Monday 20 October 2014

Aboyne finale

The weather gods finally got their act together on Saturday and blew a fine southerly, which started off quite rough but eventually settled down into an excellent wave system. Southerly wave produces added interest because the rotor sets up over the airfield, making circuits a bit character-forming, but our remaining pilots - Richard, William and Roland - were quite capable of dealing with this and spent a fantastic afternoon up at 18,000ft enjoying the cloudscapes and sunshine.

Aboyne and the Dee Valley

Getting high
After this excitement it was time to hitch up and head south after yet another successful Aboyne expedition.

You can take the boy out of Essex.......
 Many thanks to Richard Crockett for organising the trip and instructing throughout, also to Dave Byass and Graham Saw who did their fair share of instructing, and to the members who helped by towing club gliders up and back.  Next stop Talgarth.

One final airfield sunrise

Sunday 19 October 2014

Trailer Convoy

Watch this space for news of some great Southerly Wave and photos from the last day of the Aboyne expedition.
In the mean time a rather boring shot of vehicles lined up at the Southbound Tebay Service Area awaiting Jeremy Clarkson and Co for the next Top Gear Challenge.

Friday 17 October 2014

Comings and goings at Aboyne

It has to be said that the weather this week has not been ideal, but we are still having a good holiday, with a bit of gliding thrown in - and quite a lot of cake. New arrivals included Steve W and Roland, while Graham S left with KCZ and Capt Byass disappeared saying he had to go to work, while Chercher set off for Aberdeen and a flight to London.

Richard has been kept busy in 315 with Graham, although he did take time out to fly the model he broke on Day 1, now repaired with a new wing.

Waiting for the tug

Doing the walk round
Thursday was a bit damp, but Denis entertained us by wiring us up to demonstrate how stress stops the brain thinking and analysing - ever seen anyone coming in to land with the wheel brake going up and down? That'll be high workload preventing the pilot thinking 'hang on a minute, this isn't working, which lever is it?'

Last night involved an excellent dinner in Ballater cooked by Richard at the very smart house he's sharing with Steve and Roland, and a rather late night.

Chilli night

Thursday 16 October 2014

Duo Landing

An interesting view of 315 landing on runway 09 S at Aboyne; starring William Parker and Steve Williams.  

Sunday 12 October 2014

Aboyne week 2

The weather yesterday was ideal for circuits, and for exploring the local area.

Glen Tanar

Fishing lake
Today the sky looked good and did deliver some weak wave for the early birds, it then turned into an excellent thermal soaring day with off the clock thermals. Denis 370 went off up to Braemar and beyond, the rest had a good time slightly closer to the airfield.

315 is out there somewhere

Friday 10 October 2014

Aboyne Friday

The morning dawned bright and sunny, with promising looking clouds and a moon which had forgotten to set, however observant readers will note the almost complete lack of wind

Morning moon

Undeterred, the two-seaters were soon waiting to launch, and were soon exploring the weak wave left over from the previous evening.

Davy Crockett and his son Richard

Chercher determined to crack this business of landing
All out

The ground crew then took part in another team building exercise, helping Rolf, who was temporarily uncertain of the location of his trailer keys, to get at his glider. Various methods were attempted and the problem finally yielded to the use of a hacksaw.
Successful break in
After lunch in the sun it looked as though the thermals were setting up so there was a rush to rig, but the instability produced rain showers, so all that was achieved was very clean gliders.

The day ended as usual in the bar, followed by some entertaining model flying which was a bit difficult to capture in a photo, and a colourful sunset.

Thursday 9 October 2014

Some more Aboyne

Aboyne views
Spot the rabbit
Where's Wally
A nightcap perhaps?
Rolf's Goulash

Aboyne update

Tuesday was a bit wet, but this did not prevent the various members of the expedition enjoying the amenities of Deeside - the tyre menders, the barber, and of course the Black Faced Sheep in Aboyne where the cakes are irresistible, and the soup is pretty good too.

Wednesday looked unpromising at dawn but it turned into a gloriously sunny day, much too warm for winter clothing. There wasn't a lot of lift around but it was possible to stay up and enjoy the local area, and then as the front approached late in the afternoon some weak wave set up along the valley to Ballater. Graham S had his first experience of Aboyne, and of the Duo, and was heard to make complimentary remarks about plastic gliders, which may damage his credibility with the Vintage Gliding Club.

Who's checking whom?

Onto the runway


The Dee and Loch Kinord

Booker gliders being put to bed

Dinner at Birkelunn involved a Grand Marnier soufflé prepared by Chef Rolf.

'Just a little something I threw together yesterday...'

Tuesday 7 October 2014

Stormy Monday

The day started with a storm - lashing rain and trees bending. After a while the lights at Clearfield (the alternative to Birkelunn) started flickering and then went out, so we went down to the airfield to see if the trailers were still the right way up, and then to Ballater to buy candles. After a visit to Sycamore Cottage to see Phil and Rob we had an extended lunch at The Bothy - recommended - and then home to light the fire. Credit is due to the electricity company for fixing the power so quickly, it was a filthy day to be out tying wires together.

Rumour has it that the Birkelunn crew went to visit a distillery where spirits were imbibed.

The day ended more calmly than it began with the sun peeking through up the Dee Valley. Dinner involved traditional Scottish macaroni pies, which were surprisingly good - and will keep the cold out for some time. As Rolf was in charge at Birkelunn there will probably be more pictures of gourmet food in due course.

Clearfield sunset

Monday 6 October 2014

Aboyne sights


Inverness airport and the Black Isle

A light supper

Graham's signature dish

Booker goes to Aboyne

The Booker Gliding Club annual expedition to Deeside Gliding Club in Aboyne is now underway, with about 20 members assembled to enjoy flying, food and all the other entertainments that this beautiful area has to offer. Most of the group drove up on Saturday, through some filthy weather, but those who decided to believe the road mending gang that the A93 was passable enjoyed glorious sunshine over Glenshee.

KCZ en route

 Sunday was beset with the usual teething problems of flat tyres and missing waypoints. Rolf declared that he should have stayed in bed as he found that his glider was jammed into the trailer because of a collapsed belly dolly, his oxygen kit didn't work, and finally he lost his car key. This series of misfortunes was finally remedied when a fingertip search of the landing area located the keys (well spotted Phil).

The gentle southerly produced excellent wave, easy to get into from about 2500ft and topping out at around 12,500ft, with good climb rates. Denis went on an expedition to Inverness and Loch Ness, squeaking home through the gathering gloom, most people stayed local-ish.

Somewhere over Deeside

Somewhere else over Deeside
The day ended with a team building exercise involving 'Getting 318 into its trailer using only the tools available'. As each new person arrived on a scene a variety of methods was attempted. The problem was finally solved with the use of some pieces of Rolf's kitchen floor which for reasons unexplained he carries around in his car. This was of course rather outside the parameters of the exercise, as was Bob S's laconic suggestion, when he turned up after all the struggle, that what we needed was a shovel, to level the ground.

The problem
The solution
The CFI appeared unimpressed with the outcome of the exercise, which was filmed in its entirety by Geoff T and may well be used as a teaching aid on the next management course you get sent on.

Feedback session

The day ended with a traditional Aboyne sunset followed by traditional beers and whisky in the clubhouse, accompanied by an excellent cheesecake made by Phil's wife - delicious.

Today it is blowing a gale and raining hard.........