Archive for May, 2012
The 12th May 2012 was a busy day for gliding, with a welcome return to spring sunshine after the wettest ‘drought’ on record had flooded much of the United Kingdom. Many glider pilots made the best of the conditions, including a new 823km UK triangle record in an EB28 glider whilst several paragliders flew the breadth of the country with cross country distances of upto 243km.
Southdown Gliding Club honoured one of their founding members, Joan Cloak with a display of club Memorabilia, barbecue, and family day at the club. Joan was an incredible lady who gave much of her life to supporting Gliding and the Southdown Gliding Club. She gained her ‘C’ badge in 1953 soaring the sea cliffs and was club treasurer for 23 years until 1977 and then club chairman until 1984. She helped move the club from Firle to its permanent home at Parham near Storrington.
In 1979 she was awarded a BGA Diploma and in 1981 an MBE for her contribution to gliding. Sadly Joan died at the end of December last year.
Guy Westgate displayed one of the Club’s ASK21 training gliders and thanks must go to outgoing club chairman Craig Lowrie for organising the tribute to Joan with such a memorable family day.
Further up the country, the Windrushers Gliding Club were hosting the annual Airleague ‘Youth in Aviation Flying Day‘ at Bicester, with dozens of students taking flights in gliders and powered aircraft.
Ian Gallacher and Paul Holdnall took the Fox and had a steady stream of eager young students, including Khotso Marumo, Tom Crucian, Max Bond, Alex Mazzoleni, Rosie Homer, Colin Field, Emil Benson, Hollie Roser, Tom Crow and Emily Duffy.
Ian then gave an aerobatic display in the evening.
Thanks must go to Andy Perkins, Luke Roberts and Steve Pozerskis for organising such a successful event.
GliderFX have joined the world of bling, with a new LED strip down the fuselage, making the MDM-1 Fox look more like a Neon Tetra fish.
Thanks have to go to Paul Holdnal and Ian Gallacher for their patience in fitting the new lights.
We are also testing some new pyro products and recognize the creativity of the two brainiest blokes on the planet; Chris Cain of ThinkTank Electronics and Don Mansfield, our Mr Pyro. Last thanks goes to
Matthew Hill, CAA for renewing Guy Westgate’s Display Authorization for another year and Paul Johnson for photographing our pyro trials.
The Royal Air Force Gliding & Soaring Association (RAFGSA) provides recreational glider flying to the RAF from eight locations across the country. GliderFX concluded its 2012 winter tour with courses at two of these in April, Keevil in Wiltshire and Cosford in Shropshire.
The Bannerdown club was formed in 1960 where they flew from Colerne and Hullavington, before moving to Keevil in 1992. The WW2 airfield is still in good shape with a resurfaced main runway, just over a nautical mile in length (1852m)
An active front threatened to spoil the first day of flying, but it passed quickly to allow nine Fox flights, introducing John Butler, Adam Berrisford, Jon Lomas, Neil Geraghty, Ted Richards, Bob Brian, Gareth Baker and Tom Dews to an inverted aerotow behind the club’s Rotax Faulke. With the long runway at Keevil, the 100HP motor-glider coped brilliantly despite the crosswind and short rope.
The following day was one of the best soaring days of spring, with strong thermals upto 6,000ft enabling Johnat Williams, Sam Roddie, Felicity Talbot, Paul Randall, Conor Hickey, Ian Harris and Ken Reid to sample some spring thermals although inverted soaring was not particularly successful.
Tom Dews tried his new GoPro camera on the Fox, and brother Ben and Dad Tim Dews also mastered rolling Fox and their company Grob 103A Twin2 Acro.
As usual there are many people who work behind the scenes to make a course successful, and particular thanks have to go the CFI Ian Harris, Chief Tug Pilot Andy Miller and the Dews family (Airborne Composites) at Keevil.
The following weekend was at RAF Cosford. The Wrekin gliding club has many more challenges as they share the small airfield with a University Air squadron, air experience flight and Motor gliders, so its busy.
The weather gods showed their sense of irony and marked the start of the English hosepipe ban with a month’s worth of rain in a weekend. Thunderstorms made for some stunning backdrops to the Shropshire countryside, but fortunately the air between the towering cu and showers was silky smooth.
Team Members Ian Gallacher and Paul Holdnal continued their training whilst David Wadsworth, Steve Turner and Alun Williams all experienced the magic of the Fox for the first time.
Several pilots trained for their aerobatic badge, and Terry Walsh flew a very tidy sequence to gain his standard badge in the ASK21.
Thanks must go to both CFI Ian Gallacher and club CO Dennis Maddox for supporting aerobatics at Cosford.