Airfield blog

New Bus Lighting System

On Wednesday we commissioned a new radio and signalling system on the bus, replacing the old and unmaintainable system which has served us well for many years.

The new system is a slimmer version of the old system with a few new features. Firstly, winch and airband radios have been moved and are now hanging down from the roof of the bus, along with the PA system and the main power switch. It is worth noting that the handset for the winch radio is on the desk and the handset for the airband radio has been mounted on the roof, to avoid any confusion.

The light controls now consist of 3 separate buttons instead of the rotary control. These are a yellow button labelled 'take up slack', a green button labelled 'all out' and a red button labelled 'stop'. The take up slack and all out buttons must be held down for the signal to remain on, with the stop button being a latching button that you rotate to turn off. The idea behind this is to stop people from setting the lights to 'take up slack' or 'all out' and then getting distracted and leaving the lights on whilst not looking at the signaller.

Please note that the two emergency stop buttons on the side of the bus and the external buzzer are not yet connected (we ran out of time and daylight). These will be reconnected as soon as possible.

A short guide on how the new lights operate will be available on the bus soon. If you find any issues with the new system then please let Max Lazenby or Matt Page know.

Saturday the 12th December

Forecast to be the better day of the weekend but with a reasonable breeze from the west so operations were set up on runway 27. Mike O was up early checking the cables and then spent the morning delivering some winch refresher training. The K23 was in use for most of the day with the 2 seaters delivering normal club training and check flights. The conditions enticed Tomasz to make a run for the ridge and the DG500 syndicate took it in turns to fly each other around, Geoff's Pilatus also took to the air. A brief but cold shower halted operations during the afternoon after which the wind abated a little and we continued to fly until the sun disappeared behind the treetops.
Thanks to Mike O, Alastair and Peter L for driving the winch and to everyone else who helped.

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.

David Roberts

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

Sunday12th July

Big thanks to all who helped on 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.

Aerotowing booking for 6 to 10 July

Please book your aerotow plans for next week at:

The CFI has informed members in the last day or so of progress to the finalisation of plans to re-start dual occupancy two seater flying for check flights / refreshers and instructional flights. We’ll communicate again as soon as those plans are activated, so as to give everyone a chance to book aerotows. Arrangements for dual occupancy two-seat winch launching will also be communicated a.s.a.p.

David Roberts

Aerotow booking for 29 June to 3 July

Please book your aerotow plans for next week at:

David Roberts

Cracking Day

After a few days of low hot blue conditions the Skysight forecast suggested a late start and early cut off but with a high cloudbase and cumulus. I think it got everything right except the early cutoff as it was still working into the evening. I think I counted 9 gliders that flew, tasks were set to match the forecast, Doug Gardner completed a 300 while the Nimbus(Jon Huband) and Arcus chased each other around a 258km task, my highlight was getting to over 6500' over Marlborough, Doug and Andy reported high climbs as well. Looks like the next few days are not as good.
Thanks to Adrian and Robin for the tows.

Aerotows w/c Monday 22 June

All members wishing to aerotow must book not less than 14 hours ahead of each day’s start of flying so that the CFI can monitor pilots when there is no duty instructor available. Local tug pilot contact details on Doodle page.

Aerotows w/c Monday 15 June

The Doodle poll for booking aerotows for next week (w.c 15 June) is at

Aerotows and winching from 6th June

Dear Members


Please go to the link below to indicate if you wish to or are likely to want an aerotow with the Dynamic tug (G-LXAA) between 6 and 12 June.


The second link below is for winch launches

This coming weekend the weather may preclude flying but if you think you will be allowed to winch launch solo then please sign up so we can judge likely demand. Being allowed to launch on the winch is a matter for the instructor’s judgement on your level of experience, knowledge, ”recency” and other factors such as whether you managed to complete satisfactorily a winter refresher flight or flights before the lockdown. Even if you haven’t done a winter refresher flight it may not preclude you from winching solo. It is a good preparation to re-read the BGA’s “Safe winching” booklet as well as other useful guidance from the BGA. Start at

Without a course instructor and winch driver on weekdays and certainly at weekends from Saturday 6 June we need volunteers to operate launching, allowing for minimal changes of personnel during a day due to the needs of anti-virus contamination measures. Without the volunteers to operate winching there cannot be any flying other than aerotow and self-launching.

All Operations

But before you can fly you must have read the revised Operations Manual on the Club’s website (go to and click on the ‘documents’ link under ‘information’ section on the left) and have signed (through the link at the top of the members' area page) your acknowledgement of having read it. In addition, the CFI and Safety Officer (and I) require everyone to read the document attached to the email sent out on 4th June to everyone, concerning precautions against Covid-19 for solo winch launching. This is vitally important.

I am working on a more extensive communication to come to you in the next few days.

Safe flying !

David Roberts

Aerotow bookings 1 to 5 June

Booking "Doodle" is now open at

Ignore the 29,30 and 31 May columns - they were a slip which I cannot find how to delete. Just tick in the columns for 1 to 5 June.
If you want to make any amendments to this after initial booking, to edit your entry hold the cursor on the right side of your name to see the edit icon.
If on the evening before there are fewer than 5 pilots wanting to fly we may have to cancel to avoid our tug pilot driving a round trip of 140 miles. In that event we'll try to let you know that evening.

Aerotowing Saturday and Sunday 30-31 May

I have added Saturday and Sunday to the "Doodle" booking page at the link below for W/C 25 May.

What do you call a line of 29 Ka13s?

Here is a superb picture of the line-up of Ka13s at the annual Ka13 task week at St Crepin in the French Alps.

Flying w/c Monday 25 May - pre- book

Please go to

if you want to take an aerotow during week Monday 25th to Friday 29th May.

If you wish subsequently to cancel, please log on to the Doodle link and delete your booking
Thanks / DGR

Flying 23 and 24 May - pre-book

Please goto

if you want to take an aerotow on Saturday 23rd and / or Sunday 24th May

Aerotowing on Wednesday 20th May

An email has been sent to all members with details of how to book an aerotow for this coming Wednesday
DGR / chairman

Aerotows Sunday 17th May

Please see the email Saturday evening 16th May about aerotowing on Sunday 17th May. To fly you need to email so we can guage demand,

Saturday 16th May - Hooray! We are flying again!

Following Government advice that General Aviation can re-start, a group of us were delighted to get back in the air today. Strict social distancing was observed during rigging and briefing by CFI Simon Lucas, and in compliance with government advice, it was solo flying only. The honours for the first flight from AD in what must be the best part of two months fell to Rob Corbin in his and Simon Buckley's Shark. It was a splendid day to be in the air with some strong climbs to 5,000'. We are very grateful to Jonathan May for bringing his Tug over from Turweston to do the aertows.

EGU Newsletter

The EGU newsletter is worth reading to see what’s happening in other countries as regards gliding (though some info is 4 weeks old).

Europe Air Sports

Please see the EAS Newsletter April 2020 which has some useful information for sailplane and power pilots.

Online Services for Members

Webinars - The club is putting on a series of webinars over the coming weeks to help us keep in touch whilst we can't fly due to the pandemic. Find out how you can get involved on the webinars page.

Online Payments - You can now settle your flying account balance online! Go to My Flying Account then click the payment button. Don't forget that the second half of your membership fee is due on 1st April.

Back to a typical late Winters day

With low cloud initially, but forecast set to improve Tim Barnes, Graham Turner and Martin Heyward set up the winch on the main runway having done the siting assessment and cable checks. I managed my personal new year resolution to give a briefing each time I'm on duty, but the first signs of rustiness there appeared when I forgot a couple of things I'd wanted to cover and which was indicative of how everyone was feeling. We needed a day of safe flying to get the "Scotchbrite" on the rustiness of us all!

We already had a full flying list by 9.30, but with only 2 K21's available we knew it would be difficult to fly everyone, which was made worse by 2 of the instructors ourselves needing check flights first! The days activity was 2 x ODCs, flown by Tim and Don, winter refreshers, a 5-year check for Gerry Holden and with a few members wanting to get airborne.

The ever enthusiastic UWE members were on site, and decided to sort their trailer out whilst the early check flying took place. Gerry also got the Venture out and shared the fun with a couple of the UWE team. The USK Grob also made an appearance with enthusiastic flying from the group, and the K23 was able to be used by the less rusty members.

The expected brighter weather appeared for just about an hour, but then it returned to grey and showers, with the wind picking up a bit and a consideration of winch / launchpoint and making sure drift corrections were appropriate. In the end the lowering cloud and slight constant drizzle ended the day, unfortunately before a couple were able to fly but sometimes the weather makes the decision for you! Those who flew know we still need to now add further polish but at least we did use up some flying Scotchbrite!

Thanks to everyone who came out and helped.

Paul Lazenby

Saturday 8th March

Well, we flew at least! After all the kit was taken to the launch point, a slight drizzle set in. That lasted about an hour, then things cleared up with cloudbase rising well above 2000 feet. Some winch issues slowed down launch progress but we managed to fly with around 5 club members and the 2 one-day course pupils did most of thier flying. USK once again visiting with their Grob Twin Acro. Increasing winds stopped play but then anoyingly slackened off again after the hangar was packed.

Another Storm, Another cancelled Flying Day

Due to forecasted Gusts of over 40kts, Flying has been cancelled for Saturday

Sunday 23 February - scrubbed flying

Whatever name this 3rd of the weekly windy weather system has, the wind, gusts, rain and frankly enthusiasm means we won't be flying today.

Hope this info is useful for planning your day.

Paul Lazenby

Saturday 22 February

It's officially blowing a hooley - flying is cancelled for the day.

Junior Gliding at The Mynd

Whilst the strong winds stopped play at Aston Down, the DG500 ventured northwest to the Long Mynd for the second weekend of the UKJG Winter Series. Around 100 young pilots attended the event and we managed to fly on both Saturday and Sunday in a sporty westerly breeze - the hill worked very well! A number of our own UWE students were part of the group of enthusiastic Juniors who enjoyed some ridge running as well as the fantastic social atmosphere that the Mynd never fails to deliver.

All in all a great weekend - many thanks to the club for letting us use the glider again.

Sunday 2 February - scrubbed flying

Hi everyone,

Based on the current wind at the airfield at this time and with the forecast for it to remain out of limits, and with the trial lessons for today being cancelled on Friday, we've decided to scrub todays Club flying too. Hope this avoids some of the time wasted by anyone travelling who sees this message first.


Paul Lazenby

First thermal of the year?

The day started with a traditional Barnes runway dither: "Right, we're going on the cross runway.....err the winds changed we'd be better go on the main runway....ahem, I think we'd better go back to the cross runway. Winch driver Roy Christopherson took it very well.
The day went pretty much to forecast with early rain clearing away to give a good deal of sunshine. Launches were to a very decent 1,400 in the strong westerly breeze. Daniel Van Werf and Andy Smith completed their winter refreshers. Elizabeth from UWE and yours truly caught the only thermal of the day and climbed up to 2,000 for some spectacular views in the winter sunshine. There was a good turn out of pilots from Usk that made for a convivial launch point - they are very decent crowd and are most welcome.

Sunday 29th December

The last day's flying of 2019 for those who thought it was worth the effort.

In view of a recent highly undesirable happening the Corbin software for determining the winch position was strictly adhered to. In a wind of 15 Kts from 170 deg. it dictated that the winch position should be some 100 mtrs south of the cross runway. Any resulting limitation of launch height was immaterial when the cloud base was 600 ft to begin with as proved by Brian and Matt on a met test flight, rising to 900' by the afternoon.

Yours truly finally got to 1200 ft through an opportune gap on the last launch of the day, presenting Austin Rose with an unforgettable sight of the winter sun brilliantly illuminating the top of the stratus below us.

The first trial lesson had to be cancelled as the person couldn't wait for the cloud to lift, but the later two were given two flights each to compensate for the low launches. The Usk instructor appeared but everyone else from his club evidently decided that the journey wasn't worthwhile. I can sympathise with that instructor.

All present afterwards retired to tea in the clubhouse and a large tin of chocolates kindly left by person or persons unknown.

Cotswold Regionals - Training and Development

We are hosting a Regional Championships in August 2020. Regionals are open to all cross-country pilots with a silver badge and are an excellent way to advance your cross-country flying.

Daily briefings on weather, tasks and airspace give you all the information you need to get the most out of your competition flights. Experienced coaches are on hand to offer advise after briefing and also lead de-briefing sessions at the end of every flying day. On top of all the flying (and you will get to do a lot of flying), there's always a great social atmosphere during competitions as well.

Keen to get involved? Enter now at or email

If you don't wish to fly 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 7th December

After the very successful Quiz Night organised by Tom Knight, there were plenty of people to take advantage of a "transient ridge" forecast a day or two in advance. It gave us a morning's flying on the west run before lowering cloud put a stop to things.
Among others, several newish UWE members, the scouts and Natalie our female cadet got in a couple of circuits each. The contingent from Usk had a worthwhile time with their two-seater after they got used to slower initial winch acceleration than they normally have.
The one day course customer went away well satisfied, having got in all his flying before we had to stop.

First Day of Winter

And it felt it. A cold day but at least the breeze was straight down the runway giving excellent launches to 2000ft.
Three new UWE students took their first flights with us. At the other end of the age scale Ted and Ena (90 and 91 respectively) also took their first glider flights. Our friends from Usk had a good day too. Thanks to the ground crew for keeping things running so smoothly.

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!

Sunny Saturday

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!).

Thanks to everyone who helped, especially the Semichon clan who kept the launchpoint moving all day

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 well pleased with their first gliding instruction.
The usual Welsh waves were exploited by the Pik 20 up to 11000 ft near Abergavenny and the ASW 27 spent some 4 hours thermal and ridge running to the north.
Flying was curtailed by an increasingly strong and rough NW wind.

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:

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.

Minchinhampton Fayre

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.

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 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.


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.

Getting ahead of ourselves?

Last post - 29th July?? 29 June I think. The heat on Saturday obviously got to the author !

Saturday 29th July - 32 degrees!

Forecast to be the hottest day of the year so far but also forecast to be a poor soaring day. It meant that only one or 2 private gliders came out to launch. This was fortunate because with all club gliders at the launch point and the tug, we were able to pace the launch rate to suit the heat - as far as I know, no one suffered from heat induced issues and the sun cream dispenser on the bus was used to full effect.

Our 2 one day course visitors had 1 to 1 instruction thanks to Chris and Doug in DG500 and K13. The club list was short, with both winch and aerotow instruction in LRT. Our keen bunch of junior and student members made good use of the single seaters with another conversion to the K18. Mike Weston had a fun day taking family and friends up in the Capstan for Aerotows. Thanks to all who turned out today - i’m sure that like me, you slept well.

* If you’re confused as to why 32 degrees is not enough for good thermals, there are many books about Gliding Met that cover this subject. Suffice to say in simple terms that heated surface air can’t rise in air that is hotter still at height. (We did get thermals to 2000’ later in the afternoon by the way)

18 June Another wet day in paradise

winds 190/ 05, showers at times

The grass has been lifted for the spartan event and the courses are starting to appear around the airfield.

6 gliders queued for launching in the drizzle and were eventually returned to their parking spots, not great for soaring but plenty of banter on the bus.

The course continue to do well. Practice circuits ,Brian Mcdermid resoloed in the K21 and passed his bronze C exam so well done to him.

Mixed weather predicted for club day tomorrow.

17 June A break in the weather and welcome to the Culdrose boys

Winds 210/20 with weak broken thermals cloudbases around 1700ft

The course welcomes back 3 serial course members. Brian McDermid, Marcus Williams and Phil May. A busy day today for them getting back up to speed after layoffs of around 8 months each.

The grass in the South field is now cut in readiness for the Spartan event.

Many thanks to all the assistance given on the field by the Culdrose expedition, it is very much appreciated. The instructors took over ENK and nensured the guys refamiluarised themselves with winch launches (Seahawk use auto tow and aerotow).

Looking forward to lighter winds tomorrow and possibly showers pm.

15 June Tim setting up the field in the drizzle!

Low cloud at times , rain showers and wind 210/10.

Tims cup is half full, it was a delight to see his enthusiasm.Before 8 in the morning he was setting up the field for a days flying

The 2 one day course students spent time with Tim while he explained the basics of gliding and they waited for the weather to clear.

Some groundschool was given to Peter who is preparing for the bronze oral test.

14 June Last day of course

winds 230/10 low cloud rising during the day and showers developing.

Start off in the classroom with a briefing on met. Well done Clinton and matthew who have completed their bronze oral test.

We managed some flying later in the morning dodging some heavy rain showers.

Good to see Brian back from warmer places for a few weeks.

The white truck is back on line thanks to Richard and Tom, today they were giving the buggies the once over.

We said goodbye to the Southdown boys, who were leaving after a very disappointing week. Who would have thought this was June!

13 June more cloud and rain, the gliding school keeps going

winds 210/10 cloudbases rising to 1000ft QFE, rain showers.

The morning was spent in the classroom, Matthew and Clinton presented the weather as part of their bronze C preparation that was followed by a lecture with coffee and cakes.

The Southdown guys took the opportunity to visit the helicopter museum at Weston.

The rain stopped and we all stepped outside to practice a few more circuits---getting quite good at these.

A talk on circuit planning followed and then dinner at the Ragged Cott.

12 June Club day, less wind and Matt resolo

winds 020/05, low cloud to start lifting pm.

A morning of launch failure practice, well what else with 400ft cloudbases. All the course guys became familiar with the ASAS procedure and more comfortable with the whole idea of launch failures.

Well done Matthew who resoloed today. Clinton and Nick making very good progress towards solo and bronze C theory.

Cloudbases rose in the afternoon with some thermal activity Enough for some upper airwork and for Matt to do a couple of solos.

Thanks to Barrie Taylor for the great pictures

11 June Clinton perfects a method to keep his jeans dry!

Winds 030/25 cloud bases around 1000ft QFE, showers of rain

The morning started with briefings for the bronze oral test, flight limitations, weather and notams.

The rain finally eased up around 11 and we set off for some flying training. Nick is now mastering the winch launch while Matthew and Clinton are flying unprompted circuits in strong winds.

The evening lecture was on spin recovery followed by some practice on the sim.

10 June Another low pressure system does not deter the course

winds 050/10 with several fronts and yellow weather warnings for rain.

We welcome Matthew, Clinton and Nick on this weeks course. Matthew from Culdrose and local lad Clinton are serial course members, Nick is new to the sport and had a PPL many years ago.

We also welcome the Southdown club expedition. The hardened veterans accept the weather as part of life---very pragmatic.

Despite the rain we managed a full days flight training, followed by classroom briefing on approach control and the problems associated with wind shear and clutching hand.

Many thanks to Barry who has joined us to help train the course on the ground tasks.

7 June Ok fire up the sim

winds 090/25 and rain and low cloud.

The last day of the course had some grim weather.

Briefings on Met and Spin Recovery before practice on the simulator.

Thanks to Graham and Dave Breeze for being available for winch driving, unfortunately the weather was not suitable.

6 June wow just look at that sky

winds 200/15, showers at times, good thermal day

Temporary class D airspace around Kemble stopped airfield activity for an hour in the middle of the day, otherwise a quiet day.

Many thanks to David Hart for driving the winch in the morning and Simon took his CFI hat off and donned his winch driver hat for the afternoon. Adrian Giles managed the winch driver cover remotely from the wilds of the north

The course continues to go well, all 3 trainees are now managing unprompted flights and just beginning to practice launch failures.

The outlook for tomorrow is poor as a low pressure is passing over the country with its associated fronts. Fingers crossed we will manage to continue with the course training.

Dave Breeze gave 21 grass left a trim with the grass cutter, looks a lot smarter now, thanks Dave.

5 June the day just got better

winds 240/20, cumulus rising to 4500ft

operating off 21, the thermals rather broken lower down but some reasonable strengths.

The K23 and K21 were busy all day and a good turnout of club members. Many thanks to Steve (again) for steppig in and driving the winch for us.

The course continues to go well with circuit practice and trying to master that stick and rudder co-ordination.

The pictures show John McW getting set up to launch his Pik20 and Mike trying to figure out how to get into the driving seat.

Forecasts predict a good day tomorrow, so if you want a 300K or 500K come on down.

4 June a showery day but good for training

winds 100/10, cloud and showers predicted. Some thermal activity around midday.

09 operations to start, with launches to around 1200ft. At the start of the day we often found ourselves above the lower layers of scattered cloud. later in the day the winds shifted to southerly and then finally to a steady westerly and so we finished the day operating on 21.

All of the course are now flying the launch and landing and are working on circuit planning now. Well done to them.

Chris Power and David Hart did a fantastic job keeping the winch cables coming, thanks chaps. Barry Taylor spent the day with us helping out at the launch point.

The evening group cancelled because of the unpredictable nature of the weather, probably a very wise decision.

We are steadily picking up the litter from the airfield, and the place is steadily getting back to normal. everyone can help us with that, so next time you are here make a point of disposing of some of the debris around the place.

3 June A new course begins

winds 240/20 good visibility, strong thermals from around 12 noon.

Many thanks to Steve and David for helping out with the winch and ground training. It helped make a successful day.

The university students spent the day getting their K8 up and running with the assistance of Robin Birch. All it needs now is insurance and it is good to go.

The tugs from the competition steadily departed to their respective homes.

Class D airspace around Kemble meant we had a slow start, the lost time was used to teach the basic principles of a DI. Welcome to Robert Whalley, Stuart Hall and Niall MacAuliffe. They will be on the course for the week---lets hope the weather behaves itself.

The picture shows the ground training in progress, the students learning how to handle winch cables safely.

Tomorrow we have Chris Power and David helping with the winch.

23 May Avro learns to drive the bus.

winds 250/10, good thermal day, blue at times and climbs to 5000ft QFE

The superfox gave us a demo of its performance today, and a few free aerotows for those that were here. Echo India is an impressive microlight tug (it has strange tundra tyres though). Thanks are due to Adrian for making this trip possible and thanks are due to the owner for his generosity.

The competition preparation continues as people start arriving with gliders and caravans.

Avro visited us from New Zealand, the happy little dog was content to inspect the driving controls of the bus!

The course continues to go well, David Potter consolidated his conversion to single seater by completing his 2nd soaring flight for the cross country endorsement, Mayur Bodani started to get the hang of thermal centring with a climb to 4990 ft--shame about the last 10ft, Ethan Maya has now completed his aerotow training and is polishing his soaring skills.

The evening group took over and flew a group of visitors.

We are looking forward to another great day tomorrow.

21 May New hangar door.

winds 330/10 with strong thermals from around 10 am.

A few members ventured out today to enjoy the fantastic soaring.

The course proceeds well, David Potter achieved his 1 hour soaring flight for XCE, Mayur is now the handling pilot throughout the flight, and Ethan has learnt a few new skills.

The hangar doors were worked on today, we should now have 1m more space to get the gliders out.

Dave Breeze continued the grass cutting programme today, sadly the landing area on 03 could not be cut because we were using it!

20 May Monday

winds 330/10, good thermal conditions with high cloudbases

A new course starts today, welcome Ethan, David and Mayur. David resoloed today, Mayurs first day gliding and landing already, Ethan finished the day with a thermal climb and then a side slip approach. Thanks David Hart for all the tutorial work.

Lots of other activity,preparation is underway for the competition, the farmer fertilising the grass, caravans have started to arrive and tomorrow should see the new hangar doors installed.

Another good soaring day tomorrow.

18 May Pete Robson goes solo

winds 030/05, cloud 1000ft QFE and rising. Thermals pm

A nice early start with the enthusiastic students making bacon sandwiches before briefing at 8.15

Cloudbases rose quickly and Pete Robson practised his launch failures prior to goinf off solo for the first time. Well done Pete.

17 May Graham goes solo, first club evening flying day great success.

A warm front passed from East to west last night and another front is due during the day bringing light rain and showers on and off through the day wind 060/20 (operating off 03).

Flyable but soaring and cross country unlikely. Evening club flying planned from 1600 onwards.

Graham Allinson went solo for the first time, Nigel Payne is now able to fly a safe circuit without instructor aid and Colin Parker resoloed today. A very chilly day lots of jumpers and hot tea.

Meanwhile Tom and Richard were busy repairing bug 1 which seems to be burning a lot of oil ,and the grass cutting tractor. All this behind the scenes support is fantastic.

The first friday evening flying session started this evening. Very well subscribed with a bunch of enthusiastic university students. The winds picked up during the evening as can seen on the photos.

Well done Matt Page who now has a full instructor rating.

16 May fantastic soaring day

Winds favouring 09 at 10 Knots. Cloud bases rising to over 4000 QFE with cumulus.

Matt set off first thing to Hus Bos in the motor glider to hopefully complete his full rating test. While Doug Gardiner set off with his trailer to get his glider back from a secured field in Banbury, I know best ask him---its complicated.

Barry Keys had a one day course to complete so the course members benefitted from a 2nd instructor. With his help we managed to catch up on the flying programme.

The afternoon was excellent soaring with climbs to nearly 5000ft, difficult to get away from the winch but definately worth the effort.

Flying continued into the evening with a busy evening group.

Letter of agreement with Kemble

We have a new letter of agreement with Kemble. It's on the documents > briefings page.

15 may Club day

winds an awkward 120/10 knots, soarable in the afternoon with tight thermals in the blue. Visbility about 35K. Possibility we will need to use 09 for launching.

The remainder of the cut grass should be collected today.

Operating off 09 proved to be a challenge. However slick operations meant we could operate one aircraft at a timne and alternate between club and course flying. PM it became soarable and several single seaters were brought to the launchpoint and launched reasonably quickly.

Pat Greer looked after club flying. Paul and Lawrence got cleared to solo on 09 and Chris had more practice on his way to resolo.

instructors took the equipment and continued flying into the evening, while the course guys ate a wonderful stir fry dinner.

The course flying continues well with Graham doing launch failure training, Nigel now handling the whole flight and Colin getting back into practice.

Tuesday 14 May

winds 090/10, blue, thermals pm to about 3000ft

Another good day for the course, loads of flying and everyone getting the hang of landing on the runway.

The standard cirrus and libelle came to join us. Andy Davey managed a decent soaring flight in the local area.

Good to see another visitor from Dartmoor Gliding Society, Colin Boyd popped in for a few days.

Grass collection is almost complete, the airfield now looks like an airfield again. many thanks to Jules who spent the day cutting the grass around the camping areas and hangers before cutting the landing strip 21 grass right. barrie Taylor brought out the 2nd tractor and cut the cable runs.

Briefing after flying covered launch failure procedures and mcReady. A pleasant meal afterwards of an Indian tapas (well thats what I think it was)

Club day tomorrow looks much the same forecast.

13 May Good forecast brings out the members

winds forecast 120/10, no rain, blue conditions, thermals from around 11am.

A new course starts today with Nigel Graham and Colin. Andy Davey here with his libelle for the week.

The awkward winds made circuits a challenge, long groundruns were the theme for the day with a number of incursions into the cut grass waiting collection. The grass will be collected over the next few days.

The soaring was not as good as hoped, with broken thermals lower down. Despite that there were a number of notable soaring flights. it was good to see a brace of libelles at the launchpoint.

Our grass cutting is now underway, David Taylor kicked off by cutting the landing strip 21 grass left. Thanks David.

The evening briefing was on circuit planning and followed by a lively discussion. Colin is seen explaining to Graham.

Sunday 12th May

An excellent day for both the cross country brigade and the more local activities. Some exceptionally strong thermals persisted for most of the day under wall to wall cumulus. Even when it went blue locally late in the afternoon it remained possible to get away every time from a winch launch (for some at least).
Our University of West England members made full use of the conditions for their training weekend and were especially active and helpful on the launch point. We managed to cope with the scheduled 7 trial lessons in spite of grass cutting and a winch tangle. Many thanks to those who kept us going in spite of that and one or two other little difficulties.

Saturday May 11th

Continuing on yesterday's theme on what a great club we have the photograph shows the fleet out of the hangar at 8.35 am and being washed by UWE and Scouts under the direction of Jerome the scout master.

An excellent day followed, with everyone on the flying list filling their boots with a mixture of winch launches and aerotows. Nearly everyone had soaring flights in the rough conditions.


Photo: Jerome

10 May A good soaring day, UWE students joins us for a Friday evening training session

winds 240/10, showers possible and some excellent soaring.

Adrian brought the tug out for us which allowed Tim Bralesford to complete the spin training for his BI rating, David and johnathan were also able to experience and practice an aerotow launch. Thanks Adrian.

Charles Linton took over the winch for a few hows which gave Dave some time to get the new mower out and cut some of the landing areas. Richard and Tom got on with repairing the 4X4. All this background work is appreciated and is what makes CGC such a great club.

As is typical for the last day of the course, the members were doing a lot of solo consolidation and practising soaring.

Simon Lucas and team were here to lead the friday evening training session with David Roberts taking over the winch.

Good to see the K23 rigged and back on line. Hopefully not too long before the K18 weighing is completed and that will be back in service.

9 may Dinner at the Crown

occluded fronts passing through causing showers and low cloud interspersed with flying weather.

A mixed day for the course with Johnathan and David completing part of their bronze C oral test. David resoloed in the K21 and Johnathan reinforced his previous solo flying.

Tim Brailsford completed most of his BI preparation in readiness for the BI training proper

We all then moved down to the crown for a convivial meal and a beer.

Tomorrow will bring better conditions and hopefully some aerotow training, see you then.

8 May Weathers here wish you were nice

low cloud and rain until around 11am. Winds freshening to 180/15 by the end of the day.

The day started with a briefing on Altimetry, everyone now knows the difference between their QFEs and QNHs.

Practice launch abandonment started the day, followed by some stunning soaring in the rapidly cycling weather. Flying at 70 knots with the brakes open and still going up!!

Tim Brailsford undertook some preparation for his BI training which included ultra low launch failures.

Thanks to Richard and Tom for securing the lights on the bus---try to guess who is the supervisor?

A very good day had by all.

7 May First day of course.

Winds 180/10 visibility 30 K, Cloudbases 4000ft plus (QFE) strong thermals most of the day.

3 rather smart cars were parked in front of the control tower, Rover, Daimler and a Maserati. We welcome Mike and Johnathan Hatchett with Tim Brailsford tagging along. Mike and Johnathan are serial course goers and Tim (now the proud holder of a helicopter PPL) is a club member.

Some good soaring to be had today, and David and Johnathan were put through their paces with more intense refresher flying. Johnathan went off solo on the last flight of the day.

Club members turned up to help and to take s flight or two in the K8. Alun, Eric and David Hart all flew and helped out on the ground---many thanks for that.

The K21 was inspected (defective wheel brake) and put back into service, thanks to Robin Birch (seen in picture preparing for its flight test.

grass cutting of the cable runs was underway today, and when weather permits we plan to cut the landing strips to keep the grass at more normal lengths.

Evening flying of a group of Scouts started around 6 pm and continued until dusk.

The weather tomorrow (Wednesday) looks problematic with winds and rain predicted---however the briefing room will be open and briefings ongoing for those who are prepared to wait for the rain to clear (which it will).

Upcoming events, Friday evening a UWE flying event will start around 4pm---why not come along, meet the students, lend a hand and maybe pinch a cable ? A good start to the weekend.

3 May last day of course

winds light to start, cold front approaching from the North. heavy rain forecast later pm.

Brian Goodspeed found himself flying above the lower cloud on his first flights. Cloudbases went up and he resoloed after a 2 year layoff. Well done Brian. Jake completed the final exercises of the instructor B module, and then took Tom Coles on a soaring tutorial (when the conditions finally became suitable). Tom is now very current and his winter refreshers completed.

Mike Weston spent the day taking John through the BI syllabus.

Eventually the rain arrived, with towering cumulus all around. Matt Page didnt care though ---he was cutting a grass strip for the motor glider through the knee deep grass. Thanks Matt,

2 May Thunderstorms threatened later in the day

winds 300/15, visibility 25 K Isol thunderstorms, cloudbases 2000-3000ft QNH

The weather was much more gentle on us than expected. The odd light shower during the day, but then at around 4 pm we had a serious storm cell---so that stopped us flying, and time to put the gliders away.

Barry Taylor took the opportunity to join us and keep himself current. Pretty smart chap really.

Brian Jake and Tom cracked on with course flying. jake has almost completed his B module flying exercises---just some briefings to go.

Ian Kennedy flew the Grob 109 in from USK, and our CFI (Simon) popped in to see how we were progressing.

After evening debrief we all moved to the Old Lodge on Minchinhampton for a fish and chip dinner.

Another mixed but flyable day tomorrow.

The picture shows a smiling Dave, drying off after the rain storm.

1 May Club day with showers of Rain

winds 230/05, some thermals through the day, cloudbases rising from 1400ft and isolated rain showers.

The morning started with first breakfast while I demonstrated my culinary skills!

Pat and Roger looked after club activities, well done to MikeFarmer for first solo in K23 and Paul for converting to the K8. Showers at midday gave an opportunity for Jake to brief on thermal soaring (part of his instructor training). After the shower it was all men to the task of wiping the gliders down.

The course continues to go well, Jake is steadily working through the B module, Brian is now on launch failure practice and Tom had the longest flight of the day as he gets back into the groove with the K23.

30 April A good soaring day

winds 170/10, thermic from around 10am. Visibility 20K

class D around kemble for half an hour late morning.

cotswold Balloon safaris popped in early in the morning, landing in the south field, they packed up and were away in an amazingly short time.

Grass collection was in progress all day, a few blocked wheel boxes and jammed taildollies---but now the collection is complete and we have some decent landing areas. The rest of the grass will be cut and collected before the nationals.(in a few weeks)

Jake Matthews gave us a briefing on stalling, this was part of his instructor training, very informative and triggered some discussion.

Tom Coles resoloed today after a 12 month layoff, well done Tom.

Several club members came out to fly in the good conditions.Thanks to those who pitched in and helped and made it possible for the others to pull up to the launch point and launch without delay, I am sure there will be a beer or two waiting for you in the bar!

The evening group took over and flew about 15 trial lessons, the conditions for them were very good.

29 April Dave gives Tony some advice

winds light and veering to the SW during the day.

The landing strips have been cut now, the grass will be collected on Tuesday.

The new course week has begun, and now well under way.

The weather brought out a few private owners, and one ASW20 landedfor a relaunch from Nympsfield.

The weather is looking good for Tuesday and a possibility of some rain showers later in the week.

26 April last day of course

Winds veering to 230/20, cloudbases 1200ft QFE in showers of rain

A busy day again, with some modest soaring. Well done Lloyd for going solo first time on the winch.

The last day of the course was good fun, cross wind landing training and a range of other exercises completed.

Charles spent his 2nd day with David Taylor on the winch and is now checked out. Eric did a refresher on the winch to set himself up for this season. Why not get yourself winch trained the more trained winch drivers the better?

Thanks to Richard and a team of volunteers for putting new cables on the winch. Very helpful and saves doing it on a busy soaring day.

The picture shows us sheltering in the bus while the rain shower passes

25 April the ghosts of AD

winds 180/20, showers of rain and some towering cumulus

Another great day, well done Ian, some perfect landings now. Soaring with amazing climbs of 8 - 10 knots tp around 3500ft.

This strange image appeared on the runway! Has the invasion from Mars started?

Tha day finished with pleasant dinner at the Canal Tunnel inn (perhaps the ghosts followed us there..

24 April mixed weather for club day

Cold front passing over the country bringing showers, Wind veered to the SW around 2pm and the weather cleared with 1000ft cloudbases rising to 5000ft.

The course continued to go well, spin training started. After changing ends we were schieving good launches on runway 21.

Good to see a few hardy club members braving the weather and thanks Chris and ethan for helping out at the launch point.

23 April Another course begins

poor visibility winds light easterly, cloudbases high with overcast

Lloyd Ian and Alan have joined us for the week. Launch failure practice today to get Alan and Ian back into the groove, Alan resoloed later in the day.

Many thanks to Ethan Mayo who spent the day with us helping to keep the launch rate going.

The first flying evening today,

Bank Holiday Monday 22nd April

Another busy day for the bank holiday weekend. As well as welcoming three course visitors, a good number of club members came out to fly on the challenging runway 09. Soaring conditions improved during the day, and a small grid of thermal and wave hunters formed on the runway. A few gliders went cross-country, some soared to 7000ft+ and one landed out at Shenington. Congratulations to Adam Mayo on his re-solo following a break from solo flying. Many thanks to Caleb, Muggles and Adam for driving the winch.

21st April

Busy day today with over 60 launches, a mix of winch and Aerotow. Steve Glassett took a tow to over 9000ft (see Picture) because he could and others took advantage of the limited soarable conditions. We were visited today by Pete Harvey flying Steve Jones's new Ventus 3T after the engine failed to start, landing with the engine out. He then took an aerotow to fly back to Lasham, a good day with unusually warm weather for a bank holiday weekend.

17 April Club day

Wind 090/05, poor visibility all day.

The good soaring forecast did not happen today and the visibility was too poor for any cross country.

Paul converted to the K13 and Mike Bosley and stephen Wilkinson converted to the K8.

Lots of activity on the airfield with over 40 launches in all. Roger and Pat are now back in the UK so instructor availability is now back to normal.

thanks everyone for all the help on the field, it was good fun efficient and safe.

The day ended with pie and chips in the club room while we watched Jules take off with his flying duvet.

Another good day tomorrow, and then we look forward to a 4 day weekend----I have already put in the order for good weather.

16 April

winds VRB 05, poor visibility and cloud.

launch failure and conversion to the K13 for Mike and Stephen, while John learns how to launch and land.

many thanks to our volunteer club members Dave and Barrie for helping us achieve such a high launch rate. This helped get the course well on track.

David and Barrie also took the opportunity to fly a circuit or two and keep themselves current.

The day ended with a delicious meal at the Rose in Frampton Mansell.

Club day tomorrow promises to be good, so get on up here nice and early. The rest of the week also looks fine for soaring, David and I will be away over the bank holiday so any help to keep the flying going would be appreciated.

15 April Strong winds

Winds 130/30, visibility rising to 25K, little cloud

The course has started well. Welcome back to Stephen Wilkinson(The lakes), Mike Bosley(Shobdon) and welcome to John o'Connell (dartmoor).

The week should be steadily improving, Stephen and |Mike getting back in the groove before resolo and John a newbie starting his training with an intensive course.

Dont forget club day, and let me know if you want to join the pie and chips party.


12 April 2019 Last day of course and Johnathan goes solo.

winds easterly and light, cold and thermic from around 11am.

The course continued to make good progress. Johnathan went solo for the first time and Alistair completed his soaring flights for the cross country endorsement.

The more experienced course members were shown some soaring techniques to help find these sometimes elusive thermals.

Aertotow training for Collin and Lawrence was started today.

meanwhile the Sportability group, headed by Mike Weston and supported by Robin enjoyed themselves. Thanks to everyone for making the event a success.

Lets hope these good soaring conditions are here for the summer. The first picture shows John after his first solo---dont ask him to talk about the stick song!

11 April Another day in paradise

surface winds 050/10, thermals to 3500QFE blue for part

Another good day, well done rex for achieving his 2 hour soaring flight, Alistair for his one hour soaring flight and Jamie for his first landings.

Another good day tomorrow, the Sportability group will be here so any assistance will be appreciated.

The pictures show the glorious morning sky and Rex preparing for his record breaking flight (either that or he is preparing to become a Borg drone)

10 April At last, some soaring

Winds 070/15 cloud bases rising to 3000ft QFE , Good thermals from around 11am.

A busy day on the airfield with 2 courses and the club members. Tony Hayes dusted off the DG500 and took the club pilots for a trip i that, meanwhile Doug and I continued to look after the 6 course members.

Winchie Dave struggled through all day without a break, I think we need more winch drivers roll up guys Dave can show you how to winch.

A couple of more adventurous pilots went off cross country Phil Walker checked out the Welsh hills and ken took Lawrence on a little local cross country.

Thanks to the UWE students who energetically helped us keep the launch rate up, we couldnt have managed without you.

The day ended with a brief on launching followed by Pie and chips in the clubroom.

Another good day is expected tomorrow.

9 April Alistair and Rex resolo

Winds 070/20, low cloud to start, rising to 2000ft QFE

Another excellent training day, with everyone having loads of fun.

John introduced us to the "stick song", the words are very easy to follow!

Well done to Alistair and Rex for resolo today, not bad when you consider the weather. The pictures show Alistair beside the K13 and Doug and Alistair discussing technical stuff.

The next few days will be chilly but much improved for training.

Club day tomorrow, and pie and chips after flying.


8 April a busy course week starts with low cloud

winds 090/15 reducing through the day. poor visibility and cloudbases around 400ft QFE

6 people on the course this week, and Doug gardiner is helping with the instruction.

Most of the day was used to put Rex and John lampier through their paces with launch failure practice. Doug took Alistair and Jamie Lomax off to the simulator, where they happily flew circuits in the bright sunshine!

A slight hiccup today when one of the winches decided not to work, leaving us with cables out and no working engine. Thanks to everyone Richard, Tom and dave for stepping in to help us out of that fix.

The day ended with a convivial meal in the clubroom, looking forward to better weather tomorrow.

Saturday 6th April

A cold brisk easterly wind saw us launching from runway 09 with the usual restrictions of that end. A good few hardy souls were rewarded with some sunshine and thermals to over 3000 feet by the end of the afternoon. Longest flight over 2 hours (Discus) with the K18 also having a few long soaring flights. The DG500 aerotowed off to Nympsfield in support of the Junior winter series weekend there.

5 April last day of club week

Winds still strong SE but easing through the day with thermals to a 1500ft cloudbase.

using runway 09. the weather was too unreliable for Peter Francis to make the trip up from Kent, so he sensibly decided to reschedule.

Meanwhile lots of trailer repairs going on in the butts and Roger Smith, Etan Maya and David hart ventured out to fly and brush up their skills.

Picture shows Roger explaining to Etan the general principles of a daily Inspection.


4 April 2019 Fun day but very wet.

Winds 130/35 rain and low cloud

A day for housekeeping and fettling. The sounding shows it all---how does it go? "weathers here--wish you were nice"

The drain repair on the runway has been given a thorough testing today, see picture.

David spent time today getting the winch working properly under the expert guidance of skylaunch. Hopefully we will be able to test it tomorrow.

I now have some training records, so watch out I may be on your case! I want to see plenty of bronze cs and silver legs this year.

Matt and Pete Hibbard were busily studying in preparation for full rating tests later this month. So if you need to know anything about Met or Principles of Flight, their your men. Just look at the scribbled notes.

See you tomorrow

3 April day 3 of first club week

winds 310/10 visibility 30K possible showers of grains of snow low cloud to start

Quiet day with many members put off by the unsettled forecast.

Well done Paul Roberts on his first solo today, (picture shows david taylor giving him a congratulatory hug)

Robin Birch pulled the T21 out so Simon Willis could release the ashes of Harry Willis over the airfield. Harry was an ex member with a varied and distinquished flying career, including a WW2 tail gunner. Thank you Robin for organising that sad event.

Gill persuaded Wayne Rawlings (a member of the fire sevice) to change his plans for a trial lesson into a full membership. Wayne then spent the rest of the day learning the ropes and getting his first flying lessons. Wayne, we are delighted you decided to join us.

The first of our Wednesday night cheap and cheerful dinner was pie and chips, put it in your diary for a wednesday and come and join us.

The end of another great day, hopefully more of the same tomorrow.


2 April unsettled weather day two of club week

winds 300/15 vis 40K cold front passing through to give unstable air pm

Still lots happening at the club. Phil Walker is now measuring up for a wall around the diesel tank, to meet current regulations, and the pad for the new hangar door post is in place.

Meanwhile a small team set about repairing the rather large hole beside the runway, thanks everyone for helping get that important job done.

Not too much flying pm with heavy showers of grains of snow and thunder and lightning (not a good mix with steel winch cables.

Club day tomorrow and pie and chips for anyone interested, and maybe a beer.

See you tomorrow?


1 April "wot a picture"

Chilly day with forecast winds 140/10.Good visibility and cloudbases at 3000ft

no course this week, so come on down if you fancy a day on the airfield,

The course went very well last week a photo opportunity presented itself. See below.

Talgarth was great fun, glorious weather and some exciting rock polishing.

The outlook for this week is for some excellent soaring prospects with perhaps some heavy showers on Thursday pm.Tuesday and Wednesday both look good. Soaring conditions tomorrow between 11 and 3 are rated as excellent, 2 seat soaring training available if required.


Turned out to be a busy afternoon with thermals to 2000ft+

linda and Jim enjoyed their first flights, marten Woodcock completed his refreshers and Alan Thomas converted to the K18.

A convivial beer followed Alan need to learn how to pour beer properly!

Should be good tomorrow after a damp start.

Saturday March 30th

What a busy day!

The poor visibility didn't hamper flying as several private owners ventured out for short soaring flights and in the evening Jean-Benoit (JB) Semichon completed his first solo.

Many thanks to all the duty team members who worked hard all day and gave us 55 flights, possibly the most so far this year. Roll on summertime.


Summer Time

After a run of excellent flying days this week, the weather gods decided to mark the start of official summer time with an overcast sky and fresh wind from the East. As the cloudbase went up in the morning, we were able to get the gliders out for some flying on runway 09. A group of keen students kept the launch point running smoothly, making sure everyone got a chance to fly in the challenging conditions. There was a brief window of soarable weather in the afternoon which gave a couple of students their first soaring experience. Two members also completed their winter refreshers. Many thanks to Martin and Richard for driving the winch.

Sunday and Monday

Sunday was a bright day but with a biting wind. The club instructors were kept busy with trial lessons, club flying and the flying part of winter refreshers following the theory briefing in the clubhouse. A few private owners came out to play to enjoy the thermals in the middle part of the day.

Monday was the start of another course for Tony, a former Navy helicopter pilot and a member at Culdrose, Mike a former paraglider and member at Dorset GC and another Mike returning after some previous courses at AD. A little confusing with three Mike's at the launchpoint!. Quite thermic from the first flight though a little broken because of the wind and all the course members enjoyed some lengthy flights with some good visibility throughout the day.
We managed to avoid the B52's that were flying around us on their way in to Fairford.

The forecast for the rest of the week looks good.


Saturday 23rd March

A surprisingly good soaring day. Cloudbase 3300 above the airfield and thermal strength up to 3 knots average in places, when the sun came through fully. Upper cloud came and sent which caused the thermals to diminish from time to time. Plenty of soaring flights in the Ka8 and Ka18. 2 private gliders out to play as well.

22 March 2019 Last day of the first course week

Cloudbases rising during the day to 2000ft +, winds 230/20 at height. 7/8 cloud cover

Another great day,

The K13 came out for an airing and Alistair learnt about spinning and recoveries before going off solo in the K13.

Eric and David continued practice with the K18 and using the logger.

Howard reached his goal by flying several good unprompted circuits.

Barry Taylor joined us and completed his annual flight reviews before converting to the K18. Always worth asking during the week, if we have spare capacity 2 seater training is always possible.

Back at the ranch Mike Randle completed the Arc on the K23 in readiness for the weekend---thanks Mike.

We all went home happy but tired, a very successful first week. The picture shows the team for Friday.

I will be at Talgarth next week helping coach on the Royal navy adventure training week. If anyone fancies a day ot two out---please contact me and I will try to squeeze you in for some hill soaring training.


21 March 2019

wind 210/05, low cloud to start, visisbility 25Kcloud bases rising to 1500ft QFE

Another really good day.

the course doing well with Howard getting to grips with circuit planning and Alistair reinforcing his solo flying.

good to see some club members here. Adrian Giles took the opportunity to try out the K18. barry Taylor popped in for a few hours to say hello and lend a hand.

the evening briefing was Spinning and how to recover, ready for tomorrow,

A convivial dinner in the club room cooked by david, most enjoyable

Wednesday 20 March club day and Alistair Worsley goes solo

wind 230/10 with low cloud to start. Cloud lifting later to around 1500ft.

Good to see so many club members out and taking advantage of the improved weather.

The course is progressing well and Alistair Worsley went solo for the first time, congratulations to him.

Pat and Roger kept the club show on the road and several pilots had refresher flights and resoloed after a winter break. Simon 9our CFI) undertook a number of refresher flights in the k13.

The pictures show Alistair preparing to launch and Collin being helped to refit the K13 canopy after it accidentally slipped forward off its pins.

19 March Dave and Eric convert to the K18

winds 250/15, low cloud to start lifting pm.Early mist.

Another great day, Alistair and Howard are now flying unprompted circuits and have practised a wide range of stalls and unusual attitude rcovery.

Eric and David flew the K18 for the first time, well done to them. many thanks to Robin for help and advice.

Club day tomorrow, and spag bol for those that fancy it (after flying)

Monday 18 March First 5 day course of 2019

winds 260/10 good visibility and cloud bases lowering to 1100ft at times with light rain

Welcome to Howard Bunn ( a returnee from last year) Alistair Worsley (a newbie to CGC) Eric Lomas and David Hart who are CGC solo pilots.

We managed to get flying and Eric and David resoloed after a winter break. Alistair and Howard pressed on with the presolo syllabus.

Briefing in the evening was on approach control followed by a pleasant meal in the club room.

Wednesday 13th and Storm Gareth is on us.

Strong winds, 40 knots at flying heights and gusty.

Despite that, I am always amazed at the many different activities happening around the club.

Dave Roberts , Roger Bagley and directors of Aston down farms are deep in conversation unravelling the intricacies of the club finances and CASC.

Simon our CFI meanwhile giving us guidance on various changes within operations.

Richard fixing stuff and planning what he is going to fix next.

Robin Birch quietly humming to himself while he fettles gliders.

A few club members chatting amiably in a corner,

Mike and assistant from Skylaunch now servicing the 2nd winch.

Welcome to Grant Needham who has returned from his overseas travel in his mobile home (5000 miles worth of travelling).

Dave, Gill and I continue to prepare for the season start on Monday.-----A quiet day really! Thanks everyone, where would be without you.

Tuesday 12 March 2019

Wind rain and sunshine. We had it all today.

The usual suspects floating around the club and making sure it all runs smoothly.

Gill Dave and I are busy getting everything in place for the new course season that starts on Monday.

The weather for club day tomorrow is lloking a little problematic, but there will be classroom training available if flying is not possible. Dont be shy, come along and join in.

Meanwhile Mike and his team from skylaunch have been busy servicing the winches and Mike treated some of us to a mini masterclass in winches and winch systems. Very interesting, thanks Mike. The servicing of the 2nd winch will happen tomorrow and some trials are planned for Thursday.

Sunday 3rd March

Sorry, no chance of flying today, rain with strong winds later.

Saturday 2nd March

Well, today's forecast was spot on. At around 9.45, just as promised, the grotty low cloud and mist that had engulfed the airfield cleared and half an hour later we were able to get airborne. The first couple of flights were spectacular - launching to 1,500' we were bathed in sunshine 500' above cloud. Thereafter, the air scouts and UWE students had some interesting flights getting to grips with the strong breeze. John and Andrew on the one day course enjoyed their flights with Eugene in the DG. Many thanks to Craig Mustoe and David Howell for some first-rate winching.

27th Feb

A busy Wednesday with two K21's, K23 and K18 enjoying the bright sunshine, Given the forecast this looks like the last of the run of sunshine. The Wednesday group were joined by five UWE students who took advantage of the calm conditions to practice circuits.
Sam and Dan added to their solo count, George and Ben notched up more time in the K23.
After flying Ben passed his Bronze oral test to complete his bronze, We hope we will get more sunny weather soon.

Sunday 24th

A busy day with winch and Aerotow. Well done to Sam Winfield on his first Glider solo and Ben on completing his Bronze Flight Test, the last hour of the day was Aerotow only due to winch problems.
Steve Glassett's view from a 4000ft Aerotow.

Gwilym and Barry

Congratulations Gwilym

Saturday 23rd Feb

Forecast sunny all day so an early start with just about the whole fleet taken out and made ready. Fog had other ideas and for a while we could not see more than 25 metres. All cleared at 13:00 and we made the most of the afternoon with plenty of Winch Launches and Aerotows. A few more members were introduced to the delights of the K18. A first solo too so not a bad day all round.

Junior Gliding at Denbigh

The DG500 went away to Denbigh for the weekend to fly with young pilots from across the country as part of the UK Junior Gliding Winter Series. Over 80 Juniors attended the event, including a good number of our own UWE students. The weather didn't disappoint and we were able to give many Juniors their first experiences of hill and wave soaring. Many thanks to the club for letting us use the glider and for the continued support of UK Junior Gliding.

Saturday 16th February

A very useful training day with lots of simulated cable breaks for the younger members. Grown ups experienced the delights of the new K18, some of whom managed to prolong their flights noticeably.

Low cloud delayed the start. The farmer ploughing next to the runway at the start was extremely cooperative. On hearing that we might only do one launch, he agreed to stop and only resume if we told him we had to wait for the cloud to lift, which is what happened. For this helpful attitude he was presented with a couple of bottles of beer.

Aero Tow Day

Today several members took advantage of the fact that it was not raining or blowing a gale to get some Aero Tow practice.
The K21, Pirat, Olly, Arcus and LS3 took tows totalling 25000 ft, Cloud base was around 3000ft and varied during the day and later in the afternoon Doug Gardiner managed an hour and a half in his LS3 Landing a 4.00pm.
We hope to organise more days like this and intend to publicize then with a bit more notice in future

Sunday 10th Feb, flying scrubbed

After an informative Winter Refresher brief to a handful of Club members, it was decided the weather was inclement enough to call it a day so no Club flying today. Hopefully Aerotowing tomorrow will make up for another grotty weekend.

Wednesday the 6th February

A misty drive over but when I arrived the sky was already starting to clear. The first hour was spent on the Winter Refresher presentation for 8 club members (and a couple of instructors) and by then there were breaks of sunshine. Robin took the 'new' K18 for its first flight and was flown by a number of members throughout the day, all seemed to like it. Tom rigged the ASW 27 for a few re-familiarisation flights, enjoying some soaring in the process, as did a number of members in the K21. It got a bit colder later in the day as the sun disappeared, so we let Roger complete his BI checks with Simon in the K21.
Thanks to Steve Purkiss and Dave Freeman for winching.

New addition to the fleet

If you haven't already heard, the club has another addition to the fleet. This rather nice K18 was test flown today and can be flown by anyone that the instructors deem capable. Please see an instructor before jumping in and I am sure that the CFI will distribute details to the instructors on what to tell eager punters.

This glider was recently collected from the RAFGSA at Cranwell and they were very sad to see it go. It flies very nicely and will soar beautifully.

Snowy Sunday

A picturesque day's flying over a white winter landscape for (mostly) the younger members. 23 launches to 2,000 ft + in the cold dense air. Thanks to Steve, Tim and others for the winch & lorry driving.

Saturday 2nd Feb

Airfield blanketed by snow, so no flying today folks.

Sunday Blown Away

Apologies but Sunday is suffering from flatulence. We are currently gusting up to 35kts with areas of severe turbulence around the airfield so we have decided to scrub the day.

Saturday 19th January - Grounded!

Sorry, the weather is pants - there'll be no flying today.
See you all at the AGM this evening.

Another 1000k for an A/D pilot

Congrats to John McWilliam for his 1000k and Also Andy Smith who completed his 1st on the same day..I've just spoken to Andy about the day and he and others have said it was the best day they had ever flown on..
Andy's flight can be found on 'skylines glider log'

Congratulations John McWilliam

Member John McWilliam gets fed up with the English weather in the winter so heads off to the Gliding Club of Victoria, at Benalla in Australia for the winter.
He had a particularly good flight on Friday. John said "With Bob Nicholls for a 1,000km tour of the outback with full cabin service, sort of 'Meals on Wings'.
Took off at 1055 for a 4,000ft tow. Passed through the inversion at 3,000ft, forecast but mildly disappointing, and set off from Benalla at at 60knots to conserve precious height.
Got some modest thermals at and beyond the Chesneys but to our dismay found a 20 knot headwind pushing us back strongly.
Spotted clouds way higher than us to the east so turned to connect and they took us up enough to get across the Murray.
We were now 1hr-25mins into the flight and had only done 70km, far far below the speed you want to start any 1000km flight but we pressed on.
Once at height and under decent Cu progress improved, though never as fast as we wanted because the headwind increased to 25 knots and the climbs, while OK, were never ballistic.
Proof the climbs were modest came when we met Barry Ferris's DG808 tolerating a weak thermal at Hillston, though we pressed after seeing the number 3 on the vario average dial.
At that point we had Sydney far away abeam to starboard - hard to believe but a look at a big map afterwards show that remarkable fact.
We reached 500k out at 1600hrs with an average speed so far of 118kph. We had hoped the 25 knots headwind would improve that to hurry us home but the wind had now fallen to 3 knots and we turned agreeing that we would if need be happily lob in anywhere with an airfield and hotel!
Cloud streets were short and climbs never guaranteed but our average speed clicked up nicely and after a while the wind increased to boost it to show near 190kph sixty minute speeds.
In fact on that leg we averaged 179kph on the OLC 2 1/2 hours Speed Comp, the fastest of the day in All Australia & Oceana and fourth in the World behind three out of Worcester GC in South Africa running huge long ridges at low level.
As we neared Benalla it seemed possible to do 1100km but the Ovens Valley was all blue sink and we lost so much height we were glad to get back into good air west of the Warbies. There we could have grovelled up to 10,000feet again but that was beneath our dignity, and our ladies had organised meals in the club. Anyway I had by now eaten the last of the food, some grapes I luckily remembered, causing Bob to suggest I should provide a printed menu for him in the food store back there, so having achieved our aim we headed on down for a much needed shower and supper.
What an amazing day at Benalla!!

1st January 2019 Happy New Year

The honours for first flight of the new year went to Robin Birch, test flying the new (to us) K8 - an aircraft older than any of us on airfield. He managed to get it down in one piece and several others tried it out. The rest of us enjoyed aerotowing the K21 behind the newly uprated Euro Fox. Here's hoping for a great soaring year.

Saturday 29th January Part 2

Here is K13 FWB, well the starboard wing anyway, showing Fraser and Gerry attaching fabric to the refurbished wooden structure. We hope to have FWB back in time for soaring in the summer.


Sunday 18th November

We were more hopeful of being able to fly today, but the persistent low stratus made this impossible so we cancelled flying at midday. We used the morning to DI the cables and run through the Winter Refresher presentation.

Sat 29th Jan

11.15 Defeated by low cloud, flying for the day is cancelled.

Samtsirhc yppah

In reverse order; Sat 22nd was actually a nice flying day. LRT and the K23 came out to play, joined by the “new” Pirat syndicate. Twenty-odd flights done. Thanks to winch and truck volunteers. Good to meet Doug from The Park who dropped in to fly with us. Have a jolly good Christmas Day.

Happy Christmas!

The curse of Red Sunday strikes again.....cloudbase at QFE minus 50' and fine drizzle in the wind.

Flying weather forecast today means .... ?

Met office aviation forecast is showing 310deg / 30-45kts at midday which suggests best to cancel the trial lessons (which I'm in the process of doing) but waiting to see if it calms down for Club flying. We'll get the kit out and DI'd in case we get a weather opportunity but I'm not that optimistic - so if you make the journey, be prepared for some "out-and-returns" to the kettle and maybe an early scrub.

Paul Lazenby

Saturday December 8th the end

Well we managed three flights. All safely back in the hangar now.

Mind you, the sun has just come out again.... I wonder?

Saturday December 8th

Strong winds and forecast rain have not stopped us getting the kit out.

Let's see what happens


Sunday 25th November

A useful training day, especially for Tom Knight of UWE who went solo, seen here being congratulated by his instructor.

Sunday November 18th

Cleanup day for the DG500 trailer

Following its trip to Sutton bank for the Juniors winter series round one a group of UWE students and explorer scouts decided to give the big trailer a jet wash. It wasn't just dirt from the A1 that they had to scrub off! Well done guys.

If anyone else wants to wash their trailer or a club one we have a club jet wash which is available for you to use. If you don't know how to wash a trailer there is a training course available.


Photographs by Jerome Semichon

Sunday 18th November

After their display on Saturday evening, the two motor gliders departed around 0800 for Hus Bos after a runway beat up. With a brisk 16-18 knot easterly forecast, the operation was set up on 09. The first couple of flights were into poor visibility so with the conditions, a limited operation and a good number of UWE students to fly we decided to cancel the trial lessons for the day. It did improve later and some had extended flights but it was cold! We were glad of the hot soup and rolls available in the clubhouse after packing the kit away.
Thanks to everyone that helped.

Saturday 17th November

I was pleased I’d flossed my teeth this morning – on the One Day Course were Dentist Martin and Dental Technician Andrew. They were good sports and didn’t mind a bit being turned upside down on their last flights. Club members Philippa Roberts and Andrew Mugleston were getting married today down the road in Tetbury (I heard Philippa had a puncture going down the aisle, but I'm sure that’s not true). We wish them a long and happy life together – it ain't going to be dull. Luckily the weather gods got the memo and the clouds cleared around 11.00 to give a sunny if somewhat chilly day. We had a good day’s flying off the west end of the cross runway – there was even a bit of lift about. Many thanks to the UWE students and others for washing the DG500 trailer and to Dave Howell , Pete Laws and Stuart Thackray for driving the winch.

Wednesday November 14th

An excellent day's flying yesterday with a stiff breeze in the morning moderating to allow a few pilots a little soaring. The longest flight of the day was John Docherty's 14 minutes in LRT.

We hope to be flying again on Friday, do come along and join the fun.

Sunday 11 November

A small band of enthusiasts and helpers turned up including Tim Brailsford, all the way from Staffordshire. We had a good day with sunshine, mostly blue skies, some thermals, no rain and winds 220 / 20-25kts giving cracking launches for the 2 x Ka 21 and Ka 23 on the line. The head-on sun in the afternoon made landing alongside R/W 21 slightly tricky. Several trial lesson visitors enjoyed their flights and a Bristol University 3rd year aeronautical engineering lady student (“Georgie”), who is Silver C level and currently flying at Nympsfield, dropped in to see our operation. She left duly impressed, and we hope to see more of her.
Tim Brailsford last week gained his helicopter pilot’s licence, which will make his round trip from home in Staffs easier if more expensive (!). But the main good news today was seeing Adam Mayo back in action flying with instructors Darren and Simon, following his serious biking accident in Switzerland in the summer and subsequent hospitalisation for head injuries. He has made such good progress we are all relieved he’s fully on the mend and will be able to take up his role as a valued member of the active student / youth contingent at the Club.



Monday evening the wind increased so much that a trip to airfield was required to re position the Gliders left out overnight.
Tuesday 23rd was as forecast, 25kt winds and gusts of 40kts or more. All except Christoph decided that the rewards did not justify the risk and we would not fly.
Christoph self launched in his DG400, reaching 1000ft in the length of the airfield, looking more like a helicopter than a Glider. He managed a max climb in weak wave to 3000ft, spending as much time going backwards over the ground as he did forward. He made a safe landing a couple of hours later and we all retired for food.
Wednesday had promise, some the locals were up and away early aero towing or self launching into the hills. The rest including us waiting for the cloud to lift off the hill enough to enable us to launch, by 10 am the cloud started to clear and there was a steady stream of winch and Aero tow launches looking for wave.
The conditions were unusual with the outside air temp at 3000ft 8 deg c, and at 6000ft 15 deg c with the wave locally petering out at 7000ft.
All pilots contacted the wave achieving heights of over 6000ft, with notable achievements from Caleb McKinstry who reached 7000ft and Martin Hayward who flew the DG500 GBZ solo reaching over 6000ft on their first solo wave flights.
Picture shows The evening sky as we left the airfield.


Portmoak So Far

All 11 pilots and aircraft arrived safely and by Saturday evening and most got their paperwork signed ready for the week.
Sunday was forecast for rain in the morning, the forecast was correct and the airspace and weather briefing was well attended in the morning. The weather cleared lunch time and all the visiting gliders were rigged and enjoyed an afternoon on the ridge and very fickle weak wave.
Monday was forecast to wave with the winds strengthening in the afternoon, all except one launched in the morning and the wave worked, unfortunately the gaps kept filling in so 8000ft was the most we could get.

Saturday 21st September

What a great day, despite the fog to start and low cloud which gave us a rest at lunchtime, our first 10 UWE students had a great time and were kept busy by the duty team ably assisted by Jonathan Apperley and our new CFI Elliott Apperley. Other club members also helped out with running the launch point and a few of them flew. Chris Ashworth flew the two one-day courses. Thanks to Fran who is expecting another load of "First flights" tomorrow too, and anyone else I have missed!

18 October

winds 060/05 good visibility.

Interesting NOTAM for Kemble,

L6982/18: Kemble: Aerodrome : miscellaneous plain language
Q) EGTT/QFAXX/IV/NBO/A/000/999/5140N00203W005
FROM: 12 Oct 2018 13:46 GMT (14:46 BST) TO: 19 Oct 2018 16:00 GMT (17:00 BS

Soaring possibilities today.

Another great day.

Barrie Taylor joined us for the day and had a currency flight in the K23. Lesley popped in for a cuppa and chat, the LS3 and ventus ct came out for an airing, and the lawnmower came out to trim the grass.

Some fun flying for the course, with loops chandelles and cloud recovery practice.

A good area of grass was cut today, now it is getting cooler we hope the grass will stop growing so quickly.

The day ended with dinner and some red wine at the old Lodge. After all the Kemble restaurant was not available.

The pictures show david on sandwich making duties, the tractor off to the launchpoint, and a flight above the clouds.

17 October gosh thats a lot of batteries

light northerly winds. cloud bases rising to 3000ft. Very little thermal activity.

Good to see the regular club members here and welcome to our visitor Ben from Nympsfield.

The first decent day for course member Phil May who managed some excellent flights from start to finish. Lawrence and Collin were perfecting more advanced handling exercises.

Roger and Pat looked after the steady stream of club members, a very pleasant and chilled day at the launch point.

The picture shows Collin checking over the electric buggies batteries, doing the routing check before topping up with distilled water.

Dinner was an eclectic mix of contributions including triple chocolate ice cream produced by David Hart---delicious.

16 October Foggy start

winds 200/15 with fog to start and low cloud for most of the day.

The K21 has now had a polish and looks a lot better for it. Thanks to Collin, Lawrence and Ethan for your efforts here.

The flying incorporated launch failures and eventually circuits learning how to interpret a turn and slip and how an ASI may be used as a crude attitude indicator. At least we got the annual refreshers completed and had some fun---despite the weather.

The day finished with a debrief on the instrument flying and then a glass of wine and dinner in the club room. Another great day

15 October 2018

Low cloud and NE winds today with some drizzle.

Welcome to Collin Boden, Lawrence Wood and Phil May on the last course of 2018.

Ethan has joined us for a few days to assist at the launchpoint, good to see you.

Lecture this morning was on instrument flying, the way to use them and how to get yourself out of trouble if you do inadvertently enter cloud with a limited panel.

Thanks everyone for the time spent housekeeping the gliders. The untidy patchwork of electrical tape on the K21 canopy has now been removed and the club gliders have freshly polished canopies---much better.

The lecture in the afternoon was on ridge soaring and the Cotswold edge.

Sunday 14th October - no flying today

Morning, looking out the window and at the various met websites we can expect the current rain to persist until at least 1500 when it will go to showers.
There is not really any hope of good flying today so flying is cancelled. Enjoy your Sunday, maybe a lie in or quiet coffee somewhere...

Flying, Saturday 13th October 2018.

In case you're in any doubt, and after several hours sitting in the wind-swept Clubhouse, Robin and I have given up any hope of flying today. The wind-gauge was regularly showing 30+ knots, and the gust forecast was for gusts of 40-50mph. Actually, we cancelled the two one-day courses yesterday based on the forecast. Maybe conditions will have moderated by tomorrow afternoon.

12 October windy

Forecast winds 190/50 with rain.

Not a good day to go flying.

11 October, the winds finally stopped us.

winds 170/25 good visibility and occasional rain showers

Flying started with the launchpoint a long way down the runway to ensure cables drop clear of buildings etc. A very awkward direction. Initially the winds were quite light and not a problem for flying. As the morning progressed, the winds reached a limit and we were forced to stop.

meanwhile Nigel Payne flew the ASW19 for the first time and Matthew Veals converted to the K23.

After lunch briefings were on instrument flying followed by a talk on Mcready. Course dinner was at the Old Lodge, Fish and chips seemed to be the favourite choice, and a beer of course.

The outlook for Friday is grim, with strong winds and rain, oh well the first 4 days were good.

10 October

upper winds 140/20 and surface winds 100/10 visibility poor

Operations were from 09 today, a very busy course day with very productive training and plenty of practice landing on the runway. A total of 28 launches including 2 self launchers.

A few club members turned up but the wind direction was a little off putting.

Many thanks to our helpers Andy Davey and David Hart.

Outlook for tomorrow, winds 170, so probably on 21. Fresh but workable winds and the possibility of rain later in the day

Andy Davey and Pat at launch point control.

9 October Matthew Veals goes solo

winds 220/20 fog to start and broken wave thermal later.

The fog lifted quickly and the course flying got underway promptly.

Well done Matthew Veals for going solo.

Charles Linton started his winch training with David, a good example to us all thanks Charles.

Mr Janikowski used the launch facility to practice a few circuits in his discus before packing up his glider. The soaring wasnt quite as good as it looked.

Gerald was spotted waiting for lunch at the winch, mind you we think it might be son of Gerald.

Flyable tomorrow, but winds may be from the SE.

8 October

winds 230/20 cloud BKN at 2500 QFE

Welcome to 4 course members. Marcus Williams, Matthew Veals, Pat Lyengar and Nigel Payne.

A very busy course day that demanded an efficient turnaround to get everyone in the air. That was achieved so well done everyone, and particular thanks to our helpers, Colin Stringer, David Hart and Andy Davey for helping get the field set up and the team up to speed with the procedures.

John McWilliam was seen disappearing in his PIK 20E, other than that it was all quiet on the club flying front.

The outlook for Tuesday is much the same as today with slightly lighter winds.

This is the penultimate course week of the year, so make sure you keep current and at least fly a circuit or two.

5 October Dave Potter goes solo

winds 220/10, Fog to start. Cloud lifting to 2000ft QFE

More classroom work in the morning, followed by launch failure practice when the low cloud permitted.

Richard spent some time fettling the buggies, while Tom Egan stayed at home nursing his twisted ankle.

Welcome to our latest new member, Rex Lampier. Rex has spent 2 weeks on courses and has decided gliding is for him, he is now solo and flying the ASK23.

David Potter went solo today, well done to him. David is a member at Lasham and lives at Lee-on -the solent.

Matt Page was spotted swinging from a pair of steps in the caravan park. He was , in fact , installing a new aerial for the WIFI, we now have a good working system. Thanks Matt, we are all very grateful.

The end of another successful week, thanks to everyone for making it possible.

4 October Mike Farmer goes solo

winds 220/15, low cloud drizzle to start then clearing to CAVOK

The morning was spent in the classroom with lectures on Met and Altimetry.

By midday it was flyable with weak wave tantalizing the pilots.

Well done Mike Farmer for his first solo flights today, and to Dave Potter for his unprompted flights.

Dave Howell and Colin Stringer joined us, thanks very much for all your help.

The day ended with dinner at the old Lodge. On our return we met the cheery aero modellers, enjoying their meeting in the club bar.

We hope for another good day tomorrow.

3 October Club day

winds forecast at 290/20. Some thermal activity during the afternoon.

A really good day despite the less than inspiring forecast.

Roger Bagley and Pat Greer kept the club flying going, while the course guys spent the day in the K13 doing various spinning exercises. Rex Lampier did his personal best soaring flight of a little under the hour.

Grass cutting around the caravan park thanks to David Hart and the South field thanks to Andy Smart.

2 self launchers went off at the end of the day to explore the wave at the Malverns.

2 October

winds 290/20 cloud bases around 1400ft QFE.

2 club single seaters and the K21 out today, operating on 27. The farmers bales are now gone, so no obstructions on the field now.

The course team managed an extremely crisp launch rate and so everyone managed plenty of training flights.

Rex is now flying the K23, while Colin Stringer kept current with the ASW19.

The course guys practised launch failures, too fast signals, various stalling exercises and circuit planning---great progress being made.

The outlook for Wednesday is similar and Thursday and Friday lighter winds but grey

1 October great start to another course

NW winds and good soaring from around 12 noon.

Welcome to Mike Farmer, Rex Lampier and David Potter.

Rex resoloed and Mike and David worked omn launch failures.

Thanks to David Hart and Colin Stringer for their help at the launchpoint.

Saturday 29th September

What a beautiful day; blue skies, little wind and for a few hours there were thermals to 2500'. Instructors were kept busy with the one-day-course and a few UWE students flying K21 and K13. Our vintage fleet was represented by the Skylark 2 (Mk4) and ETPS Oly 2b, both of which soared nicely. A few more modern private owners kept the launch point busy as well and we even saw the DG400 take a wire launch instead of using his pop up motor. Thanks to duty winch drivers, log keepers and helpers for making the day run smoothly.

Saturday 29th September

What a wonderful day. 100% turnout from red team, four club gliders at the launchpoint by 10 am. Clear blue skies and a light wind brought some thermals by lunchtime and a few private owners brought out a variety of aircraft for some local soaring, including Adrian and Frank with their 1957 Skylark and Robin's even older Oly. Finally former UWE student Dan Van de Werf unpacked his shiny new Cirrus for his first couple of flights.

Tuesday 25th, fine Autumn day on a quiet airfield

Thanks to the superior winching skills of the chairman and help from David Hart and Colin Stringer several pilots had three hours each in the air today.

Club flying tomorrow, and maybe we do the same again on Thursday as Andy Smart has kindly offered to winch. (Perhaps I will get to fly then too!)

If you want to fly Thursday please let Fran Knowles know as as she will be coordinating. We still need an instructor to supervise winching. (He gets the last launch?)

Fran's contact details will follow.


Sunday 9th September

Windy day on runway 27. We cancelled 4 of the trial lessons but flew the 2 who were already on their way. Was soarable to 2500’ for a couple of hours so a few extended flights. Finished early when everyone had filled their boots and then de-rigged LRT and the Astir ready for their ARCs.

Saturday 8th Sept

Brilliant day today with One Day Course students after the rain cleared to thermals.

Friday the 7th.

Last day of this week’s course for Howard, David and John and an interesting day. A forecast of a strengthening westerly meant setting up on runway 27, it was a bit hit and miss in contacting the thermals, but when we did, climbs to 4000’ were available with some fantastic views in the clear air. A few club members also took advantage of the day and we had a drop in from a Lasham pilot who had an aerotow retrieve back home.

6 September club day

winds 360/10 cloudbases 3300 QFE

A busy club day with several private owners and club gliders on the grid. many thanks to everyone for making the day run smoothly.

Soaring was better than expected with several notable flights, Climbs locally were 2 to 4 knots.

On the course John Hammond resoloed, David Potter is now the unprompted pilot and Howard Bunn is almost the handling pilot.

The remainder of the week looks flyable.

4 September Low cloud and launch failures

winds 010/10, very low cloud and drizzle to start. Clearing early pm.

Perfect conditions to practice ultra low and low launch failures. Later practising signal too fast and abandoning the launch.

In between the good spells, classroom work included unravelling DALRs and SALRs and how we determine thermal heights and cloudbase.

The weather Wednesday will be much improved, but still not like our glorious summer.

3 September another course begins

winds 340/15 visibility 30K, thermals early afternoon to 3400 QFE

The day started with a cable change, many thanks to Tom and Dave for the assistance.

John Hammond, David Potter and Howard Bunn join us on the course this week. The day was spent getting everyone up to speed with the equipment and how to use it. Hopefully John will resolo again this week and David will get closer to solo (David is a member at Lasham). Howard is a newbie and is now just getting to grips with how the controls work.

Many thanks to Dave Breeze who spent a few hours on the tractor today cutting the grass---which has now started to grow again.

Barry Green and Alan Carter spent much of the evening planning their trip to inspect an SF27.

The outlook for the week is a little mixed but should be flyable all week for those who want to pop along and keep current.

29 August Club day

winds 330/15, soarable pm

Mike and his team had a successful day with the sportability group, managing to get into wave in the afternoon.

The course all tried their hand at thermalling, David dawkins is now the handling pilot while Tiago and Jason have now mastered fully held off landings.

Roger and Tony kept the club flying going.

The outlook for Thursday is good after about 11 am, a high pressure setting up with associated light winds and strong thermals.

Tony Parker will be running the field on Friday, many thanks to him.

Mon/Tuesday 27/28 August

Welcome David Dawkins, Tiago Oliveira and Jason Jennette onto the course.

Much quieter on the airfield now as the last of the nationals visitors depart.

Training well underway now, well done to Tiago for converting to the K23.

Roger Smith joined us on Tuesday and enjoyed the soaring slot in the afternoon. Gentle thermals to around 3000ft QFE.

The rest of the week looks flyable and potentially some good soaring later in the week.

Wednesday 15th August A quiet club day

winds 230/25 vis 25 K drizzle am with low cloud

One club member (Paul) today with Roger Bagley to start and Tony later.

The drizzle delayed flying for a while, then the low cloud limited activity to launch failure practice. lectures and discussion (aviation) on the bus with bacon sarnies and jam rolls.

Condition brightened in the afternoon with a short soaring window. Mike and Patrick continued to practice solo in the K21 while Rhys tackled the awkward cross wind very competently.

A cold front is expected Thursday am with rain, this should clear to give a short soaring window in the afternoon.

A few more trailers have arrived as competitors ready themselves for the competition.

Tuesday 14 August

winds 200/15 visibility 35K , modest thermals for part of the day.

Patrick Moran and Mike Walker now solo , while Rhys and Sebastian continue their training.

Ruth took her last launch of this season before returning to the wild north. Similarly John who will be doing the breakfast for the nationals took a currency launch before putting the ASW20 safely away in its trailer.

Some activity now as preparations begin for the Nationals next week, areas being marked out and grass trimming to make the place look more respectable.

The course had its own challenges with all 3 buggies out of action for a few hours, the exercise pushing the gliders helps to keep the waistline in perfect shape! Many thanks to Robin Birch for repairing the K21 puncture.

Probably a little breezy tomorrow, rain expected Thursday am and some good soaring pm.

Monday 13th August

Vis 30K winds 310/15

Welcome to Patrick Moran, Rhys Williams, Sebastian Archer and Michael Walker. Yes another week of intensive training and development begins.

Patrick and Rhys are on their 2nd week this season and hope to solo this week. Sebastian was nearly solo 5 years ago and so is hoping to make some good progress this week and Michael ,an ATPL from Hong Kong) was solo several years ago and is hoping to get back into the saddle this week.

Great to see both tractors out today giving the grass a trim. many thanks to those involved.

The soaring forecast is a bit mixed this week, Tues day not looking brilliant but still flyable.

The evening talk was on launch failures ---in readiness for tomorrow.

Congratulations David Roberts

David Roberts, a BGA vice president, has been awarded the prestigious FAI Silver Medal for 2018.

The award citation notes;

David Roberts has dedicated much of the last 20 years to defending the rights of the Air Sports community throughout Europe.

He has served terms of office with the European Gliding Union, as a Chairman of the British Gliding Association and as Chairman (and now Vice President) of the Royal Aero Club of the UK, as well as numerous positions within the Cotswold Gliding Club.

David joined the Board of Europe Air Sports in 2003 and was elected President in 2009, a role which he fulfilled until standing down in March 2018.

In early 2012 he initiated a challenge to the European regulators to adopt a different approach to the regulation of recreational and sporting aviation and was a leading member of the small team, under the leadership of the French CAA (the DGAC) that wrote the European General Aviation (GA) Safety Strategy paper in 2012, and which led directly to the European Commission’s “GA Roadmap” which is now being implemented.

David has been a vital contributor to the development of European Regulations, ensuring representation for the interests of the European Air Sports Community at the highest level.

CGC joins the wider Air Sports community in thanking David and congratulating him on this highly deserved recognition by the FAI.

Cotswold Airport Scholarship Day

On Tuesday the club again took part in Cotswold Airport's scholarship program by introducing the 10 scholars to gliding. The feedback suggests that they all had a great day with all of them experiencing soaring flights. Quite a few of the scholars had only flown in commercial airplanes before so it was really satisfying to be able to introduce them to 'real' flying. They were also kept busy in retrieving gliders, helping at the launchpoint, visits to the winch and having to think about the questions posed by Simon and myself at any time we were on the ground. The scholars were at the start of a 2 week program which includes aerobatics, drone flying, helicopters, flex wing as well as visits to Brize Norton and other aviation companies. This is a fantastic program open to 14-18 year olds and more details can be found at -

Many thanks to Simon Buckley, Roger Smith, David Roberts, David Hart and anyone else that helped on the day. (I know there are only 9 scholars in the picture, one was still at the winch!)

5th August

Another excellent soaring day - perhaps the last of this exceptional summer?

Two flights over 400 Km were flown by Andy Smith and John Macwilliam.

Craig Mustowe completed the navigation part of his Cross-country Endorsement in the DG500

6 August

winds 250/10, visibility 30K

Welcome to Alison Elliott, Roger Johnson and Brian McDermid.

3 August last day of course

thermals late starting winds light NW

bacon sarnies on the bus at 8 am, first launch before 8.

Patrick Moran resoloed, Brian McDermid converted to the ASK23 and Max now flying unprompted flights and very close to solo.

The launch point was busy with many club members trying to soar in the difficult conditions and getting relaunches. Meanwhile a K8 from Nympsfield taunted us by soaring happily before landing at Aston Down. A total of 3 gliders from Nympsfield arrived during the day.

Our new CFI Simon Lucas popped in to see us , we all offer our thanks for the work Gerry Holden, our outgoing CFI, did for us.

1 August Grant off on his travels

210/15 thermals to about 4000ft QFE

A busy club day, the T21 came out for an airing and Robin and Tony Parker spent the day flying it and taking visitors up for a treat.

The soaring conditions were delayed by top cover which reduced the thermal strengths.

The regular Wednesday team helped keep the launchpoint operating smoothly, thanks in particular to Paul who managed to get trapped on the logkeeping all day. Lesley popped in for a flying visit, great to see her.

The course did well, spinning in the K13 was the order of the day for Brian and Patrick, meanwhile Max is getting to grips with circuits.

The outlook for Thursday is not so great for soaring, frontal systems have changed the picture somewhat. Briefing is planned for 7am and last launch 15.45.

Friday looks like some modest local soaring pm. Last launch still 16.00hrs.

Dinner at the tunnel house later was very pleasant.

31 July another good soaring day

220/15. cloudbases rising to 5000ft QNH

A very quiet morning before the thermals started going. Lots of lone pilots arrived for a launch and the course guys stepped up and got them launched with very few complaints---well done to the course guys who in some cases have less than 2 days experience, also thanks to those who stopped to give us a hand.

Everyone on the course had a decent soaring flight and some soaring training. The evening briefing was on finding and making good use of a thermal.

The evening flying group was busy again, flying visitors on flight experiences.

Wednesday will be good soaring, club day, Grant Needham sets off on his travels, cycling in the evening, and the course dinner at the Tunnel House.

Thursday will be more good soaring and Davids birthday.

Friday good pm and last launch 4 pm

30 July a new course begins.

Winds 200/20, isolated showers of rain cloudbases 1500-2500 QNH.

The fibre optic cable for the internet has been replaced and fingers crossed it will now be trouble free. Thanks to Matt for organising it and supervising the BT crew.

The new course starts today with Patrick Moran and his son (Max) and Brian McDermid. Patrick is a repeat course member as is Brian.,---both working towards bronze C.

Brian McDermid and his wife Pauline have joined the club now and will bring their caravan to AD this week.

The outlook for tomorrow is still breezy but flyable, winds easing for Wednesday. Both days should be good soaring.

29 July Internet back on--very breezy day

Thanks to the efforts of Matt Page the internet is now back on while BT try to figure out why the new optic line is not working.

The course went well. Bob Carter went solo again his daughter Isabel is now an "unprompted pilot". Charlie Palmer, another junior is now the "handling pilot" as is Solomon Hodson (nephew to Adrian Giles). Many thanks to all the helpers this week, we couldnt have had a successful week without you.

You might notice the bus coolant level glass is now clear so it can be used properly, Tim Brailsford busied himself with this task on Saturday. Sadly no flying on Saturday due to the weather.

Sunday weather was dreadful, synoptic chart shown below.

The week ahead will show steadily improving weather, a new course starts on Monday, cycling on the airfield on Wednesday evening.

Grant Needham will be leaving us on Wednesday to start is motorhome tour of Europe, I am sure everyone will join me in a vote of thanks for his background support and wish him a safe tour.

20 July Matthew and Ben go solo

winds 240/05, visibility 30K

Lots of helicopter activity today, and some very good soaring.

Good to see so many club members out flying the club single seaters.

Very well done to Ben and Matthew Mc Evoy who went solo today.

18th Club day, its all about teamwork

very light winds and a soaring window from around 10 am to 5pm

Roger Bagley got the club flying underway and the course continued into another very long day.

Notam class D airspace nailed us to the ground in the morning, and a 2nd Notam appeared mid afternoon to limit our activities for a little under an hour.

It was a day for things to be repaired and that is when the team kicked into action. The pics tell it all, the bus main and auxialiary batteries were giving trouble with a quick fix from Richard and Tom, Robin did a pit stop on the K21 to get the brakes wirelocked properly, meanwhile ben and Matthew rigged up an alternative signalling system. A repair to the K21 tail dolly---it gets a lot of wear when we are doing launch failures and the electric buggy ran out of electrons and needed to be towed home. Thanks everyone for keeping smiling and keeping us flying---phew what a day.

Austin Rose completed his 2nd soaring flight for the cross country endorsement and all the course guys are now flying unprompted flights.

17 July an early start.

Robert resoloed today, very well done to him.

many thanks to Ethan who made an early start to help get flying going, briefing was at 7.45 to help catch up a slow day on Monday.

The evening flying took over at 6pm.

Soaring was mixed weather cycling fairly regularly. Cloudbases at around 4500ft QFE.

For the 2nd day running Jules (of Duvet fame) gave the grass a manicure. More volunteers would be appreciated.

Club day tomorrow, and some more good soaring.

16 July

Winds 200/10 visibility 20K, thermic from about 12 oclock

Welcome to Matthew and Ben McEvoy, Philip Carter and Robert McLachlan.

Thanks again to Robin Birch for getting the 2 K21s airworthy---where would we be without him?

It was good to see club members flying the K23 and the K13, some good soaring was had in the afternoon.

Another good day tomorrow, see you all there.

13 July last day of the course

The weather has been hot all week, poor David suffered a little sunstroke and was forced to take a day of rest on Wednesday.

Wednesday was very busy, with thermals going to 6000ft, see gthe picture of the grid!! Thanks to everyone who stepped up and helped get the launchpoint moving smoothly. We all noticed how dependent we are on our winch driver.

The Seahawk guys from Culdrose had a super week and put in 110% on the airfield, great to have you with us.

Remy (from Challock) went solo again and converted into the K23, Eddy (from Ringmer)has now mastered circuits and landings and has started on launch failures. Patrick (a local man) is now flying with a few prompts from the instructor. Well done everyone , good effort. Caroline and Will spent the entire week giving back up at the launchpoint.

Airspace restrictions over Aston Down due to the Fairford air display meant we could only climb to 3000ft QFE, however this was no real hardship and pilots moved off to the west in the remarkable soaring conditions we were given.

Thursday dinner was at the Tunnel house, good company, good beer and good food---what could be better.

The pictures show Eddy at 4000ft, Remy getting prepared to go solo and the busy wednesday grid.

10 July course well underway

Winds 020/10, visibility 30K, blue thermals to 6000ft

A steady return to normality after the busy competition week.

The Farnborough RIAT is now in place with an agreement that we have a sector up to 3000ft QFE.

Winchie David went home unwell , many thanks to Doug and Robin for stepping in and driving the winch for us.

The Culdrose expedition are enjoying themselves and benefiting from the good soaring conditions.

Remy , Patrick and Eddy are getting on well with the course---well on target for achieving their objectives.

Another good soaring day expected tomorrow---see you there.

29 June Will Haye goes solo on 5th day of course.

Another hot day with winds forecast 070/10.

competitors for Enterprise start to arrive.

Congratulations to William Haye, who went solo on the 5th day of the course. A very good effort on his part, and we hope to see more of him as he strives for his bronze C.

28 June Barnaby Haye goes solo

Winds 060/10 mainly blue with Cu developing in athe afternoon.

The warm breeze kept the air feeling a little cooler today.

The Surrey Hills guys kept the field running for us, many thanks chaps. fran, Andy and Dave Freeman ventured out and were treated to a great afternoon of flying.

Barnaby Haye went solo after a gap of some decades today, well done to him. He then went off and flew for over an hour just to prove he could do it.

The day finished with a great BBQ, (many thanks to Mike Weston for organising the food and then cooking it!).Meanwhile the evening group took many first timers up for a taster.

27 June club day

Winds 090/15 at flying heights. Blue with a low inversion.

The course continues well, Will is now flying circuits and making a pretty good job of them.

Mike Weston took care of the 2 one day course visitors, father and son had a great day.

The front tyre popped off the rim on ENK. many thanks to Pat Greer and Robin for getting it back into service.

By 5pm the thermals were going to 2400ft above the field and Mike took advantage of the conditions to show our visitors a little more about soaring.

A smart new concrete entrance is now going down at the front of the new workshop.

The next few days will no doubt see increased activity as preparations are underway for Enterprise. Mike Weston will be available for
site checks.There will not be a winch facility on Friday pm but undoubtably there will be a few willing tug pilots. Friday will probably be blue again.

26 June, John goes walkabout

Yesterday the Pik20E flew to RAF Llanbedr where they used to launch the target Jindivik UAVs for us to shoot down - there’s one in a hangar at Benalla, maybe because they were an Australian design.

Good enough locally but a climb to 6,000 feet quickly got across the dead air in the Severn valley and into decent lift again near Hereford. There 5,000ft climbs were available, improving to 6,000ft as the afternoon progressed.

The first photo is looking down the estuary towards Barmouth, about 20km short of Llanbedr.

The second shows Llanbedr airfield but more obviously the sea surface has a dark line caused by the tide running over a reef underneath, which is rumoured to be an old path to Ireland!!?? They found ancient forest trees near here after a huge gale recently.

The last photo was taken above Barmouth on the way home. There is a sea breeze coming in against the northeast wind and the resulting sea-breeze front is showing brown at top on the left, with a heath fire adding to it. I ran that convergence all the way as far as Hay-on-Wye on the way home to Aston Down.

Regards, John


Calendars will be provided in future for composers of these Blogs

Tuesday 15 June Blue day

Winds 090/05, blue thermals pm.

Matthew Okuhara, Barney Haye and William Haye on the course this week. William and Matthew are now handling the entire flight with prompts and Barney has just started on his launch failure refresher training.

The Surrey Hills expedition dragged the K23 out for an airing and like the rest of us, spent time keeping out of the sun.

The Spartan event stuff is now almost gone, and we expect preparations for the upcoming Enterprise week to begin soon. The showers are looking good after their refurbishment.

David Hart spent another day supporting the ground operations and grabbed a flight in the K23.

Jules flew his "duvet" before spending some time cutting grass in the caravan area in a bid to make it look a little tidier, thanks Jules.

The outlook for the rest of the week looks mainly blue and hot. Course flying will start at 7 am on Thursday and Friday and the last launch will be 1pm on Friday---this will give the Enterprise organisers some time for preparation.

Sunday 24th June - Spartan

Reduced runway again today because of the Spartan event but we were still able to get around 1200' in the light north westerly. Not too much interest from club members, guess the event and a certain football match had some impact!. Having said that, John Petrie made the most of the opportunity for some extended instruction and Jon Huband was kept busy flying Jack, a newish junior member. Soaring flights up to the inversion level were available for most of the day with improving conditions later in the day, Phillipa got to know more about her new purchase, Robin D had another flight in the Ventus, the Kenley guys had some soaring in their Vega and Doug as usual, disappeared off somewhere. Thanks to everyone who helped today.

..Mike W.

20 June A busy club day

Winds 240/10 cloudbase about 1000ft QFE.

Operating on 21 until freshening winds forced a move onto 27.

The day started with the hanger shuffle, moving the Pawnee to the rear of the hanger and the single seaters to the front. Thanks guys for the help.

Grass cutting continued on an ad hoc basis, Lawrence Wood and Paul Baker volunteered to do some mowing rather than sit around waiting for the weather to perk up. We now have a large area cut, fantastic job. As usual more volunteers required so we dont burden a few number, an hour each will do it easily.

Barrie Taylor and Jim Eva spent the day polishing their skills in readiness for good soaring on Thursday and Friday. Chris Sanderson is now the "handling pilot" coping with the entire flight from take off to landing.

Roger Bagley got the club flying underway and Tony Hayes took over a little later. Drizzle stopped play around 1pm.

The instructor training started after normal flying had finished and continued well into the evening.

Preparation for the Spartan event progresses satisfactorily, the South field will be out of bounds for flying ops from tomorrow (Thursday).

The outlook for the next two days is excellent, fingers crossed the forecast is accurate.

19 June

Winds 230/15 cloudbases rising to around 1500ft.

The course continues, Barrie and Jim completed their launch failure refreshers and were off solo in the K21. Meanwhile Chris was learning the art of trimming.

Many thanks to David Hart for assisting on the winch and to Grant who is persevering with the shower refurbishment in readiness for Enterprise.

Grass cutting has started now. Volunteers to do an hour or so will be welcome, let me know if you are a qualified driver.

Pictures of David Hart in the truck and Jim Eva at the K21

18 June Course week starts

winds 260/20, visibility 30K cloud cover expected later (1000ft QFE) Wave

The Pawnee arrived and is now safely in the hanger ready for competition Enterprise.

The Spartan event preparation is now underway on the edge of the south field.

Barrie Taylor, Chris Sanderson and Jim Eva join us on the course this week.

Operating off runway 27, the guys had a good day of refreshers, the evening briefing was on effects of controls and threat and error management.

14 June end of another course week

Another very good course week.

Overall the weather was not as soarable as might be expected for June, but a couple of days showed some promise.

Simon Stannard filled his boots flying the K23. Simon from Derby and Lancs club is a solo pilot, getting closer to his bronze C.

Richard Kennett resoloed, having been on courses before finds it an effective way of getting concentrated flight training into the week.

Lolan Naicker went solo for the first time on the Friday. Well done to him.

David Hart got checked out as a winch driver under the training of Dave Taylor. david is thinking about adding birds nest soup to the menu?

It was good to see members taking advantage of midweek flying and using the club single seaters. Adrian Irwin gave the ASW19 an airing on Friday.

8 June last day of course Mick Keats go solo

winds 060/05. cloudbases starting at 1300ft QFE and forecast to clear with a lowish inversion.

4 people on the course this week Andrew and Mick Keats, Collin Boden and Lawrence Wood. Andrew and Mick got themselves up to solo standard and Mick went solo, sadly the grass collection operations started and Andrew was unable to finish off his training. Well done to both of these very nice guys.

Collin and Lawrence are both club members and spent their week developing their flying skills and flew more advanced exercises as part of their post solo training.

The week was not particularly good for soaring, but everyone had a lot of fun.

An eventful few days

generally very mixed weather with grey skies and low cloud and some very heavy rain.

The course activity continues,

Tuesday saw both Chris and Marek practising launch failures, while marek acted as interpreter while we tried tom teach Wytek (polish speaking ) to fly.

Richard and Tom were seen buried under the grass cutting tractor examining the faulty gearbox. Grant cut the grass to mark the area set aside for the farmers sillage.

Tuesday evening it was time for ENK to have a puncture on the main runway. The photo shows Marek attemting to re-inflate the wheel. Eventually the glider was moved to the side to let our expert Robin take a closer look.

Wednesday gave us very heavy rain and low cloud bases, meanwhile Robin repaired the inner tube and ENK was back in business.

Marek and Chris worked on their bronze theory in preparation for their written and oral tests.

Thursday had a dreadful forecast with warnings of significant storms. These did not materialise until later in the day---so we took advantage of the respite and worked on the skills test. Jules came out and flew his duvet for an hour or so, and described his flight with 2 red kites, really good fun. The glider was put away before the heavens opened at 4.30.

David Hart completed his first winch launches under the watchful eye of David .Chris Godding completed his bronze C exam, well done Chris.It was off to the Butchers arms for a well earned meal and a beer or two.

28 May Bank holiday and a new training course begins

misty to start with winds 060/05. low cloud most of the day, steadily rising to 1000ft.

The forecast improvement in cloudbase didnt materialise.

many thanks to Paul Lazenby Tim Brailsford and David Hart for your assistance, sadly Paul didnt get the weather conditions to take his friend flying and Tim didnt get the conditions for his hoped for soaring flight in the ASW19---he did however have the longest flight of the day (well 8 minutes is better than nothing).

The course had a good day, starting with the inevitable launch failure and low circuit training. Briefings on aircraft limitations and altimetry in preparation for the bronze C oral test. Bronze exams this week and preparation for the flying skills test.

meanwhile Richard and his shadow inspected and repaired various pieces of ground equipment (including my injured metal eagle---er inoors will be pleased). Dave Breeze got the mower out and gave the hangar field a trim---that was before the hydraulic hose came off! oh well back to the workshop.

We look forward to an improving day tomorrow.

24 May A fantastic training day

Low cloud to start rising to around 1200ft QFE

The Aim Higher team spent the day learning more cross country theory, a very good use of poor wather time.

Adrian (our chairman) spent time fettling his skylark 2.5 (at least that is what I think it is).

The course spent a few hours in the classroom before going out and consolidating launch failure practice as well as landing on a runway. James Purviss is now flying good safe unprompted flights and just learning how to deal with launch failure, Davishas now completed 10 solo flights.

Dinner was at the Bell in Sapperton . coincidentally the course and the Aim Higher group both chose the Bell. Cotswold Gliding Club took over the pub for the evening!

23 May, club day David Westcott goes solo

winds 040/10, starting overcast and going blue with thermals to 2500ft.

Roger Bagley got the show on the road in preparation for Tony Hayes. The club flying was steady with winter refreshers featuring highly on the schedule. The Wednesday crew did their normal excellent job, keeping the launch rate going---good teamwork, thanks chaps.

Our visitors from Burn gave their aircraft a further airing today, hard work but good fun.

David Westcott went solo for the first time, congratulations to him. David is another member from Dartmoor and is preparing to be able to fly his newly acquired K6. Meanwhile James Purviss is now flying unprompted circuits, very well done to him.

David Hart, a professional driving instructor, spent the afternoon with Sally Purviss teaching her the finer points of towing caravans and trailers. We are very fortunate to have an experienced towing specialist available to the club members.

The Aim Higher group spent time in the classroom learning the finer points of cross country flying.

Our CFI took the motor glider on a field landing training session---its all go!

21 May Day 1 of course 10 and Aim Higher group

Light winds 060/05 few clouds at 4000ft QFE, thunderstoms and heavy rain and grains of snow predicted later in the day.

The course gets off to a good start with good introductory soaring flights, james getting to grips with controls and trimming, while David converts to a K21 from his accustomed K13 (Dartmoor).

The Aim Higher group emerged from their morning briefing to attempt to put some of the ideas into practice.

It was good to see jules flying his "duvet" . The visitors from Burn enjoyed flying their LAK in new surroundings.

2 grass cutters going today, thanks to Jules and Grant, the lawn is beginning to take shape again.

Many thanks to David Hart, Chris Power and Steve Purkiss for their help on the ground.

Visibility became very poor with towering cumulus until the heavens opened, can you believe rivers running through the hangar.

The picture shows james flying towards a developing CuNim

Sunday 20th May

Another very good day.

Perhaps the pundits were exhausted by their previous day's efforts but tasks so far posted to the National Ladder were more modest.

The beginners continued to enjoy more soaring and upper air exercises, so are now realising what gliding is all about.

Two visiting Australians who dropped in were highly delighted to experience the joys of soaring, saying they would look up a suitable place to take up the sport when they got back home.

Saturday 19th May

Light winds and strong thermals with cumulus provided an excellent day for both pundits and beginners.

Two tasks over 600 km were completed and two over 500: -
668 Km by Andy Smith, 655 by Jonathan Huband.
505 each by Doug Gardner and Mike Weston, Doug in his 15 mtr LS3 without water.

The UWE members were astonished by soaring to 4-5000 ft on every flight, when all their previous experience had been 7 minute winter circuits.

Congratulations to Craig Mustoe on achieving his Silver Height and Silver Duration, and to Adam Mayo for getting Silver Height and his 2 hour flight for his XC endorsement.

18 May The last day of course 9

lighter winds, cumulus and strong thermals.

The 8.15 morning briefing was well attended.

The course finished on a high note with Chris Owen completing his 2nd qualifying flight for his cross country endorsement. All 3 pilots achieved their goals this week.

For a change the K21 flew mini triangles while Pete Harvey polished his soaring skills and inter thermal techniques.

Another very busy day at the launchpoint, thanks everyone who pitched in and helped.

The picture is Pete Harvey starting to climb away near Kemble.

17 May Blue, Soarable and very busy

Winds 060/10, visibility 40K, blue conditions and thermic from around 10am

Day 4 of the course, and the team are doing well. Well done Chris Owen to be soaring a good 45 minutes before the pundits got going.

Another landing area has now had a grass trim, thanks to Grant Needham.

Andy Smith took a little trip down to Parham, not bad for an afternoon jaunt.

As you can see from the picture, the launch point became very busy, with both aerotow and winch operations, thanks to everyone involved in trying to unravel the logsheet muddle.

Rumour also has it that a silver 5 hour was completed today , more news on that as soon as I have an update.

Chris Power arrived to lend a hand and was rewarded with a flight in the K21, easily climbing away to 3500ft before practising stalls and general handling, a pretty fair job for someone who hasnt flown since October!

Tomorrow promises to be another good day.

16 May Busy club day

Winds 030/15 visibility 15K and some isolated rain showers
Kemble class D until 9.45 am

The Parham boys took themselves off to the Yeovilton Air Museum for the day.

Well done to Chris Owen resoloed in the K23.

Robin Birch stood in as duty instructor and found himself busy and that was before the 5 UWE students arrived! between us we managed to complete all the training, and a good day was had by all.

Once again many thanks to the regular Wednesday crew for helping us run a slick launchpoint .

The instructor team took over at the end of the regular flying day and undertook their own aerotw refresher training with Gerry.

Should be a reasonable soaring day tomorrow, fingers crossed.

Tuesday 15 May Blue day

winds 360/10 CAVOK, blue thermals from around 12 noon.

It was good to see Jules and his flying duvet this morning, a splash of colour brightens everyones day.

The Parham group had a good time once the thermals started to burst into life. Adrian Irwin,on the course, completed his aerotow training and went off solo in the K23--well done to him.

Grant started the grass cutting in the hangar field, many thanks to him, and thanks to Steve for volunteering to help out at the launchpoint.

Evening flying started today

Caption for the picture---Ok then, where are the thermals exactly?

14 May Blue thermal day

Winds 350/10, CAVOK, strong thermals from 11 am.

Kemble Class D airspace restricted activity during part of the afternoon, but otherwise a quiet day

Course No 9 started today. Welcome Pete Harvey, Chris Owen and Adrian Irwin. All 3 are now solo, and we are hoping the ASW19 will be back on line for them sometime during the week.

Andy Smith managed the Mynd and back, well done in blue conditions. Mostly pilots stayed local with lengthy soaring flights.

Looks like more of the same tomorrow.

Chris Owen is seen here packing up after a productive first day of the course.

Tuesday 8th May

Temperatures were much more pleasant today after the searing heat of the previous few days. Robert, Richard and John, all from the IOW are progressing well on the course. The farmer dropped in and cut the grass today (hurrah!) so after removing grass from ENK's nose wheel a few times we opted for runway landings. Hopefully the grass will be picked up today. Tony Parker conducted some refresher training with Shobdon's CFI, giving the tractor driver a scare in the process!

1 May Silver distance, a first solo, and bronze exam completed

Winds 220/25, good visibility and a few showers later in the day.

Well done to Stephen Fletcher, a pilot from Dartmoor GC who has completed his silver distance flight, well done to Rex Lampier on his first solo, and Martin Capps a pilot from Usk who passed his bronze C exam.

It was good to see a bunch of club members who decided today would be a better flying day than Wednesday , smart move! Thanks for all your help guys.

The K21 (LRT) was delivered back today, the workshop has more steelwork on it, and the motor gliders were out in force giving themselves an airing.

Picture shows Steve having a senior moment, putting little bits in a bin with big holes in it?

30 April some great soaring

winds 360/25 and gusty in the morning. strong thermals pm.

The grass outside the hangar is now trimmed, and it looks great.

The course is underway with Mike Bennett, Rex Lampier and Martin Capps, welcome also to Stehen Fletcher who has joined us with his own open cirrus. Mike and Martin have now gone solo in the K21 and are working on their bronze C, some good saoring flights were had pm.

The workshop has now sprung up, steelwork emerging from the mud below.

We look forward to another good day tomorrow.

27 April turned into some good soaring

winds 250/25 with the risk of Cunims.

Operating from 27 for the 2nd time this week. Soaring became excellent later in the day with a mix of blue thermals and wave.

It was good to see Lesley at the launchpoint, complete with delicious nibbles for everyone.

Colin Stringer took advantage of the offer to fly the ASW19---he didnt need telling twice.

A couple private owners braved the weather and came out to join us, sadly Adrian Giles spent the best part of the day doing essential fettling to his glider.

The day ended with dinner at the Canal Tunnel.

Picture of the ASW19 ready to go and a view from 4000ft QFE.

25 April Windy club day

Forecast winds 250/25 with gusts. risk of showers good visibility.

The airfield was very busy with drones at one end and cycling races in the evening.

Good to see some club members out braving the winds, thanks for the help guys.

The course continues well with Brian McDermid now re soloed, Brian Goodspeed getting back into flying after an 8 year layoff and newbie Philip Orchard now flying the entire flight under the direction of the instructor.

Gerald is back and knows a soft touch when he sees one. Winchie David now has to share his lunch!

19 April

A very warm day. Blue. winds finally 240/05.

The launchpoint was busy with pilts giving their gliders an airing.

Thanks Roger for giving the K23 a good wash and clean out.

The course continues well, pilots making progress.

Tony Parker had a visitor from Usk, completing his BI rating.

Climbs were possible to around 3000ft QFE better than predicted.

18 April club day and cycle race

winds 190/20 cloudbases rising from 1500ft to 3500ft

A busy club day with many pilots trying to complete their annual refreshers and competing for the club single seaters.

Good thermals around midday and continuing into the afternoon.

A burbling noise attracted our attention as this rather nice vintage sports car worked its way around the perimeter track.

A cycle race curtailed flying as a national cycle competition took over the airfield.

Good to see Andy Miller and Mike Fox pop in with the motor glider.

The evening finished with a briefing on thermal techniques, the course continuing to go well.

17 April day 2 Course 5 A little windy

Winds 200/45, vis 30K, Rain later,cloudbases 1500ft QFE

4 members on the course, including one instructor (Steve Moore from Culdrose) having refresher training.

Brian McDermid a helicopter engineer, Trevor Ledger and Phil May retired serial course members.

Many thanks to Steve Glasset and Adrian Giles who stepped in to winch while David went to get treatment for his pulled muscle.

The flying could be described as sporting with 45 knot upper winds and significant wind gradients, a steep learning curve for everyone, but really good fun.

The weather should be better for. the 2nd half of the week..

13 April final day of course No 4 A bunch of achievers

Cloudbases began to be kinder to us, rising to 1500ft by early afternoon. Winds steadily moving to the west,

Steve Wilkinson ( Chief executive in his day job) has now completed his bronze C, and is working on his cross country endorsement. Mike Bosley( an Engineer in his day job) , resoloed and just needs to complete his skills test for the bronze C. Colin Stringer ( a retired banker and club member) resolo and completed annual refreshers and David Hart ( A driving instructor specialising in towing caravans-semi retired) completed his winter refreshers.

Despite the weather, a great week and well done everyone.

12 April Another busy day

Winds 040/10. Cloudbases rising to 600ft QFE

The day started in the classroom with a briefing on field selection and cross country navigation.

More exam work, congratulations to Steve Wilkinson on passing his bronze C exam. Colin Stringer and David Hart both completed the annual refreshers, so a good use of time for them.

The afternoon was filled with more power failure training and practice. Everyone is now feeling very comfortable and confident with the procedure.

Cloud bases came back down to zero feet, time to pack up and retire to the Woolpack in Slad for a pint of Old Spot and a fantastic dinner.

The pictures show the team photo from 3 years ago to the day with Mike and Steve in summer gear, and the contrasting picture with Colin Stringer after just landing.

The weather should be a little brighter tomorrow, the course may even get to the top of the winch launch!

11 April Exam day

winds were 070/10 with low cloud again.

A good day for Steve and Mike to tackle the bronze exam. The group are now super current dealing with power failures on a winch launch. David hart and Colin Stringer have now completed their winter refreshers.

Many thanks to John McWilliam who sorted out the tow out gear for the K21. Roger Bagley took the weather opportunity to have some discussions with the industrial area management to ensure the police dog training is undertaken in safe zones on the field.

Mole traps have been reset in the South field (east end)

The next task will be to get the buggies up to power so they can pull the 2 seaters reliably.

The day ended with a briefing on rigging and derigging.

10 April and another cloudy day.

Low cloud winds 090/10 but no drizzle.

Cloud bases eventually went to 1000ft QFE, in time to get david Hart, Colin and Steve off for a solo circuit.

The course guys are prepared to keep going come what may. The pictures show the team giving the buggy a helping hand to move the K21 and Davids suggested alternative winch towing vehicle!

9 April day 1 of course No 4

The weather is very mixed with patches of light rain all day and cloud bases rising to 900ft QFE (before going back down again). Winds light easterly.

A NOTAM creating class D around kemble active late morning.

Welcome to Steve Wilkinson and Mike Bosley both serial course members and David Hart and Mike Stringer both club members.

Thanks again to Chris Power for helping David---David has a strained shoulder and lifting cables doesnt help the healing process.

Launch failures were the order of the day and everyone practised power failures and simulated breaks and had a demonstration of an ultra low failure. Afterwards we retired to the briefing room and prepared for the bronze C paper.

Club work is never ending, Bron was in the office helping the paperwork catchup and David Roberts and Adrian Giles were busy discussing airfield management with the Farmer.

5 April Sportability day

The best day of the week. Winds started light NW and then changed to southerly later.

Strong thermals for most of the day and several single seat owners ventured out. The K23 and Astir also came out of the hangar.

Class D airspace around Kemble held us up for a little while in the morning, and then we could get cracking.

The course continues to progress well, Gemma had a session in the motor glider with Gerry to practice her circuits, while Tony and Andy tried to wear out the Astir.

The Sportability group flew with Mike Weston and his team and used the aerotow, lots of smiling faces.

The course finally adjourned to the Canal Tunnel for dinner.

4 April Weathers here, wish were nice

Winds starting 190/25 and shifting to 270/15 by the end of the day. Low cloud and rain brightening in the afternoon.

The field still a little soft, so we are taking great care not to damage the surface with vehicles.

Winch Driver david had a day off, many thanks to Chris Power and Eric who stood in to cover him. launch failure practice during the morning after a briefing on tephigrams am. Thanks also to Robin who has now unravelled the mystery of ENK canopy closing problem and that is now back in service.

looking forward to a reasonable day tomorrow.

3 April Soggy Airfield Operations off the hard runway

Winds 220/25 with low cloudbases to start and rising to 3000ft and strong thermals for a while.

We welcome Tony onto the course to join the others. Tony is a silver C pilot who has not flown for 12 months.

Well done Andy who is now flying the Astir as part of his bronze C development and prep for the GFT.

The evening groups have just started and it was good to see Paul Lazenby ready to get going after the course flying day had finished.

Class in the evening covered winch launching and how to reduce the risk of yaw on the ground run.

Nile is seen here coming to the end of his ground run.

2 April time for a retread, and welcome to course No3

low cloud and winds 180/20 and some light shower.

Welcome Gemma Jefferies, Andy Davey and Nile Austin. the morning was spent in the briefing room looking in some detail at how the controls work and their effects in flight.

Meanwhile David didnt think the tyre on the K21 wing dolly was good enough for an MOT. I suppose it was worn through the tread, canvas and the inner tube has long since worn through. We now have a posh new tyre, much betterer, wheely good.

After lunch the course guys took to the air, learning how to deal with cloud, and landing on a tarmac runway. Everyone did amazingly well.We look forward to approach control tomorrow.

30 March and Gerald is back!!

rain showers forecast throughout the day, winds 150/10.

The course guys ventured out in the rain for their last day. High spirits and laughs all day, Matt had a whole load of young visitors, curious to see what he was up to at the airfield.

Matt was ready for solo but the weather didnt play ball so it is always better to be down here wishing you were up there, than being up there wishing you were down here. The other course members are also now very close to solo.

Rain finally stopped play and we packed up after a very interesting day.

Gerald has been spotted, Im sure its because David gives him his sandwiches.

29 March When it was was really wet

Winds 150/20 at 2000 ft. No rain until late am and then heavy showers.

Good fun flying with 800ft cloudbases while the course guys started to polish their skills. They are all now flying unprompted flights.

Winch Driver David (bailey) took some arty pictures for you to see.

The day finished with dinner in the clubroom and a few beers, while David nursed his cold----bless.

UWE Gliding Soc AGM

On March 19th I was privileged to visit UWE and the Gliding Society AGM.

There were 13 students there, not a big turnout but enough to provide candidates for all the roles. In fact there were no less than three people vying for the president's role. The successful candidate is Dan Williams, well known at Aston Down as he has brought parties of students to the airfield in his red Micra. I took my simulator (it's been a busy week) and the students took turns to race to Nympsfield. Dan Hayday was the fastest. The biggest gripe at the meeting was the weather, many of them have not flown for many months despite coming to the club on planned trips. They were all very excited though, and are looking forward to the coming months. They are very keen to do their bit to support our club and be active members, even wanting to get involved in the workshop with the Ka13 restoration.

Adrian Giles

Wednesday 28 a very varied day

Winds forecast 300/20, rain sleet and grains of snow, with lowish cloudbases.

Not a great interest from the club members today, they know what a poor day looks like.

The course spent the morning in the classroom covering the ab-initio briefs, meanwhile Robin Birch was attempting to fix a sticky canopy on ENK.

Flying started about 1.30, an efficient team made it possible for us to fly 18 times in between some very intersting showers.

Well done everyone.

Wednesday 28 a very varied day

Winds forecast 300/20, rain sleet and grains of snow, with lowish cloudbases.

Not a great interest from the club members today, they know what a poor day looks like.

The course spent the morning in the classroom covering the ab-initio briefs, meanwhile Robin Birch was attempting to fix a sticky canopy on ENK.

Flying started about 1.30, an efficient team made it possible for us to fly 18 times in between some very intersting showers.

Well done everyone.

28 March Wednesday with a variety of weather

Winds were forecast as 3000/20 at 2000ft. rain grains of snow and showers of rain.

The morning for the course was spent looking in more detail at Winch launching and a range of other gliding topics.

Meanwhile Robin Birch was busy trying to fix a sticky canopy hinge on ENK.

There wasnt too much interest in flying from the regular club members---they are not daft, pretty wet after all.

first launch was around 1.30, and an efficient course team manageda slick turnaround giving us the opporttunity to complete 9 launch failures and 9 circuit flights! Well done guys

Lets hope for less sleet and freezing rain tomorrow.

Tues 27 march Course No 2 Underway. Neil produces a gourmet lunch

Winds 300/20, low cloud to start.

Welcome to the course members Neil, Rhys and Matthew. The day started with launch failure practice, when the drizzle arrived, Neil produced some amazing sausage baps which were very welcome, nothing like comfort food to cheer us all up.

Cloud bases lifted later to allow us full height launches and even some soaring. Then its back to the classroom to talk about stalling.

Another great day.

Neil Gilbranch produces a sausage roll for everyone

23 March the final day of training course 1

A fantastic week , flying every day. Everyone went home tired but happy.

Well done Clint who exceeded his own expectations by getting very close to solo. "unprompted pilot", means he was flying without aid from the instructor in the back seat---well done.

Simon and Mike converted to their Discus going back to camphill with chunks of the bronze C completed and many solo flights under their belts.

Clint and Simon will be back in June to carry on with their development towards a pilots licence.

the pictures show the first course at the start, a typical breakfast briefing and the hangar waiting to be repacked midweek.

Thursday 22 Another busy day for the course.

winds 240/15, good visibility and some thermal activity.

The airfield fairly quiet with the motor glider getting an outing and the course.

Well done Clint, after 4 days is competently flying unprompted around circuits.

Mike and Simon are now flying their Discus.

Thanks to David Hart for helping out on the ground.

The day was finished off nicely with a meal at the Canal Tunnel. Another day in paradise.

The Astir is rigged and flying

Another cold day but not so windy. 020/15 with broken cloud at around 2000ft QFE.

Mike and Simon are now solo and Mike has converted to the Astir so well done.

Clint is getting to grips with landing, winch launch tomorrow?

The evening completed with a briefing on winch launching, while Simon and Mike went to collect their newly acquired discus.

Thanks to Grant for helping us at the launchpoint so we could have 2 aircraft in the system, and welcome back David Hart, who now needs to replenish is wine stock.

Midweek training courses have started

Snow on the ground and 25knot winds, very cold. Soarable for a few hours in the afternoon. Good visibility.

Welcome to Clint Cosser (a new club member), Mike Stephens (an ex hang glider pilot from Camphill) and Simon Stannard ( a member from Camphill).

A surprisingly good day, we just needed to have a hot drink every now and again to revive.

Many thanks to Chris Power for assisting with the initial ground training.

The winds should be less challenging tomorrow and it will be above zero temperatures!


Glider at a Worcester High School

Adrian took a simulator and his DG200 to Tudor Grange Academy Worcester as part of their STEM week. About 350 children in seven groups of 50 were subjected to a brief chat about how a glider flies, and then watched as one or two of their classmates flew the sim and sat in the glider. Adrian's voice took 24 hours to recover!

Youth takes over Cotswold GC

Saturday 24th February was swarming with teenagers. The welcome scene of initiative, activity and keenness was something to behold. We never had to ask to get gliders pushed back and manoeuvred into line after landing well down runway 09. All the other launch point tasks were equally well looked after. The instructors were grateful for coordination of all this activity by a well-known parent who was present.
There were altogether some 19 youngsters - 5 UWE members, 5 scouts and at least 5 CGC Junior members, plus 2 One Day Course participants and one or two other heavily outnumbered grown ups. Over 40 flights took place in spite of a stop for a Royal Flight and a temporary winch failure. These hold ups provided the only rest for the three instructors during what seemed a long day keeping up with all the enthusiasm.

Saturday 17th February

Well, we made one 11-year-old boy very happy today. Aeroplane-mad Anakin dropped in with his parents to do a bit of plane-spotting. He was pretty chuffed to have a sit in the K21, but after joining as a Junior Member he had his first flight in the DG500 with Don Brookman. Gob-smacked doesn't quite do justice to the look on his face after the flight. Meanwhile, another 11-year-old, Elliot Apperley, was impressing his instructor by flying his first launches.
Otherwise, once the early morning mist had cleared, we had a good day's flying, managing 65 launches. The Eurofox tug Alpha Bravo was kept busy doing aerotows, three pilots completed their winter refreshes and there were even some soaring flights.

Juniors Weekend at the Mynd

The DG500 visited Midland Gliding Club a few weeks ago to fly with junior pilots from across the country as part of the UK Junior Gliding winter series. We managed 150 launches over the weekend, and around 70 juniors were able to experience flying from a new airfield.

Supporting young people getting into aviation is one of the club's key aims as a BGA Junior Gliding Centre. We will be hosting the first of the new Summer Series events at Aston Down in May, which will focus on training and development for junior pilots looking to achieve their bronze and cross-country badges.

Many thanks to the club and the committee for your continued support of UK Junior Gliding.

Pupils get a taste for life above the clouds

SCIENCE Week at Noremarsh Junior School in Royal Wootton Bassett provided excitement and interest for the children, led by Year 5 teacher Mrs Rowan Atack.

A glider from the Cotswold Gliding Club was brought to the school in its special transporter, and thrilled the pupils, who admired its impressive 50ft wing span.

They learned about its operational capabilities from Paul Lazenby, an instructor at the club, and Max Lazenby, a glider aerobatics pilot, and Lesley Waters, one of the lady members. Some children were lucky enough to sit in the cockpit, or to try on the weighty parachute pack that would be worn in flight.

The memorable Science Week also featured a visit by a hot air balloon, the Wiltshire Air Ambulance helicopter, a drone pilot and a representative of the REME Museum, who led a science workshop.

The activities certainly brought science to life for the pupils, who were fascinated to see exhibits at close range, and to have their many questions answered by the visitors.

AGM 27 January 2018

The Club's Accounts for the previous year (2015-16) have now been reviewed and a certificate of examination provided by the Club's independent accountant, Mrs Helen Turner. The accounts and the certificate can be found in the AGM 2018 folder on this website.

The Chairman's report at the AGM 28 January 2017 is filed in the AGM 2017 folder on this website, together with the powerpoint presentation of the various reports and the accounts.

The Club's Accounts for 2016-17 will be available at the AGM. They are being reviewed currently by the Club's independent accountant. Her certificate will be available in the next few weeks and will be posted on the website.

DGR / chairman

X runway, west end

Members taking a stroll around the airfield may experience a feeling of disorientation and confusion if they visit the west end of the cross runway. They will not recognise the airfield as Aston Down,because Grant Needham and Dave Taylor have been working hard to remove weeds and grass from between the cracks in the runway, and it now looks something like this:

many thanks guys

Saturday 16th December

Not a bad day's flying for December. Full marks to Duty Pilot, Grant Needham for getting the hangar doors open before 8.00am and working tirelessly at the launch point. Our trial lesson visitors enjoyed some good flights in the sunshine and excellent visibility. UWE student Arnie from Brazil had a good introduction to gliding with five flights in the K21. By half-past two we'd run out of people to fly and retired to the warmth of the club house. In the evening we all enjoyed a really excellent Christmas meal thanks to the efforts of Jacqui Huband, Helen Weston and John and Di Docherty.

Brass Monkey Saturday 25-11-17

Flippin' heck it was cold today. Despite the spectacular wind chill from the fresh north-westerly, we had a good day's flying for the time of year. Our one-day course visitors Peter and Simon had a fun day in the DG 500, with yours truly. And yes, by the end of the day they both managed to remember what CBSIFTCBE stands for. Mike Weston and Simon Lucas were kept busy flying ATC cadets and UWE students in the K21 and K13 respectively. We had an enforced break at mid-day for a royal flight out of Kemble and an impressive rain shower around mid-afternoon, but otherwise managed a good launch rate. We are indebted to Adrain Giles and Richard Burgoyne for driving the winch.

Saturday 4/11/17

The weather went almost precisely to forecast. The heavy rain that greeted us at 8 o'clock cleared through the morning and we were able to get in the air just after 11.00. Thereafter, the two-seaters were kept busy flying the one-day course and enthusiastic groups of ATC scouts and UWE students. Flying was delayed in the afternoon by one of the most impressive winch snarl-ups I have ever seen (who would have thought you can crochet steel cable?), the tow-truck getting bogged down in the wet grass and a change of runways. The last flights of the day were completed to the backdrop of a spectacular sunset.

Portmoak Expedition October 2017

This years Cotswold Gliding Club one week Autumn Trip To Portmoak Scotland took place on the 21st October. 14 pilots and 12 aircraft made the trip north in a bid to sample ridge and wave flying, the weather was kind to us and we sampled ridge and wave lift on five days with only one non flyable day.
We were joined by five aircraft from Shalbourne gliding club, which meant the airfield was very busy at times.
On Sunday Morning Christoff and Stuart Thackary had site checks and Craig Mustoe had ridge checks, with 17 visiting aircraft and numerous local aircraft the ridge was very busy, in the after noon the wave set up and a number of pilots took advantage with my self being prevented from going higher than 8000ft because of airspace and sunset fast approaching.
Monday and Tuesday morning were non flyable due to rain, on Tuesday the weather broke at lunchtime and flying started at 1400hrs, Craig endured more two seat flying on a busy ridge while several Cotswold pilots had wave flights to over 7000ft.
Wednesday started as Tuesday had finished, Craig took another two seat flight and again several pilots found wave but this time only to 5000ft, with the wind getting stronger and more turbulent flying halted at 1400hrs.
Thursday was a quieter day wind wise but wave was in the forecast, Craig took his first solo ridge flight and nearly all CGC pilots got above 4000ft.
Friday was another day with wave forecast, Craig experienced wave for the first time soaring above the clouds to over 5000ft (if only he had a logger it would have been silver height), All CG pilots sampled the wave to varying heights with myself getting to 10000ft which was the highest of the day (it did take three and a half hours to get there).
I am sure I have missed some notable flights as it was difficult to keep track while flying.
There were no great heights achieved or distances flown but a great week was had by all at a wonderful site.
The next trip is planned for the 21st April 2018, accommodation is limited so anyone interested in joining in let me know as soon as possible.

Simon Lucas

Saturday 14/10/17

What a grey day. The airfield was wreathed in rain and low cloud for most of the morning and it wasn't until mid-day that we could finally get airborne. Thereafter the two-seaters were kept busy flying an enthusiastic group of UWE students and Indi and Lee on the one-day course. We didn't quite have to line up car headlights for the last landing, but it was dark by the time we got the toys away. Many thanks to Richard Cawsey for driving the winch.
We all wish Chairman David Roberts a speedy recovery after his heart surgery.

23-24th Sept Balloon Fest

We were delighted to share the airfield with around a dozen hot air balloonists, using Aston Down as a base for their weekend competition.
The balloons couldn't fly on Saturday morning, so a number of the pilots had a go at gliding - I am told they found it quite refreshing to fly an aircraft that actually goes where you point it and can land back where it started from.
Conditions were better on Sunday morning and at around 8am the balloons launched from Oaksey Park and in the easterly wind flew over AD to Chalford.
Paul Lazenby and yours truly took off in the Falke to watch them from the air. There are more photos at
Team Semichon and the Scouts deserve a mention for stepping into the breach and cooking breakfast for the forty or so pilots and crew.

Club members give go-ahead to investment in new workshop

Last Saturday (16th September 2017) members who attended a Special General Meeting gave the go-ahead to the committee to implement a plan to invest in a new glider maintenance workshop facility. After a very well coherent and well-balanced debate, and after considering all other options, the decision was for a new building 12m x 20m rather than 12m x 28m. This will be situated at the rear of the present workshop with access from the approach road to the Gun Butts. Members tasked the committee with exploring the possibility of grant funding from a relatively recent fund established in Sport England, ahead of a decision to partly fund the development with loan finance from the Phillip Wills Memorial Fund (BGA).
At the conclusion of the meeting the Chairman thanked John McWilliam for his efforts in putting together alternative solutions. But the Chairman overlooked the contributions of others, and in particular Richard Carter, who had moved these proposals along over the last year or two. He wishes to thank Richard and others who has contributed to the proposals for getting us to a decision point.
DGR / chairman

Congratulations George

We have a newly minted solo pilot! Many congratulations to George Bullock who completed three immaculate first solo flights today.

Cracking day for September

Early conditions were tricky at Aston Down with almost no wind and low cloudbase but worth the effort as it turned into a cracking day.
The BGA ladder flights logged for yesterday - Andy Smith in the Ventus completed a 519km task, as did David Briggs and Mike Weston in the Arcus, Doug Gardner, after fixing a technical problem completed 409km, John McWilliam and Stuart Pepler in the Nimbus did 508km. Mike Randle flew 310km with Geoff Dixon completing several laps of the club 100km and Tom Gooch after a late arrival at the club did the club 100km.

Not bad for September! Let's hope that there are still more cross country days to come!

Thanks to the ground crew who helped us all get into the air.

Perhaps someone who was at AD all day could comment how the day went, I'm sure that everyone local flying had a good day as well.

Remarkable achievement

Last week 's course saw a remarkable achievement. Robert, a course member well into his twenties went solo without any previous flying experience whatever, although not quite in the five days. As he was nearly solo on Friday he stayed on for the Saturday and Stan our course instructor flew with him so he could send him solo. Robert lives in Bristol and intends to join the club as a full member so congratulations to him and to Stan for his very effective instruction.

It his highly unusual for anyone not still in their teens to go solo on a five day course without any previous flying or sailing. The only other case I know about was a 25 year old Laser dinghy champion. Sailing experience does help.

New golf buggy

We have acquired a new buggy, for use for example on trial lessons for ferrying temporary members from the glider to the bus when landing long way from the launch point. It is a four seater (!) and most important it is ELECTRIC, with a new extensive set of batteries within the purchase price. We are told that when in use on a golf course the charged batteries last 2 days, which should be the equivalent of 10 to 11 miles' use. But it is more prudent to put it on charge each evening; Richard is fixing a charging point inside the hangar on the LH side, and is modifying it by addition of a tow bar, yellow beacon light etc. Richard is also arranging for a charging point from the bus, should the buggy run out of charge on the runway. Also remember to disconnect the charging lead each morning before driving off. Big reminder notices will be displayed !
It is in excellent condition, only a year or so old from a golf course that changes its kit every year, and unmarked by any misuse. Please let's try and keep it in excellent condition........

DGR / Chairman

Sportability Day

Cracking weather for our Sportability visitors to enjoy gliding and blokarting. A moderate westerly meant the blokarting was great fun and with some strong thermals and a 3500' cloudbase the gliding was fantastic. All 9 of our visitors had some great flights (including two who had never been in any type of aircraft before!) and the clear visibility meant some brilliant views of the countryside. Thanks to Graham Turner, Andy Smart, Roger Smith and Steve Purkiss for their valued help on the day to give people less able than ourselves the opportunity to enjoy gliding.

Well done also to Andy Smith who flew yet another 500km today.

A good day out

Sunday 13th was good for both cross country and training achievements.

Plenty of very strong thermals were reported, both locally and further afield. I heard one reliable report of a steady 8 kts and many of over 5 kts.

According to National Ladder postings Cotswold pilots completed five tasks of over 300 km including two of the big two seaters flying over 420 Km at speeds of 93 and 96 Kph over the same course, one being credited with 3 Km less due to using 'Barrel' TPs rather than FAI sectors.

The club DG500 was used for its intended purpose of cross-country training, although requiring an aerotow retrieve from Shennington after running out of the wherewithal.

There was the usual training and trial lesson merry-go-round. Two members achieved conversions, one to the K23 and one to the Astir.


Tuesday 8th August - Kemble Scholarship Cadet Flying

The plan today, apart from the normal course operation was to fly 12 cadets on the Cotswold Airport scholarship program but the forecast wasn’t great and the cloudbase was around 800’. The expectation was that it wasn’t going to improve much so Stan’s morning briefing was all about launch failures. The cadets were spending the morning at Brize Norton, so we had a few hours to hope that weather would improve and luckily from about 12:30 it did. Rather timely as I was just about to call off the event!

With Ed Foggin in the K21, me in the DG500 and with help from Graham Turner, Dave Hart and the course members we managed to fly all 12 cadets, some weak soaring was available so most had some extended flights with the ‘occasional’ aerobatics. We were surprised on one flight to see two Hercules passing not far in front and below us.

The scholarship program is interesting, it is a fully funded program for young adults from 14-18 from the area of the local counties and provides the opportunity to experience career options in the aviation industry. One of the cadets told me that for 2017 there were 400 applicants, reduced to 20 after application reviews with 12 selected after formal interviews. The 12 then get 10 days of activities including various flying opportunities at Kemble, gliding with us, visits to Brize Norton, Bristol Airport and Rolls Royce. Several of the cadets that I flew with yesterday hoped to have careers in commercial flying or in the services. It was a very interesting day.

We packed away the gliders just minutes before a torrential downpour!

Thanks to everyone that helped.

Weekend 5/6 August

Back to normal after the competition. Both days were flyable albeit with thundery showers interrupting Saturday. Sunday was better than forecast and the thermals were ready almost before first launch. There were a couple of cycles of over-development but all the cross country pilots got away by lunch time and despite challenges along the way, everyone got back. A small band of club flyers made good use of the fleet with everyone getting a soaring flight. Very nice to be flying with members who've returned to Gliding after first sampling it in the 20th century! The Trial lessons included a "recovering stag party". Fortunately, sick bags, though available, were not deployed. ;-)

UK airspace heat-map of gliding 2000 to 2017

Interesting portrayal of where gliding is done in the UK. We know it already of course in relation to no-go areas of controlled airspace, but all the same, some gliding ventures to places we would not think of automatically ! Data from flights uploaded to the BGA Ladder since 2000. There are many more not recorded on the ladder of course, especially in earlier years.

BGA Glide Britain arrives

Bit of late news. The Glide Britain team arrived at Aston Down this evening from Mendip Club with the Lasham Ka21 - by road as there were no thermals to fly from Mendip to Aston Down. On Wednesday morning (19th) the cameramen will be pointing his lens at our activities as part of the making of a marketing film for gliding. Although very late to be asked to organise this, we have a young member, one of the Lazenby 'boys' lined up to talk to camera about our wonderful sport, and we have our oldest active pilot also lined up - Ken Lloyd who at 88 is still flying one of the hottest gliders at the Club, his ASH 25.
For late night owls, if you want to be on film tomorrow for posterity - and maybe TV next year - do turn up by 09.00 please and smile sweetly at the lens !

Work continues for the Nationals

Mike Oliver was busy mowing the north end of the airfield late this afternoon. This follows others including Jules Eaton, Richard Carter and David Breeze who have been cutting other areas over the last few days. There is more to do before the weekend. 110 acres plus of grass does take a lot of time to cut - probably around 2.5 to 3 days ! So thanks to the grass cutting team of volunteers. More volunteers are needed; training is essential and mandatory to use the equipment.

Mass balloon arrival at AD 23 and 24 Sept 2017

Subject to weather, there is a planned mass competition balloon arrival early morning (est. 06.30 to 08.00 BST) on Sat 23 and Sun 24 Sept. The last time this event took place was two years ago. Come to see the spectacle and mingle with balloonists. Breakfast first come first served. There may be opportunities to fly in a balloon for free, but it will mean getting up very early. If interested please let Gill have your name for a list. Again, FCFS.
DGR / chairman

Aim Higher

A busy launchpoint for the Aim Higher course

Andys 750km achievement

Thanks to Paul Lazenby who was at club 06.30 to get the kit out including winches, replacing all the ferrules before I arrived 8.45. We gave Andy Smith his launch at 9.45 for his declared 750 km task. Here's a pic of Andy after he crawled out of the cockpit after some 9.5 hours.

What surprised me was that there were only four other private gliders at the launch point at 10.30 and the club gliders weren't arriving until a few minutes later.Where was everyone on the best weekend day of the year so far ? Even during the peak of the day I think only about 12 privately owned gliders had launched. The duty team was also very thin on the ground in the morning, other than the instructors and one other person.

Anyway, those who did turn up had a great day - there was a 515km (John McWilliam) a 450 for Jon Huband, a 333 for Rob Corbin and 246 for Tom Gooch. There was even a 818km done from Lasham !

So, great day out, eh Grommit?

DGR / chairman

First 750 K from Aston Down

Sunday 2nd July was the day the first 750 K from Aston Down was completed by Andy Smith in his recently acquired Ventus 2CX, flying 751.1 km at an average speed of 80.6 kph.

His declared task was:


Here is Andy's account as entered on the National Ladder:

"Started at 10am with lots of help from the Aston Down regulars. Forecast was spot on from Dave Masson, great improvement around 1:30. Bad task setting meant that I had to cross the Severn Valley after the sea breeze had gone through about 6pm (wouldn't have done it if I didn't have a turbo). My early start allowed me to faff around at May Hill and contact the sea breeze."

Several other highly experienced pilots reported that it wasn't an easy day with thermal cores being difficult to find and a tendency for good-looking clouds to produce little worthwhile, which makes Andy's achievement all the more remarkable.

Saturday 1st July

It was a day of snatching victory from the jaws of defeat. We were all set for a first launch by 9.30 but had to wait for the low clag to lift and break- typical 1st July weather. We eventually got airborne at 11.00, but a cable break and some winch problems caused further delays, By the time we'd fixed the winch, the wind had backed and we were forced to change ends. The afternoon's forecast tempted a number of private owners out, but most of them found the conditions weren't as good as they looked - few of the clouds worked and there was some really chunky sink around. Despite the problems we had a good day's flying and, with the assistance of Barry Key, we ended up with two happy customers on the one-day course.
Thanks are due to winch drivers Martyn Hayward and Richard Cawsey, and the ground team of Stuart Thakray, Paul McTurk, Richard Burgoyne, Helen Wilson and Peter Laws.

Juniors Weekend

This weekend the club hosted a pre-solo to pre-bronze training weekend for a group of junior pilots from across the country. The weekend was a great success and the club managed to do over 150 launches over the two days.

We had 14 juniors from 9 clubs come to join us for the weekend. They managed 81 launches, 4 type conversions, 4 people Solo at a new site, 6 bronze exams, 1 bronze flying test and 1 Cross Country Nav Ex. Feedback from the weekend was very positive, so this will hopefully have been the first of many to come.

Thank you to all the club members who helped run the launch point, drive the winch and generally being friendly and welcoming to our visitors.

Hangar packing and battery charging help

In the hope that those members who stay to the end of the day to pack the hangar will still be able to read, here is the guide to hangar packing (south side version; the north side one is the opposite instructions) being put up by John McWilliam. The purpose is to ensure the cockpits of gliders are located close to the battery charging drop-down plugs and cables in the hangar. Objective: all club gliders have fully charged batteries every day.

Tow bars for Ka 21 and Ka 23 and tail dolly for Ka 21 ENK

Thanks to John McWilliam for organising the re-manufacture of tow bars for the Ka 21 G-CLRT and the Ka 23 G-CGCF (pictures below). Note the crossbar holds the tow-bar upright and aligned to the holes ready to push the pin in and lock it. We have also ordered a new IMI (Czech Republic specialist manufacturer of gliding equipment) tail dolly for Ka 21 G-EENK. It should arrive in about a week (picture below).

Please look after these items of kit, along with everything else. Prior to the refurb John had to rescue one of the tow bars from the long grass where it had been broken and abandoned.

DGR / chairman

Larry Bleaken awarded the Bronze Medal of the Royal Aero Club

On Thursday evening 18th May Larry Bleaken, who is our Club's President and the longest standing member (since the Club formed on 1st August 1964), received the Bronze Medal of the Royal Aero Club of the UK, at the RAF Club London. The presentation was made by the Commanding Officer of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, Squadron Leader Andy Millikin. Larry's flying partner in his Stemme S10, Andrew Flewelling, and Club Chairman David Roberts accompanied Larry to the event and 'dined him out' afterwards.
Congratulations to Larry !
Photos by Martin Gammon

Sunday 21st May: Flying with the Spartans

It was an interesting (and surprisingly hassle free) experience sharing the airfield with the Spartan Race. Throughout the day the PA was blasting out an eclectic range of motivational music for the competitors, such that at one stage we were retrieving the K21 to the tune of the Village People's YMCA.
Despite the truncated launches we had a good day's flying in the sunshine. Callum Cornish completed his winter (?) refresher and Chris Blackmore had over an hour in the K21, climbing to over 4,000 as his Mum watched from the ground. Half a dozen pilots went off cross-country - I believe Blandford Forum - Lasham was one of the tasks. Darren Edge closed the day with a display of aerobatics. Many thanks to Alex Jones and Graham Turner for driving the winch.

Wolds Gliding Club on TV

The link below (to BBC iPlayer) takes you to a programme shown on Saturday 20 May featuring the Wolds Gliding Club and the two-seater competition, about 2 minutes into the programme. If you not already registered with iPlayer, it is simple to do so.

Sometime later this year - don't know when - Cotswold GC will feature in Countryfile on the BBC.

DGR / chairman

News of recovery of Jessica Kill

Many of you will have followed the story last year of Richard Kill's daughter, Jessica, and the need to raise substantial funds for her to go to the USA for a life-saving operation that was only available there. Many CGC members provided financial support. Here is an update from Richard:

Hi David
Thanks, Jessica is progressing very well, she has started back at work, for the moment, just doing three mornings a week with a plan to extend that gradually over the next couple of months. She is still on some medication and has to have regular specialist physiotherapy but that is also progressing well. In March she had another upright MRI scan to check that the metal screws in her neck were still in the correct alignment and that the bone was reforming around them. Again, I am glad to say, all is well. We always knew that it will take about a year for her to make a full recovery without the need for some medication and physio. We as a family went through a lot last year but were overwhelmed by the generosity, not only of friends but of the general public at large who helped to basically save her life. So please include in the newsletter Jessica’s and the family’s heartfelt thanks to everyone at CGC who supported her. I attach a copy of the scan (to follow, Ed) which clearly shows the metal screws in her neck. I hope the club has a good season and the comps go well; hope to bring Clara (my boat) down to Frampton sometime in the summer. All the very best, Richard

Club Briefing Saturday 20 May @ 18.30 hrs, and Spartan event

We are holding a Club Briefing in the clubhouse at 18.30 hrs on Saturday 20th May, after flying. All are welcome to get an update on various things topical. It is also an opportunity for new members to meet other club members and learn about how the club operates. There will be food - a home-made curry - for up to 60 people, and bookings will be taken through a link I'll set up for 'Doodle' calendar.

Next weekend is also the Spartan event ( ) car parking for which will be on the main runway south of the intersection of the runways. We shall be operating on a shortened main runway, as we did last year very successfully. Operational instructions for the day will be posted in the clubhouse and on the bus, including where to park equipment and where to rig private gliders. If the wind direction / strength is such that the cross runway (09/27) would be the obvious choice, we cannot use that due to cable drop risks in relation to car parking and the west side perimeter track traffic. Whilst the Spartan event causes us a limited amount of disruption, the financial benefit to the Club is very substantial, so please do not complain !

Honourable Company of Air Pilots flying scholarship

There is a further opportunity to apply for a place on a residential gliding course funded by an Honourable Company of Air Pilots flying scholarship.
The Scholarships are aimed at those with little or no flying experience who might otherwise not have the necessary resources to experience gliding. They will fund a week-long residential course at an approved BGA Junior Gliding Centre: London Gliding Club (Dunstable), Derby & Lancs Gliding Club (Camphill) and Portsmouth Naval Gliding Club (Lee-on-Solent) between 12-18 August and 27 August – 1 September.
More details on the BGA website.

Extraordinary flight

Not from Aston Down but worthy of mention. On 7th of May Klaus Ohlmann flew in mountain wave from the French Alps, to Corsica, Sardinia, Sicily and finally landing in Southern Italy. Details on the OLC website.

Lechlade Duck Race May 1s 2017

Members took a DG200 and a simulator to the Lechlade Duck Race is support of Help for heroes. They sold six trial lesson vouchers, and talked about the club to numerous visitors. Before the event started a helicopter landed very close to the rigged glider and gazebos, with surprisingly little disturbance.

Not Quite So Epic Wednesday

Yes, Tuesday did qualify as Epic for flights from Lxxxxm and the South Downs but this blog is for Aston Down. We have a nucleus of pilots who regularly fly over 500 Km and who are an inspiration to us all. Today two of them were absent at work or abroad, nevertheless we had flights of 503 Km, 416 Km, 403 Km and 316 Km. Two enjoyed spectacular conditions inland from the south coast before returning.
The day started with good thermals but later in the afternoon wave conditions enhanced thermals at times, but suppressed them with massive sink at others. A few pilots reported climbing into wave, reaching 5-6000. Those who launched when the massive sink was over the airfield had very short flights. The course and the Wednesday regulars had a very good day's flying.

Predicted Tuesday

A forecast promising an "Epic" day didn't quite live up to that but tempted so many to rush to the airfield that the launch queue looked like a busy weekend day. The good conditions produced two flights over 500 km and two over 400 km plus numerous lesser achievements. Thermal strengths ranged up to 7 kts and cloudbase almost 6000 ft ASL.
A Sportability day enabled 9 people with disabilities to experience the joys of soaring flight.

Added by DGR88: I think if you look at the BGA ladder, that counted as an 'Epic Day" Mike. Even if some AD based pilots went the wrong way for the best weather.......! But a good day at AD with satisfied Sportability visitors, course members and 16 private owners whom we winch launched with only one winch, in 1 hour 23 mins from 11.15.

Easter Saturday

An excellent training and cross country day, or it would have been a good training day if there had been more U/T members to take advantage of it, so a lot of two seaters were sitting on the ground much of the time.
Long wings completed their 300k tasks but shorter wings had difficulties and one landed out

Course Week 3rd -7th April

I had the pleasure of running the course this week which was for me a unique experience for several reasons. First we flew on five consecutive soarable days and only had flying interrupted briefly on the Tuesday. Second we had 3 enthusiastic visitors, Steve, Alice and Harry (more on them later), Thirdly I learned something about how instructing is carried out in Poland from our new resident instructor, Stan. Some useful ideas we could perhaps adopt. Finally I managed to go through a considerable portion of the solo syllabus in a really concentrated session of flying which I miss with just weekend instructor duties.

Steve was flying his 17m Cirrus and was joined by his syndicate partner Mike early in the week. Steve had a great week completing his first flight in his Cirrus and going on to completing a 1.5 and 3 hour soaring flight later in the week. Understandably he left at the end of the week a happy man. Well done Steve.

Our ab initios on the course were Alice and Harry. Harry returned to CGC, having not been put off from a previous one week course last October. Alice was (almost) new to flying gliders.
Both made great progress during the week flying with both myself and Stan, and Alice was keen to drive every type of vehicle the club had; and by the end of the week could probably qualify as a London bus driver as long as she didn't have to park the bus ! Both Alice and Harry became accomplished at soaring and enjoyed some great views on clear day with birds of prey circling with us in the thermals. By the end of the week they were both doing all the flying so great progress.

Our CFI Gerry and regional examiner Tony were present as some point on each day and it was great to have them as a source of advice and support. Unfortunately Gerry had a cold so could not fly from Tuesday onwards ( the day after he had his flights with Stan - no connection there I think ??). Gerry was certainly under the weather as he did not even recognize( or possibly even know of ) one of his syndicate partners Pat who seemed rather surprised at his apparent anonymity when he turned up to fly on Wednesday!

We all enjoyed a meal at a local pub on Thursday. Thanks to our local members who helped out ( especially Dave and Lesley on Mon/Tues) and our winch driver Dave provided good reliable launches throughout the week.

Andrew Turk

UK Junior Gliding

A big thank you to the club for letting the juniors borrow the DG500 for the Winter Series events over the past few months. We had three very successful trips to Portmoak, Long Mynd and Nympsfield which gave many young pilots the opportunity to experience ridge, wave and thermal soaring at different airfields.

The Winter Series is organised by the UK Junior Gliding group which promotes gliding to young people throughout the UK. The Winter Series and other events play an important part in getting more young people into gliding and ensuring a prosperous future for our sport.

Here are a few photos from a ridge day in Scotland and cross-country flying in the Cotswolds. Thank you all for your continued support of our junior members.

Sat 11th March

Mist and Low cloud at the start of the day was forecast to lift, so 2 K21s, the K13 and K23 were DI'd and parked on the runway. First launch was onto a 500' cloudbase but the aim was lauch failures for a WR so not a problem. CB lifted to 700, then 800 feet before finally melting away so that we could take launches all the way to the top. Steady breeze from SSE - good training conditions. Over 50 lauches by the end of the day. Of course there had to be a winch issue on the last lauch of the day with a loop thrown, so the winch team got their night rating. Many thanks to all who helped - hope you got what you wanted from the day.

Awards for Cotswold GC members

I am delighted to let all members know that two members of the Club have been granted awards from, firstly, the Royal Aero Club and secondly the British Gliding Association.

Larry Bleaken, the President of the Cotswold GC has been awarded a Bronze Medal of the Royal Aero Club of the UK. The citation for his award is below.

"Larry Bleaken is a founding member of the Cotswold Gliding Club, formed on 1st August 1964. He is the only founding member who remains a member of the Club to this day. In 1980 when the Government of the day put the ex-RAF airfield at Aston Down up for sale by auction, Larry was instrumental in the complicated processes and various negotiations that resulted in the Club acquiring a significant part of the airfield. As a property man his expertise, skills and contacts were vital in ensuring success, not least in finding and securing alternative finance when a major bank pulled its support just weeks before the auction. With a commercial acumen that left others in his wake, he did a variety of deals that left those involved spellbound. In the following 35 years Larry has been continuously a member of the 5 person board of directors of the land-owning company established by the Club. His wisdom, advice, guidance and sheer ‘nouse’ has meant that the Club has a very significant freehold unencumbered airfield asset that provides long-term security for gliding in the Cotswolds. Whilst his flying has reduced with advancing years, he is still able to climb into his Stemme S10 Touring Motor Glider to get a view of the airfield that he was absolutely pivotal in securing".

Richard Carter has been awarded a BGA Diploma. He was unable to attend the presentation on Saturday at the BGA Conference, but I was able to accept it on his behalf. Again, the citation for his award is given below.

"Richard Carter has been the key volunteer ground equipment engineer at Cotswold Gliding Club, Aston Down, for very many years. The gliding movement relies upon people such as Richard to keep clubs operating. Throughout each year come rain, snow, hail, winds, sunshine or a glorious gliding day he can be found on at least one day a week, invariably more, working in the club’s workshop on some essential piece of equipment. His ability to find solutions to engineering or mechanical problems, without spending a fortune, is legendary. He can turn his hand to most things that need a solution. Only at the AGM - when the club chairman acknowledges formally the work of people like Richard - are many members fully aware of what efforts go on behind the scenes by volunteers such as Richard to keep everyone else flying. Richard was made a life member by the Club a few years ago in recognition of his work. The time is right to now recognise him nationally by this nomination for a BGA Diploma".

Many congratulations to both Larry and Richard for these well-deserved honours.

David Roberts / Chairman / CGC

Saturday 4th Feb 2017

A gem of a day for early February. After a grey start the mist cleared and we enjoyed a good few hours of sunshine ....and cumulus clouds (remember them?). Fresh from his trip to Oz., Alex Pepler completed his winter refreshers, mostly without an altimeter. Also completing winter refreshers were John Docherty and Adrian Giles. The sunshine tempted out some private owners: Tom Gooch had the longest flight of the day in his ASW27 and Martin Hayward gave the LS6 a good outing. We were pleased to welcome new member Guy Palmer from Sussex Club (Ringmer). Many thanks to Phil Mead and Kevin Russel for driving the winch.

Juniors Saturday

The final Saturday in January was forecast cold and possibly wet with lots of hot air in the evening at the AGM.

Four Air Cadets arrived for their first flights, along with three Semichons and three other Junior pilots. Gary Cross was almost the only other member present who wasn't on the duty rota, which proves its worth.

The first task to show the cadets was how to rig a K21. Geoff didn't manage to frighten them off doing this and they all flew during the day. The rain never showed up, Gary did his winter refreshers and best of all several Semichons and other youngsters managed to re-solo after a gap of several months. The final task was de-rigging the K13 for its ARC.

The AGM was an excellent evening, with great food from Steve Glassett. Thanks Steve. Andy Smith took a lot of cups for flying too far and too fast for an old chap, and Matt Page was awarded the Mike Weston Trophy for significant service to the club. Matt has helped with IT, Junior gliding, and last year the competition. Helen Wilson was the Best Junior in 2016. A full list of prizes will be published in Polebender, except the White Stick Award.

Frosty Flying

A cold but sunny winter day. By the time we had towed the K21's to the launch point a layer of frost had formed on the wings. However, a test flight found no effect on stalling speed or any other aspect.
A 10 knot wind straight down runway 09 gave launches up to 1500 ft., so a useful day was had by the few members present and the day's batch of Air Cadets.
The new K21's main wheel tyre mysteriously deflated on landing. Since nobody fancied working on it exposed to the wintery conditions it was derigged into the syndicate K21 trailer and a K13 brought out instead.


Correction to the previous posting from the office:

The AGMs of ADF Ltd and Cotswold GC will be on Saturday 28th JANUARY 2017 not 28th February. The formal notice and agenda for the CGC AGM will be published later next week.

David Roberts / Chairman

First flight of 2017

After a miserable New Years Day, Bank Holiday Monday dawned beautifully clear and frosty. By 10.30 we were all ready to go, but sadly our enthusiasm wasn't shared by the winch which stubbornly refused to start. It was eventually diagnosed as a seized starter motor. Things weren't looking good when the replacement didn't work either. Luckily the third one did. Huge thanks to Simon Lucas for saving the day.
Once we had an operational winch we enjoyed a good day's flying in the winter sunshine. The northerly breeze gave some high launches enabling us to see in the new year with some aerobatics and one or two flights were long enough to incur soaring fees. Not a bad start to the year. Here's hoping 2017 is going to be a good soaring year.

New course instructor for 2017

As many will know, Don Puttock decided at the end of the 2016 season to move on to 'pastures new'. For three years he has delivered a great and very successful course programme, for which we thank him sincerely.

So, the search then started for someone to replace Don. Over this last weekend we met with and interviewed a candidate for the course instructor for 2017. I am pleased to say that Stanislaw Sawicki from Warsaw met with our requirements and we have offered him the role which he has accepted verbally. Stanislaw (pronounced Stanislav) hopes to start at the end of March but may have to delay his arrival until sometime in April due to his other job in Warsaw, from Autumn to Spring each year, teaching English at the Academy of Warsaw. We look forward to welcoming him in the Spring. His wife, who works in a school, and 9 year old son will probably join him here in late June.

DGR / chairman

Cold Sunday

Sunday the 4th of December dawned cold with a brisk easterly so runway 09 was the order of the day, one of the early launches was Steve Glassett in the Cirrus who had a bet with Jonathan that the Ikarus wouldn't tow the Cirrus to 10,000 feet, 30 minutes later, they did. Steve took the following pictures on the way down, landing just over an hour later.
A busy day with trial lessons and with winch launches up to 1600' on the short runway a good time was had by all. Several club members had aerotows in the K23 as did Andy Smart in the Cirrus, this time just to 3000' . Jonathan Apperley completed his winter refreshers, and also took an aerotow, the photo below was taken in the smooth air above the 1500' inversion. Thanks to all who helped.

Ka 23 back airborne

Yesterday the Ka 23 was test flown by Robin Birch and then an orderly queue of club members formed to fly it. The other photo is of company owner Robert Novak and Ksenija Novak handing over the finished product to me at their workshop in Lesce, Slovenia.

New Ka 23 pics

Glider Service (Slovenia) provided us with a complete photographic record of over 600 photos of the strip down and refinishing work. I'm going to select a cross section of these photos to make these available through the website to all members so you can see what is involved in refinishing a glider professionally. The photo with this post is just one showing what a superb job has been done. The lovely glider is now better than when new in 1984 and still has over 15,000 hours life left in it providing we treat her well !
She will be rigged today but has to have a test flight at AD before being available for members to fly.

DGR / chairman

Don has gone off for a holiday

Don Puttock's last day running courses at Aston Down was yesterday. He and his wife jetted off a 3 a.m. today from Birmingham A/P for some sunshine in the Canaries. On behalf of everyone I can say that Don has provided three years of dedicated energy, excellent training and encouragement to all who came on our courses. Despite the vagaries of the weather, from late March this year to yesterday, there was not a single weekday when the course members did not fly. If the cloud-base was low, then "let's do cable break practice" said Don !
After three years at AD he has decided to move on to "pastures new" for 2017. We wish Don all the best for the future, wherever he is. We shall be hosting a farewell lunch for him, probably in early December. In the meantime the search for his successor gets under way.
Our winch driver Dave Taylor will be working with us during the winter, doing a variety of maintenance and other jobs under the supervision of Richard Carter. For the next two weeks he is away, taking a rest from the daily grind of winching.

DGR / chairman

You’ll never get me up in one of those things

Well, we did. After another season’s winching David Taylor was persuaded to have a go in the rear seat of the K21. He enjoyed it so much he went up for a second flight. Will there be no stopping him now!

All the best


Removal of restricted areas around Nuclear Licensed sites

Please take note of the following NOTAM.

Q) EGXX/QRPXX/IV/NBO/W/000/999/5504N00500W999
B) FROM: 16/10/10 06:45C) TO: PERM
UK AIP ENR 5.1, ENR, CAA 1:250 000 CHART, CAA 1:500 000

K23 on its way back

Gilly by the trailer near the top of Col du Galibier (2575M) - we meant to go over the Col du Lauteret down to the valley below Les Deux Alps but no one told us - until we got to the Col cafe - that the road diversion due to a land slip was too narrow for the trailer where the "track" went 90 degrees. So we went over the other Col.

Now stopped near Troyes in France.

David Roberts

Saturday 15th Oct.

Very nice day for October. First Red Team outing for the new K21. No scratches yet, but it did get wet as the rain came at 4.30 and stopped play. Arcus went on a trip to Devizes and back and a visiting jet-assisted Shark took a few Launches, taking advantage of our nice big airfield to get accustomed to their glider on the winch. Aerotows were available and taken by a few members. Many thanks to KTOW for coming over in between the poor weather at the start and end of the day. Thanks also to UWE members for helping at the launch point.

Progress on Ka 23 refinish

Here are some pics of our Ka 23 in the paint shop in Slovenia, 17 days after they started to strip off the old gelcoat. Looking good !
DGR / chairman

This and that

The Ka 21 ENK is U/S pending repair to the trailing edge of the elevator as a result of it being damaged on entry to the hangar on 4 October. Robin will hopefully do the repair w/c 10 Oct.
The winches have been undergoing minor repairs for exhaust and roller replacement. Should be operating Thursday.
The Flarm in the DG 500 (KNK) is now working - Robin has sorted it by just "pressing the right buttons" he tells me. But when starting it up there is an error message which is merely to say that the obstacle data base needs updating - can someone with a micro SD card reader and knowledge of Flarm online downloads please oblige by doing that. Don't all rush.
Did you know that you can check the serviceability status of gliders and ground equipment on the club website / members section? Providing it is kept up-to-date of course.
News from Slovenia on the Ka 23. With a fair wind and suitable weather for the test flight in Slovenia in about two weeks time - better to do it there than here as it is a long way to drive back if there are any problems - I should be able to collect it w/c 24 October. Hopefully it should be ready for flight at AD on 29 October.
And as Gill has reminded everyone, 1st October was the start of our new financial year; memberships and other annual charges are due. Please call her with your credit card details ! The memberships are not posted on the Glidex accounts system yet as we have to complete the transactions for the old year before entering data for the new year, so as to get a "clean cut off" for the annual accounts. So please bear with us. However the hangar, caravan and private owner facility (formerly "trailer rents") charges for the new year are on the Glidex accounts as these are generated automatically by the computer's calendar.

DGR / chairman

Blast from the Past

On Sunday a member from the 1960s turned up. Brian Jones left CGC in 1969 to go and live in the USA where he set up a glider repair business in New Jersey. He retired to San Diego. Brian remembered the names of several members from those early days on the Club, including Larry Bleaken (our President), and Roger Bunker (CFI at the time). He gave our chairman (to pass on to all club members) some useful advice about Ka21s to avoid frequent visits to the workshop to repair nose wheel areas; always land by holding off until the main wheel touches and do not allow the glider to "balloon" on to the nose wheel. Further, keep the aileron tape in good condition. Without it the handling is decidedly heavy.

First Solo

Adam Mayo went solo today. Here he is with instructor Brian Birlison.

Ka 23 G-CGCF in Slovenia now

Our Ka 23 has been safely delivered to Slovenia for its refinishing. Just over 1,000 miles to get there. The company that does this work is Glider Service and you can see some pics at:
After talking through the various points for attention with the customer relations lady on Monday morning, and then a visit to the local airfield at Lesce, I was able to relax for 2 hours and have a leisurely lunch, before heading to the airport for my return to UK. The view from the restaurant terrace overlooking Lake Bled, 2 miles from the factory, was worth recording.

DGR / chairman
p.s. A club member is kindly lending me a car whilst mine 'sleeps' in Slovenia until I go back out to collect the glider end of October / November.

Sunday 11th September

A good forecast brought out a large grid of private owners alongside the club fleet and four instructors but sadly again, no winch driver! Many thanks to Paul Lazenby who instead of instructing, drove the winch for the morning session. Apparently the day looked better than it was with a number of private and club gliders landing back, others had some good flights. Some new members and trial lessons kept the instructors busy and conditions improved towards the end of the day for some extended flights.
One of the funnier moments was a radio conversation that went like this - Aston Down, glider XXX downwind for runway 08 - then Aston Down XXX finals for 08 , XXX Aston Down, we don't have a 08 - Aston Down XXX main runway then - XXX Aston Down, good landing on runway 21.
The day ended with a retrieve for Kevin Russell who having been to Lasham didn't quite make it back and landed in a cultivated field next to the polo field which required a 4x4 retrieve!
Let's hope that there are a few more days left in the season.

Brian Birlison wins 18M National Championships

With all the attention in the blog on our newly arrived Ka 21 and the Juniors' week last week we have overlooked congratulating Brian Birlison on his success in winning the UK 18m National championships at the Norfolk Gliding Club at Tibbenham on 27th August. That new ASG 29E glider - number 565 - must have played a part in the mind games against top UK pilots competing there. Here's the link to the article on Schleicher's website, with two photos taken back at Aston Down after Brian's return from the wilds of Norfolk. Complete with Estela and their 9 week old baby girl, Florence.

Where next Brian? The European championships?

DGR / Chairman

Juniors storm the week at Aston Down

For the whole of last week a group of 12 junior members took the opportunity to fly with the same two volunteer instructors - Mike Randle and Robin Birch - and Gerry our CFI, and to consolidate their learning and skills. They were blessed with some good weather. On the 29th, bank holiday Monday, they had to mix it with lots of private owners wanting the launch and get away cross-country, as well as operating alongside the normal weekly course with three student pilots, and other club flying. Aaron Jones went solo in the Ka13 on Thursday, and there were two re-solos during the week. The instructors survived not only all the flying but the youngsters' cooking as well ! By Friday there were some very tired but happy youngsters. It is planned this becomes a regular flying week for young people, to strengthen the Club's status as a BGA Junior Gliding Centre.
The first two photos are of Aaron Jones's first solo.
DGR / chairman

ASW19 for UWE Freshers Fair 16 Sept

Just to let everyone know, the ASW 19 will be away in Bristol on 16th September for the UWE Freshers Fair. The Ka 23 will be away from mid week (7th) to end October / early November in Slovenia for refinishing.

DGR / chairman

Seen on the office wall at the Aviation Directorate, European Commission, Brussels

On Thursday I was at Aviation Directorate in the European Commission in Brussels, and saw this on the wall of a corridor.

DGR / chairman

New Ka 21 is at Aston Down

Philip Walker and Andy Smart arrived back at Aston Down late Thursday evening (1st Sept) with our new Ka 21 G-CLRT after driving from the Schleicher factory east of Frankfurt in the day. They did not take on any extra crew in the trailer or cockpit at Calais though I gather it was a close-run thing.
The weather for their trip was excellent, judging by the photos. So here are a few, with the last one being Andy Smart (right) celebrating the new glider with Schleicher owner Uli Kremer (left).
This weekend we'll be doing some of the prep work, such as waxing it, towards getting the glider ready for flight probably from 1 October.

Our thanks to Philip and Andy for making this trip.

DGR / chairman

New Ka 21 (G-CLRT) collection from Germany

Philip Walker and Andy Smart set off from the Club early on Monday 29th August to collect the Club's new Ka 21 from Schleicher's factory at Poppenhausen, Germany (east of Frankfurt). The photo is of the trailer parked on the road today, below the factory. They plan to be be back at Aston Down on Friday. The glider will be on ground risk insurance only and will not be flown for a few weeks because the paperwork has to be turned around with the CAA, and we want the annual maintenance date to run from October not September.
More to follow......!

DGR / chairman

Saturday 27th August - Thunder and Lightning terminate flying

After operating with a skeleton crew (where was everybody?) a spectacular lightning display terminated flying.
Apart from the two people for one day courses there was only one member requiring instruction from the full complement of instructors present. Everybody sheltered on the bus lower deck during the storm - the roof is only fibreglass!

Like old pilots, old parachutes don t die !

A couple of old tired parachutes that had reached the end of their useful life ( for us anyway) were given to a group of Adrian's friends going to Malawi in west Africa last summer. Malawi is one of the poorest contries in the world, and the children there can find good uses for all sorts of things, including parachutes! I wonder what they could do with a Ka8.

Sportability Day

Bright blue day with thermals to 3000', all the Sportability visitors enjoyed flights of over 20 minutes and left with big smiles, especially Richard who enjoyed some aerobatics on his birthday. The course had a good day and a few private owners were tempted out but the blue conditions made it difficult for anything other than local flying.

Photos at

Sunday 14th August

An excellent RASP forecast brought out many private owners but again there were just a few members wanting instruction. The promised good weather hadn't turned up by mid-afternoon so a lot of gliders were put away. That was the cue for some breaks in the cloud to appear and in the end there was some decent local soaring to be had. Notable event of the day was Chris Godding's first solo.

Saturday surprise

5 instructors, 3 two-seaters, 2 single-seaters but what a quiet Saturday. Everyone must've been on holiday! Barry flew our 2 ODC visitors, Andrew took a visitor for a couple of flights and Doug checked out another new member (already solo). Otherwise a morning without members. Once the sun came out in the afternoon there was a flurry of activity as the private gliders all arrived at the launch point. The period between 13:30 and 16:30 was well worth the launch with thermals to 3,300' some at 6 knots plus. Many thanks to our 2 winch drivers for making it all possible.

Wave Sunday

A strong west wind limited training possibilities which was just as well as once again we only had two instructors, one of whom was occupied in the briefing room and in the air with pre-booked cross-country training. This became mainly an exercise in cloud selection without much cross-country progress, although we did get into the wave for a time with a bit of cloud flying.
However first prize went to Ed Foggin who got to 5400 ASL in the private DG500 with a 16 year old German gliding visitor on a flight lasting 85 minutes at the end of the day. Picture below.

Slithery intruder:
Darren on his way down the clubhouse stairs encountered an 18 inch grass snake industriously slithering up. It was transferred to a more suitable habitat.

A very Busy Saturday

One of the best days for some time. Numerous cross countries were attempted and some lengthy tasks completed. However a lowish cloudbase and turbulent thermals didn't make it easy, resulting in several outlandings even among the experts.
At base there was a good turnout for instruction but with only two instructors until later in the day and two one day courses to run, things were a bit difficult for a time.

Need a winchdriver for part of Monday 8th August

Dave Taylor, our winch driver, has to be away from AD on Monday the 8th. Chris Power has offered to stand in for part of the day, but would like to have someone else help out, probably for the 2nd half of the day. Any offers please let me know at

Many thanks

DGR / chairman

Last Day of July

A day with a lot of promise apparently, given the long line of private gliders on the grid. However I think that most experienced some extended local soaring until later in the day when the conditions improved with at least Doug completing a task and the visiting Libelle landing well after we packed up after a flight of several hours. Adam Mayo consolidated his flights from Saturday with some more exercises and a 55 minute soaring flight. Chris Power after spending the morning driving the winch asked for a check ride and had a 50 minute flight including following a cracking cloud street out to the Severn Valley, meeting up with Stephen Cook in the K23 overhead Nympsfield. Eugene looked after the trial lessons, all visitors went home smiling, some after climbs to over 3000'.
Thanks to the members who helped.

Ka 21 ENK back on line

Ka 21 G-EENK was back on line last week following its annual inspection and some additional work on the tailplane fixings. Thanks to Robin Birch for turning this around. The PW6 (G-CKRX) has been delivered back to Essex GC, its purchasers, from Pete Wells' repair facility after the damage repairs were completed. So, the end of an era of PW6s and we now look forward to the new Ka 21 being collected from Germany at the end of August.

The grass has been cut

I went to the Club this morning to see for myself; all the grass has been cut and lifted, so normal operations (as opposed to landing on the runway) can re-commence.

DGR / chairman

Brief update

We gave 7 days notice 14 days ago that we need the grass cutting by our farmer neighbour. Today the grass was obviously getting too long, as the Ka 21 (GBF) did a 180 ground-loop (no damage fortunately). This evening I have been told the grass cutting is under way and will continue tomorrow. There is over 110 acres to be cut which takes time, of course.

Talking of grass cutting, our thanks to Julian Eaton, our new(ish) member who "flies the duvet" (paramotor), Julian is becoming a regular user of the John Deere tractor with the mowing equipment. Over the last few days Julian had mown most of the areas we as a club look after, as opposed to the main landing areas which the farmer does. It is looking great. The only bits he hasn't done are around the few parked gliders by the tower and caravan park. So those owners know where the tractor is....!

The Ka 21 (ENK) is now at the main agent - Zulu Glasstek (Pete Wells) in Buckinghamshire for replacement of the tailplane bushes. Hopefully it will be back at CGC in the next 10 days or so. The PW6, also with Pete, is nearly ready for delivery back to Essex GC who bought it in January but we had to fix certain things that were wrong with it.

The new Ka 21 is now scheduled to be collected from the factory in Germany at the end of August. It will take a week or two to get the paperwork sorted on import.

DGR / chairman

A quiet day

Sunday - 10th July - A quiet day, well it was for members anyway, perhaps the forecast and RIAT restrictions kept them away. Adam consolidated his Saturday's flights with Tim with some launch failures, made more interesting by the blustery conditions and Matt took one of Lesley's U3A group for a 40 minute soaring flight. We had 5 trial lessons to fly, all from the local area so we are hopeful for some new members. Just one interruption for rain and no interruptions from Fairford, thanks to everyone that helped.

Saturday 11th - Two solos today

Two first solos today by Helen Wilson and Pierre-Marie Semichon

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.


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.

19 May Andy and Chris go solo

Winds 210/15 cloudbases rising to 2500.

Dave and Helen teamed up and flew the K23. Many thanks to Lesley for helping on the ground, the course guys appreciated it.

Congratulations to Andy Grant and Chris Blewett on their first solos today.

Michael Hawkins, who works at Slimbridge, continued his flight training with circuit planning lessons.

The evening party took over at 6pm and flew into the evening with a group of trial lessons. Thankfully the unpredictable weather provided a window for them.


18 May how wrong can a forecast be?

Showers of rain forecast all day, low cloud and a complex low just to the North.

The rain in the morning put a lot of people off, but the day turned out to be mostly good with 2 rain showers interrupting our day.

A quiet day meant the course could get on with launch failure training. On one launch Dave forgot to give us our power failure so we went soaring instead. Thermals of 4 knots made it quite straightforward and good fun.

A rainbow gave us a photo opportunity.

Rocky 1 is back on line many thanks to Tom and Richard (the airfield fairies that fix things when no one is watching)

Well lets look for another good day tomorrow.

17 May Second day of course and U3A group visit

The weather forecast showed winds 220/15, visibility 30K with some light rain later in the day.

Today was also the second U3A Group day. All six had extended flights in the DG500 with Mike Randle including a former Tornado and Boeing 777 pilot who took the opportunity to do some cloud flying. Afterwards Mike flew with Alan Smith, Lesley's father and former Concorde test pilot who naturally was able to complete the landing in spite of not having flown for 20 years. Lesley observed that there were two Meteor pilots with a combined age of 164 in the cockpit. Picture below.

Many thanks to all the helpers today, the U3A visit would not have worked without your help and mostly to Lesley for organising the successful event.

The course progresses well with 2 pilots now flying "unprompted circuits and landings---very well done.

16 May the start of course number 8, a great soaring day

winds 320/10, visibility 35 K strong thermals locally.

We welcome Chris Blewett, Andy Grant and Michael Hawkins to the course this week.

Winch Driver David is back from his Hols, with a big grin.

Many thanks to our band of helpers, including David Hart, Helen Chittock and Dave Breeze. Thanks also to the K21 syndicate for lending us their tow out gear.

A few cross countries today, Tony Parker reported conditions not quite so good to the south but he managed a 300 in his new toy.

Looking forward to a good day tomorrow.


Another Aerotow day

Jonathan after staying overnight, again offered tows behind his Ikarus. Some members were able to take advantage of a concessionary rate while new Ikarus pilot Bruce got in his qualifying tows. Otherwise it was a day of cross countries for some and training for others.

13 May last day of course 7 and Terry Clarke goes solo.

weather 050/15, 25k visibility,cloudbases 1400ft and rising.

Many thanks again to Mike Randle and Andy Smart for helping the course and driving the winch. Everyone on the course send their thanks.

Congratulations to Terry Clarke who went solo today. Terry is a club member and also a member of the aero modeller group.

The course guys found the thermal cloudbase mix frustrating, the longest flight being about 30 minutes---never mind it is all good practice.

Everyone agreed , they will be back for more fun at the club.


12 May the first soaring of the course

winds 050/20, isolated showers of rain visibility 25 K.

many thanks to our winch drivers, Tom Coles and Mike Randle. Tom was at the briefing with us at 7.15am, ready to help us make a good day.

Simon Collier and Stephen Fletcher converted to the K23, our great launch rate was assisted by several helpers, many thanks to everyone.

Stephen and I managed a wave flight at 9.30 with a steady 2 knot climb straight off the top of the launch.

The pictures show Stephen preparing to fly the K23 and Mike Randle driving the cable truck --thanks Mike for some great launches.

Well its off to the Rose and Crown now to swap exaggerated stories of the day.


11 May cloudy and drizzle, Simon completes his bronze

forecast visibility 15 K,wind 060/15, cloud bases 1500ft and showers.

Well done Simon Collier, final part of bronze tests completed.

Working between the showers proved difficult, briefings on bronze C met and principles of flight to start, and thermalling to finish.

Everyone managed to get wet today. Thanks to Tom Coles and Steve for sitting it out in the winch---just to do the occasional launch between the showers.

Richard and tom Egan managed to get the tow out gear repaired after a section fell apart, that saved us a lot of walking.

The pictures show Simon working his way around a circuit in pretty cloudy conditions, and below a serious rain shower on its way.

Lets hope for better weather tomorrow.


10 May Stephen Fletcher goes solo

The forecast was very unpromising with rain drizzle and low cloud.

Well, low cloud means cable break practice for everyone. The cloudbase went up sufficiently for Simon Collier to fly his first K21 solo flight and for Stephen Fletcher to fly solo for the first time. Well done to both of them.

it just goes to show, it can be worth putting up with the rain and sitting it out.

Many thanks to Chris Power for standing in on the winch---none of this would have happened without your help. And thanks again to David Hart for the assistance at the launch point.

9 May day one of the course

winds 090/20, visibility 25 K.

We welcome Simon Collier, Stephen Fletcher and Terry Clarke to the course. David the winch driver is away on his holiday. A slight glitch in communications meant we were without a winch driver, but the Cotswold spirit kicked in. Many thanks to Richard and Tom for getting us started and to the chairman Dave for stepping into the breach (after returning from his gliding holiday in France).

Jules and Dave Hart spent the day with us, getting our team up to speed, many thanks to them. Jules is threatening to bring his flying duvet later in the week.

Lots of practice with circuits on the east runway---just the thing.


6 May. The last day of the advanced course.

The weather a little less exciting (from a soaring viewpoint) but warm and pleasant

The day started with a rigging exercise and the ASW19 was put together ready for flight.

Adrian and Colin converted to the ASW 19 and got plenty of practice landing. Both pilots were delighted with the great handling characteristics.

Plenty of achievements this week 1 licence completed, 1 bronze C completed, everyone flew new sailplane types, 2 pilots converted to their own standard cirrus and one winter refresher completed.

So for Adrian and Colin its cross countries next, Peter just needs a 2 hour soaring flight to complete his XCE and he will be hot on their tails.

Not a bad finish point. Well done everyone.


5 May, U3A visit, motor glider cross country endorsements, silver height and loads of fun flying

winds forecast 179/15 and blue thermals.

Mike Randle, Lesley and Chris power hosted the university of the 3rd age visit. Thanks Lesley for organising this successful event.

Lee kindly brought his motor glider to Aston Down, which made it possible for Adrian Irwin to complete his licence and Pete Harvey to complete his cross country endorsement.

Andy Miller popped in to see us, Andy is the BGA Senior examiner for motor gliders. We also had a flying visit from David Jesty, a Nympsfield instructor. David lives about a mile away and was interested to see how the course members were getting on.

Well done Chris Owen for converting onto his own Cirrus---all that hard work paid off---well done. Fingers crossed for Adrian Irwin and silver height .

The evening flying group took over and flew until dusk.


4 May club day good cross country and grass cutting

The winds forecast 200/20, vis 30K and no precipitation (hooray)

The briefing was well attended, the major safety topic being how to avoid the tractors!

The club flying was underway early, with Pat Greer and roger Bagley at the helm.

A very busy launch point with many private owners taking advantage of the good weather.

Pete Harvey converted on to his Cirrus and Chris Owen migrated to the Astir. The course day ended with practical soaring tuition for pete.

Lesley popped in to ensure everything is in place for the University visit tomorrow.

by the end of the day, the grass was collected and the tractors off to another job.

Another good soaring day tomorrow.

3 May--a busy course day, and some good cross country flying

Winds forecast 270/15 with thermals rising to 4000ft QFE.

The course had a number of firsts, Chris first solo in a fibreglass sailplane, and first solo K23, Peter forst solo K23 and first solo Astir. Adrian and Colin spent their time practicing their soaring skills.

Doug Andy and Mike set off on their respective tasks and did very well.

The grass cutter provided various landing challenges, but the grass is nice and short now.


2 May---Bank Holiday weather---showers and chilly

winds forecast 280/20, and a cold front passing through early afternoon.

The first day of course no 6, welcome to Chris Owen, Pete Harvey, Adrian Irwin and Colin Stringer. All 4 are solo pilots looking to develop their skills and complete exercises for their licences.

many thanks to the Lazenby team and Alex Jones for their help getting the field operational.

Paul Lazenby test flew the K23 but the ASI failed after the launch. So it was back to the hangar and into the hands of Mike Randle.

The rain arrived after everyone had check flights, so perfect timing. sadly it persisted for a long time so it was back to the briefing room and Chris had the chance to sit the bronze C exam.

The picture shows Chris reflecting on how he managed to get the warmest job on the airfield.

Sat 30th April

Everything was ready to go before 10. A keen private fleet was already lined up and with a sky filling up with Cu, both single seater and and training launches started together. Flights into Wales for some, with Talgarth as a TP, but involved dodging the showers which became more frequent and extensive as the day went on. Some interesting local soaring for the 2-seaters; thermals were big enough and strong enough for even beginners to try a bit of soaring hands-on experience. (with a bit of guidance from the back) As the cross-country pilots returned through the rain, some coordination over the radio assisted an air-ambulance helicopter that was visiting the trial bikes just to the west of the launch point. The heli-pilot even confirming that we had a glider down in a field just short of A/D. (sorry you didn't make it Tim) Satisfying day, not as cold as expected.

29 April. The end of a windy week, cloud streets to the horizon

Winds(1000ft amsl) 280/25, isolated showers, cloud bases rising to 5000ft. Cu nims and potential thunderstorms.

Richard paid us a few visits and the shelf in the bus is fixed, he brought Tom along to help screw it up!

The pictures are "entitled will it rain?" and "Yes".

The day finished with a great flight for Chris, cloud street to the Severn arriving at 4500ft (QFE).


Thursday 28 April Martin and Colin re solo and is Gerald back?

winds 220/10, visibility 40K and isolated rain showers.

Some wave experienced in advance of the front, climbs to about 3000ft. Towards the end of the day, the winds could be described as boisterous.

Well done to Colin Parker and Martin Jackson on their resolo. Martin is threatening to take up gliding more seriously and get that glider pilot licence.

It was good to see Dave Roberts, who popped in to see how things are going and tell us there are plans afoot to get the single seaters back on line very soon. Dave is off to Sisteron next week---hard life!

It looks like Gerald is back, he popped in for a spot of lunch.


27 April A busy club day

winds 340/10, cloudbases rising to 4000ft and isolated rain showers.

Thermals started around 10am with climbs reported during the day of 6-8 knots. Plenty of big rain showers around.

A good number of club members were at the 8.15 briefing, efficient teamwork meant the field was set up for a 9.15 first launch.

The guys flying solo were trying to wear out the K21, while the course members pushed on with their pre-solo training. Thanks everyone for a fun day with plenty of friendly banter.

The last landing was around 5pm just before we were hit by a huge rain shower. The evening talk was on adiabatic lapse rates and the weather---very appropriate.

26 April Hail snow, rain and sunshine

Winds 330/25 temp showers of rain, grains of snow and hail.

The course met a varied range of weather, as the pictures illustrate.

Chris Power joined us today to cover for Martin Jackson.Martin needed to be elsewhere today. Albert popped in to help during the afternoon, thanks Albert.

launch failure practice was the order of the day with challenging cross wind landings. Very well done everyone. Ground school today included flight limitations and a tutorial on altimetry.

Finally the winds became uncomfortable for us and we stopped flying. Meanwhile Mike Oliver was putting the finishing touches to fitting the recovered cable to B winch.

Winds calmer tomorrow.


25 April Day 1 of course week 5

Winds forecast 320/20 with occasional light rain.

Welcome back to 3 returnees. Chris Dunkel, back from America , Colin Parker from the Northern wastelands and Martin Jackson a local accountant. The day was spent getting everyone back in the saddle and current.

Almost before the glider was out of the hangar, Richard was fixing the switch on Rocky 2 and Mike Randle was peering into the remaining K21 and making tutting sounds.

The day involved to changes of launch point position as we negotiated the varying wind direction. Many thanks to Chris Power and dave breeze for stepping in to help out at the launchpoint. A picture of Dave pumping up the tyre while the rest of us looked on in admiration.

Lunch was an experiment with Cheese toasted sandwiches in the bus accompanied with a talk on altimetry.

In the evening, John Mc William was spotted taking his motor glider out to explore the wave.

Looking forward to another productive day tomorrow.

22 April last day of course rain stops play.

Winds forecast 070/15, a cold front to the north and an occlusion to the south and light rain expected later.

The course carried on for the morning, but eventually the rain became too persistent , and we gave up. Trevor Leger was with us with a sore back but happy to fly. many thanks to Steve Glasset for flying with Trevor and giving him gentle landings.

Mike Oliver appeared looking harassed and asking for cable cutters---yes he is still untangling the cable (personally I think he has been there all night). Mike then left muttering something like "thats it I'm going to cut the ****thing"

The course finished with a briefing on approach control .

The picture is of a very fast Steve wiping off the K21.

For us it is the end of a great fun week. Phil and Trevor have already booked to visit us again next year, we look forward to seeing them again.


21 April Ron goes solo

Winds 060/08, vis 10K, NSW.

The day started with a minor disaster for Trevor Leger, he has put his back out and is now lying in a hotel bed. We all hope he improves quickly and is up and about very soon.

Meanwhile the course proceeded with a smaller crew and remote for launching.

Many thanks to Mike Oliver who spent most of the day trying to untangle the winch cable lying outside the butts, the things that go on behind the scenes.

Congratulations Ron Godsall before the winds freshened in the afternoon went solo.

Lets hope for another good day tomorrow, of course we are all thinking of the lucky guys flying at Portmoak.


20 April Club day on the easterly runway

winds 090/15 and a strong inversion at 3000ft, blue thermals. We hope this is good news for the Scottish expedition group.

A good turnout at the 8.15 briefing, thanks everyone.

Pat Greer and Roger looked after a long list of club pilots anxious to get current again or simply to get airborne. A well oiled team meant we were able to get a good number of launches, despite landing on the runway.

Mike Randle appeared, still working on getting the club aircraft into tip top condition. The rear straps in the K21 are now working ---thanks to his efforts.

The course guys experienced their first circuits on the short runway and landing on tarmac, one commented "its straightforward isnt it"

The red faces in the pictures are wind burn not sunburn.

Cross Country in the ASH25

Ken Lloyd is offering cross country experience flights in the ASH 25 again this year. Aimed at solo to pre-silver pilots (or silver with very little cross country experience). Put your name on the list at the top of the stairs and hope for good weather! It only costs you a launch fee.

Portmoak Expedition

Latest News From Portmoak

The forecast for the early part of the week looked promising, and it has not dissapointed.
Our first flying day Sunday 17th was a ridge day and showering, all aircraft were rigged, Fraser Wilson and Kevin Russell conpleted site checks with Kevin making the most of the conditions by keeping the k21 aloft for nearly 3hrs. All the other Cotswold pilots had ridge flights.
Monday 18th promised wave, so we started early with most pilots in the air by 9.00 am. With showers around the wave gaps closed soon after we started climbing in them. Chris Gough took 88 to 10000ft then got cut off by cloud and landed at Strathalan. The unexpeted arrival of Chris Power helped as he raced off to collect Chris and on their return 88 was rigged and took off for another go.
Nearly all pilots contacted the wave with heights of 17k,16k,14k,14k,12k,11k and Chris reached 19k on his second flight. One Diamond and one Gold Height achieved and Kevin spent another 5 hrs ridge bashing.
Tuesday 19th Strong thermal day, difficult early on then regular climbs to 5500ft, late in the afternoon the wind picked up and the ridge started to work and again Kevin spent 5hrs thermal and ridge bashing to achieve his Silver Height.
Badge claims so far this week (subject to logger verification)
Chris Gough Diamond Height
Ed Foggin Gold Height
Kevin Russell Silver Height
Looks possibly more of the same for the rest of the week.

18 April the start of course week 4

Winds forecast 280/05. high cloudbases, wave and thermal.

Many thanks to the club members who popped in to help get us flying, Dave Hart spent the day with us helping teach our new course the ropes.

Meanwhile in the workshop, Mike Randle was busy working on the club gliders---all this backstage work is essential to keep the flying going.

John McWilliam set off to Wales and found himself at FL95 (base of the airway) over the black mountains---well done to him.

We welcome the new course Phil May (returnee from last year), Trevor Leger( a friend of Phil) and Ron Godsall (club member). The day started on runway21, but the cross wind became too challenging and so we moved to 27.

17th April Best Day of the Year (so far)

The prospect of an excellent day saw the hangar doors open at 7.00am and first launch at 9.30am. By 10.30, Lawrence Wood (see below) had completed his first solo - many congratulations to him. He did well as a sniffer too, soaring for 3/4 hour on his second flight and convincing the grid they should launch. Thereafter, the day proved even better than forecast - by 2pm there were 6 knot climbs to over 5,000'. I think all the x-c pilots got round their tasks - congratulations to Darren Edge on his first 300k and to Jonathan Apperley for getting to Lasham and back. Jon Huband and John McWilliams also to did well to turn St Catherine's point on the Isle of White in the Arcus. Many thanks to winch drivers Paul Lazenby and Dave Roberts.

15 April---Last day of course, great ending despite the cloud

The sounding says it all, so it was into the classroom until lunchtime. Lectures covered speed to fly and field landings.

After lunch the cloud cleared it was possible to consolidate the course training, for some that was how to make a decent cuppa. For others it was perfecting that fully held off landing.

Alan Thomas managed to corner the CFI and get his final bronze sign off. Barrie Taylor was left figuring out how he might get back for another week.

A great week and loads of achievements well done everyone.


14 April, CFI pops in to see the duvet flying?

A good busy day. Light southerly winds and some weak thermals.

Jules treated us to a demonstration of a paramotor flight. very interesting and very skilled. Jules spent another full day helping us run the field---top man, thanks.

The CFI popped in to see how we were getting on, and then dashed off to some business meeting. Gosh how the jet set live.

Well done Dave Hart, first flight in the Astir today.

Everyone else was consolidating the good work to date, loads of solo flying.

Alan Thomas completed the day with a near perfect demonstration of a launch circuit and landing ---very good job. Alan wasn't content with the launch failure practices so gave himself one as well.


13 April A great club day

VRB/05, visibility 25 K to start and cloudbases set to rise during the soaring window.

It was good to see so many club members out, probably tempted with the promise of some good soaring. The real enthusiasts were there for the 8.15 brief and helping to get the aircraft out.

In short order Robin assisted us get the Astir rear wheel puncture repaired, and that made the day for several club members.

Roger Bagley got the club flying underway, Tony Hayes is now well again and enjoying some soaring with his pupils and Andrew Turk stepped in to assist later in the day.

Barrie Taylor resoloed after a 10 year layoff, so very well done to him. Alan Thomas converted to the Astir thanks to an excellent briefing from Andrew Turk. All the course members were working hard at the post solo syllabus and having a great time doing it.

The pictures show Barrie Taylor with a big grin, Alan Thomas preparing to launch in the Astir, Barrie preparing for his launch failure training and the club members looking on.

looking forward to another good day tomorrow.


12 April,First flyable day of the week, course doesnt have the foggiest

Fog and low cloud greeted the course on Tuesday morning. it was so thick the K21 got lost being towed to the northern launch point!

Barrie Taylor had his first flight for 10 years, he thoroughly enjoyed negotiating the low cloud in circuit.

The fog steadily lifted, and then we had much better visibility and training could start in earnest.

Mike Oliver rigged his ASW20 and took advantage of the afternoon of thermals, reporting climbs to 3000ft (above cloud).

Jules the paramotor pilot spent most of the day with us. Jules was enthusiastically helping out and becoming familiar with gliding operations. later in the week he will fly the paramotor (flying duvet) so we can understand how that operation works.

Alan Thomas has now completed his bronze exam and theory oral test. His week is now targetted and getting up to the skills test standard in preparation for his flying test. good luck and well done so far.


8 April end of week and Stephen John goes solo.

Winds forecast 270/10 with no significant rain.

A day for achievements . Well done Stephen for going solo---see you again in August to start work on the bronze C.

Well done Mike Bosley and Stephen Wilkinson, completing the experience element of the bronze C.

What a team, managing to get a slick launch rate all week in the weather windows we had. great job, see you all soon.


7 April, Steve and Mike resolo

Winds 320/25 visibility 25 K.

As we sat in the bus watching the rain run down the windscreen we could see why the Cotswold Airport Scholarship Flying was cancelled.

After a Navigation brief and completion of the bronze C oral test, the skies cleared and we could start flying.

A busy afternoon of launch failure practice and Mike Bosley and Steve Wilkinson resoloed. Very well done to them.

looking forward to another successful training day tomorrow, but a beer at the Rose and Crown beckons first.


6 April, a windy club day

Winds forecast at 270/35.

We were managing to achieve 1500ft launches on the cross runway. mike on the course soared away from the top of the launch to 3000ft before following a cloudstreet to Nympsfield arriving at cloudbase (5000ft).

A few hardy club members turned up and flew with Roger, many thanks to them for their help and thanks to birthday boy Chris for bringing donuts---we enjoyed those immensely.

Alex, Mikes 12 year old son was with us for the day and had his first taster flight with Roger. Needless to say he had fun and returned with a big grin.


5 April---Great soaring day and Sportability visit

winds 290/15, cloudbases rising to 5000ft, thermals up to 8 knots.

Andy, Andrew and Mike acted as hosts to the Sportability group. They certainly know how to pick the day, all 10 had a 30 minute soaring flight with Mike. Very well done and many thanks to the volunteer helpers.

The course guys found themselves soaring and simple Navigation exercises. Cross wind landings were on the agenda all day---everyone getting the hang of it by the end of the day.

A bunch of local pilots flew off in all directions to enjoy the fantastic soaring window.

Thanks everyone for a great day.


5 April and a new course starts

Welcome back to Steve Wilkinson, Stephen John and Mike Bosley.

Light winds 210/05, rain showers expected and possibly thunderstorms.

Despite the forecast the day was only slightly disrupted by rain and low cloud. A good time for some ground school as the course members prepare for the bronze C.

Flying carried on a little later than normal (to catch up) with David smiling and telling us to go for it.

A great day, thanks everyone.


April 1 back to the winds

Winds increased to 35knots at 1000ft.

The course group took advantage of the lighter winds early in the day. Winds eventually became too much and the glider was put away.

Mike Randle and Jane took advantage of the flying operations to get Janes refresher training completed.

The drop in temperature didnt seem to dampen everyones spirits, they just wrapped up and carried on.

31 march Stewart rathbone goes solo and a great soaring day

Cloudbases eventually rose to 5000ft QFE. Strong thermals from around 11 am.

Several cross country flights flown today, everyone had a good time.

Well done Stewart, solo today and his first taste of solo soaring.

pictures show Stewart after his first solo and the grid starting, on the runway---mmmm.

Another good day tomorrow.


30 March--weather improves for the club day

winds settled to 240/15, cloudbases starting at 800ft and rising to 2000ft .

Roger Bagley stepped in to instruct, Tony is not well. many thanks to Roger for that. Once the tyre on the K13 was fixed it was all systems go and members getting back into currency.

The course progresses well, first launch before 9am---now thats teamwork.

The pictures show the sky at 8.30 and Mike admiring (and avoiding) the clouds.

Another good day tomorrow.


Airfield open 7 days a week now

As you will have seen below, our first weekdays' course of 2016 started on Monday 28th March; so welcome back Don for a 3rd season from winter hibernation. Dave Taylor is starting his 2nd season as winch driver. The courses will be using Ka21 'ENK' in preference as the other Ka21 ('GBF'), on loan from Dunstable, costs the club a small amount extra per launch, so it is better for the high volume course usage to be on 'ENK'.
As the airfield is open on all weekdays, club members - including private owners - who wish to fly need to appreciate that course members have not paid their course fees to be cajoled into helping rig / launch / field retrieve / off-site retrieve other club or private gliders. Some may be only too happy to help but that should never be assumed ! Further, please remember that course launches take precedence over others.
So, for those who are either retired or have flexible working arrangements, do make use of the fact the airfield is now operational Monday to Fridays as well as weekends. Have a great season's flying.
DGR / Chairman

Tuesday 29 March wet but fun

The weather threatened thunderstorms and heavy showers. The thunderstorms didnt appear, but the rain showers did.

Interestingly some thermal activity (when it wasnt tipping down) and some wave.

David is now back in the saddle on the winch, his first launch of the season took us up to 2000ft---not shabby at all.

The course progresses well, everyone getting used to some proper wind gradients.

The weather should begin to improve as the week proceeds.

The pictures, Stewart above the clouds, and packing away in the rain


Bank Holiday Monday and the start of the courses.

A breezy day and broken thermals. With winds from the west, operations where from runway 27.

Welcome to Stewart Rathband, Mike Counsell and Ron Godsall. Stewart and Mike are on their 3rd course with us and Ron is a club member.

Thanks to Chris Power for standing in and operating the winch, thanks also to all the club members who came out to help.

Matt Page successfully completed his final instructor assessment and becomes our first instructor under the new system.

The weather for the rest of the week looks unsettled and getting better as the week progresses.


Good Friday

It was, Chris Jones and his Scouts were the early birds on the airfield getting the kit out. There was some uncertainty over the runway direction as the wind was due to go more southerly during the day and with gliders rigged at both ends of the airfield we opted to start from the south end. The grid watched the second K21 launch of the day start soaring and launched, some off on cross country tasks. The wind started to go more southerly and freshened so we changed ends, there was good local soaring available until quite late in the day with the scouts getting some good training flights.
All the cross country pilots returned OK with the exception of Jonathan Apperley who gained some good pre-competition experience with his first field landing.
Thanks to everyone who helped and hope that everybody enjoyed themselves as the next few days look dire!

Happy Easter!

Thermaling under overcast sky

Sunday 20th was very cold again but suprisingly soarable under an overcast sky. Here we are sharing a thermal with the newly refurbished K13.

New Toys Come Out

Saturday was the turn of the ASG29 which flew for longer than anybody else. Brian assured us that he only used the engine for five minutes of his hour airborne.
Yesterday Tom's ASW27 came out. The rest of us were restricted to slightly extended training circuits for the most part, interrupted by a NOTAM at lunch time.
For a time the vis. was so bad we had to restrict the number of gliders in the air together. We were impressed by a resplendent HXJ, making its appearance rejuvenated after its long sojourn in the workshop.

A February Cross Country Day

A cold bright start, but with the sunshine and light winds it didn't feel too cold. The K21s and the K23 were busy all day with some local soaring and the good weather enticed a few private owners to attempt some short cross country flights with Mike Oliver venturing the furthest. Cloudbase was about 4300' ASL and some 4-5 knot average climbs were available. A good day for February.

Valentines Day

Today, the club seemed to be a refuge for blokes who had forgotten to buy their other halves some flowers or a card and were keeping out of the way until things cooled down. It was nice to see the sun again and there was some good flying to be had in the bitterly cold north-east wind. Matt Page gave the trial lessons some good flights and Ed Foggin and Tony Parker were kept busy in the K21s. Paul Glassett took yours truly to 3,000' in the K21 - after three diversions into sink he sensibly started ignoring my centering instructions and did very well under some great cloud streets. Thanks to Paul and Richard Cawsey for driving the winch.

Seize the Day

Sunday 07/02. A handful of members suffering from gliding withdrawal decided to get a few launches in before Storm Imogen took hold. We had to dodge showers and low cloud, but fun was had with the highest launch to 2450'. Unusually for Aston Down the ground was very soft with standing water in a few places, so landings were on the runway again.

Aston Down on Countryfile

Rose Buck and her imprinted geese were on Countryfile today. For the next four weeks you can see it on iPlayer. The item starts at 54m55s.

Saturday 23rd January

An enthusiastic crew was onsite for 8.30am, however the weather wasn't quite so enthusiastic and we had to wait until midday before the mist cleared. Thereafter we had pleasant afternoons flying. As in previous years, we were pleased to be joined by visitors from Usk who came to launch their Grob 103 from our tarmac. Doug Gardner and Helen Wilson landed 10 minutes after sunset having contacted some weak wave in the K21. Thereafter we adjourned to the club house for a well attended AGM.

Freezing Saturday

On Saturday 16th a number of members turned up early and the hangar doors were open before 8:30. The day had dawned cold and bright, with clear blue skies and little wind. One of the K21s was looking grubby, so many thanks Darren Wills for braving the cold and washing the muck off. At the launchpoint we had to wait for the air temperature to rise so that water did not freeze on the glass fibre wings. The Capstan had the winch to itself while this happened. Chris Swann and Chris Power took the winch out, and John Docherty followed his morning duty pilot role with a winch session in the afternoon. Andy Smart aalso did some winching, but here were many others who also played their part. At the end of the day we had achieved 42 much appreciated launches, not bad for January. Oh and Mike Weston flew both his Arcus and his Capstan. He didn't say which he preferred!

Sunday 10th January - Flying from a paddy-field

Flying started late morning when the rain stopped. To avoid making further ruts after yesterday because of the state of the airfield, landings were confined to the runway with only one K21 being used. All trial lessons were cancelled.

Sale of 2nd PW6 (KRX) and other fleet news

Before Christmas the Essex GC confirmed they wanted to go ahead to convert the option we gave them to purchase our 2nd PW6 ("KRX"), having bought the1st PW6 from us in June 2015.
Today a group of grounded glider pilots at Aston Down (you did notice the rain.....) got the PW6 into the workshop to give it a good clean and polish before it is collected by Essex GC, which may be next weekend of the one after. If you want to say goodbye to a glider that has served us well since 2008, now's your chance. The fuselage is in the workshop. In part exchange Essex GC is selling us the Ka21 trailer that belongs to "ENK", and which will service both ENK and our brand new Ka21 which is scheduled to be collected from Germany in June (date being verified later this week). In the meantime we have the use of a Ka21 loaned to us by London GC at Dunstable, to back up our own "ENK" Ka21.

The Ka13 "HXJ" should be flying again in the next few weeks after extensive refurbishment and overhaul. Lastly the Ka23 is still scheduled to be taken to Slovenia late March for a complete refurbishment, which should take about 6-7 weeks.

DGR / chairman

New Years Day 2016

"We few, we happy few, we band of brothers" It was a select band of brothers (and one sister) that turned out to launch the club into the New Year on a somewhat cold and grey day, The fresh easterly saw us consigned to operating from the west end of the cross runway (blehh!). Darren and Geoff Dixon claimed the first flight of the the year. Thereafter there were some enjoyable aerobatic flights. Rain stopped play at 14.00 and we adjourned to the club house for some excellent sausage rolls courtesy of Lesley Waters. Many thanks to Paul Lazenby for driving the winch.

Last thermals of the year

Several members turned out on what's likely to be the last flyable day of the year. A gentle breeze straight down the runway gave launches to 2200' and the odd thermal meant some of us ended up paying soaring fees.

The Shortest day (almost)

Sunday 20th December - the first flyable weekend day for a very long time. Although the airfield was very squelchy underfoot, sometimes giving the buggies trouble in moving two seaters, we are better placed than some clubs in having hard runways and a well-drained airfield. Many without these advantages couldn't operate after the monsoons of recent weeks.

Every serviceable club glider was out except the ASW19. Many members enjoyed their first flights since October. Apart from a prolonged hiatus while we sheltered from torrential rain, all three glass two seaters were kept busy all day giving flying to those who felt rusty and completing Winter Refreshers for two members, as well as a lot of Trial Lessons.
The wind thought to be in excess of 40 kts at height enabled launches to around 2000 ft and at least one to above 2300 ft.

The modified winches with automatic pay-out brakes were tried out for the first time. One has been completely re-furbished and the other is awaiting similar treatment.. The opportunity is being taken to give all winch drivers refresher training while familiarising them with the modifications - a start was made on this by Simon, Andy and Chris. It is hoped this re-training will enable everyone to be kinder to the winches, so keeping them in their newly re-furbished state for longer.

Festive aspects to the day included Darren's headgear and Jane's mince pies, distributed after hangar packing.

Photos by Tim Barnes

Important advice on Flarm updates

For the Flarm addicts, this and the subsequent postings seem to be an important bit of advice:

DGR / Chairman

Are you insured?

Here's another warning from the CAA, this time about a balloon pilot who was caught without insurance.

Financial Assistance for Young Pilots

Here are two items from the BGA website about financial assistance for young pilots:

Air League Scholarships

Applications are now being accepted for 2016 Air League Gliding Scholarships. These are for solo pilots aged 16-25 and are designed to help them to broaden their flying experience through aerobatic, cross-country or SLMG training. Awards are typically around 300 and cover flying fees at any Junior Gliding Centre or at a number of other selected clubs.

Full details and an online application, which must be completed by 19th February are at (the application process is at

RAeC Trust Bursaries

The Royal Aero Club Trust has announced details of its 2016 Bursary Scheme.

The 2016 bursaries include The Presidents Scholarships (2 bursaries each worth up to 750); the Peter Cruddas Foundation Scholarship worth up to 1,000; the Breitling Bursary worth up to 750; the MacRobert Trust Bursaries (2 bursaries each worth up to 500); and the Bramson Bursary, as well as a number of additional bursaries worth up to 500 each. These are available to anyone between 14 and 21 years of age wishing to develop their interest in either air sports or aviation.

Additionally, Follow-on Bursaries are available to assist committed applicants, aged up to 24, reach even higher levels of achievement through, for example, participation in national and international competitions.

Full details and application forms are available on the Trust web site at

Note that the closing date for applications to be received at the RAeC is 31st March 2016. These need to be countersigned by a sponsor such as your CFI and submitted via the BGA. To ensure that applications are processed by the deadline, your application should be received at the BGA office no later than 17th March.

Mike Randle visits his 100 year old student pilot

Last Thursday (19 November) Mike and Jane Randle had lunch with 100 year old ex ATA ferry pilot Jill Farquarson, at her home at Frampton-on-Severn. Jill was presented by the Club chairman with a certificate of honorary membership of CGC before lunch. This was all a surprise for her and for the 21 other residents of the care home "Wisma Mulia". See the news item on the blog for end of August, to see Jill in the cockpit of a Ka 21 during the Junior Nationals, when Mike took her for an extended flight over the local area.

We plan to invite Jill back for another flight at Aston Down around the time of her next birthday (101) on 28th May 2016. Ahead of that we shall call the Guinness Book of Records office to come and witness a combined age of 182 in a glider cockpit (Jill will be the 101 year old, in case anyone has doubt.......).

Local press coverage this last week is at:

Final PW6 Flight

On Thursday 12th November half a dozen mid-week stalwarts got some interesting flying after persistent fog in the morning until increasing wind rounded off the day. Earlier the K23 had to be put away and the PW6 substituted when the wind began to increase. Eventually, the wind reached the limit even for the PW6. Launch heights were limited to 1800 ft QFE by the cloud otherwise the strong wind would have given even more.

Unless plans change, this turned out to be the last time a PW6 flew at Aston Down. Eric Lomas and Mike Randle had the honour of the very last flight.

Bonfire night 7 November

Last night's bonfire party went very well. During the day Matt Page and Brian Birlison managed, using the JCB, to coral all the pallets that had been dumped / strewn along the disused runway by tenant companies at Aston Down, into a reasonable shape. The SW wind was meant no problem lighting the fire without risking the new hangar ! Philip Walker kindly organised the fireworks display (and provided some at his own expense - thanks Philip), and Jacqui and team laid on some great soup and pork baps. A very enjoyable evening.

A Blast from the past

A few members who were around in the 1970s (maybe 1980s) may remember a former club member, Roger Farmer, who used to live at Winchcombe. He has retired some time ago and now lives in Spain and has taken up gliding again, this time at Fuentemilenos, NW of Madrid. Roger will be at Cotswold GC next Sunday morning, 8th November, so if you want to meet up with him, please come along. I shall be log keeping Sunday morning, so you'll know where to find us.

DGR / chairman

Haloween - Sat 31/10/2015

A crack team had all the two-seaters washed and on-line for 9.30. Sadly, the weather didn't play ball and we sat under solid cloud at 650' - we know because we launched a couple of gliders into it just to check. The clag finally started to lift and break around 11.30 and we were rewarded by some stunning flights above the broken cloud at 900'. Things steadily improved and we enjoyed a good afternoon's flying in the autumn sunshine. Gerry Holden and Simon Lucas were kept busy doing instructor renewals for Robin Birch, Geoff Dixon and Roger Bagley, and Matt did a great job of flying the two ladies on the one-day-course, touching down on his final flight just after sunset. Many thanks to winch drivers Max Lazenby and Graham Turner

Portmoak Expedition

News so far from Portmoak :
Sunday 18th dawned with very light Easterly winds, several pilots made use of the Euro Fox tug and had several inexpensive Aero tows.
Monday 19th started with very light westerlies, Caleb completed his site checks, took a launch in the Astir, then Robin Birch,Chris Huck and Paul Glassett took dual Aero tows with myself, the wind freshened and the last two flights made use of ridge lift.
Today (Tuesday) we were alerted to the possibility of Wave, we were all on site and online by 8.00 am along with several local pilots and the tug, the sky looked full of wave but unfortunately it was to weak to use, but the ridge worked all day.
Congratulations to Caleb who flew on the ridge for 5hrs, completing his Silver C, everyone else made use of the ridge for flights between 6hrs and 2hrs.
The wind is forecast to strengthen over the next couple of days so we may be lucky and get some wave.

Portmoak Update.

Wednesday was forecast to be another wave day, the wave was low level reaching around 7000ft, Caleb got his first taste of wave along with most of the CGC pilots. As forecast the approaching front arrived around 4pm causing the local cloud base to eventually reduce to around 800ft. unfortunately several gliders were cut off to the north including Simon Buckley who landed in a field.

Thursday started as forecast, 25kt westerly gusting 40kts the forecast was for the wind to drop in the afternoon and around 2pm the gusts reduced to 30kts.
E8,VV and FZK rigged and took launches. Rotor over the Ridge and Loch indicated wave which set up over the club. Chris Huck and Simon Buckley reached over 12000ft with myself reaching 7000ft in 4kts lift before opening the air brakes for Richard Burgoyne to fly. With sunset at 17:45 all were back by last landing of 18:00hrs.

Friday was cloudy and South westerly, but the sat pics showed wave above, despite this Robin,Simon B, Paul, Steve and Caleb decided to head south as Saturday was forecast wet and windy all the way home.
The rest of us rigged and flew, wave was there gaps opened and closed, Chris Huck reached 11000ft. The five CGC pilots flying Friday notched up nearly 15hrs flying between us.
All in all a very successful week, we flew every day, in Ridge, Wave lift, some good heights interesting flying and a silver completed.

Next trip April 2016

Simon Lucas

First solo (in more ways than one)

Here is Rohan Christopherson, who flew his first solo at the weekend, with instructor Paul Lazenby. Rohan is the first pupil Paul has sent solo.

9 October last day of course season ---are the Geese or Swans?

light winds, foggy to start and sunshine later.

Waiting around until midday for the fog to clear was too much for Mike Oliver, who decided the cross country day would be too short, if even possible. Bryan and I discovered that the Swan and Geese exercising is to build the stamina of the birds before they go off for filming. The owner spent 4 months with the birds after hatching to build a family relationship, they now follow her everywhere.

Tom Coles went off to the Jolly Nice and treated us to egg and bacon rolls---delicious and also the signal for weather to start to clear up.
Simon and Bryan continued to practice their solo skills, circuit planning and some soaring (bases about 2000ft). Rather a lot of cloud around to start, so dual flying only---Tom remarked that flying above the clouds at 1500 ft gave him the same buzz as his first trial lesson, absolutely great.

Tom went on to complete his bronze C---very well done Tom.

Thanks Roger Smith or coming out and helping us at the launch point.

Mike andle enlightened us all when he pointed out that the Geese in the blog picture are actually Swans. What actually happened is we tried to cheat and used a picture from a different day---oops.

Anyway this is the course instructor signing off. Thanks everyone for a fun year and for all your support. keep Flying and keep safe.


8 October---unofficial club day, Simon Collier goes solo and Bryan converts to the K23

Winds 250/05, visibility 30K, cloudbases rising to 4000ft QNH.

Notam class D around Kemble from 16.15 Z.

It was good to see the club solo pilots today. ASW19, Astir and K23 were out, that gave everyone an opportunity to fly and several managed decent soaring flights---well done.

Mike Weston brought the Ventus out for an airing and reported significantly varying cloudbases over the region.

David Tyres spent a day with the course to replace a lost day earlier in the year. Simon Collier completed his launch failure training before going solo. Bryan Field consolidated his solos of yesterday and then converted to the K23. So a very good day.

7 October A very wet start to the club day---lots of flying in the afternoon

winds 300/25, visibility 30K, rain until midday.

It was good to see a bunch of keen club members at the 8.15 briefing. The briefing was extended to include a tutorial on map reading.

By midday winchie David was champing at the bit to get going, so we did. but David its still drizzle.

Mike Oliver went off to Nympsfield to enjoy the ridge, and arrived back later to report he had a load of fun and stayed to help retrieve a glider out of a field.

Bryan Field continued to practice his solo flight, and Simon Collier discovered he quite likes spinning after all.

Well done Alun Thomas, cleared to fly the K23 solo by Pat Greer.

6 October low cloud and drizzle, until midday, exams in the morning and Bryan Field goes solo in the afternoon

Rain and drizzle to start. winds 140/15,low cloud rising pm.

A morning in the classroom followed by bronze C exams, congratulations to Tom Coles---he passed.

After lunch we managed some flying including a solo flight or two by Bryan Field, very well done to him---bronze C next step.

Monday 5th October, low cloud and wet

Winds 180/25, visibility 20K, rain and drizzle for the morning, a break in the weather in the afternoon.

The day started with a splendid view of the Geese chasing the car up the long runway. Their daily exercise consisted of 4 complete runs, fabulous view.

Welcome back to Bryan Field and welcome Simon Collier who are on the final course of the year.

Briefings all morning on subjects ranging from principles of flight , altimetry and launch failures. Eventually we managed to fly around 2 pm.

Thanks Lesley and Dave Breeze for your help.

2 October. A group of club pilots get together for a day of flying---Colin Stringer completes his bronze C

Winds 080/05, visibility 25K and a strong inversion at 2000ft.

It was great to see a group of club pilots take advantage of the weather and join us on the field. The Astir and K23 were in constant use and the launchpoint busy and well run. Lesley managed to grab a couple of solo circuits in the PW6 but decided against flying the K23 visibility poor, bales of grass scattered around the field and a lot of activity, she decided better to wait---good call.

The course finished on a high, Colin Stringer completed his bronze C and has signed up as a new member. Colin, a lapsed PPL, has spent a total of three weeks on CGC courses, with a good deal of effort on his part, he managed to complete bronze C in 3 weeks---very well done. Stewart Rathband is off to do a PPL and plans to return next year to complete his glider pilot training, he is now at the unprompted pilot stage. Mike Counsell did particularly well, and despite having to dash off to look after his Mum, achieved the unprompted pilot stage. Mike is off to Peru in a few weeks, and then plans to return early next year to finish the training.

The K21, Robin Birch, and a bunch of trial lessons arrived just as the bales of hay started appearing on the field. They did manage to get some flights completed and some big smiles.

Thanks to all the stalwarts who kept the show on the road for us.

1 October---great weather for the courses.

Wind 070/15, fine weather and blue thermals.

Mike Counsell got to grips with some awkward blue thermals, managing to climb to 2500ft before the strong inversion beat him. Colin continued to learn to soar the K23.

Launch failure practice all morning, while we kept a careful eye on the farmers activities, one turning the grass and the other sowing.

Many thanks again to Lesley who continued to help our small group by maintaining the logs and signalling. We were pleased to see Phil Mead, who brought the ASW19 out for an airing, just a little too late to enjoy the mid afternoon thermals.

Wednesday 30 September ---Colin gets first XCE soaring flight

Winds 090/20, 20k visibility, in the afternoon thermals to 3500ft.

A good club day with the K23 in big demand, and duty instructor tony busy all day in the K21.

Well done to Colin Stringer who managed his first soaring flight for the cross country endorsement. Colin is on his 3rd course this year and now working towards his bronze C.

Thanks everyone for a very good day.,

29 September.

Winds 100/15 visibility 20K, strong inversion at 2500ft

The grass cutters had been working overnight, so we now have a nice lawn to land on.

The Swans were also being flown down the runway, what a beautiful sight.

many thanks to Lesley for looking after the log sheets all day. And welcome to Chris power who took advantage of the pleasant flying to stay current in the K23.

The lecture was "approach control" followed by a 2:1 pie at the Weighbridge---perfeck.

28 September First day of course, lesley completes her bronze C

Winds 130/15, blue thermals to about 2500ft.

Welcome back to Stewart Rathband, Colin Stringer and Mike Counsell.

Mike Randle gave some bronze training to Martin Yates.

Colin re-soloed and Lesley Waters passed her bronze C exam and therefore her bronze C. Well done Lesley.

25 September Graham Shead goes solo and a good cross country day

Light winds, and cloudbases rising to 4000ft with good 6 knot thermals

Mike Oliver set off on a 300 and managed to get away before any of were able to just stay airborne. Well done mike.

Mike Weston,looked after J Keegan who was here for a one day course.

Many thanks to Lesley for her assistance on the course.

It was good to see Graham back after his urgent rush to take care of his wife. graham completed his basic training and went solo---very well done.

24 September---

Winds 260/25, visibility 30K and isolated showers of rain.

Well done Sam Kennett, bronze C exam passed.

Well done Lesley Waters, bronze c experience flights completed with her 20th solo.

Steve Glassett looked after 2 trial lesson visitors.

The course guys started practicing launch failures and spins. After an exhausting day it was a pie dinner at the tunnel pub.

Weather tomorrow looks more pleasant.

23 September Club day

Winds 250/15, visibility 30K. A messy weather system off to the west.

Soaring was limited to a mix of wave and thermal, broken up by the higher upper winds.

Briefing at 8.15 was well attended. first launch 9.00am---well done everyone.

The K23 was in high demand and Pat Greer was busy all day looking after the club 2 seat training.

Well done to Colin Stringer, passed bronze C exam.

The course is going well, launch failure practice now started. Sadly Graham needed to pop off home after hearing his wife had been taken to hospital, we all hope she gets well very soon.

22 September More rain, but the course goes on

Winds 340/20 vis 20K drizzle and rain to start.

Briefings started with circuit planning, trimming and winch launches. Yes it was still raining, so we moved onto Altimetry and then the weather----and then the rain stopped.

even with the late start we managed to get the flight training done, thanks again to Lesley for her assistance.

A tiring but good fun day.

21 September and the course week starts

The day was greeted by SW winds at about 15 knots, and low cloud and drizzle.

Graham Shead returns for his 2nd course this year and brought his son Neal along to find out if flying sailplanes is for him. Also welcome to Chris Blewett and Helen Chittock from Fenland GC.

Richard and his team set about various airfield chores. The work behind the scenes is seemingly endless, thanks again guys.

Thanks to Steve Glassett and Lesley Waters for all the help and support with the course.

After a morning of briefings the weather improved in the afternoon and the course flying got underway. Well done everyone, a slick operation meant a good afternoon of flying---and yes we did find one or two thermals.

2016 Standard Class and 20m 2-seater Nationals

We are pleased to announce that we will be hosting the 2016 Standard Class & 20m 2-seater Nationals along with the Cotswold regionals from 18th June to 26th June 2016.

Saturday 12th :At Minchinhampton Country Fayre

A group of members took a simulator and the ASW19 to the Fayre on Saturday. We sold a trial lesson, well actually took a deposit for one, and held a competition to win a year's membership. There was only one question to answer, and that was "How long was the longest flight from Aston Down Airfield this summer, in miles?"

We received a range of answers, from 25 to 893 miles, but the winner was Nigel who was closest to the right answer of 429 miles. Philip Walker flew to Wales and East Anglia back in July. Of course there is still time for a longer flight, if you're quick!

Well done Philip and Nigel too!

Many thanks to all the club members who helped, I think we were all too busy to take a photograph!

Adrian Giles

11 September The bus gets its new windscreen, and Sportability have a great day

Winds forecast 130/25. Visibility 20K but no rain. A low centred over Ireland and an occluded front slowly moving towards us.

A cold night and beautiful morning for those that were up to see it.

The winds started off relatively calm so launching started on runway 21.

Austin Rose and Chris Power teamed up so they could fly the K23, which they did until we were forced to move to 27 when the winds strengthened.

Richard and his team set to work supervising the new windscreen, doing some metalwork and fixing the bus generator. Many thanks again for your very valuable help.

Before the Sportability group could fly, a team set to and rigged the DG500. They went on to have a great day with 10 happy people, some enjoyed soaring to 3000ft. Well Done Mike and Eugene.

The last day of another course. Everyone pretty exhausted after a very busy week.

10 September. I see no ships

Winds forecast 120/20. Visibility 30K. low level inversion to start.

Launches at the start of the day were to above the inversion and the cloud layer. As the day progressed the thermic activity improved significantly until we were able to climb in 6 knots to over 4000ft. The cross wind presented a challenge for the beginners.

Mike Oliver, showed us all the way by scratching away in the early stages and battling into a 20 knot headwind.

The ASW 19 was taken out and flown by Phil mead.

Locally the upper winds were significantly weaker. All the course members had an opportunity to practice soaring, john Hammond was still soaring at 6 pm.

Classic cars at Aston Down this coming weekend (12-13th Sept)

Gill Hayward has organised an MG “T Types” event this weekend, based near Tortworth (Wootten Under Edge), including 12 trial lessons for the drivers on each of Saturday and Sunday. The plan is that one instructor is dedicated to looking after and flying the visitors, with a dedicated two-seater, probably the Ka21. So club members please bear this in mind if the weather is good and there are lots of people to fly; we shall need one club glider line and one private glider line.

Gill is a T type fan, owning MG TC and TD models. Until last year I also owned one - a TF, below. It will be an opportunity to see these lovely classic cars alongside the gliding activities.

Some were disappointed that last weekend they did not know about the balloon event terminating at Aston Down on both days. But I only got the phone call mid-week from the organiser asking for help, and then it was only for briefing room facilities early morning and evening as the plan was to launch from Stroud and not come to Aston Down in balloons. As it turned out the plans changed and we had a spectacular sight of balloons arriving en masse. Next year we’ll try and give more notice…..

DGR / chairman

9 September another busy club day.

Winds forecast 110/15. Visibility 30K. Cloudbases rising during the day.

It was good to see club members arriving for the 8.15 briefing and helping get the aircraft out first thing. A few now trying to figure out what the tow out gear for the K23 and K21 might look like---some "interesting" designs were considered.

Many thanks to Pat Greer and Roger for keeping the club flying going. The K23 is very popular with pilots being converted onto it. Some soaring was achieved but not a huge amount. Over 50 launches by the end of the day.

The course progresses well with John Hammond completing the syllabus and mastering the finesse in circuit, Stephen John getting to grips with circuit planning and Lesley working on those fully held off landings. The evening briefing was stalling and IMSAFE.

Expect a foggy start tomorrow.

8 September, Day 2 of course

After a slow start due to low cloud, the new course group went on to have a busy day.

Sunny Sunday

A good day's training and local soaring, with cross country for some. Doug and Lesley set off in the DG500 to visit the Isle of Wight but didn't like the look of all that water so turned back at Portsmouth, eventually landing at Wroughton after 6.5 hours.
Several members had a first taste of the K23 and liked it.

Balloon invasion

Sometimes it is definitely worth getting up early, Those on site at 8am on Sunday were treated to a very colourful spectacle as AD was used as the landing site for a fleet of around a dozen hot air balloons participating in a competition. The balloons (including one with Simon Lucas in) had lifted off from Upton St Leonards and had had to drop markers as close as possible to crosses marked out in various fields along the way. Paul Lazenby and Tim Barnes jumped in the Falke to photograph them as they came in - the full set of photos can be seen at

3 September. can we have our winch back please

Winds forecast at 330/15, visibility 30K and isolated rain showers.

The sky launch guys arrived to repair the guard on the winch. Disaster struck when the 2nd winch had a power problem and needed to be taken off line. After lots of head-scratching and rethinking, we managed to get launched by 3pm. The course guys were forced into the classroom to talk about bronze C exam stuff.

The evening group arrived at around 6 pm to take over.Sadly they walked into a slow puncture on the PW6.

Thanks everyone for pulling together to help overcome the frustrations of the day.

2 September club day

winds 3000/10, visibility 25K, cloudbases 2500, showers of rain pm.

briefing at 8.15 was well attended.

launching started a little after 9.00, and Tom Coles managed to get 2 real launch failures in succession. Colin and Sam continued to consolidate their solo flying while Richard began to master approach control. The course day ended with a briefing on thermal soaring.

Tony and Roger looked after the club operations, a number of pilots converting to the K23.

Soaring was quite good but limited by heavy rain showers and low cloud bases.

Thanks to the Wednesday team for removing the poles from the comp camping area, getting the buggy into the workshop for repair and for coming up with various ingenious ways of pouring hot water from a kettle with no handle.

A heavy rainshower at 4.30 discouraged many from staying later, those who stayed enjoyed a great early evening.

1 September Colin Stringer goes solo

Winds forecast 320/10 visibility 25K, showers cloudbases rising to 2500ft

Launch failure practice this morning before Tom Coles and Sam Kennett resoloed.

Well done to Colin Stringer who went solo for the first time today.

Doug Gardiner was tempted out by the threat of thermals and did set off before arriving back in a heavy rain shower.

The Nympsfield club LS4 couldn't quite make it back to NYM and landed out at AD. Aerotow retrieve for him.

Lots of tug activity today as various tugs returned home after the comps.

The evening flying group took over at 6 pm. The evening promised good visibility calm conditions.

31 August Courses restart

Heavy rain, low cloud and light northerly winds was the Monday morning greeting.

Welcome Tom Coles, Sam and Richard Kennett and Colin Stringer. Tom and Sam are working towards resolo. Colin, an ex PPL is on his 2nd course and Richard is just learning.

While we waited for the rain to ease, we filled our time with a number of briefings before venturing out onto a very wet airfield. We managed 8 introductory flights before the drizzle returned and we retired to the clubhouse.

Many thanks to the hard-working volunteers who helped clear the post competition debris, emptying bins getting rid of various bottles and cans and presumably dishing out head-ache pills to those still suffering from the night before.

Many thanks to our guests who did their bit towards clearing up and leaving the camping ground in good order. We look forward to seeing you again---please bring better weather next time!!.

A Special Guest at the Junior Nationals

On Saturday 29th August we had a special guest at the daily briefing of the Junior National Championships at Cotswold GC. Jill Farquarson used to fly at Aston Down, not in the era of Cotswold GC but in WW2 as a member of the ATA (Air Transport Auxiliary). The ATA had some 166 lady pilots delivering all sorts of aircraft including Spitfires, Stirling bombers, Lysanders etc from factories to the front line fighter and bomber stations. About 10 days ago Jill was brought from her home at Frampton on Severn to Aston Down by her carer, Ann Rigelsford, to 'see the place where she used to fly'. Club chairman David Roberts got into conversation with her and invited her back to present the day prizes at the Junior Nationals. Jill told the audience she gained her pilot's licence on 14th June 1942, and that "if you follow the rules and do not do anything stupid you may survive as long as I have" !
Jill had a wonderful morning, a sustained round of applause from the competitors, and then to cap it all an aerotow flight in a Ka 21 (to over 2000ft) with Mike Randle. Their combined ages in the cockpit, probably a UK record for a glider, was 181 years. And no, Mike is not 95. But Jill is a sprightly 101. A few pictures from a very emotional morning, not just for Jill but for her instructor and others as well. The last picture is after the flight.

21 August last day of courseand beginning of comp.

Winds 190/25. isolated showers of rain and cloud bases at 400ft to start.

Launch failure training again. Cloud bases did eventually rise around 1 pm.

Remy and Paula managed some more solos and Peter did more instructor training.

Winds picked up in the afternoon until solos were no longer advisable.

The bus now has a new livery, as John Docherty fitted the new sponsorship signs to the advertising panels. A good jet wash and the bus will look quite smart.

During the afternoon competition members started to arrive and tents popped up. Tugs started to provide launches to those pilots that wanted to familiarise themselves with the site.

Lets hope the weather is kind to the comp.

20 August Caroline and Remy go solo

Forecast winds 190/15 and visibility 25K. cloudbases low to start and increasing to 2000ft later. Occasional rain showers.

The first launches encountered low cloud, so we practiced launch failures to start. Peter continued his instructor training by demonstrating the correct procedures.

Caroline completed her training and went solo. She encountered some rain---nothing new to her this week--and handled it perfectly.

Remy completed his training and went off solo with his Mum watching anxiously from the ground.

The first of the competition visitors started to arrive today, lets hope the weather breaks for them.

Evening Flying was interrupted by showers of rain, until the team decided to stop.

19 August rain on its way so lets get started. Police request suspension of flying

Winds forecast 180/20. Messy frontal systems out to the west. cloud forecast at 2000ft.

Briefing was at 7.15 with first launch 8.00am.Launch failure practice to start---Caroline found herself above cloud and only at 600 ft herself, very pretty but clouds were significantly lower than they appeared from the ground. The picture below was taken around 9.00 o'clock, a bunch of enthusiastic club pilots waiting to get flying.

Mid morning we were asked to suspend flying while a police helicopter carried out a search for an escaped convict. We see it all at Aston Down.

One private aircraft appeared on line, Darren Wills trying out the Jeans Astir for size. By midday the rains appeared and most of the gliders were packed away in the hangar. The course continued operating between the rain showers until we were also forced to give up.

The course rather wet by this time dried off and went down to the Weighbridge for a pie and a pint. On our return a small team were seen putting up a large tent in readiness for the competition. All I know, it was dark and raining when we went to bed---the tent was still being assembled. Thats dedication for you.

18 August--Paula goes solo and lots of interest in the K23

Winds starting 300/15 and veering southerly. Visibility 30K and improving. cloudbases from 2000ft.

It took most of the day to realise that the soaring conditions were not going to develop. That didnt stop a few members from taking the opportunity to fly the (new to the fleet) K23.

Paula finished her launch failure training and went off solo. She is pictured here with Peter ,her father. peter was celebrating his birthday so well done Paula and happy birthday Peter.

With the buggies desperate for fuel, we were delighted to see David, our chairman, appear with some full cans to replenish the stocks. He also brought a broom so Caroline could sweep out the bus, which she did while muttering we are an untidy load of ******rs.

The briefing in the evening included an excellent explanation of trimming presented by Peter Howarth. This is part of his instructor training.

Tomorrow we start at 7.15, will we see you there?

17 August and course No 21 starts

Winds VRB 05. Visibilty 30K Cloudbases 4000ft +, and soarable for part of the day.

We welcome Paula Howarth and Peter her father, and Remy Brooks Johnson and mother Caroline. Paula and Peter are from Dartmoor and are looking for concentrated training. Caroline and Remy are returning from a course earlier in the year with the aim of getting closer to solo.

Peter Howarth and Josh Vaggs were cleared to fly the K23, well done to them.

Mike Randle entertained some Dutch visitors (I suppose that is double dutch?). They enjoyed themselves in the DG500.

A number of cross country pilots came out to try out the conditions which became surprisingly good with cloudbases of 5000ft and strong climbs.

Thanks to Chris Power for his help and the photos.

Unseen helpers have been working away preparing for the Junior nationals next week. banners in the hangar, a cordoned of parking area and freshly painted airfield identifiers.

A great day and we look forward to another tomorrow.

14 August ---too wet even for the course.

winds forecast 320/20. visibility in light rain of 15K. low cloudbase.

The synoptic chart says it all. Briefings covered spinning with practice on the simulator. IMSAFE and then a wrap up completing the paperwork.

Michael Blake is off to his beautiful boat in Greece, Sarah Eckereder is back home to find a gliding club and Bryan Field is back to work at Kidlington airfield. Thanks for a great week and we hope to see you again.

The Hay bales have been removed thanks Gill, The runway has been swept thanks Dave, the gents showers have been put into working order thanks Richard and the K21 seat back has been strengthened ready for saturday thanks Robin.

13 August Excuse me, did you drop something?

Winds forecast 060/15 visibility reducing to 15 Km showers of rain and low cloud.

This course group were not going to be put off by such a negative forecast. The day started with 500ft cloudbases and launch failure practice. Steadily the cloudbases went up to the dizzy heights of 1200ft. 28 launches later, we packed away---tired but pleased with ourselves.

The challenges of the day were increased with a farmers bale in the middle of the approach path!! We think he must have dropped it.

Our visitors couldn't be tempted to fly, they contented themselves with reading books and flying the simulator.

John was busy in the clubhouse organising floor cleaning in the showers. They really are beginning to look smart now and have been designated unisex showers. As John remarked it isn't mandatory to shower with a friend but it would save water.

The course day ended with a pleasant meal in the Weighbridge.

12 August. A very busy day, and the bus has a new windscreen

Winds forecast 090/10, visibility 30K and no precipitation. The soaring forecast is good from 12 to 5.
The briefing room was full for the 8.15 morning briefing. Thanks to everyone that took the time to attend, it does save repeating the briefing endlessly during the day.
Soaring started around 11 and was still working well at 6pm---so much for forecasts. locally the combine harvesters to the east were triggering thermals throughout the afternoon.
Roger Bagley and Pat Greer worked like Trojans all day, looking after the club flying. The new K21 proved a great attraction----one smiling chap was heard to say " I did my first loop today---exhilarating"
The course guys (and gal) are now all doing all of the flying in each flight, and managing to cope with a cross wind on landing. Bryan learnt about spinning in the PW6 and is now preparing for launch failures.
Grass collection on the field did cause the occasional sucking of teeth as tractors sometimes got very close to the cables. Thanks to everyone for their diligence and respect for safety.
The new windscreen was fitted under the close scrutiny of Richard. When asked for a quote, with a big grin he said "at last!!". It is now no longer necessary to wear goggles while driving the bus.
Mike Weston took Roger Smith on a cross country experience in the Arcus. Broadway, Edgehill and home. Roger didnt get lost once, well done.
The visitors had a good time, with Richard Dance landing out somewhere in his Pik.
A buggy did run out of fuel---with all the running around it was no surprise.Thanks to an unsung hero fuel was obtained and the buggies are back in business.

11 August Soarable afternoon and Gerald joins us for lunch

winds VRB/05 with a northerly bias. Visibility 25K. Cumulus forecast by midday.
The course were on catch-up after a wet start to the week, and were treated to perfect training conditions, flat calm.
Our visitors and Mike and John with the Arcus, waited in anticipation for the conditions to improve. Eventually they did improve sufficiently and that in turn drew some more gliders to the launch point.
The number of helpers allowed for the K13 to be brought to the launchpoint, this gave qualified club pilots the opportunity to fly.
The evening group took over at 6 pm to fly a bunch of trial lessons, while the committee gathered in the clubroom to sort out club business. The rest of us had time for a beer or two.
Gerald seems to prefer the south end of the runway, and his new friend David Hart fed him his lunch.
We look forward to a good club day tomorrow. The PW6 is back in service thanks to Robins work. We also have the K21 and K13 for the club pilots to fly---see you at the 8.15 briefing?

A new week greeted by rain. Visitors from Surrey Hills and Camphill

A very wet start with low cloud and rain. Winds forecast 220/20.
Welcome to the new course, Michael Blake, Sarah Eckereder (from Switzerland) and Bryan Field (from Greece).
Visitors from Camphill and Surrey Hills decided to wait until tomorrow before flying, a wise move.
While the course guys were given comprehensive ground school in the morning, the team were happily repairing equipment, sweeping the runway, getting fuel for the buggies and doing a myriad of other background tasks.
Robin Birch was tied up preparing the PW6 cable release for repair, meanwhile the K21 was put into service for the course flying in the afternoon.
We did manage to get a dozen introductory flights in the afternoon, so despite the weather we all had a good day.
Many thanks to Richard Dance and David bailey for their assistance at the launchpoint, along with our club regulars. All the assistance is very much appreciated.

Saturday 8th August

A busy day with practically the entire club and private fleet out - 59 launches by 28 different gliders . Conditions early on weren't that easy for the cross-country pilots, but there were some very creditable trips out to the east - Tom Gooch turned Feltwell for 403k, Mike and Jon in the Arcus did Bruton- Downham Market for 523k, but had to motor the last 20k, Mike Oliver and Simon Buckley turned Ely for 363k. At Mike Oliver's suggestion seven pilots: Robin Davenport, Adrian Giles, Matt Page, Darren Edge, Paul Gentil, Don Brookman and Mike Randle attempted 302k O/R Caxton Gibbet. Paul and Mike completed. Don in his K21 returned from near Wellingborough. Darren and Matt ended up at Bicester on the way back. Adrian landed at Chedworth caught by advancing sea air. Robin also landed on the way back (place unknown) Andy Smith and Doug Gardner as usual did big flights (details unknown) but Doug was caught by the advancing sea air and landed at Rendcomb.
Many congratulations to Martin Hayward who completed his first solo (left in photo being congratulated by instructor Ed Foggin). Visitors Chris and Alan enjoyed soaring flights to 4,500 on the one day course. Many thanks to winch drivers Andy Smart and Roger Smith (who was still winching at 6pm).

1,000 not out

Congratulations to Andy Smart - a true gent - who notched up his 1,000th flight today.

6 August Molly goes solo and It might fit?

Winds forecast at 280/15 cloudy am and some drizzle soarable pm.

With cloudbases at 700ft it was time for launch failure practice. By the afternoon we had thermals to around 3000ft cloudbases. As the winds calmed down it was time for Molly to go solo, well done to her. The course dinner in the clubhouse was chicken pie followed by chocolate cheesecake---delicious.

Two private gliders took advantage of the afternoon soaring, they found it difficult low down but better from around 2000ft.

The first of the ladies showers has been completed, and very smart it looks too. The 2nd should be completed Friday.

The windscreen was nearly fitted in the bus, but not quite. The next attempt will be made on Monday---so fingers crossed.

5 August---club day

Winds forecast 180/25 1000ft cloudbases to start and some thermal activity midday.

Good to see club members joining in with the 8.15 course briefing and subsequent unpacking of the aircraft.

Flying got underway soon after 9 am, with the current cleared solo pilots getting a few practice circuits in to keep current. sadly the K13 had a puncture on the main wheel and flying stopped around midday. The course carried on with the good natured assistance of the club members.

Molly Robinson started her winch launch failure training and the picture shows Laura and Molly retrieving the glider from the far end of the field.

The shower refurbishment continues, The workmen report " we think we are getting there", it certainly looks like a big improvement.

4 August, Where do I put all this earth?

Winds forecast 230/30 with isolated showers of rain.

A breezy day for the course, but it had its soaring moments with 6-8 knots for short periods. By the end of the day the whole group were managing circuits in strong winds.

The course set to when a surprise delivery of ice cream was at risk of melting in the clubhouse.

The workmen arrived to reline the ladies shower room walls, a very posh smooth finish. The 2 ladies on the course will be using the gents showers---so please look for a notice to keep out.

Chris Swann reports the grass is now cut on the south of the short runway, and Mike Oliver was seen, complete with a JCB looking for where to dig a hole to hide some surplus earth---yes I know we all worry about him!

The evening group arrived at 6 pm to take care of the flying group while the course retired to the briefing room.

3 August Start of a new course, and -right said Fred-

Low pressure system dominates the scene with winds forecast 230/20, high cloud bases and 40K visibility.

Some soaring was to be had but a little limited, the course concentrated on re-learning to winch launch and land again safely. The evening training included Threat and Error Management and circuit planning.

A new course started, Laura, Peter, and Molly. Many thanks again to our helpers who helped teach the ground skills to the course.

Gerald turned his beak up at Daves sandwiches today, pigeon was on the menu instead.

The new windscreen arrived and after much pushing, shoving and head scratching the windscreen was removed again and taken away for adjustment. Reminds me of the song about moving a piano---seriously though thanks to everyone for your efforts and patience.

Sunday 2nd August

Half way through the morning the winch threw a hissy-fit - a loose loop trashed the drum door and bent the drum (quite impressive actually). In the best traditions of Scrap Heap Challenge the repair was effected by pinching a door of the other winch (in bits) and some subtle engineering involving an oxy-acetylene torch, a sledge hammer and a scaffolding pole. Well done to Darren Edge for his efforts - he's much better at engineering than keeping his trousers up.
As to the flying - it was a bit too much like hard work in the strengthening south-easterly.

31 July Gerald pinches the winchdrivers lunch, and a great soaring day.

The forecast winds 210/10, visibility 30K and cloudbases rising to 6000ft.

If Mike Oliver is at the launchpoint before the bus, you can bet it will be a good day, and it was.

Behind the scenes there are always those that strive to keep the show on the road. The first launches suffered from a winch misfiring and low on power. Not a good thing when coupled with the fact the cables desperately needed changing on the standby winch. Changing cables is not a one man job. Tom and his gang were already working on the replacement bus windscreen frame, so a plan was quickly put together. The plan enabled flying to continue, spare winch parts to be ordered and cables replaced ready for the weekend teams. The hard work was finished by around 7pm---thanks everyone to stepped in to help. Thanks also to winch driver David for his patience and diligence.

The flying was tremendous, with some notable cross countries---Andy Smith didnt quite complete his 500 task---slight miscalculation of the timing of the sea air up the Severn estuary. Locally the course guys enjoyed high cloudbases and loads of soaring training and practice.

Gerald had been away for a few days, so David thought it would be safe to leave his lunchtime roll out---silly boy. Not only that the course instructor pinched the remaining half.

The Harrods helicopter arrived during the day, landing on its posh new "H".

Launches finished around 5pm and the task of fitting new cables commenced.

What a great day, thanks team.

30 July K21 arrives, great soaring day and Dave Hatchett goes solos

The day promised to be the best day of the week so far. Winds 320/15 and cloud bases rising to 5000ft plus.

Several gliders were rigged and ready to go by 9 am.

The PW6 KRU was readied for collection by Robin Birch. The DG500 came out of the hangar in anticipation of a good day and the mood in the course was hopeful.

Well done to Dave Hatchett for getting himself solo. This particularly so when in meant ignoring all those lovely thermals so he could complete the launch failure training.

A Pawnee arrived towing our new K21 and after checking over the glider, the PW6 was taken away.

By 6 pm the evening group arrived and starting briefing the trial lesson group. Meanwhile the course retired for a great pub dinner.

29 July Club day

The briefing at 8.15 was well attended. Forecast winds anywhere between 230 and 320/15 with a visibility of 25K and isolated showers of rain forecast.

Needless to say we needed to change ends before launching had even started. First launch was still by 9.30 so well done to all.

The club flying list filled quickly and Roger had his hands full keeping the large numbers flying. Roger deserves a mention in dispatches for his hard work.

The soaring conditions failed to develop to the LS8 and ASW19 were mainly on the ground getting the occasional wash.

The evening briefing covered launch failures in readiness for Thursday.

28 July another windy day, and an interesting approach

Winds were 270/25. Short westerly runway, strong thermals from midday onwards.

A useful albeit breezy day and very strong thermals. By 5pm we were able to climb at 6 knots to over 4000ft QFE and investigate the Cotswold edge.

Our CFI Gerry popped in to see how we were getting on, a pleasant chat over a cuppa.

Then a series of vehicles parked up on the approach path and began repairing the perimeter track!! Thankfully they were only there for about 20 minutes before moving to another defective bit of tarmac.

A tired course group handed over to the evening party at 6 pm, while they retired for the evening debrief.

Another great day.

27 July a breezy start to the new course

Forecast winds 260/20 and occasional showers of rain.

So its off to the short runway then. Soaring was very limited, strong winds making it difficult.

Tim Bralesford a regular annual course attendee went off solo, Dave Hatchett spent the day refreshing his knowledge after a years gap and Tim Brown from Truro surprised us all with his competence after a 15 year layoff!!

Garry Lewis from Derby and Lancs GC brought his LS8 and tried a few launches.

many thanks again to Chris, Dave and Darren for their help at the launchpoint.

Darren started a tidy up of the bar---check it out!!

ASK 23 has arrived at AD

Thanks to Chris Swann journeying to Needwood Forest GC (near Burton-on-Trent) today, the ASK 23 (registration G-CGCF) arrived at Aston Down this evening. When members see it they will no doubt observe the gel needs refinishing (in two-pack paint) at some stage. This fact was taken into account when negotiating the purchase. Our CFI will be introducing the glider to instructors before the instructors brief everyone else who is a solo pilot before they fly it. There are a couple of points to be aware of when rigging - the shims and their configuration for the pins (see the back of the, and the "L'hotelier" connectors for air brakes and ailerons - like those on the ASW 20 - with safety locking pins. Also, at present, the aerotow hook is blanked off so cannot be used. This was deliberate at Needwood Forest GC which is winch only site, as someone once put the winch cable on to the aerotow hook by mistake with an "interesting" subsequent launch experience for the pilot.

I hope that when you have had a briefing to fly it you will all enjoy this addition to the fleet.

DGR / chairman

Happy flyers on Sportability Day 21 July 2015

A couple of photos of some happy people on Tuesday. Grateful thanks to Mike Weston (instructing) and wife Helen, Jacqui Huband and Graham Turner for running the day for our guests.

Wednesday 22 July Club day

Forecast 290/10 with isolated heavy showers and visibility 30K.

It was good to see the early birds at the 8.15 briefing and 8.30 hangar unpacking.

The flying list filled quickly, a surprisingly busy day.

The current and cleared pilots took advantage of the early start to stay current with a few circuits.

Roger got the show on the road for the club flying and Tony took over for the 2nd part of the day. Thanks everyone for pitching in and making the day run so smoothly.

Soaring was not fantastic to start but we did have some surprising good moments with strong climbs to 3500 QFE.

The course is progressing very well with the ab-initio members now able to take off and land safely with some minor prompting from the rear seat.

Tuesday 21 July Sportability Day

Fairly strong winds 230/25 and good visibility (20K) the course started flying straight after briefing.

Mike Weston and a group of volunteers arrived to take care of 10 sportability gliding experience flights. That equaled 10 big grins and happy visitors. Many thanks to everyone who was involved with that. The picture shows Dave Roberts (Chairman) chatting with some of the sportability group.

Later in the day we were treated to some fascinating soaring with strong thermals mixed in with the wave. Climbs reported up to 8 knots to over 4000ft QFE.

The course guys learned about trimming and air-brakes, while mark Gilliland did more work towards his bronze GFT.

The evening party took over and flew the trial lessons.

CGC Fleet changes

As many know, we have agreed the purchase of a Schleicher ASK 21 (two-seater) from the Essex GC in exchange for a PW6 (KRU). We have also ordered two new ASK 21s, the first for delivery next May / June and the second one in August 2017.
I collected the ASW19 two days ago from the repairer (2 week turnaround) following a heavy landing. The Astir should be back with us in the next week or two following a long repair project.
And yesterday Fraser and I went to look at a ASK 23 (single seat, and probably the best all-round early solo glass fibre glider) that was for sale at Needwood Forest GC near Lichfield. We have agreed to buy it subject to committee formal approval. Appropriately the registration is G-CGCF. These purchases and the sale of a PW6 are completely in line with the committee's agreed strategy for the fleet. There are only 5 ASK 23s in the UK (more than half the production of 150 units in the 1980s went to Japan). But they rarely if ever come on to the open market and are much sought after.
The ASK 21 from Essex should be with us in about 10 days and theASK 23 either later this next coming week or the following.
I shall be asking our CFI, Gerry, to ensure that all instructors are familiar with both aircraft before anyone else flies them, because whilst they do not have any adverse characteristics I want us to play safe in terms of integrating these gliders into the club fleet, and mitigate risks of damage !

DGR / Chairman

Saturday 18th July

A busy day - 9.30 kick off and 53 flights by close of play at 18.00 . Conditions were pretty good once they got going with the two seaters climbing up to the 3,000' ceiling from Fairford Commiserations to Mike Oliver who set off just a little too early and ended up at Chedworth. Andrew Fleming got to practice sharing a thermal, Martin Hayward demonstrated he could circle in lift as well as 8 knots down and Lesley Waters' last landing was spot on the money . I heard rumours of some chundering on the one day course but that couldn't possibly be true with Mike Weston flying. Many thanks to Adrian Giles for driving the winch for almost the entire day and to Jacqui Huband for her tireless efforts at the launch point.

Is it an Australian invasion? 17 July

The last day of the course was met with strong wind 240/25, sunshine and rising cloudbases.

Fairford RIAT restrictions still in place but that gave us no problems as the Heller family practiced spot landing and landing in cross winds.

About midday a bus full of Australians arrived for lunch, they were entertained in the clubhouse while unknown to them we had an Australian based family on the course. The cakes and sandwiches left over kept us going in the evening.

Hooray, the buggy has returned complete with new tyres, they do look smart.

Meanwhile our chairman David arrived with the ASW19.

We sadly parted company with the course members as they drove away in a rather smart Bristol and Austin Sprite. Tomorrow our flying doctor returns to Darwin to carry on his work.

16 July The Flying Doctor and his family goes solo

Low cloud until about 12 noon. Then visibility improved to about 30K and winds about 130/10.

Steadily cloudbase rose to sensible operating levels. A talks on Navigation kept us occupied while we waited.

Throughout the day we were treated to views of many exotic aircraft as they flew over heading for Fairford.

Doug went solo first, a real life flying doctor from the Northern Territories, Australia. Soon followed by his son Tom and finally by Rosa. Very well done to them all.

The Scouts arrived for a flying evening around 6 pm while the course all retired to the clubroom for Spag Bol and a few beers.

Club day 15 July

winds 330/15, some very light mist from time to time and cloud bases quickly rising during the morning.

Fairford Airshow restricted airspace in force.

It was good to see some club members at the 8.15 briefing.

Pat Greer got the club show on the road taking the first launch of the day with a pupil. Flying was steady all day with thermals starting weak and getting better by 6pm. The K 13 was busy all day with hardly a moment on the ground. Thanks guys for great day.

The last of the Heller family contingent arrived today for the 2nd half of the week course---welcome Rosa. Tom and Rosa are based in Bristol while Doug (Dad) is a doctor based in Darwin Australia. They all arrived in a rather splendid Bristol car.

The course flying was a total of 27 launches, many of which involved spinning and launch failures.

14 July---David Hart resolo and Gerald pops in for lunch.

Low cloud in the morning accompanied with the occasional light rain meant we started off with low circuits and launch failure practice.

David very kindly lent us his posh Lexus as a buggy replacement while we wait for the return of our own.

Well done to David Hart who re-soloed today, but what on earth is he doing with one of Geralds feathers? Gerald continues to pop in to keep David company---and get fed!

Rain and drizzle finally completely stopped play around 5.30, and unfortunately prevented the Scouts from flying. The rain did not stop the Scouts from enjoying a BBQ---guys, you all missed out. I sneaked into the BBQ around 7.30 to be offered as many hotdogs as I could eat !! My dog Lucky thought that was terrific.

First day of course is wet---time to review weekend activities 13 July

Its just amazing what people get up to in their leisure time. Here is Gill taking part in a production car trial.

The weather for the course was very wet and low cloud and strongish winds Welcome to Doug and Tom Heller and David Hart.So its into the classroom for briefings, followed by a tutorial on the equipment. Doug and Tom have had some gliding training in the past but never quite managed to go solo, Doug a medical consultant from Darwin Australia returns home on Friday. David has joined as a member.

The remaining buggy has developed a drive belt fault, so Gill has been on the case organising the return of Bug one sporting new knobbly tyres and getting the defective one off for servicing.

looking through the misted window we could see the small team fitting the doors to the new hangar. One very wet Chris power came in saying " oh well just 32 more to go!"

Dave Breeze sorted out the simulator, reprogrammed by some kind soul, and David hart discovered how to aerotow.

Did anyone see the high performance glider display last Friday? (picture below)

1 a.m. 10th July 2015

The scene at one in the morning in a field somewhere north of Ludlow. The Turner DG500 outfit got back to Aston Down at 3.30 a.m.

What was the date yesterday?

Don, I was initially confused. Yesterday was the 9th not the 8th !
There were indeed several long flights yesterday by private owners, making it one the longest distances in aggregate from Aston Down, competitions apart. Of the 750km attempts Philip Walker did 690km in the ASH31M, Doug Gardiner 682 in the LS3, Andy Smith (ASW28) apparently around 600. The shorter task declarations resulted in Mike Oliver (ASW20) 524, Mike Weston (Ventus 2C) 364, John McWilliam (Ventus C) 310 and the Duo Discus with Chris Swann and myself on board some 442km out of a declared 583km. Others did various distances, at present unknown, including Graham Turner (DG500).
Hopefully the beginning of another spell of good cross country weather?

A fantastic day---8 July oops 9 July

Visibility about 40K.winds 290/05 and thermals rising to 5000ft.

As you might expect, a busy day at the launch point. Tasks set to all 4 directions, and pilots programming and reprogramming their tasks. Many thanks to those who took time out to help at the launchpoint, that was much appreciated.

A rather nice helicopter brought a passenger in from London. Class D airspace around Kemble grounded us for an hour at lunchtime, so time for a cuppa and brief for the afternoon activities.

Several landouts, the dart at Rissington, the DG500 at Ludlow, the LS3 at Bicester and an SF27 at the Park. Some very credible flights fl;own today.

The course enjoyed many hours of soaring before the Scouts arrived in the evening for air experience flights.

The evening BBQ was an adventure itself when we were entertained by David trying to put the fire out!!

Club day, Wednesday 8 July

What will the wind direction be?, Very difficult to predict with a complex weather system and wave around. The 1000 ft winds forecast to be 310/25, and blustery at times.

Initially we had light SW winds which strengthened during the day to give fresh westerlies.

We did get some flying done and John McWilliam managed to join the Nympsfield guys in the wave. Well if you do have an engine why not use it?

Flying stopped early to comply with the temporary airspace restrictions around Kemble. So it was in to the classroom and an introduction to the 1:500000 chart and a briefing on winch launching.

Should be a good day tomorrow, and a BBQ planned for the evening.

Windy it may be but student Dan arrives to help 7 July

The 2nd day of the course and winds are forecast 260/25 with showers of rain.

Some very broken thermals to around 3000ft QFE.

The field was set up on runway 21, but very soon the winds freshened and we were forced to move to 27. The picture may not look windy but Dave Breeze is carefully holding the canopies to prevent damage.

Meanwhile the first of the University students appeared for the development week to find himself "launch controller for the day---many thanks Dan.

The evening group took over around 6pm and set about doing a few launches before packing in, the evening talks were on launch failures and tephigrams---strange mix but created some interesting question.

looking forward to another breezy day tomorrow.

Rain forecast, but the course goes on. 6 July

A new course started today. With threats of torrential rain and winds of 190/20 we started flying to see what we could get done.

Colin Stringer an ex PPL, Mike Counsell a CGC ab-initio member from 8 years ago and Stewart Rathband (virtual novice) all learnt the ground skills from Tom and Dave. With some slick handling we managed to get 20 launches in between the rain showers.

The class room work included Threat and Error Management and Circuit Planning.

Fingers crossed for tomorrow.

It all started with a missing dipstick 3 July

Light easterly winds, 20K visibility, hot and thermals in the blue. A busy course, a whole bunch of enthusiastic visitors from Parham and a Piper Arrow bringing a prospective buyer for the PW6 and a borrowed tug from Nympsfield, meant we wanted to get going early.

The 2nd buggy was very low on oil because sone d*ps****k lost the dipstick and the oil had sprayed out. Never mind use the other buggy and make do, that is until the tyre went flat!
Thankfully a kind person sorted out replacement oil and swapped dipsticks so we were back in business.

Once we did get going we had a great day, the soaring was a little challenge but several respectable flights were made. The Parham DG505 was busy getting their Aerotow pilots refamiliarised with the winch.

The Leigh family departed around 3.30 to catch their flight to Hong Kong with promises of a return trip very soon. It was great to meet such a nice family.

Meanwhile the PW6 viewing seemed to go well, and the Piper Arrow departed mid afternoon.

Meanwhile Ian took the DG500 for a decent local soaring flight, and fell in love with it. Picture shows Ian with his new toy.

A few club members drifted in during the afternoon and enjoyed some instructional flights.

A wet day (but still fun) 2 July

A cold front sliding over from the South brought low cloud and modest SE winds.

With cloudbases around 600ft to start, the course members practiced short circuits and launch failure procedures. The cloudscapes were magnificent.

Steve Glasset was here to conduct a one day course, who didn't show up----I wonder why? Even Gerald was cowering in the dry.

Winchie Dave , ever the optimist , was convinced it would clear up---so we persevered.

The occasional breaks in drizzle and rain gave us sporadic flying opportunities. During one of these, we watched 5 trailers arrive as the Parham contingent arrived to spend a few days with us---and just managed to rig before it poured with rain.

With a BBQ planned and some temporary airspace around Kemble and a wet and cold crew, we braced to put the gliders away in a chilly and wet wind. Now everyone was thoroughly soaked and cold. Perhaps planning a BBQ wasnt so intelligent?

Half an hour later at around 5 30, the skies cleared and the first of the evening party arrived----Why did you put the planes away? we were asked. Oh well.

The BBQ went on as planned, with a robust debate about Chinese politics while the evening party flew in glorious evening sunshine, thats British weather for you.

1 July Mike Farmer joins the club

Temperatures forecast to be 28 degrees.Visibility reducing as the high pressure develops and winds forecast as 170/20 (at 1000 amsl), and blue thermals.

It was great to see our latest new member Mike Farmer here for the 8 am briefing and to help us unpack the hangar. Mike is pictured with "winchie Dave " as he masters towing with a buggy.

The course guys are all doing extremely well, now flying virtually unprompted as they learn circuit planning.

Roger Bagley did a great job keeping the club flying going single handed, well done Roger.

The evening finished with a briefing on stalling and a few beers in the bar. Mike even managed to spend some time with us in the briefing.

Its a scorcher (30 June)

Very hot today with an inversion around 3000ft amsl and blue thermals.

not surprisingly there was less cross country activity today, but the course managed some good progress. All 3 ab-initios are now able to do a winch launch, fly around a circuit under direction and fly and approach and landing. Well done guys, circuit planning tomorrow then.

The Pik20 E came out for some launch practice, and after a jump start conducted a perfect take off.

The evening group were very busy in an awkward cross wind. They were sadly dogged by a launch failure, but managed to resolve it in their normal efficient way.

Course 14 has a warm start and cakes (29 June)

The forecast was for a warm day and blue thermals, so plenty of water and keeping cool was the order of the day.

Sarah delivered some delicious cakes (leftover from a party), with a request to finish them off.---No problem.

Many thanks to the Monday helpers, the course benefited from the teaching on the ground and in the air. Chris Power, Dave Breeze and Ian Vickers are not shown in the picture because they were off doing stuff and of course the winch driver Dave took the picture.

One course member Ian Vickers, from the Cambridge club, had a ride in the ASH with Ken Lloyd. The Leigh family started their basic training with Steve Glasset and me. John Leigh and his 2 sons William and James are on a visit from Hong Kong and even they found the weather rather hot!

Meanwhile in the background, our chairman was moving the ASW19 for some maintenance. These jobs dont do themselves.

Well done all.

Saturday 27th June

First launch was by 9.39 - well done all. A busy day with lots of private gliders out - if I was better informed I'd know where they all went.
Many congratulations to Craig Mustoe who completed his first solo.
A big thank you to Andrew Turk and Doug Gardner for helping with the instructing and to winch drivers Andy Smart and Eric Lomas.

Last day of the course ---26 June

With a complex frontal system off to the west and getting closer and electrical storms forecast, it was not surprising to see a few showers and some .

The race was on for the farmer to collect the grass before the rains, so with tractors in all 4 corners of the airfield, the course continued to practice runway landings.

By the end of the day, and a lot of practice, everyone on the course was able to take off, fly a circuit and land safely (with a little promting from the back seat). Not bad for a course starting from scratch---well done guys.

Getting the lawn mowers out 25 June

Thermals started fairly late today. That meant a quiet day for the cross country guys.

Hooray, the grass cutters were out, grass cutting on the left and grass cutters on the right (yes it was needed). The course decided to use the runway for a change---no grass cutters there!

The alternative to landing on the runway was to land between the line of grass, just a little too expert for the trainees.

The course guys were handling the aircraft during all phases of the flight, not bad for 3 days from scratch. They all know how to take off and land now, so it must be circuit planning next.

Gerald spent most of the day with David, he has now a habit of popping in for lunch.

The evening group completed nearly 20 flights, very well done to them. The course enjoyed watching while they ate their chicken Fajitas and had a beer or two.

Aerotow day at Aston Down. 24 June

A good soaring day with several decent cross country flights.

Lots of additional activity. A posh helicopter dropped off its passengers outside the hangar. The Rallye tug, organised by Paul Lazenby, popped in and gave members the opportunity to refresh their aerotow skills. Many thanks for that.

The club members enjoyed a full day supervised by Roger Bagley.

The course continues well, the picture shows us examining a broken link---well if you will try to launch a PW6 on a blue link, that is bound to happen!

23 June---another busy day

Light NW winds and the possibility of a good cross country day.

Lots of pilots came out to try the conditions, many thanks to those that took the time to help the inexperienced course members cope on the ground. The course members benefited from the helpful advice and assistance. A steady stream of aircraft starting turning up from about 11 am.

As it turned out, the conditions were not quite as good as we had hoped, but good fun anyway.

The course members spent the day grappling with trimming, stalling (in its many guises) and landing. Well done to all of them.

The evening party took over around 6 pm and had a busy time flying air experience flights. It was pleasant sitting in the clubroom watching from the ground with a beer in hand.

The picture was taken by David at around 10.30.

3 newbies join the midweek course. 22 June

The weather had an unpromising start with steady drizzle at 8 am. After the weather cleared through we had thermals peaking at 8 knots and cloudbases of 4000ft amsl.

The new course got underway with Chris Power and Dave Breeze lending a hand with the ground training. We didnt quite manage the early start of the Sunday flyers--quite a challenge to beat that.

Thanks to the hard work of our engineering support, the PW6 was back in service and no flat tyres.

Mike Ward, David Lyle and Rhys Williams are pictured here. All of them learning from scratch and using the week to determine if this is a hobby for them.

Longest Day

Despite the widespread belief that the Vice Chairman's message was a joke, a very small select band started flying on Sunday soon after 5 am. Low cloud had prevented the intended start at the earliest legal time half an hour before sunrise. At 0730 we retired to the clubhouse for bacon and eggs, leaving a note on the winch to be sure to warm it up again. The writer is rather hazy about what happened during the rest of the day.

Saturday 20th June

We managed to get a decent day's flying in between the showers. On the One Day Course, Adrian and Adriana from Romania, and Ross from Malmsbury enjoyed some great cloudscapes despite getting no higher than 1,600'. Thanks go to winch drivers Adrian Mears and Adrian Giles (half the people on site seemed to be called Adrian).

Last day of the week. and Robert is tyred

Off to the hangar after briefing, to discover the main wheel of the PW6 is flat. Mmmmmmmm, lets try pumping it up and see what happens. Bingo its inflated and holding air.

A series of training flights with the course members landing in all corners of the airfield before we hear the rushing of air from the nose wheel of the PW6. Obviously it was getting tyred.

Good soaring conditions gave Lesley the opportunity to practice thermalling skills, while Rob Corbin found the Nympsfield wave and soared to 6000ft, and Jayne Randle soared locally.

It was a race between the top cover and the Kemble class D airspace---which would arrive first. The airspace won---just.

Robert Knox goes solo and signs the visitor book---18 June

Well done Robert, solo again. Eric Lomas completes his bronze C congratulations to him.

The soaring did become good later, by this time Mike Oliver and lost the will to carry on in a hot sticky cockpit, and landed.

Several private aircraft came out for an airing, Mike Randel tried a local cross country flight but gave up at Cheltenham and came home.

The evening group took over and flew the Scouts on air experience flight.

The evening dinner was great and to Roberts surprise, the last entry in the visitors book was his own from 12 months ago. The good news is the book will last a long time before it is filled. We calculated 9000 years!!! Roberts descendants will need to keep up the tradition because he will be old and grey before the book is full.

Club day and early start 17 June

Cloudbase 500ft, Westerly wind 20 Knots. Lets get the gliders out.

Alun Thomas and Tom Egan were determined not to be put off, so it was unpack the hangar asap (asap +8.30).

sadly the cloud was still horribly low at midday and the winds annoyingly across the runway.

Launch failure practice for some followed by briefings on Met and a briefing on navigation for the cross country endorsement.

Just goes to prove the weather doesnt stop us from doing some good training.

Should be a good day tomorrow, see you then.


Robin Birch to the rescue, and Gerald returns for a flying visit. (16 June)

The canopy jettison "detached" on the ground. Robin (Hood ) Birch said he could be there in 3o to fix it, he was there in 29! What next superman! many thanks from the course guys.

The weather was good soaring and several pundits set off on cross country tasks, Mike Weston being the last to land at around 6 pm.

The course was heavily into winch launch training and Eric Lomas bronze C testing. Lots of trips back and forth in the buggy.

Steve Glasset and a clean shaven Alex Jones went off for a flight in the K13, and Gerald popped in for lunch with David.

picture off the T61 just setting off for a midweek jaunt.

Course week gets a good soaring start. 15 June

Strong thermals with cloudbases to 5500 ft amsl.

Eric Lomas, Lesley Waters and Robert Knox joined us for a week of bronze C development. Several comments on the fashion statement white socks and sandals, apparently its not very "cool".

A small group of pundits set off for a 300km. Ian Kennedy (from Usk) arrived in a Grob to give Eugene Lambert some practice in a SLMG. Good to see Jane Randle who did a respectable cross country.

Many thanks to our band of regulars to came to lend a hand for day 1 of the course.

The day ended with a few beers in the bar.

Gerald appears in the team photo.

The day was a little better than forecast. The drizzle didnt start until 4 pm so we got a full days flying for the course members.

lunch was a buffet in the bus, cold chicken, salads, potato and a strange onion and celery concoction made up by David. We couldnt let last nights leftovers go to waste.

The Glasset brothers appeared in the afternoon and did there best to help out. This amongst other things seemed to include feeding Gerald the crow---we now know Gerald has a taste for cheese and onion crisps. The collective noun for a group of crows is a "murder", I wonder what a collective noun for a pair of Glassets might be.

The week was very productive, Tom went solo and started to work on bronze C stuff, David Hart has now joined the club and is getting close to solo, Tony from New Zealand plans to return and do more flying in the ASW19, and Nigel ended the week with a well judged circuit and landing. Well done all.

If you look carefully you will spot Gerald in the picture---he just cant seem to stay away.

NE winds and blue thermals today (11 June)

A quieter day on the airfield today. Thermals took some time to become usable. Then locally it was 4-6 knot climbs to 4000ft in the blue.

field landing, turning in early and side slipping were the topics for the day. Tom completing a few more solos to add to his experience.

Another group of Scouts this evening, with over 20 flights flown , well done chaps.

Dinner in the evening was great fun, roast chicken etc---and of course the odd glass of wine. Happy days.

Tom Egan goes solo 10 June

Club day today, great to see some members at the hangar at 8.30.

NE winds again, the soaring became quite good by lunchtime. A few single seaters appeared to try their luck.

Well done to Tom Egan who went solo on the 2nd launch of the day. 2 days of hard work (launch failures and stalling etc) did the trick.

Tony Budd converted onto the ASW19, well done to him.

Mike R got the club flying underway with check flights for the solo pilots. The picture shows the Mike R huddle as he considers how to proceed. Tony took over to continue the good work.

The evening briefing was on stalling. Another good day.

Tony Budd completes his winch launch conversion 9 June

15 knot NE winds made it feel pretty chilly. The soaring forecast was promising but was tending to overdevelop.

Tony was feeling the cool weather, he has flown in from warmer climates for a weeks course here at Aston down. Tony is a qualified glider pilot from New Zealand. With the help of Mike Randall he quickly completed his winch launch training yesterday and went off soaring today.

A few single seaters were out, but the weather it was a little too chilly for most, but Mike Oliver was not going to be put off---he set off anyway. Well done Mike.

The course was focused on launch failures so we did a lot of walking and talking, a perfect day to get the training behind us.

By 6pm the local soaring had become excellent, Tom Egan did particularly well, soaring away for a while and then completing a great crosswind circuit and landing. After a day of launch failures, that was a pleasant treat.

The evening party arrived spot on time to take over and fly a local Scout troop into the evening. The end of another great day.

A great start to course 11 (8 June)

Northerly winds at about 15 knots, strong thermals, and warm.

3 people on the course, Tom Egan, Nigel Guile, Dave Hart and Tony Budd a visiting solo pilot from New Zealand.

Many thanks to Mike Randall for lending a hand, and to Chris Power for assistance on the ground.

A number of private owners took advantage of the good soaring and enjoyed a very good days flying.

David Hart cooked us a fine evening meal.

Nigel is pictured returning to the hangar at the days end----still smiling.

Sunday 7th June - what it is all about !

For those who experienced Sunday 7th June in the air, it was clearly one of the best (at least weekend) days in the last few years judging by the BGA ladder flights (best 970km). It was gratifying to see, firstly, a team spirit on the airfield to get things going early and get private owners on their way to relieve pressure on the launch-point for the rest of the day; and secondly, some mega flights especially Tom Gooch's 600km+. Well done everyone ! Let's keep up the good work and hope the season continues as good as yesterday.

I was stuck on the ground yesterday as a guest at the LAA 'Party in the Park' at Old Warden (Shuttleworth Collection) in Bedfordshire where the sky looked positively South African. The air display of vintage aeroplanes (and gliders) was, as grandchildren all seem to say, 'awesome'. The red DH88 'Comet' racer from the 1930s flew. Now that really is awesome.


Some achievements on Super Sunday, 7th June

Three of our members flew over 500 K. Tom Gooch completed his 607 Km task Lake Vyrnwy, Brecon, Graffam Water and back. Mike Oliver did 521 Km and Phil Guthrie over 500 Km.
Roger Green and Mike Gadd, our Cornish members, both completed their first 300 Km Sherborne, Stratford and return for their Gold distance and Diamond Goal.
Two members were enabled to experience cross-country flying in the DG500.

500K flight on Wednesday 3rd June

Andy Smith's Bury St Edmunds - Hereford flight deserves a mention on this slot. He has given me permission to post this reply to my question on how easy/difficult it was and about his low point at Royston (1200' AGL)
Hi Mike, there was alto-cu and very little sunshine past Bedford on the way out. I waited for about 15mins there and got as high as I could before crossing to sunshine at Cambridge. I called Gransden Lodge to ask about conditions but got no reply. After Cambridge it was good to Bury and back to Cambridge. Now there was a big blue hole where the over-development had been. I tried to cross this but it was full of sink so I had to divert to sunshine and a wisp over Royston. It took me so long to get away there that the blue area had cu in it when I looked next. It was ok from there but I got low again at Milton Keynes, probably my fault for not reading the sky. After there it was excellent, the 5,200 cloud-base meant that I could cross the sea-breeze in the Severn estuary esily after rounding Hereford
I was half full, about 180 lbs and managed to keep it. I landed with it on because I flew yesterday which was forecast good but turned out poor. If you look at the other 500k flights on Thursday we all landed early so it was possible to go much further. I landed at 5:20 and it was probably possible to fly 100 k to the east and get back.

Super Sunday 7th June

With a super day forecast and many people planning tasks, duration and other badge claims, the kit was out and a full grid of gliders were ready for launching by 9am. Yours truly and Lesley Waters did the first launch in the PW6 about 9.30 with lift already starting, so after landing we reported back and set off on a second flight where we managed 30mins before coming back for the next club member. Thereafter a series of club and private owners all started launching with the local area quite a busy place for a bit.

Member unity and cooperation throughout the day with good organisation from our launchmasters and some excellent winching got all gliders off, and with good conditions all gliders seemed to manage to stay up and do some successful flights - check out the Ladder for who did what, but suffice to say there was beer bought afterwards with everyone back and I think no landouts too.

All in all a Super Sunday.

Andrew Bolton goes solo and 5 June

The day started with 1000ft cloudbases, and a light westerly wind. The winds became southerly with clear skies and broken blue thermals. Mid afternoon a wave rotor set up over the field and the winds steadily freshened to about a5 knots westerly. A strange mixture.

Andrew Bolton went off solo during the light wind part of the day. Well done to him, Andrew an ex RAF warrant officer, has been on a number of training courses over a number of years. He now plans to return and complete his licence training.

Alan Thomas solo in the K13 for the first time and ready to move to the K8.

Chris Godding is now an unprompted pilot after just one week.

David Hart spent the day familiarising himself with the operational systems.

David Chapman appeared during the day to fly his recently re-weighed Astir.

Thanks Chris Power who relieved David on the winch so David could take a much deserved afternoon off.

The picture shows Andrew Bolton, me, Alan Thomas, Chris Godding and David Hart.

Alan Thomas resolos 4 June

By 8.30 Mike Oliver is already rigged at the launch point. Before too long the grid starts to fill in anticipation of a good day.

Thermal activity was not quite as good as the predictions but a good time was had by all.

One land out and one land in---a Nympsfield pilot dropped in for a relaunch.

We welcome another new visitor from South Devon, David Hart.

Well done to Alan Thomas for his resolo today.

The day was finished off with a communal Chinese "hotch potch" dinner. Oh yes and a few beers.

A super soaring day and Gerald becomes a trainee winch driver Wednesday 3 June

Thanks to Dave, the bus has a new steering wheel. The new one is actually circular---how unusual is that. Chris Power is seen putting the final touches to the temporary windscreen.

The hangar opened at 8.30, and launching started soon after that.

A club day, members were treated to 6 knot plus climbs to 4000ft agl. Pat and Roger kept the club members flying with the DG500 and K13.

The course started with a series of launch failures, thank heavens for the tow out gear, and ended with some great soaring flights.

Some latecomers to the field arrived from the Southwest (Cornwall etc) enjoyed some great soaring and then had a beer or two with us in the bar. Welcome Alan, Roger and Mike.

Unexpectedly Gerald decided to push in and start driving the winch----watch out Dave he might take over!

So we asked Gerald 2 June

Winds gusting up to 40 knots, but at least it stopped raining.

The course had classroom briefings until we thought some simulator flying would be a lot more fun.

Davids friend Gerald was consulted and, according to David, Gerald was against the idea of flying---it rather looks like he has personal experience of flight in strong winds. I think David just made that up.

We all look forward to a good day tomorrow. Form an orderly queue outside the hangar at 8.30.

A wet Monday 1 June

Andrew Bolton and Chris Godding joined us today for the first day of course no 10.

Fresh winds straight down the runway and some huge showers made the day "sporting".

With just 2 on the course for the first 2 days, we were grateful to Chris Power who lent a hand while the course members learnt the procedures.

Eventually the winds reached 35 knots, by which time the PW6 was safely back in the hangar.

The weather is related to the position of the jetstream, even Gerald the crow stayed in the dry. Clever bird.

A chocolate gateaux and briefing tempted us back into the warm and dry.

29 May

The day started with rain, followed by heavy rain followed by drizzle.

So what better subject for the classroom than weather. I am pleased to say the Lasham cadets and course guys managed to stay awake throughout, and managed to ask sensible questions.

The sounding below says it all.

We took the aircraft out to the launch point and managed a few circuits in a sporting crosswind before going back to the warmth of the clubroom.

Davids new friend "Gerald" has taken an active interest in the gliding activities. I am hoping we might get some free consultancy, he seems to have fairly low maintenance costs--- a few scraps of Daves dinner seems to suffice. it is good to think Dave isnt all alone at the winch.

Gerald is pictured on the tow out truck--- a bit scruffy so fits in well.

28 May

Stronger winds forecast. 270/20. So it was off to the short runway.

Andy Smith set off to the west early on, and his trailer was seen setting off in the same direction some time later in the evening.

The duo discus set off to the west in search of the wave reported over Wales.

The day became extremely good for soaring, Callum from Lasham achieved his silver height---well done to him.

With some slick groundhandling, we had a very good day, with a few minor stoppages to let the grass collection gang pass through.

The day team handed over to the evening group who treated a group of Scouts to flight experiences.

Meanwhile Debs cooked us all a magnificent chicken pie, the clubroom went very quiet as we all tucked in.

Fingers crossed for a decent day tomorrow.

The photos show the Lasham group and the Cotswold gliding course members. The photos show the key briefing points for the day.

27 May

Club day today. Surprisingly good soaring.

The Lasham cadets managed a number of firsts, including 2 soaring flights of over an hour for the cross country endorsement. Lesley took this picture of a Piper Lance about to depart with one of the cadets. Mike took 2 cadets on cross country experience flights in the Arcus.

All the course members managed soaring flights, climbs around 6 knots at times.

It was good to see the keen midweek flyers helping to unpack the hangar at 8.30, they obviously knew about the weather.

Flying stopped around 5 pm when the winds freshened and a new weather system arrived.

lets hope for another good day tomorrow.

Tom and his gang carried on with the work required to refit the bus windscreen.

26 May

Another busy day and turned out to be surprisingly soarable. The Lasham cadets did another great job helping to keep the field operating.

Mike pulled the Arcus out to give the lasham cadets a new flying experience.

The sportability group managed 11 introductory flight experiences and the course enjoyed another good days flying.

In the evening a scout troop were shown the fun of flying as they flew into a great summery evening.

The arrival of 2 helicopters including the Harrods helicopter added some additional interest to the day.

Vernon a course member is shown getting a pre flight briefing. David took a great picture of Harrods helicopter landing. And the sportability group are seen chatting in the sunshine while waiting to fly.

25 May

Well, what a busy day, 85 flights all told with some modest soaring late morning.

A new course started with 3 keen new pilots. John Hammond, a returnee from last year, Brian Riegler, a motor cycle enthusiast and brand new trainee, Vernon Wilcox, a pilot who was hooked after his trial flight last year.

The Lasham cadets did a fantastic job running the airfield, many thanks to them.

Matt came back from his first flights in the ASW20 with a big grin on his face.

The picture shows Simon and Mike getting ready to show us all how it is done in their trusty Capstan.

Friday 23 May

Drizzle greeted us in the morning. David set about checking the winch cables and the rest of us moved into the briefing room to talk about altimetry and how to read a 1;500000 aeronautical chart.

Gill arrived in an amazing Rover 100 which caused a few admiring glances.

After chocolate biscuits and tea the weather cleared for a good afternoon of flying.

The group photo, Graham (left) an aeromodeller has quickly grasped the basics of flying and can now fly a circuit unaided. Jim, now retired comes to fly for fun every year, Joe Vickerstaff has now resoloed in both K13 and PW6.

Thursday 21 May

Another busy day, fantastic thermals but not always when you need them. Tim macFadyen dropped in just not quite enough height to get back to Nympsfield and Mike landed out----thankfully not at Ely.

Grass collection was in progress for most of the day, so there were a number of runway landings.

Jo Vickerstaff resoloed today, well done to him the picture taken by David as he passed overhead to land on 21.

Jo cooked a magnificent gourmet dinner for the course, which we all enjoyed while watching the evening group flying.

Tuesday 19 May

Strong winds, rain, hail and gusts. Thunder and electrical storms stopped play for a while, but let up for the evening group to fly before the rains really started.

This picture was taken by winchdriver David , while we waited for a storm cell to pass. Course member Graham and the course instructor sat in the glider to provide the essential ballast.

Saturday 16th May

It's quite possible that Carly Selwood and Mark Bowler enjoyed our best ever One Day Course. The day was soarable from first launch at 10.30 and each of them had close to three hours in the air, mostly above 3,000'. By mid afternoon there were some stonking thermals but also some chunky sink. The two PWs were kept busy with club instructions - thanks to Simon Lucas and Tony Hayes. Most of the cross-country pilots headed for the Long Mynd (maybe to egg on our team in the Rock Polishers). Tony Parker in the Ventus found wave near Ledbury and climbed to 11,000', apparently his final glide from Talgarth took less than 25 minutes. Mike Oliver in the ASW20 and Mike Weston and John Huband in the Arcus attempted Llanfair Caereinion - Ramsbury - Leominster for 500k, but conditions weren't quite good enough for them to get all the way round. Many thanks to winch drivers Andy Smart and John McWilliams.

The end of a successful week

Smiles and congratulations all round.

From left to right, Roger Appleboom---a visitor from Dartmoor, flying his K6 for a few days of fun., David our tireless winchdriver. Don the course instructor, Peter Harvey, went from very early solo to 3/4 of the bronze C complete and over doubled his total log book hours, Chris Owen, first solo and discovered soaring, Adrian Irwin, completed his bronze C, converted to fibreglass and flew his new Astir for the first time.

The busy week included a Thai curry cooked by Roger, exams, briefings an inevitable early starts to make up for a very wet Thursday. Hope to see you all very soon.

Chris Owen goes solo

Well done Chris, solo today.

Chris is a pilot from Dartmoor Gliding Society on a course for the week. Chris has another love---sailing---well what else if you live in Cornwall!

Dartmoor Gliding Society, midweek course.

Lots going on this week. Here we have Colin Boyd having a conversion to fibreglass before flying his recently acquired Astir.

Colin is vice chairman of DGS and plays in a Devon rock group when he is not flying.

Colin and his syndicate partner, Adrian Irwin, went on to successfully fly their own aircraft on Wednesday.

Club communications

Quick note to say I am in the process of putting some communication material together for dissemination. It is always the case that in the first 3-4 months of the calendar year I have other priorities so getting around to newsletter writing isn't easy. We had a club committee meeting last evening (8 May), getting through quite a few important topics and making some key decisions, so I'll cover those. Of course fire-fighting takes precedence when equipment "goes tech" for whatever reason. Thanks to the guys (and Gill) who have been getting things put back together. More soon.....
DGR / chairman

bad weather? This course found a smart way of getting the best from the week/

Meet up at the hangar at 6.30 am! Well why not.

Good fun, and David the winchdriver added "why dont we have bacon sarnies on the bus as well"---so we did.

After 2 days of poor and unflyable weather this group came up with this great idea and gained a lot of additional flight training.

Colin Parker (solo from earlier courses),Steve Brackenridge( went solo 10 years ago),Alan Thomas (went solo on a course last year) Stephen Moor( doing some instructor training for the week)

Well done guys, I am sure it will catch on..

Saturday 26th April

Once again it was a day of two halves. The morning dawned grey, uninspiring and, after the recent heat wave, distinctly chilly in the northerly breeze,
There was a keen bunch of people for training, so while the grid awaited the promised clearance, new member Lawrence Wood got to grips with the trimmer and Martin Heyward got to do launch failures. Around one o'clock the overcast broke up and a number of pilots led by Andy Smith set off for Brecon and the Long Mynd. Down on the ground, in an attempt to avoid flying solo, Lesley Waters head-butted the PW-6 - result Glider:1, Lesley: 0 This gave Lawrence and yours truly the opportunity to nab the glider for an hour at 4,500'. By the the time we returned Lesley was patched up and completed another solo. Conditions in the afternoon were very good, albeit a bit blue for the guys returning from the Mynd. Thanks to winch drivers Phil Guthrie and Graham Turner.

Lesley Waters goes solo.

Congratulations Lesley. The hard work paid off - and what a beautiful landing!


Holiday Course has three solos

The 2nd week of the courses was blessed with fine weather. Some excellent soaring, pleasant sunshine and good company made the week very pleasant.

Mike Bosley quickly re-soloed after a winter’s layoff. Mike, an engineer from South Wales, steadily built his solo time and flying skills in readiness for the bronze C.

Steve Wilkinson was next to go solo, Steve is a semi retired head teacher from Cumbria. To our amazement, Steve arrived in a beautiful Morris 1000 called “Doris”---yes don’t ask.

Patrick Moran was the last one to go solo. Friday morning he got his flying all up together and went on to complete half a dozen solo circuits. Patrick had started his training at Lasham so he had a head start. Patrick, a professional driver went home with a huge grin on his face.

We hope to see the gang back again very soon.


Saturday 11th April "If Carling did soaring weather.."

At 8am it was raining, but for once it did pretty much exactly as forecast. The front cleared through and by nine o'clock the sun was out. A brisk westerly forced us on to the cross-runway but it was soon thermic. As we were doing the first launches some hang gliders passed overheard doing a down wind dash - one hopes they touched down before Felixstowe. Conditions rapidly became very good, the cloud base rising to over 5,500' by mid-afternoon.. The 20 knot wind was challenging but there were some great streets and the visibility was stunning Most people ended up over in Wales where there were some barnstorming conditions. Mike Oliver (and I think Tom Gooch) did Sandhill -Brecon-Knighton, while Jon Huband did Telford-The Park. I suspect Doug did a monster task too. A cracking day.

Saturday 4th April

Solid low cloud and drizzle prevented an early start, but when we did get going it was better than expected, with some high launches in the fresh northerly. I spent most of the afternoon twirling around pointing vertically at the ground as Lesley and Craig did their spin training (spin to the right off a left hand turn was particularly good value - reportedly the first time Lesley has sworn while airborne). Meanwhile Paul Glassett and Alan Carter completed their refreshing training with Jon Huband, and Matt did some more instructor training with Brian Birlison.
Much fun was had driving the bus with its new instrument rating hood and comedy steering wheel (it came off second best in an encounter with the tow truck).
Many thanks to Fraser and Robin for getting KRX back on line, and to winch drivers Geoff Cumner and Rob Corbin.

Saturday 14th March

Blimey, for a freezing cold, grey day, we were busy! What with winter refreshers, a one-day course, instructor renewals, Scouts, UWE and club instruction, all the available two-seaters and two winches were fully occupied. I think just about every one got flown by close of play. Rob Corbin and Simon Buckley gave their new toy - a very smart Ventus 2 - an airing. The DG300 was also out as was the Skylark 4 (about 1/10 of the vintage Glasset fleet).

Snowy Saturday

A variation of sunshine, rain, sunshine, snow, sunshine all day.

The picture was taken just after a snowstorm went through.

Cold and breezy Sunday

An industrious bunch of members set off over the snowy airfield to change both sets of cables on the winch. It was too windy to fly early in the day and the wind abated just enough as the cable change was completed to remove any further excuses not to fly and it was worth it. Doug and Darren in their respective LSs headed west and the Arcus flew a couple of sorties enjoying ridge thermal and wave conditions. Back at AD the visiting group from Radley College enjoyed some good soaring flights in the DG500 and the PW was kept busy with club members. A cold day but enjoyable, thanks to everyone who helped, it looks like we will have some new junior members.

11/01/15 Sporty Sunday

An enthusiastic group got the kit out in good time and we enjoyed a morning of some sporty flying off the cross runway in the strengthening wind. Robin Davenport completed his winter refreshers with some real and simulated launch failures. Jon Huband rigged his Ventus and plumbed himself in (a process that should have an "18" certificate), in preparation for for a trip to the ridge. However, around lunchtime, the wind rapidly increased and discretion rather than valour became the order of the day. Truth be told, the instructors were quite relieved to get all the gliders back in the hangar in one piece. Many thanks to Graham Turner for turning up so promptly to drive the winch.

Friday 2nd Jan

Happy New Year to all,
First job of the day was to repair the windsock mounting and replace the windsock that was lost sometime over the Christmas period.
It was the first flying day of 2015 and a few members enjoyed a good day. The Arcus motored over to the ridge for a few hours and joined a large number of gliders enjoying the thermal and ridge lift. Thanks to Paul Lazenby for organising the day.
Unfortunately Saturday looks like being wet until later in the day but we still have an aerotow day planned for Sunday, a good chance for some fresh air after the Christmas excesses.

Monday 29/12

A cold start and a cold end to the day but for a few hours it was really quite pleasant in the sunshine. Some members completed their winter refreshers while others enjoyed the calm conditions. We also managed to fly a couple of impromptu trial lessons and were joined by a Sandhill member and his son for the day.Thanks to Jon Huband and Tim Barnes for sharing the instructing duties and to all others who helped. Special thanks to Lesley Waters for bringing the rather excellent sausage rolls.

Saturday 20th December - More fun than Christmas Shopping

Thermals in December - I didn't know such things existed. Helped along by some bright sunshine, a fresh westerly and a bit of wave influence, they made for some bouncy flights off the cross runway. Adventure Scouts Chris and John continued to make excellent progress in both their flying and helping out at the launch points. Doug rigged his LS3 and managed to get to the ridge at the second attempt, but complained it was "a bit crowded". I won't mention how low he was when he left the ridge to return to AD. Ken launched in the ASH and motored off to find a bit of wave. Thanks to Chris Ashworth for helping out with instruction and to our winch drivers.

Sunny Saturday

For a change, a bright sunny day with hardly any wind. With a winch and aerotow operation that was kept busy all day a large contingent of our junior members and members enjoyed the clear and calm conditions.


As forecast, it was a bright but cold day with the wind straight down the strip helping some launches to over 2000'. Winter Refreshers and a BI renewal kept the instructors busy and other members enjoyed the great visibility with some solo flying.

Sunday 30th Nov - Considerably better than expected

Driving on to the airfield at 9am I couldn't even see the wind sock in the mist. So I thought it would be a pretty short day as Duty Instructor: just show my face, cancel the trial lessons and head back home for coffee and brownie points. However, by 9.30 the mist started to thin and we got the kit out. Flying from the south end, the first few flights were really spectacular - launches to 1,600', about 1,000 above the broken cloud with amazing views over a solid cloud sheet extending way out to the west from the airfield boundary. We were also treated to full "broken spectres" (Google it if necessary) on the cloud below. It's probably best not to tell the CFI about how we were going into cloud on the base leg (we had the ILS on). Anyway, the cloud quickly cleared and we enjoyed a very pleasant day's flying in the sunshine. Darren rigged his LS3, Ken entertained us doing his annual checks and Sarah Z munched her way through an entire packet of extra strong mints in three flights. The visitors also enjoyed their flights with Eugene and Matt - one was heard to say "My gob is completely and utterly smacked!" , Thanks to Phil and Mike for some great winching.

Great bonfire party

At a guess, last night was the best bonfire party ever at Cotswold GC. Darren, Matt and Alex P and others had built a massive bonfire - estimated 18' high and base around 20' x 25''. Stephen Cook set up the firework display and this was followed by lighting the bonfire under a clear night sky and nearly a full moon rising in the east. Fortunately the wind was c.10kts SW which meant the new hangar under construction was not in danger. Jackie and her crew provided the soup beforehand and hot dogs, roast pork baps and mince pies after the lighting. About 90 club members and guests celebrated late into the night. Thanks to all those who organised the evening and those who came to enjoy it. Someone was taking photos - can they arrange with Stephen our webmaster to load one or two on the site here?
DGR / chairman

Tuesday 28th

The second day of the junior development half term session. A navigation exercise followed by a briefing on Notams started the day. The bright weather then enticed us out and with the wind straight down the strip we got some good launches. Charlotte converted to the PW, Josh and Jonathan tried out the K7, Ethan improved his circuits and Anne-Cecile and Pierre-Marie got a few more exercises completed. We ended the day with a discussion on Human Factors and a run through some Bronze questions. Charlotte is off to Westminster tomorrow representing youth gliding, hope that she puts,in a good word for CGC!

Thanks to Roger Smith, Andy Smart, Chris Power and Simon Buckley for their help today.

Strong wind Sunday

A useful day's training for a handful of club members plus a sprinkling of UWE attenders.
Nympsfield towed over their DG505 and Grob103 two seaters for some winch training because the wind strength and direction made it too hazardous there.
After a close shave, the winch run on runway 21 was shortened to reduce the chances of a further cable break finishing off the airfield.

Monday 27th

Day one of the junior development course, a lecture on weather patterns was followed by some flying for the 7 juniors. Cloudbase was around 1000' but we had some useful flights, improving individual skills towards the Bronze test. We ended the day with a briefing on Navigation.

Thanks to Paul Lazenby, Jon Huband, Chris Power, Andy Smart and Roger Smith for their help.

Sunday 12th Oct - Fog

We were treated to a spectacular view of fog filling the Severn valley to our west and a bank of fog as far as you could see from Kemble eastwards. It didn't leave a very big hole for us to fly in, but fortunately it stayed that way all day. Matt and Darren have started to build a rather large bonfire. We think we should light it during the daytime so we can see if it makes a big enough thermal to fly in.

Sat 11th Oct

Mist cleared enough to encourage us to get the kit out. The 2 Darrens took the first launch but had to pull off at 400 feet at they entered the patchy low cloud. A half hour wait paid off and then we were away. Lots of Students to fly, check flights to do and a one day course. Forced to take another break as lightning had been seen to the west. The dark clouds gathered and a small group standing by the bus nearly jumped out of their skins as a lightning strike forked to the ground, striking east of the gate and west of the tower at the same time! I've never seen people jump on to the bus so quickly! Anyway the storm passed and we carried on 'till sunset in a sparkly clear sky. (sorry did I say "spark"?)

First cold weekend

Saturday started with pouring rain and blustery winds but the skies cleared in the afternoon to allow some flying from 27 for the ODC and other members, Doug even managing a trip to Abergavenny. It wasn't good enough to entice the 5 instructors on their refreshers to fly so they retreated to the clubhouse to continue with briefings. Sunday was a bright day albeit cold and with a full complement of trial lessons, UWE students, instructor refreshers and club flying it was a busy day, filling several logsheets. The treasurer will be pleased.

Saturday 27 Sept - Not a bad day

The day started well with all the two-seaters getting a wash. This was probably a good thing as thereafter they were all kept busy with club instruction, a group of UWE freshers having their first flights and visitors Brian and Tim on the one day course. For about an hour around mid-day it was properly thermic with climbs to cloud base at around 2,800'. Thereafter, it clouded over and much time was spent waffling around in 1/2-1 Knot thermals. Highlight of the day was circling at 2,500' sandwiched vertically between two buzzards. Many thanks to our winch drivers and also to Simon Buckley and Andrew Turk for helping out with instruction.

A dismal start but...

A grey start to the day but all the two seaters were out of the hangar early. It remained cloudy for a while so a group of us gave KRX a makeover with a good clean and waxing and all the tape was replaced. Perhaps tomorrow's crew could do the same to KRU. The day got better and soarable although the visibility was poor, the ODC had a good day and hopefully produced at least one new member.
Thanks to everyone who helped.

Winch driver(s) needed for this Monday

Gill and Adrian have been trying to get a winch driver or two to cover this Monday (25th) as our professional winch driver is away for the day (he has to take some holidays during his six months !) and there is a course on. So far they have drawn a blank.

Whilst I could cover Monday morning up to 12.00 if necessary, I have to then leave to take an elderly and inform neighbour out for lunch and I cannot get back to winch before 15.30 or so.

Out of a club of 140 or so members, and whatever number of winch drivers I hope someone can help with this. Preferably for he 12.00 noon session onward at least.

I know the forecast is rain or at least showers, but it may well be flyable between the showers.

I'll stand clear to avoid the stampede.......

DGR / chairman

Only one winch for a while....!

Our "B" wInch is U/S and it may take a couple of weeks at least to get it back into service as it requires some replacement parts which are not immediately available and may need to be manufactured. The supplier Skylaunch is dealing with this as a matter of urgency. Their spare winch is in Holland but due to come back to the UK in about 10 days, after which it will be made available to us if our B winch is not ready.
So, in the meantime, extra special care in operating the A winch .....PLEASE !
As an adjunct, the committee will be considering proposals to have one winch go through a major overhaul this autumn, with the other one the following autumn.
DGR / chairman

Task Week Day 3

A late start was forecast but a busy launchpoint with the course and trial lessons. The forecast showed a short window in the afternoon but tricky conditions around AD. The task was AST - Avebury - Chieveley - Whitchurch - AST and a number of gliders attempted it but I think only Tony Parker and yours truly made it round, not an easy day.

Good forecast for tomorrow, briefing at 09:30

Task Week Day 2

The task set was AST- Newbury South - Newport Pagnell - Oundle - Thetford - Ast with the option of returning from each point to AD to score points. Most pilots found bad weather around Bicester so some turned back with a few landouts on the way. Andy Smith and Doug Gardner turned Thetford and Andy made it back to AD to complete the 500km task. Weather was not quite as forecast but well done to Andy.

Today and possibly tomorrow look like rest days.

A late start for the thermals but a busy day.

A very busy day, thanks to Ian Hey for providing aerotow facilities, 25 aerotows in all today. Congratulations to Adrian Mears for his first solo in the the Sport Vega, to Andrew Fleming for his first solo, to Don Brookman for achieving his aerobatic rating and good to see Tony Chapman back at the club and flying again. Simon Lucas landed out at Cherington, thanks to the Hubands for the retrieve. a very good day.

Excellent Thursday

Another day to make some of us glad we don't have to go to work. It didn't really get going till nearly two o'clock but then became really good. Several 350 k + flights were done in the time available.

The grass - again

I contacted Frank B today to ask him, as the key liaison point with the farmers, to alert the farmers to the need for a grass cut within the next week. Hopefully they can fit that in with their crop harvesting.

Changes of Plans

After the Chairman's exhortations of yesterday, ambitious flights of up to 500k were planned and declared on Wednesday. Unfortunately a subtle change of air mass with a much lower cloud base meant that nobody even attempted their tasks. Instead, two pilots used their recently acquired Cloud Flying Ratings to climb to 6000 and 9000 ft respectively.

Visit to the seaside

For those stuck at work today, don't read any further.

Several private owners ventured south today to place like Blandford Forum, Dorchester, Cerne Abbas, and then went north to Worcester and similar TPs. Yours truly ventured to Portland Bill with the help of a slight sea breeze front taking the cloud base to 5,500 AMSL instead of the 4,400 experienced on the run south. Then westwards to Dartmoor and back via WIncanton. Others returned direct from the south coast to complete large tasks today - Doug G, Tom G, Tony P, and Andy S.
We are experiencing some really good XC weather at the moment, for a change. Take a day off work if you can !
DGR / chairman

BBC West - Andy Davis feature

The following is there for a day or so from 15 July 18.30.

Go to 18 mins 12 seconds into the programme


Saturday 5/7/14 Better than expected

At 10.00am, with a cloud base of about 5', I had just but about decided to cancel the one day course and head for home. But by mid-day the clearance went through and things started to improve, After a brief foray to the to the South end we decided that launching in to wind was a good idea and transferred to the north end. Kevin and Richard on the one-day course enjoyed some good soaring flights in the PW-6 and K13 - thanks to Matt for his efforts.
Hats off to the team from South Down - you couldn't wish to share the airfield with a nicer a bunch of people. You are welcome to come again guys.
Also thanks to the team that polished one of the PW-6s and to Adrian Giles for driving the winch

A Busy Wednesday

With a cracking forecast that tempted out a good number of private gliders and with 25 GCSE students on a 'practical physics day' to fly it was a busy day. Five 2 seaters and the Capstan were used and all of the students had soaring flights and went away with big grins. We also had a visit from Yvonne Elliott, the BGA Schools and Colleges lead who had learned about this initiative and wanted to see how we organised the day. The cross country pilots flew some fast tasks, we also had a few drop ins from other clubs including Justin Fletcher (who I sent solo last year) completing his silver distance from Rivar Hill. Two instructors made use of one of the Competition Enterprise tugs for some evening aerotows to complete their aerobatic rating.
We are hosting a group from Southdown for the next few days, please make them welcome.

...Mike W

Bundles of grass

We have been in touch with the farmer, Mr Clark, today to anticipate when the airfield grass will need cutting. Generally it is OK at present, but we expect growth in the next week to require it to be cut next week (commencing 7 July). The farmer has agreed to do this. Please remember that the farmer needs value out of the grass in return for the nil cost to us, so timing has to be balanced. It is also a two to three day operation with > 1 tractor and manpower. The last cut was 2-3 June. I met with Mr Clark on 14 June and once notes of that meeting are agreed I shall summarise them.
DGR / chairman

Bundles of Hay

More than one pilot reported meeting clumps of hay going up in their 8 knot thermals today. The northern club triangle was flown by Andy Smart on cross country training in the DG500 with the CFI. Otherwise only one club member required instruction so several two-seaters and instructors spent a large part of the day on the ground and we packed up early.

Task Week 1

The task week ended yesterday on a day that looked to be a good day but the strong wind made it very difficult. There were several landouts (including the tasksetter) but all returned home safely. The weather wasn't brilliant throughout the week but we managed a few task days and the members who attended the development sessions gained a lot from the lectures and flying exercises.

Matt and Darren also completed their first BI flights.

Group 1 winner was Mike Oliver with Phil Guthrie close on his heels.
Group 2 winner was Jon Huband

Thanks to Jacqui and team for the food on Saturday evening and thanks to everyone else who helped during the week.

The 2nd task week is from the 2nd - 10th of August, bookings being taken now.....

Task Week - attempt at day 2

A task was set for Group 1 and briefing held for the one competitor who turned up, but he didn't go far enough to score on his two attempts.
Much ground school was done in the morning and flying in the afternoon, including two cloud flying instructional flights in the newly instrumented DG500.

Task Week Day 1

Two tasks were set: AD - Basingstoke - Dursley - Shipston on Stour - AD 316 Km;
AD - Chieveley - Yate - AD 163 Km. Nine people tackled the larger and four the smaller including Jonathan Huband who took a UWE member round the task in the DG500. All got back although some cut a corner because of localised difficult conditions.
Normal club flying continued although not many members were here to take advantage of the easily soarable conditions which lasted all day.

Early Start

Two of our enthusiastic younger members got the kit out very early on their own initiative, and after obtaining instructor approval, had the first launches at 0845. It can be done!
As a consequence, a large number of launches and much training were done during the day.
A number of enterprising cross countries were completed but some didn't quite get home against a stiff breeze off the estuary, killing the thermals.

A good week of weather

A good week of weather with two members of the course achieving solo during the week and both enjoyed a day of solo flying today. A good number of private members took advantage of the weather this week so it has been a busy week. Matt Page managed a 5hr 40m flight today for his silver duration and completion of his silver. The weekend is looking hopeful as well.

New green-keeper, and winches

The more observant members will have noticed a phantom green-keeper / grass cutter has been busy around the hangar, the 'sitting out' area in front of the tower and the signal square. The even more observant will notice the club trailers have been serviced, repaired, painted and made roadworthy. Thanks to Andy Smart for all the work involved. He is available for 'teach-ins' for those interested in other jobs....
Whilst talking of maintenance we have had both winches (I think both) checked and given significant services this week by the manufacturers, Skylaunch. This complements the work of Richard Carter and friends who try to keep on top of things week by week. Now, please treat the winches with care so we have them serviceable for the rest of the season. We await reports from Skylaunch on overhauls of both winches, and then we can make decisions about the longer term future.
DGR/ chairman

Royal Aero Club award for Mike Randle

Congratulations to club member and instructor Mike Randle who on Tuesday 13th May was awarded a Royal Aero Club Diploma by HRH The Duke of York for his services to gliding, and in particular over 50 years of instructing. A photo of the presentation is at:

The Diploma ranks between the RAeC Gold and Silver Medals so is a very high recognition of an amazing contribution by Mike over half a century. A copy of the Awards ceremony brochure will be placed in the clubhouse for everyone to view.

Office cover

As many will know or have realised, Gill has been away from the office part of this last week due to illness. She may be off work for a bit longer and so we are looking into getting cover for the office. Please bear with us. In the meantime we send Gill our best wishes for a quick and full recovery.

DGR / chairman

Farnborough Airspace

The proposals for a very large airspace grab by TAG Farnborough, if successful, would be a catastrophic outcome for the gliding and light aviation communities. Whilst Aston Down is not directly affected, and most CGC pilots do not venture beyond Lasham, the principle of what is could happen is important to us. Therefore I would encourage you to write a response - in measured, polite terms please - by close of play this Sunday. As it is forecast to be rather wet part of this weekend, you should have plenty of time to do this. Just look at the BGA website and follow the links for advice and guidance from the BGA on how to respond. To see how serious this matter is, and read a very high quality response, please read the attached / linked response from the Light Aircraft Association.

David Roberts
Chairman, CGC

LAA CAS Farnborough response 8 May 14.pdf

Tuesday - Course day 2

They operated with hand-held radios to communicate with the winch because of further trouble with the bus.
Thanks to the all-day efforts of Simon L. and Jonathan H. it was going again Monday evening. This morning residual water in the fuel caused further trouble so after taking advice it was left where it had ground to a halt pending professional attention. It is important not to continue efforts to start it when this happens or serious damage could ensue.

CGC at Lechlade Duck Race

Thanks to Jonathan Apperley, Philip Mead, Darren Edge, Matt Page and Emil Benson for taking the ASW19 to the Lechlade Duck Race, where several thousand people were gathered for a sunny bank holiday day out. Lots on interest, leaflets handed out, and many Dads - and a few Mums - saying "now the kids are growing up / I have more funds etc I want to try gliding". Watch out for new members. The top prizes for the Duck Race - gliding courses - were donated by CGC. A successful day.

Rockpolishers weekend

It seems to have been a successful weekend at AD with the "Rockpolishers" event, even tough we only had two visiting clubs (Nympsfield and Long Mynd) to compete against. Lots of XC flying was done with meaningful distances, and the airfield was generally busy. We had a couple of problems to cope with. Firstly, because the mild winter has produced long grass earlier than normal we asked the farmer to cut before the weekend, but the cut could only be done Friday due to weather. And so the rotation and pick up of grass (for silage) was done over Sat and Sun, interrupting launching a bit.
Secondly, the bus went U/S because someone missed reading the notice on the diesel fuel filling point, saying 'Warning - Diesel only', and filled the diesel tank with water from the pipe at the tower. The bus is stranded on the runway and absolutely no attempt should be made to move it, or further damage will be caused. We plan emergency help to come on Tuesday to sort out the engine and fuel system. Fingers crossed it can be rectified and quickly.
There is a course running this week.
DGR / chairman

Good Friday

And it was good. Mike Oliver set ambitious tasks which a number attempted and and several completed.
Kevin Russell was deprived of Silver distance for his successful out & return to Edgehill in the ASW19 by logger failure.
The week's course concluded with a conversion to the Astir for Lars, our regular visitor from Sweden who went solo earlier in the week.
A successful UWE development week would have concluded with a solo for Josh, their new secretary, if he had had a medical.
There was a shortage of instructors for club members. Perhaps it is time we had an instructor roster for Bank Holidays.

Sunday 13th April - Sunstroke

A glorious spring day with wall to wall sunshine (after five weeks in Africa without a problem, I managed to get sun burnt at AD).
First launch was a 10.10 with 4kts to 2,200. This encouraged the private owners and there was soon a queue of glass.
By early afternoon there were some stonking thermals, but a lot of people struggled with the equally strong sink.
There were several late winter refreshers to complete, which resulted in the two-seaters spending a good proportion of the day getting retrieved from the far end of the airfield. Early in the afternoon, with two of us at the winch end, we figured it would be easy if the mountain came to Mohamed, and insisted every one swapped ends to join us.
Matt Page converted to the ASW19, resulting in an impressive grin.
Towards the end of the day there was a radio call from John McWilliams in the Pik " Am at 10,000' over the Black Mountains. Don't wait up". (We fed his dinner to the dog).

News From Portmoak

So far we have had 4 flyable days and today Friday is looking good ( ridge and thermal ), so far no classic wave but Tuesday produced some but with rapidly closing gaps it was only for the fool hardy. Sunday and Tuesday enabled Daren Edge and Jonathan Apleby to get site and ridge checks completed, Congratulations to Jonathan for completing his five hours yesterday.
Frank Birlison in his shiny refinished glider along with the rest of us have been making good use of the conditions to practice our thermaling in the narrow Scottish thermals

Course - end of week

Went to AD this afternoon and was informed there had been two first solos this week - that's great ! Congratulations to them both.
Nick Cave, our new winch driver, was also airborne with Mike Randle to see the winch operation from the other end of the cable. He thoroughly enjoyed it, and also is enjoying winching.
Next week no course members, but two visitors from Dartmoor Club with us next Thursday-Friday and the following weekend, so Don Puttock is not there Monday-Wednesday - he is course instructor on a flexible basis.
Red team operation this coming weekend is thin on personnel so some additional help would be welcome. I am winching Sunday (if not wet)!

Welcome to the new team for courses

Monday this week saw the arrival of a new team - Don Puttock as the course instructor and Nick Cave as winch driver. Please give them a warm welcome.They will be on site Mondays to Fridays, so launching is available for everyone (but course members and gliders used on the course take preference). Nick, from Stroud, is completely new to gliding and winching but from all accounts has taken to it like the proverbial duck to water, under the watchful training eyes of a couple of experienced club members / winch instructors - many thanks to them for their help over the first two days. All we need now is for the proper Spring weather to arrive.
DGR / chairman

First Day of Summertime!

A useful circuiting Sunday with a bit of soaring but very poorly attended - perhaps some were still on GMT so didn't get up in time.
I was privileged to do the Chairman's Winter Refresher - naturally he passed. He was impressed the PW6 which he flew for the first time.

Non flying but productive day

Saturday 29th - sunny, E wind c 25 kts, E-W runway not useable thanks (!) to Leda Properties not completing the reparation to the trench across R/W 27 towards the west end. Anyway, a useful start was made to various site tidying jobs by several members - thanks. The skip(s) by the Butts will be moving, including one with scrap metal, and a larger one hopefully will replace it later this week for general rubbish. Club fleet is almost all fully serviceable with new ARCs. So bring on the good weather ! But before it does arrive, there are loads of jobs to be done - see lists inside the clubhouse next to the briefing room.
DGR/ chairman

Last Weekend

A very busy weekend with both winch and aerotow available, not too many thermals around so the launch line was kept busy. Looked like a busy weekend in the workshop as well, with plenty of ARC's and fettling happening as well as grass cutting in the caravan park, has spring arrived? Our new airfield WIFI was being tested ready for electronic launch point logging and a number of members took advantage of an EASA Licensing update by the CFI in the evening.

Wednesday 5th March

Not quite as forecast but a pleasant day, the midweek group joined the Wednesday flyers and numbers were bolstered by our friends from Usk, two visitors from another club considering joining us and two airline pilots who flew in (in a Cessna) to try gliding and will be enrolling on a course. Some extended flights were logged with launches to 2000' and some weak thermals. Not a bad day and the forecast for next week looks better.

Frosty Saturday

A frosty start but a really good soaring day and plenty of activity at the club, Some short cross countries completed and one landout at Nympsfield with an aerotow home. Andrew, a local farmer enjoyed his introduction to gliding on a One Day Course and most pilots enjoyed soaring flights. Quite warm through most of the day but temperatures dropped as the day progressed and canopies and wings started icing up.

An Excellent Wednesday

A few of the Mid-week Group, Wednesday Fliers and Usk visitors enjoyed a pleasant part day, interrupted only by a short sharp shower while we had lunch. Circuits, some soaring and some Winter Refreshers completed.
With four two-seaters and three instructors out and very few customers, everyone had had their fill by 2.45, so everything was put away and we all went home. What a waste of a lovely afternoon.
Many thanks to everyone who helped especially those who winch drove.

Another sunny day

Soarable Sunday then 5 days of indifferent weather, then the sun comes out again on Saturday! Not something we are used to. Anyway, a good turn out again with some soaring flights. The 2 seaters were all kept busy to the MAX with club members, a couple of winter refreshers and 9 students from UWE queuing up for the Ka7. Some winch issues slowed us down a bit early on but having the second winch saved the day. 60 odd launches and last one just as bad light stopped play.

A Sunny Sunday

For a change a very sunny day and thermals with flights of over an hour recorded with occasional strong thermals to 3000' above AD. The conditions enticed a good number of private owners to rig and the 2 seaters were kept busy all day.

what we do when it is not flyable....

Two miles south of Muchelney, village centre of Thorney. Glos and Worcs 4x4 Response helping Wessex 4x4R carry people from Muchelney to their car park.

Wet and windy Sunday, but work done

No flying today but a few souls spent time tidying the briefing room. Thanks Matt Page and Chris Gough. Please let's keep it tidy !
Plans are advancing for launch point logging by computer - Matt and Chris have tested the connections from the bus to the office from the main positions on the airfield - results 10/10. When they are ready to introduce this feature we shall organise 'teach-ins' for everyone. The workshop is also going to be linked by wi-fi so that inspectors can do their form filling online immediately.
Lots of other plans being worked on - we'll let you know when we have something comprehensive to communicate !
DGR / chairman

Geese flying at AD

Today a film unit was at AD all day, filming the tame geese flying along the runway parallel to the open-top Citroen. This filming was for the BBC One Show. Broadcast date tba.

Mike Randle awarded UK Royal Aero Club Diploma

A few weeks ago the Council of the Royal Aero Club of the UK agreed to award Mike Randle its prestigious Diploma. This is now published in the annual awards list for 2013 at
The Diploma is the highest individual award after a Gold Medal, and in Mike's case is recognition amongst many things of his over 50 years as an instructor in gliding. Congratulations and well done Mike !
David Roberts / Chairman

1st Weekend of Feb

A rather cold, windy and showery weekend. Flying done on both days with Sunday being the better day with some launches to over 2000 feet.

New Committee meets

The new committee meets Saturday morning 1st February. The first meeting will be 'taking stock' and addressing plans for this coming season. I have a whole series of notes on what we need to do as a club. Many things are of course on the way from the previous committee as part of normal business, but we need to divide future tasks into day-to-day operational matters and then strategic issues. I plan to write a first 'chairman's thoughts' in the next week to send to all members.
For those who may not know me, please introduce yourselves to me when you see me at the club. My mug shot is on the members' section of the club website under "Who's who".
Fly safe,
David Roberts


The flying alert for Tuesday resulted in a good turnout with solos, refreshers and training in the PW6. All who came got as much flying as they wanted. The sunshine made it feel less cold than it was and the lack of significant lift did not dampen spirits. Many thanks to Mike Randle for providing the instructor cover and to Chris and Andy for winching.

The whole club was here

Well it certainly felt like it! Blue skies, cumulus and a long launch queue - it could've been a classic summer's day, but this was only January. Over 50 launches were done with 2 PWs, 1 K13, the Ka7, Ka8 and Dg500 all taking to the skies. Private owners included K21, ASH25, Capstan, Skylark, DG300, LS6, ASW20, Squale & Ventus. (did I miss anyone?) Longest flight only 11 minutes, except for Mike in RB who motored off to find enough thermals to stay up for over an hour. The viz was great so well worth a launch for the view. On the training side, we had a one day course member enjoying himself and a first solo by Claude Hoarau after only 26 flights in a glider. (but he does have a PPL so had a head start. )

First flying day of 2014

A sunny day enticed a good number of members out to play. Both PWs were kept busy in relatively warm conditions. Launches to 2000' were reported with some pilots incurring soaring fees in weak thermals. A good day, the next few look rather poor.

Sunday 29th December

The last weekend of 2013 and most likely the last flyable day, today was bright and sunny and not to cold, launching was delayed by misted canopies and ice on wings.
Once the sun got to work we completed 29 launches with two PW6s and several private gliders, all enjoying the smooth conditions.
Kevin Russell completed his winter refreshers, and a number of solo pilots including instructors took advantage of the lack of demand for the PW6s to get some solo flights in before the end of 2013.

Saturday 28th Dec.

A bright start but once the winch, bus and gliders were out, it started a light drizzle. Only a shower though, and the rest of the day was sunny but cold with a 5 knt SW wind. 2 PWs and the Ka7 were kept busy doing circuits in the smooth conditions. Adrian and Josh (early solo pilots) were able to do a few solos after check flights and the more experienced pilots had a launch just to keep their hand in and prove that Christmas dinner/pudding had not affected their "flying weight".

Aerotow day

Thanks to Andy Smart for bringing the tug in today. A good number of members took advantage of the facility, some learning to aerotow for the first time, others racking up the numbers to get the minimum required for their LAPL. A total of 16 aero tow launches were completed, some to 3000' despite the grey sky. UWE members and other club members continued with winch launching until the darkening sky and cold marked the end of flying.

Thanks again to Andy for 'tugging' all day.

Sunny Saturday and another 14 year old solo success.

Bright crisp day for a change, not too many club members or visitors around, perhaps they were all visiting our stand at the Flying Show!

Congratulations to Josh Vaggs for his first solo today, well done.

Well done also to Brian Birlison, Geoff Dixon, Don Brookman and Chris Ashworth who kept the CFI and RE entertained all day in completing their instructor renewal checks..


Considering the sudden transition to winter temperatures, there was a good turnout of midweek fliers on Tuesday. Apart from working the lights and the winch, we found the warmest spots were in the sun sheltering from the wind on the leeward side of the bus. Steve P, and Eric kept up their solo currency in the PW6 and Chris P kept his hand in also. New member Philip continued his training and Caleb and Andy took turns in their Astir, with Caleb showing everyone how to find and keep lift with a flight of almost 45 minutes, nearly as much as the rest of us put together. Roger asked for some training in side slipping on landing, with his cross country endorsement in mind, but we missed the full spectacle as the Astir got down first and was in the way. Thanks to Richard and Tony for supervising and instructing and to Steve G (not wearing shorts apparently), Andy, Caleb and Steve P for winching.

Crisp Wednesday

The mid week group swelled the numbers of the Wednesday Flyers to make it a busy day. Those who took early launches had good views of the mist in the valleys and the frost as it retreated towards Swindon. Ken Lloyd and Peter Francis took the opportunity to complete their winter refreshers and everyone else flew, we packed in as the temperature dropped.


It wasn't supposed to rain until later but as the mid week group started to get the kit out it did, so we retreated to the club house for tea and an impromptu lecture on aircrew licensing. The rain stopped and although it was grey, launches were available to almost 2000', the visiting helicopter pilot also had a trial flight after being taken to the new cafe at the White Horse for breakfast. Some good flights including a surprise for Norman when the shockrope broke at 100', thanks to Ed for re-splicing it. It was almost dark when the last launch landed, no flying broomsticks were sighted! Thanks to Eric and Andy for driving the winch.
As we left a low loader turned up loaded with what looked like pallets and roof trusses followed by a forklift with more wooden frames, all which were put on the bonfire. It's going to be quite a blaze on November the 9th!

Portmoak expedition

Cotswold Gliding Clubs expedition to Portmoak in Scotland took place last week,
11 pilots with nine aircraft headed north .
Sunday the 20th started with a light Easterly breeze Simon Buckley and Rob Corbin took a couple of launches, Caleb McKinstry and Chris Huck took advantage of the light winds to get some circuit practice in CGC's DG500 with Simon Lucas, Chris managed 25 mins on the east facing end of Binarty ( also known as Cemetery Ridge ) once the  wind freshened.
The next two days were light south westerlies so more circuits.
Wednesday saw the wind go westerly and freshen so all pilots had several hours on the ridge until late into the evening after which the DG was de rigged ready for its return south.
Thursday was forecast to be the last flyable day of the week , so all pilots rigged early and launched, we were greeted by strong ridge lift then wave to 5500 ft above the clouds until the showers upwind caused the gaps to close.
All in all a good week.

Saturday 26/10

A dull grey drizzly morning but an optimistic chairman with plenty of members and UWE students who wanted to fly. The sky cleared by midday and both PWs were kept busy with the DG500 being used for the one day course. There were some sporty flights as the wind increased and the UWE students kept us flying until it was almost dark.
Everyone enjoyed themselves.

Thursday 24/10

A calm and bright day for a change with good visibility and some weak thermals. There was a good turnout from the mid week group and the two seaters were kept busy all day. Darren Hague (one of our 14 year old soloists) brought his father along for a trial lesson and was doing his best to convince him to learn to glide, Emil Benson completed his winter refreshers and congratulations to Roger Smith who performed well in his flying tests to complete his Bronze badge, well done Roger. It was a good day, but the prospects for the next few days look poor, to put it mildly!

Saturday 19th October

Operating from the North end with a slight crosswind from the east. Windspeed around 10-15 kts. A good bunch from UWE so the Ka7, one ASK13 and one PW6 were out. Day started with lowish cloud, around 700 feet, but it lifted nicely and the sun came out until at 15:20 it started to rain. It looked set-in, but in fact we were on the edge of a thunderstorm, which we could hear, and after about 40 minutes it has passed us by so that launching continued until the end of day. Worth getting out of bed for.

5-6 October

A busy couple of days in some pleasant autumn sunshine. The two-seaters were kept busy with club flying, one-day -courses and trail lessons. Eugene deserves a mention for doing a great job giving the UWE students their introductory flights in the Ka7 (I should also say the students provided a great retrieve service to every landing glider). The days promised more than they delivered interms of thermal activity, giving the private owners the opportunity to demonstrate their low level scratching skills. Many thanks to winch drivers Andy Smart, Adrian Giles, Caleb McKinstry, Sam Lazenby and Matt Page. We were also very grateul to Simon Lucas for fixing the winch when the ignition box gave out on Saturday.

A fond (and hopefully temporary) farewell to Chris Harris

Our professional summer winch driver ends his contract with us tomorrow when the final holiday course for 2013 ends. Chris will be travelling back to his homeland in North Wales for the winter where he has a contract for some floor fitting work. The club thanked Chris for his work this year by presenting him with a pair of knee protectors (for his new job!) and a couple of bottles of the red stuff.

Thanks Chris and hope to see you again next year.

Wednesday 25th September

The course has been struggling this week with the airfield shrouded in mist for all day Monday and again Tuesday morning. It did clear on Tuesday afternoon to leave cloud base at 800' but with plenty of gaps so the course was able to enjoy the sunshine and views above the cloudbase. On Wednesday the mist cleared earlier in the day and the course and club members enjoyed some soarable conditions, albeit with rather poor visibility.

Sat 21st September

A grey start with low cloud persisting. The morning was spent usefully enough - a K13 and PW6 were rigged, the K13 has a shiny new canopy and the PW6 just returned from the UWE Freshers Fair. The Astir was de-rigged and put in its trailer to go for remedial work on the tailplane attachment points. By lunch time, a winch, bus and K13 were on the runway ready. Sadly the first launch confirmed that the cloudbase was an unworkable 500 feet so it was time for the waiting game. 14:30 hours and the decision was made to pack away, and of course by 16:00 the sky was clear. A useful but frustrating day.

A fine weekend

Plenty of activity on Saturday, Don ran the one day course, a good number of club members for instruction and a queue of single seaters off on cross country tasks. Doug went off to East Anglia, Paul Gentil took the SHK around a 300km and other good tasks were flown with very strong thermals reported.
Congratulations to Jonathan Apperley for his his silver distance in completing an out and return to Edgehill.
Geoff Dixon also managed to get back into the air by manoeuvring his surgical boot into the back of the K21 for a flight with Tom and Jon and Jacqui took the Capstan to 5000'.

There was hope for a similar day for Sunday but a rather milky sky spoilt that, but there was thermalling and wave available in the afternoon, a number of pilots tried to get into the wave but only Tony Chapman was successful, managing to get to 5700' over AD.

A fine weekend.

Another 14 year old goes solo

Congratulations to Darren Hague who after completing a summer course with us came back for some further instruction and went solo yesterday just a few weeks after his 14th birthday. After two perfect solo flights he ended the day with a wave flight in the Duo Discus. Well done Darren.

The course with Tony Hayes and Robin Birch instructing also had a good week with three of the course members signing up for club membership.

Airfield Ratings

I would like to introduce a new feature to the Blog.
Interesting Airfields to land out at, with ratings (1-10) for……………
Glider friendliness (the people not the actual field).
Runway length and width.
Airfield Facilities. (loo’s, Tea/Coffee/ food etc).
Airfield Setting (In terms of the attractiveness of the surroundings).
Distance from Aston Down.
My first nomination is Oaksey Park
A lovely little airfield (less than 20K from A.D. two runways a little narrow but fine for up to 20m.
Great reception, great little clubhouse with wood burning stove (not active) flowers everywhere and very friendly people. 10 out of 10. on all counts.
Perhaps Others including Tony Chapman would like to add (for a start) Their experiences as to a other local airfields.

Dunstable Regionals - Final Score

After three days of poor weather & no flying the competition director ignored the drizzle and low cloud, declaring 2 late tasks. So we rigged and gridded. After a long wait for the cloud base to rise the Red Class (high performance) was launched into the murk. It was then decided that our Blue Class was too late to launch. So we degridded and derigged. A wise decision, given that only one out of 20+ hot ships made it round the 100km task. Paul finished 5th in class, unable to challenge for a top-three spot because of the run of bad weather.
An enjoyable week in the good hands of London Gliding Club despite wind & rain.

Typical October Bank Holiday day

It was a typical early October morning when the ab-initio briefings were about abbreviated circuits after entering cloud during the launch, whilst the trial lessons were waiting to see if we had flights appropriate for their first venture into the air by winch. New members Merv, Steve and Andy kept us going and Matt Page once again manned the winch most of the day - thanks Matt, no-one would have flown much at all without that help.

Thankfully Jon Huband came to help out so Dave Gardiner handed the last few TLs to him and drove the winch for a bit - thanks Dave. Previous member Reg Gardner over from Aus also helped out and was hoping a few more members whom he could reminisce with were about.

The launches gradually got higher, even getting a bit of blue towards late afternoon and circuits came after some upper air exercises at last. We finished after doing a couple of dozen flights, all flew who wanted to. I guess an OK for a muggy October.

And yes I know it's August though... but hey, it was a Bank Holiday so what did we expect?

Saturday 24th August 50 Shades of Grey

Thanks to the enthusiasm of Andrew Turk, we got a PW-6 out and launched it into the 8/8 overcast. Gradually, cloudbase increased from a measly 850' to a workable 1,400', enabling Dave Gardiner to fly Dominic on the One Day Course. Under the overcast visibility was surprisngly good. Many thanks to Andy Smart for driving the winch.

Dunstable Regionals - Saturday

Third scrubbed day in a row. Wednesday saw the gliders tasked into grey, featureless spreadout. Paul found a newly harvested barley field, owned by a