GNZ Newsletter

January 2021

From the president

Welcome to the January GNZ newsletter.

We made it!

2020 is now behind us and we have a whole new year of gliding to look forward to.

Not that 2020 was all that bad gliding wise, all things considered, with 3 x world records, multiple National records broken, a 1,500km FAI Diploma, a 1,000km FAI Diploma, 500km diamond goals and diamond heights, new solo's every month that we weren't locked down, an e-racing series to keep pilots busy when we were locked down, a brand new winch for Youth Glide, new tow planes and Duo's for Omarama, heaps of adventure flying and we launched a modernised flight training programme.

Enough said.

Can't wait to see what 2021 brings.

Let's do this.

Steve Wallace

GNZ President



(in glider)

First solo. Well done Stew!


1st, 2nd and 3rd solo. Hence the finger gesture I assume.


Winner of the just finished 2nd annual MSC Grand Prix


Winners of the Springfield Soaring Championships

from left to right (Tim Bromhead, Karen Morgan, Mike Oakley, Terry Delore)

Bluff to Auckland

Well actually Omarama, Bluff, Auckland. Terry Delore delivers yet another amazing soaring flight to show us all just what is possible with the right planning, drive and imagination.

check out the slide show of the flight

Bluff to Auckland

Aotearoa: Land of the long white cloud. New Zealand

When we fly Sailplanes long distances around FAI triangles or out and return flights as pilots we achieve a great deal because we have declared our waypoints and tested our skills interpreting weather forecasts and finding the way to achieve the task in flight, rather than aimlessly bouncing up and down energy lines without prior planning. This requires a good understanding of weather systems and task planning, and if successful we gain knowledge to pass on to others.

However this flight flight does not conform to FAI rules or conform to any record it is simply a flight to capture the imagination of the public to show what a Sailplane can do in New Zealand, most people can understand the scale of Invercargill our Southern most city to Auckland our Largest city in the North Island over a Thousand kilometres away.

Pilot notes.

Ten days before the flight I was watching a North West weather system  approaching that might support a soaring flight from Bluff to Auckland on the long days of summer.

Detailed notes and a request for advice was sent to Air traffic control headquarters who agreed to do their best to work with us on the flight.

The original plan is to fly with our daughter Abbey but she is busy helping friends shift house and agrees Paul Schneider should be co pilot on this attempt.

19th December 2020 take off Omarama 5.15 am at first light. 

Sailplane ash25mi Zulu Foxtrot

Terry Delore & co pilot Paul Schneider.

North West wave system forecast to cover the South Island with the cold front on the South coast by 9-1000 hrs the same time as our arrival at Bluff just South of Invercargill.

Very poor early morning soaring conditions around Omarama did not produce lift above 8500 ft so we headed South to St Bathans contacting the wave lift from 5500ft, from here we continued South in the Dunstan Wave past Alexandra into the Garvie wave climbing to 24,000 ft allowing a slow glide down the Waimea plains over Invercargill towards Bluff on the South coast of New Zealand.

Approaching Bluff about 300k South of Omarama  cloud rapidly formed and the  temperature dropped. 

We were at 17-18,000 ft this was the frontal cloud closing in and at these lower latitudes it closes in fast as I have experienced in the past,  had we been 15 minutes later it would have been game over.

We headed North with one turn point behind us  Paul announced its only 1056 km to (Drury) Auckland Gliding club!

As we turned and headed North the wave system rapidly collapsed all the lenticular clouds lost their crisp clean edges and cloud at mid levels formed, these conditions chased us up the South Island making progress slow.

 We only just managed to get out of the Waikaia valley descending to 6500 over Roxburgh before contacting wave again for a slow climb.

Just North of Omarama we contacted good wave in the Dobson valley allowing a climb back to 15,000 ft and onto to the Mighty Mt Cook wave and the North West Arch which stretched all the way up the South Island hovering above the Main divide of the Southern Alps.

We floated along under the edge of high vale of the Circus cloud marking rising air feeding the Arch where we settled into a slow cruise in silk smooth air about 65 - 70 knots indicated this gave us a ground speed of 190 kph so with no turns we were soon looking down on the Nelson lakes, Nelson City and the Marlborough Sounds. 

Paul and I were sharing the flying and making steady progress and so far complying with my flight plan estimated times given to Air traffic control. This flight plan was distributed to all sector controllers so we would not be an unwanted surprise popping into their air space when they were already busy with Airline traffic.

From Nelson area  we needed another few thousand feet to contact the high lenticular clouds over Blenheim were we would climb and position ourselves for the Cook Straight crossing so I started East when Paul pointed out the obvious good lenticular just a mile or so from where we were, this was a critical point of the flight as we needed the climb to stay in the wave system that was not working down low. I missed seeing this lenticular good job Paul.

We managed another 2 or 3 thousand feet climbing in Paul's wave and headed out over Blenheim from here the view was simply stunning 360 degrees of majestic Marlborough Sounds, Nelson, Wellington back along our highway of Arch wave it was simply an Awesome site to see. 

Paul came to New Zealand to look around and was not complaining with this view. 

 Paul is a very competent and qualified composite engineer who helped me on some projects and is being thanked with mountain and wave flying in the ASH25.

We tracked into a good wave just over the North East Coast by Blenheim and climbed to just over 20,000 feet before talking with the controller to request a convenient crossing time that fitted in with their traffic, the reply came back Zulu foxtrot cleared as requested and we will move the traffic around you.

  ATC were nothing short of Awesome!

Brilliant!  We were off on the down wind dash of 90 km contacting broken wave passing the Southern tip of the North Island 'Turakirae Head' where the wind doesn’t just blow it Howls ripping water off the sea surface in a North Wester.

The wave up the Wairarapa valley in the lee of the Rimutaka, Tararua, Ruahine and Kaweka ranges (love the Maori names) was low turbulent and a breaking wave due to a wind shear at 8-9000 feet it was to be a final glide out towards Taupo gliding club so over the Rangitaiki air strip we started the motor and took a climb which got us past Matamata where in late afternoon thermals we drifted slowly toward Drury over green rolling cow country. 

We started the day dressed fairly lightly became frozen in Southern latitudes at 24,000 ft now in warm sunny humid air we were pleased we are not wearing flying suits and several layers of clothing. 

We have been in the crystal clear air of the Southern Alps where the views seemed endless and now in the evening haze.

If we had better conditions further South and been 2 hours quicker we may have been able to take thermals and complete the flight without using the engine, but hay we have soared from Omarama to Bluff and just short of Taupo so we are happy with that.

Paul is over 6 foot tall or 183 cm and was still comfortable and walking straight when we arrived at Drury, well done Paul.

 Some say that you have to have a lot of passion for what you are doing and it’s totally true.

 And the reason is because it's so hard that if you don’t any rational person would give up. 

Flight time 13 hours and 32 minutes, 1300 km soaring before having to start engine and total distance approx. 1650 km.

The message is to anyone reading this is "Giddy up get into planning something to test your self” 

On this flight we did not fail we just didn’t quite succeed this time. 

Thanks to the great welcoming team on arrival at Drury and for your hospitality.

The next attempt will be with Daughter Abbey on the next suitable North Wester.  


ADS-B rule signed with December 2022 deadline

Published date: 21 December 2020

The Minister of Transport has signed an updated Civil Aviation Rule which will improve aviation safety in New Zealand’s controlled airspace, the Civil Aviation Authority says.

Acting Director of Civil Aviation Shelley Turner said the rule [PDF 354 KB], signed by Minister of Transport Hon Michael Wood on 13 December, requires all aircraft flying in controlled airspace to be equipped with ADS-B OUT by 31 December 2022.

The above is good news as it buys us more time to continue to work with the CAA to come up with a practical, common sense, workable solution that will actually enable the fitting of ADS-B to gliders. Currently in contradiction to what was agreed with the CAA in recent meetings the CAA have now without sound reason or explanation, stated explicitly in writing that GNZ engineers cannot do the installation work. Also, without technical merit or sound reason, the CAA have also limited TT21 based systems to below 15,000ft. The upgrade to the more power hungry TT22 will cost GNZ members an estimated additional $60 - $90K.

AAT Tasks

AAT Tasks

What are they and what are the best tactics to use when flying them. Mr Pure Glide himself, Tim Bromhead explains all in one of his latest videos.

World Famous in NZ

Two famous glider pilots, Toni Thmpson and Terry Delore plus some bloke in the back seat called Richie McCaw.

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!

Thermal Etiquette

A Timely Reminder

We are well into the soaring season so a timely reminder that lookout and thermal etiquette are vitally important in our sport. Below is a quick bit of commentary from a recent incident listed in the NOO's report further below.

The pilot joining the thermal at about the same height as the turning pilot mis-timed his manoeuvre and arrived at the thermal on the same side at the same time. It was assumed by the joining pilot that the circling pilot would have observed this arrival and open out his turn to accommodate. This assumption was not correct - he wasn't seen! The circling pilot's flarm warning was off due to earlier traffic noise overload. Avoiding action was initiated so late by both gliders that they very nearly collided. To quote one pilot, "It all happened very quickly!" If this can happen to two of our best pilots, it could happen to any one of us if we don't adhere to "see and be seen". Never assume you have been seen!

Incident Reports

From the desk of the NOO (National Operations Officer)

Review of Incident Reports for October to November 2020

  • near mid-air collision in thermal by two very experienced pilots - both parties admitted fault
  • off tops and into valley wind, forced landing into mediocre paddock, broken canopy, minor injury
  • high approach, potential overshoot led to S-turns at low level, flap lever jumped out of detent
  • P2 pushed stick forward after first spin demo, which restricted recovery from dive, low-G issue
  • wheel up landing, pilot flew into area of sink and strong wind, pre-landing checks were not done
  • paddock landing, ran across a hole on ground roll, minor crack on fuselage side wall 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