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. 40923 bytes.
Competition web site (in French): https://championnatdefrancedelta2020.blogspot.com/?m=1
Live tracking: https://lt.flymaster.net/bs.php?grp=3284
# Name Nat Glider Time
Total 1 Manuel Revelli ITA Laminar 02:19:00 984.7 2 Christian POLLET FRA Aeros Combat C 02:19:32 977.1 3 Lorenzo De Grandis ITA Icaro Laminar 02:20:21 966.4 4 Mario ALONZI FRA Aeros Combat C 02:23:42 939.4 5 DAN VYHNALIK CZE Aeros Combat C 12.7 02:26:27 915.7 6 Petr Polach CZE Moyes Litespeed RX 02:27:45 909.3 7 Robert Kulhanek CZE Wills Wing T2C 02:28:03 874.5 8 ATAULFO J FERNANDEZ MONTERO ESP Wills Wing T2C 02:30:30 858.8 9 Tao LE FRA Aeros Combat 12.7 GT 02:32:32 841.8 10 Cedric GERMANAZ FRA Aeros Combat GT 02:30:44 841.4
Thanks to Paolo de Nicola
- Airspace warnings remain on screen for a configurable duration
- Additional language: Portuguese
- Almost all laptops accept the USB connection now. We still have some problems with some Microsoft Surface models, but there is a work-around. Contact us if you need more information.
- Next turnpoint selector in next turnpoint indicator WIP: Accept touch screen input
- Near-thermal-tone only when moving
- More pronounced sounds when reaching turnpoint
- Time zone database update
- Improve race route optimization
- Improve WiFi detection: Ignore updates when actual network is missing
- Shutdown screen does not close previously open entry boxes
- WIP for direction always gives unit in degree
- "W" not translated in French
- Special characters in pilot names lead to problems (and crashes) in IGC and KMZ files.
- Some airspace categories are not parsed.
- Wind direction in degree gives negative values
Raul Guerra sends:
Take off from Andes at 2600 meters (8,500') altitude.
We can see all the way and fly over sugar cane plantations. We can see dust devils over the plows.
Larry Bunner writes:
After an excellent spring here in the midwest, things slowed down a bit of late with soarable conditions but high humidity limiting the climbs and altitudes seen back in May. Our first cold front of the summer passed through on Monday bringing cool dry air to the region. Post frontal air masses mean good conditions and for Tuesday, August 4th XC Skies was predicting 10-15mph north surface winds (20mph at the top of the lift) and fair climb rates up to 6000msl (mean sea level) cloud base later in the afternoon in Illinois. The Buoyancy Shear (BS) ratio was low as expected due to the stronger winds so the lift would be very turbulent however it would be better further to the south. The Skew T diagram (my favorite weather tool) substantiated the info from XC Skies and showed solid soarable conditions by 11:00. The temperatures at the top of the lift were expected to be in the low 40s so cold weather clothes would be necessary to keep comfortable.
I spoke with Greg Dinauer in the morning and stated I would get to Whitewater, WI early and be ready to go by 11:00 with the intent to launch once the clouds showed the conditions were solid. Short lived cumulus clouds began forming at 8:30 on my drive to the flight park and slowly began filling the sky as we set up. Chico Sulin volunteered to be our chase driver so we were all set. Greg was towed up at 11:20 to a building cloud street to the northeast and immediately climbed to 4500msl in 500fpm (feet per minute). I towed up at 11:30 directly to the north. We hit some fair lift and Danny began a broad circle to the west. The winds were already strong and we werent very far from takeoff. I feared getting off near the airport in weak lift would put me in a tough position, so I tapped on the line to try to get him to take me further up wind. In my zeal I inadvertently activated my release and separated from the tow plane! Having to land and relaunch entered my mind but the lift was solid as I slowly climbed to 4100msl (3300 above the ground) at 133fpm . Greg reported that he landed south of Whitewater Lakes 14 miles to the south. This intensified my focus and I hung on to the next thermal for every bit of altitude exiting at 5000msl. I thought for sure the day was on however the next few clouds did not deliver and soon I was at 1500 looking for a suitable landing field. Luckily I latched on to a gnarly bubble that was dumping me on the backside repeatedly as I circled but was slowly gaining altitude. Eventually the lift expanded and there was lift all the way around, taking me to 4200 (3400agl). Whew!
XC flying for me is all about maximizing the day. Its about getting to the site early, getting prepared, assessing the conditions and then launching as soon as is practical. It is critical to be very conservative at the beginning of the day, stay as high as possible and Do Not race. Then during the meat of the day put the hammer down as conditions dictate only to switch gears again late to hang onto any lift regardless of strength. If a pilot can do this and glide from the last cloud to the ground then I would call it an epic flight! This is in contrast to an epic day however. An epic day would be one that has strong lift, high cloud base, early soaring conditions, beautiful cloud streets and strong wind. A day like this leads to big miles.
Switching gears once again after almost decking it, I flew to every little cloud within my downwind periphery and worked them for all they would offer as I passed over the state line into Illinois. The size of the thermals made it difficult to get a complete turn in lift but I had figured out by now that this was how the day was going to be. It was a bit like riding a bucking bronco but thankfully I was flying a Wills Wing TIII Team 144! The handling on the 144 is so easy it feels as if I am on a much smaller glider and even though I was circling in very rough air I was relaxed and confident I could maximize the lift to stay aloft. I kept telling myself to just hang on. With winds aloft at 16-23mph, any lift that kept me climbing was drifting me at a good speed down wind.
Two hours elapsed before I found another good thermal that took me over 5000msl (4200agl). I could see better developed clouds to the south and west but just couldnt quite get to them until I found a solid climb north of Sycamore, IL (about 60 miles from takeoff). From then on I was feeling more comfortable as the clouds were better developed with nice black bottoms and were distinctly lined up in streets (a series of clouds with a very short distance between them). For 40 minutes I stayed relatively high and cruised downwind to Hinckley always scanning for the best clouds and planning my next moves. To the west a robust cloud street formed so I pressed to the SW to connect with this good line. Initially the street didnt produce the strong lift that the clouds were indicating, I groveled along underneath looking for that monster climb but instead sank like a rock to 2700 twice before connecting with a stronger core just south of the Fox River near Sheridan that took me back above 5000.
The thermal drift was now to the southeast and still strong. I was reading wind speeds aloft at ~20mph. Ahead I could see I was on line to fly over the Illinois River and a large cooling lake for the LaSalle Nuclear Plant. From previous experience I knew that large bodies of water can adversely affect the lift down wind so headed further to the southeast to keep me over dry land. Just before the river I connected with a line of clouds and surfed in the lift underneath only turning a couple times when I hit 700fpm. This put me in great position at 5800 to cross the river and continue down the east side of the lake. Fortunately on this day the water in the lake was considerably warmer than the air due to the warm effluent coming from the nuclear plant so clouds continued to form downwind and the lift remained relatively good.
I have two instruments mounted on my control bar, the Flytec 6030 and Naviter Blade, that provide information that maximizes my ability to soar. They are actually flight computers that provide visual and/or audio cues for altitude, airspeed, climb rate/descent, distance from waypoints, speed to fly, wind speed and more. I have been using the 6030 for over a decade now and am very familiar with the information that it provides. I purchased the Blade a couple years ago as it has a couple of additional features lacking in the 6030; a color map and a thermal assistant. The map provides a high resolution picture of the terrain, roads and towns and more importantly shows controlled airspace in the area that must be navigated around. The thermal assistant gives a pictorial of the strength of the thermals and audio alarms that help the pilot get centered in the stronger lift more quickly. I use both instruments as I am trying to wean myself from the 6030.
After the river crossing, I was heading toward Pontiac, IL a waypoint that was programmed into the instruments that would keep me on a path clear of controlled airspace between Bloomington and Champaign IL. My track to this point was very slightly east of due south. Just north of Pontiac I thermaled up in my best climb to this point at 390fpm to 6100. Knowing that I would need to navigate around airspace soon, I chose to head SE where the clouds were aligned in that direction. Two thermals later I had the best climb of the day at 449fpm and maxed out at 6309. I could clearly see Champaign off to the SSE and knew that Id have to deviate to the east. Fortunately there were good clouds in that direction and I was able to pass just south of Rantoul and skirt around the airspace.
The clouds began to change quickly as the sun descended late in the day. The lift in each thermal became lighter and lighter. I was now hanging on circling and drifting sometimes circling in no lift but knowing I was moving quickly down wind. I had intermittent contact on the radio with Chico and Greg, however they knew my location from the Life 360 app that we all use for tracking. I did hear Greg state that I had just passed over them. I didnt see my SUV as I was too intent concentrating on the lift and continually scanning for a field to land in. Glancing at my instrument, I was nearing 200 miles. And knew that the current state record (202 miles) was within reach. I just had to hang on. I flew toward one last cloud over a tractor cutting hay and found weak lift. I circled and circled drifting and drifting until there was no more.
In this part of the state there was nothing but corn and soy beans as far as I could see, not another hay field in sight. I maneuvered south to a grass strip of land thinking it was an airstrip but it turned out to be too rutted to safely land in. I now resigned myself to land in the soy beans and after 7 hrs and 4 minutes in the air I unceremoniously landed in 4 of soy beans 100 yards from the road. I was struggling to lift the glider and slog my way to the road when to my surprise Chico and Greg pulled up and graciously helped extricate me from my predicament. Greg informed me that I set the state record. He was the previous record holder. I was super tired but also super stoked as I finally broke the 200 mile barrier this year after two flights earlier in the year came up just short (190+).
Well, all in all, it wasnt an epic day as I only topped 5000 (above the ground) four times and only had three sustained climbs above 300fpm the entire day but it was certainly an epic flight for me as I launched early in questionable soaring conditions and flew to the last cumulus cloud before succumbing to terra firma once again. I am incredibly grateful to enjoy this sport at 66 years of age. Many thanks for the support I get from my wonderful wife Sue, flying friends and Wills Wing. Chico and Greg did an outstanding job keeping up with me and getting me back at a reasonable hour, for this I owe them big time. Thanks all!