Sunday 30 June 2019

Booker playing away

This weekend Wycombe Air Park was taken over by Armed Forces Day but Bicester very kindly offered us hospitality. Saturday was hot enough to melt fibreglass but today four of our members braved the wind and wave for some enjoyable flying. The task was Ely-Bottesford-BC1. Denis got round, Steve and Nils nearly made it, and Hakan had a good time more locally.

Getting ready under a rather messy sky

A happy gang of four
We will be back to normal ops this week - until the Regionals start on 13th July.

Friday 21 June 2019

Klippeneck 2019 - Day 13

So we come to the final day (summer solstice)  for the Klippeneck 2019 expedition.  We have flown every single day we have been here and amassed a lot of airborne hours and kilometres flown.

The forecast was similar to yesterday but with a little less chance of the very heavy storms early in the day. The Duo Discus, K21, 944, NVM and HA all flew before the forecast rain and good flights were had by all.

315 needed a bit of TLC before it could fly due to a punctured tail wheel but this was soon fixed and took to the skies.

The usual ratio of watchers to workers for Booker

Iain on aerotow in 316

Ashley landing in time to derig before the rain

Everyone planned to land in sufficient time to derig before the rain and with the exception of 316 this was achieved.
The rush to derig

As seems to be tradition, a final meal was had at the "halfway house" and the concensus of all concerned was that it has been a another great success.
Happy aviators enjoying a great sunset

Thanks must go to Richard for organising the expedition and making it such fun and to the members of Klippeneck gliding clubs who have hosted us and made the flying possible. It wouldn't happen without their support. Bring on the 2020 summer expedition.

Kit all packed ready for the journey home

Klippeneck 2019 - Day 12

The run of great weather had to end eventually and overnight there had been very heavy rain and the forecast for today suggested large development of thunderstorms from midday onwards.

The cloud base was about 1,800ft above site so a plan was made for some launching before the rain arrived.

316 going up the wire

The wise sages discussing the finer points of winching

Ashley shortly after his winch launch
Dinner was an early affair and a plan was hatched by some to for some Go Karting setting off at 9 pm.

As expected Richard won (again)
An early picture of Mr Crockett karting

Klippeneck 2019 - Day 11

Another cracking day flying (and cracking sounds from the sky).
Meeting the locals
The day started hot and blue and a good forecast with the best area to the east on the Alb and the "small" risk of showers later in the day.
Gridding up

K21 on tow in the distance

These turned out to be quite big thunderstorms to the north and spreading east from the site creating a bit of a barrier for the intrepid cross country pilots who had gone east first.
One of the heavy showers
There were occassional lightning strikes from these showers which were definately to be avoided.

Everyone got back which required some skillful flying to stay up in some of the dead air behind the storms whilst also avoiding the restricted airspace to the east.

Noteable flights by Denis, Jeremy, Ashley and Steve doing 410k, 278k, 216k, 231k respectively.
Graham's Petrel always higher than everyone else
Harald looking cool at 8,000ft

And later, Harald - Landung lange zwei drei
Klippeneck itself stayed dry and gliders were derigged in fabulous sunshine.

The skies produced some interesting cloud formations and descriptions of what the pilots could see - see if you can see them too and restore their sanity (it had been a long hot dehydrating day!).
Richard's Poodle

Jeremy's Dragon
Doug's Camel head

Ashley's foreboding sky

Wednesday 19 June 2019

Klippeneck 2019 - Day 10

Another good forecast from our resident met man Nils promising good climbs to 8,000ft but the risk of towering cumulus to 30,000ft later in the day with associated rain and the best area to the east on the Alb. Its uncanny how accurate he is!
Which runway are we on?

Launching took place as soon as the first clouds started popping.

As the day progressed there was significant cloud development over the Black Forest and very heavy rain which then spread along the northern edge of the Alb forming a barrier for several of the pilots coming back from the east.
Cu building over the Black Forest

XC by 370, RA, 316, 315, LTY, 944 and HA.
8,000ft  just as Nils forecast

Ashley in 944 had to fly through a significant area of rain returning from the south eastern corner of the Stuttgart zone, sufficient to wash his yaw string off but everyone got back safely and another pleasant evening eating down in town finished off the day.

Klippeneck 2019 - Day 9

A glorious day if interspersed with one or two tricky patches. A mostly easterly airflow and 6,000ft bases forecast.

Busy aerotow and winch launch points
All the gliders from Booker were out and flown along with an number of locals and another visiting club from FSV Sindelfingen, they have brought two 2 seaters and a number of club single seaters. What is very refreshing is to see how many youngsters they have brought along and the enthusiasm they have to get their gliders ready, fly and then clean and polish before putting them away.

First cumulus popping with crews getting in

Shortly after the first launch

Honours go to Denis in 370 who flew along the Black Forest before flying around the Stuttgart zone doing 400k. His comment on OLC of "Tricky in the north west corner" could be translated to "It wasn't very good at 800ft"

Other gliders flying xc included HA, JTY, 319, 944, RA, 314 and Nick Newton took 315 out to Farrenburg and back.

Farrenburg airfield

Scattering of gliders at the end of the day
Great socialising down in Spaichingen

Monday 17 June 2019

Meanwhile back at Booker................. was AeroExpo yet again, and the airfield was taken over by big trucks and big aircraft - and lots of rain, at least on the first day of the event. Needless to say the hangar flooded.

The kit that wasn't in Germany or trailers

A tasteful background for the 'restaurant'
We set up a stand and put on our winter jackets - it was quite chilly - and engaged passing visitors in conversations about the merits of gliding. There was a weightshift microlighter who was interested in finding out more about using thermals - our advice was to slow down when he met one. There was power pilots interested in spinning. And there was a young man who already had both helicopter and fixed wing licences and was thinking that learning some gliding might enhance his understanding of flight - well of course it would!

Chris and Henry in sales mode

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Many thanks to John Lambie, Symeon Economou, Bob Sinden, Henry Ross and Chris Collett, and also to Chris Rowland who stood out in the cold with his ASW22 which formed part of the static display.

And here's our favourite aircraft from the show.

Klippeneck 2019 - Day 8

Overnight there had been some heavy thunderstorms and torrential rain and we woke up engulfed in cloud but it had stopped raining.
The met forecast suggested it would be flyable early afternoon so some folk went off sightseeing but the newer arrivals stayed on site ready to fly when it became good enough.

Initially the cloud base rose (from the ground) but there was a layer of top cover and a clearance coming from the Black Forest but still with some towering cumulus but as the pictures that follow show it then developed into a stunning evening and stayed soarable for at least an hour after we had finished for the evening.

Only 2 seaters today

Top cover clearing as better air caomes in from the Black Forest

Approaching Lake Konstanz to the south
Still soaraable at 18:00

316 just prior to landing

Jeremy after his final glide from Tuttlingen

And dinner was deconstructed shepherd's pie, carrots and cauliflower cheese 👌

Sunday 16 June 2019

Klippeneck 2019 - Day 7

Change over day so some folks going home 😢 and several new faces joining 😁. Again the day started with a lot of top cover but with the promise of better conditions in the afternoon.
Gliders were rigged and taken to the launch point.

Heading out o the launch point on runway 23
Lined up ready to go under an improving sky

Whilst it became soarable, the cloudbase didn't really get much above 5,000feet which is fine except the site is at 3,000feet.

Nick N doing a fine job climbing to cloudbase

319 with Howard

Most flying was done locally, however 370 driven by Denis flew to the Black Forest before flying the southern edge of the Stuttgart control zone and back for 260 Km.

370 flying past the trees before landing on runway 23