Friday, 28 December 2018

Winter Lectures 2019

If you are working towards Bronze or just want to brush up a bit, here is the 2019 programme of Winter Lectures, all at 10.00 in the briefing room.

Saturday, 22 December 2018

Two more instructors

Congratulations to Phil Binnee and Nik von Merveldt on completing their Basic Instructor ratings.

Wednesday, 19 December 2018

Another instructor rating

Congratulations to Jeremy Gilbey on completing his Basic Instructor rating today in glorious sunshine.

Sunday, 16 December 2018

Another December solo

Cadet Basel Hammond took time out from his duty day today for his first solo, well done Basel.

Saturday, 15 December 2018

December sunshine successes

Congratulations to Ed Skipsey (far left) who was sent solo by DCFI Steve Williams, and also to Stuart Whitehouse who completed his Basic Instructor Rating yesterday.

You can catch up with all of 2018's achievements, expeditions, comps and other activities in the latest newsletter, up on the website here.

Sunday, 28 October 2018

Farewell to Scotland

Friday saw the arrival of the snow so there were alternative activities - one party went to the Grampian Transport museum in Alford, another group bravely circumnavigated Loch Muick in a blizzard.

Between snow showers
And then it was time to pack up and drive home. Many thanks to Deeside Gliding Club for welcoming us and for laying on some fantastic weather for us to fly in. We will be back next year!

Snow on Morven

Friday, 26 October 2018

Thursday waving

Yesterday started a bit cloudy but then opened up into a beautiful westerly wave morning with proper wave bars. Richard and Frankie in 315 and Barry LTY got to 15,000ft or so, Jacek 318 and Ashley 319 also got to great (unspecified) heights. Rain stopped play after lunch so most people adjourned to the Black Faced Sheep for lunch morphing into afternoon tea. The evening saw the whole team assembled at the Boat for another excellent meal.

The view from the ground

Much better view from above

Spectacular lenticular

Those two lochs again

Wednesday, 24 October 2018

Another good day for wave

Another good wave day. It was effectively a blue day in the local area, although we had a blanket of cloud at about 25,000 ft.  There were some clouds marking wave bars North of Strathdon (25k away). The local wave weakened for a while mid morning, but then re-energised with some good climbs. By late afternoon there was a steady 8 knots to 10,000 ft and more in the lee of Morvern.  Richard took 315 around the periphery of the Cairngorms, a 210k XC with William P and then again in the afternoon with Howard. Bob D (V66) flew to Glenfiddich to sniff the air, then to a few other local hotspots.  Jacek got an easy gold ht with a climb to 19,000 ft.  Others bimbled around the local area with climbs up to 20,000 Ft.  Oh yes, and Jane (118) got to FL 210 for an easy Diamond badge at her first attempt.

Wow, sunset pic from Jacek.
A blue day with no sun! Loch Muich and the Tay Estuary (Dundee) in the distance.

Spot the airfield.

Tuesday, 23 October 2018


Yesterday the BBC forecast a bit of a breeze, which appears to be their word for hardly being able to stand up. The Met Office spot wind forecast had something like 95kts at 18,000ft. Anyway, there was wave, so there was flying. Howard gets the prize for endurance, spending 6.5 hours in the Pegase, and finally missing out on a Diamond height by 12 metres. David 314 climbed to 14,000ft, Ashley 319, Bob T4, Bob V66 and the KSM team John and Nick got up to around 18,000ft, Richard and Jacek in 315 made it to 20,000ft.

Lenticular viewed from KSM

315 topping out

Ashley's view of the sea

By the time the gliders were put to bed the wind had really picked up to quite a moderate breeze and a large crew was required to put the covers on KSM.

Hanging on tight
It was a lot more peaceful at ground level on the shores of Loch Kinord, normally viewed from above.

Nice wave bars
Today the breeze was even more moderate, and after a few flights - 315 was one of them, up to 18,000ft again and over to Braemar - flying was suspended for the day, 30kt gusts were making the circuit too exciting. After lunch in the Black Faced Sheep a group went to Ballater and climbed Craigendarroch, from which there are excellent views over the town and mountains.

Height gain 717ft

Saturday, 20 October 2018

It's choppy on tow and windy in the circuit

Many of the week 1 participants have now made their way home as we move in to week 2 of what is proving to be a great expedition. Another great day of wave soaring at Aboyne, a repeat of yesterday with a weak front passing during the day to make life interesting. At one point it got quite windy on the ground. As we sat in the wave it was a little thought provoking to hear discussions on the radio about putting aircraft in the hangar to avoid them blowing away. Nevertheless, the wind was straight down the runway and not a problem.  Lots of really good fun flights.
Dave B and Jan (316) went for a climb to 14,000 at Corgarff Castle and then pushed further west. Howard J (318) also went out over the cloud to Corgarff and almost accidentally got a Gold Ht in the process, luckily he missed by a couple of metres and avoided the paperwork.  John H and Paul F had an adventurous flight taking the Duo (KSM) on a tour to Feshie and Easterton getting to 16,500 ft in the process.  Richard C and Chris R (315) got high and went West.  Jane M (13,500Ft - that tow was a bit bracing), Dave H, Bob D, Bob S (18,000Ft) stayed closer to home but all got above 10,000 ft.

18,000 Ft over the Lochs looking South. Nice wave gap.
Thursday. Loch Muick (rt) Lochnagar (ctr) Ballater (under wing tip) East coast in the distance.