Although unable to fly due to the high wind, there was a huge number of club members beavering away in the hangar. We were worried at one point when we saw a person on the hangar roof, fearing the worst we set up a suicide watch but it was only Mike Thorne clearing the gutters!

Yours truly & Andy Huggins set to rolling the airfield and have removed many of the ruts caused by the vandals last week.

Chrissy continues her sterling effort at redecorating the inside of the caravan, it’s looking great but you are advised to bring a set of welding goggles as it’s a bit bright in there now.

Lastly thanks for the cakes & sweets donated to the team.

New Scam

Dear all

Not a gliding matter so apologise if this is not appropriate but the scammers are now picking up on Coronavirus, so far today I’ve had infected websites offering masks & disinfection wipes etc, be very careful & check the link address etc.

Saturday Report

Thanks to everyone who turned up to fly today. After a late start due to low cloud, poor visibility & a bit of faffing we managed to do 19 launches & 6 1/2  hours flying, the motor-glider also flew again doing three sorties. The ridge eventually started working when the wind went south & picked up with 2 flights over an hour each & a couple slightly less. Thankfully Adam Berresford returned to do his duty instructor despite his membership lapsing, we all had a whip round & raised 10p towards his daily membership!

Congratulations to Andy Newman who, after 35 years  days of solo flying was able to convince me that he is safe enough to be released from daily checks, well done that man!!!

On a sad note some vandal(s) decided to try trashing the airfield during the week (probably Thursday evening) by driving a vehicle up  & down the strip & digging up the grass over the entire length & bredth of the airfield, I have taken pictures & the chairman & CFI have copies, investigations are ongoing, rest assured that thankfully the damage looks far worse than it is & isn’t a safety hazard.

Great Day’s Work

A great day yesterday (Monday) when nine club members turned up to do a lot of work at the club. Primarily the team completely re-painted the clubroom, toilets, kitchen & briefing room including the floors in the kitchen & loos. While all this was being done Julie cooked bacon butties for the helpers, then completed a deep clean of the cookers (a filthy job at best), and Mike Thorne & Mick Longhurst fitted a new main access door, Chris Chappel was busy completing the re-painting of the interior of the caravan. Thanks to everyone who helped & Alastair for organising the day. The whole place now looks bright & shiny, please help keep it that way! 🙂

Soarable at last! Wednesday 5th February

With at least 14 members on the flying list for both Puchaz and the 2 Astirs plus all the “fettlers”, glider maintenance guys and the motor glider having its` rudder re-fitted, it was truly a very busy day at The Park today.

The weather as predicted was very light winds with the promise of some thermals. It didn`t disappoint! Launching from the club house end on the north side with a wind of no more than 5 knots all day, we still had some very respectable winch launches. Many thanks to our intrepid winchers, who managed 28 winch launches between them. We had one areo-tow. First launch 11.02 and final launch 16.40.

Our two volunteer instructors for the day Stuart North and Steve Lambourne were kept busy all day when finally the light fading and the sun becoming low in the sky the flying came to a halt with all the club members achieving the flying, annuals, check flights, training and solo flying they had wished for. Many thanks to Stuart and Steve for enabling this to happen.

Yes, we had some substantial soaring flights with the longest from a winch launch of 41 minutes with the pilot letting down from cloud base (2,300ft) with air brakes open to enable other single seat pilots to have an opportunity to have a soaring flight (could have stayed up for hours!)Both LPM and JKW had soaring flights as did the Puchaz. Several flights of 20 – 30 minutes with smooth conditions.

Home made Chocolate cake and tea all-round kept everyone going 

Chris Chappell

Sunny Wednesday 29th January 2020

In addition to Phil G s` blog, we all had a great day yesterday with many thanks to Phil for volunteering to instruct, our merry band of midweek winchers and Stuart for flying a visitor from the Long Mynd on business in this area whom called in on the off chance of an areo-tow. Our visitor from the Mynd was a BI and an ex tug pilot – well he was very interesting to talk to about how his club is performing with a similar membership volume to ours, but they are a 7 day a week club and have professional staff from catering to CFI and instructors, accommodation the works. They operate on the flying list system, intend to keep it that way and encourage members to engage in many social meals and gatherings to enhance the club income and social cohesion which as he said was an important part of their club. As they don`t own a tug, he had not aero-towed for about 6 years he said, so he thoroughly enjoyed his aero-tow with Stuart to 3500ft.

Graham H held the record for the longest flight of the day from a winch launch of 15minutes in broken, bumpy thermal activity of some sort, with other members averaging about 9/10 minutes a flight.

17 winch launches and tow aero-tows and cups of tea for Phil G!


Wednesday, 29th January

Having cancelled flying due to foul weather last Sunday, I was able to fill in as today’s instructor and enjoy a useful day’s flying.  Puchacz launches were good, around 16-1700′, in the chilly 10-15kt wind, which started more or less down the strip but backed a little later on.

I had candidates for annual checks, daily checks and pre-solo instruction.  We also had a visitor from The Long Mynd, who wanted spins and Stuart took care of him.  There were occasional patches of cloud but aerotow heights were not limited as they cleared through.  Solo and mutual pilots took advantage of the fine weather slot to maintain their currency, so important in these winter days, when we are sometimes limited by low cloud and rain.

Thanks to the whole team who shared the workload, without providing any extra work for the maintenance boys 🙂



“Just smile and wave boys…. smile and wave” 😎.

Good evening my fellow aviators.

I enjoyed my first ‘Wave Flight’ today.

I’ve taken a trip up to Portmoak in the hope of finding some extended Ridge and Wave flights. Portmoak has not disappointed. The weather conditions here have not been as stellar for soaring as they can be, but there has still been an abundance of very workable lift.

The Wave I encountered was only a gentle 1 knot up, but it was still a terrific experience, and the views were as spectacular as they always are here.

I have taken a few pictures below to share with you all, hope you enjoy them.


Kind regards.


A small sample of some famous Portmoak Wave.
A modest 1 knot up, but still a terrific experience.
The views at Portmoak, as breath-taking as always.
And the soothing glow of a deep red sunset, to warm our spirits as we packed away.

At last a half sensible flying weekend.

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…..

Mike Thorne

Almost a flying day!

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.

Happy NewYear.

Mike Thorne

Wiltshire Air Ambulance Fund Raising

Dear all

Julie is pleased to let you know that the amount of money raised for this very worthwhile charity from donations, the raffle & the sale of club clothing comes to £343.42p.

You can be well proud & we thank you most sincerely for your generosity. I have emailed Jan to circulate the list of prize winners from the raffle, lists will also be displayed in the clubroom & kitchen on Saturday.

Uncollected prizes are on a rack behind the bar, please see a committee member to collect.

Saturday, 7th December.

Turnout for a good weather Saturday was disappointing, especially given the poor forecast anticipated for Sunday.  I can only assume that people were out Christmas shopping or canvassing for an election 🙁

There were only two booked pupils; the Uni students had cancelled their block booking recently ( no idea why, maybe as above, or even studying?), so Mark just had one morning and one afternoon booking.

I was standing in for Mike J. as the ad hoc instructor but there were no names on the 2-seat list, although it was a good training day with the wind only a little south of the strip with the potential for more – possible ridge or even wave.  There were a good few on the Astir list.

We were pleased to see both Joy and Ron on the field and Ron’s expertise got him the highest launch of the day – 1850′ – though Julian wasn’t far behind with 1750′.  The wind didn’t back as expected; only Julian managed any time on the ridge, on the last flight.  We packed up mid afternoon because too much cloud moved in, below the achievable launch heights.

Thanks to all for helping to run a safe day smoothly and to Julie for sustaining us with bacon butties, leaving John somewhere up a ladder – or was he secretly shopping, canvassing etc?   🙂



Super Santa Supper – Saturday 30th November

The annual BWND Christmas dinner took place on Saturday night in the clubhouse. With slightly fewer numbers than previous years we made best use of the additional space to spread out and fill ourselves with early Christmas cheer.
A splendid spread with starters, mains and desserts all topped off with coffee and various ‘other’ beverages.
A huge thanks again to Julie & John Hull for their tireless efforts in the kitchen to produce a delicious feast of such epic proportions!

Wet weekend at The Park.

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..

Mike Thorne

Wednesday 20th November

With a breezy south easterly a few keen members braved the cold and with Mike J instructing, took advantage of some midweek instruction and crosswind practice. Plenty of hot drinks, taking launch duties in turns with warming up in the caravan and plenty of cheer we had the first launch at 11.12 after helping de-rig one of the Puchaz for the annual ARC and the maintenance team to start their inspections. The final launch at 15.30 saw 11 winch launches and just over an hour of flying time. The weather was better than forecast with a high cloud base and slots of blue sky appearing and mentions of possible wave gaps in the distant. 

Plenty of fettling in the workshop going on as well, with the tug now having its service.


Sunday 17th November

We had a useful day with a small but willing team on the ground, ably managed by LPC Nick M.   Initially, we had a light northerly across the strip.  As always it was tricky to decide which end  but I tossed the coin, expecting it to go slightly more easterly and we set the caravan up at the west end, winch with the shortest distance to go, in the northeast corner.  Field condition was quite good and with strict adherence to the winter rules, we were able to limit damage.  Of course, the wind didn’t follow the forecasts as I’d interpreted them – it didn’t veer at all but did strengthen slightly as expected.  From the start there was some patchy low cloud, so 1200′ winch launches took us above cloudbase but we could stay clear.  It eventually became more intrusive and canopy misting became a threat, so we packed up a little earlier than hoped, with a very light drizzle also starting.  We were fully booked, including Uni students in the afternoon, so were grateful that three Puchacz were still available; John and I had Julian’s help to fly them.  

Sat 16th November

Sadly no flying today, the weather was just about perfect from 11am, the field, while quite soggy underfoot would have allowed winch launching with careful  management of the retrieves but alas there was only one instructor  booking for the afternoon & all too few solo pilots, none of who need the hours, their average age was nigh on 60.

The good news is that the Christmas dinner is definitely on for the 30th Nov but there are still lots of empty seats, you have until next Saturday to guarantee your place, but only by email to Julie.