Last weekend we had a members forum at the club on Saturday evening with more than 40 people attending, where the officers presented a review of the state of the club, its finances, membership and operations status. The forum finished with a question and answer session where members had the opportunity to question the committee about things that have happened, are happening and might happen in the near future. John O’Reilly supported both the Treasurer and the CFI with an analysis of membership and flying activity which makes interesting reading. For those who were unable to attend the main points were;
- Total number of launches were down (- 7.5%) in 2018-19, mainly due to the poor weather in April, June and September
- However the total number of club fleet glider launches was near enough where it has been for the past 4 years.
- So the total number of launches is down, BECAUSE there were fewer members’ private glider and visitor glider launches
- Despite the loss of the Twin Astir (end March 2019), the number of club 2-seater launches shows essentially no change, despite the weather (probably due to the increased number of courses)
- The K13s and the K21 have taken up the slack. Over the past 7 years, the number of launches that the Twin Astir has taken had reduced from 800+ to 300’ish.
- The club single seater launches were a bit down (@810). The Junior had 155 launches. The K23 remains the most popular single seater.
- In particular, the K8 took only 90 launches this year.
- Over the past 7 years, the number of club single seater launches have reduced from 1,250’ish down to somewhere around 800
The committee is working hard as always to increase membership numbers and get the fleet and launch system reliable and efficient. There is much activity around the winches and airfield vehicles with the intention that by the beginning of the soaring season next year, before our big events of the VGC National Rally and the Olympian, all our kit will be fully serviced and fully functional. Many thanks are due to Andy Holmes and Julian Fack for driving this. The CFI is clear that the fleet is currently adequate for our needs but we are aware that the K21 may reach the end of its life in 5 or so years and are actively exploring ways of replacing it if it doesn’t get re-lifed. We are preparing a strategic plan for the next five years that will address the many challenges that this club will face as buildings get older, the road continues to wear and the infrastructure needs maintenance. It will be completed in time for the next AGM. Membership, in common with most other gliding clubs in the UK, remains a constant challenge and the committee is reviewing the membership packages on offer to effect an improvement. Trial lesson sales and courses remain a vital part of our revenue stream and much effort is going into improving sales of both. With that in mind we are taking a stand at the Wenlock Fayre on Saturday, after the sales it generated last year and are taking a glider to display. We desperately need help from people willing to give a few hours to talk to people. Please come along if you can.
Don’t forget the Club Christmas Dinner and Awards Ceremony takes place on December 14th. Let Helen know if you plan to attend and order and pay for your dinner ticket
Your duty teams this weekend are:
Saturday: Neal Clements (No 1), Mark Jerman (TLs), Simon Adlard (winch), Laurent Couval (LD)
Sunday: Matthew Cook (No 2, ark Wakem (TLs), Simon Adlard (winch), Jon Hall (LD)