Sunday, December 13, 2009. A group of glider enthusiasts wrote a small piece of aviation history. Finally, after two years of preparation, we managed to launch two gliders with a winch for the first time in the Philippines.

First Glider Flight

Weather in Nampicuan was perfect. Crosswind, 10 kt, cumulus developing at around 10 am with 1650m cloud base.

Engineer Jonathan has prepared his self-made winch. Eric Monnier, glider pilot from France, working for Cebu Pacific came with friends from Manila. He was the winch operator. Dirk Verhaeren, Belgian glider pilot visited us from Manila with his girlfriend.

Walter Narath, glider flight instructor from the Alpine Gliding School in Unterwoessen, Germany, flew in from Germany the night before. Albert Mendoza, Filipino trike pilot and instructor joined with a friend.

I decided to test the winch with the single seater Ka-8  first. Eric on the winch did a perfect job. He towed me up to 260m, unexpected for the short runway. I managed to find good lift right from the start, 0,3 m/s first, developing up to 1.5 m/s. The first glider flight in the Philippines took 1 hour 40 min ! Comments from the ground “lunch is ready” were ignored. How could we get a better start? ! The first flight proves those wrong, who said, that gliding is not possible in this country. I know, there will be many great flights ahead of us.

The second pilot was Walter Narath. I operated the winch and he got up to 300m. Wind was getting stronger and it got more difficult to find thermals.

Later I tested the Ka-7 two seater glider. Eric, not sure about how heavy the glider is, towed it up with very good speed. It brought the glider up to 250m, also an unexpected good height for the airfield.

Many smiling faces

L-R: Eric Monnier, French glider pilot; Jonathan Tayamora, Engineer - constructor of the winch; Walter Narath, German glider pilot; Rolf & Sven Dunder; Joyce Yuen - Rolf's wife; Dirk Verhaeren, Belgian glider pilot

Overall a great achievement. We will now establish a regular gliding activity.

Whoever wants to join in, never hesitate to contact me.


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