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Are you insured?

Here's another warning from the CAA, this time about a balloon pilot who was caught without insurance.

Financial Assistance for Young Pilots

Here are two items from the BGA website about financial assistance for young pilots:

Air League Scholarships

Applications are now being accepted for 2016 Air League Gliding Scholarships. These are for solo pilots aged 16-25 and are designed to help them to broaden their flying experience through aerobatic, cross-country or SLMG training. Awards are typically around 300 and cover flying fees at any Junior Gliding Centre or at a number of other selected clubs.

Full details and an online application, which must be completed by 19th February are at (the application process is at

RAeC Trust Bursaries

The Royal Aero Club Trust has announced details of its 2016 Bursary Scheme.

The 2016 bursaries include The Presidents Scholarships (2 bursaries each worth up to 750); the Peter Cruddas Foundation Scholarship worth up to 1,000; the Breitling Bursary worth up to 750; the MacRobert Trust Bursaries (2 bursaries each worth up to 500); and the Bramson Bursary, as well as a number of additional bursaries worth up to 500 each. These are available to anyone between 14 and 21 years of age wishing to develop their interest in either air sports or aviation.

Additionally, Follow-on Bursaries are available to assist committed applicants, aged up to 24, reach even higher levels of achievement through, for example, participation in national and international competitions.

Full details and application forms are available on the Trust web site at

Note that the closing date for applications to be received at the RAeC is 31st March 2016. These need to be countersigned by a sponsor such as your CFI and submitted via the BGA. To ensure that applications are processed by the deadline, your application should be received at the BGA office no later than 17th March.

Mike Randle visits his 100 year old student pilot

Last Thursday (19 November) Mike and Jane Randle had lunch with 100 year old ex ATA ferry pilot Jill Farquarson, at her home at Frampton-on-Severn. Jill was presented by the Club chairman with a certificate of honorary membership of CGC before lunch. This was all a surprise for her and for the 21 other residents of the care home "Wisma Mulia". See the news item on the blog for end of August, to see Jill in the cockpit of a Ka 21 during the Junior Nationals, when Mike took her for an extended flight over the local area.

We plan to invite Jill back for another flight at Aston Down around the time of her next birthday (101) on 28th May 2016. Ahead of that we shall call the Guinness Book of Records office to come and witness a combined age of 182 in a glider cockpit (Jill will be the 101 year old, in case anyone has doubt.......).

Local press coverage this last week is at:

Final PW6 Flight

On Thursday 12th November half a dozen mid-week stalwarts got some interesting flying after persistent fog in the morning until increasing wind rounded off the day. Earlier the K23 had to be put away and the PW6 substituted when the wind began to increase. Eventually, the wind reached the limit even for the PW6. Launch heights were limited to 1800 ft QFE by the cloud otherwise the strong wind would have given even more.

Unless plans change, this turned out to be the last time a PW6 flew at Aston Down. Eric Lomas and Mike Randle had the honour of the very last flight.

Proposed National VGC Rally at Aston Down, May 2017

The Vintage Glider Club has been offered the facilities of Aston Down and the Cotswold GC for their 2017 International Vintage Glider Rally, running from 20th to 28th May 2017. This will be a major event for the club, with visitors from all over mainland Europe as well as the UK. An expected turnout of some 40 gliders is expected, with several of those housed in the vintage glider museum at Lasham being brought to Aston Down. The week long rally will have lots of social activities, talks, visits etc as well as the chance to see these old gliders being flown. All those club members who have been aware of this pending decision have expressed their support and excitement at the prospect of what will be a really interesting event.

David Roberts, Chairman

Bonfire night 7 November

Last night's bonfire party went very well. During the day Matt Page and Brian Birlison managed, using the JCB, to coral all the pallets that had been dumped / strewn along the disused runway by tenant companies at Aston Down, into a reasonable shape. The SW wind was meant no problem lighting the fire without risking the new hangar ! Philip Walker kindly organised the fireworks display (and provided some at his own expense - thanks Philip), and Jacqui and team laid on some great soup and pork baps. A very enjoyable evening.

Royal Aero Club newsletter

The latest Royal Aero Club newsletter has some gliding related content.

A Blast from the past

A few members who were around in the 1970s (maybe 1980s) may remember a former club member, Roger Farmer, who used to live at Winchcombe. He has retired some time ago and now lives in Spain and has taken up gliding again, this time at Fuentemilenos, NW of Madrid. Roger will be at Cotswold GC next Sunday morning, 8th November, so if you want to meet up with him, please come along. I shall be log keeping Sunday morning, so you'll know where to find us.

DGR / chairman

Haloween - Sat 31/10/2015

A crack team had all the two-seaters washed and on-line for 9.30. Sadly, the weather didn't play ball and we sat under solid cloud at 650' - we know because we launched a couple of gliders into it just to check. The clag finally started to lift and break around 11.30 and we were rewarded by some stunning flights above the broken cloud at 900'. Things steadily improved and we enjoyed a good afternoon's flying in the autumn sunshine. Gerry Holden and Simon Lucas were kept busy doing instructor renewals for Robin Birch, Geoff Dixon and Roger Bagley, and Matt did a great job of flying the two ladies on the one-day-course, touching down on his final flight just after sunset. Many thanks to winch drivers Max Lazenby and Graham Turner

The consequences of airspace infringement

Please see this news release from the CAA which will be a warning of what happens to pilots who infringe (i.e. enter without permission) controlled airspace. CAA is getting tougher in its approach these days.

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