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  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

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

Mar 052020

Hello everyone
It’s starting to look a bit like spring at last.  Monday last was a great flying day, probably the day that Dave forecast for Tuesday, which started wet and blowey but cleared up enough to get some flying in the afternoon.  The rest of this week was not great and Saturday looks like a SW wind with low cloud.  Sunday looks better, still SW but a higher cloud base that might allow some ridge lift but a chance of showers around the middle of the day.  But don’t let that put you off because we have Mike Fox, National Coach from the BGA coming to talk to us on Saturday night.  If you would like a meal after please let Helen know beforehand by phoning 01588 650405.  We are also hosting a BGA Club Maintainers Course during the day.

Your duty teams this weekend are:
Saturday:  Neal Clements (No 1),  Denise Hughes (TLs), Peter Orchard (winch),  Charles Page (LD)
Sunday:  William Brewis (No 1), , Denise Hughes (TLs), Peter Orchard (winch),  Dave Cole (LD)

Renewing Membership
The new membership year starts at the end of this month.  If you are paying by direct debit you don’t need to do anything but if you prefer to pay the whole amount in one go you can do so anytime from now on.  Don’t forget you will get a new membership card valid from 1st April which will be available from the office after this coming weekend.

BGA Ladder
As we rapidly approach the new soaring season now is a good time to remind all that if you do any sort of cross country flight away from site, please 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.  But perhaps more importantly, the BGA uses the the flights logged on the ladder as supporting evidence when defending our airspace.  It really makes a difference.

Dates have now been published for the Rockpolishers events this year.  If you are interested in competing or crewing all the details are available by clicking here.

I am delighted to report that our airfield, or rather the Long Mynd, has been recognised as a nationally Significant Area for Sport because of the high quality of the site as a significant gliding centre and the unique and challenging activities that the site enables.  Another feather in the cap!

Happy landings
Jon Hall

Mar 042020

Dates and venues for the 2020 series are now available here on the club website …

Inter Club League (Rockpolishers)

Intermediates and Pundits, please let me know which of the dates you are available for, so I can start compiling the teams.

Novices, in my capacity as MGC Rockpolishers Captain, I will be stalking you individually!!

Mark S

 Posted by at 8:40 pm
Mar 012020

Where were you today? a lovely ridge day. A bit showery in the morning then a beautiful afternoon.

Tuesday is looking tasty 15/20knt westerly, cloudbase 4200, with a 4.5 star rating whats not to like.

So we are open Tuesday, thanks to Pete who has offered to winch and I can run the field

Thursday.   10knt NW backing SW possible low cloud

Friday.   15/20 WNW possible low cloud but less  likely than yesterday

Saturday. A long way away but looks like 10/15 W backing S, deteriorating later in the afternoon

Feb 292020

It is looking ok Sunday 25knt WSW and a star rating of 1, don’t knock it 1 is not to be sneezed at (if you have a dry cough, a temperature and a sneeze stay away).

Next week Tuesday is looking good, I will look at it Sunday evening and blog.

Thursday and Friday both look flyable at the moment, 15KNT Northerly with a star rating of 3!! on Thursday.

Friday there should be 15knt WSW veering Westerly.

A lot can change in a week so I will post an update.


Feb 272020

Hello everyone,
Well this weekend is not looking too great though Sunday might be OK.  Friday and Saturday have very limited prospects but the models differ considerably on what Sunday will bring.  Worth keeping an eye on the forecasts though as it might turn out OK.  The BGA conference takes place at the Nottingham Belfry on Saturday.  Might be a better bet!

There are some intersting articles in the February edition of CHIRP, not aimed directly at gliding but with relevance nontheless.  Worth having a look by clicking here.  For those who of you who haven’t the time this is an extract:

‘Several reports in this Edition of FEEDBACK concern actual or very near infringements of Controlled Airspace (CAS) and 1 report is about aircraft flying through a NOTAMed display area. The reports contain a variety of factors and lessons identified including planning and distraction. However, increasingly common is the role of electronic devices in infringements. Correctly used, these devices are a boon that aid planning and reduce the possibility of infringements; incorrectly used or when not working as expected they can sap capacity and draw attention away from lookout and accurate navigation. The lessons from these and many other reports are that:
• Notwithstanding the vital importance of reading NOTAMs before every flight, planning using correctly configured electronic apps will highlight relevant warnings and restrictions along the route and eliminate the possibility of overlooking or mis-plotting NOTAMs.
• As per the ‘Take 2 Initiative’, it is good practice to plan to avoid CAS by a minimum of 2nm and 200ft where possible to provide a margin for error/distraction.
• Sunlight can make electronic tablets difficult to read so invest in a sunlight filter and ensure the device is set to provide audio alarms; turn the volume to maximum before taking off. Paper charts are easy to read in bright sunlight.
• When an electronic device has some sort of hiccup or failure, don’t spend more than a few seconds trying to correct it. Go reversionary! Use either the paper chart or a back-up electronic device.

Infringements bring the GA community (and gliding) into disrepute. We can and we must do everything we can to minimise the number of times it happens.’

Public engagement on the criteria for assessing and accepting the Airspace Change Masterplan
As part of the CAA’s Airspace Modernisation Strategy, CAA and the Department for Transport (DfT), have commissioned NERL to establish an impartial team known as the Airspace Change Organising Group (ACOG) to lead the programme to create a coordinated implementation plan for airspace changes in Southern UK. This is being referred to as the Masterplan for short.  The CAA is seeking your views on the criteria that it will use to determine whether to accept the Airspace Change Masterplan into the Airspace Modernisation Strategy.  See the CAA’s public engagement exercise for more information and respond online before 27 March 2020.

Winter Lecture Series 7th March 2020
The next lecture in our Winter Series is by Mike Fox – “A return to Kitty Hawk”.  Don’t miss it.  The one after is on 21st March by Simon Adlard giving us all an insight into being on the other end of the winch cable.

2020 Annual General Meeting
This year’s AGM is scheduled for the 4th April, in the club house, starting at 1800.  Note there will be a Charity Walk using the Permissive Way all day.  All committee and officer roles are up for election.  If you are not yet aware, all of our events are listed on the club web site.  It is worth visiting the events page every so often to keep up to date.  Click here for the link.

Briefing Room
You will have noticed that there are works going on to significantly improve the quality and technical ability for presentations in the briefing room.  This is part of a larger programme to improve club faclities and make us look and act more professionally.  If we are to attract new members, expeditions and course members we must present a more professional face.  As a result of the improvements your committee is asking that you remove all personal belongings from the briefing room and ensure that you do not leave any belongings or equipment there.  If you want to use the briefing room for any purpose when it is not in use for briefings, meetings or ground school, you are expected check beforehand that it is not needed and to remove any belongings and equipment immediately after, leaving the space as found so that it can readily be used with a large group.  If you fail to do so, anything left in the briefng room will be removed.  If you need to use the briefing room for its intended purpose and there is stuff in the way feel free to move it out.

Your duty teams this weekend are:
Saturday:  Chris Alldis (No 1),  Mark Jerman (TLs), Stephen Alexander (winch),
Sunday:  Mike Witton (No 1), Mark Jerman (No 2), Mark Wakem (TLs), Stephen Alexander (winch),  Glyn Macarthur (LD)

Happy landings
Jon Hall

Feb 262020

Well, the best is Thursday, so lets hope that the snow overnight doesn’t make access difficult.

The forecast is for a 25knt NW which may be challenging! as for the rest:

Friday.   Grim

Saturday.  25knt SW, or 20knt SE backing Southerly and grim. Rasp says it will be SW all day with the wind off the clock

Sunday.  Rasp quite likes Sunday, challenging 25+knt WSW. some say less wind, some say westerly, some all say showery possibly wintery.

Thursday late morning onwards seems the best (not much competition though)

Feb 242020

The weather models are all liking Wednesday (26 Feb). Once again it’s 20-25 kt on the ridge and with thermal predicted to 4000 ASL, RASP is currently giving it a heady three and a half stars, which might even tempt some private owners to rig – mine’s still on ground risk until Sunday, unfortunately! There is hope for some of the days following, but absolutely no agreement between the models as to which those days might be, so I’m saying nothing, because there’s currently nothing to say.

Anyway, back to Wednesday …

 Can we tempt enough of you to  make a day of it?

I can run the field and instruct; Orch has once again very kindly offered to launch us.

If you are up for it, please make yourself known by teatime tomorrow and we’ll firm up on a plan.

Cheers, Mark S

 Posted by at 8:44 pm
Feb 232020

Arrived at the club in the rain at 11:00, but it had cleared by 11:45 (phew!) and we took our first launch at around 12:30. A very pleasant afternoon after that with a strong ridge in 20-25W and some decent thermal action. With three instructors on the field, we could have handled quite a bit more business, but Andrew, Matt, Nigel, Clive, Dave W, Tim (from Sackville), Mark and Riccardo(!!) all had fun in the K21 and K23; and Orch launched us with his usual aplomb.

Where were you ...

View from the launch point … …

Keeping an eye on this coming Tuesday and Wednesday – fear not, if they look viable, you’ll be the first to know!

Mark S

 Posted by at 8:41 pm
Feb 222020

Sunday now looking much better than previously forecast. After early low cloud and light rain clears, that pesky strong wind abates and we see a predicted and pleasant 15-20kt on the ridge and enough headroom to be able to use it.

So, on that basis, we’ll give you a nice lie in, convene at 11:00, and get cracking as soon as we can after that.

See you there tomorrow!

Mark S

 Posted by at 8:34 am
Feb 202020

Hi everyone
I hope those of you living in Shropshire, Herefordshire or Wales have managed not to be drowned over the last week.  Fortunately I live in a fairly elevated location but I have never seen the River Severn so high.  If it stops raining long enough to fly tomorrow, and the wind stays within tolerable limits, it looks like a good wave day right across Wales.  Ripe for the first cross country of the year?



Winter Lecture Series 7th March 2020
The next lecture in our Winter Series is by Mike Fox – “A return to Kitty Hawk”.  Don’t miss it.  The one after is on 21st March by Simon Adlard giving us all an insight into being on the other end of the winch cable.

2020 Annual General Meeting
This year’s AGM is scheduled for the 4th April, in the club house, starting at 1800.  Note there will be a Charity Walk using the Permissive Way all day.  If you are not yet aware all of our events are listed on the club web site.  It is worth visiting every so often to keep up to date.  Click here for the link.

Your duty teams this weekend are:
Saturday:  Steve Male (No 1),  Matthew Cook (TLs), Peter Orchard (winch), David Cole (LD)
Sunday:  Mark Sanders (No 1), Matthew Cook (No 2), Dave D’Arcy (TLs), Peter Orchard (winch),  Laurent Couval (LD)

Happy landings
Jon Hall

Feb 192020

The wind continues to be a major issue over the next four days with the best, (probably only) flying being Thursday afternoon then Saturday afternoon.

Thursday:  After the front passes, hopefully midday, a 25knt westerly gusting 30+ so possibly K21 only

Friday :      WSW 40knt+ so probably too windy.

Saturday:   Strong westerly but Rasp says it could be ok midday  onwards.

Sunday :Windy, damp, low cloud.



Feb 172020

Venue: Batemans Arms in Shobdon
Date: Tuesday 18 February
Time: 7:15pm – 9:15pm

Field Landings – Bob Pye
Want to do more XC Flying? Tips for practising, preparation and getting your confidence up – Rose Johnson

All very welcome.
(Sorry about the late notice)


 Posted by at 11:09 pm
Feb 132020

Hi everyone
My apologies for not posting last week but struck down with the winter lurgy.  Mostly recovered now, thanks for asking.
Weekend before last we hosted the Junior Winter Series, organised by the BGA Junior Gliding team, notably Lucy Wooton.  We had about a hundred people, including instructors and coaches from many clubs and 13 gliders.  Friday was unflyable but in spite of very strong winds we flew most of Saturday and all day Sunday, achieving more than 100 short west launches over the two days, which may be a record.  Many, many thanks to all the club members who spent long hours at the launch point making sure that our visitors had a great time and to Helen, Dave and their helpers who managed to feed them all in great style.  Supporting the Juniors is important for all clubs if we are to ensure that our sport continues to thrive in the future.
This week we have had some good flying days and thanks to Mark Sanders we have had enough people on the ground to drive winches and run the launch point.  Today looked a bit like a cross country day so time to get back into action.

Winter Lecture Series 7th March 2020
Many thanks to Richard Head for treating us to an excellent talk on his life in the RAF last Saturday.  The next one is on Saturday 7th March at 1800 in the clubhouse.  We are enormously privileged to have Mike Fox talking to us.  All the talks so far have been absolutely brilliant and this one will be no exception.  Mike is no stranger to our club, he is the BGA National Coach, his knowledge about gliding is unparalled and for this talk he is going to describe an amazing gliding trip he did in 2003.  “A return to Kitty Hawk”, a US glider race from West Coast to East Coast USA.  Mike flew with George Moffat.  This is a type of flying very few of us will be able to achieve and it will be fantastic to hear the stories from the expedition.  If time allows  then Mike is also going to be able to help us out with any gliding related queries as well.  Come up for the talk, book a meal and enjoy the social side of the MGC.  As usual there will be a small charge with the proceeds helping to pay costs.

Caravan Applications for 2020-21
ANY member who wishes to keep a caravan at the club must complete the application form and return it to the office, together with the appropriate fee, no later than 6th March 2020. Applications will be considered at the Committee meeting in March.  If you don’t make an application there may not be a space available if demand exceeds supply.  We have a limited number of spaces legally available and cannot magic up more if we wish.

More from the BGA
I received the following from the BGA this week:
‘As you know, the BGA has utilised pilot medical declarations for decades. Indeed, the NPPL and more recently CAA Pilot Medical Declaration standard are based on that successful and proportionate approach to recreational pilot fitness, which was championed for some 50 years by the retired BGA medical advisor, Dr Peter Saundby. Pilot medical declarations are a proven effective control.
As you’ll also be aware, EASA pilot licensing rules result in pilots of EASA sailplanes including powered sailplanes and TMGs needing to hold a licence and medical certificate by 8 Apr 21.
The current exemption allowing pilots of EASA aeroplanes to use LAPL privileges with a pilot medical declaration ends in Apr 20 resulting in all pilots of EASA aeroplanes being required to hold an EASA medical certificate from 8 Apr 20.
With all of the above in mind, at the back end of 2019 the BGA wrote to the Secretary of State for Transport seeking the continued use of UK pilot medical declarations for pilots of all recreational EASA aircraft after Apr 20. At our invitation, the BBAC (balloons) and LAA (light aeroplanes) were co-signatories to the letter. We know that the subject is currently generating activity both in DfT and CAA. Whilst there is no guarantee that our request will result in the right outcome, we are being listened to.
For your interest, I have attached a response from the Aviation Minister. (see below)
We’ll keep you up to date as we hear more.
Pete Stratten’
Click here to see the DfT PMD response

MGC Annual General Meeting
The next Annual General Meeting of the Midland Gliding CLub will be held on 4th April at the club.  The business of the AGM is to (taken from the club rule book) :
19.3.1 confirm the minutes of the previous Annual General Meeting;
19.3.2 receive and adopt the revenue account and balance sheet for the previous year;
19.3.3 elect an auditor for the following year;
19.3.4 elect the executive officers of the Club and the general members of the Committee;
19.3.5 appoint any honorary officers: and
19.3.6 transact any other business which is proper to an Annual General Meeting.
At this meeting all the positions on the committee are up for election so if you want to get involved and help the club management make the right decisions for the future benefit of the club and its members, and you are a full member, you need to put in a nomination form, available from the office, proposed and seconded by two other full members, not less than 3 hours before the AGM starts.

Your duty teams this weekend are:
Saturday:  Guy Hartland (No 1),  Mark Jerman (No 2),  Dave D’Arcy (TLs), Peter Orchard (winch), Glyn Macarthur (LD)
Sunday:  Nigel Lassetter (No 1), Mark Jerman (No 2), Mark Wakeham (TLs), Peter Orchard (winch),  Charles Page (LD)

Happy landings
Jon Hall

Feb 122020

A good time had by all – 20kt on the ridge and a thermal bonus that saw some climbing to 4000 ASL – not too shabby for February! Even managed a full beat of the ridge task for the first time in the K21! It’s on the ladder …

Thanks to Martin S, Nick, Bob, Steve R, Allan, James, and Andy, our visitor from Welland, for being so enthusiastic.

But mainly, the hero named Orch who launched us.

I’m keeping my eye on next Tuesday for more weekday fun!


 Posted by at 8:20 pm
Feb 102020

After a wild Tuesday, Wednesday appears to be the apogee of the week’s weather with 20-25kt on the ridge and useful headroom, following which it is currently forecast to be a slow decline to another wet and windy weekend – deep joy! The weekend’s a long way off in weather forecasting terms, of course, so let’s endeavour to remain optimistic on that one.

Anyhoo, Wednesday is my day of choice, so…

 Is there any interest out there in making a day of it?

I can run the field and instruct. Then we need a winch driver and some “customers”.

If you are up for it, please make yourself known by lunchtime tomorrow and we’ll firm up on a plan.

Cheers, Mark S

 Posted by at 6:51 pm
Feb 052020

Thursday 6 Feb – 5kt southerlies, clear and bright. High pressure, low inversion, no lift, the perfect day for getting stuff done, for instance …
A great motor gliding day:
For XC Endorsement: Get that field landing and/or Navigation exercise signed off
Annual field landing checks for low experience XC pilots
Or just head for the hills and enjoy the view!
Annual Check – Remember you can do this up to 90 days before the due date and still maintain the same anniversary date. So if your annual is due before May 6, why not do it now and beat the rush later in the season?
Currency Flights – Not too long to wait until spring. Stay current so you are ready for the spring thermals when they arrive.
(For any of these options, please book at so we can gauge demand sort out additional instructor(s) if required)

Friday 7 Feb – 15-20kt S/SSE with plenty of headroom. Should get a decent launch height as long as there’s not too much E component in it. Cold front moves in and spoils things later, but at the moment that’s not until after dark. Keep an eye on it, but currently looks an OK day.

Saturday 8 Feb – 20-25 SW with headroom. In the gap between two cold fronts. Timing currently looks perfect to get a day out of it before the second front arrives. If the wind forecast veers by another 20 degrees or so it would be a great ridge day too. Worthy of your continued attention.

Sunday 9 Feb – Oooeerrr missus! Currently Armageddon! – rain and 50+kt SW’erlies. I guess it may change, but I wouldn’t hold your breath!

Mark S

 Posted by at 11:39 am
Feb 032020

A very enjoyable impromptu day. Short west, 20W and plenty of headroom – a bit of wave for some, plenty of ridge fun for all. I think I counted eleven of us.

Must do it again sometime, as and when the weather plays ball – but there is nothing planned for tomorrow.


 Posted by at 8:02 pm