Only one way to describe this month really - SNOW. In actual fact there were 2 aerotows done around the weekend of the 11th / 12th between the two big dumps of snow we had. A thaw started on Christmas day so hopefully the airfield will have dried out enough for flying early in the new year.
Roger Christie has re-validated his basic instructor rating with the regional examiner at Portmoak. We had a bonfire and fireworks display on the evening of the 7th, a few lessons were learned about firework safety, not mentioning any names........
Privately owned Standard Jantar 767 has been sold and left the site. The weather hasn't been great but we've managed to do most of the trial lesson bookings and even picked up a few new members in the process.
A lot of rainny weekends this month but at least one weekend of soaring.
The tug has had its engine replaced with a new one and after a few teething troubles is back online again. The remains of the hangar that collapsed with the weight of snow back in January have been removed by a contractor. There was some midweek flying when Angie ran a course for 3 days.
Congratulations to Mike Black on completing his Assistant Instructor Course. The weekend of 17th / 18th July saw some pilots at 10,000 ft in wave. The tug is out of action with engine trouble and the whole engine will have to be replaced this time.
The highlight this month was that Robert and Stuart flew the Jabiru down to Halton where Stuart collected another Motor Falke and they then flew as a pair back to Easterton, all in one day!
Hangar Replacement - At a board of directors meeting on the 8th of May it was decided to have the insurers replace the hangar rather than take a cash settlement and arrange replacement ourselves.
Mark Norton who flew to Feshie on the 9th May for his silver distance.
Saturday 8th May was also an excellent soaring day with strong thermal and 5,000 foot cloudbases. There were several flights of over 3 hours and quite a few cross country kilometres flown. Sunday 9th May was also quite soarable, Mark Norton flew the K-8 to the Cairngorm Gliding Club site at Feshiebridge for his silver distance (50 kilometres) badge.
Denis Shepherd took to the air in his Oly 463 on Wednesday 19th of May to celebrate his 80th birthday.
|Bruce Gordon (right) is congratulated by his instructor Stuart Naylor after his first solo on the 29th May|
Congratulations to Mike Laity who went solo again on Sunday 23rd May after a 40 year gap. That same weekend there was a combined Highland / Fulmar team at Aboyne for the Inter Club League. The weather was only good enough for one contest day over the weekend and we were second overall. Congratulations also to Bruce Gordon who went solo on Saturday 29th May
Angie ran a course from the 5th to 9th April. The first 2 days were lost due to bad weather but the remainder of the week was good with 8 knot thermal and 5,000 feet cloudbase on the Wednesday. We had our largest ever official visitor this month in the shape of a twin engine Islander aircraft that was bringing in some architects to look at a local distillery. I dare say the Chinook last year was bigger but it was rather unofficial.
|BN Islander - Our largest ever official visitor|
A decision has finally been made about the club K-21 damaged when the hangar collapsed under the weight of snow in January. The K-21 will be repaired but this will require Schleichers to make a new wing which will take up to 8 months. In the meantime the Acro syndicate have agreed terms with the club for the use of their glider while we await the return of the K-21. The Puchacz will be returned to Aboyne as soon as possible since the Acro is now back on the airfield after its repair.
The Duo Discus managed to take to the air again after its annual inspection and ARC. The middle of the month saw us hit with heavy snow again, just as the runway was starting to dry out too. The AGM was held on the 21st with a disappointingly low turnout, a sign of the times perhaps. Glenda has penned a series of articles in a local publication called The Knock News which will hopefully generate some interest in the club. Deeside Gliding Club at Aboyne have kindly loaned us one of their Puchacz until we have a 2-seater of our own again. Saturday 27th
|The Puchaz we have on loan from Aboyne|
was a wave day with heights of 12,500 feet in the lee of Ben Rinnes with one person getting to 17,000 feet further up country.
JANUARY / FEBRUARY
The snow just kept on falling in January until there was around 2 feet (60 centimetres) lying on the airfield by the end of the first week. On the 10th or 11th of January our oldest hangar could take no more and collapsed. Due to the persistent bad weather there was no flying at all in January and it was the weekend of the 20th / 21st February before we got any flying in and that was a few single-seaters doing circuits off the winch.