Thursday, December 16, 2010
Here is a picture of yesterdays storm that destroyed many suburbs in south Brisbane. It had hail bigger than golf balls with strong winds bringing down trees and powerlines and deroofing some houses. This afternoon we had more big storms with more on their way. Some were reported to be supercells reaching up to 40,000ft containing more hail and damaging winds.
A day out at Tambo
After early phone calls from Trev and Flocky saying they wanted to go flying it was off to Tambo. We arrived there and set up ready to go by 10:30am. We waited for some clouds to get closer as there were not many cycles coming through launch. We had just had some rain the day before so things still needed to dry out. Rob launched on his paraglider and had a slow descent to the bombout after scratching for awhile. Another paraglider launched and was also below ridge height when I ran off in Gabor's glider. I was out test flying for the day and flew without instruments for a challenge. I got low below the point and headed out towards the bombout and hit a thermal and worked it for awhile before it kicked. Flocky came in below me and big trev was stuck on launch as the wind was lightly over the back. After we had climbed out Trev took off and spend a long time low near the bombout before climbing out to base which was around 4,000ft asl. Flocky and I headed west towards his house where Ant, Rangi and Gabor were working. Flocky got a little low there and landed in his backyard to make sure the boys were working hard building his house. I flew down the chicken shed ridge half way then turned back for Flocky's. It was looking like a good place to land since Gabor was there to watch his own glider land while he was working away. Barney a usal suspect on the hill. The wind was SW which is perfect for landing there however it seemed to be NE on the windsock. Every now and again it would die down and turn west again. I was above waiting for that to happen and then did a high speed past the boys building Flocky's house. The wind has switched again back to the NE in the middle of the field. So I came in crosswind cross slope for a nice landing. Check the video out below of the days activities.
Saturday, December 11, 2010
Friday saw good weather with NW winds and cloud streets to the horizon. I talked Wazza and Wilson who had just sailed in from Cairns and they were keen for a fly. I picked the boys up from the Gold Coast Broadwater and took them to Mt Tamborine where we met Reggie, Trev, Gabor, Darren and Xavier. We set up and had a nice XC flight out to the Turf Farm. Cloudbase was about 4,000ft asl and the lift was quite good considering how much rain we have just had. After a nice flight it was time to take the boys back to their boat. Before that we decided it was worth checking out the dunes for a late arvo dune flight. We drove to North Burleigh to check out the cliffs but it was very strong and and to cross from the North. We ended up driving down to Lacey's ave near Currumbin beach and found a small little dune about 1 metre high. The wind was almost straight in but still a little off to the North. We quickly set up the Malibu and 5 mins later we were having a blast. Trevor Purcell was there and after 30 yrs of Hang Gliding finally got to fly the dunes. The smile on his face was one that I have seen before from first time dune gooning pilots. For a small dune a sweet flying Malibu and some wind you can make a average afternoon into some great fun. We played taking turns and flew until sunset before packing up and heading home. I took the boys back to their boat and climbed on board to check out Wazza's Yacht. I lost track of time as we sat on the deck checking out the view of the gold coast glitter strip from the Broadwater. I can now see that I wont be the only Malibu flying the beaches now as interest will start to spread once the pilots realize how much fun were having in the late afternoons. Here is a short Video of the beach flying.
Wednesday, December 08, 2010
Dune Gooning on the Gold Coast
I read a club email that said sunday was looking like a potential day to fly the sand dunes on the Gold Coast. It is very rare that we get a strong East wind that will allow us to do this. I have only ever had the chance once before and it sure was fun. As I was in Sydney at the time of reading the email I thought what a perfect way to test my new rebuilt Moyes Malibu. I had stripped it totally apart after taking it for a splash in the salt water at the Red Bull Flutag a few weeks ago. I had managed to get everything done on friday and was set to drive home saturday (1000km) and be prepared for sunday. Just before I went to sleep I saw that the forecast had changed and it was only going to be strong enough on Saturday afternoon. I decided on leaving at 4am after little sleep so that I could make it back to the Gold Coast in hopes of flying late in the day. I was traveling so well in the early morning without traffic until one policemen decided that I needed to donate to their Christmas hamper. He said I was in to much of a hurry and Im sure he would have been doing the same if he had ever tried flying a Moyes Malibu on the dunes before. I was making calls all the way home seeing if the weather was going to hold up and if the rain would stop. Neither was looking good so I made a detour to Byron Bay where I dropped off a hitchchiker and a repaired litespeed. I decided to meet Trevor Purcell at Currumbin to check out some dunes that he thought faced NE for future days. When I arrived there it is was pouring with rain but we had a quick look and noticed the wind was from the ENE today. After having a few looks around we found a dune at 25th ave Palm Beach which was just out of the rain and seemed to be almost perfect facing. I said to Trev lets set up the Malibu it will only take a few minutes and see what happens. Here is a short video of my first flight for the day.