GNZ Newsletter

February 2021

From the president

Welcome to the February GNZ newsletter.

What a great start to the year it has been! January however is peak soaring season so I would expect nothing less. With our youth off school at the moment they have certainly been making the most of it with many 1st solos, 90 minute 'To Soaring' flights, 5 hour Silver flights and XCP ratings completed.

Rangi DeAbaffy launched a shark attack and smashed out the first 1,500km flight of the year and the competitions and club camps have been going full steam ahead with some great weather helping them along.

The Club Class Nationals and MSC comp are on as we speak and you can follow all the action live at

Happy soaring.

Steve Wallace

GNZ President



QGP / XCP rating achieved! Well done Emma, nothing like a good stretch after a long flight!


1st Solo, age 14. Very well done Jack!


1st Solo, nice one Fabian!


1st Solo, congrats Jessica!


1st solo X Country landing, 50km flight, Silver height gain (XCP nearly complete)


1,500KM FAI declared flight done!

Winners are Grinners

And so are the runners up to by the looks of things. Congrats to the class winners:

Novice: Pete Taylor, Racing: Nick Oakley, Open: Keith Essex and Marju Rossi

Trailer Talk

Glider Trailer Over Length Exemption Update

Just an update because I'm sure some of you are wondering what happened to this post the submitting of your trailer dimensions that many supplied quite sometime ago now. Basically, we are still trying to get Land Transport to agree to a blanket exemption. The wheels of the bureaucracy turn very slowly, so this is the update when you have nothing to update!

When and if we get it, the blanket exemption will avoid the only alternative which is that all glider trailer owners put their trailers through an engineering model with their tow vehicle, at a cost of around $800! You would then receive a certificate to be displayed in the trailer, if the car / trailer combo are within the parameters. I believe from the dimensions that everyone supplied that all trailers so far in NZ will meet the requirements.

NOTE: The certificate would state the make and model of tow vehicle (your car) and if it’s towed by another vehicle then the certificate is invalid. No other vehicle can tow your trailer and if you change your car you have to go through the whole process again! Hence why we are trying very hard to push this through.

Please wish Nigel Davy the best of luck and patience in his battle to achieve the blanket exemption.

Omarama Airfield

Omarama Airfield Update

The Omarama Airfield company and the Omarama Gliding Club have been working hard to get Omarama operating efficiently under the new normal we are all experiencing. 

The company and the club are developing an app., supported by a website, that will fill a lot of the gaps left following the changes of the past year. The app is essential for pilots flying out of Omarama because it will enable resident and visiting pilots to:

  • book tows and review the tow time and cost.
  • view oxygen fills and other relevant data.
  • review airfield information such as the circuit procedures, Safe Operating Procedures and local rules.
  • receive updates on the airfield’s management and operation
  • provide a basic flight following system, similar to the SARWatch system, that will link to the GNZ and Omarama tracking sites.

The first version of the app is up and running and is available for download from the Apple and Android stores. Look for; Omarama Airfield App. 

The main website for the airfield is which is under construction and will contain information such as webcams, weather etc for the airfield.

Currently, it only provides a link to the airfield users sub domain which contains clickable links to download the app, and users can log in here to view their information.

The app is currently a minimum product to get some of the features above underway and is under constant development, so we welcome feedback on content and function to  or  

The site also provides an option for people who want to receive Omarama Airfield information updates but are not members of OGC or users of the app. Click the button and enter your details and we will include you on the mailing list.

A massive thanks to Brian Savage for driving and continuing to drive this exciting project.

Taupo Easter Comp

Parachute Safety

How much do you know?

If you haven't watched it already please check out this video from Tim Bormhead's, Pure Glide, You Tube channel. Tim and Jim McLean cover off all you need to know about the use of your parachute.

Operating out of Omarama and in partnership with the Omarama Gliding Club and the Glide Omarama Gliding Club, Milan Kmetovics has attained his CPL (G) and is offering the following paid services:

  • One Day Introduction To Gliding
  • Learn To Fly Course
  • Casual Instruction
  • Mountain Soaring Course

Sounds to me like the perfect 2021 present and if not this don't forget to check out Milan's web shop where you can choose from the most amazing collection or gliding related photos to hang on the wall in your bedroom, bathroom or even the boardroom at work!

Incident Reports

From the desk of the NOO (National Operations Officer)

Review of Incident Reports for December 2020 / January 2021

  • rudder jammed in flight - hair tie jammed inside rudder push-rod bearing - lots of force required
  • Arcus wing dragged on ground during self-launch, encountered long grass, veered into fence wires
  • wing drop stall on winch, slow start followed by a power surge, winch driver comms issues
  • cross-country aerotow, glider on wrong frequency, brief cloud entry due to inadequate comms
  • ground loop after landing, cross-wind gust, long grass under wing, glider rotated 180°, no damage
  • ice formed between flaperon and fuselage, aileron control "not normal", wing ballast tank leaking
  • wheel up landing - wheel not retracted after launch then moved to opposite position pre-landing
  • l'Hotellier connection to left flap not properly connected - discovered just prior to launch
  • multi-probe not inserted far enough into fin receptacle - no ASI - glider unfamiliar to this pilot
  • winch launch with airbrakes unlocked - first flight on type - pre-launch check list not followed
  • tail skid detached during landing after temporary repair made the previous day, minor damage 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:

Ops Team Talking

New Distribution Model

Issues of Ops Team Talking are now being emailed directly to all instructors on the Gliding NZ database.  Previously the ROO's were emailing out to Club CFI's, and asking them to forward to members of their instructor panels.  It however, has come to our attention that some instructors have not been receiving their own copy, so the Ops Team have decided to change to direct email.  Note; there could be a problem getting past some email spam filters so all future and 22 back copies have been placed on the Gliding NZ web site under News > Safety Bulletins

Fun in the sun, just don't forget to protect

Via Gerard Robertson, GNZ have been invited to participate in the below American, glider pilot specific skin cancer survey. Please consider responding to assist in this research.

Mayo Clinic Survey- Skin Cancer Risk in Glider Pilots

Hi! My name is Ilana Breen, student glider pilot and fourth year medical student at Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine. I have developed this research study in partnership with the Mayo Clinic Division of Aerospace Medicine, Mayo Clinic Department of Dermatology, and the SSA. We are delighted to invite you to participate in this research study about skin cancer in glider pilots, including the possible role of ultraviolet and cosmic radiation exposure in aviators. You are being invited to participate because you are a member of the Soaring Society of America.

The aim of the study is to improve understanding of skin cancer risk in glider pilots. Our goal is to publish this data in the SSA magazine (in addition to the scientific literature) so that our findings may help inform glider pilots about skin cancer risk.

Your completion of the following survey serves as your consent to participate.

Click here to take the survey!

The survey should take no more than 7 minutes.

Thank you! Hope to see you sometime in the clouds!


Ilana Breen - Year 4 medical student and aviation enthusiast

Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine, Class of 2021

SSA member and student glider pilot

P.S. There are no foreseeable risks associated with the research study. We will not ask for personal identifying information (name, date of birth, etc.). If you have any questions about this research study, you can contact me at If you have any concerns, complaints, or general questions about research or your rights as a participant, please contact the Mayo Institutional Review Board (IRB) to speak to someone independent of the research team at 507-266-4000 or toll free at 866-273-4681.

Thanks for reading

All contributions, pics, videos and opinions welcome