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

Wet and Windy Saturday BUT

Parking space all full up by 09.30 for the bronze course and for lots of work inside  the hangar and out.  Lots of maintenance, fettling, modifications, sparks, hammering, bacon sarnies, + SMILES.

Thanks to Chris Chappel for her insomnia inspired lovely flapjack.  There was still a bit left for the Sunday visitors at close of play.

Soon be Spring….

Mike Thorne

Midweek flying this week.

Hi All,

Thursday 17th January is looking better than Wednesday. We have instructor and winch cover for Thursday this week. With the weekend just gone not flyable either days, Thursday, weather permitting will be a good day to keep those flying skills current.

If you can make Thursday please let me know – chrischappell@live.co.uk

Chris

(Entered  unsolicited by Mike T as Chris isn’t quite  Blog active yet.  I’m sure she will be soon… )

What’s the best mobile network at The Park now?

Does anyone have good experience of solid mobile phone reception at The Park?  It used to be that O2 had the best (but still patchy)  2G coverage.  Vodafone claims the best 4G on its coverage maps.  Is this borne out in practise?

I’m about to change my phone contract and would appreciate any views from first hand experience please.

Mike T

Not Badgers but Chalk Diggers

Too-windy then too-wet weather made available a team of willing diggers to complete the excavation for the new electricity cabin base.   Thanks to all who contributed.  Lots more chalk was moved so a nice clean space now awaits a container that will be converted to house the new electrical components. Full installation will be at the beginning of March, after which we’ll be able to harvest all that lovely wind and sunshine.

Lots going in the hangar too with FUY having its tail feathers measured plus many sparks as Steve and Mel’s trailer lost its bottom to Phil’s angle grinder.

Mike T

p.s.  Lots of free chalk for anyone who wants it….

Sunday 30th Dec. The Park No Fly Zone….

Another grungy day.  Cloud down to the ground when it seemed pretty clear all around us.  The Park Doom Cloud!

Most people predicted it correctly and chose to do other things.  The self selecting few did some odd jobs then left site by about 2.30.

Let’s hope for better on New Year’s Day when Alastair will be presiding.  

Happy New Year to both (?) our readers.

I wonder how many people are receiving and reading these Blog messages. It’s a medium we should grow in 2019 if we can as it does allow easy message sharing access to and by all members who’d like to be in touch.

Mike T