November Winglets - little tipbits from the month that was ….

Posted 8 years, 11 months ago    0 comments

What a month it has been and yet I have caught up with so few members!

Big thanks to Tim and Steve Wallace for keeping you up to date with the contest and subsequent events. Congratulations to both on your results too.

The week prior to the Regionals was the Cross Country course where David Muckle, Neil Raymond (refresher) and me joined 9 others flying alternately with highly experienced instructors and by ourselves, learning the tricks of the trade as far as getting away from our comfort zones and flying a task goes! Just like the contest that followed, every day was a flying day which was simply wonderful and hugely beneficial to all participants in terms of a maximum return on time (and money) invested.

Huge wraps go to Bill, Ralph and all the MSC team and talented Instructors for putting a wonderful week  together, and not for one moment forgetting Jan, Marianne, Joan, Maurice, June and any others I have missed, all volunteering to do the myriad of tasks that made it all possible. I must make a special mention of Joan who battled the odds as we all landed out and tried to advise her where we were! Yes all 5 club gliders landed out on the Thursday, as well as many others, some sort of record, although ignominious, we believe. A typical source of Joan’s frustration was myself, who, having two days earlier, expounded in briefing, the virtues of an app called Outlanding, had cause to use it after doing just that on an airstrip alongside  highway 27 north of Tirau. On phoning in to ensure the text message from the app had indeed worked, I was tersely asked what the hell I was doing in Clevedon. Apparently the computer at the clubhouse took exception to the data provided and there I was telling them I was in Tirau, and we all know that people tell lies, not computers, especially over-excited pilots, still buzzing on adrenalin from making their first outlanding. But seriously, my navigation is not that bad – I was pretty sure I knew where I was, especially since I had just been up close and personal with a giant corrugated iron sheep trying to get some lift over the town.

However, WW and I duly got picked up by Ralph who knew where I was, (a popular spot I was later told by Trev Terry, who has visited it twice in his illustrious carreer of hundreds of outlandings) – how proud was I with my first real paddock choice! The other two PGC outlanding debutantes David and Neil had been shadowing each other, and eventually Neil followed Dave into the same paddock after some hasty re-arrangements to where NI was sitting to allow XP in!

Now back to Joan and going from the highs of my first paddock landing to the lows of facing the wrath of the Retrieves manager – you don’t want to do this! On the mat I was, for causing extra work on a day when the hairdresser was obviously a better place to be than the gliding club. I was advised several times, very loudly and publicly, that I was required for a disciplinary hearing at the retrieves computer after dinner. Imagine my trepidation as I was ordered into a chair (the hard uncomfortable one) alongside Joans (the plush adjustable executive one), to have the evidence of my ill given co-ordinates displayed, in order that I did not at any time thereafter EVER give bum data to the Retrieves desk at any event again! “There” – I was told – “are the co-ordinates that you gave us, and I will show you where they say you were on the map” – click to map – a beautiful sight it was too – there was a large X representing WW smack in position in Totman Rd Tirau. I cannot describe the feeling of utmost vindication that came over me as I stared at the screen and then at the ashen face of Obergruppenfuhrer Wine who was trying to convince me that when it had been done previously, and several times, it had come up with Clevdon. Poor overworked Bill Mace was even dragged into the explanatory evidence that by now was being proffered, but I was not listening – I was silently thanking the unknown developer of the Outlanding app, as I  made my way to the bar to celebrate!

These are the sort of laughs that make memories and that is only when you get together with a collection of such wonderful diverse people that make up our gliding community, that you realise how lucky you are to have a lifetime interest sport such as ours. I heard Ritchie McCaw say something similar as a reason for his ongoing love of gliding in his interview with Kim Hill last Saturday, which is telling when you imagine all the people he must get to meet in a season!

Two special groups, one from Hamilton Boys (Wed 5 Dec), and 23 cadets from 5 Squadron from Rodney (in camp last weekend 8-9 Dec), have been through, so there has been action aplenty. Notable too, talking of action, is the speed with which Bill recovered his day when the undercarriage hydrasorb unit broke again on BZA. You an I might have said “sorry boys we will have to call it a day”  not Bill. He was on the phone whilst Iggy was dismounting the Pawnee and had a replacement tug from over the hill on station in an hour and a half or so. The boys got all their flights in and BZA got safely stashed looking like the wounded warrior, and is now parked in the back corner of the hanger. Brilliant Bill and Iggy for all you did getting that done and arranging PNE on loan from Tauranga, (thanks to again too), ensuring the ATC scouts did not miss out on their two days at the weekend.

Quite a few club members managed flights last weekend slotting in around the youngsters, who were a great bunch. They even pulled up the carpet in the committee room then did the hands and knees job pulling out the tacks for us, as well as assisting with manouvering BZA around the hangar to allow WW and NI to get past. Thanks boys and girls, you are welcome back any time!

A heads up to all that the Raglan Roster has been posted and you will need to do any rearranging of your times if there is a clash. Those who advised me of times they could and couldn’t do have had their times fitted accordingly, so its over to you now.

Raglan is hardly a punishment, its a lot of fun, usually great weather, can be great flying and generally never a dull moment. Happy relaxed people are good fun to spend your holidays around! The food at Raglans eateries also make for pleasant evenings, so be sure to come and enjoy yourself.


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