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Aim Higher

A busy launchpoint for the Aim Higher course

Andys 750km achievement

Thanks to Paul Lazenby who was at club 06.30 to get the kit out including winches, replacing all the ferrules before I arrived 8.45. We gave Andy Smith his launch at 9.45 for his declared 750 km task. Here's a pic of Andy after he crawled out of the cockpit after some 9.5 hours.

What surprised me was that there were only four other private gliders at the launch point at 10.30 and the club gliders weren't arriving until a few minutes later.Where was everyone on the best weekend day of the year so far ? Even during the peak of the day I think only about 12 privately owned gliders had launched. The duty team was also very thin on the ground in the morning, other than the instructors and one other person.

Anyway, those who did turn up had a great day - there was a 515km (John McWilliam) a 450 for Jon Huband, a 333 for Rob Corbin and 246 for Tom Gooch. There was even a 818km done from Lasham !

So, great day out, eh Grommit?

DGR / chairman

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

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