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Sunday, 6th June

Low cloud and drizzle had cleared by mid-morning to give a perfectly satisfactory training day. Members under training who were put off by the poor forecast missed out. So few were present that they enjoyed an unusual bonanza, getting in far more flights on K21 and K8 than they expected. A new member with experience elsewhere soloed on the K21 and K8. Two aerotow trial lessons were done, one of which resulted in the individual deciding to join on the fixed price to solo scheme.

COVID - Monday 17th May

There is no change yet in the arrangements for 2-seater instruction flights at Aston Down. In accordance with the Covid-19 regulations approved by the DfT and BGA, while at the club, social distancing and the other mitigations to help prevent the spread of Covid-19 will remain as they were, namely;.

Use the hand sanitiser provided.
Disinfect vehicles, gliders and other equipment before use.*
Maintain 2 metre social distancing when on the airfield.
Wear a face mask when in the clubhouse and bus.
Keep windows and doors open to allow good ventilation.
FFP3 masks must be worn by both occupants when flying club 2-seaters.

It is important that we continue to be cautious. It would be a real shame to see the club's first transmission of Covid-19 at this late stage.

* Suitable wipes are located in the parachute room or on the Bus.

Sunday 16th May

A bunch of keen UWE students persuaded the sceptical duty crew to get a glider out, despite the promise of all-day showers in the forecast. The students turned out to be right, as we only saw a few short showers before lunch, after which it turned into a lovely afternoon. Everyone got a few flights each, and we also managed to fit in a winter refresher, and a re-solo - well done Jindra. An excellent day, and a perfect example of why it always pays to be an optimist! Many thanks to Phil Guthrie and Richard Burgoyne for driving the winch, and to all the students and cadets for helping out on the ground.

Windy Sunday - 9th May.

A good steady 15 knots with occasional gusts all day but straight down the strip, so some good launches. Started with a BI renewal for Jonathan and some practice for the bronze tests with Elliott while Tim got on with flying the UWE students. There was some thermalling to be had and new junior Jack had a long flight completing a good number of exercises. The K23 was flown and the thermalling enticed out both Duos to give their owners some sporting flights, John Mac went in search of wave but had limited contact. Everyone coped well with the gusty wind and we managed to fly all day without any rain, although there were a few spots as I left the airfield.
Thanks to everyone that helped and especially David Roberts for driving the winch all day (we need more winch drivers and a rota!)
Mike W.

New Bus Lighting System

On Wednesday we commissioned a new radio and signalling system on the bus, replacing the old and unmaintainable system which has served us well for many years.

The new system is a slimmer version of the old system with a few new features. Firstly, winch and airband radios have been moved and are now hanging down from the roof of the bus, along with the PA system and the main power switch. It is worth noting that the handset for the winch radio is on the desk and the handset for the airband radio has been mounted on the roof, to avoid any confusion.

The light controls now consist of 3 separate buttons instead of the rotary control. These are a yellow button labelled 'take up slack', a green button labelled 'all out' and a red button labelled 'stop'. The take up slack and all out buttons must be held down for the signal to remain on, with the stop button being a latching button that you rotate to turn off. The idea behind this is to stop people from setting the lights to 'take up slack' or 'all out' and then getting distracted and leaving the lights on whilst not looking at the signaller.

Please note that the two emergency stop buttons on the side of the bus and the external buzzer are not yet connected (we ran out of time and daylight). These will be reconnected as soon as possible.

A short guide on how the new lights operate will be available on the bus soon. If you find any issues with the new system then please let Max Lazenby or Matt Page know.

Saturday the 12th December

Forecast to be the better day of the weekend but with a reasonable breeze from the west so operations were set up on runway 27. Mike O was up early checking the cables and then spent the morning delivering some winch refresher training. The K23 was in use for most of the day with the 2 seaters delivering normal club training and check flights. The conditions enticed Tomasz to make a run for the ridge and the DG500 syndicate took it in turns to fly each other around, Geoff's Pilatus also took to the air. A brief but cold shower halted operations during the afternoon after which the wind abated a little and we continued to fly until the sun disappeared behind the treetops.
Thanks to Mike O, Alastair and Peter L for driving the winch and to everyone else who helped.

Sunday 25th October

Early start possibly helped by the clocks going back. We had a good contingent from the University (UWE) and a steady queue of pilots for the K23. The showers mostly left us alone but there were a couple of wetter moments. Conditions were soarable for a while with climbs up to 3500 reported. Not a bad day for late October.

Forecast for 24th Oct

Tomorrow looks like a wash-out. Very windy too. If members who Booked for Saturday want to switch to Sunday I’m sure we can accommodate you.

Lombard Rally visits Aston Down

Saturday morning saw the airfield temporarily used as a rally stage for the Lombard Rally Bath who brought over 100 cars from the 70s and 80s as part of their tour of the Cotswolds. As well as blasting around the airfield they were treated to refreshments prepared by Jacqui and Gail which was well received by the participants.
They had finished their fun by lunchtime and we got back to our normal operation. A select few taking to the skies.Thank you Andy for stepping in to drive the winch and all those who helped out.

European Gliding Union Newsletter October

The latest newsletter from the EGU ha been published. Click the link below:

The newsletter contains a summary of key points about the revised EU Sailplane Flight Crew Licence (SFCL) which will almost certainly be relevant in the UK later next year for flying gliders with EASA Cs of A despite of the UK leaving the EU.

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