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Felix's landout

Felix chose a good field for his first landout.

Rockpolishers, Aston Down June 11th/12th, 2011

Sat 11th June


Novice: AST – WAN – AVE – UWH – AST 157.04km
Intermediate: AST – KGS – DEV – WAN – AST 223.41km
Pundit: AST – LAS – DEV – PAN – AST 305.29km

Met: W 5-10kts with good thermal conditions reported in the task area. A large bank of showery cloud moved up from the south-west in the afternoon to the north of Aston Down, just missing us, but leaving a clear and bright evening.



1st Tom Gooch Aston Down 74.34kph (h/c) 993 pts
2nd Mike Dodd Shobdon 135.9km (178.8km h/c) 844 pts
3rd Alex Rowlands Long Mynd 141.1km (148.5km h/c) 693 pts
4th Rob Colson Usk 97.1km (107.89km h/c) -11 pts (500 pt pen.)
5th Stefano Longo Nympsfield 86km (89.6km h/c) -602 pts (missed 2nd t/p by 1.6km, plus 2 x 500 pt pens.) White Stick Award!


1st Richard Bennett Long Mynd 213.9km (221.8km h/c) 1000 pts
2nd George Robertson Usk 91.6km (94.4km h/c) 397 pts (Flew task backwards!)
3rd Stuart Renfrew Shobdon 190.6km (183.3km h/c) 314 pts (500 pt pen. Redlands)
4th Tim Barnes Aston Down 33.9km (34.6km h/c) 116 pts (GPS/logger stopped)
5th Greg O’Hagan Nympsfield 0km 0 pts (trace not recorded for most of first leg)


1st Andy Davis Nympsfield 103.82kph (h/c) 1000 pts
2nd John Huband Aston Down 86.31kph (h/c) 899 pts
3rd Phil King Shobdon 78.22kph (h/c) 852 pts
4th John & John Long Mynd 69.00kph (h/c) 299 pts (500 pt pen)
5th Chris Colse Usk 139km (146.3km h/c) 181 pts (cut task short)

The weekend scores are

Pundit Intermediate Novice Total
AST 4 2 5 11
SBN 3 3 4 10
MYD 2 5 3 10
NYM 5 1 1 7
USK 1 4 2 7

Saturday dawned looking very promising, but with the risk of showers in the afternoon, but likely to be fewer than yesterday. So, with that in mind and a scan of the surface pressure charts and RASP, I reckoned on a task area to the east and south. There was an area of airspace just south of Oxford heading east blocked off for the Queen, so this effectively meant sticking mainly to area south of the M4. As it happens Doug arrived armed with a pile of proposed tasks in exactly this area, so I thought that rather than spend time pondering on various turning points, I’d use his choices as written. This was a good move as I’m always under pressure to make sure we get everything done that needs to be done before briefing, and it saved me considerable sweat!

Competitors started launching around 11:15 and the first off on track were Andy and John in the pundit class, and Doug who wanted to check that his task was do-able. Andy reported soft going on the first leg, but perking up quickly as the day progressed.

Everyone else got going without any bother, except Tom who had two relights before getting away. As it turned this was quite fortunate because he romped round the novice task to claim first place for Cotswold. The sky looked spectacular towards the south-east all afternoon, but an ominous bank of deep shower clouds slowly moved towards us from the south-west threatening any returning pilots. Fortunately, it drifted past just to the north dumping its water in the distance and allowing finishers to get home. First back was Andy at an actual 115kph in the JS-1, followed by Greg and Stefano which looked like it would be a clean sweep for Nympsfield. However, their elation was short-lived as their traces showed a malfunction with Greg’s logger and Stefano forgot to wear his glasses and missed the second turning point and drove through the South Cerney parachute zone twice to win the prestigious white stick award! A few land-outs were being phoned in as time went on, and John Huband had an unfortunate episode as he tried to cross the finish without enough speed, ending up in the rape. Most importantly, he was OK apart from dented pride and some minor cuts to his hand which were patched up by the paramedic. Despite the mishap he came second for Cotswold, followed by Phil for Shobdon. The two Johns in the DG505 managed to fly through a section of Salisbury Plain danger area to pick up a 500 point penalty, eventually arriving back home after another tour exploring southern England’s airspace! The other intermediates all landed out, but Richard won it for the Mynd landing near Kemble. George from Usk managed to go round the task the wrong way and Stuart from Shobdon scraped Redlands for a 500 point penalty, landed at Sandhill Farm, took a launch and soared his way back home.

Doug landed at Oaksey Park on the way home, blaming his performance on a lack of patience. I think perhaps he forgot he didn’t have water on board and just flew too fast until he met terra firma!

All in all, a very good Rockpolishing day, rounded off with a pork roast and pudding provided by Richard and Sandy, our masterchefs! Thanks particularly to Andy Cockerell whose computer prowess enabled us to get the scores worked out without any fuss or me burning any midnight oil. Thanks also to Doug for the tasks, Tim for doing the airfield briefing, David for driving the winch, Matt for keeping the log, and everyone else who made a contribution. The four-cable system worked very well once again, with minimal delays at the launch point and yours truly cracking the whip to get everyone ready.

Unfortunately, Sunday didn’t oblige and as per the forecast it rained, and it rained, and it rained….

Holiday Course member flies solo

Here is holiday course member Duncan Thomas after his first solo.

The simulator goes to Brussels

ImageThe Cotswold club’s simulator was put to good use on 3-4 May at the European Parliament. CGC member David Roberts, as President of Europe Air Sports, hosted an ‘expo’ of air sports in the Parliament with the aim of enabling MEPs, European Commission officials and others to learn something of private and sporting aviation. To make the event attractive, Chris Gough and David took the CGC simulator to Brussels, where it became a focus of much interest and active piloting. Europe Air Sports, of which the Royal Aero Club of the UK and in turn the BGA is a member, represents hundreds of thousands of light aviation pilots and aircraft owners, including those in gliding, on aviation regulatory matters in Europe. Much of its work is influencing the rule-makers and decision-makers in Europe to keep the regulations and rules as simple, clear and proportionate as possible.

Picture: Chris Gough shows the simulator to Matthias Borgmeier, EASA Rulemaking Officer and glider pilot.

Phil Stevens goes solo.

Phil Stevens goes solo

Spring 2011 Newsletter

Air to Air

Alex Mazzoleni took this picture of the club's Astir from the Duo Discus at the weekend.

Best day of the year so far


Taken by Chris Gough on Sunday 13th March


For many years we have had our parachutes re-packed at Filton. Unfortunately, this service will shortly come to an end as our packer will lose the facility. I do not yet have a date when we will have to stop; when I do I will let you know by club e-mail and by putting up a notice. In the meantime, I am endeavouring to get as many club and private chutes packed as I can.

Working with Ken Brown from Nympsfield, I am exploring alternative options for getting our chutes re-packed. Currently, the cost of re-packing is £15.00. I do not know what the new cost will be, but commercial rates appear to be around thirty or thirty-five pounds. Depending upon the re-pack date for your chute, you may choose to get it re-packed now. If so, please leave it in the office or reception area, clearly marked with your name, account number and “For Re-packing”. I hope to be at the club most Saturdays, and also tomorrow (Sun 16th Jan) when I will also be returning those chutes I collected two weeks ago. I will try to retain a two-week re-pack cycle.


Harriers over Aston Down

A formation of four Harriers flew over Aston Down at 500' today during a tour of all the airfields that the Harrier has been associated with. We're not sure why they came to Aston Down but perhaps it was when the Central Flying School use AD as a diversion airfield and for touch and gos in the 70s.

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