Chair’s Thursday Blog

15 Mar 2018

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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 the highlights from last weeks committee meeting

This week.

Parking at the club

Please be  aware that some snowdrifts are clearly marked for committee use only.  I was distressed to turn up last week to find my particular reserved drift already occupied.  see photo below.


Your team this weekend is:

Saturday:  Mike Witton, Peter Orchard, Laurent Couval

Sunday:  Simon Adlard, Paul Fowler, Peter Orchard, Dave D’arcy


I was at the BGA conference in February and the two key areas of concern were airspace and participation.  An example of the airspace issue is below,  this is important, please read the following from the BGA :-

“As you will aware, RAF Brize Norton and Oxford Airport are currently consulting on a number of proposed airspace changes within two Airspace Change Proposals (ACPs) that are linked, but are presented and being consulted on separately. If taken forward and approved by the CAA, these airspace changes will significantly increase risk to the majority who operate outside the proposed controlled airspace, significantly limit freedom of movement across south central England, directly negatively impact the operations at a number of nearby clubs to the point where it’s possible that some will be fatally damaged, and negatively impact all clubs whose members fly cross-country.

There are many reasons why the proposals should be rejected, including re safety, proportionality, and the damage they will do to others. There has been no meaningful engagement with GA stakeholders by the airspace proposers. The consultation process has been poorly executed, particularly with non-aviation stakeholders. The ACP’s are taking place under the CAA’s now discredited CAP725 process. It is apparent that the Brize Norton and Oxford airspace change proposers are uninterested in overall airspace safety. A ‘solution’ has been produced in advance of understanding the needs of others, and taking no account of the effects of their proposals on those in surrounding airspace. Inward-looking airspace developments do not contribute to overall airspace system safety.

The BGA is working with the GA Alliance to respond to the two consultations. There is a lot of work underway. A number of people from gliding and the wider GA Alliance are involved, led by Steve Noujaim of BGGC. Alternative proposals are being considered within that work.

The deadline for submitting responses is 5th April 2018.

Together, we need to encourage as many pilots as possible who are opposed to the proposed airspace changes to submit their views in a meaningful way ahead of the 5th April deadline. We will be promoting the need to respond by email and social media from Wed this week. We’d be grateful if you could strongly support that approach in conversation with your members.

In addition, we need to ensure that gliding clubs, which of course stand to lose a lot if the proposals are approved by the CAA, also submit a club response.  We understand of course that this may not be an issue for clubs much further afield than the southern half of the country. And we appreciate that some clubs will already have consultation response plans underway. All support is welcome.

We recommend that in addition to responding to the consultation, your club submits a one-pager to its constituency MP explaining in layman’s terms why the proposed airspace changes are a significant problem for your club and seeking your MPs support in rejecting the airspace change proposals. You might want to point out that a safe and proportionate outcome can only be achieved if airspace change proposers have a common understanding of all needs BEFORE an airspace design is proposed. That has not occurred in these two cases. You may want to express concern that the CAA is still utilising the discredited CAP725 regulatory process that from 1 Jan 18 was replaced by a new process under CAP1616.

The information for pilots is at . We may update this as new information emerges, but that should not delay anyone from submitting their responses.”

Forthcoming events

Aim Higher at the Mynd 7-11 May.

Last year’s Aim Higher courses precipitated our busiest XC season at the Mynd with a best ever 79 flights totalling 14500km recorded on the club ladder, SIX Silver Distances during the season, and Dominic flying the first ever 500km FAI triangle in Wales (an achievement recognised by the BGA with an award at last week’s BGA annual conference).

This year we are running the full five day course from 7 – 11 May.

Aim Higher lead, Kevin Atkinson, will once again be taking the reins, with informative, entertaining and thought provoking briefings in the mornings, lots of opportunities for XC flying, both solo and dual, as soon as it gets soarable, and debriefs once the hangar doors have closed!

As last year, the charge will be a nominal £10 per person per day to cover expenses, with flying at normal club rates.

Build on your achievements in 2017; aim to take your flying to new heights in 2018; kick start your season with a group of like-minded pilots and get yourself booked in today by phoning or emailing the office – Aim Higher!

Easter Junior Camp

The Club will be running an Easter Camp for junior members in the week commencing 9 April.  All junior members are welcome to join for just one day or all week.  Flying training and briefings will be given, and concentrated flying on opportunities like this is a sure way to make good progress.  If any junior member is interested, please book a place through the office.

As with coming along to the Club on any day, the consent of a parent or guardian is required and you will have to arrange transport.  If you want to stay at the Club overnight, please speak with the office about the special arrangements for this.

There will be no extra cost and you will just pay for whatever flying you do in the normal way plus food.

March 24

AGM and Christmas dinner – presentation evening.

As usual we will be publishing the calling notice and the accounts for the meeting.  After the meeting there will be an opportunity for members to voice their opinions.

Booker Aerobatic Competition

(15th year running!)

The late “Easter Egg Cup’’

Date: Saturday, 7th April (or Sunday, if weather duff)

3 Sequences:     ‘Standard’, ‘Tricky’ and ‘Joker’ levels

‘Standard’figures to be flown:    45 degrees down line


                                                                                                Humptybump (canopy down)


                                                                                                45 degrees up line

180 degree Turn (60 degree bank)

‘Tricky figures to be flown:           45 degree Down Line


                                                                                                Humptybump (canopy down)

                                                                                                Stall Turn

                                                                                                Humptybump (canopy up)


                                                                                                ¼ Clover

                                                                                                90 degree Turn

‘Joker’ figures to be flown:           Awesome rolling figures !            

Note:  If you are safe to fly the Standard sequence solo, it qualifies you for the BGA ‘Standard’ Aerobatic Badge, which gives you the Aerobatic Rating on your EASA License.

Huge prizes for the top 3 places

Who can enter:                 Anyone who wants to have a go !!

A safety pilot will be available for anyone not cleared solo for these aerobatic figures

Committee highlights

GDPR: The secretary is confident we will be compliant by May 18

Skylaunch Winch upgrade:  The engine has been ordered but is in America waiting shipment.

Medical recording:  The forms are ready the next step is to try to change the culture to ensure compliance

Flight logging: The current system is not supported, the office and Steve Male are evaluation an alternative

The proposal from the motor glider syndicate is to be revised and re presented

A proposal for electricity generation was received,  there were some questions of clarity which will be addressed before being re presented.

AGM: The treasurer has resigned and we are seeking a replacement

The Astir is next in for ARC

The Shogun clutch is failing, we are seeking a heavy duty replacement, if not then we will use a standard.