December 2001

  • Foot and Mouth Restrictions Lifted - All of the Foot and Mouth restrictions for gliding have now been lifted for the whole country.

  • Saturday 1st: Heavy rain, no flying. Sunday 2nd: Only three long aerotows, Robert and Tim Griffiths managed to contact the wave climbing to 7500'. Operations were eventually curtailed due to strengthening winds.

  • Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th: flying on both days but with high pressure and light winds there wasn't much soaring.

  • Saturday 15th: The mist and fog lifted just long enough for a couple of circuits. Sunday 16th: Still a bit misty but a few more circuits than yesterday.

  • Despite at least 6 inches of snow on the ground for some of the time between Christmas and New Year there was flying on Sunday 23rd, Saturday 29th, Sunday 30th and Monday 31st (Hogmany) . The ridge has been working well and even some wave flying but no great heights

November 2001

  • November is never usually a good month for flying but this year it has been one of the best on record, especially compared to last year where we did almost no flying at all. Here's the highlights and lowlights for this month.

  • Saturday 3rd:  One of those joyous days when what wave there was got into phase with the ridge and allowed Ian Thomson (Fulmar) to climb to 6400' from 1450' to claim his silver height. Well done Ian. Others got into the wave as well although no one got much above 6500'. However, it was a lovely day and most people went soaring. Sunday was very cold, showery and windy. There was no flying.

  • Saturday 10th: Very good conditions with lots of people contacting wave off the ridge. Julian completed his first half hour, Alan did his hour and Jim Marshall did his 2 hours. Steve got up to 11,000 ft a couple of times and there was loads of soaring had by all. 

  • Sunday 11th: Circuits and curtailed by rain. We still managed a few launches however. Angie, Terry Copthorne, Roy Dalling and John Dransfield busied themselves with the tug doing bi-annual checks etc so the best was made of a rather miserable day.

  • MORE RESTRICTIONS TO GLIDING ! - A group called Eurocontrol want to instigate a Pan European directive that will deny us access to airspace above 19500' ASL. Currently, we can climb to 24500' and higher in certain areas with restrictions. Most of you may think you will never be affected by this because you will never get that high. However, those of you aspiring to Diamond height would find it extremely restrictive as you would only be allowed to tow to approx 2500'! (Remember our site is at 360', Aboyne is 500' and Feshie 860') It is yet another step towards 100% controlled airspace regulated by people who only have commercial interests at heart. Believe it or not, General Aviation (GA) which we are a part of is responsible for 90% of all flights in the UK. There is no justification for reducing the height of the FIR apart from the belief that nobody except airliners operates at those heights. WE DO! This is where we need your help. We need hard evidence to back our claim that we do use this airspace. Please dig out those logbooks and look for all the flights you have had in the last FIVE years where you were above 15000'. (The reason for 15000' is it can be assumed that it would have been possible to climb higher on these days). Please pass details of these flights to the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. who will co-ordinate a return for the club. Please do this as soon as possible.

  • Saturday 24th: Despite there being very little wind we had several gliders up in wave as high as 9500'. Terry Slater went to Rhynie and Tomintoul as did Geddes.  We even had an out landing, David Chalmers making the right decision and putting the 19 down safely. The day didn't pass completely without incident however when the tow rope became detached from the tug at about 2000 feet near the ridge. Miraculously the rope was retrieved by Jim Tait and Anne Burgess a week later when they asked at the farm and the farmer had not only found it but had it neatly coiled up all ready for them!

  • Sunday 25th: A windy day with the ridge working well all day. Robert made it over to Ben Aigan getting up to 3200'. Lots of soaring was had by all.

October 2001

  • Once again apologies to all the regular readers for getting the whole month's news in one go.

  • Angie ran another basic instructors course for David Chalmers (Highland) and a pilot from Feshie. Stuart Naylor (Fulmar) and Mark Brown (Fulmar) were the guinea pigs on Angie's first course last month. 

  • The ASH week from the 6th to12th saw us with some excellent soaring at the weekends at each end of it but with some pretty horrendous weather mid week. The weekend 6th/7th there was lots of aerotowing and a few good wave climbs but no badge claims. Martin Knight managed to get to 13,800 ft on the Sunday in 770 and was very kindly towed to just the right place by it's owner!

  • The weekend 13th/14th saw some good soaring on the Saturday although rain stopped play mid afternoon. Steve Young did however manage to get to 9,000 ft and round Ballater and Loch Laggan in his Ventus before the rain set in. The Sunday had a poor forecast but on the day there were a couple of gliders up at around 10,000 ft and quite a lot of ridge soaring was done including some on the Dallas ridge. Luckily the rain held off until evening.

  • Weekend 20th/21st .......... rain, rain, rain, and more rain.

  • Weekend 27th/28th, another good weekend with lot's of soaring. Steve Young managed to disappear off into the wave again on the Saturday. On the same day Roy Scothern did his 5 hours in the K.8 on the ridge but due to increasing wind and wet wings was forced to land in a field ½ a mile short. This weekend Tim Griffiths completed his first ½ hour on his third solo glider flight.

September 2001

  • This year has produced some of the poorest September weather for many many years. Consequently there has been very little flying and almost no soaring this month. The first weekend of the month had the best of the weather. Rain stopped play on the Saturday afternoon but the Sunday gave some reasonable ridge and thermal soaring. The rest of the month has been fairly dismal although some people have been able to get a few circuits in under the low cloud cover.

  • Angie ran a course for 2 people to do their AEI ratings from the 28th to 30th. Despite the weather curtailing the flying program for the course, the vast majority of what was required was done. All the classroom work has been done and one day of decent weather should see the candidates complete the flying. In the meantime Angie would like to thank everyone who helped out.

August 2001

  • Apologies to all the regular readers of this page for the lack of news for some 5 weeks. This was not due to the lack of news but due to the webmaster being on leave and just too busy to do the updates. Remember that the Duty Rota page also has Robert's Weekly Ramblings which is basically a summary of the last weekend's flying. Instead of a flight by flight account of the month here's some of the month's statistics kindly prepared by Anne our treasurer. Total Launches = 283, Total Hours Flown = 161, Average Flight Time = 34 mins, Number of Days Flown =15.

  • We hosted the Inter Club League from the 11th to 13th. Robert has kindly written a full report of the flying and results

  • A task week followed the Inter Club League but the weather was so bad there is very little to report.

  • The Tait family went to Aboyne for the week after the task week and for once the weather gods were in a good mood. Many hours of flying were done by all who went. Congratulations to Robert who has finally got his diamond height claim (recorded on a barograph for once). Robert also succeeded in doing a 300K in his Astir in not the best of conditions.

  • The Fulmar Gliding Club have just had a huge bill for the work done to get the Supermunk through it's annual checks. The phrase, use it or lose it, applies more now than ever. 

July 2001

  • Weekend 21st/22nd July. The Tug is back after an extended stay at Perth and was certainly well used at the weekend. Again there was some reasonable soaring to be had on both days but nothing compared to the glorious weather we had in May. Andy Anderson has done his instructors completion course. Sadly, Malcolm George is leaving the area and returning to the "smoke". Despite being with us for only two and a half years he has done a huge amount of instructing for the club and will be sorely missed.

  • Weekend 14/15th July. Reasonable weekend with some soaring on both days. Ian Thomson of Fulmar completed his 2 hour flight for his cross country endorsement on Sunday.

  • Weekend 7/8th July. Rain, rain, rain, fog, low cloud and more rain

June 2001

  • Weekend 30th June/1st July. Stuart Naylor managed a downwind dash in the LS7 to Peterhead for his silver distance on Saturday. Tony Butler converted to the Junior on Sunday and hogged it for the rest of the day. Some say it was the only way he could escape the midges on what was a very warm, calm, cloudy day.

  • The Longest Day, Saturday 23rd June. For some it will be better remembered as the shortest night. Unfortunately fog prevented a very early start but once flying commenced it turned into one of our busiest days ever. Phil Penrose  once again did an excellent job of organising the evening barbecue and was ablyassisted by Jim Marshall with the cooking for the masses.

  • Angie has run another very successful week long pre-solo course with flying every day except Tuesday. Many thanks to Angie and her crew of helpers and winch drivers for the week namely Anne, Denis and Ted.

  • Wednesday 20th June. Angie's course is progressing well with club flying in the evening. In the evening the K.21 with Robert Tait and Anne Burgess and the Bocian with Martin Knight and Colin Conti were winch launched into NW wave, both gliders climbing to 12,000 ft.

  • Weekend 9/10th June.  On Saturday, Tony Butler who took 67 years to go solo is now making up for lost time by doing both his half hours for his Bronze in one day, one of which was an hour and counts towards his cross country endorsement. Well done Tony. Sunday was a good thermal day with lots of people getting lots of soaring and a silver distance arrive from Aboyne in the afternoon.

  • The first weekend of June only produced 6 flights on the Sunday due to the inclement weather. A sharp contrast to the beautiful weather we had for most of May.

  • The month has begun with a special days flying on Friday the 1st  for Speyside High School, Aberlour. A good time was had by all despite the changeable weather.

May 2001

  • The cross country ban is lifted in our part of the world from 6am on Saturday 5th May.

  • The run of good soaring has continued into May with soaring every day of the May holiday weekend.

  • Mark Brown of Fulmar took early advantage of the lifting of the cross country ban by flying to Aboyne for his 50k on the May Day holiday.

  • The week 7th to 11th May was notable not for flying achievement but for the work done to the site. Two new pipes have been laid across the strip to take the excess water from the stream during periods of heavy rain. The dip where the culvert is has also been filled and rolled. Several drainage problems on site have been fixed and various cables that were on the surface have been buried. The club owes a debt of thanks to Geddes Chalmers and Tony Butler who did the majority of the work.

  • Saturday the 12th was a very hot day, very nice for lounging around in the sun but not much by way of lift around. Sunday the 13th was the complete opposite of Saturday being cold and miserable.

  • The K.21, Grob Acro, Motor Falke and Supermunk all flew to RAF Lossiemouth on Saturday the 19th for the Friends and Families Day. There they were much in demand for air experience flights when the RAF weren't flying their fast jets.

  • Tony Butler who is 67 years young finally went solo on Sunday the 20th.Congratulations Tony on your achievement.

  • Roy Scothern also had a busy day completing his Bronze by doing his cross country checks in the Motor Falke with Angie.

  • The Swallow that was owned by Eddie Traynor and donated to the club has flown  again. The minimum requirement for flying the Swallow is 10 launches in a single seater and duty instructor approval. The Swallow costs 20p per minute and it's FREE after the first hour. Our thanks to Denis and Steve who got it flying again and of course Eddie for donating it in the first place. We are all glad to hear that Eddie is a lot better now having been very seriously ill.

  • The weekend of 25th/26th gave a cracking days soaring on the Saturday with Stuart Naylor in the LS7 and Robert Tait in his Astir doing Out and Returns to Feschie. Stuart should have had a 100K diploma claim but there is some sad story about a camera and film! At least Stuart had a silver height claim from the same flight and a good excuse to do it all again. Sunday still produced some soaring although not nearly as good as Saturday's. Rain finally stopped play late in the afternoon.

April 2001

  • April got off to a good start when Stuart Naylor of Fulmar proved he was no April fool by getting his 5 hours in ridge/thermal on the 1st of April. Well done Stuart.

  • The weekend of 7th/8th April gave a reasonable days' soaring on Saturday the 7th and a superb days' soaring on Sunday the 8th. At one point on Sunday there were 9 gliders in the air and no serviceable gliders on the ground. Angie reported the cloud base at 7,000 ft. Mark Brown of Fulmar got his 5 hours, Pete Smith of Fulmar and Ted Murphy have silver height claims.

  • Easter Weekend - Soaring every day from Friday the 13th to Monday the 16th. The best day was Saturday with NW wave up to 14,000 ft. A sharp contrast Sunday which gave a moderate and cold N/NW wind and challenging thermals up to 1,800 ft cloud base.

  • ASH WEEK REPORT - Flying most days from Sat 21st to Fri 27th. Mon 23rd, only the tug and the motor glider flew doing check flights for tug pilots etc. Tue 24th, good thermal soaring in a light SE wind. Wed 25th, no flying, cold NE wind, low cloud and drizzle. Thu 26th, good thermal soaring in a moderate westerly wind, some rain showers in the afternoon. Fri 27th, excellent soaring conditions with strong thermal up to a 5,000 ft cloud base, light SW wind. The sea breeze did try to nudge in for an hour in the afternoon and by 5pm most lift had stopped due to advancing frontal cloud and spread out.

  • It was a great pity that the soaring course has to be cancelled due to the foot and mouth crisis as there were some excellent cross country opportunities during that week, especially on Fri 27th when a 300K would have been a real possibility.

March 2001

  • The weekend of 10th/11th March gave some good ridge and thermal soaring with cloud base at 4,500 ft on Sunday. 

  • The A.G.M was held in the local pub, the Birnie Inn on Sunday the 11th of March. The A.G.M was followed by an informal dinner and annual presentation of trophies. For all the A.G.M details see the A.G.M. report.

  • NEW CLUBHOUSE - At the board meeting of 21st march, Phil Penrose put forward a very ambitious plan to provide the club with a new clubhouse. This clubhouse would be built against part of the south side of the new hangar of dimensions approximately 12 meters by 6.6 meters. Facilities to include clubroom, office, kitchen, toilets and shower room. After much discussion the plan was given the go-ahead by the board. Much of the construction work will have to be done by club members and subject to planning approval the work should commence soon. Watch this space for more information on how YOU can help with this project.

February 2001

  • After a very snowy start to February the weather came good on the weekend of the 17th/18th. It was reported that the ridge was working well on Saturday the 17th with some THERMAL around as well. Sunday the 18th, the ridge was working again with quite a few getting into wave. Phil had the best of it in the Jantar, the wave topping out at 8,500 ft.

January 2001

  • The first, first solo of the year was on Sunday the 7th, well done Roy Scothern. In fact this was a re-solo after a very long break.

  • The weekend 13th/14th produced some memorable flying. The wind was a light southerly with wave working up to about 4,500 ft, most people managed to launch directly into the wave from the winch. Although the lift was weak the visibility was fantastic with some pilots reporting being able to see mountains 70 miles away!

  • Colin Borthwick got his second bronze leg in the weak wave on Sunday the 14th.

  • Fulmar G.C. have had an influx of postings lately with Trevor Cooke who is an instructor and Martin Keen who has just been cleared solo at Easterton.

  • The portacabin that will become our new clubhouse has been moved to its new location in front of the new hangar.

  • The weekend 27th/28th again produced some good soaring even though most of it was on the ridge. 

  • Roy Scothern managed to get not one but two bronze legs on the Saturday the 27th.

  • Rick Jones of Fulmar is now checked out to fly the tug at Easterton.

Highland Gliding Club
Easterton Airfield
Birnie
Elgin
Scotland
United Kingdom
Tel - +44 (0) 1343 860272

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