After a good BI Training Flight with Alastair. Where we managed to soar to 2800ft Agl (3500ft AMSL) at 3kts up, I took the Astir and flew for an hour on the ridge. I even managed to get some photos for the blog:
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
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!
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 🙂
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.
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…..
Firstly, Happy New Year!
Secondly, I have made a round up video from this seasons aerobatics training and competitions, it is embedded into the site below.
Feel free to check it out.
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.
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.
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? 🙂
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..
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.
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.
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.
Winter clothing in full use today, despite the cold weather, members turned out to a day of midweek flying. 2 Puchaz out on the field and JKW. With only one shower to take shelter from and “huddle” in the caravan, the light SW did offer up reduced sink from a few beats up and down the east end of the ridge enabling us to extend our circuits to an average of 9/10 minutes, with the ever optimist sighting of wave clouds. With instructor training taking place, check flights, solo flying and the introducing of new young people to the sport of gliding we had 23 winch launches and 2 aero-tows with approximately 3 hours of flying time.
Many thanks to mike J and Mike T for instructing and our usual merry men of winchers.
I have recently edited a video from this years British Nationals, the video shows 1 full flight at advanced level. I thought it would be cool to share it with you, so you can get a better understanding of what I fly, and how it fits together as a sequence at a competition.
Video is here if you would like to check it out: https://youtu.be/iomtlgHENTc
A taste of winter – Wednesday 30th October provided a taste of winter weather to come. A moderate easterly more or less down the strip provided good conditions for early solo pilots plenty of practise their “spot” landings. With the caravan, south side, west end and a good undershoot area, we saw some very impressive landings by our early solo pilots.
Winch launches were up to 1800ft, with reduced sink and the normal winter challenge of staying aloft for more than a few minutes in relatively still conditions. First Launch at 10.43 and final launch at 15.46, 24 winch launches and 2.14hrs flying time. Two Puchaz and JKW out on the field. The rain, obligingly held off till 15.45
Many thanks to Stuart for volunteering to instruct for the day and of course our merry band of midweek winch volunteers
Good evening fellow aviators.
Continuing my tour of spectacular UK Autumn/Winter Soaring sites, I visited “Derbyshire and Lancashire Gliding Club” at the weekend.
DLGC is a hill-top Gliding site nestled in the heart of the Peak District National Park. The airfield sits 1350ft above sea level with soarable ridges flanking its Western and Southern edges. Locally there are three more soarable ridges. To the North is Win Hill ridge, and Mam Tor ridge. To the East is the Froggatt Edge/Hathersage ridge. The wealth of available local ridges, combined with local wave effects, creates soarable conditions throughout the year, dependant on suitable weather conditions of course.
As it was my first time visiting here, I have taken a few pictures below to share with you all. Hope you enjoy them 🙂.
Fear not dear club members, no need to put down your evening glass of gin & tonic, you are not seeing double 😉! The winch area is run a little differently here than at Bath Wilts. At DLGC they set up two winches side by side, and run the two cables from each winch to the launch point.
This was the view from the cockpit while I was readying for launch on the Southern edge of the airfield. The port wing was resting on the ground when I took this picture, but I think you can still get a real sense of some of the undulating terrain of the airfield from this shot. The undulations of the airfield surface, and the spectacular terrain of the Peak District surroundings give this site an enticingly adventurous feel.
The waterway you can see in the picture above is Ladybower reservoir. The Derwent Dam, which separates Ladybower reservoir from the Derwent reservoir, was used for bombing raid training during the Second World War by the famous “Dambuster” Lancaster Bomber crews, in preparation for raids on strategic German targets. During training, the Lancaster crews would approach Derwent Dam just 60ft above the water of the Derwent reservoir! The Dambuster crews were said to have been specially selected for their prowess and ‘press on spirit’.
As you can see in the picture above, the fields surrounding DLGC are plentiful and generally not used for crops. This gives gives good ‘land-out’ options for Glider pilots. One weekend every year DLGC gives pilots the opportunity for real ‘land-out’ practice with one of their instructors in a local field.
Dave very kindly sent me a link to the BGA forum for Simulator use, as well as a report on Simulators by the Gliding Federation of Australia, and a handbook on Sim training produced by the French Gliding Federation. I would be very happy to share these with any club member who also has an interest in Gliding Simulators.
All in all dear aviators, I had a terrific time at DLGC 🙂.
Many thanks to all I met at DLGC. A special thank you to Andy W, Sylvie and John, for settling me in over the weekend and making me feel so welcome. A special thank you also to club instructors Dave M, Bryan A, and Chris R, for sharing with me their wealth of technical and local soaring knowledge 🙂.
Where should I visit next I wonder dear aviators….
This Bath Wilts aviators odyssey of spectacular UK Autumn/Winter Soaring sites continues 😎….
Well the weather didn`t disappoint today – another beautiful sunny day with a light south westerly wind saw 12 or so club members turn out to enjoy the autumn day. Two Puchaz and JKW were duly out on the field for the first launch of the day at 10.37
Whilst there was no thermal activity we enjoyed good winch launches, aero-tows, excellent visibility and just the most smooth weather conditions experienced for some time, with reduced sink enabling our gliders to seemingly float around in the air. (apart from the spins and stalls Mike was duly putting Graham through (future BI) and Mark P for his instructor training.
Mike J carried out instructor training and check flights, whilst other members flew the other Puchaz solo along with JKW. 16 winch launches and 4 aero-tows with just over 4 hours of flying time and last launch at 15.18.