Chair’s Thursday Blog

12 Apr 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.

The Easter Juniors week this week has seen a mixed bag of weather, with ground training happening when flying couldn’t.
Your team this weekend is:Saturday: Guy Hartland, Nigel Lassetter, Charles Page

Sunday:  Denise Hughes, Mark Wakem


Committee / General updates:

Access Road: Now that spring is here and the weather is getting better (!?) we need to work on getting the access road back into good condition. It is particularly important to get it properly serviceable in time for the prospective members weekend which is being held 4th-6th May. The half day sessions we held last autumn worked well and were great fun (honestly!) so we will be doing more of the same over the next few weeks. If you are willing and able to spare a little time to help out, please put your name and contact details on the list which is on the notice board in the clubhouse, or contact Tim Mason via the office.

Maps: The new 2018 (Edition 44) CAA/NATS/ICAO 1:500,000 Aeronautical Charts are now available from the office, priced at a very reasonable £15 ea. Just a reminder that it is an ANO requirement to carry an up to date chart if flying out of ‘Local area’ soaring, and at just slightly more than the cost of a single launch, it is a good investment anyway. For those expecting to fly cross-country it is a necessity, for those thinking of flying cross-country in the not too distant future, it is worth getting familiar with airspace with an up to date chart. They will be literally ‘flying off the shelf’, get yours before they are all gone.

GDPR 2018: There are new Data Protection Regulations coming into force in May of this year, and together with the club needing to highlight what personal data we hold on members, how we store and use it, members also need to give their explicit permission for us to do so. The membership application and renewal forms have been updated to include that authority. Could you all please ensure that a membership Renewal form is completed this year, so that we have a record of your  agreement for us to hold that data. Many thanks

Membership Subs: Whilst we’re on the subject of membership renewal, roughly 50% of members have paid their annual membership subscriptions. We ask everyone who has not yet done so to please contact the office on 01588 650206 with the minimum of delay, and with bank card in hand!

MT: The new winch engine should now be here and we are likely to be able to get it fitted next week. We now have a new clutch for the Shogun and will look at fitting it within the next week too.

Aim Higher training 7th-11th May: We have a couple of spaces left for this excellent and popular training week (see below for full details). To grab one of the spaces, please contact the office without delay.

Rockpolishers (Inter-Club League competition): Here are the teams for the events

Round Date Venue Novice Intermediate Pundit
1 21/22 April Nympsfield   Jon Hall
+ Mark Williams
Rob Hanks (capt)
+ Dave Cole
2 5/6 May Long Mynd David Brown Julian Fack
+ P2
Paul Shuttleworth
3 26-28 May Aston Down Geoff Dailey
Mark Williams
Dave d’Arcy (capt)
Mike Witton
Dominic Haughton
4 9/10 Jun Usk Mark Williams Dave d’Arcy (capt)
Walter Baumann
Dave Crowson
(+ P2?)

A weather call will be made on the Thursday evening before each event. If the forecast looks to be unsuitable the event will be cancelled and scheduled for later in the year.

The very wet conditions we are experiencing currently may also bring the viability of the first event into question. Pray for (lots of) sunshine between now and then. We’ll keep you posted.

CFI News – Check/Currency/Recency Flights:

Now the weather is (should be) getting better a number of us, including me, will be thinking of taking to the air for the 1st time in a while. This brings us to the thorny questions of “Currency” and “Recency”.   You may well be within your Annual Check period of validity BUT if you haven’t flown 3 launches and 3 landings as handling pilot in the last 90 days then you’re NOT “Current”.

You also need to ask yourself if you’re “Recent”.  You can easily be within the 3 launches & landings in 90 days requirement but ask yourself: – when was the last time you flew in today’s conditions? or, in today’s launch direction? Could you cope with an unexpected launch failure on your 1st launch? Bear in mind that during a lay off our “skills” generally stay with us but our “judgement” deteriorates quite quickly, so, If there’s any doubt then there’s no doubt.

ASK for a check flight and be sure to tell your instructor WHY you want/need a check flight; maybe get them to demonstrate something you’re rusty with or a new skill? Our instructors are all here to facilitate you flying safely and making progress, so use this valuable resource and get the best out of your flying.

MGC Stage System

Do you know what MGC Stage you are?  Do you know what the check flight period is and what your annual renewal requirements are? Do you know what skills you need to move to the next stage?

If the answer to any of these questions is “NO” then talk it through with an instructor, particularly on wet “tea drinking” days and (particularly with Annual Check Time fast approaching) get a plan together, give yourself something to aim for both in the short term and for the season as a whole…….. Give it some thought, you might surprise yourself with what you can achieve. Then, when you fly with an instructor TELL THEM what you’re trying to achieve – that way they’ can tailor your flying to make progress towards your goal.

In the meantime: – STAY SAFE & HAVE FUN.

Whatsapp group for flying updates – if any members would like access to this please drop a text to Rob Shepherd on 07709352826 asking to be added, including your full name and membership number if you know it. Please see previous blogs for further details.


Forthcoming events

All Events – We wanted to make it easy for all members to see everything that’s happening and planned, all on our website. Here’s the link

North Hill visiting the Mynd – 14th April for a week, so come along and say hello. There should be lots of aviation happening.BI (Basic Instructor) Training week – 16th to 20th April

If you’re booked on, that’s brilliant. If you are interested in getting booked on or training to become a basic instructor, please contact Steve Male by emailing him here to check the criteria and find out what’s involved and to get booked onto this or a future training event.

Rockpolishers – InterClub League at Nympsfield – 21st/22nd April

Contact Mark Sanders and see above for more information.

Club Week – 23rd-27th April

Come along and fly lots! Get those checks finished if you still need to. Get some training on something that you’re finding tricky. We recommend you book accommodation and any check flights fairly quickly for this one, via the office.

Gliding Course No 1 of 2018 – 30th April to 4th May

This is very early sold out, but it looks like there may be a space on Tues, Thur and Fri. So if you are interested, please contact Martin in the office without delay.

Prospective Members Weekend – 4th-6th May

We are inviting local folks who are interested in joining our wonderful club, to join us for a mini tour of the club so they can see everything the club has to offer. We are not guaranteeing them a flight, but if there’s availability then we may choose to offer that. If you’re around that weekend, and can lend a hand for half an hour, it would be much appreciated.

Rockpolishers – InterClub League at The Mynd – 5th/6th May

Contact Mark Sanders for more information.

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!


on behalf of Neal 🙂