Chair’s Thursday Blog

21 Oct 2016

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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 give you highlights of the last week.  In addition I add the highlights of the last committee meeting.

Retrieve winch

We are replacing clutches on the retrieve winches at a staggering rate.  Marc Williams has discovered that the root cause is winch drivers are using the clutch as a throttle.  Surprisingly, experienced members are doing this.   We will put a diagram on the winch but in the meantime please please ensure that you are aware which is the clutch lever and make sure it is either fully engaged or disengaged at the appropriate point.  It takes quite a lot of effort to hold it engaged but it saves enormous bills.

Incident reporting

The CFI has increased the priority of the incident reporting.  Please can you ensure that you report any incident you observe either to the office or an instructor on the ground.  If you remember later then please feel free to send an email to the CFI (email address is on the web site).  Don’t forget, an incident is anything that happens that shouldn’t have done or the reverse.  The safest clubs have excellent incident reporting and we intend to join them.

New member

Welcome to a new junior member Holly Huszak.  Please ensure that she is made welcome, show her the ropes and ensure she gets plenty of flying.

Last week:

Rubbish and old caravans

Our thanks go to Denise for spending many hours last weekend clearing out rubbish from old caravans in the hope that we can dispose of them.  Please don’t forget, if you know of any way of getting rid of these things then please let me know.

Weekend outlook:

Your team this weekend is Steve Foster, Simon Adlard, Walter Baumann, Peter Orchard, Charles Page and Liz Adlard.   Please be careful about poor weather forecasts.  Last Saturday was forecast to be poor during the week but it became obvious at the morning briefing that the sky would clear about mid day and we were ready at the launch point for the clearance and got a good days flying out of the day.

Forthcoming events:


Black Mountains GC, aka Talgarth, are going to Llanbedr from 22nd to 29th October, 2 Mynd Duos, 494 and FZ,  are going, there is some capacity for P2s during the week. If you would be interested in coming along please email Mike Greenwood with days when you would be able to come.

Cost will be £10 per day plus the cost of aerotows.

North Hill

We will be welcoming North Hill week beginning 22nd of October, they will be bringing their juniors as well.

Half term for Juniors

Just a reminder

The Club will be running  a non-residential course during half term in October (24th to 28th) for junior members of the Club.  There will be lots of flying if the weather is good, and briefings and lectures if not, but October weather often brings westerly winds with ridge soaring and wave, and even the odd thermal. This will be a great opportunity to have some concentrated flying training to prepare you for going solo, that once in a lifetime moment!

If you are interested, please call or email the office to book a place.  You can join the course just for one day or all five.

You will need to arrange transport (a lift may be available from Church Stretton mornings and evenings) plus food.

If you are under 18 years, the consent of a parent or guardian is required.

Bonfire night  November the 5th

Coming up very soon, please reserve the 5th of November in your diary.  This is always a fantastic evening but this year it is going to be spectacular.   Denise Hughes is coordinating the evening entertainment and refreshments so please let her know if you can help out.

Christmas dinner

Please don’t forget to put December the 10th into your diary for this wonderful evening.  More details will follow but please get the date secured now.  We will be running a fund raising event, the social fund is now at the point where we can invest in something substantial to improve our social facilities.  So far we have 2 suggestions:  a permanent barbeque, re furbish the bar.  Please would you let me know if you would like something else.  The only proviso is that it must be for the social benefit of members.

Winter lectures

We still only have 2 firm bookings for these and we really could do with more.  Please let me have any ideas you have at the email below.


Committee meeting 14 October 2016.


We are keeping the accommodation and course prices the same.  The campsite charges will, for those who require the new electric hookup, be charged £15 per night. This is similar to caravan club etc charges.

Discus offsite.

Thanks to Walter Baumann for doing a clear proposal setting out why the Discus offsite pricing should be reduced.  This was accepted.

Member complaints.

Bookings by visiting clubs:  from now on all bookings by visiting clubs will be broadcast to the membership to allow them to book and pay for rooms on a priority basis.  After 2 weeks the remaining accommodation will be given to the requesting club who will then pay for it on a non refundable basis.

Non Flying visitors.  The chair will canvass more members on the issue.

Running projects

MT shed

Mathew Cook is doing a fantastic job with Dave and Roger to get the electrics to the stage of completion certificate.  Estimated end date about 2 weeks.  The next milestone is the transfer of the heater and the shelving from the old shed.

Caravan Park

Guy is really struggling with the disposal of the old caravans abandoned for us to deal with.  The scrap merchants don’t want to know about anything over 20 years old.  The last thing to do with the caravan park is to install the last electric stanchion.

Accommodation block roof

Getting quotes and estimates is proving a nightmare and Dave Crowson has had two contractors up already.

Access Road

Howard has met with a local supplier and briefed him.  We are awaiting an estimate.

Staff Pension scheme for autoenrolment

The NEST scheme is set up ,  next step is the enrolment.

BGA Safety review

We have improved the incident reporting system.  More detail below in the CFI’s report.

Land Rover and Vitara

Julian has the gas tank ready to fit and Rob Shepherd has the conspicuity tape ready for fitting.  The next step is to fit the tank and the tape.   The Landrovers are to be kept in running condition.

Sheep Control

The current system has passed its evaluation and Howard and Dave Crowson are going to another airfield to see how they fence off their sheep.  Then we can plan how to extend the current installation.

Operational Plan and dashboard

The indicators at the end of the year are pretty much on plan with the exception of new members which is 5 above plan.


Despite the extra expenditure on the winches and the fleet  maintenance we are looking at either a small surplus or break even.

We are implementing the credit card system for visitors this month.  No bookings or visitors will be accepted without credit card details being given.  They will be held securely and the process for storage, use and destruction has been published.

The Business rateable value from April 2017 has gone up by 300%.  The Chair has requested a detailed breakdown.

Marketing and membership

Sarah has produced a very comprehensive marketing plan, the highlights are:-

Past members/new members recruitment day (Owner = Mac) – confirmed for 24th June.
Easter member recruitment day also planned for Sat 15th April

Calendars – images chosen. Just waiting to confirm Easter recruitment day, then Martin will print them. The aim is to ideally have them in stock ready for bonfire night.

Email has been sent to Martin for sending out to all trial lessons from last 2 years – “Remember what a great time you had, why not give the gift of flight to a friend or family member so they can experience that great time too”

Rob Shepherd is leading a team to produce a trial lesson usb stick/certificate takeaway, which will also include a new club promotional video shot by quadcopter. Timescale early next year.

Survey monkey is now set up to gain feedback from trial lessons

Steve Male produced a CFI report, the highlights are:-

No BGA reportable accidents or incidents,  18 Mynd incidents.  Including 2 instances of gliders dropping a wing during take off and not releasing.  PLEASE DON’T DO THIS!!!!!   The Vitara has not yet got a radio and has caused 2 incidents as a result.  See the report on ground radios for the resolution.

Our parachutes are getting old and Chris Harris has produced a report on their state.  We will be introducing a phased replacement strategy (these things aren’t cheap, a new one is nearly £1800).  In addition we are taking the parachutes out of their bags and leaving the bags in the store room before taking them out to the aircraft.

There are currently 2 candidates for a BGA Full Rating Test

The following Instructors are managing/co-ordinating specific activities on behalf of the CFI

Cross Country Coaching .Mark Sanders

Junior/Cadet Scheme. Paul Fowler

Aerobatics. Steve Lewis

A group of club pilots is considering entering the Dan Smith K21 aerobatics competition at Dunstable in April 2017.


The K13 will have a tail wheel installed at ARC.  The ARC schedule is being brought forward to try to prevent slippage into the season.  The Icom radios will be installed in the rear seats of the two seaters.

Launching and MT

Marc Williams is producing the maintenance schedule for the winches and vehicles over the winter.


The rodent exterminator contract has been renewed and a visit has been made


The signs are looking grubby and some need replacing.  Steven Gunn-Russell and the Chair will correct these after an inspection


The fund is growing and the next step is to agree what it should be spent on.  Clive is liaising with Martin and Peter re the accounts.