This is to introduce myself to you as the new President of Gliding Queensland.I know many of you personally, many by name, and for those who don't know me I hope we will get to know each other soon.
I was Secretary for many years and now President of Caboolture Gliding Club and I have been the GQ Deputy GFA delegate to Dave Donald for the past year.
When I was approached to consider the position of GQ President I was reluctant to nominate as I wasn't sure what I could offer GQ. One thing I have been aware of for a long time is most of our members have little knowledge of what GQ actually does in the structure of gliding.
Dave has done a lot of great work in increasing that awareness, and one thing I intend to do is to build on his work as well as the numerous other tasks to assist, however possible, our great sport in Queensland. A lot of thanks must go to Dave for the time he has given to GQ both as President and as the continuing GQ Delegate on the GFA Board. This has been at a time when his wife Johanna needed all his support with her health difficulties. Thank-you Dave and Johanna.
Safe fun flying,
Queensland-based glider pilot Chris Woolley (Kingaroy Soaring Club ... also known as "Adam Woolley's Dad") flew his Ventus 2cxM VH-VCX on 17Jan14 from Kingaroy via Dirranbandi to Tocumwal covering 1,300 klm and recorded a declared "Broken Leg" one turnpoint task of 1,250 klm.
Why 1,250 klm? Chris had recorded a 1,000 klm triangle out of Narromine on 06Feb13 and he had been looking at "what else now" when 1,250 klm became another milestone to tick off.
Flying a downwind run from Queensland (somewhere around Kingaroy) to Victoria (somewhere around Tocumwal or Benalla) had been an idea talked about for some time by a group of Kingaroy pilots that included Bill Hatfield, Greg Kolb, Ivan Teese, David Jansen and Chris ... to take advantage of the earlier starts and longer days available for a north to south flight.
On 07Dec12 some of the group had done "practice" flights which saw Greg Kolb, Ivan Teese and Chris complete a 835 klm triangle from Kingaroy to Goondiwindi to Roma to Kingaroy. Bill Hatfield's triangle was 900 klm starting at Wooroolin.
However, as it turned out, when the weather patterns lined up it was only Chris that was available to fly on the day and even that looked a slim chance as he lay in bed at home in Kingaroy listening to the rain on the roof during the previous night. Probably a "blessing in disguise" says Chris as it allowed him to get a really good night's sleep when he thought that it would not be happening the next day!
Chris headed out to the airfield knowing that the weather for the leg from Dirranbandi to Tocumwal looked good but north of the Bunya Mountains looked marginal so a "B" task was set starting at Kumbia. As it turned out, the start from Kingaroy was possible. Despite serious forward planning, spreadsheets, checklists, etc the preparations on the day had a couple of hiccups with the weather that almost prevented a start. Once in the air (8:45 Qld time) there were nice cu's out of Kingaroy and Chris departed Kingaroy at 8.57 ... an average of 110 kph on the leg to Dirranbandi meant that he needed a better average for the long leg south to Tocumwal ... he got to 14,000 feet and found good cu's all along his path using Walgett, Nyngan, Lake Cargelligo and Griffith as his reference points.
Asked when it was that he started to feel that he had the flight "in the bag", Chris commented that his last climb was at 8:15 pm (NSW time) in 1-2 knots that eventually got him to 7,000 feet to put him in the position of being able to achieve the height, distance and time he needed to complete the task ... and he was at 6,000 feet over the finish line.
Well done Chris!
On 20-Dec-13, Queensland-based glider pilot Lisa Trotter (Kingaroy Soaring Club) completed an epic record breaking flight ... a declared triangle distance of 1,026.8km. As it turns out, this flight broke 26 records! Not surprisingly, Lisa is extremely proud to have achieved World, Continental and National records in both General and Feminine categories as a result of the flight.
The flight and the records it set are detailed in the HISTORY section: http://www.glidingcaboolture.org.au/gq60/lisa_trotter_record_flight.htm
Gliding forecasts have come a long way in the last few years with Regional Atmospheric Soaring Predictions (RASP) being made available. RASP is the brain child of Dr. John W. (Jack) Glendening, a Meteorologist in the US. Dr Jack has made his RASP program freely available to other regions around the world to post-process files output by "equations of motion" meteorological models run by the U.S. Weather Bureau and the U.S. National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Thanks to sponsorship from Internode and the GFA, the RASP processing of the models and subsequent forecasts are available in Australia. The Australian RASP is available at the AusRASP web site: http://glidingforecast.on.net/RASP/RASPtable.html where you can use the viewer to page through forecast images related to Thermals, Cloud, Winds and Wave data for each state and for hourly time periods. It also gives you some information about each type of image to help you interpret what you're seeing.
I'm sure many of you review an Area forecast (ARFOR) and Terminal Area Forecasts (TAF) for the area and aerodrome(s) you're planning to depart from and possibly overfly on a cross country gliding flight, these are good weather forecasts and are important for planning, but they don't provide much in the way of soaring data. RASP is a great source of gliding forecast information that can be easily and quickly interpreted.
It can take a little time to become familiar with what information each option provides, but once you're familiar with it you can quickly page through each chart (related to a specific time) and interpret the colours and pixilation’s to come up with an idea of what the soaring conditions are going to be like. Remember, RASP is just a forecast too and should be used as an "indication"... like any forecast, you can be disappointed or pleasantly surprised, but from my experience it has proved to be a good indicator.
Over the last few months the RASP viewers have gone one step further, they are now available on mobile devices. Whether you're an Android user or an iPod, iPad, or iPhone user, there is now a RASP viewer available for your mobile device to make viewing your regions RASP images easy from anywhere. These applications provide a simple way to flip through the RASP charts for your region and also provide the ability to pinch on a chart to take a closer look.
The Android RASP viewer application (written by Nimbly) can be reviewed and installed (Free) at: http://www.appbrain.com/app/rasp/be.suffix.rasp. If you're an iPod, iPad, or iPhone user, the RASP viewer application (written by Jelle Vandebeeck) can be reviewed and installed (Free) from the "App Store" on your device, or on iTunes at: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/rasp/id426040634?mt=8.
Gliding Queensland has arranged tours of Airservices facilities at Brisbane Airport. The first of many group visits over the coming months assembled in their conference room on Tuesday evening 1st December. Airservices staff explained the role they play in Australian flight management and gave presentations on Violations of Controlled Airspace (VCAs) and Search And Rescue processes. The group was then shown through the Operations Room, the Simulator area and the Flight Planning & Briefing Centre. The Operations Room - controlling 5% of the world's airspace.
We also visited the Simulator Room which is the offline versions of active Operations Room consoles. Real life scenarios are set up here for training and review. Flight Planning and Briefing Centre - Jeremy Thompson running through details on his SAR screen HF radio communications consoles. Controlling aircraft outside of VHF radio coverage.