Junior Gliding at Portmoak
KNK visited the Scottish Gliding Centre at Portmoak for the weekend to fly with young pilots from across the country as part of the UK Junior Gliding Winter Series. The weather didn't disappoint and we were able to give many Juniors their first experiences of ridge and wave flying. Many thanks to the club for letting us take the glider and for the continued support of UK Junior Gliding.
Sunday 27th October
Another excellent training day after days of phenomenal rainfall.
Lots of enthusiastic UWE members got us going early - where would we be without them?
Lots of circuits but one member took off in his Pilatus into the blue, reappearing a very long time later.
Greetings from Portmoak
What a week so far. Who would have thought that we would have flown five days from five with good prospects for the last day too.
We have had a variety of conditions which have given soaring on both the Bishop and Benarty ridges and wave flights for some to 7000ft on Sunday and Wednesday. Conditions have been challenging at times with winds from the south west given wave rotor over the airfield on Wednesday.
The evenings have been filled with mass get togethers with excellent food, drink and conversation. All in all thoroughly enjoyable!
The day started with some bright sunshine but still rather moist until the day warmed up a little to clear the condensation on the canopies.
LRT following its ARC was rigged and we had a busy day with 3 2 seaters active all day with an enthusiastic group of UWE students. There were some good cloud streets at times with thermals up to the cloud base of 2400' later in the day with some great views in the clear air.
UWE's Jindřich vaněk after a couple of launch failures was sent solo by Geoff Dixon, congratulations to him. (Beer was offered but we all wanted to get home, maybe next time!).
A good day for October, we missed the showers, it was sunny and there were thermals, can't be bad!
How many UWE students to rig a T21?
They were told it wasn't very heavy but...!
The UWE students (and Adrian) were introduced to glider rigging before flying on Saturday. At least they were dry.
Saturday 12th October
Light drizzle in the morning dried up at around 11:00 am. From lunch time onwards the cloudbase was around 1200 feet and with 3 two seaters out we were able to give first flights to 7 of our UWE members plus some Géneral instruction and solo flying. The day was made more interesting by having a small scale filming activity going on. Go-Pros used on board the DG500 and as “targets” during some launches and landings. As usual a big thank-you to the dutyman crew who made it all possible.
Sunday 6th October
Mainly a useful training day with a few of the circuits extended. Three new UWE members went away pleased with their first gliding instruction.
The usual Welsh waves were exploited by the Pik 20 up to 11000 ft and the ASW27 went ridge running to the north.
Flying was curtailed by an increasingly strong and rough NW wind which neatly bisected both runway headings.
Cotswold Regionals 2020
The Cotswold Regionals will run from 22nd to 30th August 2020 at Aston Down alongside the Junior National Championships. Regional championships are open to any cross-country pilot with a silver badge. Whether it's your first ever competition or you're an experienced competitor looking for a fun week's flying, this is the competition for you!
Not sure? Here are a few reasons to fly the Cotswold Regionals:
- Coaching and mentoring for new competition pilots
- Very few airspace restrictions, offering excellent tasking options
- Mutual crewing to make sure everyone gets home every day
- Excellent on-site facilities, including campsite electric points
- Great catering service and a well-stocked bar
- The Juniors is a regional rated competition, so the grids will be rotated with equal priority
The entry fee for this competition is a very affordable £125, with a deposit of £50 due before 29th February 2020.
Entry form: https://forms.gle/djN76sbHsCRLNK8A9
If you're not keen on flying the competition, there will also be normal club flying throughout the week and opportunities for cross-country training in the DG500. We're also looking for volunteers to help with organising the competition, so please get in touch if you'd like to get involved.
Saturday 21st September
Easterly wind 20kts put us on runway 09 with both K21s and the K23 out to play. A good few of our members on the list for instruction. Nice to see so many younger members at the club and a warm welcome to a new member joining us after an evening introduction flight. There were some extended flights as it got slightly soarable under the totally blue sky. The Pik20E took off to go wave hunting in Wales. All together a nice way to spend the last day of summer?
Sunday 15th September
A lovely sunny day for training with mostly local soaring. The newly acquired sleek Oliver/Breeze ASG29 showed its paces.
Two one-day courses and a lot of other training successfully completed.
UWE was back again in force after their summer break. At the end of the day they de-rigged the DG500 to take to their Freshers' Fair to entice even more UWE members to join.
Half a dozen members took a simulator and the K23 to the Minchinhampton Fayre on Saturday. We had a great time meeting our neighbours, lots of whom wanted to stop and ask questions. Hundreds of children sat in the K23, and lots of people flew the sim. We sold a few trial lessons, two of which flew at 5 pm that day! The seeds for future Christmas presents have been sown, and who knows what else !
Many thanks to all who supported us, and to Adrian Hegner who repeatedly towed gliders overhead for us to see.
Friday 6th September
We were pleasantly surprised this evening when the heavy showers cleared up, giving us time for some flying before sunset. Friday regulars Barry and Dave were joined by new members Tom and Justin for some flying training in the K21 on the cross-runway. The Friday flying evenings are getting more and more popular, so let's hope we can carry on with Friday afternoons over the winter. Many thanks to Max for driving the winch and to Harry for getting us all organised as usual.
Sunday 1st September
Another day with a brisk westerly wind with good soaring conditions developing during the afternoon. A number of cross-countries were flown with Jon and Darren visiting the Isle of Wight in the Nimbus 3. Two visitors experienced their first flights in a glider with Tim and several club members progressed with their flying training. A group of visiting juniors taking part in the UKJG development course made good progress towards their bronze certificates, taking the bronze theory exams and completing bronze flying skills tests. Another great day's flying in the Cotswolds!
Saturday 31st August`
We managed a few flights before the cold front arrived and although the rain was intense for about half an hour, the front passed quite quickly in the end. Beautiful afternoon with a brisk westerly wind. All the One-day-course flights were completed, some club instruction and lots of flying by the visiting Juniors. Hopefully a few Bronzes to come out of that! Many thanks to our 2 winch drivers and duty pilot for turning up and making it happen.
Saturday 31st August
Weather forecast is for rain to arrive around 11:00 and then expected to clear at 14:00 leaving a pleasant afternoon for flying.
Sunday 25th August
Hot and blue. A lot of training done incl. lots of spinning for an enthusiastic 13 yr old and one completed Bronze flying test.
Some managed to soar for an hour or two.
Sunday 18th August
Today started much like yesterday with the rain and low cloud clearing around 10.00 am, but with a forecast for showers and strengthening winds and less soarable conditions.
Two K21's were kept busy all day with training and Trial lesson flights achieving duration's of up to 30 minutes, four private aircraft joined the launch Que.
With strengthening winds and with everyone flown we packed away at 17.00 hrs.
Saturday 17th August
The day started with low cloud and rain and a forecast for strong winds, as a result the One Day Course was postponed for another day. By 10.00 am the cloud started to break and rise so we set things up with one K21 just as the thermals started to develop. LRT climbed to cloud base at 3000ft above AD radioing back to the launch point and thanked by the sniffer at the junior nationals at Nympsfield for the information. Not long after we had our first of five visitors from Nympsfield landing at Aston Down as they were tasked past us out to the East.
The K21 was kept busy all day and we finally packed away at 16.00 hrs after winch launching two of the visitors, helping to de rig another and the last two taking aerotow retrieves just after we packed up.
British National Balloon Championships
For the past week we have been hosting the British National Balloon Championships, an event that is entirely compatible with gliding because flights take place before we have got out of bed or after we've finished flying. Thirteen balloons took part but the weather was awful for most of the week with flying possible on only one day. Both flights involved remote starts and finishes so Aston Down didn't see much action. The pictures show an early morning launch at Frampton on Severn and the balloons over a target on Minchinhampton Common.
Course weeks 8th to 12th and 15th to 19th July
The first week had three solos! Bob, an ex-airline pilot, soled in the K21 and then converted to the K23.
His teenage daughter, Izzy, also did her first solo.
Mick was a returnee from a previous CGC course and he also went solo in the K21.
All three did aerotowing in the K13 on the wednesday, for intensive stall and spin training. We lost one flying day to weather, but used it in the classroom.
The second week was easier because two of the participants had also been on CGC courses before and took very little time to solo once again. Dave has been flying at other clubs and flew the K 21, he would have been converted into the Ka23 had it been serviceable. Clint, an ex-member, successfully first-soloed in the k21. The third person, Robin, had brought his own Ka6 along and had a very successful 3.5hr flight in it. We also lost one day to the weather (strong gusty crosswinds).
This last week made difficult by two days of marginal blustery wind conditions, and one day was completely unflyable. However, all three students showed outstanding learning progress and we had one more first solo, Eddie, only 16 years old, who was accompanied by his helpful but non-flying Dad. Eddie did a CGC course last year. Tony Parker (not 'OUR' Tony Parker) re-soled after many years away from the sport, and Stephen was very unlucky to lose the last Friday to weather as he was extremely close to solo standard.
Course Weeks 22nd to 26th and 29th July to 2nd August.
First week Nick who was new to gliding completed the week flying the launch and circuits. Robert an ex-member re-soloed on the Friday completing a very nice launch and landing. Steve a previous course member and solo pilot re-soloed in the K21 and converted to the K18.
The Second week Richard a solo pilot and previous course member re-soloed by Friday with two 1hr flights. Roger completed most of his “B” module as part of his training as an assistant instructor and has booked the “D” module for later this year. Nigel, a previous course member and pre solo pilot was flying the launch and circuits without prompts by Friday.