06 January 2017

Official Training finished

I flew two  out of three official practice days.

We had excellent weather with high cloud bases and strong lift.

I flew total six days in Australia with different conditions on each day which gave us some knowledge of area and conditions.

Dust during take off is issue and all cleaning before flight is ruined just in 10 seconds

Official opening is tomorrow and contest starts on Monday with not the best weather prediction.

Jerzy XG



Practice Day 2 - Dave

The 18 m class was assigned a 581 km task that took us south to the hills, then west across a large valley into some more hills, then 225 km north to the third turnpoint, back east and then home.

The picture shows my trace in red and another pilot's trace in blue.  When looking at flight statistics compared to other faster pilots the one thing that stood out to me was that I flew 624 km to cover the 581, while the blue pilot flew only 601 km to cover the same distance.  This extra distance over the task time equates to about a 5 km/hr loss in speed.

Except for the large deviation I made on the first leg, I am having trouble seeing where else I flew the extra 23 km.  However, this does point out that in strong and fairly consistent conditions it is important not to deviate as is necessary in our typically weaker conditions at home.  John Cochrane wrote a paper about this to analyze the loss/gain for various amounts of deviation in stronger and weaker conditions.  His conclusion was that deviations typically pays off in weak conditions if you can find above average thermals by doing so.  In conditions that are strong and homogeneous deviating does not pay off.

Conditions for the flight were good with 5-7 kt thermals and max thermal height of just over 10,000.  I flew a working band of about 6500 - 9500 ft for most of the flight. I did see a lot of people significantly lower, but I don't know who they were, or how effective it was to push lower and wait for a stronger climb.

Today, I am taking the day off and we have the opening ceremony on Sunday, so the next flying report will be for Monday.

Today we had a much longer distance task - 501 km..

Luke and I had a discussion last night about the mistakes we made on the previous day and what to do to fix them.

The weather was really strong right from the tow, by the time when our start opened  the cloud base was close to 9000ft with the thermals 5-6knots so we decided to go right away.. We were first to start and all 15 m class pilots were chasing us.  Surprisingly for 450 km we didn't see any other gliders except 2 German pilots who started just 2 min behind us, they caught up only by the first turn point witch was 200 km from the start.  Weather was really strong with the cloud base reaching 10,500  and we didn't have any slow and week areas as we had day before .
For another 250 km we were playing cat mouse game with German pilots. They pulled away and fell behind few times but we met again just before the second last point - 70 km away from home... We thought they will be our only company for the final glide - but when we were climbing after the turn point another 6 or 7 gliders join us - the big gaggle finally arrived.. We all finished within few minutes from each other .
Few more lessons learned and we hope for better results for the real contest which start on Monday .

15 m class pilots - MS and 2W

05 January 2017

Official Practice Day 1 - MS and 2W

Today was the first official practice day, for Sergei and I it was also the first taste of world level competition soaring.  The start gaggles were pretty orderly but neither of us is used to the head games of leaving and coming back.  We decided to leave on course as soon as we had a good position rather than wait for the pack.  We considered sticking around and waiting but with the forecast thunderstorms we elected to go early.  The fast guys were a little more patient and left 10 to 30 minutes after us.  The day was quite good but had some large dead zones to cross, this made us a little cautions (read slow) and deviated too much.

Today's scores are available on soaring spot, here is the direct link to the 15m class Practice Day 1.

Dave's first official practice day

The task was a 2.5 hour area task that took us west and then north.  I had trouble climbing after release.  It took me almost 45 minutes before I was finally able to get above 5000.  Eventually, I met up with Jerzy near the start line where we made it to about 5900 ft and then we started.  Part way down the first leg a few cu started to pop and under the first cloud we found 5.5 kts up to 7300 ft.  We ran with a couple of other gliders on the first leg and turned in the first area where a line of clouds led to the second area.

At this point Jerzy and I separated when he went to one cloud and I went to another.  From that point we didn't see each other for the rest of the flight.  The clouds that aligned with the second leg looked good, but they didn't work. After 30 km, I found a 5 kt climb under a newly forming cloud that took me from 4800 ft up to 7300 ft and I was back on my way.  I deviated to the north to try and put together a run under some clouds and had a couple of 4.5 - 5 kt climbs just before entering the second area.

The clouds along the centre and east side of the area looked good so  I stayed north of track and had a good run including an 8 kt climb to 9100 ft.  After leaving the second turn area, there was a 20 km hole to cross then one more 6 kt climb to 500 ft short of a MacCready 5 final glide and from there I was able to bump my way home for 96 km at 173 km/hr.  The final 30 km was not, however, without excitement as the big sky around here can also produce a lot of sink and even though I have a 500 ft safety factor and had a couple of hundred feet above a 5 glide I lost a lot of it and really had to work to find and take every bump on the way in so I could make it.

This last stretch of the day really helped lift my overall speed to 134 km/hr for the task.  The score sheet shows this on the low side for the day in the 18 m class with the winner turning in a speed of 156 km/hr.  The fast group started 20 minutes after we did and 1500 ft higher so we need to be a little more patient at the start.

The picture shows the big sky to the north of Benalla at 1820 after we had already been on the ground for about 45 minutes.  Cloud base is about 9000 ft (8400 AGL)

04 January 2017

Last two days of unofficial tranning XG

 Yesterdays Task was set to the mountains, it was a very frustrating flight as we had small number of  clouds in the mountains which were giving 1-2 kts of lift.  After claiming first TP and setting the course to the next one, there was now trace of clouds for the next 50km. I decided to skip second and third TP deep in the mountains with no place to land. I decided to try  last TP to familiarize with the edge of mountain area. It was a challenge and polishing  rocks wasn't pleasant .

Today we had very nice day with high cloud bases and good lift  with a couple of big blue holes to cross .

It was the best day since we arrived in Benalla.

Tomorrow is the first official practice day.

Jerzy XG


Dave's last unofficial practice day

Today we had a racing task for the 18 m class that took us north then west.  As we were on the grid, cu started to pop to the north and by the end of the day we had a sky full of cu based around 8000 ft.  The total task distance was 340 km and we completed it in just over 2.5 hours at speeds around 130 km/hr.

Good climbs were in the 6-7 kt range today, but at times we also had to accept 3 kt climbs when low and faced with some holes to cross.  One problem area was the third turnpoint just in the foothills to the south.  There was a large hole with a lot of sink going into the turnpoint.  At this point, I stopped and took a couple of 2 kt climbs so I wouldn't arrive too low in the foothills.  This cost some speed on the day, but I am not comfortable pushing low into the hills.

All in all, a good practice day.

03 January 2017

Unofficial Practice Day 3

This is the last of the unofficial practice days. Official practice will start tomorrow with a mandatory safety briefing at 9:30 am.

Today looks like a nice day

It is just past 4pm now and our pilots are about two thirds through a 350k task to the north and west and judging be the radio patter, they seem to be having fun. They should be on final glide shortly.


Unofficial practice day 2 for Dave

Today, the practice task was set into the hills to the SE of Benalla.  The highest hilltops along the task are about 5000 ft with expected lift to about 8000 ft in the hills.  Before the start, I struggled to get above 4500 ft and by 2:30 I was getting just above 5000 ft so I abandoned the task into the hills and instead flew north into the flat lands.  I did a little tour of about 300 km up past Tocumwal and over to Corowa and then back south to Wangaratta and home.

It was blue with lift up to 6500 ft in the north and thermals averaging 4 - 6 kts.  At times it was difficult to find the core as the overall thermals seem quite large with 2-3 kts lift around, but good cores of 6-7 kts.  I think it will be quite helpful to be flying in a group as one glider will have trouble quickly locating the good cores.

01 January 2017

Canada Base

The weather for today is low, blue and windy, so we all elected to pass on flying.  This gave us the opportunity to erect the Canada Base antenna on the chimney of the rental house where 5 of the team members are living.  While the antenna may not be as tall as it was in Leszno, it is higher than any other obstacle in about a 1 km radius and should provide good coverage of the task area.

In fact, the antenna was erected a couple of days ago, but was not working properly so it was dismounted and then upon inspection we found a poor solder joint that I had made back in Canada.  Wrapping the antenna to fit it into the suitcase caused the solder joint to split.  With the solder joint repaired and antenna hoisted up the chimney we went on a drive with a handheld to check it out.  It all worked well, so tomorrow we can give it some air-to-ground checks and see what kind of range we can get.

This summer Nick Bonniere did some trouble shooting on the team radio because the last few times it was used, the transmissions were breaking up and difficult to understand.  Nick determined that the additional wire that had been added to the power connection was too small in gauge and was causing too large a voltage drop along the power supply line.  With this fixed and some other fixing of car antennas by Nick, we have what we think is a sturdy setup that will work really well.  Thanks Nick.

Three of our pilots already got their first flights in 2017 in. A monsoon flow brought some humidity to the area which gave us nice looking cu in the afternoon.

We are still a week away from the opening ceremony for the 34th World Gliding Championships but every day more flags are going up as the Teams arrive.  In total there will be 114 pilots representing 30 countries competing in this WGC.

The Canadian Team is now complete with 4 pilots, 5 crews and myself.

18m Class:
Jerzy Szemplinski      ASG-29 - XG
Dave Springford        ASG-29 - 4D
15m Class:
Luke Szczepaniak          ASW-27 - 2W
Sergei Morozov         ASG-29  - MS

 Joerg Stieber