Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Narromine Cup and how I won the Rooster

Well folks another Narromine Cup has come and gone. A good rollup of the usual suspects and a few new faces. I counted 39 trailers and then you add club and massie flyers and we had in excess of 40 pilots.

Weather varied from excellent to dust storms but in general flying was interesting and on on day thre were 19 flights in excess of 500klm. Needless to say Narromine was top of the OCL on a number of days.

The club Duo and discus were hired togeather with LS4. Unforteately the lack of cross country flying (esp with water) showed up some problems in the fleet which disrupted hire somewhat...easily remedied by club members getting in and doing some cross country. Fortuneately our german member Hans was on hand to sort out some problems and do some test flying plus 6 joy flights on a mid week day...I also think that Hans has taken on the title of "Kitchen Bitch" for the period of cup week, NSW Comp and Juniors...a well done and many thanks to Chef Beryl Barbie Arnie Hans, Jens and Massie san for their help in the kitchen as few other club members appeared in what has become the most important yearly fund raising exercise of the club. Beryl tells me that thanks to her band of workers the electricty, rent and insurances are now covered for the year. Expect to see you all volanteering for next year or it might not happen.

Now back to the story........

I had considered that there were too many hot shot pilots to finish in the comp at the pointy I devised that the rooster award had never been awarded to a Narromine pilot. I flew the aThursday with Hans a small task to Tullamore,Nygan and home. Somehow the undercart was lowered on the first leg and there was not enough power to raise it....we got to Nygan at 10,500ft and the thought raised itself that flying all day with the undercart down(we made sure enough other gliders saw it) might not be enough to fit the exacting critera for Chris Stevens rooster award. So we elected to do a final glide from Nygan home with gear down and no thermalling...after all we had 10,500ft and had not used the main battery so we had an engine..or so we thought!

Off we set at best LD of 65-70kts and by Trangie the ground was looking suspiciously close. Never fear we pressed on till 1500ft above ground, select paddock (happened to be a nice strip under us) fly the area and attempt engine start.....Nothing on the main battery and nothing on the aux...Oh well this will ensure the rooster award and a good landing at the ag strip. Ring for a lift and Beryl asked if we wanted an air tow retreive...she did not believe Stemme had no tow hook!!

But there is more to this saga. Next morning hans and myself out to strip and fired up all batteries working ran the motor up and did checks .. all well...takeoff climb to 700ft and bang motor power to restart and in the words of my Paki freinds What too dooo. Can see the end of 11 so thermal local and gain a couple hundred feet but it is 9am and we have a 15kt wind from the east. Knowing the paddocks around the airport I set of following the tree lines and make sure I fly over ever house on route...maybe I can maybe I wont make it. The rooster award would be certain if I outland again so I put down in cropped paddock the size of the airport 1km from the runway. My faithfull crew pick me up and deposit me at the gliding club much to the merth of fellow participants.

The next day after obtaining new battery we have 4 days of total fire bans so cannot fly out. There are many reports of a glider outlanding radioed in and the final comment that takes the cake is "Thommo has just found cheap hangerage". The mighty Stemme flies out on the next avilable day its owner being the proud recepient of the highly prized Rooster Award.

Most should try it!!