Super Saturday

Great club attendance today and a chance for several to do some interesting flights in good conditions.

Dan Weston couldn’t quite make the jump to Aston Down for his 50K, but Alastair went to Snowdon O/R for a 500K.  Several other 200s and 300s flown with lots of time in the air for those honing their thermalling skills more locally.  Trevor Harrod flew and recorded, on the national ladder, his first declared 100k.  Ed Beadle visited for the day to do a navex in the Venture.  Ben Collins materialised for the day in his solicitor’s car.  Welcome to Mike Perry, an Open Day visitor who joined today; another born again glider pilot on a motor bike.

Tomorrow looks a bit iffy for anything other than local training flights, but let’s full our boots while the summer’s here.

One good flying day this flying week.

At last a decent flying day on the final day of the flying week.  43 flights, several club gliders flying for over 2 hours and up to nearly 5000 above site.

Several good XCs flown, the most heroic undoubtedly being Steve Lambourne’s 8 hour 500k attempt which ended with a turbo return after 460k flown.  Alastair and Mark P flew 300k.  Bill Prince and I took a coaching Puchacz XC to have a look at the Glastonbury festival site, then turning Trowbridge in a 2.5 hour flight. Greg CW got away at a third attempt to fly for nearly 2 hours in a Puch and to earn a bronze leg, on his first solo flight of more than 10 minutes, just missing a silver height.   Sam flew his silver height qualifying flight after a motor glider expedition to Aston Down. Big smiles all round.

A busy day for Andy Huggins who did most of the winch launching.  Thanks Andy.

Toys away about 6.30.

Flying week. Monday’s XC coaching

Low cloud and breezy.

Not much opportunity to coach or be coached in the air today, although some classroom work took place this morning.  The cloud lifted after mid-day and we flew 10 local flights and a motor glider trip.

Tuesday’s forecast is dire so the day is scrubbed.  Possible thunderstorms and lots of rain.  Mike Jenks will advise on BGA national coach Mike Fox’s schedule by E Mail later.

Did we use it all up in the June flying week?  Hope not….

 

A Wet Weds enables much fettling

The grass gets ever greener as the rain continues to fall.  It might have been flyable about 16.00!

Lots of private fettling, sticking bits back on, getting radios working, a K6 asleep on its side in the workshop with Geoff stroking it lovingly.  Ahhh.

The glider battery charging arrangements have been upgraded today.  We now have 10 charging points with a batch of individual mains powered chargers.  If batteries don’t last the full day now we’ll replace them.  Please let Mike T know of any battery that fails during the day, and mark it up with the red marker pen that’s on the bench.

We had a visitor from Dorset GC late in the day, letting us know that support is needed for their airfield purchase plans and taking a look at us perhaps, just in case it all goes the wrong way for them.

Our Weds leader Christine appeared in her open top Merc.  Very sporting today!  She checked that we weren’t misbehaving then left….

GlideAngle came out today.  There will be tests of comprehension on Saturday, so get it read!

Speaking of Saturday, we are having a trial of the latest version of the Eurofox EP120i tug on the weekend of June 15th/16th. The date may change depending on the weather so watch this space.   See website home page for details.

Another one of those convergences at The Park.

I had a nice little run in the motor glider, engine off, under a long convergence line this afternoon. I ran it from The Park to Henstridge Airfield and back at between 2500 and 3000 ft.  I could have kept on going but was time limited.

Can’t load video files this big on the Blog so I’ve put a short video on You Tube, a whole new experience for me.  Find it at www.youtube.com/watch?v=pKx-D9aZv6k&feature=youtu.be

Here’s an attempted upload of a second video heading back from Henstridge towards Gillingham

Tim Fletcher leads the Club Class Nationals going into the last day.

It’s a Knife Edge day for our own Tim Fletcher in the Club Class Nationals.

With just today left to fly BWNDGC’s Tim remains in first place. Looks as if everyone landed out or back yesterday, so lots of retrieves!

Good luck to Tim for the final day.

See details at cotswoldscomps.co.uk/results-club-class-2019

Open Days are for introducing new people to the Sport we love.

And so we did, despite the poor viz, three bouts of drizzle, strongish wind and frustratingly slow-to-clear cloud.

We flew no visitors, but entertained and chatted with a good number, who responded to our call to visit.  We sold 12 vouchers to prospective members, some of whom booked flights for Bank Holiday Monday.  The last time we had a no-fly Open Day we had our best ever uptake of new members, so let’s hope it happens again.

The place was abuzz with talk, demos of static gliders, food and drink (non alcoholic of course!) and ended with a super big meal provided by Julie and John for about 20 members who stayed to unwind.   

It was great to have such huge membership support for such a day.  Its one of the things people comment about when they visit, as well as the friendliness of the natives.

Next year it’s our turn for a good (but not too good of course) weather day!

Too busy flying to Blog, then it’s our Open Day on Sunday

I note that last Tuesday’s was our most recent Blog.  It seems that everyone’s been so busy exploiting the weather that no-one’s put anything up on the Blog.  

The flying week has delivered some brilliant conditions, enabling big XCs to be done by those who can and lots of long flights including Silver heights and durations by those less experienced.  Some have extended their ranges and pushed around local cross country flights at good speeds.  The National Ladder website features lots of BWND names this week.   Get to it from the Club website if you don’t have the address bookmarked.

We’ll be flying normal club operations on Saturday and Monday.  Remember Sunday is our annual Open Day when we give visitors the chance to fly or to talk about Gliding with us.  There will be no normal club flying.  We seek new members as our existing newer ones move on to solo flight.  Even if the weather doesn’t deliver the best of days on Sunday, history tells us that people visit and join even in the rain.  If you’ve not already offered yourself for a job please turn up early and help, as there will be plenty to do all day from the 08.30 briefing onwards.

We have a great Club and super offering for new recruits, so let’s do all we can to promote BWNDGC at its best on the day.

 

Bonus Day at Portmoak

Three of us flew on what turned out to be a pretty special day, after waving our friends off in the morning as they set off for home.

Marks Player and Hawkins and Mike T took the 561k challenge set by Portmoak hero Santiago Cervantes, and headed out towards Inverness and beyond.  Thermals and streets were epic at times, but rain stopped play near Inverness as it spread like an east/west wall across our return path.  We crept back through clattering snow showers to the good stuff and headed back for TP2 at Crieff, then headed back north again towards Fort Augustus, which also delivered rain/snow showers, so again we cut that turnpoint by a few tens of kilometres.

Results on the ladder for the keenies.

Great views of Loch Ness and its mysterious patterns on the water…..

Lots of 8 knot+ climbs and strong streeting made for a brilliant day out for those who could stay.  This sort of mirrors last year’s trip when the best day was the Saturday.  Memo…. Adjust return date for next year!

Alastair couldn’t resist a peep at what was going on whist travelling home.  You can get WhatsApp messages in the air here!

Mike Thorne

 

Packing up the toys at Portmoak after some feeble local fights

Hungry Deer on the runway
Blue in the sea air from the Firth of Forth
Still Winter here!

 

After yesterday’s heroics the forecast proved to be optimistic instead of pessimistic.  We had just three Park launches, each of which involved a lot of scratching in the sea air coming off the Firth of Forth.

Most toys packed away by mid afternoon although Marks H and P and Mike T are anticipating a 500k day tomorrow if we can believe the forecast.  News to follow….

 

Sun 28th April

After a flying week that saw 4 hot and blue days over Easter followed by several wet days and and eventually a very windy AGM Saturday, we eventually flew on Sunday.

It was far from an epic day but plenty of hands-on time for those who did turn up and had great access to the fleet.   There were some soaring flights under the gloomy overcast.

The AGM on Saturday was well attended to receive the good news about last year’s investments and successes.  Chris Chappell was elected to the committee so will bring her unique knowledge and talents to bear in the coming year.  Democracy Rules…    Dick Yerburgh and Ron Lynch were awarded Life Vice Presidency positions in  recognition of their years of faithful service to the Club.  Very well deserved.

Next weekend may be quiet as a big contingent will be off to Portmoak in Scotland for the week from Friday, so get your bookings in now for those training slots.

Mike Thorne

Saturday Soup

43 flights flown today in soupy conditions with poor viz and weak thermals. It must have been good for the soul!

37 of us there for the 09.30 briefing so it was always going to be  a busy day, but by careful management and the availability of Tim Dews’ EZE we flew all on the list.

Parachute repacking  going on in the hangar for some, as well as the usual maintenance.

 

Saturday 23rd March.

Despite the generally gloomy weather there was lots of activity at the launch point.  The tug is U/S, awaiting a new magneto, but good height winch launches were possible in a 12 knot North Easterly wind.  Lots of hangar activity still as hopefuls fettled for the imminent good weather.

Just a few miles north of us there was sunshine and cumulus when Mark Hawkins and I flew the Venture along the Pewsey valley and back via Salisbury, even stopping to try some lift around Rivar Hill.  Cloudbase over 4000ft!  The solid overcast from Andover back to The Park reduced the cabin temp.

Flying ended just in time to allow a committee meeting at to begin at 17.00.

Sunday’s looking good in prospect with a few trailers even left out on the field in anticipation of the first XCs of the year from The Park.  

Lasham Juniors workshop

Former member Des Pearce sent me the following.  It may be of interest to some of our members….

Dear Lasham members,

The British Junior Gliding Team finalise their winter tour of the UK with a full XC workshop at Lasham on Saturday 6th April.

The team will be presenting an interactive and detailed workshop on cross country flying as well as an evening talk.

All members, regardless of age, experience level and visitors from other clubs are invited. Please share around!

The content and schedule of the workshop and talk can be found in the attached document.

Please let me know if you plan to attend so that we can plan with our materials and hand outs beforehand.

Email: jake@navboys.com <mailto:jake@navboys.com>

We hope to see as many of you there as possible!

British Junior Gliding Team
15/3/2019

 The British Junior Gliding Team finalise their winter tour of the UK with a full XC workshop at Lasham on Saturday 6th April. 

The team will be presenting an interactive and detailed workshop as well as an evening talk. 

All members and visitors from other clubs are invited. Please share around! 

1400 – Workshop on how to fly XC faster using British Team techniques 

– Including a detailed look at glider handling 

– Speed to fly including understanding block speeds 

– Thermal selection 

– Routing – looking at real life scenarios 

– Centering techniques 

– Triggers and thermal sources 

– Final glides 

– Flying competitions 

– Weather forecasting tools 

– Pre flight preparation 

– Effective post flight analysis 

– Training regimes 

– Effective use of modern nav, vario and FLARM equipment in the air 

The above workshop is very interactive – there will be handouts for attendees to complete as well as plenty of note taking opportunities. We recommend bringing stationery and notebooks! 

There will also be plenty of refreshment and toilet breaks. 

1800 – An evening talk 

Preparing for a World Championships – a look at our preparations for the JWGC 

1915 – Dinner in the clubhouse 

The workshops and talks should be of interest to glider pilots and aviators of any age and experience level. 

There is no charge for entry but those attending will be invited to contribute to the team’s crowdfunding campaign – this will assist the team in their fundraising efforts leading up to the season. 

We will need to have an idea of numbers so if you wish to attend, please notify us which parts you will attend and if you require an evening meal to: jake@navboys.com 

The team are looking forward to returning to Lasham – hope to see you there. 

Sunday 17th. Thermals. Remember them?

Thermal streets to over 3000ft in a strong, cold westerly.  Gets the heart fluttering, as well as the new S80 varios.

Despite the tug going U/S with an ignition fault, winch launches were very adequate to the task.  There were several prolonged flights, one of an hour before a chosen return to the field.  Two Puchs and an Astir were fully utilised until about 16.00 when the promised rain showers threatened and then arrived.

Character building stuff but it gives hope for what’s soon to come.

A Wild and Windy Sunday

Wind speeds of 50 knots at times today ensured that the doors were kept closed and the hatches battened.  Lots of creaks and groans from the tortured building and trees.

As usual, quite a bit of hangar activity.  Work continues on VN’s annual.  The off-grid power system delivered many kilowatt hours and the generator was provoked into life for a few minutes only by deliberately loading up the system.  Otherwise we harvested wind and sun for all our needs.  More work continues this week to bed-in and refine the system.

Tim Dews kindly delivered his Grob Twin Acro EZE to help us through our heavy maintenance period.  Not often a glider gets delivered by someone wearing patent leather shiny shoes, but we see do some firsts at The Park.

A windy week in prospect.  Roll on spring.

Mike T