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First 750 K from Aston Down

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:


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

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.

Juniors Weekend

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

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

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

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 !
Photos by Martin Gammon

Sunday 21st May: Flying with the Spartans

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. Callum Cornish completed his winter (?) refresher and 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

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.

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

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

Club Briefing Saturday 20 May @ 18.30 hrs, and Spartan event

We are holding a Club Briefing in the clubhouse at 18.30 hrs on Saturday 20th May, after flying. All are welcome to get an update on various things topical. It is also an opportunity for new members to meet other club members and learn about how the club operates. There will be food - a home-made curry - for up to 60 people, and bookings will be taken through a link I'll set up for 'Doodle' calendar.

Next weekend is also the Spartan event ( ) car parking for which will be on the main runway south of the intersection of the runways. We shall be operating on a shortened main runway, as we did last year very successfully. Operational instructions for the day will be posted in the clubhouse and on the bus, including where to park equipment and where to rig private gliders. If the wind direction / strength is such that the cross runway (09/27) would be the obvious choice, we cannot use that due to cable drop risks in relation to car parking and the west side perimeter track traffic. Whilst the Spartan event causes us a limited amount of disruption, the financial benefit to the Club is very substantial, so please do not complain !

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