“Honey…somebody shrunk the caravan….”

After 2 successive weeks of sunshine, the mid-week flyers had a more challenging day. Low cloud base led to a late start, but concurrent activity saw a number of members assisting Nick in putting the wings back on FUY which completed its annual, and KAN was de-winged for its annual. Soft ground led to a decision not to use the caravan and the Land Rover took over as the launch point station. Whilst some thought the cloud base would never lift, Mike stood firm and as usual he was correct as gaps appeared and both winch and tug launches took place. To prove the point Mike, accompanied by our new member Ronan, son of our recently new member Roland, managed a 23 minute flight into some wave – Ronan is clearly hooked – welcome Ronan! A good day out with us departing as the sun, which had finally appeared through the gaps, disappeared.

Mid-week flyers revel in the sunshine…again..

For the second week  in a row, the mid-week flyers experienced a glorious day, with little noticeable wind at the launch point (slight tail/no chill) seeing outer layers removed and silky smooth landings on a field which just stood up to the recent wet weather. All the club gliders as well as the tug and the motor glider were in action, and concurrent activities saw Greg commence his winch driver training (with some others in the wings to join him) and John introducing  3 new syndicate  members to the  delights of the Venture motor-glider  (Andy,  Roger  and  Trevor).  Another  great day!

Mr. Blue Sky was shining on 5th January 2022

After what seems like weeks of blustery overcast and damp conditions, Mr. Blue Sky shined brightly on us on this mid-week flying day. An excellent turn-out  saw  2 x Puch’s, 2 x Astirs and 2 x K6’s (unpacked from their winter slumber) take to the crisp blue skies. The tug was in operation,  and  pilots  were  seen  searching  for  some  wave  which evaded  their  short  desperate  struggle.  Meanwhile  thermals were  spotted  at 150ft,but  sadly  Keith  is  in Andorra, so unable to take  advantage.  Temperatures  around  1%,  but  quite  comfortable  with  most  pilots  doing  good  impressions  of  Russian  border  guards  or  in the  case of  Graham, Ernest Shackelton.  A thoroughly  good  day  out.

Monday, 3rd January, 2022.

Not quite the first launches in 2022 – Mike did those yesterday – but a flyable day was forecast, the only doubt being the possibility of the field being too soft.  As they did yesterday, we used the white Landrover as our launch point control.  The headlamps were the emergency stop light, operated from the high beam “flash” stick and not requiring the ignition on to do that – very visible from the winch and easy to line up.

We had to limit ourselves to one Puchacz only, because we didn’t have a full duty team and only two non-duty but experienced pilots turned up.  That was a pity, because the wind had more south in it and less strength than forecast but that meant we had good launch heights and the ridge worked.  George and Graham demonstrated that on their first flight.

The launches  were at or above the broken cloudbase of around 1300′.  We did eight in total and most were soaring flights over ten minutes, except for a high weak link break and check flights, including a simulated mid launch failure.  George, with his extensive ridge flying experience, did the longest flight of course, 20 minutes.

Thanks to all who turned out; we could have done with a few more!

Phil G

Sunday 21st November

A beautiful sunshine has welcome the brave on Sunday. The lively northerly wind made take off and landing very interesting and gave us the opportunity to practice our crosswind skills. It has not been much of a soaring day but the great visibility allowed us to enjoy the view of the wonderful countryside and remind me how lucky we are to be able to enjoy such sceneries and a very friendly, enthusiastic and highly knowledgeable community.
All the trials flights has been a success and overall has been a very positive day.
We are all looking for more sunshine and soaring days in the following weeks.

Wednesday 17th November

The fair-weather forecast brought out a good selection of stalwarts, newcomers, triallers, trainees, visitors and even ab-initio students. A very pleasant day in some welcome November sunshine was had – many thanks to those on duty.

However, the weather did spring a little surprise (though with no effect on flight durations). Our local Met guru Mike Thorne was able to explain these striking cloud formations – known as “fallstreak holes”. I won’t attempt to repeat his explanation but you can look it up on Wikipedia. Certainly not something one comes across in the Bronze syllabus!


Saturday 13th

Saturday 13th saw uni, club and day members make a decent turnout for a November Saturday. With a northerly wind, tales of last Sunday’s wave abounded, with Mike as optimistic as ever. It was great to see Clive again after a period of absence, and it was like he’d never been away as he immediately set to work abusing the unbelievably diligent, hard working, under-appreciated and youthful LPC!

The wave never materialised, but thirty-four launches kept the club fleet of three Puchaczs and two Astirs busy until the light started to fade. There was some soaring to be found, with the longest flight of the day being 34 minutes from the winch. The motor glider also returned to the field from its maintenance, making two test flights which were reported to be satisfactory.

When the light started fading and bellies were rumbling, the launch point was packed up and around 20 people headed to the clubhouse for a chilli and raffle organised by J&J in support of the Wiltshire Air Ambulance. The unbelievably diligent, hard working, under-appreciated and youthful barman kept glasses topped up, and it was not long before everyone was tucking into the chilli (a straw poll suggests a unanimous verdict of it being absolutely delicious). The raffle was drawn, with some winning big, while others didn’t even get their bus fare home.



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)

Wednesday November 3rd

We had a very useful demonstration today of the latest EuroFox 915iS tug. We did four Puchacz tows to 2000ft and Mark and I had a couple of passenger flights to assess the handling. I need to look at the traces but the initial impression is that it climbs exceptionally well at around 7000ft/min.

Here is a video taken on one of the tows from a Puchacz, with apologies for the tug being out of focus, but it shows the climb rate..

We welcome Tim Brunskill’s to the club with his K6E.

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.

Congratulations to Gavin, now an Ass Cat, flying with his first paying customer Harvey today.

And it was good to see Bath Uni again after the difficulties of covid in the last couple of seasons.

Possibly the perfect tonic for one of those stable air mass days 😎.

Good afternoon fellow aviators.

I took a trip last week to “The Gliding Heritage Centre” at Lasham with Phil D from the Bath Wilts maintenance team.

Phil and I had a great day out there.

The people we met were really terrific, knowledgeable, passionate about aviation, and generous with their time. Particular thanks to Glyn B and Gary P for making us feel so welcome and giving us a fascinating insight into the world of Vintage Gliding 🙂 👍🏻.

The Lasham Cafe is great too. Once our trip round the Heritage Centre was complete we popped into the Cafe for a late lunch. Phil tucked into a very nice looking piece of victoria sponge, while I enjoyed a delicious toasted teacake with butter and blackcurrant jam, all washed down with a refreshing cup of tea of course 🙂.

I would describe the Gliding Heritage Centre as a magical and truly inspiring place to visit. Possibly the perfect tonic for one of those stable airmass days 😎.

Link to GHC Website below if you would like some more information:


I took a few pictures from the day to share with you all, hope you enjoy them.

Kind regards.


Tuesday 10th August from the Park. “Glorious Wiltshire Sun” 😎.

Good evening fellow aviators.

We bathed in glorious Wiltshire sunshine all day today at the Park 🙂.

The upper wind was a light 5 – 10kts WNW.

The weather wasn’t ideal for Cross Country flights from the Park today, but the local soaring opportunities were plentiful 🙂.

Mike J had a productive day instructing and Nick B was kept busy flying the Tug. 🙂 👍🏻.

Another very pleasant days flying from the Park dear aviators 😎.

I took a few pictures from the day to share with you all, hope you enjoy them.

Kind regards.


Task week report

Well, a flying week with four very good cross country days and one sunny and flyable day, must be some sort of record.

Despite not actually having very many club members flying, four pilots achieved Badge flights:
Martin Davidson, Diamond Goal.
Keith Longden, Silver distance, 5 hours and 100K Diploma.
Mark Smallwood, 5 hours and Silver height.
Bill Prince, Silver distance.
Ian Simmonds from Dorset GC, Silver distance, Silver height and  100K diploma part 1.

As well as these flights, there were several successful 200K – 500K flights, and three field landings with no problems. Sorry I have no pictures, but believe several have some from the air of Keith’s glider in a field at Longleat yesterday.

Most of all though, a big thank you to the winch drivers and tug pilots for volunteering to launch us.

Task week update

Tuesday was another excellent flying day with a high cloudbase and strong thermals. Tasks up to 340K.

Wednesday, ditto. Tasks up to 310K and as far as I am aware, one 300 and several of the group flew the 200K. It was certainly a lot cooler at 5000ft in the glider this afternoon than on the ground.

Same again for Thursday I think.

Day 1 Task Week Monday

The first day of the Task Week gave us some fantastic flying conditions with strong climbs to over 6000ft widely in the afternoon.

I don’t have all the details yet, but well done to Keith Longden for Silver distance and 5 hours. Mark Smallwood for 5 hours. Martin for his first Diamond 300K. And a great 300 attempt from Harriet.

919 and 306 flew 500K, with Mike unfortunately really needing longer wings to cross a huge blue sea air gap on the way home.

Tuesday is also looking good.

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!