Saturday, 19 August 2017

Air League last day - they say thanks to everyone at Booker

Mixed weather today with strong winds and heavy showers forecast.

The Air League group presented the club with a card, a bunch of bananas and some beer. That was very kind, thank you all very much.

To quote the course members: "The most fantastic experience of our lives, thank you Booker"

To quote our CFI: "A fantastic group of students who did really well in some sometimes very testing weather conditions".

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Air League - 2 more days to go (Thursday 17 August)

The weather will hopefully be kind to the course. A frontal system just passed us, the cloudbase is expected to rise during the morning and be reasonable pm.

The midday forecast sounding for Buckingham looks like this

Turned out to be a very good afternoon with 20 knot winds at flying heights. Strong thermals and streeting.

The course is proceeding well with a visit from Mel who was filming some of the activity for the Air League and Andy Perkins who popped in to say hello and see how the course was progressing.

Steve in his creative way managed two real launch failures - an indication of how difficult the conditions were for aerotow. Thulani was with Steve and took the launch failure in his matter of fact way.

The strong winds meant we were unable to progress those nearer solo and get them off on their own. The whole course can now fly gliders and land them, circuit planning and aerotow launches need some polish - sadly time is against us. Well done to Cara, Becky, Mwila, Alyscia and Thulani, a very tiring and productive two weeks.

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Tuesday16 and Wednesday 17 - Balloon runs out of hot air and looks for a top up

The weather was soarable for a good part of the day, with a frontal system approaching from the west. Flyable all day with a fair number of single seaters preparing for various tasks, and Graham Saw out in his yellow peril treating us to a series of air displays as he preps for the comp.

Early in the morning we were treated to a sight of a balloon landing behind the trees at Wycombe Air Park. My best guess is he was trying to get a top up of hot air from the clubhouse - but couldn't quite make it.

Can you spot it?

The Air League Course continues to progress. Mwila is shown here preparing for her next flight. Mwila started from zero at the beginning of the course and is now handling the whole flight with occasional prompts from the instructor. Well done.

Tuesday - a nice day out in the country

While the Air League group was getting on with week 2 of their course, various single seaters set off to explore. There were 6kt thermals to be found, but also areas where nothing much was happening, resulting in a bit of engine work, a couple of visitors to Bicester for an aerotow, and a Pawnee retrieve from a field near Swindon. Nice views though.

Heading for Pitsford reservoir

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Thursday and Friday - flying at last.

Much improved weather and the Air League have 2 busy flying days.

Thursday brought a number of 15m gliders out for an airing. Strong thermals albeit broken at times.

Friday brought a mixture of early good weather with good thermals and an approaching front that brought lower cloud and cooler weather.

Richard at the morning briefing explaining how the weather front will affect the day.

The motor glider getting ready for departure during Thursday's training.

Very many thanks to all the tug pilots and helpers, and especially to Henry Ross who selflessly gave up a week to help us keep the course going, even when the weather was dreadful.

Let's look forward to another good week next week.

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Wednesday 9th - Air league cadets in the classroom all day

The weather was pretty awful with low cloud and rain all day.

Lectures all day.

Richard gave us a talk on circuit planning and approach control, Henry gave practical tuition in Daily Inspection procedures. Then a visit to the control tower to help understand how that all works and then back into the classroom for a talk on stalling.

Before we knew it, it was time to pack up and go home.

Looking forward to a great day tomorrow - we may even fly!

8.30 start tomorrow.

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Tuesday 8 August - Air League spend day in the classroom

Low cloud and rain meant we were unable to get flying. The day was usefully spent with a series of talks and getting the basics clear in readiness for flying.

Henry Ross gave our course members a training session in the flight simulator. Great fun for everyone involved. Thanks Henry.

Tomorrow looks like more briefings, including Daily Inspections, circuits and stalling.

These pictures are from yesterday - Nick and Henry getting the course underway .

Monday afternoon cleared sufficiently to get some launches done.

Monday, 7 August 2017

Sunday better than expected!

A busy Sunday with better than expected lift all day. Back to the more traditional British summer weather next week....

Congratulations to Lincoln Hirst on his first solo, and half an hour's soaring to boot! Well done!

6 August - a reminder of summer

Isn't this what summer is supposed to look like?

Plenty of members were out yesterday to take advantage of good conditions, a pleasant change from recent days (weeks).........

Friday, 4 August 2017

3 August - very windy and very gusty

Winds at 1000ft QNH forecast at 35 knots with gusts of 10-15 knots.

Just a little too much for the early pilots to practise their flying skills, so it was into the classroom for the second day.

Topics covered were Stalling, Daily Inspections, Airbrakes and Approach control, Circuit Planning and practical navigation in preparation for the Bronze C exam. It was great to see so many enthusiastic trainees joining in - good fun.

Jane and John getting to grips with a 1:500000 aeronautical chart