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Back to a typical late Winters day

With low cloud initially, but forecast set to improve Tim Barnes, Graham Turner and Martin Heyward set up the winch on the main runway having done the siting assessment and cable checks. I managed my personal new year resolution to give a briefing each time I'm on duty, but the first signs of rustiness there appeared when I forgot a couple of things I'd wanted to cover and which was indicative of how everyone was feeling. We needed a day of safe flying to get the "Scotchbrite" on the rustiness of us all!

We already had a full flying list by 9.30, but with only 2 K21's available we knew it would be difficult to fly everyone, which was made worse by 2 of the instructors ourselves needing check flights first! The days activity was 2 x ODCs, flown by Tim and Don, winter refreshers, a 5-year check for Gerry Holden and with a few members wanting to get airborne.

The ever enthusiastic UWE members were on site, and decided to sort their trailer out whilst the early check flying took place. Gerry also got the Venture out and shared the fun with a couple of the UWE team. The USK Grob also made an appearance with enthusiastic flying from the group, and the K23 was able to be used by the less rusty members.

The expected brighter weather appeared for just about an hour, but then it returned to grey and showers, with the wind picking up a bit and a consideration of winch / launchpoint and making sure drift corrections were appropriate. In the end the lowering cloud and slight constant drizzle ended the day, unfortunately before a couple were able to fly but sometimes the weather makes the decision for you! Those who flew know we still need to now add further polish but at least we did use up some flying Scotchbrite!

Thanks to everyone who came out and helped.

Paul Lazenby

Saturday 8th March

Well, we flew at least! After all the kit was taken to the launch point, a slight drizzle set in. That lasted about an hour, then things cleared up with cloudbase rising well above 2000 feet. Some winch issues slowed down launch progress but we managed to fly with around 5 club members and the 2 one-day course pupils did most of thier flying. USK once again visiting with their Grob Twin Acro. Increasing winds stopped play but then anoyingly slackened off again after the hangar was packed.

Another Storm, Another cancelled Flying Day

Due to forecasted Gusts of over 40kts, Flying has been cancelled for Saturday

Sunday 23 February - scrubbed flying

Whatever name this 3rd of the weekly windy weather system has, the wind, gusts, rain and frankly enthusiasm means we won't be flying today.

Hope this info is useful for planning your day.

Paul Lazenby

Saturday 22 February

It's officially blowing a hooley - flying is cancelled for the day.

Junior Gliding at The Mynd

Whilst the strong winds stopped play at Aston Down, the DG500 ventured northwest to the Long Mynd for the second weekend of the UKJG Winter Series. Around 100 young pilots attended the event and we managed to fly on both Saturday and Sunday in a sporty westerly breeze - the hill worked very well! A number of our own UWE students were part of the group of enthusiastic Juniors who enjoyed some ridge running as well as the fantastic social atmosphere that the Mynd never fails to deliver.

All in all a great weekend - many thanks to the club for letting us use the glider again.

Sunday 2 February - scrubbed flying

Hi everyone,

Based on the current wind at the airfield at this time and with the forecast for it to remain out of limits, and with the trial lessons for today being cancelled on Friday, we've decided to scrub todays Club flying too. Hope this avoids some of the time wasted by anyone travelling who sees this message first.

Thanks

Paul Lazenby

First thermal of the year?

The day started with a traditional Barnes runway dither: "Right, we're going on the cross runway.....err the winds changed we'd be better go on the main runway....ahem, I think we'd better go back to the cross runway. Winch driver Roy Christopherson took it very well.
The day went pretty much to forecast with early rain clearing away to give a good deal of sunshine. Launches were to a very decent 1,400 in the strong westerly breeze. Daniel Van Werf and Andy Smith completed their winter refreshers. Elizabeth from UWE and yours truly caught the only thermal of the day and climbed up to 2,000 for some spectacular views in the winter sunshine. There was a good turn out of pilots from Usk that made for a convivial launch point - they are very decent crowd and are most welcome.

Sunday 29th December

The last day's flying of 2019 for those who thought it was worth the effort.

In view of a recent highly undesirable happening the Corbin software for determining the winch position was strictly adhered to. In a wind of 15 Kts from 170 deg. it dictated that the winch position should be some 100 mtrs south of the cross runway. Any resulting limitation of launch height was immaterial when the cloud base was 600 ft to begin with as proved by Brian and Matt on a met test flight, rising to 900' by the afternoon.

Yours truly finally got to 1200 ft through an opportune gap on the last launch of the day, presenting Austin Rose with an unforgettable sight of the winter sun brilliantly illuminating the top of the stratus below us.

The first trial lesson had to be cancelled as the person couldn't wait for the cloud to lift, but the later two were given two flights each to compensate for the low launches. The Usk instructor appeared but everyone else from his club evidently decided that the journey wasn't worthwhile. I can sympathise with that instructor.

All present afterwards retired to tea in the clubhouse and a large tin of chocolates kindly left by person or persons unknown.

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