GNZ Newsletter

October 2020

From the president

Welcome to the October GNZ newsletter.

Nothing says spring in Aotearoa like blustery showers, rainbows, gale force winds, beautiful warm days followed by freezing bloody cold days and long lush grass.

Glider pilots of course see none of this, they just see an atmosphere full of energy and a world of opportunity to get airborne and have an early season adventure.

So, of course there has been plenty of that going on and with daylight savings having just kicked in, things can really only get better.

All we need is to find somebody to mow the lawns so we can go gliding.

Wait what? I hear you cry! A bit of long grass never stopped anybody from going flying...

Steve Wallace

GNZ President



He's the one with hair on his face. Julian recently achieved the rarely seen height (in the far North) of 20,000'. All done from a winch launch, flying from his home club of Kaikohe. Diamond height but no OO's in the club! No doubt this will soon change.

Pilot: "Will you accept photographic evidence of my diamond height?"

Awards Officer: "Ha, ha, ha... No."


Occasional glider pilot, long time Piako tow pilot and now B Cat Flight Instructor. It may not be in a glider but well done Tracey!


For reaching Port Jackson at the tippy top of the Coromandel Peninsular. They're all ugly and they didn't invite me, so instead of mug shots, here's a nice video of their flight instead.

Online Contest (OLC)

The 2020 OLC season is over. Congratulations to the Piako Gliding Club for taking out last season by a country mile (or two). The 2021 season started last weekend so make sure you get yourself registered and see if you can help your club move up that leader board this year.

If you can read the small print and are wondering who the Minden Soaring Club is, that's basically Keith Essex and his NZ flights.

Flying from the U.S. this year, Keith and his club mates took out the OLC World League Championship, beating out 1,029 other clubs in the process. A phenomenal achievement!

ADS-B Update

The battle continues...

In early June, the CAA issued a draft amendment to the Notice NTC 91.258 setting out the technical requirements for ADS-B OUT systems. The amendment would provide a pathway for the small and inexpensive Trig TN72 GPS receiver to be approved as the position source. This is necessary before any significant progress can be achieved in ADS-B fitment to gliders.

The notice also introduced a 15,000 ft altitude limit that would affect the majority of transponders fitted to gliders. It also requires ADS-B installations to be carried out by LAMEs rather than GNZ engineers. GNZ responded to the proposal, giving technical reasons why these limitations are not necessary on safety grounds.

However, even if CAA accepts GNZ’s arguments against these limitations, a significant barrier to ADS-B implementation in gliders will remain in respect of acceptable technical data (ATD). At present there is no ATD available and CAA continues to be resistant to providing generic data via AC43-14. It seems likely that significant GNZ time and expense would be required in order to generate an ATD. The option of applying for an exemption that will make ADS-B out installations in gliders quite straightforward and not too expensive is also being investigated. This application of course would also cost money.

At a loose end?

Need something to do this summer?

Why not go and hang out at Papawai.

It all kicks off this month!

Matamata Soaring Centre

Cross Country Course

24th - 28th October

It's not too late to enter this excellent course for those wanting to fly their first cross country, complete their XCP rating or just get better at the dark art of cross country flying.

Click here to enter

Central Plateau Soaring Competition

October 31st to 7th November

click here to enter

Northern Region Championships

28th November - 5th December

Open, Racing, Novice

It doesn't matter if you are an old, salty, sea dog expert or a fresh faced novice. The Northern Regionals will have tasks that suit you. Catering for all levels of experience and competitiveness.

Great food, great company, great flying, great fun!

Early bird entries close at the end of this month so don't delay, enter now and save some money.

click here to enter

You need to be booking now for these events in the South!

You will be smiling to.

If you enter, then this will be you!

Springfield Soaring Champs

28th November - 5th December 2020

Hospitality, Fun, Entertainment, Mentoring

The Springfield Soaring Champs is focused on hospitality, fun, entertainment and mentoring. Lots to do and learn. It’s the unique Enterprise style of competition, set within Canterbury’s easy access to exceptional mountain soaring. Most meals can be had on site and there is camping and bunkroom accommodation.  

  • Enterprise is the perfect way for less experienced pilots to start racing gliders and yet challenging for advanced pilots.
  • Enterprise encourages personal bests.
  • Enterprise is where the winner has done the most flying, not the least.
  • Enterprise works for a wider range of pilot experience and glider handicaps.
  • Enterprise is not an FAI style with prestart delays and enroute gaggles.
  • Enterprise events are competitive and also fun to compete in.
  • Enterprise allows for ‘novel’ interpretation of the rules – normally called cheating.

Enterprise events are FUN and as a general guideline, tasks will be set to make the most of the day's (safe) flying potential, taking into account the variety of pilot ability and glider performance. This may involve the use of ridge and wave lift, as well as thermal soaring. Water Ballast is not allowed.

GNZ Flight Training Programme

New System Roll Out

Have you booked yet?

Supporting material is being given out (see pic below) for use by those students that are transitioning to the new programme. A great chance to learn all about the new system and get your many questions answered.

A bit of coordination is needed (the team can't be everywhere at once) but if you would like to book one of these presentations please contact Brian Sharpe via email.



As pilots spot mistakes, opportunities for improvement or areas of concern, these are either being dealt with by the Ops Team as they come in or are being held over in anticipation of the appointment of a Change Request Review Panel. The ability for constant improvement is one of the key features of the new system.

The training programme is a controlled document so any suggestions for improvement must be made in accordance with AC 2-01 (4a and b). A change request form is now available for use with requests for change to any GNZ document. Link below.

OPS 16

Aoraki vapour bird

Photo by Susan Blick

A cold front approaches Canterbury

Are you and your club familiar and compliant with all the requirements of this document?

There is currently heightened interest and media investigations being undertaken to determine if gliding clubs are conducting trial flights or joy rides for the public.

Please don't let it be your club that hits the media spot light and is made an example.

click here for a link to AC 1-04

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 July - September 2020

Only two incidents to report in this period, likely due to lockdowns reducing the amount of flying.

  • wing fell off stand while rigging, not enough helpers, wing skin punctured
  • winch launch - second cable ran across parachute on ground mid-field, cut straps 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