Sunday, 9 September 2018

Easter Eggs, vintage aircraft and a show

It was a very busy day at Booker yesterday. As well as the usual trial lessons, and some basic instructor training, we had the long awaited Easter Egg Cup aerobatic competition, postponed from rainy April. With British Aerobatics Association judge Charles Baker judging and Graham Saw  acting as safety pilot, seven pilots executed a variety of aerobatic manoeuvres, some of which were recognisable as part of the prescribed sequences. Entrants could choose from Standard, Tricky or Joker - no-one attempted Joker!


After prolonged deliberation and abstruse calculations in the briefing room a winner emerged and the trophy  - and a selection of Easter Eggs - was awarded. The podium places were:

George Darby - 80.5%
Maddi Roberts - 80%
Andy Monk - 78%

George and William engaged in some arm wrestling over the trophy

Many thanks to judge Charles for sitting out in the cold all day and Graham for organising it all, and congratulations to all the entrants who gave it a go.

Meanwhile, CFI Richard was taking all-comers for rides in a Miles Magister from the Shuttleworth collection. There was a slight pause in the middle of the day when it took an awful lot of prop swinging to persuade it to start but all those who had a flight said it was a great experience.


In other news, at White Waltham, a team from Booker was giving people rides in our simulator as part of the West London Aero Club members' day fundraiser - the thrid year we have been invited to attend. Despite the grey skies they did good business, with queues forming - another opportunity to showcase gliding and Booker. Thanks to Chris Arnold, Henry Ross and John Lambie for working the stand and to Max Norfolk for towing there and back.



Sunday, 2 September 2018

Inter Club League Final 2018

This weekend we have had the pleasure of hosting the ICL final, where the winning teams from the different regions come to battle for the title - we had 15 pilots (including two world champions) from 5 clubs on the grid.  Jim White directed the comp and also set tasks for each of the three classes - Novice, Intermediate and Pundit, while Pete Wyld did all the complex work of scoring, including sorting out the final tie for first place. We had two days of excellent weather and some equally good safe flying by all contestants - and no landouts - as well as a Saturday night BBQ.

In the end Bicester wrested the trophy from HusBos who had held it for the past 5 years. And good fun was had by all.


The winning team
Andy Mayer (Intermediate), Team Captain Miles Bailey, Pundit Jon Gatfield, Novice Olly Wheeler

ICL co-ordinator Chris Luton with Team Captain Miles

World Champion Andy Davis, day winner in the Pundit class

Chris and Jim mildly amused by it all


No caption needed


Sunday, 26 August 2018

Another solo........and a winner!

We continued our series of solos with Steve Goodhram. Steve went solo at Booker 35 years ago and came back with his son on a 2 day course, at the end of which he re-soloed. They would both like to continue gliding but as they live in Birmingham it will probably not be at Booker, although of course we would be delighted to see them again.

Steve with the traditional instructor handshake from Richard
All this week some of our pilots have been competing in a variety of comps, although the weather has not been kind to them. Tim Scott won the 15m Nationals at Aston Down, with Jim White coming in 6th. Meanwhile at Lasham, George Hunter was flying in the Junior Nationals where he came 9th in a field of 44. Congratulations to all of them.

Thursday, 16 August 2018

Sixth solo of the week

Today new Ass Cat instructor Paul sent off his first solo student, Brooke, another Air League scholar. Congratulations both. It's been a very busy week!

The grins say it all



And another solo...........

..........bringing the total to 5 in two days. Air League scholar Gurpal went solo yesterday, making the most of the weather before today's rain band. Well done Gurpal!

Strategically placed bucket shows that cleaning has occurred!



Wednesday, 15 August 2018

Four solos in one day!

This week we have been training a group of young people who won Air League scholarships and yesterday three of them went solo. Then the Tuesday Evening Group arrived and 14 year old Ossian, son of member Brian O'Sullivan, brought the total to four. Not bad for one day. Congratulations to all of them.

Scholars Luke, Eric and Mark 

Ossian

Sunday, 29 July 2018

Regionals round up

What a week it's been! Six contest days with two 300k tasks on consecutive days. We had a go on Day 7 but the weather went downhill and the Director scrubbed 2 minutes before the start gate opened as gliders sank towards relights and the sky darkened. Pilots were glad to derig before the rain. Saturday was very breezy so although a task was set it was scrubbed as it became clear that it wouldn't be practicable. Nils the Met Man had already spotted this and booked a holiday in Italy. The day ended with an excellent BBQ organised by the Director, plus prize giving.

Congratulations to the top three..........

Denis Campbell - the cup already has his name on it, lots of times

Jim White, who tried very hard to wrest first place from Denis
Speedy John Otty with his 3rd place prizes
.....and congratulations to all the other competitors for making it a safe and fun comp.

Many thanks to all the people who made the comp a success.......


Richard - Director, BBQ chef and occasional tug pilot
Nils the Met Man
Pete the Scorer

Bob the Grid Marshal

Maddi and her team of cadets

Jim and the other tuggies - Bob and Rob

George for flying the Duo with club members
Bob for Control, IT and lots of other stuff, including taking most of the pics

Thursday, 26 July 2018

Regionals Day 6

The forecast today was a hard one as the arrival of rain and sparky stuff was difficult to predict. Eventually a task round Calvert Jct - Oxford South and Brill was set. While we waited for cu to develop, Control's clock said it was 33.8degC so shade was at a premium.

Control, Director, assorted pilots and a couple of wilting cadets

Bob the Grid Marshal taking a break

That white stuff behind Nils is altocu, not much use for XC
Nils the Met Man finally managed to magic up some cu and the grid launched. Control barely managed to get back to its gazebo before Denis was back, with John and Jim hot on his heels.

The forecast looks uncertain for Friday but we will do our best to get a task out of it.

Wednesday, 25 July 2018

Regionals Days 3, 4 and 5

The competitors have been having a blast in these amazing conditions. Day 3 and Day 4 saw them nipping round 300k tasks , today's task was slightly shorter. George Darby flew 315 on the 300k tasks with club members who are just starting to fly cross country, giving them valuable experience on how it's done. Today he flew 318, the fixed wheel Pegasus, and did extremely well, beating a glider with much bigger wings and higher performance. It just shows how a handicapped distance task levels the field. The other benefit of the task format is that we can tell (unofficially) who the winner is from the task times on Control's log sheet, without having to wait for the Scorer to perform his arcane ritual with the traditional scoring system. Of course the Scorer has to pore over the traces but usually he agrees with Control.

Denis is still in the lead overall, with Jim White and John Otty close on his heels. There is more good weather forecast, apart from Friday when it might actually rain, so there is still all to play for.

Here are some pics of finshes

Nils and his LS4 with a Red Kite

Johns's ASG29

Nick in his Libelle

Denis in his Ventus
Control was much more comfortable today having been offered a very nice gazebo by Steve Gaze. Here are a couple of cadets exercising their engineering skills.

The Gaze Gazebo

Sunday, 22 July 2018

Booker Regionals Day 2

It was a late start today as we had to wait for a stubborn layer of cloud to go somewhere else, but the grid finally got going after lunch. The task was 162k around Hurstbourne Tarrant and Brill, with the usual sneaky diversion round Huntercombe and Rockwell End at the finish. It was a bit of a tricky start with a few relights but it was a close race. Denis won again with Nils and Geoff on his heels

Here comes Denis

Jim took a relaxed attitude to launching but his competitive spirit became apparent later in the day.

On the grid