Jon Hall

Jan 172019

Hi everyone, this is your regular Thursday Chair’s Blog to let you know what is going on this weekend and in the near future.
Interesting trying to make sense of the weather this coming weekend when RASP tells me it will be a strongish westerly on Saturday going northerly and strengthening on Sunday.  The BBC on the other hand say Saturday will be a light easterly going northerly on Sunday but staying fairly light.  So they do agree on one thing.  However they both forecast it being very cold and there was snow and ice on the hill today so maybe best to check the WhatsApp feed in the morning to see if the roads are passable.  You can always walk up from Asterton and its usually possible in all condirions.  It generally takes 20 minutes if you are reasonable fit.  If in doubt call the office or club phones.

Getting things done around the club
We all know there are lots of little jobs around the club that need doing all the time, from running repairs to cutting the grass, from painting the clubhouse to keeping the place clean and tidy.  As Chair I would love to be able to pay professionals to do these jobs for us but unless you all want the subs to go up we have to do them for ourselves.  So please have a look at the list on the wall when you are at the club and not flying for any reason and give a bit of your time to support the very many other people who volunteer time and effort to be instructors, winch drivers and committee or working group members.

Winter Lecture Series
Unfortunately Andy Perkins, Chair of the BGA, cannot make it on the 9th of February as planned.  We are trying to get him back in October instead and may be able to get a replacement from the BGA for the February date.  Watch this space for further news or the events pages on the club website at www.midlandgliding.club/events/

Summer Course Dates
The course dates for 2019 are filling up quickly Remember that members receive a 50% discount on the course fee, so if you want to book in some days with our professional instructors to progress your flying, contact Martin this weekend and book some dates. You can see full details by downloading the courses leaflet (and can even pre-book your chosen dates) here: www.midlandgliding.club/courses-2/

CFI’s Get Checked Week
takes place from 13th to 22nd April.  Details on the website at www.midlandgliding.club/cfis-get-checked-week/

Cross Country Development Week
takes place from 7th to 12th May.  See www.midlandgliding.club/cross-country-development-week/ for details.

Flarm Obstacle Database for the UK and Ireland Released
Following many requests from the UK GA community, FLARM has today released the first ever additional obstacle database, compatible with all FLARM collision avoidance systems. The obstacle database was previously only available to pilots in the Alps region. From today, pilots in the British Isles with a FLARM collision avoidance system can benefit from the same safety benefits as their alpine peers.
The new database has been built in-house and compiled from several different sources to maximize the available coverage. It contains over 10,000 obstacle elements, including masts, power lines and wind turbines.
FLARM has seen a rapid increase in its UK user base in 2018, today being predominantly installed in powered airplanes and helicopters. Over 35,000 aircraft have a FLARM system installed, of which over 7,000 in the UK.
The new obstacle database for UK and Ireland is available for purchase at flarm.com/ukie. The price is € 35, but FLARM is giving away a € 10 discount during the introduction. Users have until March 31 to get the obstacle database for only € 25, by using the coupon code PULLUP2019 during the checkout.

Weekend Teams
The teams this weekend are:
Saturday Simon Adlard (No 1 and Motorglder), Stephen Alexander (winch), Liz Adlard (LD)
Sunday  Chris Alldis (No 1), Charles Carter (TLs), Stephen Alexander (winch) Glyn Macarthur (LD)

Jan 102019

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

Social Fund
We now have a substantial amount in the social fund.  This was set up to allow us to buy those things that the committee doesn’t need to deliberate over because it isn’t in the strategic or operational plan.  So, for instance, it paid for the TV in the simulator room.  If you can think of a project that you would like considered by the social fund then send your ideas to the Secretary at secretary@midlandgliding.club who will pass them on.

Your team this weekend is:
Saturday:  Neal Clements (No1) Alan Reynolds (TLs) Pete Orchard (winch) and me (LD)
Sunday:  Mike Witton (No1) Guy Hartland (TLs) Pete Orchard (winch) and Dave D’Arcy (LD)

Dates for Your 2019 Diary
Bronze Progress Courses
we will be running a series of “Bronze Progression Courses” over the following weekends:
1st – 2nd March
6th – 7th April
18th – 19th May
These mini courses will focus on progressing members through the Bronze C qualification.
On those weekends where flying is possible we will brief the exercises then go out on to the flying field and fly them.
On those weekends where flying is not possible we will run ground schools covering the requirements of the Bronze C exam subjects and also use the simulator to look at some of the flying exercises.

The intention is to run these mini courses in addition to the club’s normal flying activities so they will not  impact on other members opportunities to fly.  Even if you’ve already got your Bronze C you might like to sit in on the briefings as an early season refresher.

If these mini courses prove to be popular and useful in progressing members through the Bronze C then there is scope to add further dates later in the year, if the demand exists.

Other opportunities for pre-bronze pilots to progress will, of course, be afforded by “CFI’s Get Checked Week” (13th – 22nd April) and “Cross Country Development Week” (7th – 12th May).

Other dates to note:
Wood Week – (13th – 21st July)
A week where we have a “Rally” style event, it’s all just good fun flying wooden gliders.  The week is run “Free Format” style with each days flying activities being dependent on the weather conditions. Traditionally we have seen many Bungee launches and local cross country tasks being flown.

Whilst we call this week “Wood Week” don’t think you’re excluded if you don’t have a wooden glider.  If it’s flyable come along and fly anyway!

Simon’s Soaring Week (3rd-10th August)
This week is run by Simon to facilitate pilots improving their soaring skills.  The week is run “Free Format” style with each day’s flying activities tailored to the requirements of the individual pilots and the weather conditions.  Simon usually starts each day with a comprehensive weather briefing followed by a plan of the day’s flying activities.  If you already have a Bronze C and Cross Country Endorsement then you may well be set Cross Country tasks.  Otherwise local soaring tasks or speed building tasks can be set and flown.

This week is the ideal opportunity for Cross Country beginners to gain valuable knowledge and experience before venturing further afield.

Task Week – (17th – 25th August with Monday 26th August in reserve)
The main objective of Task Week is to encourage and enable pilots to improve their Cross Country flying and introduce an element of competition to prepare pilots to move on to other, more formal, competitions if they so wish.

For 2019 the format will follow that which we have developed over the past couple of years:

Entrants will be divided into classes by the pilots previous Cross Country experience and achievements. They will then compete against each other within their classes, on tasks devised specifically for each class. The overall result being decided by a pilot’s performance within their individual class. This approach puts everyone on an equal footing,  you just need to consistently be well up the order in your class.

If you have not done much Cross Country Flying this is an ideal opportunity to stretch yourself – full briefings are given, Weather, Notams, Tasks, to make the whole experience as straight-forward and rewarding as possible.  Who knows maybe you’ll get a chance to fly with one of our experienced cross country pilots in a 2 seater.  Several of the turbo Duos are often available.

Not to be missed for any pilot wishing to improve their Cross Country skills.

Call Martin now and book your place!
Get you name down for whichever of these activities best suits your plan for the year. And you should be setting goals for the next 12 months.  If you don’t know where you are heading you won’t know when you get there!

Winter Lectures
Our next lecture will be the National Trust on Saturday.  For an ancient hill things do move quickly and the trust always give us an inspirational and informative talk on what is one of our most precious resources: our location

Negotiations are underway to return to Llanbedr for an expedition during to week 23rd to 30th March. This is an opportunity to discover the thrills of flying in Snowdonia and hopefully experience some high altitude wave. If you are interested in bringing a glider along, or flying in a club 2 seater please email mail@mikegreenwood.co.uk to express an interest. He will get back to interested parties once we have an idea how many people want to go and how much Llanbedr will charge us.  In the past they have been very expensive but indications are they are being much more realistic this year.

The change to 8.33kHz channnel spacing is now in force so please make sure you update your glider radio memories and use the following frequencies whilst flying or on the ground.
129.905 Gliding UK Mobile within UK FIR (cross country flying)
129.980 Gliding Control frequencies including our own air to ground site circuit calls
130.105 Gliding UK Mobile within UK FIR (cross country flying)
130.130 Gliding UK Mobile within UK FIR (cross country flying)
130.405 Gliding Cloud Flying (refer to BGA guidance)

The purchase of the Junior as a replacement for the K23 is now completed and we expect it to arrive on site very soon.  We have a valuable asset in the old trailer for the K23 EVV, when we have the Junior on site we will evaluate how to capitalise on this.

Highlights of the last committee meeting
Budget set and approval given to purchase new 8.33kHz radios for the fleet as required
Committee aware that the winch strops we are using are too short to meet BGA standards and are too thin.  They will be replaced.  We thank Ed for bringing this to our attention.
Testing of the car powered bungee launch still ongoing requiring final tests on the ground anchor system.
Agreed to install PilotAware in the motorglider to test its suitability.

Jon Hall
Acting Chairman



Jan 082019

The National Trust is a charity founded in 1895 by three people who saw the importance of our nation’s heritage and open spaces and wanted to preserve them for everyone to enjoy. More than 120 years later, these values are still at the heart of everything it does.  It looks after special places throughout England, Wales and Northern Ireland for ever, for everyone.  For the Trust, conservation has always gone hand-in-hand with public access.  It is our closest neighbour and we share a lot of vested interests and objectives.  We are pleased to welcome Patrick again this coming Saturday evening to enlighten us further about how the Trust safeguards the hill that we all depend upon for our special flying site.  Come up and fly on Saturday, listen to Patrick and enjoy a great meal in the clubhouse after.  Saturday looks like it could be a good ridge day with a stiffish northwesterly, ideal for our ridge.  Don’t waste a chance to stay in check or do some further training ready for the new soaring season which is not that far away now.  Make a weekend of it, stay over and fly again on Sunday as the wind stays just north of west!

Jan 032019

Hi everyone and a Happy New Year to you all.  I hope that 2019 will be at least as good a soaring year as the last one and that you achieve all the goals you are no doubt already setting for yourselves for the next 12 months.

In case you aren’t yet aware I have taken over as Acting Chair from the 1st of January as Neal Clements has unfortunately had to stand down.  I want to thank Neal for the sound management of the club since becoming Chair, leaving it in a better state than he found it.  I hope I will be able to follow his example.

We fly all year round!
There isn’t a lot to report on the running of the club at this time of the year but I do want to remind you that we are open for flying on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday (and any other good flying days by arrangement) right through until the end of March when we return to seven day operations.  Don’t get out of check when there are plenty of good training and practice, if not soaring days over the winter months.  The days are getting longer again and it will soon be March.  For the last few years some of my best flights have been at the begining of the season so make sure you are ready to go when the weather improves.

I do also want to encourage every member to give a few days over the winter to help get the club in good shape for the next season.  There is always some cleaning needed, Den and others have made a start on redecorating the club house but there is still more to be done, the access roads need maintenance and attention and the old MT shed still needs clearing out to make it available for members to use as a workshop.  If we all give just a few hours to keep the club in good shape your committee will be very grateful and our visitors will be very impressed.  You will find a list of jobs that need doing on the notice board.  Have a look next time you are there and do at least one of them.

There’s a welcome on the hillside
We need to present the club in the best possible light if we are to compete succesfully with the other clubs in our region and continue to attract visitors, expeditions, course members and trial lessons, all of whom help to pay for the facilities we all cherish.  And we especially have to think hard about how we greet, treat and welcome them to our business, because that is what we are, in part, and they are our customers.  Think about how you want to be treated as a customer when you visit a new business, offer them a similar welcome and courtesy.  Think about what you say, which to us may seem like banter, but to them may be misconstrued as rudeness.  We all now have a duty of care to safeguard young people so be careful about the language you use to them and to each other.  Think about this as a few resolutions for the new year!

Winter Lecture Series
The next lecture in the winter series is on Saturday 12 January from the National Trust, starting at 1800.  Those who have attended talks from the NT in the past will know how intersting and informative they are about the very land that we fly over.
On Saturday 9 February we are priviledged to welcome Andy Perkins, Chairman of the British Gliding Association.

The first course of the year will be the week starting Tuesday 9 April.  If you or anyone you know would like to book onto this or any other course there are discounts available if you book and pay a deposit before the end of next month.  Consult the club web site at midlandgliding.club/courses-2 for details or call the office Friday to Monday.

Jon Hall
Acting Chair

Jul 172017

So … took an hour to get enough height above the Mynd to consider leaving but then eventually ventured out to Dolgellau (nearly, 9k short) and had a lovely hour playing with the sea breeze front giving 4kt average climbs to 5500′.  Then an easy glide home finally topping up at Bishops Castle with another 4kt average to 4200′ .  No pics i’m afraid as I forgot my camera.  But the first solo flight in over two years.  Yeah!  SeeYou optimises the flight as 142k.  Trace on the ladder.


May 122016

Yesterday low cloud stopped play and we spent the day reading manuals and polishing gliders, fixing things that didn’t work and generally fettling. In the evening we had a really good meal with the Lasham guys and gals and the staff from the airfield in the bar next to the house courtesy of Toyah.

Today is very unstable with forecast thunderstorms so we are all doing other stuff again: Neal has gone for a walk up to the top of stage one, John R walking someplace else, Julian and Meg going into Jaca for a tapas lunch.

Mike Greenwood and David Brown arrive tonight, Paul Shuttleworth and Mark Sanders on Saturday. The weather looks set to improve considerably for them, and us.