An old gliding sage advised “It is all in the timing”. I arrived at Temora on mid way through the first week of the camp on 2 January. As I appear to be the only person who writes pages of comments in their log book, I was asked to share my notes with the rest of the club. So here is my report.
I invariably decided not to fly the task loosely agreed upon at the morning BSC briefing, because I felt it was set by depressive psychotic pessimists of weather forecasting.I therefore prepare an egocentric dissent of what happened.
What should have happened according to Graham Brown is that a Pilbara Low should have cycled together with the High pressure cell in the Australian Bight to move the trough line forwards or backwards roughly between Hay and Canberra - on a Nor Nor West/South East axis. But a Coral Sea Low “buggerred up” Queensland, the Gold Coast and the Northern Rivers of NSW that interacted with the Central Bight High to produce strong Easterlies of 25 to 30 knots and flooding north of the Richmond River. So I arrived on 2 January 2008 to a depressed group. I also a left in Sydney a more depressed syndicate partner, who had attended the Bathurst Christmas camp at Pipers. But he was not so depressed as not to de-rig our glider, Juliet Oscar, for me. He became more depressed as I text messaged him each evening as to the wonderful flights out of Temora. The weather rapidly changed from the “buggered up” low off the south Queensland coast to the Pilbara Low interaction with the high pressure cell in Great Australian Bight.
Psychotic Graham Brown describes the Pilbara low.
Introduction to the concepts behind the Temora Camp
There is a lot a dispute as to why the camp exists. But it probably has a lot to do with the frequent good soaring conditions associated with the trough line south of Narromine after Christmas. Secondly Bill Tugnett likes Temora and everyone seems to like Bill. Therefore, logically everyone likes Temora. Canberra GC come tor Temora at the same time as BSC. Southern Cross Club Gliding went to Cootamundra.
There is a spirit of flying cross country, invariably this year setting a measly initial task and then altering the turning points on the chatter frequency to suit the cloud streets to claim 300K to 500K flights. The tasks suggested each morning at briefing are designed to ensure everyone is back for dinner and drinks. Alcohol appears to be a major stimulus to the Temora camp. The major dangers of the camp appear to be two fold. Drinking cask wine on the balcony of the Shamrock hotel after 10:00pm, so thatyou are not fit to do anything before 10:00pm next day, when the wine cask was re-opened. The second danger is actually believing the conservative briefings on the weather forecasts and the conservative interpretation of Regional Atmospheric Soaring Prediction BLIP maps: http://blipmap.walsys.net/NEWSOUTHWALES/ such conservatism could ruin an otherwise most enjoyable holiday.
What is a trough line?
Helmuth Fisher describes the trough in the following fashion in relation to South Africa: http://www.ulrichprinz.de/air/za/glidingweatherza.html
The influx of cool unstable air, which in central Europe during spring can lead to extraordinary soaring conditions, is unknown in South Africa. Only convective processes as a result of high temperatures play a role. Cool Antarctic air pushed into the interior from the South or South-West by the Atlantic High, is an absolute "killer" for soaring conditions.
As a result of regular thunderstorms the high moisture content of the soil East of the trough line has a similar detrimental effect. This, together with the high dewpoints, leads to a low cloud base (4,000 to 5,000 ft AGL) and weak thermal conditions in the East, e.g. Johannesburg area.
This situation is vastly improved closer to the trough line where due to moisture loss of the air the cloud base is lifting. However dewpoints are still high enough and together with a weak inversion, thunderstorm development prevails. Subsiding air just West of the trough line forms an inversion - so vitally important for successful soaring flights. This subdues the thunderstorm activity and together with the now significantly dryer air (dewpoints near De Aar between 3 and 7 degrees Celsius), leads to the formation of flat cumulus clouds with a cloud base of between 14,000’ and 18,000’ as well as strong thermal activity - a glider pilot's dream.
Temora’s attractions include decent grass runways; a hospitable aero club; enough pubs for two circuits on New Year’s Eve, and meeting with close friends. The air museum is wonderful on a non flying day – so this year I did not visit it all. I appear to be the only one who enjoys the Olympic sized pool and the young ladies who attend between 6.00 and 8.00 a.m. Bill Tugnett goes for an early morning walk. Ed Marel disguises a walk for window shopping in Temora’s High Street.
Temora is in the midst of a major agrarian depression. One can all too clearly notice that the rain came too late to save the wheat crop. Graziers fared much better due to the recent heavy rainfall. There were a large number of cattle trucks driving South past the Shamrock hotel with cattle and a cattle dog aboard. Only the cattle dog came back travelling north again, barking at us. When you looked at the wheat silos, there was no activity. There were no wheat trains. Nobody was awakened by the sound of shunting wagons. There were no headers harvesting. It was like a dead toy town from the air. Even Brett Sutcliffe’s landing strip was useable as an out landing runway, because there was no wheat being stored between plastic sheets. All the wheat had long since gone.
Japanese sense of Temora
Temora’s Japanese sister town is Izumizaki. So school kids there are brought up to dream of a holiday in Temora!
Young Taka says
Hi to Bhup
People in Temora are very friendly. When you pass someone on the street, they make eye contact with you and even say “Hi” or something friendly with a smile, regardless of whether they know you or not. My first son who was two years and four months old in January has been in Temora for three weeks in total. He has learned this habit very well and now, weeks after the camp, he still says “Hi” and smiles to anyone who passes him.
Unfortunately, so far, he has not achieved the same success rate in Sydney, although it must be a much higher success ratio than in Tokyo. Fortunately, he doesn’t understand the difference between Temora and Sydney and he has no idea about Tokyo. So he just keeps trying. Anyway, my wife and I hope he keeps this habit for years to come regardless where we are
Adam Gill provided informative and imaginative weather briefings. Even on the fist day he was mentioning how the thermals would be so much better off to the West at Leeton and Narrandera. Bill Tugnett brought his Libelle, but mainly flew his DG0500 with Bob McDonald. Des Eustace was tuggie the first week, Brain Acker the second week. John Carr brought his Cirrus. Taka Isobe brought the club Libelle. Peter Newcomb brought his camera for this article and flew the club DG300. David Olivier turned up after Leigh Youdale had taken his glider back to Pipers – just to enjoy the Shamrock’s social life. Geoff Sweeney brought Vaughan and Elizabeth and his Pic. The chatter channel was full of “Vaughan – over here it is better.” “Turn right Vaughan”. “Straighten out Vaughan”. Soon Vaughan will be the far better pilot. Spencer and Tracey from Toronto borrowed Adam’s Nimbus 3 for the last week. Tracey knocked off the Canadian National 750K. She cut it fine just landing when a front swept though Temora on the third last day.
Adam with Spencer Tracey
Tim Galvin’s Log
Thursday 3 Jan 2008 170k 6,500 feet
I met Tom Gilbert of T&J Sailplanes (Sales, Repairs and Reconstructions) and wished him a Happy New Year. Tom replied “I too trust you have a good 2008 – so I don't have to see you again!”
As a newly arrived pilot I faithfully believed the weather briefing that that the thermals, despite the 20 to 30 knots easterlies would be better down wind. I did not believe I needed to go as far as Leeton as suggested to connect with the very best of the thermals. I out landed at Aria Park International lucerne paddock. This was met with disdain for being caught downwind, until I reported that I also previously turned West Wyalong before going to Ardlethan when the broken thermals decreased from an average of 4 knots to only 2 knots. This made a return to Temora in the head wind impossible. I must praise Col Turner for warning us at briefing how easily an out landing can go wrong in strong wind conditions if you do not make an early decision execute a proper circuit and land. The bank plane that visits Temora each evening on its rounds of country NSW relayed that I had safely out-landed and needed a retrieve.
After being given a lift into Ariah Park, I met Nigel Judd, the former major of Temora, and thanked him for the fine standard of his runway. Niall Doherty and Vaughan Sweeney retrieved me and the three of us were fed at the Temora Bowling Club to my great expenses. Vaughan had left a two “shaken up” Coke cans in my car. Next morning he came round ostensibly to retrieve them, but merely said “Tim, You will be cleaning your car today”. I went to see what he was talking about. The Jihadist had blown up the coke cans in the front passenger seat and floor.
As I was the only person to attempt anything that Thursday I was proud of my 170K flight. But individualism also explains why nobody was on the chatter channel for the whole of the flight.
Friday 4 Jan 2008 100K 7,000 feet
This was a better day, but I only achieved Illabo and return (100K) and considered the day the most disappointing of all the Temora 2008 days.
Saturday 5 Jan 2008 4 hours 13 mins 300K 8,000 feet
What ever the task that was discussed at briefing, I elected to fly Ungarie, Forbes and Temora. The local tuggie Curly whipped me around his favourite three local trigger points that were not working, before deciding on a long straight tow - until I got off. The thermals were initially difficult with an inversion at 4,000 feet. I then set off for the piggery near Gidginbung to look for local trigger points. Again we had a day of broken thermals with gusts and a constant need to recentre the thermal. The thermals were quite feminine. I got low after Ungarie, but when I reached cloud forming thermals at Forbes the quality greatly improved. I saw Sean in UW at Forbes.
Sunday 6 Jan 2008 3 hours 13mins 286k 8,000 feet
Because the swimming pool does not open early on weekends, I toured the city at 6.00 a.m. on a Bolton bike - including the Catholic, Anglican, Methodist and Calvinists cemeteries. I have acquired now a great respect for my Irish ancestry and the hardship of those Irish banished to Temora a 100 years ago. Actually, they were immigrants like most Australians. ED
I followed briefing ideas and set Tullibigeal, Burcher and Temora for my task, because we were assured that the thermals were predicted to close down rapidly and promptly at 17.00. As a true believer I watched the cloud until 18.30 from Temora’s runway. I brought up a Catholic in North London and now I believe in BLIP map thermal predictions of shut down time against a visible cloud map in the sky, as much as a Virgin birth. I am sorry to offend both BLIP meteorologist and Virginians.
I had a good run that Sunday to Tullibigeal, despite the unreliable thermals and wind shear at 4,000’. The feminine thermals were accompanied with sharp vertical gusts. Luckily, I was firmly strapped in, otherwise there would have been no Thermal article. The day was cycling and I experienced a slow run from Tullibigeal to Burcher with the good clouds popping up just after I had passed through. I had now dug myself and JO into a hole. I was aghast as Graham Brown who turned Tullibigeal after me picked the eyes out of the lift and thrashed me into Burcher
Quick, look depressed and psychotic, Tim's coming!