Nov 072019

Hi everyone
On Facebook The BGA tells us that the Charity Launch point is struggling for cash.  Running for many years as the Caroline Trust, it has allowed many youngsters at clubs across the country to learn to glide. Some have gone on to become instructors and compete at the highest level. It has made an invaluable contribution to our sport.  As the winter weather draws in think of the money you will save on launches.  If everyone who reads this, contributes one winch launch, or better still one  aerotow, or, if feeling particularly flushed, two of each, we can help make some young person’s Christmas and maybe in a few years they will be the ones helping you from the club house to the cockpit. Just twenty of us will make a difference.  Follow this link to make a donation: www.wonderful.org/charity/launchpoint

Your Duty Teams this weekend are:
Saturday:  Neal Clements (No 1), Mark Jerman (TLs), Peter Salisbury (winch)
Sunday:  Mark Jerman (No 2), Charles Carter (TLs), Peter Salisbury (winch)

2019/20 Winter Lectures
Our 2019/20 series of winter lectures starts on Saturday 23rd November with Chris Gill, CFI and adventure pilot at Denbigh GC, showing us what a wonderful place Snowdonia is in which to fly gliders.  Starts at 18:00 followed by the Mynd’s renowed Saturday evening dinner.  You don’t have to be a member to attend, all are welcome.  But if you’d like to eat call the kitchen, or need acconmodation call the office on 01588 650206 before hand.  Weather permitting Chris is intending to fly in with the EuroFox so if you need some aerotow practice he is promising to oblige.68560910_10219439051583904_5841315630350860288_n

Members Evening
You will be aware that the club has established a members evening, taking place each year, to enable a free discussion with key committee members about the state of the club, its finances, the key projects for the coming year and plans for the future.  The next meeting will take place on Saturday 30th November.  Put it in your diary.

Drone Registration
I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that the CAA are requiring all model aircraft and drones over 0.250kg  and their pilots to be registered.  I know that a lot of our members also fly model aircraft.  If you are one you may and are not  member of a model club you may not be aware that from 30th November 2019 you have to be registered with the CAA to fly an unmanned aerial vehicle over 250 grams. This includes any radio controlled aircraft including model gliders. You have to take an online test and pay a £9 fee.  If you are a member of the BMFA you can pay the £9 with next year’s subscription in December, if you are not a BMFA member you have to register by 30th November.  Further details and the online test are on the CAA website at www.caa.co.uk/Consumers/Unmanned-aircraft/Our-role/Drone-and-model-aircraft-registration/.

Mike Greenwood has the following useful coments:
‘I did the test and got my registration just to see what the process is like.  It was a very simple process, the website is well set out. There are 20 multiple choice questions, the pass rate is 16, you can take the test as often as you like untill you pass. If you read the drone code first at register-drones.caa.co.uk/drone-code it contains all the answers, if you keep a copy of that window open when you go on to do the test you can just check back on this page if you are not sure of an answer in the test. As a BMFA member you don’t have to do this and pay the £9 until you renew in December/January but you will have to pass the test to get your registration number.  For £9 you get an operator ID valid for 1 year that has to be displayed on all aircraft that you fly over 250 grams, and an Flyer ID valid for 3 years.
You need an operator ID if you own an aircraft that flies, even if someone else always flies it, and it has to be displayed on the aircraft. You need a flyer ID to fly, even if it’s not your aircraft. The owner needs an operator ID, the pilot needs a Flyer ID. Of course in  most cases the flyer is the owner so you need both.  Everyone needs a flyer ID to fly, even children, they have to take the test to be able to fly but it’s free if you only want a flyer ID, so legally anyone who wants to come and have a go learning to fly someone else’s aircraft needs to pass the test and get a flyer ID.’

If anyone needs any help with this send Mike an email.  If you don’t know it send an email to chairman@midlandgliding.club and I will forward it on.

Safety Message from the BGA
We would be grateful if clubs would share the following important detail with all their club pilots including instructors and tug pilots. Please note that even if your club is winch only, your pilots may visit a site that uses aerotowing and therefore will benefit from this information.

If you fly gliders on aerotow or fly towing aircraft, PLEASE read this now.
Personal injury accidents to the glider pilot while aerotowing are rare – but the tug pilot can be killed if the glider gets too high and forces the tug into a vertical dive.
An educational campaign on safe aerotowing followed five fatal tug upset accidents between 1978 and 1985. The fatal accidents stopped and the frequency of tug upset incidents remained at less than one per year until 2008. Since 2009, however, there have been over 3 upsets per year. There were 7 in 2019. Recent tug upsets have included recovery ‘at 40ft’, ‘at 50ft’, and ‘ below the height of pylons’. The increasing rate of tug upset incidents is very concerning.  ALL tugs are vulnerable to an upset but light tugs are more vulnerable. The solution is at the glider end of the rope.
Glider pilot distraction during the tow and failure to check that the release has occurred at the top of a tow are significant factors. Please do not allow yourself to be distracted during the tow, and please check the rope has released before manoeuvring at the top of the tow. Instructors – please ensure that you are prepared to take control before a tow becomes dangerous.
A description of the cumulative hazards and how to mitigate them, including advice for pilots, instructors and tug pilots is at members.gliding.co.uk/bga-safety-management/safe-aerotowing
Thanks for reading this important safety message.

The BGA Safety Team

Happy landings
Jon Hall
Oct 312019

Hi everyone

Not an especially nice day for the ghosts and ghoulies to be floating around the Mynd and the weekend looks like bringing some strong winds from the south west that may blow them away but it will be worth coming up to the club for dinner Saturday night.  See below, repeated from an email sent out today from the office ….
Halloween is upon us.
Ghoulish things are afoot at the Mynd!
Denise, together with help from the juniors, has decorated the clubhouse and ghoulies and ghosties have moved in.
Helen and Dave have prepared a meal direct from the Devil’s kitchen.
Those of you with a stomach for the above may like to see the menu for Saturday nights meal.

Scary Stuff Dinner Menu Saturday 2nd November
Eyeball Mayonaise £3.00
Bread Fingers with Sweet Chilli Sauce £3.00
The Devil’s Melon £3.00
Main Course
Ghoulish Lash Up £8.50
R.I.P. Cod £8.50
Rattling Lamb’s Ribs £8.50
Dead Chicken with Wine £8.50
Blood Red Crumble £3.00
Scary Spider Bonoffie Pie £3.00
Please give Helen or Dave a ring to book your meal.
It has become apparent this week that Ghoulies and Ghosties are all but indistinguishable from club members. Members will, of course, be wearing their membership badges but suggestions for any other techniques we could try to differentiate between the two would be appreciated.

Destination: Halloween at Value Village (CNW Group/Value Village)

Please note that on Sunday there will be no catering after 16.00

Last week I had a bit of finger trouble and innacurately reported the date of the Christmas Dinner.  It is in fact taking place on the 14th December.  Put it in your diary, or amend if you have already.

Wenlock Olympian Games Gliding
I’m happy to report that in the two weeks since we opened the entry list for the Olympian Competition we already have four registered entries and three of those are from overseas.  The competition is taking place 13th to 17th July 2020 and as the entry list is limited to 40 gliders it may be worth you putting in an early entry to make sure you get a place.  Open to any wooden or fabric covered glider, and I know we have a few of those.  Details can be seen on the competition website at olympiangliding.com.  I shall be directing the comp but will need lots of help so if you can spare a day of five get in touch.

Still waiting
for contributions for the next newsletter

Have a great weekend
Happy landings
Jon Hall

Oct 242019

Hi everyone

I’m back after a really great holiday in America driving the historic Route 66 from Chicago to Santa Monica then the Pacific Highway, Route 1, from there to San Francisco.  Excellent trip but lacked any gliding so this week I am at the Borders Gliding Club on the edge of the Cheviots.  Those of you who follow my Facebook posts will know that after three days of rain and too strong winds to launch, yesterday we had some epic wave to 19200′ and today promised wave but started without any.  KA was about 25th on the launch list but after the first three launched and didn’t get away, no one else wanted to go and we found ourselves next on the list.  Undeterred off we went and climbed to 13600′ before the cold got the better of us.  I can recommend joining an expedition to another site.  You get to meet a lot of new people (Staffordshire GC are here this week) as well as the locals who couldn’t be more welcoming.  You get to fly at another site with different topography and different challenges.  You might get to keep in check with aerotowing and if you choose your time right you get to fly in wave.  What more could you want.

IMG_7348Looking towards Holy Island, Lindisfarne from 10000′ over Wooler.

Your duty teams this weekend are:
Saturday:  Guy Hartland (No 1), Mark Jerman (No 2), Denise Hughes (TLs), Peter Orchard (winch), Laurent Couval (LD)
Sunday:  Chris Alldis (No 1), Mark Jerman (No 2), Dave D’Arcy (TLs), Guy Hartland (winch), Jon Hall (LD)

Party Saturday Night
Saturday evening there will be a party in the clubhouse to celebrate Eddie’s birthday.  The world famous Umpah Band will be there to entertain and apparently we can expect a surprise appearance from an international star.  You should already have put your name on the list but if you haven’t yet do call Helen and let her know and what you want to eat.  The menu was circulated by email to all recently.  It will be a memorable night I can guarantee.

Christmas Dinner and Trophy Awards 2019
While on the subject of parties don’t forget to put Saturday 19th December in your diary.  This is traditionally one of the best social events in the club calendar and you might get awarded a trophy.  Don’t miss it.

Winter Lectures Series
The first of the winter lectures will be on Saturday 23rd November.  We are privileged to have Chris Gill, CFI from Denbigh GC at Lleweni Parc coming to tell us all about exploring Snowdonia.  Chris has made Lleweni Parc into one of the must go expedition sites in the UK and has reinvented enterprising gliding in the Welsh mountains.  If you follow Denbigh GC on Facebook you will know that there seems to be hardly a day goes by without Chris posting amazing pictures of ridge running in Snowdonia, waving at the walkers on Snowdon or wave flying to 24000′ in the North Wales Wave Boxes.  Chris is planning to fly in on the morning, weather permitting, and is offering some aerotow practice for those that need or want it.  Don’t miss it.

Drone and model aircraft registration and education service
Update 21 October 2019
Registration mandatory from: 30 November 2019
The UK’s new Drone and Model Aircraft Registration and Education Scheme will go live on 5 November 2019 (please note that you cannot register before this date).
There will be two elements to the online system.
Anyone responsible for a drone or unmanned aircraft (including model aircraft) weighing between 250g and 20kg will need to register as an operator.  The cost for this will be £9 renewable annually.
Anyone flying a drone or unmanned aircraft (including model aircraft) weighing between 250g and 20kg will need to take and pass an online education package. This is free and renewable every three years.
Both of these requirements become law on 30 November 2019.
From 5 November 2019 the system will be available at Register-drones.caa.co.uk.

Shropshire Magazine
The Shropshire Magazine recently published an excellent article about our club.  Follow this link to view it – www.midlandgliding.club/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Shropshire-Magazine-October-2019-Midland-Gliding-Club.pdf 

Gerry Roberts 1927-2019
It is with great sadness that I report the death of Gerry Roberts on Monday 14th October.  Gerry flew gliders for a very long time and only hung up his instructing boots in the 1990s but maintained a keen interest in flying until very recently.
There will be a short Committal (funeral) service at Macclesfield Crematorium at 11.20am Friday 8th November for family and close friends.
Afterwards there will be a Service of Thanksgiving at Trinity Church, Hardwick Mount, Buxton SK17 6PR at 12:15.
Refreshments will follow from 1:30 at Cavendish Golf Club, Watford Rd, Buxton SK17 6XF.
No flowers please;  any donations in memory of Gerry will be for the RNLI and Trinity Church.
The funeral directors are Mellor & Smith, Prince of Wales House, Fairfield Road, Buxton SK17 7DN; telephone 01298 77703; admin@davidhsmith-funnerals.co.uk

Summer Courses 2020
I’m delighted to tell you that we are already receiving course bookings for next year and that the office has already taken bookings for six of the planned weeks.  All courses are of course open to members so if you want to take advantage of some dedicated training it may be a good idea to book early.

New Motor Glider Instructor
I am happy to report that Neal Clements has recently been awarded a Self Launching Motor Glider Instructor Rating and will be swelling the ever growing cohort of |Motor Glider \instructors at the club.  Well done Neal.

The autumn edition of the club newsletter is due out soon but so far I have no contributions.  If you have thoughts on an article for inclusion please let me know and let me have copy asap with images, diagrams etc.

Now that the days are shortening, the clocks are going back and the nights getting longer it is tempting to hang up your gliding boots for the next four or five months, put your glider on ground risk only insurance and forget about flying for a while.  But there are some great flying days over the winter, some good wave conditions and the ridge continues to work in a westerly.  It is important to stay current and recent even if you only do a few circuits especially if you want to be prepared for those first cross country days in March next year.  A few years ago I had a memorable 200k flight in wave with Julian Fack in his Duo on New Year’s Day.  If you really can’t manage to fly over the winter get yourself a copy of Condor 2 Soaring Simulator (€49.99 +vat) and a cheap joystick and go exploring.  A great way to keep your head in the clouds.

Happy Landings
Jon Hall
MIdland GC

Oct 212019

Well, if I was you I would put my money on Tuesday.

Today poor until the afternoon when it should be flyable

Tuesday, light southwesterly, day of the week (probably)

Wednesday, still ok, a bit more wind, a bit more moisture about

Thursday, brisk WSW with  more moisture than Wednesday, however if a little more round to the west and less moisture could be worth keeping an eye on

Friday very brisk, very moist.


Oct 062019

A pretty mixed bag.

Monday very poor

Tuesday not as bad as Monday

Wednesday better than Tuesday

Thursday not as good as Wednessday

Friday worse than Thursday

It’s all a matter of timing but Wednesday looks the best so far. I will keep an eye on it and post if there is any significant change, sorry Jared there are no solo days this week.


Sep 302019

If you are planning your week then I would go for Wednesday . After midday today (Monday) it looks poor til Wednesday which looks very nice, then it depends on the amount of cloud about but my money is on Friday as the ridge should work.

This morning I am sitting in the clubhouse with the sun shinning waiting for the rain which should be here by lunchtime.

Let me know if you are coming Wednesday and I will try to find a second instructor if there are enough of you.


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!

2019-07-07 14.39.42 2019-07-07 14.39.36

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