Before I’d started my glider training at Taupo Gliding Club in New Zealand, I had sought some opinions on solo in a week courses at various places, including an online forum for the Condor gliding simulator. A member of that forum, Vic, had done his training at Taupo and was going to be there the same week I eventually decided to do the course.
We shared the on-field digs, had dinner together a few times in Taupo and generally shared the training for a few days. Nice guy – he told me he wanted to fly at Omarama to experience wave flying and flying in the alps.
Omarama is like Mecca for sailplane pilots (for any glider pilots reading please excuse this primer). It’s a small town in New Zealand’s south island and a combination of mountains and prevailing westerlies result in amazing gliding conditions, including wave flying. Some private operations provide gliding tours and training (a bit like African safaris) and many gliding enthusiasts plan to make a pilgrimage to Omarama at least once in their lives. The world gliding Grand Prix races have been held there in 2006 and 2007.
Well, Vic clearly achieved his goal. Last time I’d seen him at Taupo he had progressed to flying solo in one of the club’s single seater PW5s, and now, here was a photo of him, at 17,000 feet, oxygen canulla in place, in wave over Omarama.
Well done that man!
I emailed him to get the good oil and he told me a little more about it.