Sunday 28th April - EuroFox Vist to Milfield

The Eurofox offered to drop in on us today as they headed South from visiting Portmoak.
The conditions at BGC were extremely windy (25-35 knot gusts all day)- the Duty Instructor and tug pilot had ruled out any thought of flying and everyone had been sat around doing nothing much - apart from Dave & John who were ploughing through CofA paperwork on the computer.

The Eurofox arrived overhead about 2pm when the windsock was literally horizontal and Adrian and Roger made a steady approach over the gate before executing an excellent landing given the conditions.

Once the aeroplane was on the ground it seemed very steerable - showed no tendency to weathercock when it turned broadside on to the wind and then taxied downwind to the waiting crowd 

The take off into wind was equally amazing - it was 'off' within 40 yards and climbed away steeply.

Saturday 27th April

Things didn't look too good at briefing with a strong and gusty breeze blowing but, by the time we made a start, the wind had eased and it looked like a day of hill soaring beckoned. However, having been introduced to the Aim Higher initiative by Kevin Atkinson, we tried out some task setting using the RASP forecasts. They looked promising but were viewed, it must be said, with some scepticism. Despite that several pilots made declarations and the result was a 'good day' ! Steve Rae declared Milfield / Oxton / Wooler / Milfield for a 100km speed attempt. He completed the task but, sadly not fast enough. Ian Sim, Roger Partington and Steve Marriott also visited Oxton with Steve declaring the next leg to Pocklington ! He turned back, lured by the urge to complete the 'Local Triangle' - again ! Your correspondent and Kate Ashley also got around the triangle in the K21 !!

Tom Farquhar had declared the Old Gits' Triangle, Milfield / Charterhall / Rothbury / Milfield but landed out at Powburn having completed over 90 km. As the middle leg is 53 km we have completed a Silver Distance claim for Tom which should be approved. Well done Tom !

All in all an excellent days flying.

Saturday 20th April

Like the Swallows and Martins, visitors from the South started arriving at Milfield today. This coincided with a good thermal day, a day when the thermals started mid-morning and continued until late afternoon. This provided good conditions to allow Barry Lytollis to complete his Silver C by completing his 5 hour duration flight. Congratulations !

But this is Milfield so wave also made an appearance with some of our visitors, John Sentence & Robbie Tatlow in the Janus and Stuart Black in his DG300, joining us to try and get great heights. Sadly the wave only went to around 6500 - 7000'.

An attempt to start Len Dent's photo portfolio got off to an inauspicious start with this poor attempt at a photo of Cragside. Nice if you are interested in car parks !

Saturday 13th April

Another good day at Milfield with members and a few visiting pilots enjoying good flights.  Our friends from Dumfries & District GC also brought along a very nice Skylark 3.

Ken towing the Skylark 3 in the afternoon with the SuperCub.

Saturday 6th April

After a slow start we had strong thermals and good conditions for most of the day. This was enjoyed by members, our visiting pilots from Darlton GC and six visitors having air experience flights.  One visitor even managed to soar to 4000ft whilst being instructed on how to fly the glider.

Dan, our newest tug pilot, gave a few tows at the end of the day to add to his growing experience.

Last launch of the day

Darlton GC Flying Week at Milfield

Great week for our visiting pilots.  Three 300km flights, an almost 100km and a  5 hr duration to complete  a silver badge. Well done to all our visitors and thanks to the BGC instructors, tug pilots and ground crew who made the week possible.

De Havilland Trophy 2012

Andy Bardgett was awarded the BGA's De Havilland Trophy for the 'Greatest Height Gain' in the UK for 2012.

George Lee presents Andy with the De Havilland trophy; taken by BGA Photographer Paul Morrison

The De Havilland Trophy: former winners include Philip Wills, Derek Piggott and George Lee

Andy wrote:
"I collected the De Havilland trophy at the BGA Conference this weekend. Sadly it wasn't easy to get any very good photos but I have attached what Gillian managed and a shot of the 'pot'. I don't know how best to photograph a shiny silver trophy like this. The inscription reads :-
"Presented to the British Gliding Association by Geoffrey De Havilland 1934"
I think this must have been Geoffrey De Havilland Snr. who was the founder of the De Havilland Aircraft Company. He set a British Altitude record in 1912 in his BE2 designed aircraft (all of 10,500'!) De Havillands went on to produce the Moth (many still flying ), the Mosquito and the Vampire. His son (also Geoffrey was born in 1910) died flight testing the DH Swallow a prototype tail less swept wing jet.

On the base it has a fascinating list of recipients which is very humbling to follow.
  1. Phillip Wills,
  2. Frank Foster,
  3. Tony Deane-Drummond,
  4. Derek Piggot,
  5. Humphrey Dimmock- all world-reknowned pioneeers of gliding.
It has also been won by Mike Costin who is a country member at Milfield and by George Lee who presented me with the trophy. George was a hero to me when I was an early solo pilot. He won the World open class championships 3 times in a row in 1976, 78 & 81 and he also flew Prince Charles in a glider. A little known fact is that, at the age of 24, I wrote to several newspapers and the BBC complaining that, although we were rubbish at most sports we had a World Champion who had gone un-reported. In frustration I wrote to Jimmy Saville (Jim'll Fix It) asking if he could fix it for me to go flying with George, in the hope of generating some publicity - but that request was ignored (good thing in hindsight ?) !"