Chairman’s Blog January 30th 2020

30 Jan 2020

Home » Chairman’s Blog January 30th 2020

Hello everyone
Looking at the webcams just now I can see that the cloud still hasn’t cleared the hill top and it looks like it may stay that way all day.  However the weekend forecasts seem to suggest a steadily improving situation with the wind southerly today and then getting gradually more westerly as the weekend progresses.  So assuming the cloud lifts sufficiently, and it should, it could be a good weekend for our Junior visitors.  There will be a lot of them around so any help on the ground and in organising the airfield will be especially welcome.  Lets show them what a great club we have.

Winter Lecture Series Saturday 8th February 2020
The next lecture in our Winter Series is by one of our own members Richard Head, about his life in the RAF.
Richard Head is a relatively new member at the Mynd and has a long and distinguished flying career, starting with the ATC gliding and ending with gliding at the Mynd  In between he has enjoyed 10 years on Vulcan bombers, helicopters and instructing.  Richard has done more than most of us combined and we are extremely privileged to be able to enjoy his experiences and also, hopefully, learn some valuable lessons.  Lets make it another full house, stay for dinner after and maybe fly the following day.

Llanbedr Expedition 21-29 March 2020
Anybody looking for accommodation for the Llanbedr expedition?  Nigel Lassitter and myself have booked a very comfortable Lodge in the village and have a spare bedroom available from Saturday to Saturday at a cost of £140 for the week.  Email me at

As you’ll be aware, aviation insurance markets are hardening and the effects are being felt by many aircraft owners when renewing their premiums. As you’d expect, insurers are particularly focussed on losses. It would be unfortunate to have an insurance claim turned down because of a technicality.
It goes without saying that pilots should operate their aircraft legally and within the limits described in the relevant insurance policy. As ever, it is important to read and understand an insurance policy, and if in doubt to discuss the detail with a qualified insurance broker.
It is even more important that the pilot in command (PIC) of a glider or other aircraft is aware of the limitations described in the aircraft flight manual (AFM). For example, some two-seat aircraft AFMs describe limitations re which seat should be occupied by the pilot in command under specific circumstances. Clear examples include the various Duo Discus derivative AFMs.

VGC National Rally 23-30 May 2020
We are hosting the VGC National Rally at the Mynd this year and this is a great opportunity for our members intending to fly in the Olympian competition to get in some practice in their wooden gliders beforehand.  Those of us that fly both wood and plastic (I don’t any longer but started on Skylarks) will know that the lower performance of the wooden glider requires a very different approach to flight planning and completing a task.  During the VGC Rally we will be setting tasks on all suitable days and there will be plenty of willing people around to help with retrieves if needed.  So why not register to attend the rally and blow the cobwebs out of your pride and joy.

BGA Conference and AGM
The BGA AGM will be held on the afternoon of Saturday 29th February 2020 at the Nottingham Belfry Hotel.  If you haven’t been to a BGA Conference or AGM before I highly recommend it as a place to meet lots of other glider pilots, talk with people from other clubs, learn what the BGA does and is doing right now to protect our flying interests and to see all the latest stuff in the trade show as well as new glider types on display.  It costs nothing to attend and there is usually a goody bag on registration.  I will be attending in order to vote on behalf of our members at the AGM.  I have available copies of the Agenda, the Minutes of the 2019 AGM, the BGA Annual Report, the BGA Final Accounts, the budget for 2020-21 and a proposed change to the Operational Regulations concerning Passenger Flying.  If you would like to see any of them you can obtain them from the BGA or drop me an email at and I will forward copies on to you.

Pilot medicals 
I received the following from the BGA a few days ago and think it worth reproducing here:

‘As you will be aware, all qualified glider pilots flying EASA sailplanes including powered sailplanes (which include TMGs) will be required by law to hold an EASA pilots licence and medical certificate from 8 April 2021. We currently expect this to remain the case regardless of the terms under which the UK leaves the EU. We are planning accordingly.  While the new sailplane licensing rules are reasonably straightforward, the LAPL or class 2 medical certificate requirement is a key issue. Whilst many pilots may choose to hold a medical certificate, the BGA and the CAA recognise that the requirement is proven to be disproportionate for air sport and therefore promote and support the use of medical self-declaration where possible.
Supported by other potentially impacted air sport organisations, the BGA has written to the Department for Transport laying out why the UK CAA self-declaration medical standard to driving licence standards and associated exemption from EASA medical requirements should be extended to the thousands of pilots of all recreational EASA aircraft including sailplanes operating in the UK through 2021 and beyond. There is dialogue underway and currently no certainty regarding the outcome.
Meanwhile, to support further justification of continued medical self-declaration, our STRONG recommendation is that all glider pilots including those with a class 2 or LAPL medical consider and if they are able to, sign up to the CAA’s pilot medical online self declaration process. This is a straightforward process and is free. Although the declaration doesn’t specify aircraft category (eg glider, aeroplane, etc) and it can be confusing which box to tick, the key point is to make the declaration if able to. If in doubt tick NPPL. This doesn’t impact on the current BGA medical requirements which until 2021 should remain as they are. By making the one-off declaration, pilots may potentially future-proof themselves against change.
The CAA self-dclaration medical portal is here
We would be grateful if you would pass this information to all your club pilots and encourage participation.’

In addition I would recommend that every one of us writes to out MP telling them how such a decision will impact on our individual flying prospects and lobbying hard that they support the CAA’s Self Declaration policy.  Lobbying does make a difference if enough people take up the cause.  If you think, as I do, that this change may prevent you from flying after April 2021, or create sufficient hurdles that you may consider giving up the sport, tell your MP.

Wenlock Olympian Games – Gliding 13-17 July 2020
We have 13 entries so far for the Olympian competition later this year and thanks to all of our members who heeded my recent encouragement to get registered.  But there are still a few of you out there that haven’t.  What are you waiting for?  If you have registered you should have received an email inviting you to pay the entry fee via SagePay.  If you haven’t please let the office, and me, know.  If you have please pay.  It’s very hard to plan without having a firm idea of the firm entry numbers.

Your duty teams this weekend are:
Saturday:  Chris Alldis (No 1),  Matthew Cook (No 2), Ed Jones (winch), Charles Page (LD)
Sunday:  William Brewis (No 1), Matthew Cook (No 2), Ed Jones (winch),  Dave Cole (LD)

Happy landings
Jon Hall