Sunday, December 16, 2007

Drinking and Flying -- Paolo Ruzzier

After reading Vic's letter in the November 2007 SAMAA NEWS (Letters to the editor) I for one want to give my full support to his letter and statements.

Alcohol, as Vic says, is widely accepted around the world. However, South Africans somehow think they can do it better than anyone else; they don't drink alcohol for the taste, enjoyment or relaxing feeling it may give them. Refusing to have "just one" but drinking as much as they can until they fall over absolutely motherless - thinking everyone sees them as real heroes, believing whatever crap comes out of their mouths.

The next day they feel absolutely terrible; have hangovers yet STILL brag about how much they had to drink. Then it's "LET'S HAVE AN OTHER ONE - HAIR OF THE DOG THAT BIT YOU", after which they get into their cars, driving themselves and maybe even their families to shopping centers or flying fields still trying to prove to all and sundry what heroes they are; totally oblivious to the fact that everyone is looking at them thinking "What a stupid fool you are, is this what "Proudly South African means?

I don't even want to comment on the fools doing drugs; they are equally stupid to be involving themselves in such a practice. What's the matter; is there not enough information out there telling you what the effects are? Statistics have proven the damage caused over and over again telling of the great expense to the victims. It's spoken about on radio; television; the news papers but there are always those who know better.

Chaps, we can see when you've been drinking; if you are an alcoholic or under the influence of drugs. I for one don't enjoy your stupidity or foul language, every second word coming from your mouth being f---; a clear sign of ignorance and lack of vocabulary. Our children hear you; our wives and girlfriend hear you but you don't care. You are disgusting to be around but all you can say is "If you don't like it then don't join"!

The fact is we want you to get lost; get out of our environment, club and presence. There will of course always be some idiots hanging around you; scared that if they don't join in they'll be regarded as sissies and nurds " yet another sign of ignorance.

After 34 years in active service on our airline, I have seen the experts drinking and what it did to them through the years. They were the guys who didn't drink eight hours before flying; supposedly being "sober" when boarding the aircraft to do probably eight or more hours of flying, taking not just their own but the lives of others in their hands.

Slurred speech; slow hesitant thinking; inability to problem solve; looking old and haggard; bad body odour; bad breath; lack of balance; suffering from cancer and all sorts of other diseases; short miserable life spans...I can go on and on. Yes I know you tell everyone you don't drink that much and can stop any time; believe me now - YOU CAN'T; YOU NEED HELP!

I can safely say to you drunken bums out there (and you know who you are) that if any of my family, friends or anyone I know gets injured or killed through your drunken stupidity - be it on the road, flying field airport or wherever you will NEVER hear the end of it until your dying day. That is a promise and vow that many, in fact the greater majority of our community have made. Get the message, "We do not want to be associated with you in any way"!

If you really have to drink, do it at home; then you can drink as much as you like, fall over and make a complete "stupid ice hole" of yourself. Or, go to a pub and get someone to take you home afterwards. Give your car keys to someone responsible that you trust, telling them not to give them back to you until you are sober again,

For crying out loud; THINK! How will you feel if you wipe out a child or a family? What if it is a member of your own family or a friend? Now read my lips "OUR FLYING FIELDS OR CLUBS ARE NOT PUBS"!

I want to see responsible people enjoying a good day of expert flying; hoping even to learn and improve my flying and aeronautical skills without having to deal with idiots who refuse to abide by club rules just because it doesn't suit them. If you understand the statement which I have made here, I hope it will make the difference for you, however if you feel insulted about what I have said, then maybe this applies to you and you should take more notice! I feel very strongly about this matter, and I hope it will open at least someone's eyes out there.

Paolo Ruzzier; SAMAA Membership # 1542

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Paragliding / Slope Soaring Guinea Pig -- Sinjun Weston

The first question comes to mind, what the hell is a paragliding / slope soaring article doing in the SAMAA news??

Well this is my experience with both!!

+-300 Km's from Johannesburg, lies a beautiful valley. The Bambi Paragliding Club operates from a 220m high Slope and for all those Non-Power Peasants out there, the valley release is indescribable.

What is valley release you might ask?? Aha - I see you swing a prop from time to time. No, it's not some vintage wine of the 90's just waiting to be opened.
Come 15h00 in summer and 16h00 in winter, the 15 km long valley releases all the built up heat it's collected during the day. The heat flows out the sides of the valley in the form of waves of lift. Sometimes as much as 6m/s on a good day
The lift is like silk and usually extends sometimes as much as 500m away from the slope. Height gains of over a km can be attained but the average is about 300m

This is where the slope soaring Guiney pig came into his own. Usually on a good day, there would be around 10 paragliding pilots all kitted up and ready to roll. No-one of course would want to go off first, the reason being that if the valley release had not started or was still too weak, one would end up with a very long climb back to the top of the mountain. Usually with 20kg of equipment on ones back.
To top it all, one would miss out on some good flying in the process

At this point, my trusty old Aquila would be launched and within a matter of minutes, I would be able to 'paint' the sky with the lift patterns. On some days, I would get it wrong and the first PG pilot to take off would scratch and curse all the way down to landing. Ah well they didn't listen in class!!!!

By the time they got back up the slope, I'd be at 300m above ground level and soaring like an eagle.

Sinjun Weston

I'm sure the pilots visiting the Volksrust site have noticed the "Valley Release" effect.

Gliding postal scores for 2007 and comments for Nov from John Lightfoot

Scores here.
Comments here.

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