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26 April Hail snow, rain and sunshine

Winds 330/25 temp showers of rain, grains of snow and hail.

The course met a varied range of weather, as the pictures illustrate.

Chris Power joined us today to cover for Martin Jackson.Martin needed to be elsewhere today. Albert popped in to help during the afternoon, thanks Albert.

launch failure practice was the order of the day with challenging cross wind landings. Very well done everyone. Ground school today included flight limitations and a tutorial on altimetry.

Finally the winds became uncomfortable for us and we stopped flying. Meanwhile Mike Oliver was putting the finishing touches to fitting the recovered cable to B winch.

Winds calmer tomorrow.


25 April Day 1 of course week 5

Winds forecast 320/20 with occasional light rain.

Welcome back to 3 returnees. Chris Dunkel, back from America , Colin Parker from the Northern wastelands and Martin Jackson a local accountant. The day was spent getting everyone back in the saddle and current.

Almost before the glider was out of the hangar, Richard was fixing the switch on Rocky 2 and Mike Randle was peering into the remaining K21 and making tutting sounds.

The day involved to changes of launch point position as we negotiated the varying wind direction. Many thanks to Chris Power and dave breeze for stepping in to help out at the launchpoint. A picture of Dave pumping up the tyre while the rest of us looked on in admiration.

Lunch was an experiment with Cheese toasted sandwiches in the bus accompanied with a talk on altimetry.

In the evening, John Mc William was spotted taking his motor glider out to explore the wave.

Looking forward to another productive day tomorrow.

22 April last day of course rain stops play.

Winds forecast 070/15, a cold front to the north and an occlusion to the south and light rain expected later.

The course carried on for the morning, but eventually the rain became too persistent , and we gave up. Trevor Leger was with us with a sore back but happy to fly. many thanks to Steve Glasset for flying with Trevor and giving him gentle landings.

Mike Oliver appeared looking harassed and asking for cable cutters---yes he is still untangling the cable (personally I think he has been there all night). Mike then left muttering something like "thats it I'm going to cut the ****thing"

The course finished with a briefing on approach control .

The picture is of a very fast Steve wiping off the K21.

For us it is the end of a great fun week. Phil and Trevor have already booked to visit us again next year, we look forward to seeing them again.


21 April Ron goes solo

Winds 060/08, vis 10K, NSW.

The day started with a minor disaster for Trevor Leger, he has put his back out and is now lying in a hotel bed. We all hope he improves quickly and is up and about very soon.

Meanwhile the course proceeded with a smaller crew and remote for launching.

Many thanks to Mike Oliver who spent most of the day trying to untangle the winch cable lying outside the butts, the things that go on behind the scenes.

Congratulations Ron Godsall before the winds freshened in the afternoon went solo.

Lets hope for another good day tomorrow, of course we are all thinking of the lucky guys flying at Portmoak.


20 April Club day on the easterly runway

winds 090/15 and a strong inversion at 3000ft, blue thermals. We hope this is good news for the Scottish expedition group.

A good turnout at the 8.15 briefing, thanks everyone.

Pat Greer and Roger looked after a long list of club pilots anxious to get current again or simply to get airborne. A well oiled team meant we were able to get a good number of launches, despite landing on the runway.

Mike Randle appeared, still working on getting the club aircraft into tip top condition. The rear straps in the K21 are now working ---thanks to his efforts.

The course guys experienced their first circuits on the short runway and landing on tarmac, one commented "its straightforward isnt it"

The red faces in the pictures are wind burn not sunburn.

Cross Country in the ASH25

Ken Lloyd is offering cross country experience flights in the ASH 25 again this year. Aimed at solo to pre-silver pilots (or silver with very little cross country experience). Put your name on the list at the top of the stairs and hope for good weather! It only costs you a launch fee.

Portmoak Expedition

Latest News From Portmoak

The forecast for the early part of the week looked promising, and it has not dissapointed.
Our first flying day Sunday 17th was a ridge day and showering, all aircraft were rigged, Fraser Wilson and Kevin Russell conpleted site checks with Kevin making the most of the conditions by keeping the k21 aloft for nearly 3hrs. All the other Cotswold pilots had ridge flights.
Monday 18th promised wave, so we started early with most pilots in the air by 9.00 am. With showers around the wave gaps closed soon after we started climbing in them. Chris Gough took 88 to 10000ft then got cut off by cloud and landed at Strathalan. The unexpeted arrival of Chris Power helped as he raced off to collect Chris and on their return 88 was rigged and took off for another go.
Nearly all pilots contacted the wave with heights of 17k,16k,14k,14k,12k,11k and Chris reached 19k on his second flight. One Diamond and one Gold Height achieved and Kevin spent another 5 hrs ridge bashing.
Tuesday 19th Strong thermal day, difficult early on then regular climbs to 5500ft, late in the afternoon the wind picked up and the ridge started to work and again Kevin spent 5hrs thermal and ridge bashing to achieve his Silver Height.
Badge claims so far this week (subject to logger verification)
Chris Gough Diamond Height
Ed Foggin Gold Height
Kevin Russell Silver Height
Looks possibly more of the same for the rest of the week.

Isle of Wight trip

On Sunday Jon Huband and John McWilliam went to St Catherine’s Point in the Arcus.

The Isle of Wight in sight, getting as high as possible for the Solent crossing.

Chichester Harbour and Hayling Island (a handy diversion if need be).

Fast 40+ fleet racing of Cowes. Lee-on-Solent, another diversion to the right.
Northerly wind at our height, sea calm just before sea breeze sets in from the southwest so we had convergence and lift, even over the middle of the Solent ahead.

Crossing Portsmouth Harbour

Crossing the Solent, happy to see good thermal clouds over the island.

The Needles in full view from above St Catherine’s Point lighthouse about midday. Building sea breeze front above our right wing, sea air hasn't yet destroyed the lift at the Channel coast.

On our away back across the island.

Over Wales later - what a day!!

18 April the start of course week 4

Winds forecast 280/05. high cloudbases, wave and thermal.

Many thanks to the club members who popped in to help get us flying, Dave Hart spent the day with us helping teach our new course the ropes.

Meanwhile in the workshop, Mike Randle was busy working on the club gliders---all this backstage work is essential to keep the flying going.

John McWilliam set off to Wales and found himself at FL95 (base of the airway) over the black mountains---well done to him.

We welcome the new course Phil May (returnee from last year), Trevor Leger( a friend of Phil) and Ron Godsall (club member). The day started on runway21, but the cross wind became too challenging and so we moved to 27.

17th April Best Day of the Year (so far)

The prospect of an excellent day saw the hangar doors open at 7.00am and first launch at 9.30am. By 10.30, Lawrence Wood (see below) had completed his first solo - many congratulations to him. He did well as a sniffer too, soaring for 3/4 hour on his second flight and convincing the grid they should launch. Thereafter, the day proved even better than forecast - by 2pm there were 6 knot climbs to over 5,000'. I think all the x-c pilots got round their tasks - congratulations to Darren Edge on his first 300k and to Jonathan Apperley for getting to Lasham and back. Jon Huband and John McWilliams also to did well to turn St Catherine's point on the Isle of White in the Arcus. Many thanks to winch drivers Paul Lazenby and Dave Roberts.

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