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Jason Jennette tells us about his course week


I’ve had the honour of being hosted by Cotswold Gliding Club this past week and I cannot resist the urge to thank everyone involved. I know I’m preaching to the choir, but the CGC is a very special entity. The openness and enthusiasm with which the club members welcomed us was wonderful.

There must have been a dozen club members during the week who helped me, guided me, and made fun of my Irish heritage. I’m indebted to all. Thank you.

There are a number of members who went far out of their way to show we what I was doing wrong.

My fellow course week fliers, Peter, Melinda and Simon, thank you for being my family for the week. By Tuesday we were a well ironed machine. That felt very nice.

We walked out of the club house on the first morning we all thought we were in a fantasy land. Julian had just landed in front of us on his flying duvet. Jools, the entrance was only missing the tuxedo. What a sheer joy this man is to work with. Like a puppy with boundless energy Jools jumps at every job – our first two days would have been very different without Jools. And still, the lion’s share of my gratitude is for his personification of the joy of flying.

David. Simply thank you. You had to be dragged back for lunch each day. You never cried uncle in the evening. I had 34 launches this week! That is because of you. Thank you for your skill and patience both in the wench and on the bbq. J

In Donald Puttock I’ve meet a very special individual. This man was born to teach. Don, one day I’ll get into the K23. When I do you will be in the back seat with me. I loved my week with you and I will have fond memories of you and this week forever.

Thank you Cotswold Gliding Club.


4-5 June Women Go Gliding Weekend

Saturday dawned grey and 'orrible and I was expecting to have to cancel the day's flying. But by mid-day the cloud had lifted just enough for us to get airborne. Thereafter, visitors, Sam, Claire, Rachel and June enjoyed a good afternoon's flying under the clag.
Sunday's weather was much better and Anna, Alex (aspiring fast-jet pilot), Alison, Jemma and Emily had a great day's flying in wall-to-wall sunshine.
Many thanks are due to: Phillipa Roberts for her enthusiastic briefings and doing an outstanding job of looking after the ladies on the ground, Mike Weston and Tony Parker, for helping out with the instruction, Lesley and Helen for helping on the ground and planning/marketing, John Docherty for helping with the marketing, Jacqui Huband for making the lunch on both days, and last but not least, everyone who was around on Saturday and Sunday and did a really great job of making our visitors feel welcome.

1 June launch failure practice

Low cloud and some drizzle forecast, drizzle clearing during the morning.

Most of the club members stayed in bed, but the course managed to complete 28 flights all of which were launch failures of every conceivable type and low circuits. Matthew, a visitor from Usk spent the day with us in the hope that cloud bases would rise, sadly they only went up to 700ft.

Guy, Ben and Chris all enjoyed the experience and are now much more confident they can handle a launch failure.

All those early and pre-solo pilots out there, this would be good for you too!


31 May windy but fun

Forecast winds 360/30, visibility 25K.

Despite the breeze, a productive day.

Some reduced sink in ridge and wave over the Stroud valley and the opportunity to practice circuits and approaches in stronger winds.

Many thanks to the cadets and their instructors for their assistance at the launchpoint.

We managed to pack away 5 minutes before the very heavy rains started and moved to the classroom to brief on threat and error management, speed to fly and stalling.

Another great training day.


Is your glider fit for flight?

Despite training and established checking protocols, glider pilots including instructors are still getting airborne in incorrectly rigged gliders or with airbrakes or canopies unlocked. At best, these errors result in frightening and expensive incidents.

In the course of about a million riggings over the last 41 years, there have been 125 instances of an insecure or unconnected wing, tail or flying control. These led to 10 fatalities and 8 serious injuries. Many of the other pilots who flew with unconnected controls were lucky to survive. A further fatality and 5 serious injuries resulted from the 102 cases of flying with the airbrakes unintentionally open, the pilot or ballast unsecured, loose articles, or the tail dolly still attached. 189 canopies opened in flight.

We know that distraction causes pilots to make errors when rigging, carrying out a DI and carrying out pre-flight checks. It’s extremely important that you don’t allow yourself to become distracted during these vital activities, where full concentration is needed even by the most experienced pilot.

The BGA safety leaflet ‘Is your glider fit for flight?’ is available here. We strongly recommend that you take 5 minutes to read through it and in particular note that;

• Rigging should be directed by a person experienced on the type, in accordance with the flight manual, without interruption or distraction
• A newly rigged glider should always have a daily inspection (DI)
• The DI should be conducted by a person experienced on the type, without interruption or distraction
• Positive control checks should be carried out every time for every rigging of a glider without automatic control connection
• The pilot should carry out proper pre-flight checks, for example using CBSIFTCBE, again without interruption or distraction.

Thank you for taking the time to read this important safety message.

BGA Safety Committee

30 May new course starts and Lasham cadets arrive.

winds 010/15 visibility 20K

We welcome everyone onto the 10th course of the season. many thanks to the many helpers and to Eugene Lambert and Mike Weston for supplying the much needed additional instructor support. Everyone flew and enjoyed themselves immensely, later in the day soaring was good.

The Arcus flew off to the west, just before the class D shutdown for a fun flight in Wales. John and Doug returned with big grins.

The heap of rubbish outside the hangar , the result of a spring clean, is steadily going down as members transfer it to the skip. thanks everyone.

27 May where did he get that hat? Robert and Ian fly the K23

winds 090/10, cloud 2000-3000ft

A quiet club day, operating off runway 09.

Various helpers popped in during the day including Michael Hawkins from last weeks course, Jules and Paul Lazenby.

The spartan race preparations continue in the south field, and grass cutting in the north fields.

Very well done to Robert Maclachlan and Ian Ashby for converting to the K23. They were both delighted with the sailplane.

Robert and Ian are shown here, Robert sporting his new soaring hat. Soaring hats are now provided to course members.

We arrived back to find a team led by our chairman preparing to undertake tidying duties in the hangar. The work never stops.

26 May Weather is here wish you were nice!

What a cracking day, light winds from the South---strong thermals to 4000ft.

A bunch of k23 pilots took advantage of the good weather and spent the day soaring locally in the K23.

All the course members had great soaring flights. Colin Stringer took the prize with nearly 5 hours in total in the ASW 19.

Barry Taylor took advantage of the smaller course size and went soaring in the K21.

The winds changed late in the day just in time for the evening party, and Jules duvet flight.

The first BBQ of the season was great fun. Good company and a glass of wine---bliss.

25 May chilly club day and 4 resolos

A chilly northerly wind and overcast. cloudbases 1500 ft rising to 3000ft QNH.

The morning started with a team of volunteers, led by Paul Lazenby, arrived to repair the damaged winch cables. Efficiently done and both winches are now back in business---thanks guys.

Grass collection continued during the day, and the first equipment started arriving for the Spartan Run on Saturday. (The picture shows the first tent in the South field).

Roger led the mid week flyers, Barrie Taylor (who is now installed as a returned member, complete with caravan) went solo along with Tom Egan, Ian Ashby and Robert Maclachlan. Martin Hayward completed his bronze skills test. Well done everyone. A quiet cold day does have its uses.

meanwhile Colin Stringer spent the day "fine tuning" his circuit and landing skills.

24 May --- a good cross country day

winds 060/15, cloudbases rising to 4500 QFE

Sadly Mark Wherry is unwell and was unable to attend the course today, we all hope he gets better soon. That did mean we were short of assistance to launch, thanks to the private owners who pitched in to help keep the launches going.

Robert Maclachlan and Ian Ashby both had good soaring flights and demonstrated they remembered how to do it---big grins all around.

Dave Freeman and Colin Stringer utilised the ASW19 all day.

Mike and John set off in their starship for far flung places and many other private owners came out to enjoy the great soaring.

Grass Collection has now started, by tomorrow we should have a nicely cut lawn for an airfield.

The evening group took over to fly a bunch of Scouts.


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