Sunday 30 April 2017

New gear

Setting out the launch point and hangar packing was made easier yesterday with the introduction of tow out gear for the K21s. It will also be useful for expeditions to sites where there is a long walk back to the other end of the runway.

Steve pondering the weather

Thursday 20 April 2017

Easter Tuesday

This is why I love flying in the Spring...

Climbing near Didcot

Tuesday 18 April 2017

50k success

Phil Binnee took advantage of the strong thermals today to fly Enstone for his Silver Distance (50km). He did have the advantage of flying an LS8 (we might have to send him off in a Junior to do it again) but he had to deal with dodgy batteries which put paid to his nav equipment, so he had to resort to actual map reading, a lost art.

Congratulations Phil!

Back in the trailer park

Saturday 15 April 2017

Jane out-manoeuvres the men, again.

A great end to the instructor week, more feedback on that to follow in a future post.  A good day for the increasingly popular Easter Egg Cup Aerobatic competition. All ten competitors flew, with most electing to complete the Standard pattern.  Dave H went for the more advanced Cor Blimey sequence.
Many pilots had not done any more than a loop before the weekend, but thanks to some excellent coaching, and safety pilots, everyone posted a good score.
The top three were - 
1st  - 83.7% -  Jane Moore.
2nd - 78.7% - Rob Kehr
3rd  - 78.1% - Chris Collett

For those that can speak Aresti, the sequence diagrams are shown below. See Mr Saw for a full translation.

A heated debate took place at prize-giving about who was the best aerobatic coach, perhaps next year there will also be a prize for best team coach.  
Jane won for the second year running; many were heard muttering about how many years one person can win before moving up in to the Cor Blimey class.

Thanks as always to Graham Saw for organising the event, and to Charles Baker from Lasham for scoring. 

Club Chairman William Parker presents Jane Moore with the Easter Egg Aerobatics Trophy.
Looks like he is keeping hold of that Easter Egg though!
In other news - 315 flew two XC tasks in one day - including first landout of the year at Bicester. 

Thursday 13 April 2017

No course or expedition is complete without a food entry

The instructors week meeting at the Grouse and Ale. Great middle to the week's events and still 3 more days to go. The week has already generated about 150 launches and 10 hours in the motor glider.

Wednesday 12 April 2017

Our new seasonal tug pilot getting to grips with towing

Adam Ropka has joined us for the season as our tug pilot. He his currently being trained but will be about and ready to tow you soon. Please say hello and make him welcome

Briefing for day 3 of the instructors week

Using the swanky new interactive whiteboard  (no pens allowed!)

Wednesday 5 April 2017

Evening groups up and running

Hurrah - the evening groups have begun again!

In a blaze of determination brought about by lack of flying we managed to fit the following activities into a couple of hours on Tuesday evening:

  • Jump in the glider for a take off on 24 - wind at 90 degrees to take-off.
  • Receive instruction to change runway to 06 from the tower.
  • Strap most of the launch point to the buggy and race across the field before the tug lands.
  • Sneak in some more flights vaguely in the direction of 06 - wind still at 90 degrees to take off.
  • The evening tuggy, then rushed from cockpit to lectern to deliver a fascinating talk on mountain flying.
If field selection in flat lands causes dread, reading the instructions for emergency landing fields in the Alps is not for the feint of heart: My recollection of one such landing field is as follows:

"Fly over the first electrical wire, but under the second. With 18m wings, sideslip a lot to fit between the trees, then land on the first rock at no more than 60 knots, so that you only have a glancing blow on the second boulder at 45 knots... and do not land long: The lake at the end has piranhas with a taste for dehydrated glider pilots. Successful landings usually require retrieval by helicopter. Ratio of successful to unsuccessful lands so far is... "

I exaggerate for effect of course...

Then we dreamed of having the skill and nerve to soar amongst the magnificent peaks - whilst making "friends" with the chef at the pub, by ordering eight meals two minutes before his home time.


Talk about squeezing a lot into a short amount of time.