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Thermaling under overcast sky

Sunday 20th was very cold again but suprisingly soarable under an overcast sky. Here we are sharing a thermal with the newly refurbished K13.

New Toys Come Out

Saturday was the turn of the ASG29 which flew for longer than anybody else. Brian assured us that he only used the engine for five minutes of his hour airborne.
Yesterday Tom's ASW27 came out. The rest of us were restricted to slightly extended training circuits for the most part, interrupted by a NOTAM at lunch time.
For a time the vis. was so bad we had to restrict the number of gliders in the air together. We were impressed by a resplendent HXJ, making its appearance rejuvenated after its long sojourn in the workshop.

A February Cross Country Day

A cold bright start, but with the sunshine and light winds it didn't feel too cold. The K21s and the K23 were busy all day with some local soaring and the good weather enticed a few private owners to attempt some short cross country flights with Mike Oliver venturing the furthest. Cloudbase was about 4300' ASL and some 4-5 knot average climbs were available. A good day for February.

Valentines Day

Today, the club seemed to be a refuge for blokes who had forgotten to buy their other halves some flowers or a card and were keeping out of the way until things cooled down. It was nice to see the sun again and there was some good flying to be had in the bitterly cold north-east wind. Matt Page gave the trial lessons some good flights and Ed Foggin and Tony Parker were kept busy in the K21s. Paul Glassett took yours truly to 3,000' in the K21 - after three diversions into sink he sensibly started ignoring my centering instructions and did very well under some great cloud streets. Thanks to Paul and Richard Cawsey for driving the winch.

Seize the Day

Sunday 07/02. A handful of members suffering from gliding withdrawal decided to get a few launches in before Storm Imogen took hold. We had to dodge showers and low cloud, but fun was had with the highest launch to 2450'. Unusually for Aston Down the ground was very soft with standing water in a few places, so landings were on the runway again.

Aston Down on Countryfile

Rose Buck and her imprinted geese were on Countryfile today. For the next four weeks you can see it on iPlayer. The item starts at 54m55s.

Saturday 23rd January

An enthusiastic crew was onsite for 8.30am, however the weather wasn't quite so enthusiastic and we had to wait until midday before the mist cleared. Thereafter we had pleasant afternoons flying. As in previous years, we were pleased to be joined by visitors from Usk who came to launch their Grob 103 from our tarmac. Doug Gardner and Helen Wilson landed 10 minutes after sunset having contacted some weak wave in the K21. Thereafter we adjourned to the club house for a well attended AGM.

Freezing Saturday

On Saturday 16th a number of members turned up early and the hangar doors were open before 8:30. The day had dawned cold and bright, with clear blue skies and little wind. One of the K21s was looking grubby, so many thanks Darren Wills for braving the cold and washing the muck off. At the launchpoint we had to wait for the air temperature to rise so that water did not freeze on the glass fibre wings. The Capstan had the winch to itself while this happened. Chris Swann and Chris Power took the winch out, and John Docherty followed his morning duty pilot role with a winch session in the afternoon. Andy Smart aalso did some winching, but here were many others who also played their part. At the end of the day we had achieved 42 much appreciated launches, not bad for January. Oh and Mike Weston flew both his Arcus and his Capstan. He didn't say which he preferred!

Sunday 10th January - Flying from a paddy-field

Flying started late morning when the rain stopped. To avoid making further ruts after yesterday because of the state of the airfield, landings were confined to the runway with only one K21 being used. All trial lessons were cancelled.

Sale of 2nd PW6 (KRX) and other fleet news

Before Christmas the Essex GC confirmed they wanted to go ahead to convert the option we gave them to purchase our 2nd PW6 ("KRX"), having bought the1st PW6 from us in June 2015.
Today a group of grounded glider pilots at Aston Down (you did notice the rain.....) got the PW6 into the workshop to give it a good clean and polish before it is collected by Essex GC, which may be next weekend of the one after. If you want to say goodbye to a glider that has served us well since 2008, now's your chance. The fuselage is in the workshop. In part exchange Essex GC is selling us the Ka21 trailer that belongs to "ENK", and which will service both ENK and our brand new Ka21 which is scheduled to be collected from Germany in June (date being verified later this week). In the meantime we have the use of a Ka21 loaned to us by London GC at Dunstable, to back up our own "ENK" Ka21.

The Ka13 "HXJ" should be flying again in the next few weeks after extensive refurbishment and overhaul. Lastly the Ka23 is still scheduled to be taken to Slovenia late March for a complete refurbishment, which should take about 6-7 weeks.

DGR / chairman

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