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Geoff Minshull

Jun 302018
 

The weather station and the web cams are now working again (other than the west facing time lapse web cam, but that’s a separate issue). We have replaced the weather station computer, which was the problem, so hopefully everything should run smoothly again. A massive thanks to Alasdair for his efforts in this.

Geoff.

Jul 162017
 

Here are some nice photos from Dominic Haughton’s flight last Wednesday. These were taken on his MYN-LAMpeter-SnoWDen_MYN 300 km FAI triangle. All these are from the second leg up the coast to Snowdon.

North to Aberdovey

North to Aberdovey

Sea breeze at Porthmadog

Sea breeze at Porthmadog

Cadair Idris

Cadair Idris

Orographic cloud on Snowdown.

Orographic cloud on Snowdown.

May 172017
 

Making the most of the bad weather, Rob has been continuing working on repairing and renovating the K23 trailer, including a new axle, and repainting. Still a few more days work needed, it’s a big job, so if anyone wants to give him a hand, I’m sure he wouldn’t refuse the help!

Painting the frame.

Painting the frame.

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 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

Dec 182016
 

I’ll probably regret saying this, but I think the weather station is working consistently now. Apologies that it has taken so long, entirely my fault. 

Thanks to Martin for his help in sorting this. 

I might need to tweak the direction shown over the next few days, by a few degrees, but it should be more or less accurate.

Geoff.

Nov 202016
 

A snowy Mynd this morning (ignore the weather station reading, which is intermittently wrong, we are hoping to replace the computer which processes the info next weekend).

west

Nov 112016
 

Well done and many congratulations to John Neal, who made his first solo flights today! (And thanks for the early beers afterwards!).

Well done!

Well done!

Nov 112016
 

A nice short west day at the MGC on Thursday, with some very easy to contact wave. You didn’t have to go hunting for it, it set up on the ridge, and lasted for some hours. I flew for just under three hours, and topped out around 4100 above site, though at least one glider, with Jon and Alex, got higher, to 6000. A beautiful day, with the clouds nicely positioned so you could see the glory – typically, I didn’t have my camera ready then. It was very smooth of course, until you descended through the wave (using air brakes to lose height) at which point it got much rougher. The wind had picked up too, and was, I’m told, gusting to 30 knots or more on the ground.

The obligatory wave photo.

The obligatory climbing past the clouds photo.

Sep 112016
 

I’ve been thinking for a while that the weather station wind readings weren’t accurate in light winds, and on Saturday, it was giving NE all day, even though the wind was gradually switching to the SW. Kicking the server didn’t help, and I finally realised that the weather vane was, basically, stuck. Kicking the pole didn’t help either. But the North Hill group, bored because they didn’t want to fly circuits, offered (well, insisted…) on helping. They brought out assorted engineers, car mechanics, consultants, grease monkeys, and others, and managed to empty a few cans of grease and other lubricants on the vane, and now it should be more accurate in light winds. We had to remove and replace the pole, and so recalibrate it for the direction, but I’m pretty sure it is accurate, though I’ll keep an eye on it over the next day or two.

Many thanks to North Hill for their help – much appreciated.

How many people does it take to grease a pole?

How many people does it take to grease a pole?

Aug 142016
 

Glyn MacArthur, John Stuart and Nigel Holmes have accrued 210 years between them. (I think they mean 70 each). They want to celebrate (or, possibly, commiserate) with club members, on Wednesday, 24th August, at the club house. There is a hog roast, but Nigel needs to have an idea of numbers for this, so if you are able to come, could you please email him at nigelholmes418@gmail.com

NOTE: Hog carving time starts at 19:00, through to around 21:00.

Jul 272016
 

(Posted on behalf of David d’Arcy)

It goes without saying that flying gliders is a sport, I mean they are not taxis where you just sit in the back, start up the engine and watch the world go by, soaring requires a lot of skill and decision making in order to stay airborne and land safely. In this respect a gliding competition tests all these skills and brings definition to our sport, allowing us to fly against each other for the kudos. So it needs mentioning that one of our resident instructors, Robert, achieved a very fine overall 2nd place recently competing in the Shenington Regionals – well done Rob. And this weekend ten of us will be competing in the Husbands Bosworth regionals over in Leicestershire – good luck all. See  http://husbos.onglide.com/competitors.xml to keep up with our progress.

However, we didn’t all get to Rob’s standard by accident, a lot of training and practice is needed and our own MGC Task Week (week preceding August bank holiday) offers just that. You don’t even need your own glider as the K23, Discus or K8 can be hired daily or for the week and if you would like to sample cross country flying or use it for a NavEx or even to compete as a team, then the Twin Astir, K21 & K13 can also be hired.

Hope to see you there.

Congratulations again Rob  🙂

Jul 182016
 

Mark was right to pick Sunday, and it was a much better day than expected, being both strongly thermic, and with wave about. Base wasn’t very high, roughly 2000 above site, but there were plenty of thermals, and easy to stay up. And for those who got in wave, it was better, with Nigel Lassetter getting to just under 10,000 AMSL, and Dave Wedlock to around 7500, I think. I’m sure a lot of others got into wave too (but not me….). It was flyable all day, short west, with three instructors on the go, and both club and private gliders.

Jun 192016
 

A few of us took the MGC stand to the Welshpool Air Show today. The weather was quite poor, unfortunately. Dave reckoned that the rain was due to start at 2, and in fact it started at 1.45.  I don’t think the show was as busy as it has been in the past, with the dull weather in the morning, and the forecast rain, probably putting people off. But before the rain started, we had a productive time explaining gliding to potential customers, and some people will certainly come and have a First Flight. So it was well worth going, even if the air show itself was cut very short by the rain, with most of the scheduled flying not happening. I did get a few photos.

A happy customer.

A happy customer.

Helen doing some cleaning, for a change....

Helen doing some cleaning, for a change….

Dave signing someone up.

Dave signing someone up.

Wing walking.

Wing walking.

Wing walking.

Wing walking.

Typhoon.

Typhoon.

Typhoon.

Typhoon.

Mike showing people a glider. Most of them thought it was a model.

Mike showing people a glider. Most of them thought it was a model.

Jun 132016
 

Amy Johnson flying at the Mynd. Great to see how they did things in those days, though not that much seems to have changed. I’m sure some of the members are still here….

Many thanks to http://www.artsalive.co.uk/ for letting us know about the footage.

 

May 162016
 

A better day than I expected at the Mynd. The wind stayed on the ridge most of the day (in spite of the forecast to turn north in the afternoon), and it was consistently thermic. We were launching to the north, and there were plenty of people out flying both club and private gliders. Nigel and Walter were the instructors, and did a number of trial lessons and check flights. There’s only one XC in the ladder at the moment – Allan Reynolds, MYN – WNE – CVN – LUD – SHW – MYN, 128 km. But it was a good XC day, and a fair number of paragliders left, their longest being around 60 km.

Nigel and Maria, on a First Flight.

Nigel and Maria, on a First Flight.

Dave Wedlock getting excited on launch.

Dave Wedlock getting excited on launch.

May 152016
 

Chris Harris, MGC President, and Nicky Harris, guests at the Long Mynd Soaring Club annual dinner last night, held at the Inn on the Green. Nigel Lassetter was also there, as a member of both clubs. Really good to see the increasing co-operation and contact between the two clubs, as the LMSC chair made clear in a short speech thanking the MGC.

Nigel and Nicky

Nigel and Nicky

The President.

The President.