Sunday 25th October
Early start possibly helped by the clocks going back. We had a good contingent from the University (UWE) and a steady queue of pilots for the K23. The showers mostly left us alone but there were a couple of wetter moments. Conditions were soarable for a while with climbs up to 3500 reported. Not a bad day for late October.
Forecast for 24th Oct
Tomorrow looks like a wash-out. Very windy too. If members who Booked for Saturday want to switch to Sunday I’m sure we can accommodate you.
Lombard Rally visits Aston Down
Saturday morning saw the airfield temporarily used as a rally stage for the Lombard Rally Bath who brought over 100 cars from the 70s and 80s as part of their tour of the Cotswolds. As well as blasting around the airfield they were treated to refreshments prepared by Jacqui and Gail which was well received by the participants.
They had finished their fun by lunchtime and we got back to our normal operation. A select few taking to the skies.Thank you Andy for stepping in to drive the winch and all those who helped out.
European Gliding Union Newsletter October
The latest newsletter from the EGU ha been published. Click the link below:
The newsletter contains a summary of key points about the revised EU Sailplane Flight Crew Licence (SFCL) which will almost certainly be relevant in the UK later next year for flying gliders with EASA Cs of A despite of the UK leaving the EU.
Chairman's Newsletter October 2020
There is a Chairman's newsletter by logging in to the members' area at:
Get Your Bronze This Winter
The good weather is now starting to disappear which means we have less opportunities to go flying, but this doesn’t mean that the fun has to stop… A great way to continue to develop as a pilot over winter is to tackle the Bronze endorsement, which includes both theory and practical elements. We’re looking to start a new Bronze theory revision group which will offer a mix of theory talks and revision sessions online – this would be open to anyone in the club who is looking to brush up on their Bronze theory. And if you’re looking to progress with the flying side, why not arrange for your winter refresher flights to double as Bronze preparation, or maybe even take the test?
Please get in touch if you would like to join in. If any instructors would like to be involved, it would be great to hear from you.
Congratulations to Sam and Peter from UWE who both passed their Bronze theory exams last week. They were both part of the university club’s online study group which helped them to learn the topics and revise for the exam.
Sunday 27th September
A very quiet day today with just a handful of UWE students coming to the airfield to fly. Ben completed another phase of his BI qualification with a visiting examiner, whilst Peter flew his Bronze GST to complete his Bronze endorsement. New student Rhys was treated to his first flights in a glider, and Olivia made some progress with her training. As there were no volunteers for the ground duties, Brian and I also refreshed ourselves on the winch by taking turns doing winch driving and instructing. All in all a very nice day.
Saturday 12th September
Another nice autumn soaring day with a number of private gliders flying cross-country in thermal and wave. The launchpoint was kept busy all day by a small group of students flying the two-seaters and K23. Many thanks to Tim and Mike for driving the winch, and to Don and Finn for looking after the launch point. Let's hope for a few more days like this before winter.
Sunday 6th September
A pleasant autumn day with a much longer queue for the K23 than any of the two-seaters. The K23 and K13 were kept busy for most of the day and the soaring weather attracted a few private single-seaters out of their trailers as well. Thanks to Ben and Caleb for driving the winch.
Competitions at Aston Down 2021
The BGA has now confirmed the national competition dates for next year. The club will be hosting the Junior Nationals & Cotswold Regionals (the comp that should have started tomorrow) on 21-29 August 2021.
If you're keen to get into competition flying, then flying your first regionals from your home club would be a great way to get experience and build confidence. Please see the competition website for details and feel free to get in touch if you have any questions. We're also looking for people to help us run the competition, so if you're interested in taking part in any capacity, please let me know - there's lots of ways to get involved.
Sunday 16th August
Today turned out to be a nice flying day despite the dubious forecast. Congratulations to Dan from UWE on passing his bronze GST and many thanks to Andy Smart for his excellent winch launches.
Saturday 1st August
Warm but cloudy day on runway 21. The alto-cu/stratus broke up to allow a period of soarable weather with max cloubase reported at 3000 feet. We operated K21 LRT and the K13 for check flights and the K23 was busy all day. Good to see some more members being checked and re-soloed to expand the pool of people able to fly. Those Instructors doing the 2-seat flying are starting to get more comfortable with the new arrangements.
Aerotowing w/c 27 July
Sorry to say, no Eurofox tug this next week as it is poorly and going for recuperation. Hopefully it will be back the following week. If the weather looks really promising I shall see if we can get another tug in.
Instead of emailing all members like this, please check this website from time-to-time for any update on aerotowing this next week and for subsequent weeks. It’s also useful to use Whats App to check.
Wednesday 22nd - another fantastic day
The forecast for Wednesday was not as optimistic locally as previous days but that didn't stop a few private gliders being towed early. The tug going U/S dampened their enthusiasm though and some decided to call it a day.
The Wednesday team were out in force and despite some early winch problems managed to get some check flights under way with various simulated launch failures being undertaken.
In addition it was Elliot's 14th birthday and he has been working towards first solo for a while. The recent lockdown had put a stop to further progress but thankfully two seater flying was relaxed early enough for him to knock the rust off. Under the watchful eye of Geoff Dixon he flew his first solo at lunchtime during which he proudly managed to take a thermal climb. A second flight drew the day to an end for him as the wind increased. Congratulations to Elliot and all those who achieved something this week and a big thank you to the instructors who have helped to make this happen.
A Fantastic few days!
Over Sunday to Tuesday we experienced some of the best flying days for some time. Club pilots recorded 12 flights of over 300km which included 4 flights of over 500km and 2 over 750km. The conditions on Tuesday were especially good with thermals up to 6500 ASL which also meant some airspace challenges! The views along the south coast of the convergence were amazing and fun for those that used it on tasks to the Brighton area.
Ben and Austin also used the conditions to gain their silver distances and part 1 of the 100km diploma with Austin also claiming his silver height, well done to both.
Thanks to Adrian and Robin for the aerotows, a few rest days now but hope for better conditions next week.
Aerotows 20 to 24 July
Aerotow booking next week:
DGR / chairman
Big thanks to all who helped on Sunday....no matter in what capacity. We managed to get a sizeable grid away by 1230 and kept winch launching going throughout, despite some equipment problems. Mentions in despatches for Doug on the winch and Adrian in the tug.
Aerotows 13 to 17 July
Aerotow booking at:
Please note the tug is not available on Friday 17 July until about 13.30 hrs.