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Mar 212019
 

Hi everyone

Your team this weekend
Saturday: Mike Greenwood (No 1), Guy Hartland (winch), Glyn Macarthur (LD)
Sunday: Guy Hartland (No 1), Denise Hughes (TLs), Peter Orchard (winch), Charles Page (LD)

AGM 23rd March 2019
Final reminder that the club AGM will take place in the clubhouse starting at 1700 hours.  It’s not too late to stand for a committee position if you wish.  Just download a nomination form (click here), get a proposer and a seconder to sign it, add your own signature and hand into the office before the meeting.  If you intend to stay for a meal after please put your name on the list displayed at the hatch as soon as possible, or speak to Martin in the office tomorrow or Helen by phone.

Ridge Runners Retreat under New Management
Helen Johnson is now running the catering.  Many thanks to Fay, Rob and their many helpers for a splendid service since she took it on some 8 years ago.

First Day of Spring
Yesterday was the official first day of Spring. Also known as the Vernal Equinox, yesterday marked the time of year when day and night are most nearly equal (roughly 12 hours each). The Spring Equinox always falls on March 19, 20 or 21.  So life just gets better and better for the next few months for us glider pilots and the weather this week and the forecast for next week back that up.  Should see some thermal cross country flying very soon.

First Flight of the Junior
Our new Junior made its first flights at the Mynd this week.  Its not dissimilar to the K23 but a more defined taildragger so it needs to be held off properly.  It has brakes like barn doors and is roomy and comfortable to fly.  So all you people who complained that the Discus was sooooo uncomfotable should form an orderly queue to get the Junior in your log book.  Don’t forget you need to do a type conversion first.

IMG_1695

Celebration of Derek Piggott’s Life
A memorial event will be held at Lasham Airfield on Friday 26th April at 14:00 hours. It will be a non-religious ceremony to celebrate Derek’s life. All will be welcome to come and pay their own respects to one of the world’s greatest aviators. The event will last for an hour to an hour and a half and will be held in the Brown Elephant building at Lasham.
Please inform anyone else you know who may be interested, especially anyone of DP’s era.  If you would like to attend, please can you let the girls in the office at Lasham know. They will need to know numbers so please phone 01256 384900 or e-mail the office@lasham.org.uk a.s.a.p.

Press and Media Officer
Still looking for a volunteer to help with Press and Media Relations.  It isn’t a committee job and just requires someone who can keep in touch with events at the club such as new solos, visiting, expeditions, special events etc. and write a decent Press Release and a Twitter/Facebook post, circulating to the relevant press and media operators in our region.  If we are to grow the club and attract new members this is a vital role.  It could be shared amongst a number of volunteers.

That’s all for now.  See you at the AGM.
Happy landings.
Jon Hall
Acting Chairman

Mar 142019
 

Hi everyone time for my weekly blog again.  No one has bent my ear about how wrong SkySight was last week so I’ll try again.  I shall be at the club all this weekend so I can see for myself.

Friday will be post cold frontal and has a lot of high cloud, mid level cloud and Cu with a forecast of soarable conditions and decent headroom between 1130 and 1630 hours.  Winds will be a bit north of west around 25-30 knots.  There will be showers throughout the day but SS thinks it will mostly miss the Mynd.  Saturday is pre cold frontal and looks pretty grim with high, mid and low level cloud with embedded Cu.  Cloudbase will probably not allow any flying.  Winds will go south of west and remain strong, probably building.  There will be rain in the morning but should clear the Mynd by lunchtime.  Sunday is the gap between the cold front and an approaching occluded front.  The day looks considerably better with no high cloud, intermittent mid level cloud and lots of Cu giving soarable heights up to 4500′ asl from 1030 to 1530 hours.  Winds almost westerly all day starting off at about 20 knots and slackening a bit during the day and it could wave between Bishops Castle and Montgomery.  It will definately be wavy further west towards the coast.  But it will rain during the afternoon.

Your team this weekend
Saturday: William Brewis (No 1), Charles Carter (TLs), Stephen Alexander (winch), Jon Hall (LD)
Sunday: Clive Crocker (No 1), Matthew Cook (TLs), Stephen Alexander (winch), Glyn Macarthur (LD)

AGM 23rd March 2019
Don’t forget the AGM on 23rd March starting at 1700 hours in the clubhouse.  If you intend to stay for a meal after please put your name on the list displayed at the hatch from this weekend onward, or speak to Martin in the office or Helen by phone.  Helen Johnson takes over the catering from Sunday afternoon this weekend.  Many thanks to Fay, Rob and their many helpers for a splendid service since she took it on.  Nomination forms for the committee are available for download from the club website.

Newsletter
I’m happy to say that the first edition of the Newsletter seems to have been well received and to start with I intend to publish it quarterly.  So I’m looking for contributions of articles so I don’t have to write it all.  I have promises of some interesting pieces, have received one finished piece already, but need lots more.  I have a list of potential topics and I will be approaching some of you asking for contributions but if you have ideas for an article, or a regular column, please let me know.  I would like pieces on: instruments and avionics reviews, cross country achievements, or lack off, interesting field landings, things that you learned from things going wrong, competition reports, expedition reports, gliding related events, flying abroad, humorous pieces especially and lots and lots of pictures.  I need your help to make the Newsletter properly represent the club.  Don’t be shy in offering contributions.

Visitors
We have a visiting group from Cambridge University with us from Saturday until the following Friday.  I know I can count on you all to make them feel at home.  Rob Hanks is the instructor in charge for the week and he will be grateful for any help you might be able to offer on the ground.

Twitter
We now have a fully functioning all new Midland Gliding Club Twitter page @MidlandGliding.  If you are a Twitter user please do post stuff especially good images of us having a great time.  The more we post the more it gets re-tweeted around the many aviation and media followers, helping to promote the club.

Press and Media Officer
Still looking for a volunteer to help with Press and Media Relations.  It isn’t a committee job and just requires someone who can keep in touch with events at the club such as new solos, visiting, expeditions, special events etc. and write a decent Press Release and a Twitter/Facebook post, circulating to the relevant press and media operators in our region.  If we are to grow the club and attract new members this is a vital role.  It could be shared amongst a number of volunteers.

That’s all for now.
Happy landings.
Jon Hall
Acting Chairman

Mar 092019
 

Hello Everyone,

Does anyone know who has the login details to the Club’s Twitter account, https://twitter.com/midlandgliding?lang=en ?

It was clearly set up and managed with a great deal of love and care for a long time but has been dormant, except for automatic posts.   We would like to use it actively as s part of a membership campaign and access to updated and create marketing campaigns.

If you do, please let the treasurer know by emailing the bean counter at treasurer@midlandgliding.club.

Thank you,

James

Mar 082019
 

Hello Soaring Pilots,

If you are planning on coming to the Cross Country Workshop with the British Junior Team at the Mynd on Saturday, 30th of March, please book online using the link below:-

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/cross-country-workshops-with-british-junior-gliding-team-tickets-55452980357?aff=ebdssbdestsearch

Happy Landings,

James

The bean counter…

 

Mar 072019
 

Hi everyone, its time for my weeekly blog again.

This week, after listening to Matthew Scutter give a presentation at the BGA Conference last weekend, I decided to subscribe to SkySight, his new and improved version of RASP, to see if it works.  I tried it out briefly after meeting him in Jaca last year but then couldn’t see that it was much better than RASP.  Now however it might be.  Graphically it is a big improvement and you can use it all over Europe, plus it links to SeeYou and you can access real time weather data on your phone in flight.  Cool if it works!  Apparantly the wave forecasting is excellent, according to Matt, and the Perlan Project use it to plan their record breaking high altitude flights and use it while flying at night, in the dark, to stay in the best wave lift.  So todays weekend weather forecast come courtesy of SkySight.  No doubt you will let me know how accurate it is.

The first thing to note is that the winds on Saturday are going to be almost due west and very strong, maybe 40+ knots.  Sunday the wind drops to about 20-25 knots and goes just south of west. If there are any thermals on Sunday they could be around 3 knots and go to 4000′ asl just after lunch and cloudbase could be 5000’asl.  There is a pretty good chance of rain to the west of the hill on Saturday but a lot less on Sunday.  Not surprisingly it suggest ridge lift on Saturday but only 2-3 knots and much the same on Sunday.  Not much wave on Saturday but better on Sunday.  Hmmm.

Weekend Duty Team
Saturday
Neal Clements (No 1), William Brewis (TLs), Geoff Dailey (winch), Laurent Couval (LD)
Sunday
Chris Alldis (No 1), Alan Swan (TLs), Geoff Dailey (winch), Dave D’Arcy (LD)

Annual General Meeting
The club AGM will be held on 23rd March in the clubhouse starting at 1700 hours.  The committee has been short of members for a while and John O’Reilly and Guy Hartland are standing down this year so we really do need some volunteers to take up the slack.  I shall be standing for election as Chairman but I would really welcome some competition.  Nomination forms are available for download from the club website in the ‘Policies, Rules and Documents’ section of the ‘Members Area’, or by clicking here.

BGA Conference and AGM
The BGA Conference was well attended and provided a stimulating and interesting day.  The Chairman’s Session first thing in the morning was introduced by Andy Perkins (Chair) and Pete Stratten (CEO) who told us that no-one knows for certain what will happen after Brexit but expect nothng much to change.  Airspace remains a pressing issue and the Judicial Review that Lasham is pressing for is scheduled for mid June.  In the meantime we can’t really talk about it as the judicial process looks dimly on speculation and gossip influencing the decisions.  The gathered chairs were still talking about how to attract, reward and value volunteers.  This seems to be a perennial problem without any clear answers but good communication seems to be important.  There was some discussion of eConspicuity which was coverd later in the day.

Neil Goudie (BGA), Stuart Lindsey (CAA) and Dave Curtis (NATS) gave a joint presentation on ‘Gliding in a Future Airspace’ which sounded optimistic that future airspace design could improve the situation for GA but reading between the lines it is clear that the decision makers are very much beholden to the industry leaders that pay for them to exist.  I’m not as optimistic as they seem to be. Permanent airspace change proposals under the new CAP1616 process seems to be fairer to the airspace users with better provision for them to object and influence the decisions and the CAA have turned down several recently but there are literally hundreds more in the pipeline.

Paul Ruskin gave a very comprehensive review of developments in Electronic Conspicuity which covered Flarm, Pilot Aware, Mode C, Mode S and ADBS and looked at the various devices now on the market to make pilots aware of traffic.  He suggested that at present the only system suitable to give reliasble traffic avoidance guidance for glider pilots is Flarm.

The last of the afternoon sessions had a really interesting presentation from Sian Lane, ex Met Office , on ‘How our Weather Works’ though it was really about ‘How we gather the data and what we do with it’, fascinating nevertheless.  Matthew Scutter then talked about ‘Advances in Soaring Meteorology’ which covered much of what was previously said by Sian and made a pretty good sales pitch for SkySight.  Chris Gill from Denbigh did a very convincing job of getting us all to fly in Wales with an entertaining talk, enhanced with some great video and music, on ‘Surfing the Welsh Wave’.

The BGA COnference is a good event for talking to suppliers and developers and the trade show was bigger than I’ve ever seen it before.  It’s also a great place to meet old mates and find out how the other clubs are getting on.  I would recomend it to all, not just club officers.

The Mynd Wood Week Vintage Rally 13th to 20 July
It’s a week where we have a “Rally” style event and it’s all just good fun flying wooden gliders.  The week is run “Free Format” style with each day’s flying activities being dependent on the weather conditions.  Traditionally we have seen many Bungee launches and local cross country tasks being flown. This year the event is being run as a precursor to the VGC Rendevous at Hus Bos (22-25 Jul) and the 47th VGC International Rally held at Tibenham (27 Jul-3 Aug). So why not book in for all three and make it a vintage bonanza!  www.midlandgliding.club/wood-week

British Junior Team Workshops at the Mynd
www.midlandgliding.club/cross-country-workshops
Saturday 30 March 2019 starting at 14:00
The British Junior Gliding Team are hosting a series of Workshops and Talks of interest to glider pilots of all ages and experience during the early part of 2019 in order to raise funds for Junior Team competition expenses. On Saturday 30 March they will be visiting The Mynd.  juniorteamCurrent British Team members Jake Brattle, Simon Brown, Peter Carter, Finn Sleigh, Clement Allen and Henry Inigo-Jones will be presenting the programme  below.  Read their profiles here.

The event is for members of the Midland Gliding Club and neighbouring gliding and flying clubs. There is no charge for entry but those attending are respectfully requested to make a contribution to the British Junior Gliding Team fund.

We will need to have an idea of numbers so if you wish to attend, please notify the office which talks and workshops you will attend and if you require an evening meal.

14:00 – Workshop on How to fly Cross Country faster
The workshop will include a detailed look at:

  • The very important basics – handling and look out techniques
  • How to prepare for a flight effectively using British team planning techniques
  • How to choose when to start
  • A detailed look at speed to fly – (please bring your own glider’s polar, a pencil and a ruler with you)
  • Routing + thermal selection – with pictures from real life routing dilemma
  • Centring techniques – a close look at common mistakes, how to adapt to conditions
  • Getting low – how to focus your attention and what to look for
  • Efficient final glides – Including a look at some real traces
  • How to carry out effective post flight analysis – we will show you how to best analyse all of your flights
  • Self development techniques

This workshop should last approximately 2-3hrs with regular breaks. The Junior Team recommends everyone bring note taking materials. They will have some hand-outs for attendees to complete too.

17:30 – A workshop on flying your first competition:

  • What preparations you need to do beforehand,
  • We will show you how the British Team plan a flight,
  • We will show you how to plan an AAT,
  • How to plan for terrain and weather changes and airspace,
  • Mental approach and objectives,
  • Post flight analysis in a competition,
  • Self development.

This workshop will last 1 hour.

18:45 – Adjourn to the Bar and Dinner
The usual legendary and unsurpassed Mynd Saturday night feast awaits.

19:45 -After Dinner Talk
Following dinner there will be a talk on a topic to be decided by the majority of attendees on either of the following:

  • Preparations of the British Junior Team for the Worlds 2019
  • OR, Use of equipment for XC and competition flying

The evening talk will last approximately 1 hour. All finished by 2100.  The Workshops and Talks should be of interest to glider pilots and aviators of any age and experience level.

Winter Lecture Series
The next lecture in the series is on Saturday 9th March at 1800 hours from Hugh Browning.  Hugh Browning is the BGA safety wizard.  Please do attend, listen and learn.  For those of you who haven’t heard Hugh speak before it is essential listening and for those who have, even more so.  This is the perfect start to our season.  We want to stay safe and operate in a safe manner – Hugh’s analysis and insight will help us do that.  Don’t miss it.

Llanbedr Expedition
The Llanbedr Expedition is full.  If you haven’t booked yet – too late.

Happy landings
Jon Hall
Acting Chairman

Feb 282019
 

Hi everyone, its time for my weeekly blog again.

I’m afraid I can’t give you much encouragement about the weather for the weekend as it is going to be rain and drizzle for most of the time and strong south weaterly winds.  However it’s a good opportunity to try out the simulator or make a start on clearing out the old workshop.  My apologies for the content being much the same as last week but not a lot happens this time of the year.  However we have enjoyed some stunningly good weather this week enabling folk to fly.  Sadly the next couple of weeks don’t look great but keep an eye on the forecasts as things can change very quickly.

Weekend Duty Team
Saturday
Mike Greenwood (No 1), Steve Male (No2), Clive Crocker (No 3), Walter Baumann (TLs), Peter Orchard (winch), Laurent Couval (LD)
Sunday
William Brewis (No 1), Steve Male (No2), Clive Crocker (No 3), Peter Orchard (winch), Liz Adlard (LD)

Annual General Meeting
The club AGM will be held on 23rd March in the clubhouse starting at 1700 hours.  The committee has been short of members for a while and John O’Reilly and Guy Hartland are standing down this year so we really do need some volunteers to take up the slack.  I shall be standing for election as Chairman but I would really welcome some competition.  Nomination forms are available for download from the club website in the ‘Policies, Rules and Documents’ section of the ‘Members Area’, or by clicking here.

BGA Conference
The British Gliding Association Sporting Conference takes place on Saturday at the Nottingham Belfry Hotel.  Anyone can attend for free and there are always a lot of suppliers and manufacturers with stands showing off their shiny new gliders and equipment and lots of people to talk to from Insurance Companies to Avionics suppliers as well as all the top people from the BGA eager to answer questions and give advice.  I shall be there representing the MGC and voting on its behalf.

Catering
Fay is giving up the catering franchise at the end of March and handing over to Helen who I know will maintain the very high standards to which we have become used.  I One of the knock on effects of this is that Helen will no longer be able to do the club house cleaning.  So we are looking for someone to fill that gap – urgently!  Of course it is a paid job.  If you know of anyone interested or you are yourself please contact me at chairman@midlandgliding.club.

MGC Wood Week Rally 13th to 20 July
Think ahead for the Wood Week Rally and get your Skylark, K6 or Olly 2B ready for a fun and challenging week at the Mynd.  Even if you aren’t lucky enough to own a wooden glider you can still turn up and take part with something a little newer.  There is a chance that our Wood Week will be dedicated as a bona fide Vintage Glider Club Rally.  Watch this space.

Motorglider
The Falke has now been fully integrated into the fleet and is available for many areas of training including doing nav exercises and getting a cross country endorsement.  We are adding qualified instructors to the list so take advantage of its availability.  It may seem expensive at £72 an hour but think how much twelve winch launches and 5 minute circuits would cost you.

Membership Renewals for 2019-20
The membership year ends at the end of next month.  It helps the club enormously if we can renew our individual and various memberships promptly.  This year we are offering everyone the opportunity to pay the subscription and flying fee by 12 equal monthly installments.  For most people on average this will be less than the cost of a tank of fuel for the car.  If you wish to take advantage of this arrangement it needs to be set up before the start of the year.  Please talk to Martin in the office as soon as possible.  Don’t forget that we are now legally obliged to record that you hold a qualifying medical so bring documentary proof.

Courses
The courses are filling really fast this year, happily, but this means if you want to get on one you need to act soon and get a place booked.  If you book and pay before the end of February you get a 10% discount.  There are still a few hours left!  Or if you book and pay before the end of March you might find another but different offer available.  See the ‘Courses‘ section on the website for all details of dates and costs.

Winter Lecture Series
The next lecture in the series is on Saturday 9th March at 1800 hours from Hugh Browning, the BGA Safety Officer.

Llanbedr Expedition
Mike Greenwood has arranged another expedition to Llanbedr in North Wales 23rd to 30 March this year.  It’s a huge airfield in an amazing Snowdonia landscape with great wave, thermal and ridge opportunities.  If you are interested in joining for a day during the expedition and flying in a club or private two seater as P2 get in touch with Mike.

Rockpolishers
Rockpolishers is the name of our InterClub League competition arranged over several weekends during the summer and sending a winning team to a Nation final.  It is a great introduction to competition flyng if you have never previously been involved, a great way to practice if you are planning doing something a bit more serious later and a really good fun weekend at someone elses airfield.  The dates have been announced so all we need now is a team and of course some crew.  Interested? Contact Mark Sanders our team captain or have a look on the club website section by clicking here.

Happy landings
Jon Hall
Acting Chairman

Feb 212019
 

Hi everyone, its time for my weeekly blog again.

First off lets have a look at the likely weather for the weekend.  Saturday looks like quite a lot of high cloud cover with the wind SW at 30 knots overnight but slackening slightly to 20 knots by mid afternoon then continuing to slacken overnight and into Sunday.  The good news is that it is unlikely to rain but it could be foggy all day.  Sunday will start foggy but clear in the afternoon but probably won’t have much high cover.  So not a brilliant flying weekend but a great opportunity to do some early training or pitch in and do some of those jobs on the ‘lets get stuff done’ list.  All of this is derived from TopMeteo as I can’t be sure that RASP is giving accurate information.  Just now when I logged in to have a look, the date at the top of today’s page was for Tuesday 5th February and subsequent pages are wrongly dated.  Unfortunately, the rasp-uk.uk forecasts are failing at present as there is an update needed to the scripts that Paul Scorer used to maintain it. This started from the 6th of Feb when the site at NCEP switched to HTTPS only. You can get a two day more accurate forecast at rasp.stratus.org.uk while the fault is being fixed.

Weekend Duty Team
Saturday
Steve Male (No 1), Alan Swan (TLs), Geoff Dailey (winch), Dave Cole (LD)
Sunday
Nigel Lassiter (No 1), Geoff Dailey (winch), Mark Wakeham (LD)

Fleet
I’m sure you will all be glad to hear that new 8.33 kHz radios are being fitted into the club’s aircraft.  The K23 now has one fitted and it is fully functional.  Others will follow soon.  The Junior is in Roger’s workshop and will be available to fly before very long.  By the time the weather improves we will have a K23, a Junior and a K8 for solo pilots to fly.  The K23 also has a new trailer.  If you want to fly cross country in the K23 you need to understand the trailer pack and unpack.  Don’t forget that if the weather doesn’t play ball we have a fully functional simulator available for practice, trying new types and having a go at cross country tasks.

AGM
the club AGM will be held on 23rd March in the clubhouse starting at 1700 hours.  Nomination forms are available for download from the club website in the ‘Policies, Rules and Documents’ section of the ‘Members Area’, or by clicking here.

Membership Renewals for 2019-20
The membership year ends at the end of next month.  It helps the club enormously if we can renew our individual and various memberships promptly.  This year we are offering everyone the opportunity to pay the subscription and flying fee by 12 equal monthly installments.  For most people on average this will be less than the cost of a tank of fuel for the car.  If you wish to take advantage of this arrangement it needs to be set up before the start of the year.  Please talk to Martin in the office as soon as possible.  Don’t forget that we are now legally obliged to record that you hold a qualifying medical so bring documentary proof.

Motorglider
The Falke has now been fully integrated into the fleet and is available for many areas of training including getting a cross country endorsement.  We are adding qualified instructors to the list so take advantage of its availability.

Courses
The courses are filling really fast this year, happily, but this means if you want to get on one you need to act soon and get a place booked.  If you book and pay before the end of February you get a 10% discount.  See the ‘Courses‘ section on the website for all details of dates and costs.

MGC Wood Week Rally 13th to 20 July
Think ahead for the Wood Week Rally and get your Skylark, K6 or Olly 2B ready for a fun and challenging week at the Mynd.  Even if you aren’t lucky enough to own a wooden glider you can still turn up and take part with something a little newer.

Winter Lecture Series
The next lecture in the series is on Saturday 9th March at 1800 hours from Hugh Browning, the BGA Safety Officer.

Llanbedr Expedition
Mike Greenwood has arranged another expedition to Llanbedr in North Wales 23rd to 30 March this year.  It’s a huge airfield in an amazing Snowdonia landscape with great wave, thermal and ridge opportunities.  If you are interested in joing for a day during the expedition and flying in a club or private two seater as P2 get in touch with Mike.

Rockpolishers
Rockpolishers is the name of our InterClub League competition arranged over several weekends during the summer and senmding a winning team to a Nation final.  It is a great introduction to competition flyng if you have never previously been involved, a great way to practice if you are planning doing something a bit more serious later and a really good fun weekend at someone elses airfield.  The dates have been announced so all we need now is a team.  Interested? Contact Mark Sanders our team captain or have a look on the club website section by clicking here.

Happy landings
Jon Hall
Acting Chairman

Feb 142019
 

Hi everyone, here is my blog for the coming weekend and reminders of what’s going on at the club over the next few weeks.

Here we are on Valentine’s Day and the weather may be showing signs of loving us after all.  Certainly it is very mild for this time of the year and ot looks set to continue for the next two weeks at least.  If you look at the club webcams you will see that the snow is gone from the airfield and the access by road is much improved.  The forecast for the weekend looks like a fair bit of sun on the ground most of the day and though there may not be a lot of thermal activity the wind is westerly at around 25 knots so should be a good ridge day.  Perfect training weather if you need some stick time.  Sunday sees a bit more mid and high level cloud in the morning but the promise of thermals in the afternoon with 3 to 4 octas of cumulus.  The wind however will go more south west and stengthen.

Duty Team
Saturday
Guy Hartland (No 1), Charles Carter (TLs), Stephen Alexander (winch), Glyn Macarthur (LD)
Sunday
Nigel Lassiter (No 1), Matthew Cook (TLs), Stephen Alexander (winch), Charles Page (LD)

Courses
A reminder that the Bronze Development Weekend is on the 2 and 3 March and the first residential course starts on 8th April.  If you book a course before the end of this month there is a 10% discount applied.

Caravan Applications
Caravan Applications must be deposited in the office by the last day of February.  A copy of the application form can be downloaded from here

AGM
Advance notice that the 2019 AGM will take place at the club on 23rd March.  There are places vacant on the committee at the moment which is putting more demands on all of the officers and members at present.  If you can give a little bit of time to help the club develop by being on the committee and looking after one of our key operational centres please pick up a form from the office.  We will be short of a Secretary this coming year as John O’Reilly is standing down due to other committments.  John has done a sterling job in supporting the club since his appointment and has made a huge difference to the efficient running of the club.  I really need a volunteer to take his place.  Get in touch with me if you think you might be interested by emailing chairman@midlandgliding.club

Instructor Meeting
There will be an Instructor Meeting at the club on 16th February starting at 1700 hours.  An agenda has been circulated but if you haven’t received it please contact the CFI by emailing cfi@midlandgliding.club

Latest addition to the Fleet
The purchase of the SZD Junior to add to our fleet is now complete and I trust it is safely with us on site by this time.  Once checked over by Roger and fully insured it will be available to members once they have done the type conversion.

A word on driving abroad after the end of March
Should we leave the EU after 28th March without a deal you will need an International Driving Permit to drive in most countries outside the UK.  There are three different types of IDP depending which country you want to drive in.  If you are passing through France to get to Spain for instance you may need two different ones.  They are avasilable from the Post Office at a cost of £5.50 each.  You can get them on demand and should only take 5 minutes but you will need a standard passport type photo (45mm x 35mm), your driving license and your passport if you only have a paper version.  IDPs last for only 12 months and must be renewed each year.  In the event of no deal you will need a Green Card to prove that you are insured when you drive abroad.  Ask your insurance company.  The good news is that you will not have to register your trailer with the DVLC as it is not a commercial trailer and weighs less than 3500kgs.  If it is commercial then you need to register it and get a unique registration plate for the trailer if it weighs more than 750kgs.  See gov.uk advice here
Don’t blame me – I didn’t vote for it.

 

Feb 112019
 

Saturday was a great winter club day. The day started slowly with a 40 knot WSW being a bit too strong to launch. As the morning progressed the wind died down and we started launching. Wave effects plus some actual-real-life sunshine and unstable air gave some fun flying. A strong rain shower came through at around midday and put us all on the ground for an hour so we retired to the club house for lunch.

20190209_142509

20190209_151853_001

The afternoon was great with wave everywhere to a teeth chatteringly cold 3500′. The club’s K21 and Twin Astir flew with Essex GC’s PW6 also airborne. 493, KGV and Essex CFI’s dolled up Libelle also whizzed about in the ridge and wave.

A great day’s flying in interesting conditions.

IMG-20190209-WA0003

20190209_155340

 Posted by at 11:25 am
Feb 112019
 

Overnight snow (!) melted very quickly, early low cloud cleared and by noon the kit was out and we had 20kt square onto the ridge. Not many customers, but those that were there had lots of fun. Notably our visitors from Essex with their PW6; Riccardo made more progress with his training; Holly kept herself current; Darce edged closer to that BI rating; Liz got checked out. Showers threatened on occasion during the day, but in the event, they all missed us.

Six instructors on the field, so we could have accommodated quite a bit more flying.

Perhaps it marks the start of some better weather – let’s hope so!

Mark

 Posted by at 11:22 am
Jan 312019
 

Hi everyone, this is the Thursday Chairman’s blog to keep you up to date with things Myndy.

If you look at the webcams today (weather-information/) you will see that there is snow on the hill and reports are that the roads this morning have a lot of ice.  BBC (MeteoGroup) are expecting more snow across the west Midlands overnight and into tomorrow morning.  TopMeteo is expecting 4/8 cloud cover on Saturday but bases at about 2300’asl with 20kt northerly winds strengthening during the afternoon.  Temperatures at the club will be below freezing so driving up may be difficult but you will be able to walk from Asterton.  Sunday the wind goes south west, strengthening to nearly 30kts during the afternoon with high cover developing.  Temperatures will drop to around -2C.  Notwithstanding any of this, Guy Hartland is confident he will be there and Pete Orchard will try to get there so flying will be available for those that want it.  So your duty teams this weekend are:

Saturday 2nd February
Neal Clements (No 1), Charles Carter (TLs), Peter Orchard (winch), and Dave Cole (LD)
Sunday 3 February 
William Brewis (No 1), Allan Reynolds (TLs), Peter Orchard (winch), Laurant Couval (LD)

Caravan Spaces at the Club
Please note that the closing date for caravan space applications is the end of February.  Application forms will be available from the office and from the website (policies-rules-and-documents/) by the end of next week.  Remember we are limited to 21 spaces in total and all applications are subject to approval.  If you are a current caravan owner and no longer require a space or are unsuccessful in being allocated a space for this coming year, you must remove your caravan from site by the end of March 2019.

Winter Lecture Series 9th February
We are pleased to announce that Peter Saul will be giving a lecture on Saturday 9th February at 1800, provisionally titled ‘Passing your medical – or how to fool your AME’  I can guarantee that this will be worth listenening to, so come up for the day, enjoy some flying, listen to Peter and have a good meal.

Happy Holidays Dave and Helen
Helen and Dave are now on holiday in sunny Costa Rica until the beginning of March so wishing them a great time, good weather and lots of recuperation time.  Rob Hanks will be the pro instructor available until they return.

Instructor Meeting – now 16th February
The next Instructor meeting was scheduled to be at the club on 9th February.  Please note that it has been rescheduled for the 16th February because it clashes with the lecture, unless the weather intervenes when it may be rescheduled again.

Courses
Dates for all courses are published on the website (Courses-Leaflet-2019-2.pdf).  If you book before the end of February you will receive a 10% discount.  Don’t wait, do it now and save a bit of cash for your continued flying during the rest of the summer.

Press and Public Relations 
I am looking for a person with experience of Press and Public Relations matters to help the club raise its profile locally and nationally.  It will involve finding out what is happening at the club on a regular basis, writing press releases and getting them out to the relevant people.  It won’t require design or creating artwork, as that is covered already, but will require liaising with the club’s marketing officer and the Chairman.  This is a really important area of promotion for the club and will play a big part in our ongoing recruitment campaigns, necessary to secure its future growth and prosperity.  You don’t have to be a member of the club but an interest in aviation will be useful.  If you are interested please contact me directly at chairman@midlandgliding.club.

Don’t let the cold weather put you off.  Wrap up and enjoy some great winter flying.  We are priviledged to be able fly all year round from our site so make the most of it.  Happy landings

Jon Hall
Chairman

 

 

Jan 252019
 

You are probably aware that Lasham Gliding Society was granted leave for a judicial review of the CAA decisions regarding Farnborough ACP, given last year, which will have a disasterous effect on Lasham’s operations and on GA generally.  Lasham has recently published an update which I think is worth circulating.  If you feel you would like to support the campaign by making a donation to the fighting fund follow this link  www.lashamgliding.com/pages/airspace-campaign

‘As we have previously reported to you, in November we were granted leave for a judicial review on two of our three grounds of complaint against the Farnborough ACP. Leave for a third ground was given only in so far as it was linked to the first two.
We made an application for renewal of the decision for leave which had been partially refused in relation to ground three and this application was listed for a hearing on 17 January. The purpose of this hearing was to have leave for the third ground re-considered on a stand-alone basis so that, if we were successful it would reinstate that ground of challenge in addition to the first two grounds. I am pleased to be able to report that the judge has now given us leave for a third ground, in addition to those of safety and efficiency.
It was decided that, in this third ground, it is arguable that the needs of General Aviation (including gliding), and Lasham in particular, had not been properly taken into consideration by the CAA in making its decision. Although the judge also decided that the CAA did not have to show that SIDs & STARs (procedural routes for arrivals and departures) were necessary, or that the CAA was in breach of its procedure in failing to undertake a further round of consultations with LGS, this does not affect our arguments in our grounds on efficiency or safety points.
We now have three independent grounds (instead of just two) for which we only need to win one for the CAA’s decision to be struck out.
We have now received over £61,000 from 300 donors. Please ask your friends to contribute’

Jan 242019
 

Hi everyone its time for my Thursday blog again.

Some differences in the weather models again for this coming weekend but one thing is for sure it’s going to be windy.  Saturday looks like SW at over 35kts for most of the day, strengthening in the afternoon with some drizzle and light rain later with a lot of high and midlevel cloud.  Freezing point around 5000′.  Sunday the wind goes much more Northerly and strengthens to around 50kts with ground temperatures just above freezing but feeling much colder with the wind chill.  Rain and drizzle for most of the day may make the roads sporting so I would advise checking the webcams and or phoning the club before setting out.

Your teams for this weekend are:
Saturday: Clive Crocker (No 1), Nigel Lassiter (TLs), Geoff Daley (winch).  2 of the Pre-Solo courses are booked.
Sunday: Mike Greenwood (No 1), Paul Fowler (No 2), Denise Hughes (TLs), Geoff Daley (winch), Mark Wakem (LD). 3 of the Pre-Solo courses are booked.

Winter Lecture Series
The next lecture is on Saturday 9th March by Hugh Browning, the BGA Safety Officer.  We have been trying to get Hugh to speak for three years and this year we look forward to hearing him update us on all the safety initiatives from the BGA and suggestions on how we can all make gliding more rewarding by having fewer accidents and incidents.

British Junior Team Workshop
We are priviledged to have been selected as a host for one of the British Junior Team’s development workshops on Sat 30th March starting at 1400.  There will be a number of workshops during the day including flying your first competition – suitable for less experienced pilots, use of equipment in competition and XC flying and preparations for the Junior World Championships.  They will be staying for dinner and continuing for a short while after.  The sessions are open to anyone especially our own junior members and those of other clubs.  There is no charge for attending but they will be hoping for donations to their crowd funding campaign to help offset the considerable cost of running a world beating British Team.  For full details follow this link www.midlandgliding.club/cross-country-workshops/

AGM
The MGC AGM will be held at the club on Saturday 23rd March.  Please put this date in your dairy and make a note to attend.  It is one of the few occasions during the year that members have a chance to influence the future of the club and select the committee and officers that represent them.  If you wish to stand for election you need to be a paid up member, have  a proposer and seconder and have signed a form to agree to stand, which are available from the office.  Our constitution requires all officers and committee to be elected every year including those already in office.

Pilot fined for infringing Temporary Restricted Area
On 23 January 2019, Magistrates imposed a £1250 fine and ordered costs of £750 to be paid to the Civil Aviation Authority, following a guilty plea by a pilot to an offence of infringing the RAF Cosford RA(T) on 9 June 2018.
The Court heard that the pilot was ferrying an aircraft from the USA to Oxford when he entered the RA(T) at 2000 ft without a clearance. Air Traffic Control established contact with the pilot and advised an immediate turn to the west to exit. The pilot turned onto a south-westerly heading which took him into conflict with a Boeing 757 positioning for a practise display.
An AIRPROX was filed due to the proximity of the 2 aircraft in airspace that was segregated for the safe operation of aircraft participating in rehearsals for the RAF Cosford Air Show.
In Court, the pilot told the Magistrates that he was using a moving map, in this case SkyDemon, but when he conducted his pre-flight briefing, he was not connected to a wi-fi network. Consequently, the application did not provide airspace updates. He did not check active NOTAM because he was using the application as his sole source of information. His “over-reliance” on SkyDemon and failure to note the offline status of his device meant that he did not have situational awareness (SA) of the airspace into which he was to operate.
Though this was not a glider pilot it highlights the need to make sure that the data we use to plan our flights is up to date and accurate. The CAA actively promotes the use of moving map technology as a mitigation against airspace infringements. Pilots must ensure that they are using the application and device correctly however when planning and executing a flight. Failure to do so without a back-up, such as a carrying out a comprehensive NOTAM brief, use of the AIS Telephone Information Line, checking the relevant AICs and plotting the route on a paper chart, increases the probability of a reduction of situational awareness.

Congratulations
To Matthew Cook who has successfully completed his training and is now an Assistant Rated Instructor.  Well done Matthew.

Reminder
Just a quick reminder that as a club we are facing some significant cost increases this year.  All our insurances are likely to go up by about 40% and electricity is set to increase by aome 24%.  So anything members can do to save costs around the place will make a difference, such as turning out lights when not in use, not charging devices at the club that can be charged at home and above all avoiding accidents that result in insurance claims on the fleet.  I know that accidents are just that but some forethought and pre-planning can often change the outcome of a flight significantly.

Don’t waste the winter by not flying.  Make good advantage of using all the good training days available at this time of the year particularly with a westerly wind.  Happy landings
Jon Hall

 

Jan 172019
 

Hi everyone, this is your regular Thursday Chair’s Blog to let you know what is going on this weekend and in the near future.
Interesting trying to make sense of the weather this coming weekend when RASP tells me it will be a strongish westerly on Saturday going northerly and strengthening on Sunday.  The BBC on the other hand say Saturday will be a light easterly going northerly on Sunday but staying fairly light.  So they do agree on one thing.  However they both forecast it being very cold and there was snow and ice on the hill today so maybe best to check the WhatsApp feed in the morning to see if the roads are passable.  You can always walk up from Asterton and its usually possible in all condirions.  It generally takes 20 minutes if you are reasonable fit.  If in doubt call the office or club phones.

Getting things done around the club
We all know there are lots of little jobs around the club that need doing all the time, from running repairs to cutting the grass, from painting the clubhouse to keeping the place clean and tidy.  As Chair I would love to be able to pay professionals to do these jobs for us but unless you all want the subs to go up we have to do them for ourselves.  So please have a look at the list on the wall when you are at the club and not flying for any reason and give a bit of your time to support the very many other people who volunteer time and effort to be instructors, winch drivers and committee or working group members.

Winter Lecture Series
Unfortunately Andy Perkins, Chair of the BGA, cannot make it on the 9th of February as planned.  We are trying to get him back in October instead and may be able to get a replacement from the BGA for the February date.  Watch this space for further news or the events pages on the club website at www.midlandgliding.club/events/

Summer Course Dates
The course dates for 2019 are filling up quickly Remember that members receive a 50% discount on the course fee, so if you want to book in some days with our professional instructors to progress your flying, contact Martin this weekend and book some dates. You can see full details by downloading the courses leaflet (and can even pre-book your chosen dates) here: www.midlandgliding.club/courses-2/

CFI’s Get Checked Week
takes place from 13th to 22nd April.  Details on the website at www.midlandgliding.club/cfis-get-checked-week/

Cross Country Development Week
takes place from 7th to 12th May.  See www.midlandgliding.club/cross-country-development-week/ for details.

Flarm Obstacle Database for the UK and Ireland Released
Following many requests from the UK GA community, FLARM has today released the first ever additional obstacle database, compatible with all FLARM collision avoidance systems. The obstacle database was previously only available to pilots in the Alps region. From today, pilots in the British Isles with a FLARM collision avoidance system can benefit from the same safety benefits as their alpine peers.
The new database has been built in-house and compiled from several different sources to maximize the available coverage. It contains over 10,000 obstacle elements, including masts, power lines and wind turbines.
FLARM has seen a rapid increase in its UK user base in 2018, today being predominantly installed in powered airplanes and helicopters. Over 35,000 aircraft have a FLARM system installed, of which over 7,000 in the UK.
The new obstacle database for UK and Ireland is available for purchase at flarm.com/ukie. The price is € 35, but FLARM is giving away a € 10 discount during the introduction. Users have until March 31 to get the obstacle database for only € 25, by using the coupon code PULLUP2019 during the checkout.

Weekend Teams
The teams this weekend are:
Saturday Simon Adlard (No 1 and Motorglder), Stephen Alexander (winch), Liz Adlard (LD)
Sunday  Chris Alldis (No 1), Charles Carter (TLs), Stephen Alexander (winch) Glyn Macarthur (LD)

Jan 102019
 

Hi everyone, this is the regular Thursday posting to let you know what is coming up in the near future and the highlights from the last committee meeting.

Social Fund
We now have a substantial amount in the social fund.  This was set up to allow us to buy those things that the committee doesn’t need to deliberate over because it isn’t in the strategic or operational plan.  So, for instance, it paid for the TV in the simulator room.  If you can think of a project that you would like considered by the social fund then send your ideas to the Secretary at secretary@midlandgliding.club who will pass them on.

Your team this weekend is:
Saturday:  Neal Clements (No1) Alan Reynolds (TLs) Pete Orchard (winch) and me (LD)
Sunday:  Mike Witton (No1) Guy Hartland (TLs) Pete Orchard (winch) and Dave D’Arcy (LD)

Dates for Your 2019 Diary
Bronze Progress Courses
we will be running a series of “Bronze Progression Courses” over the following weekends:
1st – 2nd March
6th – 7th April
18th – 19th May
These mini courses will focus on progressing members through the Bronze C qualification.
On those weekends where flying is possible we will brief the exercises then go out on to the flying field and fly them.
On those weekends where flying is not possible we will run ground schools covering the requirements of the Bronze C exam subjects and also use the simulator to look at some of the flying exercises.

The intention is to run these mini courses in addition to the club’s normal flying activities so they will not  impact on other members opportunities to fly.  Even if you’ve already got your Bronze C you might like to sit in on the briefings as an early season refresher.

If these mini courses prove to be popular and useful in progressing members through the Bronze C then there is scope to add further dates later in the year, if the demand exists.

Other opportunities for pre-bronze pilots to progress will, of course, be afforded by “CFI’s Get Checked Week” (13th – 22nd April) and “Cross Country Development Week” (7th – 12th May).

Other dates to note:
Wood Week – (13th – 21st July)
A week where we have a “Rally” style event, it’s all just good fun flying wooden gliders.  The week is run “Free Format” style with each days flying activities being dependent on the weather conditions. Traditionally we have seen many Bungee launches and local cross country tasks being flown.

Whilst we call this week “Wood Week” don’t think you’re excluded if you don’t have a wooden glider.  If it’s flyable come along and fly anyway!

Simon’s Soaring Week (3rd-10th August)
This week is run by Simon to facilitate pilots improving their soaring skills.  The week is run “Free Format” style with each day’s flying activities tailored to the requirements of the individual pilots and the weather conditions.  Simon usually starts each day with a comprehensive weather briefing followed by a plan of the day’s flying activities.  If you already have a Bronze C and Cross Country Endorsement then you may well be set Cross Country tasks.  Otherwise local soaring tasks or speed building tasks can be set and flown.

This week is the ideal opportunity for Cross Country beginners to gain valuable knowledge and experience before venturing further afield.

Task Week – (17th – 25th August with Monday 26th August in reserve)
The main objective of Task Week is to encourage and enable pilots to improve their Cross Country flying and introduce an element of competition to prepare pilots to move on to other, more formal, competitions if they so wish.

For 2019 the format will follow that which we have developed over the past couple of years:

Entrants will be divided into classes by the pilots previous Cross Country experience and achievements. They will then compete against each other within their classes, on tasks devised specifically for each class. The overall result being decided by a pilot’s performance within their individual class. This approach puts everyone on an equal footing,  you just need to consistently be well up the order in your class.

If you have not done much Cross Country Flying this is an ideal opportunity to stretch yourself – full briefings are given, Weather, Notams, Tasks, to make the whole experience as straight-forward and rewarding as possible.  Who knows maybe you’ll get a chance to fly with one of our experienced cross country pilots in a 2 seater.  Several of the turbo Duos are often available.

Not to be missed for any pilot wishing to improve their Cross Country skills.

Call Martin now and book your place!
Get you name down for whichever of these activities best suits your plan for the year. And you should be setting goals for the next 12 months.  If you don’t know where you are heading you won’t know when you get there!

Winter Lectures
Our next lecture will be the National Trust on Saturday.  For an ancient hill things do move quickly and the trust always give us an inspirational and informative talk on what is one of our most precious resources: our location

Llanbedr
Negotiations are underway to return to Llanbedr for an expedition during to week 23rd to 30th March. This is an opportunity to discover the thrills of flying in Snowdonia and hopefully experience some high altitude wave. If you are interested in bringing a glider along, or flying in a club 2 seater please email mail@mikegreenwood.co.uk to express an interest. He will get back to interested parties once we have an idea how many people want to go and how much Llanbedr will charge us.  In the past they have been very expensive but indications are they are being much more realistic this year.

Radios
The change to 8.33kHz channnel spacing is now in force so please make sure you update your glider radio memories and use the following frequencies whilst flying or on the ground.
129.905 Gliding UK Mobile within UK FIR (cross country flying)
129.980 Gliding Control frequencies including our own air to ground site circuit calls
130.105 Gliding UK Mobile within UK FIR (cross country flying)
130.130 Gliding UK Mobile within UK FIR (cross country flying)
130.405 Gliding Cloud Flying (refer to BGA guidance)

Fleet
The purchase of the Junior as a replacement for the K23 is now completed and we expect it to arrive on site very soon.  We have a valuable asset in the old trailer for the K23 EVV, when we have the Junior on site we will evaluate how to capitalise on this.

Highlights of the last committee meeting
Budget set and approval given to purchase new 8.33kHz radios for the fleet as required
Committee aware that the winch strops we are using are too short to meet BGA standards and are too thin.  They will be replaced.  We thank Ed for bringing this to our attention.
Testing of the car powered bungee launch still ongoing requiring final tests on the ground anchor system.
Agreed to install PilotAware in the motorglider to test its suitability.

Jon Hall
Acting Chairman
MGC

 

 

Jan 082019
 

The National Trust is a charity founded in 1895 by three people who saw the importance of our nation’s heritage and open spaces and wanted to preserve them for everyone to enjoy. More than 120 years later, these values are still at the heart of everything it does.  It looks after special places throughout England, Wales and Northern Ireland for ever, for everyone.  For the Trust, conservation has always gone hand-in-hand with public access.  It is our closest neighbour and we share a lot of vested interests and objectives.  We are pleased to welcome Patrick again this coming Saturday evening to enlighten us further about how the Trust safeguards the hill that we all depend upon for our special flying site.  Come up and fly on Saturday, listen to Patrick and enjoy a great meal in the clubhouse after.  Saturday looks like it could be a good ridge day with a stiffish northwesterly, ideal for our ridge.  Don’t waste a chance to stay in check or do some further training ready for the new soaring season which is not that far away now.  Make a weekend of it, stay over and fly again on Sunday as the wind stays just north of west!

Jan 062019
 

A much better day than forecast – as was yesterday. Long south launch in 5WNW. Matt Cook completed his acceptance checks with Steve and is now a fully fledged Assistant Instructor – congratulations Matt! Two returning trial lessons, Richard and Mike, both from the power world made excellent progress, as did Riccardo, completing his spinning and making a start on launch failures.

Seemed to be a circuit day until Holly and Chris proved us wrong, both completing half hour flights in the K23.

Shobdon’s Twin Astir made the trip for its ARC with Roger next week via an aerotow, which was different – and exploited the opportunity to take a few winch launches as well.

Thanks to Geoff for launching us (and Guy for standing in over lunch), Den for the trial lessons, Coley who was launch director, and everyone else who mucked in to help make the day slick and enjoyable.

Mark

 Posted by at 8:25 pm