Sunday, 15 January 2017

Saturday's mystery object

The Winter Briefings continued yesterday with an introduction to Meteorology, well attended by members and once more by visitors from the Upward Bound Trust, Haddenham. Since I was the one giving the briefing I can't really give myself a review, but those attending seemed to enjoy the morning. No prizes for working out what the visual aid below was demonstrating.

Hint: the screw is the North Pole*
And if you really want to learn about weather you could do a lot worse than do the Open University's short online course Come Rain or Shine run by the University of Reading. It lasts 3 weeks, 3 hours a week, and you can study when and where you like.

Don't miss next week's talk on XC skills development by Jim White.

*Coriolis effect

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Plenty to do on a foggy Saturday

The 2017 Winter Series of briefings (for aspiring Bronze pilots and others) got off to a good start with a full house for Steve Williams as he de-mystified navigation for an audience which included some visitors from the Upward Bound Trust at Haddenham.

The next briefing is Meterology on Saturday 14th January.

Steve shining a light....

Meanwhile in the hangar an assorted team set about de-rigging the T21, a complex process requiring hammers and quite a lot of supervision.

Richard with a lofty view of proceedings

John taking over the supervision
The team then retired to the clubhouse to thaw out with tea.

Friday, 30 December 2016

2017 Bronze briefings

Winter Briefings 2017
If you are working towards your Bronze badge, want a bit of a recap or are thinking of becoming an instructor, the Winter briefings are for you. On Saturdays throughout January and February, starting at 10am in the briefing room. All welcome.
7th January            Navigation - Steve Williams
14th January          Meteorology - Jane Moore
21st January          XC Skills Development - Jim White
28th January          Flight Planning and Performance - Bob Smith
4th February           Mountain Soaring - Geoff Tabbner
12th February         No lecture: Aboyne Expedition
18th February         XC Meteorology - Jim White
25th February         Field Landings - William Parker and Richard Crockett
TBC                       Radio Telephony - Ashley Birkbeck
                              Task Flying - Tim Scott
                              Principles of Flight - Symeon Economou

Weird December sky

It's been a bit foggy this week but on Tuesday we had some welcome winter sun. Visibility below about 1500ft was poor, but higher up the air was perfect for some aerobatic practice, with the top of the inversion giving a perfect horizon. The low level murk formed itself into what looked remarkably like wave bars, at about 1000ft, but they didn't provide any noticeable lift. Very pretty from above though.

The view from the launch point.....

.....and from above

Higher up
Into the sun

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Winter Saturday

Not a bad Saturday considering some forecasts suggested fog and much cloud.  The early mist cleared by mid morning, and a number of trial lessons and club members took to the sky.  Later there was some low cloud about, but with sufficient gaps to tow above them for spectacular views, including some ghostly shadow effects...

Friday, 11 November 2016

Sunny November afternoon - 1st Solo

A crisp sunny Friday saw Peter Jones make his first solo in 316. Peter joined the club around May 2016 and his hard work all came together today. Congratulations !
Richard congratulation Peter Jones after his 1st Solo in 316

Friday, 14 October 2016

Expedition round up

The weather this year has been unusual because of the stationary high pressure over Scandinavia which has blocked the lows out in the Irish Sea and provided easterlies. In the first part of the week this produced warm sunshine and opportunities for thermal soaring over the Cairngorms, but in the last couple of days we have had rain. However, this area provides plenty of alternative entertainments.

The River Dee which passes by the airfield has changed as a result of the epic floods last December, it's now rather wider and the fishing hut has disappeared. There was heavy rain last night and today so the water level is back up, below are pics from earlier in the week and today.

The Dee transformed
...and after the rain
Glen Tanar, the other side of the ridge to the south of the airfield, was the place to go wave hunting when there was some south in the wind. It's also a great place to go for a walk, with several trails of varying lengths.

Fishing lake in Glen Tanar
Braemar seemed to have been taken over by knitted fish and other sea creatures, and the walking trails also had orange stripey fish at intervals for no apparent reason. The walks were good though, and the cafe.

Braemar bridge

Loch Muick is the place for wave in a northwesterly, which we haven't been fortunate enough to experience this trip, but it's a great place to go for a walk - almost 8 miles all the way round.

Loch Muick panorama

When the rain is too much for walking, there is the Grampian Transport Museum in Alford, which has a fine selection of steam and motor vehicles, and a steam organ.

Back at the airfield, there has been a lot of model flying, much to the alarm of the local bird life.

Surprised heron
And finally........our loyal readers have it seems been disappointed in the lack of culinary reports. The local restaurants and takeways have been doing good business but culinary expertise has been in evidence......

Add some peanut butter - delicious

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Interesting weather

Today was very calm, warm and sunny, ideal for site checks for new arrivals. The early morning mist filled the valleys and also produced an unusual phenomenon, a fog bow, pics below.

Saturday, 8 October 2016

Scottish sunshine

The warm weather has continued, with some nice thermal soaring - and wave for the lucky (or skilful) on Thursday. Since then there have been alternative entertainments. Model flying passes the time quite nicely - as does fixing them when they crash. The pic below demonstrates the need for a good look out.

Tundra and Radian flypast
There hasn't been much by way of soaring weather since Thursday but there is plenty else to do. Craigendarroch by Ballater is a rocky hill left over from glaciation, the summit offers great views towards Lochnagar, and the circular walk halfway up is also very interesting. In the other direction, the walk up to Tom's Cairn at Finzean (pronounced something like Fing'un) gives a 360 degree panorama of the Dee Valley. And there are good cafes near both sites for post-walk restoration.

Tom's Cairn - or one of them

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Waving over Scotland

Late on Monday reinforcements arrived in the shape of Richard and Callum with 316. Tuesday wasn't very inspiring in terms of weather so there was circuit practice for Callum and alternative entertainments (cafes, walks etc) for the rest. Wednesday was very windy so the flying was mostly in 2 seaters. It moderated slightly towards evening and Dave and Nick found themselves unexpectedly at 15,000ft after launching in 316. Those on the ground enjoyed the stunning sunset.

Today there was wave for the early birds but most of us enjoyed good thermals in the light southerly.