The following are three short stories by Dave D
a keen flyer in Melbourne, Australia.

1 The Flying Transmitter
Some years ago a group of us went flying our sailplanes at Hastings - a small town on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria, Australia. After a few satisfying flights, I decided to have a break. After checking out where my glider landed, about mid field, I switched off my transmitter – aerial still fully extended, and placed it on the ground next to my glider. As it was a rather warm day, I decided to seek refuge in some shade, leaving all my equipment still out on the field. Whilst relaxing and watching others do their flying, I noticed one chap, who had a particularly good launch with his glider, appear to have some strange black object attached to his to tow line which was swaying to and fro, as his glider began its steep ascent. For one confusing moment, I thought I was witnessing the first 'Aerial Birth' of a glider. Dismay turned to shock. When I glanced down the field, I noticed my glider still on the ground where I left it, but no transmitter in sight. Running towards the pilot, I let out an anxious shriek, "Look at your tow line." The pilot looked high up into the sky with surprise, only to see an object swaying from the line. He had the presence of mind to keep his glider attached to the line. Flying from side to side, the pilot managed to lose height gradually, Eventually he landed both his glider and my transmitter - still attached to the line, without a scratch. I suppose it does bring a safety aspect into play. The lesson is obvious. Make sure both your glider and transmitter, and any other equipment for that matter, are placed behind the launching line.

2 The Boomerang
This adventure is about one of my rudder / elevator thermal models. On this particular day I had one of those beautiful launches all sailplane flyers love to have. You know, the one where you launch straight into a thermal. The weather bureau had forecast moderate winds, however a change was to come through during the day. Anyway back to my beautiful launch. There I was with my plane, circling higher and higher in a solid thermal. Great stuff! Eventually, I came out of the thermal, but shortly after locked into an even bigger thermal, taking my glider still higher. My glider then started to drift fairly quickly to the north. Maybe it was in some sought of wind shear. I attempted to turn the glider around, but there was no response. I tried everything to turn the model back to no avail. By now it was a speck in the sky. A cold chill of fear gripped me. As I watched my model go out of sight, I resigned myself to the fact that another one of my models had gone to China - literally. If you live in China, then I guess you would say it went to Australia. Then after several minutes, I took one more look in the sky, and lo and behold a tiny object appeared. Believe it or not, my glider had returned, cavorting and porpoising around the sky and heading in my direction. Well, didn’t I breathe a sigh of relief. I quickly grabbed my transmitter, turned it on and started to wiggle the sticks in the hope of gaining some sort of control. Eventually I did. I put my machine into a slow spiral dive to lose some of the massive height my glider had gained. Finally I straightened it up and brought my machine in for a magic landing. Thank heavens for that early wind change that returned my glider.

3 Lost in Space
Well, another day out, another great launch off the bungie and another big thermal to be had. And yes you guessed it. I lost contact once again with my glider. This time it never came back, and that was that. A couple of months later, a mate off mine turned up at my home and said he believed he had found my glider. What transpired was truly amazing. It seemed that a truck driver, who had been contracted to remove some trees from a paddock about five kilometres from the flying site, had come across my glider. He was a bit bewildered as to what to do with it. So he took the model home and there it remained for two months. One day the truck driver went to a printer on business. As he was going into the premises, he noticed a glider similar to mine in the back of someone’s station wagon. This lead him to tell his story to the assistant behind the counter. The truck driver was surprised to learn that the assistant knew who owned the model. The assistant in-turn told a mate of mine and you know the rest. Apart from a few 'hoof prints' embedded in the wings of my T-Bird, the model was repairable and is still flying today.