GNZ Newsletter

July 2019

From the president

Welcome to the July GNZ newsletter.

Have you noticed? The days are now getting longer. That means summer is on it's way.

Time to start planning those summer gliding adventures. What are your plans for this summer?

The GNZ calendar of events is filling up fast. Check it out using the below link:

Winter of course is a great time for training flights, theory courses and having meetings about gliding.

It's AGM season and GNZ have just had our annual conference and AGM (more on this below) and many clubs will also soon be having theirs. Nothing like a good excuse to get together, talk gliding, solve the problems of the world, hand out some well deserved awards, eat, drink and be merry.

Social interaction is at the heart of your club's spirit so make sure you make it a good one.


Steve Wallace

GNZ President


MATT MORAN - Back Seat Rated

AMY SMITH - Single Seat Rated


Gliding New Zealand

Annual Conference & AGM

June 8th & 9th, Wellington

So what happened?


This went down without a hitch and was completed in record time with no remits having been lodged that required debate and voting.

Competition Survey

With the AGM finishing early this allowed Rob Lyon (SRC Chair) to spend 15 minutes to present the analysed results of the recent competition survey. For the overview analysis please see the foldable below but basically we have a lot of pilots interested in entering contest and all organises need to do is hold these contest at the right time of year (Jan / Feb), make them the right length (7 days) and promote a 'novice' class with good support and coaching. Mostly too late to change the 2019/20 season dates but expect changes from the SRC for the 2020/21 season.

Strategic Overview

David Jensen presented a summary of how GNZ has performed over the last four years with respect to the KPI's set in the last strategic plan. Overall we have done OK and in school report speak it would sound something like "little GNZ is trying hard but could do better". With a view to the next strategic plan which is due next year for the 5 years looking forward David covered off a basic SWOT analysis with plenty of input from the audience. Link to Dave's presentation at the very base of this block.

The Future

Segueing nicely on from what to account for in the next strategic plan update, a session on the future of gliding hosted by three different presenters was then held.

  • Tim Bromhead talked about the future of gliding cockpit hardware and software / IT for GNZ and gliding clubs in general. GNZ systems will soon integrate with, replace or augment club systems with a single centralised date-base for tracking members, awards, ratings, training, medicals, BFR's, bookings, time keeping and glider tracking. Be warned, big brother will be watching you!
  • Doug Hamilton with his CAA hat on talked about the future regulatory environment and how it may help or hinder gliding. Unfortunately there seemed to be more hinder than help on offer :-( ADS-B OUT is a particular problem with implementation required by 31 December 2021 for access to any controlled airspace yet there is no satisfactory or affordable solution available for GA aircraft and gliders in particular. Watch this space.
  • Bob Henderson president of the FAI gave us a fascinating insight into the activities and politics of international air sports including the Olympics and why break-dancing is in as an Olympic sport and why gliding doesn't even come close to meeting the modern criteria.

Participant Experience Workshop

Brian Sharpe, Chairman of the Membership Development Team then lead an interactive workshop where attendees were broken into groups of eight. Each group was given a typical gliding 'persona' (e.g. student, tow pilot, instructor, etc) and a scenario and had to work through what would make for a good or bad experience for that 'persona' on a typical day at the club. Each group also worked through a list of incident reports to see if they could determine trends or patterns as well as classifying what was a serious incident and what wasn't. It was interesting to see the different perspectives from each group.

Evening guest speaker

This years guest speaker was Pip Schofield. Pip is the current president of the NZ Association of Women in Aviation and her day job is flying the Boeing 787 Dreamliner for Air New Zealand. Pip is passionate about getting more women into the aviation industry. Her talk covered among other things four main barriers for women entering aviation. Interestingly enough many of these had already been discussed during the days earlier sessions regards barriers to entering gliding. These were money, time, accessibility and relevance.

Pip also talked about unconscious bias against women in aviation, something that is also very apparent in gliding. If you were to arrive at an unfamiliar gliding club and walked up to the usual gaggle of gathered gas-baggers, if there was a young women in the group, how many of you would assume that she wasn't the duty instructor or tow pilot. When pip tells people she works for Air NZ guess what most people assume.

Pip also has a very strong position on quotas for women. " I am 100%, unequivocally, opposed to any form of "female quota"! This is in aviation and any other industry. The moment the requirements are different for men and women the ‘gap' only gets bigger. The best person must get the position, based on their qualifications, experience, and personality, not gender, race or sexual persuasion".

To read Pip's full talk click on the link:

Annual Awards

This year we were very privileged to have Bob Henderson, MNZM and FAI President to present the awards (especially the FAI ones). Congratulations to all the well deserved recipients.

Below. Bob presents a Paul Tissandier, one of the FAI's highest awards, to Steve Care for his long history of high level contribution to gliding in New Zealand.

Mike Oakley receives his 1,750km FAI diploma from Bob.

Mike Strathern receives the Air New Zealand Soaring Award in recognition of his outstanding success this season in competition flying.

Max Stevens receives the CWF Hamilton Trophy for his NZ speed record, 300km out & return at 200kph.

Tim Bromhead - Buckland Soaring Award - Highest 6 flight OLC score - North Island Division

Lex McPhail - Angus Rose Bowl for outstanding services to gliding in New Zealand

For a link to all conference presentations click here:

Competition Survey Analysis

On Sunday morning of the conference the Sailplane Racing Committee held their annual meeting to elect new members and seek input from attending pilots on competition rules, dates and strategy for the next two seasons. Central to this was Rob Lyons analysis of the competition survey which can be seen below.

The Promotions Fund

A long time ago...

When Steve Tolestrup was GNZ's marketing manager a fund was started whereby GNZ members voluntarily contributed $5 per month to help market gliding better to the public. The fund has since lost its way a bit, yet we still have members generously contributing.

Well what was lost has now be found. Under the expert guidance of Brian Sharpe, Chairman of the recently formed GNZ Membership Development Committee (MDC) the fund has found a new purpose.

Under a project titled Building Our Future Brian and his team have a vision and that is to ensure all our clubs are...

Delivering world class soaring experiences  - with skill and passion 

To make this happen however Brian and his team need to be funded. So if you are not already a contributor now is your chance. For less than the cost of a cup of coffee a month you can contribute to the building of a bright and secure future for the sport we all love.

Contributors receive a Building Our Future bucket hat and regular reports on the MDC's plans, budgets, KPI's and results.

Your contribution will be greatly appreciated and I hope you can wear the ‘Building our Future’ bucket hat with pride and use it to encourage others to also become supporters.

An automatic payment of either $5 or $10 per month (or $120.00 per annum) to the GNZ promotions account is all that is required - details below.

Promotion Trust Account

BNZ 02-0568- 0304955-004

Automatic Payment Forms for some of the main Banks can be found here:

The MDC would like to thank all those who have already signed up and especially those who have chosen to contribute far more than the minimum.

Incident Reports

From the desk of the NOO (National Operations Officer)

So why is publishing incident reports useful?

Firstly it shows pilots that shit happens, and may prompt alertness in similar situations, secondly it shows submitters that we do see benefit in doing something other than filing reports away for (later) analysis.  Win all round. 

Incident Reports reveal where we are bumping into the edge of the safe operating envelope.  This can be due to a weakness in the training program, lack of currency, not paying enough attention, inadequate preparation . . . . or just simply drifting away from good practice.

Review of Incident Reports for May + June 2019

  • heavy landing - high + steep approach, full brake - glider lost speed and stalled at 10-15ft
  • early solo in 2-seater, too steep + too fast on approach, bounced 3x, heavy landing, split tyre
  • ground loop on instructional flight, baulked approach exercise, slight crab on landing
  • twin flown solo, main gear retracted on landing, suspect gear handle not in locked position
  • tractor & mower picked up tow rope on ground, dragged parked tow plane some distance

Commentary: Failure to maintain accurate approach speed on approach features again this month. If too fast then the glider can bounce, if too slow it can stall. The first two incidents highlight the need to accurately maintain speed right down to the ground, then round out at exactly the right moment and by the right amount. In one of these incidents the pilot had resumed flying after a gap of many years, and thorough consolidation of "fully held off landings" may not have been achieved. As we know, skills that are not practised regularly do deteriorate, typically within 12-18 months, hence the biennial period for pilot reviews.

NOTE: 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. It's now as easy as pie.

OPS 10 link:

One last congratulations from early June

MNZM - Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit

Thanks for reading

All contributions, pics, videos and opinions welcome