Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Ophelia has a bad influence on the Scottish wave

Storm Ophelia didn't bring much wind to NE Scotland so our trailers are still the right way up.
Having had a couple of weeks of stunning wave weather we now have lots of cloud, rain and the threat of Easterly winds; as Mr M Jagger once said; you can't always get what you want.
As any glider pilot knows, or soon finds out, the weather doesn't always play ball on expeditions, but the wait for the good weather is always worthwhile.
No flying for the last couple of days so we have been watching salmon jumping and visiting the transport museum.
We are hoping to take to the skies again tomorrow.

Saturday, 14 October 2017

Wave Bar still open

Still waving well in the Cairngorms. Today the wind was slightly south of west so we had wave in Glen Tanar as well as behind Morven. We also had the experience of launching into an easterly wind and then flying in westerly wave!  All the Booker pilots here on changeover day took a launch and climbed to between 10,000 and 15,000 ft. Week 2 starts tomorrow.

Looking along the Glen Tanar wave bar, working well from below 2500 ft. 

Friday, 13 October 2017

Windy but waving

Another westerly wind day on Friday, and in eastern Scotland that is a guarantee of wave. Sometimes the wind is a little too fierce though.  Wind at 10,000 ft was above 60 knots making climbs above that height tricky.  Dave and Terry Clements made it to 12,000 feet over Mount Keen in 315 and were the last to land. 
One of the fun parts of flying at Aboyne is landing on the narrow tarmac runways, the pic below shows the narrower north runway. The airfield now also has well mown flat grass either side of the runway, so plenty of room.

315 after landing (deliberately) short on Aboyne runway 27 north today.

12 October - Pete finds a new hair tonic

A very pleasant day at Booker. Lots of training going on. Well done Sam Husband, first flight in the Junior today, and Mike Sheppard doing plenty of solo circuits with an eye on the Junior.

Thanks to Andy Monk for spending a day teaching James, Clare and Martine, and to Steve for his enthusiasm for towing with the Robin.

Pete was painting his trailer with a very strange paint. It seems to have created an unusual crop of luxuriant hair. The bad news is, it has affected his memory - so where are the keys to my trailer then?

Pete proudly shows off his new hair 

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Another good day in the Cairngorms

Don Valley looking North from 19000 Ft
More wave flying for most of us today. Tricky again to get away later in the day, but most of us made an early start. Most got to heights from 12000 ft to 19000 ft. Climbing alongside some classic very beautiful lenticular clouds added to the enjoyment.

Mega stack of Lennies over the Don Valley

Oh dear, looks like Donald has pressed the big red button.

Booker welcomes a new flexi course starter - Max Norfolk

Another low cloud day with blustery winds.

Welcome to Max Norfolk who took to the skies for the first time today. Sporty conditions but fun,

Max is in Sales Management and races cars as his other interest.

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Relentless Wave

View towards Ballater under lowering cloud
A good day today with the classic smooth continuous 2 to 4 knot climbs from below 3000 ft right up to above 14000 ft. Bob S T4, Denis C 370, Jane M 118, John H HXH, Dave B & Nick H 315 all getting to Braemar and beyond, Chris R getting to Lochnagar at 10000 ft.  Climbing above 14000 Ft was tricky as the wind increased to 60 knots.  Loads of photos and gourmet updates to follow, but many of us are off for an early night with the possibility of very good conditions in the morning.
Loch Muick and Lochnagar

315 leaves Loch Davan En Route to Tomintoul

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Aboyne wave still working well

Congratulations to Mike Sheppard going solo in a proper flying machine. Meanwhile up in Scotland we also had a good day.  Air was a little unstable and the wave moved around a lot compared to a classic good day.  Those that launched early got away from Logie Coldstone just North of the lakes.
Notable flights for Dave in FI, Richard in 315, Denis in 370 and Jane in 118 all going cross country or getting above 16000 ft.  Those that launched late struggled to get away as the wave broke up low down. Some, including Simon Phelps in his ASW20 HUT, took a relight later in the day and had good wave flights.  Between us we had five gold heights, but only for pilots that already had gold!
Dinner - Birkelunn, Steak, Bread and Butter pud. Clearfield - Seafood Paella, Margherita ice cream.

Towards Montrose from 16'000 feet.

Loch Muick on the left and Lochnagar bottom right.

View from FI. Typical autumn Aboyne sky.
FI heading southwest.

Mike Sheppard goes solo at Booker

10 October and the main body of the club is at Aboyne in Scotland.

Meanwhile back at HQ, cloudbases about 1200 ft and the occasional spot of rain.

Steve stepped into the breach to ensure we have a tow pilot, and Mike braved the weather to bash out a few circuits. So it was solo for Mike today---well done.

 Steve clearing the rain from the wings before getting airborne.
  Mike getting ready to solo after completing his PPL conversion training.

Monday, 9 October 2017

Ten thousand feet over Loch Muick, it must be Aboyne

Week 1 of the Aboyne expedition has kicked off well with Sunday and Monday both producing wave. On Sunday we were stuck with a lot of 3500 ft cloud so climbs above that were possible but tricky. The skies cleared at lunchtime on Monday with 370 and 315 visiting Loch Muick, Linn of Dee and beyond.  All of the newbies have now had a wave flight with Simon Phelps experiencing an 8 knot average wave climb in 315. Most Booker pilots flew in wave to between 6000 and 10000  Ft, a couple having a rest day after the excitement of yesterday.   Terry and Dave took the last launch in 315, and despite a weak looking sky they got high enough to make it to Loch Muick at 6000 ft. Good weather ahead so check back for updates.
And for the all important culinary update that we know our readers find so informative.
Clearfield, last night  - Fish and chips, peas, tartar sauce, fruit cheesecake. Tonight, Spaghetti Puttanesca con Sardinas.
Birkelunn - Fancy Campbell Chilli last night. Tonight; Thai Red and Green Curry courtesy of the CFI.
Restaurant update; La Mangiatora in Ballater has re-opened as the Clachan Grill, fancy steak, but above the average gliding expedition pilot budget (eg dinner costs more than a 3000 ft aerotow).

Monday morning mist above the river Dee. Beats the rush hour view on the M4.

Above Logie Coldstone, Monday.

Terry and Dave take the last launch

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Aerobatics Course - Now taking bookings

A reminder that every Winter, Graham Saw runs aerobatics courses on the first Saturday of the month.  These courses are a great way to brush up your handling skills and increase your confidence.  Suitable for pilots with 5 to 5000 hours. You do not need to be solo as all training is in a two seater with a safety pilot.
The BOOKING LIST IS NOW OPEN so if you are interested in attending one, or more, of these days put your name on the list in the clubhouse, or contact the office.   Smoke not included.