Sunday 20 March 2011

The Weekends Flying

Saturday's sunny start and forecast of good soaring made the launch point the busiest so far this year with the first grid of 2011 being set up but the sky lacked any obvious cumulus. Modest tasks of around 100k were declared and launching for the xc pilots started around midday into a very blue sky. Climbs were available up to around 3,000' but with no obvious places to find lift there was no great rush to set off - however a few of the stalwarts felt that it was time to set off around 12:30 but calls were soon coming in of one or two low points.

One such pilot certainly exercised the ANO rule about no flying within 500' of vehicles, vessels or structures except for gliders flying on a ridge (but with the wind only showing 2/3kts from the south west that was unlikely) - he did however have his wheel down so was flying below that height for the purpose of takeoff or landing. 45 minutes of working marginal lift on Chinnor Ridge finally resulted in a climb to enable the task to continue - proves the point that you need to get up an fly and practice (a lesson we could all benefit from).

I'm only aware of 3 people completing the declared 100k task - apologies if there were more and well done those who stuck with it!

Being the first busy day of the year also highlighted how rusty some of us have become over the winter months - everyone who flew (and those that will do soon) should reflect on their standards of airmanship, lookout, entering and leaving thermals, circuits and approaches. If you have any doubt now is a great time for a check ride (or two).

The busy day led to over 60 launches and the launch point coped very well , big thanks to everyone who made it a success- roll on summer.

Sunday was quieter with highlights being the first flight in 314 by its new syndicate owners Simon and David (gentle reminder - 314 is now a privately owned glider so don't be tempted to jump in if you see it sitting at the launch point).

We also saw Richard Crockett being checked out to fly the Pawnee - brings to mind the old Chinese proverb "don't send a boy to do a man's job!"
Lastly - don't forget to get your entry in for the Booker Rules 2011 Competition - see the link alongside.

Saturday 12 March 2011

Booker at Windsor

The Sales & Marketing team is currently at the British Leisure Show at Windsor Racecourse, busy promoting the delights of gliding. We hope to see some of the people we have met at the launchpoint very soon.

Monday 7 March 2011

Monday Solo and Sundays Flying

Sunday 6th

Sunday's early cloud cleared to give mostly blue skies and a few thin scattered cumulus clouds but which were generating good thermals to allow for several long soaring flights. The sun also brought several single seaters out of winter hibernation. A couple of the more intrepid aviators set off cross country and only began to question their sanity when they turned Bicester at 16:00 for their run back to Booker (which all worked out OK in the end). With over 30 launches, good soaring conditions and sunshine throughout day there was a great 'buzz' around the club - the season is coming - make sure you are ready!

Club Members checking out the conditions (and what they were looking at below)

Monday 7th - 1st Solo

Congratulations to Booker Cadet Guy Trees who went solo in CFA (today was his 16th Birthday). He has been working hard for this recently doing the extra flying necessary to get him up to a satisfactory standard. Arrangements were made to ensure the club was operating today and the weather co-operated on his birthday - he provided the final ingredient by being up to standard.
Guy with his mum Lorna after landing
If Guy had been old enough to buy the celebratory drinks for his solo it would have been a cheep round as the only people around to witness it were his tug pilot, instructor and mum Lorna. We can all congratulate him when he does his next Cadet Duty day.

Saturday 5 March 2011

Aerobatics and another 1st Solo

Mixed weather with Friday 4th March being sunny, calm and warm(ish) with convection up to 1,600 ft and enabling several soaring flights of up to an hour.

Saturday came around with low cloudbase and a biting easterly wind - ideal conditions for the Aerobatics course! The morning started with a bit of hanger shuffling to enable putting ECZ back into its trailer ready for the Windsor Outdoor Show next week where the club has a stand and more excitingly putting the wings back onto the motor glider in readiness for it being back in operation very soon.

Once the cloudbase had risen sufficiently the Aerobatics flying took place in anger with launches to 3,000 ft.

Whilst all this was going on Marc Selzer was being put through his paces and later in the day was sent solo for the first time - Congratulations to Marc on his 1st solo.

Thursday 3 March 2011

Barrier key renewal

A reminder that all barrier keys need to be renewed before the end of March. To do this please either take your key to the AFC office in the base of the tower and they will update it, or if you are not at the airfield phone them on 01494529261 and give them the number on the card. It can take a few days to register so it is best to do it before it expires.