News Archive

Pleasant winter flying

The crew relaxing in front of the pie cart

Saturday, August 30 turned out to be an excellent end to the winter season, with bright blue skies and little wind.

A number of members took advantage of the conditions to get annual flight checks completed, keeping the PW-6 and the tug busy all day.

New tug and new pilot. Frank gives the thumbs up.

Frank and Phil got plenty of towing practice in, and Paul got the Astir airborne, although the thermals proved very elusive.

"We got it back"


Frank flew on Sunday the 9/03/2014 to the grampians soaring club to claim the Come And Get Me Trophy, well done to everyone on the ground to make this possible. We now have the trophy once again

'''"Some more photos of the best looking tug in Oz

"(when it arrives)"


"Should be in the container and shipped next week"


Our Tug


"Some lead, others follow"

The EuroFOX tug has lead the way as a dedicated Rotax powered glider tug since its approval in 2011. Having now demonstrated at over 25 of some of the most demanding UK gliding sites, the EuroFOX is truly the UK benchmark for Rotax powered glider tugs.

The EuroFOX has been aerotowing in Europe and Australia for a decade, most sites being difficult grass airstrips. The EuroFOX can be specified as a tail dragger or nose wheel, and with the majority of UK gliding sites being uneven grass strips, often boggy, sometimes short in length, only the EuroFOX tail dragger with tundra tyres will do.

It is a fact of life that others will try to follow a successful, innovative and market leading product. However, gliding clubs choose future tugs based on performance, suitability, value, usability, durability and pilot safety: in all these aspects and more, the EuroFOX is unrivalled as a dedicated liquid cooled Rotax 100 HP tug.

· The only Rotax dedicated tug available as a tail wheel with tundras.

· Approved and proven to aerotow gliders upto 750 kg all up weight

· Visibility is superb with in all directions, even behind

· A huge tug payload of 270kgs, making 2 in the tug for training a reality

· The EuroFOX has a very low noise "footprint" compared to conventional tugs

· No engine shock loading in the descent due to the LSA dominant Rotax liquid cooled engine

· 2 people in the tug for pilot training, nav training and power syndication in a club environment - perfectly allowable as an aircraft (despite misleading claims from others)

· The tug of choice for the Pribina cup and European gliding championships

· Proven as an economical and very capable tug in Europe since 2005

Banbury GC, Hinton in the hedges

We have completed close to 1000 tows of all our club fleet coming up to the end of the first year of EuroFOX operation. This is at least 30% up on previous years. Our membership has increased by 28% and we run an extra day (Friday) during the summer months. We have had to replace the brake discs after 800 tows (£60) and have small crack in one spat, other than this the aircraft has performed faultlessly.

Yorkshire GC, Sutton Bank

10 November 2012. Tail dragger EuroFOXG-ETUG RW 20, Wind 170 5-10 kts. Whole afternoon aerotowing the Club and private gliders. A noticeably better tug in tail wheel configuration, with no complaints from the customers! 1 tow worthy of note - DG1000 (20 mtr tips600 kg+) towed with gear down crewed by 2 well-fed airline pilots, one flying like a mediocre 'Bloggs'. Rate of climb at 5000 feet asl showed 350 fpm.

Congratulations to Peter Raphael for clocking up 500 hours in the Woodstock, who said it will not last??

Peter well done and keep the scores coming on the OLC.

Australian Air Force Cadets visitTom takes a cadet for a fly in the PW-6

On Saturday, December 1, the gliding club held a flying day for the Bendigo branch of the Australian Air Force Cadets.

Cadets mingle between flights

A total of 16 cadets and one supervisor attended, and the gliding club provided two 2-seat gliders for the day.

Despite cloudy and relatively cool conditions (for this time of year), over 30 flights were made, with most of the cadets getting airborne twice.

Flight duration was generally short due to a lack of thermals on the day, however the cadets all went home happy to have had the unique experience of a winch launch and circuit in a glider.

"Come and Get It" trophy goes to BacchusAlf and John celebrate claiming the trophy

On Sunday, November 18, John Buchanan and Alf Mc Millan from the Geelong Gliding Club based at Bacchus Marsh landed their Duo Discus at the Raywood airstrip of the Bendigo Gliding Club to claim the "Come and Get It" trophy.

John and Alf just after landing at Raywood

The pair had a good tail wind to help them get to Bendigo, but had to battle against a stiff 20 knot head wind to make it home.

The NSWGA trophy had previously been brought to Bendigo from Mt Beauty by Peter Raphael and Frank van der Hoeven, so the Bacchus crew have managed to take it even further into Victorian territory, making it more difficult for NSW to get it back.

John makes a grab for the trophy from Steve

It will be interesting to see who can claim it from Bacchus Marsh, maybe it will end up in South Australia!

Melbourne Cup Week Coaching CampAround 20 glider gridded

There was a good turnout of around 20 visiting gliders for the annual Melbourne Cup Week activities.

Steve takes the ASW-19 into the air

Weather on the Saturday and Sunday was good, however it deteriorated after that, not improving again until Thursday.

By then many visitors had to head home, however a few remained to get some cross country flying in.

Tugs lined up, but grey skies

Nevertheless, some good flights were made, and a lot of fun was had.

Bendigo Cup DayJack gets a helping hand into the PW-6

Wednesday, October 31 was Bendigo Cup Day holiday so a number of members turned up to fly.

Craig managed to get his nephew Jack into the air in the PW-6 for his first ever flight, and a couple of quick passenger flights took place, but unfortunately the day quickly deteriorated due to blustery winds, becoming marginal for flying.

Patricks flying for the day.

Patrick got his model briefly into the air, for a few flights, but the highlight of the day was the return of the ASW-19.

Nearly ready to fly again.

Phil McCann unloaded it into the hangar to complete some Form 2 work.

It shouldn't be too long before Phil and Steve get it back into the air - fantastic !

New Recruit

Dillon Friswell

Dillon (Neil's grandson) had his first glider flight on Sunday the 23rd of September with his Granddad, while it may only lasted 7 to 8 minutes he did enjoyed it tremendously. In Neil's own words He is keen as mustard wants more flights , and wants to learn , a future glider pilot.

Bonfire Night

See "The Monster" model take her test flight on the evening of Bonfire Night.

tThe Monster


Slope soaring at Mount Hollowback

BGC members

It was another enjoyable Anzac day at Mt. Hollowback. The windy conditions made for great slope soaring conditions, we even had people travelling all the way from Gippsland with large model gliders to take advantage of these great conditions.


New Solo Pilots

This season has seen two young Bendigo Gliding Club members go solo in the dual seat PW-6 glider at the club's airfield located in Raywood.

Mark Farthing is the first Raywood local to achieve the distinction of going solo, a fantastic effort for the 16-year-old.

Chris Tremayne, 19, came to the gliding club through the auspices of the local Australian Airforce Cadets and his achievements in gliding should put him in good stead for a career in aviation.

Tom in paddock

Tom outlands in big paddock.

On Friday, December 30, Tom headed northward from Raywood, but unfortunately the "Thermal Gods" were not kind that day, and he ended up in a paddock around 6km north of the field.

With lots of good paddocks around, he chose the biggest one available - a little rough but a good outlanding.

See more pics in the Gallery.

Good Sunday turnout

Ross and Phil await a cable.

Sunday, October 23 saw a good turnout of members and gliders, despite the less than ideal conditions.

Although flights were relatively short it was good to see such an array of gliders, and apparently a swarm of bees agreed as they decided to make the Junior their home.

Bees make a home on the Junior.

Jason managed to relocate the swarm to a bin using a broom, and amazingly no stings were reported.

Both sides of the field are now available.

Sunday was the first official day of using the western side of the field again, and although it is a little rough it is perfectly suitable for operations.


We got a new extension to our kitchen

Our new kitchen

Thanks to Mal Bennet and Peter Raphael we are now have a new addition and a fresher look to our existing kitchen, also increasing the much needed bench space as well as giving us rodent proof storage for our stock. Thank you, Mal & Peter

Our first news letter "Beat up"

Beat Up

Jack's Life Membership Presentation

Jack Lavery with family and friends

On the evening of 13 May 2011 Jack Lavery was presented with life membership of Bendigo Gliding Club. The night was attended by a number of club members and his son and grandchildren. The award was presented by President Keith Evans who outlined a long list of firsts which Jack had achieved over his time at the club and thanked him for the efforts he had put in over the years as both President and Publicity Officer. Jack thanked the Club for the recognition and related a number of stories from his days at the Club.

Good Easter flying

More gliders ready for takeoff.

The Easter long weekend brought some excellent weather, with the result that many members dragged their gliders out of the hangar to fly!

Some days had nice Cu's pointing to reasonable thermals.

Many multi-hour flights were undertaken which included a few short cross-countries.


Mt Beauty Labour Day Weekend

Another great Day!

Victorian Floods

Yabbie on Carpet

With all the recent rain in Victoria, hanger two has been flooded out again, but not to let the water go to waste we have yabbies crawling through the hanger. Outside the end of the hanger a large puddle formed with fish, yabbies and all sorts of water life swimming around. I counted at least 10 yabbies in the hanger.


Christmas Cheer

Phil receives his Life Membership certificate

After a hard day's work doing a working bee the club held its Christmas party at the clubhouse on Saturday, December 18.

A good turnout of members of both the gliding club and astronomical society attended to enjoy an excellent meal prepared by Neil and a number of willing helpers.

One of the highlights of the night was the presentation of Life Membership certificates to Phil Organ and Jack Lavery, as recognition for their outstanding contribution to the Gliding Club. Phil was there to receive his in person, while Jack's will be given to him at a later date.


Water Everywhere.

The New Winch

With the cancellation of our November cup weekend the club has still kept operating when the weather has not been so wet. On a fair few weekends we have been able to go cross country and have seen heights of up to 10'000ft. On one weekend some our guys did close to 300kms, while the rest did 180-220 km. At the moment there are still a lot of unlandable paddocks due to water and crops but the conditions are on the improve.

The recently built winch has passed the testing period with flying colors. Phil Organ, Paul Dilks and Neil Frizwell did most of the hard work with putting the car onto the back of the new truck and setting the whole drive line and drums up. There where a few others jumped in at the painting stage to get the project finished. The new winch is a Beast. The 5ltr V8 Fairlane as the power plant it is not lacking in power. One feature I like is the airconditioning and the ease of operation.

This weekend we will use our club tractor and slasher to trim the airfeild to a bowling green standard (well almost). Then it's Christmas party on later in the club house.

The club will play host to Geelong Gliding club over the Christmas period. Everyone else is welcome to join in on the excellent flying at our club.


Mount Beauty Trip

On Friday October 8 four cars of eager glider pilots and wife’s (Mandy, Phil and Craig, Paul and Helen, Neil and Lyn, Frank and Janice met at the beans coffee shop at Bright for lunch.

Well, most of us found it first time - while some liked Bright so much they circumnavigated it several times before joining the rest of us. Paul and Helen led the way through the scenic mountain road towards Mount Beauty but chose to stop at the lookout while the rest of us continued on.

Quick check-in at the Bogong Moth Motel where we found David Tickner and wife Pam already waiting, and off to the Gliding Club we went, which is located right next to the pondage in Mount Beauty.

After a quick briefing and site tour by Mark Bland we got three gliders out of the hangar - an Astir CS 77?, Pilatus and the IS 28? and that’s when our GFA President showed up with is ASW19b in tow.

Craig was the first one to go up in the IS 28 with Ian from MBGC, Paul and Mark in the already waiting ASK 21, Phil took the Astir for a spin while I had the privilege of flying the Pilatus B4.

What can I say - serenity, serenity and what about the serenity, flying along ridge lines above massive power lines that in places looked like a gigantic spider web.

Snow caped mountain peaks looking down into valleys, rock outcrops emerging in amongst the trees, streams full of water and people on the lookout it is certainly an experience that everyone should try. But what am I saying, it is only the first day of our arrival. Going for meal to the “local’ we where joined by Steve Baldini who according to Phil McCann still thinks that he actually owns half of the ASW19b.

After a great meal and a few bottles of red it was back to the motel for a good night sleep. Saturday morning, we split up and consumed breakfast at various locations. Steve, Phil, Mandy, Janice and myself went to a Swedish café, which according to yours truly the CFI had the best coffee he ever, ever, ever had. Now full of energy (caffeine induced) we made our way to the Field where we met up with everyone once again and where we were later joined by Rod Jewell who brought the telly up to a total of seven BGC members.

Neil had the pleasure of two flights in the IS 28? for the day, one with Phil O and the other with Ian from the MBGC. Paul flew in the IS 28? with Steve during the day and also spent a large proportion of the day driving the Mount Beauty winch and if you see the winch you would agree with me that Paul has done us proud. Rod had the pleasure of flying the ASK21 with Mark Bland.

Phil Mc Cann? had 2 flights in the ASW19b while David took the Astir for a very short 10 minute circuit. Craig had his first flight of the Pilatus while Phil Organ got his bum into the legendary open Libelle, myself taking the Astir for an extended flight and later in the day I had a interesting launch emergency in the IS 28? with Steve at 800ft and sudden loss of power it turned out later that the winch simply run out of fuel, which should be a remainder to everyone to check and fill up the fuel each day.

The evening meal was in the form of a BBQ organised by MBGC and it was great. Good food and even better company, evening warmth was provided via a fire pit with the mountains as an awesome background.

Sunday could it get any better ? Yes it can! Sunday we saw cloud base at 7000ft and both thermal and ridge lift working.

Neil and Craig flew the IS 28?, Rod and Phil Organ took it next with a flight lasting well over 2 hours. Phil McCann and Steve took turns in flying the ASW19b and Steve also managed to get a flight in the Pilatus after it was run in earlier by David. I flew the ASK 21? with Mark. Paul had a well deserved flight in the open Libelle.

I believe I speak for everyone that was there - it was a great experience, the accommodation (thanks to Mandy) was excellent and the hospitality from the Mount Beauty crew was second to none.

We will be back.


New Acquisition

After searching around for quite a while the Bendigo Gliding Club now has its own tractor, complete with a new slasher.

Should be a great help in keeping the grass to a manageable height.


Winter Dinner

What a venue ! Great food friendly service and good company. A good night to be had by all and nice to see Ralph is well after his op.


Air force cadets get airborne! 19-20 June

Bendigo Gliding Club played host to approximately 30 members of 410 squadron of the Australian Air Force Cadets on the weekend of June 19-20.

Three dual-seat gliders were made available to provide the cadets with a thrilling winch launch and short flight around the Raywood airstrip, and although the weather threatened at times, everyone present managed at least one flight.

Ranging in age from 13 to 18 years, this was the first time many of the air force cadets have had the chance to become airborne, and may be the first step to aviation careers for some of them.

The gliding club and air force cadets have forged a close relationship, providing a conduit for the aviation minded youth of the region to follow their interest.

The Kestrel flys! 4 June

After several years of hard work and perserverence, Phil Organ was finally able to savour the delights of flying Kestrel GGR following completion of its restoration and airworthiness preparation. This 19m glider, a participant in the World Gliding Competition in Waikerie 1974, exceeded all of Phils expectations and should now be seen regularly in the skies around Raywood.

Annex Concreting 16-18 April

Well, the club has moved a little closer to the assembly of the new winch with the efforts of many club members in the concreting of the annex floor. This will now provide a sound work area for the project. On Friday the area was levelled and prepared and those in attendance, in alphabetical order, were Mal Bennett, Craig Dilks, Neil Friswell, Ralph Keller, Patrick Roberts and Frank Van Der Hoeven this days efforts revolved around preparing the area to level and positioning the mesh. At the same time, the gate frames were installed between the private hangars with the assistance of Mal, Neil, Patrick and Ralph, who also kindly donated the sausages for lunch.

The concrete trucks began arriving early Saturday morning and the arduous task of moving in some 18 metres of concrete began. With Frank and Peter sharing the screed and Phil Organ following up with the float, we had a team comprising of Paul Dilks, Ralph Keller, David Parham, Neil Friswell, Mal Bennett, Dave Tickner and maybe a few others I couldn't see while I was head down, preparing the way and moving mountains of concrete. Inspired by all the activity, Mark Kerr and Tom Howard did a great job cleaning up the main hangar. Later in the day Bill Hughes even got his'helicopter' endorsement, assisting in the final phase of floor finishing.

Once all the concreting was completed Sunday saw attention turn to completing the gates and with Daves encouragement even Jenne Goldsmith lent a hand squeezing off the many rivets required to hold them together.

Overall, an excellent effort from all those that attended on the weekend, as even those not directly involved assisted in getting the flying operations started or in many other ways, enabling the labourers to savour a few flights before the conditions deteriorated.

Congratulations Guys & Girl, on a job (jobs) well done.


"End of Summer/Start of Autumn" Dinner April 3

A brief report on the "End of Summer" Dinner. All who attended most thoroughly enjoyed themselves. We had a booking for 28 persons, in the end around 23 attended. The venue, Golden Square Hotel, was excellent, the food was excellent, the atmosphere also was excellent with lots of laughs, lots of tales, tall and true were the order of the night. Thank you to all who attended, commiserations to the those who couldn't attend.


Tom Goes Solo!

Tom goes solo!

Congratulations to Tom Howard, AAF Cadet, on achieving his solo status on the 28th March. Tom is now reinforcing his new found freedom by regular attendance. This is a young man with a bright future in aviation and he also has an interest in model rockets, so he may well be Australias next astronaut!

The BGC enjoys a good relationhip with the Australian Air Force Cadets and always looks forward to the opportunity to provide gliding experiences to more of their members.

Horsham Coaching Week 2010.

Gridded and ready for liftoff into a cu-filled sky.

Arriving at Horsham on Friday afternoon, checking in at the Wimmera Lakes caravan park on the way and then meeting up with David Tickner at the airfield, after securing our trailers we took a trip into town to stock up on supplies for the week.

Steve Baldini arrived later that day to join us at the caravan park for a BBQ tea.

Next morning early rise and after breakfast we are off to the airfield to rig our gliders and there we meet Mark Kerr and later on Phil McCann. After rigging our gliders we had a short briefing and then it was our turn to familiarize ourselves with the surroundings, and what better way than to take a launch and see it from the air. Conditions were soft so most of us were flying within a 25km radius of the aerodrome.

Sunday after the morning briefing and weather forecast, a front was approaching from the north east and a thunderstorm warning was present, so taking all this into consideration the daily task was set, north to Brim, south east to Donald and then back to Horsham a total of 208km.

I was one of the last to launch. After release and establishing myself into the thermal, I looked towards my first turn point and noticed a dark front approaching, so without wasting time I set on-task after reaching 5500ft.

Franks DG ready for another flight.

Flying under a now overdeveloped sky I could find nothing but sink, so I decided to track into the sunny spots to the east, a diversion of 90 degrees, but it payed off after a low point of 2400ft I managed to find a 4.5 knot claim which took me up to 8500ft.

So now back on track and the sky ahead is not looking good. The front by now well established, by the time I get to Warracknabeal I get a little rained on and looking ahead there is already lightning in front of me. Looking towards Donald I can see severe rain showers and listening to the radio also suggests that conditions are rapidly deteriorating, that’s when I spotted two gliders thermaling about 2 km in front of me as it turned out it was MK (David) and LN (Mark). David having local knowledge suggested we go to Dimboola instead and then Horsham, which also means flying in the blue.

After agreeing with David and taking my thermal to the top of 10,500ft - the best I have seen all day, I followed those two only to pass them 20km on track it was a further 15km before I found a thermal but it was worth it, averaging 7.4 knots and giving me a height gain of 3050ft finishing a little over 9700 ft.

Rounding Dimboola and on to Horsham. It was only after Horsham that I took another thermal and then continued towards the Grampians, Wartook reservoir from above is a sight I can highly recommend, a blue lake in the middle of what seems to be wilderness, sheer cliffs and large forest areas. Condition were getting soft by now so back to the aerodrome and secure the glider for the night.

Steve Baldini was flying with Horsham’s legend Max in the Janus that day and Steve will still have this little voice in the back of his head saying “push on Steve push on”. Monday the weather was not so good with most people doing short flights, while David put on a flight to Dimboola and back, “he must have something about Dimboola”.

Tuesday was a no flying Day due to the Weather so we had lectures about the use of oxygen, thermalling and cross country flying in general. Wednesday was looking to be the day so we teamed up with our coaches for lead and follow or in a 2 seater. I was to fly lead and follow with Peter Busken while Steve was to follow Geoff Vincent, David in the Janus two up and Mark ventured out by himself.

The task was Litchfield, Brim and return a total of 185km. After meeting up with Peter on the east side of the aerodrome at 7000ft we set on track to Lichfield we covered the 72 km with just two thermals so now on to Brim where conditions were not as good and Brim once again was covered by a dark blanket of clouds. After topping up to 6100ft I flew into Brim rounded the turn point and out again for a height loss of 2800ft. Conditions once again improved so we extended the task, flew to Dimboola and then via Horsham to the Grampians and return - the total distance covered was 360km, 18 glides and 22% thermaling. I think I still had a smile on my face the next morning, what can I say, it was the highlight of the week for me.

Personally I believe I learned a lot from this one flight and little did I know that I could put it all into practise a few days later at Raywood. Thursday, rain, rain and more rain so more lectures and review of previous days flying (I still had a smile on my face). I believe Steve sneaked out to sample a few wineries. That night being the last one of the course the Horsham club put on a spit roast, cooked over charcoal and redgum followed by some ice cream and liquid amber, Friday, last day, weak conditions and the task was Lubeck, Dimboola and return. Setting out on task from 3800ft I flew most of the time between 4000 and 3000 ft with a low point of 1600ft.

By the time I got to Dimboola the wind has increased to 18 knot straight from the south breaking up those already weak thermals and making thermalling interesting. 5 km before the airport I ran out of height and landed in a rather soft paddock so no chances of aero tow retrieve. Lucky for me the farmer’s son came over to see if I was ok and as he was on his way to work past the airfield he offered me a lift.

As the farmer showed a great interest in gliding I showed him around the Horsham club and you never know but he may be the next student pilot to join. Mark and Steve offered to help retrieve, so we derigged WQR in the paddock and after saying good bye to everyone I was on my way home.

I would recommend this coaching camp to anyone interested in gaining or further developing their cross country skills.


BGC at Horsham Week 2010.

Paul Dilks 3rd Place

Once again Paul and Craig made the trip over to the Horsham week Competition. This year Craig was lucky to be able to fly David Tickners Hornet GMK, also known by Craig as the Super Hornet. Paul Flew his Astir KYP in Performance class (Sports Class). He won one day and placed just about every other day. Over all Paul finished the Comp in 3rd place.

Craig on the other hand moved into Standard Class for the first time. On one of the days he put water ballast in the wings only to find they leaked, so Craig flew dry for the rest of the comp. Craig had a great time but finished 6th in the field of 10. They both hope to improve their flying and place higher next year at Horsham week 2011.


Australia Day at the club

Steve Baldini finishing off the cooking while the others relax in the shade of the club house

Like most Aussies we spent Australia Day hanging around with our mates. It was planned to have and old fashioned BBQ at the club. The day kicked off with the PW-6 and winch being made ready for the days operation, as well as the knots being checked.

While Steve Baldini did the DI on the Pw-6, Phil Organ and Neil Frizwell fired up the BBQ for a feast of snags and onions.

After everyone had a go at cooking and a short Australia Day Quiz, (which as a group we didn’t do so good). But… None of the questions were about gliding.

After a fairly slow start we finally go into the air, with Rob Young getting to 5000ft in the Pw-6. Mal Bennett had the longest flight of 2 hrs in his Woodstock.


Christmas Camp

Geelong Members

The year has got of to a 'flying'' start at Raywood with the completion of the Geelong Gliding Club camp at our field. Some extraordinary achievements by both members of their club and ours, and early commentaries from GGC members indicate a glowing appreciation of our clubs ability to host our visitors.

Ailsa McMillan GGC is the first woman to solo off our field and along with her father Alf, went a long way to achieving their badge requirements. We would have to have had some of the best soaring conditions around for some time and I even managed to coax the Woody out to 341km last Saturday, and that was with being the second last glider to launch on the day.

Pizza Night

Terry Bellair kindly provided weather information and advice on the best tasks each day and also set the benchmark in distance flown each day, starting early and finishing late. In between keeping the fridges topped up, the bins emptied and the guests happy, Frank managed to achieve up his first 500k task, encouraged along the way by Caleb White of 'Team DG'. Rod Jewell pushed the Junior around a 300, a first for both of them! There were so many personal success stories during the camp that we will have to wait to read the accounts of the Geelong Club to get a measure of these.

With an excellent pizza night hosted by Frank and Jason our guests were looked after in fine style. Thanks must go to many of our members who turned up and put themselves out to ensure our visitors had a great time. Thanks Guys.


FLARM progress

With the help of a Community Grant from the City of Greater Bendigo, as well as many hours of work by Paul and Phil, the Bendigo Gliding Club has been able to purchase and fit a FLARM device into the two-seat PW-6 glider.

This will be of great assistance in providing an extra level of flight safety, as well as providing the facility to log flight traces.


FLARM is an affordable, active and cooperative traffic and collision-warning system for general aviation and recreational flying.

Since 2004, over 11,000 fully FLARM and fully-compatible devices have been installed in aircraft worldwide.

These devices have been credited on many occasions with avoiding dangerous situations and increasing situation awareness. FLARM is the only prevalent alternative to the commercial airliners’ expensive ACAS/TCAS system.


Library Display.

Christmas Party

In January 2010 the club held a week-long display in the foyer area of the Bendigo Library.

Included in the display were some models, a variety of general gliding information, some gliding equipment as well as various brochures for people with an interest to take home.

Thousands of people pass through this area on their way to the library each week, so the opportunity to have a display at this location provided us with a good deal of public exposure.

If all goes according to plan we will try to have another display late 2010 or early 2011.


2009 Christmas Party.

Christmas Party

I can't believe its Christmas time again, it only seemed like I was at last years party at Bill Hughes house . This year we held it at the CFI’s house again. Phil an Mandy Organ offered their party room for the Christmas feast of BBQ and a huge range of sweets.

The cooking was done by a few members, but Ralph Keller lead the charge with tongs in hand, nothing was burnt and was cooked to perfection. A highlight of the night was the cake made by Franks wife Janice, marking the 30th birthday of the club.

30 Years

During the night Phil gave a guided tour of the Kestrel 19 he’s repairing, giving a blow by blow description of the repair work and the direction he will take next to finish the project off.

Phil doesn’t call the party room the party room for nothing, with the night going full steam ahead with the drums and other musical instruments getting the full work out. Who would have known we had so many gifted musicians in the club. David Goldsmith broke out the violin and with Mal on the Keyboard providing some back up.

Kestral Project

What a great night!, with most of the 30 people that attended staying just past midnight. Oh yeah, and we did do a fair bit of flying over the weekend too.


Vintage Rally at Bendigo Gliding Club- Cup Week

Jaskolka Lecture

Well, I’m not likely to say it wasn’t a good time - but I reckon that most of those who came WOULD say it was a GREAT time!

The weather started out warm to hot but with a little more wind than we would liked, and we missed a day’s flying on Melbourne Cup day - but one rest day out of nine isn’t bad! From Wednesday the rally had ideal conditions, with light winds and an increasing temperature giving long flights and heights over 9,000 ft. Scattered cu’s dotted the sky on most days. Weather briefings were kindly given by Terry Bellair and Caleb White. After Sunday’s briefing Ian Bogaard gave a presentation detailing progress on his Jaskolka restoration. This fascinating high performance vintage glider is the only one of the type in Australia and has not flown for many years. It had advanced features including easy rigging, automatic control connection, retractable undercarriage, and fowler flaps. We look forward to seeing it grace our skies once again.

Mal Bennett also gave a comprehensive rundown on progress with the Minimoa building project. This rare and beautiful gull winged sailplane has not been seen before in Australia, and the building process is very complex.

A good roll up of visiting vintage gliders, supplemented by the local ones, gave a total of thirteen vintage craft. In addition, VGA member Robert Percival visited with his Libelle, and Keith Nolan brought his Sapphire ultra-light for the morning temp trace flights

WIN TV and the Bendigo Advertiser both featured the rally in their presentations.

Vintage Gliders

No vintage tasks were set, and pilots could participate in the coaching course task, nominate their own flight task, or carry out local flying. Quite a few elected to fly crosscountry as conditions improved and good progress was made each day. Certificates and Cherry Ripes were awarded at morning briefing to the pilot making the highest height, longest distance or greatest duration flight on the previous day. A vintage of a different kind, (red), was presented to the overall winners at the final briefing.

Congratulations to all who came! Some excellent flights were made, perhaps the best being the 189 km jaunt taken by Arie Van Spronssen and John McCorquodale in the Ka-7 to Echuca and down the Murray River. However, the point in vintage gliding is not to fly farthest, fastest or highest, but to fly for the most pleasure, the most fun! Each pilot decides what he would like to do and where he would like to go on the day. There is no pressure, no stress, just the desire to enjoy vintage gliders and the company of other pilots. While the gliders of yesteryear have varying characteristics and some have limited performance, they each have their plusses, such as low sink rates and being fun to fly. There are financial advantages too, as they are often much cheaper to buy and most don’t have airframe life limitations. They also come in different colours

Vintage Gliders Australia would like to thank the members and assistants of the Bendigo Gliding Club for putting on such a friendly rally, and for all the hard work to ensure the smooth running of the rally and the well-being of all the participants. Your efforts were greatly appreciated!

Dave G.

Spring Flying

Lineup ready for liftoff

It's easy to tell the soaring season is approaching.

Despite less than perfect weather, Saturday, October 3 saw the biggest lineup of gliders for quite a while.

Taking to the air were the PW-6, Hornet, DG-101, ASW-19, two Libelles and Astir, on what turned out to be a good days flying, with many soaring flights being accomplished.

Although most of the flights were short, Paul showed everyone how it should be done by finding and following a little hawk around the sky for the longest flight of the day in his Astir.


Winter Dinner

Dinner at the Mt.Edgecombe

Thanks to the organisational skills of 'Friza' and the participation of around 30 club members and their partners a pleasant, social, Saturday evening was spent at the Mount Edgecombe Hotel, Bendigo. If the noise level of the evening and the late departures were any indication then this event was another resounding success.

Air Force Cadets go Gliding

Australian Air Force Cadets

On the weekend of June 13 and 14 the local Bendigo based 410 squadron of the Australian Air Force Cadets paid a visit to the Bendigo Gliding Club at its Raywood airfield.

Two staff and 29 cadets (6 female and 23 male) attended, with all of them getting the opportunity to fly in the gliding club's two seater aircraft, the PW-6 and Bocian.

The brisk wind and cold conditions did not affect flying at all, with about 53 flights taking place over the two days.

For many of the teenagers it was their first time in the air, but this didn't put them off, with most electing to take aerobatic flights after their initial training flight.

Anzac Day Model Flying

Bendigo Group

This year saw something of a dramatic change to the weather we have experienced over the past few years at Mount Hollowback. This time it was strong winds and low temperatures that greeted the seven club members who attended. Peter arrived at 10 am and managed to sort out a couple of models before the Bendigo contingent of Phil & Bill, Craig, Patrick and Friza & Billy drove in around 11.

On the Hill

Undeterred by winds gusting to perhaps 25 kts or more the models were ballasted up and under threat of passing showers much flying was done. North Westerly winds saw us flying over the rock strewn side of the hill, but fortunately landings below the summit were minimal. Little damage was incurred on the day in spite of the challenging winds and by 3 pm everyone agreed that they had satisfied their slope soaring urges and departed under rainy skies.

Into the blue!

Bendigo and Grampians Gliding Clubs visit Donald, Labour Day weekend, 7th to 9th March, 2009

Some of the Bendigo contingent at Donald

Launched into a glorious blue sky behind the Callair tug at Donald, prospects and adrenalin high as nearly all the early starters stayed up and cleared the area, a nice 5 knot thermal from release in a right turn, it doesn’t get much better than this. Set course at 3,500 feet, heading towards Charlton to (rather pessimistically) follow the highway in case Bertha and trailer are called on for a retrieve.

Craig’s brave voice from one of the black boxes, “left Donald for Raywood,” encourages, - if plastic can do it, wood should! Dropping 700 feet, tiptoe mode, still assessing the day and keeping height at the expense of speed. Another climb – this time to 4,000, speed up to 50 knots and back on course. Look for the sweet air, savour the moment! After all, when turning, 50% of the time is backtracking!

Problem - air is not sweet enough and back down to 1500 feet we go! Bump – straight into a nice climb back to 4,000. Passed Charlton and heading east-south-east towards Raywood. Pass beside the quarry as thermals are good, air is sweet and Wedderburn beckons. What’s that? Craig, out well ahead, but down low and struggling, just north of Wedderburn. Ahh, up he goes and sets course a few miles ahead. We pass Wedderburn and I confidently follow towards Mount Korong. Soon Craig is high above Mount Korong as I slip into the air he has recently used so well. Down, down, down….

Approaching the Mount some sweet air searched carefully in widening circles at minimum sink gives a few hundred feet, enough to transit to the large granite rocks of the Mount itself, crossed at 1800 feet, a mere 400 above the top – ahh, up! – oops, down! Round and round. Keep near the selected paddock Dave, safety first! Up to 2300, sneak east-south-east a kilometer – down – back to the bumps! Muck around, remembering “up is not down! This is what your glider is built for – hang on to every sniff!” Why aren’t the sources working? – try harder on the sunny side – nix – try the windward side – nix! Don’t be distracted by the people on the track below looking up! Do they realize how much fun I’m having…..?

It had been a great inter-club long weekend in Donald. All the usual suspects from both clubs, Bendigo and Grampians (Ararat) enjoying the flying and each other’s company. Bendigo had fielded eleven gliders, Grampians four gliders and tug, and of course Keith Willis from Bordertown club showed up. Flying in pleasant mild weather was good, getting better as the weekend progressed. Thermals, however, were not to be taken for granted, cu’s popped - and disappeared just as quickly, a few low scrapes were had by most pilots, who generally reached heights to four and almost five thousand feet. The Jeffcott Pub on Saturday night served excellent food and drink, and lots of stories were told. The barbeque in the caravan park on Sunday night was great (thanks guys and girls), a carnivore’s delight and even bigger stories were told!

Back at Mount Korong, a few hundred feet more allows another attempt at moving on track, this time to a nice thermal, all of two knots all the way round – oh joy!! Slowly, carefully, don’t waste it!! Up to 3,500 feet and I’m off on course again – phew! Twenty five minutes of pure adrenalin!

Track from Donald to Bendigo

Heights up to 4,500 as we settle down to eating miles again! Long glides but occasional thermals help keep the pace on, wave “Hi!” to Jean and Bruce Mc Clymont?’s farm abeam Bridgewater, won’t be dropping in on them today as I check final glide in the seven knot headwind. 5000 feet and 25 miles become 4000 and 20.

Three thousand and 15 miles becomes two thousand at ten miles. At this rate I will arrive 500 feet below the airfield! Where are those thermals?? Pass south of Raywood town, but I need some lift first! It comes, slow and sweet, drags me up 500 and dies. Move out, search for it!

At last, half a kilometer away – 7 knots! What, where have you been all day?! Straight up, the luxury of 6,600 feet, a diversion towards Bendigo City to check out the recent bushfire damage. A nice spot landing to be met by Craig’s smiling “What kept you? Let’s take some photographs!” I just can’t wait for next year!

Bendigo gliders to attend were PW-6, Junior, Woodstock, Super Woodstock, ESKa6, PW-5, ASW19, Hornet, Astir, DG-100 and LS-1 Grampians gliders were Janus, PIK-20, LS1F, ASW20. Bordertown glider PW-5.

Dave Goldsmith.

Silver C congratulations!

The drinks are on Frank and Mark

Frank and Mark both received their Silver C badge awards last week, on Monday 9-3-09.

Naturally Saturday's drinks at the bar were generously provided by the pair, which was a good thing - especially for Paul.

You see, only the three of them turned up on Saturday.

Just goes to show that it pays to turn up, even on a rainy day!


Craig and Paul compete at Horsham

Astir and Super Arrow ready to takeoff

For the past few years Craig and Paul Dilks have made the trip to Horsham Week, and this year was no different. Paul had his Astir KYP in tow and Craig had the club's Super Arrow GYS ready to race.

The two of them entered sports class which means 15 meters, no flaps or water ballast. The class also allows 2 seat gliders up to 20 meters. About lunch time on Friday February 6 Paul and Craig arrived to rig, tie down and to enter the comp. Arriving early means on Saturday all they had to do is a DI and clean the gliders.

On Saturday the 7th the day was cancelled due to the extreme conditions which gripped Victoria. The caravan park they were staying at came under threat from a grass fire which went around the boundary fence. Craig and Paul had left earlier and took all their stuff out to the glider club to wait it out.

At about 7:30pm we called the park to ask if it was safe to come back, and the owner said they were OK but had no power. On the way back the guys got stopped the Police barricade for three hours before being allowed to continue to the park. Sunday was also cancelled due to poor conditions and the events the day before.

Monday the 9th started out looking fine and that’s what they said at morning briefing. Time to race at last. The task for sports class was Marnoo, Warracknabeal and back to Horsham. The last leg should have been the hardest because it was the most direct into the wind but Craig and Paul found it was the easiest with lots of thermal streeting.

Tuesday was cancelled due to the really poor weather, they launched five gliders and within 10 minutes three had landed. The lift up there was very hard to work and the remaining two gliders just struck it lucky and found a half-good bit.

Wednesday came and the weather had settled down so the racing was back on. The task for sports class was Minyip, Ellam and back to Horsham. This was an AAT task with 20 km circles around the turn points. Most of the fleet had a hard time getting home into the strong head wind. Craig had a big struggle in the Super Arrow - it took him 2 hrs 20 mins to make it home with an average speed for that leg of 27kph.

Both Thursday and Friday where fairly good with good lift and light winds. Paul and Craig completed the set tasks with ease. They started seeing heights of up to 8000ft and six to eight knot climbs. Saturday was the final Day of Horsham week. What a scorcher! That’s what best describes the day.

It was a 2 hour run task, Murtoa, Warrackabeal , Antwerp and back to Horsham. The aim is to go as far as you can before you run out of time. Paul in his Astir KYP did over 200km in the time at an avg speed of 105kph. Craig in the Super Arrow GYS did 182km in the 2hrs with speed of 91kph. Craig hoped to break the 100kph but it wasn’t to be. A great time had by both of them and they look forward to Horsham week 2010.


Horsham Coaching Week: January 31 – February 6, 2009

Horsham city with airfield at top

Horsham Coaching Week was held from Saturday, January 31 to Friday, February 6, and I was fortunate enough to be able to attend this event.

The first day was put aside for people to arrive, begin rigging their gliders and generally settle in and get organised. This proceeded well, with all pitching in to rig each other’s gliders, the only problem being the withering 44 deg temperatures, made worse by a blast-furnace wind.

Overall 15 attendees arrived, as well as nine coaches and several pilots preparing for the competition week which was to immediately follow the coaching week. On Sunday some people were still rigging, but after that pilots unfamiliar to Horsham took area check flights with instructors, so I went up with Ian Grant in the VMFG Duo Discus for a pleasant flight of over one hour.

Gridded up and ready to go.

The structure of the course was well organised, with each day beginning at 9 am with general announcements and operational issues being covered. These were followed by reviews of the previous day’s flying, usually with several flight traces being analysed.

Instructional talks on various gliding related subjects came next, generally including some discussion on the subject matter with pilots relating their own experiences. After a short break the prevailing weather conditions were presented and discussed, with a task then being planned taking the weather information into account.

Glider allocations then took place, with coaches and students being assigned, and lead-and-follow or dual flying pairs being organised. Following this about an hour was allocated for pilots to get organised, DI their aircraft, get flight plans programmed into their GPS etc, then gridding took place. Typically the first glider on the grid was the PW-5 of Keith Willis. Everyone reckoned if he couldn’t stay up then no-one could, so Keith got the job of sniffer.

On a personal note, three flights stood out for me during this week. The first resulted in my first outlanding, where I travelled 137 km out of the task of 140 km, landing in a large paddock only 3 km from the airfield, battling a 20 kt headwind. The second flight was one taken directly south to the Grampians. While the task was set to the north and most people headed that way a few of us elected not to do the task.

The Grampians. Note the dry fields

Instead we headed towards a breaking line of cu’s which presented a nice street leading all the way to the Grampians. This was a very scenic and enjoyable flight of over four hours. Of the people who did the task there were about six outlandings, so as soon as I landed I was on the job helping to derig and transport these. The last memorable flight was a task to Arapiles silo, north over the Little Desert to Nhill, then across to Jeparit and back to Horsham, which I then flew around locally for a few hours to achieve the 5-hour requirement for Silver C.

The only real downside of the week was the weather, which was generally very hot with quite a few windy days. Company was good, meals offered by the hard working members of the Horsham Flying Club were great and a lot of excellent flights took place. Several attendees achieved some or all of the requirements for their Silver C and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the next Horsham coaching week to those interested in improving their cross-country flying skills.


October 25

Frank and his new toy

Frank's immaculate DG101 arrived at the field on Friday, and was rigged on Saturday. Soon after lunch Frank made his first few flights in his new acquisition and we couldn't wipe the smile from his face.

Hitting the bricks

Meanwhile, the working-bee continued, with a tractor mowing the field, bricks getting cleaned and laid, and general trimming, mowing and cleaning up around the club house area. All is now looking good for the upcoming Cup weekend activities.


October 11

10k and Climbing

The field was a hive of activity on Saturday, with everything seeming to be happening at once. Frank was busy digging holes with his Bobcat, Peter and Mal doing work around the clubhouse, bricks being cleaned, gliders being assembled, on top of all the usual preparations being made for flying. Ka-6's were out in force, with David and Jenne's prepped and ready to go, and John Mackley's being reassembled for its first flight in a while. David Parham's Libelle had just returned from its form 2 ready to take to the air, and many other gliders including the PW-6, Sparrow, Junior, Phil's Libelle, ASW-19, PW-5 and LS-1 were rolled out onto the strip to fly.

Franks Assets

Gliders launched into what initially looked to be an average October day, but this rapidly developed into what can only be described as a "boomer". Cumulus clouds began popping out everywhere, almost all of them providing excellent lift. Most pilots had no great plans for cross country flights when they launched, but this quickly changed as the conditions provided excellent opportunities for long distances to be covered. Gliders disappeared in all directions on their ad-hoc tasks. Many gliders broke the 10,000 and 11,000 ft barriers, with straight line flying betwen regions of lift the order of the day. Cloud base was around 11,500 feet, and the main problem everyone seemed to have was getting back down, with most having to apply full airbrakes to get to circuit height. .. Mark.

A Great Weekend at Echuca September 21-22

Rigging out of the wind

Four glider trailers from Bendigo arrived in close formation at Echuca Airport at about 9.15 am on Saturday morning, 20th September, heralding the start of a great weekend for all concerned. Peter Raphael with his Woodstock, followed by Mal Bennett with his Monerai, followed by Mark Kerr with his PW-5, with Paul and Craig Dilks bringing up the rear with the Bendigo Gliding Club's PW-6 two seater. They were met at the gate by Echuca locals and Bendigo Gliding Club members John and Sian Mackley, and Dave and Jenne Goldsmith who had driven - snail-like - to Echuca the previous day in trusty "Bertha" the Bedford motorhome. Other club members to blow in, apart from Tug pilot Tim Cook and Ralph Keller with the Maule towplane, were Keith Evans with Robyn and Kim, David Parham, Kevin Harrison and Colin Campbell. Blow in was the operative word, for the wind blew and blew, the Maule was quickly stowed in the hangar, and the PW-6 was rigged - also in the hangar. Most visitors then took advantage of the tourist attractions in the town - including the riverboat port and shops, to fill in a pleasant afternoon. John had a delicious barbeque ready by 6 o'clock in the Echuca Aero Club's well-appointed and comfortable clubroom.

Sunday dawned clear and calm, and the rigging party started as the Monerai, Woodstock and PW-5 were removed from trailers and assembled to their full glory. Neil Friswell, Billy Hughes, Phil and Mandy Organ, Patrick and Ingrid Roberts, and Rod Jewell showed up to enjoy the day. Flying got underway using Runway 35 grass left as the warm breeze built up to about 8 knots and thermals started to pop. Most pilots managed to get away from their first attempt, and three visitors enjoyed their flights in the two-seater, one thrilled by his birthday present (a flight) and leaving for the party to follow. All visitors enjoyed their experience and expressed their desire to glide again.

Mal Bennett carried out his evaluation flight after a twenty-year inspection of his Monerai, which had not flown for the last five years. Craig then tried the V-tailed glider, and Mal flew it again to show how good it really is, having already logged about 550 hours on his little gem. Peter Raph had a long soaring flight in the Woodstock, and Mark had a nice flight in the PW-5. Mark then kindly offered his pride and joy to Jenne, who joyfully went soaring while crying crocodile tears over her absent Ka6! Jenne followed this up with a nice flight courtesy of Peter in his Woodstock, then Paul also enjoyed the Woodstock. Meanwhile members and visitors continued to keep the PW-6 busy with training and local flights, but the prize goes to Patrick in the PW-5 who stayed up long into the afternoon and found some shear wave lift that gave him the top altitude for the day of 5,700 FEET - also keeping him out from under our FEET while we derigged the gliders!.

Sunday was monthly competition day for the Echuca Aero Club, and the lunch, including roast lamb, chicken and veges, followed up by chocolate cake for sweets, was well appreciated by the large gathering of power and glider pilots and friends present. Tim was working so hard in the towplane that a sumptuous plate of goodies, covered by foil, was presented to him on the field - we do look after our tow pilots! Bertha's kitchen was also appreciated on the launch point by those needing a tea or coffee, and she performed sterling service as a wind break. The formation flight put on by the Yak and Stearman, followed by the majestic solo aerobatics of the Stearman, were a highlight of the day. In the late afternoon, John put a smile on Keith's dial by taking him flying in the Aero Club's Jabiru.

All round the weekend was a wonderful success - a great experience for the Bendigo Club members and a wonderful chance to share our interest in sport flying with the Echuca Aero Club members. Thanks are especially due to John Mackley, who worked tirelessly and sacrificed his own flying to ensure the success of the visit. Many thanks are also due to the members of the Echuca Aero Club, a very friendly and hospitable group of aviation enthusiasts, who unselfishly shared their facilities and supported this happy bunch of wandering glider pilots. Hopefully one day soon we can return the favour. Finally, a big THANK-YOU to everyone who contributed to this great weekend!

September 13-14

Doors On

The weather was a bit windy on Saturday, but warm at 25 degrees. Thermals went to over 5000 feet, but were a bit broken up by the wind. Nevertheless, some reasonable flights were done on the day. One of the pics shows the fields are finally getting a bit of colour in them, although this probably won't last too long into the hot weather. The hangar looks to be almost ready, with the doors sitting on the ground ready to be attached. Once this is done it should be ready to take gliders.

Springtime colour

Bill's LS-1 took to the air on Saturday. I think it had just completed its form 2 and is back in service.The PW-5 was derigged away on Saturday for the Echuca weekend, and the PW-6 derigged on Sunday.. Mark.

Nearly there! August 17

Work Commences

Now with wall and roof cladding on, Hangar 3 is almost ready for its new tenants. picture: Craig.

Hangar Rises! August 3

Attach:hangar3-2.jpg Δ Hangar 3 finally takes its 3 dimensional form as the steelwork begins to rise above the earth.

Pie Night & AGM July 26 &27

Cooks at Work

As a precursor to the AGM, members Bill Matthews and Neil Friswell agreed to demonstrate their culinary skills and prepare pies and pasties for the evening meal on the AGM Weekend. While the majority of members present on Saturday decided to take at least one launch and test the winter conditions, Bill and Neil laboured away in the kitchen preparing their delicacies and filling the clubhouse with a mouth-watering aroma. With the longest flight for the day being only 14 minutes there was no contest as to whether the flying was going to be better than the pies and pasties prepared for us.

The tally for the day was 25 launches and at least one pie and pastie for each person present (some were further observed to over-indulge themselves!). Some of those members absent at the dinner were lucky enough to share the experience for lunch the next day. A BIG Thank You to Bill and Neil for their significant contribution to the social club.

Pasties Ready

At the AGM on Sunday Jack gave a summary of the past years achievements before initiating the appointment of new office bearers. With Peter Raphael elected as President supported by David Tickner as Vice President and the perennial Treasurer, Rob Young, a protracted meeting ensued. Other new appointments are Mark Kerr and David Goldsmith as ordinary members of the committee.

It would appear the that club is going to be quite busy over the next year dealing with lots of diverse issues spawned by the growth and enthusiasm we are now experiencing. New hangars, more private gliders,launch method development and strip maintenance being just some of the issues coming under scrutiny.

October 21

Phil Repairs Drum

After its outlanding the previous weekend the PW-6was unloaded from its trailer and re-rigged. While that was going on, Phil Organ and a team of helpers were doing some major repairs on the yellow drum of the winch.

A Big Weekend.

October 13 and 14

Dave cuts tiles

A big weekend at Bendigo as preparations continue for the Cup Weekend. On the clubhouse scene we managed to get the carpet tiles down in the main room and the office, along with some trim painting. You can see Dave Goldsmith in the background, hard at work, while Jenne discusses the virtues of K6's with John. Still lots of preparatory work to do for the event so if you have some spare time speak to Jack or Paul, they could use the support. There was flurry of pilots intent on completing their Annual Checks and this work occupied most of Saturday and Sunday's flying.

Weight and Balance

Phil and Steves ASW-19 returned to the field on Sunday, having been away for its Form 2. After Paul had obtained required data for a Weight and Balance calculation she was cleared for flight. An interesting afternoon ensued with a late finish involving the retrieve of the PW-6 from an adjacent paddock. Seems like these launch failure checks can get a little too interesting. Loss of hydraulics on the winch also curtailed a last flight for Tom.

Doncaster Air League.

October 6 and 7

Paul and Air League passenger

Pictures of the visit on Saturday and Sunday by the Doncaster Air League, courtesy of Mark Kerr.

Keith and Air League passenger

Despite a fair crosswind the day proved very good for flying and all of the air leaguers got decent times in the air.

Annual General Meeting

The Club's AGM was held on Sunday 23 September 2007.

The Club elected the following Officers and Committee members:-

President: Jack Lavery

Vice President: Rod Jewell

Secretary: Phil McCann

Treasurer: Rob Young

Committee: Craig Dilks, Keith Evans, David Goldsmith.

Committee Members by role: Phil Organ (CFI) and Paul Dilks (Airworthiness Officer).

President Jack Lavery thanked Craig Dilks on behalf of the Club for his two years as President and welcomed the new members of the Committee.

Berwick Air League Camp

22nd 23rd September

The Berwick Air League visited us for the week end with a compliment of 17 cadets and officers. They arrived bright and early on Saturday and we were ready to aviate before mid day. The day was warm and sunny with no wind but the thermals were far and few between. Most flights were of around the six minute mark although a few lucky ones were able to stay aloft for twenty minutes. Both the Bocian and `PW6 were working well in tandem till Mark Kerr commented how well things were going with the winch. With in twenty minutes, we were experiencing copious problems with the winch wire. Thanks Mark!

Sunday saw a late start to proceedings due to the Club's AGM and monthly meeting. The wind was up and it looked like we may have to cancel the days flying but it stabilised enough to launch. John Viney took several cadets up in his Dimona which took away some of the pressure and added another dimension to the experience of the cadets. Berwick finally said goodbye late afternoon happy and content with their experience with the gliders. A big thank you to all who turned out to help make it a successful week end for the cadets.

Rod Jewell On behalf of the Youth Development Committee.

Australian Air League - Victorian Group

Sunday 16th September 2007 at Ashwood Oval
Annual Review & Field Competitions Day

I was invited by Judy Owen, Executive Commissioner of the Victorian Group, to attend as a representative of the Bendigo Gliding Club, in recognition of our ongoing work with several squadrons, and to be part of the Official party. The reviewing officer for the day was the Chief Commissioner of the Australian Air League. As part of the official party, I was also asked to present one of the awards.

Squadrons came from all around including Ballarat, Bendigo, Sunbury, outer Melbourne such as Berwick and Lilydale, and from around Melbourne. The day consisted of squadrons competing against each other in areas such as discipline, drill, presentation, flag party and on field ball game competitions. There was also judging of model aeroplanes and gliders constructed by the cadets and flight displays set up by the squadrons.

Much interest was shown by several squadrons in also attending a gliding camp. Two options spring to mind. We can either extend the number of squadrons that we invite to come to Bendigo, or we can arrange for another club to come on board with us in this programme. Our work with the Air League is catching the eye of the hierarchy of the Australian Air League, not only in Victoria.

All in all, another great event to keep gliding in the public eye and to nurture youth in the wonders of flight.

Rod Jewell On behalf of the Youth Development Committee

Scouts and Rovers go Gliding 8th September

The Bendigo Gliding Club hosted a visit from the 1st Castlemaine Scout Group and the Bevan Trimble Rover Crew on Saturday at Raywood. It was a magnificent day with bright blue sky, no wind and cumulus clouds popping at about 4000 ft. The clouds seemed to roll in from the North and South and meet over the field.

One of the Club's instructors, Paul Dilks, explained to the Scouts that the clouds were forming what was known as a “Cloud Street” all the way from Raywood to Castlemaine. He implied that a good pilot could fly all the way from Raywood to Castlemaine and back again just by following the “Street” or almost anyway.

The first Scout Brett Priestly got a good launch into a clear sky in the club’s PW-6. The Instructor Pilot declined the lure of the nearby street though and was soon back on the ground ready to take the next willing Scout. The Club used both its two seat training gliders, the PW-6 and the Bocian to give the Scouts and Rovers their gliding experiences.

As the thermals developed the gliders flew higher and longer. The pilots used their air brakes and side slipped to loose height to get down; some days you just can’t go wrong.

The Scouts tackled the syllabus for their red and blue Air Activities badges while waiting for their turn. Only one of the Scouts had to use his “air travel comfort bag” and only one of the Rovers jammed his foot under the rudder pedal to test the pilot’s skills and diplomacy. All in all it was a very exciting and successful day and one which the Scouts will remember for a long time. Pictures soon Tom

Vale Galant

The Galant out to pasture

It is with some sadness that we have to report to members that the Clubs best tow out car, The Mighty Galant, has towed its last cable. During a tow out the Galant blew its head gasket turning into a steam powered car and running on about 3 1/2 cylinders. In 2001 we were given the Galant by one of our club members and since this time it has had little attention, it has used little oil or water until now and we have put it through everything. Glider towout car, cable tow out car, push starter for other cars. The Galant lost a side window, most of its lights and had a hole in the radiator which was fixed by squashing the leak with pliers. At our club we prefer to put money into gliders and other projects, not the fixing of tow out cars. This one has has outlived 3 Datsuns, 2 Corollas, a Barina and a few others. Rest in Peace Mighty Galant.Craig

Painting in Progress

The building program continues and, in conjunction with the flying, a Working Bee around the club over the weekend saw the interior and most of the exterior painted, along with a number of other important tasks. Tim, our blind expert is on the job, restoring the blinds, and once the floor is levelled the interior decoration can begin. Well Done Guys!

Work in Progress - K6e


Recently repaired by Mal Bennett, the K6e GEA, currently under restoration by Dennis and Ian, looks likely to take to the skies over Raywood this season. In the hands of the Australian Gliding Museum for covering and painting, the completion of this project should see yet another vintage glider swell the ranks of the Bendigo fleet.

Winter Dinner - 26 August

The National

What a great night out! Craig had booked dinner at the The Bendigo National Hotel/Motel and it was so popular that we eventually had to drag in an extra table to accomodate all our guests. The meals were well presented and with members circulating and chatting it was close to midnight before we all dispersed for the evening. As for the rest of the weekend, well, the weather was kind but the thermals failed to materialise to any satisfying extent. Flying continued nevertheless with a number of pilots using this time to advance their annual checks. After the monthly meeting on Sunday, Phil McCann gave the first of this years Safety Seminars on launches. Oh, and the building program? Well, the plasterwork has been filled and the trims installed. A little more preparation and it will be all hands on deck armed with brushes and rollers. Standby!

Building Program Stage 4& Flying

18-19 August

Craig at Work

An All-round good weekend. Some gliding and some productive work. Current status of the building is the completion of the lining, leaving only the flushing-up of the plasterwork before painting can proceed. Saturday saw the specialists focus on the plasterwork while the "lucky" ones got to sort out the problems with the winch and eventually enjoy some soaring flights. Craig sacrificed his flying to assist with the installation of the cornice.

Looking Out

On Sunday additional fitout of doors and architraves continued until work was halted at lunchtime to ensure that everyone got to fly. A number of extended soaring flights were had on a beautiful, clear winters day and Craig eventually scooped the pool, as he managed to stay airborne long enough to watch the setting sun. (see Gallery)

Building Program - Stage Three

4-5 August

Time to relax

Inside, things are now beginning to look like a clubroom. A large proportion of the lining of the new clubroom was installed over the weekend, along with the construction of the office walls. After rectifying some outstanding issues and the installation of the ceiling battens on Saturday morning it was all hands on deck to hoist the 6 and 4 metre ceiling sheets into position. Luckily we had a great turnout of members to assist with this task, as they first had to carry the sheets from the main hangar to the clubroom. Meanwhile, Keith, Patrick and a few other willing helpers pressed on with the task of completion the exterior cladding.

Craig and Steve

Craig once again excelled in the culinary arts by producing roast chicken and chips in the club oven. Having Mum and, Dad Paul, away overseas hasn't hurt his cooking skills any, as so far, Craig has managed a diverse menu of lunches that have certainly kept the workers adequately fuelled.

Anyway by Saturday evening the majority of the extension was lined and insulated and we were all able to sit back, relax and admire our efforts over a few beers. Not bad for what has amounted to 5 days work so far!

Looking out

Sunday saw Caleb , Mal and Peter well into the taping and jointing of the walls and ceiling whereupon Patrick arrived with the skills to supply us with electricity once again. Work then started in earnest on the office walls and was only interrupted in order to derig the Kookaburra. Caleb has acquired a new canopy and was keen to take it away for fitting. By the end of the day Keith, assisted later in the afternoon by Fabian, saw to the completion of the exterior. No mean feat either, as they had to scratch around the club for the materials to do it.

Keith and Fabian

A little more plaster to hang, lots of jointing to do, but things are well on schedule for the rooms to be ready for the coming season. A huge thanks to all the guys who turned up to do their bit and It's great to see the enthusiasm that a project like this engenders within the membership.

Building Program - Stage Two

21-21 July

Days end

Well, its happened again! Undeterred by the previous weekend of hardship a large number of the members attended for a weekend of construction on the clubhouse extension. Braving the sub-zero morning temperatures, the workers progressively assembled to meet the challenge. The weekend's primary goal was to get the building to lockup stage. This meant the relocation of a large window, the installation of the new roof along with the installation of the valleys required to meld it with the old structure, and the positioning of a 5 metre beam that would allow the enlargement of the openings between the new and old structures.

Time for a beer

With Mal and his crew tackling the roof cutting, Peter and company concentrated on the relocation of the window and the installation of, the soon to be office, sliding door. Terry was around the back looking after the facia and gutter and Ken had a team working on the exterior cladding. By late Saturday afternoon Peter and Craig were well into fixing the new iron to the roof, ably assisted by Mark, handling the underlying foil. We conceeded to the conditions only when the dew on the roof would not allow a secure footing. Sliding down and waiting for the boots to catch a screwhead is not a great feeling! Things may have gone more smoothly this day had not the generators decided to become temperamental. First the diesel would not start, and then late in the day when the VW finally ran out of petrol, it would not restart, placing additional strain on the cordless appliances.

Looking good!

Sunday dawned to crystallised pastures but the prospect of a fine day. We were not looking forward to hand cranking the VW into life and when David Tickner and Ben arrived, Dave was quickly despatched to look at the "genny", Within short order he had diagnosed and rectified the problem and we were back online, fantastic! While we waited for the roof to dry preparation for installation of the beam proceeded. This was interupted by the monthly meeting although our resident "sparkie" ,Ken, was undeterred and continued with "the rough in" for the required electrics.

Once the meeting was over the beam was soon in place and attention turned to the roof. With a surplus of labour a few members also took the chance to make the most of the day and get in some training flights. While Mal and Barry beavered away on the second valley, Peter and Steve completed the roofing to the first. Concurrently, work was progressing on the cladding of the gable end. Once people had had their "flying fix" the workforce expanded and it was with some sense of urgency that the final stages of the roof were completed in the fading light. It was dark before everyone was able to enjoy the confines of the new extension but it was obvious that this will make a huge difference to the club in the coming and future seasons.

Phil McCann takes the frame inspection tomorrow so it is anticipated the the next major step will be the construction of the office walls and lining of the clubroom. Phil has done the groundwork on this too, and has already got all the lining materials onsite. Plenty to do, so try and be there! Peter

PS The frame inspection went well. There are a few minor modifications required and then we can hang the plaster and proceed to completion. Phil

Building Program - Stage One

7-8 June

Walls go up

Well, what a great weekends effort!, and thanks to the large contingent of club members who turned up to help with the building program a huge leap forward in the clubhouse extension was achieved. It seemed that we had more members in attendance than one would expect to see at the field on a fine summers day!. Mal even seconded his B.I.L., Barry, along with his tools and ladders, to support the effort too. Craig also supplied a pizza lunch to keep the workers fuelled and happy. While Saturdays weather conspired to delay proceedings, apart from an occasional rain shower, construction of the wall frames proceeded and by the days end they were standing and the first roof truss was in position. This set the scene for some serious work to be done the next day. Those members not going home then adjourned to the Sebastian Hotel for a well earned meal.

Trusses up top

Sunday dawned fine and the task of erecting the remaining trusses was addressed. Additional teams saw to the installation of the front doors and one outside window,the other window remaining to be done after the roof is in place. This work then allowed another team to focus on the exterior cladding of some of the outside walls. Toward the end of the day the roof battens were put in place and bracing tasks completed. Once again the social club cranked up the BBQ to feed this army. It's alway been a policy that if you work for the club at a working bee you will get fed.

Days work done

While there is still much to do before we can consider the building to be at lockup, by the end of the day it was possible to gain a real sense of what the new extension will mean to the facility of the clubrooms. A huge thanks to all those who attended, and remember, while we all may not be skilled in the required building arts and may feel left out, even the "lift and carry","gofers" and "feeders" are necessary and much appreciated.

I deliberately haven't tried to name all the participants here as this will be best served in the photos of the event that we hope will eventually grace the new clubroom photoboard.


Winch Returns!

Overhauled winch

It's finally back! After 1 month without the winch Phil Organ, the club CFI, also club machanic, got the job done. The winch had 2 cracked heads and the rings where worn down to next to nothing, but now after a lot of work it has 2 new heads and rings. While the work on the engine was going on Paul Dilks made new arms to guide the wire on. He has replaced the old trumpet arrangement with a set of box rollers. Peter and Mal put windows on the side of the cabin too. On the 1st of July we did 4 winch launches before the rain set in and from the reports by the pilots, they got better launches.Craig

Bonfire Night

Maule and gliders

Last weekend the gliding club held it's annual Bonfire night, this is the one night of the year when we can find out who the fire bugs are. Around 11:30 am on Saturday morning Tim Cook and Laurel arrived from Tocumwal in the Maule to do some towing for us. At the same time a few of the club members started to trim their free flight models in preparation for the night scrambles ahead. I found out that a tank full of fuel makes my freeflight model climb to about 500ft and while this was happening members DI'd the PW-6 and just about everything else in the hangar. The weather was not very good for long flights and I think the best was about 12mins with most launches to 2000 ft but we were able to maintain currency in aerotow launches. Approaching 4pm the roast meats were put on to cook, this included chicken, lamb, beef and pork.

Free flighters

While the food was cooking Paul set about trimming his flying UFO, a saucer shaped model, and now that we know all UFO's are here only to attack us, we will avoid them in future.Phil Organ did some impressive flying with his Rascal 110 model with the 26cc engine, Model club member, Neil Friswell, flew his electric Beaver at night with lights and a few other modellers also flew similar models. At 7:30pm Craig lit the Bonnie then we retired to the clubhouse for a 3 course meal of soup, roast and dessert.Many thanks to the members and their partners whose efforts made this dinner a great success.


Over the course of the evening The usual hydrogen an hot air balloons were released and there was plenty of aerial activity to amuse everyone. The model flying went long into the night with the last flight at 2:30am, let's just say that one model is now back in kit form.

After a very cold start of -2 degrees C the next morning we emptied the club hangar and did a full days flying of both aerotow and auto launching. We are now focussing on starting the new extension to the the club house in 2 weeks time. Craig.

poem by Terry Whitford

It was great to catch up with everybody again
On that wonderful night of nights
It is very much becoming a must do thing
The Raywood Bonfire night

There were models of every size and shape
And the fun started as soon as we arrived
And although some of the stunts were really mistakes
I feel that some of them were contrived

One of the models was appropriately named
It went by the name of BIG BERTHA
It was made out of foam with some lights in the frame
I didn’t think it would take off from the eartha

Well it got fired up and it climbed into the air
But it was a very short flight I recall
And that old adage came true, that the bigger they are
The harder they bloody well fall

Well the design engineers all got together
And came up with a system of repair
But it was 5 minute epoxy and a series of tapes
That put it finally back into the air

There was one there among us who was trying to fly
An object like a very large plate
He stuck an engine on the front and flung it into the sky
And sent it aloft to its fate

Well it just went berserk. It was out of control
And it nearly cleaned up some of the men
But quite undeterred he fueled it up
And it attacked everybody again

We had things that went bang and hot air balloons
That, as they rose made a really weird sight
But I think on the whole and despite all the hoons
We had a really great bonfire night

Trusses on the Slab

On Thursday June 14 a main part of our club house extension project arrived at the club. The delivery was at half past eight in the morning and Club president Craig Dilks met the truck driver at the gate to let him in. The roof trusses took about 20 minutes to unload, the crane on the truck making it easy. The Club plans to make a start on the frame in the coming weeks.

PW-6 Back On Line

Polishing the wings

The PW-6 returned to service this weekend , having had its annual inspection completed.

Phil on the buffer

A big effort by a number of the members there on Saturday ensured that it was all nicely polished and waxed before taking to the air.

Air League Visit

Shortwing Kookaburra

Another big weekend at the Bendigo Gliding Club on the 5th & 6th of May. We had the Nolan Wing of the Australian Air league come gliding. There were 20 cadets and 5 leaders in total, all of them keen to take to the skies over Raywood, some for the first time and others who are still in the unit from last year.

Saturday it was all hands on deck as with so many flights to do we needed all of our AEI pilots. Rod Jewell (Vice President) helped arrange the weekend so it was he who took the first winch launch in the PW-6. Then Kevin Harrison in his Bocian GQJ flew another passenger. New Club Member, Caleb White, rolled out the Mk 4 Kookaburra which quickly became a favourite with a lot of the kids. I think it was because it is an Australian designed and built glider. In total we did over 30 flights on Saturday, both 2 seater flights plus a few single seat flights. The Clubs Junior returned to service after it's annual inspection done by Peter Raphael and his team, Malcolm, David P., Steve and Dennis.

Waiting to Launch

On Sunday a few Cadets did not want a second flight but there were still 18 who lined up for the ride of a life time. Plus we had 3 pupils to get some training. In all we did just short of 70 flights for the weekend and on Sunday the club had 6 gliders in the air at the same time even though the conditions were marginal. Craig

Slope Day Mount Hollowback

On the Hill

For the past 5 Anzac Days Club members have made the trip to Mt Hollowback near Creswick. Once again, our annual pilgrimage was a great success with even more club members attending than ever before. Most turned up around mid-morning and wasted no time in getting models into the air. Paul arrived a little later, confessing to having slept in. The mornings flying afforded us with a variable northerly around 10-12 knots just suitable for the zagi's and some aerobatic gliders and perfect for all the floater types. Dennis brought the Collier 'Eagle' and unfortunately it went home with concussion after a frequency clash with persons un-named but Dennis consoled himself with helping Caleb get the hang of slope soaring. Patrick spent time helping Tim get his models into the air, and Mal undertook a few major wing repairs in the field.

Time Out

As the afternoon progressed, winds got lighter and lighter, occasioning some launches that seemed destined to end in tragedy on the rock strewn slopes below hilltop. Phil, Craig and Bill opted to use electricity to extend their flight times and on occasion, (Phil), terrorise the crowd with high speed passes and snap rolls. At times the adventureous were able to push out and take advantage of passing thermals with Chris and Peter even managing to soar to the limits of visibility on a couple of occasions. While there were a few midair 'taps', most of the model damage occured while landing amongst the rocks below the hilltop and I think everyone went home with a few scarred models.Another great day out!

The Easter Weekend.

Easter Grid

On Good friday the day started out with very little crew available. We decided to take the PW-6 out as well as the Super Arrow. The wind was from the east, fairly light, so we used the East-West strip for a change. To get a bit more length we drove the winch up over the slight hill to the east. Phil McCann said that you can do the first few seconds blind, before the glider appears over the hill. On the 2nd last launch we had a new winch driver so Phil could have a fly. It was Paul Dilks, who showed us that even if the cable breaks near the parachute you can still get 99% of the wire back on the drum before it becomes a huge birds nest. That's him hiding behind the hand!

Get Knotted Candidate

On Saturday morning it took a group of 6 guys one hour to sort out the mess on the winch. It must have been one of the busiest days we have seen at the club for a while, all but 2 of the rigged gliders flew on Saturday. At one stage we had 10 gliders all in the air, some out on cross countries and some just local flying. Easter Sunday started out with a few less people but by lunch time Mal and Peter both had the 2 Woodstocks rigged and ready to fly. We auto launched Peter in his Woodstock and he soon climbed just about out of sight. One of our latest Students, Kent, was out and he did some training with Keith Evans. David Goldsmith went cross country in the Ka6 ,Inglewood, Pyramid Hill return to Raywood. David Parham, in his Libelle, disappeared for over 5 hours, being second to launch and last to land.

Autolaunch Prep.

Monday was a mirror image of Sunday as far as the weather and we had about the same amount of people out flying. Kent continued his training with Colin. While this was happening Peter went cross country in the Wood Stock, Elmore, Mitiamo and return to Raywood. Tom Dannatt is now a Super Arrow pilot. Craig

TOP Flyers Visit

Sunday April 1

TOP Flyers once again flew into our field for what is becoming an annual fixture on their aerial touring calendar. At a little after 10am two aircraft arrived from Tooradin. First was Piper Cherokee EDJ, then a little later Cessna 172 WXA. Not long after the crews had made themselves comfortable, Bonanza FCT arrived from Lilydale after being somewhat delayed by low cloud through the Kilmore Gap. This brought to eight the number of TOP visitors flying in, nine in all attending including Peter, a BGC member.

TOP Members

Conditions could only be described as perfect for the event, with a light and variable wind, comfortably warm temperatures and signs of early convection in a clear blue sky. Flying commenced before a barbeque lunch diligently prepared by Craig, and a number of soaring flights were completed prior to and during this session. Using both the Bocian and the PW-6 and a number of our rated members allowed all the visitors to experience soaring flight along with variations of the hands-on experience,which is, as usual, generally dependent upon the length of their flights.

Visiting Aircraft

Late afternoon saw the staggered departure of the visiting aircraft as the occupant's flights progessively concluded. Shortly after the last powerplane departed, a quick stacking of the hangar, and the BGC members retreated for a well earned beer and debriefing. The usual strong teamwork within the club once again ensured that the day went smoothly, leaving a strong impression in the visitors that we continue to build a growing and successful club. On behalf of TOP Flyers-Thanks Guys

By Email: "Peter on behalf of Top Flyers could you pass our thanks to the Gliding club for once again organising a great day, everyone appreciated the effort and enjoyed the visit." Ray

Club Night Saturday

March 31

What huge weekend it was at the club, on Saturday we saw Jenny Goldsmith have her first flight in the club's Super Arrow GYS. The day was fairly good for local flying but Terry Bellair did over 300km in his DG 400 HDE. Later that night the club had a dinner at Phil Organs place, in his new party room. Phil's wife Mandy prepared all sorts of fine food like Greek lamb and marinated chicken, delicately cooked on the BBQ by club president Craig Dilks. Ralph Keller kindly donated funds for the catering so this was the first time the club has been able to put everything on for the members, including the drinks. The last of the 35 club members attending finally left around midnight.

On Sunday morning flying started early because the TOP flyers were expected (more above). It must have been the weekend for people to convert to the Super Arrow because David Tickner had his first flight in it, and then another to seal the deal by climbing away to 4,000ft and coming back to the field 2 hrs later. We also signed up 2 new members to the club, they already know how to fly and they will be bringing their own gliders to Raywood. Look for the photos among the private fleet in the next few weeks.

1,000th flight

March 17

Ready to Go

On Saturday the 17th of March Jack Lavery had his 1000th flight. Jack started flying back in 1984 at the club's old site at Woodvale. He took a break from flying when he had a car accident 4 years ago, the doctor said "that was it for flying gliders". But after 18 months of recovery Jack took to the skies again. "If I can travel in a car, a glider would not be a problem" said Jack.

All Out

On the day the population of Raywood almost doubled when the Lavery Clan came out to see the Flight. Jack took his Granddaughter for the flight with him. From the moment the PW-6 left the ground to the landing there had to have been at least 1000 photos take from the large group of spectators. Well maybe not 1000 but somewhere close to that.

Jack and the Kids

Jack said "it might have taken 24 years to make the 1st 1000 but there's still hope for another 1000 more, gliding is in my blood and giving up is never on my mind".

Donald Weekend

9-11 March

PW-6 at Donald

Once again the Grampians Soaring Club and the Bendigo Gliding Club gathered in regional Victoria to enjoy a now traditional March long weekend of socialising, beer and red wine testing and a bit of flying in each others company. While some of the crew took the opportunity to roll into the town of Donald on Friday the majority chose to get there on Saturday. Donald, a progressive country town, has one East-West sealed strip and an intersecting North-South strip located on lightly undulating terrain. A hardstand and small office/toilet block and a detached hanger complete the facilities. Connected to adjacent country towns by an excellent network of roads ideally places this town as a base for cross country flying.

Barbeque Night

Saturday's weather was warm with light and variable winds. All the attending gliders, about 13 in all, were prepared and launched in the early afternoon. Conditions were quite reasonable and most of the gliders were able to range out from the field over the afternoon. While climbs to over 5000' were reported, most pilots later indicated that they experienced close encounters of the outlanding kind at some time during their respective flights. The longer flights were a 250km out and back to Swan Hill by Gary Stephenson (HDY) and Geoff Vincent (GAX) and a 150km to Warracknabeal and Birchip by Phil McCann (UKF). Phil got low near Watchem and had a great paddock picked out opposite the pub but unfortunately was able to dig himself out and got home so he had to wait untill much later for a beer. Everyone made it back and eventually repaired to the local caravan park to participate in a barbeque organised by Maurice Little and the Grampians guys. Overnight the expected change arrived and we awoke to a strong southerly wind.

Woody Returns

Back out at the field on Sunday the wind, being gusty, was discouraging and only a few brave souls confronted the conditions, Geoff Vincent in the Pik-20 and a Libelle flew and our club PW-6 made 2 flights while the rest were happy to spin yarns in the shelter of the field office or drink tea and munch Kooka's Country Cookies in 'Bertha', Jenne and David Goldsmiths mobile abode. Phil McCann took the opportunity to relieve Brian Wood of his towing duties and cast the gliders to the wind. Tom of GSC, flying the Libelle Bravo Lima managed to outland upwind and once tuggie Brian had him safe back home, on recommendation of the "early arrivals", we descended on the Mount Jeffcott Hotel for a meal that was possibly designed to put our personal C of G's out of range!

Strong wind gusts overnight did little to build our confidence in the possibility for flying on the Monday and once we had assembled at the field the consensus was for an early departure. So with careful derigging in the the gusty conditions we were soon on our way back to Bendigo, trailers in tow. Bendigo Club mustered 7 gliders and 10 members for the occasion, a great turnout. Thanks go to all those attending in making this a worthwhile effort to strengthen the camaraderie and ties between our respective clubs.

Club Member Kicks Ass!

Club President, Craig Dilks, overcame all odds to finish 3rd overall place in Sports Class at the combined Horsham Week / VSA State Comps. this past week. Flying the club Super Arrow, Craig has proved once again that it takes more than the latest technology to be a champion. As well as winning the the day on Wednesday, Craig's persistence and consistent performance gave him the edge on the competition. Other member performances worthy of note are those of Craig's father, Paul, who placed 5th in Sports Class flying his Astir, and Terry Bellair in his DG 400 achieving 4th place in the Open Class.

Two New Gliders at Raywood


On Friday 26th January, Australia Day, how fitting, BGC won the daily double with the first flights at Raywood of two new (to Raywood) gliders.

First off was Steve Baldini and Phil McCann's ASW19b, VH-UKF. recently purchased from Graham Rock at the Hunter Valley Gliding Club. Following a small repair to the left aileron by Phil Organ, it was ready to roll. Phil McCann had the huge time of 9 minutes before the day was canned due to weather. Phil reckons it's great!

At around the same time Phil Organ (CFI) did a check flight in VH-HNC, an IS29, which is being considered for purchase from Club member Eddie Self, by Patrick Roberts and Ken Wlliams. "Goes well" said Phil and following a quick flight by Patrick - "I'm in love, I won't give it back, it's all mine". We think he liked it and may make Eddie an offer.

Christmas Cheer 2006

The Feast

On Saturday we got together for our gliding club Christmas party at my place. The night started a little slow with the end of the days flying ending later than we had all planned. It made the BBQ quiet at around the planned 7pm start and wearing your flying hat to a classy evening may make you an outcast. By 7:30 pm about 13 of the 15 guests had turned up so I put the onions on to cook, soon followed by the meat.

Pool Shark

After tea everyone settled into a few quiet drinks before the clubs new pool table had it's first real workout. When we build the extension on the club house early next year the pool table will make it's way out to the club. A few of us fell prey to Ralph "the pool shark" Keller on the night, who claimed to have not played the game before.Craig

Ralph Makes Front Page!

Artist-Ralph Keller

Congratulations to member, Ralph Keller, on having one of his magnificent pictures featured as the December 2006 cover of Soaring Australia magazine. This watercolour painting showcases the clubs PW-6 soaring in the vicinity of the airfield, laid out below. Now that we have seen Ralph on the cover of Soaring, I wonder when we will see Soaring on the cover of Ralph!

Bendigo Flying Club - Fly In 25th November

Patrick Sells Gliding

On Saturday the 25th on November the Bendigo Flying Club held a Fly-In at the Bendigo Aerodrome. With the aid of Geelong Gliding Club's Super Cub, MSA, we flew our PW-6 into the event. The Flying Club wanted us to be on the ground by about 9:30 am, so Phil Organ and Bill Hughes took on the job of getting up early and flying in. I was already on the ground when they landed, ready to tow them off the strip.

After talking to power pilots for most of the day it was time to tow out at 2 pm.

Phil explaining

Before we departed Phil McCann, the tuggie, took the opportunity to explain his new towing theory to Phil Organ, the CFI, and myself. "Now if the tug goes this way and the glider goes that way..........." Needless to say we were not impressed.

By this stage the wind had sprung up from the southwest so I launched behind the Cub from the short strip at Bendigo. Flying out over houses and very small paddocks proves to be tense until until you get some height and you know can make it back to the Aerodrome.

With about 15 km to run I decided that the PW-6 had enough height to make it back to Raywood. After releasing I took a thermal to 4,000ft and bumped the speed up to 80 knots just because I could, still arriving back at the field at 3,000ft. As we slowly descended to circuit height Tim Berkes winch launched in the Club's Junior XOA and climbed away to a bit over 10,000ft in 8 to 10 knots of lift. It's the second 10,000ft day we have had in 2 weeks. Craig

Cup Weekend Cross Country - November 4-7

Pilot Briefing

What a big weekend for our club! We flew every day, well some of the lucky ones did. Day one was interesting due to the number of outlandings. About 9 in all, with a mixture of aerotow and road retrieves. Vintage Gliders Australia attended again and fitted in well with the operations. Launching later in the day, after the 'glass' had departed, a number of creditable tasks were flown.

I would like to thank some of our Indians that did a large amount of work. First, I would like to thank Rob for looking after the flight sheets for the 4 main days, without his effort the flights sheets would have most likely have been a mess. Second Phil McCann lent a hand in the kitchen and in other places like parked in the Super Cub, aerotowing, something he seems happy to tolerate.

Discussion on Interpreting Met Charts

Mal & Peter did a heap of running around in the kitchen and on the airfield. David Tickner worked on the generator again. Jack also helped out in the kitchen.

The Grid

The main force in the kitchen again was Helen Dilks who took 2 days off work just to help us out. Again the meals and catering were excellent ensuring no one was forgotten, even those returning from long retrieves. With out these people putting a huge effort the weekend would not have ran so smoothly. Thank you! And if you couldn't make it this time and want to join us next year. Find out more here... Craig

What a Big year in Gliding!.

Award Recipients

On Saturday the 21th Of October we had our Presentation night for 2005/2006, at Prattys Patch, an historic pub in the township of Maiden Gully. Each year the Bendigo Gliding Club has a night of awards for flying and onfield activities, some for serious endeavour and others for somewhat more amusing achievements. This year was no different with a trophy for the fastest 300 km flight which was won by Colin Campbell when he achieved a speed of 96kph in his Libelle GBX.

Craig Dilks and Phil Organ won the Brian Sinclair Memorial 100km trophy when they did at a speed of 123kph in the PW-6,GYC. Another award given each year is the Get Knotted Award for the biggest tangle on the winch and this was won by Tom Dannatt for his tangle one day while undertaking driver training. The Clubman of the Year was won by Peter Raphael for his outstanding effort through the year. Peter showed a willingness to jump in and help out as much as possible, he also had a big hand in setting up the clubs website.

As in other years we had an enjoyable night and a great meal and look forward to the prospects of a great season ahead.


Lots of Wind - September 14-15


It's been windy this weekend but that did not stop the Bendigo Gliding Club from operating. On Saturday the 14th of October we had a strong cross wind from the west, it made for some interesting flying. Most of the day we just did circuits although Paul Dilks had a short thermaling flight of about 12 minutes in his Astir CS 77 KYP. His son Craig took the Astir for the last flight of the day and he climbed away to 6,900 ft in with 4 knots on the vario. After an hour Craig decided that the cross wind was too strong to land in on the usual runway so he landed on the east/west strip.

On Sunday the wind was straight down the the main runway from the south, which gave our pilots very good winch launches. Once again Paul had his Astir out and this time he was the one who had a long flight of a bit over 2 hours. In other news recently, solo pilot, David Tickner has converted into the clubs SZD-51 Junior, XOA. David said after his thermaling flight of an hour that the "Junior thermals like a homesick angel".Craig

The Bennett Woodstock Flys.

GFJ over Bacchus Marsh

On Saturday 30th September the much modified Woodstock GFJ, built by member Malcolm Bennett, took to the air over Bacchus Marsh for the first time. Towed to 4'500 feet Mal was able to spend some of the flight soaring in the company of another Woodstock, IKL, before returning to earth, for a first flight duration of 1:49. Congratulations Mal!

Got SeeYou?. Then Download the IGC File

Saturday September 1

On Saturday we had conditions of up to 8,000 ft. It looks like serious cross country flying will be soon with us. Paul did about 80-90 km and Terry has done 2 flights in the last couple of weeks of over 300 km. It's time to get your maps and GPS's out. Don't forget water bottles and have all your normal cross country gear ready. Check the trailers to see if all the bits are in/on there, if you are not sure whats meant to be in the trailers come and see me. Its time to learn how to use your GPS don't leave it to the really good weather starts to learn.


End of Winter Dinner. Saturday August 26

Sandbar Hotel

This was a busy and diverse weekend. On Saturday Phil Organ facilitated the "Lookout" briefing and Peter and Mal wired up some low voltage lighting in the clubhouse.

About every 2 months the BGC goes out to a pub for an evening. This year it was decided that the end of winter dinner would be held at a pub in Bendigo called The SandBar, a small Pub located near the center of town on McIvor rd. The night started like most nights with every one rolling in from a great days flying at Raywood. The day had been good and some of our pilots had flights that were over one hour. Terry Bellair in his DG 400m had over 5 hours and covered about 340 km for the day.

On arrival to the Sandbar Pub most of us stopped at the bar for a few refreshing ales while the Staff organised more tables to acommodate us. We initially booked for 15 and the numbers rose to 18 by Friday night. When we got to the pub it turned out that we totalled 21, that's members and their partners. An excellent turn-out.

We sat down to order about 7:40pm and, as the service was efficient, by around 9pm we had finished tea. After this everyone settled into the normal glider related conversation helped along with a few more drinks. The evening wound up up around about 11pm. It was so good that the Club President couldn't make it to the meeting the next day! Craig

With Sundays meeting over, Phil McCann briefed and completed the Radio Endorsements with a number of the members

Doncaster Australian Air League Visit.

Cadets Marching

On the 29th and 30th of July the Club hosted the Doncaster Branch Of the Australian Air League. In total there were 28 Members of the League in attendance and that's including Leaders and parents. The Saturday started with the Air League arriving at about 12:00 o'clock, en masse in 6 cars. Fortunately we had just finished one of our scheduled morning safety briefings, one on "circuit planning", so before they could disperse I gave them a quick introduction on airfield safety and what they would be doing for the day.

At 1 o'clock we started flying, first on line was the PW-6 then the Bocian. The cross wind was very strong and right on the upper limit for the gliders and pilots, but we still managed to tally up a grand total of 28 flights for the day. 22 flights between the Bocian and PW-6, and 6 flights given by John Viney in the Dimona. At the end of the days flying the kids used up the last of their energy in a game of soccer.

On Sunday their day commenced with marching practice in the thick fog that had developed overnight. At about 10:30 the fog lifted and we were then able to commence operations. This days flying was a big improvement on the day before, with very little cross wind, and for a period of time we had thermals everywhere. Peter Raphael showed all of us how to thermal on just about every flight he had in the Bocian, while Rod Jewell got very current in taking passengers in the PW-6. The days flying finished with the last flight being just before last light. What a huge weekends flying! Craig

Bonfire Night 24 June 2006

Moon Tiger

For about the past 5 years now we have had an Annual Bonfire Night. This year was the second year that we have had a Free Flight Night Scramble event with models, as part of the proceedings. Other disciplines demonstrated are hot air and hydrogen balloons, rocketry and airdrops!, all guaranteed to provide spectacular entertainment. The day started well with a little model flying and tuning then we got into the gliding operations, with the Super Arrow GYS coming back from it's form 2. There were a total of 12 flights for the day and some soaring undertaken as well.

At 3 o'clock the evening meal of roast beef was put on to cook, along with some delectable soups previously prepared by Mandy and Karen. Throughout the day members of the Bendigo Model aircraft club arrived to share the bonfire and join in the nights fun with several taking the opportunity to fly their models as well.Big Bertha

At the 5:30 pm we started flying free flight models in the fading light, while hot air balloons limped across the carpark. Around 6:30, president Craig Dilks lit the Bonfire and then we hopped into the evenings 2 course meal, soup and vegetables followed by the roast. After the meal Peter Raphael launched his monster radio assisted (control is too strong a word) model, Big Bertha. It was covered in 21 Leds for lighting and made a spectacular sight as it clawed for altitude in the black night sky. This model was based on last years successful model only around 4 times larger. Meanwhile Craigs striking little model orbited around the assembled, with a myriad of coloured lights flashing, looking like a re-enactment of "Close Encounters".

The night wound down with a few drinks by the fire, with number of people choosing to camp the night. Sunday dawned as another superb day and the gliders managed another 25 flights with some managing climbs to over 3000ft. A great nights entertainment and something you should be sure not to miss next year. Craig

News Flash- Pilot Solo's

Solo again

Congratulations to David Tickner who, on Sunday, "first soloed" for the 'second' time. He did his first "first solo" some 28 years ago, and following an extended break, a return to gliding, and after a final bit of airwork with Keith Evans on the day, was cut loose in the K7. He is pictured here being congratulated by Phil McCann after a text book landing.

Spot Landing Competition 28 May 2006


Today after our meeting we decided to have an 'end of roll' competition. The purpose of the comp is to improve our pilot skills in putting a glider down in a set length. We choose about 75 meters after the aiming point. For some of our pilots normally just landing on the airfield is good enough, but when we made a competition of it those pilots showed their skill and put the glider down right on the money.

After 3 attempts Peter Raphael got the Junior (XOA) to within a metre (each time!...PR). While club Rob Young put the PW-6 (GYC) to about 17 meters, very sensible in a glider that rolls for what seems like forever. For a cold day there was a lot of flying with all club gliders out, as well as Phil Organ's Libelle (GSQ). Phil is the CFI of our club and he got his Libelle to just under a metre of the mark. With so many great efforts it was hard to find a winner, but I think Jack Lavery showed the best effort in the K-7 GNX for the day.Craig

Many extended flights were posted over Saturday and Sunday and the Junior was returned to service. The PW-6 and The Sparrow were derigged and are now away for their annuals to be done.

Bendigo Model Flyers 21 May 2006

Today the Bendigo Model plane club came out to have a fly of their models and to fly in our gliders. 10 members of the model club came out. Their models ranged from 2 metre gliders, power planes ,electric Jet and a helicopter. They also had a buddy box so some of our members could have a fly of a model and have a back up instructor if they got out of control. Bill Matthews from the model club was voted big kid of the day. For someone that was not going to fly he had 2 winch launches, one in the PW and one in the K-7, some aerobatics and a hanger flight. It will take dynamite to wipe the smile off his face. Andrew Murphy from the Geelong Gliding Club also came up for the weekend and got a winch rating. Craig

Australian Air League Visit 6-7 May 2006

Cadets on Parade

We had The Australian Air League at our field weekend for some flying. I think they had a great time and I think that they might make it an annual event. It was great to see the enthusiasm of the youngsters and it appeared that the amount energy that they expended exploring the place left some of our old members feeling even older!. In spite of the weather deteriorating on Sunday everyone got to have a fly and the operation ran efficiently. The club members had a great time sharing this aspect of aviation with the cadets and their leaders and I am sure that if they come back we can do it even better next time.

Mt Hollowback Slope Soaring 25 April 2006

Model Flyers

Once again our club members have ventured forth to Mount Hollowback, near Ballarat, for a day of model flying activity. Conditions were extremely pleasant, northerly and light breeze, not too cold, although a little more wind could have made things interesting. A large fleet of Zagi's in the air at one time caused occasional lapses of judgement by some. Some interesting circuit procedures, scattering the crowd, may see Chris on checkrides for some time to come. Weak conditions prevented Paul from re-enacting a Normandy assault with his scale Waco Assault Glider. Phil decided his Zagi would be safer inside the communications compound, so flew it there. No-one went home without the requisite amount of exercise, tramping up and down the hill, and no significant casualties were reported. See you there next year!... Peter

Easter Weekend Flying 14-17 April 2006

We flew all 4 days over the Easter Weekend. On Friday we only had 4 flights before the rain got us. On Saturday there were about 10 flights, the wind on the ground was 15 to 20 knots and stronger at height. I got 2,800 ft on the wire in the PW-6. On Sunday the wind was only a few knots. Terry Bellair went cross-country to Wedderburn then to Dunolly and home. On Monday it was fairly stable and climbs topped out at 3'500, local flying was the only thing on the cards even for Terry and his iron thermal. The club might be going to The Lake Boga Flying Boat Museum just before the May meeting. I will bring it up at the meeting next week.Craig

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