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Written by Administrator   
Wednesday, 03 February 2010 19:25

My "Gold C" Flight

from Bernie Sizer


For the last two gliding seasons I have wanted to attempt my gold "C" flight.
Due to a number of reasons this has not happened, mostly due to time available & weather at the time.
Monday the 11th Jan 2010 looked good, the wife & kids were at home on holidays, and therefore time was no issue.
The clubs ASW15 had been booked out, so I arranged with Donald Ashton to fly his LS4a, "XP". It has been 10 months since I last flew this aircraft but it still fits like a glove.
I used my PDA & "XCSoar" for the first time, both worked perfectly. While the day was very hot, 44 c, the cumulus clouds did not start to appear till 12 noon and it was 2pm when I got airborne.
I soon found a thermal & was at 7,000ft and ready to go.
I started the task at approx 2.30pm under blue sky and headed for Corowa, which was also under blue sky. The sky to the north was full of cumulus by now.
The thermals on the way to Corowa were weak, 4 knots at best. Soon after turning at Corowa I was down to 1981ft but could see dust from a farmers plough and headed for that. I found weak lift to approx 4,000ft and then headed for the first big cumulus where there was much better lift up to approx 9,000ft. The remainder of the second leg was done just under cloud base, at approximately 10,000ft at approx 80 knots. During this time I was becoming aware of the cold, in particular my exposed lower left leg which my pants had left bare to the draft.
I acquired the second turn point at Jerilderie and looked around to see that the sky was a little patchier with big cumulus spread further apart. I directed the aircraft towards the closest cumulus and was soon back to 10,000ft. The trip to the third turn point was mostly in the blue, but sometimes under some cloud streeting. Close to the third turn point, Mathoura, I found heavy sink and then rain at 9,000ft.
I skirted around this to find the lift and then in and out of Mathoura and back to the lift before starting my final glide, all 60 kilometres of it at 171km/h.
I am still shocked by the heat when the canopy is opened once back on the ground, 44 c is a little rude after you have spent the last 3hrs in 10 - 12 c and under thick cumulus.
Total task distance was 309.6km. Time taken was 3hours, 5mins, 23seconds for an average of 54.17 knots or 100.3km/h.
This is my first flight with an average speed of over 100 km/h, albeit only just over.Thanks to Donald Ashton, Don Escott and Ingo Renner for their help.
Hope to have another go at it soon.


Cheers.
Bernie.
 

 

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Tocumwal

During the Second World War the town was the site of Royal Australian Air Force Station Tocumwal, which was a major Royal Australian Air Force training airfield and aircraft depot. Today, the airfield has grown to be a renowned gliding site.