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Saturday 9th April

The weather gods smiled on us today. It was thermic by the time of our first launch at 10.30 and we enjoyed a good soaring day. Andy Smith and Jon Huband raced each other round a 500k (Busters Hill - Shobdon - Bicester), while pupils Nick T, Tom M, Ava and Ben D all enjoyed extended soaring flights of over an hour, with strong climbs topping out at 6,000'. I believe Austin Rose managed the first land-out of the year, but not too far from home. Many thanks to our winch drivers Craig Mustoe and Paul Roberts for getting us in the air.

Sunday 3rd April

A reasonable cross-country and training day. Andy Smith and Jonathan Huband completed respectable 274 K triangles via Lasham and Blandford although they did have to contend with increasing overcast.
Our visitors on Loughborough students' expedition got in plenty of training. The enthusiasm of those of them who had survived the -3 deg night in tents has to be admired. At least one who had only been gliding during the winter months experienced the joy of thermalling to several thousand feet for the first time.
The wind steadily backed during the day, eventually terminating flying around 5:30 when everybody had flown at least once and it wasn't worth changing ends at that relatively late hour.
Many thanks to the many members and visitors who helped during the day, especially Tom, Andy, Matt, Harry and anybody else who drove the winch during the day.

Too flipping windy

After an early start, we managed a grand total of three flights before discretion became the better part of valour as the wind increased from "more than a little fresh" to "blowing a hooley" . By the time we called it a day, 70knot approaches seemed a bit on the slow side. The consolation prize was watching the antics of the herd of a dozen or so deer that seem to have taken up residence on the airfield.

Saturday 12th March

Forecast to be windy and we were not disappointed! The airfield setup was on runway 21 with the wind almost straight down the strip to start with. The launch bus was placed opposite the PO hangar to try and limit launch height as the wind was predicted to turn more to the SSE. Later on it was moved even further up the field but eventually flying had to stop as the wind became more gusty.

Fleet-wise we had all the 2 seaters out; LRT, HXJ, KNK and the very shiny ENK, with K23 GCF as the single seater. No private owners out playing today but we were joined by the USK Grob and a fine supporting crew from South Wales. Some vital instructor training was done to help progress our trainee Assistant Cat. Instructors and in addition to a enthusiastic bunch of members needing instruction, we were very pleased to welcome 2 potential members on a one-daty course.

Great to be flying in conditions that were occasionally thermic and on a personal note, ENK is a real delight to fly and soar since its refurbishment.

A Busy Weekend

Which started on Friday with a very bright and breezy day with fantastic views in the clear air. Club gliders reported 4 knot climbs to 4000' with Tony Parker venturing a little further west contacting wave to 6000'. The afternoon was busy with club instruction and 6 trial lessons brought along by Aaron, all had really good flights and left with big smiles on their faces.

On Saturday the first sign of activity was the sound of the bus brakes around 7:30, which had to be Tim! I looked out of my caravan to see a layer of frost on my car and a hazy outline of the tower through the very thick mist. Cups of tea were in order until the mist started to clear with the first launch at 10:08. A busy day with 49 launches in total despite a break from 12:00 to allow a Notam'd flight out of Kemble, a call to Brize and Kemble got us back in operation a little earlier than the hour in the Notam. A few private owners as well as the USK pilots were enticed out and there was some soaring available in the afternoon to between 2500- 3000'. We finished as the sun went down and by then it was getting rather cold.

Another busy day on Sunday, but this time it was bright from the start but rather than the expected SE wind, it was a brisk easterly so the operation was set up on 09, not long after the wind did change to a more southerly direction so the operation moved to 21. Again the Usk pilots joined us for the day and a winch problem meant an aerotow operation only , this was rather a surprise to Jonathan Apperley expecting to do just a couple of tows and a big thanks to Jonathan for coping with the conditions and enabling everyone to fly. The chairman joined us in the afternoon and took a high aerotow in the K23, the treasurer should be pleased with the last 3 days :-)

30/1/22 - Thermals in January!

And I am not referring to underwear.
The hangar doors were open shortly after sunrise at 7.54 and it turned out to be a beautiful morning. Plenty of blue sky, sunshine , and yes thermals with wispy cumulus (remember them?) to 2,000. The conditions even tempted some private owners to rig, with the SHK, Ventus RB and Cirrus 188 all joining in the action. Ed Foggin and Andrew Turk were kept busy instructing in the two-seaters and we are grateful to Andy Smith for winching and Jonathan Apperley for piloting the tug.

Sunday 23rd January - a bitter winter's day

In spite of the uniformly dull grey overcast and 3 deg temperature in a chilling breeze, enthusiasm seemed unbounded. Paul Graham and Martin Hayward got the winch out and cables DI'd good and early, enabling quite a few members to complete their winter refreshers. Amazingly, Adrian Irwin in the K23 found a thermal under the complete 1000 foot cloud cover without even a glimmer of sunshine which gave him an intermittent 1/2 to 1 kt, keeping him airborne well beyond the normal circuit duration.

Thursday 20th Jan - a beautiful winter's day

Aerotow to 5000 ft in HZR - and this was the view!

Sunday 16th January

A misty start to the day compounded by misted canopies, the sun poked its head out of the clouds around 10:30 and after a bit of manoeuvring to ensure the sun reached all parts the canopies flying commenced at just before 11 am. Despite reservations regarding the mist returning ( which it did not) flying continued, last launch was at 16:10 and everything away by 17:00.

New years day

After a band of rain passed over the airfield we were left in a moist airstream but no further precipitation. Wind 15 to 25 knots straight down runway 21 and surprisingly smooth. Fran took the prestigeous place of being the first launch of 2022 at Aston Down, flying the K23. Cloudbase was only 900 feet to start with, but by the mid afternoon we were launching to full height. In all 25 flights were done including a couple of Grob take-offs. An enjoyable first day of the year and great to be out in the fresh air.

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