Well, a flying week with four very good cross country days and one sunny and flyable day, must be some sort of record.
Despite not actually having very many club members flying, four pilots achieved Badge flights:
Martin Davidson, Diamond Goal.
Keith Longden, Silver distance, 5 hours and 100K Diploma.
Mark Smallwood, 5 hours and Silver height.
Bill Prince, Silver distance.
Ian Simmonds from Dorset GC, Silver distance, Silver height and 100K diploma part 1.
As well as these flights, there were several successful 200K – 500K flights, and three field landings with no problems. Sorry I have no pictures, but believe several have some from the air of Keith’s glider in a field at Longleat yesterday.
Most of all though, a big thank you to the winch drivers and tug pilots for volunteering to launch us.
Tuesday was another excellent flying day with a high cloudbase and strong thermals. Tasks up to 340K.
Wednesday, ditto. Tasks up to 310K and as far as I am aware, one 300 and several of the group flew the 200K. It was certainly a lot cooler at 5000ft in the glider this afternoon than on the ground.
Same again for Thursday I think.
The first day of the Task Week gave us some fantastic flying conditions with strong climbs to over 6000ft widely in the afternoon.
I don’t have all the details yet, but well done to Keith Longden for Silver distance and 5 hours. Mark Smallwood for 5 hours. Martin for his first Diamond 300K. And a great 300 attempt from Harriet.
919 and 306 flew 500K, with Mike unfortunately really needing longer wings to cross a huge blue sea air gap on the way home.
Tuesday is also looking good.
We now have another 7 tug pilots with Microlight ratings after a successful day of Type Conversions with Jonathan May in his Ikarus C42.
It was interesting to fly something new, and with a climb rate of about 10kts and a cruise of 80 – 90kts it felt very different to the Venture and much lighter than the Pawnee.
It was a very good gliding day though………as you can see in the image.
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.
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.
Today was a replacement for the usual Wednesday flying. Many thanks to those who arranged it and the volunteers running the operation. We were a select few today, but the flying was some of the best since we restarted flying with strong thermals and a high cloudbase. Unlike Sunday, only 6000ft though!
I hope this isn’t the end of summer…….
It turned out to be a better day than many of us expected I think and it gave really excellent soaring conditions. I thought it might be worth posting a few pictures from my flight, as it was one of the most satisfying in the last few years.
I enjoy visiting exciting soaring locations, and the Isle Of Wight ranks high on my list. I have only been able to fly there once before as suitable days are rare and it’s a 300K flight to St Catherine’s Point and back. The flight is normally only possible in August or September due to the sea breezes that occur earlier in the year. The secret it seems to me is that it’s not difficult to cross the Solent, but it’s important to be able to be high enough to get to a good climb on the other side, which will likely be twice the crossing distance.
Isn’t this what gliding is all about?
Looking to the IOW
St Catherine’s Point Lighthouse!
Heading Home, looking NE
Give it a try, it’s not difficult.
Only three launches were possible today before the conditions became too difficult with low cloud and some rain.
The ridge was working though and it gave Roy a taste of how to fly on a ridge. The wind was 185 degrees at 15kts on the first flight, but it was not quite strong enough to maintain height. On the second flight the wind was 185 degrees again, but at 20kts and the ridge just about allowed sustained flight up to 1000ft, but it was necessary to work hard with S turns in the best parts. On the third and last flight the wind had increased and veered to 220 degrees at 26kts and it was working very easily up to the cloudbase of 1900ft QFE.
These were the best set of ridge flights I have had at The Park, so if you see a forecast of 20+ kts from 180 – 220 degrees, it’s well worth flying. 1500 feet or so may not sound very exciting, but the practice it gives in working weak ridge and thermal lift is very satisfying.
After a showery start it turned into a fabulous afternoon, which was exactly what was needed for Bill and Hugh to convert to their new aircraft.
Congratulations to the 15 pilots who took part in the club Task Week, which finished on Friday. We flew on every day and four out of the five were cross county days. Wednesday was a proper racing day, but the other days had there challenges. I enjoyed setting them and I hope you had a fun week. We plan to run a week again next year.
Link to the final results is below.
Task week results
The forecast front never appeared today and we flew 35 launches with 26 hours of soaring. There was very little interest though in single seat flying despite the strong thermals to around 4300ft QNH.