Sunday, 28 December 2008
Today cloudbase was around 1200' so not much aviating to be done, though Steve did a sortie in the motor Falke. By the time it was back in the hangar the sky had cleared - isn't it always the way?
Sunday, 21 December 2008
Monday, 8 December 2008
Wednesday, 26 November 2008
Mike 7Q and I (Z12) had a good day flying along the Southdowns.
Set off at 9:00: arrived 10:45; rigged and airborne by 11:30. Wind started N 16kts but increased to 18kts before backing a little. Was able to run easily to Harting, then back to Parham to find Mike dallying in the Chanctenbury Rings. Followed a local across the gap
to Truleigh masts where the ridge was bashing off 4kts. Past Devil's Dyke to the windmills then along Ditchling Beacon to Lewes at breakneck speed. Back to Parham was straight forward but the jump to Bignor ended quite low with sun in the trees making knowing where the ridge lay a bit scary. Ran down to Cocking then headed home for an early bath. Not pretty or fast but great fun. Flight on the ladder.
Must get some lead and follow with someone who has the local
knowledge to get the route right and grow some b**ls.
I have done the same deal with Parham as last year so when 315 is
CofA'd it can go down there for the season and club members can fly
with reciprocal membership just paying Parham for the launch (I
suspect Booker will want a soaring fee as usual).
PS AJ also ran the ridge making his own way there and back
Saturday, 1 November 2008
Mike is hoping to take the Duo down to Parham again for ridge running when the weather is suitable: another unique flying opportunity for Booker members whatever their experience level. The best wind direction is between slightly west of North to Northeast; with speeds over 15 to 20kts.
A number of Booker members have driven to Parham to fly for the day. It is well worth the drive to experience 100km of ridge. Apart from getting there and back having an engine is no advantage as by the time you realise you need it you are too low to start it.
Sunday, 26 October 2008
On Saturday 25 October the Sales and Marketing Team braved the wind and unforecast rain in Henley to promote gliding and the club and to sell courses and trial lessons. The Market Place was less busy than on previous visits but we did more business than many of the shops, and met lots of people. We look forward to seeing our visitors at the launch point.
Thursday, 23 October 2008
At lunchtime on Tuesday 21st October excellent conditions developed at Booker, with strong lift under the streets that formed in the stiff breeze. One pilot reported 4-5 m/s...yes, metres/second at about 14:30. KCZ even went out to Benson and back. Unfortunately there were only a handful of people lucky enough to partake and the day resulted in a meagre 4 launches.
Tuesday, 21 October 2008
Our next expedition is likely to be to Shobdon, Herefordshire, in the spring.
Friday, 17 October 2008
Wednesday a mixed day for many:
Mike C and Charlie Jordon (DGC), 315, 14,200ft and managed 140km
Denis C, 370, 16,000ft
Dave B and Richard C, ECZ, managed to get 5000ft in thermals
John H, 607,Steve W and Barry M practised some circuits....
Denis, 370, 563Km at 114kph
Dave B and Richard C, 315, managed to get to 16,000ft and went to Feshiebridge and Rinnes (140km)
Mike C, 315, 12,500ft, Braemar
Steve W, JDV, 8,000ft,
John H, 607, 15,500ft, Loch morlich - Loch Muick
Wednesday, 15 October 2008
Sun and cloud
A relaxed chef Jeremy and his kitchen crew in Birkelunn
Dinner at the Huntly Arms in Aboyne
Monday, 13 October 2008
Sunday, 12 October 2008
A sky with every type of cloud, Thursday of week 2 when it was blowing a stiff south westerly. In the foreground is the glider formerly known as 249 (now ETY) - our old friend Derek was back again for another crack at the elusive diamond, leaving his Windrusher colleagues to try their luck at Portmoak.
Snow on the mountains - a memory from week 1. Deeside's glider rack in the foreground with Glyn's G1 in the centre.
Mike C and Richard C, ECZ, 14,500ft, Braemar
John, 607, 8,500ft Ballater
Steve W, JDV, 6,300ft
Barry M, JDV,8,000ft
Dennis C, 370, Is on his way back from the western side of Scotland as i type.
Saturday, 11 October 2008
Bob Smith 279, 19,000ft-Both getting their Diamond heights subject to loggers etc
Rolf 318, 14000ft- Gold height
Dave B and Leon G ECZ, 19,000ft, Lyn of Dee
Mike C and Emily 315, 16,500ft, Braemar
Dennis C 370,187km, 14,000ft
Barry M JDV, 13,700ft
John H 607 ,19,000ft, Lyn of Dee and beyond
Jane 118,15,700ft, Braemar
Wave seemed to carry on well above 19,000ft but access to the wave box was denied today, but sorted for tomorrow.
There will be more pics when time allows, we're all having too much fun to play around with computers.
Friday, 10 October 2008
In the evening almost everyone met at the Huntly Arms in Aboyne for a surprisingly good meal organised by Leon, who is staying there. The Cambus O'May contingent then went back to their cocktail bar while the others dispersed to their various abodes.
Today may well turn out good later on, if the wind doesn't pick up too much.
And here's a picture of the afternoon tea earlier in the week, hosted by William, Bob and Jane at their house Clearfield.
Thursday, 9 October 2008
Wednesday, 8 October 2008
- Emily 318 10,000ft
- Leon and Mike C 315 10,500ft, Loch Muick and Balmoral
- Nick and Dave B ECZ 10,000ft, Loch Muick
- John 607 8200ft, Loch Muick
- Rob RM 10,000ft
- Bob 279 12,000ft
- Symeon FUN 6500ft, first solo climb in wave
- Steve JDV 6000ft
- Jane 118 8,000ft
- William MH 7,000ft
- Rolf 318 6,000ft
- Nick 318 a sleigh ride from 4,300ft
- Barry JDV first solo flights here, and a ride in the Duo to end the day
- Denis 370 went north somewhere and used his engine on the way back
Pictures to follow, the views were spectacular.
Monday, 6 October 2008
Toys away, the forecast for tomorrow is for teashops.
Sunday, 5 October 2008
A stiff northerly today, making for some interest on take off and landing. Various people launched and explored, but mainly found themselves experimenting with ridge lift: Andy P and Chris R in 315, then Mike C and Symeon, DR and Leon in ECZ, then DR and Barry, Glyn and Heggie in 3D, Steve in JDV, Bob in 279, William in MH and Jane in 118. John H in 607 cracked it, managing 2.5 hours and reaching the dizzy height of 5000ft.
The wind dropped towards evening, producing ideal model flying conditions. So far Glyn and Bob S have crashed their models, John H and Mike C are still doing arms length aeros.
Saturday, 4 October 2008
Saturday has dawned very wet and windy, so no flying for now. It's a day for exploring the local attractions.
Friday, 3 October 2008
Our master chef Jim P had headed south but he was ably replaced by Jeremy, assisted by Don, who produced a magnificent feast to end another excellent day.
Wednesday, 1 October 2008
The day finished with yet another dinner served up by Jim P, aided by his two friends from RAF Leuchars.
The forecast for the rest of the week is mixed but everyone is ready for the rain to break for some more great wave days.
After lunch the conditions seemed to get even better, prompting Jane to launch again but this time in 118, reaching 11'600ft in bright sunshine. Jim went up in 208, got to 11'500ft and flew halfway to Feshiebridge before retreating in the face of strong sink on the downward side of a wave bar. Jeremy experienced an interesting reversal of fortunes in JDV when exploring why not to co-ordinate stick and rudder during the landing ground roll. His rapid 180 degree turn did however give him an excellent view of the gliders on final approach. Ed and DR experienced a very interesting flight with a combination of both thermal and wave flying.
A few drinks in the bar and dinner at Birkellun rounded off another fantastic day of mountain soaring up here in Scotland.
Monday, 29 September 2008
Arnie before his first flight in 318 at Aboyne
Excellent fun. It's started to rain now and all the toys are away, but the bar is open and the whisky is good. More of the same tomorrow if the forecast is to be believed.
Today the sky looks more promising, the air has dried out and the wind is blowing. More later.
Sunday, 14 September 2008
Saturday, 13 September 2008
More late summer tomorrow, with luck.
Saturday, 30 August 2008
Day One of Task week, and two tasks were set...
Task A - BOB-OXF-BUC-BO1-BOO (111km?)
Task A - BOB-OXF-NOS-BO1-BOO (161km?)
Most pilot elected to do the bigger task and a few chose to do BOB-LAS-BIC-BOO instead (presumably to wave down to the folks at the Air League at Bicester today). At the start, several gliders reported good climbs to 2700', above which it all went a bit weird (very choppy and lots of sink).
Most pilots completed the tasks, although 971 and JDV landed at Thame and were aerotowed home. Meanwhile back at Booker G-DDXX (ASW19 competing in the ICL from Lasham) called in to say Hi and was later towed home too.
Sunday promises to be "interesting" with the possiblity of showers and thunder. H'mmm....
Saturday, 23 August 2008
Saturday, 16 August 2008
Friday, 15 August 2008
Some private owners and a number of club pilots came out to play yesterday 14.8.08. Mike Gardener soared for a couple of hours in the junior preparing for his 50km attempt and Henry Ross did a couple of hours in GBF dusting off the cobwebs from his lay off. Conditions were excellent from 10.00-16.30 with 4-5kt thermals, 3000ft + cloud base, winds 10kts @ 240. There were a few showers about all of which missed us until about 17.00 when we had a light sprinkling after which the wind dropped to 4-5kts and the sky opened up, just perfect for a first solo.
James Stanley lives in
Tuesday, 12 August 2008
Today the rain cleared earlier than expected with the sun coming out about , the ground was a little damp after the heavy rain but it quite quickly dried out. Cloud base rose to 3000ft+ with solid 5-6kt thermals to be enjoyed if you launched at the right time between the periodic showers. At the peak the winds were 20 kts gusting 30, not too rough but sufficiently challenging to test our student pilot’s circuit planning. Good day.
Sunday, 27 July 2008
Denis won the day with a blistering speed of 110.9km/h (along with four other pilots who achieved over 100km/h). As a result the day was devalued and so Denis (370) gained 'only' 837 points. This was sufficient to confirm his overall 1st place in the comp. with 3778 points. Jon Gatfield (T6) came second with 3626 points and third was Wayne Aspland (325) with 3424 points. A full breakdown of positions, scores, etc. can be seen at
Well done to everybody who took part and also to everyone who helped out. Another fun, safe, competition with more smiles per km than anywhere else!
Task A - Booker Bridge (BOB) - Membury (MEM) - Calvert Junction (CAL) - Chipping Campden (CHC) - Booker SW (BO1) - Booker Finish 1 (BF1) - 255.1km.
Task B - Booker Bridge (BOB) - Ilsley (ILS) - Calvert Junction (CAL) - Moreton-in-Marsh (MOR) - Booker SW (BO1) - Booker Finish 1 (BF1) - 207.6km.
First launch not before 11:30.
Oh, and the Battle of Britain flight is flying all over the Country today so need to keep an extra special lookout for them (for nostalgia purposes of course).
There's under 600 points seperating the top 10 places and only eight points between 1st and 2nd currently. I wonder if everybody is hoping for a long task to ensure it's a 1000 point day or if everyone is going into "end of competition-itis"?
Gliders are being towed out to the grid before the briefing at 10:30. I wonder where we're going today ? Watch this space and I'll give a post-briefing update later.
Saturday, 26 July 2008
Task A - Booker Bridge (BOB) - Calvert Junction (CAL) - Great Witley (GTW) - Booker SW (BO1) - Booker Finish 1 (BF1) - 270.7km.
Task B - Booker Bridge (BOB) - Calvert Junction (CAL) - Evesham (EVE) - Booker SW (BO1) - Booker Finish 1 (BF1) - 201.8km.
First launch not before 11:30.
Friday, 25 July 2008
Just waiting for the better weather to roll in from the West but it didn't. So the day is scrubbed. Bicester had scrubbed by 13:45. Like us, they've now posted a pic on their website of their competitors. Can only see one smiling face amongst the competitors though...I guess with the Sports Class having flown on only two of the comp days that there's some fairly bored people there. We may have a smaller comp but we're able to make better use of the conditions, have more flying and lots of fun!
Task A - Booker Bridge (BOB) - Oxford South (OXS) - Newport Pagnel (NPT) - Booker SW (BO1) - Booker Finish 1 (BF1) - Booker (BOO) - 144.0km.
Task B - Booker Bridge (BOB) - Oxford South (OXS) - Calvert Junction (CAL) - Booker SW (BO1) - Booker Finish 1 (BF1) - Booker (BOO) - 101.8km.
First launch not before 11:15. Apparently this was then changed to 12:00.
Oh, and apparently I was wrong about Jim in Z12 yesterday. He did fly further than our fledgling Junior pilot who made it to Bidford. Jim flew over 100km although the results show a handicapped distance of 91.7km. I wonder what the handicapped distance of a Junior completing 93km is?
We're off to the grid to watch the very unstable airmass developing to the North and West. Feeling quite humid already but the brisk Southerly breeze is keeping it quite pleasant on the airfield. Nils suggests that it won't rain at the airfield but there's likely to be some quite large showers developing elsewhere.
Heavy Showers & Scattered Thunderstorms
Areas Affected: The UK
The warm weather is set to continue into the coming weekend and the early part of next week, however with low pressure attempting to dominate the weather from the southwest, there will be a growing risk of some afternoon or late evening heavy showers or thunderstorms developing, set off by the high temperatures.
Despite a nationwide risk, it will be inland parts of the UK that are at greatest risk and these include, Wales, Midlands, Northern England and parts of Scotland.
Where these showers do develop some locally torrential downpours are possible along with lightning, hail and gusty winds. Conditions may progress from fine and sunny to highly inclement within a short period of time.
Dunstable's forecast suggests that the day will end around 14:30 'at best'. Lasham suggests a 300-400km task is possible. H'mmm, let's see what our Metman and Task Setter decide! Briefing as 10:00 and I'll post an update later.
Thursday, 24 July 2008
The blog hasn't been updated much today because we started launching at around 12:15, I made it back to the airfield just before 4pm and then went to help retrieve Hugh MacDonald, who had just completed his first 50k cross-country flight. Well, I say 50k but he made it to Bidford which is actually 93k. Not bad going in a Junior and further than what someone in the comp achieved in a somewhat higher performance glider (and who failed to listen to his own sage advice about AAT's, i.e. don't land out).
It took us so long to fly the tug to Bidford (even with a 20kt tailwind) that Andy Betteley insisted on doing a cool pose next to the glider (actually, it's not a cool pose AND he wears sandals). Anyway, we managed a quick turnaround with the help of one of the Bidford club members and headed back to Booker in order to meet up for the Curry Night that Denis had organised. Let's hope the weather isn't too good on Friday!
Task for the day is a 2 1/2 hour AAT -
Booker Bridge (BOB) - Moreton-in-The-Marsh (MOR, 25km circle) - Northampton South (NOSA, 30km circle) - Booker SW (BO1, 1km circle) - Booker Finish 1 (BF1). This provides a range of distances from 114.5-307.1km.
Off to the grid as first launch is slated for 11:15. I'd better hurry....
Wednesday, 23 July 2008
Tuesday, 22 July 2008
Well, it didn't. As noted in the comments, the sniffer is back on the ground.
Director has pushed back possible first launch to 14:00. We watch and wait....
A single task has been set of
I'm on the front of the grid today and first launch is scheduled for 11:15. Let's hope it's delayed so I can climb into my glider quickly enough!
Anecdotal evidence (the best sort!) reveal that Ben (in 580) did 174.5km in his ASW19 and Phil C (971) did 173.2km in his ASW19. So, maybe some competitive rivalry between the '19 pilots?
Field landings (and retrieves) were all done safely although there were comments about paddling through water to get to one unfortunate glider!
The briefing has been delayed until 10:30 this morning which gives Neils the Metman a few extra minutes to pontificate over what's going to happen today. His forecasts have been very, very accurate so far (his forecast of 6kts yesterday and the day gradually going blue was spot on). Let's see what he thinks of today.
Monday, 21 July 2008
732 and JDV landed at Thame (see pic, showing a deceptively good sky).
CH is in a field. FUN is at Halton. 161 is in a field near Northampton. Meanwhile 279 is about to take a tactical late relight. Dave C abandoned his 500k and took a launch back from Bicester. Now he's called start for the comp task here. Does he never give up?
Task A - SOS-PIT-BUL-OXD-BF2 (305.1km)
Task B - SOS-NOS-KGS-OXF-BF2 (238.1km)
First launch not before 11:00.
Need to run to the grid and get my glider ready now....
Sunday, 20 July 2008
Tomorrow morning the briefing will be at 10:00. Early indications are that it could be quite a good day. Let's see in the morning.
Today Neils the Metman descibed how the various models were predicting spreadout (or not quite depending upon which model you prefer). 25kt WNW winds, cloudbase 3500-4500' (4500' if spreadout breaks up). With the possiblility of some sun getting through to the ground there's hope of 4-5kt thermals.
Bryan the Taskman announced today's tasks:
Task A - BOB-WEC-DID-BUC-BF2 (150.2km)
Task B - BOB-WEC-DID-THA-BF2 (103.1km)
Bicester is tasking between Newbury, Keevil and Buckingham so there won't be many other gliders marking the thermals. Lot's of local little airshows today, so plenty to watch out for.
First launch is not before 12:00, so better get to the grid now!
Saturday, 19 July 2008
Here are the competitors, obviously expecting rain since they're all sittting down..........
.........and here's the sky they were ignoring. Denis 370 and Jim Z12 are out there somewhere.
Finally the grid launches, into a more promising sky. Z12 is probably on final glide.
949 landed at Abingdon, JDV landed at Chalgrove. Retrieve crews/tug are on their way to retrieve them. Scorer is busy working his way through the traces to work out the scores. Z12, 370 (who both set of early) completed the task. Quite a few made it around the first TP (Oxford East/Headington) and returned back to base. Rumour has it that 370 has won the day....watch this space for more details.
All in all a difficult day with strong, gusty conditions, wave influence, lowish cloudbase (3500' around Booker) but a great deal of fun. Here's to Day 2!
We started launching but it soon became obvious that it was less that ideal conditions. Several pilots opted to not launch and were later vindicated by the return of all those who had launched.
The grid is now repositioning to the Clubhouse while a shower passes through.
Welcome to British Summers!
Friday, 18 July 2008
The office will re-open at 08:30 on Saturday for the remaining competitors to register before the first briefing.
Jim's seaweed and prognosis of a high over the Azores seems to have scared the nice weather off but an interim forecast of light showers, a fairly low cloudbase and a brisk Westerly breeze means we may even get to fly a task on Day One!
Monday, 7 July 2008
Its behind you Shep.
The calm before the storm.
Booker Car and Van Wash.
Three drowned rats (four if you include yours truly) shelter on the last bit of dry land.