Past Instructor and CFI Alan Milne died 2 weeks ago. Six of us went to his funeral in Poole today, lead by Vice President Dick Yerburgh. Alan had a distinguished past in Gliding having started in the 1960s at Portmoak in his native Scotland. He was Chairman of that club at one time, before moving south with his wife, Jane, to Ferndown in Dorset. He was an instructor in the Dorset Gliding Club and moved to The Park soon after the Club began operations at its new home in Kingston Deverill. He retained his friendships with members of the Dorset GC, several of whom were there today.
Alan was a hugely respected Pilot, Instructor, Committee member and a great supporter of the club in many quiet ways. He retired from gliding when illness reduced his mobility, selling his then glider, Ventus 808, which now lives at Keevil. Alan’s gliders always carried comp no 808.
We flew a group on Friday from a Probus club in Romsey, returning for their third year running. (Professional and and Retired Businessmen’s Association).
Despite the heat wave preceding the day, the forecast teased and prodded us but in the end the weather proved to be adequate to the task with no rain. 18 flights were made by a mix of aerotow and winch, totalling 6.5 hours. Lots of smiling faces went away vowing to return next year if we’ll have them.
Thanks to the gallant band of Team Park helpers, lead by Nigel Warren clutching Polly’s cake, who made it all happen and were willing to give their time to this. These events create a bit of money for the club and make for a sociable day sharing what we like doing.
If you can get a group together please liaise with Nigel about getting them booked in for a day of evening. Our real target is prospective members but we’ll take anyone’s money….
Today’s the first time it’s happened I think but when the site was vacated this afternoon the domestic power was left on.
If you’re last out of the door please remember to touch the “Vacate Building” button on the display next to the exit door when you leave, to ensure that the building is left in a minimal consumption mode.
We hosted this weekend’s regional Inter Club league competition. We had teams from Dartmoor, Mendip, Upavon and The Park. We were restricted by the Yeovilton Air Day just to the west on Saturday, but in the end there wasn’t much risk if getting in their way.
Saturday teased us all day with a sudden flurry of activity about 3.30 when the sun came out through the overcast. It continued to tease but even the most successful scratchers didn’t leave the local area, but it was good for site familiarisation and blowing the cobwebs away.
Sunday was forecast to be almost as bad as Saturday. Pundits and Intermediates were set a 100k task of Park, Salisbury South, Blandford, Park. Novices were tasked with Park, Tisbury, Gillingham, Nunney, Park, at 60k.
Conditions were better then expected but a bit “Curate’s Eggy”. Cloud bases varied between 2000ft and 3500ft above airfield height around each task, with a large unhelpfully-orientated sea breeze front down south, and occasional 6 knot climbs if you could find them.
Several got around the tasks. Lots of fun and war stories. Results to follow! A great social weekend with friends old and new at The Park.
Where were all the prospective flyers? Whilst Saturday was hot and blue, Sunday was quite a lot better, with thermals until about 15.00 and eventually sea air from the NW. We flew 6 visitors and several training flights, but there was space for more.
It wasn’t a cross country day, but I came home with a sunburned nose so the forecast was worse than the reality.
The tug behaved very well after Mark’s recent ministrations. We could even refuel it after we found the fuel manhole cover key where it had been dropped on the ground beside the manhole. It’s now attached to the fuel clipboard!
Looks like a reasonable week ahead. Let’s see what Christine organises for midweek flying.
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.
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.
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.
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
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!
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.
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!
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….
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.