Morning Glory Cloud

Morning Glory Cloud
Morning Glory over Massacre Inlet (photo: Diane Davey)

Monday, September 27, 2010

Tropical Charleville

I went to sleep last night thinking about what the weather would do today. The bureau website forcasted clear skies and fine weather in Charleville, whilst the aviation weather (NAIPS) forecast was sounding less promising. Interesting as I believe they both come from the same place - go figure. The morning's updated forecasts did nothing to clarify things, so I thought going to the airport and having a look myself would be the best thing to do. Cunnamulla had clear blue skies and virtually no wind. I could see a few small clouds on the north horizon, so decided to give it a go. Before leaving, I reviewed the maps in detail to make sure I had a few options should things change.

Staying clear of rain is particularly important for gliders, including the motor glider I'm flying. The airfoil of the wing is affected by rain (and bugs, hence the importance of cleaning them off at every stop). If the wings are wet, the glide performance drops and the stall speed increases, so you can understand why it's so important to plan accordingly to avoid flying in rain.

There were airfields scattered all along the route, which was comforting, as the clouds were building up a little bit as I got closer to Charleville. I requested weather from Brisbane Centre on the radio to make sure all was well at my destination and they informed me that Charleville was CAVOK, meaning fine weather.

I landed at Charleville and the air had that stormy feel about it. It's hot and humid (thought the hair straightener would come in handy out here!). I could also see that the clouds were buiding up and there was definately going to be rain. I had been looking forward to Charleville so the decision to stay here was an easy one. As it was still early in the day, I took the opportunity to repack things a bit and do the normal fiddle around thing with the motor glider before heading into town.

There is an observatory here which I'll be checking out tonight. Should be able to see stacks of stars so far away from city lights. I'll probably spend tomorrow here as well given the forecast. I may duck out for a quick fly or glide in the morning if there is a good weather window and a break in the schedule for the airliners.

Better sign off and get some dinner before everything shuts! It is the country after all. I've got a few options tonight at least. My options last night were roast pork or roast beef at the only place in town that was open. I chose the pork, and it was really nice!

Photos from today:

Fine weather out of Cunnamulla. Notice airstrip just below the centre of the photo running left to right. There were quite a few bush strips along this leg.

What a great place to spend a Monday morning!

The Falke wanting to play chicken with the Qantas jet.

Wonder if the Falke will get bigger if we add water?

Brisbane Centre's version of CAVOK (wtf???)

Scary looking clouds. Glad we're on the ground!

Every good country town has something up on a pole.

... and a few nice old buildings.

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