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.
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.
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.
Aerobatics on the ground – an undignified backward roll!!!
A very cold Wednesday morning saw some 18 club members turn out to fly during the day, amongst our usual maintenance team and “fettlers” of gliders. Two of our industrious private owners transformed the club Astir trailer from a greenish hue of accumulated alga to a very respectable white (ish), so all smart and ready for the first x-country retrieve. Just goes to show there are always plenty of non-technical jobs for our junior and cadet members to get involved with!
First launch at 11.08 and final launch at 16.46. As predicted the grey, overcast sky cleared about 13.00hrs and soaring flights of up to nearly 2 hours with cloud base at around 3,000ft. With 1 Puchaz, K21, JKW, LPM and a couple of private gliders saw members enjoying soaring, having annual checks and regular instruction from Mike J and Alisatir with John Garland stepping in for the last check flight enabling our CFI to fly JKW and have some “me” time soaring away in the blue (but thermic) yonder!
28 winch launches, 2 aero-tows and 2 motor glider launches.
True to British weather, after basking in the sun on Saturday and Monday, it definitely was back to the winter wear, with Alistair taking the photos of enthusiastic members taking advantage of the short window of thermal activity in the morning. First launch at 11.20 and final launch at 14.25, 13 winch launches and 6.38hrs. flying time.
With some private gliders rigged, two Puchaz and LPM out on the field, longest flight of the morning 1.52hr. before the rain closed in.
17 winch launches produced 19.33 hours of flying time.
Sun, thermals and soaring! What a glorious Wednesday which saw members enjoying soaring flights of up to just over 3 hours with a cloud base of 3,000ft plus with some good cross country tasks. With a good cloud base enabling members under instruction to gain some of their spinning and stalling exercise experience whist the tug is out of action. The day produced thermal activity till the close of day with the final launch at 16.11. First launch at 10.55. 17 winch launches in all.
With a full fleet plus an extra glider – EZE, to tuck up for the night we were all witness to the amazing hanger packing skills of Nick B.
With overcast sky and low cloud any possibility of flying was relegated to the afternoon. There was no shortage of jobs for members to get our community spirit well and truly working overtime, with EZE to be rigged, garden furniture to be spruced up and painted – ready for us all to sit in the sun after a good days flying, with a refreshing glass of something to chill out with. Maintenance crew as busy as ever. We welcomed new member Gotthelf Wiederman who got stuck in with jobs. Not to mention the “fettling” of private gliders as well. Lunchtime saw the club room almost “standing room only” with club members enjoying lunch and chit chat about all manner of things. Somewhere about 13.50hrs Mike J announced that we were getting the aircraft out if anyone wished to fly- have you ever been in a room and it`s suddenly gone from a loud hub of multiple conversations to no sound at all – you could hear a church mouse or a pin drop!! Members duly put their hands up and a Puchaz and EZE were out on the field, first winch launch at 14.20 and last at 16.52. With the 2 Mikes and Alistair instructing, check flights and flying with members who just wanted to get their feet off the ground. Many thanks to Andy, wincher for today and Chris B for LPC.
13 Winch launches in all to-day with Mondays 5 winch launches, saw 18 winch launches for this session of midweek flying.
Despite a very promising forecast, seeing Steve rig his flying machine full of hope, like the rest of us, an overcast sky with the addition of fine drizzle presented itself from about 9.30am. Not daunted, the winch duly took itself up to the westerly end of the airfield (with winch driver of course – Dave), caravan already in situ` from yesterday we managed to get 5 winch launches and 1 motor glider flight of the ground. We welcomed a new reciprocal member, an old school friend of Mike J, who took 4 winch launches. Needless to say we did try to prize some old school secrets out of him!! We managed 1 instructor training flight into the bargain.
Maybe the Wednesday forecast will have “got it wrong” and we will have better weather than forecast – which is still “iffy” at the moment. We do have an instructor and winch driver on standby just in case the thermal gods come out to play!!
Final launch at 12.55. Friday 8th March 2019
With the weather forecast due to close in at about 14.00hrs Friday morning saw 10 club members plus our instructors and winch drivers turn out early to make the most of the weather window offered up for to-day. With 2 Puchaz and 2 Astirs out on the field, 14 winch launches were achieved with the first launch at 10.32 and the final launch at 12.15. Alas the weather window closed sooner than predicted with rain arriving an hour earlier than predicted and flying ceased at 13.05 with all aircraft promptly tucked up in the hangar by some rather soggy club members!
The ridge did offer up some lift with a moderate south westerly – Steve managed a very respectable 18 minutes in a Puchaz flying solo. With Mike and Steve instructing and giving check flights, solo pilots keeping current, and our trusty team of winchers we managed to fly all whom wished to fly. 3.5 hours produce 14 winch launches an 10 happy club members.
Not forgetting of course Andy Huggins who was on the airfield at 07.45 with his mowing machine keeping the grass neat and tidy for the rest of us aviators.
Did anyone else spot my spelling mistake? – Hangar not hanger!! Good job I`ve got John (Williams) watching my back. Many thanks John for all your ongoing advice.
Yet another unseasonal sunny, warm day for club members to enjoy some midweek flying – summer shorts braved by one member! With many thanks to the two Mikes and Alistair for instructing in the two Puchaz and motor glider. With solo pilots making the most of LPM. None of this possible without our ad-hoc volunteers of winch drivers with LPC duties being mutually shared. We saw a visitor from Shalbourne flying with Alistair in the motor glider carrying out his x-country endorsement. 23 lauches in all (3 aerotows, 2 motor glider and 18 winch launches) with the first launch at 11.08 and the final winch launch at 15.44
Much “fettling” of gliders going on in the hanger too.
There will be an instructor available with a team of our trusty midweek volunteer winch drivers. Maybe a tug pilot will make themselves available. The weather looks promising and a possibility the ridge may work – taking into account how fickle it can be.
Although somewhat overcast with a strong S.W., the midweek flyers managed a healthy 20 winch launches with Guy instructing for the day. Two Puchaz, one for solo flying, the other for instruction and JKW were out on the field. Not for want of trying by our avid pilots, the ridge refused to offer up any lift for the day. Our winch drivers on the other hand were providing us with launches of up to 1650ft which with the cross wind was quite admirable. With 9 members on the list to fly, the first launch was at 11.14 and final launch at 16.19 which averages out at approximately a winch launch every 15 minutes – not bad!
Not to mention of course the hive of activity down at the clubhouse and workshop.
Great team effort to-day despite the forecast. Stuart and Chris Teasdale took the first winch launch at 9.59 precisely! The first half price launch for sometime. With the two Puchaz on the airfield by 9.40, briefing done, all who wanted a flight, flew before the weather closed in, albeit the cloud base being approx. 1,000ft and subsequently lowering itself, prompting us and flying machines to return to the club house and hanger retrospectively at lunch time!
Is the now, established midweek flying going to become bookable the same as the weekends? With the new bookable system soon to be introduced at the weekends is the flexibility of “flying the weather midweek” going to be a thing of the past? It was not ruled out at the briefing of midweek flying this week. As in this months Glide Angle, mentioned by the ED, to which I also agree, the very mention of this possibility needs to be lobbied by club members who prefer the existing systems of club operations for midweek flying which generate plenty of extra volunteering and camaraderie whilst it brings about additional flying opportunities to club members and extra finances to our club.
Have your say!
Yet another overcast Sunday morning – so just passing some time with reconciling Januarys` financial figures for our efforts to fly midweek thanks to all the extra volunteering that is required from the instructors, trusty winchers and tug pilots. This is not an absolute accurate figure, it is a gross figure, but to my reckoning £1,823.99 added to the club “coffers” is not bad going for regular midweek flying, following the weather window where possible that John (Williams) developed from the odd one or two flying Wednesdays of old! This figure includes winch and aero-tow launches plus time spent in the air.
G-BVUK flew approximately 5hrs .7mins with 16 take offs (this may differ to their personal log in the motor glider slightly.
Test flight for FUY Wednesday 6th February.