Tuesday 31 December 2013

Bronze briefings start on Saturday 4 January

If you are working towards your Bronze, need to revise, want to learn how to give briefings, or just fancy a chat about an interesting topic, come along to the clubhouse at 10am on Saturday for the next few weeks. Here's the programme:

4 Jan  - Navigation - Steve Williams
11 Jan - Principles of Flight - Symeon Economou
18 Jan - Human Factors - William Parker
25 Jan - Meteorology - Jane Moore
8 Feb - Flight Planning and Performance - Bob Smith
22 Feb - Radio Telephony - Ashley Birkbeck
1 March - Aircraft General Knowledge, Airframes and Systems - Duncan Sharp
8 March - Air Law and ATC Procedures - Wayne Aspland
15 March - Operational  Procedures - Mike Gatfield

Sunday 29 December 2013

December sunshine

What a fantastic weekend after (or possibly between) gales, and plenty of people turned out to make the most of the conditions - sunshine and nil wind - ideal for trial lessons, training or just having fun. Let's hope it's nice on New Year's Day, with the airfield closed we might get to fly off the hard runway for a change.

Here are a couple of pics from today, not brilliant as I'd forgotten my proper camera, but you get the general idea.
Hambleden Valley
View towards Wycombe Air Park

Wednesday 25 December 2013

This should cheer you up for Christmas:- http://missionhimalaya.com/blog/

Wednesday 11 December 2013

Festive newsletter - out now!

Take a look at the latest newsletter.

Sunday 8 December 2013

The alternative to shopping

Some really nice weather this weekend, and plenty of people out making the most of the sunshine. The scattered low cloud made for lovely views, here are Glyn and Steve's pics from their tour in the Falke.

Sunday provided more of the same, though it got a bit chilly as the wind strength increased, and the day ended with a sky on fire, the pic below doesn't really do it justice. Red sky at night.......must check the forecast for tomorrow.

Sunday 1 December 2013

Meanwhile at the NEC......

The Sales and Marketing Team had a weekend in Birmingham at the Flying Show, along with the BGA and teams from four other clubs - HusBos, Aston Down, Camphill and Buckminster. There was a steady stream of visitors to the gliding section, mostly people who were pilots already, so we suggested ways they could enhance their existing skills, for example by coming along for a day of spinning - after all, just because their aircraft's flight manuals say they shouldn't spin, it doesn't mean they won't. There was also interest in practising field selection and landing, and some of them were tempted plain straightforward gliding as a change from engines.
Waiting for the show to open

Many thanks to Chris Collett (who drove up on Friday to set the stand up and then came back again on Sat and Sun), Hugh MacDonald and Hedda Coture for giving up their time to promote gliding and the Club.

The new face of British Gliding

Saturday 30 November 2013

Saturday .. and the sun shone - for some

While a few noble members were away at NEC promoting Gliding and the club, some reasonable weather back home brought out many club members, course folks and Graham’s aerobatic “team” to the launchpoint to get airborne.  Great to see lots of activity on a cool winter Saturday.

Friday 29 November 2013

Sport England Lottery funding for Booker Gliding Club

We are delighted to announce that Sport England has approved our application for a grant of £9,892 to fit Flarm collision warning units to our tugs and 2-seater gliders.

We operate at a busy airfield located at a ‘pinch point’ between controlled airspace sectors, with large amounts of transit traffic squeezed together. Fitting Flarm in club gliders and tugs will improve flight safety - as an addition to look out! - for local flying and in the circuit. The tug units will also be able to detect the transponders used by powered aircraft.

Flarm can also be used tactically in competitions and on cross-country flights, so it is ideal for training students in cross-country flying using lead and follow.

We are committed to minimising risk and so we are grateful to Sport England for enabling us to make this improvement to flight safety and enhance our cross-country training.

You still have to keep a good look out!!

Friday 25 October 2013

Progress in the Skunkworks

Deep in a secret location the vintage group ably led by Graham Saw are working on a Fauvel AV-36 with the intention of getting it back to full flying order.

When the glider is restored, it should be flying regular displays at Shuttleworth alongside other vintage gliders and aeroplanes.

Many of you may remember when Graham last had one of these flying at Booker a few years ago before it went to France.

Fauvel Dreirudereindecker?
As is always the case, Graham is looking for ways to improve the flying characteristics and stability and took advantage of a Focker Eindeker rudder (as if two aren't enough) to see what he could do although the commonly held view is that his efforts might be better spent building the rest of the fuselage and giving it a tailplane !

Can't wait to see it flying.
Just for those who aren't sure what a Fauvel AV-36 should look like

Wednesday 23 October 2013

The view from the trailer park

Waving over Booker this evening - if the hills were a bit bigger it might almost be Scotland..........

Evening wave

Wednesday 16 October 2013

.....mean while "back at Booker"

With all the excitement and reporting of the club activities on the Aboyne Expedition we shouldn't forget the activities that have been going on at Booker. Whilst the pilots flying on the first day of the Aboyne Expedition were enjoying some seriously good wave flying, the weather at Booker was unseasonably good with clear skies, high temperatures and great thermals. The tugs were kept busy all afternoon with no breaks in towing and many private owners were out enjoying the soaring flights, many exceeding 2 hours and J1M flying a short cross country after a late afternoon start.
The clubs 2 seaters were kept busy with training flights and a couple of achievements with David Lowe converting to the K18 and Ruth Jackson completing her second Bronze C leg. Congratulations to all involved.
David Lowe after his K18 conversion

Ruth Jackson looking suitably pleased with her 2nd Bronze Leg

Tuesday 15 October 2013

Aboyne update

The wind continues easterly and has given us some lovely sunny days. Saturday was changeover day so various people left and others arrived. Rolf 768, Jim 208 and Geoff GA flew in thermal for a couple of hours and enjoyed the views over the Cairngorms. Glyn went off in his Robin on a trip to Oban with local members Roy and Fran, accompanied by Dave in is Stemme, they enjoyed lunch in a shoreside restaurant.

Sunday was slightly more overcast but Glyn was persuaded into the Capstan for a brief sortie. The new panel with its digital ASI and artificial horizon was of less interest than the wine gums stored down the top of the stick.

Yesterday was a bit wet so activities were non-aviation related. Richard went to Glenlivet, Graham, Rolf and Bob went to Dufftown to visit the Speyside Cooperage to see how barrels are made. At Clearfield, Bob made a start on building his balsa glider while William taught Jane some chords on his electric guitar. For dinner they finished off the last of Rolf's delicious Birkelunn desserts.

Today Boris arrived and kept Richard busy in the Duo. Late afternoon the sky cleared and Richard took a launch in his own glider. The air was flat calm but he said it was one of the best flights he had ever had, the views were so good. Once the real gliders were away, Bob gave Graham a lesson in flying models so that he was at last able to fly his last Christmas present.

Andy and Dave launching

Graham after his first model flying lesson from Bob

Saturday 12 October 2013

Aboyne Day 6

Yesterday was a lovely sunny day with light easterlies, so the flying was thermal, and various people took to the air to try going round in circles for a change. Others set out in different directions to explore the countryside. One party discovered Aboyne Castle, an imposing building dating from the 17th century. Others set off for Tomintoul along a dramatic road over moorland and past the ski runs of the Lecht. Some went to the Whisky Castle and came away with a supply of the produce. Others went for a walk around the Glenlivet estate.

In the evening we went to the Black Faced Sheep in Aboyne for an excellent buffet dinner.

Today we have more sunshine and easterlies but we hope for the wind to go southerly soon and then we will be back in the wave.

Friday 11 October 2013

Aboyne day 5 ammendment

For desert the Souffle-Glace-Grand Marnier

We regret there were no pictures of the cheese straws 

Aboyne Day 5 - alternatives to flying in cloud

Yesterday there was a stiff northerly and lots of cloud, with occasional showers. There was wave, but Booker decided that there were better views to be had on the ground than from the inside of a cloud, so various parties set off in different directions. One went to Linn of Dee to see the river as it rushes through a canyon, and then back to Birkelunn for lunch and an early start on the wine. Another went to Glen Tanar for a walk.

Last night's Birkelunn dinner was mushroom risotto followed by chilli con carne. Up the hill at Clearfield there was a magnificent dessert of bananas, chocolate, walnuts and ice cream, unfortunately not evidenced by photos.

Thursday 10 October 2013

Aboyne Day 5

Memorial to a Wellington crew Braemar

Aboyne day 4

Yesterday started cold and dry with a forecast of instability, so we tied the trailers down and went off to find things to do in the rain. One contingent went to Banchory to see the salmon leaping at the Falls of Feugh - there were lots - followed by lunch (soup, salmon, scones in various combinations) - at the cafĂ© across the road. Another contingent went to sample the wares at the Royal Lochnagar distillery. Others considered walks but the rain arrived too soon so stoking up the fire and finding a way to light it without matches (tip: use the toaster) was the challenge.

Here are a few catch up photos:
Ever wondered who's up there on the flight deck?

Dinner at Birkelunn
Rolf's chocolate pudding
Bread and butter pudding disappearing fast
View towards Loch Muick
Wave over the airfield
The view from Clearfield towards Morven

Wednesday 9 October 2013

Aboyne day 3 pictures

Running towards Loch Muick

Heading for Huntly

Back to Aboyne

Tuesday 8 October 2013

Aboyne Days 2 and 3

Yesterday the wind blew southerly and it was cloudy, so most of the party left the airfield, but the two 777 captains were not deterred and took 315 to 10,000ft.

Dinner at Birkelunn was the CFI's sausage and mash, followed by Rolf's bread and butter pudding.

Today we were back to a very nice classic westerly wave and the whole club was soon in the air, some of them twice. The score sheet is as follows, in no particular order:

Denis 370 - 200k via Huntley, Lock Muick, Huntley and Aboyne
Geoff 949 - 7,000ft
Rolf 768 - 5,900ft
Roland 318 - 7,400ft at Loch Muick
Ashley 318 - 9,000ft over Dinnet
Dave/Jeremy 315 - Glenshee, 13,500ft
Richard/Graham KCZ - 7,500ft
Bob 279 15,200ft at Lochnagar
Glen A9 - 9,000ft Loch Muick
Adrian HA - 7,500ft
Jeremy JDV - Loch Builg 7,500ft
Barry JDV - 10,000ft
Bob 208 - 8,000ft Ballater
Jane 118 - 14,000ft Lochnagar
Dave/Barry 315 Braemar 9,500ft

Here are a few more pics taken by Richard.

HA flying high

Sun over cloud


Monday 7 October 2013

Aboyne Day 1 (continued)

For those of you who asked for a gastronomic report, last night the Birkelunn contingent dined on spaghetti Bolognese and apple strudel, accompanied by the Co-op's best Carmenere. Here's Denis wielding a pan.

Earlier in the day, Denis was taking in the sights over Loch Ness, Inverness and Garve. Here is a selection of photos.

Loch Ness

Dee Valley looking west

End of the day

Sunday 6 October 2013

Aboyne Expedition Day 1

And what a fantastic start to the expedition! The club was rigged and ready and soon there were calls of 10kt climbs and gliders asking for the 'wave box' to be opened so that they could climb to FL240. The sky was full of classic 'dinner plate' lenticulars, the views were amazing.

If there are club members down south with leave to spare and regretting that they didn't put their name down for the trip, come on up. You could probably have 315 and the undivided attention of the CFI for a day or two.

Here's the list of achievements, in no particular order:

Ashley Birkbeck (318)- FL198 and a visit to Balmoral
Richard Crockett and Roland Wales (315)- FL195 over Dinnet
Adrian Hegner (HA) - 17500ft and some local touring
Bob Smith (279) - FL230 over Lochnagar and then local some touring
Denis 'Starship' Campbell (370) - Inverness
Jane Moore (118) - Braemar and then 11,400ft locally
Dave Byass and Glyn Read (KCZ) - Braemar, 11,500ft
Geoff Lyons (949) - Braemar, 16,350ft
Rolf Kern (768) - 7,000ft twice
Barry Michael (JDV)- Loch Muick, 14,500ft
Bob Davey (208) - 16,000ft and local touring
Glen Alison (A9) - 20,000ft, Lochnagar and Braemar

Here is a small selection of photos from a great height:

Bob S waving at 20,000ft

Lochnagar moonscape

Proof that he was there

The end of a fantastic day

Wednesday 2 October 2013

Vintage weekend

A couple of photos from the Whispering Wardrobes weekend on 20/12 September.

Vintage gliders on parade

John Dredge preparing for flight in the Hutter

Tuesday 1 October 2013

BGC Supports Rotary Club Wheel Appeal

Rotary Clubs across the UK are raising money through their various fund raising activities for "WheelPower" which is the national charity for wheelchair sport and provides opportunities, facilities and equipment which enable disabled people to play sport and lead healthy active lives.

A number of the Rotary Clubs in the Buckinghamshire area are supporting the charity by specifically raising funds to help purchase sport wheelchairs and are doing it under the name of "Wheel Appeal". As a way of bringing some additional fun into the fund raising the Rotary Clubs in Bucks are passing a pendant between themselves with the proviso that it has to be transported by a different and unique means to the next club.

High Wycombe Rotary Club President Humphrey Creed preparing to fly to Thame
Booker Gliding Club was very pleased to be able to help the High Wycombe Rotary Club deliver the pendant (and their cheque for WheelPower) to the Thame Rotary Club at Haddenham airfield via a glider with High Wycombe Rotary Club President Humphrey Creed at the controls in KLA.

Humphrey on 'final glide' with Thame ahead
On arrival at Haddenham airfield, Humphrey Creed was met by several members and the President of the Thame Rotary Club where the pendant was handed over and finished its journey on a reindeer driven sleigh with Santa at the helm (in spite of it still being September).

Thame and High Wycombe Rotary Club members after the 'handover'
The Thame Rotary Club members were most impressed by the mode of transport utilised and indicated they would plan to come to Booker next season for flights themselves - we look forward to meeting them then.

Saturday 28 September 2013

Friday Evening Group

Words and picture - Symeon
Roy in the Pawnee at dusk on the penultimate Friday Evening Group gathering - so next week is our last one. So, to all our friends -in fact anyone - turn up, get your "night" rating and join us for a curry afterwards.

Tuesday 24 September 2013

Vintage day and 1st solo

Sunday saw the Vintage Group get their toys out to play with. The skies were then graced with the delightful sights (and sounds!) of beautifully crafted and maintained wood and fabric gliders through the day. If anyone has any photos of the event can they please share them.

Later in the day we also had a first solo by Andrew Whitten in the K21 - his height prevents him from fitting any other glider. Andrew started on a course about a year ago and was so taken by the whole experience that he continued with top ups and then joined the club earlier this year. Congratulations on his achievement.