Soarable at last! Wednesday 5th February

With at least 14 members on the flying list for both Puchaz and the 2 Astirs plus all the “fettlers”, glider maintenance guys and the motor glider having its` rudder re-fitted, it was truly a very busy day at The Park today.

The weather as predicted was very light winds with the promise of some thermals. It didn`t disappoint! Launching from the club house end on the north side with a wind of no more than 5 knots all day, we still had some very respectable winch launches. Many thanks to our intrepid winchers, who managed 28 winch launches between them. We had one areo-tow. First launch 11.02 and final launch 16.40.

Our two volunteer instructors for the day Stuart North and Steve Lambourne were kept busy all day when finally the light fading and the sun becoming low in the sky the flying came to a halt with all the club members achieving the flying, annuals, check flights, training and solo flying they had wished for. Many thanks to Stuart and Steve for enabling this to happen.

Yes, we had some substantial soaring flights with the longest from a winch launch of 41 minutes with the pilot letting down from cloud base (2,300ft) with air brakes open to enable other single seat pilots to have an opportunity to have a soaring flight (could have stayed up for hours!)Both LPM and JKW had soaring flights as did the Puchaz. Several flights of 20 – 30 minutes with smooth conditions.

Home made Chocolate cake and tea all-round kept everyone going 

Chris Chappell

Sunny Wednesday 29th January 2020

In addition to Phil G s` blog, we all had a great day yesterday with many thanks to Phil for volunteering to instruct, our merry band of midweek winchers and Stuart for flying a visitor from the Long Mynd on business in this area whom called in on the off chance of an areo-tow. Our visitor from the Mynd was a BI and an ex tug pilot – well he was very interesting to talk to about how his club is performing with a similar membership volume to ours, but they are a 7 day a week club and have professional staff from catering to CFI and instructors, accommodation the works. They operate on the flying list system, intend to keep it that way and encourage members to engage in many social meals and gatherings to enhance the club income and social cohesion which as he said was an important part of their club. As they don`t own a tug, he had not aero-towed for about 6 years he said, so he thoroughly enjoyed his aero-tow with Stuart to 3500ft.

Graham H held the record for the longest flight of the day from a winch launch of 15minutes in broken, bumpy thermal activity of some sort, with other members averaging about 9/10 minutes a flight.

17 winch launches and tow aero-tows and cups of tea for Phil G!

Chris 

Wednesday 20th November

With a breezy south easterly a few keen members braved the cold and with Mike J instructing, took advantage of some midweek instruction and crosswind practice. Plenty of hot drinks, taking launch duties in turns with warming up in the caravan and plenty of cheer we had the first launch at 11.12 after helping de-rig one of the Puchaz for the annual ARC and the maintenance team to start their inspections. The final launch at 15.30 saw 11 winch launches and just over an hour of flying time. The weather was better than forecast with a high cloud base and slots of blue sky appearing and mentions of possible wave gaps in the distant. 

Plenty of fettling in the workshop going on as well, with the tug now having its service.

 

Wednesday 13th November

Winter clothing in full use today, despite the cold weather, members turned out to a day of midweek flying. 2 Puchaz out on the field and JKW. With only one shower to take shelter from and “huddle” in the caravan, the light SW did offer up reduced sink from a few beats up and down the east end of the ridge enabling us to extend our circuits to an average of 9/10 minutes, with the ever optimist sighting of wave clouds. With instructor training taking place, check flights, solo flying and the introducing of new young people to the sport of gliding we had 23 winch launches and 2 aero-tows with approximately 3 hours of flying time.

Many thanks to mike J and Mike T for instructing and our usual merry men of winchers.

 

Wednesday 30th October

A taste of winter – Wednesday 30th October provided a taste of winter weather to come. A moderate easterly more or less down the strip provided good conditions for early solo pilots plenty of practise their “spot” landings. With the caravan, south side, west end and a good undershoot area, we saw some very impressive landings by our early solo pilots.

Winch launches were up to 1800ft, with reduced sink and the normal winter challenge of staying aloft for more than a few minutes in relatively still conditions. First Launch at 10.43 and final launch at 15.46, 24 winch launches and 2.14hrs flying time. Two Puchaz and JKW out on the field. The rain, obligingly held off till 15.45

Many thanks to Stuart for volunteering to instruct for the day and of course our merry band of midweek winch volunteers

Chris Chappell 

Tuesday 22nd October

Well the weather didn`t disappoint today – another beautiful sunny day with a light south westerly wind saw 12 or so club members turn out to enjoy the autumn day. Two Puchaz and JKW were duly out on the field for the first launch of the day at 10.37

Whilst there was no thermal activity we enjoyed good winch launches, aero-tows, excellent visibility and just the most smooth weather conditions experienced for some time, with reduced sink enabling our gliders to seemingly float around in the air. (apart from the spins and stalls Mike was duly putting Graham through (future BI) and Mark P for his instructor training.  

Mike J carried out instructor training and check flights, whilst other members flew the other Puchaz solo along with JKW. 16 winch launches and 4 aero-tows with just over 4 hours of flying time and last launch at 15.18.

Chris Chappell

“Getting to the briefing on time”! Saturday 19th October

With the roof down, wind in hair and driving off in the autumn morning sunshine to the gliding club, hoping to get to the 9.30 briefing more or less on time, with maybe a having to put up with a few wise cracks! Must admit even I was somewhat speechless to arrive at 9.32, and no wise cracks beckoning, to find the gliders and tug still in the hanger. 

With the winter now looming upon us, days like this are an oasis amongst the last two weeks of heavy rain and future poor weather, and should be available to all club members, including two seater trainees who wish to turn out early in the morning to get the fleet out, ready and at the launch point ready to fly. Maybe we could achieve a launch before 10.00am and get them at half price again!

A beautiful day, fantastic visibility, cloud base not much more than 1500ft, longest flight off the winch 15mins! plenty off sink around, even under very promising looking clouds.

There were club solo pilots around to help run the launch point and give our 6/7 new and not so new Bath university students who arrived after lunch time, training in gaitor driving, hooking on, wing running, log keeping etc. whilst the others were flying. A great day had by all. (well half a day and a bit!)

Chris Chappell 

Wednesday 2nd October 2019

With the weather being an oasis of sunshine, thermals and light winds amongst the wet and windy weather of yesterday, last weekend and possibly tomorrow, club members turned out to enjoy cross country tasks, local soaring, instruction and check flights throughout the day. The longest flight being just over 3 hours with height gains of approx. 4,000ft.                                  With the first launch at 10.49 and the final launch at 16.53, we had 3 Puchaz, BNH, JKW and a number of club members rigging their own flying machines making the best of a fine autumn day.

Andy Callaghan arrived as expected with 3 new Bath university students very keen to try out our sport for themselves. I`m sure Andy will have a detailed report of their visit with plenty of photo shots.

43 winch launches, 2 aerotows and 1 motor glider flight and a total of just over 20 hours flying time.

Wednesday 18th September – Blue thermals galore!

Again a glorious sunny day with plenty of blue thermals for local soaring. Graham managed 2.27 hours with a height of 2,900ft. Several flights of approximately an hour with JKW holding it`s own against BNH even though it was what we would typically call the day “a K6 day”.                                              First launch at 11.28 after we de-rigged LPM for a minor repair job to keep Nick busy for a while in the workshop. Last launch at 16.09 saw 15 winch launches and 2 motor glider flights makin a total of 9.10 flying hours for the very enjoyable afternoon.

Many thanks to Mike J and our trusty midweek volunteer winchers for giving their time, in addition to their weekend rostered duties.

Chris Chappell 

Glorious Friday 13th

Well what a glorious day today! Beautiful clear air which is quite unusual with an inversion as predicted.                                                                                               For those of us up early enough and living local there was the extra wonderful sight of over a hundred hot air balloons taking part in the Longleat 3 day balloon festival. So be sure to be about early tomorrow and Sunday morning to see this amazing sight. A couple of years ago we had a few land on the airfield early in the morning – quite a sight to see.

Steve L managed a very respectable 2.45 hours of local soaring in totally blue thermals – not a whisper of a cloud! With Ron having a more challenging flight in LPM for nearly half an hour – which he declared was really hard work.  With members enjoying two seater training and check flights with Mike J, and the rest of us, well sitting in the Autumn sun with plenty of chit chat and tea. We were joined late afternoon by Dick and Mary flying in for visit in G-COBLY,  having been to Old Sarum for lunch before returning to Compton Abbas.  Mike T took himself off to Portland Bill in or very own motor Faulke – which I`m sure he may well add some pictures and blog himself.

16 flights in all, including one aerotow and one motor glider launch. Approximately 6.30 hours of flying time. First launch 11.27 and last launch 16.24. What a great relaxing day, flying and much socialising listening to some of the great stories of the early days of tug flying from Ron L.

Chris 

Monday 12th August

Many thanks to Alistair for test flying our new syndicate DG101 Elan (Hugh, Bill and myself) and subsequent briefing. Hugh then taking an aerotow and Bill a winch launch, with excellent local soaring conditions (I need to eat some more doughnuts, being a little too close for comfort to the minimum weight – more lead ballast to be made by the technical team for me!)                 With a bit of a grey, low cloud start to the day, first launch at 11.19 and final launch at 16.08 we had Mark and Stuart giving two seater training to members and an aerotow for completion of an annual check.                               Many thanks to Chris Basham for winching for the day, Mark and Stuart for instructing.                                                                                                                                      The afternoon gave us excellent clear air and good soaring conditions. 14 winch launches and 3 aerotows.

Chris Chappell

Wednesday 7th August “Dodging the showers”

Despite numerous showers during the day, members enjoyed a day of two seater training, check flights, solo flights, intrepid thermal hunting and plenty of cups of tea, briefings and social “chit chat” in the caravan between the “wet stuff” falling from the sky.                                                                                   Many thanks to our volunteer winch man, Dave P. Mike J and Steve L for covering the instruction for the day.

Chris Chappell 

Sunny Wednesday 24th July

Another beautiful sunny day, with a cooling SW breeze and with a forecast of an inversion and zero thermal activity, we yet again were pleasantly surprised with some soaring flights of up to 50 minutes. This “hat” goes to Adam (Berrisford) in LPM , with Mike (T) soaring away in the blue yonder (local of course) in BNH for 39 minutes. Many thanks to Stuart and Mike J for instructor cover and of course our ever faithful winch drivers Dave P and Andy H, Gordon, Adam and Alistair for volunteer areo-tows.                                 24 winch launches and 2 aero-tows. First launch 11.00 am, a very civilised lunch break relaxing in the shade of the caravan with the last launch at 16.07. flying time amounting to 6.25 hours.

Chris Chappell                      

Wednesday 3rd July

What a glorious day this turned out to be – sunshine and thermals!

With club members turning out for instruction, check flights and solo flying, not to mention the volume of private gliders busily rigging first thing in the morning for tasks of up to 500k – this I`ll leave to others to share their task experiences and achievements.

Doug Trimmer gained his 2 hours towards his Bronze, Nick (Machin) converted to JKW.  Cloud base being just over 4,000ft with thermal activity late into the afternoon and early evening enabling club members to receive their upper air exercises.                                                                                                   First launch at 10.49 and final launch of the day at 17.18. 43 winch launches and approximately 68 hours of flying time with club and private gliders, the last landing returning from is task being 18.51 

Many thanks to Mike and Phil for covering the instruction for the day. 

Chris C

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.Β 

Chris Chappell

Sunday 19th May

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.Β 

Chris Chappell