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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.

1st Solo 11 June 2014

David Chapman re-soloed on the 3rd day of this week's course. He last flew gliders in 1984 with the Royal Navy (only about 12 glider flights back then). On Monday and Tuesday this week Don put David through his paces and off he went on his own in the PW6 on Wednesday. Followed by the Astir at the end of the day.
In case members are wondering who this 'wunderkind' is, he happens to have an ATPL for helicopters and airliners, the latter being a requirement for his job as Director of Safety Regulation at the UK CAA until 2009, followed by his role as Safety adviser on aviation to the UAE, based in Dubai, until last year. David lives near Gloucester and we hope he finishes the week joining us as a full member.

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.

Albert Bielecki goes solo

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.

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