Heathcote Soaring League (HSL) is a radio controlled glider club, based at Maddens Plains, 58 klms south of the Sydney CBD. HSL is involved in slope soaring, thermal duration, aero-tow and scale soaring.
We welcome new members whose primary interest is to fly radio controlled sailpanes, electric sailplanes or oldtimer models. We do not encourage Sports power models to fly at the Club site. Pilots who wish to fly power models, will be directed to one of the many Clubs in the region, who specialise in power flying, and whose club flying fields and operating procedures have been developed specifically for that purpose. HSL strongly encourages all members to achieve a competency level equivalent to LSF Level I. Speak with, or contact, one of the committee members to get an LSF accomplishment form and perform the tasks, to gain your level 1 competancy. We have Glider Instructors, who can instruct and test pilots for the Gold and Bronze wings, Glider, awards. MAAA membership is required to fly at Maddens Plains.
Club and Membership Information
Membership fees are due now. Payment must be in before 1/7/16. If you haven't renewed your Club membership for 2016 - 2017, or are not a member, then you are not permitted to fly at the Club field. The land is leased to HSL Inc and is private property, for the use of members and guests. You must have current MAAA affiliation and Public Liability Insurance to fly at Maddens Plains. There is a .pdf renewal form or a membership application form for dowload, on the 'Club and Membership' page of this website.
Millennium Cup 2m Span Competition 2016
The weather forecast for the Newcastle area for Sunday the 22nd May 2016 was for sunshine, dry conditions and with light winds and this is what we got. Whatever winds there were came from the north and the temperature rose into the mid 20s making it very pleasant for flying.
We had a good turn out of 17 competitors at the Salt Ash field. We got to it just after 0900 and completed five rounds before breaking for lunch at midday. When we resumed after lunch we completed a further 3 rounds before calling it a day at around 1430.
The conditions were very good and many pilots were able to achieve times near the six minute target time and some struggled to get down in time to land. Some pilots were able to work their way up to good height.
There were a few incidents during the day despite the relatively benign conditions. Les Morris aircraft, on the first flight of the day, refused to respond to any inputs during the launch and went in hard due to some inexplicable failure in the transmitter or the aircraft electronics. Phil Whitehouse's v-tail aircraft had flutter develop in the tail which resulted in the ruddervators partly being detached and control of the aircraft became impossible.
Klaus Metzger who was flying an electric powered aircraft capable of about a 160m launch was flying it just before lunch as a wedgetail eagle was in the area. The eagle took a few looks at Klaus's aircraft and moved off only to return with enhanced attitude and 'grabbed' the tail of Klaus's aircraft and it then spiralled into the ground. The aircraft was quickly repaired and flew again.
Quite a few pilots took visits to the bushes near the landing spots to recover aircraft after their aircraft had been captured by the shrubbery while in landing approaches. Kevin Weston on one flight got his aircraft on the spot only by threading a needle and flying in between two bushes when on approach.
After eight completed rounds the scores were tallied and the winner on the day was Jack Murphy. Congratulations Jack. Fred Lodden came in second, with Clive Warman taking third place.
See the days results, by clicking here -
NOTE: The next round of the 2016 Millennium Cup will be held at Gloucester over the weekend of the 24th and 25th of September, 2016.
HSL F5J Competition 2016
We had a good day of flying for this F5J event. The forecast was for showers and strong winds from the south, swinging to the SE and abating during the day. We were fortunate to not get any rain at all during the day. The winds were indeed strong from the south and didn't swing much at all and nor did they abate. We had 14 pilots enter the competition.
Most of the 2.5m class planes spent their flights just pointed into the wind and even slowing drifting backwards. Only a few pilots actually circled and notably I think only Don Farrar and Klaus Metzger followed lift downwind any distance. Despite the challenging conditions we had no attrition and all pilots were still competing to the end of the day.
We flew 3 heats per round and this allowed us to cycle the PA and scoring duties around amongst many pilots.
We got underway at around 0930 and we completed four rounds before a break for lunch, A further three rounds were completed after lunch. At that point a pilots meeting was called to ascertain whether the majority wanted to press on for an eighth round, but the consensus was to call it a day with seven completed rounds.
With the scores tallied in the computer the results were -
1st Phil Stevenson, 2nd Jack Murphy, 3rd Colin Woodward
1st Ken Woodward, 2nd Stephen Weatherstone, 3rd Rob Watson
Congratulations to the place getters.
NOTE: The next F5J event will be at Nowra on the 1st of May 2016.
The results of this round, can be seen by clicking on this link
HSL Thermal Duration Club Competition 2016
Round 4 of the 2016 Heathcote Soaring League Club Championship was held on Sunday 28th August, in varying conditions. The forecast was for light winds from the north and mild temperatures with no rain.
Upon arrival at the field there was a fresh to strong westerly wind with a slight southerly component. So we set up winches to launch to the south.
We had 11 members enter the event six electric class pilots and five winch launch pilots.
We ran each type of launch class in their own heat. So it was the man on man format. The electric pilots were scored as for F5J as this was seen to be of the least impact to those that had loggers already installed as they didn't require any changes to their configurations. The electric pilots did fly a 10 minute target in 12 minutes of working time as this removed the requirement for a PA to control and broadcast the normal F5J 10 minute time.
We got going at 10am.
As the day wore on the wind began to ease off and it swung to be from the south although even then it changed direction from time to time, but still predominantly from the south.
We had a break just after midday for lunch then got going again a little after 1pm and concluded flying operations at around 2:20pm.
Many pilots were able to record times very close to the 10 minute target, even earlier in the day when the wind was very fresh.
First place in winch launch was taken by Clive Warman with Jack Murphy and Kevin Weston filling the next two places.
First place in the electric group was Don Farrar with Phil Stevenson and Keith Lindsay taking the minor places.
NOTE: Round 5 of the 2016 HSL Club Championship is on the 16th of October 2016. See you there.
The current standings for the Club Competition, can be seen by clicking on this link
The results of the last combined Club Electric Competition, can be seen by clicking on this link
The results of the last round, can be seen by clicking on this link
HSL Heathcote Cup Competition 2016
This year we had one good day and one difficult of flying at Maddens Plains over the two days.
Saturday was sunny all day with fresh winds from the SSW swinging around to the south. It was clear and sunny all day. We had nine pilots enter the competition. Flying started at 10:00am and finished at around 3:15pm after completing 6 rounds. In the time before we broke for lunch there some pockets of good lift about.
We broke for lunch a little after midday but when we resumed at about 12:50 the wind had picked up and was strong at times. The lift had also become much more difficult to find and most flights were short of the 10 minute target time. There were many relaunches as pilots sought to improve their times after having initially being unable to find lift.
At the end of the day the results were computed and Colin Woodward was the winner from Jack Murphy and Don Farrar. The leading competitor in the 2 metre class was Fred Lodden. Colin scored six straight 1000 point flights which is impossible to better. Congratulations Colin.
The conditions on Sunday were strong winds from the south. The conditions were sunny but quite cool due to the strong wind. We had no rain at any time.
After midday it became partly cloudy, but nothing low enough to impact flying operations. We had just six pilots enter the competition. This created a bit of a dilemma as this low number is insufficient for the running of the man-on-man format that we would prefer. So after a discussion it was decided that the Heathcote Cup would be awarded based on the Day 1 results and that Day 2 would be held using the 4, 6, 8, 10 and 10 minute format.
We started flying operations at 9:30.
Steve Weatherstone immediately struck problems on his first launch as the line broke near the parachute upon release of the model. His model only gained about 10m of altitude. He recovered it with a nice landing but the momentum of the winch caused some loose loops of line to be thrashed on the winch and the line needed replacing. After a long period of working on the line replacement, on Steve's next launch his newly repaired and cleaned up model had the wing break at the repair joint in the wing when subject to the heavy loads afforded by the strong headwind during launch. The model looked pretty sad when it was recovered.
The difficult conditions resulted in just two flights of 10 minute duration during the day. Flying concluded just after 1pm.
At the end of the competition the winner for Day 2 was Don Farrar with Colin Woodward in second place and Klaus Metzger in third. The sole entrant in the 2m class was Fred Lodden who took that out by default.
With the results from Day 1 determining the Heathcote Cup for 2016, this was won by Colin Woodward. Runner up was Jack Murphy and Don Farrar came in third.
The results Day 1, can be seen by clicking on this link
The results Day 2, can be seen by clicking on this link