Jan 022020

Hello everyone and wishing you all a very happy and successful year ahead.
We suffered significantly last year at the hands of the weather so I’m hoping this year will prove to be significantly better, enabling us to fly on more days and maximise the use of the fleet.  Full utilisation of our resources, physical and human, is the key to the club being viable.  The committee spent a lot of last year putting strategies in place to make sure that the fleet not only meets the needs of the club but is serviceable all of the time.  The same applies to the launch equipment and vehicles which had suffered from lack of investment and attention over quite some time, but is now subject to a maintenace programme that should sort it out.  My thanks to Andy Holmes, Guy Hartland and Julian Fack for driving this.
The members forum at the end of November last year was adamant that we should end bookable training slots at the weekend and your committee is busy considering how to implement such changes.  We will be publishing clear guidelines on how things will work before the AGM this year.
Over the winter months much work goes on behind the scenes to keep the club at the forefront of gliding in the UK.  This winter we have made changes to the accommodation block which we expect to increase utilisation and revenue, and made general improvements to the presentation of the rooms.  Many people have been involved so thanks are due to everyone who has had an input.  Other significant work will take place over the next three months to improve the briefing room, the simulator room, the internet access and our IT and computer systems including dedicated computer equipment for the instructors, new computers in the briefing room and office and a major upgrade to Aerolog that will bring many new online benefits to members wishing to access their data as well as improving our marketing capability.
At the same time, thanks to Dawn and Guy Hartland, we have undertaken a thorough and deep clean of the clubhouse to make sure it is in the best shape it can be for the start of the new year.  I hope that we will all remember how much hard work has gone into doing this and help to keep the club clean, tidy, presentable and hygenic in the future.
It is easy to sit at home during the winter and imagine doing some flying instead of getting out there and committing aviation.  This weekend looks like a good start to your gliding year with Friday and Saturday looking like excellent ridge days with a chance of some decent wave.  See you all there!

Your duty teams this weekend are:
Saturday:  Chris Aldiss (No 1), Mark Jerman (No 2), Charles Carter (TLs), Simon Adlard (winch), Liz Adlard (LD)
Sunday:  William Brewis (No 1), Mark Jerman (No 2), Charles Carter (TLs), Simon Adlard (winch)

Winter Lecture Series Saturday 18th January 2020
The next lecture is on Saturday 18th January by Afandi Darlington.  Afandi is a senior inspector at the AAIB.  He holds a PPL(A) and is a keen and experienced glider pilot.  He holds a first class degree in Aeronautical Engineering and will be covering why the AAIB investigate accidents and serious incidents, the legal framework they operate within and some examples from GA and the commercial world.  As Neal pointed out over Christmas Afandi designed the first winglets for the LS4 which were fitted as a prototype to a glider in which I had a part share.  They worked very well.  We are immensely privileged in having such a distinguished speaker and I urge you to come along, support your club, learn more about aviation and have a flight and meal as well.  The talk will start at 1800 and there will be the usual request for contributions.

Happy landings
Jon Hall


  One Response to “Chairman’s Blog Thursday 2nd January 2020”

  1. Hi John hall.i just received your welcome Thursday blog.

    I understand course week (temporary members) are being accepted for courses to be run every week as opposed to alternative weeks from April. I have not heard that pre solo full members are to be able to book training flights every week too. Am I to understand that we will still only be able to fly every other week as we did last year?
    Last year…because we could only book training flights on alternate weeks either side of course weeks…we only had 6 months of really reliable weather from April to September. After Sept. The weather was so unreliable it became too expensive in wasted petrol. After a number of days where flying was scrubbed I gave up the weather lottery.
    This meant that due to only being able to fly on alternate weeks either side of course weeks we effectively had only 3 months of flying tuition for the full membership fees.

    I booked on weekends to build up my flying opportunities and felt that this opportunity compensated somewhat. If post solo members are adamant that pre solo pilots should not be allowed to book lessons at weekends this will seriously cut short training opportunities for them if we are not to be given equality with course weeks which are to be run every week.
    I am curious as to know why weekends are unacceptable to solo pilots. I am sure there is a valid reason but remain mystified. please tell me why.
    At present it feels pre solo pilots are not getting equality of opportunity with course week trainees and anyone taking a full years membership ….only to find they can only get training on alternate weeks and then only for 3 months of the year due to poor weather and course weeks ….could be considered to be subsidising the presence of course week people.
    Could you put this widely held view to the committee at the AGM when it is held? A number of people have expressed this view on the air field last year.
    Could you …in your reply…let me know if pre solo pilots are to still only be allowed to book alternate weeks? Many thanks.

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