RASP predicted great potential for Saturdays flying at the Park, but the soaring opportunities arrived with strong gusting winds to add a little extra excitement to the days proceedings, (see screen shots below).
Severe gusting cross winds delayed progress in the morning, and a change in wind direction required a change of ends at the Park. As the morning drew on the gusting wind component eased, and club members were treated to some very strong thermal activity, with members regularly sustaining climb rates of 4 – 10 knots up to cloud base at 5000 – 5500 ft.
The gusting winds didn’t ease of completely however, and provided excellent cross wind training for students.
Club members were treated to an aerobatic master class from John Hull in one of our club Puchacz, including Loops, Stall Turns, 3G turns, a Quarter Clover, and final ‘bow to the crowd’ Hammer Head Stall.
Chris Chappell had seen it all before (picture below)
Dan Weston had a valiant attempt at his 100k, but after encountering an impassable stretch of blue sky with a 6 knots down component, he was forced to land out at Beckhampton. A safe and well executed field landing ensued, and Dan waited in the conveniently located local pub for his retrieval. Many thanks to Jorn Schuster for leading Dan’s retrieval, particularly as Jorn wasn’t even at the Park on Saturday and agreed to be on standby at home for Dan’s retrieval.
Pictures of Dan’s well executed field landing below.
All in all, another excellent days flying at the Park, with the club achieving 15 Winch Launches, and 1 Aero Tow.
Sunday started with a thin layer of stratocumulus which as expected gradually broke up and it became soarable. All gliders flew, most using the west wind onto the Bishop and then transferring to thermals which went to about 5500ft. Of those I have spoken to, M3 found some wave to around 8000ft, but I think most of us flew around the area to the north and west in thermals of varying strength. Quite a lot of snow showers in the mountains though.
Expecting, dare I say it, a good thermal day tomorrow.
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.
I stayed overnight following the AGM and felt the need for a short walk at about 2am. For those who’ve not yet stayed over on a clear night, the starscape is fantastic! It’s got to be one of the darkest places in our area to view from. Highly recommended.
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.
What has happened to our beloved Blog dear aviators.
There have been so many recent Blog worthy events since it was last published. We enjoyed a glorious Bank Holiday weekend, a Flying Week of soaring highs and lows, and today another Sunday of noteworthy aviation. All have come and gone with not so much of a hint of BWND Blog recognition.
In the past ten days, our club members have reported experiencing 6 knots up of lift on occasion, and I’ve heard of at least three successful flights in Wave.
Grace our computer screens once more dear Blog, you have been greatly missed.
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.
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.
In a cold north easterly, instructors took turns to fly the ASK21 on loan from Tim D, firstly from the back seat as PUI, then from the front as PIC with the next one in the back. That kept up the concentration of our dedicated log-keepers too! Alastair and Mark H. took a tow to spin it. Thanks to Mark P. for getting the Pawnee back on line.
Ahead of another lovely meal from Julie & John ( mmm, luscious sauce ) and the Presentation & Safety Meeting, this is how we stacked the hangar with three single seaters, four twin seats, the Pawnee and the Venture ( plenty of room, even if it had a spinner in place). More than one way to skin a cat ( oops, sorry pussycat lovers) …….
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.