Saturday 2/12/23

This wasn’t taken from a great height, just 2000ft looking south today over the Blackmore Vale.

Once the early fog cleared and the gliders were frost free, we were able to fly in sunny but cold weather

Alastair in 306

A Crisp Winter Day

It may technically still be autumn, but today dawned as a frosty winter morning with clear skies. After weeks of rain, there was a strong turnout, with instruction fully booked and a strong turnout for the motorglider and the club fleet.

Puchacz Glider

Flying started as soon as the gliders could be kept free enough of frost. The two serviceable Puchacz gliders, Astir LPM, and the motorglider did brisk business. The venerable K6 found favour with some, although still spent some time parked in the cold, while JKW and FUY were both in winter maintenance.

Sunset Astir

Unfortunately, with the depleted club fleet, a combination of the setting sun, misting canopies and the return of the frost meant some were left some disappointed. However, a good day’s flying had been had, and as the moon rose and the gliders returned to the hangar, the warm bar found brisk trade.

Glider moon

Under leaden skies

With autumn looking like it would properly arrive in the forthcoming week, Saturday 16th September looked like it could be the last hurrah. With RASP predicting 4+ stars for the middle of the afternoon, what could possibly go wrong? (I think you know the answer to this!)

The rain I drove through on the way to the club was as expected. It would clear… it did eventually. But the trough to the west wasn’t quite far enough over to the west. The result was a north-easterly wind and leaden skies. Not good for much…..or was it?

A lack of ground activity associated with the expected circuit flying and cable-break practice, along with a gallery of pundits looking intently towards the north, indicated that something was not quite as expected – gliders were actually staying up! Tim Fletcher and Andy Farr had found a rich seam of lift on the DOWNWIND of our ridge. The best area of lift was often well into the valley, although it did appear to move around throughout the day.

Various explanations for this lift were offered – from wave initiated by Salisbury Plain to ‘shear wave’ caused by air masses with differing wind speeds (I won’t try and explain!)Β 

This consistent and usable lift lasted for the duration of the day, averaging around 2 knots, with occasional areas of up to 4 knots. There appeared to be a distinct layering of the air with wind speed higher and visibility much better above about 900′. Many extended flights were had to over an hour, mostly between 900′ and 1,100′.

The unexpected nature of the lift made it one of those special days that will live long in the memory of all those who were lucky enough to experienced it, and was one that makes gliding such an engrossing sport.

As we closed the hanger doors at the end of the day, Red Kites were still soaring in the lift. It was definitely one of those ‘you should have been there’ days!

Vintage Glider Club 50th Anniversary Rally 😎.

Greetings aviators 😎.

The Vintage Glider Club celebrated its 50th Anniversary Rally this year.

The Rally attracted aviation enthusiasts from across the globe, includingΒ  some of our very own Club Members.

Phil D very kindly sent me some pictures to put on the Blog to share with you all, and there is also an upcoming article about the Rally in Glide Angle to look forward to.

The Vintage Rally was a resounding success and a great time was had by all. I’m very tempted to attend the next one myself πŸ™‚.

Hope you enjoy the pictures fellow aviators. Many thanks to Phil for sharing them with us πŸ™‚.

Kind regards.


August Training Week at the Park 😎.

Greetings Aviators 😎.

We were treated to a very enjoyable and very productive Training Week at the Park this week πŸ™‚.

Clement weather conditions generally persisted throughout the week, with an abundance of glorious sunshine, and light winds. The Weather although not ideal for Cross Country pursuits, was just about perfect for Training πŸ™‚Β πŸ‘πŸ».

Alan B, passed his Cross Country Endorsement assessment with Stuart N.

Reuben O, achieved his First Solo Flight.

Mars H, achieved his First Solo Flight.

Matt O, Re-Solo’d after returning from a short hiatus from flying.

Din G, achieved his first 2 Hour Solo Flight.

On Friday, Adam B made a very welcome return to the Park with some of our fellow aviators from Mendip, to complete some further Spin Training with them.

Another very enjoyable and very productive week at the Park, and a very well done to allΒ πŸ˜ŽΒ πŸ‘πŸ».

I took some pictures during the week to share with you all. Hope you enjoy them.

Kind regards.


Reuben O, being congratulated by the CFI after achieving his first Solo Flight.

Mars H, relaxing after his First Solo Flight. A flight he then quickly followed up with a thirty minute solo flight, a good effort in the light soaring conditions of the day.

An unexpected great day out!

On the 25-7-23 my task was PRK-SAS- BLD-CHD-PRK, A sea breeze front developed unexpectedly which allowed me to fly along it form just past BLD to CHD and then home only turning once at Chard, I did contemplate carrying on along the coast but chose to completed the task, for a distance of over 100kms without turning!. My MOST ENJOYABLE flight of the year …. SO FAR!

On the way to CHD could maybe should have kept going!!!
On the way back just before turn for home.

Mid-week Aerobatics over The Park

John Hull wanted a tow behind the new Eurofox to see what it was like following, so I hopped into the back of a Puchacz and had my first experience of aerobatics – it was also the first time since my trial flight 2.5 years ago that I could just go along for the ride. Great fun, and the sick bag remained in its holder! Alastair and John Garland doing a very nice job in the Eurofox. Video evidence attached and a beautiful day on top. Thanks John!

Sunday February 5th

This weekend was the first time we have had our new Eurofox tug in service. Everyone has been amazed by the power of the new tug and today we flew it for 2.5 hours including eight tows. Picture taken with two in the tug towing a Puchacz dual.

Glorious Weather for the Mid-Week Flyers

The Mid-Week flyers had a glorious day of winter flying on Wednesday 7th December. Clear skies, low wind chill and a few layers meant temperatures were fine and even the odd layer was discarded. Mike was busy with instructor training which saw Tim signed off for flying passengers (IFP) and John passing his 5 yearly (and last) instructor checks, whilst John, Nick and Steve were kept busy on the Pawnee as it approaches its finale. A good day for all.

High Flight

I echo Alastair’s comment – this was an extraordinary Day. I took an aerotow in G-DEHM at 13:06, and eventually picked up a strong thermal at the ‘usual’ place over the farm in the valley at around 1500ft. This thermal just kept on giving, and without much ado I was fairly swiftly lifted to over 7,000ft, and eventually topped out at 9002ft QFE. (This photo was taken on the way up) After marvelling at the fabulous view, I took the opportunity of a gentle cross-country via SHM/MEL/TIS/SHA without any of the usual apprehension about getting home. I can’t imagine that I, or G-DEHM, will be likely to experience anything quite like that day any time soon.

Sunday 14th August

Was today the best ever UK soaring day?
Cloudbase at The Park and around most of southern England was around 9500ft, but someone might know better. I saw several club gliders on the flightlog at around 9K.
Thermal climb average for my flight today was nearly 5kts, which is unknown.

August flying week at the Park 😎.

Greetings fellow Aviators 😎.

Our first Flying Week of August produced some truly excellent soaring opportunities πŸ™‚.

There were lots of successful Cross Country pursuits, many of which can be viewed on the BGA Ladder πŸ™‚. Daily Scores (

Congratulations to our Club Chairman Martin D, for achieving his first 500km flight. Great job Martin πŸ™‚ πŸ‘πŸ».

We welcomed back some fellow aviators visiting us from Dorset GC. Terrific to see you again gentlemen πŸ™‚.

John H made us a Curry at the end of one of the flying days, and organised a BBQ at the end of another day. Thanks John πŸ™‚Β πŸ‘πŸ».

I took some pictures from our flying week to share with you all. Hope you enjoy them.

Kind regards.


John’s delicious Curry πŸ™‚.

With all the Gliders safely tucked up in the hangar or in their trailers, and with the sun slowly setting over the horizon, this fellow aviator gently floated by our airfield πŸ™‚.

Friday 29th July

Many thanks to Graham Hoile for organising at the last minute, a flying day today, Doug for running the wings and Clive acting as LPC

Ten pilots launched in the blue wondering what the day held, but very soon Cu appeared with a base of over 5000ft, and eventually went to nearly 7000. It was one of the best days I have flown, and with very strong climbs.

It just shows how we need to be flexible and make the best of good days.


July Flying Week at the Park 😎.

Greetings Aviators 😎.

We were treated to a very pleasant Flying Week at the Park this week πŸ™‚.

The weather wasn’t stellar for soaring, but we made the most of the week’s opportunities πŸ™‚.

We kept busy in the workshop πŸ™‚.

We drank lots of tea πŸ™‚.

We kept cool at the Launch Point 😎.

We flew at every opportunity the weather graced us with 😎.

At the end of Friday’s flying we enjoyed a delicious BBQ πŸ™‚.

On Saturday we were treated to some unexpected but very much appreciated musical accompaniment to our aviating adventures thanks to Tim πŸ™‚.

All in all, another very pleasant week at the Park 😎.

Kind regards.


Monday 11th July

The forecast of a really good day attracted half a dozen members to grab an extra day’s flying today, and many thanks to Gordon for flying the tug and Clive for helping with the launching. Top cover came in mid afternoon and caused an early shutdown, but for several hours cloudbase was over 6000ft and several flights of around 200K were flown.

The image above shows the dense smoke off the fires on Salisbury Plain. Just like the stubble fires of old.


Another wonderful Flying Week at the Park 20th June – 24th June 😎.

Good evening Aviators 😎.

We were treated to another wonderful Flying Week at the Park this week πŸ™‚.

Glorious sunshine and gentle winds fueled an abundance of local soaring opportunities, as well as successful Cross Country pursuits, and a first solo flight for Peter E? Congratulations Peter, you will remember that flight always πŸ™‚ πŸ‘πŸ».

We also enjoyed the company of some very welcome guest Pilots from Keevil and Dorset Gliding Club, who were all very helpful and proactive around the airfield and great to share a few stories of soaring adventure with in the Club House at the end of the days flying. Look forward to seeing you all again soon gentlemen πŸ™‚ πŸ‘πŸ».

I took some pictures from our flying week to share with you all. Hope you enjoy them.

Kind regards.


Heading to the Launch Point 😎.

Plenty of pre-flight conversations 😎.


Primed and ready for take off 😎.

Keeping cool on the Launch Line 😎.

‘509’ Pride of the fleet 😎.

Trial of my fibreglass go-pro mount for the wing of M3

The trial went well and I have some nice videos. I was unable to upload a video clip due to it being too large a file.
I followed all the advice from the BGA with respect to mount cameras to gliders and constructed a bespoke fibreglass mount that fixes securely to the wing and has minimal wind resistance. I could not tell it was attached to the wing from how the glider performed in the air.

This is a still of my final approach to the Park

Mark P