Chair’s Thursday Blog

27 Apr 2017

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Hi everyone,  this is the regular Thursday posting to let you know what’s going on & what is coming up in the near future. Neal is away, so you have me, Sarah, doing the honours this week.

Last Week:

….was the first of our course weeks, with a variety of seasonal weather interspersed with quite a few snow flurries and especially cold nights. We’ve also been joined by folks from the Dartmoor Gliding Club. On Wednesday the weather gods aligned & Dominic Haughton flew a 50okm entirely within Wales, which is only the 2nd time this has ever been done. His full “how I did it” will follow in the next couple of days, but in the meantime you can see the photo at the end of this blog & check out the details on the BGA national ladder here  

Last weekend saw us welcoming the UK Mountain Soaring Group for a flying weekend and a celebration during which they appointed Anthony Edwards as their patron. Their roots go back to the 30s when the Cambridge university gliding club used the Mynd as one of their main expedition camps, and the links have continued ever since.

Going Cross Country?

Remember to add any cross country flights or height gains you do onto this national ladder database: a) you can feel pleasure anc kudos for it, and b) it helps us to give a strong argument against any future airspace-grabs that the airlines want to make. If you don’t know how, Mark Sanders is your man.

Talking of cross country – if you’re intending to do so, we have a number of the marvellous ‘Land Out Thank You’ voucher packs in the office, which Nigel Holmes produced for us. The idea is you can give it to your friendly farmer, should you be unfortunate enough to land out. Please also take their address & pass it to Martin. The idea is that we will then invite them to a Farmers Thank You Supper that we put on every year towards the end of the cross-country season around end of Sept (2017 date to be confirmed). We invite all your farmers & it’s an opportunity for you and the club to acknowledge & welcome them and their families to the club – you never know, we may also get new members from it.

ATC Cadets

A big Well done to Paul Fowler whose efforts made this first visit a great success. Paul writes: “… the day went very well.  All four cadets flew with each getting a soaring flight of 30 to 40 mins plus 1 or 2 shorter flights.  I was able to fly the Shrewsbury cadets part way to their squadron HQ! They were all very appreciative and helped out on the airfield.” Here’s to their next visit.

Club Access Road – JCB this weekend

Howard reports: “Charles Carter, Tim Mason ( committee member,  airfield ) and myself had a meeting on 22nd April  to conclude methods and planning. We will hire a JCB this coming weekend for exploration both on road tarmac depths and break up possibilities and trench for drainage possibilities. The plan is to break up the tarmac level then add stone or MOT  scalpings. We are seeking advice regarding the top surface material to use, so that we don’t elevate the road too high that it interferes with the passage of aircraft over it….we need to make a start because we need to complete ASAP due to the condition of the road.” Howard has not asked for help on this, but if you can assist or lend a hand for half an hour this weekend, then I’m sure the team would be grateful – simply get in touch via the office.
Business Rates
Charles Carter is liaising with the BGA rates team who are awaiting a meeting with the relevant rating authority before our appeal goes ahead. We are holding off doing anything until we receive further advice from the BGA.

Discus syndicate – comfort advice?

Julian Fack has kindly offered assistance if anyone is interested in buying it or setting up a syndicate. He writes: “As someone who is 6ft tall I was always extremely comfortable in my Discus, after some minor modifications. I would be happy to advise how to customise it to suit particular pilots. This might just make the difference to members looking for a high performance lovely handling glider.” He can be contacted at

Publicity & promotion

See the 24th June longest day below. Also, if you’re on Facebook, it would be great if you could Like the MGC page here and then invite all your friends to Like it too. We’re aiming to reach 1000 followers by the end of the summer, and it’s a great way (in addition to this fab blog, or us emailing folks) to see photos and info about what’s been happeneing and what’s coming up. The idea is that it is a way for the general public to find us, find out more about what we do & picture themselves being a member here.

Weekend outlook:

Your team this weekend (rota link here) is:  Mark Sanders, Mike Witton, Stephen Alexander, Liz Adlard, Steve Foster, Charles Carter, Laurent Couval. We are short of a No 1 instructor for bank holiday Monday 1st May, so if anyone is available and able to help, please let Martin know without delay. We have lots of spaces left for anyone who wants to book in for particular flight training – please contact Martin too.

Forthcoming events:

Winch Launching has changed!!   A reminder

You all should have an email re the above,  to summarise: 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 became effective on  Monday 17th April 2017. So far it appears to be working very well.

Sunday 14th May – Fell Running

The runners for this annual event will be coming past us between about 11am – 12 noon. The running club is telling all runners they have to keep to the permissive path only – ie to the west of the club house (travelling north along the ridge). If they go straight on to the run way they will be disqualified! A few people will be receiving the route over the next few weeks.  Do let Neal know if you have any issues on the day.

3rd-5th June. Aim Higher practical

This course is filling up fast, and I urge you to get your bronze so you can take advantage.  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.

24th June – Gliding Taster Day & Summer (Longest Day) celebration

Mac is organising this “longest day, open day” recruitment drive on the 24th of June. The promotion for this is well under way now. If you can help by putting a poster(s) up in your locality, please grab one from Martin. We will also be emailing it out as a pdf this week & would be grateful if you could circulate it to your friends who may be interested in booking a flight slot (for just £25). There will be tours, talks, catering, video displays, so it should give people a really good ‘Taster’ to see if membership could be for them. You can also encourage them to find out more details on our facebook page here.

Here’s how we’re approaching it: “If you’ve always wanted to learn to fly, please join us for a Gliding Taster Day on the Longest Day of the Year. We will be flying from 5am until sunset around 10pm!
🔅Bookable flight slots £25
🔅Experience flying over beautiful Shropshire & Wales at dawn or dusk
🔅Discover what gliding is all about
🔅Gliding talks & presentations
🔅Guided tours of the airfield, clubhouse and facilities
🔅Meet all the members, staff & volunteers (we’re very friendly & don’t bite!)
🔅Find out if gliding is for you
🔅Special deals & offers available on the day for those wishing to become members
REGISTRATION & PRE-BOOKING ADVISABLE, although you can also turn up on the day & we will aim to fly everyone!
To book a flight slot for you and your family or friends, please contact Martin on 01588650206 or”

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).  Flying starts at 5am and continues until 10pm. 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.

MGC Wood Week & MGC Task Week

These are coming up in the next 2-3 months & you will start to see more about these in the next blog. Again, if you’re planning on coming, please book in so that we can start to know numbers. And if you know of people who may wish to join us, please do ask for the info/links (being set up at the moment) so that you cna share it with them.

Sarah, Marketing & Promotion, MGC,


Z19, 500kms, 26th April 2017