AvB's visit to Christchurch NZ Oct 2012 - Page 9 - RC Groups
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Oct 09, 2012, 05:27 AM
There is only DS
airtimeasto's Avatar
Cheers for the Video's Andrew awesome work as usual. You are one busy man mate.

I watched that video and that was over 300 for sure.
Did you guys have the gun on the right settings.

Anywho great flying guys.
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Oct 09, 2012, 10:08 AM
Registered User
You're as entertaining as ever Andrew. Thanks and keep it up.
Oct 09, 2012, 02:23 PM
Remember... Fly for fun!
From RCSoaring.co.nz :

@ Andrew; Hey what is this... an Aussie advertising New Zealand...?
Well done mate, the videos are awesome, great commentary - keep it up!
The country side up North here is nothing like the South I'm afraid. We do have some DS sites but no where near the size. We have some wonderful coastal slope sites up in the Waikato and a few not to bad inland either. Auckland probably has the two best DS sites, on a couple of Volcanic cones (Mt Wellington and Mt Mangere), in the Waikato you can DS the Tauwhare site in a SW or a NE. Te Kawa mountain over in Te Awamutu is also a good site and takes a SE direction - front side is awesome too, you can see to Tongariro on the central plateau on a clear day...
Although the sites are not as big scale as Christchurch, we can get to all the Waikato ones in a maximum of 1 hour drive - and that is a flying site for almost every wind direction too.
Have fun and keep up the good work on the videos... some of us are stuck behind a desk working indoors... (at least we can enjoy some of your holiday with you...!)


I've been posting your videos on there for the guys that aren't on RC Groups
Oct 09, 2012, 06:30 PM
Remember... Fly for fun!
Just saw Andrew and Andrew off. Came via my work to get some gear from my car.

They are headed to Tekapo to try it in a lighter wind. Staying the night in Fairlie. I am keeping an eye on the wind for them to see how they go.

Oct 10, 2012, 05:54 AM
Wind, hill, ... I'm keen ...
AvB's Avatar
Andrew P and I headed back down south to Tekapo today. One of the guys has generously loaned us an oldish but very practical 4WD with chunky tires and low range, which has heaps of room and is a perfect slope wagon.

There’s been snow in the last couple of days, and the white cover extended a lot lower than last Wednesday … in fact we could see that the top site that Alex and the guys Dsed while I was getting bad air with the Shockwave, was today shrouded in white. We got to the “main” site on the ridge about 3pm and the wind was blowing along the backside. Didn’t even try to fly.

We drove right back along the ridge to the spot that we DSed at the end of last Wed, where the ridge turns more west … but again, the air was roaring across the ridge and into the backside. It was very north.

But the amount of wind was stunning. For a day that the ground level forecast for Twizel was maybe 12 knots, this felt like a gale. I stood on the lip with Alex’s wind meter and read a solid 32 knots, building up to 42. Probably more if I’d waited but in a minute my hands were sore from wind chill!

Rather than head back down we decided to keep exploring further along the west-sweeping section, hoping to find a calm backside zone. Thru the next gate, we stopped and walked over the back … well, here it was. If I’d been dropped in blindfolded and asked whether I thought it was good, I could have said it was a perfect zone. (Somehow it just doesn’t seem right saying “perfect backside” …) The grass was calm. A bunny scarpered away. The hill covered in short grass dropped a seemingly impossible distance to the valley floor below. I felt the butterflies of anticipation in my gut … “this could be it!”

We drove up further to park, and checked out the LZ. Hmm. Not bad if you don’t mind landing on gravel. I walked over the backside from this end and felt disappointment as I realized the wind was following me down the back. It wasn’t separating, and there was plenty of wind over the back. There was one small area behind a small ridgetop knoll that felt calm, but everything else was dodgy. Looking across, even the spot I’d been at 5 minutes ago which seemed so calm, was now being blown around. Climbing the fence back to the frontside I realized it was very rounded, no sharp lip.

But Andrew P was keen to have a go with his vac bagged Scratcho anyway. Due to technical difficulties (a nice way of saying that some klutzy jerk forgot something) he had to fly it without ballast, and it was way underweight for the wind. He launched, but I wanted to look over the next knoll to see if there was a better zone. I walked quite a long way and the zone was better there, but there was nowhere to land. The frontside lip of the hill is basically sandblasted clean of grass so there is rock everywhere. And some big flat lichens. Just behind the lip (ie just where it would not be safe to land, you’d get dumped below the shear) there is grass. There’s a line like a scar where the grass finishes before the wind scoured frontside.

Anyway Andrew flew beautifully but the zone was crap. I watched him do the most beautiful landing, parking the plane lightly onto the gravel. He was really brave to even try DSing in that air. He is an extremely competent flyer and when I’m watching him, I tend to forget that he’s a DS newbie because his skills are so good that he inspires confidence. Give the man a serious plane and he’s going to do big things.

We then tried the next zone, where I’d walked. It was a scramble around rocks ands steep slopes but once in position the zone was better, but still not good. Big roll-ins, and not good power. And it was a challenge walking back near to the car for landing. I was contemplating putting the Shockwave together, filming to capture the Scratcho landing this time, when he suddenly got a fright losing lift , so I decided against flying anything big today. Discretion is the better part of valour.

But basically I don't think this corner area will ever work well. It seems that the L shape of the ridge forces the air into massive rivers of wind flowing thru each dip in this angled corner of the ridge. You can occasionally see these torrents of air kiss the backside and blow a bit flat road of grass down the hill, and you even hear the grass swooshing from a distance. But the scary thing when you're DSing (as we found last Wed evening) is that even when you can't see the flow on the grass, it's still there ... it's an invisible giant river of air flowing out the back and when you fly into it, you get cowabunga'ed. In a good zone, when you stand just over the back it's calm. But in this area it has a scary feel, with the wind flicking one way then the next, not separating, and wrapping over and around the hill.

We headed back to Fairlie, swapped cars and went for a drive down to Lake Pukaki, where we saw the area of cloud in which Mt Cook was hidden. Still very very awesome, and all the way back as the sun was setting I couldn’t take my eyes off the giant snowy mountains all around.

We’re going back up tomorrow. The forecast is for perfect wind direction, but not strong. Given how strong it was today, it’s quite possible it will be pretty decent wind! Hoping for a great day.
Last edited by AvB; Oct 10, 2012 at 06:07 AM.
Oct 10, 2012, 06:48 AM
Auzzie built planks
timbuck's Avatar
All sound incredible ...thanks again Andrew.
Looking forward to the AVB show tomorrow.

Latest blog entry: More colours
Oct 10, 2012, 03:10 PM
He who dares ... repairs!
Hobster's Avatar
Popcorn at the ready

Hope you get some more big winds - would be good to see the DSX grooving again. Can't be too many other DS gliders that have flown in 4 countries on 3 continents (or have I missed some? ). I had some good video of it back when it lived in the UK under Will's ownership... but can't find it, must have deleted it... I remember it some made impressive noises.
Oct 10, 2012, 04:30 PM
Wind, hill, ... I'm keen ...
AvB's Avatar
Well “fitful sleep” is probably the best way to describe it. We started getting ready for bed about 11pm, looked at each other and said “cheeesh it’s pretty cold in her, hey!” So it was … chop some wood, stoke up the fireplace and get some heat! I have some video of Andrew P looking like the friendly Fairlie axe murderer at the back door late at night!

He had to stay up quite late answering emails, and I went to bed but had the wildest series of dreams in between all-too-frequent wake-ups, and all of the dreams still seem vivid today! Everything from being lost at sea on a raft, car rides with gorgeous girls crashing off a Fermin-like cilff into the sea, the US president (who looked very like Alex's mother in law) having a hilarilous meeting with the Ayatollah Khomeini and lots more. No new CGI Blueray movie could compete with the screenshow on the backs of my eyelids last night. Maybe there was a lot of MSG in the Thai I had last night! It was certainly an intense taste sensation!

Anyway we’re up and have been to the bakery for breakfast, and are watching the Mt Johns (Earth and Sky) live weather feed to see when it swings NW enough to head up to the hill.
Oct 10, 2012, 05:06 PM
making my own planes...
decones's Avatar

Are you guys sure it was wood burning at fireplace and not a psychotropic "thing"?

Andrew P., I'd not hesitate lock the door next time, you can wake up with an Andrew over you thinking you're from Fermin hahaha....
Last edited by decones; Oct 10, 2012 at 05:13 PM.
Oct 10, 2012, 05:08 PM
I eat only vegetarian beef
Skycruiser's Avatar
Glad you made it up there ok. Feel free to put as many matagauri scratches on the car as you want, just adds to the character.
Me, I'm sitting in a bar in San Francisco airport saying 'owzitgoinmateorright?" to the locals to see their expressions.

Oct 10, 2012, 06:02 PM
Wind, hill, ... I'm keen ...
AvB's Avatar
Ha ha Nick try saying "99) to the locals and see if I can work it out!

we just got back up to the top of Tekapo ridge and there's only a very light northerly. But the sun is out and most of the sky is blue and the mountains are awesome with white snow in the sun. I feel sure that it will swing to the west and pick up over the afternoon.
Oct 10, 2012, 06:29 PM
Wind, hill, ... I'm keen ...
AvB's Avatar
We realized that from this height, Mt Cook must surely be visible. Big mountain across the other side of the lake .... could that be it? Andrew P used his maps app and worked out that it is! We were probably looking at it all the time last Wed, but I didn't know it! I was pretty excited.

PS The breeze seems to be picking up and coming up the frontside so the Scratchos are being prepared for battle.
Last edited by AvB; Oct 10, 2012 at 06:36 PM.
Oct 10, 2012, 06:37 PM
Remember... Fly for fun!
Watching Mt John for you all the time, slowly tending more NW
Oct 10, 2012, 06:39 PM
Remember... Fly for fun!
Looks like it is swinging now. Get the models together!
Oct 10, 2012, 06:40 PM
Remember... Fly for fun!
Loving that really defined snow line

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