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Course week gets a good soaring start. 15 June

Strong thermals with cloudbases to 5500 ft amsl.

Eric Lomas, Lesley Waters and Robert Knox joined us for a week of bronze C development. Several comments on the fashion statement white socks and sandals, apparently its not very "cool".

A small group of pundits set off for a 300km. Ian Kennedy (from Usk) arrived in a Grob to give Eugene Lambert some practice in a SLMG. Good to see Jane Randle who did a respectable cross country.

Many thanks to our band of regulars to came to lend a hand for day 1 of the course.

The day ended with a few beers in the bar.

Gerald appears in the team photo.

The day was a little better than forecast. The drizzle didnt start until 4 pm so we got a full days flying for the course members.

lunch was a buffet in the bus, cold chicken, salads, potato and a strange onion and celery concoction made up by David. We couldnt let last nights leftovers go to waste.

The Glasset brothers appeared in the afternoon and did there best to help out. This amongst other things seemed to include feeding Gerald the crow---we now know Gerald has a taste for cheese and onion crisps. The collective noun for a group of crows is a "murder", I wonder what a collective noun for a pair of Glassets might be.

The week was very productive, Tom went solo and started to work on bronze C stuff, David Hart has now joined the club and is getting close to solo, Tony from New Zealand plans to return and do more flying in the ASW19, and Nigel ended the week with a well judged circuit and landing. Well done all.

If you look carefully you will spot Gerald in the picture---he just cant seem to stay away.

NE winds and blue thermals today (11 June)

A quieter day on the airfield today. Thermals took some time to become usable. Then locally it was 4-6 knot climbs to 4000ft in the blue.

field landing, turning in early and side slipping were the topics for the day. Tom completing a few more solos to add to his experience.

Another group of Scouts this evening, with over 20 flights flown , well done chaps.

Dinner in the evening was great fun, roast chicken etc---and of course the odd glass of wine. Happy days.

Tom Egan goes solo 10 June

Club day today, great to see some members at the hangar at 8.30.

NE winds again, the soaring became quite good by lunchtime. A few single seaters appeared to try their luck.

Well done to Tom Egan who went solo on the 2nd launch of the day. 2 days of hard work (launch failures and stalling etc) did the trick.

Tony Budd converted onto the ASW19, well done to him.

Mike R got the club flying underway with check flights for the solo pilots. The picture shows the Mike R huddle as he considers how to proceed. Tony took over to continue the good work.

The evening briefing was on stalling. Another good day.

Tony Budd completes his winch launch conversion 9 June

15 knot NE winds made it feel pretty chilly. The soaring forecast was promising but was tending to overdevelop.

Tony was feeling the cool weather, he has flown in from warmer climates for a weeks course here at Aston down. Tony is a qualified glider pilot from New Zealand. With the help of Mike Randall he quickly completed his winch launch training yesterday and went off soaring today.

A few single seaters were out, but the weather it was a little too chilly for most, but Mike Oliver was not going to be put off---he set off anyway. Well done Mike.

The course was focused on launch failures so we did a lot of walking and talking, a perfect day to get the training behind us.

By 6pm the local soaring had become excellent, Tom Egan did particularly well, soaring away for a while and then completing a great crosswind circuit and landing. After a day of launch failures, that was a pleasant treat.

The evening party arrived spot on time to take over and fly a local Scout troop into the evening. The end of another great day.

A great start to course 11 (8 June)

Northerly winds at about 15 knots, strong thermals, and warm.

3 people on the course, Tom Egan, Nigel Guile, Dave Hart and Tony Budd a visiting solo pilot from New Zealand.

Many thanks to Mike Randall for lending a hand, and to Chris Power for assistance on the ground.

A number of private owners took advantage of the good soaring and enjoyed a very good days flying.

David Hart cooked us a fine evening meal.

Nigel is pictured returning to the hangar at the days end----still smiling.

Sunday 7th June - what it is all about !

For those who experienced Sunday 7th June in the air, it was clearly one of the best (at least weekend) days in the last few years judging by the BGA ladder flights (best 970km). It was gratifying to see, firstly, a team spirit on the airfield to get things going early and get private owners on their way to relieve pressure on the launch-point for the rest of the day; and secondly, some mega flights especially Tom Gooch's 600km+. Well done everyone ! Let's keep up the good work and hope the season continues as good as yesterday.

I was stuck on the ground yesterday as a guest at the LAA 'Party in the Park' at Old Warden (Shuttleworth Collection) in Bedfordshire where the sky looked positively South African. The air display of vintage aeroplanes (and gliders) was, as grandchildren all seem to say, 'awesome'. The red DH88 'Comet' racer from the 1930s flew. Now that really is awesome.


Some achievements on Super Sunday, 7th June

Three of our members flew over 500 K. Tom Gooch completed his 607 Km task Lake Vyrnwy, Brecon, Graffam Water and back. Mike Oliver did 521 Km and Phil Guthrie over 500 Km.
Roger Green and Mike Gadd, our Cornish members, both completed their first 300 Km Sherborne, Stratford and return for their Gold distance and Diamond Goal.
Two members were enabled to experience cross-country flying in the DG500.

500K flight on Wednesday 3rd June

Andy Smith's Bury St Edmunds - Hereford flight deserves a mention on this slot. He has given me permission to post this reply to my question on how easy/difficult it was and about his low point at Royston (1200' AGL)
Hi Mike, there was alto-cu and very little sunshine past Bedford on the way out. I waited for about 15mins there and got as high as I could before crossing to sunshine at Cambridge. I called Gransden Lodge to ask about conditions but got no reply. After Cambridge it was good to Bury and back to Cambridge. Now there was a big blue hole where the over-development had been. I tried to cross this but it was full of sink so I had to divert to sunshine and a wisp over Royston. It took me so long to get away there that the blue area had cu in it when I looked next. It was ok from there but I got low again at Milton Keynes, probably my fault for not reading the sky. After there it was excellent, the 5,200 cloud-base meant that I could cross the sea-breeze in the Severn estuary esily after rounding Hereford
I was half full, about 180 lbs and managed to keep it. I landed with it on because I flew yesterday which was forecast good but turned out poor. If you look at the other 500k flights on Thursday we all landed early so it was possible to go much further. I landed at 5:20 and it was probably possible to fly 100 k to the east and get back.

Super Sunday 7th June

With a super day forecast and many people planning tasks, duration and other badge claims, the kit was out and a full grid of gliders were ready for launching by 9am. Yours truly and Lesley Waters did the first launch in the PW6 about 9.30 with lift already starting, so after landing we reported back and set off on a second flight where we managed 30mins before coming back for the next club member. Thereafter a series of club and private owners all started launching with the local area quite a busy place for a bit.

Member unity and cooperation throughout the day with good organisation from our launchmasters and some excellent winching got all gliders off, and with good conditions all gliders seemed to manage to stay up and do some successful flights - check out the Ladder for who did what, but suffice to say there was beer bought afterwards with everyone back and I think no landouts too.

All in all a Super Sunday.

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