Morning Glory Clouds of the Gulf of Carpentaria

Morning Glory 1998

1998 Morning Glory Expedition

An excellent year - mostly. Nine or ten gliders including a Stemme S10 turned up, and almost everyone had a wave day. One wave took four gliders about half-way across the Gulf where the system was intercepted by a previously unknown westerly wave which broke things up and forced us to turn back. However, we all had excellent rides and covered around 250 miles in under three hours, mostly at full steam. We had 6 wave days over the three weeks or so we stayed, and this year Rob & I timed things right by leaving the morning after the last wave. The wave we soared across the Gulf was of only average strength and size - nowhere near the dimensions of the '94 monster.

The '98 fleet included 3 Zhimango's, 2 Grob 109's, a Monerai, an IS28M2, a Stemme S10 and the amazing MotorFalke from Byron Bay which distinguished itself by doing the most graceful chandelles on the Morning Glory. Alan Pilkington of Byron Bay turned up in his Grumman Tiger, and at least one other powerplane arrived carrying more gliding groupies.

The hang-gliders, however, had a very dry year. Not one cloud came over their take-off area to the north of Burketown, so their long wait was in vain - again. They left for the Cape to attempt the night flight once more, but the main support vehicle, driven by PK, broke down, making the flight impossible. It was a rather unhappy crew which returned to Newcastle, after three poor years in a row. It seems unlikely that many hang-gliders will be back next year with the waves proving so elusive.

If you haven't done so already, I recommend you read the account in the Oct '98 Australian Gliding of last years expedition.

Triple Pete was unable to come in '98, alas. He pranged on Saturday 18th April. Triple Pete - The Man Who Fell to Earth
However, we're expecting him in '99 - perhaps not in his own aircraft, but aloft nonetheless.

Accommodation appears to be at a premium for the last two weeks of September. There may still be rooms at the Burketown Pub, and the Caravan Park may have a van or two, but I think Escott and Savannah are full. For those of us staying at Escott, I have arranged transportation from there to the BKT strip each morning - it will mean starting about 20 minutes earlier than usual. We can land back at Escott for breakfast, and shuffle planes and stuff around later in the day to make ready for the following morning's activities.

If you haven't already done so, you may wish to read Pilot Notes.
You may also be interested in flight data from earlier years.

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