DECEMBER 2004

  • Festive Holidays: Only 3 days flying over the festive season. On the flyable days there was soaring on the Rothes Glen ridge, Ben Aigan and the Dallas ridge. No big wave flights though.

  • Sunday 19th: The day started cold, bright and clear with a 10 knot SW wind. A couple of gliders were towed into blue wave near the site and climbed steadily in 1 to 2 knots lift. With nobody else ready to fly the tug pilot decided to have a short solo flight. On his return to the airfield some 15 minutes later he was seen to crash into a field adjacent to the airfield. The pilot was rescued from the wreck of the Supermunk by club members and later taken to hospital by ambulance. The pilot suffered head and back injuries and should make a full recovery. In the meantime there will be a winch only operation at Easterton until a replacement tug can be sourced.

  • Saturday 18th: Heavy snow showers, no flying.

  • Wednesday 8th: Phil Penrose, Robert Tait and Teresa Tait representing the club at the sportMoray awards in Elgin picked up an award for TEAM OF THE YEAR for the club winning the Scottish Inter Club League this year. The trophy is shared with the Moray Maniacs, a team who play American flag football.

     

NOVEMBER 2004

  • The CFI has gone off to check out the wave on the other side of the planet so reports will be a bit sparse for around a month or so.

  • Weekend 13th / 14th: Longest flight of the day on Saturday was Teresa with over two hours. We got all necessary instructor renewal flights completed, and we had weak wave and some ridge flying to keep the launches going. Sunday started bright with a stiff southwest wind and good looking wave. Because the wind at 2000ft was 55-60 kts all launching was by aerotow. Robert took the K21 and a student to 8,500 ft in the morning and again to 9,500 ft
    in the afternoon. Billy Fisher got to 10,000 ft in the morning and completed a 2 hour flight for a cross country endorsement.  Jim Ross topped the day at 18,500 ft to collect Gold Height with a good margin and all gliders available
    were in the air in the afternoon. With daylight failing everyone was brought back to earth, some pilots having to abandon great lift directly over the site.

  • Weekend 6th /7th: No flying on Saturday. On Sunday we got the K21 back together again complete with a new tyre. The sky looked very promising with the wind from the southwest and some signs of wave.  For the first few flights the ridge was working and a bit later wave was contacted.  Robert took the LAK off to Dinnet and Braemar and there was plenty of other soaring too. A total of 37 launches and up to 10 gliders on the ridge at the end of the day.

 

OCTOBER 2004

  • Weekend 30th / 31st: Saturday was fog bound so we did some more work in the clubhouse, fitting doors and preparing skirting boards. Sunday we had a southwesterly breeze, some wave which interfered with the ridge
    and lots of circuits.

  • Wednesday 27th: Our official ASH week and today we had a great day with everyone contacting wave directly above the site at or below 2,000ft.  The lift went to about 6000ft there and those who pushed forward into the Spey valley at Aberlour got up to 13,000ft and an easy run up to Feshie.

  • Weekend 23rd /24th: Saturday was a lovely late autumn day with light westerlies and the middle of the day gave weak thermals to allow some gentle local soaring.  The site was drying out nicely. Sunday started dry with an easterly wind and the cloud base at 1000 ft, then the rain started so we all went home.

  • Weekend 16th / 17th: No flying due to the very wet condition of the runway after all the rain this week.

  • Weekend 9th / 10th: Saturday was again very busy with lots of launches but little soaring, in a light northerly. Sunday saw very low cloud base and was not suitable for gliding.

  • Saturday 2nd: Lots of launches, into a SSW breeze. There was not enough West to make the Rothes ridge work reliably and not enough South for the Dallas hill to work either but there were some broken thermals around.

 

SEPTEMBER 2004

  • Saturday 25th: Today was even better, with Terry Slater taking Malcolm Parsons in the Duo Discus to the West coast and then up towards Dingwall for a very impressive flight.  Phil disappeared for most of the day in the Lak 12 and we had a group of Aberdeen University students who nearly all had some ridge flying, most getting 2 flights and 30 minutes. Late afternoon, many pilots got wave flights and Andy Vidion from Tibenham got to Gold height, making his long journey north well worthwhile.

  • Friday 24th: Terry Slater and friends have been up from Tibenham this week but the weather hasn't been too kind with rain most of the time up until today when the northwest wave set up and lots of people were getting up to 9,000 ft.

  • Weekend 18th / 19th: We finally got flying on Saturday when the wind dropped enough in the late afternoon, the Rothes ridge working well up to 2000 ft and Phil got a short period of wave which suddenly collapsed as quickly as it appeared. Sunday was also very windy. Terry Slater managed to get up to 12,000 ft in wave and managed Aboyne and back in Duo Discus WE4.

  • Weekend 11th / 12th: Saturday, most flights were over an hour long. Jim had three hours on the ridge and Billy Fisher got to 12,000 ft in wave for his silver height.  Sunday was too rough so no flying.

  • Weekend 4th / 5th: Another mixed weekend with some good soaring on Saturday with wave switching on and off. Sunday had more variable winds but at least a couple of soaring flights.

  • Wednesday 1st: Last Wednesday evening flying of the year. Very calm and pleasant conditions for those that turned up for trial lessons. 

 

AUGUST 2004

  • Weekend 28th / 29th: Some very good flying on Saturday, with streeting and some wave taking pilots well inland. Sunday was too windy for winching but as soon as the duty instructor went home the wind reduced and came round to the southwest ..........typical.

  • Weekend 21st / 22nd: Very sketchy report for this weekend. The weather was good enough for a bit of cross country with a couple of field landings at Advie and Maraypark, one of which was Roy in his Astir JYC.

  • Weekend 14th / 15th: Saturday began bright with some cloud at about 2000 ft,  first launch of the day climbed away nicely up to 1500 ft.  Other early launches managed to stay airborne up to 3000 ft until the sea breeze came in and gave us a great sunbathing day. Sunday looked great early but cycled quickly.  By about 3 pm things got going again and a couple of gliders got away before it began raining at the site. Phil took the Lac 12 inland to Rothes and the Spey valley and Geddes took the Dart to the same area. As cloud base was only up to 3000 ft Geddes decided to do a bit of cloud flying and subsequently over stressed the glider after he lost control in cloud. Geddes managed to return safely to the airfield but the Dart may not fly again.

  • Weekend 7th / 8th: Saturday flying was interesting as we had a south easterly up where the clouds were but on the ground a northerly, some soaring in the convergence. Sunday had no flying as the southerly was too wild.

 

JULY 2004

  • Inter Club League at Feshie - 31st Jly to 2nd Aug: We have returned triumphant from the inter-club league at Feshie, where we managed to maintain the lead we built up at the first weekend.  Saturday was not the best of weather, but Sunday, with exactly the same forecast turned into an excellent cross country day. Although the home team won the day, we too scored well with Andy winning his class by a big margin.  By Monday, wave had set up, so a height gain task was set and we again did enough to keep our lead.

  • Weekend 24th / 25th: Some flights on Saturday before the rain arrived. Sunday was better, the lift was quite broken and difficult with the wave interfering with thermals but never really stabilising.

  • Weekend 17th /18th: Saturday, only 3 launches in the short period when it wasn't raining. We have a new resident at the airfield in the form of a LAK12 (236). Sunday, a lot of soaring in rough thermal in a stiff SW wind. At least one flight over 5 hours but no badge claims.

  • Weekend 10th / 11th: Saturday, still raining. Sunday, a few weak thermals below the overcast conditions.

  • Weekend 3rd / 4th: Wet, wet, wet.

 

JUNE 2004

  • Weekend 26th / 27th: No flying on Saturday due to a strong winds and rain later. Sunday started well with a light SW wind and thermals popping. The sea breeze caused us to change ends later in the day and to round off a gigantic thunderstorm drenched everyone before the gliders could be put away. 

  • Sunday 20th: In response to the BGA plea to organise something for National Gliding Week, we dedicated the whole day for visitors to TRY GLIDING. The day started bright and clear but it wasn't long before the combination of low pressure and unstable northerlies had heavy showers developing. Despite the rain we had a trickle of visitors. Luckily there was a gap in the showers that allowed us to start launching about midday. Although the afternoon wasn't entirely shower free we managed a good number of launches and the trickle of visitors became a steady stream. Many thanks to all the members of both Highland and Fulmar who turned out to help. As if the weather hadn't given us enough problems the Acro landed out in the Rothes Glen with a visitor. The visitor was retrieved unshaken by the experience and the Acro with the red faced BI some time later.

  • Saturday 19th: Cold northerly wind and heavy rain all day.

  • Weekend 12th / 13th: Northerly  winds with low cloud at the start of play on Saturday.  This cleared slowly and we managed some local soaring. By Sunday the wind had backed to a westerly and we could soar the Rothes ridge although it got very rough. Pete Smith managed a short x-country, and Fulmar had a re-solo on aerotow.

  • Wednesday 9th - Evening: Rothes Glen ridge working well with some nice early evening thermal too. Eventually the wind died down and the ridge stopped working but we still managed to fly until 10pm. Roy discovered just how quick you can stop an Astir - if you don't put the wheel down.  

  • Weekend 5th / 6th: Westerly wave greeted those who were keen and got out early on Saturday but it seemed to be constantly moving and most early flights found broken thermals at best off the ridge. Ben Aigan was working to above 3000' and from there it was possible to go to Dufftown and contact the wave.  Robert took a winch onto the ridge and following this route, went towards Aboyne and Grantown and back. David went to that popular turn point of Dalwhinnie, mostly in wave, and back again. Geddes and Phil earned some serious Monkey points on the last flight of the day when they took one of the following for an unplanned circuit. See if you can guess which one it was: 1) Dolly Parton  2) Dolly the Sheep  3) Tail Dolly. On Sunday the sea breeze caused us to change ends a couple of times. Lots of launches but only a couple of soaring flights.

  • Wednesday 2nd - Evening: Colin Conti had his first flight in the K.8 tonight.

 

MAY 2004

  • Weekend 29th /30th: A mixed bag this weekend. Saturday had a strong cross wind from the south and as there was no tug available, flying was stopped after two winch launches. Sunday started much brighter, with good early soaring, Mike Black setting off on a 300km attempt but landed out after turning Dalwhinnie. The day eventually over-developed especially in the hills, with some cu nims and lightning bringing the day to a very wet end.

  • Wednesday 26th - Evening: Easterly wind, Martin Knight soared the ridge on the WEST side of the Rothes Glen for 45 minutes to a height of 1,800 ft. 

  • Weekend 22nd / 23rd: Saturday morning looked like great thermal conditions. However we were very short of people and took a long time to get going. It was good soaring with one cross country to Dalwhinnie and back. Thanks to Denis for winching all day when he could have been soaring. On Sunday it was difficult to get away until late on except for Denis in the Oly who showed us how to do it and Kevin got to 6000 ft.

  • Weekend 15th /16th: A great looking weekend with Saturday morning looking like a great wave day. Early launches proved otherwise, with only very broken thermals even on the Rothes Glen ridge. The thermals finally got going by 1 o'clock and good soaring was had from then.  A few managed to move into the wave from the thermals, 8500ft being the highest I heard of locally. Sunday started well, with great cross country conditions early, followed by some spreadout and then the seabreeze set in. Finally the day went almost completely blue.

  • Wednesday 12th - Evening: Well done Colin Conti who converted to the Junior tonight.

  • Weekend 8th /9th: Not a great weekend. It rained steadily on Saturday and on Sunday there was no lift around. We did manage to get Tom Hughes into R67- well deserved.

  • Inter Club League at Aboyne 1st to 3rd: Report by Geddes: WE WON! 

  • Weekend 1st / 2nd: Mostly circuits on Saturday. On Sunday once the wind picked up the ridge worked well and decent lengths of flight were had. 

 

APRIL 2004

  • Weekend 24th / 25th: Saturday started grey and shapeless, although the forecast said there should be some wave about. Denis launched in his Oly at just the right time, as did Jim Ross and Jim Tait, all getting into wave from winch launches. Jim Ross as an early solo pilot did not fancy being above clouds, so pulled airbrakes and landed 2 minutes short of his first half hour. The tug was suddenly in great demand, and several gliders climbed away in the wave. Best was Phil, who went to Braemar and Dalwhinnie. Sunday looked very promising early, with thermals popping by 9 am. However, it all went to worms by midday and many circuits were flown.

  • Weekend 17th / 18th: Saturday was very rough, after we gave up flying we did some useful work rigging and derigging gliders for C of A work. Sunday it rained.

  • ASH Week - Mon 12th to Fri 16th: Report by Geddes: Well, for all those who managed to escape from work and managed to get out during the week, it was definitely worth it. 
    Monday saw reasonable thermic conditions with quite a few launches, but showers breaking things up. 
    Tuesday found wave in south westerly conditions, Robert going off in the Ash for a couple of decent flights.  Brian Burnell, on the other hand chose to be towed to the Rothes ridge where he spent 3 hours at about 1500 ft before getting into the wave system to complete a 5 hour flight for silver duration in R67. Well done brian.
    Wednesday, I managed to sneak out to the club as I could see there was wave about. Alas, I forgot the keys for my trailer (awarding myself a few monkey points in the process). Only the ash was airborne, with Robert and Teresa bombing around a 300K in 3 hrs- without really trying. I had a nice flight in R67 to 7000 ft and then back to the site when I heard the ash had landed. Robert then gave me a couple of check flights in the ASH, and then let me take it on my own. A very nice wave bar appeared over the site and I enjoyed myself for 2 hrs, getting to Turriff, 12000 ft, and back again. Roy and Phil also got out after work, they climbed in the ASH to above 10000 ft,landing in quite rough crosswind conditions at the end of the day.
    Thursday was not flyable.
    Friday looked really good thermal in the morning, the only problem was not enough people out to get going until nearly mid-day. Terry Cawthorne took the Ash for an hour with Andy Barrett. Pete Smith, and Tony Butler took single seaters and both headed off on 50 km attempts towards Feshie, but rain blocked there way, both landing out safely. Terry brought the ASH back and Mike Cryle, who had  been tug pilot for the week, then got to fly the ASH with me for a couple of hours, getting to 5000 ft and as far as Aviemore, dodging rain showers all the way up the Spey valley. Thanks to Roger, Phil and Colin for helping to retrieve R67, and the Junior.

  • Weekend 10th / 11th: Lotsof circuit bashing on Saturday, a small amount of soaring on Sunday. The tug is back from Aboyne with much thanks to Stuart Burton for all the work he did on it and to Rick Jones for flying it back.

  • Weekend 3rd / 4th: A mixed weekend with what looked like good wave early on Saturday, but too strong a crosswind to fly.  Some more work was done on the clubhouse, and Terry Cawthorne has fixed up a signaling switch on the bus to ensure a "standard" launch signal. Sunday was a good thermal day with occasional showers to put most people back on the ground, there were 38 launches.

 

MARCH 2004

  • Weekend 27th / 28th: Some spring thermals and then a sea breeze on Saturday. Better on Sunday although you had to dodge the showers and heavy sink. David Chalmers managed to get to Huntly in X15 before landing out at Keith.

  • Weekend 20th / 21st: No flying on Saturday and westerly winds with ridge and thermal on Sunday.

  • Weekend 13th / 14th: Good spring thermals on Saturday but no flying on Sunday. At the AGM on Sunday Geddes Chalmers officially took over as CFI from Robert Tait.

 

FEBRUARY 2004

  • Spring has definately arrived, with good soaring on Sat 13th, but no flying on the 14th, or 20th.  Sunday 21st started with a westerly and the ridge was kicking off good thermals, with strong sink in between. 

  • Weekend 21st / 22nd: Saturday saw lots of winching and a few desperate if largely unsuccessful attempts to eke and extra few minutes out of the ridge in a 4 knot wind. Sunday had strong northerlies and fairly frequent snow showers so no flying.

  • Weekend 14th / 15th: Lots of flying on Saturday and Sunday but no soaring in the overcast and windless conditions.

  • Weekend 7th / 8th: Snow and strong winds, no flying at all this weekend. More painting done in the clubhouse and some of the electrics being worked on as well.

  • Sunday 1st: Strong and gusty crosswind and a slippery strip, discretion was the better part of valour and no flying was done. Terry Slater has very kindly taken the Junior down to Tibenham for it's C of A. While it's away it will have a new audio vario fitted and should be back in a month or so.

 

JANUARY 2004

  • Saturday 31st: A windless day, cold and dismal. Hence there was not much interest in flying. Terry Slater and Mike Cryle took the tug out to play and that was it. 

  • Weekend 24th / 25th: What a corking weekend. Saturday saw steady westerlies gentle enough to allow even the K8 out to play. The Rothes ridge was working and we positively darkened the sky (which was largely blue) with gliders. David and Robert egged each other on into trying different ridges and wound up at Bridge of Avon scraping around the rocks. Other successes were Dave Kelly getting his first half hour for his bronze and one other who escaped Robert's memory. Carol Osborne completed her Bronze checks and was signed up.All in all an excellent weekend with no dramas but plenty of interesting flying.

  • Weekend 17th / 18th: Not a very exciting weekend so not much to report. Saturday was windless and blue. In the end only 4 winch launches were done. Sunday was truly dismal with persistent rain all day. Some work was done on the clubhouse though including sorting of the drains at the patio.

  • Weekend 10th / 11th: Saturday saw southerlies of varying strength so we were both winch and aerotowing. The Dallas ridge was working well for a while with some people getting into wave up to about 4000 ft. Apparently it all ended suddenly with lift turning to heavy sink but everyone made it home safely.
    Sunday was not so good with only one flight. Jim aerotowed on to the rothes ridge and had a few hours. The wind was just a little above the margins to allow flying. This allowed our workers to do some good. The front wheel on the bus was changed with the spare as it had a slow puncture. In the clubhouse, Teresa, Jill, Kevin and Robert worked hard on the the sanding and completed it hopefully allowing painting to commence subject to the approval of Phil.

  • Saturday 3rd: We start the New Year with a new tug pilot. Mike Cryle has been checked out by John Leighton and did his first solo aerotow today.

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

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