A chilly, windy day, the coolest this autumn to date, provided some testing cross wind launch and landing conditions for those who’d put on their winter woolies, hats and gloves. Several single seater flights with pilots having no wish try again after getting battered by turbulence.
Heroic Mike Jenks instructed in the Puch all day, managing to find reasonable thermals to extend some flights, but for the most part it was educational, character building, sunny, blue, cold and windy.
We welcomed Bart back after getting himself trapped by Coronavirus restrictions in Crete for the whole summer. Sadly we had to turn away a couple of visitors as the conditions were not suitable for them today.
Several projects in hand in the hangar involving grease, paint, wires, woodwork and spanners.
Soon be spring…..
There were about 8 people at the club today all keeping 2M from each other whenever possible.
Two desperate Venture syndicate owners topped up on their circuit and landings currency in a brisk wind. Cloudbase was just 800ft but there was a wave hole over Gillingham that would have been much more fun if the size of the hole had been bigger. Definitely a wave day! No rain in the event but cloud too low for winching.
LPM had its arms put back on after a diligent annual by Alec and Greg, including the fitting of a launch assist sensor.
There’s now a white K6 wing in the workshop!
Lots of midnight oil being burned now on how we operate under coronavirus restrictions and concerns. Watch out for important messages soon.
Saturday 4th Jan was notable in that we did about a dozen flights before rain stopped play. The committee met for the whole time that flying was going on, making the usual momentous decisions about our future. (Watch out for GlideAngle!)
Sunday 5th: guess what! We flew again! We did about 20 flights before darkness intervened, including some check flights, ridge scratching, currency recoveries, basic training and a number of Astir flights. The field was damp but usable and a fun day was had by all. Thanks to all who kept the show on the road.
Soon be summer! The nights are getting shorter…..
The bug is clearly alive and twitching as these weeks of wet weather and Christmas take their toll. 12 of us assembled to try to do a bit of aerotowing today, but the cloud remained obstinately low and we called it a day about lunch time. You can guess what happened next!
Doug changed the diesel generator oil and did its annual service. Mick and Phil washed the avian contributions off their trailer, which collects more than most because the birds like roosting in its greenhouse home too! There was even plenty of time for a spirited discussion about Brexit. Just think what you’ve missed!
It’s looking as if the we’re in for a drier spell now and we have a volunteer instructor and tug pilot for New Year’s Day, so don’t hold back.
Saturday was a washout but today looked as if it might provide some respite. Sadly not quite. One low level launch failure demo only as the fog swept back in at 1.30. Thanks to the team for turning up.
Between us we did turn over FUY in the workshop and fill in some road potholes. Nick continued with a repair of the hole cut in the Venture wing. Mick banged, drilled and clanged on the new windsock pole and the clubroom floor. We drank tea and had good chats with our mates.
Well done to the intrepid club room decorators yesterday. I’m pretty sure my present was under the tree..
Sunday 20th Oct delivered a chilly north easterly wind, so it was the first day this autumn to really wrap up warmly. Gloves and hats were on view. Harriet and Chris got the show on the road nice and early and we kept three two seaters and two single seaters busy all day. It was a good day to remind yourself about cross wind launches, circuit planning and landings, vital skills at our site.
Nice to get the fleet back in the air both days this weekend after such a long wet spell. The field wasn’t too damp and the newly cut grass (thanks to Andy and Doug) didn’t block up the wheelboxes as it might have if wetter.
Look like Tuesday’s this week’s midweek day. Make hay while the sun shines…..
Sat 14th Sept was a beautiful sunny one. Not a cloud in sight, and a gentle SE wind. Hardly the glider pilot’s vision of a great gliding day! Several were rewarded with prolonged flights though after Chris Teasdale showed us where to find the lift, in HTR, over the higher ground. The whole club fleet was out and well used during the lovely warm day. Cady eked out the last dregs of the day, scratching for over 40 minutes above the same spot on the ridge, honing his turning skills after a summer lay-off.
The Longleat balloons were on show in the morning and evening, book-ending a very pleasant autumnal day.
(For KTrax flight log enthusiasts, don’t believe all of the exaggerated times on yesterday’s log file. There were obviously some logging issues. I don’t think anyone flew much over an hour and a half. )
Past Instructor and CFI Alan Milne died 2 weeks ago. Six of us went to his funeral in Poole today, lead by Vice President Dick Yerburgh. Alan had a distinguished past in Gliding having started in the 1960s at Portmoak in his native Scotland. He was Chairman of that club at one time, before moving south with his wife, Jane, to Ferndown in Dorset. He was an instructor in the Dorset Gliding Club and moved to The Park soon after the Club began operations at its new home in Kingston Deverill. He retained his friendships with members of the Dorset GC, several of whom were there today.
Alan was a hugely respected Pilot, Instructor, Committee member and a great supporter of the club in many quiet ways. He retired from gliding when illness reduced his mobility, selling his then glider, Ventus 808, which now lives at Keevil. Alan’s gliders always carried comp no 808.
May he rest in peace.
We flew a group on Friday from a Probus club in Romsey, returning for their third year running. (Professional and and Retired Businessmen’s Association).
Despite the heat wave preceding the day, the forecast teased and prodded us but in the end the weather proved to be adequate to the task with no rain. 18 flights were made by a mix of aerotow and winch, totalling 6.5 hours. Lots of smiling faces went away vowing to return next year if we’ll have them.
Thanks to the gallant band of Team Park helpers, lead by Nigel Warren clutching Polly’s cake, who made it all happen and were willing to give their time to this. These events create a bit of money for the club and make for a sociable day sharing what we like doing.
If you can get a group together please liaise with Nigel about getting them booked in for a day of evening. Our real target is prospective members but we’ll take anyone’s money….
Today’s the first time it’s happened I think but when the site was vacated this afternoon the domestic power was left on.
If you’re last out of the door please remember to touch the “Vacate Building” button on the display next to the exit door when you leave, to ensure that the building is left in a minimal consumption mode.
We hosted this weekend’s regional Inter Club league competition. We had teams from Dartmoor, Mendip, Upavon and The Park. We were restricted by the Yeovilton Air Day just to the west on Saturday, but in the end there wasn’t much risk if getting in their way.
Saturday teased us all day with a sudden flurry of activity about 3.30 when the sun came out through the overcast. It continued to tease but even the most successful scratchers didn’t leave the local area, but it was good for site familiarisation and blowing the cobwebs away.
Sunday was forecast to be almost as bad as Saturday. Pundits and Intermediates were set a 100k task of Park, Salisbury South, Blandford, Park. Novices were tasked with Park, Tisbury, Gillingham, Nunney, Park, at 60k.
Conditions were better then expected but a bit “Curate’s Eggy”. Cloud bases varied between 2000ft and 3500ft above airfield height around each task, with a large unhelpfully-orientated sea breeze front down south, and occasional 6 knot climbs if you could find them.
Several got around the tasks. Lots of fun and war stories. Results to follow! A great social weekend with friends old and new at The Park.
Where were all the prospective flyers? Whilst Saturday was hot and blue, Sunday was quite a lot better, with thermals until about 15.00 and eventually sea air from the NW. We flew 6 visitors and several training flights, but there was space for more.
It wasn’t a cross country day, but I came home with a sunburned nose so the forecast was worse than the reality.
The tug behaved very well after Mark’s recent ministrations. We could even refuel it after we found the fuel manhole cover key where it had been dropped on the ground beside the manhole. It’s now attached to the fuel clipboard!
Looks like a reasonable week ahead. Let’s see what Christine organises for midweek flying.
I took the cracked exhaust manifold to Paul Grellier this (Friday) morning and he repaired the defect and I refitted it this afternoon.
After a successful ground run and test flight, Steve Lambourne did 5 tows with it and all was well.
This update added by Mike Thorne just in case people thought it was still U/S. Thanks To Mark for his rapid attention to this.
Great club attendance today and a chance for several to do some interesting flights in good conditions.
Dan Weston couldn’t quite make the jump to Aston Down for his 50K, but Alastair went to Snowdon O/R for a 500K. Several other 200s and 300s flown with lots of time in the air for those honing their thermalling skills more locally. Trevor Harrod flew and recorded, on the national ladder, his first declared 100k. Ed Beadle visited for the day to do a navex in the Venture. Ben Collins materialised for the day in his solicitor’s car. Welcome to Mike Perry, an Open Day visitor who joined today; another born again glider pilot on a motor bike.
Tomorrow looks a bit iffy for anything other than local training flights, but let’s full our boots while the summer’s here.
At last a decent flying day on the final day of the flying week. 43 flights, several club gliders flying for over 2 hours and up to nearly 5000 above site.
Several good XCs flown, the most heroic undoubtedly being Steve Lambourne’s 8 hour 500k attempt which ended with a turbo return after 460k flown. Alastair and Mark P flew 300k. Bill Prince and I took a coaching Puchacz XC to have a look at the Glastonbury festival site, then turning Trowbridge in a 2.5 hour flight. Greg CW got away at a third attempt to fly for nearly 2 hours in a Puch and to earn a bronze leg, on his first solo flight of more than 10 minutes, just missing a silver height. Sam flew his silver height qualifying flight after a motor glider expedition to Aston Down. Big smiles all round.
A busy day for Andy Huggins who did most of the winch launching. Thanks Andy.
Toys away about 6.30.
Low cloud and breezy.
Not much opportunity to coach or be coached in the air today, although some classroom work took place this morning. The cloud lifted after mid-day and we flew 10 local flights and a motor glider trip.
Tuesday’s forecast is dire so the day is scrubbed. Possible thunderstorms and lots of rain. Mike Jenks will advise on BGA national coach Mike Fox’s schedule by E Mail later.
Did we use it all up in the June flying week? Hope not….
The grass gets ever greener as the rain continues to fall. It might have been flyable about 16.00!
Lots of private fettling, sticking bits back on, getting radios working, a K6 asleep on its side in the workshop with Geoff stroking it lovingly. Ahhh.
The glider battery charging arrangements have been upgraded today. We now have 10 charging points with a batch of individual mains powered chargers. If batteries don’t last the full day now we’ll replace them. Please let Mike T know of any battery that fails during the day, and mark it up with the red marker pen that’s on the bench.
We had a visitor from Dorset GC late in the day, letting us know that support is needed for their airfield purchase plans and taking a look at us perhaps, just in case it all goes the wrong way for them.
Our Weds leader Christine appeared in her open top Merc. Very sporting today! She checked that we weren’t misbehaving then left….
GlideAngle came out today. There will be tests of comprehension on Saturday, so get it read!
Speaking of Saturday, we are having a trial of the latest version of the Eurofox EP120i tug on the weekend of June 15th/16th. The date may change depending on the weather so watch this space. See website home page for details.
I had a nice little run in the motor glider, engine off, under a long convergence line this afternoon. I ran it from The Park to Henstridge Airfield and back at between 2500 and 3000 ft. I could have kept on going but was time limited.
Can’t load video files this big on the Blog so I’ve put a short video on You Tube, a whole new experience for me. Find it at www.youtube.com/watch?v=pKx-D9aZv6k&feature=youtu.be
Here’s an attempted upload of a second video heading back from Henstridge towards Gillingham