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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.

Chairman's Newsletter October 2020

There is a Chairman's newsletter by logging in to the members' area at:

Get Your Bronze This Winter

The good weather is now starting to disappear which means we have less opportunities to go flying, but this doesn’t mean that the fun has to stop… A great way to continue to develop as a pilot over winter is to tackle the Bronze endorsement, which includes both theory and practical elements. We’re looking to start a new Bronze theory revision group which will offer a mix of theory talks and revision sessions online – this would be open to anyone in the club who is looking to brush up on their Bronze theory. And if you’re looking to progress with the flying side, why not arrange for your winter refresher flights to double as Bronze preparation, or maybe even take the test?

Please get in touch if you would like to join in. If any instructors would like to be involved, it would be great to hear from you.

Congratulations to Sam and Peter from UWE who both passed their Bronze theory exams last week. They were both part of the university club’s online study group which helped them to learn the topics and revise for the exam.

Sunday 27th September

A very quiet day today with just a handful of UWE students coming to the airfield to fly. Ben completed another phase of his BI qualification with a visiting examiner, whilst Peter flew his Bronze GST to complete his Bronze endorsement. New student Rhys was treated to his first flights in a glider, and Olivia made some progress with her training. As there were no volunteers for the ground duties, Brian and I also refreshed ourselves on the winch by taking turns doing winch driving and instructing. All in all a very nice day.

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