Sunday, August 29, 2010

Annual General Meeting

ATTENTION ALL MEMBERS! - The club Annual General Meeting will be held at 7:00pm on Saturday 25th September 2010 in the club house. All members are welcome to attend. Dinner will be available.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

CFI Newsletter


Notice to all members,
Looking forward to our next season and I just wanted to inform you that CASA has implemented some new procedural changes for radio procedures for non-towered (non-controlled) aerodromes which includes Narromine and Dubbo airports.
Rather than me writing it all into this letter you can read the official documents by clicking on the following links CAAP 166-1 (0) and CAAP 166-2 (0). Also GFA has an Ops Directive No 1/10 and can be found on the GFA website. Please read the documents carefully and if you have any questions don’t hesitate to contact me.
My email is
Basically the changes:
1. Dubbo is no longer a CTAF-R
2. All aircraft must carry a serviceable radio
3. All pilot must make and understand calls in English
4. The pilot in command shall make any call he decides is required for safe operations and to avoid conflict with other traffic

All solo cross country pilots are required to have an annual check flight. Annual check days are scheduled for Sat/Sun 25th/26th September and Sat/Sunday 23rd/24th October make a note in your diary. Bring your log books and brush up on Airways and Radio Procedures. I will be checking if you have the endorsement signed up in your log book. If not an oral exam will be required to fill this endorsement.
Airways and Radio procedures, a booklet is available from GFA and the club has some, You can also download from GFA website.
A sausage sizzle will be held in the club house on the scheduled days of the check flights.
Note:- Annual check flights are mandatory.
Also welcome to all our Cobar activity and new students and check our website Narromine Gliding Club, for any new blogs.
Regards Ken McAnally CFI

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Bumblebees and Dryzabones

The awesome turbo Z-37 Čmelák doing the towing at Szeged. Originally built with a Walter M 462RF air-cooled 9-cylinder radial engine, now sporting a Walter M-601Z turbo prop. We could possibly do with a few of these during Narromine Cup Week.

 Tom & Kerrie enjoying the beautiful Szeged soaring weather (in their Dryzabones)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

To The Rescue In Serbia

The world championships are being held in Hungary for the first time and as Europe moved to becoming the great dream of a united Europe many of the previous eastern countries are undergoing great changes in their contact with each other. It was with great delight that the Hungarian organisers informed the competitors of this championships that the airspace in both Serbia and Romania would now be available to them during the event.

We were all duly warned to obtain visas if they were required (Australians do not) and we understood that if our pilot landed in either of these countries we should ensure that all members of the crew and the pilot carried their passport. During the practise period two gliders landed in Serbia, the crew set off with the required documentation for what would be a two hour retrieve at most. The border is just 15 klms south of the airport so it seemed an easy exercise.

The poor crews found themselves under 5 hours of detention at the border, the pilots were stuck in the field unable to leave the glider as they were warned that everything would be stolen if they did leave,they were all in international phone coverage and their prepaid mobiles were ticking like cash registers and they  were tired,hungry and very angry.

The organisers were very apologetic and assured all that they would certainly address the issue as a matter of urgency and it would not happen again. So it was with trepidation that the whole 15 metre class set off on their task into Serbia a week later. 48 gliders bravely crossed the border and 48 gliders landed out in regional Serbia.  This time they were ready. Each crew carried papers for the glider, the car, the trailer, passports for all crew members present and signed documentation from the organisers. They escaped the traffic jam at the airport as all the other trailers for both open and 18 metre class took off to retrieve their aircraft in Hungary. The whole fleet of 146 gliders landed out on this day.

The cavalcade travelled to the border and gaily passed through the Hungarian sector for just 500 metres until they came to the Serbian border check point. Hours and hours and hours later with pilots waiting in fields throughout northern Serbia the crews battled with the border control police. Some of the stories from this night are worthy of a really good book. It is sufficient to say that after many late adventures the majority were safely back in Szeged and in bed by 4.00am. The next day was cancelled for the 15 metre class due to the loud snoring from all concerned at briefing time.

We are yet to test the Romanian border and we still have three days left so stand by for another adventure in cross border gliding in eastern Europe.

Mother san in Hungary

I am a happy member of the Japanese team at the world gliding championships for the flapped classes in Szeged, Hungary. My friend Makoto Ichikawa kindly invites me to assist him in his international endeavours and his small team is always an interesting mix of nationalities and skills.

The glider crew man Mirek is from Poland and is a professional glider repair man. He is young, strong, stoic, competent and friendly. The team captain is Toshi from Japan and he is a new member of the team. He is an experienced glider pilot, instructor, aerobatic pilot and obviously a very fit person who participates in numerous other activities on water, bikes and in the air. Toshi is gentle and kind. Our local content is Arpie who is a young Hungarian pilot from this district. He comes from a flying family and his father is flying in this championships in the open class. Arpie is familiar with the local conditions and terrain, he is Mac's Sherpa as every time I see him he is carrying the packs for Mac who is suffering from a sore back. I am the mother of the team and look after all.

In planning for the event I requested to stay on the airport in a caravan as I had heard that most of the teams would be camping and I have seen this before in European championships. The airport is usually very social and I like to catch up with gliding friends who gather at the international events. In the 12 world championships I have attended I am starting to be one of the regulars. I was delighted to find my caravan set up in the most pleasant place in the park when I arrived. Air conditioned and all facilities within a short distance. Basic facilities but quite adequate. Ah! but that was before 600 other people turned up to stay in the parking ground at the airport.

It was very hot and humid when I arrived and I found that I had forgotten what it is like in some of these newly opening eastern countries. When all the airconditioners where turned on in the camp ground the power system had a meltdown. The water system not used to supplying filling for 146 gliders and 600 people taking numerous showers a day decided enough was enough and slowed to a trickle. Hot water became a distant dream.  I was still enjoying the camping and it was a real release to have a comfortable spot under the trees during the day's crewing activities but I did have the occasional distant thought of a hot shower.

For the last week I have moved into town a few minutes away to a palatial apartment in the same building as the rest of the crew. This will work out well as I am nearer to assist as we get busier each day and we can still use the caravan during the day when we are at the airport.

So my daily tasks are now easy and pleasant. Up early around 6.30 as it starts to warm up, take my long hot shower and head up the street to the small local bakery for the morning and lunch rolls, the greengrocer for the fresh fruit and salad, the corner store for the milk and yogurt, cheese and ham.

We all take breakfast together and then I head out to the airport for the team captains meeting. The boys get on with their numerous tasks and we are at briefing for all the news of the competition.

The time between the end of briefing and start time for me is time to tidy the van, put on the washing, do the emails, talk with my family in Australia by video or messenger and generally sit and cool down under the trees getting ready for the days task.

Gridding is usually finished by 11.00am and first launch around 11.30 to 12.00noon. I am the lucky one who gets to stay in the cool spot with the radio while the others sweat it out on the grid. Soon they are all away, all 146 gliders and our job as crew starts. When our pilot is safely on final glide or in a paddock as is the case here where some days finished as mass outlandings, I am off to the supermarket to shop for dinner.

We eat together in the evening, discuss the days events, this is our own social time so we either go to gym, pool, the bistro at the airport, or sit in our garden and relax.

The days are rushing by and of all of the competitions I have been to this one is unique. I will send you some of the more interesting stories.