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!
We're holding our first Open Day for some years on Sunday 15 July 2018, from 10 in the morning till 5 in the afternoon.
It's a chance for you to come along, have a look around the club and our glider fleet and, if you like, take a launch for a short glider flight over the Morayshire countryside.
We'll be using 2 launch methods on the day – winch and tow plane. Prices for a launch will be £20 by winch and £30 by aerotow. You'll be in the safe hands of our instructors, all of whom are regularly assessed and approved by the British Gliding Association
The launch will take you to around 1,000 feet above the airfield, and your flight should last about 5 minutes.
The club's own gliders and those that belong to club members will be on display, as will some local small powered aircraft. Additional displays will include STEM, Morayvia, British Heart Foundation and others.
Parking and entrance to the airfield will be free of charge. Check out the How to find us page for directions.
Looking forward to meeting you on the day and we're all keeping our fingers crossed for some decent mid July weather!
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.