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2017 AGMs

The Club and Aston Down Farms AGMs will be on Saturday 28th January. Here are the documents for the meetings.

Daily inspections

A new guide to carrying out daily inspections is in the documents > briefings section.

First flight of 2017

After a miserable New Years Day, Bank Holiday Monday dawned beautifully clear and frosty. By 10.30 we were all ready to go, but sadly our enthusiasm wasn't shared by the winch which stubbornly refused to start. It was eventually diagnosed as a seized starter motor. Things weren't looking good when the replacement didn't work either. Luckily the third one did. Huge thanks to Simon Lucas for saving the day.
Once we had an operational winch we enjoyed a good day's flying in the winter sunshine. The northerly breeze gave some high launches enabling us to see in the new year with some aerobatics and one or two flights were long enough to incur soaring fees. Not a bad start to the year. Here's hoping 2017 is going to be a good soaring year.

New course instructor for 2017

As many will know, Don Puttock decided at the end of the 2016 season to move on to 'pastures new'. For three years he has delivered a great and very successful course programme, for which we thank him sincerely.

So, the search then started for someone to replace Don. Over this last weekend we met with and interviewed a candidate for the course instructor for 2017. I am pleased to say that Stanislaw Sawicki from Warsaw met with our requirements and we have offered him the role which he has accepted verbally. Stanislaw (pronounced Stanislav) hopes to start at the end of March but may have to delay his arrival until sometime in April due to his other job in Warsaw, from Autumn to Spring each year, teaching English at the Academy of Warsaw. We look forward to welcoming him in the Spring. His wife, who works in a school, and 9 year old son will probably join him here in late June.

DGR / chairman

Cold Sunday

Sunday the 4th of December dawned cold with a brisk easterly so runway 09 was the order of the day, one of the early launches was Steve Glassett in the Cirrus who had a bet with Jonathan that the Ikarus wouldn't tow the Cirrus to 10,000 feet, 30 minutes later, they did. Steve took the following pictures on the way down, landing just over an hour later.
A busy day with trial lessons and with winch launches up to 1600' on the short runway a good time was had by all. Several club members had aerotows in the K23 as did Andy Smart in the Cirrus, this time just to 3000' . Jonathan Apperley completed his winter refreshers, and also took an aerotow, the photo below was taken in the smooth air above the 1500' inversion. Thanks to all who helped.

Ka 23 back airborne

Yesterday the Ka 23 was test flown by Robin Birch and then an orderly queue of club members formed to fly it. The other photo is of company owner Robert Novak and Ksenija Novak handing over the finished product to me at their workshop in Lesce, Slovenia.

New Ka 23 pics

Glider Service (Slovenia) provided us with a complete photographic record of over 600 photos of the strip down and refinishing work. I'm going to select a cross section of these photos to make these available through the website to all members so you can see what is involved in refinishing a glider professionally. The photo with this post is just one showing what a superb job has been done. The lovely glider is now better than when new in 1984 and still has over 15,000 hours life left in it providing we treat her well !
She will be rigged today but has to have a test flight at AD before being available for members to fly.

DGR / chairman

Don has gone off for a holiday

Don Puttock's last day running courses at Aston Down was yesterday. He and his wife jetted off a 3 a.m. today from Birmingham A/P for some sunshine in the Canaries. On behalf of everyone I can say that Don has provided three years of dedicated energy, excellent training and encouragement to all who came on our courses. Despite the vagaries of the weather, from late March this year to yesterday, there was not a single weekday when the course members did not fly. If the cloud-base was low, then "let's do cable break practice" said Don !
After three years at AD he has decided to move on to "pastures new" for 2017. We wish Don all the best for the future, wherever he is. We shall be hosting a farewell lunch for him, probably in early December. In the meantime the search for his successor gets under way.
Our winch driver Dave Taylor will be working with us during the winter, doing a variety of maintenance and other jobs under the supervision of Richard Carter. For the next two weeks he is away, taking a rest from the daily grind of winching.

DGR / chairman

You’ll never get me up in one of those things

Well, we did. After another season’s winching David Taylor was persuaded to have a go in the rear seat of the K21. He enjoyed it so much he went up for a second flight. Will there be no stopping him now!

All the best

Eric

Removal of restricted areas around Nuclear Licensed sites

Please take note of the following NOTAM.

Q) EGXX/QRPXX/IV/NBO/W/000/999/5504N00500W999
B) FROM: 16/10/10 06:45C) TO: PERM
E) REMOVAL OF 5 NUCLEAR PROHIBITED/RESTRICTED AREAS FROM UK AIP AND
RELEVANT VFR CHARTS:
EG P106 HARWELL
EG R156 BRADWELL
EG R501 CHAPELCROSS
EG R218 TRAWSFYNYDD
EG P047 WINFRITH
REMOVE ENTRIES IN AK AIP AND AMEND ALL ASSOCIATED CHARTS INCLUDING:
UK AIP ENR 5.1, ENR 6.5.1.1, CAA 1:250 000 CHART, CAA 1:500 000
CHART REFERS
LOWER: SFC
UPPER: UNL

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