No Gliding Today! Sunday 3rd January 2019

As The Park was closed today it was the ideal opportunity to take a look from above. Apart from lots of snow there’s not much to show apart from an errant Yeti’s (Damiens!) footprints from yesterday.
The strip was fairly clear of snow and the track looked passable in a 4×4, however the farmer hadn’t been up and I wasn’t going to attempt to undo the padlock – far to cold!
Apologies for the dull photo’s it was late in the day and the light was flat.

The Park gleamed in todays winter sun.

Good evening fellow aviators.

I simply couldn’t resist the temptation to visit the Park today, and experience its snow covered splendour.

The park is still inaccessible by car, but is of course perfectly accessible by the intrepid adventurer who enjoys a good walk.

I took some photos of my visit to share with you all.

Hope you enjoy them.

Kind regards.

Damien.

The track leading to the park, is passable by only the most capable of 4×4’s.

The track up to the park feels much steeper on foot than it does in the car!

The view from the top of the track, was well worth the effort made walking up it.

The photograph below is of a snowdrift. On this short section of the track the snow has built up to 3ft deep! Thats the club hangar you can see in the distance, it’s well clear of the snowdrift fortunately. 

The club house / hangar was surprisingly clear of snow. The snow around the building perimeter only a few inches deep.

The airfield was literally gleaming in the winter sun, and was breathtaking to see. It felt more like a mountain plateau than an airfield. 

January Midweek flying data

January 2019 midweek flying saw a much need boost to club flying with only 3 days flyable on the weekends for the whole month.

5 midweek days:  100 winch launches.  13 aero tows.   14 motor glider launches                                        14.59 hours gliding                                                                                                                                  5.07 motor gliding

Chris Chappell

 

 

Still Snowing in Mere – B3095 Road Closed due to Snow.

Good afternoon fellow aviators.

Mere is resplendent in a thick blanket of crisp white snow. Mere is approximately 3 miles South West of the Park. It has snowed here all day, and is still snowing as I type this blog update.

The B3095 Road used to access to the Park is closed due to the snow. I spoke to a highways officer at the Mere entrance to the B3095  at 16:30 today, and he confirmed the snow was  up to six feet deep in some places, due to high winds blowing snow across the fields, and much of this snow then building up between the hedge rows and fences that line the B3095.

A snow plough is en-route, and the road is expected to be clear by the morning. However with low forecast temperature tonight and tomorrow, driving conditions in this area are likely to be challenging.

Wonderful weather for bracing walks, and building snowmen, but not weather best suited for travel.

Picture below is St Michaels Church in Mere, I took it this afternoon while enjoying a very pleasant amble in the snow. Hope you all managed to keep warm and comfortable today, and also made the most of the days seasonal snowy treat.

Kind regards.

Damien.

Saturday 3rd February

I see it’s still snowing at the club and the temperature is around zero, so I think it’s very unlikely we can fly tomorrow due to the snow on the field and the difficulty of getting up the hill. I will take another look later today at the webcams.

Also I should add that the Bronze lecture is cancelled at Mendip tonight and the BGA Inspector seminar at the club tomorrow has been postponed, probably to March.

Back to working on my glider SDMP then…….

Alastair

http://www.bwnd.co.uk/webcam/eastcam_latest/eastcam.jpg

Wednesday 30th January 2019

Surprisingly no snow at the Park and no slippery access road up the hill, having “slipped” all the way up last week, with half my car on the gravelly bit (not a 4 wheel drive on my old banger!)

Can I appeal to the committee to purchase some grit/rock salt boxes (with rock salt in them) to place at strategic points on the access road up to the Park from the farm at the bottom of the hill.

Whilst Gillingham had a dusting of snow  and icy driving conditions, driving towards Mere and to the club from this direction was clear of any snow or ice as was the airfield – most unusual, not what I expected of today.

The field was somewhat frozen which delayed winching but there was plenty of demand for aerotows. First launch (aerotow) of the day at 12.09 and the final winch launch at 15.54 taken by Mike J in JKW, just as we were about to tuck it up for the night! Mike took off to go and explore a stunning cloud street formation out to the north west, looking quite dramatic against the soon to be setting sun. After soaring for 24 minutes , Mike opted to land – “throwing away his height” on some tight turns to beat the setting sun – or was it the lone gaitor on the airfield skyline? Longest flight of the day was down to dick – 38 minutes.

With 2 Puchaz, JKW, BNH and the motor glider out on the airfield, some 12 members enjoyed the day with check flights, annuals, cloud flying checks and some respectable soaring flights for this time of the year, averaging out at about 15/20 minutes. With the polar air it was an amazingly clear sky, dotted with tempting and quite dramatic looking cumulus. (pictures to follow thanks to Dan Weston) We all enjoyed home made cake and brownies too!

9 areotows, 10 winch launches and 2 flights by the motor glider.

The “fettling” crew as busy as ever in the workshop

Chris Chappell

Wednesday 30th January 1019

Flying is on for Wednesday 30th January. We have Mike instructing, with our trusty band of midweek winch drivers sharing the cosy warmest place on the airfield, (not all at once I must say!) with Guy volunteering as tug pilot, A sunny  day with a light north westerly wind and some cloud – hopefully with some lift being generated. Wrap up warm and join us on the airfield  Wednesday this week.

Chris C

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

Please Read! Lasham Judicial Review

Not an airfield report but imagine if we had no airfield to report on?
I have received a further update on the Lasham Judicial Review against the CAA granting additional airspace to Farnborough. In basic terms Lasham submitted 3 grounds of complaint of which 2 were accepted, significantly the 3rd ground has now also been accepted. Fundamentally if one of the 3 grounds is upheld at a review then the CAA’s decision can be struck out.
To date the funding campaign has only 300 donors, where are the rest considering there is a membership of around 7000 in the UK?
Whilst you may think it does not affect you directly and that you dont fly cross country, just think what could potentially happen if Bristol, Exeter, Bournemouth and Southampton all grabbed more airspace?
Please consider donating the cost of a winch launch to the funding campaign!
www.lashamgliding.com/pages/airspace-campaign

Wednesday 23rd. January

Stunning photos of today Alistair, reflecting what a beautiful crisp January day which saw some 20 club members well wrapped up, enjoying the winter sunshine and some soaring along with the usual maintenance team in the workshop. After the briefing given by Guy, and the first launch at 11.20 and last at 16.09 we operated 4 aero tows, 17 winch launches along with 3 motor glider flights with Sue keeping the tidy log today.

Chris C

Soaring in January

Probably the best thermal soaring day in January I have seen. For a while in the afternoon there was some impressive streeting as in pics below.  Best flight time was 29 minutes in a Puchacz.

Alastair

 

 

The Pawnee paws the clouds! Sunday 20th January.

Finally! The sun dared to show itself and weekend flying resumed.

FLYING – After what seems like a very long time we had the opportunity to field 2 Puchacz, 1 Astir and the K6.
After much labouring by Mark Player and other dedicated members (I am not completely sure how many) the Pawnee returned to the sky today.
After a successful test flight the Pawnee resumed it’s tugging role with tows for a Puchacz and a visiting Shark.
There were 17 winch launches, 2 aerotows and a flight by the motorglider.

CADETS – Potential new cadet recruits from the waiting list visited the club today and I believe 5 were enrolled. Thanks to the committee members behind this initiative and the assistance of Tom & Nicky Pike.

RAVE FOR THE WAVE! – I am reliably informed by the CFI that the sun, moon, sky & earth were scared into alignment by the Pawnee’s return to the skies producing elusive WAVE on the first Puchacz aerotow of the year.  A good omen indeed!

Saturday School!

CLAG! Flying was never on the cards today! January is misbehaving, or at least the weekends are! Unfortunately no repeat of Thursday with cloudbase on the floor.
GROUNDSCHOOL Fortunately as if by magic, a double bill of lectures was planned for today. Firstly Simon Withey, Mendips CFI had the unenviable task of presenting the lecture on Air Law, Laws and Rules & Operational Procedures. An essential but less than exciting subject matter was presented with both enthusiasm and humour.
After a welcome bacon sarnie break the second of our double was presented by the workshop team comprising of Nick, Geoff & Joe. A vital lecture for glider owners covering the EASA Self Declared Maintenance Programme certainly opened a few eyes.
With only 2 Bronze lectures remaining the end is in sight! This will see then the groundschool moving on to the Full Radio Licence Lectures by John Garland.
MAINTENANCE With the multi skilled workshop team lecturing today does not mean there is no maintenance to do! Annuals on club aircraft carry on unabated. Phil our resident Farrier has been hard at work with the electric glue machine sticking metal together! His work on rebuilding a steel and aluminium glider trailer is an impressive sight!

‘Spaced Out’ with Simon Withey
Glider Maintenance Lectures with Nick & Joe (Geoff’s hiding)
Trailer ‘Fettling’
Phil, armed & dangerous!

Club vario upgrade

With much help from Graham today, JKW and FUY have been fitted with S80 varios. They are very easy to use and will really help with soaring. For ease of use there is a simple user guide in JKW.

Sorry about the photo but the contrast of the bright display against the workshop was too much for the camera.

Alastair