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

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.

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.


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.


Congratulations to Gavin, now an Ass Cat, flying with his first paying customer Harvey today.

And it was good to see Bath Uni again after the difficulties of covid in the last couple of seasons.

Saturday 12th December

A lovely day’s flying. 33 flights today, with Steve Lambourne achieving the longest flight of 18 minutes in LPM. Sitting in the front seat of GAM doing instructor training we had a thermal climb of over a knot up to 1800ft, (thank you Dan) and a winch launch to 2100ft, (thank you Graham) which is the best ever I have seen at The Park. And the wind was only 20kts.

All very pleasant for the time of year.


Thursday 6th August

Today on the Flying Week the drizzle and low cloud plus the need for social distancing, didn’t stop Mike Jenks giving an excellent interactive briefing on a variety of important subjects from launch failures to stalling and spinning. Don’t let the weather put you off attending .

Dennis enthralled us with his experiences of stalling and spinning Hunters, Gnats, Hawks, Venoms and many other types at impossible g loadings and attitudes. +6 G spin anyone?


Wednesday 20th May

Today was a trial to see if we could operate safely under the new current government rules. The CFI gave 17 members a long and thorough briefing, and we then flew some Venture flights and eight aerotows with a mix of private and club gliders. The soaring wasn’t great and most of us struggled to stay airborne in very weak blue thermals but it was great to be flying again. The images show Mike Thorne in 919 taking the first launch at the club since the end of March.

After flying we then had a very thorough group debrief and discussion. We are certain that we can fly and run the club safely, but there are many new important procedures and practices to follow. The Chairman will be sending out an email at the end of the week to explain.

It’s unlikely we will fly on Friday due to the weather, but we plan to on Saturday where we will be using the winch as well as the tug.

Don’t forget the flying week next week .


Restarting flying

There will be solo flying by aerotow only on Wednesday 20th for those who have arranged flying with the CFI. We then plan to have a more normal operation from Friday, but solo only unless with a member of the same household.

Bournemouth airport

I came across this unusual image of Bournemouth airport yesterday. If you are reading this from an email you will probably need to look online at the blog to see the image

In these difficult times I thought it might be worth a caption competition.
Any suggestions? Perhaps “Airport proves traffic forecast doubters wrong?”. But I am sure you can do better.


Monday 6th Portmoak

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.


Portmoak Sunday May 5th

Sunday started with a thin layer of stratocumulus which as expected gradually broke up and it became soarable. All gliders flew, most using the west wind onto the Bishop and then transferring to thermals which went to about 5500ft. Of those I have spoken to, M3 found some wave to around 8000ft, but I think most of us flew around the area to the north and west in thermals of varying strength. Quite a lot of snow showers in the mountains though.

Expecting, dare I say it, a good thermal day tomorrow.

Image is the Bishop from the Lodges


Friday 19th April

41 launches on a nice warm sunny day for a change and great flying conditions. I heard one report of a climb to 6000ft QNH.

Congratulations to Gotthelf Weidermann on resoloing.

I thought the booking system today was a great improvement on the old system, but members, don’t be afraid to book if you need two seater flying.


Wednesday 3rd April

Full winter kit today, but strong thermals to compensate until the inevitable showers came in.

EZE was derigged and returned to Tim Dews and we are now looking forward to rigging and flying his K21 at the weekend.

Wednesday 27th

Some good soaring today and I expect Chris will put in a report on the flying later. Please note though that RASP is not working at the moment and if you look at it and it tells you the soaring is very bad, you could miss a good day

RASP stratus though currently is fine.