5km of the airfield will be left hand. Outside this normal thermal rules apply; first into thermal dictates the direction.

7. Starts are to be given out on only on 133.55 within 15 minutes of starting.

8. Ops Normal calls on 133.55 hourly or on request in format “Yankee Papa, Leg Two, ops Normal”

9. Do not taxi or use a motor in rigging or tie down areas.

10. Pilots without a personal crew must have a vehicle attached to their trailer and keys identified and available on the designated board.

11. Cloud flying is prohibited.

12. GPS tracks from a height recording GPS are the only acceptable soaring mechanism. More than one unit may be accepted at the discretion of the Contest Director.  GPS units shall be handed in as soon as possible on return to the airfield.

13. Pilots shall announce distance and direction of finish @ 5NM and @ 2NM on 119.1.

14. Waipukurau Aerodrome is 430ft ASL, radio for circuits 119.1. All circuits (both left hand [runway 02] and right hand [runway 20]) are to the west of the aerodrome away from the town.

15. When landing, please consider other aircraft traffic and land to give maximum room to other aircraft and vacate the runway and surrounds as soon as possible.

16. Pilots may land straight in as far left as practical or fly through (High Energy). High Energy finishes must be notified on 119.1. The minimum altitude for a High Energy finish is 100ft AGL.

17. Because of poor mobile coverage, pilots should try to radio the planned out-landing site co-ordinates in degrees, minutes and decimal minutes.

18. Pilots shall complete and hand in land out sheets (see below) that include land out co-ordinates and landowner’s name, address and phone number when available.

19. All distances are to be given in miles.

CD Gliding Contest Land Out Information
Please complete and return to the competition director

Pilot:……………………………..…. Glider: ZK-G…………….

Landowner’s name: ……………………………………………..

Address: ………………………………………………………….

Phone Number: …………………………

Latitude: ………………………  Longitude: ………………...…

Date: …… February 2016