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Seen on the office wall at the Aviation Directorate, European Commission, Brussels

On Thursday I was at Aviation Directorate in the European Commission in Brussels, and saw this on the wall of a corridor.

DGR / chairman

New Ka 21 is at Aston Down

Philip Walker and Andy Smart arrived back at Aston Down late Thursday evening (1st Sept) with our new Ka 21 G-CLRT after driving from the Schleicher factory east of Frankfurt in the day. They did not take on any extra crew in the trailer or cockpit at Calais though I gather it was a close-run thing.
The weather for their trip was excellent, judging by the photos. So here are a few, with the last one being Andy Smart (right) celebrating the new glider with Schleicher owner Uli Kremer (left).
This weekend we'll be doing some of the prep work, such as waxing it, towards getting the glider ready for flight probably from 1 October.

Our thanks to Philip and Andy for making this trip.

DGR / chairman

New Ka 21 (G-CLRT) collection from Germany

Philip Walker and Andy Smart set off from the Club early on Monday 29th August to collect the Club's new Ka 21 from Schleicher's factory at Poppenhausen, Germany (east of Frankfurt). The photo is of the trailer parked on the road today, below the factory. They plan to be be back at Aston Down on Friday. The glider will be on ground risk insurance only and will not be flown for a few weeks because the paperwork has to be turned around with the CAA, and we want the annual maintenance date to run from October not September.
More to follow......!

DGR / chairman

Saturday 27th August - Thunder and Lightning terminate flying

After operating with a skeleton crew (where was everybody?) a spectacular lightning display terminated flying.
Apart from the two people for one day courses there was only one member requiring instruction from the full complement of instructors present. Everybody sheltered on the bus lower deck during the storm - the roof is only fibreglass!

Like old pilots, old parachutes don t die !

A couple of old tired parachutes that had reached the end of their useful life ( for us anyway) were given to a group of Adrian's friends going to Malawi in west Africa last summer. Malawi is one of the poorest contries in the world, and the children there can find good uses for all sorts of things, including parachutes! I wonder what they could do with a Ka8.

Sportability Day

Bright blue day with thermals to 3000', all the Sportability visitors enjoyed flights of over 20 minutes and left with big smiles, especially Richard who enjoyed some aerobatics on his birthday. The course had a good day and a few private owners were tempted out but the blue conditions made it difficult for anything other than local flying.

Photos at

Sunday 14th August

An excellent RASP forecast brought out many private owners but again there were just a few members wanting instruction. The promised good weather hadn't turned up by mid-afternoon so a lot of gliders were put away. That was the cue for some breaks in the cloud to appear and in the end there was some decent local soaring to be had. Notable event of the day was Chris Godding's first solo.

Saturday surprise

5 instructors, 3 two-seaters, 2 single-seaters but what a quiet Saturday. Everyone must've been on holiday! Barry flew our 2 ODC visitors, Andrew took a visitor for a couple of flights and Doug checked out another new member (already solo). Otherwise a morning without members. Once the sun came out in the afternoon there was a flurry of activity as the private gliders all arrived at the launch point. The period between 13:30 and 16:30 was well worth the launch with thermals to 3,300' some at 6 knots plus. Many thanks to our 2 winch drivers for making it all possible.

Wave Sunday

A strong west wind limited training possibilities which was just as well as once again we only had two instructors, one of whom was occupied in the briefing room and in the air with pre-booked cross-country training. This became mainly an exercise in cloud selection without much cross-country progress, although we did get into the wave for a time with a bit of cloud flying.
However first prize went to Ed Foggin who got to 5400 ASL in the private DG500 with a 16 year old German gliding visitor on a flight lasting 85 minutes at the end of the day. Picture below.

Slithery intruder:
Darren on his way down the clubhouse stairs encountered an 18 inch grass snake industriously slithering up. It was transferred to a more suitable habitat.

A very Busy Saturday

One of the best days for some time. Numerous cross countries were attempted and some lengthy tasks completed. However a lowish cloudbase and turbulent thermals didn't make it easy, resulting in several outlandings even among the experts.
At base there was a good turnout for instruction but with only two instructors until later in the day and two one day courses to run, things were a bit difficult for a time.

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