Chair’s Thursday Blog

22 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.

This week.

The club is now accessible from all directions.  Hopefully we can now get on with the proper job of Spring flying!

March 24

AGM and Christmas dinner – presentation evening.  The AGM starts at 17:00

Lleweni Parc Expedition 2018

For the last 2 years we have been to Llanbedr in March and had fantastic flying conditions over Snowdonia. This year Snowdonia Aerospace wanted £4,200 in advance for the use of the airfield for a week for 12 gliders. We thought that this was rather too expensive, so arranged to go to Lleweni Parc  instead, partly because we kept seeing videos of Chris Gill flying at 23,000 feet or flying over Snowdon and Cader Idris.

 Lleweni Parc is a gliding site just outside Denbigh at the bottom of the Clwydian range of hills. It is not a gliding club as such, they cater for expeditions from other clubs. There is a club house, members kitchen, bunk room and you can camp or take your caravan. They have a Skylaunch winch, a Eurofox tug, a DG 1001M self launching 2 seater, and an LS7 single seater. 

Unlike Llanbedr there are no security gates, no FOD bins, you don’t have to go for a long discussion with the management every morning, and you only pay for the days you fly, and the costs are very reasonable. Chris Gill, the CFI/ winch driver/ secretary/ cleaner/ general dogsbody is very helpful and relaxed about everything which made the whole experience very pleasant.

Llanbedr has 2.2 km 50 metre wide runways, Lleweni Parc  has a single 850 metre tarmac runway. The slight difficulty is you can’t land on the grass, the runway slopes up if you are landing to the West, you have to taxi to the end of the runway in case there is anyone behind you, the winch is parked at the end of the runway. Did I mention that the runway is 2 metres wide.  This proved slightly more difficult to land on, with even quite experienced pilots struggling to keep the glider on the runway, especially in a crosswind.

Unfortunately the Tug was unserviceable after the first day so we winched for the rest of the week. This meant that those with turbos could light the engine and travel to the lift, while the rest of us without mechanical assistance struggled to get away. At least we got plenty of practice trying to land on that runway. The Arcus was the only glider to manage an epic flight over Snowdonia after using the engine to get going.

The ridge behind the airfield is 30km long. You have to take a dive at it from the top of a winch launch and hope it works when you get there, and that you have enough height to get back if it doesn’t. In practice this was a lot easier than it sounds, and the ridge is fantastic.

Dave Crowson and myself went there before the expedition to fly with Chris Gill in the DG self launcher, which was a really great experience. Several members flew with Chris in the DG while we were there and had excellent flights, it is well worth making the effort to do this and we all thought it was excellent value for money.

Lleweni Parc is a great place to fly from, it is challenging and you have to be good at accurate landing and good energy management to fly there, but the potential for wave, thermal and ridge flying in Snowdonia is enormous, so I’m already planning the next trip.

Mike G

Glide Britain

You may remember that we decided to help with the funding for this last year and the results are now being published.  There was a huge amount of footage and the club’s contribution is available below.  At the BGA conference they also showed a consolidated version which included several sections from the Mynd and was a superb advert for gliding.  As soon as that is available I will publish the link for it.  In the meantime look at our contribution below

Your team this weekend is:

Saturday:  Neal Clements, Nigel Lassetter, Guy Hartland, Liz Adlard

Sunday:  Guy Hartland, Denise Hughes, Stephen Alexander, Tony Dietrich

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.