Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Young pilot's dream comes true

Monday turned out to be a fine cloudless day.  Travis, our youngest member, coped well with the windy conditions and flew his first solo glider flight on his fourteenth birthday.  Needless to say he was delighted, as was his father Nick.  Nick is keen to take up the sport himself, perhaps one day his instructor son will be sending him solo!
Travis is the less pleased looking pilot on the right!

Instructor Graham Saw, Travis and father Nick.

Friday, 10 February 2017

Snow white

A couple more pics from the frozen north (not that it's particularly warm down south). Chris A went solo for the first time at Aboyne - no mention of whether he got to the end of the runway.

"OK well I'm up here now, just have to get down again."

Seems a shame to spoil it.

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Booker in Aboyne

Booker's first expedition of the year is to Aboyne, home to Deeside Gliding Club. They have been joined by some of our friends from the Upward Bound Trust at Haddenham. The weather has not been exactly epic but they are having a good time. Yesterday morning 315 and 319 flew locally up to 5000ft ahead of some rain. This afternoon 315 (Richard and Chris A) went to Braemar and 319 (Paul F) and C4 (Dave B and Nick H) went to Ballater and back several times.

Above the clouds

Sneaking up on 319


Saturday, 4 February 2017

Booker goes back to school

At the invitation of one of our members, James, who is Head of Engineering at Chalfonts Community College, we took the sim along for two days for the Year 11 students currently considering their 6th form options to explore. As well as aerodynamics they were also interested in the engineering and design aspects of the sim construction - the servos which provide feedback and replicate the stick forces experienced in real flight. Other students throughout the school also had an opportunity to fly during breaks, as did some of the staff, so we were kept busy. We hope to welcome a school group to the airfield in due course.

Somewhere over Bucks

Saturday, 28 January 2017

Another busy day

This morning the Bronze lectures continued, with Bob Smith demystifying things like the importance of L/D for calculating final glides, why flaps make a difference, what happens to VNE at 20,000ft.... he even explained G relief. After all of this, and a cup of tea, one person was shut away in the briefing room for a go at the Bronze paper. News has yet to emerge of how he got on, hope he's not still in there.

Meanwhile, out on the airfield the sun was shining and people were enjoying the thermals, amongst them Chris Rowland who celebrated the 50th anniversary of his first flight in a glider. That flight was in a T21 with Blackpool and Fylde GC, then based at Samlesbury, near Preston, but now renamed Bowland Forest GC and based at Chipping, still near Preston. His anniversary flight was in a Junior - considerably less draughty.

Chris in 312

Here is a nice picture of today's sky, taken by Chris on an earlier flight in the Falke.

And this is what the sky looked like as it got more showery - and wavy.

Saturday, 21 January 2017

Jim’s XC Skills Development Lecture

The winter briefings continued this Saturday with an interactive session from Jim White on “XC Skills Development”.  The assembled audience were challenged to declare their cross-country or development objectives, examine the barriers to personal progress, look at “process goals” and plan actions that will bring them closer to achieving their objectives.  Jim’s (and Tim Scott’s) enthusiasm for improving their own cross country skills and sharing their knowledge with aspiring high-fliers was clearly evident.  If you want to develop your cross-country flying these guys can, literally, point you in the right direction!

Meanwhile, out on the (rather chilly) airfield there was much activity with probably the busiest day of the year so far - the good weather bringing out many members from hibernation.

Friday, 20 January 2017

A fine day for looking at the view

Another fine day on the airfield.  Deceptively warm in the January sunshine. A few hardy souls made it to the 06 launch-point and then got their feet in the air.  There was some instructor development and a few quarter clovers.
Nothing special to report, but thought I'd blog a pic anyway.  It was great sitting in the back of the K21 checking out the local topography highlighted by the low winter sun; it almost reminded me of the Black Mountains!
Puzzle of the day - Question 1. Spot the windmill in this pic?

If you are new to Booker then if you enlarge the pic (by clicking on it) Turville Windmill is the tiny white blob on the ridge just right of centre at the bottom edge of the pic. This ridge can be a good thermal trigger with a little bit of wind to help.
Question 2. Spot the airfield!

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Saturday's mystery object

The Winter Briefings continued yesterday with an introduction to Meteorology, well attended by members and once more by visitors from the Upward Bound Trust, Haddenham. Since I was the one giving the briefing I can't really give myself a review, but those attending seemed to enjoy the morning. No prizes for working out what the visual aid below was demonstrating.

Hint: the screw is the North Pole*
And if you really want to learn about weather you could do a lot worse than do the Open University's short online course Come Rain or Shine run by the University of Reading. It lasts 3 weeks, 3 hours a week, and you can study when and where you like.

Don't miss next week's talk on XC skills development by Jim White.

*Coriolis effect

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Plenty to do on a foggy Saturday

The 2017 Winter Series of briefings (for aspiring Bronze pilots and others) got off to a good start with a full house for Steve Williams as he de-mystified navigation for an audience which included some visitors from the Upward Bound Trust at Haddenham.

The next briefing is Meterology on Saturday 14th January.

Steve shining a light....

Meanwhile in the hangar an assorted team set about de-rigging the T21, a complex process requiring hammers and quite a lot of supervision.

Richard with a lofty view of proceedings

John taking over the supervision
The team then retired to the clubhouse to thaw out with tea.

Friday, 30 December 2016

2017 Bronze briefings

Winter Briefings 2017
If you are working towards your Bronze badge, want a bit of a recap or are thinking of becoming an instructor, the Winter briefings are for you. On Saturdays throughout January and February, starting at 10am in the briefing room. All welcome.
7th January            Navigation - Steve Williams
14th January          Meteorology - Jane Moore
21st January          XC Skills Development - Jim White
28th January          Flight Planning and Performance - Bob Smith
4th February           Mountain Soaring - Geoff Tabbner
12th February         No lecture: Aboyne Expedition
18th February         XC Meteorology - Jim White
25th February         Field Landings - William Parker and Richard Crockett
TBC                       Radio Telephony - Ashley Birkbeck
                              Task Flying - Tim Scott
                              Principles of Flight - Symeon Economou