Monday 31 May 2010

More about Day 2 - well almost

The Contest Director kept up a positive outlook throughout the day and kept weather man Nils on his toes checking the skies all day but finally had to abandon the creative tasks that had been set at around 16:00.

At the same time a well known official from the club was seen relying on more spititual techniques - we are not sure whether he was asking for the Contest Direct to see sense, the weather to improve or for his "Iron Thermal" to start.

Booker Regionals Monday

Met Man Nils Wedi produced some pretty pictures for the forecast, it was not optimistic. Unfortunately he was right and despite the valient efforts of Paul and Brian the day was scrubbed.

Sunday 30 May 2010

Booker Regionals Day 1

The Competition got off to a good start today with a task of 207km, in what could be described as a challenging wind. Most got round with the advantage going to experience, wingloading and span. Day results here:

Director Paul Brice (center), Deputy Director Brian Forrest and Milly.

Saturday 29 May 2010

Friday's adventures

An excellent day with cumulus as far as the eye could see and a cloudbase somewhere above 5000ft in parts.

The club task was Melton Mowbray - Graffham Water - Bicester and a group including mentor Tim Z3 completed this. Others explored different areas: Ben 580 went to Edgehill - Moreton in Marsh, Glen A9 did Husbands Bosworth - Chieveley, Jane 118 visited Pitsford - Bicester, and Glyn G1 went to Ludlow and back. A great day out. More of the same please.

Monday 24 May 2010

Hot and Sticky Sunday

Well after Saturday with our epic pilots racing round Bicester Didcot at gel coat blistering speeds, Sunday just produced a day of gel coat blistering temperatures.

After a sloowwww and easy start, a few pilots finally realised it was soarable and started launching, no one seamed to have trouble staying airborne but few ventured away. Full credit to Jan Clave who set off to do BIC-DID but decided that emulating the previous days pilots antics (no names mentioned) of flying down Oxford High Street at 800' was not a good idea so opted instead to avail himself of Bicester - good effort all the same.

The soarable conditions around Booker went on quite late and produced "one" cumulus cloud - but not even big enough to cast a full shadow over Booker - it did however produce 6 knots for Martin Kicks in the K21.

The beers at the end of the day were most welcomed.

Sunday 23 May 2010

Blue Day tactics - Saturday

After attending Jim's final cross-country briefing (preparing for competition flying) we briefly discussed task options for the day. Concensus was that chosen strategy for the day would be (a) don't be too ambitious and (b) keep together. So, with a forecast of climbs to 3500' lightly NE'ly and no cumulus expected we agreed an initial task - Booker Bridge - Buckingham - Chievley - Booker.

We rigged and gridded and waited for conditions to improve. The conditions didn't get any better but the sight of a Junior staying airborne for more than ten minutes was sufficient for us to launch.

Jon Gatfield (T6), Geoff Lyons (949), Steve Williams (JH), Shack Roberts (A9), Ollie Llewelyn (C30), Gary Nuttall (732) and possibly a few others eventually grouped up between High Wycombe and Booker Bridge and set off in the direction of Thame, just in case conditions didn't improve. The sky from Stokenchurch seemed to offer choices of (a) strong sink; (b) some sink; (c) more sink, so we all found ourselves ever lower as Thame Airfield beckoned. For 949 the lure was too much and Geoff landed there.

Fortunately around Thame a few thermals appeared and the gang limped on, after agreeing that maybe via Bicester would be worth the deviation. In fact changing the task to Bicester-Didcot seemed sensible too.

Between Thame and Bicester conditions were decidedly tricky with the odd 1/2 knotter being clung on to in order to avoid a field landing. C30, 732 and 314 struggled around Brill and eventually John Portwin in 314 landed in a field. C30 and 732, having all been in the same thermal managed to eventually gainenough height to push on to Bicester.

At Bicester conditions improved (= 1.5kt climbs) and there was a split with T6, A9 and JH heading North of Weston-On-The-Green whilst C30 and 732 opting to route back towards Thame after turning Bicester. The pack who went North and then South via Kindlington and Oxford High Street eventually made it around Didcot and home (congrats to all!) whilst C30 and 732 landed back at Thame (not for want of trying). Pete Wells in his Twister provided Gary and Ollie with an impromptu air display whilst they awaited the arrival of tug.

All in all a very challenging day that pushed many out of the comfort zone - flying in the blue, pushing on when low, gaggle flying - all skills well worthwhile continuing to develop. Good to enjoy a beer on the terrace later or go to the barbeque and enjoy watching Graham' Saw's aerobatics when he returned from his training at Bicester. Look forward to comparing traces!

Friday 21 May 2010

When you think you are having a bad day

Have a look down, someone may be having a worse day!

The weather on Friday was difficult, and just north of Kettering it was tricky finding a decent thermal; heading for some smoke I noticed-

this unfortunate motorist watching the family pride and joy go up in smoke.

By the time the fire brigade arrived from Trumpton the car was totally b.....ed.
Worst of all it didn't produce any decent lift and it was almost "aux vaches" for me.

Tuesday 18 May 2010

A brace of 21's

A welcome sight at Booker as the T21 took to the air again.

Maverick and Goose ready for combat with the elements. They braved a viscious 1kt of wind to get airborne and even made it back safely.

Saturday 15 May 2010

The (little bit late) Easter Egg Cup competition

Will does it again!!!!!

Will Hilton proudly accepts the trophy, from competion organiser Emily Todd, for winning the (little bit late) Easter Egg Cup aerobatics competition, today.
Not only did Will win the competition for the second tear running but also qualified for his aerobatics badge - CONGRATULATIONS Will.

The competition played host to a team from Bicester who very ably displayed their skills and managed to claim second place in the comp.
Some thirteen pilots entered :-Will Hilton (winner), Rachel Brewin (Bicester - 2nd place) Henry Stutt, Robin Wilgoss, Doug Hilton (who managed to score ten points less than Will), Dave Humphries, Maz Macari (Bicester), Chris Collett, Andy Grubb (Bicester), Colin Short, John Gatfield, Robin and me.

Judges, concientously judging

An aerobat in action


All of the day's flying fun was followed by a barbecue, also attended by other Booker members who had flown XC during the day.

Thanks go to Graham Saw, who acted as safety pilot for many of the competitors, and to Emily for making the day such a great success.
All in all, ANOTHER great day at Booker

Friday 14 May 2010

If you don't ask

On the run up to Scunthorpe the only lift was in the Scampton and Cranwell zones. Fortunately the Waddington controller obliged with a clearance through.

RAF Scampton. Home of the Red Arrows.

Leaving Scunthorpe

RAF Cranwell

RAF Spittalgate. My first flight in a glider and first solo; some time ago.

Saturday 8 May 2010

Grass cutting and pot-holing

There was a good turn out on Friday to tidy up the trailer park and fill a few po-holes. Star turn was Jim White with his big tractor and mower. We have now discovered parts of the trailer park we did not know existed. John Herman lead the pot-holers and there are now areas of fresh soil at the entrance to the trailer park. p Please try to avoid driving over them until the grass is reestablished. Many thanks to all the members who mowed and strimmed. We finished off the evening with Chinese and beer.