Friday 02nd April at the Park. “That feeling of liberation” 😎.

We have returned to the skies once more dear aviators! 🙂.

It was a cool crisp Spring day at the Park today, but it did warm up pleasantly from around mid-day onwards. The upper wind was approx. 040 degrees at a brisk 19kts. The cool North Easterly air mass and warm April sun treated us to some much appreciated soaring. It wasn’t Cross Country weather at the Park today, but all attending Pilots did enjoy extended local soaring opportunities.

It was an absolute delight to be back in the air again following lockdown 😎.

A total of 20 Glider flights and 4 Touring Motor Glider flights today.

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

Kind regards.

Damien.

Tuesday Flying

Tuesday 23rd March dawned drab and unappealing to fly but there was hope, there’s always hope when Mike Jenks is on site! A brisk and distinctly chilly wind was blowing from the south so the ridge should be working and a raft of Instructors were keen to give it a try. As it turned out Steve Lambourne ran up & down the ridge for 1 hour and 40 minutes at varying heights in his PIK 20 while other lowly pilots in the club Puch’s managed to scrape a few runs in very reduced sink and occasional lift. In the end we did 15 launches with Stuart North and Phil Rees regaining currency in the tug and I airtested FUY and flew the Venture, joining Mike Jenks in an all too brief thermal (he’s below me in the picture), before opening the throttle to climb through a large gap in the clouds for a bit of fun and photo opportunity at 3500ft.

Thanks to Mike and Graham Hoile for driving the winch and to Lesley and Julie for doing the log keeping. As it turned out, the sky cleared eventually so all in all it was a great day. We look forward to the 29th Mar when more solo flying can resume before dual flying gets back underway in mid-April.

A Grand Day

Thanks to a concession issued by the Department for Transport last week, the first batch of club instructors were able to fly today with the second batch booked in for tomorrow.

A grand day was had under clear blue skies that was blessed with light winds and occasional Cu that produced some weak thermals. Alastair McGregor carried out the maiden flight in his spanking new Ventus 3 staying airborne for well over an hour.

We did 20 launches of which two were by the Venture and five aerotows. Thanks to Mike Jenks for organising the return to flight and we look forward to resuming normal flights for all later next month, meanwhile after tomorrow we return to lockdown.

Wednesday 30th December at the Park. “Last flying day of 2020 at the Park” 😎.

Good evening fellow aviators.

It was a very pleasant days flying from the Park today 🙂.

It was a crisp winters day, the upper wind was approx. WSW at a gentle 5kts. There were no soaring opportunities due to the stable air mass, as is to be expected this time of year.

Only a small band of hardy Pilots at the Park today but the enthusiasm to fly continued all day, with launching only pausing briefly for cable retrieves.

Mike J had a productive day instructing, and the maintenance team continued to make excellent progress with their winter maintenance programme 🙂 👍🏻.

For most Pilots, today was an opportunity to get some Launch and Circuit practice in. But John H, inspired by this being our last flying day of the year, decided to treat us all to some aerobatics. I was lucky enough to be invited to take the rear seat of the Puch for a ringside view of Johns aerobatic masterclass 🙂.

A total of 17 Glider flights and 4 Touring Motor Glider flights today. Another very pleasant 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.

Over we go! 🙂.

Heading back to base.

Well, the ginger bread men on Johns hat certainly appear to have enjoyed the flight 😉

Congratulations

Although not many members will have met him, most will know of Pete Stratten, the BGA Chief Exec. Today it was announced that Pete has been awarded an MBE for his work in aviation. I have known Pete & worked with him since my early days in gliding &, I believe, was one of his instructors at Cranwell when he was a lad. I can think of fewer rank & file people more deserving of this award, congratulations Pete.

Christmas lunch

Reading that Bournemouth Class D airspace was downgraded to Class G for today, plus the forecast of a sunny day was just too much of a rare opportunity. So Sue and I flew over the Bournemouth region without ATC guidance. Also to fly in the zone we needed to set a listening squawk, which we can now do in the Venture.

It was the first time I have been able to fly over my house as well. No, not the one below, that’s Kingston Lacy.

Below is Wimborne from the West.

And this one is obvious.

 

What wave?

An impression of the glorious weather experienced by an intrepid gathering of keen aviators at the Park today. The ridge produced little bumps for extended circuits, but the lenticular cloudlets turned out to be lentils from a different stew and didn’t work. All in all it turned out to be a pleasant day.

Saturday 12th December

A lovely day’s flying. 33 flights today, with Steve Lambourne achieving the longest flight of 18 minutes in LPM. Sitting in the front seat of GAM doing instructor training we had a thermal climb of over a knot up to 1800ft, (thank you Dan) and a winch launch to 2100ft, (thank you Graham) which is the best ever I have seen at The Park. And the wind was only 20kts.

All very pleasant for the time of year.

Alastair

Return to Flying!

A great day back in the air for those who could spare the time. 17 launches, the longest (unpowered) flight being by Keith Longdon when the wind went round to the south and the ridge started working, Chrissy managed 13 minutes. Thanks to Stu North for providing instruction in GAM.

The Venture was back in the air following it’s annual servicing and fitting of some new avionics, thanks to all those who did the work including Graham Hoile, Ian Wright & Mike Thorne (apologies to those I’ve missed out).

The maintainers were busy in the hangar with FUY now de-rigged for it’s annual inspection – more workshop news being written by yours truly for the Christmas edition of GlideAngle.

Wednesday 4th November at the Park. “A bustling airfield, crystal blue skies, a little light wave, and a selection of wonderful brocken spectre” 😎.

Good evening fellow aviators.

Well we certainly made the most of the final days flying before lockdown 🙂 👍🏻.

It was a cool autumn day at the Park today, with crystal blue skies and glorious sunshine. The upper wind was approx. NNE at a gentle 5kts. The soaring opportunities were modest, as is to be expected this time of year.

The enthusiasm to fly continued all day, with launching only pausing briefly for cable retrieves, and tow plane refueling. It was a real pleasure to see so many pilots at the Park making the most of the days flying.

Mike J, John H, and Adam B, had a productive day instructing. With John and Adam covering tow plane duties as well 🙂 👍🏻.

A bustling airfield, crystal blue skies, and glorious sunshine. A very pleasant days flying from the Park.

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

Kind regards.

Damien.

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

Everyone chipping in and keeping the airfield running smoothly 🙂.

As today was the last days flying for a few weeks, I took the opportunity to enjoy two 8000ft aerotows to celebrate what has been another great seasons soaring from the Park. Both flights were a real treat, a super smooth and relaxing experience thanks to the stable air mass, and stunning views thanks to the days excellent visibility. I managed to contact some light wave on my second flight of the day that kept me happily bobbing about at approx 4000ft above the Park for a little while, extending my flight by a few much appreciated minutes. I was also treated to some wonderful “brocken spectres” during this flight when I was turning at the West end of the Wave Bars before tracking back along them. No pictures of the brocken spectre unfortunately, as the wave was very light and patchy so required full concentration to make use of it. I did take a few pictures while in the Glide to share with you all though.

The view from the top of the world 🙂.

A very pleasant days flying from the Park dear aviators 😎.

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