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February 8, 2017

A New Zealand blog ;Matamata ; NZ club class Nationals..Omarama with great flights .. Gliding International January/February!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ritz @ 6:55 pm

Matamata !
January 27-February 4 2017.

The Matamara soaring center,as shared on their site.

The airfield of Matamata , homefield of the PIAKO Gliding Club,  was the host for the club class Nationals in New Zealand with 10 competitors in 2 classes and reasonable weather with 7 days out of 9 .
I even think we passed this field when I drove around with John and Chris Roake [GLIDING INTERNATIONAL] in 2010/2011.

6 Pilots in club class,  each in a different type of glider as PW 6, Discus B, St Libelle, DG 100, LS 4 and DG 300.
And the same 6 pilots , with 4 other pilots/gliders in the open version; as Duo Discus, LAK 12 , Puchacz [SZD 50]  and  JS 1 .
With several AAT’s between 2 hours and 2.45 and set tasks from 244 km. pilots had up and downs, some real up and downs loosing days and winning days , as Tim Bromhead, just back from the WGC in Benalla. He flew an ASG 29 there and finished on spot 34 from 43.
Tim , flying the DG 300 and a member of the local Piako Glidingclub, was “out ” on task 1 and got 296 points of the 1000 available on a 2 hour AAT-day.Not good. The PW 6 pilot gained the 492 points as winner.
BUT,…Tim won task 2 [2.45 AAT] ,…1000 points in the pocket.
Task 3 was his as well [2.30 AAT] ; as there were only 5 finishers he got the 900 points available for the day.
Task 4 gave him a 3d spot as the St. Libelle was runner up and Bob Gray in the DG 100 won and task 5 with a set 244 km. was “out” again, and only 3 pilots finished; Bob in the DG 100, Bill Mace in the LAK 12 and Mark Wilson in the Libelle.
Tim was on spot 5 with 186 points from the 833 available for the day.
As I said up’s and down’s.
Another 2 hour AAT was set as task 6 but had to be cancelled.
They tried again last Friday with task 7, another 2 hour AAT and yes it was flown. AND, was a fast day ; in pure club the Libelle who won showed a speed of 120.65 km./h. over 241 km. AND,..the runner up in the DG 100 had 120.27 km./h. over 240 km.. !!
I checked for “maybe wave” but no, no wave.
Looking at the open version;  speed was 135.97 for Mark in the Libelle.
Saturday was the last day and task 8 was set ; 2.15 AAT and local, Bob Gray had his 3d win.

So the DG 100 with Bob was the clear NATIONAL CHAMPION in club class. He flew very consistent, won 3 days and had NO out-landings.
Look at the points; 5.730, whilst runner up Tim with his up’s [ 2 daily win’s] and downs [ 2 “out’s”] had 4.836 points.
Mark in the St .Libelle was on a good 3d place [4.650.]
The open version scores were a bit different; Bob won, runner up was the LAK with Bill and Tim was 3d.
Finally “summer”  in N.Z. with 30 dgr. C.


Omarama pilots from glider ZR and QQ enjoying /”playing in the wave after ridge soaring Mount Cook.”
Got the pictures from Glide Omarama on my FB site, courtesy Milan sawyer.

Trial flight(s) in a southerly wave – lee of the Hawkduns, with Dan (ZR).
Lake Benmore, and Pukaki in the distance.”

Talking about N.Z. is talking about wave and….WAVE  …… showed up at NZ ‘s top- mountain– mecca- Omarama. They had that Friday great [but a bit complicated] weather too. “A day of Awesome Clouds!” was part of the comment from Finish pilot, Jyri [Laukkanen], who flew in nice wave a distance of 722 km. in an LS 3 a.
A…”sky full of lennies” , was what Aussie Graham [Parker] said after his flight in the ASH 25. [612 km.]
Both Jyri and Graham are frequent flyers in Omarama.
AND,….last Saturday another great flight 771 km. in the LS 3 a , flown by Peter Mc Kenzie. A day with SW- wave according to Graham and ” a lot of cloud about.”
Like Australia they have a great after-summer-time.

As shared on the Omarama site.


Paraparumu Airport, New Zealand.

YES,…  I was at the North Island and we passed by Wellington about 50 km. from Paraparumu, but we did not visit this airfield, so like many aboriginal names in Australia sound intriguing, so do the Maori names;
Paraparumu means “scraps from an earth oven” in Maori: “parapara” means “dirt” or “scraps” and “umu” means “oven”. It is commonly abbreviated to “Para-Param”, particularly by longer-term residents of European ethnicity, and simply “Pram” by local youth.”[ Wikipedia]
The NZ Central Districts Gliding Championships 2017 started on February 5 , as I read on soaringspot, with a cancelled day.
The next day a task was set, only a ONE hour AAT,  but the 24 participants got the message , according to top USA pilot Keith Essex; “Day cancelled after launch. Increasing moisture through the day. Great cloudscapes.”
He must have thought , now I am here anyhow, I do a “bit of flying” and he flew 735 km. in the ASG 29/18m.!!!!!!!WOW!!!!!
On a cancelled day, bit embarrassing??
Keith flies already since the end of October in N.Z. first in Omarama on the South Island and very successful with 3 over 1000 km. flights, one with a speed of just under 180 km./h.  and then from Papawai, this 735 km. task, not too far from Wellington.
Other pilots flying this competition are Tim Bromhead yes from….and good old Tony van Dyk,

Whilst writing all this, I got totally confused. Tried to find out if Papawai was the same airfield as Paraparumu…???
Did some research,… found both names ….and some facts,…. but not where the comps exactly were.
So I contacted Jill [Mc Caw] who knows everything about NZ and even more about soaring in N.Z. and she wrote me back and the answer is clear; NO GLIDERS fly anymore from Paraparumu !!!
Here is what Jill wrote,…thanks Jill:
The Wellington Gliding Club used to fly from Paraparumu which is on the west coast just north of Wellington. Due to increased commercial use of that airfield they were forced to move. About two years ago they joined forces with Gliding Wairarapa based on an airstrip in Papawai, a small place near Greytown in the Wairarapa. The airstrip is now the Greytown Soaring Centre, and both clubs operate independently off it while cooperating to run youth camps, and this, their first competition. Greytown is in the Wairarapa, separated from the Wellington region by Rimutaka Range, and a steep, windy road. The weather conditions can be very different “over the hill”. It is a little further to go for Wellington people, but conditions are better and bunkrooms are being built.

Well after all this research I am still waiting for task 1…..the nice weather disappeared for a few days. No task today.Next week more.

More news last week from NZ.
Geoff Soper a fabulous photographer shared this great picture and news on FB and I share it with you non-fb-users. This NASA -DC 8 , a kind of flying-lab, arrived in New Zealand and landed at Christchurch .
 NASA DC-8-72 arriving CHC.
It has been highly modified to support the agency’s Airborne Science mission. The aircraft, built in 1969 and acquired by NASA in 1985, is 157 feet long with a 148-foot wingspan. With a range of 5,400 nautical miles (6,200 statute miles), the aircraft can fly at altitudes from 1,000 to 42,000 feet for up to 12 hours, although most science missions average six to 10 hours. The DC-8 can carry 30,000 pounds of scientific instruments and equipment and can seat up to 45 experimenters and flight crew


Talking about N.Z…..

The new Gliding International for March /April from editor John Roake is nearly out and I still have not given you details from the first issue of this year January/February.
It’s a bit more complicated now,as all overseas readers got a code to read the magazine digital. Of course that’s the future and I read it ,…but found it more difficult to skim through digital pages instead of paper pages. In the end I “got it”  and in fact ….it is easy!!!!
Here you are:
—–quite a few pages for Sebasian Kawa’s adventure in the Coucasus Mountains. His expedition to Russia covers 14 pages with great pictures and interesting stories but also tip’s what’s allowed and not allowed in Russia p.e about pilot’s license validation.
——Paul Remde shows on his page the latest soaring product news. P.e, news about the latest colibri x GPS flight recorder and the LX NAV NANO 4 GPSflight recorder and more.[]
——Aldo [Cernezzi] evaluates and comes with an explanation for poor handling on tow.
—– the ARCUS J as in JET; The ARCUS M airframe from Schempp-Hirth get’s a PBS-TJ-100 engine installed by Desert Aerospace of New Mexico….. More in the magazine!
—–the history of ” Wings & Wheels “.
—–Gliding’s best kept secret the JS 3 RAPTURE. We had already the opportunity to see how good this 15 m. class glider is as it showed it’s great performance in Benalla. Both gliders were flown by the Jonker brothers Uys and Attie.
—–all about a world map in 3D.
—–lot’s of world aviation  news for glider pilots.
And much more.
So if you wish you can read it digital now as well , in fact it is easy and clear.


Some more airfield ‘s..

And a few pictures from other airfields in New Zealand. I took them in the 2010/2011 year. I had the unique opportunity to see SO much from the fabulous North Island as my friends Tony [RIP] and Emily and John and Chris showed me the beauty from the N to the S of this N. Island .




AND my friends Tony and Emily and John and Chris who showed me the beauty from this N. Island.



Last but not least…
LOVE this picture

shared by Hans and with his permission.

This young man belongs to my long-time-friends and after 27 years of flying for KLM, he had a nice FAREWELL-flight to ST Maarten with his favorite crew. You would not believe he is a pensioner now [56] , would you?
More gliding time for him now????
No, not yet,…for a couple of years he shares another company.

cheers Ritz

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