Chairman’s Weekly Blog

10 Jan 2019

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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 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 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