(No) Flying Sunday 23rd Dec

Message from Mike Jenks

The weather tomorrow looks hopeless for gliding, with low cloud and drizzle.

I have therefore cancelled flying and have stood down the duty team.

I will be at the airfield a.m. should anyone wish to do any groundschool.

If we have sufficient manpower, LPM needs to be rigged.

Better luck next time.

Happy Christmas!


Sunday 16th

After a ‘pitch inspection’ following the copious rain on Saturday we fielded 2 Puchacz and 1 Astir with a valiant attempt by the motor glider.

Unfortunately the forecast weather materialised earlier than anticipated which put paid to flying prematurely with the aircraft put to bed at 12:15!

The final flight from a total of 5, being abandoned after launch as a wall of water was observed heading for the park! Unfortunately the motor glider only achieved a taxi ride from the hangar to the launch point as the conditions deteriorated.

Meanwhile the workshop and members are busy carrying out annual maintenance tasks on club gliders, private gliders and the Pawnee tug.

As is often the case, Sundays have a great deal of spare flying capacity and today was certainly no exception!

Saturday 15th

No surprise about the lack of flying today, but we had a good attendance for the first of the Bronze lectures. It was great to see a contingent from Mendip at the club for the course.

Steve Lambourne set everyone thinking about how wings produce lift – and it’s not the way many suspected. Mark Player gave a talk on Human Performance. (Not sure what he would say about Steve’s beverage though……)

The hangar and workshop of course were full of fettlers. Graham and Stuart I noticed were installing some fancy electronics in FUY’s radio microphone which will improve its operation.


Lasham Judicial Review – Update 14/12/18

As of this morning the Lasham fund has reached £56000, but still needs further support to reach the target of £100000. Please consider making a donation to the Lasham Airspace Campaign if you have not yet done so. If everyone in just our club donated the cost of a winch launch that would be significant. It may seem unimportant but has the potential to greatly affect all of us and threaten all areas of general aviation.


Monday Flying. 10th Dec.

Well it didn’t rain and the field was dry enough to use.  We filled up one log sheet with 2 seater flying, Astir and Venture flights.

The elusive wave remained just so, although there were promising clouds and bits of reduced sink.  

About a dozen of us enjoyed a chilly but respectable day on the field, with Mike Jenks instructing, Graham Hoile and Andy Huggins winching, and Chris Chappel making sure we all turned up and behaved.  Thanks for organising us Chris.  She’s been given detailed instructions on how to write a Blog post today so let’s all look forward to her first efforts shortly…….

Indoors, on the new floor, Mark Player began the Tug annual in ernest.  The bottom fell out of Steve Lambourne’s trailer.  Geoff and Phil were doing stuff in the hangar.

Mike Thorne

Sunday 9th December

After the previous night of overindulgence a few optimists and the duty team assembled in very windy and uninviting conditions.

The decision was taken to delay starting until such time as the weather improved as forecasted. This provided an ideal opportunity to rig JKW in the hangar which duly fell together aided by the super smooth billiard table floor (thanks Mick).

A late start at 13:00 with a single puchacz saw a total of just 9 launches and 39 minutes flown. The conditions were  character building to say the least with a 15-20 knot crosswind and 35 knot component at altitude.  An incredibly fast downwind leg coupled with the increased approach speed ensured everything happened rapidly.

Unfortunately the last cable was sent home empty handed due to the returning liquid sunshine and the hangar doors were closed at 16:00.

It was intriguing to see that our neighbours at Keevil managed individual flights of 2.5 hours ridge bashing today with some venturing as far as Wroughton and utilising the Ridgeway. It just goes to show that optimism in gliding pays off!

Sat 8th Dec Christmas Dinner

Christmas is officially under way at the Park.  Last night’s excellent dinner party prepared by Julie and John Hull was enjoyed by over 40 of us.

The rain hammered down on the roof but we were warm and cosy, fortified by Julie and John’s super food, wine supplied generously by Clive, and pre dinner tipples supplied from the Bar.

Presents, prizes and cards were distributed. Chairman Martin presented flowers and bottles to Julie and John thanking them for their considerable efforts in preparing for and running the evening. Special mentions also to Mick for managing the new floor laying and to absent friend Sue for her continuous work throughout the year in the club’s catering, bar and so many other things.

The ever-hardy Pike family camped overnight in their camper while the wind howled and the rain poured. Parking the van across the wind seemed ambitious but let’s assume it stayed upright……

Hanger floor and other work.

2nd half of hanger floor has now been cut, more water used to cut down dust so floor is now very wet even though we swept out as much as possible, be aware of slipping on our new ice rink.

Drains from around South side of hanger and cabling for power supply now laid and covered, Beware if you go around there, two deep leaf traps that have been put in near base of gutter downpipe are still open, new covers on order and should be at club Saturday.

Drain across hanger apron will sink a bit in time and contractors have put more stone on the muddy part of apron.


Mick L

Progress around hangar.

Mick was on site early again, to get contractors digging a channel outside the south side of the hangar.  This will house new electrical cables and water drainage pipework.  They will continue work tomorrow.

Unfortunately, the other team of contractors did not arrive to cut the expansion slots in the southside hangar floor.  Hopefully, they will turn up to complete the job tomorrow.