Monday, 28 June 2021

The latest newsletter

 Take a look at what we have been getting up to.......the newsletter is on the website with plenty of news and pics from our temporary base at Chiltern Park. Click here to read it.


Tuesday, 6 April 2021

Return to flying

 As from 29th March we have been able to fly again, although only solo - two seater flying returns on 12th April. We were unable to go on our usual Spring expedition to Lleweni Parc because of the latest lockdown, but we are currently enjoying a mini expedition to Chiltern Park, near Wallingford, as guests of Dennis Pearson of Chiltern Airsports. This is because we are being prevented from flying at Wycombe Air Park because of a commercial dispute between the airfield manager (CEO of Heliair) and the airfield owner (Bucks County Council), where we are caught in the crossfire.

While we attempt to get the situation resolved, we are making the most of our time at Chiltern Park - getting current again and exploring the local area, as can be seen from the pics below.

Symeon getting in touch with the grassroots

Jim and John ready to go

K21 316 on approach

Nick and Inge's mobile teabar - a welcome sight on a cold day

Howard making the most of the day - landing at 1814


Sunday, 13 December 2020

A look back at 2020....

Greetings to all our readers.

It's been a difficult year, but despite it all we have kept going, doing what we enjoy. Members have gone solo, and gone further and faster, we have run competitions, been on expeditions, and hosted events, all while doing our best to keep our members and visitors safe and secure. So now is the time to look back at all the good times, and to look forward to a better 2021. This month's issue of the newsletter is a compilation of 2020 activities with as many pics as it was possible to cram in.


Sunday, 15 November 2020

Shep (Fred) Sheppard

We are saddened to announce that Shep (Fred) Sheppard took his last breath on Sunday 8th November with his family by his side. He had a good, long and adventurous life, much of it spent at Booker. Because of Covid there will be a small family congregation for his committal. At a later date, yet to be determined, the family will have a memorial service or gathering to celebrate his great life.

Christmas Eve 2007 - Shep with some model flying members - John Tournier, Mike Collett, Steve Brown, John Herman


Shep derigging after a flight in February 2008


Shep out-running a cu-nim in July 2008


Thursday, 29 October 2020

Aboyne expedition round up

 Every year Booker goes on an expedition to Aboyne in Aberdeenshire, home to Deeside Gliding Club, and this year was no exception, although it was all a bit different this year, with restaurants closing early and no shared accommodation. However, we made the best of every opportunity to fly, and several members achieved firsts - first solo at Aboyne, first solo at a different airfield, first wave flight. Nils provided an excellent weather briefing every morning with some very pretty graphs from the comfort of his campervan. And when we weren't flying there was plenty of beautiful countryside to explore. We are grateul to Richard and Dave for keeping us in order, and to Dave for his time in fixing some towing damage.

Here is a selection of pics from the trip.

A view towards the east coast past the airfield



Andy Duncan after his first Aboyne solo


Loch Avon and Cairngorm

Morven


316 ready to go

Dave spent a day on repairs

Nils and William enjoying a walk from Crathie


Monday, 28 September 2020

Easter Eggs and more solos

 We have converted another power pilot to the joys of gliding - fixed wing instructor Jag Nahar did his first glider solo last week.


And then on Saturday it was time for the 17th International Easter Egg Cup Aerobatics comp. The conditions weren't the best - a freezing north-westerly making take offs on 06 quite interesting - but the field of 9 made some creditable performances - that is to say, their figures were recognisable. Their expertise ranged from 'never even done a loop before' to 'practised a bit'. British Aerobatics judge Charles Baker sat out in the cold all day gazing and the sky and tuggie James Roland kept us safe - completing his 3,000th hour of tugging in the process.


The trophy went to visitor Will Jones, with recently solo Leo Sentinella in 2nd place and Jane Moore 3rd. Many thanks to Graham Saw for sitting in as safety pilot on 8 flights, finding Easter eggs in September and organising the whole thing.

Recently solo Leo now getting good at aeros


Will Jones goes off with the trophy


Maybe next year we will hold the comp at Easter for a change.




Sunday, 13 September 2020

Whispering Wardrobes, solos and more

We are now firmly established back home at Wycombe Air Park and the past few weeks have been busy as we have re-started trial lessons and courses. One of our course members, Jim Pearce, who has had a bit of practice flying things like Learjets, went solo after a few flights, converted to the Pegasus and promptly did his Bronze 2 hours. He came down buzzing with the thrill of the newly discovered delights of thermalling. 

This weekend has been hectic with vintage gliders on display and flying. Sadly we had to scale down the event because of covid considerations but there was still plenty going on. And today we had another solo - 14 year old Leo Sentinella, who joined us from Bicester almost ready to go solo, has been working really hard on the final steps and today was the day.

Leo with proud dad David


Petrel and T21 on dual tow behind the Pawnee

Graham ready to go in the Hutter

Thursday, 6 August 2020

Trips to the coast, and Devon, and more

There has been some good cross country weather recently and we have been making the most of it. Howard did another 500k on Monday, with a trip to Devon - and back - and Denis took a look at the south coast. Meanwhile back at Booker, Richard took John Blake on his first cross county, they went to Bicester in a K21, narrowly avoided landing there and then soared back home. Two seater training is settling down at Booker, along with the evening groups on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Denis took a look at Havant on the south coast
John O had a trip to the races - Rockingham Raceway, currently a car park


John enjoyed a trip to Bicester


Saturday, 25 July 2020

Nick and Andy's T21 adventure

We've had some excellent soaring weather recently, so one day Nick Newton and Andy Monk set off from Booker in Nick's T21 thinking that it would be fun to drop in on Chiltern Park. Which it would have been.........they got as far as Nettlebed. Nicely manicured grass field though, and the Pawnee soon rescued them.

Early optimism

Looking good at 4,000ft

Down to earth - so near and yet.........


Thursday, 23 July 2020

500s in the bag

The excellent weather over the last few days has enabled plenty of epic flights from several clubs. Flying the flag for Booker, Paul Field and Howard Joseph completed their first 500k flights (Diamond Distance) on Tuesday. And Howard enjoyed it so much he had another go on Wednesday, although he didn't quite make it. Plenty of other members did noteworthy flights, including Denis Campbell who went to Devon, and John Otty, who cancelled his meetings, arrived at Chiltern Park at 3pm and nipped round a 300k. Just shows what you can do if you want to.

Paul and Howard celebrating their 500k

Denis went to Devon......

.........passing through Sussex on the way

John visited Salisbury........

......and had a view of the Isle of Wight beyond Southampton
Back at Booker, evening flying resumed on Tuesday - 6 launches followed by beers and a picnic outside the clubhouse. First to fly was 16 year old Ossian O'Sullivan who went solo last year. Evening groups are now running Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays from around 1700.

As from 1st August, training flights will be at Booker 7 days a week, with cross country staying at Chiltern Park for a little while longer.

Ossian O'Sulllivan and Graham Saw about to take the first launch on Tuesday evening