Surprisingly no snow at the Park and no slippery access road up the hill, having “slipped” all the way up last week, with half my car on the gravelly bit (not a 4 wheel drive on my old banger!)
Can I appeal to the committee to purchase some grit/rock salt boxes (with rock salt in them) to place at strategic points on the access road up to the Park from the farm at the bottom of the hill.
Whilst Gillingham had a dusting of snow and icy driving conditions, driving towards Mere and to the club from this direction was clear of any snow or ice as was the airfield – most unusual, not what I expected of today.
The field was somewhat frozen which delayed winching but there was plenty of demand for aerotows. First launch (aerotow) of the day at 12.09 and the final winch launch at 15.54 taken by Mike J in JKW, just as we were about to tuck it up for the night! Mike took off to go and explore a stunning cloud street formation out to the north west, looking quite dramatic against the soon to be setting sun. After soaring for 24 minutes , Mike opted to land – “throwing away his height” on some tight turns to beat the setting sun – or was it the lone gaitor on the airfield skyline? Longest flight of the day was down to dick – 38 minutes.
With 2 Puchaz, JKW, BNH and the motor glider out on the airfield, some 12 members enjoyed the day with check flights, annuals, cloud flying checks and some respectable soaring flights for this time of the year, averaging out at about 15/20 minutes. With the polar air it was an amazingly clear sky, dotted with tempting and quite dramatic looking cumulus. (pictures to follow thanks to Dan Weston) We all enjoyed home made cake and brownies too!
9 areotows, 10 winch launches and 2 flights by the motor glider.
The “fettling” crew as busy as ever in the workshop
Fortunately spotted my mistake before anyone else- phew!!!!
Flying is on for Wednesday 30th January. We have Mike instructing, with our trusty band of midweek winch drivers sharing the cosy warmest place on the airfield, (not all at once I must say!) with Guy volunteering as tug pilot, A sunny day with a light north westerly wind and some cloud – hopefully with some lift being generated. Wrap up warm and join us on the airfield Wednesday this week.
We are planning to fly midweek Wednesday 30th January, weather permitting. A sunny day with a moderate north westerly is predicted as of the present forecast. Confirmation in the next couple of days.
Parking space all full up by 09.30 for the bronze course and for lots of work inside the hangar and out. Lots of maintenance, fettling, modifications, sparks, hammering, bacon sarnies, + SMILES.
Thanks to Chris Chappel for her insomnia inspired lovely flapjack. There was still a bit left for the Sunday visitors at close of play.
Soon be Spring….
Stunning photos of today Alistair, reflecting what a beautiful crisp January day which saw some 20 club members well wrapped up, enjoying the winter sunshine and some soaring along with the usual maintenance team in the workshop. After the briefing given by Guy, and the first launch at 11.20 and last at 16.09 we operated 4 aero tows, 17 winch launches along with 3 motor glider flights with Sue keeping the tidy log today.
There will be flying tomorrow. Another fresh crisp sunny day predicted. So wrap up warm and come and enjoy the day.
With much help from Graham today, JKW and FUY have been fitted with S80 varios. They are very easy to use and will really help with soaring. For ease of use there is a simple user guide in JKW.
Sorry about the photo but the contrast of the bright display against the workshop was too much for the camera.
A glorious sunny January day saw 15 club members turn out to fly with Steve and Mike instructing for the day with our team of midweek winch drivers Dave, Andy and Nick enabling a total of 29 flights in all with Lesley keeping a tidy log. 2 Puchaz and JKW were out on the airfield, with the first launch at 10.45 and the final launch of the day at 16.07. A strong northly, gusting on occasions gave plenty of cross wind landing practice. Despite some exceptionally strong sink, Andy (Callahan) managed a very respectable 17 mins solo in the Puchaz, gaining a height of 2.100ft – well done Andy!
Chris (Basham) apart from being an intrepid aviator with the rest of us has taken some great photos of members “basking” in the January sun – albeit being well wrapped up, which when I find out how to post them from my PC we will be able to share them with you all.
Thursday 17th January is looking better than Wednesday. We have instructor and winch cover for Thursday this week. With the weekend just gone not flyable either days, Thursday, weather permitting will be a good day to keep those flying skills current.
If you can make Thursday please let me know – firstname.lastname@example.org
(Entered unsolicited by Mike T as Chris isn’t quite Blog active yet. I’m sure she will be soon… )
Does anyone have good experience of solid mobile phone reception at The Park? It used to be that O2 had the best (but still patchy) 2G coverage. Vodafone claims the best 4G on its coverage maps. Is this borne out in practise?
I’m about to change my phone contract and would appreciate any views from first hand experience please.
Too-windy then too-wet weather made available a team of willing diggers to complete the excavation for the new electricity cabin base. Thanks to all who contributed. Lots more chalk was moved so a nice clean space now awaits a container that will be converted to house the new electrical components. Full installation will be at the beginning of March, after which we’ll be able to harvest all that lovely wind and sunshine.
Lots going in the hangar too with FUY having its tail feathers measured plus many sparks as Steve and Mel’s trailer lost its bottom to Phil’s angle grinder.
p.s. Lots of free chalk for anyone who wants it….
What better place to find in a wood at the top of a hill than a warm, dry, ready built shed to build a cosy nest? It’s unreasonable to expect that the local inhabitants, mice, squirrels, pheasant, badgers etc will not be investigating our trailers and, for the mice and squirrels at least, to be delighted to find even more luxurious accommodation inside the mobile sheds.
Many years ago, in our early days at The Park, squirrels found an ideal hiding place for their nuts, inside the wing tip of a glass single-seater. Having discovered them, now consider how you might extract them? There’s no easy access to the inside of a 7m wing tip. You cannot simply poke anything down there and vacuum them out!
Our solution was to raise the very expensive, pristine wing to the vertical and shake them out. It was not an easy task to accomplish without damage but we utilised the bridge from the field to the clubroom, with the root at ground level by the kitchen and people on the bridge to steady and shake the wing. All went well.
How do we avoid the problem? Very expensive and awkward to fix damage, not always easily visible or easy to track down (eg. radio antenna wiring down the fuselage), can be caused by rodents gnawing and they do seem to like electrical insulation ( as well as any tiny pieces of food left in the cockpit pockets). I was advised that an effective deterrent for old wooden gliders and trailers was mothballs and, early every autumn, I used to scatter a few in my Astir trailer, placing some carefully near likely entry points ( it’s very difficult to seal a trailer completely against mice). I never found any evidence that mice had been in there or any damage, so I reckon it worked. I did have mousetraps in there – not baited of course – and none were ever triggered, other than by me.
I didn’t mind the lingering mothball smell and considered it far better than the potential damage. You cannot buy the “original” mothballs any more ( health and safety for the factory workers) but substitutes are available. Also, many animals are deterred by the chemical limonene, according to the contents on the packaging of many products in hardware or garden stores. I never tried “car air fresheners” but they might work. See what you can find and share your ideas.
A beautiful crisp day with a steady northerly saw 13 club members at the launch point enjoying the day, with Stuart facilitating the instruction. First flight being at 11.22 and last flight 15.17 Despite some promising looking small cumulus around midday the conditions of the day belonged to some fairly strong sink!
17 winch launches and 1 motor glider flight.
A grey day but a light wind, so our brand new solo pilots, Damien and Andy, were able to consolidate with more solo flying. Congratulations to both! A few old hands flew too and Harriet kept us all in order. We did ten winch launches and the Venture few three times.
Just after we finished, four youngish local gents turned up to watch but we hope they will return as potential members. Damien recognised one of them and had a chat, so that’s a helpful start and a good finish to the day.
As Wednesday’s weather is looking to be much better than on New Year’s Day, the decision has been made to fly on Wednesday, not Tuesday this week.
Well we have achived quiet a lot in the past year with plans for a lot more,.
Hope you all have had a good Christmas, be it without any flying, better things to come.
Just to emphasise what has been said before, all the bits a pieces that we put outside to facilitate the laying of hanger floor, if you what it kept you, yes you, need to find somewhere for it to be stored and put it there.
When I return in the new year, I will be arranging a skip to remove all that is left outside.
And whilst on the subject of that area, It was agreed by the committee that trailers are not left outside hanger for more than one day, if you bring you glider into hanger for repair and it stays in hanger, for any period of more than a day, you must put the trailer back in the trailer park please, parking is getting very tight at times.
Bye the way, weather in Malta very sunny with light wind and cloudbase about 3-4 thou varying 0-5 eights cover, not that you could concidering gliding, there is only one glider on the island, a K8, in flight museum hanging derigged against the wall.
Happy New Year to all and I will see you in 2019
Bye the way Mike I get notifications on all new posts