Monday 31 March 2008
A light and variable southerly barely troubled the windsock and it was pleasantly warm enough on the ground to dispense with your jacket. Quite a change from Saturday's turbulent, biting wind and a nice way to end what has not been the best of months.
2 kt average climbs to 3000' became 3-4kts in the smoke which was clearly evident as a haze right to cloudbase, in otherwise excellent viz. All in all a good day was had by Geoff W, George G, Alan V, Martin Ff and yours truly. Where were the rest of you, surely not everyone went to Shobdon??
Saturday 29 March 2008
Saturday 22 March 2008
The Booker Weather Cam captured the sunny intervals and snow showers in this time compressed sequence of an hour and a half. View the latest image or time lapse images at http://mikeswebpage.users.btopenworld.com/booker.html .
Friday 21 March 2008
With the wind as predicted, exactly NW'ly at 20kts several Bookerites decided to go and explore the ridge today. Alan Johntone set off under his own steam in his AS-26E 'AJ'. This was useful because he was able to confirm the the ridge was working before the first K-21 came off tow.
We ended up with both K-21's, a Ventus, DG303 and a couple of ASW27's taking launches to go ridge running.
The single seaters also went off cross-country after a short while as, despite the 35kt winds, it was consistently thermic and streeting nicely in places too.
Some of the climbs were incredibly strong with several "off the clock" climbs being observed.
The cumulus grew and decayed with some regularity which added to the fun as you had plenty of time to practice choosing a cloud to head for and then, if it didn't work, scuttle back to the ridge. Spot the Ventus in the second pic!
Some of the thermals were so good that it was tempting to stick with them and practice thermalling (as did at least one who went straight up to 4,000'). Lower down on the ridge was much more fun though....super fun running along at 800' and 90kts+, pulling up and gaining 3-400' while turning to beat back along the ridge. This is what it's all about! For anybody who can access MP4/QuickTime/RealPlayer, etc. here's a short video (15Mb) of John Herman showing his thermalling skills....
330/30kts on the ground was more than enough bait to tempt Booker to the ridge. Alan J, Gary and John H, Jim, Matt, Steve W, Tim S, Bob S and yours truly, Dave C and Graham, all ventured out to the ridge, to be rewarded with great ridge lift and excellent thermal streets. So good that John H took a second tow with Louis replacing Gary. With 45kts at 2000' any progress into wind was slow but Jim and Matt both turned Bicester aided by lighter winds aloft. Pictured here is Z12 at the ridge.
Chinnor Cement Works was as colourful as ever and the steam loco on the Chinnor and Princes Risborough Railway provided an added bonus,steam pointing directly to the ridge (sorry photo's didn't work!).
Visibility was excellent with strong cloud streets and high bases.
But for those of you who stayed in bed or earnt some family brownie points here's the "Condor Moment" you missed with 6-8kts of reliable lift to 4000'. Nice one Bob!
But all good things Must come to an end with John and Louis, Jim and Tim finally running for cover as the hail showers approached at 3pm. Exciting flying today as those who tugged will also testify (Boris, James, Andy B and yours truly).
Thursday 20 March 2008
Monday 17 March 2008
We attracted a great deal of interest and made several sales, as well as giving out lots of leaflets and meeting many nice people. The message plainly went home because we made a further sale the following day to someone who had visited the stand.
The duty manager of the mall was very impressed by our professionalism and efficiency and we have an open invitation to make a return visit. The weather could have been kinder - after lunch the heavy showers got going and we called it a day around 5pm when they turned into persistent rain. But all in all a very successful and enjoyable day.
Sunday 16 March 2008
Sunday 9 March 2008
Thursday 6 March 2008
Here's an account from Bryan Hughes:
Six Booker members joined Mike C and me for a visit to Parham in a 19kt mainly northerly wind. Local members were rigged early and before long there were around 20 gliders soaring the ridge. Everyone had a great time. In the first flight of the Duo, Mike and I managed around 140k during which we ventured past Peterfield to the West before turning and proceeding back almost to Lewes in the East with only one (or perhaps two) butt-clenching moments as we 'jumped the gaps'. Not bad for a site check! Later in the morning, when the thermals came into their own, there were lots of knots on the varios and soon it was streeting beautifully. Reluctantly, 315 finally landed for the last time at dusk with just enough light to de-rig. We were all made very welcome at this friendly Club where the locals treated us as full members.
And from Jim White, who took Z12 down for the day:
Yesterday was great fun down at Parham. 19kts directly on the ridge backing slightly towards the end of the day. As ridge virgins Guy Sutherland and I set a short task and flew conservatively but still acheived 193k at 94kph! There were also 4kt thermals to 4000ft+ so I was tempted to fly home to Booker! Everyone should have a go...I know I will be back.
Sunday 2 March 2008
Local flying wise, cloudbase was around 2500' intially but reached 4000' by the end of the day. The wind started off WNW and ended pretty much Westerly (and slackened slightly too). Thermals were tight and fairly strong (4-5kts) in parts. Aerotows were quite lively on some flights and definitely more settled later. Another good day.
Saturday 1 March 2008
Viz was good, cloudbase good, thermals good, what more can we ask?
Oh and by the way if its a guess the pilot from his hat competition, here's my contribution. Answers on a postcard please.