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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 just two flights on 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 News

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.

Teenage Saturday August 10th

We have encouraged our small number of teenaged pilots to come and fly on Red Saturdays, in the expectation that they will form friendships with each other. Although wet and windy today Elliot, Holly, Harrison and our new cadet Finn enjoyed a presentation from Geoff and then spent several hours in a simulator. As a bonus Liz and Stuart Hayes, Finns parents, joined the club as well.

Record at Saltby

The only record achieved during the Inter-Uni Competition at Saltby was the Temperature. The picture shows the only sensible activity - pool provided by Matt Page.

But seriously, although strong winds and not easy thermals didn't facilitate much X-country, a thoroughly useful and enjoyable time was had by our UWE members and yours truly. Several sat and passed their Bronze papers, organised and marked by Matt.

We are all grateful to Cotswold GC for allowing us to take the DG500.

Mike

All the Davids and Daves at AD

Today we welcomed another stand-in course instructor, Dave Munro, who is the BGA's SRE (Senior Regional Examiner) for East Anglia. He was assisted by a few volunteer club members, most of whom were called David or Dave. There was Dave Freeman, David Roberts and Dave Hart (a regular Monday morning helper). David Howell was at the airfield as well as course winch driver Dave Taylor. Sure there was another Dave lurking somewhere. It all got somewhat confusing.
Despite the lowish cloudbase, a Kemble NOTAM until 11.00, the Fairford departures and a transitting Swiss-registered light aeroplane at 10.30 flying very low NW to SE over the airfield, a good day was held by the course attendees.

David (not Dave !) Roberts

Sat 20th July - where were you?

So RIAT and a slightly windy forecast - but we did fly. 2 ODC members flew 5 fights in the morning then as the wind had increased they agreed to book again to finish off. On RWY 27 in about 20 knots (a bit gusty) we had no (that's 0) members wanting training flights. Great opportunity for building skills. Always fun on RWY 27! 2 self launchers came out to launch with the prospect of wave in the west. As we put the gliders away at 14:30, the sun came out and the world looked great. See you next time folks - don't let weather forecasts put you off.

Sunday 14th July - One to One Instruction

The only member on the two-seater list all day was treated to the duty instructor's undivided attention. It was just as well that there was only the one such member as there was only one instructor! Competitions claimed three of the blue instructor team and maintenance commitments another, although the CFI stood by in case he was needed.

The usual six trial lessons were flown by our most experienced BI.

There were short periods of good soaring interspersed with flat conditions which provided the spectacle of some normally expert pilots in advanced machines landing not that long after the tug.

At the end of the day the DG500 and the UWE K8 were packed in their trailers ready to go to the Inter-Uni competition at Saltby.

RIAT 2019 airspace

The Royal International Air Tattoo takes place at RAF Fairford from 17th to 22nd July.

The following OpenAir (.txt) and SeeYou (.cub) airspace files have been prepared for RIAT 2019 which include the exemption to permit glider flying at Aston Down. These files should be used with reference to the two AICs - M064/2019 and M095/2019 - alongside the Letter of Agreement with CGC, all of which must be read by pilots before flying during the period of the RIAT restrictions (17-22 July).

The Aston Down exemption area permits glider flying up to 3600ft AMSL (3000ft AAL) within a defined area north west of Kemble ATZ between Cherington and Sapperton. The airspace file therefore divides the northern sector into two sections, the upper section from 3600ft AMSL to FL85 covering the entire RA(T) area, and the lower section from the surface to 3600ft AMSL covering the RA(T) area excluding the agreed exemption area for Aston Down north west of Kemble ATZ.

Please note that this year there is an additional and very large area of airspace to our north (see AIC M095/2019) in place for about an hour on the 19th and 20th to allow a large formation of aircraft to assemble and display.

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