Chair’s Blog Jan 24th 2019

24 Jan 2019

Home » Chair’s Blog Jan 24th 2019

Hi everyone its time for my Thursday blog again.

Some differences in the weather models again for this coming weekend but one thing is for sure it’s going to be windy.  Saturday looks like SW at over 35kts for most of the day, strengthening in the afternoon with some drizzle and light rain later with a lot of high and midlevel cloud.  Freezing point around 5000′.  Sunday the wind goes much more Northerly and strengthens to around 50kts with ground temperatures just above freezing but feeling much colder with the wind chill.  Rain and drizzle for most of the day may make the roads sporting so I would advise checking the webcams and or phoning the club before setting out.

Your teams for this weekend are:
Saturday: Clive Crocker (No 1), Nigel Lassiter (TLs), Geoff Daley (winch).  2 of the Pre-Solo courses are booked.
Sunday: Mike Greenwood (No 1), Paul Fowler (No 2), Denise Hughes (TLs), Geoff Daley (winch), Mark Wakem (LD). 3 of the Pre-Solo courses are booked.

Winter Lecture Series
The next lecture is on Saturday 9th March by Hugh Browning, the BGA Safety Officer.  We have been trying to get Hugh to speak for three years and this year we look forward to hearing him update us on all the safety initiatives from the BGA and suggestions on how we can all make gliding more rewarding by having fewer accidents and incidents.

British Junior Team Workshop
We are priviledged to have been selected as a host for one of the British Junior Team’s development workshops on Sat 30th March starting at 1400.  There will be a number of workshops during the day including flying your first competition – suitable for less experienced pilots, use of equipment in competition and XC flying and preparations for the Junior World Championships.  They will be staying for dinner and continuing for a short while after.  The sessions are open to anyone especially our own junior members and those of other clubs.  There is no charge for attending but they will be hoping for donations to their crowd funding campaign to help offset the considerable cost of running a world beating British Team.  For full details follow this link

The MGC AGM will be held at the club on Saturday 23rd March.  Please put this date in your dairy and make a note to attend.  It is one of the few occasions during the year that members have a chance to influence the future of the club and select the committee and officers that represent them.  If you wish to stand for election you need to be a paid up member, have  a proposer and seconder and have signed a form to agree to stand, which are available from the office.  Our constitution requires all officers and committee to be elected every year including those already in office.

Pilot fined for infringing Temporary Restricted Area
On 23 January 2019, Magistrates imposed a £1250 fine and ordered costs of £750 to be paid to the Civil Aviation Authority, following a guilty plea by a pilot to an offence of infringing the RAF Cosford RA(T) on 9 June 2018.
The Court heard that the pilot was ferrying an aircraft from the USA to Oxford when he entered the RA(T) at 2000 ft without a clearance. Air Traffic Control established contact with the pilot and advised an immediate turn to the west to exit. The pilot turned onto a south-westerly heading which took him into conflict with a Boeing 757 positioning for a practise display.
An AIRPROX was filed due to the proximity of the 2 aircraft in airspace that was segregated for the safe operation of aircraft participating in rehearsals for the RAF Cosford Air Show.
In Court, the pilot told the Magistrates that he was using a moving map, in this case SkyDemon, but when he conducted his pre-flight briefing, he was not connected to a wi-fi network. Consequently, the application did not provide airspace updates. He did not check active NOTAM because he was using the application as his sole source of information. His “over-reliance” on SkyDemon and failure to note the offline status of his device meant that he did not have situational awareness (SA) of the airspace into which he was to operate.
Though this was not a glider pilot it highlights the need to make sure that the data we use to plan our flights is up to date and accurate. The CAA actively promotes the use of moving map technology as a mitigation against airspace infringements. Pilots must ensure that they are using the application and device correctly however when planning and executing a flight. Failure to do so without a back-up, such as a carrying out a comprehensive NOTAM brief, use of the AIS Telephone Information Line, checking the relevant AICs and plotting the route on a paper chart, increases the probability of a reduction of situational awareness.

To Matthew Cook who has successfully completed his training and is now an Assistant Rated Instructor.  Well done Matthew.

Just a quick reminder that as a club we are facing some significant cost increases this year.  All our insurances are likely to go up by about 40% and electricity is set to increase by aome 24%.  So anything members can do to save costs around the place will make a difference, such as turning out lights when not in use, not charging devices at the club that can be charged at home and above all avoiding accidents that result in insurance claims on the fleet.  I know that accidents are just that but some forethought and pre-planning can often change the outcome of a flight significantly.

Don’t waste the winter by not flying.  Make good advantage of using all the good training days available at this time of the year particularly with a westerly wind.  Happy landings
Jon Hall