Eye on the sky for club with Powerco donation

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Taranaki Gliding Club members will now be able to predict the best weather for taking to the skies, thanks to a Powerco donation.

Powerco has donated a laptop and webcam to the Stratford Airport-based club to help set up a weather station, linked to the club’s website.  The technology will mean club members throughout the region, as well as visiting pilots, will be able to predict and view weather conditions at the airfield before getting there on the day.

Taranaki Gliding Club president John Tullett said the Powerco donation would help increase the club’s weather knowledge.

“This kind of donation is a luxury for us as we are an entirely voluntary organisation and we are always looking for ways to keep our basic gliding operation as cost effective as possible.  There is actually no way this facility could even be contemplated without Powerco’s generosity, as it falls outside our essential operating budget,” Mr Tullett said.

As the weather station will be linked to the club’s website, the technology will benefit local and visiting pilots, he said.

“Taranaki weather is more variable than the day-to-day forecasts predict - it can be raining and blowing in Hawera and New Plymouth, but fine and calm in Stratford, and vice versa.  This facility will help members of the club – none of whom live in Stratford – make calls as to whether the club flies on a particular day and to assess if the conditions are good for local flying, cross country flying, training, or for trial flights.”

Powerco Corporate Affairs Manager Neil Holdom said the company was committed to supporting the communities in which it operates.

“The Taranaki Gliding Club weather camera project is a worthwhile venture, which will not only benefit club members, but many people from the wider community that take trial flights over Taranaki.  Powerco is delighted to be able to assist the club with this project,” Mr Holdom said.

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