GNZ Newsletter

February 2020

From the president

Welcome to the February GNZ newsletter.

It's hot and dry, which is not great if you are a farmer but awesome if you are a glider pilot!

We have had a great run of weather in January which has resulted in much aviation being committed.

Even better the long range forecast is for lots more great weather still to come.

If you haven't achieved your gliding goals for the summer yet it's certainly not too late, and if you have, then it's time to set some new ones.

If you're at work and just want to see who isn't, where they are and how high they are, don't forget you can just head to and all will be revealed. Just don't tell the boss about this website or your rego.

Stay safe, stay high.

See you up there.

Steve Wallace

GNZ President


MAX STEVENS - 1,500km FAI Diploma flight. 13hrs in the air. Epic stuff!

JOHN McCAW - 500km diamond goal and diamond height

JOSH WIEGMAN - first solo!

NICK JOHNS - first solo!

Thanks Stefan!

In the few weeks Stefan Langer was here he managed to produce a dozen videos about his New Zealand soaring experiences that have clocked up more than half a million views so far on his You Tube channel alone and who knows how many on his other channels. Stefan has done a wonderful job of promoting New Zealand as a soaring destination, promoting the sponsors of the Auckland Enterprise contest and promoting gliding in general. Just read the comments on his social channels! All this is immensely important when it comes to retaining and gaining sponsors for future contests. Thanks must also go out to Simon Gault and the Auckland Gliding Club for making this happen.

How far can you go?

700km OLC

Well done Pat Driessen

On a day that the weather forecast was very doubtful for getting very far at all, the organisers at the Auckland Enterprise Contest set a free distance OLC task and said "see how far you can get".

Yes, it's arrived!

Congrats to Youth Glide

After a wonderful fundraising effort it has finally arrived in NZ, Youth Glide's brand new Skylaunch winch. Seen below after being unpacked by volunteers at Tarbotton Contractring.

Events Calendar


National Gliding Championships 2020 @ Taupo

February 2, 2020 - February 15, 2020

Enter at:

Vinatge Kiwi Rally 2020 @ Waipukurau

February 15, 2020 - February 21, 2020


Central Districts Championships 2020 @ Waipukurau

February 23, 2020 - February 29, 2020

Enter at:

GNZ ANNUAL CONFERENCE 2020 @ The Hilton, Lake Taupo

June 13, 2020 - June 14, 2020

Save this date in your diary.

This annual conference is now moving annually, specifically to attract new and fresh faces. Please support this initiative by attending when it is held in your region.

January's fabulous photos

Ash Monday

Monday 6th January. The sky went dark and the leading edges of flying wings and tailplanes went black with ash from the Aussie bush fires.

It starts young

You're never too young to stare at the sky and wonder at the power and beauty of nature!

Have a laugh for a good cause

Kevin Clark from the Wellington gliding club has put together a wonderful collection of gliding cartoons from his own hand, along with some light hearted and sometimes historic commentary. He is selling this well presented and professionally published 40 page booklet for just $20 with all proceeds going to Youth Glide. A great gift and a must for your club or home coffee table.

Who's been landing out this month?

Send your photo to

Derek Shipley

Terry & Christine

Incident Reports

17 incidents this report. Lots of fine weather = lots of flying = lots of incidents.

Please be careful out there!

Review of Incident Reports for Dec - Jan 2019

  • undercarriage damage after heavy landing, poor circuit with steep final turn at low level, too slow
  • first flight in flapped single, fast approach, failed to flare, flap set at zero, damage + minor injury
  • tow plane on glide approach, heavy sink on short final, slow to react, heavy landing, collapsed u/c
  • heavy landing - speed allowed to wash off too early during the round out, pilot not current
  • aerotow aborted due to perceived low climb rate, no airbrake used to get the glider back on the ground, glider ran out of runway, crashed
  • first flight on type, sink on final, airbrake not closed, speed allowed to decrease, heavy landing
  • pilot-induced oscillation on landing, 3 bounces, potential for damage to aircraft
  • ground loop after landing fast downwind, nose wheel not held off, wings kept level, no damage
  • loss of control as glider slowed after landing with unexpected tailwind, narrowly missed obstacle
  • non-standard 'stop launch' command not received by tow pilot due to poor radio in tug
  • close to a mid-air collision, 2 gliders joining circuit, incomplete report, under investigation
  • battery broke loose in flight after demo recovery from winch launch failure, bungee retention not an adequate method to retain battery
  • first use of EDS oxygen, tubing not connected securely, alarm sounded, no oxygen flow in flight
  • during DI one wing was much heavier, still held water ballast, not emptied from previous day
  • wave flight, rudder could not be moved for 10-20 seconds, attributed to water leak from tail tank
  • airbrakes popped open on takeoff, checks done but may not have locked the airbrakes closed
  • aerotow weak link failed at 400 ft, very strong wind, bow in rope, PIC slow to take control

Don't forget a link to the GNZ incident reporting form (OPS 10) can now be found in the very top menu bar on the GNZ homepage, just to the right of the 'Classified Adverts'. You can now fill this form out on your phone at the airfield so no excuses.

OPS 10 link:

Thanks for reading

All contributions, pics, videos and opinions welcome