The tug is out of service due to a cracked exhaust manifold

After the carburettor repair the tug has unfortunately developed another problem. After towing on Saturday I found a fine crack in the port exhaust manifold. This has put it out of service until it can be repaired.
I have an appointment with a CAA approved welder, near Winchester on Friday morning so if all goes to plan I will be able to refit it on Friday afternoon and hopefully it will be back in service this weekend.

Here is the picture of the crack. Notice all the white deposit which is especially marked on the shiny SS nut, it was this the alerted me to look for a crack.

Mark P

Super Saturday

Great club attendance today and a chance for several to do some interesting flights in good conditions.

Dan Weston couldn’t quite make the jump to Aston Down for his 50K, but Alastair went to Snowdon O/R for a 500K.  Several other 200s and 300s flown with lots of time in the air for those honing their thermalling skills more locally.  Trevor Harrod flew and recorded, on the national ladder, his first declared 100k.  Ed Beadle visited for the day to do a navex in the Venture.  Ben Collins materialised for the day in his solicitor’s car.  Welcome to Mike Perry, an Open Day visitor who joined today; another born again glider pilot on a motor bike.

Tomorrow looks a bit iffy for anything other than local training flights, but let’s full our boots while the summer’s here.

One good flying day this flying week.

At last a decent flying day on the final day of the flying week.  43 flights, several club gliders flying for over 2 hours and up to nearly 5000 above site.

Several good XCs flown, the most heroic undoubtedly being Steve Lambourne’s 8 hour 500k attempt which ended with a turbo return after 460k flown.  Alastair and Mark P flew 300k.  Bill Prince and I took a coaching Puchacz XC to have a look at the Glastonbury festival site, then turning Trowbridge in a 2.5 hour flight. Greg CW got away at a third attempt to fly for nearly 2 hours in a Puch and to earn a bronze leg, on his first solo flight of more than 10 minutes, just missing a silver height.   Sam flew his silver height qualifying flight after a motor glider expedition to Aston Down. Big smiles all round.

A busy day for Andy Huggins who did most of the winch launching.  Thanks Andy.

Toys away about 6.30.

50km Attempt Number 2 / Sunday 16/06/19

Hi all,

First time using the blog so apologies if I get anything wrong.

Saturday is looking like a reasonable day to try and go further than 49.73km, so I was looking for some help to come rescue me if all goes wrong on this attempt.

I would be extremely grateful if people are ok to be on standby on Saturday (As long as the forecast holds)  please let me know if you would be happy to do this. Thank you !

On a different note – The photo I have attached was from my 2 hour 12 min  stint on the ridge from Sunday , surprisingly  it was mostly thermals that were keeping us aloft, the best I found was 5 knots, in 25 kts of wind at around 1600ft above site, shame cloud base was only 1900ft. Lower down the ridge worked well even at 75 kts. I just wish the ridge was longer, next extension plan?!

Can you spot the glider?

Regards,

Daniel Weston.

Flying week. Monday’s XC coaching

Low cloud and breezy.

Not much opportunity to coach or be coached in the air today, although some classroom work took place this morning.  The cloud lifted after mid-day and we flew 10 local flights and a motor glider trip.

Tuesday’s forecast is dire so the day is scrubbed.  Possible thunderstorms and lots of rain.  Mike Jenks will advise on BGA national coach Mike Fox’s schedule by E Mail later.

Did we use it all up in the June flying week?  Hope not….

 

A Wet Weds enables much fettling

The grass gets ever greener as the rain continues to fall.  It might have been flyable about 16.00!

Lots of private fettling, sticking bits back on, getting radios working, a K6 asleep on its side in the workshop with Geoff stroking it lovingly.  Ahhh.

The glider battery charging arrangements have been upgraded today.  We now have 10 charging points with a batch of individual mains powered chargers.  If batteries don’t last the full day now we’ll replace them.  Please let Mike T know of any battery that fails during the day, and mark it up with the red marker pen that’s on the bench.

We had a visitor from Dorset GC late in the day, letting us know that support is needed for their airfield purchase plans and taking a look at us perhaps, just in case it all goes the wrong way for them.

Our Weds leader Christine appeared in her open top Merc.  Very sporting today!  She checked that we weren’t misbehaving then left….

GlideAngle came out today.  There will be tests of comprehension on Saturday, so get it read!

Speaking of Saturday, we are having a trial of the latest version of the Eurofox EP120i tug on the weekend of June 15th/16th. The date may change depending on the weather so watch this space.   See website home page for details.

Sunday 09/06/19 at the Park. “A short story about a memorable flight”.

Good evening fellow aviators.

As an addition to our blogs usual flying updates, I thought I would share you with you a short story about a memorable flight I enjoyed on Sunday.

It was mid afternoon on a day that had seen some good soaring between rain showers. Chris Basham was on Winch duty, and duly bashing the winch throttle, launched me and the club Astir LPM to a respectable 1350 ft.

There were many cumulus clouds of potential in sight, but I feared the cloud cover may be too dense and overdeveloped, so I headed tentatively South West into wind to try my luck.

The vario was reading 2 knots down as I approached a large black cloud. A few minutes had past with no signs of workable lift, so I decided this was the last cloud I would try, and if it didn’t work I was heading home. I ventured beneath, and not wanting to stray too much farther from the Park, I tracked gently to the left and then right, feeling the pressure beneath the wings and waiting for any signs of lift. 1.5 knots up, and the vario chirped into life, aha fellow aviators this flight may not be over yet 🙂 .

Straightening and turning, I began to centre in the thermal. 1.5 knots up, became 2 knots up, then 4, finally peaking at 6 knots up just before reaching cloud base. The lift just below cloud base was plentiful, LPM staying aloft with ease in the bountiful thermic conditions. I adjusted my course to keep out of lower cloud areas that appeared to be caused by a convergence, relaxed into my seat and enjoyed having the sky to myself for a while.

In the distance to the North however was a rather foreboding, purple tinged, black cloud towering above all the other cumulus. To the North East a rain curtain drew its veil across the horizon. Hmm, I’m quite high, and that rain looks quite close, better keep an eye it.

I continued to turn and soar and meander beneath my generous cloud companion, and as the minutes flowed gently by I kept a watchful eye on the weather to the North. The towering Wizard of Oz like black cloud to the North appeared to hold station, although still a little close for comfort, the rain curtain to the North East however definitely looked to be moving slowly my way. Ok, I really don’t want to leave this abundance of lift, but I also don’t want to be this high up in rain. Time to head back.

With an abundance of height to lose, I eased out 1/4 airbrake. 2 Knots up on the vario, was the response from my trusty steed. Ok, lets try 1/2 airbrake. 1 knot down, good, were finally heading in the right direction. Lowering the nose a few more degrees and holding the airbrake 1/2 open, I made my way to High Key.

As I began my left hand circuit, the weather to the North still looked threatening, so I was heartened that my decision to give up all that height and lift was a good one. Down Wind leg and a few bubbles of 2 knots up were felt gently rippling through the airframe. Landing area clear, RP in sight, all looking good, trimming out ready for the diagonal leg.

I’m down to 600ft by Low key, a comfortable height as were landing over the trees today at the East end of the strip. Turning onto the diagonal leg, the vario sings into life, 10 knots up, and its sustained lift not a bubble! Hmm, that was unexpected but surely it wont last, right? Final turn, 750ft! Hmm, I’m probably well lined up if I want to land at Stourhead 😉 . I ease out 1/2 airbrake and check my RP. Nope, that wont cut it. 3/4 airbrake, looking better, but I like more of a margin than that. I take full airbrake, and lower the nose a few more degrees. Bingo, were back in the slot dear aviators, the ground wafting toward me like a welcoming warm summers breeze. Round-out, float, touch down! Rolling to a halt, half way down the strip, 1 and a 1/2 wing lengths from the edge of the field, both wings parallel, textbook landing 😎 .

I open the canopy and clamber out the Glider. Calm, clement weather greets me. There are clouds visible to the North, but at ground level, nothing that would give me cause for concern. Oh no dear aviators, have I been a fool, have I just given away sublime effortless lift for no reason! 😟 .

Chris Chappell roars toward me in a Gator in her usual full throttle style, flashes me her usual full throttle smile, “what happened Damien, you must of hit terrific sink, you looked well away”. “No”,  I sheepishly reply, “I thought the rain was coming, so headed home”.

Head bowed, I hold the wing and start back for the hangar, its time to pack up, so no time to revisit my haven of soaring this day. I can feel the cheeks on my face still flushed hot with the thrill and delight of the flight, but I cant shake my dismay that I may have just thrown away something special 🙁 .

We park LPM on the grass, and go to help put the K6 away. Holding one end of the tail strop, we enter the cool shade of the hangar. My ears prick, is that a few taps of rain I hear on the corrugated hangar roof? The taps build in intensity and within seconds the heavens have opened. As the rain falls my heart sings. Yesss dear aviators!! I did make the right choice 😃😃 . I had ventured into the wild once more, enjoyed the thrills of soaring with mother nature herself, brought pilot and plane home in one piece, and given myself a 15 minute safety margin ahead of the coming rain!! What a tremendous flight dear aviators 🙂🙂 .

Recounting with delight the story of my adventure to anyone that would listen, I received two excellent pieces of advice for countering excessive lift experienced while in the circuit. The first was from Mike Jenks, “if that happens again, open your airbrake to counter the lift as its happening, don’t throw away all the extra height gained, better to be a bit too high, than a bit too low”. The second was from Nick Bowers, “right then, its time Damien for you to learn the art of Side Slipping”.

What a day dear aviators. Next job on my ‘to-do’ list, learn the art of Side Slipping 🙂 .

kind regards.

Damien.

Wednesday 5th June

With a reasonable forecast and a promise of some soaring the day turned out to be an unusual day of virtually 8/8 dark cloud with some potential good looking dark areas of cloud streets. Mike T in the motor glider (engine off naturally) flew the Street out to Henstridge and back. Most of found the sink quite steadfast with Bart managing to “scratch” a challenging 24 minutes in JKW. Instruction in the Puchaz with some annual checks were part of the day

Many thanks to Chris Basham for winching to-day and to Mike J for instructing.

16 winch launches and 2 motor glider launches. First launch at 11.30 and final launch at 16.45. 

Chris Chappell

Another one of those convergences at The Park.

I had a nice little run in the motor glider, engine off, under a long convergence line this afternoon. I ran it from The Park to Henstridge Airfield and back at between 2500 and 3000 ft.  I could have kept on going but was time limited.

Can’t load video files this big on the Blog so I’ve put a short video on You Tube, a whole new experience for me.  Find it at www.youtube.com/watch?v=pKx-D9aZv6k&feature=youtu.be

Here’s an attempted upload of a second video heading back from Henstridge towards Gillingham

Dorset Gliding Club at Risk

Bad news for our colleagues at Dorset Gliding Club; their landowner has decided to sell the airfield. The club is trying to raise money to buy the field and have already raised a considerable amount towards the cost. Inevitably they need more and have started a crowd funding page to try to raise funds. The link is here https://bit.ly/2Kg1ULD. It is in the interests of all pilots to keep as many airfields open as possible especially gliding fields. Hope a few of us will be able to help our friends at Dorset.

Saturday, 1st June – a walk around The Park

Whilst our Board of Directors were deliberating over our future, I went  for a walk outside our usual boundaries.  Many of you will not have done that but it was a beautiful evening, watching the Hares and the Skylarks as I wandered. I’ve added a few photos:  On  the  north side, the field (which looks very narrow)  adjacent  to the line  of trees,  is good to land in  and  has  a track  to  the  Maiden  Bradley  road  at  the west  end.   Looking east,  from  the  end  of  the  south gulley,  note  the steep sides;  nothing  could  land here.   From  the  east  end,  looking west,  the  sheep  were not impressed!  You  might  survive a landing  just  before  or  just  after  the  solitary  Ash  tree  but  note  the  very  rough  ground  at  right  angles  to  your  approach  if  you   don’t  get  the  spot  landing  exactly right!!!

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

Club Class Nationals – Days 5 & 6 scrubbed!

Having followed the competiton with interest it looked like today was a ‘goer’ as the pilots were briefed this morning and the gliders gridded. Unfortunately it has just resulted in a scrub again.
I think we can all relate to the snippet below (especially the last 2 lines).

On a more positive note Tim Fletcher remains in the lead after the last task on Tuesday!

Monday 27th May – Open Day Part Deux & TF does it again in TP!

Following on from the open day yesterday the weather appeared to hold more promise for today. Due to yesterday’s inclement weather visitors were encouraged to return today with the possibility of taking a flight.
Despite a low turnout of club members we fielded 3 Puchacz and 1 Astir with Phil and the CFI instructing and a brace of BI’s at the ready for visitor’s.
Under character building conditions with the wind 20kts at 270 it was a great opportunity for honing skills and making the most of the lofty launches. The afternoon provided some welcome sun and an easing of the conditions.
It was great to see 2 visitors today who bought vouchers at the open day in addition to others who turned up on the off chance who we were able to fly. Interestingly some of our visitor’s got the day wrong but it proved the advertising worked!
In other news………….

Tug Bugs: The tug is currently OOA and under investigation. Dick Yerburgh, Mark Player and others toiled all day but a fault persists and work is ongoing.

Overflight’s: With the Club Class Nationals at Aston Down this weekend we were graced with some overflights from fellow gliding aviators, we did spy Tim Fletcher in his Libelle slightly to the North of us. However on checking the results tonight it’s great to see that Tim has topped the scoreboard with a comfortable margin. Well done Tim! You can follow the competition at the link below which runs until 2nd June.

Home

Rare Bird Visit: As a result of the club class nationals we saw an appearance from the Rare Robin Orangebreast, latin name G-TUGZ. Resplendent in it’s orange and white plumage it retrieved another visitor in the form of an ASW19B which was a little out of breath and stopped for a rest.

GAM in it’s pram: GAM and its trailer were cleaned and it was de-rigged this evening in anticipation of it’s return to Tim Dews. Thanks to Tim for making it available.

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!

Friday 24th May. The end of another great ‘Flying Week’ at the Park 🙂

We were treated to another great ‘Flying Week’ at the Park this week fellow aviators 🙂 .

I think you’re right Mike, everyone was so busy making the most of the great flying weather, our beloved blog was left unattended too.

I flew everyday this week apart from Monday, and the soaring opportunities were plentiful.

As a relative newcomer to the sport, I took on board a very handy tip from Mike Thorne and pushed my own limits this week, by setting myself local soaring tasks. I used turn points at Longleat, Stourhead, and a Farm South East of the Park (clear of the circuit). I then tried to fly round this short local circuit quicker and quicker each time.

The Cross Country Pilots have the Ladder. Perhaps my fellow relative newcomers to the sport, could have our own local soaring, “Step Ladder” league table 🙂 . Good practice in readiness for our own future Cross Country endeavours.

I had a fantastic weeks flying. It is my Birthday today, and I even spent that at the Park flying with my fellow aviators, I can’t think of a better way I could have spent it.

As it is my Birthday today, I did of course bring a selection of cakes with me to the Park (picture below).

I think there are some sticky toffee cakes left. If they haven’t yet been devoured by a hungry aviator, they can be found in the caravan, any early birds at the Park tomorrow, feel free to help yourselves 🙂 .

Kind regards.

Damien.

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.

 

Tuesday 21st May at the Park.

What a great day dear aviators 🙂 .

RASP promised good things (screen shot below), and Mother Nature delivered.

Glorious sunshine and the promise of plentiful soaring opportunities saw a full launch point of pilots, many of whom had Cross Country ambitions for the day. I’m sure Alastair will update soon on the days Cross Country achievements.

On a personal note, as a relative newcomer to the sport, today I flew the club K6 and achieved my 2 hour duration which will form part of my Cross Country endorsement, and also gained my Silver height (picture below) 🙂 .

Another glorious day at the Park dear aviators, with a full summer ahead to look forward too 🙂 .

Kind regards.

Damien.