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Gliding records fall at Tocumwal

Four visitors to Tocumwal, who came just for the opportunity to fly, have snared 10 gliding records between them.

January 9, 2013 4:12am

Terry Ryan, John Buchanan, SportAviation chief flying instructor Eddie Madden, Pam Kurstjens and Makoto Ichikawa.


At least 10 records have been broken at the Tocumwal Aerodrome this summer alone, SportAviation has revealed.

SportAviation chief flying instructor Eddie Madden said one of the records broken locally was an international record.

Makoto Ichikawa broke the Japanese speed record on January 5, after flying a 100km triangle at 176.6km/h.

Terry Ryan set another record by flying a total distance of 1024km, including a 906km triangle, starting at Tocumwal.

He declared a 780km triangle starting at Tocumwal, turning at Booligal and Condoblin, and reached a maximum height of 14,000ft around West Wyalong.

Terry flew around rain showers and storms to complete the journey.

Pam Kurstjens broke the Australian Women’s Open Class speed record with a flight on January 5.

She completed a 750km out and return route, to a turning point 377km north of Tocumwal to north of Mount Hope Airfield.

Pam started the journey at 1pm and finished at about 6.30pm.

Sunshine Coast (Qld) man John Buchanan also completed his 750km journey from Tocumwal on January 5. He returned with seven world records under his belt.

John flew from Tocumwal to the north, past Mount Hope and then returned.

‘‘The flight started fairly slowly for the first 200km but then I contacted the stronger conditions associated with the trough line and thermal climbed to 12,500 feet,’’ John said.

‘‘From here, I flew fast under all the big cumulus clouds a further 180km to the north and turned at my pre-declared turning point.

‘‘My run home under 13,000 foot cumulus only used a few climbs at 1000ft per minute, and I mostly cruised at speeds up to 220km/h.’’

By the time he arrived back at Tocumwal, John’s average speed for the day was 162km/h. This gave the adventurer seven Australian records, as his small glider also beat existing ‘out and return’ records for larger wing span gliders over distances of 300km, 500km and 750km out and return flights.

Mr Madden said Tocumwal was well known as a destination in the flying fraternity, and said these successes would only help the reputation of local flying conditions.

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