Wave Week 2 - Monday 3rd Oct - Friday 7th Oct.

It's hard to know how best to convey how good this week was. We started with cloudy, unpromising conditions but a few brave souls took off and found wave. From then on things just got better, we got less cloud and more wave ! Wednesday was the best day with, at one point, 22 gliders airborne and Will Greenwood from Parham reaching just under 18,000'. George Rizk (Buckminster) and our own Derek Ward achieved Gold Height claims. By Wednesday night we had done 98 launches and over 214 hours of flying - an average flight time of 2 hours 11 minutes. At the briefing on Thursday morning those present were asked to put their hands up if they had been above 10,000' the previous day - 28 hands went up ! On Thursday, for a change we went thermalling and, whilst the cloudbase was quite low we still managed 30 launches with, virtually, all being soaring flights. Friday spoilt the week by being dull and drizzly - but at least we got a rest.

Some photos follow giving something of the flavour of the week.

Buckminster GC's new Perkoz got a thorough airing

Some folk may not like Grouse shooting but the moor management has some advantages - not hard to see where the air is going up !

The Flarm monitor Wednesday lunchtime

The BGA Ladder daily scores - actually we can't show the whole lot, there were 46 height claims put on the ladder

and at the end of the day the wave is still visible with the stars shining through
Photo taken by Tim Pearson, visitor from Camphill
Other photos taken by Stuart Black

Congratulations to Trevor Dale

BAeA Saltby Open 2016

Congratulations to Trevor Dale who came third in the Saltby Open Plate aerobatic competition this year. To put this in perspective, the winner was Dietmar Poll and second place went to Ramon Dormans.

The winner of the Saltby Open contest is the pilot who gains the highest percentage score regardless of the category in which they fly.

Trevor's View

It was an early start, up at 6:30am, breakfast at 7am, briefing at 8am (with the two Unknown Sequences issued to all competitors) and a long day to get some 44 flights done on the friday as this was the only realistic weather day of the three allotted for the competition, heavy rain and thunderstorms either side.

Was really pleased with a personal best ever overall score of over 80% and that the first, second and fourth placed pilots were all flying the Swift S1 Aerobatic glider! 

2 Hour Flight for Alex

Well done to Alex Crews, who managed a two hour flight in difficult conditions and got up to 5100ft in the process.

Buckminster Expedition 2016

For the 5th year a group of Milfield pilots made the trip South to Saltby, home of the Buckminster Gliding Club. Sadly, this year, we were missing some of our regulars, Alastair, Bill and John but, as usual we were made welcome by the Buckminster members, many of whom have visited us over the years for their wave expedition. Saturday and Sunday were both soarable days but Chris Davison set tasks on Monday to Thursday. Keen to provide encouragement to have a go at Gold /Diamond tasks Chris set a 303km task to West Burton Power station (GA2), Newmarket and back. At one point all of us were to be seen on Flarm radar, along with a Buckminster glider and Robbie Tatlow in his Janus, approaching the power station. This led to Stuart Black christening us the Milfield Wanderers ! Condition were difficult so all except Robbie gave up. Robbie got around Newmarket but was watched on Flarm slowly descending into the Peterborough & Spalding club's site at Crowland. Although further 300km + tasks were set each day we found ourselves trying 100km tasks out to Crowland. Having beaten Buckminster's 100km best speed achievement spurred on the locals and George Risk walloped us all ! At nearly 100kph it was an impressive flight, even more so when cloudbase was, at best 4000' but down to 3000' as you approached Crowland.

The Flatlands leading out to Crowland beyond the A1
The forecast for Friday was for heavy rain all day and for Saturday, howling gales so an early departure was made - although I think we were all ready for a rest ! At the end of our trip we had done nearly 58 hours flying from 20 launches and covered more Kms in the week than any of us have in the last couple of years. A great trip.

Crowland's that way !

Milfield Wave - Sunday 17th July

At what should be the height of the thermal season what do we get at Milfield ? Wave ! To be fair the RASP forecast did show wave, although not particularly strongly. We started off towing to the Tors and thence to Cheviot and, after a while hill soaring, the wave started.

This is the wave forecast for around 1000'. If you look closely there is a slightly stronger patch just to the SW of Cheviot and that is where the first contact was made. It gave 2 - 3kts up to around 6500' where there was a layer of cloud. The sky was quite confused and it was hard to decide where to go but, going on past experience a trip downwind to S of Wooler took your blogger straight into solid lift.

This is the RASP forecast for around 5000' and it shows a strong band of lift. It actually gave a pretty steady 3kts+ from around 5,500' up to about 11,500'. At that point a bit of a search then gave another climb which took me to just a fraction under 14,000'. The cloud cover was thickening by this time and so descending and flying down to near Alnham I met drizzle. The return, going back over to Cheviot and along the Tors was all through patchy rain and, shortly after landing this became quite heavy and we called it a day. What a day !

The view on the way up looking NW - not looking particularly promising above

but with 3.7kts on the averager there was still some way to go
Note to self : next time you photograph your knees make sure you have clean jeans on !

Soon to be in our BGC Shop!!

Wingwalker Equipment

With our recent weather we now have requests for branded club umbrellas. This version is modelled by our ex CFI!

Our chairman, on the tractor, was directing the photoshoot (and getting very wet!).

Trevor does it again - Congratulations

Congratulations to Trevor Dale on winning a Silver Medal in this year's British Glider Aerobatic Championship held at Saltby airfield, home of the Buckminster Gliding Club. Three sequences were flown over the 4 day contest, a 1st Known Compulsory, a 2nd Known Compulsory and an Unknown Sequence presented to the pilots 24 hrs before flying it. The medals were presented by the Duke of Rutland, whose residence is the magnificent Belvoir Castle, not far from Saltby.

Last year Trevor won a Bronze medal so, a Silver this year - you know what you have to do next year Trevor !

The aerial photos below, of Trevor's Pilatus B4 flying the sequences, were taken by Leif Culpin - official BAeA photographer. 

Trevor in action and, no, your blogger hasn't got the photo the wrong way.

Diamond Goal Flight from Milfield

Congratulations to Steve Rae who completed a Diamond Goal flight from Milfield on Saturday 14th May.

Steve was at the club early and ready to go when the sky started to look interesting. He was in the air by 09.42, released over the field and promptly got a nice thermal to 3500ft.

Heading west the cloud base got higher and by the time he reached Hawick it was closer to 5000 feet.  The thermals were strong and apparently, there were plenty of them.  At times Steve was doing over 80kts and still climbing!  He reckoned he stopped to thermal far too often but he still completed the task in about 4 1/2 hours which is pretty good going. Steve stayed between 3000 and 5000 feet for the vast majority of the flight and he never really thought there was a possibility he might land out.  Having said that, past experience had taught him to always be aware of what he was flying over and where the landable areas were.  He said it was the best flight he has ever had!

Assuming there's no problem with his claim, that will complete his Gold C. 

Steve is very grateful to Dennis Westgarth for all his help and advice on planning the task, something Steve and Dennis have spoken about, and planned, regularly over the past couple of years.  He is also very grateful to Geoff Forster for letting him fly his glider, in general and particularly on that day. Geoff’s glider is a Lak 12 with a 20m wingspan.
Steve's Route
 Height Trace

Turnpoint in sight  - Clatteringshaws Dam South (CDS) 
 Turnpoint made
 Heading home, A74 bottom right