Sep 132019

Hello everybody,
I didn’t get to post the blog yesterday because I, James, Eddie, John (O’R) and Roger (E) were at Shropshire BizFest, held at Shrewsbury Town FC, where we were demonstrating the art and science of gliding, with the aid of the BGA Simulator, to over 600 people from local businesses.  I was somewhat unconvinced when James suggested the idea to me but the sim was busy all day from 2pm to 8pm and we had a lot of serious conversations with people who are seriously interested in one of three things; adding a flight to their bucket list, giving a flight as a present or actually taking up membership.  I was surprised at how many of the people we spoke to are interested in joining, but maybe they represented the right demographic for us; generally young to middle aged, professional go-getters and with an adequate level of income.  Several expressed to me their surprise at how inexpensive membership of our club is compared to their gym or golf club subscriptions.  We will be following up contact with them next week and hopefully some at least will be visiting the club in the near future.  Let’s make them very welcome.  Thanks to everyone who helped out on the day, these events are important to our profile locally and help to generate much needed revenue.bizfest

Your duty teams this weekend are:
Saturday:  Nigel Lassetter (No 1), Matthew Cook (TLs), Guy Hartland (winch), Laurent Couval (LD)
Sunday:  Steve Male (No 1), Matthew Cook (No 2), Mark Wakem (TLs), Guy Hartland (winch), Glyn Macarthur (LD)

Olympian 2020
Thanks to the three people who offered help during the Olympian next year.  Just another 20 to go!

Shrewsbury School Summer Gliding Camp
Now an annual fixture in the Shrewsbury School CCF calendar, the Summer Gliding Camp is of huge benefit to aspiring pilots in the School CCF RAF Section with six days of focused, individual training.  As June and the Summer Term were drawing to a close, a sustained period of high winds and significant rainfall threatened the success of the 2019 Gliding Camp, scheduled to take place from Sunday 28th June to Friday 5th June. However, the sun fortunately broke through just in time and, for the first time in five years, the cadets were able to fly all day and every day of the Camp.

Unfortunately, a combination of factors (including particularly poor weather on Thursdays throughout the year) meant that the Fifth Form were more rusty than usual at the very beginning of the camp. It therefore wasn’t quite possible to get anybody to the standard required for solo flight. However, having had a greater number of flights and minutes in the air during the camp than in past years, all made excellent progress and the School currently has more students than ever approaching that next step.  Morgan Matthews (Ch 3) joined the camp on a few days, having been flying privately at MGC since before joining Shrewsbury School. Having continued his training through the summer holiday, he has just earned his solo flying wings – and our congratulations!  Many thanks to all who helped out on the field to make the camp such a success and especially to Paul Fowler for his untiring work with our juniors.  (Thanks to Shrewsbury School web site from which much of this content was borrowed).GlidingCamp2019_7Jasper, Morgan and Paul Fowler

I am going to be out of the country for the next four weeks so I will not be posting on this blog for a while.  However I feel sure that other officers and committee members will be taking the opportunity to keep you informed while I am away.  The soaring season is nowhere near over as this week will suggest so make the most of it and pack in a few more hours before the winter.  Remember, currency and recency are paramount.

Happy landings
Jon Hall

Sep 092019

Keep your eye on Wednesday, if I were asked to draw a Tephi profile of a wave day the GFS tephi for Wednesdat afternoon is what it would look like.


Sep 052019

Hello everyone
I have spent a lot of the last week doing stuff related to the two major events happening next year, namely the Vintage Glider Club National Rally and the Wenlock Olympian Games – Gliding.  For those that are not yet aware the VGC Rally, for any vintage or classic glider, will take place at the Mynd from 23rd of May to 30th May and the Olympian event, a proper competition with Olympian Gold, Silver and Bronze medals at stake, will take place from 13th to 17th of July.  One of the things that has become very clear is how many people it takes to organise and run such events.  Just looking at the Olympian we will require: Director, Deputy Director, Met person, Task Setter, Safety Officer, Duty Instructors, Launch Directors, Launch Point Marshalls, Winch Drivers, Tug Drivers, Bar Staff, Help in the Kitchen, plus help to clear and tidy the site, help to marshall visitors, organise evening events and guest appearances from people like the modellers etc etc etc.  So I will be looking for volunteers for both events but mainly for the Olympian.  If we get enough offers of help there is no need for anyone to do more than one or two days or even parts of days.  But I need lots of offers so that we can schedule times and days for all the roles and jobs.  There are many members who regularly and unselfishly help out doing all kinds aof thigs around the club but I am hoping that some of our new members will not bfeel shy about coming forward and helping out.  The planning has already started; John Randle is doing a lot of the on the ground organisation and I shall be Directing the Olympian.  If you can spare a few days or even a few hours for either event please let me know  as soon as possible so I can draw up a schedule and allocate jobs to names.  It is really important that we host events such as these to raise the the profile of the club which attracts new members, visitors and financial support from various grant giving bodies.
Olympian 2020 Poster A4

Your duty teams this weekend are:
Saturday:  Guy Hartland (No 1), William Brewis (No 2), Simon Adlard (winch), Liz Adlard (LD)
Sunday:  Guy Hartland (No 1), Gave D’Arcy (TLs), Simon Adlard (winch), Dave Cole (LD)

Next Week
Is course no 11 run by Dave Crowson. The last of the courses for this year starts on 23rd September run by Rob Hanks.   The courses have been very successful this year.  We have sold more course places and frankly made more revenue than for some time.  This is important to the club as we rely on revenue from the courses to help pay for our professional instructors and winch driver and to make it possible for us to offer seven day a week opening throughout the summer.  And of course we have limited weekday opening throughout the winter as well.  Both  are benefits that many other clubs across the country are unable to offer.

Happy landings
Jon Hall

Aug 292019

Hi again,
Last week was Task Week and we all had a very good time.  We flew on more days than we didn’t and had conditions ranging from very nominal to a strong racing day.  Interestingly, the days were mostly won by different people each day which made for a good competition.  To prove the point about the tasking and scoring system, the overall winner was Tim Brunskill in a 15m glider.  Holly won a day when she not only did her first solo field landing but also gained the longest and the highest flight of the day.  Three Duos helped to give cross country experience to a number of less experienced pilots including Ray Lewis and Holly, who also managed to win a day as P2.  The organisation was good, for the most part better than the weather. Hazel in Control was trialling a new system of locating landouts using What3Words (Google it) and WhatsApp with logger traces either entered on the club ladder or emailed in.  It worked very well.  The catering was incredible as ever and Helen and her team worked their socks off to keep everyone happy.  The Juniors entertained us all musically and brilliantly, followed by our resident band and supporting cast, at the end  of Task Week Party which was very well attended.  The only disappointing element is that there were not more entries.  Particularly as the outstanding response from the last members’ survey was that you wanted more cross country training and coaching opportunities.  In spite of that no one wanted to do either of the course weeks set aside specifically for cross country training this year and we could easily have accommodated twice the number of Task Week entries.  All I can say is use it or lose it.

I regret to tell you that I have, over the last few weeks, received a number of letters and emails complaining about behaviour in the club and at the launch point, between members and from members to visitors.  These complaints range from verbal abuse to extremely offensive language.  While we have young people with us on the airfield and in the clubhouse we all need to be mindfull of our responsibilities to them.  What some may regard as banter others may regard as bullying, intimidation and offensive behaviour.  Please think before you speak.  If you have issues with anyone at the club raise them with a committee member first.

Your duty teams this weekend are:
Saturday:  Neal Clements (No 1), Charles Carter (TLs), Peter Orchard (winch), Glyn Macarthur (LD)
Sunday:  Clive Crocker (No 1), Charles Carter (TLs), Peter Orchard (winch), Charles Page (LD)

Membership Cards
I have been asked by the CFI to remind you all that from September 1st, this Sunday, you will be asked to show a valid membership card at the launch point.  If you can’t you will be refused a launch.  Its not hard, just ask in the office if you don’t already have one and put it in your glider, or your pocket, or wear it around your neck.  As has been explained before, the main purpose it to make sure you have paid your subs (you might be surprised by how many people fail to pay promptly at the beginning of the membership year) and, more importantly, to show that you have a valid medical.  Flying club or private gliders without either one of these may invalidate the insurance in the event of an accident.  But don’t forget in reality it is the pilot’s responsibility to ensure that they comply with the medical requirements.

Ellen’s Party
If you are attending Ellen’s party this weekend, Helen would be grateful if you would let her know as soon as possible so that she can anticipate numbers.

Happy landings
Jon Hall


Aug 212019

Hi everyone

Well, Task Week is well under way and glad to see quite a few pilots taking part, though it would be good to see more.  We have had three good flying days so far, yesterday being very good indeed.  It started out a bit iffy but, as the afternoon went on, became a strong racing day with some of the bigger wing gliders completing a 250k task at speeds in excess of 90kph.  Today was scrubbed due to an encroaching front and lots of top cover cutting off the early thermals and bringing a stream of showery weather from the south west.  Thursday is not looking great at present but Friday has some promise of a task with light, mostly southerly winds.  The end of Task Week Party will be on Sunday night with live musical entertainment and a great spread from the kitchen.  If you want to attend please let Helen know by ringing her directly, or the office, so she knows how many to cater for.

Your duty teams at the weekend are:
As it is still Task Week over the weekend there will be no pre-booked club instructional training flights but if there are instructors around able and willing you may be able to get a flight.  Steve Male is No 1 Saturday and Sunday and Roger Andrews on Monday with Stephen Alexander driving the winch.  Charles Carter will be doing trial lesson flights on Saturday and Denise Hughes on Sunday.

Club Newsletter
The summer edition of the club newsletter was published at the end of July this year but a few people are telling me that they didn’t receive it.  This may be because our mailing list is not up to date or you have changed your email address without telling the office.  If you did not receive the summer edition in your inbox please first check your spam and junk folders then let me know at chairman@midlandgliding.club. I will be sending the same version out again shortly, hopefully to pick up those that missed it last time, so please let me know as soon as you can.

Membership Cards
I have been asked by our CFI to remind you that we will firmly be implementing the membership card system from 1st September this year.  You should have been given a membership card and a plastic case when you renewed your membership in April, but if you didn’t get one, or you pay by direct debit, or have lost the one you were given, do get in touch with the office and ask for a new one.  The cards not only show that you are a paid up member but also confirm that you have a valid medical with an expiration date, both of which are a legal requirement for you to fly from our site.  You may be asked by an instructor or the launch director to show your membership card at the launch point.  Without it you may be denied the right to fly until you can.  I know this sounds bureaucratic but as a club we cannot afford to have an accident where the person involved is not a member or doesn’t have a medical, as either of these will invalidate the insurance, or send a young person on a first solo flight without a medical declaration having been signed by a parent.

Next week
is course week 10, run by Dave Crowson and Neal Clements.

Happy landings
Jon Hall

Aug 162019

Hi all,

Hazel Turner will be keeping a watchful eye over all pilots taking part in Task Week that starts tomorrow and we have embraced modern technology to locate you in the event of you landing out.

To make this work, you need a couple of things –

1/ A smart phone with the what3words app and Whatsapp loaded and allowed to use your     location.

2/ Hazel Turners contact details loaded into WhatsApp – 07500472778.

3/  Ideally, your retrieve crew need the what3words app on their phone.


Here’s how it works.

You land out, open up the what3words app and assuming you have a signal, it will locate your phone, on the bottom of the phone screen is a “Share” symbol, tap the share button then tap the WhatsApp symbol. On the top right hand side of the next screen is a magnifying glass or search symbol, find Hazels number, tap the white/green arrow symbol that then loads the information into WhatsApp then tap the white/green arrow to send.

It sounds complicated but it is very simple.

Once Hazel gets your information, she can locate your retrieve crew, give them the What3words code and they can come and get you. The great thing is that the app follows the phone in real time so if you move location, it updates the retrieve crew.





Have a great week, fly safe and have fun.


Cheers Rob

Aug 152019

Hi everyone
A word in your ear about Task Week.  When I joined the club in the late 1980s Task Week was a big deal.  Pretty much everyone who was the slightest bit interested in cross country or competition flying took part, in a range of gliders from K6 to Discus, with everything in between and including most of the club fleet.  Many families came up for the week and brought their children with them.  The place was busy and we all had a lot of fun.  It was Task Week that got me interested in cross country flying, though I wasn’t very good at it for a long time.  But every year I got a little bit better at flying tasks and landing out, sometimes not very far away.  The advantages of Task Week for all of us are:

  • Someone else tells you each morning what the  weather will do
  • Then someone else tells you what task to fly
  • Then someone else tells you what NOTAMS are active in the task area
  • There are always lots of people to help you rig
  • If you are new to cross country flying there are lots of experienced pilots to explain and help
  • You can compare your performance against others
  • If you land out there are always people who will come and get you (once from Silverstone in my case)
  • There is always food available when you get back
  • These days there are quite a few high performance privately owned two seat gliders available in which you may be able to blag a seat with an experienced pilot
  • The evenings in the bar are always fun as you compare notes with those more and less successful than yourself
  • You learn about how to thermal better
  • You learn about how to fly at the best speed between thermals
  • Sometimes you learn about gaggle flying
  • You learn about final glides (and how not to do them)
  • There are prizes every day
  • You can enter every task on the club ladder
  • And all this for a very nominal entry fee that just about covers the cost of the day prizes.

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 be consistently 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 every morning to make the whole experience as straight-forward and rewarding as possible.  Not to be missed for any pilot wishing to improve their Cross Country skills.

Need I say more?  This year’s Task Week starts on Saturday and runs to 25th August with Monday 26th August in reserve.  Book in via the Office.DSC_6122

Your Duty Teams This Weekend Are:
Saturday:  Steve Male (No 1), Charles Carter (TLs), Guy Hartland (winch)
Sunday:  Steve Male (No 1), Mark Wakeham (TLs), Guy Hartland (winch)

Club Rules
May I remind you all that the club has a set of rules, often established by the members at an AGM, that are designed to make the club a better place for all of its members, not just for a few.  One of the things that has been brought to my attention recently is the presence of dogs on the airfield.  The club rules state clearly that dogs are allowed on the airfield but must be on a lead and controlled.  Uncontrolled dogs are not tollerated anywhere on the airfield.  However no dogs are allowed inside the clubhouse at any time.  Just as I would not expect members to harass dog owning visitors if the dogs are properly controlled I do not expect members to break the rules about not having dogs in the clubhouse.  Of course rules can be changed but the way to do so is at an AGM.

Happy landings
Jon Hall

Aug 092019

I should have said in the earlier blog that if you would like to fly with Julian or myself the only requirement is that you have a bronze badge with a cross country endorsement.  If you have a navigation device such as an Oudie or Kobo you should bring it with you as part of the flight will be a briefing on what you need to do before you fly. After the flight we will do a de-brief  to consolidate what you have learned.  Hope to see you there.

Aug 092019

Hi everyone
Sorry this is a day late but I have just returned from the Challenge Cup competition at Husbands Bosworth.  The comp doesn’t really end until Sunday but the weather for the rest of the week looks unflyable so I came home early.  Driving home I was thinking about gliding competitions and why they are a good thing to do for cross country pilots.  Firstly everything is organised for you.  You get up, put the glider on the grid, have breakfast, and go to briefing.  At briefing they tell you what the weather is going to do, if there any notable NOTAMS, what the task is and even what time you are going to launch.  Apart from setting up your nav device and drawing on your chart it is pretty much all done for you.  All you have to do is fly the task.  Then of course you are flying against a huge range of experience and skill from first timers to nationals pilots.  It is a brilliant way to compare your skills against others and a chance to listen and talk to successful winners to learn what they did that you didn’t.  Then of course you are flying from another airfield in a different part of the country so you are navigating around what may be a strange landscape and finding your way back to the airfield.  You have to get used to using the radio and listening out to calls from competition control and may need to talk to controlers at other airfields, to cross an ATZ for instance.  Then, after flying, there are all the social aspects of meeting new people and sharing a drink over exchanging gliding tales.  also you learn how to fly with a large group of gliders, sometimes in the same thermal.  This is a skill that has to be learned but is well worth the effort.  Sometimes there may be fifty gliders in a single thermal though this rarely happens.  On scrubbed days there are often workshops, discussions and lectures on aspects of gliding that are always useful and educational.  So I recomend comps to everyone, but think about starting with something small like Rockpolishers, our interclub league, and move on to Task Week where you can compare your skills against your friends in a friendly atmosphere, then do a Regional and eventually try a Nationals.  It really is great fun and makes you a better pilot.

Task Week
Talking about Task Week it is not far away taking place between 17th – 25th August with Monday 26th August in reserve.  Details on the website.  I shall be flying the Duo KA during the week and will have a seat available on some of the days so if you are interested in sharing a day and learning a bit about how you prepare for and fly a competition day send an email to chairman@midlandgliding.club and I will compile a list, first come first served, and let you know in time if there is a chance to fly.  Julian Fack will also be flying his Duo and there will be opportunities to fly with him.  Get his email from the office and tell him you are interested.

Your duty teams this weekend are:
Saturday:  Walter Bauman (No 2), Charles Carter (TLs), Geoff Dailey (winch), Laurant Duval (LD)
Sunday:  William Brewis (No 1), Walter Bauman (No 2), Geoff Dailey (winch)

Instructor Meeting
Tomorrow evening, Saturday 10th August at 1700.

Happy landings
Jon Hall


Aug 012019

Hi everybody
The first of August, traditionally thought of as the height of summer, everybody on holiday so less work to do and an opportunity to do more flying.  The nights are inevitably going to get longer now so take advantage of what are still long days to do as much gliding as you can.  Lots of activity around the club not only keeps the treasurer happy but keeps the atmosphere lively and makes it more attractive to members and visitors alike.  A lively and busy club is more likely to attract new members and new members is what this club needs to secure its future.  From those new members come volunteers.  What makes any club successful is the handful of volunteers that that run it.  I say a handful but when you count up who does what, it is clear to see that it takes a great many people to keep the club functioning.  The committee does an incredible amount of work behind the scenes, often unoticed, dealing with the everyday administration of a business, a club and what amounts to a charitable non-profit organisation.  Others help to maintain the assets, such as the fleet, the trailers, the buildings and the grounds, while yet more help out with promtions, advertising, press relations etc etc.  As our membership has declined over the last twenty years, in common with most other gliding clubs worldwide (there were 9500 glider pilots in the UK in 2000 and about 7500 now) then the proportion of the total club membership that is needed to volunteer to keep it running has increased.  For the large part I see the same people doing the same necessary work around the place as I saw back then and this is unsustainable as we all get older.  The club needs skills such as engineers, graphic designers, photographers, marketeers, financial advisors, lawyers and solicitors, people with experience of gaining grants and writing reports as well as launch directors and instructors.  I’m pleased to say that our instructor cadre is increasing thanks to the sterling efforts of the CFI and his deputies but we still need more and lots of help from others.  So if you have a useful skill, or just time, especially if you are under forty, talk to one of the committee members and find out what you can do to keep this club healthy and growing.  But it is apreciated if the flying field can be regarded as a committee free zone.  We are all members because we want to fly after all.  Some of the things that make a huge difference are: cleaning the gliders before they are put away at night, clearing the site of rubbish and dead machinery (thanks Julian for your work on this), keeping the club trailers clean and in legal working order, maintaining the buildings, decorating.  I could go on at length but I guess you have the idea.

Your duty teams this weekend are:
Saturday:  Mike Witton (No 1), Matthew Cook (No 2, Peter Orchard (winch)
Sunday:  Simon Adlard (No 1), Matthew Cook (No 2), Charles Carter (TLs), Liz Adlard (LD)

A successful last weekend at Aston Down with three first places and a second over the two days.  Well done team.

Instructor Meeting
The next instructor meeting is at the club at 1700 hours on the 10th August.

We depend for our promotional material largely on photos from members and I have a significant archive but they are getting to the end of their useful life having been used many times.  If you have any images that you think might be useful for advertising or posters or on the website and you are happy to sign over the copyright to the club and agree to their unrestricted use for club purposes please send copies to me at this email address in as high a resolution as you can muster.  Any file format will do.

Dave Wedlock getting excited on launch.

BGA Club Management Conference
A reminder that the this will take place at the deVere Staverton in Northamptonshire on Sunday 17th November.  It is intended for those that take part in the management of the club so Chairs and Vice Chairs, Treasurers, CFIs and Club Technical  Officers as well as those interested in the promotion of Junior Flying.

And finally ….
Does anyone have a PowerFlarm unit that I could borrow for a few days?  My one is playing up and I am trying to fault find.  The last thing to check is the Flarm unit itself.  Any help much appreciated.

Happy landings
Jon Hall

Jul 252019

Hello everybody,
I hope you have been enjoying the warm weather as I have, even though the conditions haven’t been especially great for soaring.  It has made me think though how important it is to stay hydrated when it is as warm as this, especially when flying.  Dehydration occurs when a loss of fluids like water exceeds fluid intake. Even a minor change in fluid concentrations can result in dehydration. It is, therefore, necessary to drink as you lose it, or else you will become dehydrated. When dehydrated, the human body does not function at its best and judgement and concentration can be seriously impaired.  There are lots of signs of dehydration, the most common being:

  1. Your breath may be telling you that your body is running low on water. Saliva has antibacterial properties, but lack of hydration can deter your body from producing enough of it. With insufficient saliva in the mouth, bacterial overgrowth is possible, and as a side effect, smelly breath. Often, dehydration is the cause of bad breath.
  2.  The color of your urine can indicate whether you are dehydrated. When you are adequately hydrated, your body discharges clear urine with a tinge of yellow. However, concentrated, dark urine is a telling sign of dehydration.
  3. With the body losing water, essential salts such as potassium and sodium also get lost, which alters the chemical makeup of the blood. Loss of water in the brain tissues causes the brain to shrink and move away from the skull, triggering a reaction in the pain receptors located in the meninges. The severity of dehydration headaches depends on the amount of water lost.
  4. Without the right amount of water, your body can experience muscle soreness. A 10% performance level drop is quite reasonable in people dealing with dehydration. Therefore, one must stay hydrated throughout the day to optimize performance.
  5. Fluids play a vital role in body temperature regulation; the risk of developing heat stroke, due to exposure to hot weather, is increased in dehydrated individuals. Typically, the body overheats after physical exertion, and profuse sweating occurs. Sweating without regularly replenishing liquids can quickly result in dehydration.
  6. Lightheadedness and dizziness are associated with dehydration when low blood pressure and electrolyte imbalances are severe enough. People experiencing dehydration tend to be fussy and irritable. In extreme cases, dehydration results in mental confusion and even loss of consciousness.

So make sure when flying in hot weather that you have two essential things organised.  A ready supply of fluids and, just as important, a way of having a pee in the glider.  The more you drink the more you are likely to want to.  I know that it is easier for us men but it is vital that you find a way to sort out your plumbing.  I won’t go into the details here but a quick search on Google or Gliderpilot.net will give you lots of links to follow.  It is hard to concentrate when you are busting, and do remember that if you have a serious accident with a full bladder you can do irreperable harm to your internal organs.  It really isn’t worth it.  Anyway it has just started raining here!

Your duty teams this weekend are:
Saturday:  Steve Male (No 1), Clive Crocker (No 2), Dave D’Arcy (TLs), Simon Adlard (winch), Glyn Macarthur (LD)
Sunday:  Nigel Lassitter (No 1), Charles Carter (TLs), Simon Adlard (winch), Charles Page (LD)

This week
is a course week and in spite of the difficult conditions we have managed a lot of flying.  On the course are two gentlemen who started on our courses in 1991 and have attended pretty much every year ever since.  We should introduce an award for dedication to the course (or cause). The week before was Wood Week and we flew 129 hours from 293 launches, 13 of which were bungie launches.


This weekend is the turn of Aston Down to host the Rockpolishers Inter Club League competition.  The Mynd Team for this weekend will be:
Novice: Geoff Dailey; LS4; “PZ”; handicap 96
Intermediate: Jon Hall; Duo Discus T; “KA”; handicap 101 (P2: Tim Brunskill)
Pundit: Dave Crowson; Arcus T; “291”; handicap 107 (P2: Rob Hanks)
Rob Hanks will be the acting Captain for the Mynd.
If you are interested in Rockpolishers more information is available here.

This weekend
At present RASP thinks Saturday is going to be a very good day, especially in Wales and Sunday still good but not quite as good as Saturday.  Looks like there is some soaring to be had in west winds on Saturday going slightly more north on Sunday, both days around 15kts.  SkySight on the other hands thinks Sunday is the better day locally, though both look good for XC, and has the wind lighter at 10kts and consistently NW.  It will be interesting to see how it pans out.  RASP has been uncannily accurate over the last couple of weeks.

CaptureHave a great weekend
Happy landings
Jon Hall

Jul 192019

Hi Everyone
Forgive this being a day late but I took the opportunity yesterday to fly in the good weather and didn’t get home until late.  The club was delightfully busy with lots of brightly coloured vintage gliders taking advantage of the ridge and enjoying some bungee launching in the afternoon.  We have been priviledged to host fifteen visitors for wood week including six from Holland and two from Australia.  Today couldn’t be more different as I look out of the window at pouring rain.  A quick glance at the club webcams this morning looks as though the cloud is still on the hill.  The good news however is that it will probably clear this afternoon and Saturday now looks a bit better than it did a few days ago and Sunday still looks like a good day for cross country flying and local training.  Next week looking good too.  Like any forecast these always come with the usual caviats.  Trying to forecast weather even a few days ahead is always difficult as things change quite rapidly sometimes.  For this reason, as a glider pilot, you need to become comfortable with looking at the now readily available data, such as RASP, Skysight or TopMeteo as well as the Skew-T charts from NOAA or other sources, and making your own assment of which days to fly.  I know how hard it seems at the beginning but it is well worth the effort.  There are lots of people around the club who are much better at it than me so if you need help just ask and I’m sure they will all relish an opportunity to show you how clever they are!
We also had two groups of young people from Holy Trinity Academy, Telford looking around the club and watching watch we do.  Hopefully some of them will come again, possible for a camp, and start to learn to fly.  Thanks to Paul Fowler and the office staff for looking after them.
Simon’s Cross Country Course
As no one seems to want to learn, practice or improve their cross country skills Simon’s course has been cancelled.  I’m really surprised that there is so little interest in taking advantage of available club gliders and expert coaching at the best part of the soaring year just as the fields are beginning to be cut.  I know not everyone wants to fly cross country and it can seem daunting at first but you won’t know if you like it until you try.  We are very fortunate to have a number of high performance two seat gliders available on site for coaching, four, sometimes five Duo Discus and two Arcus, with very experienced pilots. Why not get one of them to take you with them and have a go.
Then when you are bitten by the cross country bug you can sign up for the club Rockpolishers team.  Details are available on the website.  The next event is next weekend at Aston Down.  Support crew is always welcome or just go and soak up the atmosphere and excitement.
Task Week
And of course don’t forget the club Task Week taking place 17th to 25th August.  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.
Book in via the OfficeUntitled-2Happy landings
Jon Hall

Jul 112019

Hi everyone
I have become so used to moaning about the weather and the lack of good soaring conditions that now the weather has improved and become more like an English summer I’m finding it hard to think of anything to write about.  But the course this week is full and indeed slightly oversubscribed and they have enjoyrd a great week with flying every day.  My grateful thanks to Mark Jerman for stepping in at the very last minute to provide extra instruction.  Last Sunday was a very good day.  From where I was standing (note standing not flying) it looked like one of the best days of the year.  But more of that later.  This weekend looks eminently soarable with Saturday bringing light northerly winds, should be good for medium cross countries up to 200k.  Sunday looks better with the wind going round to the south and potential for a further 100k over Saturday.  High pressure still very much in charge ofter an occluded front overnight Friday.

Your duty teams this weekend are:
Saturday:  Roger Andrews (No 1), Mike Witton (No 2), Simon Adlard (winch), Liz Adlard (LD).  There are no Trial LEssons.
Sunday:  Neal Clements (No 1), Charles Carter (TLs), Simon Adlard (winch), Dave Cole (LD).

Large Model Show, Cosford
The reason I wasn’t flying on Sunday last is because I decided to go to the Large Model Show at RAF Cosford.  Even though I missed a great flying day I really enjoyed the show and was glad I went.  Steve Male and Chris Harris were both there on the flight line and there were some remarkable model aircraft being flown, some of them almost half scale.  The display by two Red Arrows was impressive even for the real thing and a fleet of eighteen World War Two aircraft all flying at the same time took some beating.  I can highly recomend it especially as if you book early online the £8 it costs includes access to the museums.  I was particularly impressed with this high performance single seat glider and an equally high performnce trailer to keep it in!

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Airspace Officer
You will be aware of the increasing potential for poaching of Class G airspace by large and sometimes smaller commercial airports to make their customers’, the commercial and business airlines, lives easier and cheaper.  There is a constant campaign by the BGA to guard against any new applications reducing the space that we enjoy for our sport and we at MGC are lucky in having very little controlled space locally or indeed in most of Wales.  However we have to be on our guard at all times and I’m pleased to anounce, and enormusly grateful to Andrew Rands for willingly volunteering to take on the new role of Airspace Officer for the club.  If you feel you can be of help please contact Andrew directly.

Gap Tallard
Some of our pilots are currently flying from Gap Tallard in the French Alps.  The Arcus 291 is there with Nigel Lassiter, Rob and Fay Hanks and Bob Sharman and Clive Crocker with his new Arcus 18.  Judging by the Facebook posts they are having a pretty good time.IMG_6617


Make sure you get in as much flying as you can while the weather lasts.
Happy landings
Jon Hall

Jul 082019

An opportunity has arisen to fly as P2 at the Aston Down round of Rock Polishers on 27/28 July. As P2 with Jon Hall in Duo “KA”, you probably won’t do much of the flying, but you will learn much of how to go about the task of planning and executing a cross country flight – and that’s the most important bit to learn, doing the actual flying is really just a distraction!

To book your place or for more information, contact the office or me direct.



 Posted by at 5:09 pm
Jul 052019

Hi everyone
At last a whole week of sunshine and flying weather.  Wednesday promised to be a very good day with lots of the cross country cohort  queuing up to get some kilometres on the club ladder.  It turned out to be a bit harder than it looked but nevertheless several flights of over 300k were achieved.  The Shrewsbury School camp had an excellent week with lots of flying including the motor glider.  Thanks to Simon for giving up so much time to fly them in the Falke and Paul Fowler for his continued commitment to the school.
Julian Fack has been doing an excellent job of getting our obsolete vehicle fleet sold and removed from site and yesterday the old Range Rover finally departed.  Incidentally over my last few blogs every time I have typed in Julian’s name my spell checker has changed it to someone else I once knew also called Julian Ravest and I failed to notice.  My apologies Julian.
Another club expedition is at Gap in the French Alps.  If you are a Facebook user keep an eye open for posts from Rob Shepherd and Nigel Lassitter.  The scenery is always spectacular.5929EE09-04B3-4983-B570-6738386AEA92
It seems there are still a few people who have not yet renewed and paid for their membership subscriptions.  Note that you will not be allowed to fly without a paid up membership and that you will not be covered on the club insurance if you are not a member.  If you fly a club glider without membership, and therefore without insurance, any damage to the club fleet will be your responsibility.  Apart from that we rely on membership subs and flying fees to make it possible for us all to enjoy the facilities and the flying.

Your duty teams this weekend are:
Chris Aldiss (No 1), Matthew Cook (No 2),  Charles Carter (TLs), Stephen Alexander (winch), Glyn Macarthur (LD)
Sunday: William Brewis (No 1), Matthew Cook (No 2), Mark Wakeham (TLs), Stephen Alexander (winch), volunteer Launch Director required.

Fly safe and happy landings
Jon Hall

Jun 272019

Hello again
Doesn’t a week go by quickly.  And doesn’t the weather change so quickly too.  So the beginning of the week I was looking at torrential rain and thunderstorms.  Today a lovely hot blue day but with a strong easterly wind.  Tomorrow looks like 25kt easterly so even though it looks like a nice day, unlikely to be flyable from the Mynd.  Saturday the wind goes to the south and Sunday we get a stiff westerly with the chance of some wave.

Your duty teams this weekend are:
Saturday: Mike Witton (no 1), Alan Swan (No 2), Nigel Lassitter (TLs), Peter Orchard (winch), Laurent Couval (LD)
Sunday: Simon Adlard (no 1), Denise Hughes (TLs), Peter Orchard (winch), Liz Adlard (LD)

Instructor Shortage
We are short of another instructor to assist club flying next week.  This is becoming a regular problem with not enough instructors on the rota and people pulling out at the last minute without much notice.  If anyone can help out next week even for a few days please get in touch with the office or the CFI.  We may also have a potential problem for Course 7 starting 8th July.  If there is an instructor able to offer at least the first two days that would be a great help.

Shrewsbury School
The pupils from Shrewsbury School are with us all of next week with Dave Crowson and Paul Fowler instructing.  They will be using the main bunk room all week.

Wood Week Vintage Rally
Starts 13th July until 20th July.  It is always good to see the sky above the club filled with brightly coloured vintage gliders so if you have one why not join in.


It is always nice when people let us know that we are doing something right so I was really pleased to see the following comment in response to my blog last week:
‘I attended a premium trial flight on June 20th. Apart from the flight, my wife and I, enjoyed the friendly atmosphere and welcome shown to us.  In particular, I would like to thank my instructor, Charles, for a very enjoyable and informative first flight.  Fantastic day.’
R***** L***

Restricted Airspace Alerts
I know that Silverstone is a popular O/R waypoint from the Mynd so all you cross country pilots please note:
Restriction of Flying Regulations for Silverstone and Turweston for British Grand Prix between 12 and 14 July 2019.
Details by NOTAM and in AIC M084/2019 at http://www.nats-uk.ead-it.com/
Restrictions also apply to the operation of all drones.

Enjoy the good weather while it lasts
Happy landings
Jon Hall

Jun 202019

Hello everyone.
So I was at the club today, sadly not to fly but to do some fettling on the glider, but was delighted to see some normal summer weather with a nice westerly wind, lots of good cumulus and lots of people.  Shrewsbury School were there with Paul Fowler and Nigel Lassitter, the usual suspects with their privately owned gliders and a lot of paragliders from the RAF who were attending the LMSC site for a competition but were thwarted by the slightly stronger winds than they needed.  Really good to see the club so busy again.  Tomorrow looks at least as good as today.  I’ll be there.  You should be too, so cash in some of those brownie points and go flying.

Your duty teams this weekend are:
Saturday:  Neal Clements (No 1), Guy Hartland (winch), Charles Page (LD).  We are, at very short notice, short of a No 2 so if you are available please let the office know asap.
Sunday:  Mark Sanders (no 1), Guy Hartland (winch), Dave Cole (LD).  We are also without a No 2 for this day too so same applies.

A big thank you
to Dawn and Guy Hartland, with help from Tim Brunskill and Martin McCurdie, who have stripped, polished and refurbished the floors, wall panelling and benches in the quiet room and the dining area.  A brilliant job in record time to minimise the disruption.  It all looks terrific so a huge thank you from the rest of us.

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The broken Vitara is fixed
thanks to Julian Fack.  It seems that the gearbox is not broken as thought, but that someone had managed to select both high and low gear ratios simultaneously, which must have taken considerable effort.  We rely on the ground vehicles to keep the operation running smoothly and we spend enough money as it is keeping them running, money that could be spent on upgrading the fleet, without them being made unserviceable by careless operation.  If you don’t know how to operate them properly, ask someone who does.

The second edition of the new newsletter was published this morning.  If you are a member and haven’t received your PDF copy please check with the office that we have your current email address.

Enjoy the good weather and happy landings
Jon Hall

Jun 132019

Hello everyone
I’m back from Spain after a very good expedition to Santa Cilia de Jaca in the Pyrenees.  It was, as always, different from previous years, quite cold a lot of the time but some really good flying.  These expeditions are a really good way to kick start your season.  I did around 50 hours during the three weeks, probably more than many people do in an entire season.  I highly recommend it as a way to get going at the beginning of the year.  As soon as I returned I went to the Lake District to visit a friend and while there went to the Windermere Jetty, a new venture that replaced the long standing and privately owned Windermere Steamboat Museum.  This new enterprise is run by a Trust and has some pretty special buildings designed by a young practice of Starchitects, clad in copper.  But one of the objects on display caught my eye because its not a boat at all but a glider, built  by Slingsby in 1943.  The water glider was an experiment by the War Office to develop a small aircraft that could take off and land on water in enemy areas.  TC Pattinson, George Pattinson’s father, adapted a standard Slingsby Falcon 1 glider.  It’s good to see gliders cropping up in non-aviation museum displays.
Taxiing on the airfield
A reminder that it is club policy never to taxi your glider whilst landing but rather to land in a straight line.  This avoids the potential for running into things if the wheel brake fails or doesn’t work or confusing others landing behind.
Important Notice
Please note.  Dawn and Guy Hartland will be cleaning and restoring the wooden floor in the main dining area this weekend.  As a result the clubhouse will be closed from 1600 hours on Sunday June 16th until the next day and there will be no catering that evening.  Sorry for the inconvenience but it is a necessity and the floor will look great when finished.
Your Duty Teams this weekend are:
Saturday: Walter Baumann (No 2),  Mike Witton (TLs), Geoff Dailey (winch), Jon Hall (LD)
Sunday: Walter Baumann (No 2), Geoff Dailey (winch), Glyn MacArthur (LD)

I know the weather has been unkind but it can’t last for ever.  Make sure you are there when it turns.
Happy landings
Jon Hall

Jun 102019

RP at the MyndOur round of the 2019 Rock Polishers series took place at the Mynd this weekend. Saturday was not suitable for XC flying, though some competitors did get to enjoy our ridge. Sunday was a better day, though very showery and challenging. Nevertheless it was enjoyed by all. Thanks to everyone who helped out and of course to Helen and friends for feeding us so well.

You can view the results here on Soaring Spot…



 Posted by at 4:34 pm