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ASK 23 has arrived at AD

Thanks to Chris Swann journeying to Needwood Forest GC (near Burton-on-Trent) today, the ASK 23 (registration G-CGCF) arrived at Aston Down this evening. When members see it they will no doubt observe the gel needs refinishing (in two-pack paint) at some stage. This fact was taken into account when negotiating the purchase. Our CFI will be introducing the glider to instructors before the instructors brief everyone else who is a solo pilot before they fly it. There are a couple of points to be aware of when rigging - the shims and their configuration for the pins (see the back of the, and the "L'hotelier" connectors for air brakes and ailerons - like those on the ASW 20 - with safety locking pins. Also, at present, the aerotow hook is blanked off so cannot be used. This was deliberate at Needwood Forest GC which is winch only site, as someone once put the winch cable on to the aerotow hook by mistake with an "interesting" subsequent launch experience for the pilot.

I hope that when you have had a briefing to fly it you will all enjoy this addition to the fleet.

DGR / chairman

Happy flyers on Sportability Day 21 July 2015

A couple of photos of some happy people on Tuesday. Grateful thanks to Mike Weston (instructing) and wife Helen, Jacqui Huband and Graham Turner for running the day for our guests.

Wednesday 22 July Club day

Forecast 290/10 with isolated heavy showers and visibility 30K.

It was good to see the early birds at the 8.15 briefing and 8.30 hangar unpacking.

The flying list filled quickly, a surprisingly busy day.

The current and cleared pilots took advantage of the early start to stay current with a few circuits.

Roger got the show on the road for the club flying and Tony took over for the 2nd part of the day. Thanks everyone for pitching in and making the day run so smoothly.

Soaring was not fantastic to start but we did have some surprising good moments with strong climbs to 3500 QFE.

The course is progressing very well with the ab-initio members now able to take off and land safely with some minor prompting from the rear seat.

Tuesday 21 July Sportability Day

Fairly strong winds 230/25 and good visibility (20K) the course started flying straight after briefing.

Mike Weston and a group of volunteers arrived to take care of 10 sportability gliding experience flights. That equaled 10 big grins and happy visitors. Many thanks to everyone who was involved with that. The picture shows Dave Roberts (Chairman) chatting with some of the sportability group.

Later in the day we were treated to some fascinating soaring with strong thermals mixed in with the wave. Climbs reported up to 8 knots to over 4000ft QFE.

The course guys learned about trimming and air-brakes, while mark Gilliland did more work towards his bronze GFT.

The evening party took over and flew the trial lessons.

CGC Fleet changes

As many know, we have agreed the purchase of a Schleicher ASK 21 (two-seater) from the Essex GC in exchange for a PW6 (KRU). We have also ordered two new ASK 21s, the first for delivery next May / June and the second one in August 2017.
I collected the ASW19 two days ago from the repairer (2 week turnaround) following a heavy landing. The Astir should be back with us in the next week or two following a long repair project.
And yesterday Fraser and I went to look at a ASK 23 (single seat, and probably the best all-round early solo glass fibre glider) that was for sale at Needwood Forest GC near Lichfield. We have agreed to buy it subject to committee formal approval. Appropriately the registration is G-CGCF. These purchases and the sale of a PW6 are completely in line with the committee's agreed strategy for the fleet. There are only 5 ASK 23s in the UK (more than half the production of 150 units in the 1980s went to Japan). But they rarely if ever come on to the open market and are much sought after.
The ASK 21 from Essex should be with us in about 10 days and theASK 23 either later this next coming week or the following.
I shall be asking our CFI, Gerry, to ensure that all instructors are familiar with both aircraft before anyone else flies them, because whilst they do not have any adverse characteristics I want us to play safe in terms of integrating these gliders into the club fleet, and mitigate risks of damage !

DGR / Chairman

Saturday 18th July

A busy day - 9.30 kick off and 53 flights by close of play at 18.00 . Conditions were pretty good once they got going with the two seaters climbing up to the 3,000' ceiling from Fairford Commiserations to Mike Oliver who set off just a little too early and ended up at Chedworth. Andrew Fleming got to practice sharing a thermal, Martin Hayward demonstrated he could circle in lift as well as 8 knots down and Lesley Waters' last landing was spot on the money . I heard rumours of some chundering on the one day course but that couldn't possibly be true with Mike Weston flying. Many thanks to Adrian Giles for driving the winch for almost the entire day and to Jacqui Huband for her tireless efforts at the launch point.

Is it an Australian invasion? 17 July

The last day of the course was met with strong wind 240/25, sunshine and rising cloudbases.

Fairford RIAT restrictions still in place but that gave us no problems as the Heller family practiced spot landing and landing in cross winds.

About midday a bus full of Australians arrived for lunch, they were entertained in the clubhouse while unknown to them we had an Australian based family on the course. The cakes and sandwiches left over kept us going in the evening.

Hooray, the buggy has returned complete with new tyres, they do look smart.

Meanwhile our chairman David arrived with the ASW19.

We sadly parted company with the course members as they drove away in a rather smart Bristol and Austin Sprite. Tomorrow our flying doctor returns to Darwin to carry on his work.

16 July The Flying Doctor and his family goes solo

Low cloud until about 12 noon. Then visibility improved to about 30K and winds about 130/10.

Steadily cloudbase rose to sensible operating levels. A talks on Navigation kept us occupied while we waited.

Throughout the day we were treated to views of many exotic aircraft as they flew over heading for Fairford.

Doug went solo first, a real life flying doctor from the Northern Territories, Australia. Soon followed by his son Tom and finally by Rosa. Very well done to them all.

The Scouts arrived for a flying evening around 6 pm while the course all retired to the clubroom for Spag Bol and a few beers.

Club day 15 July

winds 330/15, some very light mist from time to time and cloud bases quickly rising during the morning.

Fairford Airshow restricted airspace in force.

It was good to see some club members at the 8.15 briefing.

Pat Greer got the club show on the road taking the first launch of the day with a pupil. Flying was steady all day with thermals starting weak and getting better by 6pm. The K 13 was busy all day with hardly a moment on the ground. Thanks guys for great day.

The last of the Heller family contingent arrived today for the 2nd half of the week course---welcome Rosa. Tom and Rosa are based in Bristol while Doug (Dad) is a doctor based in Darwin Australia. They all arrived in a rather splendid Bristol car.

The course flying was a total of 27 launches, many of which involved spinning and launch failures.

14 July---David Hart resolo and Gerald pops in for lunch.

Low cloud in the morning accompanied with the occasional light rain meant we started off with low circuits and launch failure practice.

David very kindly lent us his posh Lexus as a buggy replacement while we wait for the return of our own.

Well done to David Hart who re-soloed today, but what on earth is he doing with one of Geralds feathers? Gerald continues to pop in to keep David company---and get fed!

Rain and drizzle finally completely stopped play around 5.30, and unfortunately prevented the Scouts from flying. The rain did not stop the Scouts from enjoying a BBQ---guys, you all missed out. I sneaked into the BBQ around 7.30 to be offered as many hotdogs as I could eat !! My dog Lucky thought that was terrific.

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