T67M wrote:I need something a lot stronger! Let me think - no gyro instruments, no radio, no transponder, no idea of the cloudbase above terrain, apparently no idea of the terrain elevation, but still no problem legally.... But don't you dare try that if you have an engine.
Actually they broke quite a lot of rules, flying IMC in NZ (where it is from) requires rating, instrumentation and clearance. In UK you need instruments and if you fly on an LAPL(S) or SPL - which you will need next year - you need a cloud flying rating. In class G as you know no clearance is needed. Doing this in UK you would be in trouble with the CAA and your club, so it's definitely not "no problem".
In NZ IMC for gliders is slightly different in its definitions from UK, however rules do not stop people making errors - as shown here. There was good commentary on all the errors by a NZ gliding instructor which has been removed from YouTube - presumably as this is subject to official investigation.
Watching it made me feel very ill, as a glider pilot with some ridge experience you can see the situation developing quite clearly and there were a number of opportunities to rescue the situation . Presumably a court case or official investigation will find out the exact facts. Basically at about 1:30 they should have turned right into clear air on the upwind side of the ridge away from the orographic, and done a "beat" back in the lift gaining height in clear air. Instead were lured into drifting downwind of the ridge (not enough lay-off into wind on their track), then resultant heavy sink taking them down into cloud with all the problems.
Shows the dangers of orographic cloud which can build very quickly in the right(wrong) conditions. AFAIK they recovered on the downwind side of the ridge and landed in a field undamaged - at least till the NZ CAA , their CFI and the other club members get hold of them!