The trial went well and I have some nice videos. I was unable to upload a video clip due to it being too large a file.
I followed all the advice from the BGA with respect to mount cameras to gliders and constructed a bespoke fibreglass mount that fixes securely to the wing and has minimal wind resistance. I could not tell it was attached to the wing from how the glider performed in the air.
Thanks to Her Royal Majesty Queen Elizabeth II we had an extended run of fantastic mid-week flying days to enjoy this week. Thank you Ma’am 🙂.
The weather was wonderful for late Spring, with plenty of sunshine, gentle winds, and an abundance of soaring opportunities. Our trainers had a very productive time training new pilots, and the more experienced amongst us were treated to some excellent local soaring conditions and successful Cross Country pursuits.
‘Bath Wilts’ very own Harriet G is enjoying a great weeks soaring also. In between flights and airfield duties many of us enjoyed watching Harriet on ‘Glide & Seek’ very impressively racing along in the ‘Lasham Regionals’ Comp. Great work Harriet, and good luck for the final results 🙂 👍🏻.
I took some pictures from our mid-week flying days to share with you all. Hope you enjoy them.
A day with strong thermals to about 6000ft, but badly broken by the wave. The easy option therefore was a float around the Highlands in nice smooth air. M3 got to around 13,000ft, but I’ve not spoken to everyone yet.
The image above is Loch Tummel from about 8,000ft.
Portmoak Day 1 gave us a surprise wave day. By late morning, the Bishop was working and there were some thermals. A climb to 3500ft then allowed the classic transition to wave. The wave only went to 7300ft, which was fortunate as my oxygen was in the trailer.
A cold front cleared through a little earlier than forecast on the morning of Saturday 7th, leaving behind a crisp, clear blue sky and a light north-easterly. The cumulus started to organise while the private gliders rigged, only three club gliders (FUY, JKW and LPM) making a showing.
Although tricky to get away from the winch, by the early afternoon those that did were rewarded with long flights and high cloud bases. James managed over four hours and 5000′ above The Park in JKW, bagging a Silver Height (congrats James), while the conditions and slow trade for the instructors enabled FUY to soar over 4500′ to the north, with a clear view of the Severn Bridges and South Wales.
Once JKW returned and the hangar was packed, it was time for a cold one in the bar!
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.
Wednesday 20th April saw a chilly start to the morning, but the cloud started to separate, the ground warmed up and the private gliders came out en-masse for some good soaring conditions (atleast until I went up a bit too late in the day..). LPM is still on its back, but JKW was in active use and some flew FUY solo. Chris demonstrated the art of delegation in running the LPC (from the seated position), although she was caught temporarily off guard hooking on JKW (evidence attached). The great news of the day was Mike sending Roland solo – apparently his 13th solo having flown multiple fixed wing and helicopters in his career in the AAC – the last time however was in the early 1990’s, so a big congrats to Roland, and no doubt he will be onto LPM before too long to make it 14! Now for Rowan to catch up with his Dad!
The more experienced pilots are telling me that these are great conditions for March, so hopefully this heralds a good season ahead. “Blue Bird” was rigged by John and Gavin and they both had good soaring as well as instructing. Sadly it did not lead to John dropping his guard on my Bronze practical test, but having endured an air tow with the tug doing thermals, followed by “boxing”, various spins and stalls, heavy “sink” which appeared to disappear…and then came back with a vengeance…winch launches and circuits with no altimeter and a (very) awkward height cable break, I managed to persuade John that I was not too much of a hindrance to myself or others. Cross Country endorsement now awaits, so looking forward to trip or two in the motor glider. Mike turned up to do some solo flying, but naturally ended up giving up his time for some instruction/checks. Congrats are also due to Din who transitioned to soloing on LPM with an immediate 41 minute flight, so hopefully JKW will be back in action shortly. Another great day out.
Another deceptively blue day at the Park yesterday saw much rocking’n’rolling in the air with good heights and durations achieved (not to mention a Bronze acquired – congrats, Mark!); on the ground there was much raking’n’rolling as the trailer park eased towards firm flatness.
After gliders were put to bed, a clattering of rollers on pebbles heralded the following image: perhaps an opportunity for a caption competition?
Stunning spring day at The Park on Friday, and as per Alastair’s comment, thanks to Chris for getting the mid-week flyers out on Friday after the rain on Wednesday. Great to see the private aircraft arising from their winter slumber and joining the action on the grid, whilst the trailer park is looking much tidier, albeit some rolling and compacting of the gravel as per Martin’s comments. Meanwhile Andy had rolled the airfield which despite recent rain has held up well and will firm up with the warm weather. Some photos from the ground….
View west towards The Park from Salisbury in 306 todayGood call from Chris Chappell to call Friday a flying day.
The day was a little slow to develop but by 13:00 the streeting was very good and thermal averages were up to 6kts.
Most club glider flights were over 30 minutes.
BT, 194 and D2 also flew.
Chris Roberts and Adrian flew the Venture to Lee on Solent.
I wasn’t expecting much of Saturday as the wind was forecast 15-20 kts southerly with gusts to 26 kts, but there were a good number of thermal soaring flights. I saw a cloudbase in LPM of over 2500ft above site, but what was most notable was the streeting. If this is winter, let’s hope the Spring and Summer are as good.
The fortunes of the mid-week flyers continues with another soaring Wednesday, making it every Wednesday so far this year that soaring flights have been achieved. Overcast conditions in the morning cleared to a large gap in the clouds early afternoon and Mike Jenks casually showed us how it can be done with a 19 minute flight in JKW. VN and the two Astirs were active, and Gordon took a tow up to 3,000 ft, using a scenic route nudging through and above the clouds, exploiting the gap over the airfield. It was nice post flying to congregate at the bar for a quick beer before heading home – hopefully that will become a more common feature as we emerge from Covid and spring and summer beckons.