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A new week greeted by rain. Visitors from Surrey Hills and Camphill

A very wet start with low cloud and rain. Winds forecast 220/20.
Welcome to the new course, Michael Blake, Sarah Eckereder (from Switzerland) and Bryan Field (from Greece).
Visitors from Camphill and Surrey Hills decided to wait until tomorrow before flying, a wise move.
While the course guys were given comprehensive ground school in the morning, the team were happily repairing equipment, sweeping the runway, getting fuel for the buggies and doing a myriad of other background tasks.
Robin Birch was tied up preparing the PW6 cable release for repair, meanwhile the K21 was put into service for the course flying in the afternoon.
We did manage to get a dozen introductory flights in the afternoon, so despite the weather we all had a good day.
Many thanks to Richard Dance and David bailey for their assistance at the launchpoint, along with our club regulars. All the assistance is very much appreciated.

Saturday 8th August

A busy day with practically the entire club and private fleet out - 59 launches by 28 different gliders . Conditions early on weren't that easy for the cross-country pilots, but there were some very creditable trips out to the east - Tom Gooch turned Feltwell for 403k, Mike and Jon in the Arcus did Bruton- Downham Market for 523k, but had to motor the last 20k, Mike Oliver and Simon Buckley turned Ely for 363k. At Mike Oliver's suggestion seven pilots: Robin Davenport, Adrian Giles, Matt Page, Darren Edge, Paul Gentil, Don Brookman and Mike Randle attempted 302k O/R Caxton Gibbet. Paul and Mike completed. Don in his K21 returned from near Wellingborough. Darren and Matt ended up at Bicester on the way back. Adrian landed at Chedworth caught by advancing sea air. Robin also landed on the way back (place unknown) Andy Smith and Doug Gardner as usual did big flights (details unknown) but Doug was caught by the advancing sea air and landed at Rendcomb.
Many congratulations to Martin Hayward who completed his first solo (left in photo being congratulated by instructor Ed Foggin). Visitors Chris and Alan enjoyed soaring flights to 4,500 on the one day course. Many thanks to winch drivers Andy Smart and Roger Smith (who was still winching at 6pm).

1,000 not out

Congratulations to Andy Smart - a true gent - who notched up his 1,000th flight today.

6 August Molly goes solo and It might fit?

Winds forecast at 280/15 cloudy am and some drizzle soarable pm.

With cloudbases at 700ft it was time for launch failure practice. By the afternoon we had thermals to around 3000ft cloudbases. As the winds calmed down it was time for Molly to go solo, well done to her. The course dinner in the clubhouse was chicken pie followed by chocolate cheesecake---delicious.

Two private gliders took advantage of the afternoon soaring, they found it difficult low down but better from around 2000ft.

The first of the ladies showers has been completed, and very smart it looks too. The 2nd should be completed Friday.

The windscreen was nearly fitted in the bus, but not quite. The next attempt will be made on Monday---so fingers crossed.

5 August---club day

Winds forecast 180/25 1000ft cloudbases to start and some thermal activity midday.

Good to see club members joining in with the 8.15 course briefing and subsequent unpacking of the aircraft.

Flying got underway soon after 9 am, with the current cleared solo pilots getting a few practice circuits in to keep current. sadly the K13 had a puncture on the main wheel and flying stopped around midday. The course carried on with the good natured assistance of the club members.

Molly Robinson started her winch launch failure training and the picture shows Laura and Molly retrieving the glider from the far end of the field.

The shower refurbishment continues, The workmen report " we think we are getting there", it certainly looks like a big improvement.

4 August, Where do I put all this earth?

Winds forecast 230/30 with isolated showers of rain.

A breezy day for the course, but it had its soaring moments with 6-8 knots for short periods. By the end of the day the whole group were managing circuits in strong winds.

The course set to when a surprise delivery of ice cream was at risk of melting in the clubhouse.

The workmen arrived to reline the ladies shower room walls, a very posh smooth finish. The 2 ladies on the course will be using the gents showers---so please look for a notice to keep out.

Chris Swann reports the grass is now cut on the south of the short runway, and Mike Oliver was seen, complete with a JCB looking for where to dig a hole to hide some surplus earth---yes I know we all worry about him!

The evening group arrived at 6 pm to take care of the flying group while the course retired to the briefing room.

3 August Start of a new course, and -right said Fred-

Low pressure system dominates the scene with winds forecast 230/20, high cloud bases and 40K visibility.

Some soaring was to be had but a little limited, the course concentrated on re-learning to winch launch and land again safely. The evening training included Threat and Error Management and circuit planning.

A new course started, Laura, Peter, and Molly. Many thanks again to our helpers who helped teach the ground skills to the course.

Gerald turned his beak up at Daves sandwiches today, pigeon was on the menu instead.

The new windscreen arrived and after much pushing, shoving and head scratching the windscreen was removed again and taken away for adjustment. Reminds me of the song about moving a piano---seriously though thanks to everyone for your efforts and patience.

Sunday 2nd August

Half way through the morning the winch threw a hissy-fit - a loose loop trashed the drum door and bent the drum (quite impressive actually). In the best traditions of Scrap Heap Challenge the repair was effected by pinching a door of the other winch (in bits) and some subtle engineering involving an oxy-acetylene torch, a sledge hammer and a scaffolding pole. Well done to Darren Edge for his efforts - he's much better at engineering than keeping his trousers up.
As to the flying - it was a bit too much like hard work in the strengthening south-easterly.

31 July Gerald pinches the winchdrivers lunch, and a great soaring day.

The forecast winds 210/10, visibility 30K and cloudbases rising to 6000ft.

If Mike Oliver is at the launchpoint before the bus, you can bet it will be a good day, and it was.

Behind the scenes there are always those that strive to keep the show on the road. The first launches suffered from a winch misfiring and low on power. Not a good thing when coupled with the fact the cables desperately needed changing on the standby winch. Changing cables is not a one man job. Tom and his gang were already working on the replacement bus windscreen frame, so a plan was quickly put together. The plan enabled flying to continue, spare winch parts to be ordered and cables replaced ready for the weekend teams. The hard work was finished by around 7pm---thanks everyone to stepped in to help. Thanks also to winch driver David for his patience and diligence.

The flying was tremendous, with some notable cross countries---Andy Smith didnt quite complete his 500 task---slight miscalculation of the timing of the sea air up the Severn estuary. Locally the course guys enjoyed high cloudbases and loads of soaring training and practice.

Gerald had been away for a few days, so David thought it would be safe to leave his lunchtime roll out---silly boy. Not only that the course instructor pinched the remaining half.

The Harrods helicopter arrived during the day, landing on its posh new "H".

Launches finished around 5pm and the task of fitting new cables commenced.

What a great day, thanks team.

30 July K21 arrives, great soaring day and Dave Hatchett goes solos

The day promised to be the best day of the week so far. Winds 320/15 and cloud bases rising to 5000ft plus.

Several gliders were rigged and ready to go by 9 am.

The PW6 KRU was readied for collection by Robin Birch. The DG500 came out of the hangar in anticipation of a good day and the mood in the course was hopeful.

Well done to Dave Hatchett for getting himself solo. This particularly so when in meant ignoring all those lovely thermals so he could complete the launch failure training.

A Pawnee arrived towing our new K21 and after checking over the glider, the PW6 was taken away.

By 6 pm the evening group arrived and starting briefing the trial lesson group. Meanwhile the course retired for a great pub dinner.

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