Thermal streets to over 3000ft in a strong, cold westerly. Gets the heart fluttering, as well as the new S80 varios.
Despite the tug going U/S with an ignition fault, winch launches were very adequate to the task. There were several prolonged flights, one of an hour before a chosen return to the field. Two Puchs and an Astir were fully utilised until about 16.00 when the promised rain showers threatened and then arrived.
Character building stuff but it gives hope for what’s soon to come.
Yes, it was quite windy today with gusts showing 48kts. But it allowed more fettling of the club gliders and now LPM, JKW, FUY and KAN (front only at the moment, rear next repeater week) have S80s installed.
This run of weather means we have only flown on four Saturdays this year, but you have my word that the weather is changing now…….
Wind speeds of 50 knots at times today ensured that the doors were kept closed and the hatches battened. Lots of creaks and groans from the tortured building and trees.
As usual, quite a bit of hangar activity. Work continues on VN’s annual. The off-grid power system delivered many kilowatt hours and the generator was provoked into life for a few minutes only by deliberately loading up the system. Otherwise we harvested wind and sun for all our needs. More work continues this week to bed-in and refine the system.
Tim Dews kindly delivered his Grob Twin Acro EZE to help us through our heavy maintenance period. Not often a glider gets delivered by someone wearing patent leather shiny shoes, but we see do some firsts at The Park.
A windy week in prospect. Roll on spring.
No flying (again) today, so I sat in on Gordon McDonald’s Inspector Seminar that the BGA held at the club today. This was for me an interesting and informative session and something I think most glider owners would have learnt a lot from.
All the forecasts agree Sunday will be very gusty and there is a Met Office Yellow Weather Warning in force. Hence, please be advised that there will be no flying and duty crews can stand down.
For your information, there is also a yellow warning for wind on Wednesday.
Members feel free to attend the club for other jobs or functions.
Final launch at 12.55. Friday 8th March 2019
With the weather forecast due to close in at about 14.00hrs Friday morning saw 10 club members plus our instructors and winch drivers turn out early to make the most of the weather window offered up for to-day. With 2 Puchaz and 2 Astirs out on the field, 14 winch launches were achieved with the first launch at 10.32 and the final launch at 12.15. Alas the weather window closed sooner than predicted with rain arriving an hour earlier than predicted and flying ceased at 13.05 with all aircraft promptly tucked up in the hangar by some rather soggy club members!
The ridge did offer up some lift with a moderate south westerly – Steve managed a very respectable 18 minutes in a Puchaz flying solo. With Mike and Steve instructing and giving check flights, solo pilots keeping current, and our trusty team of winchers we managed to fly all whom wished to fly. 3.5 hours produce 14 winch launches an 10 happy club members.
Not forgetting of course Andy Huggins who was on the airfield at 07.45 with his mowing machine keeping the grass neat and tidy for the rest of us aviators.
No flying today on a Wednesday for a change, but I have attached a couple of pictures of a parachute being inspected and repacked, in case you ever wonder what is inside the pack.
Lots of the usual glider maintenance and fettling in evidence as well.
Huge congratulations to Steve Lambourne presented with the Haywards Award for Excellence in Gliding Instruction at this evenings BGA annual awards ceremony
Only two launches today due to low demand and an even lower cloud base until midday. But well worth the wait as the wind backed and increased with the ridge working well in 20/25kts of wind.
Did anyone else spot my spelling mistake? – Hangar not hanger!! Good job I`ve got John (Williams) watching my back. Many thanks John for all your ongoing advice.
Yet another unseasonal sunny, warm day for club members to enjoy some midweek flying – summer shorts braved by one member! With many thanks to the two Mikes and Alistair for instructing in the two Puchaz and motor glider. With solo pilots making the most of LPM. None of this possible without our ad-hoc volunteers of winch drivers with LPC duties being mutually shared. We saw a visitor from Shalbourne flying with Alistair in the motor glider carrying out his x-country endorsement. 23 lauches in all (3 aerotows, 2 motor glider and 18 winch launches) with the first launch at 11.08 and the final winch launch at 15.44
Much “fettling” of gliders going on in the hanger too.
There will be an instructor available with a team of our trusty midweek volunteer winch drivers. Maybe a tug pilot will make themselves available. The weather looks promising and a possibility the ridge may work – taking into account how fickle it can be.
It was blue all day with a light south-easterly wind and a very strong inversion, ideal for first time flyers ( Uni & Day members), annual & other checks and early solos.
Andy C. brought along four other students. He was checked out on aerotow and John Symonds did annuals, both having 3000′ tows. John H. gave Damien a check to convert to the Astir [ I’m too heavy to fly with him in KAN 🙁 ]. We flew two day members and new cadet, Lysander.
We were launching and landing away from the sun, which was good but by sunset the downwind leg was tricky and canopies were starting to mist, so we gave in just before legal night.
Apart from the Buzzard, which John knocked out with the Pawnee, we had a good day, with a total of 32 launches, including 4 aerotows. Thanks to all, Phil.
Although somewhat overcast with a strong S.W., the midweek flyers managed a healthy 20 winch launches with Guy instructing for the day. Two Puchaz, one for solo flying, the other for instruction and JKW were out on the field. Not for want of trying by our avid pilots, the ridge refused to offer up any lift for the day. Our winch drivers on the other hand were providing us with launches of up to 1650ft which with the cross wind was quite admirable. With 9 members on the list to fly, the first launch was at 11.14 and final launch at 16.19 which averages out at approximately a winch launch every 15 minutes – not bad!
Not to mention of course the hive of activity down at the clubhouse and workshop.
Rather unexpectedly we have a Medium size Heavy Duty Polo Shirt embroidered with the club logo for sale from the recent batch. Navy Blue (white logo) still sealed in it’s bag. Cost £18.75 to the first bidder. Please contact Julie (or John).
Great team effort to-day despite the forecast. Stuart and Chris Teasdale took the first winch launch at 9.59 precisely! The first half price launch for sometime. With the two Puchaz on the airfield by 9.40, briefing done, all who wanted a flight, flew before the weather closed in, albeit the cloud base being approx. 1,000ft and subsequently lowering itself, prompting us and flying machines to return to the club house and hanger retrospectively at lunch time!
Alastair and I have been watching the weather for a couple of weeks looking for a window of opportunity to fly to Sandown airfield on the IoW
We chose Friday 15th February which turned out to be a beautiful, and dare I say it, spring like day with a southerly wind and clear blue skies once the early morning fog lifted.
Having carefully planned the flight, prepared notes of frequencies en route and checked the charts we departed The Park at 11.15am. Our track took us via Fordingbridge, Stoney Cross and Beaulieu then over the water passing Cowes and Newport before arriving at Sandown. A nice overhead join and landing was followed up with a cup of tea and a bacon sarnie with my sister-in-law and her other half who live nearby.
The return flight was uneventful but a tad quicker than the outward flight due to the tail-wind. On both legs it was necessary to remain below 2,000’ QNH to remain clear of the Bournemouth/Southampton CTR. We landed back at The Park just before 3pm and soon had ‘Kilo Uniform’ tucked safely back into the hangar.
What a fantastic way to spend a day at this time of the year 😎