Sunday, 27 October 2019

The end of the Aboyne expedition 2019

As is so often the case, the Aboyne weather saved the best till last, and those who stayed on for Saturday experienced some excellent flying - nice climbs, not too windy, not too cloudy, lots of kms flown.  Here is a sample of the day...

The back of Lochnagar - a bit like the far side of the Moon

Nuff said

The usual view of Lochnagar

Morvern with a sprinkling of snow

Spot the two RAF airfields
It was a week for a lot of 'firsts', in particular for our two pre-solo pilots Andy and Dan, including flying the Duo, wave, height, distance, tarmac runways - and also Mark who soloed in 316 and then converted to the Pegasus, and Maddi who towed it all the way back to Booker. Last words from Dave Byass:

It was a fantastic week, partly due to the wx and also due to everyone mucking in and getting on with it. So: thanks for all the help on the ground, thanks for not flying in airspace, and thanks for not crashing anything! Special thanks to Andy and Dan for being so open to learning in what must have been an occasionally daunting environment. Specially special thanks to Richard, who did a huge amount of organising as well as the flying, which meant I only did fun stuff. Hope next year is as good...

And of course thanks to Deeside Gliding Club for hosting us yet again.

Friday, 25 October 2019

More SW wave

The forecast was for more strong southwesterlies, and the wind at height was 50kts or more, but it was possible to climb, although it required a Duo or similar to make progress into wind. 315 and 316 made it to 17,000ft, where it was very cold indeed, and 315 went on a couple of excursions up the Dee and round Lochnagar.

The Dee past Braemar

Moray Firth from 17,000ft

Thursday, 24 October 2019

Confusing day

The wind was still SW but not as strong as yesterday so in theory there should have been some nice wave without too much of the bumpy stuff. The early launches with the two seaters were back on the ground fairly quickly and there was a pause for coffee and other refreshments. Towards the middle of the day the sky settled down and it was possible to climb for short periods - between the times when showers came through and there were no gaps in the black layer at 4,000ft. It wasn't a day for long cross country flights or height gains but still interesting. There's always something to learn.

The view from 13,500ft

An evening view of the fires which were burning on Morvern all day

Wednesday, 23 October 2019

A bit rough in the circuit

Today the wind was from the south west, which means it was just a tad rough on tow and in the circuit. It was also a bit cloudy. However, it was possible to find climbs up to 15,000ft or so, and some people followed the wave bar to Feshiebridge.

A bit cloudy.....

.......but clear near the airfield

Tuesday, 22 October 2019

Another wave day

Today the wind was south of west and quite damp so there was a lot of cloud above 9,000ft, with a line of showers to the west which never made it through the wave. Coming off tow into 8kts of lift set the trend for the day. Everyone had a go, there were no massive height gains to be had because of the cloud but it was possible to explore up the valleys and over to Grantown on Spey.

It got better

Statutory pic of sunset over clouds

On the way back from the Spey valley

Sunset from the ground
At least we didn't have to derig in the dark today.

Monday, 21 October 2019


The weekend was a bit showery, though it was possible to do the occasional flight between showers. One pilot from another club learnt the hard way that you need to have a Plan A, and a Plan B, and a Plan C - viewed from the inside of a cloud the world doesn't look that great. He got back in the end though, with a bit of help from 315.

Today the morning was sunny and completely calm, so circuit practice seemed to be the order of the day, but after lunch the wind picked up and there was a lemming like rush for the launch queue. Success of the day was Mark Dyos who converted to the Pegase and promptly climbed to FL92.

Ready to go


Ben Macdui

The Lecht

Last of the light

'ello 'ello what's going on 'ere?

Friday, 18 October 2019

Extremes of weather

Yesterday we believed the forecast and got to the airfield early, so there was plenty of time to enjoy the frost, the mist in the valleys, the sunshine - and the total lack of wave. Well....there was a tiny bit, and Richard did eventually manage a couple of flights to around 6,000ft, but mostly it was just not quite strong enough for a climb, and very confusing.

Today there was no doubt. It rained. A lot. Alternative occupations varied. One party went to Loch Muick.

Very wet
Another couple of carloads went to Newburgh Seal Beach where there were lots of ........seals.....floating up the river on the incoming tide.

Wondering where the incoming tide will go next

Sea. Seals. Rain

The prize for adventure, though not for scenic views, goes to Jacek and Howard, who climbed up Lochnagar in cloud.

The route

Nice view

The summit

There is wave in the forecast tomorrow, but also rain, so we will have to wait and see.

Thursday, 17 October 2019

Meanwhile back Booker a first solo

Congratulations to Michael Crisell who went solo in a glider for the first time. A long time power pilot he has come along to try out something new. The smile on his face shows he enjoyed it and cannot wait to do more.

Wednesday, 16 October 2019

Early and late wave

There was just time for a quick sortie to 10,000ft for 315 this morning before the front arrived, and some rain. Most people went to the Black Faced Sheep for a cake fix. Later in the afternoon the sky cleared and 315 launched again, along with Howard in his new Ventus, and climbed to around 6,000ft before descending into the sunset.

Waiting for the tug

Morning wave
Later that same day

Howard and a lot of wing

Tuesday, 15 October 2019

Rest day - mostly

Today the early morning was obscured by clouds - or mist, depending on viewpoint. However, the sky cleared and the sun came out and the benign conditions favoured circuit practice and Mark Dyos, who had his first wave flight yesterday, today achieved his first Aboyne solo.

The grin says it all
Other activities included a walk round Craigendarroch and a check on local teashops and outdoor clothing shops.

Field landing assessment

Monday, 14 October 2019

Booker expedition to Aboyne - good things come to those who wait

Most people arrived on Saturday after a remarkably easy drive - no pouring rain, no hold ups, beautiful scenery and cloudscapes - so on Sunday there was plenty of energy for rigging the Duo and the K21 for check flights.

Today was warm and sunny with nil wind, so the early flights were difficult to sustain - although Richard and Jacek had a memorable encounter soaring with a golden eagle. Later on it was possible with care to find a mix of thermal and wave with the max height being around 6,000ft. Everyone flew, so we are now ready for anything!

Early morning mist

Loch Muick from not very high AGL

Mount Keen

Dee Valley

Looking good in the Aberdeen airway

The picture above shows the setting for Birkellunn log cabin, our accommodation for week 2. It's in the centre of the pic and the Cambus O May bridge on the river Dee points at it!

Lochs and Morvern viewed from the south.

Bit of a flat sky, but it looked nice