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19 August rain on its way so lets get started. Police request suspension of flying

Winds forecast 180/20. Messy frontal systems out to the west. cloud forecast at 2000ft.

Briefing was at 7.15 with first launch 8.00am.Launch failure practice to start---Caroline found herself above cloud and only at 600 ft herself, very pretty but clouds were significantly lower than they appeared from the ground. The picture below was taken around 9.00 o'clock, a bunch of enthusiastic club pilots waiting to get flying.

Mid morning we were asked to suspend flying while a police helicopter carried out a search for an escaped convict. We see it all at Aston Down.

One private aircraft appeared on line, Darren Wills trying out the Jeans Astir for size. By midday the rains appeared and most of the gliders were packed away in the hangar. The course continued operating between the rain showers until we were also forced to give up.

The course rather wet by this time dried off and went down to the Weighbridge for a pie and a pint. On our return a small team were seen putting up a large tent in readiness for the competition. All I know, it was dark and raining when we went to bed---the tent was still being assembled. Thats dedication for you.

18 August--Paula goes solo and lots of interest in the K23

Winds starting 300/15 and veering southerly. Visibility 30K and improving. cloudbases from 2000ft.

It took most of the day to realise that the soaring conditions were not going to develop. That didnt stop a few members from taking the opportunity to fly the (new to the fleet) K23.

Paula finished her launch failure training and went off solo. She is pictured here with Peter ,her father. peter was celebrating his birthday so well done Paula and happy birthday Peter.

With the buggies desperate for fuel, we were delighted to see David, our chairman, appear with some full cans to replenish the stocks. He also brought a broom so Caroline could sweep out the bus, which she did while muttering we are an untidy load of ******rs.

The briefing in the evening included an excellent explanation of trimming presented by Peter Howarth. This is part of his instructor training.

Tomorrow we start at 7.15, will we see you there?

17 August and course No 21 starts

Winds VRB 05. Visibilty 30K Cloudbases 4000ft +, and soarable for part of the day.

We welcome Paula Howarth and Peter her father, and Remy Brooks Johnson and mother Caroline. Paula and Peter are from Dartmoor and are looking for concentrated training. Caroline and Remy are returning from a course earlier in the year with the aim of getting closer to solo.

Peter Howarth and Josh Vaggs were cleared to fly the K23, well done to them.

Mike Randle entertained some Dutch visitors (I suppose that is double dutch?). They enjoyed themselves in the DG500.

A number of cross country pilots came out to try out the conditions which became surprisingly good with cloudbases of 5000ft and strong climbs.

Thanks to Chris Power for his help and the photos.

Unseen helpers have been working away preparing for the Junior nationals next week. banners in the hangar, a cordoned of parking area and freshly painted airfield identifiers.

A great day and we look forward to another tomorrow.

14 August ---too wet even for the course.

winds forecast 320/20. visibility in light rain of 15K. low cloudbase.

The synoptic chart says it all. Briefings covered spinning with practice on the simulator. IMSAFE and then a wrap up completing the paperwork.

Michael Blake is off to his beautiful boat in Greece, Sarah Eckereder is back home to find a gliding club and Bryan Field is back to work at Kidlington airfield. Thanks for a great week and we hope to see you again.

The Hay bales have been removed thanks Gill, The runway has been swept thanks Dave, the gents showers have been put into working order thanks Richard and the K21 seat back has been strengthened ready for saturday thanks Robin.

13 August Excuse me, did you drop something?

Winds forecast 060/15 visibility reducing to 15 Km showers of rain and low cloud.

This course group were not going to be put off by such a negative forecast. The day started with 500ft cloudbases and launch failure practice. Steadily the cloudbases went up to the dizzy heights of 1200ft. 28 launches later, we packed away---tired but pleased with ourselves.

The challenges of the day were increased with a farmers bale in the middle of the approach path!! We think he must have dropped it.

Our visitors couldn't be tempted to fly, they contented themselves with reading books and flying the simulator.

John was busy in the clubhouse organising floor cleaning in the showers. They really are beginning to look smart now and have been designated unisex showers. As John remarked it isn't mandatory to shower with a friend but it would save water.

The course day ended with a pleasant meal in the Weighbridge.

12 August. A very busy day, and the bus has a new windscreen

Winds forecast 090/10, visibility 30K and no precipitation. The soaring forecast is good from 12 to 5.
The briefing room was full for the 8.15 morning briefing. Thanks to everyone that took the time to attend, it does save repeating the briefing endlessly during the day.
Soaring started around 11 and was still working well at 6pm---so much for forecasts. locally the combine harvesters to the east were triggering thermals throughout the afternoon.
Roger Bagley and Pat Greer worked like Trojans all day, looking after the club flying. The new K21 proved a great attraction----one smiling chap was heard to say " I did my first loop today---exhilarating"
The course guys (and gal) are now all doing all of the flying in each flight, and managing to cope with a cross wind on landing. Bryan learnt about spinning in the PW6 and is now preparing for launch failures.
Grass collection on the field did cause the occasional sucking of teeth as tractors sometimes got very close to the cables. Thanks to everyone for their diligence and respect for safety.
The new windscreen was fitted under the close scrutiny of Richard. When asked for a quote, with a big grin he said "at last!!". It is now no longer necessary to wear goggles while driving the bus.
Mike Weston took Roger Smith on a cross country experience in the Arcus. Broadway, Edgehill and home. Roger didnt get lost once, well done.
The visitors had a good time, with Richard Dance landing out somewhere in his Pik.
A buggy did run out of fuel---with all the running around it was no surprise.Thanks to an unsung hero fuel was obtained and the buggies are back in business.

11 August Soarable afternoon and Gerald joins us for lunch

winds VRB/05 with a northerly bias. Visibility 25K. Cumulus forecast by midday.
The course were on catch-up after a wet start to the week, and were treated to perfect training conditions, flat calm.
Our visitors and Mike and John with the Arcus, waited in anticipation for the conditions to improve. Eventually they did improve sufficiently and that in turn drew some more gliders to the launch point.
The number of helpers allowed for the K13 to be brought to the launchpoint, this gave qualified club pilots the opportunity to fly.
The evening group took over at 6 pm to fly a bunch of trial lessons, while the committee gathered in the clubroom to sort out club business. The rest of us had time for a beer or two.
Gerald seems to prefer the south end of the runway, and his new friend David Hart fed him his lunch.
We look forward to a good club day tomorrow. The PW6 is back in service thanks to Robins work. We also have the K21 and K13 for the club pilots to fly---see you at the 8.15 briefing?

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.

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