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.
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.
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.
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
A great team effort from the few (8?) people at the club today with a 10am first flight. The ridge proved a useful playground JKW & KAN for a while before rain stopped play at 1:30. Mike J & John H were on hand to provide instruction for the three students.
Well this was a different sort of day, we managed to operate seven aircraft with just seven people (including the tug & yours truly). Add to that three aircraft had to be rigged & four de-rigged. The good news is that everyone flew. Mark Player & John Garland made the first flights but decided the weak (& very blue) thermals were not good enough to fly a task. The prize flights go to Dennis Stangroom (BNH) & Chris Teasdale (LPM) who had some good soaring to over 3000ft. Graham Hoile flew his new toy & Gordon Figg gave his glider an airing too.
Thanks to all who worked so hard in the heat to get some flying in & Damien who accepted the call to arms to help us get everything put away ahead of the forecast storms. A great team effort.
Just a quick thank you to everyone that made my job as duty instructor over the last couple of days so easy, a great team who worked well within the club’s procedures. Also well done to Damien & Hugh Stewart for revalidating their aerotow approvals today & Nick Bowers who took time out of the workshop to renewed his acquaintance with the K6.
Due to the forcast of very high winds, risk of showers & poor soaring potential I (in conjunction with Mike Jenks) have decided to cancel flying on Saturday. Given that we are obliged to operate in a very conservative way for the time being & the need to restrict “man”power on the airfield I judge the risk of aircraft ground damage to be another factor in this decision.
Thankfully the forecast is better for Sunday & the whole of next week so losing a day shouldn’t be a big deal. I look forward to seeing you all again.
As part of the risk reduction process being undertaken by the catering team all china cups will be withdrawn from the caravan on Saturday and replaced with a quantity of recyclable cups that have been purchased. These are not cheap and should be used frugally, so please put your name on them and keep for re-use by yourself later, PLEASE DO NOT leave them laying around in the club or caravan as they will be disposed of. To avoid further waste, you are requested to bring your own mugs.
Please also remember to wash all china cups, crockery and cutlery using the dishwasher. If you don’t know how to use this just ask, also please use common sense when to set the dishwasher running (it takes about 45 mins to complete a Quick Wash cycle).
Although unable to fly due to the high wind, there was a huge number of club members beavering away in the hangar. We were worried at one point when we saw a person on the hangar roof, fearing the worst we set up a suicide watch but it was only Mike Thorne clearing the gutters!
Yours truly & Andy Huggins set to rolling the airfield and have removed many of the ruts caused by the vandals last week.
Chrissy continues her sterling effort at redecorating the inside of the caravan, it’s looking great but you are advised to bring a set of welding goggles as it’s a bit bright in there now.
Lastly thanks for the cakes & sweets donated to the team.
Not a gliding matter so apologise if this is not appropriate but the scammers are now picking up on Coronavirus, so far today I’ve had infected websites offering masks & disinfection wipes etc, be very careful & check the link address etc.
Thanks to everyone who turned up to fly today. After a late start due to low cloud, poor visibility & a bit of faffing we managed to do 19 launches & 6 1/2 hours flying, the motor-glider also flew again doing three sorties. The ridge eventually started working when the wind went south & picked up with 2 flights over an hour each & a couple slightly less. Thankfully Adam Berresford returned to do his duty instructor despite his membership lapsing, we all had a whip round & raised 10p towards his daily membership!
Congratulations to Andy Newman who, after 35 years days of solo flying was able to convince me that he is safe enough to be released from daily checks, well done that man!!!
On a sad note some vandal(s) decided to try trashing the airfield during the week (probably Thursday evening) by driving a vehicle up & down the strip & digging up the grass over the entire length & bredth of the airfield, I have taken pictures & the chairman & CFI have copies, investigations are ongoing, rest assured that thankfully the damage looks far worse than it is & isn’t a safety hazard.
A great day yesterday (Monday) when nine club members turned up to do a lot of work at the club. Primarily the team completely re-painted the clubroom, toilets, kitchen & briefing room including the floors in the kitchen & loos. While all this was being done Julie cooked bacon butties for the helpers, then completed a deep clean of the cookers (a filthy job at best), and Mike Thorne & Mick Longhurst fitted a new main access door, Chris Chappel was busy completing the re-painting of the interior of the caravan. Thanks to everyone who helped & Alastair for organising the day. The whole place now looks bright & shiny, please help keep it that way! 🙂
Julie is pleased to let you know that the amount of money raised for this very worthwhile charity from donations, the raffle & the sale of club clothing comes to £343.42p.
You can be well proud & we thank you most sincerely for your generosity. I have emailed Jan to circulate the list of prize winners from the raffle, lists will also be displayed in the clubroom & kitchen on Saturday.
Uncollected prizes are on a rack behind the bar, please see a committee member to collect.
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.
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!
Rather unexpectedly we have a Medium size Heavy Duty Polo Shirt embroidered with the club logo for sale from the recent batch. Navy Blue (white logo) still sealed in it’s bag. Cost £18.75 to the first bidder. Please contact Julie (or John).