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Saturday 5/7/14 Better than expected

At 10.00am, with a cloud base of about 5', I had just but about decided to cancel the one day course and head for home. But by mid-day the clearance went through and things started to improve, After a brief foray to the to the South end we decided that launching in to wind was a good idea and transferred to the north end. Kevin and Richard on the one-day course enjoyed some good soaring flights in the PW-6 and K13 - thanks to Matt for his efforts.
Hats off to the team from South Down - you couldn't wish to share the airfield with a nicer a bunch of people. You are welcome to come again guys.
Also thanks to the team that polished one of the PW-6s and to Adrian Giles for driving the winch

A Busy Wednesday

With a cracking forecast that tempted out a good number of private gliders and with 25 GCSE students on a 'practical physics day' to fly it was a busy day. Five 2 seaters and the Capstan were used and all of the students had soaring flights and went away with big grins. We also had a visit from Yvonne Elliott, the BGA Schools and Colleges lead who had learned about this initiative and wanted to see how we organised the day. The cross country pilots flew some fast tasks, we also had a few drop ins from other clubs including Justin Fletcher (who I sent solo last year) completing his silver distance from Rivar Hill. Two instructors made use of one of the Competition Enterprise tugs for some evening aerotows to complete their aerobatic rating.
We are hosting a group from Southdown for the next few days, please make them welcome.

...Mike W

Bundles of grass

We have been in touch with the farmer, Mr Clark, today to anticipate when the airfield grass will need cutting. Generally it is OK at present, but we expect growth in the next week to require it to be cut next week (commencing 7 July). The farmer has agreed to do this. Please remember that the farmer needs value out of the grass in return for the nil cost to us, so timing has to be balanced. It is also a two to three day operation with > 1 tractor and manpower. The last cut was 2-3 June. I met with Mr Clark on 14 June and once notes of that meeting are agreed I shall summarise them.
DGR / chairman

Bundles of Hay

More than one pilot reported meeting clumps of hay going up in their 8 knot thermals today. The northern club triangle was flown by Andy Smart on cross country training in the DG500 with the CFI. Otherwise only one club member required instruction so several two-seaters and instructors spent a large part of the day on the ground and we packed up early.

1st Solo 11 June 2014

David Chapman re-soloed on the 3rd day of this week's course. He last flew gliders in 1984 with the Royal Navy (only about 12 glider flights back then). On Monday and Tuesday this week Don put David through his paces and off he went on his own in the PW6 on Wednesday. Followed by the Astir at the end of the day.
In case members are wondering who this 'wunderkind' is, he happens to have an ATPL for helicopters and airliners, the latter being a requirement for his job as Director of Safety Regulation at the UK CAA until 2009, followed by his role as Safety adviser on aviation to the UAE, based in Dubai, until last year. David lives near Gloucester and we hope he finishes the week joining us as a full member.

Task Week 1

The task week ended yesterday on a day that looked to be a good day but the strong wind made it very difficult. There were several landouts (including the tasksetter) but all returned home safely. The weather wasn't brilliant throughout the week but we managed a few task days and the members who attended the development sessions gained a lot from the lectures and flying exercises.

Matt and Darren also completed their first BI flights.

Group 1 winner was Mike Oliver with Phil Guthrie close on his heels.
Group 2 winner was Jon Huband

Thanks to Jacqui and team for the food on Saturday evening and thanks to everyone else who helped during the week.

The 2nd task week is from the 2nd - 10th of August, bookings being taken now.....

Task Week - attempt at day 2

A task was set for Group 1 and briefing held for the one competitor who turned up, but he didn't go far enough to score on his two attempts.
Much ground school was done in the morning and flying in the afternoon, including two cloud flying instructional flights in the newly instrumented DG500.

Task Week Day 1

Two tasks were set: AD - Basingstoke - Dursley - Shipston on Stour - AD 316 Km;
AD - Chieveley - Yate - AD 163 Km. Nine people tackled the larger and four the smaller including Jonathan Huband who took a UWE member round the task in the DG500. All got back although some cut a corner because of localised difficult conditions.
Normal club flying continued although not many members were here to take advantage of the easily soarable conditions which lasted all day.

Albert Bielecki goes solo

Early Start

Two of our enthusiastic younger members got the kit out very early on their own initiative, and after obtaining instructor approval, had the first launches at 0845. It can be done!
As a consequence, a large number of launches and much training were done during the day.
A number of enterprising cross countries were completed but some didn't quite get home against a stiff breeze off the estuary, killing the thermals.

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