Saturday, 25 July 2020

Nick and Andy's T21 adventure

We've had some excellent soaring weather recently, so one day Nick Newton and Andy Monk set off from Booker in Nick's T21 thinking that it would be fun to drop in on Chiltern Park. Which it would have been.........they got as far as Nettlebed. Nicely manicured grass field though, and the Pawnee soon rescued them.

Early optimism

Looking good at 4,000ft

Down to earth - so near and yet.........

Thursday, 23 July 2020

500s in the bag

The excellent weather over the last few days has enabled plenty of epic flights from several clubs. Flying the flag for Booker, Paul Field and Howard Joseph completed their first 500k flights (Diamond Distance) on Tuesday. And Howard enjoyed it so much he had another go on Wednesday, although he didn't quite make it. Plenty of other members did noteworthy flights, including Denis Campbell who went to Devon, and John Otty, who cancelled his meetings, arrived at Chiltern Park at 3pm and nipped round a 300k. Just shows what you can do if you want to.

Paul and Howard celebrating their 500k

Denis went to Devon......

.........passing through Sussex on the way

John visited Salisbury........

......and had a view of the Isle of Wight beyond Southampton
Back at Booker, evening flying resumed on Tuesday - 6 launches followed by beers and a picnic outside the clubhouse. First to fly was 16 year old Ossian O'Sullivan who went solo last year. Evening groups are now running Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays from around 1700.

As from 1st August, training flights will be at Booker 7 days a week, with cross country staying at Chiltern Park for a little while longer.

Ossian O'Sulllivan and Graham Saw about to take the first launch on Tuesday evening

Sunday, 19 July 2020

Chiltern Challenge Cup final day

The last day of the comp gave us more good weather, enough for a short task to ensure everyone was back in time for the evening's entertainments. One of the turnpoints was BO3 - Booker - so there was a risk that pilots would make like homing pigeons for Booker, but they all got back. Jim White, John Otty and Denis Campbell have been jockeying for the podium all week but this time for a change Howard Joseph and Bob Smith came 2nd and 3rd behind Jim. The overall winner was Jim, with 2nd place John and 3rd place Denis.

At the end of flying we squashed all the trailers up to one end of the field to make way for parachuting which resumed on Saturday, and then Jim provided a bbq from his motorhome.

Jim the champion, with Richard
It was a very enjoyable week - the only comp in the country this year - and thanks go to Richard for sorting everything out, and to Dennis Pearson of Chiltern Airsports who let us get on with it, mixing safely with gyrocopters and microlights and whatever else turned up. Also to Nils who did weather forecasts every day, and the tug pilots - James Roland, Rob Turner and Doug Hilton - for efficient launching, and not forgetting Pete Wyld who did the scoring from the peace and quiet of his own home.

Scorer's view

In other news.........James Giles, who has yet to complete his Bronze, made the effort to drive that bit further to Chiltern Park, flew the Duo a couple of times to get used to the site, had a lesson in how to rig a Pegase and then had three long soaring flights - type conversion and a new site! And he did a lot of running around helping to launch the grid.

The grin says it all!

Friday, 17 July 2020

The Booker Chiltern Park Cup

In a normal world, this week we would be running the Booker Red Kite Regionals at Wycombe Air Park, but with life as it is, we are running the Chiltern Challenge Cup at Chiltern Park, a 7 day comp with Distance Handicapped Tasks and regionals rules, although it is not a rated comp.

On Saturday 11th July we got off to a good start with a task of 198km, a couple of airfield landouts with aerotow retrieves and the first three places going to Jim White, Denis Campbell and John Otty.

Sunday was an amazing day with 6,000ft cloudbase in parts and light winds and the task was 322km, as always routed past airstrips to allow for safe landouts if necessary. The podium places shuffled a bit: Jim White, John Otty and Denis Campbell. Special mention for David Hamilton, flying his first comp, who managed 221km, having sensibly decided to skip the last turnpoint at Marlborough.

Nice looking sky
Monday and Tuesday were scrubs. Wednesday looked unpromising until mid afternoon when the grid launched on a task of 102km. It was a valiant effort - Denis did 52km before turning on his engine, Nils and Jim landed at Abingdon, and John helpfully flew over them before firing up his engine. Everyone else landed back. The result was Denis, Jim and John, but sadly no points because no-one passed the magic Y. There really should be marks for effort! Plenty of people enjoyed the day on tracking from the comfort of their own home though.

Nils and Jim dropped in at Abingdon

On Thursday the task was 152km around Lasham, Membury and Oxford. The sky looked good from the ground but it was plainly not so good on track. The winner was John, followed by Jim and then Denis. A handful of pilots had extra adventures - Ashley landed at a short strip near Kingsclere and was retrieved by road, Martin (a guest from Halton) landed at Membury and got a tow back from the Jones brothers, Nils landed at Bourne Park and was brought home by John in GH, and David picked a mammoth stubble field and was fetched by Richard in the Pawnee (any excuse).

Getting ready to launch the grid

Nils at Bourne Park - sadly soon to close and be built on

David in his mammoth field

The detailed results are here:

Meanwhile at Booker - we resumed flying at WAP last Friday with 9 training flights, and another 9 on Saturday. The new method of operation worked very well with great joint working with power traffic.

Friday, 10 July 2020

We're back at Booker! Well, to be more accurate, we are now running a dual operation across WAP and Chiltern Park. For the next couple of weeks we will be training (members only) with a K21 at Wycombe Air Park on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, with Duo Discus training at Chiltern Park from Sunday to Wednesday. Single seater flying will be mainly at Chiltern Park but members are welcome to fly solo at Booker on the 3 training days.

The phased return is because WAP no longer has ATC and we are testing the new air-ground procedures.

Watch this space for further updates.

Graham getting ready to instruct - he also did some aeros practice in his Lunak