Monday 27 August 2012

Our brave boys

Booker pilots did well in competitions last week. William Parker (LC) came away with second prize in the Blue class of Dunstable's Regionals (sponsored by Milton Keynes Hyundai), having come second on Day 1 and winning Day 5.

William with his prize for Day 1
(photo by BlackNoSugar)

Jim White (J1M) started well in the Red class, winning Day 2, but he did a bit of crop inspection after that and ended up 7th, with a 4th place on Day 4.

Mike Gatfield (968) flying in the British Junior Nationals at Lasham came second on the final day and 7th overall.

Meanwhile back at Booker, Sunday was another busy day with first solos by Filip Livancic and Carl Bauer, and John Sugden completing his Silver badge.

Congratulations to all of them.

Saturday 25 August 2012

Tally ho Ginger

An interesting week of weather that has seen Jim White and William Parker taking part at the Dunstable Regionals and Mike Gatfield at the Junior Nationals. They are putting up a good show on behalf of Booker in spite of the less than perfect weather with some great day scores. Check out the results pages and give them your support.

Closer to home we have continued to operate with lots of flying taking place and two solo's by  Hakan Gokalp and John Townsend.

Hakan next to EBZ after his solo

John Townsend looking suitably pleased after solo'ing in a glider
Hakan originally soloed a few years ago but has had a break from gliding but is definitely back now. John Townsend has been on a PPL to Solo course to learn some new skills and meet other like minded flying enthusiasts - hopefully this has been achieved and we will see more of him in the future.

Lastly we had a very keen aviator by way of Darren Morgan turn up for his flight today dressed for the occasion - is this time for us all to reconsider out dress code?

Thursday 23 August 2012

Booker at the juniors

If you thought the last few days had been a bit difficult for cross country flying then you’d be spot on! Today was the 6th day of the juniors which are being held down at lasham this week and the four contest days so far have been tricky, with only one person getting round on two of the days and most people getting soaked when showers invaded the task area yesterday. If you haven’t checked out the comp website ( or the ukjuniorgliding facebook page its well worth a look to check out all the things that have been going on.
Highlights have included ben getting stung by a wasp on the tongue in the top-gun-gay-volleyball finals (but bravely wiping away the tears and playing on), will chappell (chopper) getting the A30 closed and convincing the police and odiham that he’d crashed, seeing the token aussie get totally freaked out by RAIN and me receiving the first "dick of the day" prize for years after putting the wrong turnpoints into the gps! This year poz and matt davis have worked out a social calendar for the evenings starting with a bbq and pub quiz although top gun night never really happened after matt didn’t get poz’s text about starting it and everyone just started drinking instead.
Volleyball has been a massive addition this week and its beginning to look a bit like the 2nd week at wimbledon on the grass outside the clubhouse! So 4 days and 650km so far, fingers crossed for the weekend and end of comp party on the Sunday!

Tuesday 21 August 2012

Dunstable Regionals

William and I are at the Dunstable Regionals. If you are interested in following our progress (or lack of it) try or


Friday 17 August 2012

Back to Wycombe Air Park

The Booker Gliding Club camp at Thame Airfield (Haddenham) ended yesterday with the fleet being flown back to Wycombe Air Park. We are very grateful to the Upward Bound Trust for their hospitality which enabled us to keep flying during the Olympics, and also to Richard, Doug and everyone else who helped make this event such a success. Normal business has now resumed at Booker, with good weather forecast for the weekend and beyond.

The final launch as the Junior returns home

Monday 13 August 2012

Closing Celebrations at Thame (but we are still here until Wednesday)

A little bit premature as we are still operating at Thame until Wednesday this week (and not quite as spectacular as the Olympics) but just as much fun.

There was a superb BBQ prepared by Sally and Mark which was enjoyed by members from both Booker and Upward Bound Gliding club after the days flying and was put on to thank the UBT for their support and generosity whilst we have been operating at Thame. Profits from the BBQ were donated to the Upward Bound Trust Gliding Club who operate as a charity and will be used to help young pilots get into gliding.

The evening went on late into the sunset and we were entertained by Nils' young son flying a radio controlled model with occasional interventions by Bob Smith when it all got a bit exciting.

Get yourselves down to Thame and enjoy the freedom of airspace and airfield facilities before we return to Booker.

Saturday 11 August 2012

... and more of the same

The club was out in force again on Friday, rigged and ready to go. Nils the weatherman launched early to sample the conditions, the rest of the grid sat in the shade while he cooked, until that blue sky obligingly produced clouds.

And what a great day it was, excellent visibility, reliable climbs, altogether the sort of summer we have been waiting for. Your correspondent was too busy enjoying the post-task sunshine to go and enquire about flights achieved, but there was at least one first 300 (Simon McC) and some 400s, as well as perfectly respectable shorter tasks.

The day finished with the traditional beers while the Friday evening group went into action and the model aircraft were launched.

Don't forget the final Thame BBQ on Sunday at 1700.

Thursday 9 August 2012

Thame sizzles in sunshine again

The sun shines and a good forecast is announced and everyone comes out to play.

The grid at Thame around 10:30 today
There was a real buzz in the air at Thame today as lots of pilots raced to rig and fly. There was a lot of debate about the task to fly and Thame, Grantham, Didcot (301k) was set for the pundits with Thame, Corby, Oxford South, Pitsford (also 300k) for the folks who didn't want to venture as far away or were looking for first 300k's. The air north of Rutland Water into Grantham did not look inviting and so several pundits cut the turn short and have been embarassed by the more determined folks doing the other task who completed it (check the club ladder for flights).
Rutland Water where the visibility went from 30km to around 60km

Also through the week there have been some other notable successes with several members finishing their Bronze C's (either the duration flights, written exams, flight tests etc), 2 silver durations, many bronze legs.

The less restricted airspace around Thame and everyones diligence to avoid the Olympic airspace has made for a terrific days flying.

Don't forget the BBQ on Sunday 12th August at Thame starting around 17:00

Wednesday 8 August 2012

Bronze week...

It's bronze week at Thame and the weather is wonderful, with the promise of lots more flying for the rest of the week.

Cloud bases rose to about 3400ft by the afternoon - and conditions gave regular 4 knots lift and occasionally booming 7 knots.

This is the view, having just left cloudbase and heading in the direction of Bicester to have a sniff at another cloud. I'm looking forward to getting the XC endorsement and following the railway further and eventually getting to Shennington!

Sunday 5 August 2012

An outlanding on The Rye

Booker's Marketing Team had a very busy day at the Wycombe Community Festival on The Rye in High Wycombe, where many local sports clubs were offering 'tasters' of their particular activity. We rigged a Junior and soon had a queue of small persons (and some not so small) keen to sit in the cockpit. Our summer evening Trial Lessons proved very popular with local people. The weather helped by being mainly warm and sunny, with the torrential rain keeping itself tidily to short showers. In fact the sky looked very soarable for most of the day.

The event gave us an excellent opportunity to explain what gliding is about and to build links with the local community. Many thanks to the team of members who gave up their time to help.

Crowds around the display
The alternative to the traditional beany hat

Cllr Chauhdry Shafique, the Mayor, paid us a visit...

.... as did some exotic dancers

The team gathering their strength for the derig

Thursday 2 August 2012

Task week continues

Even though there was a 'poor' forecast at best, this didn't stop Graham Morfey and Richard Crockett setting off on a task today under a showery sky in 315. It was all going well past Oxford and beyond Weston-on-the-Green until a very large shower washed them out at Bicester - well done for trying.

Other events on the airfield included the arrival of a very big combine harvester bringing in the rape on the south side of the runway and Barry and Jimmy from Parkhurst Aviation who kindly took time out to deliver a repaired buggy and take a sick one away for BAS to work their magic on.

Wednesday 1 August 2012

Task week at Thame

The Task week got off to an excellent start as evidenced by the photos and reports from Saturday and Sunday.

Even though todays forecast was not good, Thame still had some surprises in store with wave being on offer. Harry Fox worked the rotor cloud and got established in the wave before it finally broke up and the strong southerly wind started pushing us down wind of the airfield at an alarming rate, there was still however lift to be found at lower levels which gave for an interesting flight.

We had one unexpected cross country with a landout in a field of Rape by G-ZEBO.