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Extraordinary flight

Not from Aston Down but worthy of mention. On 7th of May Klaus Ohlmann flew in mountain wave from the French Alps, to Corsica, Sardinia, Sicily and finally landing in Southern Italy. Details on the OLC website.

Lechlade Duck Race May 1s 2017

Members took a DG200 and a simulator to the Lechlade Duck Race is support of Help for heroes. They sold six trial lesson vouchers, and talked about the club to numerous visitors. Before the event started a helicopter landed very close to the rigged glider and gazebos, with surprisingly little disturbance.

Not Quite So Epic Wednesday

Yes, Tuesday did qualify as Epic for flights from Lxxxxm and the South Downs but this blog is for Aston Down. We have a nucleus of pilots who regularly fly over 500 Km and who are an inspiration to us all. Today two of them were absent at work or abroad, nevertheless we had flights of 503 Km, 416 Km, 403 Km and 316 Km. Two enjoyed spectacular conditions inland from the south coast before returning.
The day started with good thermals but later in the afternoon wave conditions enhanced thermals at times, but suppressed them with massive sink at others. A few pilots reported climbing into wave, reaching 5-6000. Those who launched when the massive sink was over the airfield had very short flights. The course and the Wednesday regulars had a very good day's flying.

Predicted Tuesday

A forecast promising an "Epic" day didn't quite live up to that but tempted so many to rush to the airfield that the launch queue looked like a busy weekend day. The good conditions produced two flights over 500 km and two over 400 km plus numerous lesser achievements. Thermal strengths ranged up to 7 kts and cloudbase almost 6000 ft ASL.
A Sportability day enabled 9 people with disabilities to experience the joys of soaring flight.

Added by DGR88: I think if you look at the BGA ladder, that counted as an 'Epic Day" Mike. Even if some AD based pilots went the wrong way for the best weather.......! But a good day at AD with satisfied Sportability visitors, course members and 16 private owners whom we winch launched with only one winch, in 1 hour 23 mins from 11.15.

Easter Saturday

An excellent training and cross country day, or it would have been a good training day if there had been more U/T members to take advantage of it, so a lot of two seaters were sitting on the ground much of the time.
Long wings completed their 300k tasks but shorter wings had difficulties and one landed out

Course Week 3rd -7th April

I had the pleasure of running the course this week which was for me a unique experience for several reasons. First we flew on five consecutive soarable days and only had flying interrupted briefly on the Tuesday. Second we had 3 enthusiastic visitors, Steve, Alice and Harry (more on them later), Thirdly I learned something about how instructing is carried out in Poland from our new resident instructor, Stan. Some useful ideas we could perhaps adopt. Finally I managed to go through a considerable portion of the solo syllabus in a really concentrated session of flying which I miss with just weekend instructor duties.

Steve was flying his 17m Cirrus and was joined by his syndicate partner Mike early in the week. Steve had a great week completing his first flight in his Cirrus and going on to completing a 1.5 and 3 hour soaring flight later in the week. Understandably he left at the end of the week a happy man. Well done Steve.

Our ab initios on the course were Alice and Harry. Harry returned to CGC, having not been put off from a previous one week course last October. Alice was (almost) new to flying gliders.
Both made great progress during the week flying with both myself and Stan, and Alice was keen to drive every type of vehicle the club had; and by the end of the week could probably qualify as a London bus driver as long as she didn't have to park the bus ! Both Alice and Harry became accomplished at soaring and enjoyed some great views on clear day with birds of prey circling with us in the thermals. By the end of the week they were both doing all the flying so great progress.

Our CFI Gerry and regional examiner Tony were present as some point on each day and it was great to have them as a source of advice and support. Unfortunately Gerry had a cold so could not fly from Tuesday onwards ( the day after he had his flights with Stan - no connection there I think ??). Gerry was certainly under the weather as he did not even recognize( or possibly even know of ) one of his syndicate partners Pat who seemed rather surprised at his apparent anonymity when he turned up to fly on Wednesday!

We all enjoyed a meal at a local pub on Thursday. Thanks to our local members who helped out ( especially Dave and Lesley on Mon/Tues) and our winch driver Dave provided good reliable launches throughout the week.

Andrew Turk

UK Junior Gliding

A big thank you to the club for letting the juniors borrow the DG500 for the Winter Series events over the past few months. We had three very successful trips to Portmoak, Long Mynd and Nympsfield which gave many young pilots the opportunity to experience ridge, wave and thermal soaring at different airfields.

The Winter Series is organised by the UK Junior Gliding group which promotes gliding to young people throughout the UK. The Winter Series and other events play an important part in getting more young people into gliding and ensuring a prosperous future for our sport.

Here are a few photos from a ridge day in Scotland and cross-country flying in the Cotswolds. Thank you all for your continued support of our junior members.

Flarm update

There has been a new release of the Flarm firmware version 6.09. The update file plus instructions and release notes are available here. Flarm devices must be updated at least every 365 days to ensure the unit keeps working. If not updated they will disable themselves until the update is done. Please note that this is the second release in the last few weeks so if you have updated to 6.08 you should do it again.

Sat 11th March

Mist and Low cloud at the start of the day was forecast to lift, so 2 K21s, the K13 and K23 were DI'd and parked on the runway. First launch was onto a 500' cloudbase but the aim was lauch failures for a WR so not a problem. CB lifted to 700, then 800 feet before finally melting away so that we could take launches all the way to the top. Steady breeze from SSE - good training conditions. Over 50 lauches by the end of the day. Of course there had to be a winch issue on the last lauch of the day with a loop thrown, so the winch team got their night rating. Many thanks to all who helped - hope you got what you wanted from the day.

Awards for Cotswold GC members

I am delighted to let all members know that two members of the Club have been granted awards from, firstly, the Royal Aero Club and secondly the British Gliding Association.

Larry Bleaken, the President of the Cotswold GC has been awarded a Bronze Medal of the Royal Aero Club of the UK. The citation for his award is below.

"Larry Bleaken is a founding member of the Cotswold Gliding Club, formed on 1st August 1964. He is the only founding member who remains a member of the Club to this day. In 1980 when the Government of the day put the ex-RAF airfield at Aston Down up for sale by auction, Larry was instrumental in the complicated processes and various negotiations that resulted in the Club acquiring a significant part of the airfield. As a property man his expertise, skills and contacts were vital in ensuring success, not least in finding and securing alternative finance when a major bank pulled its support just weeks before the auction. With a commercial acumen that left others in his wake, he did a variety of deals that left those involved spellbound. In the following 35 years Larry has been continuously a member of the 5 person board of directors of the land-owning company established by the Club. His wisdom, advice, guidance and sheer ‘nouse’ has meant that the Club has a very significant freehold unencumbered airfield asset that provides long-term security for gliding in the Cotswolds. Whilst his flying has reduced with advancing years, he is still able to climb into his Stemme S10 Touring Motor Glider to get a view of the airfield that he was absolutely pivotal in securing".

Richard Carter has been awarded a BGA Diploma. He was unable to attend the presentation on Saturday at the BGA Conference, but I was able to accept it on his behalf. Again, the citation for his award is given below.

"Richard Carter has been the key volunteer ground equipment engineer at Cotswold Gliding Club, Aston Down, for very many years. The gliding movement relies upon people such as Richard to keep clubs operating. Throughout each year come rain, snow, hail, winds, sunshine or a glorious gliding day he can be found on at least one day a week, invariably more, working in the club’s workshop on some essential piece of equipment. His ability to find solutions to engineering or mechanical problems, without spending a fortune, is legendary. He can turn his hand to most things that need a solution. Only at the AGM - when the club chairman acknowledges formally the work of people like Richard - are many members fully aware of what efforts go on behind the scenes by volunteers such as Richard to keep everyone else flying. Richard was made a life member by the Club a few years ago in recognition of his work. The time is right to now recognise him nationally by this nomination for a BGA Diploma".

Many congratulations to both Larry and Richard for these well-deserved honours.

David Roberts / Chairman / CGC

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