Chairman’s Blog 7th March 2019

07 Mar 2019

Home » Chairman’s Blog 7th March 2019

Hi everyone, its time for my weeekly blog again.

This week, after listening to Matthew Scutter give a presentation at the BGA Conference last weekend, I decided to subscribe to SkySight, his new and improved version of RASP, to see if it works.  I tried it out briefly after meeting him in Jaca last year but then couldn’t see that it was much better than RASP.  Now however it might be.  Graphically it is a big improvement and you can use it all over Europe, plus it links to SeeYou and you can access real time weather data on your phone in flight.  Cool if it works!  Apparantly the wave forecasting is excellent, according to Matt, and the Perlan Project use it to plan their record breaking high altitude flights and use it while flying at night, in the dark, to stay in the best wave lift.  So todays weekend weather forecast come courtesy of SkySight.  No doubt you will let me know how accurate it is.

The first thing to note is that the winds on Saturday are going to be almost due west and very strong, maybe 40+ knots.  Sunday the wind drops to about 20-25 knots and goes just south of west. If there are any thermals on Sunday they could be around 3 knots and go to 4000′ asl just after lunch and cloudbase could be 5000’asl.  There is a pretty good chance of rain to the west of the hill on Saturday but a lot less on Sunday.  Not surprisingly it suggest ridge lift on Saturday but only 2-3 knots and much the same on Sunday.  Not much wave on Saturday but better on Sunday.  Hmmm.

Weekend Duty Team
Neal Clements (No 1), William Brewis (TLs), Geoff Dailey (winch), Laurent Couval (LD)
Chris Alldis (No 1), Alan Swan (TLs), Geoff Dailey (winch), Dave D’Arcy (LD)

Annual General Meeting
The club AGM will be held on 23rd March in the clubhouse starting at 1700 hours.  The committee has been short of members for a while and John O’Reilly and Guy Hartland are standing down this year so we really do need some volunteers to take up the slack.  I shall be standing for election as Chairman but I would really welcome some competition.  Nomination forms are available for download from the club website in the ‘Policies, Rules and Documents’ section of the ‘Members Area’, or by clicking here.

BGA Conference and AGM
The BGA Conference was well attended and provided a stimulating and interesting day.  The Chairman’s Session first thing in the morning was introduced by Andy Perkins (Chair) and Pete Stratten (CEO) who told us that no-one knows for certain what will happen after Brexit but expect nothng much to change.  Airspace remains a pressing issue and the Judicial Review that Lasham is pressing for is scheduled for mid June.  In the meantime we can’t really talk about it as the judicial process looks dimly on speculation and gossip influencing the decisions.  The gathered chairs were still talking about how to attract, reward and value volunteers.  This seems to be a perennial problem without any clear answers but good communication seems to be important.  There was some discussion of eConspicuity which was coverd later in the day.

Neil Goudie (BGA), Stuart Lindsey (CAA) and Dave Curtis (NATS) gave a joint presentation on ‘Gliding in a Future Airspace’ which sounded optimistic that future airspace design could improve the situation for GA but reading between the lines it is clear that the decision makers are very much beholden to the industry leaders that pay for them to exist.  I’m not as optimistic as they seem to be. Permanent airspace change proposals under the new CAP1616 process seems to be fairer to the airspace users with better provision for them to object and influence the decisions and the CAA have turned down several recently but there are literally hundreds more in the pipeline.

Paul Ruskin gave a very comprehensive review of developments in Electronic Conspicuity which covered Flarm, Pilot Aware, Mode C, Mode S and ADBS and looked at the various devices now on the market to make pilots aware of traffic.  He suggested that at present the only system suitable to give reliasble traffic avoidance guidance for glider pilots is Flarm.

The last of the afternoon sessions had a really interesting presentation from Sian Lane, ex Met Office , on ‘How our Weather Works’ though it was really about ‘How we gather the data and what we do with it’, fascinating nevertheless.  Matthew Scutter then talked about ‘Advances in Soaring Meteorology’ which covered much of what was previously said by Sian and made a pretty good sales pitch for SkySight.  Chris Gill from Denbigh did a very convincing job of getting us all to fly in Wales with an entertaining talk, enhanced with some great video and music, on ‘Surfing the Welsh Wave’.

The BGA COnference is a good event for talking to suppliers and developers and the trade show was bigger than I’ve ever seen it before.  It’s also a great place to meet old mates and find out how the other clubs are getting on.  I would recomend it to all, not just club officers.

The Mynd Wood Week Vintage Rally 13th to 20 July
It’s a week where we have a “Rally” style event and it’s all just good fun flying wooden gliders.  The week is run “Free Format” style with each day’s flying activities being dependent on the weather conditions.  Traditionally we have seen many Bungee launches and local cross country tasks being flown. This year the event is being run as a precursor to the VGC Rendevous at Hus Bos (22-25 Jul) and the 47th VGC International Rally held at Tibenham (27 Jul-3 Aug). So why not book in for all three and make it a vintage bonanza!

British Junior Team Workshops at the Mynd
Saturday 30 March 2019 starting at 14:00
The British Junior Gliding Team are hosting a series of Workshops and Talks of interest to glider pilots of all ages and experience during the early part of 2019 in order to raise funds for Junior Team competition expenses. On Saturday 30 March they will be visiting The Mynd.  juniorteamCurrent British Team members Jake Brattle, Simon Brown, Peter Carter, Finn Sleigh, Clement Allen and Henry Inigo-Jones will be presenting the programme  below.  Read their profiles here.

The event is for members of the Midland Gliding Club and neighbouring gliding and flying clubs. There is no charge for entry but those attending are respectfully requested to make a contribution to the British Junior Gliding Team fund.

We will need to have an idea of numbers so if you wish to attend, please notify the office which talks and workshops you will attend and if you require an evening meal.

14:00 – Workshop on How to fly Cross Country faster
The workshop will include a detailed look at:

  • The very important basics – handling and look out techniques
  • How to prepare for a flight effectively using British team planning techniques
  • How to choose when to start
  • A detailed look at speed to fly – (please bring your own glider’s polar, a pencil and a ruler with you)
  • Routing + thermal selection – with pictures from real life routing dilemma
  • Centring techniques – a close look at common mistakes, how to adapt to conditions
  • Getting low – how to focus your attention and what to look for
  • Efficient final glides – Including a look at some real traces
  • How to carry out effective post flight analysis – we will show you how to best analyse all of your flights
  • Self development techniques

This workshop should last approximately 2-3hrs with regular breaks. The Junior Team recommends everyone bring note taking materials. They will have some hand-outs for attendees to complete too.

17:30 – A workshop on flying your first competition:

  • What preparations you need to do beforehand,
  • We will show you how the British Team plan a flight,
  • We will show you how to plan an AAT,
  • How to plan for terrain and weather changes and airspace,
  • Mental approach and objectives,
  • Post flight analysis in a competition,
  • Self development.

This workshop will last 1 hour.

18:45 – Adjourn to the Bar and Dinner
The usual legendary and unsurpassed Mynd Saturday night feast awaits.

19:45 -After Dinner Talk
Following dinner there will be a talk on a topic to be decided by the majority of attendees on either of the following:

  • Preparations of the British Junior Team for the Worlds 2019
  • OR, Use of equipment for XC and competition flying

The evening talk will last approximately 1 hour. All finished by 2100.  The Workshops and Talks should be of interest to glider pilots and aviators of any age and experience level.

Winter Lecture Series
The next lecture in the series is on Saturday 9th March at 1800 hours from Hugh Browning.  Hugh Browning is the BGA safety wizard.  Please do attend, listen and learn.  For those of you who haven’t heard Hugh speak before it is essential listening and for those who have, even more so.  This is the perfect start to our season.  We want to stay safe and operate in a safe manner – Hugh’s analysis and insight will help us do that.  Don’t miss it.

Llanbedr Expedition
The Llanbedr Expedition is full.  If you haven’t booked yet – too late.

Happy landings
Jon Hall
Acting Chairman