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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

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