Tuesday 15 December 2015

Monday 14 December 2015

Saturday 12 December 2015

Junior Worlds - final results

Our boys did well, with the British team securing Gold and Bronze in the Club Class. Mike Gatfield, who started his gliding career as a cadet at Booker, came a very creditable 15th in the Standard Class.

Well done to all the team and their crews.

Wednesday 9 December 2015

Junior World Championships

I hope you are following our boys at the Junior Worlds.

They are doing really well in both classes and having a great time. Despite iffy weather Mike Gatfield flew 245k today at 112KPH and still only came 22nd! Overall 14th.

Results are also on soaringspot.com


Sunday 6 December 2015

December Newsletter

Just out, and full of interesting stuff.........

Click here to read it
Click here to read it

Monday 23 November 2015

Clouds and storms

Here's a great video of cloud and storm development for all you weather-watchers


Link: AZ Monsoon 2015

Sunday 1 November 2015

Foggy Sunday

The cloud followed the Thames
The fog which shrouded the Thames valley lifted just enough at Booker to encourage us to launch late morning.

Fully expecting to lift into pea-soup viz, and having briefed Lucas the tuggy to keep us up sun and close to the airfield, we then emerged into gin clear air with fingers of mist lying in the valleys.

Good viz to the North
On to four grand where the view was stunning, but just keeping an eye on the mist to the south-east of the field. 

Didcot smoking in the mist

Just as well as Handy Cross disappeared, then John Lewis and Marlow Bottom - you could see the mist marching across the fields. 

Booker in  the clear
An excellently timed high key and downwind saw the dump slowly disappearing.

Safely down to watch the mist roll onto the field from the 35 threshold and that was that for the day.

Friday 16 October 2015

Sunny Aboyne

Yesterday provided more warm sunshine for local soaring but unfortunately no wind. However, it was ideal for Phil B to do his first Aboyne solo, getting neatly to the end of runway 09 in 319. It was also ideal for a bit of photography.

Fine view of the airfield

Dee Valley with heather burning

Polo mint in the sky
Later the models came out for more experiments with cameras. This provided documentary evidence of an airprox between a Cub and a WOT 4.

Look out!


Tuesday 13 October 2015

Site checks and model flying

A lovely day in Scotland but no wind.  More site checks in the Duo. Plenty of tea drinking and sitting in the warm sun watching the flying.  In true Booker expedition style, once the gliding finished the model aircraft came out. Glyn demonstrated the new Wot 4. A few had a go at flying the Cub by watching the pictures transmitted from the camera mounted on the nose; it is still in one piece.  Check out the video.

Monday 12 October 2015

Wave Flying

Some entertaining North Westerly wave today.  Dave and Graham (315) started off in the wave around 08:30 (i'm not really sure of the exact time as I was still in the cottage putting on my washing). Denis and Geoff got well above 10,000 Ft, but most of us tootled between Cambus O'May and Ballater to heights of around 6,000 Ft.  Very moist air meant occasional showers to dodge and gaps that kept closing, but that added to the fun.  Many more wave flights for the new arrivals with the last 315 landing at sunset.
Many Booker pilots in Scotland now, so probably time for a roll call; most of us flew today. Terry C, Glyn R, Bob D, Bob S, Roland W, Nick H, Nick J, Jane M, Jane & John W, Dave B, Richard C, Boris B, Ed D, Phil B, John H, Denis C, Geoff T.
A group curry this evening at the Lochnagar Restaurant to round off the day.

Typical view of the cloudy gap over Kinord and Davan Lakes today.
This is where the wave was today. Pic from 315 taken directly above Cambus O'May towards airfield.

Sunday 11 October 2015

Aberdeenshire entertainments

The weather this morning was indifferent so one contingent set off via Banchory down a very scenic road to Stonehaven, which is usually the place you drive through on the way to Aboyne. It's worth stopping for a look around. Apart from being the birthplace of Robert William Thomson, inventor of the pneumatic tyre (who knew?), it is also  the birthplace of a famous Scottish delicacy.

No comment
However, the object of the exercise was Dunottar Castle, reached by a 2 mile walk along the cliffs past curving bays of black sand. Perched on the cliff edge, it's a spectacular site and well worth a visit.

Stonehaven harbour
Nice for paddling......

Dunottar Castle
The wind had got up by the time we walked back, it was a bit chilly and we'd missed lunch, so the Harbour Hut cafe was a great find, excellent cake, very reasonable prices and friendly service.

The forecast looks more promising for flying tomorrow,

Friday 9 October 2015


The clear sky last night guaranteed frost this morning and a bit of car scraping, but the early morning mist in the valleys and the frost on the heather was lovely.

Early morning airfield
We had to wait a bit for the mist to clear, and we could have done with a tad more wind, but there was undoubtedly wave, though the windshear made it a bit more interesting than usual, and with every glider launched it required close attention to look out.

Lochs Kinord and Davan


Various dinner options were discussed - one contingent went to the Boat, one on a fish, chips and mushy peas expedition and the third heading for the Co-op's ready made curry section.

We have also received in the post an oximeter from Nick Newton who knows about these things, so tomorrow we will be practising not breathing, to see if we can replicate high altitude flying.

Thursday 8 October 2015

Sunshine in Aboyne

Last night the sky cleared and there was talk of the aurora borealis being visible from the UK. Most of us went to bed, but Bob happened to be up in the small hours and took some pics of strange lights in the sky.
Orange aurora

Green version
This morning we were up with the lark and soon rigged and ready to go. Unfortunately the wind wasn't quite strong enough to provide more than a bit of elusive weak wave but there were plenty of thermals and some excellent views.
Waiting to join the launch queue
The two lochs

Graham (C6) did his first solo at Aboyne in his own glider - well done Graham. The turbo gang - Richard (FI), Geoff (GA) and Denis (370) went to Tomintoul and the Lecht - so nice to have the reassurance of an engine - and then set off over the high ground towards Braemar. They made it over the high stuff, arriving in Braemar low enough to have a good look at the castle and other local sights. Denis and Richard fired up their engines, but Geoff had to land in a nice field by the river when his failed to start. He was soon safely back at Aboyne thanks to an efficient retrieve by Richard and Nick.

Post flying entertainment was provided by Glyn with his Radian model which soared effortlessly in the convergence over the airfield. Bob tested the new installation on his Cub, a camera providing a pilot's eye view of the flight transmitted to a laptop. Presumably he's training for a second career in drone flying.
What was that about minimising drag?

Wednesday 7 October 2015

Aboyne delights

Our welcome to Deeside was as warm as ever and indeed Sunday's weather was also pleasantly warm with excellent thermals so we had some very good soaring over the local area with check rides for some. William (LC) had a less good day as he discovered a flat main wheel. Further investigation over the next couple of days produced more complications, not much fun when it involves lying under the glider in wet grass. However, today the combined might of BGC fixed the problem ready for the good weather we are promised for tomorrow.

The usual suspects

Laying on of hands
Dinner this evening at Clearfield was roast beef and Yorkshire pudding.

Jane's grandma's recipe
The meal deal

At Birkelunn they are probably missing Rolf's expertise in the dessert department but we understand that they are dining well.

Tuesday 6 October 2015

Nick's Birthday Celebrated in Aboyne

Take a deep breath Nick, that's quite a lot of candles!
Happy birthday to Nick Hoare! The annual Booker expedition to Aboyne gets underway with a birthday celebration.

Sunday 13 September 2015

Henley Show 2015

The sim had its first public outing yesterday, resplendent with its new graphics, when the Marketing Team went to the Henley Show. We also took the Junior, so we had plenty to attract interest from visitors. The team was kept busy all day with queues of small children wanting to sit in the glider and older ones trying their hand at thermalling and aerobatting over the Scottish highlands in the sim.
Putting the finishing touches to the display on Friday evening
Lots of visitors

Chris getting into the 'country' vibe

We are confident that the visibility given to gliding and Booker will generate interest and sales in the future. Many thanks to:
Chris Collett, Robin Willgoss, Bob Smith, Hugh MacDonald, Hedda Coture, Terry Clements, Hugh MacDonald and David Humphreys for a long Friday evening setting it all up and for an even longer Saturday on the stand. Also to Robin's wife for supplies of cakes and Roger Harris and Symeon Economou for getting the Junior derigged and ready to tow.

Friday 11 September 2015

School Trip

After a successful visit last year, we were invited back to Oak Green School in Aylesbury this week to talk about gliding and show them one of our gliders. The afternoon consisted of two presentations to the pupils and then a walk round 319. As well as hopefully inspiring some future Booker Members the school have kindly donated £250 towards the cadet glider fund.

Thanks to George for coming along to help.

319 on the playing field

Sunday 6 September 2015

Unexpected sunshine

The day started full of promise and quite a few people set tasks and rigged and hurled themselves at the sky. It didn't turn out quite as planned but most people had a good time even if they didn't achieve their tasks.

Meanwhile, there was plenty going on around the clubhouse. Rob Turner and his son Harry spent the day dismantling the gang mower he has bought (on ebay, where else?). The main achievements were to get the engine running and the wheels turning, but unfortunately not at the same time, and it had to be towed round to the hangar for a pressure wash. A bit more work though and it'll be cutting a swathe through the trailer park.

Test run - with plenty of advice on hand

Back to the drawing board
Round the other side of the clubhouse, Chris and Hedda were hard at work applying graphics to the sim trailer, which we will be taking to the Henley Show next Saturday (12th Sept) along with the Junior. The trailer can't fail to attract attention, and we hope to have a full program of customers for the sim.

'Are you sure that's straight?'

Sunday 30 August 2015

Juniors Final Result

Well done Stefan Astley who won the Juniors with 1959 points over 3 days. Our George came 23rd with 1024 despite two land outs. A superb top half finish in his first big competition. Pity the weather didn't play.

Friday 28 August 2015

Juniors Day 3

Gosh, well done George. 310k on a very difficult day. One of only 16 to complete the task today. Now lying 24th overall with possibly another day to go.

Here's George on Day 1 contemplating the task ahead (pic shamelessly pinched from Cotswold GC website).

Thursday 27 August 2015

Juniors Day 2

George did a great bit of street running today making around the first turn in the corner of the sector and back as far as Stow on the Wold. A good effort.

Look on comp.glidertracking.co.uk and click on 319 for his trace. No scores as I write.


Saturday 22 August 2015

Juniors Day 1

Tricky day with three distinct air masses. Blue to the S, raining to the W and towering cu to the NE. The task was NE. George did a brilliant job staying up before the start then getting back into the zone for a start at a decent height.

Unfortunately, like others, he glid from there around the first turn at Andoversford to a good field just beyond. Not first, but not last by a long straw. Only 5 got round.

More when the scores are in.

Thursday 20 August 2015

George at Junior Nationals

Our star cadet George is competing in the Junior Nationals which starts on Saturday at Aston Down. He is in a huge field of over 50 pilots taking part. I am sure that everyone wishes him great success in his first Nationals competition.

He has crew arranged on both weekends (his dad) and members of the club throughout the week: Glyn on Mon, Tue, Wed, Richard on Thursday, and Steve Williams on Friday. Extra help may be necessary at short notice so keep your ear to the ground please. I will be going down on Saturday to hopefully get him off to a good start.

Best of luck George.

Saturday 1 August 2015

I do like to be beside the seaside.....

Great fun on Thursday. It looked a bit overcast at Booker but improved to the south west with climbs of 8 to 10 knots to 6000ft later in the day. Conditions were best at the coast with a tempting convergence out to sea
Devon Coast - Approaching Budleigh Salterton

Out to sea, following the convergence towards Weymouth

Sunday 26 July 2015

Friends Gliding Evening

Last Tuesday evening saw a group of Dave Humphreys's friends finally (at the 3rd attempt!) get to try out gliding.

Neil getting prepared

Christina (the helicopter pilot) looking forward to her first glider flight.

Elisa about to fly with Graham.

Hugh looking relaxed before his flight.

Highlight of the evening was Trish insisting that Graham showed her some aerobatics. Her hands were still shaking with adrenaline 5 minutes after she had landed!

Trish mid loop.

I think she enjoyed it!

A fantastic evening was rounded off at the Grouse & Ale. Many thanks to Chris and Graham for flying with everyone.

I thoroughly recommend members to bring up friends to fly. It's a great way of spending an evening (and also good for the club finances of course!)