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Tony Budd completes his winch launch conversion 9 June

15 knot NE winds made it feel pretty chilly. The soaring forecast was promising but was tending to overdevelop.

Tony was feeling the cool weather, he has flown in from warmer climates for a weeks course here at Aston down. Tony is a qualified glider pilot from New Zealand. With the help of Mike Randall he quickly completed his winch launch training yesterday and went off soaring today.

A few single seaters were out, but the weather it was a little too chilly for most, but Mike Oliver was not going to be put off---he set off anyway. Well done Mike.

The course was focused on launch failures so we did a lot of walking and talking, a perfect day to get the training behind us.

By 6pm the local soaring had become excellent, Tom Egan did particularly well, soaring away for a while and then completing a great crosswind circuit and landing. After a day of launch failures, that was a pleasant treat.

The evening party arrived spot on time to take over and fly a local Scout troop into the evening. The end of another great day.

A great start to course 11 (8 June)

Northerly winds at about 15 knots, strong thermals, and warm.

3 people on the course, Tom Egan, Nigel Guile, Dave Hart and Tony Budd a visiting solo pilot from New Zealand.

Many thanks to Mike Randall for lending a hand, and to Chris Power for assistance on the ground.

A number of private owners took advantage of the good soaring and enjoyed a very good days flying.

David Hart cooked us a fine evening meal.

Nigel is pictured returning to the hangar at the days end----still smiling.

Sunday 7th June - what it is all about !

For those who experienced Sunday 7th June in the air, it was clearly one of the best (at least weekend) days in the last few years judging by the BGA ladder flights (best 970km). It was gratifying to see, firstly, a team spirit on the airfield to get things going early and get private owners on their way to relieve pressure on the launch-point for the rest of the day; and secondly, some mega flights especially Tom Gooch's 600km+. Well done everyone ! Let's keep up the good work and hope the season continues as good as yesterday.

I was stuck on the ground yesterday as a guest at the LAA 'Party in the Park' at Old Warden (Shuttleworth Collection) in Bedfordshire where the sky looked positively South African. The air display of vintage aeroplanes (and gliders) was, as grandchildren all seem to say, 'awesome'. The red DH88 'Comet' racer from the 1930s flew. Now that really is awesome. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tn_yt1mkVc0

DGR

Some achievements on Super Sunday, 7th June

Three of our members flew over 500 K. Tom Gooch completed his 607 Km task Lake Vyrnwy, Brecon, Graffam Water and back. Mike Oliver did 521 Km and Phil Guthrie over 500 Km.
Roger Green and Mike Gadd, our Cornish members, both completed their first 300 Km Sherborne, Stratford and return for their Gold distance and Diamond Goal.
Two members were enabled to experience cross-country flying in the DG500.

500K flight on Wednesday 3rd June

Andy Smith's Bury St Edmunds - Hereford flight deserves a mention on this slot. He has given me permission to post this reply to my question on how easy/difficult it was and about his low point at Royston (1200' AGL)
Hi Mike, there was alto-cu and very little sunshine past Bedford on the way out. I waited for about 15mins there and got as high as I could before crossing to sunshine at Cambridge. I called Gransden Lodge to ask about conditions but got no reply. After Cambridge it was good to Bury and back to Cambridge. Now there was a big blue hole where the over-development had been. I tried to cross this but it was full of sink so I had to divert to sunshine and a wisp over Royston. It took me so long to get away there that the blue area had cu in it when I looked next. It was ok from there but I got low again at Milton Keynes, probably my fault for not reading the sky. After there it was excellent, the 5,200 cloud-base meant that I could cross the sea-breeze in the Severn estuary esily after rounding Hereford
I was half full, about 180 lbs and managed to keep it. I landed with it on because I flew yesterday which was forecast good but turned out poor. If you look at the other 500k flights on Thursday we all landed early so it was possible to go much further. I landed at 5:20 and it was probably possible to fly 100 k to the east and get back.

Super Sunday 7th June

With a super day forecast and many people planning tasks, duration and other badge claims, the kit was out and a full grid of gliders were ready for launching by 9am. Yours truly and Lesley Waters did the first launch in the PW6 about 9.30 with lift already starting, so after landing we reported back and set off on a second flight where we managed 30mins before coming back for the next club member. Thereafter a series of club and private owners all started launching with the local area quite a busy place for a bit.

Member unity and cooperation throughout the day with good organisation from our launchmasters and some excellent winching got all gliders off, and with good conditions all gliders seemed to manage to stay up and do some successful flights - check out the Ladder for who did what, but suffice to say there was beer bought afterwards with everyone back and I think no landouts too.

All in all a Super Sunday.

Andrew Bolton goes solo and 5 June

The day started with 1000ft cloudbases, and a light westerly wind. The winds became southerly with clear skies and broken blue thermals. Mid afternoon a wave rotor set up over the field and the winds steadily freshened to about a5 knots westerly. A strange mixture.

Andrew Bolton went off solo during the light wind part of the day. Well done to him, Andrew an ex RAF warrant officer, has been on a number of training courses over a number of years. He now plans to return and complete his licence training.

Alan Thomas solo in the K13 for the first time and ready to move to the K8.

Chris Godding is now an unprompted pilot after just one week.

David Hart spent the day familiarising himself with the operational systems.

David Chapman appeared during the day to fly his recently re-weighed Astir.

Thanks Chris Power who relieved David on the winch so David could take a much deserved afternoon off.

The picture shows Andrew Bolton, me, Alan Thomas, Chris Godding and David Hart.

Alan Thomas resolos 4 June

By 8.30 Mike Oliver is already rigged at the launch point. Before too long the grid starts to fill in anticipation of a good day.

Thermal activity was not quite as good as the predictions but a good time was had by all.

One land out and one land in---a Nympsfield pilot dropped in for a relaunch.

We welcome another new visitor from South Devon, David Hart.

Well done to Alan Thomas for his resolo today.

The day was finished off with a communal Chinese "hotch potch" dinner. Oh yes and a few beers.

A super soaring day and Gerald becomes a trainee winch driver Wednesday 3 June

Thanks to Dave, the bus has a new steering wheel. The new one is actually circular---how unusual is that. Chris Power is seen putting the final touches to the temporary windscreen.

The hangar opened at 8.30, and launching started soon after that.

A club day, members were treated to 6 knot plus climbs to 4000ft agl. Pat and Roger kept the club members flying with the DG500 and K13.

The course started with a series of launch failures, thank heavens for the tow out gear, and ended with some great soaring flights.

Some latecomers to the field arrived from the Southwest (Cornwall etc) enjoyed some great soaring and then had a beer or two with us in the bar. Welcome Alan, Roger and Mike.

Unexpectedly Gerald decided to push in and start driving the winch----watch out Dave he might take over!

So we asked Gerald 2 June

Winds gusting up to 40 knots, but at least it stopped raining.

The course had classroom briefings until we thought some simulator flying would be a lot more fun.

Davids friend Gerald was consulted and, according to David, Gerald was against the idea of flying---it rather looks like he has personal experience of flight in strong winds. I think David just made that up.

We all look forward to a good day tomorrow. Form an orderly queue outside the hangar at 8.30.

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