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 

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

“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 

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 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 

Glorious Friday 13th

Well what a glorious day today! Beautiful clear air which is quite unusual with an inversion as predicted.                                                                                               For those of us up early enough and living local there was the extra wonderful sight of over a hundred hot air balloons taking part in the Longleat 3 day balloon festival. So be sure to be about early tomorrow and Sunday morning to see this amazing sight. A couple of years ago we had a few land on the airfield early in the morning – quite a sight to see.

Steve L managed a very respectable 2.45 hours of local soaring in totally blue thermals – not a whisper of a cloud! With Ron having a more challenging flight in LPM for nearly half an hour – which he declared was really hard work.  With members enjoying two seater training and check flights with Mike J, and the rest of us, well sitting in the Autumn sun with plenty of chit chat and tea. We were joined late afternoon by Dick and Mary flying in for visit in G-COBLY,  having been to Old Sarum for lunch before returning to Compton Abbas.  Mike T took himself off to Portland Bill in or very own motor Faulke – which I`m sure he may well add some pictures and blog himself.

16 flights in all, including one aerotow and one motor glider launch. Approximately 6.30 hours of flying time. First launch 11.27 and last launch 16.24. What a great relaxing day, flying and much socialising listening to some of the great stories of the early days of tug flying from Ron L.

Chris 

Monday 12th August

Many thanks to Alistair for test flying our new syndicate DG101 Elan (Hugh, Bill and myself) and subsequent briefing. Hugh then taking an aerotow and Bill a winch launch, with excellent local soaring conditions (I need to eat some more doughnuts, being a little too close for comfort to the minimum weight – more lead ballast to be made by the technical team for me!)                 With a bit of a grey, low cloud start to the day, first launch at 11.19 and final launch at 16.08 we had Mark and Stuart giving two seater training to members and an aerotow for completion of an annual check.                               Many thanks to Chris Basham for winching for the day, Mark and Stuart for instructing.                                                                                                                                      The afternoon gave us excellent clear air and good soaring conditions. 14 winch launches and 3 aerotows.

Chris Chappell

Wednesday 7th August “Dodging the showers”

Despite numerous showers during the day, members enjoyed a day of two seater training, check flights, solo flights, intrepid thermal hunting and plenty of cups of tea, briefings and social “chit chat” in the caravan between the “wet stuff” falling from the sky.                                                                                   Many thanks to our volunteer winch man, Dave P. Mike J and Steve L for covering the instruction for the day.

Chris Chappell 

Sunny Wednesday 24th July

Another beautiful sunny day, with a cooling SW breeze and with a forecast of an inversion and zero thermal activity, we yet again were pleasantly surprised with some soaring flights of up to 50 minutes. This “hat” goes to Adam (Berrisford) in LPM , with Mike (T) soaring away in the blue yonder (local of course) in BNH for 39 minutes. Many thanks to Stuart and Mike J for instructor cover and of course our ever faithful winch drivers Dave P and Andy H, Gordon, Adam and Alistair for volunteer areo-tows.                                 24 winch launches and 2 aero-tows. First launch 11.00 am, a very civilised lunch break relaxing in the shade of the caravan with the last launch at 16.07. flying time amounting to 6.25 hours.

Chris Chappell                      

Wednesday 3rd July

What a glorious day this turned out to be – sunshine and thermals!

With club members turning out for instruction, check flights and solo flying, not to mention the volume of private gliders busily rigging first thing in the morning for tasks of up to 500k – this I`ll leave to others to share their task experiences and achievements.

Doug Trimmer gained his 2 hours towards his Bronze, Nick (Machin) converted to JKW.  Cloud base being just over 4,000ft with thermal activity late into the afternoon and early evening enabling club members to receive their upper air exercises.                                                                                                   First launch at 10.49 and final launch of the day at 17.18. 43 winch launches and approximately 68 hours of flying time with club and private gliders, the last landing returning from is task being 18.51 

Many thanks to Mike and Phil for covering the instruction for the day. 

Chris C

Wednesday 5th June

With a reasonable forecast and a promise of some soaring the day turned out to be an unusual day of virtually 8/8 dark cloud with some potential good looking dark areas of cloud streets. Mike T in the motor glider (engine off naturally) flew the Street out to Henstridge and back. Most of found the sink quite steadfast with Bart managing to “scratch” a challenging 24 minutes in JKW. Instruction in the Puchaz with some annual checks were part of the day

Many thanks to Chris Basham for winching to-day and to Mike J for instructing.

16 winch launches and 2 motor glider launches. First launch at 11.30 and final launch at 16.45. 

Chris Chappell

Sunday 19th May

With 2 students booked for the morning session and 1 for the afternoon and 2 solo pilots plus the duty team, we saw the 2 Puchaz and the 2 club Astirs at the launch point, east end. Although somewhat hazy with high cloud and a forecast of showers for the afternoon we saw some good soaring flights of up to 1.50hrs, a couple of hour or so flights including a mile high air experience flight. 7 winch launches in all plus 2 aerotows. First launch at 10.24 and final launch at 13.35. Approximately just under 5 hours soaring. Rain unfortunately stopped play and we packed up the gliders in the hanger. 

Chris Chappell

Wednesday 15th May

For once the typical “blue hole” over our airfield was welcome! With top cloud cover stretching as far as the eye could see to the east and slowly creeping in from the west the clear blue sky over the Park remained blue (ish), but the thermals were there! 

First winch launch at 11.09 and last at 16.12 with 22 winch launches in all, 1 Puchaz, 2 club Astirs and a selection of private gliders managed almost 19 hours soaring today with the “pundits” completing various x-country tasks.

Many thanks to Stuart for volunteering to oversee the day and instructing, Dave and Nick our midweek winchers, and the intrepid Chris Basham for running the launch point.

Chris Chappell

Thursday 2nd May 2019

With the promise of some reasonable soaring in the afternoon club members turned out for annual checks, instruction and solo flying. A brisk westerly saw some 1600ft plus winch launches. The thermals were broken, quite lively  and didn’t really compensate for the speed at which you could potentially drift downwind. One Puchaz and JKW were out on the field with Mike instructing, Gordon and Nick B on the tug, Andy H and Nick M on the winch. 13 launches in all, first launch 11.22 and last 15.36. 

All tuck away in the hanger with dark clouds looming from the north west with the threat of rain, then the best weather of the day eventually   does materialize. Those thermal gods are playing with us again!!

Also an attempt at 50k, 5 hours and a record breaking club 100k planned for Saturday by Dan and agreed by Mike, weather permitting, in JKW. Anyone willing to volunteer as standby retrieve crew please let Dan know.

Chris Chappell

 

Wednesday 17th April

With the promise of good soaring day we saw 16 plus members at the morning briefing. FUY, GAM and the 3 single seaters were enthusiastically taken to the west end of the airfield with expectations of the “murk” clearing by late morning. Wrong!! Oh aren`t we all the eternal optimistic bunch of aviators! 

The haze lingered most of the day with an improved visibility about  15.00hrs. As the first glider was launched just after 11.00am it was ruled one glider in the air at one time till about 14.30 when visibility improved and the first soaring began. Two soaring flights of 44 mins in the Puchaz and Alec in LPM  just over an hour launched at 16.00hrs landing at 17.04.  

Many thanks to Mike J and Phil G for volunteering their time for instruction, Dave, Andy H, Nick M our intrepid winchers, Gordon and Stuart our volunteer tug pilots.

Chris Chappell