Thursday, 20 April 2017

Easter Tuesday

This is why I love flying in the Spring...

Climbing near Didcot

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

50k success

Phil Binnee took advantage of the strong thermals today to fly Enstone for his Silver Distance (50km). He did have the advantage of flying an LS8 (we might have to send him off in a Junior to do it again) but he had to deal with dodgy batteries which put paid to his nav equipment, so he had to resort to actual map reading, a lost art.

Congratulations Phil!

Back in the trailer park

Saturday, 15 April 2017

Jane out-manoeuvres the men, again.

A great end to the instructor week, more feedback on that to follow in a future post.  A good day for the increasingly popular Easter Egg Cup Aerobatic competition. All ten competitors flew, with most electing to complete the Standard pattern.  Dave H went for the more advanced Cor Blimey sequence.
Many pilots had not done any more than a loop before the weekend, but thanks to some excellent coaching, and safety pilots, everyone posted a good score.
The top three were - 
1st  - 83.7% -  Jane Moore.
2nd - 78.7% - Rob Kehr
3rd  - 78.1% - Chris Collett

For those that can speak Aresti, the sequence diagrams are shown below. See Mr Saw for a full translation.

A heated debate took place at prize-giving about who was the best aerobatic coach, perhaps next year there will also be a prize for best team coach.  
Jane won for the second year running; many were heard muttering about how many years one person can win before moving up in to the Cor Blimey class.

Thanks as always to Graham Saw for organising the event, and to Charles Baker from Lasham for scoring. 

Club Chairman William Parker presents Jane Moore with the Easter Egg Aerobatics Trophy.
Looks like he is keeping hold of that Easter Egg though!
In other news - 315 flew two XC tasks in one day - including first landout of the year at Bicester. 

Thursday, 13 April 2017

No course or expedition is complete without a food entry

The instructors week meeting at the Grouse and Ale. Great middle to the week's events and still 3 more days to go. The week has already generated about 150 launches and 10 hours in the motor glider.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Our new seasonal tug pilot getting to grips with towing

Adam Ropka has joined us for the season as our tug pilot. He his currently being trained but will be about and ready to tow you soon. Please say hello and make him welcome

Briefing for day 3 of the instructors week

Using the swanky new interactive whiteboard  (no pens allowed!)

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Evening groups up and running

Hurrah - the evening groups have begun again!

In a blaze of determination brought about by lack of flying we managed to fit the following activities into a couple of hours on Tuesday evening:

  • Jump in the glider for a take off on 24 - wind at 90 degrees to take-off.
  • Receive instruction to change runway to 06 from the tower.
  • Strap most of the launch point to the buggy and race across the field before the tug lands.
  • Sneak in some more flights vaguely in the direction of 06 - wind still at 90 degrees to take off.
  • The evening tuggy, then rushed from cockpit to lectern to deliver a fascinating talk on mountain flying.
If field selection in flat lands causes dread, reading the instructions for emergency landing fields in the Alps is not for the feint of heart: My recollection of one such landing field is as follows:

"Fly over the first electrical wire, but under the second. With 18m wings, sideslip a lot to fit between the trees, then land on the first rock at no more than 60 knots, so that you only have a glancing blow on the second boulder at 45 knots... and do not land long: The lake at the end has piranhas with a taste for dehydrated glider pilots. Successful landings usually require retrieval by helicopter. Ratio of successful to unsuccessful lands so far is... "

I exaggerate for effect of course...

Then we dreamed of having the skill and nerve to soar amongst the magnificent peaks - whilst making "friends" with the chef at the pub, by ordering eight meals two minutes before his home time.


Talk about squeezing a lot into a short amount of time.

Friday, 31 March 2017

Some more pics of fun at Lleweni Parc

The members on the spring expedition to Wales had another fantastic ridge day with everyone here spending several hours beating up and down before showers brought an end to the day around 1730.

Here are a few pics:

A view of the ridge from ground level

27 launchpoint

Somewhere over Wales

Ed in KV, photographed by his syndicate partner Phil from 315

Ed again

Thursday, 30 March 2017

A happy bunch of pilots

The smiling faces say it all. All the young students after they had flown. Several came up to me after their flights to say what a great time they had had and to thank the club and their instructors. My thanks to the instructors, tug pilots, cadets and office for making it all run so well 

BA/Air League day at Booker today

Booker hosted another BA/Air League sponsored work experience day today. 30 young students from around the Heathrow area are part of the scheme BA are running which includes seeing different aspects of jobs at BA, interviews, CV writing, team building and giving them a few life skills that school doesn't  (as well as an aviation experience). We flew all 32 who attended and and still had time for lunch.

Monday, 27 March 2017

Welsh catch up

Here are a few more pics of Wales from various angles

Lleweni Parc - 850m of tarmac

Snowdon - snowed on

Snowdon below an inversion

316 on finals
Here's what we did on our rest day last Wednesday:

Boys being boys

Beaten by the locals - Chris from Lleweni Parc with Gold
And more sedately:

Llandudno prom, looking towards the Great Orme

View from the top of the Great Orme

And some local livestock:

Gulls on a Jaguar

Sheep. Of course.

Saturday, 25 March 2017

Saturday Fantastic Views

Took a ride in the tug with Richard and two tug pilots in tow behind - Boris and Jim Rowland. Great views of Snowdonia, Morecombe Bay, Cumbria, even the Isle of Man in the far distance. Then the Flarm went berserk.....

This might be why the Flarm went beserk...........

View from 316

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Lleweni Parc easterly

All change today, the wind was from the east and at first there was a lot of mist, but after a while the sky cleared and we started launching towards the ridge. There was no sign of the promised easterly wave, but there were thermals and the scenery looked great. Landing procedure was no longer 'roll to the end of the runway' as that would have meant a gentle canter down the slope on the second half with the possibility of continuing on down the grass to the stream, so we aimed to stop at the taxiway, referred to as the Cook Strait, halfway down. Seemed to work. Here are some random pics from the day.

316 on tow

Symeon trying out an alternative mode of transport
There was a much more difficult version with just the one wheel, like a unicycle without a seat. Mostly it required people walking either side to keep the rider upright.

Booker's homemade fuel bowser

GH in its temporary home

The gang at the end of another fun day

Scary selfie

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Denbigh Wave - there's more from Tuesday

Just a couple more pics of Denbigh sights. T4 and LC flew out to the coast together after a spell swanning around just below 7000 feet close to the airfield. It was relatively easy to transition in to the wave by pushing out from the ridge, with the lift working over a large area. It was a great flight, but I should have landed 15 minutes earlier to avoid the edge of a large (massive) shower, won't do that again!

View of Dee Estuary looking towards Liverpool.

Prestatyn Pontins.

To Snowdon and back

Yesterday was a stunner. A brisk westerly produced lively conditions at times but in general the trend was upwards. Symeon got the back seat of the ASG31-MI belonging to Rod who owns the airfield. They went over the hills and far away........

River Conwy and the Great Orme

The seaside
Other people flew the ridge from one end to the other - 30km - in a mix of ridge and thermal, there were those who turned points out to sea near Rhyl. Richard and Simon went to Snowdon.......

Alwen Reservoir and Lake Brenig

Menai Strait

The Great Orme....again

The seaside

More seaside

Snowdon in cloud
All this fun was temporarily halted by a shower front when it seemed best to be on the ground, and then we started again. The Duo and K21 had wave flights - the Duo reported 8000ft and minus 11degC.

Somewhere over Wales
Working backwards - on Monday we flew from dawn to dusk, literally, the last flight landing on the dot of official night.

And yet more seaside

A bit of the ridge
Absolutely legal
And in other news.......our loyal readers may have been wondering about food. No photos, but the household at Caeu Mawr has been eating well. Here's the menu so far:
- Cod on a bed of beans and tomato, with cheesecake to follow
- Salmon in parcels with leek, petits pois and creme fraiche, with apple frangipani flan
- Smoked salmon followed by Piedmont stuffed peppers, then the last of the cheesecake with fresh raspberries
- Mexican shepherds pie (sweet potato topping) followed by homemade lime and tequila ice cream (to die for!!)

Last night we were all a bit worn out by all the fun so we had pate, Morrison's battered haddock with the rest of the shepherd's pie.......and the last of the ice cream.

And finally......there are some rather odd creatures around the perimeter of the airfield.

Today we have some soft Welsh rain obscuring our usual view of the ridge so a rest day is in prospect.