Chair’s Thursday Blog

13 Apr 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.

Last week:

Good news and bad news.

Congratulations to  Steve Rudge on going solo.  Steve has persevered and is now reaping the benefits with superb flights setting a good example to all of us. 

Retrieve winch

Believe it or not (probably the latter) your committee does try to plan ahead and we are desperate to maintain a good launch facility.  To that end we sent one of the retrieve winches to Skylaunch for a major service in the winter. Below is an extract from Guy Hartland’s update to the committee on the problem.  Guy puts a lot of effort in along with our fabulous winch team.

“Skylaunch had promised the retrieve winch back the first week in April (last week) obviously that did not happen and the weekend operation was considerably hampered when the Knox retrieve winch would not run (now sorted) I spoke to Skylaunch on Monday morning. I am informed that the engine rebuild is completed and it was ready for reassembly. Mike Groves was away in Germany until today and I am expecting an update in the morning as to what tge issue was and when we can expect to have the winch back on site. ”

 Visit by Appleby ATC Squadron

In case you are not aware,  Paul Fowler has, over the past few years, considerably expanded our cadet and junior offering.  Below is the report from the weekend. I was instructing as well and it was a delight to have such enthusiastic youngsters helping out on the field.


“Six cadets from ATC 2192 Squadron based in Appleby in Cumbria, along with two staff, paid the Club a visit over the last weekend, driving down early on Saturday morning to arrive in time to help unpack the hangar.  The Squadron have been visiting the Club over the last few years, and it was a second visit for two of the cadets and one of quite a number for Flt Sgt Dave Shaw.  Rob, the new Commanding Officer, was making his first visit.  Both days were sunny and soarable in parts.  All the cadets and staff enjoyed flights on both days. The newbies were introduced to the basic effects of the controls and the others made good progress in their flying training to complement their training under the RAF syllabus.  Basic training was in the K13.  Matthew Cooke also kindly offered flights in the T21, which was much appreciated by each cadet. The grinning face when the T21 landed was a sight to behold, and the cadets looked as if they enjoyed the flying as well!   The cadets were of great help on the ground, fetching cabless,  keeping the Log,  driving the vehicles and helping launch the gliders.  Some members should take note!  Further visits are planned.


Help Shrewsbury school.

 Shrewsbury School have asked if we can arrange for a glider to be displayed on their Speech Day, Saturday 1 July . A top-of-the-range two-seater will look good and will generate some good publicity amongst the affluent parents!  If any private owners are willing to help, please contact Paul Fowler.  The day wont be like the Speech Days members of a certain generation may remember.  There are hospitality marquees and lots of other displays.


Weekend outlook: 

Your team this weekend is:  Walter Baumann, David Brown, John O’Reilly, Alasdair Lewis, Guy Hartland, Tony Dietrich

Forthcoming events:

The UK Mountain Soaring Group

The UK Mountain Soaring Group (formerly Eden Soaring Society) will be visiting the Mynd on the weekend of 22 and 23 April.  The website is   The history section of the website tells where the Mynd fits into their story, involving the Cambridge (CUGC as it then was) camps that used to happen at the Mynd.  


Winch Launching is changing!!

You all should have an email re the above,  in  essence:-

Essentially the process of the winch launch has not changed but the procedure we use to facilitate the process has changed.

    1) The new procedure highlights the responsibilities of the Retrieve Winch Operator – this not a change as such but reinforces the responsibilities defined in Laws & Rules.

    2) The “Wing Tip Holder” now ONLY holds the wing – they do not signal

    3) The person who attaches the cable to the glider becomes the “Wing Tip Signaller”.

    4) The “Wing Tip Signaller” now ONLY signals “Take Up Slack”

    5) The “Retrieve Winch Operator” decides when all the slack is out of the cable by observing the glider beginning to move forward – and ONLY THEN changes to the “All Out” signal.

This new procedure will be introduced on Monday 17th April i.e. Easter Bank Holiday Monday


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


The AGM was extremely well attended and after the formalities we discussed the highlights of the survey, the future of the fleet, the accommodation block and the road.  On the latter Howard Bradley has the go ahead to start the drainage work,  please can you let the office know if you would be willing to help out for an hour or 2 and we will publish the date well in advance.

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.

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.

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.