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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.


23 May---Day one of course number 9

winds 330/15.

Thermals started popping off the moment the Libelle was put away---is there a connection?

Many thanks to Alun Thomas, Lesley, Chris Power for your assistance at the launchpoint. That was very helpful.

We welcome Mark Wherry, Robert Maclachlan, Ian Ashby and Colin Stringer onto the course. All of the members are experienced except for Mark. Mark, an IT professional, is trying gliding out for the first time. Robert and Ian are doing some intensive refresher training and Colin preparing for cross country flying.

Grass cutting is underway in readiness for the weekend event.


20 May last day of course--and a group of midweek flyers join us.

winds forecast as 240/20 and thermals from around 11 am.

A group of midweek flyers selected the day and brought the K23 out for the day. As it happened it was a good decision and some good soaring was had.

The course progressed well, with our visitors from Marham and Dorset going home with a few solos under their belts---well done to them. Meanwhile Michael Hawkins was getting to grips with circuit flying, he will be back for more training soon.

Thanks to Chris Power for standing in for the winch driver for the afternoon.

The top picture shows the team (left to right) Chris Blewett, Michael Hawkins and Andy Grant. The lower picture is Andy Grant landing ENK.

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