Wet Monday

With a promising forecast  a large contingent met up at the club today to fly, alas after heavy rain overnight the airfield was very soft but useable but the flying Gods were determined to keep us on the ground & the weather radar showed a continuous stream of heavy rain flowing off the Bristol Channel straight over the top of us. 

After some consultation we decided that enough was enough at 10:30 (see the attached picture). Thanks to Chrissy for organising the day, regretably the rest of the week looks less than hopeless. Stay safe

John H

Wednesday 14th October at the Park. “A cool autumnal day” 😎.

Good evening fellow aviators.

A cool autumn day at the Park today, with crystal blue skies and glorious sunshine. The upper wind was approx. 20 – 30kts at 060 degrees.

The soaring opportunities were modest, as is to be expected this time of year. But there was some thermal activity and streeting around the Park for the Pilots to enjoy. Greg C managed the longest flight of the day at 49 minutes. Well done Greg 🙂 👍🏻.

The enthusiasm to fly continued all day, with launching only pausing briefly for cable retrieves.

Mike J and John H had a productive day instructing, and Alastair M was on hand to Pilot the Tug for the days aerotows.

Seasonally cool at the Park today, but still a very pleasant and sunshine filled days flying 🙂.

I took a few pictures from the day to share with you all. Hope you enjoy them.

Kind regards.

Damien.

The launch point, was kept busy all day.

A great atmosphere. Everyone mucking in to keep things running smoothly 🙂.

Sunday 11th October – A flurry of activity and training training training

A great day at The Park saw a good turnout on the field with private owners tempted to rig by the last vestiges of a mostly good weather day. Warm in the sun but noticeably chilly when the clouds obscured it!
Lots of training and BI flights saw 2 Puchacz the K21 and the 2 club Astirs on the field. Had the 2 other club aircraft not been in maintenance they might well have made an appearance too. The K6 is currently in the workshop with noticeable patches of skin missing from its wings as part of it’s inspection by the maintenance team.
Dan Weston and Harriet Gamble both undertook flights to continue BI training with Alastair.
Many of our newer younger members were in attendance undergoing continuation training and a number of day member flights were undertaken.
Meanwhile in the clubhouse 5 members undertook the FRTOL exam and successfully passed, a thoroughly worthwhile licence to obtain – see write up in the forthcoming glide angle.

A short circuit to end the day in still conditions

Saturday 10th

It’s been eight months since last instructing, so it was good to be back in GAM today, flying with Harriet and Dan on BI training.

Windy, 20kts NW, but winch launches to 1900ft and thermals for a short period around midday with really quite good climbs. The wave looked enticing early on, but the air was all a bit too unstable for it to be a realistic prospect.

Very few members in attendance though. Don’t be afraid to book a single seater, even if you are only expecting to do a circuit. The new booking schedule will allow four bookings per day. It’s still soarable.

Wednesday, 7th October.

John H. was first up to stress FUY and de-stress himself with an aerobatic air test.  Duly passed,  it was returned to the hangar for John to finish off a few extras before getting it back into service.  Many thanks for all the work, John.

The RASP wind was pretty accurate, 270/10~15 kts, which gave the K21 a first launch of 1600′, above the broken cloudbase.  I was flying it with Mervyn B. and on his second he got us to 1800′, or rather Alec driving the winch did, with light cloud still around 1600′.  Andy took over winching in the afternoon, having already mowed the grass.  Many thanks to both of them for good high launches all day.

Adam took over the K21 to fly Mark S., our latest full member, following his trial flight and subsequent training on his “30 day ticket”.  Keep up the good progress Mark!

Chrissy had the longest flight, thermalling to around 2100′ cloudbase in the early afternoon.  At times, the cloud built up and threatened rain but it didn’t happen ( until I was well on my way home), so we had another useful autumn weekday of flying.

Many thanks to all for helping, even if not themselvs flying,  Phil G.

Tuesday, 29th September.

From the forecasts, we expected a sunny start and a mostly bright day with some Cu.  Indeed, travelling from west of Bristol airport, I was driving into the sun most of the way, until I got to Frome.  Then heading south towards The Park, I could see cloud close to the hill tops.   This was stubborn to clear and resulted in a late start.  Steve and Lesley in the Venture reported cloudbase  of only 700′ at 1030, which improved a little to 900′ when they landed just after 1100.  From then, it did get better.  Four private owners rigged and some good soaring was done, though there was more cloud cover than initially expected.

On the training flights, “Bart” got his first flying in a K21 and we welcomed back Mark S. on his “30 day ticket” and new member Charlie H. ( after escaping from work).

Keith converted to a “complex” type, having to raise and lower the undercarriage on JKW.  He’s done this n.thousand times before, by pressing buttons, flicking switches or small levers but possibly never before by moving  a large painted lever, operating a gravity assisted over-centre system, with no back up – such is the excitement of flying an Astir!

Many thanks to all who kept the launching going on a very pleasant late September day.  Carpe diem;  the rest of the week, into October, isn’t holding much flying promise.

Phil G.

Winter draw(er)s on today

A chilly, windy day, the coolest this autumn to date, provided some testing cross wind launch and landing conditions for those who’d put on their winter woolies, hats and gloves.  Several single seater flights with pilots having no wish try again after getting battered by turbulence.

Heroic Mike Jenks instructed in the Puch all day, managing to find reasonable thermals to extend some flights, but for the most part it was educational, character building, sunny, blue, cold and windy.

We welcomed Bart back after getting himself trapped by Coronavirus restrictions in Crete for the whole summer.  Sadly we had to turn away a couple of visitors as the conditions were not suitable for them today.

Several projects in hand in the hangar involving grease, paint, wires, woodwork and spanners.  

Soon be spring…..

Saturday, 19th and Monday, 21st September

Saturday, we had a brisk north-easterly, which gave some very good winch launches ( Nigel highest with 1900′, I think) but an unusually rough final approach over the fence.

We welcomed back Amy W on a “30 day ticket”, to try the winch launch, having had an aerotow a couple of weeks ago.  Amy has a PPL and flies out of Compton Abbas, so we hope we can convert her to a purer form of flying.

We also welcomed a brand new full member, Charlie H who signed up before taking a trial flight.  He did a solo at Lee-on-Solent  nine years ago, so knew more or less what to expect, though our lush grass and surrounding countryside must surely be more appealing than a hard runway near the sea.

Monday,  Mick undid a few nuts and bolts on the black Landrover; see the photo for what dropped out (sort of), when we raised the lift.  I hope someone knows how to put it back in!

Phil

Sunday 13th September at the Park. “A generous serving of glorious sunshine today, topped off with a soupçon of both Ridge lift and Thermal lift” 😎.

Good evening fellow aviators.

Blue skies and glorious sunshine all day at the Park today, a real seasonal treat at this stage in the year, it felt more like a Sunday in July than one in September.

Todays weather at the Park wasn’t quite right for Cross Country tasks, and locally the opportunities to soar were modest. It was an almost completely blue day with very few clouds. Early in the day the upper wind was approx. 10 – 15kts at 210 degrees, easing to a balmy 5kts later in the day.

There was some Ridge lift early in the day, and later in the day as the wind eased the local south facing slopes that had been baking in todays glorious sunshine started generating thermal lift for the pilots to enjoy. The enthusiasm to fly continued all day with launching  only pausing briefly for cable retrieves.

Mike J had a productive day instructing, Julian R was kept busy flying todays guest, and Alastair M was on hand to Pilot the Tug for the days aerotows.

A very pleasant and sunshine filled day at the Park 🙂.

I took a few pictures from the day to share with you all. Hope you enjoy them.

Kind regards.

Damien.

Glorious weather all day at the Park today. The only clue that today was a day in autumn and not the height of summer, was the mosaic of freshly harvested crop fields around the airfield.

Terrific enthusiasm to fly today. The Launch Point was kept busy all day, pausing only briefly for cable retrieves before commencing launching one more.

Smiles all round today, a great atmosphere and everyone working hard to keep the airfield running smoothly 🙂.

It was great to see every available club Glider out of the hangar and being flown today.

Martin D, making good use of the days clement conditions to get comfortable at the controls of his new steed “306” 🙂.

 

 

 

Today’s News

A great team effort from the few (8?) people at the club today with a 10am first flight. The ridge proved a useful playground  JKW & KAN for a while before rain stopped play at 1:30. Mike J & John H were on hand to provide instruction for the three students.

Ridge Smoking and Cloud Soaring Denbigh Edition

Hi all,

This past week I have been staying at Denbigh Airfield with Chris Gill and a small group of juniors.

We aimed to have a task week in and around the local area. Since I don’t currently have my own glider, Chris said he would have some two seaters arranged for the week.

In traditional welsh style it was raining when I arrived on Friday 21st August with a howling wind across the airfield. Perfect camping conditions!

The next morning we had a briefing about the site and the day’s task. In he briefing I spoke to Rod Witter and he invited me to come and fly with him in his Arcus M LEW. 

The task for the day was to run the ridge from DRS to Denbigh Ridge South.

We took off via self launch and held above the ridge waiting for a slot to open up as we were running 5 gliders at once on the course. 

Three very rough and wet beats, we pulled up and abandoned the task, after gaining some height we found some weak wave and I learnt about the signs of wave and how to fly effectively in wave, we managed to get up to around 5000ft msl. We then flew to the seaside !

Arcus wings are amazing for photos ! featuring Rhyl.

The next day was a shorter ridge task from Denbigh ridge to Denbigh ridge south. Me and Chris Launched in G-OSOR as the sniffers and managed to complete the task slowly at 103kph. 

Not much happened on the Sunday apart from a few beat ups and smokers over the ridge.

The correct speed for a ridge

Monday was a very weak thermal day, but I was lucky enough to fly with Rob Vaughan in his new to him Duo T. We managed to make it 50km before we did some motor gliding up to the sea breeze front by the coast. I forgot how much I love original Duo’s!

Back over the coast this time in a Duo T

Tuesday was a survival exercise, as we were battered by 50 mph winds and had to take the 8 man tent down in pouring rain. We moved into the hanger for the rest of the trip, as the tents were destroyed or badly damaged. 

Freddie said that evening that he wanted to be up at 7am to go wave flying.

7am rolls around.

Heavy rain, back to bed. 

We got up at 9am and I was invited to fly the Rob V again. I took the covers off the duo and got her ready for flight, including the oxygen kit.

We were the last aircraft on the stubs on 27, we also went back for a soft drink in the clubhouse. No rush. Unlike some of the other aircraft after seeing Chris motor into wave. 

12pm rolls round and we take a 4000ft tow to Llyn Brenig, you could see the rolling effect on the clouds from miles away. (strangely other people were taking 3000ft tows to the same spot and pulling off under the wave and meeting the sink instead of hanging on like we did.)

Check left is clear, check.

Pull release, check.

2 Knots up check.

We flew around the edge of the clouds getting higher and higher. The rest of the Juniors bar Lewis and Freddie, were all sat on the ridge at 1000ft, not happy.

We eventually got 6 knots constant.

12,229ft Check!

I will let the photos and videos do the rest 0f the talking!

Heading Back to Denbigh

The Lenticular on top of the CU

WAVE!!!!!

I aim to go back up to Denbigh in the Winter / Spring. 

Dan.

Wednesday 26th August at the Park. “Not much thermal lift around today, but we kept ourselves busy and bathed in glorious sunshine all day” 😎.

Good evening fellow aviators.

Todays weather at the Park wasn’t quite right for Cross Country tasks or extended Local Soaring flights. The Park was nonetheless a hive of activity, with plenty of flying and lots of work going on to keep our Park in tip top condition.

Locally, Cloud Base was approx. 2,500ft QFE. Early in the day the upper wind was approx. 25kts at 280 degrees, backing and easing to 17kts at 270 degrees later in the day.

There wasn’t much thermal lift around the Park today, however the enthusiasm to fly remained undiminished and the launches kept on going, pausing only briefly for cable retrieves. The whole of the Park was a buzz today with Members keeping busy with all the essential jobs that keep a Club running smoothly 🙂 👍🏻.

Mike J had a productive day instructing, and John H was on hand to Pilot the Tug for the days aerotows.

A very pleasant and productive day at the Park 🙂.

I took a few pictures from the day to share with you all. Hope you enjoy them.

Kind regards.

Damien.

A trio of visiting aviators.

 

Well dear aviators, I’m really not sure what caption to write beneath this picture 😂.

 

Caption competition perhaps? 😉.

Monday 24th August at the Park. “A very pleasant and relaxing day at the Park today” 😎.

Good evening fellow aviators.

As the forecast suggested, todays weather wasn’t quite good enough to tempt many Club Members up to the Park. There was light rain for much of the morning and early on in the day cloud base sat obstinately around 200ft QFE.

We did however have a very welcome guest booked to fly, Will P, so a small band of aviators hung around to see if the weather would improve so we could get him airborne.

As luck would have it, by around midday there was break in the inclement weather. The rain cleared and the cloud base went up to around 2500ft QFE, with a balmy 240 degree wind quickly drying the airfield.

Mike J was Duty Instructor today to fly Will, and John H was on hand to expertly aerotow them on Wills first soaring flight.

Will is already a PPL holder, so hopefully today will have ignited within him the same passion we all share for soaring aviation.

As there was no one else left to fly once Mike and Will had completed their flight, I took the opportunity to ask Mike if he would fly me in the K21 as a demonstration of aviating best practice. I have recently completed all of my Bronze assessments, and I was very interested to see what the difference between my present aviating ability is in relation to an experienced instructor. It was a very illuminating experience for me, and also a very enjoyable one. During my flight with Mike today I observed that his control inputs and his decision making, all appeared that bit more crisp and polished than mine, he is after all our CFI. It was a real pleasure to just sit and relax as a passenger in a Glider being piloted by someone with Mikes experience, and I now have a refreshed bench mark on where I want my own level of aviating capability to be. It was a terrific experience and one I will definitely repeat in the future.

I took some pictures of my flight with Mike to share with you all. As Mike had full control of the aircraft for the flight, I took quite a few pictures, hope you enjoy them.

A very relaxing and pleasant days flying from the Park dear aviators 🙂.

Kind regards.

Damien.

It’s a very relaxing experience being the passenger on an aerotow.

As a passenger it was very nice to have all the time in the world to examine the fields we were being aerotowed over, and assess each one for potential land out scenarios.

There’s more time to enjoy the view as a passenger too 🙂.

“Low tow” being demonstrated by MJ….

…. and “boxing the tow”.

Spectacular cloudscapes around the Park today.

Not sure if that is a cloud in the image, or just some fluff on my camera lens 😉.
Heading back to base.

Mission accomplished 😎.

 

Sunday 23rd August at the Park. “A chill wind blew, but we all kept smiling” 😎.

Good evening fellow aviators.

Todays weather at the Park wasn’t quite right for Cross Country tasks or extended Local Soaring flights. The cloud base never rose much above 2,400ft and there was very little thermic activity. There was however still plenty of flying going on, and no shortage of willing volunteers keen to help keep the airfield running smoothly 🙂 👍🏻.

Locally, Cloud Base rose to approx. 2,400ft QFE, with a 10-15kt 280 degree upper wind.

The wind had a real chill factor to it today, but nothing appeared to be able to dampen the enthusiasm of the attending Club Members. As the day progressed the temperature did dip considerably with the wind chill. Coats went on and hoods went up to protect us from the wind, but everyone kept smiling. It really was a delight to see the entirely undampened enthusiasm from everyone to enjoy the day 🙂.

Mike J and Mike T, had a productive day instructing.

A chilly but still very pleasant and productive days flying from the Park dear aviators 🙂.

I took a few pictures from the day to share with you all. Hope you enjoy them.

Kind regards.

Damien.

Lots of Club Members mucking in and getting jobs done at the Park today. John H even got the strimmer out and tended to the grounds around the hangar/club house 🙂 👍🏻.

 

The longest flights of the day were flown by Dennis S in BNH, and John H in CCU.

 

 

The two seater Gliders kept going all day, only pausing briefly for cables before taking to the skies once more.

 

 

 

 

 

The enthusiasm to fly, and the enthusiasm to help out at the airfield, remained undiminished right up to the end of the day.

 

 

Saturday 22nd August at the Park. A band of like minded aviators, “converged” on some terrific local soaring 😎.

Good evening fellow aviators.

Todays forecast really didn’t promise too much at all for the days flying. From early on in the day however extended thermic flights were enjoyed, and by the afternoon a terrific convergence had developed above the Park that resulted in some excellent local soaring, with wings level climbs of up to 6kts being experienced 🙂!

Locally, Cloud Base was approx. 3,300ft QFE, with a brisk 20kt 240 degree upper wind.

Thermal activity wasn’t suitable for Cross Country Tasks from the Park today, but was excellent for Local Soaring.

Mike J and Andy F, had a productive day instructing, and John H was on hand to take care of all of our aero tow needs in the brisk cross wind conditions.

A very pleasant and productive days flying from the Park dear aviators 🙂.

I took a few pictures from the day to share with you all. Hope you enjoy them.

Kind regards.

Damien.

Thursday 6th August

Today on the Flying Week the drizzle and low cloud plus the need for social distancing, didn’t stop Mike Jenks giving an excellent interactive briefing on a variety of important subjects from launch failures to stalling and spinning. Don’t let the weather put you off attending .

Dennis enthralled us with his experiences of stalling and spinning Hunters, Gnats, Hawks, Venoms and many other types at impossible g loadings and attitudes. +6 G spin anyone?

Alastair

Sunday 2nd August Photos

Hi All,

Just thought I would share some images from Sunday the 2nd August at the Park.

The RASP soaring forecast was optimistic, but conditions were otherwise. 

Locally, Cloud Base was approx. 33000 ft-3500 ft under the odd Cu, QFE of course, with a 9/10kt upper wind, varying between approx 300 – 330 degrees.

Thermal activity was generally very low but with strong thermals when found at the Park today so only 1 Cross Country task was flown by Graham H in D2, Melksham, Bruton and back. Many Pilots did however make very good use of todays modest thermal conditions for training and currency flights, and bit of local soaring. 

Here are the photos I took:

Spot Mike T

D2 on Finals