VGC Rally Kicks Off

Yesterday the National Vintage Rally started at the Park under sunny skies and rather splendid day was had by all with Justin Wills soaring for 4 and a half hours covering 130 Km between Halesland, Salisbury and the Park and in his Rhonebuzzard (apologies if spell wrong) and justifiably being awarded a bottle of bubbly for the best flight of the day.

Thanks to all the club members who have made this possible, we also did 50 launches and had a fabulous fish and chip supper in the clubroom after flying.


Today’s Flying

With 40 launches today and many 100’s of km’s flown and hours logged it was a grand day, if a somewhat slow process for the thermals to get going. Climbs to over 5000ft were the norm.
So congratulation go to Alan Bennet for completing a two hour flight off the winch and gaining his Silver Height in the process. Mark Smallwood got to fly his Pegase and Bill Prince survived an aeratow check with yours truly.
We finally got the hangar stacked and the doors closed at 18:30 then a few minutes later a glider from Nympsfield landed and wanted an aeratow retrieve. Gordon was the only person not to have sunk a pint or two by then so having done 14 tows already another was called for, alas this was probably the first time that we have put the tug three rows back so had to unstack the hangar again – all good fun, hangar doors closed at 19:40.

Wiltshire Air Ambulance Fund Raising Event

Dear all

In case you’ve forgotten Julie is cooking Chilli Con Carne with Rice and Salad (very mild or medium heat with extra chilli’s available for those that like even  more heat) on Saturday 20th Nov at 5pm (or after flying as appropriate)

A raffle is also being held, if you have any prizes please bring them along on Saturday, tickets on sale to the last moment (£1 a strip of 5) – all profits & raffle proceeds will go the WAA.

Hope to see you there – please email or text J & J if you’d like food to avoid wastage (we will be cooking extra portions)

Club Clothing

A range of club clothing is now available for purchase, details are on the Members page or you can email Julie for details.

All items are embroidered with the club logo & prices have been held as low as possible, all are high quality.

Sat 26th Jun

What a day this was! RASP forecasted a booming day, other sites were doom & gloom. It turned out to be a mixture of both as a few brave people rigged in the gloomy conditions. Club flying went ahead but with few students & only one person per single seater booked. Alastair returned from a 100km o /r to Wantage just as the conditions showed signs of picking up & a fair number of us achieved good long flights in what I can only describe as square thermals.

We welcomed Ian & Richard from the Dorset GC who bought along their Cirruses & Julian & Gav flew a lot of sorties together practising their patter ahead of completing the Assistant Cat course. Julian took the picture of me flying Bluebird at around 3500ft.

Jim Hasker completed his first day as duty Full Cat unharmed & not too stressed under the circumstances.

We rounded off the day with a BBQ, sadly only 8 people attended but sitting out in the warm sun with good food & great people makes the effort all worthwhile. Bring on the Vintage weekend!

BBQ Saturday 29th May

We will be hosting a  BBQ at the club next Saturday. To meet current regulations you (currently) need to bring (& cook) your own food & bring your own cutlery, crockery & drinks (although that aspect may change). There will be no costs levied. The club will supply the BBQ & cooking utensils. If the weather is inclement then the western end of the hangar will be cleared for tables & seating. Hope to see you there.

Well Done!

On a day that I was tempted to scrub, the few of us that flew had a great day, none better than Matt Oakes who I had the privelidge to send off on his first solo, well done that man! Tim Fletcher & Jim Hasker renewed their instructor ratings & last but by no mean’s least Gavin & Julian flew the spare Puch for nigh on two hours. Roll on next week

Tuesday Flying

Tuesday 23rd March dawned drab and unappealing to fly but there was hope, there’s always hope when Mike Jenks is on site! A brisk and distinctly chilly wind was blowing from the south so the ridge should be working and a raft of Instructors were keen to give it a try. As it turned out Steve Lambourne ran up & down the ridge for 1 hour and 40 minutes at varying heights in his PIK 20 while other lowly pilots in the club Puch’s managed to scrape a few runs in very reduced sink and occasional lift. In the end we did 15 launches with Stuart North and Phil Rees regaining currency in the tug and I airtested FUY and flew the Venture, joining Mike Jenks in an all too brief thermal (he’s below me in the picture), before opening the throttle to climb through a large gap in the clouds for a bit of fun and photo opportunity at 3500ft.

Thanks to Mike and Graham Hoile for driving the winch and to Lesley and Julie for doing the log keeping. As it turned out, the sky cleared eventually so all in all it was a great day. We look forward to the 29th Mar when more solo flying can resume before dual flying gets back underway in mid-April.

A Grand Day

Thanks to a concession issued by the Department for Transport last week, the first batch of club instructors were able to fly today with the second batch booked in for tomorrow.

A grand day was had under clear blue skies that was blessed with light winds and occasional Cu that produced some weak thermals. Alastair McGregor carried out the maiden flight in his spanking new Ventus 3 staying airborne for well over an hour.

We did 20 launches of which two were by the Venture and five aerotows. Thanks to Mike Jenks for organising the return to flight and we look forward to resuming normal flights for all later next month, meanwhile after tomorrow we return to lockdown.


Although not many members will have met him, most will know of Pete Stratten, the BGA Chief Exec. Today it was announced that Pete has been awarded an MBE for his work in aviation. I have known Pete & worked with him since my early days in gliding &, I believe, was one of his instructors at Cranwell when he was a lad. I can think of fewer rank & file people more deserving of this award, congratulations Pete.

Return to Flying!

A great day back in the air for those who could spare the time. 17 launches, the longest (unpowered) flight being by Keith Longdon when the wind went round to the south and the ridge started working, Chrissy managed 13 minutes. Thanks to Stu North for providing instruction in GAM.

The Venture was back in the air following it’s annual servicing and fitting of some new avionics, thanks to all those who did the work including Graham Hoile, Ian Wright & Mike Thorne (apologies to those I’ve missed out).

The maintainers were busy in the hangar with FUY now de-rigged for it’s annual inspection – more workshop news being written by yours truly for the Christmas edition of GlideAngle.

Wet Monday

With a promising forecast  a large contingent met up at the club today to fly, alas after heavy rain overnight the airfield was very soft but useable but the flying Gods were determined to keep us on the ground & the weather radar showed a continuous stream of heavy rain flowing off the Bristol Channel straight over the top of us. 

After some consultation we decided that enough was enough at 10:30 (see the attached picture). Thanks to Chrissy for organising the day, regretably the rest of the week looks less than hopeless. Stay safe

John H