Saturday, 28 May 2016

.. and at the other end of the field ..

A steady stream of trial lessons and a few club members braved the murky sky, to be rewarded with a rather pleasant day and some decent thermals in the afternoon.  Lots of bugs, though, who seemed to find the gliders and the inside of the cockpits their preferred hangout for the day.

Webcam working well from 06. Are we waving or swatting flies?

One man went to mow

It's like magic. The grass in the trailer park takes on the aspect of a summer meadow - buttercups, pink clover daisies, all very pretty - and then someone cuts it. Who could that be? The Mower Meister is in fact Rob Turner, who has a fine selection of mowers and strimmers for those who are at a bit of a loose end on a no-fly day. Here's part of today's effort.


Thursday, 26 May 2016

Fawley Hill steam extravaganza

Over the weekend of 20-22 May we were lucky enough to be at Fawley Hill Steam Extravaganza, thanks to an invitation from Lady McAlpine who organised the event to celebrate her husband Sir William McAlpine's 80th birthday.

We had an interesting position next to the merry-go-round and the station, so we had a grandstand view of the steam train making its regular trips down the hill laden with passengers, and then struggling back up - on occasion having to go back down and take another run at it.

We took the sim and the Junior (in its current cabriolet configuration) and had plenty of visitors, many of whom enjoyed sessions flying around the mountains in New Zealand.

Cabriolet Junior

The sim proved popular
The club members who came along took time out to look around the show with its many attractions - engines, cars, tractors, buses, camels, a unicorn (honest) as well as sampling Somerset cider and Gurkha curry. The only fly in the ointment was the downpour on Sunday afternoon just as we were thinking of packing up, so we got back to Booker very wet and muddy.

More traction engines than you could shake a stick at

We should have brought Mavis

New buggy?

Camels. Why not?
Many thanks to all those who helped out, in particular to Bob Smith who towed the sim trailer there and back, and to Robin Willgoss for tech support on the sim. Also to: Bob Davey, Chris Rowland, Chris Arnold, Julian Saakwa-Mante, David Fogden, Terry Clements, Chris Collett, Hedda Couture, David Humphreys, Symeon Economou, Bob Sinden - and Robert Turner, whose loan of a gazebo saved us from drowning.

Richard digging into his cow

View from the restaurant

Ashley in 944

The chairman in his Discus

Duo climbing out to a promising sky

Hold on it's going to be a bumpy ride

Schwenningen museum

Schwenningen aircraft museum

Klippeneck 2016

After the somewhat epic day we had 2 days of heavy rain. Various trips were made to local museums or points of interest in the area. The Zeppelin museum at Friedrichsaven proved popular as did the more local aircraft museum at Schwenningen. Tuesday night was concluded with Karting. The timetable for this meant a period of racing before going for a Indian meal and then back for more racing. Unlike gliding where adding ballast increases speed a chickin jalfresai doesnt help with lap times.
On Wednesday normal service was resumed with clear skies and forcast cloudbase of around 6/7000ft.
There was some wave influence around which most pilots found broke the thermals and made it generally hard work but Graham in the Petrel contacted the wave of and was happy to climb to 10,000ft. The evening concluded with a good meal in the restaurant overlooking the scenic area below Klippeneck. Photos to follow 

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

One of the hazards on the airfield - especially when cleaning

They keep the grass nice and short but their by-products stick to the underneath of the glider like sh!& to a hairy blanket.
Booker expedition members cleaning the kit after flying and leaving it pristine ready for the next days flying  (as should always happen wherever the glider is!)

John H at 9000ft in KCZ

Day 8 - nearing Switzerland at Lake Konstanz

Day 8 - 315 doing 120kts to not go into the cloud

Day 8 - 315 under monster cloud

Monday, 23 May 2016

Klippeneck 2016 - day 8

Another interesting day forecast - starting blue with cumulus later in the day with an approaching cold front and a risk of thunderstorms and showers. With this in mind a modest 140k task was set. The K21 was kept busy with training flights but with a reluctance to be the first off in the blue, John with V66 pulled off line not to retire but to push over to the winch where he was fired off and then had no problems soaring.
Denis set off with 370 and after flying the task then set off further into the Black Forest area and got up towards Baden Baden before heading home. Richard and Paul set off in the Duo initially to fly the task but decided to extend beyond the set task and flew NE out towards Ulm before headind NW (around the Stuttgart zone) towards Baden Baden the south towards Lake Konstanz and home for 260k. Along the way they encountered some extremely strong lift under developing storms and only stopped climbing when they got to 120kts.
The day didn't finish until around 19:30 when everyone set off for schnitzel and well earned beers.

John and Paul in 315

Ed in 319 - happy at 8000ft

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Klippeneck 2016

Klippeneck 2016

Looking south to Swiss Alps

Klippeneck 2016 - day 7

A hot blue day with thermals forecast to 7000ft and some cumulus later in the day. 
Before breakfast was over we had a flypast by an old Junkers Tri-motor - it flys so slowly we all had the chance to get out to see it.
The launch point was busy with locals outnumbering the Booker fleet for the first time. The Klippeneck club had a local open day event going on and their winch was kept busy with big 2 seaters going up at crazy angles. 
Most of the flying was in the local area but with climbs in the blue up to 8000ft later in the day, the "local area" was quite large. Off to the south the Swiss Alps were clearly visible.
Lots of sunny faces at the end of the day with the hangar doors only being shut at 19:30.

Pictures of activities around the airfield, Ed at 8000ft in 319, Paul and John in 315

Saturday, 21 May 2016

Trailer park at the end of the day - space no problem

And these are only the Booker trailers and gliders

one of the many interesting aircraft flying here

Duo climbing on task to Geiseng

Lovely scenery - impressive castle about 30k to the east


Klippeneck 2016 - day 6

A good forecast brought out a lot of locals as well as the Booker expedition team. Cloud base forecast to be 6000 rising to 7000 amsl (with Klippeneck being 3200 amsl) resulted in Richard setting a 180 k task. Clearly there is a lot of competition amongst the pilots here as there is much post flight debate about speeds and looking at traces and then lots of comments about barrel sizes and whether they are fair or not (but all in good humour) but everyone seems to agree that the handicap task system is a good thing.
More members are starting to arrive in readyness for week two, all getting very busy her.
A few more pictures to follow showing activities from the day.

Friday, 20 May 2016

No time to stop for lunch

Klippeneck area

Gridding up

Formula 1 will never be the same again

All looking on with envy at the Ventus 3 prototype

Simon trying out a Ventus 3 for size

Klippeneck 2016 - day 5

A typical Booker scene just transferred to Klippeneck. 4 members look on whilst 1 person does the work. Forecast for the day was for a frontal system to go through becoming a bright and pleasant evening. With that a decision was made to do a bit of sightseeing. Others posts will detail.

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Post 1000k discussion

A great days flying by all with several out and returns to Ulm by V66, Y2, HA, KL, 315 (Ed & Zeljko) 200k
Dave CB made it to Ulm in 319 but landed out at Albstad on the way back but arranged an aerotow locally.
KCZ flew to Schenkligen and back for 167k (Vic and Doug).
So overall well in excess of 1000k so a bit of licence with the subject line and finished off with a grand meal in an Italian restaurant.

Wednesday, 18 May 2016