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9 September another busy club day.

Winds forecast 110/15. Visibility 30K. Cloudbases rising during the day.

It was good to see club members arriving for the 8.15 briefing and helping get the aircraft out first thing. A few now trying to figure out what the tow out gear for the K23 and K21 might look like---some "interesting" designs were considered.

Many thanks to Pat Greer and Roger for keeping the club flying going. The K23 is very popular with pilots being converted onto it. Some soaring was achieved but not a huge amount. Over 50 launches by the end of the day.

The course progresses well with John Hammond completing the syllabus and mastering the finesse in circuit, Stephen John getting to grips with circuit planning and Lesley working on those fully held off landings. The evening briefing was stalling and IMSAFE.

Expect a foggy start tomorrow.

8 September, Day 2 of course

After a slow start due to low cloud, the new course group went on to have a busy day.

Sunny Sunday

A good day's training and local soaring, with cross country for some. Doug and Lesley set off in the DG500 to visit the Isle of Wight but didn't like the look of all that water so turned back at Portsmouth, eventually landing at Wroughton after 6.5 hours.
Several members had a first taste of the K23 and liked it.

Balloon invasion

Sometimes it is definitely worth getting up early, Those on site at 8am on Sunday were treated to a very colourful spectacle as AD was used as the landing site for a fleet of around a dozen hot air balloons participating in a competition. The balloons (including one with Simon Lucas in) had lifted off from Upton St Leonards and had had to drop markers as close as possible to crosses marked out in various fields along the way. Paul Lazenby and Tim Barnes jumped in the Falke to photograph them as they came in - the full set of photos can be seen at http://tinyurl.com/qfjoah2

Perception monitoring

The result of the recent Perception Monitoring is available in the committee minutes section or you can use this Direct link.
Many thanks to everyone who participated.
John Docherty

3 September. can we have our winch back please

Winds forecast at 330/15, visibility 30K and isolated rain showers.

The sky launch guys arrived to repair the guard on the winch. Disaster struck when the 2nd winch had a power problem and needed to be taken off line. After lots of head-scratching and rethinking, we managed to get launched by 3pm. The course guys were forced into the classroom to talk about bronze C exam stuff.

The evening group arrived at around 6 pm to take over.Sadly they walked into a slow puncture on the PW6.

Thanks everyone for pulling together to help overcome the frustrations of the day.

2 September club day

winds 3000/10, visibility 25K, cloudbases 2500, showers of rain pm.

briefing at 8.15 was well attended.

launching started a little after 9.00, and Tom Coles managed to get 2 real launch failures in succession. Colin and Sam continued to consolidate their solo flying while Richard began to master approach control. The course day ended with a briefing on thermal soaring.

Tony and Roger looked after the club operations, a number of pilots converting to the K23.

Soaring was quite good but limited by heavy rain showers and low cloud bases.

Thanks to the Wednesday team for removing the poles from the comp camping area, getting the buggy into the workshop for repair and for coming up with various ingenious ways of pouring hot water from a kettle with no handle.

A heavy rainshower at 4.30 discouraged many from staying later, those who stayed enjoyed a great early evening.

1 September Colin Stringer goes solo

Winds forecast 320/10 visibility 25K, showers cloudbases rising to 2500ft

Launch failure practice this morning before Tom Coles and Sam Kennett resoloed.

Well done to Colin Stringer who went solo for the first time today.

Doug Gardiner was tempted out by the threat of thermals and did set off before arriving back in a heavy rain shower.

The Nympsfield club LS4 couldn't quite make it back to NYM and landed out at AD. Aerotow retrieve for him.

Lots of tug activity today as various tugs returned home after the comps.

The evening flying group took over at 6 pm. The evening promised good visibility calm conditions.

31 August Courses restart

Heavy rain, low cloud and light northerly winds was the Monday morning greeting.

Welcome Tom Coles, Sam and Richard Kennett and Colin Stringer. Tom and Sam are working towards resolo. Colin, an ex PPL is on his 2nd course and Richard is just learning.

While we waited for the rain to ease, we filled our time with a number of briefings before venturing out onto a very wet airfield. We managed 8 introductory flights before the drizzle returned and we retired to the clubhouse.

Many thanks to the hard-working volunteers who helped clear the post competition debris, emptying bins getting rid of various bottles and cans and presumably dishing out head-ache pills to those still suffering from the night before.

Many thanks to our guests who did their bit towards clearing up and leaving the camping ground in good order. We look forward to seeing you again---please bring better weather next time!!.

A Special Guest at the Junior Nationals

On Saturday 29th August we had a special guest at the daily briefing of the Junior National Championships at Cotswold GC. Jill Farquarson used to fly at Aston Down, not in the era of Cotswold GC but in WW2 as a member of the ATA (Air Transport Auxiliary). The ATA had some 166 lady pilots delivering all sorts of aircraft including Spitfires, Stirling bombers, Lysanders etc from factories to the front line fighter and bomber stations. About 10 days ago Jill was brought from her home at Frampton on Severn to Aston Down by her carer, Ann Rigelsford, to 'see the place where she used to fly'. Club chairman David Roberts got into conversation with her and invited her back to present the day prizes at the Junior Nationals. Jill told the audience she gained her pilot's licence on 14th June 1942, and that "if you follow the rules and do not do anything stupid you may survive as long as I have" !
Jill had a wonderful morning, a sustained round of applause from the competitors, and then to cap it all an aerotow flight in a Ka 21 (to over 2000ft) with Mike Randle. Their combined ages in the cockpit, probably a UK record for a glider, was 181 years. And no, Mike is not 95. But Jill is a sprightly 101. A few pictures from a very emotional morning, not just for Jill but for her instructor and others as well. The last picture is after the flight.

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