Sat 11th March
Mist and Low cloud at the start of the day was forecast to lift, so 2 K21s, the K13 and K23 were DI'd and parked on the runway. First launch was onto a 500' cloudbase but the aim was lauch failures for a WR so not a problem. CB lifted to 700, then 800 feet before finally melting away so that we could take launches all the way to the top. Steady breeze from SSE - good training conditions. Over 50 lauches by the end of the day. Of course there had to be a winch issue on the last lauch of the day with a loop thrown, so the winch team got their night rating. Many thanks to all who helped - hope you got what you wanted from the day.
Awards for Cotswold GC members
I am delighted to let all members know that two members of the Club have been granted awards from, firstly, the Royal Aero Club and secondly the British Gliding Association.
Larry Bleaken, the President of the Cotswold GC has been awarded a Bronze Medal of the Royal Aero Club of the UK. The citation for his award is below.
"Larry Bleaken is a founding member of the Cotswold Gliding Club on 1st August 1964. He is the only founding member who remains a member of the Club to this day. In 1980 when the Government of the day put the ex-RAF airfield at Aston Down up for sale by auction, Larry was instrumental in the complicated processes and various negotiations that resulted in the Club acquiring a significant part of the airfield. As a property man his expertise, skills and contacts were vital in ensuring success, not least in finding and securing alternative finance when a major bank pulled its support just weeks before the auction. With a commercial acumen that left others in his wake, he did a variety of deals that left those involved spellbound. In the following 35 years Larry has been continuously a member of the 5 person board of directors of the land-owning company established by the Club. His wisdom, advice, guidance and sheer ‘nouse’ has meant that the Club has a very significant freehold unencumbered airfield asset that provides long-term security for gliding in the Cotswolds. Whilst his flying has reduced with advancing years, he is still able to climb into his Stemme S10 Touring Motor Glider to get a view of the airfield that he was absolutely pivotal in securing".
Richard Carter has been awarded a BGA Diploma. He was unable to attend the presentation on Saturday at the BGA Conference, but I was able to accept it on his behalf. Again, the citation for his award is given below.
"Richard Carter has been the key volunteer ground equipment engineer at Cotswold Gliding Club, Aston Down, for very many years. The gliding movement relies upon people such as Richard to keep clubs operating. Throughout each year come rain, snow, hail, winds, sunshine or a glorious gliding day he can be found on at least one day a week, invariably more, working in the club’s workshop on some essential piece of equipment. His ability to find solutions to engineering or mechanical problems, without spending a fortune, is legendary. He can turn his hand to most things that need a solution. Only at the AGM - when the club chairman acknowledges formally the work of people like Richard - are many members fully aware of what efforts go on behind the scenes by volunteers such as Richard to keep everyone else flying. Richard was made a life member by the Club a few years ago in recognition of his work. The time is right to now recognise him nationally by this nomination for a BGA Diploma".
Many congratulations to both Larry and Richard for these well-deserved honours.
David Roberts / Chairman / CGC
Saturday 4th Feb 2017
A gem of day for early February. After a grey start the mist cleared and we enjoyed a good few hours of sunshine ....and cumulus clouds (remember them?). Fresh from his trip in Oz., Alex Pepler completed his winter refreshers, mostly without an altimeter. Also completing winter refreshers were John Docherty and Adrian Giles. The sunshine tempted out some private owners: Tom Gooch had the longest flight of the day in his ASW27 and Martin Hayward gave his LS6 a good outing. We were pleased to welcome new member Guy Palmer from Sussex Club (Ringmer). Many thanks to Phil Mead and Kevin Russel for driving the winch.
The final Saturday in January was forecast cold and possibly wet with lots of hot air in the evening at the AGM.
Four Air Cadets arrived for their first flights, along with three Semichons and three other Junior pilots. Gary Cross was almost the only other member present who wasn't on the duty rota, which proves its worth.
The first task to show the cadets was how to rig a K21. Geoff didn't manage to frighten them off doing this and they all flew during the day. The rain never showed up, Gary did his winter refreshers and best of all several Semichons and other youngsters managed to re-solo after a gap of several months. The final task was de-rigging the K13 for its ARC.
The AGM was an excellent evening, with great food from Steve Glassett. Thanks Steve. Andy Smith took a lot of cups for flying too far and too fast for an old chap, and Matt Page was awarded the Mike Weston Award for service to the club over several years. Matt has helped with IT, Junior gliding, and last year the competition. Helen Wilson was the Best Junior in 2016. A full list of prizes will be published in Polebender, except the White Stick Award.
A cold but sunny winter day. By the time we had towed the K21's to the launch point a layer of frost had formed on the wings. However, a test flight found no effect on stalling speed or any other aspect.
A 10 knot wind straight down runway 09 gave launches up to 1500 ft., so a useful day was had by the few members present and the day's batch of Air Cadets.
The new K21's main wheel tyre mysteriously deflated on landing. Since nobody fancied working on it exposed to the wintery conditions it was derigged into the syndicate K21 trailer and a K13 brought out instead.
Correction to the previous posting from the office:
The AGMs of ADF Ltd and Cotswold GC will be on Saturday 28th JANUARY 2017 not 28th February. The formal notice and agenda for the CGC AGM will be published later next week.
David Roberts / Chairman
First flight of 2017
After a miserable New Years Day, Bank Holiday Monday dawned beautiful clear and frosty. By 10.30 we were all ready to go, but sadly our enthusiasm wasn't shared by the winch which stubbornly refused to start. It was eventually diagnosed as a seized starter motor. Things weren't looking good when the replacement didn't work either. Luckily the third one did. Huge thanks go to Simon Lucas for saving the day.
Once we had an operational winch we enjoyed a good day's flying in the winter sunshine. The northerly breeze gave us some high launches enabling us to in the new year with some aerobatics and one or two flights were long enough to incur soaring fees. Not a bad day. Here's hoping 2017 is going to be a good year.
New course instructor for 2017
As many will know, Don Puttock decided at the end of the 2016 season to move on to 'pastures new'. For three years he has delivered a great and very successful course programme, for which we thank him sincerely.
So, the search then started for someone to replace Don. Over this last weekend we met with and interviewed a candidate for the course instructor for 2017. I am pleased to say that Stanislaw Sawicki from Warsaw met with our requirements and we have offered him the role which he has accepted verbally. Stanislaw (pronounced Stanislav) hopes to start at the end of March but may have to delay his arrival until sometime in April due to his other job in Warsaw, from Autumn to Spring each year, teaching English at the Academy of Warsaw. We look forward to welcoming him in the Spring. His wife, who works in a school, and 9 year old son will probably join him here in late June.
DGR / chairman
Sunday the 4th of December dawned cold with a brisk easterly so runway 09 was the order of the day, one of the early launches was Steve Glassett in the Cirrus who had a bet with Jonathan that the Ikarus wouldn't tow the Cirrus to 10,000 feet, 30 minutes later, they did. Steve took the following pictures on the way down, landing just over an hour later.
A busy day with trial lessons and with winch launches up to 1600' on the short runway a good time was had by all. Several club members had aerotows in the K23 as did Andy Smart in the Cirrus, this time just to 3000' . Jonathan Apperley completed his winter refreshers, and also took an aerotow, the photo below was taken in the smooth air above the 1500' inversion. Thanks to all who helped.