Friday 28 December 2018

Winter Lectures 2019

If you are working towards Bronze or just want to brush up a bit, here is the 2019 programme of Winter Lectures, all at 10.00 in the briefing room.

Saturday 22 December 2018

Two more instructors

Congratulations to Phil Binnee and Nik von Merveldt on completing their Basic Instructor ratings.

Wednesday 19 December 2018

Another instructor rating

Congratulations to Jeremy Gilbey on completing his Basic Instructor rating today in glorious sunshine.

Sunday 16 December 2018

Another December solo

Cadet Basel Hammond took time out from his duty day today for his first solo, well done Basel.

Saturday 15 December 2018

December sunshine successes

Congratulations to Ed Skipsey (far left) who was sent solo by DCFI Steve Williams, and also to Stuart Whitehouse who completed his Basic Instructor Rating yesterday.

You can catch up with all of 2018's achievements, expeditions, comps and other activities in the latest newsletter, up on the website here.

Sunday 28 October 2018

Farewell to Scotland

Friday saw the arrival of the snow so there were alternative activities - one party went to the Grampian Transport museum in Alford, another group bravely circumnavigated Loch Muick in a blizzard.

Between snow showers
And then it was time to pack up and drive home. Many thanks to Deeside Gliding Club for welcoming us and for laying on some fantastic weather for us to fly in. We will be back next year!

Snow on Morven

Friday 26 October 2018

Thursday waving

Yesterday started a bit cloudy but then opened up into a beautiful westerly wave morning with proper wave bars. Richard and Frankie in 315 and Barry LTY got to 15,000ft or so, Jacek 318 and Ashley 319 also got to great (unspecified) heights. Rain stopped play after lunch so most people adjourned to the Black Faced Sheep for lunch morphing into afternoon tea. The evening saw the whole team assembled at the Boat for another excellent meal.

The view from the ground

Much better view from above

Spectacular lenticular

Those two lochs again

Wednesday 24 October 2018

Another good day for wave

Another good wave day. It was effectively a blue day in the local area, although we had a blanket of cloud at about 25,000 ft.  There were some clouds marking wave bars North of Strathdon (25k away). The local wave weakened for a while mid morning, but then re-energised with some good climbs. By late afternoon there was a steady 8 knots to 10,000 ft and more in the lee of Morvern.  Richard took 315 around the periphery of the Cairngorms, a 210k XC with William P and then again in the afternoon with Howard. Bob D (V66) flew to Glenfiddich to sniff the air, then to a few other local hotspots.  Jacek got an easy gold ht with a climb to 19,000 ft.  Others bimbled around the local area with climbs up to 20,000 Ft.  Oh yes, and Jane (118) got to FL 210 for an easy Diamond badge at her first attempt.

Wow, sunset pic from Jacek.
A blue day with no sun! Loch Muich and the Tay Estuary (Dundee) in the distance.

Spot the airfield.

Tuesday 23 October 2018


Yesterday the BBC forecast a bit of a breeze, which appears to be their word for hardly being able to stand up. The Met Office spot wind forecast had something like 95kts at 18,000ft. Anyway, there was wave, so there was flying. Howard gets the prize for endurance, spending 6.5 hours in the Pegase, and finally missing out on a Diamond height by 12 metres. David 314 climbed to 14,000ft, Ashley 319, Bob T4, Bob V66 and the KSM team John and Nick got up to around 18,000ft, Richard and Jacek in 315 made it to 20,000ft.

Lenticular viewed from KSM

315 topping out

Ashley's view of the sea

By the time the gliders were put to bed the wind had really picked up to quite a moderate breeze and a large crew was required to put the covers on KSM.

Hanging on tight
It was a lot more peaceful at ground level on the shores of Loch Kinord, normally viewed from above.

Nice wave bars
Today the breeze was even more moderate, and after a few flights - 315 was one of them, up to 18,000ft again and over to Braemar - flying was suspended for the day, 30kt gusts were making the circuit too exciting. After lunch in the Black Faced Sheep a group went to Ballater and climbed Craigendarroch, from which there are excellent views over the town and mountains.

Height gain 717ft

Saturday 20 October 2018

It's choppy on tow and windy in the circuit

Many of the week 1 participants have now made their way home as we move in to week 2 of what is proving to be a great expedition. Another great day of wave soaring at Aboyne, a repeat of yesterday with a weak front passing during the day to make life interesting. At one point it got quite windy on the ground. As we sat in the wave it was a little thought provoking to hear discussions on the radio about putting aircraft in the hangar to avoid them blowing away. Nevertheless, the wind was straight down the runway and not a problem.  Lots of really good fun flights.
Dave B and Jan (316) went for a climb to 14,000 at Corgarff Castle and then pushed further west. Howard J (318) also went out over the cloud to Corgarff and almost accidentally got a Gold Ht in the process, luckily he missed by a couple of metres and avoided the paperwork.  John H and Paul F had an adventurous flight taking the Duo (KSM) on a tour to Feshie and Easterton getting to 16,500 ft in the process.  Richard C and Chris R (315) got high and went West.  Jane M (13,500Ft - that tow was a bit bracing), Dave H, Bob D, Bob S (18,000Ft) stayed closer to home but all got above 10,000 ft.

18,000 Ft over the Lochs looking South. Nice wave gap.
Thursday. Loch Muick (rt) Lochnagar (ctr) Ballater (under wing tip) East coast in the distance.

Friday 19 October 2018

Rainbow Friday

Yesterday was a rest day - nil wind and a bit overcast so there was walking and tea shops and model flying. Today it paid to get up and get going into the magnificent sunrise. Jan and Dave got the covers off the Duo, and Dave launched with Howard. Maddi and Richard flew the K21 and by 8.30 both gliders were storming up to FL100 in 15kts of lift. The later launches didn't get quite such fast climbs but there was plenty of fun to be had up to 12,000ft or so before an occlusion arrived and it looked as though we would get rained out of the sky so the entire fleet landed for a cup of tea. After lunch the second wave launched for another go as the wave re-established. Howard's flight with Dave, over the hills and far away, was his first wave flight, he later flew the Peg and did it on his own. Another convert to wave soaring at Aboyne.

Start of another gliding day
30 mins later Jan and Dave were at FL100 
Passing Tomintoul

Eye to eye with an approaching occlusion
Circular rainbow

Airfield rainbow

Thursday 18 October 2018

I think you should know that the "somewhere else is over Dinnet" .  Glad you are all having fun.

Wednesday 17 October 2018

What day is it? Ah yes, Wednesday

So much flying! We had a fantastic lot of weather today, a nice westerly with no bumpy bits, lift all down the Dee Valley to Braemar and beyond. Here's the tally:

Luke (319) - second solo at Aboyne, 14,000ft
Max (318) - second solo at Aboyne, 10,000ft
David (314) - first solo at Aboyne, 10,000ft, could have gone higher but forgot to turn the oxygen on!
Bob (V66) - 11,000ft
Barry (LTY) - 7,500ft
Bob (T4) - 16,000ft, Feshie South, for his first 50k in wave!
Jane (118) - Glenshee car park, Linn of Dee, 11,000ft

And in the two seaters:
Simon in 315 with Dave went to Spittal of Glenshee, climbed to 12,000ft
Phil in 316 took Richard to Spittal of Glenshee - very bold in a K21!
John and Nick in KSM were having a very nice time up the Dee Valley when the local constabulary called at the club to ask who was 'circling over Balmoral'. What they were doing was making use of a wave bar at around 8,000ft but a new lot of royal protection officers had got a bit jumpy - must have very good binoculars! The local police were very apologetic at having been instructed to come and make enquiries.

Photo gallery from the day:
Beinn a'Buird - no, we don't know where it is either

Dubh Loch and Loch Muick

Over Glenshee - in a K21


Somewhere else

Gastronomy notes - apparently they are eating well at Birkellun. Here in Wisdomhowe we are taking a different approach.

Tuesday 16 October 2018

A southerly breeze.....

Another murky start with a very damp airmass so although there was wave there wasn't room for more than a couple of gliders in the gaps between the clouds. Richard and Maddi in the K21 made it to 15,000ft, they had with them our friend Glyn, for his last ever wave flight. After they landed, we all went to the river bank where Roy scattered Glyn's ashes at a place he loved.

After lunch the air dried out and pretty much everyone launched. Ace of the base was Chris in 318 who got to 18,000ft, but the other gliders posted respectable height gains, as well as trips up the valley to Balmoral and Crathie church. Here are some of the views we saw:

Richard and Maddi taking Glyn for his final wave flight

118 from 315

Interesting mushroom over Aboyne

Scotland somewhere

More clouds
Nick and John with KSM

The sun set in the East today - either that or Aberdeen is on fire

Monday 15 October 2018

The early bird catches the wave

The sun shone early this morning and there was enthusiasm for flying. Luke struck lucky flying with Richard in the K21, they launched early and managed to get into the wave and climb up to FL100 - Luke's first experience of wave flying. Max also flew in wave for the first time, in the Pegasus - he didn't climb but had a nice sightseeing flight over Morven. Dave and Jan in the Duo also contacted some weak wave.

Luke and Richard heading for 10,000ft

Later in the day the thermals got going and a Bob (V66) and Jane (118) had a very nice time going round in circles for a while.

Meanwhile, Jan, Maddie and Luke went off to explore local beauty spot Burn O'Vat....and there was quite a lot of fettling getting done in the trailer park. We are ready for tomorrow!

Maddie out on a limb

Sunday 14 October 2018

Booker goes to Scotland

It's the start of Booker's annual expedition to Aboyne - home of Deeside Gliding Club - with the aim of experiencing the best that wave flying can offer. Most people drove up yesterday, in the most appalling weather. The locals accused us of bringing the rain with us, but it only really started lashing down when we crossed the border so.....

Today the strong winds had died down to nothing, and although the day started grey it slowly brightened from the west into a gloriously sunny afternoon. The day was devoted to check flights, with Dave B in the K21 and Richard in the Duo working hard to introduce newcomers to the local area and circuit planning at a site which is quite different from Booker. Three people did a first Aboyne solo in the Pegasus - Maddi, Max and Luke - well done to them.

Dave strappiing in, helped by Phil, with Maddi showing her appreciation

The lochs looking a bit murky before the sun came out

Tomorrow there is a bit of wind forecast so we will be up early to take advantage.

Gastronomic notes: The Birkellun residents have hit the jackpot, as Hakan's partner Fiona has said she will cook for them all week. Tonight the menu was apparently roast pork. Watch this space!

Monday 1 October 2018


The Wardrobes were a bit low key after the wet weather postponement from last weekend, but there was fun to be had flying these beautiful machines. Here is a selection of pics:

Cadet MkIII

Hutter and half its 9.4m wingspan

Hutter instruments - it has all you need!

Nick buckling up in the T21

T21 with Pawnee

Meanwhile, up on the roof of the hangar, Mike Sinclair was risking life and limb removing entire ecosystems from the gutter - trees, grass, leaves. There's still plenty that needs removing if anyone else has a head for heights.