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Brief update

We gave 7 days notice 14 days ago that we need the grass cutting by our farmer neighbour. Today the grass was obviously getting too long, as the Ka 21 (GBF) did a 180 ground-loop (no damage fortunately). This evening I have been told the grass cutting is under way and will continue tomorrow. There is over 110 acres to be cut which takes time, of course.

Talking of grass cutting, our thanks to Julian Eaton, our new(ish) member who "flies the duvet" (paramotor), Julian is becoming a regular user of the John Deere tractor with the mowing equipment. Over the last few days Julian had mown most of the areas we as a club look after, as opposed to the main landing areas which the farmer does. It is looking great. The only bits he hasn't done are around the few parked gliders by the tower and caravan park. So those owners know where the tractor is....!

The Ka 21 (ENK) is now at the main agent - Zulu Glasstek (Pete Wells) in Buckinghamshire for replacement of the tailplane bushes. Hopefully it will be back at CGC in the next 10 days or so. The PW6, also with Pete, is nearly ready for delivery back to Essex GC who bought it in January but we had to fix certain things that were wrong with it.

The new Ka 21 is now scheduled to be collected from the factory in Germany at the end of August. It will take a week or two to get the paperwork sorted on import.

DGR / chairman

A quiet day

Sunday - 10th July - A quiet day, well it was for members anyway, perhaps the forecast and RIAT restrictions kept them away. Adam consolidated his Saturday's flights with Tim with some launch failures, made more interesting by the blustery conditions and Matt took one of Lesley's U3A group for a 40 minute soaring flight. We had 5 trial lessons to fly, all from the local area so we are hopeful for some new members. Just one interruption for rain and no interruptions from Fairford, thanks to everyone that helped.

New radios with 8.33 MHz channel spacing

David Roberts advises that anyone thinking of purchasing a new radio with 8.33 MHz channel spacing, which at present will become mandatory from January 2018, should perhaps wait until the outcome of two potential developments. Firstly, the UK CAA may defer the implementation date for gliders (and balloons) and secondly the news from the BGA about potential funding of up to 20% of the purchase cost; please see:

For those who may not know, David has been President of Europe Air Sports ( since 2009.

Saturday 11th - Two solos today

Two first solos today by Helen Wilson and Pierre-Marie Semichon

Jason Jennette tells us about his course week


I’ve had the honour of being hosted by Cotswold Gliding Club this past week and I cannot resist the urge to thank everyone involved. I know I’m preaching to the choir, but the CGC is a very special entity. The openness and enthusiasm with which the club members welcomed us was wonderful.

There must have been a dozen club members during the week who helped me, guided me, and made fun of my Irish heritage. I’m indebted to all. Thank you.

There are a number of members who went far out of their way to show we what I was doing wrong.

My fellow course week fliers, Peter, Melinda and Simon, thank you for being my family for the week. By Tuesday we were a well ironed machine. That felt very nice.

We walked out of the club house on the first morning we all thought we were in a fantasy land. Julian had just landed in front of us on his flying duvet. Jools, the entrance was only missing the tuxedo. What a sheer joy this man is to work with. Like a puppy with boundless energy Jools jumps at every job – our first two days would have been very different without Jools. And still, the lion’s share of my gratitude is for his personification of the joy of flying.

David. Simply thank you. You had to be dragged back for lunch each day. You never cried uncle in the evening. I had 34 launches this week! That is because of you. Thank you for your skill and patience both in the wench and on the bbq. J

In Donald Puttock I’ve meet a very special individual. This man was born to teach. Don, one day I’ll get into the K23. When I do you will be in the back seat with me. I loved my week with you and I will have fond memories of you and this week forever.

Thank you Cotswold Gliding Club.


4-5 June Women Go Gliding Weekend

Saturday dawned grey and 'orrible and I was expecting to have to cancel the day's flying. But by mid-day the cloud had lifted just enough for us to get airborne. Thereafter, visitors, Sam, Claire, Rachel and June enjoyed a good afternoon's flying under the clag.
Sunday's weather was much better and Anna, Alex (aspiring fast-jet pilot), Alison, Jemma and Emily had a great day's flying in wall-to-wall sunshine.
Many thanks are due to: Phillipa Roberts for her enthusiastic briefings and doing an outstanding job of looking after the ladies on the ground, Mike Weston and Tony Parker, for helping out with the instruction, Lesley and Helen for helping on the ground and planning/marketing, John Docherty for helping with the marketing, Jacqui Huband for making the lunch on both days, and last but not least, everyone who was around on Saturday and Sunday and did a really great job of making our visitors feel welcome.

1 June launch failure practice

Low cloud and some drizzle forecast, drizzle clearing during the morning.

Most of the club members stayed in bed, but the course managed to complete 28 flights all of which were launch failures of every conceivable type and low circuits. Matthew, a visitor from Usk spent the day with us in the hope that cloud bases would rise, sadly they only went up to 700ft.

Guy, Ben and Chris all enjoyed the experience and are now much more confident they can handle a launch failure.

All those early and pre-solo pilots out there, this would be good for you too!


31 May windy but fun

Forecast winds 360/30, visibility 25K.

Despite the breeze, a productive day.

Some reduced sink in ridge and wave over the Stroud valley and the opportunity to practice circuits and approaches in stronger winds.

Many thanks to the cadets and their instructors for their assistance at the launchpoint.

We managed to pack away 5 minutes before the very heavy rains started and moved to the classroom to brief on threat and error management, speed to fly and stalling.

Another great training day.


Is your glider fit for flight?

Despite training and established checking protocols, glider pilots including instructors are still getting airborne in incorrectly rigged gliders or with airbrakes or canopies unlocked. At best, these errors result in frightening and expensive incidents.

In the course of about a million riggings over the last 41 years, there have been 125 instances of an insecure or unconnected wing, tail or flying control. These led to 10 fatalities and 8 serious injuries. Many of the other pilots who flew with unconnected controls were lucky to survive. A further fatality and 5 serious injuries resulted from the 102 cases of flying with the airbrakes unintentionally open, the pilot or ballast unsecured, loose articles, or the tail dolly still attached. 189 canopies opened in flight.

We know that distraction causes pilots to make errors when rigging, carrying out a DI and carrying out pre-flight checks. It’s extremely important that you don’t allow yourself to become distracted during these vital activities, where full concentration is needed even by the most experienced pilot.

The BGA safety leaflet ‘Is your glider fit for flight?’ is available here. We strongly recommend that you take 5 minutes to read through it and in particular note that;

• Rigging should be directed by a person experienced on the type, in accordance with the flight manual, without interruption or distraction
• A newly rigged glider should always have a daily inspection (DI)
• The DI should be conducted by a person experienced on the type, without interruption or distraction
• Positive control checks should be carried out every time for every rigging of a glider without automatic control connection
• The pilot should carry out proper pre-flight checks, for example using CBSIFTCBE, again without interruption or distraction.

Thank you for taking the time to read this important safety message.

BGA Safety Committee

30 May new course starts and Lasham cadets arrive.

winds 010/15 visibility 20K

We welcome everyone onto the 10th course of the season. many thanks to the many helpers and to Eugene Lambert and Mike Weston for supplying the much needed additional instructor support. Everyone flew and enjoyed themselves immensely, later in the day soaring was good.

The Arcus flew off to the west, just before the class D shutdown for a fun flight in Wales. John and Doug returned with big grins.

The heap of rubbish outside the hangar , the result of a spring clean, is steadily going down as members transfer it to the skip. thanks everyone.

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