2019 Wave Camp

The Canberra Gliding Club enjoys unique access to high altitude airspace in SE Australia. Over many years we have developed a close and trusted relationship with airspace and aviation regulatory authorities, and negotiated arrangements and legal instruments that allow suitably briefed and qualified pilots to enjoy soaring in the Snowy Mountains Wave Soaring Area (SMWSA). Waypoints and maps for the SMWSA-Low (FL245 to FL300) and SMWSA-High (FL300 and above) are available in a number of formats to suit soaring software. From our site, Rick Agnew achieved the Australian altitude record of 33,000ft in 1995. The Allan Armistead Memorial Trophy is awarded each year for the greatest height gain during the Wave Camp, and it is always hotly contested. Other trophies are under consideration for this year.

The 2019 Wave Camp is being held between the dates 14-22 September 2019. There will be a pre-payable registration fee which is described in the Registration document (see link on the Registration/Essentials page).


Camp Contact(s):  David McIlroy (Club Captain, 0423 788263). Contact us using bunyanwavecamp@iinet.net.au

Accomodation in the area - Pilots come from all over Australia to fly in the Monaro Wave. Bunk House accommodation is available but limited, so booking early is recommended. There are a number of options in and around Cooma. The first two motels listed offer Wave Camp visitors discounted rates and we are working at expanding that number.


Bunyan airfield's geography means we get some very interesting weather conditions: we call it the 'Weather Factory', for good reasons. As glider pilots, we are all very interested in what the weather is going to do during our flights. Prepare well for wave flying!


Soaring conditions


Our site provides good thermal, wave and ridge soaring conditions, sea breeze fronts, convergence zones; a great variety of phenomena that bring fun soaring and occasionally very challenging conditions.  People who fly from our site will learn much about soaring meteorology!


Bunyan airfield is sited on the Monaro plains just north of Cooma, at about 2500ft above mean sea level (AMSL). A valley runs from our airfield north-south past Bredbo and Michelago to the southern suburbs of Canberra, flanked by the Tinderry Ranges to the east, and the main ridge of hills building into the Bridabella Ranges to the west.  The Murrumbidgee River runs alongside the western edge of the valley, past our airfield, then near Cooma doglegs to the northwest into the high country.  The Numeralla River joins the Murrumbidgee about 5km north of Bunyan airfield, running east towards the coastal escarpment.  East of the airfield is high plateau, much of it forested, then steep hills at the escarpment and down to the Bermagui coast.  South of Cooma, the country is rugged high plateau, leading to the rough timber country.  Southwest of the airfield the hills and plateau gradually rise towards Jindabyne and the Snowy mountains.  On a clear day at altitude we can see the main Snowy ranges, Lake Eucumbene and Lake Jindabyne, and down to the Tasman Sea, Montague Island and Mount Dromedary.


This geography means we are subject to both coastal weather effects (sea breezes, coastal convergence zones) and mountain weather (high winds, valley winds, katabatic flows, ridge lift and mountain or lee wave lift), plus the varied terrain can give rise to good thermal conditions for much of the year, even during colder months. Sometimes thermal and wave conditions can combine, with wave affected thermal, and also rotor conditions.  West-northwest winds associated with stable high pressure systems may bring strong wave lift, particularly when wind speed increases with altitude.  On strong wind days, particularly when the wind is south of west, orographic turbulence can flow off the hills west of the airfield, producing strong turbulence and sink. Our training equips pilots to exercise good judgement as to when it is safe to fly, as well as to handle more demanding conditions.




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Canberra Gliding Club operates from Bunyan Airfield, also known as the Cooma Soaring Centre, beside the Monaro Highway, about 12km North of Cooma.

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