GNZ Newsletter

October 2019

From the president

Welcome to the October GNZ newsletter.

Here we go, here we go, here we go (to the tune of some football chant). Daylight savings is here!

Unloved flying machines are being extracted from their winter hibernation hiding places.

There is some real heat on the skin from the sun now and fair weather flyers are appearing at clubs across the country.

The air is fresh with the smell of wax and polish.

The bright chirp of the vario test, brought to life by the satisfying flick of the master switch, sings songs of hope and promise to the sky above.

It must be time to go flying.

Steve Wallace

GNZ President


ROSS DAVIDSON - 1st Solo. Seen here being congratulated by Glide Omarama instructor Sabrina Schels

SABRINA SCHELS (again) - remember last month we said congats to Sabrina for her NZ womens 100km out and return record. Well double congrats because she also received confirmation for the 200km out and return record!

HENRY HOPE-CROSS - and his instructors for making the September edition of Air Force News. One of only two cadets in Air Training Corps history to make solo under the age of 14. Thanks for the promotion Henry. Nice wings!

Start of season briefings

What does your club do?

While safety is a year round thing, statistically the beginning of the 'soaring season' is a time of higher risk. Lack of currency, reduced exposure to the clubs safety culture over winter, complacency, a gap between how good you think you are and how good you actually are. These and many other factors can affect outcomes when it comes to good quality, safe, decision making.

Many clubs have a start of season safety briefings, the attendance of which is considered compulsory. Items covered can include, club rules, club SOP's, review of IMSAFE, review of out-landing and paddock selection at this time or year, the value of currency in short landing practice.

If your club doesn't have an annual 'start of season' briefing then perhaps it should.

Heads up, Eyes Open, Expect the Unexpected

Engines, ropes, weak links can fail at any time.

Picture below is a weak link that failed during the tow-out last month at Aviation Sports.

What a Tost tow ring does to the wing of a glider when the tow plane over-flies the glider, that is waiting ready on the field. Lucky it was not somebodies head!

Spring Flying

Who's been doing what?


Baby Shark, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo.

If you don't get it, ask a glider geek who has kids. Great pic though.

Aviation Sports

Spring rain

Auckland in Spring. If it's not raining then it's about to. But don't let that stop you from flying.


Lesson One: How to get into a glider.

Note, the instructor is clever enough to attach a rope to the student so they can be retrieved on the off chance the student gets it wrong.


NCEA Credits

Wellington's beautifully refurbished KA13 busily training junior pilots doing NCEA credits.

Aussie Nationals - the Kiwi entries

Kiwis flying the big dry

Currently we have a kiwi contingent flying the club and sports class Nationals in Kingaroy Australia

CLUB CLASS - Brett Hunter

15m SPORTS - Tony Van Dyk

OPEN SPORTS - Trev Terry & Maurice Weaver

Go Kiwis!

Link below to follow the results

Milan's Photography

I know it's early but...

With some peoples thoughts turning to Xmas, now might be a good time to casually mention to that someone special, "Wouldn't a picture from Milan's Photography make a great Xmas present.."

Look what's coming up


Woo hoo, what a jam packed calendar we have. Something for everyone. Take your pick from the list below.

The George Rogers Memorial - Greytown Mini Camp 2019

October 25 - October 28

See more details for both on the YouthGlide website!

MSC Cross Country Course

October 26 - October 30

Great for anyone new to Cross Country Flying! There will be dedicated lectures and flying in twins with advanced instructors Over Labour Weekend @ Matamata

Register your interest Entry Form Now Available

Central Plateau @ Taupo

November 2 - November 10

A super friendly competition with stunning scenery, amazing flying and a great place to hang out! Early Bird Price Deadline is 10th Oct

Entry Form Now Available

Jerry’s Course 2019 @ Omarama

November 3 - November 8

New Zealand Club Class Nationals + South Island Gliding Championships @ Omarama

November 9 - November 16

MSC Northern Regionals @ Matamata

November 24 - November 30

A great contests for beginners. Lots of people to help if you’re new to contest flying, great food, give it a go! We’ll have really achievable tasks for newer pilots and challenging tasks for those experienced pro

Entry form now available at

Grand Prix 1st Inaugural! @ Matamata

December 27 - December 30

Only limited availability, register your interest now!

Auckland Soaring Championships Jan 2020

January 4, 2020 - January 11, 2020

Entry form now available! A really fun and popular contest, often with some fantastic convergence flying

National Gliding Championships 2020 @ Taupo

February 2, 2020 - February 15, 2020

Entry form coming soon..

See all events at:

Have a great season everybody!

Incident Reports

From the desk of the NOO (National Operations Officer)

So why is publishing incident reports useful?

Firstly it shows pilots that stuff 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.  

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 August - September 2019

  • aero-tow in severe turbulence in lee of mountains, launch abandoned at 700 ft, no damage
  • radio call to lower under-carriage on flare, pilot distracted, heavy landing, unclear labels at lever
  • new single seat glider, undercarriage not fully latched down for landing, retracted on touchdown

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


image by Milan's Photography