We will be flying next Friday 4 May. Limited student spots available. Phone Barry on 0407 770213.
Flying Friday 6 April is ON. Some pre solo training available. Phone Barry on 0407 770 213.
For the first time in 20 years Cherokee II GNR took to the skies on Saturday at Boonah !
The Hall Cherokee II was designed as a simple aircraft for homebuilders in the mid 1950’s. While never designed as a high performance aircraft several have completed Diamond Goal distance and are still popular with many owners today.
With just over a 12m wingspan and LD of 23:1 a 300km flight would be something to be proud of.
This aircraft was built in and first flew in 1963 in Victoria, moved to Western Aust for a while before finding a home in Gympie. It was last flown in 1998 and was bought by the current owner off ebay a few years ago.
It has since been repaired, recovered, painted, weighed and all the paperwork was done to allow it to fly again.
It is quite a different era to the aircraft that are common now, the short wings with wood and fabric construction means it weighs only 166kg, so wonderfully light to rig and ground handle, wood has a higher strength to weight ratio than fiberglass, about the same as carbon fiber, but moves too much with temperature and humidity to hold accurate wing profiles so has become a thing of the past.
The seating position is very upright and that makes for very nice visibility, but more drag, and there is no trim, it is so light to handle you do not miss it.
So what is it like to fly ?
Take off was smooth thanks to Ken and his light touch on the throttle in WWP, the wings are high so a wing has to drop a long way before touching the ground, you have plenty of time to catch it, controls work at very low speeds, there is some slight bounce on tow with the tow hook being a combination winch and aerotow hook.
Off tow the controls are nice and responsive but not twitchy, nice and light, and have lovely control harmony which makes it easy to fly.
Hands off (no trim remember) it is happy at 35 knots, stall is 25knots or below, it talks to you nicely before dropping the nose gently.
Spins are textbook with nice quick recovery, but the VNE run used a big chunk of height to get to 90 knots, so speed is not it’s strong point.
Landing is nice, good view, spoilers (not airbrakes) are not highly effective but good enough for the job and plenty of low speed control.
Laurie flew it later staying up in small thermals, he was able to climb up with the local DG500 had the engine out, shows what low speed, short span can do in difficult conditions, we know which one would win in the glide though.
Great to see an old glider loved and appreciated and nice to get the opportunity to fly it.
Flying Fridays are back for solo pilots on 2 March with excellent conditions expected.
A Probus Club group will be visiting in the morning with some taking AEFs.
Some student training may be possible – phone Barry on 0407 770 213 to register interest.
What an interesting day.
Mike in the Pik and myself in the Libelle were out to see what there was to offer.
Looked good early and no sign of the high cloud that has been nearly a constant of late.
Forecast of possible rain and showers, and the soaring forecasts were showing areas that looked like they would be shut down with rain to the South.
As many will know the Scenic Rim often has weather independent of areas around, you can fly all day watching rain showers that seems to move towards Boonah but never get there.
What resulted was a lovely day and some nice pictures.
Early on we headed out towards Moogerah Dam and the range, but quickly found it quite weak there with light rain already developing all around the rim. We headed towards Beaudesert as it looked clear with nice clouds. Not the strongest in spots, we both had to take a weaker climb here and there, but the occasional ones were 7+ knots on the averager.
From Beaudesert we followed a nice street back to Cunningham’s gap where it was working so well we popped over the range for a little bit before deciding that there was enough rain around to not stay there long. The light showers we passed through washed the gliders well and mostly were also providing weak lift, but we stayed away from the heavy looking clouds and rain as there would not be lift there.
211kms for me 228kms for Mike and no need to wash the gliders when we landed !
Jeremy Thompson has a $25 gift voucher for Glide Omarama that has an expiry of 30 April 2018. If anyone is heading across the ditch and would like to use it, please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I’ll put you in touch with Jeremy.
Have a Merry Christmas! Flying on Sunday 24/12 has been cancelled.
Are you up for a bit of challenge? Well Mic Mac is running a little competition at the Xmas Party on Saturday.
It’s a landing competition. Who can land safely and roll to a stop closest to the mark (without using the wheel brake).
Yes, in a two seater, with a safety pilot so don’t cheat with the wheel brake.
Closest to the mark wins a carton of beer (or bottles of wine) supplied by MicMac.
If the winner is closer to the mark than MicMac, then he’ll pay your club membership next year.
Ohhh!!! you say, the gauntlet has been thrown, can I beat him or will I just wimp out.
Has he really farted in my general direction and pooh poohed my landing skills?
Will I wait till late in the afternoon when the sea breeze is in?
Where is an airworthy K13, when you need one?
But, what if your just flying as a passenger on the day?
No problem, just give your directions to the instructor in the back seat.
Left a bit, right a bit, faster ,slower, stop!!!! It’s easy.
Closest passenger to the mark gets either a carton of beer, bottles of wine or some sort of sugar laden fizzy drink(if your under 18).
More rules to be made up on the day.
Corruption and cheating have been approved by the committee.
Team, there is a very high chance of rain and storms on Sunday, so please watch the BGC website for notification whether flying is happening or not by about 12md Saturday.
Update – cancelled on the basis of the weather forecast:
Cloudy. Very high (90%) chance of showers, most likely in the morning and afternoon. The chance of a thunderstorm with possible heavy falls. Winds northerly 15 to 20 km/h becoming light before dawn then becoming northerly 15 to 20 km/h in the late evening. Overnight temperatures falling to around 20 with daytime temperatures reaching the mid to high 20s.
On Saturday 25 November, after a hard week at work and a lack of flying due to rain recently I was looking forward to a good days flying.
An email from Stewart suggested that he might head out Saturday as it looked a bit better than Sunday, I checked Skysight on Friday night and sent Stewart a reply that I was going Saturday.
On the drive out the conditions looked ok with light winds and some cloud, Barry was running the day with Ken towing and John as duty, there was one PAX flight which John took in NTT while Barry flew with Dave who has recently done his first solo at Lake Keepit. Well done Dave!
Peter in the Libelle, launched after Barry and Dave followed by John and pax. I lined up next and was a bit worried that Peter had just landed, and Dave was saying there was not much happening.
The tow up was quite slow maybe indicating not much happening, however there were some good looking clouds so, at 2500 feet I released and headed for the best looking one near Mt French. This gave a slow climb to 4000 feet, so were to next? I had no great plan for the day.
The week before I had read about Jonny Durand and Jan Tuby making an impressive one-way flight from Mt Beechmont.
With a takeoff at 730am they went over the back of the hill very early and after 10 hours Jonny, in a hang glider, landed 363 kms away and Jan, flying a para glider, landed 361 km away. An awesome effort.
With that fresh in my mind I was ready for an adventure. There was no doubt that the day would be better west of the range , so I decided that it was worth taking a look.
It took another four clouds to get to the range just north of Teviot falls, arriving at 4400 feet which is a great height for scenic views of the trees and cliffs, but not so good if you would like to go over it!
A bit of work over one of the spurs got me up to 5000 feet which meant I could now look over the range and work along the top. Heading north, I got up to 5350 feet, with good looking clouds out west and landing options within glide, I turned west to follow a spur line out to the flat lands. I had been in the air for nearly an hour so far.
Within a couple of kms I had found lift to 5700 feet and by the end of the spur line was happily cruising at 6000 feet under nice clouds, a call to Stewart found that he had finally got up and was pontificating about the range crossing. Looking back, I could see light virga near Cunninghams Gap area.
Now it was decision time should I go north or south? Lots of planning for this adventure not!
Ok, I always wanted to get out to Jondarynn, so north it is. Passing Clifton, the flying is great, good climbs to 7000 feet and only losing about 1000 feet in the glides, I’ve also seen three other gliders all of which were lower and did not appear to be going anywhere, maybe local flights out of Warwick.
Just East of Pittsworth and I’m on a glide that’s not looking so good, at 5300 feet I decided to head West for better looking sky and maybe some lift over the town, not much there down to 4400 feet now and some scratchy stuff that’s only got about 300 feet in it so push on , I have glide to the airstrip so the day might end here!
I tracked south, now staying in glide of the strip, I’m down to 3500 feet now that’s only 1900 feet agl its hot and the air is smooth not a good sign. Then there is a little bump followed by a surge time to crank and bank, its only small and I can’t get a full circle climbing, but with every turn I am gaining height. thirty odd turns later things are nice again the heat is gone Its time for a drink and some lunch we are back in the game again at 8000 feet heading towards Dalby.
Four climbs later and I am just SE of Dalby sharing a thermal with a Libelle. I’ve heard from Stewart and unfortunately, he has out landed at Clifton, but is safe and John is heading out from Boonah with the trailer to get him.
Looking back towards Boonah and east of Warwick there is now some dark sky and looks like rain, I ponder for a bit on whether I should go directly over Dalby before turning for home and decide that just getting to Warwick might be a challenge, so I had better get going.
The chat on 122.500 is now more about getting home rather than where are you going and how are the climbs
The flight back to Pittsworth is ok but once again it’s a bit soft, I get down to 5500 feet just south of my previous low point before taking an awesome climb to 9200 feet under some very nice clouds which I then follow south, staying much further west than the outgoing leg. Passing Leyburn I’m at 10500 feet, very nice, a bit chilly, but perfect flying with blue skies to the west of me before big clouds way west.
I finish my bottle of ginger beer cordial drink so time to drink from the camel bak packed behind me, now that strange noise at the back of the canopy comes clear, the bit you drink out of at the end of the tube isn’t in the glider with me its sticking outside of the glider under the canopy edge about 50mms behind my head, bummer! No more to drink.
The track ahead does not look easy with lots rain east, from here the tablet says I have glide by 600 feet to Boonah! No such luck with the amount of water falling out of the sky between me and Boonah.
Oh, now the tablet has died and the USB cord I packed seems to have vanished, luckily my new phone has xc soar in it, so I have a backup, but I reckon I can find my way home from here the old way with a map and eyes.
Passing Warwick at 6700 feet the range looks rubbish, whereas south to Killarney is clear with hardly any cloud to the SW, there are a group of clouds loosely linking a path out to the Condamine Gorge. I figure that if I can link these it will be my best chance to get over the range. From here it looks like the rain is confined to the west side of the range, so if I can get around it to the south I should be ok.
Just after Junabee I get a climb to 6300 feet at the start of the gorge spurs, further up the spur I climb back to 6200 that’s 3000 agl it doesn’t feel like it and the view of the gorge and east over the steamers is stunning. I still have glide back to the paddocks at Killarney, but from here I am 2500 feet over glide to Boonah.
Looking toward Boonah though, Moogerah is under rain, as is most of Mt Alford and its looking very black everywhere. I figure I have glide plus some, so I can track east around the rain and still get home ok.
So I bite the bullet and cruise over the steamers and out over the range back to Boonah side and height above ground, 4500 feet feels good, I’m going to make it home.
Now Fifteen kilometers out, it’s raining and I am in a Pik 20b, not renown for it rain performance. The glider feels heavy, the nose is trimming down, the sink rate has gone from 2.5 knots to 5 knots down, still 1200 feet over glide. Tracking as far east as I can, but aware that any out landing areas are more west not east. A call to Boonah base and Barry on the ground confirms the 04 is ok with a 10 knot NE wind so a straight in could be ok, If the situation gets worse.
Yawing the glider violently from side to side a couple of times at 60 knts seems to improve it, the handling feels better and the sink rate reduces, I have to do this several times.
By 10 kilometers out and I’m free of the rain, yeah! Under a big dark cloud with zero sink, I arrive at the strip with nearly 1000 feet in hand and do a nice circuit followed with a slightly bumpy landing, duh!
But I’ve made it back home to Boonah, 391 kms on OCL at 72.65 km/p, 5 hours 28 minutes, if I had gone that bit further at Dalby it could have been 400 however looking back at the southern range now ingulfed in rain maybe I wouldn’t have made it back? Maybe yes, maybe no.
Interestingly I saw 8 or 9 gliders scattered over the route. So always be aware you may not be alone, lookout>
After putting the glider away I waited for Stewart and the boys to get back and we put the Libelle back together again and in the hangar. Brian rolled up later as he too had landed at Clifton, however at a airstrip so took a tow back to Warwick, a few others fell to the soft spot too, with a few other outlandings.
I got some film and photos however it seemed to be flat battery day.
So a great day out from Boonah magic skies on the downs and tricky flying in the scenic rim, bring on the next adventure.