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Apr 292017
 

This is Dominic Haughton’s excellent account of his 500 km FAI triangle earlier this week, together with some photos:

The flight was a 500km FAI triangle MYN -TIA (Tintern Abbey) – (PEM) Pembroke  Dock – LLS (Llantysilio) – MYN); the trace is on the ladder http://www.bgaladder.co.uk/dscore.asp?FlightID=64408&RC=X .  Phil King flew what was probably the first declared 500k in Wales on the 31st March last year, a cat’s cradle up and down wind from Shobdon (Presteigne, Usk, Cerrig, Pontypool, Montgomery). If he is right, this flight is the first declared 500k FAI triangle around Welsh TPs.

The idea to fly large FAI triangles in Wales came out of a flight that included a 100k run up the coast without turning on the way from Lampeter to Snowdon using sea breeze fronts. Combining that with the ability to start early and end late by launching from, and flying over, high ground made a 500k in Wales look like a possibility. One big downside, and the flipside of the sea breeze bonus, is that the all three coasts can be lost to sea air. In particular the Vale of Clwyd and the Cheshire plain are often killed off quite early on, so getting far North at the end of the day is tricky, and Wales is only so big. You have to go far West to fit in a 500 FAI triangle and I did not know much about soaring in Pembrokeshire.

A bit of work with SeeYou over the winter of 2015/16 produced about half a dozen options for classic 500 tasks “by the book” (downwind, crosswind, upwind, downwind) with minor variations depending on the wind direction; I then just waited for RASP to predict the right day. In the meantime I had a flight to Camarthen to get a feel for the area. That involved soaring over the sea at Pembrey to get back east, as air from the North came across the peninsula and swept the good air into the Bristol Channel, proving the point that you need to be in Pembrokeshire early enough to get out. On that occasion I was saved by arriving back at the end of the Brecon Beacons and ridge soaring up to Pen-y-Fan before resuming normal service.

Last year’s attempt at a Welsh 500k triangle was on a similar day in April, but started later than planned. I turned Monmouth and Haverford West, again got pushed over the South coast on the way back to Swansea, before connecting with the N-S sea breeze front and heading North. In the end I abandoned the task north of the Mynd on the way to the last TP, for a total of about 460k, when the day looked like it had already ended in the Vale of Clwyd.

This time I planned to fly further south to shorten the distance north of the Mynd at the end of the day, and to launch early. I got the second launch of the day at 11:15, straight into a 7 knot climb to 4000ft cloudbase and then off on track. I got to Credenhill (near Hereford) without turning and made the first TP ( Tintern Abbey) in under an hour at 106kph. 

Tintern Abbey TP

Tintern Abbey TP

The aim was to be at the first TP at midday so all looked good until Pontypool, when everything north of the Brecon Beacons disappeared in massive showers. Then showers appeared on track and visibility turned poor, with snow (OK, a few flakes of snow) in the cockpit, and I thought about abandoning. Turning for home would have meant, at best, soaring the Beacons, possibly in a deluge, until the showers cleared, but the likelihood was that I’d have ended up on the ground somewhere near Brecon. There was plenty of lift around, I guessed I was at the edge of a convergence with the northerly wind air against sea air coming in from the south coast, so for want of a better plan I pushed on.

Big showers in the Brecons

Big showers in the Brecons

Emerging from the gloom into a perfect soaring sky over Pembrokeshire was a (very!) welcome surprise and the run into the TP at Pembroke Dock turned out to be easy, with reliable climbs of 5 or 6 knots. I think Dale Bridge, which is even further West than Pembroke Dock, was on, but I’d set the task so turned PEM then also went round Haverford West just in case.

Pembrey Danger Area

Pembrey Danger Area

Next stop Pembroke Dock

Next stop Pembroke Dock

The direct route north clipped the coast at Aberystwyth, and the air initially looked good, but I diverted inland to avoid the Aberporth Danger area. That worked out well because there then seemed to be an incursion of sea air; the edge of the sea air front was working well, but a mass of showers appeared to the east and then ahead on track,  so I parked up at Llandiloes (east of Aberystwyth) to see what happened next.  After about 10 minutes the sky cleared and the run to the TP at Llantysilio looked very possible either via Welshpool and the flat lands, or the way I went, directly over the high ground past Vyrnwy.

Cardigan Bay, Llyn peninsula, Snowdonia

Cardigan Bay, Llyn peninsula, Snowdonia

To Llantysilio

To Llantysilio

Llantysilio TP is under the 4500ft Class A airway so I was a bit cautious going in to it and diverted to a line of lift coming off the Berwyns about 20k from the TP. That lead into the TP and then a climb to 5000ft at Chirk got me well above glide with the tailwind, but I took a couple of top ups on the way back as there was still plenty of lift around. Back at the Mynd at 17:30 so the task was probably underset by about 50k; going via Dale Bridge to Prestatyn is an FAI triangle of over 580k so there is room in Wales to beat this!

Apr 282017
 

Matthew Cook gave a fantastic performance last weekend in the Dan Smith Trophy Aerobatics Competition held at Dunstable, which he attended with Steve Lewis. Matthew came 7th overall, 2nd in Sports Class!! He finished 3rd overall in the 1st round (only 4 points behind the World Champion!!!), only slipping his place in the 2nd round.

Massive WELL DONE Matthew!

Apr 272017
 

Hi everyone,  this is the regular Thursday posting to let you know what’s going on & what is coming up in the near future. Neal is away, so you have me, Sarah, doing the honours this week.

Last Week:

….was the first of our course weeks, with a variety of seasonal weather interspersed with quite a few snow flurries and especially cold nights. We’ve also been joined by folks from the Dartmoor Gliding Club. On Wednesday the weather gods aligned & Dominic Haughton flew a 50okm entirely within Wales, which is only the 2nd time this has ever been done. His full “how I did it” will follow in the next couple of days, but in the meantime you can see the photo at the end of this blog & check out the details on the BGA national ladder here  

Last weekend saw us welcoming the UK Mountain Soaring Group for a flying weekend and a celebration during which they appointed Anthony Edwards as their patron. Their roots go back to the 30s when the Cambridge university gliding club used the Mynd as one of their main expedition camps, and the links have continued ever since.

Going Cross Country?

Remember to add any cross country flights or height gains you do onto this national ladder database: a) you can feel pleasure anc kudos for it, and b) it helps us to give a strong argument against any future airspace-grabs that the airlines want to make. If you don’t know how, Mark Sanders is your man.

Talking of cross country – if you’re intending to do so, we have a number of the marvellous ‘Land Out Thank You’ voucher packs in the office, which Nigel Holmes produced for us. The idea is you can give it to your friendly farmer, should you be unfortunate enough to land out. Please also take their address & pass it to Martin. The idea is that we will then invite them to a Farmers Thank You Supper that we put on every year towards the end of the cross-country season around end of Sept (2017 date to be confirmed). We invite all your farmers & it’s an opportunity for you and the club to acknowledge & welcome them and their families to the club – you never know, we may also get new members from it.

ATC Cadets

A big Well done to Paul Fowler whose efforts made this first visit a great success. Paul writes: “… the day went very well.  All four cadets flew with each getting a soaring flight of 30 to 40 mins plus 1 or 2 shorter flights.  I was able to fly the Shrewsbury cadets part way to their squadron HQ! They were all very appreciative and helped out on the airfield.” Here’s to their next visit.

Club Access Road – JCB this weekend

Howard reports: “Charles Carter, Tim Mason ( committee member,  airfield ) and myself had a meeting on 22nd April  to conclude methods and planning. We will hire a JCB this coming weekend for exploration both on road tarmac depths and break up possibilities and trench for drainage possibilities. The plan is to break up the tarmac level then add stone or MOT  scalpings. We are seeking advice regarding the top surface material to use, so that we don’t elevate the road too high that it interferes with the passage of aircraft over it….we need to make a start because we need to complete ASAP due to the condition of the road.” Howard has not asked for help on this, but if you can assist or lend a hand for half an hour this weekend, then I’m sure the team would be grateful – simply get in touch via the office.
Business Rates
Charles Carter is liaising with the BGA rates team who are awaiting a meeting with the relevant rating authority before our appeal goes ahead. We are holding off doing anything until we receive further advice from the BGA.

Discus syndicate – comfort advice?

Julian Fack has kindly offered assistance if anyone is interested in buying it or setting up a syndicate. He writes: “As someone who is 6ft tall I was always extremely comfortable in my Discus, after some minor modifications. I would be happy to advise how to customise it to suit particular pilots. This might just make the difference to members looking for a high performance lovely handling glider.” He can be contacted at j.fack@me.com

Publicity & promotion

See the 24th June longest day below. Also, if you’re on Facebook, it would be great if you could Like the MGC page here and then invite all your friends to Like it too. We’re aiming to reach 1000 followers by the end of the summer, and it’s a great way (in addition to this fab blog, or us emailing folks) to see photos and info about what’s been happeneing and what’s coming up. The idea is that it is a way for the general public to find us, find out more about what we do & picture themselves being a member here.

Weekend outlook:

Your team this weekend (rota link here) is:  Mark Sanders, Mike Witton, Stephen Alexander, Liz Adlard, Steve Foster, Charles Carter, Laurent Couval. We are short of a No 1 instructor for bank holiday Monday 1st May, so if anyone is available and able to help, please let Martin know without delay. We have lots of spaces left for anyone who wants to book in for particular flight training – please contact Martin too.

Forthcoming events:

Winch Launching has changed!!   A reminder

You all should have an email re the above,  to summarise: Essentially the process of the winch launch has not changed but the procedure we use to facilitate the process has changed.

1) The new procedure highlights the responsibilities of the Retrieve Winch Operator – this not a change as such but reinforces the responsibilities defined in Laws & Rules.

2) The “Wing Tip Holder” now ONLY holds the wing – they do not signal

3) The person who attaches the cable to the glider becomes the “Wing Tip Signaller”.

4) The “Wing Tip Signaller” now ONLY signals “Take Up Slack”

5) The “Retrieve Winch Operator” decides when all the slack is out of the cable by observing the glider beginning to move forward – and ONLY THEN changes to the “All Out” signal.

This new procedure became effective on  Monday 17th April 2017. So far it appears to be working very well.

Sunday 14th May – Fell Running

The runners for this annual event will be coming past us between about 11am – 12 noon. The running club is telling all runners they have to keep to the permissive path only – ie to the west of the club house (travelling north along the ridge). If they go straight on to the run way they will be disqualified! A few people will be receiving the route over the next few weeks.  Do let Neal know if you have any issues on the day.

3rd-5th June. Aim Higher practical

This course is filling up fast, and I urge you to get your bronze so you can take advantage.  I am absolutely delighted to tell you that Kevin has agreed to provide a “practical” aim higher course on the above dates.  This means we get the best of both worlds, the theory then followed by the practical after we have all had a chance to practice.  We are really privileged to be able to offer this combination this year so get your bookings in to the office as soon as you can.

24th June – Gliding Taster Day & Summer (Longest Day) celebration

Mac is organising this “longest day, open day” recruitment drive on the 24th of June. The promotion for this is well under way now. If you can help by putting a poster(s) up in your locality, please grab one from Martin. We will also be emailing it out as a pdf this week & would be grateful if you could circulate it to your friends who may be interested in booking a flight slot (for just £25). There will be tours, talks, catering, video displays, so it should give people a really good ‘Taster’ to see if membership could be for them. You can also encourage them to find out more details on our facebook page here.

Here’s how we’re approaching it: “If you’ve always wanted to learn to fly, please join us for a Gliding Taster Day on the Longest Day of the Year. We will be flying from 5am until sunset around 10pm!
🔅Bookable flight slots £25
🔅Experience flying over beautiful Shropshire & Wales at dawn or dusk
🔅Discover what gliding is all about
🔅Gliding talks & presentations
🔅Guided tours of the airfield, clubhouse and facilities
🔅Meet all the members, staff & volunteers (we’re very friendly & don’t bite!)
🔅Find out if gliding is for you
🔅Special deals & offers available on the day for those wishing to become members
REGISTRATION & PRE-BOOKING ADVISABLE, although you can also turn up on the day & we will aim to fly everyone!
To book a flight slot for you and your family or friends, please contact Martin on 01588650206 or office@midlandgliding.club”

In addition we want to increase the activity and the interest for members.  Years ago we used to run a “dawn to dusk” day and we are going to combine the two.  It is fantastic fun, we run in shifts and do “shedloads” of launches (or words to that effect).  Flying starts at 5am and continues until 10pm. Please drop me an email at the address below if you would like to help out for a shift, everyone is welcome and I guarantee you will have a great day.

MGC Wood Week & MGC Task Week

These are coming up in the next 2-3 months & you will start to see more about these in the next blog. Again, if you’re planning on coming, please book in so that we can start to know numbers. And if you know of people who may wish to join us, please do ask for the info/links (being set up at the moment) so that you cna share it with them.

Sarah, Marketing & Promotion, MGC, marketing@midlandgliding.club

Z19_500km

Z19, 500kms, 26th April 2017

Apr 202017
 

Hi everyone,  this is the regular Thursday posting to let you know what is coming up in the near future and let you have the highlights of the last committee meeting.

Last week:

Juniors’ Week

The Club’s own junior members (not the BGA lot!) gathered all last week for some concentrated training.  Holly, Jared and Barnaby all put in some hard work. Mixed weather meant that they flew in changing conditions and all continued to progress through the Club’s syllabus.  Briefings were given when weather prevented flying.  It was very noticeable how better they all were by the end of the week, and it just shows how a period of regular training helps to improve skills.  Well done to all three!

Retrieve winch

This still isn’t back from Skylaunch and Guy Hartland is chasing vigorously, if we have to do Land Rover retrieves then this loses a significant amount of money.

Cross Country refresher week

This has been a fabulous week with a full set of briefings on Monday followed by 5 cross country flights in Duos on Tuesday and 4 in the motor glider.  Yesterday in poor conditions we achieved several General Flying tests for Bronze and 3 more Duo cross country flights using a small task as recommended by Kevin Atkinson on his Aim Higher initiative.  This small task proved extremely effective in being able to teach all of the skills required for a cross country.  Still 2 days left to go!!   The club would like to express its thanks to all of those DUO owners who gave up their time to fly budding pilots around and to Steve Male and Simon Adlard and Rob Hanks for such excellent organisation.

In the attached photo we have a group of course members with a combined IQ of over 100 working out how to turn a PDA on.

pda photo

We have a new Vitara!

Julian Fack is running our Land Rover replacement project and has obtained another Vitara for us.  We will be publishing more on the overall plan when the new vehicle arrives.

Membership survey

Thanks to everyone who took part (72 of you) please see below the item on the “Priority Grid” to see what we are doing with the feedback.

ATC

Paul Fowler, Steve Male and the Chair have been in long term negotiations with the ATC and the first group will be flying with us this Saturday.  As always please make them welcome.

Weekend outlook: 

Your team this weekend is:  Clive Crocker, Nigel Lassetter, Stephen Alexander, Mark Wakem, Chris Alldis

Forthcoming events:

 

Winch Launching has changed!!   A reminder

You all should have an email re the above,  in  essence:-

Essentially the process of the winch launch has not changed but the procedure we use to facilitate the process has changed.

    1) The new procedure highlights the responsibilities of the Retrieve Winch Operator – this not a change as such but reinforces the responsibilities defined in Laws & Rules.

    2) The “Wing Tip Holder” now ONLY holds the wing – they do not signal

    3) The person who attaches the cable to the glider becomes the “Wing Tip Signaller”.

    4) The “Wing Tip Signaller” now ONLY signals “Take Up Slack”

    5) The “Retrieve Winch Operator” decides when all the slack is out of the cable by observing the glider beginning to move forward – and ONLY THEN changes to the “All Out” signal.

This new procedure became effective on  Monday 17th April i.e. Easter Bank Holiday Monday

So far it appears to be working very well.

June the 3rd 4th and 5th. Aim Higher practical

This course is filling up fast, and I urge you to get your bronze so you can take advantage.  I am absolutely delighted to tell you that Kevin has agreed to provide a “practical” aim higher course on the above dates.  This means we get the best of both worlds, the theory then followed by the practical after we have all had a chance to practice.  We are really privileged to be able to offer this combination this year so get your bookings in to the office as soon as you can.  

Fleet: we are selling the Discus!!

As soon as we can get a replacement aircraft we will immediately move the Discus into the workshop to get it ready for sale then put it into its trailer.  This is part of the strategy outlined by the CFI at the AGM.   We expect, at current prices, to put it up for sale at £16 000 or above and will allow a fortnight for members to form syndicates or make an offer before putting it on the open market.

Summer celebration

Mac is organising the “longest day, open day” recruitment drive on the 24th of June.  In addition we want to increase the activity and the interest for members.  Years ago we used to run a “dawn to dusk” day and we are going to combine the two.  It is fantastic fun, we run in shifts and do “shedloads” of launches (or words to that effect).   Please drop me an email at the address below if you would like to help out for a shift, everyone is welcome and I guarantee you will have a great day.

chairman@midlandgliding.club

 

Highlights of the committee meeting held on the 14th of April 2017

The new committee welcomed Rob Shepherd (buildings) and Tim Mason (grounds).

We have an annual grant for the Environmentally Sensitive Area status and this is late in arriving.  Charles Carter is chasing this for us.  He is also chasing the Business rates, we have heard nothing back from the BGA rates team.

We are producing 3 packages aimed at recruitment and retention.  Jon Hall and Sarah are creating the artwork for the vouchers.

The accommodation block roof will be repaired, we have chosen the contractor and will place the order.

The access road will commence with the drainage project.  Howard will co ordinate,  volunteers to help are desperately needed.

The membership survey will help create the “priority project” grid that John O’Reilly will create, this will enable projects to be initiated that match the criteria “Recruit and Retain”.

Auto enrolment.  The scheme has started.

Electric sheep fence.  Howard will be doing more work on this weekend 22nd of April

Flarm and radio grant.  Dave  Wedlock will be submitting the application after Easter.

Simulator.  Geoff Dailey will help Dave Crowson complete this.

CFI report:  One minor incident in March – wheels up landing.  For those of you who were not at Kevin Atkinson’s Aim Higher course, ask the Chair what WULF should really stand for.

Hospitality.  The club web site now hosts the Terms and Conditions (thanks to Paul Fowler) for the booking of accommodation from visitors.  We now send a template email asking for a £50 deposit and we don’t refund cancellations made less than 30 days in advance.

Apr 162017
 

Looks epic for a few days. BBC are predicting a temperature difference of -7 to +16  on Thursday!! Which buy the old rule of thumb should give almost 8,000ft! But well see. Good luck all.

Darce.

Apr 152017
 

A good turn out from the members today, RASP promised good things so Laurent, Dominic, Rob Hanks, Mark Sanders, d’Arcy, John Randall and Mike Greenwood rigged their respective machines and launched to the South with the ridge working well. The sky to the West was a combination of ridge lift with some good thermals to +5 but suppressed by wave, certainly the sky looked better to the North and East.

The K23 and Discus spent the day being flown by members, Neal flew myself, Jared and Martin Sloan in the K13 whilst Walter took care of the Air Experience flights.

The K6 Mob, Peter Turner, Steve Male and Nigel Holmes brought their gliders back on site, Peter and Steve rigged their E and took it up the wire to blow the dust off.

John O’Reilly and Den did a great job keeping the launch point in order and thanks to Dave Brown in the winch along with Fay and Jane keeping us all fed.

Nothing posted on the Ladder yet but hopefully those brave enough to venture on XC made it back safely.

Apr 132017
 

Hi everyone,  this is the regular Thursday posting to let you know what is coming up in the near future.

Last week:

Good news and bad news.

Congratulations to  Steve Rudge on going solo.  Steve has persevered and is now reaping the benefits with superb flights setting a good example to all of us. 

Retrieve winch

Believe it or not (probably the latter) your committee does try to plan ahead and we are desperate to maintain a good launch facility.  To that end we sent one of the retrieve winches to Skylaunch for a major service in the winter. Below is an extract from Guy Hartland’s update to the committee on the problem.  Guy puts a lot of effort in along with our fabulous winch team.

“Skylaunch had promised the retrieve winch back the first week in April (last week) obviously that did not happen and the weekend operation was considerably hampered when the Knox retrieve winch would not run (now sorted) I spoke to Skylaunch on Monday morning. I am informed that the engine rebuild is completed and it was ready for reassembly. Mike Groves was away in Germany until today and I am expecting an update in the morning as to what tge issue was and when we can expect to have the winch back on site. ”

 Visit by Appleby ATC Squadron

In case you are not aware,  Paul Fowler has, over the past few years, considerably expanded our cadet and junior offering.  Below is the report from the weekend. I was instructing as well and it was a delight to have such enthusiastic youngsters helping out on the field.

 

“Six cadets from ATC 2192 Squadron based in Appleby in Cumbria, along with two staff, paid the Club a visit over the last weekend, driving down early on Saturday morning to arrive in time to help unpack the hangar.  The Squadron have been visiting the Club over the last few years, and it was a second visit for two of the cadets and one of quite a number for Flt Sgt Dave Shaw.  Rob, the new Commanding Officer, was making his first visit.  Both days were sunny and soarable in parts.  All the cadets and staff enjoyed flights on both days. The newbies were introduced to the basic effects of the controls and the others made good progress in their flying training to complement their training under the RAF syllabus.  Basic training was in the K13.  Matthew Cooke also kindly offered flights in the T21, which was much appreciated by each cadet. The grinning face when the T21 landed was a sight to behold, and the cadets looked as if they enjoyed the flying as well!   The cadets were of great help on the ground, fetching cabless,  keeping the Log,  driving the vehicles and helping launch the gliders.  Some members should take note!  Further visits are planned.

 

Help Shrewsbury school.

 Shrewsbury School have asked if we can arrange for a glider to be displayed on their Speech Day, Saturday 1 July . A top-of-the-range two-seater will look good and will generate some good publicity amongst the affluent parents!  If any private owners are willing to help, please contact Paul Fowler.  The day wont be like the Speech Days members of a certain generation may remember.  There are hospitality marquees and lots of other displays.

 

Weekend outlook: 

Your team this weekend is:  Walter Baumann, David Brown, John O’Reilly, Alasdair Lewis, Guy Hartland, Tony Dietrich

Forthcoming events:

The UK Mountain Soaring Group

The UK Mountain Soaring Group (formerly Eden Soaring Society) will be visiting the Mynd on the weekend of 22 and 23 April.  The website is http://www.ukmsg.co.uk/.   The history section of the website tells where the Mynd fits into their story, involving the Cambridge (CUGC as it then was) camps that used to happen at the Mynd.  

 

Winch Launching is changing!!

You all should have an email re the above,  in  essence:-

Essentially the process of the winch launch has not changed but the procedure we use to facilitate the process has changed.

    1) The new procedure highlights the responsibilities of the Retrieve Winch Operator – this not a change as such but reinforces the responsibilities defined in Laws & Rules.

    2) The “Wing Tip Holder” now ONLY holds the wing – they do not signal

    3) The person who attaches the cable to the glider becomes the “Wing Tip Signaller”.

    4) The “Wing Tip Signaller” now ONLY signals “Take Up Slack”

    5) The “Retrieve Winch Operator” decides when all the slack is out of the cable by observing the glider beginning to move forward – and ONLY THEN changes to the “All Out” signal.

This new procedure will be introduced on Monday 17th April i.e. Easter Bank Holiday Monday

 

Juniors over Easter

The Club will be running a course for junior members over the Easter holidays from 10 to 13 April with a dedicated instructor and glider.  Junior members may attend for just one day or more. Any members interested should book a place through the office

AGM

The AGM was extremely well attended and after the formalities we discussed the highlights of the survey, the future of the fleet, the accommodation block and the road.  On the latter Howard Bradley has the go ahead to start the drainage work,  please can you let the office know if you would be willing to help out for an hour or 2 and we will publish the date well in advance.

MGC Cross Country Refresher Week – for ALL aspiring or active cross country pilots!

This week runs from 17th – 21st April 2017

This is a great week for aspiring and early (and experienced) cross-country pilots with a structured training opportunity to refresh their cross country skills prior to the main period of the cross country flying season. Expect to hone your abilities in the following areas:

  • All aspects of ground school you will need
  • Motorglider training for field landing / navigation practice
  • Aerotow training & revalidation will be available if required
  • Advanced handling techniques
  • Cross-country tasks will be set, planned, flown and debriefed (in your own glider, or as P2 in a club glider/Duo Discus.
  • Dedicated days/slots, instructors, and aircraft available

If you are interested in, or intrigued by the thought of, flying what seem like unimaginable distances in an aircraft that has no apparent means of propulsion, then this is for you! You can find out more by clicking here for the poster or here for full details of how the week will work.

June the 3rd 4th and 5th. Aim Higher practical

I am absolutely delighted to tell you that Kevin has agreed to provide a “practical” aim higher course on the above dates.  This means we get the best of both worlds, the theory then followed by the practical after we have all had a chance to practice.  We are really privileged to be able to offer this combination this year so get your bookings in to the office as soon as you can.   We are already getting applications and I think this will be a popular one.

Summer celebration

Mac is organising the “longest day, open day” recruitment drive on the 24th of June.  In addition we want to increase the activity and the interest for members.  Years ago we used to run a “dawn to dusk” day and we are going to combine the two.  It is fantastic fun, we run in shifts and do “shedloads” of launches (or words to that effect).   Please drop me an email at the address below if you would like to help out for a shift, everyone is welcome and I guarantee you will have a great day.

chairman@midlandgliding.club

Apr 092017
 

A good turn out for last nights AGM, plenty of debate, show of hands and an overview of what lies ahead, followed by another great meal put on by Fay, Jane and their helpers Rob and Dave.

This morning was bright and sunny, the hanger fully unpacked, Paul Fowler and Mat flying the Cadets in the K13 and T21, Den looking after Trial lessons sharing the glider with Guy who was assisting with those who had pre-booked training.

Simon, Number One for the day was busy with both Annual and Daily checks and the flying queues well managed by d’Arcy and Tony.

Nice to see such a great turn out by all doing various tasks including someone washing their caravan once every two years whether it needs it or not, that’s what happens when you reside next to Hartland Towers😄

?

No rain???

?

So many people

?

Martin in the front. Simon, well……..being Simon

 

?

Hat and gloves but no eye protection….tut tut.

 

 

 

Apr 062017
 

Hi everyone,  this is the regular Thursday posting to let you know what is coming up in the near future.

Last week:

Sunday flights

Rob Hanks did 244k Darcy did 144k and John Kingsley did his Silver with an out and return.  Its all hotting up and a good start to the season.   Thanks to Mark for the heads up on the weather.

New members

We welcome Nigel Evans.  If you see Nigel please ensure that you involve him in all of our operation and offer him the warm welcome he deserves.

Llanbedr Expedition

Midland GC visited Llanbedr again this year 18th to 24th March along with members of Staffordshire GC and Wrekin GC. Due to an unavoidable change of plans by the airfield we had to change our dates to a week later, which was annoying at the time but extremely fortuitous in the end, as the week we were original booked to go it rained every day except one, which was flat calm. The facilities at the airfield were much improved from last year with palatial toilets,  briefing room, kitchen and chill out room in the hangar.  We caught the end of the bad weather as the first two days were washed out. Monday to Thursday saw improving conditions with quite low cloud and Westerly winds which made the ridges work, but most flights were fairly short allowing people to have a good practice at aerotowing. Last year we said we would never get such amazing conditions again, but on Friday the wind turned to the East, wave set up and we were all treated to to many hours of wave flying up to 11,000 feet in crystal clear air with snow on the mountains and no clouds. We enjoyed the  views of the whole of Cardigan bay, Ireland was clearly visible, and we could fly all over Snowdonia with several people flying over Snowdon. Saturday conditions were similar but very difficult to get into the wave, the new shiny version of 494 managed 8,000 feet and a trip over Snowdon again.   Once again LLanbedr proved to be a fantastic place to fly from.

Look at the video here:-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bdj1pIOEm-o

 

Member survey

We have had 72 responses and some fabulous feedback, see the AGM below for details of how we will feed back and make use of the results.

Weekend outlook: 

Your team this weekend is:  Neal Clements, Denise Hughes, Peter Orchard, Dave d’Arcy, Steve Male, Glyn Macarthur.

Forthcoming events:

Simulator

Dave Crowson’s bad leg has not prevented him from putting in a huge amount of effort into improving the club’s offerings and in particular he has moved the simulator on a significant stage .  All that is needed now is some DIY help so he can fit the technical bits, bobs and various gubbins required to make the K13 fuselage appear to fly.  If you can handle a saw, screwdriver or hammer please contact Dave directly to help finish this off.  A simulator is an extremely useful aid to our training from early to quite advanced.

Juniors over Easter

The Club will be running a course for junior members over the Easter holidays from 10 to 13 April with a dedicated instructor and glider.  Junior members may attend for just one day or more. Any members interested should book a place through the office

AGM

The meeting this Saturday is an important one,  the AGM itself will be reasonably short and tight but the strategy session afterwards will help set the tone of the club for a long time in the future.  In addition can I ask you to consider coming on the committee.  The current committee is working extremely well and this is exactly the time to add to its quality.  The role isn’t onerous but it is important and rewarding.

You all should have received a full set of papers for the discussion after the AGM.  Our thinking is to quickly go through the highlights of the survey (some very interesting feedback in there) then discuss the fleet and the infrastructure.  Howard Bradley will be on hand to explain the research and proposals for the access road and I have invited the staff along to help answer any questions you may have.  We are really looking forward to seeing you at what, I believe, will be a very formative meeting for the future of our club. 

If you havent received the email containing the papers (some were in a zip file) then please email the office for a copy

MGC Cross Country Refresher Week – for ALL aspiring or active cross country pilots!

This week runs from 17th – 21st April 2017

This is a great week for aspiring and early (and experienced) cross-country pilots with a structured training opportunity to refresh their cross country skills prior to the main period of the cross country flying season. Expect to hone your abilities in the following areas:

  • All aspects of ground school you will need
  • Motorglider training for field landing / navigation practice
  • Aerotow training & revalidation will be available if required
  • Advanced handling techniques
  • Cross-country tasks will be set, planned, flown and debriefed (in your own glider, or as P2 in a club glider/Duo Discus.
  • Dedicated days/slots, instructors, and aircraft available

If you are interested in, or intrigued by the thought of, flying what seem like unimaginable distances in an aircraft that has no apparent means of propulsion, then this is for you! You can find out more by clicking here for the poster or here for full details of how the week will work.f

June the 3rd 4th and 5th. Aim Higher practical

I am absolutely delighted to tell you that Kevin has agreed to provide a “practical” aim higher course on the above dates.  This means we get the best of both worlds, the theory then followed by the practical after we have all had a chance to practice.  We are really privileged to be able to offer this combination this year so get your bookings in to the office as soon as you can.   We are already getting applications and I think this will be a popular one.

Summer celebration

Mac is organising the “longest day, open day” recruitment drive on the 24th of June.  In addition we want to increase the activity and the interest for members.  Years ago we used to run a “dawn to dusk” day and we are going to combine the two.  It is fantastic fun, we run in shifts and do “shedloads” of launches (or words to that effect).   Please drop me an email at the address below if you would like to help out for a shift, everyone is welcome and I guarantee you will have a great day.

chairman@midlandgliding.club

 

Apr 032017
 

Congratulations goes to John Kingsley for completing his silver distance and the first part of his 100k diploma on Sunday .  Having set and completed out and return to Glasbury Bridge 113.8 k

Apr 012017
 

[I know it’s not Thursday…. my (Geoff’s) apologies for the late posting of this, I was travelling. Steve Male is filling in for Neal.]

Hello All,

As both Neal and Sarah are away from home this week I’m sorry to say that you’re stuck with my ramblings……..

Last week: –

Last week really was the story of 2 airfields.

On the Mynd it was our first week of 7 day operation for 2017 and it was our Annual Get Checked Week.

As usual on the Mynd, as soon as we have something definite planned the weather decided to play its usual capricious tricks on us; Monday was Westerly with a number of pilots working on their Annual Checks, Tuesday started OK but slowly deteriorated then it snowed on Wednesday followed by Easterlies on Thursday and Friday.

Nevertheless 8 pilots did complete their Annual Checks – a triumph of opportunism and determination !

Llandebr on the other hand, organised by Mike Greenwood, benefited from the Easterlies with many flights in wave, some reaching 11,000 feet.

Note to self – get Mike to organise next years calendar and order the weather !

Annual Checks: –

I can hear the groan from here…….

Just let me try to put these in perspective for you: –

It is a requirement of our Flying Orders Book that all solo (non- instructor) pilots must complete an Annual Check at the Mynd in order to retain their solo flying privileges on our site.

Having said that, the “Annual Check” is not supposed to be purely a “test”. This is your opportunity to fly with an instructor and brush up on those things you don’t do during your normal solo flying, launch failures, stall, spin, spiral dive entries and recoveries.

Just as importantly, it is also a great opportunity to get an instructor to help you with any area of you flying you are “less than comfortable” with.

This “check” should not be onerous and it’s an opportunity to explore envelopes and have some fun.

Once you have completed your Annual Check get your instructor to sign off the Certificate (available on the website or from the office) then get Martin to take a copy for the club records and keep the original in your log book – You will be asked for it at the launch point one day !

Nuff said ?

Future Events

Aim Higher Course

A couple of weeks ago we had Kevin at the club for a weekend discussing how to improve your cross country flying.

Well, the theory went down very well with a number of pilots remarking on how much they learned and how much Kevin’s thoughts prompted them to examine their own thinking, flying and planning.

Over the weekend of 3rd – 5th June Kevin will be back to fly with us, so this will be your chance to get some airborne instruction – book in with the office NOW – before you forget !

Cross Country Refresher Week

This year’s Cross Country Refresher Week runs from Easter Monday 17th – Friday 21st April.

This year the week is being organised by Mark Sanders in his role as Cross Country Development Instructor.

If you’re a Pre-Bronze pilot looking at completing your Bronze C and moving on the Cross Country Endorsement and Silver C then this is a week you shouldn’t miss.

Mark is planning to have Simon Adlard and I available with the Motorglider for Navigation and Field Selection training and testing and there should (as ever weather permitting) be tasks being set and flown in 2 seat gliders giving you the chance to expand your horizons and skills.

Again book in with the office NOW before you forget.

Cross Country Coaching

Following on from the Aim Higher activities and Cross Country Refresher Week we are getting together a team of experienced cross country pilots to form a coaching group to assist less experienced cross country pilots with development of their skills.

The group will be run by Mark Sanders in his role as Cross Country Development Instructor. As yet the details have not been completely finalised so keep an eye on the blog and club notice boards for further info as this initiative progresses.

Task Week

Staying with the theme of cross country flying: –

Task Week this year will be from Saturday 19th – Sunday 27th August with Bank Holiday Monday 28th August held in reserve.

This will be the opportunity for you to apply all the cross country knowledge and skills you have learned from this year’s training activities.

This year we are changing the format of Task Week to give a wider variety of pilots a chance of achieving personal goals.

There will be 3 classes based on individual pilots previous cross country achievements prior to 1st May 2017.

NOVICE – Those pilots who have not yet completed a Silver cross country distance flight

INTERMEDIATE – Those pilots who have completed a Silver cross country distance flight but have not completed either a 100Kms diploma or a 300Kms flight.

PUNDITS – Those pilots who have completed either a 100Kms diploma or a 300Kms flight.

Hopefully we will also organise debriefing sessions for each task the following morning so that you can see what others did and how they fared.

This new format is aimed at increasing the appeal of Task Week to less experienced pilots, with tasks being set, each suitable day, for each separate class.

So, if you want to improve your cross country flying come and join us.

Retrieves are guaranteed – someone WILL come to get you – and if your trailer is serviceable they will retrieve the glider too!

Who knows what you could achieve given suitable weather, tasks, briefings and guaranteed retrieves?

I’ll certainly be there – flying in the Intermediate class in a K6.

Entry details will be available soon.

I think that’s all for now……..

Happy Landings

Steve

CFI