Gliders fly high

February 07, 2018

Southern Riverina Gliding Club president Ingo Renner (middle) with record setters Christina Solberg (left) and Birgitte Oerskov.

Two members of the Southern Riverina Gliding Club broke numerous Danish records over the past two months.

Birgitte Oerskov from Herning, Denmark broke three records for two seater glider on December 13 with her husband Jorgen.

Those records were:

●Longest out and return flight, undeclared, 896km.

●Longest out and return flight, declared before start, 884km.

●Fastest 750km out and return flight with 115 km/h.

Mrs Oerskov last month broke a further eight Danish gliding records, this time with fellow Dane Christina Solberg from Aarhus.

On January 18, the pair broke the record for fastest 300km triangle with 92 km/h.

The following day, another seven records fell, including:

●Longest out and return flight, undeclared, 325km.

●Longest out and return flight, declared, 322km.

●Longest distance flight using max. 3 waypoints, undeclared, 428km.

●Longest distance flight using max. 3 waypoints, declared, 421km.

●Longest distance flight, straight line, undeclared, 166km.

●Longest distance flight, straight line, declared, 161km.

●Fastest 300km out and return flight with 103km/h, a record previously set by Mrs Oerskov in 2010.

All record-breaking flights originated from Tocumwal Aerodrome.

Mrs Oerskov said one of the biggest challenges was finding a co-pilot.

‘‘I wanted to break these records so I needed to find a pilot, and reached out for someone on Facebook before coming to Australia,’’ she said.

‘‘Christina and I didn’t meet until she arrived in Tocumwal; she struggled a bit with the heat and jetlag.

‘‘She only had two year’s experience with gliding and didn’t know the tactics so I made the decisions but still did a fantastic job.’’

The Oerskovs have been members of Southern Riverina Gliding Club in Tocumwal since 2013 and have been coming to the region since 2008 when they were members of the Australia Soaring Centre in Corowa.

A typical day for the couple can start at late morning and land just after sunset.

Mr Oerskov said the region’s ‘‘perfect dry heat’’ is why the couple comes for the Australian summer every year.

‘‘It is very hot on the ground but we avoid the rice fields because of the moisture so we avoid travelling near Griffith.

‘‘This region has no air space so we can fly freely.

‘‘We average heights of 3000 to 3500 metres and last week went as high as 5000 metres.

‘‘Because of the air, we can travel as far as Broken Hill and back in one flight.

‘‘There are some areas you can land and the farmer might invite you for dinner.

‘‘The club here in Tocumwal is fantastic, the facilities are great and it attracts many international gliders to the region,’’ Mr Oerskov said.

Mrs Oerskov has been gliding for 47 years and Mr Oerskov for 55 years.

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