Thursday, 31 March 2016

Shobdon latest

Just popped over to Shobdon to see how they were getting on. Fantastic weather in that part of the country with cloudbase around 5500'.  It is amazing what they can train dogs to do these days. Listening on the radio I heard the controller sending poor old Rover out to retrieve glider after glider. He seemed to be doing OK until it was noticed he left one of the gliders with the wing-tip infringing the undershoot area of the grass runway by at least 12" (see photo). Something about old dogs and new tricks. Perhaps better stick to the buggies at Booker.

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Nice Day in Booker

We had a busy day's flying at Booker.

The cupboard was very bare when we threw open the doors to the hangar, "Where are all the gliders!". But things improved immeasurably when we were joined on the taxiway by the spitfire. It had come out of hibernation for an engine run on the taxiway.

What a cracking start to any flying day - from that point on I insisted we sung Jerusalem before every flight...

The day wasn't as 'epic' as some forecasts, but there was lift to be had for the sporting, and judging by the BGA ladder - some intrepid souls in impressive machines teased fine journeys out of a mixed bag of weather conditions.

I'm writing this at home, knackered, slightly pink from sunshine, and very satisfied.

More please.

Shobdon update

After a fun week at Talgarth, courtesy of the Black Mountains Gliding Club, the Booker Spring Expedition has moved to Shobdon, home of Herefordshire Gliding Club. After a rather windy Easter weekend they appear to be having a lot of fun, and getting first had experience of tows from a Eurofox.

The local style of weak link

Hmmm that looks a bit small

Nice looking sky

Some of the gang

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Talgarth update

Not a lot of wind yesterday and today but nevertheless we flew, both real gliders and models. Today the views were less than ideal as the vis was pretty bad but the ridge was working nicely all the way up to Hay Bluff. Capt Field took the opportunity to add a type rating - Lightning, A380, T21 - and then had another go in 319, after which he was completely frozen but still grinning.

In the right hand seat for a change

After the toys were safely away the sky cleared to the west providing another pretty sunset.

Jim says he's going to a open mike event tonight, we await news of how his performance is received.

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Monday ridge bashing

A great day on Monday with the big westerly ridge working all the way to Hay Bluff. There were some soft spots, but J1M clocked up quite a few Kms above 70 knots.  If you worked the hotspots you could get to 2,500 feet but that wasn't where the most fun was.  The K21 carried out lots of ridge familiarisation flights and went to Hay Bluff on every flight, a great experience for those that hadn't flown on a ridge before.
Golf update; Vardigans 1 - 0 White.
Dinner update- Walnut Tree Cottage; Roast Beef dinner courtesy of J1M. Llangorse Cottage; ham, egg, chips, tomato, mushrooms, peas, brown sauce.
Spot KCZ. It is there somewhere. (Click the pic to make it bigger)

Another late afternoon view of Llangorse Lake.

Sunday, 20 March 2016

More gliding and some model flying

Check flights finished off today. After a dull start we have an evening of clear blue skies, Glyn is out flying his hangar of model aircraft. Today there was plenty of local thermal soaring, a little ridge, and Chris C had the wave climb of the day getting well above 4000 feet. We are trying to arrange for more pics of the food, but meanwhile here are a couple of gliding shots.

The ridge still looks the same.  Some of the scenery looks a little older.

Chris C circling above Mynydd Troed

ChrisC in K31 above Llangorse Lake

Welsh check flights and Scotch Eggs

First day of the 2016 Talgarth-Shobdon expedition went well, with lots of check flights keeping the CFI busy in KCZ.  Mynydd Troed ridge was working well along its length, but we were trapped below a cloudbase that gradually rose to 1,800 with Bob Sinden climbing 20,000 ft in wave ... oh no, apparently it was 2,000 feet. We retired to the legendary Honey Cafe for Welsh cakes, bara brith and  cream scones. The influence of the hills on the clouds could be seen as we retired back to our cottages for dinner.  Dinner ranged from Takeaway Cod and Chips from The Castle hotel, to fine dining at Foyles Restaurant - Scotch Eggs were a popular starter.

The clouds mirror the shape of the Welsh ridges at Talgath

Sunday, 13 March 2016

More Check Flights

The best day of the weekend, the weather perked up nicely and ended clear and cold with thermals still working as the sun set. The airfield is drying out nicely and it's great to see people coming back for check flights after the winter break; getting back up to speed for the new season. The days are getting longer, but still not quite long enough.

No time for another. Mike R discusses the finer points of hangar landing with Adam A.

Sunday, 6 March 2016

Park the Tupperware, get out the Plywood

Today we were privileged to witness one of the most entertaining, inspirational and informative lectures that has ever been seen at Booker. Whilst offering a thought provoking message about the future of gliding throughout Europe, we were also reminded why it is that we take part in this wonderful sport. If Vintage Glider Club membership forms had been available the majority of the audience would have signed up on the spot. Is there more to gliding than Tupperware and Turnpoints, I'm not sure whether any of us are really sure any more.  With people like Jan Forster involved, gliding is bound to remain fun for quite some time to come.
Don't ask, you had to be there. The lecture did have its serious moments.

Friday, 4 March 2016

Spring Thermals

The weather forecasters tell us it is Spring, but it still felt like winter today. A few hardy souls took to the air. 949 and RM rigged and had a great time, Bicester and Didcot were visited, and HNK soared until the pilots feet told them it was time to land. Sleet and snow moved in to bring an end to the day, but it was nice to know that the thermals are on the way back.

Graham nails a 6Kt climb as the snow showers move in.