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 The long and short of it 


From: Barry Collins 
Date: Sat, Aug 20, 2016
Subject: The long and short of it.



With the Pawnee, VH-SPA, in the hangar this week for scheduled maintenance, the Friday Crew weren’t anticipating any airborne action at all. However, a couple of encouraging emails from Garrett Russell late Thursday had us wishing and hoping and getting ready to fly. The news was that the tug’s 100 hourly would be completed early Friday morning…and ready to fly by 1100 hours.

Just a few hours flying! And a less than encouraging RASP indication? Why bother? Because we’re the Friday Crew, that’s why.

Arriving early I found the eastern hangar doors open and a shadow flitting busily around ‘in the wings’. Venturing deeper into the subdued light Bert Persson was discovered beavering away on the IS-28 rejuvenation work while the sky outside began to show teasing signs of thermal activity. Emerging from his gloomy grotto of gliders Bert was glad to share human contact and the usual warm and interesting discourse with this legend ensued as we waited for the team to arrive.

Bert’s shadow in the wings

By 1100h more crew had arrived, all keen to get on with it. However, updated advice was received that SPA wouldn’t be ready for acceptance until 1200h. Bugger!

And that was the Short of it!

So, not wishing to waste time, DIs were completed on both the Twin and the Blanik in readiness for the Pawnee’s eventual arrival at the hangar…which it did soon thereafter following Karl Bodi’s short acceptance test flight.

By now the time was approaching 1300h and the previously observed very promising Cu-filled sky overhead had begun to return to its usual brilliant shade of stable Caboolture blue. More bugger!

However, the team, which by now included duty instructor, Bob Turner, Tony Sorensen, Bob Hainsworth, John Nestor, a paperwork encrusted Garrett Russell, the aforementioned tuggie, Karl, Arthur Mailey and yours truly, had decided to fly.

And fly we did…just three sorties, all of which resulted in sustained lift and broad smiles among the satisfied soarers.

Playing the Waiting Game

First up were Bob H and B2 in IKW. With lots of other YCAB users in various positions around the R06 circuit theirs was a somewhat extended wait for launch. Garrett had taken up position as wing launcher and probably wished he’d applied more sunscreen and taken a bottle of water with him he was at the port wingtip so long! Meanwhile, B & B were being slow-roasted inside IKW, the aircraft straining to escape gravity and get some cooling airflow over her wings.

Finally away, and initially being towed over Karl’s favourite fruit fields, the miracle of flight once again revealed itself. On this occasion, however, Strawberry Fields certainly weren’t Forever and the crew chose to release southwest of the field into slow rising blue thermal lift, eventually reaching 3500’ where they continued to play for the next half hour or so. Great views all around!

Thermalling southwest of YCAB in IKW

Garrett and John were seen searching for lift a little lower and slightly further west. They had launched in GYK on a further rear seat training flight for John involving release, stall, spins L & R plus an ambitious hunt for lift. After a wee while the Blanik was observed below the still thermalling Twin, on a mission to join right base for R06. John certainly achieved much in that 18 min training flight with Garrett. No pressure is too strong for that intrepid aviator!

IKW landed a while later after a fun-filled and satisfying 44 mins soaring to the south of the field.

Bob H and IKW after landing

So, by now any cloud activity had definitely headed west young man and it was time for these happy flyers to satisfy their hunger pangs.

A coffee and a sandwich, or a container of rabbit food in Bob’s case, does wonders for the restoration of the physical needs of emotionally satisfied aviators. During the late lunch break all eyes turned skywards to watch Bert’s return. He’d managed to exchange the IS-28’s wings in the hangar shadows for his own set of wings for some enjoyment in the calling sky overhead.

With the afternoon marching on ( it was now approaching 1500h ) and IKW sitting silently at the R06 flight line beneath a canopy of bright and brilliant blue, the question was asked..” Does anyone wish to fly again? “ Responding in the affirmative, B2 and John expressed a desire to fly once more.

With John occupying the front seat of IKW, and B2 as P1 in the rear, Karl towed them up on what had been decided would be the hangar flight ( GYK had been taken back to the hangar following its one flight with GR and JN ). Great views both N and S were captured in B2’s iPhone as the crew tracked to the position south of the field where IKW had soared earlier. And surprise, surprise…rising air was still the go…and up they went, through slow and determined flying by John and B2 ( mostly John, who was concerned that the variometer audio wasn’t  working so B2 provided the appropriate rising beeps from the rear seat! ). The melody and magic of soaring satisfaction!

IKW: Flight of the Day

All too soon it was time to return to the field and with John flying the circuit, approach and landing, IKW slid smoothly to a  stop on R06 grass left for the flight of the day at 52 mins.

And that was the Long of it!

John and B2 after landing IKW

It was now after 1600h so the gliders were put to bed for an early night after providing just three flights of exquisite aviation enjoyment to the satiated crew.

Another day among true and trusted flying friends with Caboolture Gliding Club.

Barry Collins
for the FRIDAY CREW 


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