GFA Met showed Saturday to look like a really good day as the week progressed towards the weekend. The forecast did change a bit as it got closer but it showed 9000 feet near the range, not as good over Boonah and better on the downs.
I did my Annual Flight Review early in the day so I could be legal to fly, and conditions seemed quite good, then I prepared the Libelle.
On tow the air felt good, climb rate for one straight section seemed to be 12 knots, but on release it did not seem as nice, the climbs were really tight and not that strong. It felt better on the earlier flight.
I was wondering if I should have towed higher when Mike in the Pik joined me, he had launched before and was not doing any better so a higher tow would not have helped.
Slowly we climbed to 3500 feet in the blue and were able to move towards the range a bit where the high cumulus clouds looked very inviting, climb again and move a bit more. As you moved further West the thermals went higher and at altitude there was a Westerly wind (North West on the ground) which meant I still had glide back to the airfield if I was careful, but a headwind trying to get to the range…..
There seemed to be lines of buoyant air that I was able to follow to the West, maybe that was what I felt on tow.
The first cloud I headed towards slowly evaporated in front of me and was gone before I got there, don’t you just hate that ?
Got a good climb over Mt Greville getting higher to nearly 5000 feet and within range of the clouds, after some hunting I got to 9000 feet and headed over Cunningham’s gap and picked up another climb at Maryvale.
The sky looked great and everyone on the Downs was at 10,000 feet, one reporting a 12 knot average climb ! But also some reports that it was tricky down low and difficult to find good climbs, I found that the climbs were still narrow and generally on the upwind edge of the clouds.
Not that you can complain too much with clouds to mark the thermals, shade to climb under and the view from 10,000 feet.
I flew to Allora and then Warwick before cruising home at 10,000 feet with a tail wind, I crossed the range just under 10,000 was under the 8500 step getting closer to Boonah and over the airfield at 7000.
That is what you call a relaxing final glide !
Burning excess height I flew out towards Wyaralong Dam before coming back to land.
Mike in the Pik and the LS6 visiting from DDSC had similar flights.
Nice flight, tough to begin with, rewarding to do a 200km flight early in spring.
Hopefully sign of a good season to come.