On 1 January 2022, five flights of over 1,000km were flown, including the first one that GCV member Ryan Driscoll has achieved. He flew 1,023 km at 114 kph in a Nimbus 3 25.5m
1 January 2022
Adam Woolley 1,115km 124kph Ventus 3T 18m Kingaroy Soaring Club Temora
Tobias Geiger 1,049km 122kph Ventus 2ax Gliding Club of Victoria Benalla
John Orton 1,048km 125kph ASG 29 18m Gliding Club of Victoria Benalla
Richard Traill 1,006km 117kph ASG 29 18m Melbourne Gliding Club Wangaratta
Ryan Driscoll 1,023km 114kph Nimbus 3 25.5m Gliding Club of Victoria Benalla
ZBV is my dad’s Nimbus. He has owned it since 1994, before I was born. I’ve been washing its wings since I could hold a chamois, and I was endorsed to fly her just days prior to 1 January. The 1,000km was my second cross country flight in the ship. I felt a bit like a teenager who steals the keys to the parents' car and goes for a burn. My dad, Shaun Driscoll, has come close but hasn’t flown 1,000km yet.
I flew from Benalla to Rainbow, a small town north of Horsham, then to Mildura in the northwest corner of the state, then back to Benalla via Deniliquin.
I started the flight a little later than might have been advisable, but made good time racing north from rainbow to Mildura in convergence under 8/8 cloud cover. I turned Mildura at 5.30pm and got to a final glide of 60:1 by Deniliquin. I sat on best LD (60:1) for the rest of the flight, other than taking a couple of extra 100ft climbs at 8pm for safety. I landed five minutes before last light.
It was a flight with many components, getting low at the start and end, and heights up to 13,500ft. In some sections, I was cruising at 230 kph with big pull ups. There were sections with 100% cloud cover, completely blue sections, bushfires and flight over areas of unlandable terrain.
I flew 1,023km at a speed of 114km/h, for 9hrs and 17minutes flightime, landing at 8.25pm.
Thanks to everyone who helped me achieve this flight, with the magnificently looked-after glider VH-ZBV, the borrowed oxygen system and help to prepare and launch. It was definitely not a one-man achievement.
Well, that was a lot of fun. Sadly, I misread SkySight and underset the task. I managed 790km declared at 151kph, then went on to free fly 1,100km. It was another awesome day in the skies and a personal best for me – 1,115km at 122kph.
I finished at altitude and continued on to max out the day. I am blown away by the performance, feel and energy of the V3 – and loving every flight!