EuroFOX Week 2

The build continues:

Saturday 26th October

The low expectations for soaring opportunities, expressed by the pessimists at the morning briefing, were dispelled very quickly after a few flights. Although the conditions changed constantly, with large blue holes appearing and disappearing, the lift remained almost all day. A few pilots managed to get to over 10,000ft keeping an anxious eye out for the changing cloud cover and most flights were blessed with soaring opportunities.

The photographs below sum up the changeable conditions experienced throughout the day:

Our EuroFOX has landed

Our EuroFOX kit arrived this week at Midlem.  Keep up to date with progress in the EuroFOX section. News and photos under the EuroFOX tab.

Monday 7th & Tuesday 8th October

Hopes for more good flying were realised on both Monday & Tuesday. Whilst on Monday the tows were rough the rewards made up for those few exciting minutes. By the end of the day there were several Gold and Diamond height claims pending. There were some problems with calibration charts being left at home and dealing with SLMG traces but we hope these will be resolved and succesful claims will result. A trip South was organised to get several Oxygen cylinders re-filled ! On Tuesday the wind moved slightly more to the West producing more wave but with it appearing a little further South. The longer tows slowed things down somewhat but were much smoother than Monday's. The wave also proved rather changeable. Every time you looked around the wave had moved. As a result the flight times and heights were more variable but there were still some great flights. An annual refresher flight taking 2h 45m and reaching 10,400' must be some kind of record !

Some of the visitors' trailers. What's in the box ?
This week has stood out, apart from the sheer number of visitors, by virtue of the variety of gliders including the very smart HpH Shark and the JS1 Revelation. Several  DG 800 SLMGs have demonstrated very impressive take offs and climbs - not at all what most people would think of as a normal motor glider take off but the sheer number of trailers defeats a normal camera lens. The rigging area, above, was full, along with the area behind the hangar and with gliders parked along the boundary to the South of the rigging area.

Wednesday and Thursday have been spolit by high winds and heavy showers but we hope we may get some more flying to end the week.

Sunday 6th October

A stranger to gliding might have wondered what was going on in the Clubhouse on Sunday morning -  the start of  Harrod's sale ? Free beer ? The club room was packed, with our next group of visitors, mainly from Sutton Bank and the Long Mynd. I' m sure we had more aircraft movements than Newcastle International Airport ! The tows were rough but by 1000' I'm sure we were in wave but pulling off at 2000' we were straight into 2 - 4 kts. The 2 seaters were all in action giving site / aero tow refresher flights which seemed to impress as they all went to between 7500' & 9500' with climb rates of 6 - 8 kts being reported. Meanwhile John Brown soared to well over 9000' to gain a comfortable Silver Height - congratulations John ! We await a final tally of the high flights but certainly there were some over 11,000' and the wave box was opened in anticipation. Hopefully the next few days will produce some more Milfield wave.

Gold 'C' in Spain

Well done to Helen Fraser, an instructor at the club, who did a 329km flight at 91kph in moderate Spanish weather dodging storms etc. to achieve a Gold 'C' in Feuntemilanos on Aug 15th in a Discus. 

Buckminster Flying Week

We will update this blog as the week goes on but it's been a good week so far. 

Sunday. After Saturday's wave, with the wind in the same direction we had expected a similar day on Sunday. But this is Milfield ! We had quite a low cloudbase but thermal streets stretching from horizon to horizon. Most of us tramped up and down fairly close to the site but one intrepid visitor flew nearly to Alnwick then ran downwind to Whiteadder reservoir in the Lammermuir Hills before returning to site, a trip of  around 140km.

Monday started with the same wind direction but rather scrubby clouds which, on the first launch, didn't produce any lift. We stopped for lunch but, suitably refreshed and chatting in the garden, we noticed the sky clearing in the valley. It was suggested, to one of our visitors with an SLMG that this was wave and he might like to go and test our suggestion. He duly took off and shortly was reporting 4 knots of lift. A rush then ensued with a further 9 gliders taking off. At the end of the day there were several postings on the National Height Ladder, best being just over 16,000'. When we were all finished sunset looked like this !

Tuesday looked similar with the duty instructor being greeted by this view from the Hurricane room.

Sadly, after 4 launches the gap closed but 3 of those lucky enough to launch reached around 9000'

Wednesday was spoiled by low cloud so no flying.

Thursday looked as bad and the forecast gave little hope of flying but, as briefing commenced there appeared to be some signs of wave at the mouth of the valley. We had no sooner started to get the first gliders to the launch point when spots of rain were felt. They came and went and it was decided to 'give it a go'. Just as well ! Between 11am and 1pm we did 10 launches with the worst flight being a mere 1hour 10 minutes, getting to 6500' and the best reaching 11,500'. The last to land came down through rapidly deteriorating visibility and, shortly after everything was packed away it started to rain. Apart from around Milfield, and the Tweed valley between Kelso and Coldstream , it appeared that everywhere else was experiencing rain. A visitor en-route to Aboyne (mad fool !) almost decided to stay after experiencing our wave. He had to call at Portmoak on the way past but was dismayed, looking at their webcam to see rain and huge puddles.

Why would you go to Aboyne ?

Friday was dissapointing. We made a few launches in the morning but it got steadily more showery and we stopped for a long lunch. Later in the day it cleared allowing some further flights but, (as far as I know - I had to leave early) nothing significant. Our visitors left with most feeling they had had another good week at Milfield.