Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Soaring and art - more inspiration

9 June 2011

An article in the Sydney Morning Herald today, with Australian artist John Olsen inspired by the view of Australia from the air.

This is how Olsen sees the Australian landscape. When he flew across Lake Eyre in May, the lake was filling with water from recent floods. With two young artists, Guy Maestri and Luke Sciberras, he sang bushmen's songs and looked for shapes and stories in the landscape below. A squid made of vegetation, a fish of salt, a shadow shaped like a woman's leg. Says Olsen "Unless you fly over it, you just don't get it,'' he says. ''That's the thing I've found about Australia - it's best viewed from the air. That gives the proper scale to it.''
I think this encapsulates nicely my thoughts about gliding and art - that the unique viewpoint and intimacy of gliding can provide a special artistic inspiration.

Southern Cross Gliding Club "Recruitment" Video

A few months ago I was out at the club when the Club President was doing some filming with one of the club's scholarship students (the club provides reduced membership and free air time to eligible students). Pretty neat to see the cameraman fitting HD cameras to one of our ASK-21s.

This is the result, and I am the fat bastard waving off and running the wing at the start of the video.

(For some reason the Blogger embedder can't find the Youtube video, so here's a link instead.)

Southern Cross Gliding Video

Electronic pilot's log

8 June 2011

I spent some time last night entering all my flights into an Excel-based electronic glider pilots log that I sourced from Roger's Soaring Blog (thanks for making it Roger!). It's a pretty good free resource and helped me find I'd made a counting error in my printed logbooks (NZ and Australian) and confirm that I'm rubbish at adding up time!

Accordingly, I find I have more hours and six more flights than I thought I had (I had strangely duplicated some flight numbers, so my numbers in my printed logbook went 55, 50, 51 etc). I've corrected them now, making my messy logbook even messier.

I can encourage anyone reading the blog to download Roger's file and give it a try. It provides some useful summary tables by type, periods etc. Most of the alternative electronic logbooks cost bucks! I will probably password-protect it and upload it to Google docs.

Another positive side of going through my old books was it revived nice memories of past flights.    

Monday, June 6, 2011

Wave over New Zealand

7 June 2011

I travelled to Christchurch New Zealand last week for work related to reconstruction of their transport system after the February 2011 earthquake. I was heading out to the airport early on the morning of my flight back, when I noticed obvious lenticular clouds over the city.

I got my Blackberry out when I was on the plane at the gate and took a few photos, but they didn’t come out very well. However, I got some better shots from the air, as we crossed the alps.

While the phone-camera isn’t the best, the photos are good enough to show the characteristic curved tops of the lennies and to show some stacking of the clouds. Pretty neat.

Being a Saturday, I expected to see some wave flights on the Online Contest (OLC), but there appears to be no flights in NZ that weekend (there was a fair bit of other cloud about, so that may have shut things down).