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Airfield open 7 days a week now

As you will have seen below, our first weekdays' course of 2016 started on Monday 28th March; so welcome back Don for a 3rd season from winter hibernation. Dave Taylor is starting his 2nd season as winch driver. The courses will be using Ka21 'ENK' in preference as the other Ka21 ('GBF'), on loan from Dunstable, costs the club a small amount extra per launch, so it is better for the high volume course usage to be on 'ENK'.
As the airfield is open on all weekdays, club members - including private owners - who wish to fly need to appreciate that course members have not paid their course fees to be cajoled into helping rig / launch / field retrieve / off-site retrieve other club or private gliders. Some may be only too happy to help but that should never be assumed ! Further, please remember that course launches take precedence over others.
So, for those who are either retired or have flexible working arrangements, do make use of the fact the airfield is now operational Monday to Fridays as well as weekends. Have a great season's flying.
DGR / Chairman

Tuesday 29 March wet but fun

The weather threatened thunderstorms and heavy showers. The thunderstorms didnt appear, but the rain showers did.

Interestingly some thermal activity (when it wasnt tipping down) and some wave.

David is now back in the saddle on the winch, his first launch of the season took us up to 2000ft---not shabby at all.

The course progresses well, everyone getting used to some proper wind gradients.

The weather should begin to improve as the week proceeds.

The pictures, Stewart above the clouds, and packing away in the rain


Bank Holiday Monday and the start of the courses.

A breezy day and broken thermals. With winds from the west, operations where from runway 27.

Welcome to Stewart Rathband, Mike Counsell and Ron Godsall. Stewart and Mike are on their 3rd course with us and Ron is a club member.

Thanks to Chris Power for standing in and operating the winch, thanks also to all the club members who came out to help.

Matt Page successfully completed his final instructor assessment and becomes our first instructor under the new system.

The weather for the rest of the week looks unsettled and getting better as the week progresses.


Good Friday

It was, Chris Jones and his Scouts were the early birds on the airfield getting the kit out. There was some uncertainty over the runway direction as the wind was due to go more southerly during the day and with gliders rigged at both ends of the airfield we opted to start from the south end. The grid watched the second K21 launch of the day start soaring and launched, some off on cross country tasks. The wind started to go more southerly and freshened so we changed ends, there was good local soaring available until quite late in the day with the scouts getting some good training flights.
All the cross country pilots returned OK with the exception of Jonathan Apperley who gained some good pre-competition experience with his first field landing.
Thanks to everyone who helped and hope that everybody enjoyed themselves as the next few days look dire!

Happy Easter!

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.

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