Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Ophelia has a bad influence on the Scottish wave

Storm Ophelia didn't bring much wind to NE Scotland so our trailers are still the right way up.
Having had a couple of weeks of stunning wave weather we now have lots of cloud, rain and the threat of Easterly winds; as Mr M Jagger once said; you can't always get what you want.
As any glider pilot knows, or soon finds out, the weather doesn't always play ball on expeditions, but the wait for the good weather is always worthwhile.
No flying for the last couple of days so we have been watching salmon jumping and visiting the transport museum.
We are hoping to take to the skies again tomorrow.


Saturday, 14 October 2017

Wave Bar still open

Still waving well in the Cairngorms. Today the wind was slightly south of west so we had wave in Glen Tanar as well as behind Morven. We also had the experience of launching into an easterly wind and then flying in westerly wave!  All the Booker pilots here on changeover day took a launch and climbed to between 10,000 and 15,000 ft. Week 2 starts tomorrow.

Looking along the Glen Tanar wave bar, working well from below 2500 ft. 

Friday, 13 October 2017

Windy but waving

Another westerly wind day on Friday, and in eastern Scotland that is a guarantee of wave. Sometimes the wind is a little too fierce though.  Wind at 10,000 ft was above 60 knots making climbs above that height tricky.  Dave and Terry Clements made it to 12,000 feet over Mount Keen in 315 and were the last to land. 
One of the fun parts of flying at Aboyne is landing on the narrow tarmac runways, the pic below shows the narrower north runway. The airfield now also has well mown flat grass either side of the runway, so plenty of room.

315 after landing (deliberately) short on Aboyne runway 27 north today.

12 October - Pete finds a new hair tonic

A very pleasant day at Booker. Lots of training going on. Well done Sam Husband, first flight in the Junior today, and Mike Sheppard doing plenty of solo circuits with an eye on the Junior.

Thanks to Andy Monk for spending a day teaching James, Clare and Martine, and to Steve for his enthusiasm for towing with the Robin.

Pete was painting his trailer with a very strange paint. It seems to have created an unusual crop of luxuriant hair. The bad news is, it has affected his memory - so where are the keys to my trailer then?

Pete proudly shows off his new hair 

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Another good day in the Cairngorms

Don Valley looking North from 19000 Ft
More wave flying for most of us today. Tricky again to get away later in the day, but most of us made an early start. Most got to heights from 12000 ft to 19000 ft. Climbing alongside some classic very beautiful lenticular clouds added to the enjoyment.

Mega stack of Lennies over the Don Valley

Oh dear, looks like Donald has pressed the big red button.

Booker welcomes a new flexi course starter - Max Norfolk

Another low cloud day with blustery winds.

Welcome to Max Norfolk who took to the skies for the first time today. Sporty conditions but fun,


Max is in Sales Management and races cars as his other interest.

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Relentless Wave

View towards Ballater under lowering cloud
A good day today with the classic smooth continuous 2 to 4 knot climbs from below 3000 ft right up to above 14000 ft. Bob S T4, Denis C 370, Jane M 118, John H HXH, Dave B & Nick H 315 all getting to Braemar and beyond, Chris R getting to Lochnagar at 10000 ft.  Climbing above 14000 Ft was tricky as the wind increased to 60 knots.  Loads of photos and gourmet updates to follow, but many of us are off for an early night with the possibility of very good conditions in the morning.
Loch Muick and Lochnagar

315 leaves Loch Davan En Route to Tomintoul


Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Aboyne wave still working well

Congratulations to Mike Sheppard going solo in a proper flying machine. Meanwhile up in Scotland we also had a good day.  Air was a little unstable and the wave moved around a lot compared to a classic good day.  Those that launched early got away from Logie Coldstone just North of the lakes.
Notable flights for Dave in FI, Richard in 315, Denis in 370 and Jane in 118 all going cross country or getting above 16000 ft.  Those that launched late struggled to get away as the wave broke up low down. Some, including Simon Phelps in his ASW20 HUT, took a relight later in the day and had good wave flights.  Between us we had five gold heights, but only for pilots that already had gold!
Dinner - Birkelunn, Steak, Bread and Butter pud. Clearfield - Seafood Paella, Margherita ice cream.

Towards Montrose from 16'000 feet.

Loch Muick on the left and Lochnagar bottom right.

View from FI. Typical autumn Aboyne sky.
FI heading southwest.

Mike Sheppard goes solo at Booker

10 October and the main body of the club is at Aboyne in Scotland.

Meanwhile back at HQ, cloudbases about 1200 ft and the occasional spot of rain.

Steve stepped into the breach to ensure we have a tow pilot, and Mike braved the weather to bash out a few circuits. So it was solo for Mike today---well done.

 Steve clearing the rain from the wings before getting airborne.
  Mike getting ready to solo after completing his PPL conversion training.

Monday, 9 October 2017

Ten thousand feet over Loch Muick, it must be Aboyne

Week 1 of the Aboyne expedition has kicked off well with Sunday and Monday both producing wave. On Sunday we were stuck with a lot of 3500 ft cloud so climbs above that were possible but tricky. The skies cleared at lunchtime on Monday with 370 and 315 visiting Loch Muick, Linn of Dee and beyond.  All of the newbies have now had a wave flight with Simon Phelps experiencing an 8 knot average wave climb in 315. Most Booker pilots flew in wave to between 6000 and 10000  Ft, a couple having a rest day after the excitement of yesterday.   Terry and Dave took the last launch in 315, and despite a weak looking sky they got high enough to make it to Loch Muick at 6000 ft. Good weather ahead so check back for updates.
And for the all important culinary update that we know our readers find so informative.
Clearfield, last night  - Fish and chips, peas, tartar sauce, fruit cheesecake. Tonight, Spaghetti Puttanesca con Sardinas.
Birkelunn - Fancy Campbell Chilli last night. Tonight; Thai Red and Green Curry courtesy of the CFI.
Restaurant update; La Mangiatora in Ballater has re-opened as the Clachan Grill, fancy steak, but above the average gliding expedition pilot budget (eg dinner costs more than a 3000 ft aerotow).


Monday morning mist above the river Dee. Beats the rush hour view on the M4.

Above Logie Coldstone, Monday.

Terry and Dave take the last launch

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Aerobatics Course - Now taking bookings

A reminder that every Winter, Graham Saw runs aerobatics courses on the first Saturday of the month.  These courses are a great way to brush up your handling skills and increase your confidence.  Suitable for pilots with 5 to 5000 hours. You do not need to be solo as all training is in a two seater with a safety pilot.
The BOOKING LIST IS NOW OPEN so if you are interested in attending one, or more, of these days put your name on the list in the clubhouse, or contact the office.   Smoke not included.


Sunday, 24 September 2017

More wardrobes - and a car

The Vintage Glider Club re-convened today for some more fun in fabric and wood. COnditions were slightly more challenging for light gliders, with a brisk southerly breeze making an unorthodox approach to take off and landing directions necessary.

Hutter and Kite with a passing vintage car - an MG?

Hutter on tow

Transparency

Nick set up his mobile café and kept everyone going with hot drinks and biscuits.

Nick's tea bar
Luke Bishop went for a more modern approach and converted to the ASW19 - nicely flown in the cross wind.

Looking confident
Meanwhile in the trailer park Rob Turner was plodding up and down pushing a motor mower, tidying up the grass for us all - thanks very much Rob!

One man went to mow........

Whispering Wardrobes

Day 1 of Whispering Wardrobes, aka International Rally of the Vintage Glider Club, saw a fine array of colourful flying machines rigged...... and flying. If you missed it, there will be more today, well worth a visit. Here is a sample.

Graham peering out of the improbably Hutter

Colourful Skylark 4

Goofy the T21

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Sunday sunshine

The morning started grey with Booker firmly in the clouds. Paul took cadet Luis off to the hangar to learn the art of glider polishing. Those left in the clubhouse passed the time 'helping' James Giles mug up for his Bronze paper. He read questions out and the combined brains of 4 instructors and an airline pilot attempted to come up with a consensus on what the right answer might be. After a while we looked out of the window and decided that flying might be more fun, since blue sky was starting to appear.

As well as a handful of trial lessons we welcomed Clive who took 3 flights as part of an IntroPlus course, he thoroughly enjoyed himself so I think we will be seeing more of him.

Eventually a heavy shower put paid to flying and it was time for tea and biscuits.

Last flight - Mike R setting off into the dark

Paul and Clive planning their next flight before thinking better of it

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

12 September 2017 - A fun September day

Busy day, a little breezy with a relatively small soaring window and shower dodging.

We welcome Andrew Barrett onto day 2 of his PPL conversion course. Andrew flies a Piper Tomahawk from Booker and has done for a number of years.


Andrew enjoyed exploring the differences between power flying and gliding, including our rather different approach to circuit planning. Needless to say he adapted very quickly.

The airfield was generally busy with pilots taking advantage of the pleasant conditions and Jan permanently sat in the Robin.

We are expecting a windy night and breezy morning.

Thursday, 7 September 2017

We say a sad farewell to Geoff Tabbner

The weather decided to be kind to us today and we managed to get some training done in the morning. As a mark of respect to Geoff, flying ceased at midday.



Huge numbers filled All Saints Church in High Wycombe to say a sad farewell to our friend Geoff.

A celebration of Geoff's life was then held at the farm of Pete Wells, a spectacular practice session of the Twister air display and fireworks and very moving speeches from Geoff's wonderful family and close friends.


Spectacular display, thanks Pete
 

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Tuesday 5th September - How does this work, Graham?

Another cloudy and wet day.

The bus saga continues, removing the thingemyjig from the bus was proving problematic. Graham could be quoted as saying "we don't know what it is called, or indeed what it does - but it is broken".

After some discussion Graham was heard to say "Oh give it here, I will have a go", the next thing he is under the bus like a ferret.

It's that funny looking thing there.
 
Ok I will take a look.
The next stage will be to figure out how it works, and then fix it - straightforward really. When it is fixed we will be able to use the bus at the launch point - so a big vote of thanks to the team.
 

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Monday 4 September - drizzle and low cloud

Low cloud all day, a weather front sitting over the country bringing dismal conditions - but it still all happens at Booker GC.

A very grey sky at Booker
Vic said he thought the bus repair would be futile if the track in the storage area was left unrepaired, because the air valve is very close to the ground and the track is very undulating. Fix the valve and damage it again, he warned.

It turns out Barry has a bulldozer, and professor Mike could help get it running. So a belch of black smoke later and the bulldozer is up and running, 


Barry filling in the holes on the track
 
Mmmm that's a lot better, thanks guys. Just tramp that down and we are done.
 
Now thats what I call teamwork - another good job completed. One of the hundreds of tasks completed by the silent few.

Mike was last seen trotting off to pick blackberries and Barry returned to his Aladin's cave of aircraft stuff.

Part of the collection in Barry's yard
  

Saturday, 2 September 2017

First Saturday in September and some excellent weather

It was a busy day today, with instructors kept very busy flying students while the single seaters set off on a Handicapped Distance task.

Meanwhile the marketing team was at White Waltham with the sim, invited by West London Aero Club to take part in their Members' Day, a charity fundraising event. We spent the day introducing power pilots to use of the rudder, and to spinning.

Start 'em young

We had a grandstand view of the various displays by interesting aircraft, rounded off by our own Emily Collett flying aeros in her Extra (Emily started her flying career in gliders at Booker).

A clutch of Tiger Moths
 
Back at Booker, the evening was enlivened by a Virgin balloon 'landing out' the wrong side of the airfield hedge.

Ooops!
 The customers had to get out and push.....

The retrieve

Friday, 1 September 2017

31 August - A perfect day for Maddi Roberts to go solo.

A day for dodging showers. Towering cumulus appeared as soon as the sun got to work.

A busy day on the airfield with one serious downpour at lunchtime.

Bob Smith made many trial lesson visitors very happy as they flew with dramatic cloudscapes. Toby O'Brien and his family all flew as did Graham Langley and Martine Hutchinson.

Welcome back to Terry Clements, who spent time today getting back into the groove.

Well done Maddi, solo today---perfect landing too!

 
 Mike Shepherd preparing to get to grips with that dang aerotow, if only the tug would keep still.
 

Meanwhile Jane and John Wood spent the day with us, enjoying the sun and Richard's attention as their instructor.

Wilf looking thoughtful
Wilf explained that his Blue fronted parrot enjoys "scrunched up" cuttle fish. It's amazing the things you learn on a sunny airfield.  Wilf has now realised the parrot is able to scrunch the cuttle fish up itself - saves a job!

Let's hope September (that's tomorrow) brings some more good weather.


Thursday, 31 August 2017

30 August - A wet day at the club - but it is still busy

Low cloud and light rain dominated the weather for most of the day.

That didn't put off James Giles who is determined to complete his Bronze C this year (and about time say some). The classroom work included exam preparation and a review of the oral test for the Bronze C.

The afternoon session was focused on field selection and field landing

Richard acting out the field landing during his fascinating talk
Weather is set to improve tomorrow - hooray

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

29 August - Rocky is prepared for any weather

A busy training day at the airfield, and thanks Steve for your help.

Denzil completed the last day of his course with another superb landing. Well done Denzil, we hope to see you again. Denzil lives in Goa so doesn't pop in that often.

Maddi is now working solidly to get solo during her break. The day for her finished with a very well executed launch failure simulation.

Maddi getting ready for a training flight
A steady flow of pupils, the soaring conditions improved later in the day, but too late to tempt the local pundits.

The evening group took over late afternoon.


Rocky wanted to make sure he didn't get wet if we had an unexpected rain shower!

The end of another great day.