Saturday, 22 February 2014

Another sunny Saturday.......

.....this must be a record. There was plenty going on today. The Bronze briefing was well attended by those keen to learn about Flight Radio Telephony Operating - or in plain English, how to talk on the radio. Ashley Birkbeck put his professional experience to good use in de-mystifying when and how to use the radio, within the context of the all-important mantra Aviate, Navigate, Communicate.

Meanwhile, Graham and his happy crew were whirling around the sky on his monthly Aerobatics course. He even demonstrated a dual tow.......

Graham spearheading a dual tow out of a patch of quagmire

The conditions were excellent, with a cloudbase of over 3,000ft and climbs of 8kts if you were in the right place.

Towards Stokenchurch

The Thames has receded a bit

Monday, 17 February 2014

At last - a proper gliding day

Today was a reminder of what gliding is - a blue sky of white fluffy clouds, 5kt climbs and lots of happy faces. It looked good enough for a quick trip round Bicester-Didcot.

The sun shines on Booker

Towards the Oxford plain


Rather more river on view than usual

A late afternoon winter thermal, but not quite enough business at the council tip to keep the K18 up

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Two for the price of one

It wasn't a day for being out of doors today, with dramatic storms sweeping across the airfield, so the briefing room was packed. First was Bob Smith explaining how to get the best out of your glider, including how to calculate your final glide and what to do about ballast.

Rapt attention
Next up was Tim Scott, veteran of many Regional, National and World comps, giving the low down on tactics for cross country racing, starting with how to deal with the stress of 3 hours moseying around waiting for the perfect moment to set off on task, and giving plenty of handy hints on such conundrums as when/how to dump water, and the importance of keeping your eye on what the other competitors are up to.

A bit of a rest next week, the next Bronze Briefing is on Saturday 22 February when Captain Ashley Birkbeck will be explaining Radio Telephony.

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Addition to briefing programme - Saturday 8 February

Following on immediately after Bob Smith's Bronze briefing on Flight Performance and Planning, at 11.30am Tim Scott will be talking about Cross-country and racing techniques, with particular reference to his new Handicap GP format which proved so popular in 2013.

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Busy Saturday

The aerobatics course people were up early today, taking advantage of the sunshine to polish up their chandelles with Graham.

The calm before the storm
Meanwhile, there was standing room only in the briefing room for Jim's annual explanation of the tephigram, along with lots of other useful advice on why air rises and how you can tell when it's going to - and more importantly, which day to skive off and go flying.

Head in hands about depressions

Jim displayed a wealth of charts and other information about the weather for the day and correctly forecast that the wind was going to pick up.

Yes, Jim, it's quite windy

It got a bit too windy for K13s, and even for derigging, so KLA was taken apart for its annual in the hangar by a large contingent of club members - fortunately Graham was on hand to take command.

'I know I left it in here somewhere.'

'Give me 3 tons of up.'