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Sportability Day

Wed, 08/16/2017 - 11:23

Cracking weather for our Sportability visitors to enjoy gliding and blokarting. A moderate westerly meant the blokarting was great fun and with some strong thermals and a 3500' cloudbase the gliding was fantastic. All 9 of our visitors had some great flights (including two who had never been in any type of aircraft before!) and the clear visibility meant some brilliant views of the countryside. Thanks to Graham Turner, Andy Smart, Roger Smith and Steve Purkiss for their valued help on the day to give people less able than ourselves the opportunity to enjoy gliding.

Well done also to Andy Smith who flew yet another 500km today.

A good day out

Mon, 08/14/2017 - 10:10

Sunday 13th was good for both cross country and training achievements.

According to National Ladder postings there were five flights of over 300 km including two of the big two seaters completing over 400 Km on the same course, though why the Ladder calculator made them slightly different distances is a mystery to me. In addition, one usually far flying pilot had not posted his flight by the time of writing

There was the usual training and trial lesson merry-go-round. Two members achieved conversions, one to the K23 and one to the Astir.

Mike

Tuesday 8th August - Kemble Scholarship Cadet Flying

Wed, 08/09/2017 - 11:33

The plan today, apart from the normal course operation was to fly 12 cadets on the Cotswold Airport scholarship program but the forecast wasn’t great and the cloudbase was around 800’. The expectation was that it wasn’t going to improve much so Stan’s morning briefing was all about launch failures. The cadets were spending the morning at Brize Norton, so we had a few hours to hope that weather would improve and luckily from about 12:30 it did. Rather timely as I was just about to call off the event!

With Ed Foggin in the K21, me in the DG500 and with help from Graham Turner, Dave Hart and the course members we managed to fly all 12 cadets, some weak soaring was available so most had some extended flights with the ‘occasional’ aerobatics.

The scholarship program is interesting, it is a fully funded program for young adults from 14-18 from the area of the local counties and provides the opportunity to experience career options in the aviation industry. One of the cadets told me that for 2017 there were 400 applicants, reduced to 20 after application reviews with 12 selected after formal interviews. The 12 then get 10 days of activities including various flying opportunities at Kemble, gliding with us, visits to Brize Norton, Bristol Airport and Rolls Royce. Several of the cadets that I flew with yesterday hoped to have careers in commercial flying or in the services. It was a very interesting day.

We packed away the gliders just minutes before a torrential downpour!

Thanks to everyone that helped.

Weekend 5/6 August

Tue, 08/08/2017 - 07:08

Back to normal after the competition. Both days were flyable albeit with thundery showers interrupting Saturday. Sunday was better than forecast and the thermals were ready almost before first launch. There were a couple of cycles of over-development but all the cross country pilots got away by lunch time and despite challenges along the way, everyone got back. A small band of club flyers made good use of the fleet with everyone getting a soaring flight. Very nice to be flying with members who've returned to Gliding after first sampling it in the 20th century! The Trial lessons included a "recovering stag party". Fortunately, sick bags, though available, were not deployed. ;-)

UK airspace heat-map of gliding 2000 to 2017

Wed, 07/19/2017 - 18:00

Interesting portrayal of where gliding is done in the UK. We know it already of course in relation to no-go areas of controlled airspace, but all the same, some gliding ventures to places we would not think of automatically ! Data from flights uploaded to the BGA Ladder since 2000. There are many more not recorded on the ladder of course, especially in earlier years.

BGA Glide Britain arrives

Tue, 07/18/2017 - 22:01

Bit of late news. The Glide Britain team arrived at Aston Down this evening from Mendip Club with the Lasham Ka21 - by road as there were no thermals to fly from Mendip to Aston Down. On Wednesday morning (19th) the cameramen will be pointing his lens at our activities as part of the making of a marketing film for gliding. Although very late to be asked to organise this, we have a young member, one of the Lazenby 'boys' lined up to talk to camera about our wonderful sport, and we have our oldest active pilot also lined up - Ken Lloyd who at 88 is still flying one of the hottest gliders at the Club, his ASH 25.
For late night owls, if you want to be on film tomorrow for posterity - and maybe TV next year - do turn up by 09.00 please and smile sweetly at the lens !

Work continues for the Nationals

Tue, 07/18/2017 - 21:53

Mike Oliver was busy mowing the north end of the airfield late this afternoon. This follows others including Jules Eaton, Richard Carter and David Breeze who have been cutting other areas over the last few days. There is more to do before the weekend. 110 acres plus of grass does take a lot of time to cut - probably around 2.5 to 3 days ! So thanks to the grass cutting team of volunteers. More volunteers are needed; training is essential and mandatory to use the equipment.

Mass balloon arrival at AD 23 and 24 Sept 2017

Thu, 07/13/2017 - 09:05

Subject to weather, there is a planned mass competition balloon arrival early morning (est. 06.30 to 08.00 BST) on Sat 23 and Sun 24 Sept. The last time this event took place was two years ago. Come to see the spectacle and mingle with balloonists. Breakfast first come first served. There may be opportunities to fly in a balloon for free, but it will mean getting up very early. If interested please let Gill have your name for a list. Again, FCFS.
DGR / chairman

Aim Higher

Thu, 07/13/2017 - 00:01

A busy launchpoint for the Aim Higher course

Andy's 750km achievement

Tue, 07/04/2017 - 12:10

Thanks to Paul Lazenby who was at club 06.30 to get the kit out including winches, replacing all the ferrules before I arrived 8.45. We gave Andy Smith his launch at 9.45 for his declared 750 km task. Here's a pic of Andy after he crawled out of the cockpit after some 9.5 hours. Sorry about the finger over the LH corner of the lens.

What surprised me was that there were only four other private gliders at the launch point at 10.30 and the club gliders weren't arriving until a few minutes later.Where was everyone on the best weekend day of the year so far ? Even during the peak of the day I think only about 12 privately owned gliders had launched. The duty team was also very thin on the ground in the morning, other than the instructors and one other person.

Anyway, those who did turn up had a great day - there was a 515km (John McWilliam) a 450 for Jon Huband, a 333 for Rob Corbin and 246 for Tom Gooch. There was even a 818km done from Lasham !

So, great day out, eh Grommit?

DGR / chairman

First 750 K from Aston Down

Tue, 07/04/2017 - 09:41

Sunday 2nd July was the day the first 750 K from Aston Down was completed by Andy Smith in his recently acquired Ventus 2CX, flying 751.1 km at an average speed of 80.6 kph.

His declared task was:

ASTON DOWN
BUTSER HILL
SHOBDON
COCKING
HEREFORD RACECOURSE
ASTON DOWN

Here is Andy's account as entered on the National Ladder:

"Started at 10am with lots of help from the Aston Down regulars. Forecast was spot on from Dave Masson, great improvement around 1:30. Bad task setting meant that I had to cross the Severn Valley after the sea breeze had gone through about 6pm (wouldn't have done it if I didn't have a turbo). My early start allowed me to faff around at May Hill and contact the sea breeze."

Several other highly experienced pilots reported that it wasn't an easy day with thermal cores being difficult to find and a tendency for good-looking clouds to produce little worthwhile, which makes Andy's achievement all the more remarkable.

Saturday 1st July

Mon, 07/03/2017 - 11:58

It was a day of snatching victory from the jaws of defeat. We were all set for a first launch by 9.30 but had to wait for the low clag to lift and break- typical 1st July weather. We eventually got airborne at 11.00, but a cable break and some winch problems caused further delays, By the time we'd fixed the winch, the wind had backed and we were forced to change ends. The afternoon's forecast tempted a number of private owners out, but most of them found the conditions weren't as good as they looked - few of the clouds worked and there was some really chunky sink around. Despite the problems we had a good day's flying and, with the assistance of Barry Key, we ended up with two happy customers on the one-day course.
Thanks are due to winch drivers Martyn Hayward and Richard Cawsey, and the ground team of Stuart Thakray, Paul McTurk, Richard Burgoyne, Helen Wilson and Peter Laws.

First 750 K from Aston Down

Mon, 07/03/2017 - 07:42

Sunday 2nd July was the day the first 750 K from Aston Down was completed by Andy Smith in his recently acquired Ventus 2CX, flying 751.1 km at an average speed of 80.6 kph.

His declared task was:

AST ASTON DOWN
BUT BUTSER HILL
SH3 SHOBDON E
COK COCKING
HER HEREFORD RACECOURSE
AST ASTON DOWN

Here is Andy's account as entered on the National Ladder:

"Started at 10am with lots of help from the Aston Down regulars. Forecast was spot on from Dave Masson, great improvement around 1:30. Bad task setting meant that I had to cross the Severn Valley after the sea breeze had gone through about 6pm (wouldn't have done it if I didn't have a turbo). My early start allowed me to faff around at May Hill and contact the sea breeze."

Many highly experienced pilots reported that it wasn't an easy day with thermal cores being difficult to find and a tendency for good-looking clouds to produce little worthwhile, which makes Andy's flight all the more remarkable.

Juniors Weekend

Mon, 06/19/2017 - 21:07

This weekend the club hosted a pre-solo to pre-bronze training weekend for a group of junior pilots from across the country. The weekend was a great success and the club managed to do over 150 launches over the two days.

We had 14 juniors from 9 clubs come to join us for the weekend. They managed 81 launches, 4 type conversions, 4 people Solo at a new site, 6 bronze exams, 1 bronze flying test and 1 Cross Country Nav Ex. Feedback from the weekend was very positive, so this will hopefully have been the first of many to come.

Thank you to all the club members who helped run the launch point, drive the winch and generally being friendly and welcoming to our visitors.

Hangar packing and battery charging help

Sun, 06/04/2017 - 10:56

In the hope that those members who stay to the end of the day to pack the hangar will still be able to read, here is the guide to hangar packing (south side version; the north side one is the opposite instructions) being put up by John McWilliam. The purpose is to ensure the cockpits of gliders are located close to the battery charging drop-down plugs and cables in the hangar. Objective: all club gliders have fully charged batteries every day.

Tow bars for Ka 21 and Ka 23 and tail dolly for Ka 21 ENK

Tue, 05/23/2017 - 21:15

Thanks to John McWilliam for organising the re-manufacture of tow bars for the Ka 21 G-CLRT and the Ka 23 G-CGCF (pictures below). Note the crossbar holds the tow-bar upright and aligned to the holes ready to push the pin in and lock it. We have also ordered a new IMI (Czech Republic specialist manufacturer of gliding equipment) tail dolly for Ka 21 G-EENK. It should arrive in about a week (picture below).

Please look after these items of kit, along with everything else. Prior to the refurb John had to rescue one of the tow bars from the long grass where it had been broken and abandoned.

DGR / chairman

Larry Bleaken awarded the Bronze Medal of the Royal Aero Club

Mon, 05/22/2017 - 17:59

On Thursday evening 18th May Larry Bleaken, who is our Club's President and the longest standing member (since the Club formed on 1st August 1964), received the Bronze Medal of the Royal Aero Club of the UK, at the RAF Club London. The presentation was made by the Commanding Officer of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, Squadron Leader Andy Millikin. Larry's flying partner in his Stemme S10, Andrew Flewelling, and Club Chairman David Roberts accompanied Larry to the event and 'dined him out' afterwards.
Congratulations to Larry !

Sunday 21st May: Flying with the Spartans

Mon, 05/22/2017 - 08:25

It was an interesting (and surprisingly hassle free) experience sharing the airfield with the Spartan Race. Throughout the day the PA was blasting out an eclectic range of motivational music for the competitors, such that at one stage we were retrieving the K21 to the tune of the Village People's YMCA.
Despite the truncated launches we had a good day's flying in the sunshine. Chris Blackmore had over an hour in the K21, climbing to over 4,000 as his Mum watched from the ground, Half a dozen pilots went off cross-country - I believe Blandford Forum - Lasham was one of the tasks. Darren Edge closed the day with a display of aerobatics. Many thanks to Alex Jones and Graham Turner for driving the winch.

Wolds Gliding Club on TV

Sun, 05/21/2017 - 20:19

The link below (to BBC iPlayer) takes you to a programme shown on Saturday 20 May featuring the Wolds Gliding Club and the two-seater competition, about 2 minutes into the programme. If you not already registered with iPlayer, it is simple to do so.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b08bbmyb/yorkshire-wolds-way-episod...

Sometime later this year - don't know when - Cotswold GC will feature in Countryfile on the BBC.

DGR / chairman

News of recovery of Jessica Kill

Wed, 05/17/2017 - 20:18

Many of you will have followed the story last year of Richard Kill's daughter, Jessica, and the need to raise substantial funds for her to go to the USA for a life-saving operation that was only available there. Many CGC members provided financial support. Here is an update from Richard:

Hi David
Thanks, Jessica is progressing very well, she has started back at work, for the moment, just doing three mornings a week with a plan to extend that gradually over the next couple of months. She is still on some medication and has to have regular specialist physiotherapy but that is also progressing well. In March she had another upright MRI scan to check that the metal screws in her neck were still in the correct alignment and that the bone was reforming around them. Again, I am glad to say, all is well. We always knew that it will take about a year for her to make a full recovery without the need for some medication and physio. We as a family went through a lot last year but were overwhelmed by the generosity, not only of friends but of the general public at large who helped to basically save her life. So please include in the newsletter Jessica’s and the family’s heartfelt thanks to everyone at CGC who supported her. I attach a copy of the scan (to follow, Ed) which clearly shows the metal screws in her neck. I hope the club has a good season and the comps go well; hope to bring Clara (my boat) down to Frampton sometime in the summer. All the very best, Richard

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