The Oz Report Is...
A near-daily, world wide hang gliding news ezine, with reports on competitions, pilot rankings, political issues, fly-ins, the latest technology, ultralight sailplanes, reader feedback and anything else from within the global HG community worthy of coverage. 22657 bytes.
No results posted as of Saturday morning (US date)
Yon Barcena writes:
Jose María Iriarte Ziritza, Tximo, passed away on January 13 at the age of 55, victim of a hang gliding accident that he suffered a few days earlier, on December 26. That day he went with a friend to make a local flight and say goodbye to 2019 flying. They both went to a small hillside located south of Pamplona, the city where he lived and worked. It seems that he had a failed launch. There were no direct witnesses to the accident. He crashed into the slope about 20 meters below launch. They found him unconscious. He had suffered a severe head injury, of which he could no longer recover.
Hang gliding was his great passion.
Tximo started working very young as a mechanical turner. After a few hard years of work, where he also tried to run a bar, decides to become a firefighter, this was around 1995. It is at that time when he discovered hang gliding. Working as a firefighter he had time to enjoy and spend more time for nature activities.
He did his introductory hang gliding course in 1998. He immediately fell in love with this sport, joining the group of pilots who normally flew around Arangoiti, in the Sierra de Leire, one of the best places to practice free flight in the north of Spain. His competitive and challenging nature drew him he soon to the world of competition. The Spanish championship in 2001 at Castejón de Sos was one of his first important competitions.
From that moment on he was a regular at practically all competitions nationwide. He won several editions of the Basque hang gliding League and in almost all the championships of Spain in which he participated soon was among the first classified. As a member of the Spanish hang gliding team he also participated in international competitions, such as the European Championship at Turkey of the year 2016, the Valle de Bravo Worlds at Mexico in 2017 and the World Championship in Italy in 2019.
Man, of enormous vitality. Cheerful, direct and sly. Sometimes conflicting, too generous and stubborn. A free man who leaves a deep emptiness in the hang gliding community in Spain. He also leaves an 18-year-old daughter, his other great love. His laughter and hugs will be hard to forget.
Tximo, goian bego.
Nick Greece writes:
Calling all pilots, race pilots, pwc pilots, world championship pilots who have raced or plan on racing in Valle De Bravo. We need a bit love for the Gutierrez family. A family and team who have always been there for us through thick and thin. Please share this as much as possible, lets get these lifelong friends back in the air, and lend a deserving hand.
Patricio Gutierrez, 28, was severely injured during the Monarca Paragliding Event this year and Miguel and Claudia could use a little help getting their son back in the air. They have great insurance but the costs are already over 15,000 dollars out of pocket. He broke his pelvis, sacrum, and injured his bladder.
The event continued and many of you probably didn't know that the organizer's son was life-flighted to Mexico City.
Josh Cohn and I are setting this up mainly to hit up all the past participants of their events to chip in and help this family out. Every time we have had the races and times of our lives, with this family hosting us and truly treating us like their own, we owe that to them and more. For 16 years they have hosted 150 pilots a year from all over the world and made sure each and every one of them had a fantastic event including the Paragliding World Cup Superfinal in 2011 and 2015, the Paragliding Worlds in 2009, and the Hang Gliding Worlds in 2015.
They have always been there for us, let us show the love in their time of need and help the best comp team in the world get back in the air!
The funds will be used only for Patricio's medical needs, fees, and expenses. Anything left over will be donated to a local charity in Valle De Bravo.
This contest naturally wanted to make tracking displays available to interested spectators around the world. For this, they chose to use what are known as GFA trackers self-contained cell-based trackers supported by the Gliding Federation of Australia, and well proven at many Australian contests. With the exception of the occasional battery failure, these trackers and the online software that displays their data do a beautiful job, and the tracking for this contest has been popular around the world (most notably, in the USA). Pilots naturally have some concern about carrying a tracker that continually discloses their position, but this concern is addressed by the rule (noted above) requiring a 15-minute delay on the display of such data. So far so good.
But at a special meeting of Team Captains on Friday morning, we were stunned to learn that the Australian team found a way to receive undelayed data from all GFA trackers. They thus had full real-time coverage of all gliders all the time, and were freely using this data to help their pilots.
Along with almost everyone here, I do not believe this was a plan to intentionally do something underhanded. The Australian team position is that they found a web page that required no password or other access restrictions, making the GFA tracking data available there fair game. They further believe that what they were obtaining (real-time positions for all gliders) is the same data available to any team that went to the trouble of deploying private Flarm stations in the contest task area. They though of it as a clever and easy way to obtain the same information others would be able to get.
It wont surprise you to hear that the other 9 Team Captains (of which I am one) did not endorse this view. The first point is that the contest is required by rule to impose a 15-minute delay on the tracking display, so a website that offered undelayed data ought to have been secured, something anyone with knowledge of the rules would surely have known. Next, even if was not secured, any scheme that uses such data undermines the 15-minute delay requirement, thus creating a rules violation. Pilots accepted the GFA trackers (as the rules required them to do) on good faith; they must now digest the fact that, in effect, their gliders were bugged during this contest.
The initial ruling from the contest organizers was that the receipt of this illicit data was unsporting behavior, but because the Australian pilots had been told and sincerely believed this scheme was acceptable, no penalties would be applied.
Larry Huffman writes (to Larry Bunner):
"I know you put a lot of effort into weather forecasting and sharing your skill with others. Ive been using a quick and dirty way of forecasting thermals that Ive had pretty good results with.
Go to a National Weather Service point forecast such as this one for Groveland, Fl. https://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php?lat=28.5593&lon=-81.8553
Then scroll down to the hourly forecast graph and click on it.
There are some additional options with check boxes at the top. Under Fire Weather (on the right) select Mixing Height and then select Submit.
When the new graph comes up (at the bottom) if you run your cursor across it you can read the hourly values at the very bottom or click on the graph again and it will give you a digital read out.
I like it because it gives me multiple weather values for the whole day. You can use the temperature dew point spread and divide by 4.5 to calculate the cumulus cloud base.
If you havent seen this before I hope it will be useful."
TOL from XCSkies for 4 PM Tuesday: