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New golf buggy

We have acquired a new buggy, for use for example on trial lessons for ferrying temporary members from the glider to the bus when landing long way from the launch point. It is a four seater (!) and most important it is ELECTRIC, with a new extensive set of batteries within the purchase price. We are told that when in use on a golf course the charged batteries last 2 days, which should be the equivalent of 10 to 11 miles' use. But it is more prudent to put it on charge each evening; Richard is fixing a charging point inside the hangar on the LH side, and is modifying it by addition of a tow bar, yellow beacon light etc. Richard is also arranging for a charging point from the bus, should the buggy run out of charge on the runway. Also remember to disconnect the charging lead each morning before driving off. Big reminder notices will be displayed !
It is in excellent condition, only a year or so old from a golf course that changes its kit every year, and unmarked by any misuse. Please let's try and keep it in excellent condition........

DGR / Chairman

BGA Club Chairman's update

Please see the attached which, despite its name, is of interest to everyone. In particular you should note the item about the European Gliding Championships being held at Lasham.

Sportability Day

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

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

Plenty of very strong thermals were reported, both locally and further afield. I heard one reliable report of a steady 8 kts and many of over 5 kts.

According to National Ladder postings Cotswold pilots completed five tasks of over 300 km including two of the big two seaters flying over 420 Km at speeds of 93 and 96 Kph over the same course, one being credited with 3 Km less due to using 'Barrel' TPs rather than FAI sectors.

The club DG500 was used for its intended purpose of cross-country training, although requiring an aerotow retrieve from Shennington after running out of the wherewithal.

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

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. We were surprised on one flight to see two Hercules passing not far in front and below us.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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