They Glide Through The Air


Sunday Herald


This is an interesting newspaper article by Jack Percival commencing with the following quaint wording   ...
"Extraordinary things have been happening in that world of freedom far above us ... the gliding fraternity".
Percival also reports on a British Empire height gain record of 23,800 ft being set at Narromine by Martin Warner of Sydney and comments as follows...  
"What is the background to these and similar gliding feats?"
  "He rode the rising air currents"
   Warner's record flight ended disastrously with a rain-influenced paddock landing and damage to the glider.
Percival quotes skywriting and gliding pioneer (and author) Fred Hoinville on the subject of the prevailing ab-initio training method for glider pilots at that time as follows ...
"... the first step in training a glider pilot is to drag the learner in a single-seater along the ground with a shortened tow rope. Thus he is taught the uses of the aileron and rudder controls. The next step is to allow the pupil to become air-borne about five feet above the ground. After that, if all goes well, the tow-rope is gradually lengthened. When the student reaches proficiency he is cast loose."
A founding member (1946) of the Hinkler Soaring Club, Fred Hoinville was foundation secretary (1949) of the Gliding Federation of Australia. On 11 January 1949 he broke the Australian gliding distance record, covering 221 miles (356 km) from Peak Hill NSW to Collarenebri NSW in 7 hours 15 minutes. He was killed in 1959 when his motorised glider crashed at Goulburn. In his honour, the GFA's Hoinville Award was originally awarded to the dux of the Instructor Training Course at the National Gliding School. Time passed and the function of the NGS was changed and it is now awarded to a nominated GFA member who has rendered outstanding service in the field of Operations. Amongst the Queenslanders to have been recipients of the prestigious Hoinville award have been Max Howland, Maurie Bradney (while in South Australia), Don Scott, Gus Mauch, Bill Keys and John Clayton.
Check out the full newspaper article here ...  
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