There will be an instructor available with a team of our trusty midweek volunteer winch drivers. Maybe a tug pilot will make themselves available. The weather looks promising and a possibility the ridge may work – taking into account how fickle it can be.
It was blue all day with a light south-easterly wind and a very strong inversion, ideal for first time flyers ( Uni & Day members), annual & other checks and early solos.
Andy C. brought along four other students. He was checked out on aerotow and John Symonds did annuals, both having 3000′ tows. John H. gave Damien a check to convert to the Astir [ I’m too heavy to fly with him in KAN 🙁 ]. We flew two day members and new cadet, Lysander.
We were launching and landing away from the sun, which was good but by sunset the downwind leg was tricky and canopies were starting to mist, so we gave in just before legal night.
Apart from the Buzzard, which John knocked out with the Pawnee, we had a good day, with a total of 32 launches, including 4 aerotows. Thanks to all, Phil.
And the sun shone! a bit, after the fog!
A busy day at The Park today with many faces some new (welcome) and some not so (welcome also, we’d forgotten who you were!). Good to see Bath University at the club after a few logistical false starts. Well done Andy Callaghan for co-ordinating.
After a well attended briefing in the Hangar a number of club members departed for Air Traffic Control in the clubhouse.
GROUNDSCHOOL: Today was the culmination of John Garland’s excellent RT course with attendees conversing with ATC during the course of mock flights from and to various locations, through various airspace and with a few Pan Pan scenario’s thrown in for good measure.
I think it would be fair to say all attendees of the RT course were not feeling the most confident first thing but by the end were certainly feeling easier about talking to ATC whilst navigating cross country. Abeit this was a classroom scenario the requirement to speak to various ATC centres seems far less daunting now. In the future it may be a necessary requirement that we all hold RT licences so it is worth giving it some thought and maybe familiarising yourself now in preparation. Many thanks to John Garland and his ‘controllers’ Steve and Alastair.
ON THE FIELD: It was great to see the hangar empty of club aircraft today with all aircraft fielded except VN which is undergoing its annual in the workshop. The caravan was positioned at the South West end of the field with a southerly crosswind component to keep us all cool in the sun. Conditions were far from perfect due to the limited visibility but compared to where they have been it felt positively summery (once the fog had retreated enough). A great number of flights today, some for the first time, some currency flights and some just to, well fly!
Although somewhat overcast with a strong S.W., the midweek flyers managed a healthy 20 winch launches with Guy instructing for the day. Two Puchaz, one for solo flying, the other for instruction and JKW were out on the field. Not for want of trying by our avid pilots, the ridge refused to offer up any lift for the day. Our winch drivers on the other hand were providing us with launches of up to 1650ft which with the cross wind was quite admirable. With 9 members on the list to fly, the first launch was at 11.14 and final launch at 16.19 which averages out at approximately a winch launch every 15 minutes – not bad!
Not to mention of course the hive of activity down at the clubhouse and workshop.
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).
YES a weekend flying report!
After a tiresome period of no weekend flying the weather declared a temporary truce.
A prompt 9 am briefing from Stuart was all the incentive we needed to get back in the air which saw us fielding 2 Puchacz.
With a strong crosswind from the South / South West we set up at the South East corner of the field.
Having ‘bagged’ the first launch an excellent launch from Doug was curtailed at a 1000ft cloudbase, just a couple of turns and a swift return to The Park. Unremarkable as it may seem the launch was a pre 10am launch. This has not happened for a while so top marks to all. I believe the CFI mentioned something recently about fizzical rewards for those achieving it!
It was great to see some of our new members today, a Father and Son (cadet) who both flew and another new cadet on a quick familiarisation visit. A total of 7 flights and a meagre but valuable 25 minutes total flight time saw the cloudbase descend around 11:30, the aircraft were put to bed and the hangar doors closed at 12:00! Amazing what can be achieved in a short time when we put our minds to it.
Work in the hangar of course continues unabated with VN waving it’s toes in the air in the comfort of the workshop. Additionally much work continues with private gliders and trailers in anticipation of the forthcoming season.
The work on providing us with a stable source of power has evolved at a staggering pace and changes take place on a daily basis. Take the opportunity to have a look around and see what is happening at your club!
Well the new year weekend weather has persisted in true style and offered us little in the way of constructive flying opportunity.
However as most of you will be aware winter lectures have continued unabated, almost! Ironically the meteorology lecture suffered a postponement due to the snow. FRIDAY: 4 members of BWNDGC attended Mendip GC on Friday evening for the rescheduled met lecture given by Gordon Dennis. It was an excellent lecture and taught me more about the weather in 5 minutes than I previously knew. If the opportunity arises I would thoroughly recommend attending one of Gordon’s lectures should the opportunity arise.
SATURDAY: John Garland hosted the second in his series of RT lectures at The Park with a number of Mendip GC members attending. It’s all beginning to make a little more sense now (to me anyway) and with John’s recounting of real world experience it really demonstrates how important RT can be. The various RT services available are there to help. As an example this was a tweet from D & D on the 13th February ‘Tonight Distress and Diversion personnel helped a lost microlight find their way in very challenging conditions. No transponder and very little radar coverage meant the team relied on experience and initiative to locate and direct the microlight home. 121.5 we are listening!’
Great team effort to-day despite the forecast. Stuart and Chris Teasdale took the first winch launch at 9.59 precisely! The first half price launch for sometime. With the two Puchaz on the airfield by 9.40, briefing done, all who wanted a flight, flew before the weather closed in, albeit the cloud base being approx. 1,000ft and subsequently lowering itself, prompting us and flying machines to return to the club house and hanger retrospectively at lunch time!
Alastair and I have been watching the weather for a couple of weeks looking for a window of opportunity to fly to Sandown airfield on the IoW
We chose Friday 15th February which turned out to be a beautiful, and dare I say it, spring like day with a southerly wind and clear blue skies once the early morning fog lifted.
Having carefully planned the flight, prepared notes of frequencies en route and checked the charts we departed The Park at 11.15am. Our track took us via Fordingbridge, Stoney Cross and Beaulieu then over the water passing Cowes and Newport before arriving at Sandown. A nice overhead join and landing was followed up with a cup of tea and a bacon sarnie with my sister-in-law and her other half who live nearby.
The return flight was uneventful but a tad quicker than the outward flight due to the tail-wind. On both legs it was necessary to remain below 2,000’ QNH to remain clear of the Bournemouth/Southampton CTR. We landed back at The Park just before 3pm and soon had ‘Kilo Uniform’ tucked safely back into the hangar.
What a fantastic way to spend a day at this time of the year 😎
Is the now, established midweek flying going to become bookable the same as the weekends? With the new bookable system soon to be introduced at the weekends is the flexibility of “flying the weather midweek” going to be a thing of the past? It was not ruled out at the briefing of midweek flying this week. As in this months Glide Angle, mentioned by the ED, to which I also agree, the very mention of this possibility needs to be lobbied by club members who prefer the existing systems of club operations for midweek flying which generate plenty of extra volunteering and camaraderie whilst it brings about additional flying opportunities to club members and extra finances to our club.
It wasn’t a promising start to the day from a weather perspective. It was raining in the early part of the morning, and bitterly cold, with a windchill that would have given a polar bear “paws” for thought, 🙂 .
However, the spirits of the skeleton crew of hardy aviators was not dampened. The weather improved as the morning rolled on and we took to the skies. Rain paused play briefly, conveniently enough it was at lunch time, and flying resumed again shortly after.
We managed 7 Aero Tow flights throughout the day. Cloud Street formations developed around the Park in the afternoon, resulting in 2 of todays flights having a thermal gain of 500 ft each after releasing from the tug.
I uploaded some pictures of the day to share with you all, please see below.
Todays wind chill was bitterly cold, but nothing could dampen the enthusiasm of the team to get flying.
No caravan comfort for this hardy band of aviation enthusiasts, just a landy and a gator.
Some stunning views were enjoyed of the skies and countryside around the Park.
As the afternoon rolled on we were treated to some Cloud Street formations, resulting in some great flying for those lucky enough to be in the sky at the right times.
The newly installed S80 indicated some respectable climb rates beneath the Cloud Streets.
Yet another overcast Sunday morning – so just passing some time with reconciling Januarys` financial figures for our efforts to fly midweek thanks to all the extra volunteering that is required from the instructors, trusty winchers and tug pilots. This is not an absolute accurate figure, it is a gross figure, but to my reckoning £1,823.99 added to the club “coffers” is not bad going for regular midweek flying, following the weather window where possible that John (Williams) developed from the odd one or two flying Wednesdays of old! This figure includes winch and aero-tow launches plus time spent in the air.
G-BVUK flew approximately 5hrs .7mins with 16 take offs (this may differ to their personal log in the motor glider slightly.
Another Saturday, another rainy day, but the excellent winter lecture season continues with John Garland today giving the first of a series of talks to around 25 members and visitors on the subject of the RT licence exam. An RT licence is becoming more of a “must have” for glider pilots nowadays and I would encourage all of you to go for the licence. It really isn’t as daunting as you might think.
We have had a skip delivered and the plan is to use it to clear the junk from alongside the hangar when it stops raining.
Wednesday is the day planned for flying next week.
Due to the poor weather and volume of liquid sunshine there will be no flying tomorrow AM. This will be reviewed for the afternoon after the lecture. Should flying be possible this be will be aerotow only.
Duty winch team to stand down, LPC may be required for afternoon.
The decision not fly Thursday this week has been made.
The workshop crew having finished and rigged FUY managed to make use of a weather window today where Nick and Joe were able to have an aerotow and give it a test flight.
Private owners please note. Last week ( before the snow) we replaced the slot number plates on the South side of the trailer park. S2 to S9, between the trees, all have an equal amount. S1, S10 & S11 have their “exclusive residences” bounded by trees. None of the allocations has been changed, so, as soon as possible please, return your trailer to your allocated position. [The plan on the clubroom noticeboard is up to date, if you’ve forgotten your number.] This is especially important if your trailer has been sited in someone else’s space on the East or West sides, whilst work has been in progress – they want their spaces back now, in readiness for flying.
Last week we also gained a new syndicate trailer, allocated to E2.
Numbering of the East & West rows will be done as soon as we can; again, none of the previous allocations have been changed, so no random guesses please – check the notice if you’re unsure!