Friday, 21 December 2012

The shortest day

Plenty of flying today, the solstice, with warm sunshine and light winds. Lloyd (see previous post) did a second solo, and there were student flights, instructor checks and members just having fun.

Here's Roger giving his new hat an outing - he says his daughters were embarrassed by his previous hat........

And here he is on tow behind the Pawnee:

For details of the Bronze briefings starting on Saturday 5 January see or the noticeboard in the clubhouse.

Sunday, 16 December 2012

December sunshine

Much milder today, positively warm in the sunshine, though the mud had thawed, so some areas of the field were best avoided. With light winds the air was smooth and the scattered low cloud provided some picturesque views. The K13, Junior and K18 were busy until mid afternoon until misted canopies put an end to play.

On tow over cloud
Spot the tug
Views over Lane End

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Frosty first solo

Congratulations to Lloyd Batting who started his training 3 weeks ago and today did his first solo. He does have some experience from flying radio controlled scale models, but it's a bit different when you're inside looking out.

Richard giving Lloyd a final briefing before take off
Also flying today was Paul, making use of the IntroPlus course he was given as a gift. After two launches to 4000ft, during which he progressed to spinning, he was completely sold on how fantastic gliding is and went away with the leaflet about the Winter Basic Course.

Frosty bus
 It was a very picturesque day and ideal for training as the air was, according to Geoff the tug pilot, 'smooth as silk'.

Follow us on Facebook

Monday, 3 December 2012

R e s p e c t

Now where did they get that idea from?
Certainly brings a new meaning to the Cold War

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Frost and sun

Another sunny frosty day - the hangar doors were frozen shut - but it was warm enough in the sun, and the air was calm, ideal for training flights. The Falke was put to use doing circuit practice, until a bit of a flat tyre stopped play.
The Falke being put to bed

Meanwhile there was instructor training on the go - lots of cable break practice - and local man Gary came along to see what his town looked like from above, he was delighted with the experience and went away clutching leaflets about some of our courses, plus information about corporate team building days and group flying.

Gary looking a bit apprehensive before take off
In other news, Booker's cabriolet K13 is front page news on the latest Sailplane and Gliding.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

An aerobatic start to December

Take advantage of the special winter offer on the motor glider, ask in the office
It was a cold and frosty start to the day, with mist in the valleys, but the participants in Graham and Alun's aerobatic course were well wrapped up and were soon out practising their loops and chandelles and other impossible figures. One of the course members had joined the club especially in order to take advantage of the aerobatic courses we run.

New member Mike about to fly with Graham
There was some rather more sedate flying going on, including Chris taking his second flight in the Junior.

Chris getting buckled up
Flying went on until late, with only the occasional tea break when the cloudbase came down below 2000ft.

K21 and Pawnee disappearing into the sunset
Aerobatics courses run throughout the winter on the first Saturday of the month, they are very popular so book early to avoid disappointment.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

November sunshine

A glorious mild sunny Remembrance Day at Wycombe Air Park where the traditional two minute silence was observed.

A good number of members turned out to enjoy the conditions. First up was John Sugden, showing his Hawk pilot brother Mark what a real aircraft is like, with a flight in a K13. Then Mark Wolff practised his sideslipping technique ready for his next flight in his Libelle.

Mark on tow
 Steve Williams and Rob Kehr headed off in the motor Falke to see the previously forbidden Lyneham zone, Steve's comment on his return was that Lyneham is 'very big'. And no-one using it, what a waste. Treasurer Graham Morfey made use of the new Winter Soaring Ticket for a good value flight in the Junior.

Get your ticket today!

William Parker brushed up his spinning patter for his instructor acceptance checks, and John Otty, when not flying trial lessons, took his cadet son Michael for a flight.

Family economy pack
Various others flew the K18 and the Junior, and did solos in the K13. All in all a very enjoyable day. More of the same please.

Apologies for the quality of the photos, I forgot my camera.

Here's a photo taken with a proper camera showing the autumnal tints around Booker (WAP top right).

Come up and see it soon, before the beech leaves fall
And elsewhere at Booker..........

Late roundout?

Monday, 22 October 2012

A final days flying and then home

Those brave and intrepid flyers who hung on until the end (following 5 rather wet days) were able to have one last flight at Aboyne before the end of the 2012 expedition. After a calm and slightly misty start to the day, the sky opened up although there was no evidence of the forecast south westerly wind over the Grampians.

The expedition has been joined by some of our friends at Thame and it was Henry Ollis who showed the way by launching first and being the only person to contact wave over Ballater and climbing to 5,500 before the convection started which seemed to destroy the wave but wasn't strong enough to soar in. Henry topped out by having the only wave flight of the day and the longest.
Henry climbing in wave passing through 5,000

Between Ballater and Braemar
Then it was a case of derigging and the drive home (ready to return in 2013).

"No muddy boots or Bobble Hats"
JH towing home
The weather at Aboyne hasn't been the best this year (as evidenced by the lack of ladder flights and gloomy faces of the Deeside Gliding Club members) but this doesn't seem to have dampened everyones enthusiasm at flying in such glorious scenery and with so much else to do. The Deeside GC members have been friendly and welcoming and our thanks go out to them for hosting us yet again.

It has possibly been the least "wavy" year at Aboyne since 1993 but when you look at all the achievements and great flying that has gone on in all the other years it should not put anyone off - I for one cannot wait to return.
Early morning mist over the airfield

Friday, 19 October 2012

"You have control!"

Finally after 4 unflyable days (which has enabled lots of walking and visits to local features) we finally managed some flying this afternoon. We we treated to William doing a series of touch and goes and Jane being checked out on the SuperCub under Bob's excellent tuition.
"OK Jane - you have control!"
Low pass down the runway
Local wildlife spotted includes sparrow hawks, buzzards, deer and red squirrels.

Red squirrel spotted at Linn of Dee
We have also been joined by some of our friends from Thame, one of whom is showing us how tough they breed them at Haddenham - he is camping on the site and has to scrape ice off the inside of his tent each morning after temperatures of -7 being reported - brrrrr!

Des res - heating system needs updating
Bucket of ice removed from inside of tent

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Wave, thermals and dinner

After a morning waiting for the conditions to improve and the occasional shower and low level cloud to pass through we started launching around 14:00.
"There's the wave"
Rolf was first up in the K21 and was one of the few to contact wave with a short period of good lift between Morven and Logie Coldstone before the wind dropped to nil and the convection broke up whatever was left of the wave.

Rolf climbing over Logie Coldstone
Snow on top of Morven
Most folk then ended up thermal soaring and at one point when several gliders had congregated in one thermal it felt quite like the start zone in a regionals.
In the 'hold' before landing
The landing area became very busy for a period and all three runways were used as a large number of gliders fell out together but everyone behaved and mostly rolled to the end where willing ground crews moved them out of the way.
Parking up at the end of the day
In the evening dinner was hosted to the capacity of Clearfield Cottage where a superb 5 course meal was enjoyed.  
A healthy salad starter leaving room for .....
the less healthy but delicious Bread and Butter Pudding

Monday, 15 October 2012

Showers, departures and arrivals

We have had a couple of days of heavy showers interspersed with dryer spells which have resulted in most of us going for walks through some of the glorious countryside around Aboyne to burn off a few of the 7,000 calories that seem to make up Breakfast, elevenses, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner.

We also saw the (repeat) departure of Geoff in his RV to Booker. His progress was reported back by DI Craig who was sightseeing at Sterling castle "at 14:42 a suspicious looking character was observed in an RV6  proceeding at high speed in a southerly direction at a height estimated to be around 1,000ft..."

 And the arrival of Jim W.

Not to be outdone, the models came out and at one time there were 4 in the circuit. Alas one made a 'landing' that made Felix Baumgartner's descent look positively pedestrian (E does indeed equal MC squared!).

Today holds out more hope (plus scones and tea).

Friday, 12 October 2012

Wet Friday and last night's guests

A very good turn out at the Black Faced Sheep by all accounts.

The Black Faced Sheep


Craig made a new friend on his trip to Grantown

Dinner at Birkelunn peaked at around 7 courses. Our guest of honour, MiniGat seemed a bit overwhelmed by it all.

Tuna pasta bake with salad courtesy of Craig.
Our resident pastry chef Rolf produced Tarte Tatin followed by Cheese straws served with Champagne. Cheese plate and then the Whisky selection with After Eights.

Guest night at Birkelunn

A record 17 visitors sat down for dinner at Birkelunn:
Fish pie with a lasagne alternate cooked by Tessa, followed by Bakewell tart and ice cream courtesy of the co-op, HobNobs with a rice pudding topping created by Doug. Then cheese, biscuits, port and whisky.