May 232019

Hello everyone.  I’m writing today from Santa Cilia de Jaca in the Spanish Pyrenees.  This annual pilgrimage to the mountains has been going on for a lot longer than I have been taking part and some of the party are very experienced.  We have two Duo’s, an Arcus and a JS1 here at present.  We arrived late Saturday after an overnight ferry from Portsmouth to Santander after pretty much continuous rain all the way.  It continued to rain on Sunday but Monday cleared nicely and we all flew.  Conditions improved on Tuesday and Wednesday but today we all decided to do some fettling.  Friday looks like thunderstorms.  The airfield at Santa Cilia has two hard runways east-west and a grass strip down the middle which is sometimes useable depending on the amount of recent rain.  It has a large hangar for visitors which means we only rig once, a nice briefing room and a big cafe and bar serving food all day.  These are big mountains up to 12000′ plus but a lot less busy than the Alps.  Unlike the Alps it doesn’t have a lot of land out options.  Anyway we are all having fun and getting some good flying.


Your duty teams this weekend are:
: Steve Male (No 1), Peter Orchard (winch)
Sunday: Steve Male (No 1), Nigel Lassiter (No2), Peter Orchard (winch), Glyn Macarthur (LD)

See you all in another two weeks
Happy landings
Jon Hall

May 162019

Hello everyone.  What a great weekend we had with lots of sunshine, some clouds and some long distances covered by Mynd pilots.  Once again Wales had some of the best weather in the country.  This week’s course have had some good flying too starting with one of them taking a trip to Snowdon and back on Monday.  As I look out of my window this afternoon the sky looks really soarable so I hope you are taking advantage of it.  I leave for Jaca tomorrow to indulge in a bit of mountain flying so it is possible you won’t get another blog post until I get back in three weeks, though I will try.

Your duty teams this weekend are:
: Chris Alldis (No 1), Steve Male (No 2), Simon Adlard (No 3), Steve Male (Motorglider), Peter Orchard (winch), Dave Cole (LD)
Sunday: William Brewis (No 1), Steve Male (No2), Simon Adlard (No 3), Mark Wakeham (TLs), Peter Orchard (winch), Laurent Couval (LD)

New Trial Lesson Briefing Presentation
I am happy to tell you we have updated the Trial Lesson Briefing Presentation and it is now in use.  I have to warmly thank the team of Mike Greenwood, Rob and Jean Shepherd, John O’Reilly and those who took part as extras for the filming.  It is a big improvement on the previous version, which served us well for a number of years, but this one is now completely up to date and, more importantly, much easier to edit, expand and renew.  Mant thanks.

I’m sorry to say that one of the Vitaras died last weekend but thanks to the prompt actions of Julian Ravest it has been replaced with another one.  Julian took on the job of selling one of the old Land Rovers, which he did, more than funding the replacement of the Vitara and the purchase of another gearbox to keep in stock and still had enough cash left over to put more than £500 in the bank.  We still need to fix the Shogun which requires a new clutch.  We have the parts but lack manpower to do the work. If anyone has the skills and the time please let me know asap.

Weekday flying
It is worth remembering that as a club we enjoy weekday flying during the soaring season because we run professionally led courses.  It is the course members that pay for the professional instructors, some of the fleet, the professional winch driver and some of the winch kit.  Our aim is to be the club of choice for residential courses and to do that we have to offer the best possible experience for the course members.  We do this in a number of ways including excellent accommodation at a relatively low cost and superb catering.  We also have to give the course members value for money so we give them priority during the course weeks.  But this doesn’t mean that members can’t fly at the same time.  Private owners almost always manage to fit in with the requirements of the course instructors and check flights are usually available if arranged in advance but are sometimes limited by the course demands.  If this happens then check flights are freely available during members’ weeks and event weeks, which are more or less every other week at present.

Telford Balloon Fiesta
Balloon Fiesta 001
A huge thank you to Tim Brunskill and his team who helped make the club’s presence at the Telford Ballon Fiesta such a sucess.  On both days there was a constant queue of youngsters who sat in the cockpit of the ME7 and had the controls explained to them.  Our photo below shows Jared Chohan, 14, from Halesowen , a junior member of our club, introducing an even younger lad to the glider.  Jared being 14 is eligible to fly a glider solo which he hopes to achieve in the very near future.
Balloon Fiesta 036

East winds
Another east wind day but it reminds me to remind you that the motorglider can fly in strongish east winds so why not take advantage of it to do some navex or field landing practice.  You know it makes sense.

Club ladder
I mentioned last week about putting flights on the club ladder.  I forgot to mention that the BGA analyse the data from flights logged on the national ladder to find out which chunks of airspace are frequently used by gliders.  This data allows the BGA to prioritise where to concentrate effort to defend airspace from requests for more control zones and airways.  So it is vital that all cross-country pilots put their flights on the ladder to show what airspace we use.  If a pilot doesn’t wish to officially put a flight on the ladder it is still worth uploading the logger file to the ladder web site.  There is a button “Add Airspace-only Flight” on the ladder home page (https://www.bgaladder.net/Home) for this purpose.

Hope you all have some great flying while I am away and see you in three weeks or so.
Happy landings
Jon Hall

May 092019

Hello everyone.  Last weekend was as predicted a pretty good weekend with a number of Mynd pilots doing some significant cross countries in Wales on Saturday.  This weekend looks flyable on both Saturday and Sunday.  The West and Wales looks better for distance on Saturday and Central England and the East better on Sunday.

Your duty teams this weekend are:
: Neal Clements (No 1), Mike Greenwood (No 2), Mark Sanders (No 3), Steve Male (Motorglider), Geoff Dailey (winch), Dave D’Arcy (LD)
Sunday: Simon Adlard (No 1), Mike Witton (No2), Denise Hughes (TLs), Geoff Dailey (winch), Liz Adlard (LD)
Telford Balloon Fiesta

Many many thanks to all who responded to my request last week for volunteers to help at the Telford Balloon Fiesta this weekend.  We have everything under control thanks to Tim Brunskill.
K13 Refurb
Work continues to recover the K13 wings.  These workhorses are the mainstay of our training fleet and while it is a pain only having two twin seat trainers at present it will be well worth in when it is finished.  We will have probably the best two K13s in the country.  Just look at the workmanship, and the art, in the wing construction. (photos courtesy of John O’Reilly)



TV/Simulator Room
Work continues to finish the refurbishmernt of the TV/Simulator Room and thanks to John O’Reilly, Pete Orchard, Denise Hughes, Paul Shuttleworth and others for doing a great deal of the work to get it to where it is today.  There are however a few jobs left to do, the most important of which is the rewiring of the two side lights and the replacement of the main spot lights (the hardware is already on site) and a bit of painting.  If you are handy in these areas and find yourself up at the club with an hour or two to spare please get stuck in.  While you are at it have a look at the accommodation area corridor to see what can be achieved by a few volunteers willing to help the club improvements.  Excellent job by all concerned.
Club Achievements Board
The board in the Quiet/Briefing Room which shows notable club achievements is about to be updated.  If you have completed a flight of 500k or better since the last name on the board please let Chris Harris (or me) know, with details of the flight, date and a logger file, asap so we can add you to the board.  And while we are talking of club achievements, if you do any sort of cross country flight from the Mynd, in a club or private glider, singly or with someone else in a two seater, submit a logger file to the club ladder and register the flight.  It is all about letting other people across the country know that we do fly cross country from the Mynd, and occasionally get back.  It is good promotion for the club and encourages visiting pilots to spend time and money with us.  And you might even win a trophy at the end of the season if you do it often enough.  You can access the club ladder from the club website and the newly designed ladder site is really easy to use.

IMG_6400 (2)Conwy Bridge from KA last Saturday

Have a great weekend.
Happy landings
Jon Hall

May 022019

Hello everyone.  So for once I can say with some confidence that Saturday will be a very good day.  All the models more or less agree and it should be good for 500k plus for experienced pilots and definately great for Silver Distances or multiple romps around Tim’s Triangles.  This is SkySight’s prediction for a 500k task I have been looking at – not saying where in case I or the weather change our minds!Capture

Your duty teams this weekend are:
: Steve Male (No 1), William Brewis (No 2), Charles Carter (TLs), Stephen Alexander (winch), Dave Cole (LD)
Sunday: Clive Crocker (No 1), Mark Sanders (No2), Dave D’Arcy (TLs), Pete Orchard (winch), Laurent Couval (LD)Cross Country Development Week
MGC’s cross-country Development Week will take place from 7-12 May.  It will provide potential and early cross country pilots with a structured training opportunity to refresh their cross country skills prior to the main period of the cross country flying season. So far not people interested.  So sign up and get even more attention form ther coaches and a chance to fly with one of them in a Duo.


Tim Brunskill needs some volunteers to help out setting up on the Friday and running the stand on Saturday and Sunday.  The future of the club depends on us increasing our revenues and this is an outstanding chance to do some sales and recruitment from the 40,000 visitors expected at the Fiesta.  Please give up a half day of your time to help deliver, rig or talk to people at the show.  We have decided not to take the BGA Simulator but will have a glider on display.  Get in touch with Tim at this email address.
Temporary Membership Sign Up
May I remind everyone that it is illegal and extremely risky for us to fly anyone who is not a full or temporary member.  This includes members of the public who arrive for a trial lesson.  We must make sure that they sign a temporary membership form in the office before they are taken out to the launch point and put in a glider.  Not to do so means they are are not members and therefore they, and we, are not insured.  Any sort of accident under these circumstances would be disasterous.  Please make sure it never happens.This applies particularly to Launch Directors and BIs.
Associate Members
There has also been some confusion lately about Associate Members and their flying priviledges.  May I take this opportunity to remind you that we no longer have a Social Membership category.  There are only two categories of membership; Full Flying Membership and Associate Membership.  Associate Membership has a number of sub-categories such as Junior Membership.  Ignoring the Juniors for the time being Associate membership is for anyone who does not, or no longer wants Full Flying Membership.  The category comes with certain priviledges such as use of the club facilities, club member rates for purchases and accommodation and a maximum of four flights per year, one flight per quarter.

Have a great weekend.
Happy landings
Jon Hall

Apr 302019

Forget all this “Spanish Plume” nonsense that the Daily Excess is peddling – what we’re getting this weekend is a proper cold front with some nice chilly air behind it. Not BBQ weather, but great for gliding, esp. XC gliding!

Too early to say which day (the models are currently failing to agree on anything), but somewhere in the timeframe Friday through Monday (coinciding with another BH weekend – unbelievable!) there is a brilliant XC day just waiting for you!

So get your jobs done and your tickets signed off (or have some very plausible excuses lined up), and be ready to go!


 Posted by at 4:16 pm
Apr 252019

Hello everyone.  It’s Thursday again already.  Last weekend was fairly unremarkable except that on Sunday a significant convergence set up out west over the Welsh hills which appeared to run along most of the length of the country.  Chris Gill from Lleweni Parc did over 300k in it.  He reported 8kt average climbs to above 8000′ asl.  We do often see convergences out there, varying in distance from us, but often reachable with a bit of perseverance or an engine.  If you want to know how a convergence works keep an eye on RASP or SkySight, which both forecast them well, and book an hour in the motorglider.  Once there you can turn the engine down and experience the excitement of it all.  This weekend a recurance is unlikely though there may be some wave on Saturday.

Your duty teams this weekend are:
: Neal Clements (No 1), Matthew Cook (Intro/No 3), Dave D’Arcy (TLs), Simon Adlard (winch), Liz Adlard (LD)
Sunday: Nigel Lasseter (No 1), Dave D’Arcy (TLs), Simon Adlard (winch), Mark Wakeham (LD)

Rockpolishers Inter-Club League
This weekend was supposed to be the first of the Rockpolishers events to be held at Nympsfield but the weather has other ideas and the weekend has been scrubbed and rescheduled for 13/14 July (formerly the Talgarth round but they have pulled out).  Our team consists of Mark Williams and Geoff Dailey as Novices, myself, Dave D’Arcy and Julian Fack as Intermediates and Rob Hanks, Mark Sanders, Dominic Haughton, Paul Shuttleworth and Dave Crowson as Pundits.  Details of the competition organisation is available from our website.  If you’d like to know more, would like to crew or take part in the future please contact the team captain, Mark Sanders.

Cross Country Development Week
MGC’s cross-country Development Week will take place from 7-12 May.  It will provide potential and early cross country pilots with a structured training opportunity to refresh their cross country skills prior to the main period of the cross country flying season.  Expect to hone your abilities in the following areas:

Ground School
Interpreting the weatherChecking NOTAMS
Choosing a Task and  the requirements of the “Badge” flights
Marking up maps and entering Tasks into PDA’s
Flight Logging
Thermalling techniques
Speed to fly and routing considerations
Field Selection and Field Landing
Final Glides
Post flight analysis Entering your flight on the BGA/Club ladderThe Motor Glider will be available all week for:-
Field Landing Instruction and checks.
Testing for Bronze/XCE Navigation Exercises.
Testing for XCE Cloud flying training.
Testing for BGA Cloud flying endorsement

Aerotow training

Training and check/revalidation flights available out of Shobdon, if required

Advanced Handling Techniques
Routing and speed to fly
Field Landing

Cross Country tasks set
 on suitable days
Fly P2 in a club two-seater, or maybe in one of the privately owned two-seaters, generously offered by their owners
Fly as P1 in one of the club single seaters, (or your own glider, if you have one!)If you are interested in, or intrigued by the thought of, flying what seem like unimaginable distances in an aircraft that has no apparent means of propulsion, then you are a member of the target group!  To book your place contact the office on 01588 650205 or email to office@midlandgliding.clubCourse No 2 Starts Next Week
Course No 1 didn’t quite get of to the start we hoped for because of the weather so I’m hoping the next course will fair better.  If you want to fly as a private mowner during the course weeks remember that the course always gets priority but we will try and launch others as soon as they are ready and as soon as possible.

Keeping the Club Tidy
Nigel Holmes organised a trailer hitch tidy event on bank holiday Monday.  Several people took part and I would like to thank all of them.  Keeping the site tidy and presentable is a vital part of our ‘kerb appeal’ for prospective, new and established members.  They gathered stuff that was half buried and bits of metal and odds and sods that didn’t look as if they had been used for a long time.  If people are missing stuff they had wanted to keep, it was likely put next to the skip. If you still want it, it will be there for collection until the skip is ready to be emptied again.

Camping Area
I received a heads up from a member last weekend that some people are allowing their dogs to foul in the camping area.  I’d like to remind all members that the club has a policy relating to dogs on site, which says:
No dogs are allowed in the Clubhouse except guide dogs; no dogs are allowed on the airfield when it is active; dogs in all other places must not be a nuisance, annoyance or danger; and the owner and/or keeper of a dog is responsible for it.
I am asking that all members remember that people do sit and lie on the ground in the camping area, children play in it and we all expect it to be kept clean and hygenic.  If you have a dog on site walk it elsewhere, not in the campsite and especially 
pick up after it and dispose of its feaces properly.

Have a great weekend.
Happy landings
Jon Hall

Apr 192019

Hello everyone and a Happy Easter Weekend to you all.  The weather is finally changing and it looks like a warm and sunny few days at least so no excuse for not flying this weekend.  Friday looks probably soarable in the afternoon and even though the winds remain SE they will be very light so shouldn’t prevent launching.  Saturday looks very similar though it should get soarable earlier, Sunday and Monday much the same, though Monday is the better day, with more south in the wind.  So get yourselves up to the club and fill your booots!

I’m grateful to all of you who volunteered to help out with the Balloon Fiesta in Telford next month, especially to Tim Brunskill who is taking  on the organisational lead.  The more people helping out over the two days the better so please get in touch with Tim if you can spare half a day.

Your duty teams this weekend are:
Friday: William Brewis (No 1), Steve Male (No 2), Peter Orchard (winch)
: William Brewis (No 1), Steve Male (No 2), Denise Hughes (TLs), Peter Orchard (winch), Glyn Macarthur (LD)
Sunday: Steve Male (No 2), Denise Hughes (TLs), Peter Orchard (winch)
Monday: Nigel Lassiter (No 1), Steve Male (No 2), Guy Hartland (winch)

CFI’s Get Checked Week  13 – 22 April 2019
The CFI’s Get Checked Week continues over this weekend until Monday.

  • Annual Checks
  • Spin Checks
  • Launch Failure Refresher
  • Field Selection and Field Landing Refresher
  • Promotion to your next MGC Stage
  • Working towards Bronze or XC Endorsement

The club two-seaters, the motor glider and additional instructors will be available for you.

Pre-Flight Planning
The CAA publish information every month on Airspace Infringements and the one for March includes some advice on pre-flight planning, especially if you plan to usew your rasdio to cross an ATZ.  Meant for GA power pilots but equally relevant to us.  Have a look at airspacesafety.com/pre-flight-planning/?mc_cid=852befccb5&mc_eid=7d4aa6fc64

Membership Cards
Many of you will be aware by now that we are all required to carry a membershipcard while on the airfield and to show it to the Launch Director or Duty Pilot before taking a launch.  This enables us to comply with our insurance regulations, particularly for members over 75 years old.  If you have a card already, great.  If you don’t please show proof of your medical status to the office and collect a card.  You can also get a lanyard from the office, free of charge, to wear it safely inside your clothing – just ask.

Have a great weekend.
Happy landings
Jon Hall

Apr 122019

Yesterday I forgot to include mention of the fact that when the private syndicate first aquired the Falke they ran a series of dedicated weekends in April to get people brushed up on field landing ready for the cross country season.  They used the following limmeric in the notice advertising them.  Same applies now!

There was a young man from the Mynd
Who realised how greatly he’d sinned
When the field that he chose
Had potatoes in rows
And his landing gear totally binned.

Jon Hall

Apr 112019

Your duty teams this weekend are:
Saturday: Clive Crocker (No 1), Steve Male (Intro/No 3), Stephen Alexander (winch), Laurent Couval (LD)
Sunday: Chris Alldis (No 1), Steve Male (No2), Charles Carter (TLs), Stephen Alexander (winch), Jon Hall (LD)

CFI’s Get Checked Week  13 – 22 April 2019
Get checked out for the new soaring season.

  • Annual Checks
  • Spin Checks
  • Launch Failure Refresher
  • Field Selection and Field Landing Refresher
  • Promotion to your next MGC Stage
  • Working towards Bronze or XC Endorsement

The club two-seaters, the motor glider and additional instructors will be available for you.  You don’t need to attend the full week, just pick a couple of days to suit.
Book your place  It is important to book your place, so that we can gauge demand and spread the load evenly over the week.  Contact the office on 01588 650205 or email to office@midlandgliding.club

Visitors from Hus Bos This Weekend 
We are meant to be having visitors from Hus Bos this weekend but the weather continues to give us easterlies though probably less strong than recently.  Friday and Saturday may be flyable but Sunday not looking great.  However I’m sure you will give a great Mynd welcome to those who venture up the hill.

New Staff Member
I’m pleased to welcome Eddie Humphries to the staff team.  He is joining Martin in the office on a job share basis so that the office now will be manned seven days each week until October.  I’m also pleased to say that we have recruited someone to do the cleaning around the club.  His name is Ben Rodway and you will see him around the club probably on Monday, Wednesday and Fridsay afternoons.

Press Officer
I’m also very pleased to announce that Chris Ellis has volunteered his services as Press Officer for the club.  He got off to a great start this week with a nice piece in the Shropshire Star.  Please forgive the cheesey headline but it certainly grabs attention.  Well done Chris!  If you have any images or news pieces that Chris might be interested in please contact him at press@midlandgliding.club Capture

New Committee Members
The new committee met for the first time last night so this is a good time to remind you of the new members and their responsibilities.  The committee consists of:
Jon Hall – Chairman, William Brewis – Vice Chairman, Tim Mason – Secretary, James Moore – Treasurer, Steve Male – CFI, Simon Adlard – Fleet, Bob Sharman – Radios and Trailers, Nick LeGras – Buildings, Mark Hollings – Airfield and Grounds (co-opted).  In addition we have Andy Holmes and Guy Hartland looking after the MT and winches though neither hold committee positions.  There are many other members who are giving their time to do valuable jobs that keep the club running.  If you would like to help and have specific skills and experience contact me at chairman@midlandgliding.club.

New Signs
The more observant of you will have noticed we have new signs on the gate at the entrance.  These are a temporary measure to prove the concept of having something more welcoming at the gate.  If they work and and don’t present any problems they will be replaced with a more permanent solution in due course.IMG_6269


Dragon GP 2019, 11th to 18th May
Denbigh Gliding is holding a Grand Prix style Regionals this year with distance handicapped tasks for all gliders with handicaps between 94 and 104.5.  This means that Duos are included but sadly Arcuses are not!  If you fancy having a go at GP style mountain racing here is your chance.  Wish I could but I’ll be in Jaca flying in the Pyrenese!  The entry list was open until 1st Feb 2019 but I understand they will still take entries now.  The entry fee is £200, with a £25 non refundable deposit.  If you have any queries contact Chris Gill on 07980 372 836 or email chrisgill123@hotmail.co.uk

 Happy landings
Jon Hall

Apr 042019

We have just had about 4″ of imperial snow or 100mm of metric snow depending your age, blown along by a 30knt easterly!!.

If you are coming up on Friday ring first as I will test the roads to see if they are clear. At the moment they have significant drifts and are impassable even with 4×4 I will try again in the morning.

Apr 042019

Your duty teams this weekend are:
Saturday: Steve Male (No 1), Mark Sanders (Intro/No 3), Walter Bauman (TLs), Geoff Dailey (winch), Charles Page (LD)
Sunday: Steve Male (No 1), Mike Witton (Intro/No3), David d’Arcy (TLs), Geoff Dailey (winch), Mark Wakeham (LD)

Bronze Progression Weekend
The weather for this weekend looks doubtful, with Easterly winds being forecast. However we will still go ahead with the second of our Bronze Progression weekends even if we can’t fly.  This weekend we will be covering the following topics in detailed ground school: Glider Performance, The Slow Flight Exercise, Stalling and Spinning. Of course if we can fly we will do.
Anyone who is not on the course but wishes to refresh on these topics is more than welcome to attend the ground school elements but I can’t promise that you will fly as part of the course.  (CFI)

CFI’s Get Checked Week  13 – 22 April 2019
Get checked out for the new soaring season.

  • Annual Checks
  • Spin Checks
  • Launch Failure Refresher
  • Field Selection and Field Landing Refresher
  • Promotion to your next MGC Stage
  • Working towards Bronze or XC Endorsement

The club two-seaters, the motor glider and additional instructors will be available for you.  You don’t need to attend the full week, just pick a couple of days to suit.
Book your place  It is important to book your place, so that we can gauge demand and spread the load evenly over the week.  Contact the office on 01588 650205 or email to office@midlandgliding.club

Junior Team Workshops
The British Junor Team held one of their series of workshops at the club last weekend.  It was well attended including several of our own members.  Part of the reason for the series is to raise money to support the British Junior Team in competitions across the world.  If you would like to contribute to their crowd funding efforts please click here.

This is the time of year when you should be making sure that’s your trailer is in serviceable and roadworthy condition before embarking on those epic cross country flights.  Of course you expect to return home but just occasionally, you know, it just doesn’t work out.  You will of course have already arranged for someone to collect you if you don’t make it but remember that if your trailer isn’t fully functional and safe you may be asking them to break the law.  And they won’t thank you for getting points on their driving license and a fine when stopped  by the Bill.  So check the wiring and make sure that all the lights work, check the brakes to make sure they are properly adjusted and especially check the tyres.  Tyres should be C rated for a trailer, C stands for commercial and generally means they have tougher side walls.  There are recommendations about how often you should change tyres even if they have low mileage, generally about every 5 or 6 years.  You should check for cracks or delamination on both the outside and the inside of the tyre walls as they will degrade due to UV even if you never move the trailer.  And of course check the pressures and that you have a minimum of 1.6mm tread depth across three quarters of the width and around the whole circumference.  Having had a flat tyre once towing back from Spain I can assure you it isn’t much fun, especially when late for the ferry.

Although it doesn’t feel much like it this week with cold east winds, rain and snow the clocks have changed and the days are getting longer so here is looking forward to a great soaring season.

Happy landings
Jon Hall


Mar 282019

Your team this weekend
Saturday: Nigel Lassiter (No 1), Mark Sanders (Intro), Charles Carter (TLs), Simon Adlard (winch), Liz Adlard (LD)
Sunday: Steve Male (No 1 and Motor Glider), Nigel Lassiter (TLs), Simon Adlard (winch), Dave Cole (LD)

AGM 23rd March 2019
The AGM was well attended with about a third of the members present. There was some interesting discussion about finances, volunteers and insurance.  The following were elected to committee:  Jon Hall (chairman), William Brewis (vice chairman), James Moore (treasurer), Tim Mason (secretary),  Steve Male,  Simon Adlard,  Nick LeGras and Bob Sharman.  Many thanks to the retiring committee members who have put so much effort into making the club the wonderful place it is.

Mynd Expedition to Llanbedr
The joint expedition with Cosford has gone really well so far with a mixture of wave, ridge and thermal flights and sometimes all three.  Several gliders have visited Snowdon, Cadr Idris and ventured inland to Vyrnwy.  The K21 will be back on site for the weekend



Congratulations to Steve Rudge who successfully completed his first solo aerotow in JGJ.3AE2E8B5-E580-43C7-8099-D8B3A98AC7D3

Junior Team Cross Country Workshops

We are hosting the British Junior Team Workshop at the club on Saturday afternoon and evening.  Still time to attend so if interested see details on the club website, www.midlandgliding.club/cross-country-workshops, and register.

Winch Maintenance

Andy Holmes has joined Guy Hartland in taking on responsibility for managing our winch and MT fleet. The winches are our only regular launch method and without them we lose money and credibility very quickly so this is an incredibly important job. They are being assisted by Nigel Holmes who is helping monitor the safety schedules. Guy and Andy are on the case and the Skylaunch main and both retrieve winches have been overhauled on site while the Knox winch is at Skylaunch having a major service and overhaul. All four winches will be in first class condition for the new season. Let’s keep them that way.


it looks like the soaring season has started with several 400k tasks being completed last weekend and posted on the BGA ladder. A plea to all cross country pilots to post your flights on the ladder no matter how small as it let’s the rest of the world know that the Mynd is a cross country site as well as ridge and wave flying. If you don’t know how ask one of the club ‘pundits’.

Happy landings

Jon Hall



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.


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.

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.

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.

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,


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:-


Happy Landings,


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
Neal Clements (No 1), William Brewis (TLs), Geoff Dailey (winch), Laurent Couval (LD)
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
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