Geoff Minshull

Jul 282021
 

My apologies for the length of time this has taken. The good news is that the LMSC weather station is back up, and has been working for the past few days, so that is now live on the site.We’ll need to continue checking it, but it seems ok – if anyone thinks the readings are wrong, please post here, or email me direct at geoffm@directlearn.co.uk

(Having just written this, I realise it’s probably a stupid thing to say that it is working now….. but let’s hope so).

The MGC weather station still has to be fixed, and we still need to order a part for this. The MGC cams are working, both static and time lapse. The data overlaid on the static cam is wrong.

The LMSC cams will be back on the site shortly – I may well have broken one of them constantly erecting and taking down the weather station pole….

Again, sorry this has taken so long. We were hit with a number of issues, unrelated, within the space of a few weeks.

Mar 132020
 

Hi all,

With the VGC Rally and Wenlock gliding events being hosted by the club this year, changes to the briefing room were required to provide a more versatile environment encompassing new IT infrastructure and the ability to brief to a greater number of pilots with the existing  floor space.

A 75″ TV with audio and a sliding whiteboard have been mounted on the West facing wall, the room has been uplifted with a lick of fresh paint and a new, smaller PC installed. The old chairs have been upholstered and new curtains are in the pipeline as well as energy saving LED down lighters which have already been installed in the ceiling.

The safety video for our Air Experience customers and clubs promotional video are already loaded onto the PC and we will soon have the various field layouts, launch failure options, ridge running and other customised PowerPoint presentations for our members, visitors and course members installed

The project is not yet finished so the room looks quite sparse at the moment but a few important photographs and prints relating to the clubs history are to be re-framed and mounted, some painting needs to be completed, new cabinetry for the PC and the 500k and club Chairmans boards are to be updated.

Lots of people have given up their time to get involved in this project including in no particular order, Steve Rudge, Rob Hanks, Gill and Nick LeGras, Denise Hughes, James Moore and apologies to anyone we have left out.

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Aug 162019
 

Hi all,

Hazel Turner will be keeping a watchful eye over all pilots taking part in Task Week that starts tomorrow and we have embraced modern technology to locate you in the event of you landing out.

To make this work, you need a couple of things –

1/ A smart phone with the what3words app and Whatsapp loaded and allowed to use your     location.

2/ Hazel Turners contact details loaded into WhatsApp – 07500472778.

3/  Ideally, your retrieve crew need the what3words app on their phone.

 

Here’s how it works.

You land out, open up the what3words app and assuming you have a signal, it will locate your phone, on the bottom of the phone screen is a “Share” symbol, tap the share button then tap the WhatsApp symbol. On the top right hand side of the next screen is a magnifying glass or search symbol, find Hazels number, tap the white/green arrow symbol that then loads the information into WhatsApp then tap the white/green arrow to send.

It sounds complicated but it is very simple.

Once Hazel gets your information, she can locate your retrieve crew, give them the What3words code and they can come and get you. The great thing is that the app follows the phone in real time so if you move location, it updates the retrieve crew.

PLEASE ENSURE IF YOU GO ON TASK-

A/ YOU LET HAZEL KNOW.

B/ IF YOU LAND OUT, LET HAZEL KNOW.

C/ IF YOU LAND BACK AT THE MYND, LET HAZEL KNOW.

Have a great week, fly safe and have fun.

 

Cheers Rob

Jul 122018
 

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A nice air to air photograph of a visiting Skylark.

 

Well, that was fun, 61 launches much of it colourful vintage gliders taking advantage of 6kt+ average climbs to a 5500ft cloud base, no great distances covered but congratulations Martin Howitt and John McLaughlin who both re-solo’d and Steve Rudge who progressed to Stage 3.

Thanks to Dave Crowson for tirelessly instructing, Charles Carter for looking after the trial lessons, Roger for flying anyone and everyone in the Capstan, Helen for providing some excellent food and last but not least thank you to those working very efficiently on the airfield who didn’t fly to ensure others could.

This evening is steak and quiz night.

 

 

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.

Apr 052018
 

Maybe not quite as good as first thought but the sun shone, the temperature rose, light South Easterly winds, the hanger was emptied, private glass and wood took to the skies and the log book showed a total of 51 launches.

Instructors Dave Crowson, Mike Greenwood, Nigel Lassetter, Simon Adlard and Paul Fowler flew numerous club members getting them back in check whilst Charles Carter took care of our trial lessons.

No great achievements will appear on the ladder but what a great day seeing the launch point buzzing with members and the older gliders, K8, K6 and T21 outclimbing the Arcus, Duos and at one point, we were even above The Hankster….

 

 

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Mar 262018
 

Hi all,

We currently have 42 members signed up to the MGC Flying WhatsApp group so that’s around 42%, as the better weather is fast approaching (honest), signing up to this app will give you the quickest updates on flying at the club as well as other information. Neal blogged the sign up requirements back in January and I have pasted them again for those interested.

I must emphasise that –

A/ You need to have WhatsApp installed on your phone.

B/ You must add your name in the apps status.

C/ You must add a recognisable photograph.

 

Happy flying

Rob

 

Whats app flying group

This is now working well, and for those who have forgotten the detail I am reproducing the instructions below :-

“The idea is that it will be another way for us to let you know quickly about flying prospects coming up in the very near future, and for you to find out prospects the night before you set out. This is in addition to & will complement the blog. We anticipate that the No 1 may use it the night before (and even from first light on the day maybe!), to say perhaps, “brilliant/busy day, come early”; “low cloud base to begin with, hangar doors will open at …”, “rain predicted all day, don’t bother”, so that (time-poor) members and the duty team may make the best use of their day. If, for you, the Mynd is as much a social club as a flying club (and there are many), then this will probably be of little interest, but as it develops we hope that this may be a useful service for members juggling many demands on their time, to help ensure that their visits to the club are as productive as possible.

If members of our flying community would like to join, obviously you need to have WhatsApp installed on your mobile phone.

For us to add you to the group you need to be in one of the Administrators’ contact lists, so please text “MGC Group request” plus your first and last name (and membership number if known …don’t worry if you don’t know it just say so!) to Rob Shepherd on 07709352826 or to Sarah Platt on 07754070357.

Rob or Sarah will store the contact and add you to the group. By requesting access, you give your consent for MGC to use your name & mobile data for this purpose only. You may withdraw your consent at any time by removing yourself from the group, and also by requesting Rob/myself to remove you from the list of contacts.

All group members should create a (recognisable) photo of themselves in the WhatsApp Settings, together with their name in the About field (where it probably says “I’m using WhatsApp”), so that we can all associate names and faces with the telephone numbers. Also in Settings>Account>Privacy, make sure “Profile Photo” and “About” are set to “Everyone”.

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 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 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😄

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No rain???

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So many people

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

 

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

 

 

 

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