A note on this past week from our CFI, Mike Black.
The Go-Solo course went ahead and we flew on every day across the week. Our students were Jordanna Alexander, Luke Arpino, Joe Lightfoot and Rob Wilson. On Monday we started off with some winch launches but there was some horrendous sink all around the circuit so we used the Tug for the afternoon. We managed several flights of over 1 hr in both HYJ and R1 for some nice wave flights for the students. The station commander from RAF Lossiemouth came for a visit and he also had a 1hr 17 min ‘sortie’ in wave. Tuesday had some rain for the morning but the afternoon cleared and 16 short launches were achieved. For Wednesday we mainly used the winch again but also had a couple of aero-tows too, some of the students managed to climb away in thermals from the winch and then up to 3500’. Thursday saw the students progressing well and more winch launching taking place. On Friday we continued with winch launching for the students as they were working on their approach control and landings. We had four excellent students on the course and the all made significant progress over the week. However, one student - Luke Arpino progressed so well that he was able to go solo today 18 September, so a very big well done to him.
I have many, many people to thank for their help across the course week; I did start writing names here but I was worried I’d miss someone as there were just so many people helping out and I really didn’t want to miss anyone. In particular I must offer a special thanks to all of our winch drivers and assistants and cable retrieve crews for a spectacular week of winching with no breaks, snarl-ups or winch issues at all. Martin Knight also needs to thanked in particular for his work on the winch last weekend. Also thanks again to the rest of you who helped out on the bus, operating the launch control and logging flights, or just for helping out with the usual aspects of running the airfield during the week. I will also single out Ellen and Stuart who have been tireless in briefing, flying and aero-towing the students every day. A fantastic week and a fantastic set of club members – thank you to all who helped.
Photos show the cadets being educated about circuits by Ellen, with an imaginative use of the hangar floor and chalk, and three of them with Mike, Stuart and Ellen.
What a great weekend of soaring! Yesterday we had lots of marked thermals, up to around 4500' locally and up beyond 5000' a bit inland. Plenty of soaring to be had and a pile of training and check flights, with the Junior getting a lot of use then and again today.
Today was much more blue, though there were a few strong climbs in the midst of canyons of sink. Some wave influence going on in a fairly breezy south-easterly.
We also had a drop in yesterday from Tim Martin, completing his Silver distance flight from Aboyne. Congratulations Tim!
The K21, Junior, 354 and 770 were all out making the most of it.
Thanks to Dave Kelly for turning up off-rota to drive the tug today.
Back to some pretty decent soaring conditions today after the early thunderstorms passed by, though the air was fairly unstable. Cloudbase of about 3200' close to the club early afternoon, and went up to 4000+ later on and nearer 6000 inland.
Plenty of solo pilots out, including Andrew visiting from Portmoak, Geddes, Trevor, Phil, Bruce, Mark, Tony and Ellen and Stuart and Alexander.
Busiest day of the year so far! A full car park and most of our fleet out and soaring the ridge through the day. Highlight was definitely the first appearance of John's brand new LAK 17, appropriately with Whisky Papa on the tail! John really enjoyed his first flight in it, a lot more than the rigging crew enjoyed putting it together ? I'm sure it'll get easier the more we practise. Good training flights for Rich and Jake and decent, if bumpy, ridge soaring for Andy, Ellen, Colin, Adrian and Bruce. And we just managed to get the mud washed away, the hangar cram packed and WP back in its box by sunset.
It's new year, so let's turn out the whole hangar! The ridge was working this morning and R1 and 354 got the sniff of wave in the glen, but had to scuttle back to avoid a huge rain shower. Once that passed through, the wind dropped a bit and the ridge stopped working, but picked up again towards the end of the afternoon when Ellen took a visitor up into gentle wave for an hour or so. Phil and Adrian took the K21 for its first flight after repair, to find there's a problem with the TE and vario systems. Probably due to the trip to Yorkshire and back on its open trailer. Fingers crossed for a quick fix tomorrow! Thanks to Robert for the tows.