This is what happens when one moves far away while knowing that a front will pass in the afternoon. Bruce Cooper replayed precisely the same script as two years ago, the cloud cover over Bariloche at the end of the afternoon being, as foreseen, about 7/8 with heavy rain, Chapelco airport being closed by rain and they were 250km away with winds reaching 160 km/h, gusting 180 km/h, 45° headwind component. Flying 250km in these conditions with only three hours of light and no possible alternate runway was effectively a risk not to take, so they safely landed out at Zapala airport. The pilots suffered a lot to get the glider to the parking area using the engine, which lacked any tie-down facility, so with just a rope between the tow hook and a tree, the glider remained free to move into the wind like a boat, the wings remaining free. Luckily, no big damage. The storm was so violent that our friends didn’t close their eyes during the night, everything was shaking in the hotel!

The following day the return was simpler, with a full day available and 160 km/h of wind that had turned to the northwest, i.e. 45° tailwind component. On the ground at home at 13h LOC then rain starts at 15h, just after having put back the covers. Oops! In this country the northwest wind doesn’t bring anything good, contrary to south Europe.