Chair’s Thursday Blog

16 Mar 2017

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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 the highlights of the last committee meeting.

Last week:

New members

I have been remiss in not welcoming new members,  last month we have Barnaby Jones-Evans and George Lawrence.  Previously we have Holly Huszak and Nick Le Gras.  Please ensure you make yourselves know to our new members and involve them in all aspects of our operation.


The last week has seen significant problems with one of our internet connections.  Thanks to Paul Shuttleworth and Rob Hanks for resolving most of it.  The root cause appears to be outside of our control but we are investigating with the supplier to see how we can prevent such failures in the future.  As of writing the weather station is not fully communicative, we are still working on this.

Member survey

Please can I remind you about this and encourage you to complete it, we are already seeing some extremely useful feedback and this will help to make your club even better.  (Plus free winch launches if you win the draw!!!).  The link below will take you to it.

Membership subscriptions

If you pay your membership via direct debit, you will notice those payments start to go out again this week. When we set them up, it was set up so that, unless you tell us you do NOT wish to renew, then payments will continue into the next membership year(s).   Once again please can I ask those of you who pay in one go to pay promptly.

 Weekend outlook:

Your team this weekend is :  Steve Foster, Stephen Alexander, Glyn Macarthur, Guy Hartland, John O’Reilly.  Steve Foster is trying to arrange a replacement so if anyone can step in please let the office know.

Forthcoming events:

Summer is only a few days  away!

The club goes full time on the 20th of March.  The get checked week coincides perfectly with the start of the season and I am confident that it will be the start of a superb soaring season.    Please start booking dates in your diary to come and enjoy the greatest sport in the world.

Can I remind all the private owners to check your trailers. This is the time of year when the first enthusiastic cross countries are performed. We have a tradition at the club of guaranteeing retrieves but it won’t work if your trailer is broken!

Winter lectures

Mike Groves gave us an inspirational lecture which he had to cut short after an hour and a half!  Yet another one we have to re book because it was so good.  The room was packed and the evening meal was fantastic.

Juniors over Easter

The Club will be running a course for junior members over the Easter holidays from 10 to 13 April with a dedicated instructor and glider.  Junior members may attend for just one day or more. Any members interested should book a place through the office

Llanbedr Expedition

The MGC expedition to LLanbedr has had to change dates and will now be from the 18th to the 24th March 2017.  We will be taking the Twin Astir for club flying, and there are a number of Duos going that may have spare seats. If you want to go in the Astir but have not had an email with dates allocated please email  with which dates you are able to attend.

Aim higher course

18 -19 March.

If you would like to attend on the day please be aware that we have to contribute to the costs of providing this course so by all means come along and join in but you will be asked to contribute.    We are so privileged to have Kevin Atkinson to do this course for us.  He will cover:

 How the sky works

How to work the sky

Going further and faster

Self-teaching skill drills and self-tasking

And will be the best preparation you could think of before the cross country season starts in earnest. 

20 March get checked week

This is really filling up (I mean that, I’m having to help out with the instructing!)  so I recommend you make your booking as soon as you can.  Steve Male is running this popular week,  it’s a great opportunity to come along and make sure you are ready for the soaring season which I guarantee is going to be brilliant this year.   Don’t forget as Andy Holmes told me “April is when all the records are set” so you will be ready for the great weather.  We have circulated the details separately.  Contact the office if you haven’t yet received them.  Please can you download and print the latest annual check form off the web site :-


This coming meeting is an important one,  the AGM itself will be reasonably short and tight but the strategy session afterwards will help set the tone of the club for a long time in the future.  In addition can I ask you to consider coming on the committee.  The current committee is working extremely well and this is exactly the time to add to its quality.  The role isn’t onerous but it is important and rewarding.

8 April 17:00.  Please put this into your diary.  We intend a slightly different format this year with the AGM, followed by presentations on the options for going forward.  We have had a couple of good years but we face stormy times ahead.  We must strengthen our position now while we can and your input and feedback are essential.  At the February committee meeting we agreed our 3 main goals and will be publishing them before the meeting so once the formal part of the meeting is over you can contribute to the discussion regarding the priorities of the club over the next few years.

ATC starting up

The ATC have now completed their paperwork and we are intending to start the first trial with them on April  22nd.  This trial will run for the summer season and then we will review it with them.

June the 3rd 4th and 5th. Aim Higher practical

I am absolutely delighted to tell you that Kevin has agreed to provide a “practical” aim higher course on the above dates.  This means we get the best of both worlds, the theory then followed by the practical after we have all had a chance to practice.  We are really privileged to be able to offer this combination this year so get your bookings in to the office as soon as you can.   We are already getting applications and I think this will be a popular one.

MGC Cross Country Refresher Week – for ALL aspiring or active cross country pilots!

This week runs from 17th – 21st April 2017

This is a great week for aspiring and early (and experienced) cross-country pilots with a structured training opportunity to refresh their cross country skills prior to the main period of the cross country flying season. Expect to hone your abilities in the following areas:

  • All aspects of ground school you will need
  • Motorglider training for field landing / navigation practice
  • Aerotow training & revalidation will be available if required
  • Advanced handling techniques
  • Cross-country tasks will be set, planned, flown and debriefed (in your own glider, or as P2 in a club glider/Duo Discus.
  • Dedicated days/slots, instructors, and aircraft available

If you are interested in, or intrigued by the thought of, flying what seem like unimaginable distances in an aircraft that has no apparent means of propulsion, then this is for you! You can find out more by clicking here for the poster or here for full details of how the week will work.

Summer celebration

Mac is organising the “longest day, open day” recruitment drive on the 24th of June.  In addition we want to increase the activity and the interest for members.  Years ago we used to run a “dawn to dusk” day and we are going to combine the two.  It is fantastic fun, we run in shifts and do “shedloads” of launches (or words to that effect).   Please drop me an email at the address below if you would like to help out for a shift, everyone is welcome and I guarantee you will have a great day.


Committee meeting highlights from the meeting on the 10th of March

ESA Grant.   This is still outstanding, Charles Carter is chasing for us.

Committee nominations. All the full members are willing to stand again.  Steven Gunn Russell has done nearly 9 years and would very much like to be replaced.

Fleet Insurance: due to be renewed 2nd of April.

Products and packages.  Sarah has developed: Convert to gliding,  Solo to Bronze, To Solo.  These are approved and will go into production.

Corporate structure: John, Sarah and Neal have met with Alison from the BGA and want to pursue CASC research a little more.  Objections and benefits have changed since the last review.

Accommodation block roof.  Simon Towers has commissioned another builder to review the extremely expensive quotes we have already received.

Access road.  Howard has commissioned the help of Ken Screen (great to see you Ken!) and Neal, Howard and Ken visited the potential contractor at Hughley.

South End signs.  Paul now has the go ahead to get the signs and we have some volunteers to help install.

Auto enrolment.  Our staging date is 1st of April when letters will be issued

BGA safety review and CFI report,  no incidents in Feb, the instructors meeting will be used to standardise and Steve will be present on the 2nd Saturday to offer refreshment to instructors.

Land Rover replacements.  The Land Rovers are being brought up to spec to sell and Julian will arrange the auctioning and Vitara replacement.  We will keep one back for the winch towing until we can replace the Range Rover.

Electric sheep fence.  We are waiting the contractor to make contact , we have all the kit ready.

ATC.  As soon as they confirm acceptance of the forms (subsequently they have ) we will try to start on April 22nd.

Business rates.  Charles and the BGA are preparing for a discussion with the Valuation office.

Hospitality.  The new booking process for visitor accommodation is ready to be started.  Paul has completed the terms and conditions.

Operational plan.  Everything reasonably on plan,  we could do with some more course bookings.

Finance.  Congratulations to Simon Towers who has produced a predictive rolling cashflow.

  1. The main office computer has failed, seriously. The recovery was excellent and quick except for Sage and the flight logging system.  Sage is easily addressed but it reinforces the need for us to have a supportable flight logging system.

Hospitality.  The committee authorised the purchase of two additional smoking bins.