Melbourne Gliding Club

  • 01 Mar 2017 13:02 | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    Dermot Coleman's story

    The many photographers present exclaimed with frustration, but were rewarded when it returned a couple of minutes later to make a pass along the front of the lookout point, turning its head to look at us as if it were a celebrity on the red carpet, before banking into a thermal to climb away for the day's scavenging in the mountains.

    Condor

    You did not need to be a glider pilot to be awed by the size and presence of the Andean condor with its three metre wingspan, dramatic black plumage set-off by a white collar and, above all, its effortless elegance in the air.

    Well below us, in the depths of the canyon we could see other condors working their way up the precipitous face, alighting from time to time on prominent outcrops to rest or await better conditions. From above we could see how their wings would twist in flight to take advantage of the breeze along the cliff face and the separate movements of each of the seven splayed wing tip feathers which are constantly changing individually to provide precise soaring manoeuvres.

    The condors' nests are a kilometre below, deep in the canyon, usually in inaccessible crevices in the cliff face where the egg or chick will be safe from predators such as foxes. The one chick in each nest spends 6–8 months growing before taking to the air, but remains with its parents for another two years. The juvenile condors have brown plumage and lack the distinctive white collar of the adults, whose life expectancy is roughly equivalent to ours. Lacking the talons to capture prey, they feed on carrion, but have been known to swoop unexpectedly on animals in perilous situations in the hope that the startled animal will lose its footing and fall to become fast food. Perhaps that is what our first visitor was trying to achieve when it buzzed us from behind.

    While I have enjoyed the thrill of flying close to wedgetail eagles over the years, the sheer size of these birds – almost twice the size of our wedgetails – puts them in a different class. To be able to see them in the wild, and in close proximity, is an unforgettable experience and only possible in a few locations as the condors have been hunted to the verge of extinction. The lookout sites are both expensive and time-consuming to visit as they are in remote locations and at a height that demands acclimatisation for most people.

    The lookout we visited was the Cross of the Condor (Crux del condor) in the Colca valley in Southern Peru. Because you need to be at the lookout by 8:30 most people stay overnight in the valley, which is four hours' drive from Arequipa, the nearest tourist centre. We saw about a dozen condors over a one hour period climbing up past our lookout, which is regarded as pretty good number, as the condors are reluctant flyers in the cold or wet, and can survive several days without hunting.

    I hope this article shows, that if you can afford to travel to the right area, the effort is worthwhile.

  • 27 Feb 2017 13:20 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    From the Tugmaster, Steve Coulton

    TNC:

    TNC was delivered to Nelson Aeroplane Company yesterday (Sunday 26/2) via Warrnambool with less than 2 hours remaining on the current maintenance release which would have expired this coming Friday.

    Many thanks to Ben Loxton for flying it over… Ben found himself sharing the runway at Warrnambool with the local drag car meet…!

    Nelson will get TNC's  overhaul works underway later this week, however we can expect the tug to be unserviceable for up to 4 to 5 months.

    Once the engine has been removed it will be transported to Gippsland via Bacchus for assessment/overhaul.

    News:

    Sean McGrath had his towing permit re-validated on Sunday and has returned to aerotowing after a bit of a break. Welcome back, Sean.

    Mark Farthing from Bendigo GC at Raywood will be joining our towing team in the coming weeks. Welcome, Mark.

    Helen Chapman took on the ski slopes of Japan and consequently will not be flying for up to 6 to 8 weeks while her knee mends. Helen - we wish you a speedy recovery.  

    Many Thanks to Tom VB for kicking off the towing this Sunday after completing the DI on both tugs on what turn out to be a busy day at Bacchus.

  • 21 Feb 2017 09:21 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Thanks to the following members for your efforts over the summer so far, or long service.

    • Jason Tang, Dermot Coleman, Steve Trone, and Guido Tomisich for attending and promoting gliding at the Federation Square exhibit in November.
    • After many years processing our flight sheets, John Fawcett and Steve Trone have passed this "honour" onto Paul Spooner and Tony Carling. Thanks John and Steve for the many hundreds of hours you would have invested in this, and thanks Paul and Tony for taking this task on. Remember to check the flight sheets at the end of every day for accuracy to save headaches for the guys later on.
    • Michael Aldridge for implementing some behind the scenes 'fixes' in Xero to make our accounts software more user friendly.
    • Max Callingham and Steve Coulton for the organisation of the Club camp at Raywood over the New Year.
    • Steve Trone and Richard Traill for your commitment to the Instructor Panel. Steve and Richard are stepping down from the Panel for now (hopefully just for a short while). Thank you to you both for sharing your time and skills with other members.
    If you see someone that deserves a shout out of thanks, please do let me know so we can appropriately acknowledge and thank them. This is a volunteer club and those who go above and beyond should be recognised!
  • 06 Feb 2017 11:04 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    With February upon us it is time to start planning the 2017 Easter Camp to Mt Beauty.

    Easter is mid-April this year, with Good Friday April 14. Also, the Term 1 school holidays commence before Easter and end on Easter Monday, April 17. This means that only members who are not restricted to school holidays may be able to participate in the camp during the week following the Easter public holidays.

    So

    To make the most of Mt Beauty’s autumn weather, if there is enough interest we can place some gliders and a tug at Mt Beauty the weekend prior to Easter, April 8 so we can operate during the week prior to Easter. I have spoken to Ian Cohan of the Mt Beauty Gliding Club and he is able to support as a Tug pilot if required.

    In addition, if there is the demand of enough members, the camp will continue to operate into the week following Easter.

    To make it all happen I need to know AS SOON AS POSSIBLE THE DATES MEMBERS WILL BE ATTENDING.

    As always, Tug Pilots are always most welcome AND volunteers are required to transport aircraft and equipment to and from Mt Beauty.

    To get things underway, it is important to email me at max@optusnet.com.au to advise:

    ·       Your proposed camp dates;

    ·       Your availability to move gliders and equipment.

    See you there!

    Max


  • 04 Feb 2017 17:00 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Mt Beauty Camp Easter 2017

    Mt Beauty is situated in the picturesque alpine region of north-east Victoria. It offers a great scenic and mountain flying experience. The highest mountain in Victoria, Mt Bogong, is situated 5km from the airfield, though you have to climb 5,000 feet to reach the summit. Mt Buffalo is to the west, and Falls Creek is to the south. The camp officially runs from Good Friday until Easter Monday but if the weather looks good and there is enough interest from members then the camp can be extended until the following Saturday. Accommodation options vary from camping and caravan sites, to motel suites and house rentals, but book early as Easter is one of Mt Beauty’s busiest tourist periods.

     Our excellent host for this camp for over many years has been the Mt Beauty Gliding Club. They are a friendly mob who host an annual Easter barbeque on the airfield. They also offer a winch launching experience. There are no tasks set for this camp; it is very much a social and family orientated event. There are often meals/barbeques hosted at club members’ accommodation. Within the town’s boundaries there are wineries, restaurants, bakeries, and bike hire. For the more adventurists, there are walking tracks to the summit of Mt Bogong. And the tourist town of Bright, just over 30 minutes drive through the Tawonga gap, is renowned for its Easter markets.

     What to bring? The family; summer and winter clothing; log book; maps; and enthusiasm.

    Expeditions / Independent operations

    Want to fly somewhere different? As a club member if you want to take an aircraft away to a gliding event as private hire there is not a problem. You need to have fulfilled independent operator’s requirements as per the GFA Manual of standard operating procedures (MOSOP) and VMFG requirements. If you want to organize an expedition at a site and date other than normal club camps involving club aircraft and members, then put the proposal to the ops panel.

    Gliding is a labour intensive sport, but the flying rewards are many!

    Even with all the technology available – GPS; computer generated weather forecasts; soaring specific analyses of conditions; awesome cockpit technology; aerodynamics etc. - gliders still can’t move on the ground without a bit of old fashioned human effort. This also applies to the moving of equipment and aircraft to the various camps and expeditions. Although at times we ferry a two-seat glider behind a tug to the camp we still require up to four gliders plus the expeditions trailer to be taken to the camp and return by road. There is no sugar coating with this task. Single seat gliders in trailers can weigh up to 1,000 kg; two-seat gliders in trailers can weigh up to 1,500 kg; and the expedition trailer up to 1,000 kg. We do offer several incentives to encourage members to attach a club trailer to the back of their car (taking into account the maximum tow rate of the vehicle). The compensation is having first allocation of the aircraft you towed up to the camp on the day you want, or being reimbursed 0.10 cents per km whilst towing the glider trailer.

    Pilot’s requirements for camps and expeditions

    To fly as pilot in command in a single seat glider (or in the case of a mutual flight) pilots must be rated and current in the aircraft they will be flying in. As an early pilot, pre-solo, you can still fly and enjoy flying at camps with an experienced pilot. Post-solo pilots who wish to fly at a site other than Bacchus Marsh must have a site check with an instructor. Unless you are cross country endorsed, you are restricted to the local area.

    There are no annual checks conducted at Club camps, so pilots must ensure they are:

    ·       within the 12 month validity for their annual check;

    ·       current on the aircraft they wish to fly;

    ·       all documents are current including, a cross country check list, charts, and log book.

    ATTEND THE CAMPS AND ENJOY!

    Max Callingham


  • 16 Jan 2017 17:23 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    It has been great to see a number of members bringing out family, friends and interested work colleagues for gliding flights lately.

    Stay tuned for details of a Family & Friend flying day in April.

    This is a reminder to all members that there are two options when conducting a private passenger flight, which may also be known in the club as a family and friend flight. The most important thing to remember is that at least one form MUST be filled in!

    The first option DOES NOT allow the passenger to touch the aircraft controls while the aircraft is flying. For this option, the passenger MUST complete the club's family and friend paperwork form ONLY (not the GFA form). 

    The second option is to have the passenger complete the GFA form (at a cost to you of $30 - in addition to the flight - as we have to buy these books from the GFA) and fly with an instructor (AEI rated or above). This allows the passenger to be introduced to basic aspects of flying, but the passenger is not permitted to touch the controls when the aircraft is below 800ft AGL.  

    The difference between an AEF and private passenger flight is that the AEF has completed the GFA AEF form and the pilot is AEI-rated or above. 

    Please refer to section 11.1 and 10.5 of the GFA operations manual for more detail.


  • 16 Jan 2017 17:20 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Operations are back at Bacchus Marsh for 2017 having recommenced on Saturday. All members are encouraged to get out to the field soon to explore cross-country opportunities from the Marsh during the summer season or to keep current. See you at the airfield!

  • 13 Dec 2016 09:03 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Tom van Blaricum - for stepping up and flying three AEF passengers and three F&F flights for another member on a recent weekend. Six consecutive flights in warm conditions. Thanks for your assistance that day, Tom.

    Steve Coulton - for agreeing to be the MGC representative for the soon to be established aerodrome Hangar Owners Group (MGC has a vote as an owner/tenant of the North Hangar).

    And changes at BMAM have seen some new people join and others take on new roles. So, thank you to Steve Trone (Chairperson), Roger Druce (Aerodrome Manager), Dermot Coleman (Secretary), Ben Loxton (MGC delegate) and Tighe Patching (MGC alternate delegate) for agreeing to take on these positions at such an important time. The first meeting of the new BMAM Committee was held last week and was positive.

  • 12 Dec 2016 15:46 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Best of luck to one of our junior members, Jackson Keogh, competing at Joey Glide (the Australian Junior Nationals) at Temora this week. Follow his results hereSafe and speedy flying, Jackson!

    And congratulations to a couple of members for their glider conversions over the weekend: Colin Gamble into the Discus CS and Jason Tang into the Junior.

    And Ian Northey recently achieved his family and friend rating - well done! (Next stop: AEI/Level 0 instructor!)

  • 24 Nov 2016 23:36 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Thank you to all who transported the aircraft and equipment to Raywood for the Melbourne cup weekend.

    With only a month to go we need to start organising the transport of gliders and equipment to the camp.

    We have 2 seat and single seat aircraft also the expedition trailer to transport, any offers?.As always you can claim 0.10 c per kilometre travel with the trailer following behind or the option to choose the day and the aircraft you have towed up to fly.

    If there is Tug pilots who are going up specifically to tow on set dates, it would be neat if you could register via the online system and advise dates so we can plan ahead.

    If you can help with the transport of aircraft and equipment please contact me direct.

    Best Regards

    Max Callingham  max@optusnet.com.au  or text / talk 0416 237 672


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