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Is it an Australian invasion? 17 July

The last day of the course was met with strong wind 240/25, sunshine and rising cloudbases.

Fairford RIAT restrictions still in place but that gave us no problems as the Heller family practiced spot landing and landing in cross winds.

About midday a bus full of Australians arrived for lunch, they were entertained in the clubhouse while unknown to them we had an Australian based family on the course. The cakes and sandwiches left over kept us going in the evening.

Hooray, the buggy has returned complete with new tyres, they do look smart.

Meanwhile our chairman David arrived with the ASW19.

We sadly parted company with the course members as they drove away in a rather smart Bristol and Austin Sprite. Tomorrow our flying doctor returns to Darwin to carry on his work.

16 July The Flying Doctor and his family goes solo

Low cloud until about 12 noon. Then visibility improved to about 30K and winds about 130/10.

Steadily cloudbase rose to sensible operating levels. A talks on Navigation kept us occupied while we waited.

Throughout the day we were treated to views of many exotic aircraft as they flew over heading for Fairford.

Doug went solo first, a real life flying doctor from the Northern Territories, Australia. Soon followed by his son Tom and finally by Rosa. Very well done to them all.

The Scouts arrived for a flying evening around 6 pm while the course all retired to the clubroom for Spag Bol and a few beers.

Club day 15 July

winds 330/15, some very light mist from time to time and cloud bases quickly rising during the morning.

Fairford Airshow restricted airspace in force.

It was good to see some club members at the 8.15 briefing.

Pat Greer got the club show on the road taking the first launch of the day with a pupil. Flying was steady all day with thermals starting weak and getting better by 6pm. The K 13 was busy all day with hardly a moment on the ground. Thanks guys for great day.

The last of the Heller family contingent arrived today for the 2nd half of the week course---welcome Rosa. Tom and Rosa are based in Bristol while Doug (Dad) is a doctor based in Darwin Australia. They all arrived in a rather splendid Bristol car.

The course flying was a total of 27 launches, many of which involved spinning and launch failures.

14 July---David Hart resolo and Gerald pops in for lunch.

Low cloud in the morning accompanied with the occasional light rain meant we started off with low circuits and launch failure practice.

David very kindly lent us his posh Lexus as a buggy replacement while we wait for the return of our own.

Well done to David Hart who re-soloed today, but what on earth is he doing with one of Geralds feathers? Gerald continues to pop in to keep David company---and get fed!

Rain and drizzle finally completely stopped play around 5.30, and unfortunately prevented the Scouts from flying. The rain did not stop the Scouts from enjoying a BBQ---guys, you all missed out. I sneaked into the BBQ around 7.30 to be offered as many hotdogs as I could eat !! My dog Lucky thought that was terrific.

First day of course is wet---time to review weekend activities 13 July

Its just amazing what people get up to in their leisure time. Here is Gill taking part in a production car trial.

The weather for the course was very wet and low cloud and strongish winds Welcome to Doug and Tom Heller and David Hart.So its into the classroom for briefings, followed by a tutorial on the equipment. Doug and Tom have had some gliding training in the past but never quite managed to go solo, Doug a medical consultant from Darwin Australia returns home on Friday. David has joined as a member.

The remaining buggy has developed a drive belt fault, so Gill has been on the case organising the return of Bug one sporting new knobbly tyres and getting the defective one off for servicing.

looking through the misted window we could see the small team fitting the doors to the new hangar. One very wet Chris power came in saying " oh well just 32 more to go!"

Dave Breeze sorted out the simulator, reprogrammed by some kind soul, and David hart discovered how to aerotow.

Did anyone see the high performance glider display last Friday? (picture below)

1 a.m. 10th July 2015

The scene at one in the morning in a field somewhere north of Ludlow. The Turner DG500 outfit got back to Aston Down at 3.30 a.m.

What was the date yesterday?

Don, I was initially confused. Yesterday was the 9th not the 8th !
There were indeed several long flights yesterday by private owners, making it one the longest distances in aggregate from Aston Down, competitions apart. Of the 750km attempts Philip Walker did 690km in the ASH31M, Doug Gardiner 682 in the LS3, Andy Smith (ASW28) apparently around 600. The shorter task declarations resulted in Mike Oliver (ASW20) 524, Mike Weston (Ventus 2C) 364, John McWilliam (Ventus C) 310 and the Duo Discus with Chris Swann and myself on board some 442km out of a declared 583km. Others did various distances, at present unknown, including Graham Turner (DG500).
Hopefully the beginning of another spell of good cross country weather?

A fantastic day---8 July oops 9 July

Visibility about 40K.winds 290/05 and thermals rising to 5000ft.

As you might expect, a busy day at the launch point. Tasks set to all 4 directions, and pilots programming and reprogramming their tasks. Many thanks to those who took time out to help at the launchpoint, that was much appreciated.

A rather nice helicopter brought a passenger in from London. Class D airspace around Kemble grounded us for an hour at lunchtime, so time for a cuppa and brief for the afternoon activities.

Several landouts, the dart at Rissington, the DG500 at Ludlow, the LS3 at Bicester and an SF27 at the Park. Some very credible flights fl;own today.

The course enjoyed many hours of soaring before the Scouts arrived in the evening for air experience flights.

The evening BBQ was an adventure itself when we were entertained by David trying to put the fire out!!

Club day, Wednesday 8 July

What will the wind direction be?, Very difficult to predict with a complex weather system and wave around. The 1000 ft winds forecast to be 310/25, and blustery at times.

Initially we had light SW winds which strengthened during the day to give fresh westerlies.

We did get some flying done and John McWilliam managed to join the Nympsfield guys in the wave. Well if you do have an engine why not use it?

Flying stopped early to comply with the temporary airspace restrictions around Kemble. So it was in to the classroom and an introduction to the 1:500000 chart and a briefing on winch launching.

Should be a good day tomorrow, and a BBQ planned for the evening.

Windy it may be but student Dan arrives to help 7 July

The 2nd day of the course and winds are forecast 260/25 with showers of rain.

Some very broken thermals to around 3000ft QFE.

The field was set up on runway 21, but very soon the winds freshened and we were forced to move to 27. The picture may not look windy but Dave Breeze is carefully holding the canopies to prevent damage.

Meanwhile the first of the University students appeared for the development week to find himself "launch controller for the day---many thanks Dan.

The evening group took over around 6pm and set about doing a few launches before packing in, the evening talks were on launch failures and tephigrams---strange mix but created some interesting question.

looking forward to another breezy day tomorrow.

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