Sunday 17th November

We had a useful day with a small but willing team on the ground, ably managed by LPC Nick M.   Initially, we had a light northerly across the strip.  As always it was tricky to decide which end  but I tossed the coin, expecting it to go slightly more easterly and we set the caravan up at the west end, winch with the shortest distance to go, in the northeast corner.  Field condition was quite good and with strict adherence to the winter rules, we were able to limit damage.  Of course, the wind didn’t follow the forecasts as I’d interpreted them – it didn’t veer at all but did strengthen slightly as expected.  From the start there was some patchy low cloud, so 1200′ winch launches took us above cloudbase but we could stay clear.  It eventually became more intrusive and canopy misting became a threat, so we packed up a little earlier than hoped, with a very light drizzle also starting.  We were fully booked, including Uni students in the afternoon, so were grateful that three Puchacz were still available; John and I had Julian’s help to fly them.  

Sat 16th November

Sadly no flying today, the weather was just about perfect from 11am, the field, while quite soggy underfoot would have allowed winch launching with careful  management of the retrieves but alas there was only one instructor  booking for the afternoon & all too few solo pilots, none of who need the hours, their average age was nigh on 60.

The good news is that the Christmas dinner is definitely on for the 30th Nov but there are still lots of empty seats, you have until next Saturday to guarantee your place, but only by email to Julie.

Wednesday 13th November

Winter clothing in full use today, despite the cold weather, members turned out to a day of midweek flying. 2 Puchaz out on the field and JKW. With only one shower to take shelter from and “huddle” in the caravan, the light SW did offer up reduced sink from a few beats up and down the east end of the ridge enabling us to extend our circuits to an average of 9/10 minutes, with the ever optimist sighting of wave clouds. With instructor training taking place, check flights, solo flying and the introducing of new young people to the sport of gliding we had 23 winch launches and 2 aero-tows with approximately 3 hours of flying time.

Many thanks to mike J and Mike T for instructing and our usual merry men of winchers.

 

November Nicety – Sunday 10th November

The forecast seemed uncertain after a night of rain with billowing grey cloud but nonetheless a good Sunday turnout ensued.
With the weather conditions improving all the time the cloud cleared and a bright sunny day was in the offing.
A fleet consisting of 3 Puchacz and 1 Astir were assembled by the dewpond ensuring we could all feel the benefit of the the fresh North Easterly wind.
A useful day of instruction followed with BI’s under training and Bath University members making the most of the relatively benign conditions.
A solitary private glider was fielded which made the most of the conditions with some engine assistance, reportedly even encountering some wave.
A good solid day with 33 winch launches and a few aerotows thanks to Nick Bowers impromptu tug duty.
With everything put to bed by 16:15 we were away by 17:00 (after a slight delay due to a flat battery on a motorcycle – Top tip, don’t leave your heated grips switched on!)
The field whilst in good condition has certainly become markedly softer and all should take extra care when operating any equipment so as to preserve the condition of the field going into the winter. Remember, how we look after it now will determine it’s condition for next years flying.

CHRISTMAS DINNER! – There are just 12 names on the list for Christmas Dinner! John and Julie go to great lengths to prepare this festive feast which is a great social evening. Unless names are forthcoming there is a distinct possibility that this won’t happen!

Advanced Glider Aerobatics Video

Hi all,

I have recently edited a video from this years British Nationals, the video shows 1 full flight at advanced level. I thought it would be cool to share it with you, so you can get a better understanding of what I fly, and how it fits together as a sequence at a competition.

Video is here if you would like to check it out: https://youtu.be/iomtlgHENTc

Cheers,

Dan.

Wednesday 30th October

A taste of winter – Wednesday 30th October provided a taste of winter weather to come. A moderate easterly more or less down the strip provided good conditions for early solo pilots plenty of practise their “spot” landings. With the caravan, south side, west end and a good undershoot area, we saw some very impressive landings by our early solo pilots.

Winch launches were up to 1800ft, with reduced sink and the normal winter challenge of staying aloft for more than a few minutes in relatively still conditions. First Launch at 10.43 and final launch at 15.46, 24 winch launches and 2.14hrs flying time. Two Puchaz and JKW out on the field. The rain, obligingly held off till 15.45

Many thanks to Stuart for volunteering to instruct for the day and of course our merry band of midweek winch volunteers

Chris Chappell 

Bath Wilts aviator, continues his odyssey of spectacular UK Autumn/Winter Soaring sites 😎.

Good evening fellow aviators.

Continuing my tour of spectacular UK Autumn/Winter Soaring sites, I visited “Derbyshire and Lancashire Gliding Club” at the weekend.

DLGC is a hill-top Gliding site nestled in the heart of the Peak District National Park. The airfield sits 1350ft above sea level with soarable ridges flanking its Western and Southern edges. Locally there are three more soarable ridges. To the North is Win Hill ridge, and Mam Tor ridge. To the East is the Froggatt Edge/Hathersage ridge. The wealth of available local ridges, combined with local wave effects, creates soarable conditions throughout the year, dependant on suitable weather conditions of course.

As it was my first time visiting here, I have taken a few pictures below to share with you all. Hope you enjoy them 🙂.

Being situated in a National Park, means even the views at ground level are special.

The airfield is generously proportioned, with take off and landings possible in Northerly, Southerly, and Westerly directions, dependant on wind direction.

The launch point is run a little differently here than at Bath Wilts. They run two Winch lines parallel to each other at DLGC.

Fear not dear club members, no need to put down your evening glass of gin & tonic, you are not seeing double 😉! The winch area is run a little differently here than at Bath Wilts. At DLGC they set up two winches side by side, and run the two cables from each winch to the launch point.

The cable retrieve land rovers are modified with extendable cable mounts so that they can tow 4 cables at a time to the launch point, this enables more Gliders to be launched per cable retrieve.

Fear not dear aviators, you may continue to sip your evening cocktail, you are not seeing triple 😉! This trio of hardy machines are the Glider retrieve vehicles used at DLGC.

This was my trusty steed during my visit 🙂.

This was the view from the cockpit while I was readying for launch on the Southern edge of the airfield. The port wing was resting on the ground when I took this picture, but I think you can still get a real sense of some of the undulating terrain of the airfield from this shot. The undulations of the airfield surface, and the spectacular terrain of the Peak District surroundings give this site an enticingly adventurous feel.

The moment you release from the winch and reach level flight, the beauty of the National Park surroundings washes over you.

The first few seconds of flight here are quite intense, as the view appears to become more and more beautiful as you survey the panorama.

It’s an emotional experience, and one I thoroughly recommend.

The waterway you can see in the picture above is Ladybower reservoir. The Derwent Dam, which separates Ladybower reservoir from the Derwent reservoir, was used for bombing raid training during the Second World War by the famous “Dambuster” Lancaster Bomber crews, in preparation for raids on strategic German targets. During training, the Lancaster crews would approach Derwent Dam just 60ft above the water of the Derwent reservoir! The Dambuster crews were said to have been specially selected for their prowess and ‘press on spirit’.

As you can see in the picture above, the fields surrounding DLGC are plentiful and generally not used for crops. This gives gives good ‘land-out’ options for Glider pilots. One weekend every year DLGC gives pilots the opportunity for real ‘land-out’ practice with one of their instructors in a local field.

An interesting facility at the DLGC is their Gliding Simulator. The two seater fuselage you can see above was converted from a Janus two seater trainer.

The simulator runs Condor 2 software, and utilises a three projector screen display system.

The simulator can be used for a wide variety of Gilding training including launching, circuits, soaring, and aerobatics. I spent a fascinating few hours with the simulator and club instructor Dave M.

Dave very kindly sent me a link to the BGA forum for Simulator use, as well as a report on Simulators by the Gliding Federation of Australia, and a handbook on Sim training produced by the French Gliding Federation. I would be very happy to share these with any club member who also has an interest in Gliding Simulators.

All in all dear aviators, I had a terrific time at DLGC 🙂.

Many thanks to all I met at DLGC. A special thank you to Andy W, Sylvie and John, for settling me in over the weekend and making me feel so welcome. A special thank you also to club instructors Dave M, Bryan A, and Chris R, for sharing with me their wealth of technical and local soaring knowledge 🙂.

If you visit a Gliding Club that sits on a hill-top, 1350ft above sea level, in the Peak District, in autumn, you will likely need to wrap up warm, but I promise you it will be worth it 😉.

Where should I visit next I wonder dear aviators….

This Bath Wilts aviators odyssey of spectacular UK Autumn/Winter Soaring sites continues 😎….

kind regards.

Damien.

Tuesday 22nd October

Well the weather didn`t disappoint today – another beautiful sunny day with a light south westerly wind saw 12 or so club members turn out to enjoy the autumn day. Two Puchaz and JKW were duly out on the field for the first launch of the day at 10.37

Whilst there was no thermal activity we enjoyed good winch launches, aero-tows, excellent visibility and just the most smooth weather conditions experienced for some time, with reduced sink enabling our gliders to seemingly float around in the air. (apart from the spins and stalls Mike was duly putting Graham through (future BI) and Mark P for his instructor training.  

Mike J carried out instructor training and check flights, whilst other members flew the other Puchaz solo along with JKW. 16 winch launches and 4 aero-tows with just over 4 hours of flying time and last launch at 15.18.

Chris Chappell

Sunday Cross wind practise.

Sunday 20th Oct delivered a chilly north easterly wind, so it was the first day this autumn to really wrap up warmly.  Gloves and hats were on view.  Harriet and Chris got the show on the road nice and early and we kept three two seaters and two single seaters busy all day.  It was a good day to remind yourself about cross wind launches, circuit planning and landings, vital skills at our site.

Nice to get the fleet back in the air both days this weekend after such a long wet spell.  The field wasn’t too damp and the newly cut grass (thanks to Andy and Doug) didn’t block up the wheelboxes as it might have if wetter.

Look like Tuesday’s this week’s midweek day.  Make hay while the sun shines…..

Yesterday

Thanks for the posts Chris & Chrissie regarding flying yesterday, just to amplify a couple of points, at 9:15 there were just 5 club members on site, this had increased to 6 by 09:30, only one student, the remainder were just old hands that continue to support the club operation. Due to the poor turnout briefing was delayed to 10:30 on the airfield & first flight was just past 11:00. Why should so few do all the work of getting the kit out & the airfield  setup, this is a club operation, gliding relies totally on willing volunteers & team spirit,  unfortunately this seems to be waning. Thankfully those that did turn up had a great day until the low sun & misting canopies stopped play, even the tug driver was smiling!

“Getting to the briefing on time”! Saturday 19th October

With the roof down, wind in hair and driving off in the autumn morning sunshine to the gliding club, hoping to get to the 9.30 briefing more or less on time, with maybe a having to put up with a few wise cracks! Must admit even I was somewhat speechless to arrive at 9.32, and no wise cracks beckoning, to find the gliders and tug still in the hanger. 

With the winter now looming upon us, days like this are an oasis amongst the last two weeks of heavy rain and future poor weather, and should be available to all club members, including two seater trainees who wish to turn out early in the morning to get the fleet out, ready and at the launch point ready to fly. Maybe we could achieve a launch before 10.00am and get them at half price again!

A beautiful day, fantastic visibility, cloud base not much more than 1500ft, longest flight off the winch 15mins! plenty off sink around, even under very promising looking clouds.

There were club solo pilots around to help run the launch point and give our 6/7 new and not so new Bath university students who arrived after lunch time, training in gaitor driving, hooking on, wing running, log keeping etc. whilst the others were flying. A great day had by all. (well half a day and a bit!)

Chris Chappell 

Where is everybody?????

Disappointing start to the day! 10:10 and all is quiet! Incomplete duty team, 1 pupil, no gliders on the field. Its a beautiful day at the park. Days like these are numbered this time of year and the opportunity shouldn’t be missed! To quote the duty instructor ‘one is not impressed’

Bath Wilts aviator spreads his wings 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 🙂.

Good evening fellow aviators.

I have taken a trip to the Scottish Gliding Centre this weekend to try and extend my Gliding season a little more.

It is my first time visiting here, so I have taken a few pictures below to share with you all. Hope you enjoy them 🙂.

The forecast predicted a 15 knot 240 degree wind, so I knew the ridge to the north of the club should be working.

I woke early to survey the ridge I would be flying.

The launch point is run a little differently here than at Bath Wilts. They run two Winch lines parallel to each other. With each line taking one of the two winch cables when they are retrieved.

The club tug plane is a neat little Euro Fox model.

The club weather vane and windsock is worthy of a quick photo too 🙂.

There was a large variety of private Gliders at the club, but there was one in particular I thought the longer serving members of Bath Wilts might enjoy seeing a picture of….

I chose winch launches today, as my objective was working the north ridge, which is comfortably in reach from winch height. A club K21 was my trusty stead for the day, and arguably has one of the best tail numbers I’ve seen 🙂.

The views are spectacular from the moment you release from the winch.

The club is located alongside Loch Leven. Housed on a small island in the Loch is Loch Leven Castle, and on the edge of the Loch is Kinross House. Both structures can be seen surprisingly clearly from the air.

The ridge I was flying today forms part of the Lomond Hills Regional Park. Its a great feeling flying so close to such an impressive geological feature. The detail you get to see in the landscape from this vantage point is truly beautiful.

The ridge itself works with surprising ease and predictability. With todays weather conditions, the ridge reliably generated between 2 – 6kts up all day, with the ridge effect topping out between 2000ft – 2600ft depending on wind strength.

As you crest the top of the ridge, the views keep getting better and better  🙂.

To help lend a sense of scale for those that haven’t visited here before. The waterway you can see on the image below is Ballo reservoir, situated on top of the ridge!  🙂.

This Gliding site is truly, truly, beautiful.

What a great day dear aviators.

What centre of Gliding majesty should I visit next I wonder….

….Aboyne perhaps?

Hmm…. I’m certainly tempted by tales of wave, and tremendous height gains.

Yes dear aviators, its time I think to start planning my first trip to Aboyne 🙂.

Kind regards.

Damien.

University Gliding Club News & Sports Day Report

All of us from the University Gliding Club are pleased to announce that we now have 32 full University members thanks to our recent recruitment drive! What a day we had on Wednesday 25th September. Many thanks, on behalf of all of us at the University Gliding Club to all of our wonderful volunteers from The Park for their assistance with our University Freshers Week Sports Day event on Wednesday 25th September 2019.

 The event was a true success! BWND’s Astir CS Jeans (LPM) worked as the perfect visual and attraction to get our recruitment drive off to a flying start (if you pardon the pun) and sparked the interest of so many students from all different courses, countries and walks of life. As a club that promotes equality in aviation, we’re really thrilled that ⅓ of our members this year our female! 

 Massive thanks to Mervyn Burt for helping us rig the glider in the morning of the day, Phil G and Adam Berrisford for kindness and supporting welcoming, greeting and talking to University of Bath students about Gliding with such happiness and enthusiasm. Last but certainly not least, a very special thank-you to Graham and Anne for picking up and safely returning LPM for us, despite the weather conditions in the morning! Without all of you the event wouldn’t have been possible, so thank you!

 The glider & event sparked interested from both the novice and experienced pilot, and we’re over the moon that many students who have joined us have the aim of going solo in mind, and will be training with us over the course of the next year. We’re also joined this year by a couple of nearly solo Juniors, including Amalia Maiden, from Lasham Gliding Society with us this year, so we’re super excited about the year ahead! 

 Thank you to everyone at Bath, Wilts & North Dorset Gliding Club for making us always feel welcome at The Park. It’s going to be an amazing year & we’re all super excited!

 

Andy Callaghan

University Gliding Club  Chair 2019/20

Our Wonderful Recruitment Team from BWND & The University of Bath Gliding Sports Club

A selection of photos from the day…

Wednesday 2nd October 2019

With the weather being an oasis of sunshine, thermals and light winds amongst the wet and windy weather of yesterday, last weekend and possibly tomorrow, club members turned out to enjoy cross country tasks, local soaring, instruction and check flights throughout the day. The longest flight being just over 3 hours with height gains of approx. 4,000ft.                                  With the first launch at 10.49 and the final launch at 16.53, we had 3 Puchaz, BNH, JKW and a number of club members rigging their own flying machines making the best of a fine autumn day.

Andy Callaghan arrived as expected with 3 new Bath university students very keen to try out our sport for themselves. I`m sure Andy will have a detailed report of their visit with plenty of photo shots.

43 winch launches, 2 aerotows and 1 motor glider flight and a total of just over 20 hours flying time.

Wednesday, 25th September – meeting the students

Many thanks to Andy, Matt and Jamie for organising our visit to Bath University for the “Freshers’ Day” recruiting campaign and special thanks to Graham and Anne for picking up LPM in heavy rain, trailing it over and returning it afterwards.

Mervyn  came along to help us rig, thanks Mervyn;  Adam and I had a busy day  greeting the potential pilots of the future and getting as many as we could into the cockpit, with it’s canopy obviously removed for safety 😉  Some were a bit reluctant to climb in but they all listened to our enthusiastic explanations.

Andy , Matt and Jamie had a job to keep up with collecting all the contact details but signed up ten new members on the day; an excellent result with many to follow up.  Some have had some limited previous flying experience, so they have an idea what to expect and we have some positive recruits to work with.

Negotiating and dealing with the University authorities isn’t easy, so well done Andy and team for their efforts.

Wednesday 18th September – Blue thermals galore!

Again a glorious sunny day with plenty of blue thermals for local soaring. Graham managed 2.27 hours with a height of 2,900ft. Several flights of approximately an hour with JKW holding it`s own against BNH even though it was what we would typically call the day “a K6 day”.                                              First launch at 11.28 after we de-rigged LPM for a minor repair job to keep Nick busy for a while in the workshop. Last launch at 16.09 saw 15 winch launches and 2 motor glider flights makin a total of 9.10 flying hours for the very enjoyable afternoon.

Many thanks to Mike J and our trusty midweek volunteer winchers for giving their time, in addition to their weekend rostered duties.

Chris Chappell