Jul 192020
 

SteveWhalleyYeee ha – good weather, 56 launches, plenty of enthusiastic members and a real buzz about the place. Thanks to Guy for winching and everyone who helped on the field to make it such an enjoyable day.

 

Rob, Darce, Julian and James all clocked up soSteveW&Markme XC kms (I’m sure they are on the ladder, even as I type – hint!); Jack and Jon continued pre-solo training; Alasdair sorted his annual; Coley and Mark W were out in FWM; Liz in HYD; Clive and Simon flew 18; Morgan converted to the K23 and Steve Whalley bagged his first (and second) solo.

Congratulations Steve!

Super day – we’ll have a few more like that!

Mark

Postscript … For the “Covid Police” out there … As you can see Steve wore gloves; I used hand sanitiser both before and after the handshake. Some traditions, I’m afraid, must endure. Mark

 Posted by at 9:30 pm
Jul 112020
 

We are open for flying every day next week. The Rota and Bookings Page has the details

We don’t have a sufficient reserve of volunteer instructors and winch drivers to operate like this every week, so do please avail yourselves of this opportunity if you possibly can.

Perhaps, it might be some pre-solo training, training for bronze, or maybe that annual check that will be due soon (or is perhaps already overdue!). Or just for the sheer joy of it, of course!

You can book dual flying with an email to mgcbooking@gmail.com giving a list of dates you would like to attend on, in your preferred date order.

For single seater flying, just turn up, put your name on the list and fly

Look forward to seeing you all next week.

 Posted by at 1:12 pm
Jul 062020
 

Tomorrow… by no means perfect, but everyone involved is up for it and we really do need to break our duck!

Rota and Bookings Page… We are experimenting in using the Notices box to give you bare-bones updates on the viability of the coming day. Take a look here:
https://www.midlandgliding.club/rota/MGCBookings.htm
So if the torrent of information on WhatsApp is a bit too much of a good thing as far as you’re concerned, this may be the place for you.
The Notice text is automatically emailed to the duty team and any Booked pilots

Talking of Booking ... maybe some further explanation of booking for dual training is in order, because it may be a bit of a culture shock compared to what you are familiar with. So the idea is, rather than book a particular day to fly on, we are asking you to give us all the days that you are available to fly over the coming week, be it just one, all seven or anything in-between.
This means we have a much fuller picture of demand. As we see a day with decent weather prospects, we also know how many pilots are wanting to fly on that day, which in turns means we can ensure we have the right number of instructors to give everyone concerned a decent day’s flying.
Once you have flown, if you need further dual, you’ll need to re-book. If you don’t fly, perhaps the day is scrubbed, we will keep on trying using the remaining days you are available.
Please bear with us, it’s all a bit experimental, and the weather is really doing it’s best to put a spanner in the works, but it does have that feel of being the right thing to do.

Temporary Flying Rules … have been updated to include the re-introduction of the short west launch, which will increase the number of days we can fly on, or make the wind stop blowing, either of which is good! Also a number of changes related to dual flying so please take a look – dead easy to spot because the CFI has highlighted all of them conveniently for you in red.
A link to the rules is in the bottom left corner of the Rota and Bookings page

The COVID stuff hasn’t gone away. So have fun, but please do it in line within the guidelines. When flying dual, the responsibility for operating within the Covid guidelines is that of the pilots flying together.  You should be happy at all times that you are presenting the least risk to each other and that whatever mitigations you may choose to put in place do not affect the safe flying of the aircraft

And finally, the Weather Outlook…  There is hope that from Friday things will take a turn for the better. Yes I know we said that last week, but one week we’re going to be right, and there’s every chance it could be this one!!

Stay safe, have fun

Mark

 

 Posted by at 10:17 pm
Jun 262020
 

Well you could argue today was a better day with 4kt thermals a higher cloudbase and cumulus, although initially very short lived but later in the afternoon large cells formed and sometimes even worked! So a successful day for some while another had success with a field landing close to Leebotwood and the first for a few years. A good field although the landing run of 170yards made it feel smaller! And the socially distanced retrieve worked perfectly!

DSC00895 (Medium) DSC00897 (Medium)

Paul, note the lack of cu!

Darce.

Jun 232020
 

Wednesday … Hangar doors open at 10:00

Thursday … Hangar doors open at 10:00 (nominally) may be subject to a weather call if there is is too much easterly component – That call will be via WhatsApp group

WHATSAPP – a word to the doubters.
WhatsApp is increasingly proving to be the tool for the job when it comes to making quick messages about flying on a particular day
1. It’s much quicker than the blog for us to send – no need to log on or wade though the random WordPress editor!
2. It’s much quicker for you to receive – this post won’t get to you until about 45 minutes after I’ve sent it. WhatsApp is instant
3. We have lives – we can’t continue indefinitely to double post – WhatsApp and blog
4. Everyone can be a contributor, not just a select few – you’ll get better information
5. It works via phone data and wifi
6. Everyone has a smartphone these days – they REALLY DO I’m afraid.

I think that there is a resistance to getting caught up in the world of social media that may be putting some of you off taking the plunge. I passionately don’t “do” Social Media, but WhatsApp just isn’t social media – there’s no log in, no personal details to enter other than your mobile phone number, no advertising, no “liking”… The channel is just for Mynd based gliding messaging and we’ll take a dim view of pictures of what you had for dinner, amusing cat videos and other social media dross. It really is just a BETTER FORM OF TEXT MESSAGING.

Please, please give it a try!

See you tomorrow

Mark

 Posted by at 7:28 pm
Jun 162020
 

Well, as predicted Monday was a flying day and turned out to be quite a good day after applying a little patience waiting for the hill to clear and then for sufficient energy in the sky for soaring as the air was still quite wet. I think 9 single seaters took to the air and then there were the three two seaters of 291, KA & the T21, who were solo, solo almost solo! So a good showing for the Mynd all in all. On average the BGA ladder did 200-300km flights and a few of our pilots achieved something close. One did Timms twice and had three loggers with him but no trace to show for it, definitely a ‘Golden Shovel’ moment for Walt if not gliding related. Orch also had some moments, three if i recall, reuniting himself with the retrieve winch as Pete ‘The Winch’ Salisbury was the far end of the field. Big thanks to both for providing the launch facility. Julian Fack found some convergence out between Church Stoke and Welshpool with the K23 along with a few others, which then materialised north of the Mynd later in the day (see pic). The ‘Mynd Witch’ was also hard at work on the K21 so members will have something nice to sit on when it returns to service sometime soon. Thanks to all for making it a good day out. (Darce)

DSC00847 (Large) DSC00855 (Large) DSC00862 (Large) DSC00863 (Large)

Jun 132020
 
On the subject of flying, today didn’t turn out as forecast either with gorgeous cumulus, no rain showers and the wind didn’t get up till mid afternoon either. Fingers crossed for tomorrow….
Darce.
Jun 132020
 

Monday is looking good, so we will be flying.

Thanks to the Monday team….

Supervising instructor
AM Walter Baumann
PM Neal Clements

Winch driver
Pete Salisbury

We’ll let the longer range forecasts settle down then pick another day for later in the week

See you there!

 Posted by at 8:05 pm
Jun 092020
 
Launch Queue

Launch Queue

A decent and well-supported day, with 12 pilots taking a total of 27 launches. 5500 cloud-base, and strong thermals that still kept bubbling even when the top cover came over later in the day.

A return to currency for Charles P, Dave W and Guy, and a possibly very close to Silver Height for Holly.

Responsible Social Distancing

Responsible Social Distancing

291 and KA both put in some XC kms – hopefully traces will appear on the ladder. New member Stavros turned up just to help out; he proved a quick learner on the ground, and in the (virtual) air too, courtesy of a lesson in the simulator with Dave.

Thanks to Steve A for providing the launches, and to everyone who attended and made it such an enjoyable day.

Mark S

 Posted by at 8:32 pm
Jun 082020
 

Seems as though they had a decent day today at the Mynd and the weather looks set fair enough for a repeat tomorrow

I’m running the field, Steve Alexander is winching. These details are now back up again at the regular location

https://www.midlandgliding.club/rota/MGCBookings.htm

We’ll open the hangar doors at 9.00, have a briefing at 10.00 and aim for a first launch at 10.30

COVID-19 has not gone away, so please read and familiarise yourself with these documents tonight, so you’re on the ball with it for tomorrow …

Temporary Operating Rules

Sanitisation Rules

Thanks very much. Look forward to seeing you all tomorrow.

Mark

 

 Posted by at 7:59 pm
Jun 072020
 

Hi All.

Well Andy Holmes, Mark Sanders & Dave “Dangerous with a tephigram” Crowson have got our heads together and we reckon the best chance for flying this coming week will be Monday & Tuesday. Dave C will supervise Monday and Mark S will supervise Tuesday. Winch drivers currently under negotiation Monday, but we’ll have cover! Steve Alexander is driving Tuesday. Thanks to all.

It doesn’t look like a spectacular week, but both days should produce flyable windows and are the best opportunities we seem to have this week. Tuesday might currently look like the best bet, but the weather situation is very variable. One of us will update again later. Don’t worry if you see a wet start forecast, as we will fly even if it’s just for the afternoon and will fly until late if needed after a late start. Don’t forget the Mynd can often produce good flying windows, even when the forecast looks poor, due to the local topography. If there’s a rain shower at any stage, we can shelter in cars or in a socially distanced manner in the hangar mouth.

Please support us and use this opportunity to visit the club and get flying if you meet the current flying requirements. It doesn’t need to be a 500 day to get current again. It is worthwhile to come and fly a club glider or your own glider and just do a few circuits or local soaring to get back up to speed. The more flying we do, the sooner the weather limitations can be revised again & the more ready we can be for the next big day.

If you don’t meet the current flying requirements, or feel uncomfortable flying after such a long lay off, please still come and help, chat to the supervising instructor, tinker with your glider, whatever. It would be great to see you.

Please let us know on here if you plan to attend, so we can gauge demand/enthusiasm for these sessions.

Thanks 👍

Andy, Dave & Mark

 Posted by at 10:20 am
Jun 022020
 

For anyone travelling from Norbury direction to Ratchup (Ratlinghope) with a trailer – DON’T, as the road is shut for three weeks at the narrow bridge below Wentnor, south of The Inn on the Green. (slightly clearer now) Cars shouldn’t have a problem making the detour, an 18ft trailer would be trickier. Suggest if approaching Ratlinghope from the south with a glider trailer in tow, using Wentnor as the go round.

darce.

Mar 202020
 

Hi everyone
The first thing to say is that the Midland Gliding Club is doing everything in its powers to protect the health and safety of its staff and members, whilst trying to make it possible to keep the club open and operating, and for everyone who wants to fly to be able to do so.  However we are faced with considerable challenges and ever developing advice and legislation from the government, which we anticipate will change fast and often.

Because of this we want to make sure that all members receive operational communications from the club.  Consequently for the time being the chairman’s blog will cease and all communications will be by email.  Please make sure that the office has your current email address.

Stay safe and healthy
Jon Hall
Chairman
Midland Gliding Club

 

Mar 152020
 

Patience was required after a wet start but once that was through soaring was available till late late afternoon when squall of showers saw us finish for the day. Initially steady ridge lift that softened, and then went thermic to about 3K5 QNH, although i wouldn’t know because i had no beep beep beeps in the cockpit, and therefore couldn’t soar! Good to finally get some proper thermals in plus soaring. Thanks to the duty team for making it happen.

Darce.

Mar 152020
 

Very difficult to forecast after Monday due to a frontal system trailing across the UK sliding lengthwise . The exact position, whether it is slightly North or South of the predicted track giving a very different outcome.

Looking on the bright side go with RASP

Monday.   10/15 knt WSW A good day, probably the best of the week.

Tuesday   20 knt SW OK-ish

Wednesday   Poor.

Thursday  15 knt N. OK

Friday  20 knt NNE  OK-ish

If you trust the BBC then everything after Monday is rubbish

Mar 132020
 

Hi all,

With the VGC Rally and Wenlock gliding events being hosted by the club this year, changes to the briefing room were required to provide a more versatile environment encompassing new IT infrastructure and the ability to brief to a greater number of pilots with the existing  floor space.

A 75″ TV with audio and a sliding whiteboard have been mounted on the West facing wall, the room has been uplifted with a lick of fresh paint and a new, smaller PC installed. The old chairs have been upholstered and new curtains are in the pipeline as well as energy saving LED down lighters which have already been installed in the ceiling.

The safety video for our Air Experience customers and clubs promotional video are already loaded onto the PC and we will soon have the various field layouts, launch failure options, ridge running and other customised PowerPoint presentations for our members, visitors and course members installed

The project is not yet finished so the room looks quite sparse at the moment but a few important photographs and prints relating to the clubs history are to be re-framed and mounted, some painting needs to be completed, new cabinetry for the PC and the 500k and club Chairmans boards are to be updated.

Lots of people have given up their time to get involved in this project including in no particular order, Steve Rudge, Rob Hanks, Gill and Nick LeGras, Denise Hughes, James Moore and apologies to anyone we have left out.

20200313_140335

20200313_134131

 

Mar 132020
 

Hello everyone
Friday the 13th is supposed to be unlucky but as I look out of my window I see streeting Cu with a light WSW wind.  I hope at least some of you are taking advantage and flying today.  The new membership year starts at the end of this month and April has always been a reasonably good flying time so if you aren’t, now is the time to get current and recent and make sure you are in check.  And don’t forget those field landing and navigation exercises in the motor glider.

Your duty teams this weekend are:
Saturday:  Nigel Lassetter (No 1),  Matthew Cook (No 2), Geoff Dailey (winch),  Laurent Couval (LD)
Sunday: Guy Hartland (No 1), Matthew Cook (No 2), Denise Hughes (TLs), Geoff Dailey (winch),  Jon Hall (LD)

Annual General Meeting
The club’s Annual General Meeting takes place at the club on the 4th April starting at 1800.  Whilst this is a formal meeting, a requirement of the organisation, to conduct legally required approvals and the appointment of officers and committee members, there is always a members’ forum held after the formal meeting has closed, which enables members to raise questions and make suggestions for the new committee to consider.  I urge you to attend and take part in this discussion, to help move the club forward and to take an active part in formulating the club’s future.  You can’t complain after the event if you don’t like the way things are going and you didn’t take part.
If you want to put forward a resolution pertinent to the business of the AGM, and wish it to be added to the AGM Agenda, it must be received by the club Secretary by the 20th of March at the latest.

Contact details
Any club struggles to maintian accurate contact details for its members as emails, telephone numbers and addresses change.  It really helps if you make a point of going to the office once every year and checking that the details we hold for you are accurate and up to date.  We sometimes hold email addresses in more than one location so it is important that they are the same.

Cross Country Coaching

A reminder that at our club we are fortunate to have a number of very decent two seat gliders.  Two of these, KA and JF, are owned by experienced cross country pilots who have been approved by the CFI to do cross country coaching.  So if you want to experience a cross country flight, try a decent sized task or need some mentoring contact Julian Fack or myself.  KA is part of a syndicate so will not always be available, depending on its use by other syndicate members but if it is a soarable day and I have a seat available I am always willing to share the flight, as is Julian, in our Duo Ts.  There is usually no cost except for paying the launch fee and a contribution to any fuel used.   I am also offering coaching on the club simulator.  Other two seaters are owned by instructors who may also be willing to do some coaching.  Don’t be afraid to ask.

BGA Ladder
I make no apologies about reiterating that if you do any sort of cross country flight away from site, you should upload it to the BGA ladder.  Mark Sanders, our Ladder Steward, calculates scores for our trophy awards at the end of the season from the flights and traces logged to the BGA ladder.  If you drive a glider with an engine you must have a logger that records engine starts or Means of Propulsion (MOP).  More importantly, the BGA uses the the flights logged on the ladder as supporting evidence when defending our airspace.  Shrinking airspace is going to be one of the potentially most damaging influences on the continuance of our sport in the future so it is really, really important.

Government announce UK to leave EASA
The BGA circulated the following:

Many have seen the news item re the UK leaving EASA. I was at a CAA briefing on this topic yesterday.

The UK is leaving EASA on 1 Jan 21. The existing EASA regulation on 31 Dec 20 will be cut and pasted into UK law with no planned changes for 2 years. This is consistent with the no deal plan that’s been in place for some time now. After 1 Jan 21, there may be opportunities to tweak the law. But there’s likely to be a long queue.

So the BGA’s ongoing development of Sailplane Flight Crew Licensing (SFCL) and Declared Training Organisation (DTO) compliant systems needs to continue.

  • Re SFCL, we’re agreeing any necessary conversion tweaks with CAA ahead of 8th April 20, when SFCL comes into force ahead of a requirement to comply by 8 Apr 21. We’ve indicated to CAA that they should expect more conversions towards 8th Apr 21 than 8th Apr 20. So nothing new there.
  • Re DTO, there’s a detailed BGA working plan on paper including, importantly, development of required resources inc course programmes and of course comms with clubs. We’ve advised CAA that the DTO conversion will happen towards the end of 2020. Nothing new there either.

The latest info on licencing will continue to be updated at https://members.gliding.co.uk/pilot-licensing/pilot-licence-conversion/.  Meanwhile, the BGA will continue to use the avenues available to us to achieve the most useful and proportionate outcome for gliding, including re pilot medicals.

Kind regards
Pete Stratten
BGA Chief Executive Officer

Happy landings

Jon Hall
Chairman
MGC

Mar 062020
 

Unfortunately I made a mistake in yesterday’s post about our site’s designation by Sport England as a Significant Area for Sport.
The BGA recomends to Sport England sites which it believes are significant for the sport of gliding.  Sport England then confirms, or denies, the nominations.  Happily we were accepted, but it is in fact the airfield, or our site, not the Long Mynd or the club, that receives the honour.  Sorry about that.
Jon Hall
Chairman