No flying yesterday, but a few today, mostly on the ridge with some weak wave around earlier on. Finally we saw this tempter away downwind and Stuart and Alexander took R1 away to try it out. Luckily the Duo has long legs!
Unlikely to be any action tomorrow, so that's it for the year, and it's been quite a patchy one weather-wise. Plenty of good flights but not too many outstanding ones.
As we head to Hogmanay, let me wish you all a happy, peaceful and healthy New Year, with lots of good, safe flying!
Rob being congratulated by Mike after his long-awaited first solo this afternoon. Well done Rob!
One of around ten flights today, after yesterday's storm put paid to any Saturday flying. We all went south, looking for some wave that proved too elusive, high and far away for anyone to connect with it.
Varying lengths of descent to earth, depending fairly much on release height. Still great to get flying in mid December!
Flying over the holiday period will be up to the weather and availability of people.
In the meantime, Happy Christmas to all our followers!
Another couple of excellent wave and training weekends since I last posted here. 10 days ago, Z5 and 753 were all over the space between us and Aboyne/Feshie, with excellent and persistent wave. HYJ was out at Aberlour area and suddenly looking at fields, which involved an overnight retrieve - thanks to everyone who helped with this and to Robert for the loan of his trailer. Also a warm welcome back to Cameron, who last flew with us around 8 years ago before heading off to University and had his first field landing on his first day back!
This weekend was a little different, with lots of blue around, lots of clag and low bases to the south, but just enough gentle SE wave to give Robert a fine flight on Saturday in 115, while Phil did a longer trip. Yesterday saw Dan being signed off for aerotow solo after a check and he found some weak wave just off-site to extend his flight.
Finally, we had a safety seminar with a helpful oversight from Mike Black, a more general quiz from John T, - which we should all apparently have got completely right! - and a useful contribution on rigging from Stuart.
Cracking afternoon today, SW wave set up over the site and several flights to 8,000' and above, with 354 and R1 both up to beyond 13,500'. Thanks to Dave and Toni for the tows! Fabulous cloudscapes with the low sun!
Another memorable moment from yesterday that I missed out on, when new member Dan re-soloed after a couple of years away from gliding.
Today we were winching again, this clip showing Geoff, who's been visiting for the week from Aboyne, driving his Kestrel skywards.
Had some impressive approaches using the tail parachute!
Winch day today, with a stiff and steady W backing SW later. Early 2-seat launches to 1500', and into a bit of wave off the wire, but the ridge was boisterous by the time Robert and Colin launched here in 115. Dan had a good hour or so with Geddes in the morning.
We also got JYC rigged and weighed after Billy fitted its new frame.
Yesterday we committed aviation in the form of 4 winch launches, but sadly no flying today, with some heavy showers this morning.
So we've had 4 day's flying out of 5 in our week, and I don't think we can complain too much about that!
Thanks to all our tug pilots and winch drivers over the week, you did a great job.
The midweek flying group carries on, keeping an eye on the forecasts for that special day.
Next holiday flying will likely be around late December (I can't bring myself to use that "C" word yet!)
Our flying week continues. Yesterday was wild and windy, with some wave around if you found it, as Geddes did, heading down to Aboyne before coming home via Loch Morlich and Lochindorb. His flight is on the BGA ladder. Only half a dozen launches and thanks to Dave for some brave towns!
Today was much more benign looking, no wave up here but thermals were bouncy and broken (probably some wave influence breaking them up.) Most who flew had upwards of an hour of fairly local soaring. The ridge was also kicking off some thermals.
3 flyable days out of 3 so far. Can we hope for 5/5?
A great start to our Autumn flying week! Didn't look too promising first thing, but we soon realised there was some wave around in the blue. A dozen soaring flights, top height I heard was 8,000', down around Ben Rinnes. Longest flights were around two and a half hours. Wave was weak and in some unlikely looking places, broken up a bit by thermals in mid afternoon and then settling in again later.
Another 4 or 5 days of this please!
A weekend of two halves, definitely! Saturday had a fairly full log sheet, with a pile of training and soaring flights, all contained within a pretty low cloubase that had some good thermal climbs where you could find them. Sunday was peppered with showers going through and not the best day for gliders.
Just a reminder of our flying week next week, with a few visitors around and, thanks to Ian lane, a rota of tug drivers available, to say nothing of bacon butties for early risers!
9 am this morning, and Aboyne International and Portmoak are in full swing. Z7 already past Arran and a few up and over 10,000'. BGA lLadder will make interesting reading later!
Saturday was blowy, boisterous and blooming cold! Just 2 launches, and they were a bit too late to take advantage of the wave, which our pals from the south were enjoying from the early hours.
Geddes took Matt away for a training flight, while Phil and Bruce went hunting for wave in R1, with just one working pneumatic vario. Really turbulent air up to 2,500' and above that there still weren't many clear signs of the wave. HYJ climbed a bit to 3,500' or so, while R1 made a pretty bumpy descent to the ridge. We might have got into something better further south, but that wasn't happening with an Aberdonian and a Fifer on board!
Sunday's wind was strong too, but straight down the strip, so we had winch launches for John with Rob and Mike with Ellen. We also showed a new member around the club, Dan, who's just moved from Essex to Inverness. He'll be turning up to re-solo after a couple of years away from gliding. Thanks to Tony for driving the winch and Ruari for driving the bus.
No flying on Saturday, with lots of showers passing through and not many hands on deck. Yesterday (Sunday) was a different story, with HYJ and R1 both out to play for most of the day, including some useful training flights for Rob.
As I write, I expect Toni and John to be on their way south to pick up the tug after its repairs, so we expect to have it back for this coming weekend.
And while I'm here, a quick reminder that the club autumn flying week is 15-19 October - hoping for wave, looking out the thermals!
A nearly full log sheet on Saturday with Bruce having a launch failure exercise to start, followed by a series of training flights for Matthew D and Mike A.
Ellen took some back seat flights with Stuart and then took Francesca up later in the day. Angie caught the last thermal with Stuart after an hour or so.
Phil, Geddes and Robert also soared away in their own machines for a couple of hours or so each, but not far due to a low-ish cloudbase and some showery stuff, while Terry S, on a short visit here, was away in his Duo turbo for an hour or thereabouts with Martin.
The good news on the tug front is that our friends at Eurofox in Kent have been working hard on it all week and expect it to be ready to fly back north next weekend, weather permitting. Arrangements under way as I write...
We're still confined to winch launches until the tug gets its repair work done at the start of September. We expect to have it back later next month.
Saturday was just too breezy for any flying, but there were a dozen launches on Sunday, with Francesca getting her first taste of launch failure demos. Andy soared away in 770 for half an hour. And 3 trial flights, including a couple who didn't make it into the air on the open day. New member potential!
Mike and Ramsay dropped off the Blanik fuselage which will eventually be transformed into our new simulator. Plenty of work ahead on that....
And the power fraternity was out in force yesterday as well, culminating in a cheeky wee formation flypast.
Says it all really. We launched around 45 people who hadn't had a glider flight before, signed up a few new members, had lots of smiling faces. Pretty exhausted crew with all the toys packed away.
Some photos taken on the day from visitor Archie Paton can be found HERE
What a grand weekend we've had! Saturday and Sunday both had moderate west winds, with some wave influence around on Saturday and completely blue on Sunday.
Saturday we had the winch out for the first time in ages, getting people current again and doing some winch training - good to see it in action again.
Sunday was tugging only - thanks Ian - on what was a great day for sunbathing. Local flights in some broken and bumpy thermals with a good bit of sea breeze coming in during the afternoon.
Over both days, we were visited by a local professional aviation photographer who took hundreds of pics. I'm expecting to get a select few from him over the next couple of days and will post a gallery as soon as I can. Saw some of the results on-site and they look fantastic!
Geddes had a 5 hour epic around Aberdeenshire and the Spey valley today, while Trevor in R1 and Bruce in 354 each had over an hour and a half in a mix of wave and strong thermals up to a cloudbase of 6,000 feet. It all finally got going at lunchtime, with the morning being just grey and overcast. Mike had some similar fun in HYJ on 3 training flights. So six flights with an "average" flight time of around 2 hours, bumped by Geddes's stalwart contribution! Thanks to Robert for the tows, and we're planning to fly again tomorrow.
Grand day yesterday with some good soaring in thermals. Around 3500' bases locally went up to about 5000' inland, as you can see from these photos John took over and around Rothes on a blast down towards Huntly in R1 with Geddes. Andy rounded off his week's visit from Norfolk with an enjoyable trip in HYJ with Anne later in the afternoon.
It was the club's AGM after the toys were put away. Roger, Bruce and John were re-appointed as directors and at the subsequent board meeting Robert, Anne and Bruce were re-appointed as Chairman, Treasurer and Secretary respectively.
Mike, our CFI, awarded the trophy for meritorious flight to Francesca, for her cool-headed handling of a tow rope break on her second solo, and the shield for overall contribution to John, for his work on club IT and infrastructure.
First day of the club week and nothing much to write home (or anywhere else) about. John T, Phil and Andy V each had a go in the Junior into a sky that promised more than it delivered. The lengths of their flights seemed to be pretty much proportionate to the height of their tows!
Tomorrow looking like NE wind and clag, so we've scrubbed in advance, hoping for a bit more south in the wind (and a bit more of it) on Wednesday. At least it's still fairly mild!
Definitely a weekend of 2 halves. Saturday had some wave going on to start the day, though it fizzled out in the afternoon, but not before Geddes had a chance to fire off down to Huntly and then back via Marypark, topping out at around 9500'. Other soaring flights and a handful of training flights for the K21, so a really decent day.
Today the sky was a lot softer, with hardly any wind on the ground and veering from W through N to NE by the end. Very weak and patchy thermals under a fairly low base. John C ran up the beers with the longest flight at 29 minutes, though the power guys were also out in some force. Pics from John in the mighty JMY.
This is the start of our Spring club flying week, so there should be someone out most days, weather permitting. Sadly it looks like few prospects of wave, as we're stuck for a good bit of the week on the northern half of a low, with weak easterlies forecast. At least it should be a lot milder than recently!
Superb thermal day today, with everyone getting a decent soaring flight. Mike took R1 down towards Dalwhinie, Robert had a look at heading for Aboyne, Bruce did a 107 km triangle down the Spey and back. Star of the day was Francesca, who got a 2 hour local soaring flight towards her XC endorsement. And only half a dozen solo flights under her 14 year old belt! Rounded it off with a greased landing as well. Angie, Roger, Tony and Ellen and Robert with Anne all joined in the fun.
Our club flying week starts next weekend. We could do with some more of this!
Today's weather was similar to yesterday, except with a cloudbase 1000 feet closer to the granite this morning (a bit higher later on) and a more consistent westerly wind profile, but with walls of showers coming through, one of which brought back HYJ, JMY and 354 all inside 10 minutes. Powerful thermals though, and good to see Colin H and Sybille visiting for a few days from Germany. Great to have some soaring going on before the Beast from the East Mk. III comes along!
Great day of Springtime thermals and some wave for the lucky few (well, one actually). Half a dozen soaring flights of over an hour in thermals that were strong (7 kts average?!) and dotted all over the place, up to local cloudbase of around 4,200 ft.
Tony and Ellen, (lucky) Geddes, Phil, Roger and Bruce all enjoying the fun, and great to have Cap'n Rob back in the tug after his lengthy break turning himself into a commercial pilot.
Can we have some more of this tomorrow, please?
My apologies to our followers who probably thought the club had upped sticks and moved on, or just died. Not so!! We've been as active as possible over the last few months, but this hasn't involved nearly as much flying as we'd like, sadly. Days and weeks of wet weather followed by snow have rendered the site unusable for long periods and, without our Perfo runway, we'd have had virtually no flying since last November. As it is, we've seen some ridge days and a very few days with moderate wave, so there have been a few soaring flights, but not many.
We've used the time to get most of the fleet through annual inspections and ARC renewals, anticipating the season better than we've done in some recent years. Also, our Eurofox had a 20 hour insepction the other day and is set and raring to go.
A week ago, the site was under a foot of snow, but thawed out over the week to leave what you see in this pic, taken yesterday by John C. after his post lay-off check flights, sitting at the launch point in the Junior yesterday. It's still very soggy in places and won't properly dry out until we get a good spell of dry and/or windy weather, but the Perfo makes all the difference.
Cloudbase yesterday was a heady 1100 feet, but still allowed for a couple of training flights for Rob, a post-annual check ride for Billy in 354, a re-solo for Francesca and John getting up on his own again, as well as Stuart flying a couple of his friendsw in R1.
It can only get better from here on in, can't it?
Where were you all? Another day of wall-to-wall sunshine, but perishing cold if you weren't dressed for it. Stuart flew two friends, Jon and Trev had a flight each, and John T and I took HYJ for a bimble. It was .... er .... interesting .... close to the ground, but quite smooth higher up, though I couldn't connect with the wave. Toni found some (almost literally) thumping lift on tow, but it wasn't there after we released. Just tantalising. Also fairly sporty on approach. Then the forecast front came in, and we had just closed the hangar when the first flakes of snow started to fall. I was happy to make it home before the snow began in earnest.