It's no secret that South Africa provides great soaring weather, but sometimes it is unusual good certainly, for the time of the year, as on November 5 2013. And when you fly on such a day, with a few mates , same calibre , as Uys and John [ Coutts] , you continue where you might have stopped whilst flying alone.
" What made this day special, was the large area of relatively good weather, as well as the lack of thundershower activity. But I have to say that there are
more of these days available for flights like this, we just miss them sometimes." Oscar said.
Here is the story about this flight, making a few on FB say that they live in the wrong country and Adam from Australia calculated that "195kph over 2.5hrs is" sha-mokin!!"
"----The original declared task was Potchefstroom, Delportshoop ( to the northwest of Kimberley, just outside the TMA), then up to Vostershoop (west of Pomfret on the Botswana border), and back again to Potchefstroom, for a total of 1080km. I launched at 10.30, and waited for Uys and John to climb up, so we started more or less together. I had about 2m/s off tow to 8500'. Soon after the start we got a good climb - about 3.5m/s average to 13000'' msl. There were few cumulus clouds, which had a short lifespan, but we maintained a good pace.
We flew into a different airmass at Warrenton, where the cu's were scattered, with climbs averaging at 4m/s to 15000". As we approached Delportshoop it was obvious that the weather to the west and south was better that towards our second turn, where it seemed to be blue with dry thermals, so we decided to continue going south west towards Douglas, and then turn south east. The new plan was to circumvent the Kimberley TMA, and return to Potch between the Kimberley and Bloemfontein TMA. We turned south east about 50 km west of Douglas at a small place called Florisfontein. By now the sky was on fire, with 4m/s climbs as standard, and the odd 5m/s thrown in for good measure, topping out at 17500msl. We initially headed to Phillipstown, but soon realized that we could go further, Theaverage on the second leg was over 200km/h. Heading to Colesberg, it took us just over 2hrs to cover 500km's, averaging inter thermal groundspeeds of close to 300km/h between thermals, and only coming below FL145 to cross first the Bloem/Cape Town airway, and then again to cross the Bloem/Port ELizabeth airway. By the time we turned at Colesberg, our average speed for the task to that point was 169km/h. Bear in mind that the record that Helmut Fisher flew over 1000km was 168km/h. John Coutts then came up with the idea that we should fly around the Bloemfontein TMA as well, cutting through between Bloemfontein and Maseru. We now still had about 500kms to go in about 3 hours, but we were at 17500msl, so it would be possible. Remaining east of the Bloemfontein TMA, dodging some virga from overdeveloping clouds, we planned to fly past Potchefstroom to Klerkskraal Dam, meaning that the task would then be 1250kms. Unfortunately a squall line west of Welkom sucked up the remaining energy, and Uys and John did a final glide into Potchefstroom from abeam Allanridge. I had enough height to glide past Potch for a couple of kilometers to complete a free distance flight of just over 1250kms. Today was an above average day for cross country gliding, with a big area of good homogeneous weather. I have however experienced better weather in smaller areas, and believe that it is possible to fly 1300 kms from Potch on a very good day. These distances were normally only achieved in Namibia or in mountain wave. Thanks to Uys and John as well for one of the most memorable flights I have done."----
AND thanks to Oscar for sharing with ALL of us!
On November 9 Oscar flew another long task from Potchefstroom;865 km. with 151 km./h. whilst his mates Uys and brother Attie and John, each flew a 1000 again.[135 km./h]
It was nice to see on that day on the OLC, first 2 JS 1 gliders topping the list , then an ASW 20 and a Hornet great performances by the way, before the Quintus and another JS 1.
The 3 inflight-pictures in this blog are shared by Jonker Sailplanes!
For all other news from last week, also about flying with the CHAMPIONS and more from Oscar on flying in South Africa, you can go to www.soaring.eu
Read Ritz' full bio under the menu item About -> Our Contributors.
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