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This and that

The Ka 21 ENK is U/S pending repair to the trailing edge of the elevator as a result of it being damaged on entry to the hangar on 4 October. Robin will hopefully do the repair w/c 10 Oct.
The winches have been undergoing minor repairs for exhaust and roller replacement. Should be operating Thursday.
The Flarm in the DG 500 (KNK) is now working - Robin has sorted it by just "pressing the right buttons" he tells me. But when starting it up there is an error message which is merely to say that the obstacle data base needs updating - can someone with a micro SD card reader and knowledge of Flarm online downloads please oblige by doing that. Don't all rush.
Did you know that you can check the serviceability status of gliders and ground equipment on the club website / members section? Providing it is kept up-to-date of course.
News from Slovenia on the Ka 23. With a fair wind and suitable weather for the test flight in Slovenia in about two weeks time - better to do it there than here as it is a long way to drive back if there are any problems - I should be able to collect it w/c 24 October. Hopefully it should be ready for flight at AD on 29 October.
And as Gill has reminded everyone, 1st October was the start of our new financial year; memberships and other annual charges are due. Please call her with your credit card details ! The memberships are not posted on the Glidex accounts system yet as we have to complete the transactions for the old year before entering data for the new year, so as to get a "clean cut off" for the annual accounts. So please bear with us. However the hangar, caravan and private owner facility (formerly "trailer rents") charges for the new year are on the Glidex accounts as these are generated automatically by the computer's calendar.

DGR / chairman

Blast from the Past

On Sunday a member from the 1960s turned up. Brian Jones left CGC in 1969 to go and live in the USA where he set up a glider repair business in New Jersey. He retired to San Diego. Brian remembered the names of several members from those early days on the Club, including Larry Bleaken (our President), and Roger Bunker (CFI at the time). He gave our chairman (to pass on to all club members) some useful advice about Ka21s to avoid frequent visits to the workshop to repair nose wheel areas; always land by holding off until the main wheel touches and do not allow the glider to "balloon" on to the nose wheel. Further, keep the aileron tape in good condition. Without it the handling is decidedly heavy.

First Solo

Adam Mayo went solo today. Here he is with instructor Brian Birlison.

Ka 23 G-CGCF in Slovenia now

Our Ka 23 has been safely delivered to Slovenia for its refinishing. Just over 1,000 miles to get there. The company that does this work is Glider Service and you can see some pics at:
After talking through the various points for attention with the customer relations lady on Monday morning, and then a visit to the local airfield at Lesce, I was able to relax for 2 hours and have a leisurely lunch, before heading to the airport for my return to UK. The view from the restaurant terrace overlooking Lake Bled, 2 miles from the factory, was worth recording.

DGR / chairman
p.s. A club member is kindly lending me a car whilst mine 'sleeps' in Slovenia until I go back out to collect the glider end of October / November.

Sunday 11th September

A good forecast brought out a large grid of private owners alongside the club fleet and four instructors but sadly again, no winch driver! Many thanks to Paul Lazenby who instead of instructing, drove the winch for the morning session. Apparently the day looked better than it was with a number of private and club gliders landing back, others had some good flights. Some new members and trial lessons kept the instructors busy and conditions improved towards the end of the day for some extended flights.
One of the funnier moments was a radio conversation that went like this - Aston Down, glider XXX downwind for runway 08 - then Aston Down XXX finals for 08 , XXX Aston Down, we don't have a 08 - Aston Down XXX main runway then - XXX Aston Down, good landing on runway 21.
The day ended with a retrieve for Kevin Russell who having been to Lasham didn't quite make it back and landed in a cultivated field next to the polo field which required a 4x4 retrieve!
Let's hope that there are a few more days left in the season.

Brian Birlison wins 18M National Championships

With all the attention in the blog on our newly arrived Ka 21 and the Juniors' week last week we have overlooked congratulating Brian Birlison on his success in winning the UK 18m National championships at the Norfolk Gliding Club at Tibbenham on 27th August. That new ASG 29E glider - number 565 - must have played a part in the mind games against top UK pilots competing there. Here's the link to the article on Schleicher's website, with two photos taken back at Aston Down after Brian's return from the wilds of Norfolk. Complete with Estela and their 9 week old baby girl, Florence.

Where next Brian? The European championships?

DGR / Chairman

Juniors storm the week at Aston Down

For the whole of last week a group of 12 junior members took the opportunity to fly with the same two volunteer instructors - Mike Randle and Robin Birch - and Gerry our CFI, and to consolidate their learning and skills. They were blessed with some good weather. On the 29th, bank holiday Monday, they had to mix it with lots of private owners wanting the launch and get away cross-country, as well as operating alongside the normal weekly course with three student pilots, and other club flying. Aaron Jones went solo in the Ka13 on Thursday, and there were two re-solos during the week. The instructors survived not only all the flying but the youngsters' cooking as well ! By Friday there were some very tired but happy youngsters. It is planned this becomes a regular flying week for young people, to strengthen the Club's status as a BGA Junior Gliding Centre.
The first two photos are of Aaron Jones's first solo.
DGR / chairman

ASW19 for UWE Freshers Fair 16 Sept

Just to let everyone know, the ASW 19 will be away in Bristol on 16th September for the UWE Freshers Fair. The Ka 23 will be away from mid week (7th) to end October / early November in Slovenia for refinishing.

DGR / chairman

Seen on the office wall at the Aviation Directorate, European Commission, Brussels

On Thursday I was at Aviation Directorate in the European Commission in Brussels, and saw this on the wall of a corridor.

DGR / chairman

New Ka 21 is at Aston Down

Philip Walker and Andy Smart arrived back at Aston Down late Thursday evening (1st Sept) with our new Ka 21 G-CLRT after driving from the Schleicher factory east of Frankfurt in the day. They did not take on any extra crew in the trailer or cockpit at Calais though I gather it was a close-run thing.
The weather for their trip was excellent, judging by the photos. So here are a few, with the last one being Andy Smart (right) celebrating the new glider with Schleicher owner Uli Kremer (left).
This weekend we'll be doing some of the prep work, such as waxing it, towards getting the glider ready for flight probably from 1 October.

Our thanks to Philip and Andy for making this trip.

DGR / chairman

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