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!
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.
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.
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!
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 🙂 .
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.
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 🙂 .
With 2 students booked for the morning session and 1 for the afternoon and 2 solo pilots plus the duty team, we saw the 2 Puchaz and the 2 club Astirs at the launch point, east end. Although somewhat hazy with high cloud and a forecast of showers for the afternoon we saw some good soaring flights of up to 1.50hrs, a couple of hour or so flights including a mile high air experience flight. 7 winch launches in all plus 2 aerotows. First launch at 10.24 and final launch at 13.35. Approximately just under 5 hours soaring. Rain unfortunately stopped play and we packed up the gliders in the hanger.
A very quiet day at the launchpoint and only 25 flights today. That did though allow concentrated instructional flying for those who had booked. The new booking system is giving much more satisfaction to both instructors and trainees.
For once the typical “blue hole” over our airfield was welcome! With top cloud cover stretching as far as the eye could see to the east and slowly creeping in from the west the clear blue sky over the Park remained blue (ish), but the thermals were there!
First winch launch at 11.09 and last at 16.12 with 22 winch launches in all, 1 Puchaz, 2 club Astirs and a selection of private gliders managed almost 19 hours soaring today with the “pundits” completing various x-country tasks.
Many thanks to Stuart for volunteering to oversee the day and instructing, Dave and Nick our midweek winchers, and the intrepid Chris Basham for running the launch point.
Three of us flew on what turned out to be a pretty special day, after waving our friends off in the morning as they set off for home.
Marks Player and Hawkins and Mike T took the 561k challenge set by Portmoak hero Santiago Cervantes, and headed out towards Inverness and beyond. Thermals and streets were epic at times, but rain stopped play near Inverness as it spread like an east/west wall across our return path. We crept back through clattering snow showers to the good stuff and headed back for TP2 at Crieff, then headed back north again towards Fort Augustus, which also delivered rain/snow showers, so again we cut that turnpoint by a few tens of kilometres.
Results on the ladder for the keenies.
Great views of Loch Ness and its mysterious patterns on the water…..
Lots of 8 knot+ climbs and strong streeting made for a brilliant day out for those who could stay. This sort of mirrors last year’s trip when the best day was the Saturday. Memo…. Adjust return date for next year!
Alastair couldn’t resist a peep at what was going on whist travelling home. You can get WhatsApp messages in the air here!
After yesterday’s heroics the forecast proved to be optimistic instead of pessimistic. We had just three Park launches, each of which involved a lot of scratching in the sea air coming off the Firth of Forth.
Most toys packed away by mid afternoon although Marks H and P and Mike T are anticipating a 500k day tomorrow if we can believe the forecast. News to follow….
We had an unexpectedly good day today. This place constantly surprises; today Park members flew up tp Aboyne and into the mountains. The photographs are of the area around Dundee and the mountains towards Aboyne.
So far we’ve had five soaring days out of six. Who knows what tomorrow holds?
John Symonds took this photo of Loch Leven today. The wind was just south of east, sky was grey but with some cumulus. Unusually, I was first out of our blocks ( some decided it wasn’t worth it with little chance of cross-country), so I took a winch launch, with a deliberate plan to start the motor immediately, to reach the cu. The plan ( and the motor) worked and I found thermals enhanced by the gentle hill lift on the dip slopes of The Bishop. Mike T. was towed past me and helpfully radioed, from his thermal, that my wheel was still down 🙁 I had failed to do ” top of climb” checks! Still, it was good practice in the lower performance machine. Martin, John and Richard all joined in and Steve took Mel up in the club’s DG 505. Rain was covering the mountains west of us and progressed into wind, almost to the airfield. However, we all got down and derigged before any got to us, late afternoon. Mike followed an energy line out to Leuchars, so he wins today’s prize for determined effort 🙂
Interesting day today. The sea air came in from the south meaning that we had to struggle away to the good conditions to the north. Problem was the snow showers developing over the mountains. A couple of images below of the highlands north of Crieff from just below the 7000ft cloudbase.
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.