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Sunday, December 09, 2007

Record Set Sunday

On Sunday the conditions were the best we have ever had at our field, with so much thermal activity about you could stay up with anything, anywhere you liked.
It was about 12h00 when these conditions started. I was actually on landing approach when I picked up a thermal on the western side of the field, which I rode up to speck height. Len launched and started his timer and he too caught a thermal which had him at speck height in minutes. Together we played around , doing whatever we liked. Inverted flying, diving down and riding the thermals back up effortlessly. Len was thrilled because this gave him plenty of stick time on his new Shongololo. Michele Zimmerman also joined us just under the clouds. Eventually he had enough and landed. Then, after 22 minutes Len came in and landed and I stayed up. We started another timer so we could continue recording the flight.
We talked about the thermal duration record and phoned Piet to confirm the time. He told us that I needed to fly for three and a half hours to set up a new SA Thermal Duration Record. (Eish, Man! That is a loooooong time to fly!) That meant that I would have to land at about 15h30. At that time I had been flying for 30 minutes and was getting pretty fatigued. I was so high that I was having trouble seeing the plane. Also, I hadn't come prepared for any record attempt and didn't really know if I would have enough battery capacity for such a long flight.

So Len and I decided that I should rather just set up an official club record of 1 hour.
After an hours flying I came down and landed at 1 hour and 5 minutes.

I was flying my new Vee tail Emoyeni. In the photo above you can see plenty of Charlie Bravo clouds around and with the light winds the thermals moved very slowly, so it was easy to stay with one thermal for ages. The higher you got the bigger they got, so staying up wasn't the problem. The problem was staying focused for so long. For me, a 1 hour flight was enough. To break the SA record will take a mammoth effort of dedication and patience and of course another one of these perfect thermal days.
So there you have it. The Clubs Thermal Duration Record now stands at 1 hour and 5 minutes. Anyone want to try and break it?
Any attempt at breaking it, must be done at the Club of course with at least one other club member as witness.

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