Chairman’s Blog Thursday 24th October

24 Oct 2019

Home » Chairman’s Blog Thursday 24th October

Hi everyone

I’m back after a really great holiday in America driving the historic Route 66 from Chicago to Santa Monica then the Pacific Highway, Route 1, from there to San Francisco.  Excellent trip but lacked any gliding so this week I am at the Borders Gliding Club on the edge of the Cheviots.  Those of you who follow my Facebook posts will know that after three days of rain and too strong winds to launch, yesterday we had some epic wave to 19200′ and today promised wave but started without any.  KA was about 25th on the launch list but after the first three launched and didn’t get away, no one else wanted to go and we found ourselves next on the list.  Undeterred off we went and climbed to 13600′ before the cold got the better of us.  I can recommend joining an expedition to another site.  You get to meet a lot of new people (Staffordshire GC are here this week) as well as the locals who couldn’t be more welcoming.  You get to fly at another site with different topography and different challenges.  You might get to keep in check with aerotowing and if you choose your time right you get to fly in wave.  What more could you want.

IMG_7348Looking towards Holy Island, Lindisfarne from 10000′ over Wooler.

Your duty teams this weekend are:
Saturday:  Guy Hartland (No 1), Mark Jerman (No 2), Denise Hughes (TLs), Peter Orchard (winch), Laurent Couval (LD)
Sunday:  Chris Alldis (No 1), Mark Jerman (No 2), Dave D’Arcy (TLs), Guy Hartland (winch), Jon Hall (LD)

Party Saturday Night
Saturday evening there will be a party in the clubhouse to celebrate Eddie’s birthday.  The world famous Umpah Band will be there to entertain and apparently we can expect a surprise appearance from an international star.  You should already have put your name on the list but if you haven’t yet do call Helen and let her know and what you want to eat.  The menu was circulated by email to all recently.  It will be a memorable night I can guarantee.

Christmas Dinner and Trophy Awards 2019
While on the subject of parties don’t forget to put Saturday 19th December in your diary.  This is traditionally one of the best social events in the club calendar and you might get awarded a trophy.  Don’t miss it.

Winter Lectures Series
The first of the winter lectures will be on Saturday 23rd November.  We are privileged to have Chris Gill, CFI from Denbigh GC at Lleweni Parc coming to tell us all about exploring Snowdonia.  Chris has made Lleweni Parc into one of the must go expedition sites in the UK and has reinvented enterprising gliding in the Welsh mountains.  If you follow Denbigh GC on Facebook you will know that there seems to be hardly a day goes by without Chris posting amazing pictures of ridge running in Snowdonia, waving at the walkers on Snowdon or wave flying to 24000′ in the North Wales Wave Boxes.  Chris is planning to fly in on the morning, weather permitting, and is offering some aerotow practice for those that need or want it.  Don’t miss it.

Drone and model aircraft registration and education service
Update 21 October 2019
Registration mandatory from: 30 November 2019
The UK’s new Drone and Model Aircraft Registration and Education Scheme will go live on 5 November 2019 (please note that you cannot register before this date).
There will be two elements to the online system.
Anyone responsible for a drone or unmanned aircraft (including model aircraft) weighing between 250g and 20kg will need to register as an operator.  The cost for this will be £9 renewable annually.
Anyone flying a drone or unmanned aircraft (including model aircraft) weighing between 250g and 20kg will need to take and pass an online education package. This is free and renewable every three years.
Both of these requirements become law on 30 November 2019.
From 5 November 2019 the system will be available at

Shropshire Magazine
The Shropshire Magazine recently published an excellent article about our club.  Follow this link to view it – 

Gerry Roberts 1927-2019
It is with great sadness that I report the death of Gerry Roberts on Monday 14th October.  Gerry flew gliders for a very long time and only hung up his instructing boots in the 1990s but maintained a keen interest in flying until very recently.
There will be a short Committal (funeral) service at Macclesfield Crematorium at 11.20am Friday 8th November for family and close friends.
Afterwards there will be a Service of Thanksgiving at Trinity Church, Hardwick Mount, Buxton SK17 6PR at 12:15.
Refreshments will follow from 1:30 at Cavendish Golf Club, Watford Rd, Buxton SK17 6XF.
No flowers please;  any donations in memory of Gerry will be for the RNLI and Trinity Church.
The funeral directors are Mellor & Smith, Prince of Wales House, Fairfield Road, Buxton SK17 7DN; telephone 01298 77703;

Summer Courses 2020
I’m delighted to tell you that we are already receiving course bookings for next year and that the office has already taken bookings for six of the planned weeks.  All courses are of course open to members so if you want to take advantage of some dedicated training it may be a good idea to book early.

New Motor Glider Instructor
I am happy to report that Neal Clements has recently been awarded a Self Launching Motor Glider Instructor Rating and will be swelling the ever growing cohort of |Motor Glider \instructors at the club.  Well done Neal.

The autumn edition of the club newsletter is due out soon but so far I have no contributions.  If you have thoughts on an article for inclusion please let me know and let me have copy asap with images, diagrams etc.

Now that the days are shortening, the clocks are going back and the nights getting longer it is tempting to hang up your gliding boots for the next four or five months, put your glider on ground risk only insurance and forget about flying for a while.  But there are some great flying days over the winter, some good wave conditions and the ridge continues to work in a westerly.  It is important to stay current and recent even if you only do a few circuits especially if you want to be prepared for those first cross country days in March next year.  A few years ago I had a memorable 200k flight in wave with Julian Fack in his Duo on New Year’s Day.  If you really can’t manage to fly over the winter get yourself a copy of Condor 2 Soaring Simulator (€49.99 +vat) and a cheap joystick and go exploring.  A great way to keep your head in the clouds.

Happy Landings
Jon Hall
MIdland GC