November 2017 Newsletter
Edensoaring members newsletter November 2017
As we travel towards the year end I am thinking of and looking forward to next year. I am motivated to introduce some of the ideas we discussed at the AGM and some that I have developed myself.
New member mentoring.
At the AGM we thought this to be a good idea. It seems that we are not the only club to develop this as I have learnt of several that are currently running this with some success. I would therefore like to hear from any established member who would like to help with this idea. I promise it will not take up to much time but effectively gives a new member a friendly face to meet or a voice to call to ask a question that they might feel a little basic but which can be important to them at the time. Hopefully this will help us to retain new members through the difficult first weeks when they know no one at the club.
I am looking at this and will be discussing it with Martin Sandwith who is perhaps best placed to help generate the more advanced tasks. Rest assured there will be a whole range of basic tasks to encourage you to build up to the big ones. As BGA Ladder steward Martin has set some club tasks that can be used without declaration. Even pre-bronze pilots will be catered for with tasks that do not exceed safe gliding range on the appropriate days.
Everyone will need a current airmap and preferably a GPS driven electronic map.
Please remember to post flights, particularly those which include height gains over 5000ft, on the ladder. Flights from this year should still be posted to illustrate our use of the airspace above Skelling Farm and around the Eden Valley and the Lake District. It’s easy to use but if in doubt talk to Martin Sandwith or me. Currently if we search the Ladder for Edensoaring there is nothing. We may regret this in the future.
Any member who wants to undertake this important step should be studying over the winter. I will be available at Skelling Farm for you to sit the exam on or after the 28th April 2018. The further and important X/C endorsement could also be arranged at another club; perhaps a few of you could do it together.
2018 Pilot Checks
I have changed the way we expect to do this to get these important checks for solo pilots done more effectively in 2018. The club will not be accepting visitors or trial lessons from 28th April to May 5th. Additionally visitors will not be on site before May12th. This gives us the first 2 weeks when we can concentrate on getting everyone safely back in the air even if you missed going to Denbigh. Further for solo pilots; should you not complete your checks early in the month you will still be able to fly subject to the normal currency requirements (see the Flying Orders) up to May 31st 2018.
Pilot Check System
To make it easier for visiting DIs to manage your safety I plan to introduce a 1 to 4 level check system in 2018. Depending on your experience you will be given a sticker for your log book that will be signed off by me. Each level will clearly allow you to operate as defined by the rules of the system and other than asking the DI for permission to fly on the day and the decision is made. The operational privileges for each level will be notified later but for example level 1 will be post solo but still on daily/conditions checks. The DI will still have ultimate responsibility to assess the conditions but this should help smooth our operation. I will also extend this to visiting pilots where possible.
Frank Bradley is trying to arrange some trips to other clubs during the winter layoff. Please support him. I fully endorse this idea; even if you don’t actually stay current it blows away the cobwebs of winter and can be fun as well.
2018 Instructor Rota
I am pleased to say that subject to final confirmations, we have a full Rota in place for the whole season. This shows the marvellous support we get from our visiting instructor team.
I am sure all members want to thank them for their commitment to Edensoaring in the past and now the future.
Have a good Xmas and New Year
CFI Edensoaring GC
2017 Season end
We have now closed for the winter. Our last days flying was superb with several wave climbs above 10000ft including a Gold height and a 5 hour flight.
Many members will visit other clubs over the winter and hopefully return to Skelling Farm with renewed enthusiasm.
I wish all members safe and rewarding flying, A Merry Xmas and a prosperous New Year.
John Castle CFI
A 7hr 15min Epic
On 24/5/17 Patrick Eaton made an early start to a cross country to Kirkby Stephen and then turned to Buttermere.
Patrick wrote; Things went well but the weather pattern became mixed and after Ullswater I aborted to return to site where I 'parked up' in thermal assisted hill lift at around 3,000 feet altitude. The air was visibly becoming stable and the early stages of lenticular clouds, a good sign of lift to high levels became apparent. Pushing into wind several times didn't find any lift of the smooth wave type being hunted. Not for me or anyone else. Decision, land or continue. With nothing to loose I ventured out and away, got the self sustainer engine out and fired up clear of the Club of course. Minutes later, 5,000 feet high at the front edge of a lenticular in 2 ft/sec lift with no engine. At 6,500 feet I decided to push forward and jumped the bridge between lenticulars, up to 7,500 ft and again pushed on, climbing to 8,600 ft at which point it was 17:45 and time to think of returning. Eden base might be waiting and so I decided to burn off the height to the Buttermere turn point out West near the coast (it felt like it) and return. Only temporarily blocked by a wave bar on my return which I rode up and over before an exhilarating 100knots return to Eden. Total flight lasted 7hr 15min, in the comfort of an armchair with a fantastic view. What a nice day!
14th May 2017
Sunday the 14th the best day so far in 2017. A small visiting group took advantage of the day to explore the ridge, some as far as Brampton near Carlisle and to Hawes to the south. Several gliders explored the air over the lakes and everyone had a very enjoyable day doing what we all love to do. We had to call down the last intrepid Ventus pilot at 8.00pm as the last K13 flight of the day landed. The ridge was still working nicely but most of us wanted to go to the pub!
Club Chairman Update 2017
Click here to view the BGA Club Chairman's update, March 2017
My First Wave Flight at Edensoaring
October 5th, 2016...it looked like it was going to be an interesting day at 7am when the wave bars were all over the sky as I came out of my caravan to give the dogs their first walk...need to get a move on and get to the airfield.
On arrival I was expecting dozens of people to have turned up, but no. Rob Hanks was Duty Instructor for the fortnight with his wife Fay, Andy Spray, Andy Jones and Frank Bradley and that was it. Wow, this was like “millionaires gliding” - having all the facilities to ourselves! As Andy S was rigging his own PW5 we DI’d G-CFGR and dragged them both up to the North end of the field. Wind was SSE at 15-20kts. The wave was still there but looked very high...could we get up to it?
First flight. I asked Rob to come with me as I had never flown in wave so a little help and advice would be appreciated. Good launch from Andy J - 1,400ft. We managed to gain a few feet in the patchy, strong lift but finally gave up after 10 minutes. The approach was high, fast and very steep - the final turn behind the fir trees was very rough to land alongside Andy S’s PW5 that was somehow in the middle of the field. We towed back to the launchpoint to find Andy had launched and had a weak link break at 700ft explaining his short flight.
We all decided to hold on for a while then, around 1pm, Andy decided to have another go. He reported a good launch height of 1,500ft and he was away. Rob and I strapped ourselves back in and went off in pursuit.
1,500 ft launch - thanks Andy. Good strong lift up to 2,000 in no time. Push forwards (South). Lift getting better but still rough. Up and up. 3,500 ft and we are still almost over the field when suddenly it all goes quiet and as smooth as you like. Wave. Now I see why people go on about it so much. 4 up with a wall of cloud to our right and bright sunlight and blue sky above us. Fantastic.
We start to head South East with an almost constant 2 to 3 up on the vario. Down to Appleby with a fantastic view of High Cup Nick making sure to keep out of Warcop. We keep pressing on and soon Kirkby Stephen and the Settle-Carlisle railway are clearly visible below. We are now hopping from wave bar to wave bar heading South and up. We pass 5,000ft. We turn and fly SW along a very pronounced bar and in no time are treated to a spectacular view of the M6, River Lune, Tebay and Killington Lake Services and the magnificent Howgill Fells. 7,000ft and climbing.
Carry on SW. Andy S. reports 8500ft We can now see the coast at Heysham with the distinctive blocks of the nuclear power station. Then, from behind a distant cloud, Blackpool Tower appears. We are hearing radio calls from everywhere, from a downwind call at Rufforth to a traffic call at Lleweni Parc! Andy reports having an RAF Hawk pass at least 2,000ft below him and he is now at 10,000ft.
We press on, still climbing. We pass Sedbergh and Kendal and are approaching Kirkby Lonsdale when we hit our peak altitude of 9,100 ft. The view is breathtaking. Wave bars as far as you can see, the coast at Morecambe we can even see Ribblehead and Dent viaducts on the Settle-Carlisle line.
This far south we toy with the idea of flying into Bowland Forest GC at Chipping as it is closer than Edensoaring, however finding a willing and large enough retrieve crew may have proven difficult so, even though there are still wave bars to be explored, we decide to start heading back.
The flight back was just as good. Still getting excellent lift all the way and having to use full airbrake all the way down from 6,000ft (which feels really counter-intuitive after you have tried so hard to climb!). We get back just behind Andy and watch him land to get an idea of wind strength - looks quite rough still. Again, full airbrake, 70kts, just beyond the wall as a reference point and we are down safely into the South field.
What a flight.
Andy S reports he may have managed his gold height as he topped out at around 12,500ft.
We had 2 hours 48 minutes, around 110km and just under 10,000 feet above sea level.
Thanks must go to Rob for putting up with me for that long and his help and advice, to Fay and Frank on the launch point and to Andy Jones for being there all day for 4 launches - thank you all.
If you want more (?) you can see a video of this flight at https://youtu.be/oQEU_v2e6Xs
More excellent days at Edensoaring
22/09/16 Several visitors over 10,000ft and the lakes. Best height 11,800ft by Richard Maskell
23/09/16 Even higher, Richard went to 12,200ft. The highlight was a 1st solo by Andy Friar in a club K13.
24/09/16 Another Gold height. This time by Oliver in his ASW20B who broke off a climb at 11,250ft
25/09/16 Richard went to 11,900ft yet again.
What's not to like at Edensoaring!
Two Days at Edensoaring
What a busy gliding club and community Edensoaring is!
Friday 26th August.
Spot the airfield - taken from 7000 feet
RASP showed a possibility of one of the best wave days at the site of the whole season. It also looked like being a busy day for the instructors, with lots of clients booked in. Instructor in charge for the day was Derek Coker. He and his wife Liz had given up two weeks of their time, for the second time this season. Running the airfield and enabling the club to provide gliding opportunities. There were also 4 club instructors on site; Malcolm, Mark, Mark, & Jonathan who were kept busy all day flying clients in our two K13s or flying their own aircraft. Numerous single seat gliders took to the air and most stayed up well over two hours. The ridge was working fine and as normal when that is the case gliders stay up all day. The radio was busy with position reports. The wave had started fairly early & gliders reported gradually increasing heights. A cheer went up when the first reported 10k. Most contacted wave at some point and enjoyed the exhilaration it produces. As the last single seaters landed in a beautiful late summer’s evening they were treated to some of the most stunning views our country can offer. West over the Lake District, North to the Solway Firth and Southern Scotland, East over the Pennine ridge to the East coast and Northumberland and South with the Yorkshire Dales and the Howgill mountains. The instructors were finishing their last flights also at this time working hard till the end. They all had that satisfied glow about them that comes from a job well done but enhanced by immersion in such a wonderful environment.
Above wave looking south.
Above wave looking west.
Above wave looking north.
Above wave looking east.
Saturday 27th August.
The field was up and busy early. Alan Cicognani had turned up by 8am to help get everything ready for the day. The grass around the parking/club hut area had been cut by the end of the day. Alan had cut it. It took him 4 hours. He then spent the rest of his day driving the winch. Again one of those committed members. As are they all. Thanks Alan.
Getting everything to Dufton in one piece and on time had its moments. The country lanes are narrow and a car and glider trailer is not easy to back up. Fortunately there was a convoy of tractors, 4x4s’, horse boxes and trailers with animals. With that lot traveling down the lanes any opposition was swiftly dealt with, crammed into passing spots for the next 10 minutes. The duo (no, not a Discus) Andy & Andy were out foxed by the sat nav! Whilst parked in one of those passing spots trying to decide which way now (after missing a turning) Ian Robinson pulled up going the other way. That cheeky smile appeared, “Andy, you boys lost?” He asked. Then disappeared up the road. A Laurel & Hardy moment later after another fine mess discussion, we decided to go our way. Pulled up some time later into our display slot we were surprised to see Ian pull up after us. Turned out he didn't know which way it was either. A few light hearted laughs later, the team had a brilliant display set up. Nial had by then delivered the caravan/flight sim and had it all set up and working in no time. A credit to his skills that it worked first time and was busy all day with no down time. Thanks Nial.
The team for the day consisted of Ian Robinson, Andy Jones, Andy Spray, Mike Dodd, Ed Byrne, Tony Cresswell, Nial Patterson. We were kept occupied all day with interested visitors to the Edensoaring attraction. Ian was the smooth operator feeding notes to the lady on the loud speakers & converting the visitors, to whom we had sold the idea of flying in gliders, into trial flights, day students or possible members. A well oiled team.
As you would expect there was a large farming contingent at the show. As the day wore on they had had their fair share of refreshments. I was showing a very interested family the glider when a rather shapely farmer idled over. Stood looking into the glider the farmer caught my eye. Then in clear Cumbrian announced “there is no ******* way you will ever have me in one of those”! The daughter of the family blushed slightly. I had to admit I was beaten. I realised that HIS 20 stone was never going to defy gravity in a glider. The daughter was now looking for a way to leave the company. I suggested to the gentleman farmer (in a light hearted way)that he shouldn't use such colourful language in front of a young lady. He agreed. Apologised. Then promptly with out hesitation said “still no ******* way I'm going in one of those”. Such humour kept us entertained all day.
A great day was had by all. A supportive team meant it went smoothly. I recommend the experience to every club member. We have been invited back next year. We present a valued contribution. Cash raised was donated to show funds and the Great North Air Ambulance. Very great thanks to all who helped.
On return to the airfield I had just put the glider in its place when a shadow fell around me. Looking up there was Martin. He had just scraped his way back from a low point over Greystoke whilst returning from a flight to the Lake District. He had had to work hard in poor lift to get home. Great stuff. That tale brought home to me how wide and varied our club activities can be in one day. One day I'll reach the goal of the Lake District in a glider. Ever enthusiastic Nial, after he had tidied up the flight sym caravan, jumped in a K13 and went evening flying.
Sean completed his first flight in a single seater over the weekend. It was in his gorgeous K6. He enjoyed it so much he had four goes! If you had seen his smile even some days later you would have recognised the excitement and awe he felt. Happy days. Finally you might recall I mentioned a very shiny recently washed caravan. Well who made it so? Our captain, that's who. Keith spent Friday afternoon flying the wave after being at work in the morning. He then put the arrangements in place for Dufton. Finishing by spending his evening solo washing the caravan. For a finale he was winch driver Saturday morning. When Alan took that over Keith worked on the launch point for the rest of the day. Thanks Keith.
2 knots up at 9500ft.
The season so far
We have been having some good weather recently. New ab initios are being trained and one new member who has returned to the sport this year after 20 years has achieved solo again.
We have recorded a number of Bronze X/C flight times and some Silver 'C' 5 hours.
Our more experienced pilots are exploring far a field in the air above the Eden Valley and the Lake District. Ulswater to Wast water, Tebay to Carlisle.
Our very nice matching K13s have welcomed pilots who have dropped in while on holiday in the area or have been passing on the M6. Hopefully some of them will come back again having had a taster of Edensoaring.
This year we have capped daily membership for visiting pilots at (4 days) £40 per expedition week.
New season successfully started
We had an extremely successful first day to the season with spin checks and launch failure exercises carried out in abundance and some soaring for those not ready for solo. The airfield is now set up and operational. Still a few jobs to do - like paint the club hut!
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