CLUB NEWS – ISSUE 27 – December 2014


Kelman Clock Competition
Longest h/c flight round up to 3 turn points launched GRL from 1st Oct 14 to 28th Mar 2015

Club Prize Giving
Mulled wine, Mince Pies and Prizes!
Sunday 21st Dec; 6pm, bar from 5.30pm

Bronze Theory
27 Jan, 3, 10, 17, 24 Feb, 3 Mar (exam),
7.00pm start in Clubhouse.

Club Prize Giving
Mulled wine, Mince Pies and Prizes!
Sunday 21st Dec

Women Go Gliding event
Early April

Open class nationals & Two seat championship
1st – 9th Aug 2015

A full list of dates is published on the club website

Welcome to …

A very warm welcome to new members Colin Robertson, Laszlo Toth and Ian Wilkinson

Rosters Request

Martin is about to start work on the summer schedule and asks for your input:

“A majority of the effort involved in running the airfield operation comes from club members participating on rosters for the various airfield roles – most members participate in at least one role. Pre-solo members can start at the launch point as Launchpoint assistants. Established solo members progress to be Launch marshals or winch drivers; experienced solo pilots can train to become instructors and PPL holders can train to become tug pilots.

It always seems strange to be thinking about the Summer rosters before the darkest depths of Winter but the roster availability pages will open on the website on January 5th 2015 for you to enter any dates that you will be unavailable during the April to September Summer season. They will close again around the 14th of February after which the summer duty rosters will be prepared. Please block out only the days when you will be unable to attend.

At the moment we need to recruit more pre-solo and early solo members as Launchpoint assistants, to work alongside the Launch marshal in running the Launchpoint.. No specific qualifications are needed. For more information follow this link and login as if you are booking a training slot.”

Martin Gregorie

Bronze Badge Theory

We will again be running a free course to prepare for and pass the BGA bronze badge theoretical knowledge test in the new year. It will comprise 5 ground school sessions and a written (multiple choice) exam. Each two and a half hour session will be in the clubhouse on Tuesday evenings for 6 consecutive weeks:

  • 27 Jan, 3, 10, 17, 24 Feb, 3 Mar (exam), 7.00pm start.

You are required to complete all the Bronze C requirements within a 12-month period, so the clock will start ticking from the exam pass date. However, if you do not think you will ready for the flying test within that period you could still complete the course and re-take the exam when required.

All are welcome so for more information or to book a place, please contact Greg Monaghan

Eden Soaring Expedition

Twenty CGC and CUGC pilots made a pilgrimage to the Pennines in late September for an expedition to Eden Soaring, ably organised by James Shaw
Eddie Leach, Eden CFI, made us very welcome, providing check flights and ridge soaring instruction in the Eden K13. Former CGC member Julian Bane turned up towing the Oxford University GC K21, but without any OUGC members to fly it, an oversight remedied by a stream of CUGC volunteers. Richard and Alyson Maskell took their Duo Discus, while your scribe trailered the Grob(EWP) there and back, a feat made considerably easier by Chris Lewis’ modifications to the trailer (Thanks, Chris!). The CUGC ASW19 was also on-site, along with the CGC Pegasus (FVV) and at least three CGC-based privately-owned single-seaters.

As in previous years, communal accommodation was provided in a cavernous but comfortable converted chapel in nearby Ousby (walking distance from the airfield if you don’t mind taking the scenic route across the fields), with the rest of the party staying in a nearby self-catering holiday cottage.
For those that don’t know the location, Eden Soaring is a summer-only, winch-only gliding club based at Skelling Farm, near Penrith. It’s a couple of kilometres from the western face of Cross Fell, the highest point in the Pennines. When the wind blows hard enough from the west or south, one winch launch allows you to ridge-soar almost 50km of Pennine ridge, with the possibility of wave lift from the Lake District if you’re really lucky.
And were we lucky? Over nine days we had five days where the ridge was working well enough to use, one day with Lake District wave, and a couple more flyable days usable for circuits & training. Everyone had at least one good ridge flight and several pilots managed more than six hours – not bad for a week in early Autumn! Joe Roberts has mashed up a selection of video clips of his 2014 Eden flights here.
Images: Richard Maskell

Thanks again to everyone who helped organise the expedition, and to Eden Soaring for making us all feel so welcome. Definitely worth the trip.

Andrew Watson

Chairman’s Update

Planning meeting

At our planning meeting in November we took the high priority items from the year before and reported progress. Specifically:

  • A plan to improve the clubhouse both internally and externally is underway – see Phil’s piece in the next column.
    •The possibility of making some changes to the club fleet which would allow us to acquire a high performance two seater. There’s a bit more to do here, but it’s looking encouraging
    •We are trying to get some external help to improve the entrance track. If we’re not successful in the next few months, we’re going to have to bite the bullet and spend a quite significant sum of money
    •We have looked at airfield drainage, but it is hard to see any program of works that is cost effective.
    We then spent time discussing ways to increase membership and decided to set up a working group to progress this task.

Lastly we reviewed the progress of our Tug Policy working group – I will issue a separate note about this.


As you all know, the club runs primarily through volunteer effort. There are a number of roles which will be coming up shortly and which we will need to fill – if you’re interested, please drop me a line:

Treasurer: Rhod will be standing down as treasurer at the next AGM in March (there’s a limit to how long you are allowed to hold the post) so we need someone to take on this well supported role. It needs someone who is numerate, but it doesn’t require an accounting background and has two important elements:

  • Day to day decisions of the finances of the club, bill paying and so on and;
    •Longer term strategic decisions about what we can afford, our pricing and so on.

Committee members: A number of committee members will retire shortly, and we need to bring some new people on board. Committee members normally take responsibility for managing a specific aspect of club business as well as contributing to the overall decision making that we do.

Club membership working group: I’d like some volunteers to work together to put together a plan for increasing club membership then to help carry it out. This will be both interesting and give an insight into the detailed workings of our club, which is in effect a medium sized business.

Paul Ruskin

Fast Track Ground School

The ground school held on 1st November as part of our “Fast Track” initiative was a great success, attended by 14 pre-solo / early solo pilots and three instructors. Many thanks to those who participated, and to those who expressed interest but couldn’t make this one.

Tony Cronshaw led a session on “Spot landings made easy”, subtitled “made easier”, as Tony wanted to avoid becoming a hostage to fortune! There was also a brainstorm to generate ideas for improving our training system. The ideas have subsequently been discussed at the club’s autumn strategy meeting with a view to selecting the best ideas for implementation next year.

Tony Cronshaw

Canopy Cleaning

Keeping the canopies of gliders clean is important particularly when the sun is low. However cleaning them with dirty cloths can scratch and make visibility worse so we’ve introduced a new system. In the office you’ll find two buckets – a pink one full of packets of clean cloth sets and a blue one ready for dirty cloths.


Using a clean bucket of water and the first cloth in the bag;
•thoroughly splash the Perspex until wet, dislodging the worst of any dirt.
•keeping the cloth wet gently wipe the perspex top downwards so that as much dirt as possible is removed by the running water rather than getting into your cloth.
•wash the canopy rails / frame etc .
•Discard cloth 1.

Using the second cloth:
•dry the canopy until it is smear free.
•discard cloth 2.


Sandy Torrance, who died on 21st October after a short illness, was for quite a time our resident instructor, ground engineer and workshop team all at the same time – quite a feat.

Also David (Doc) Evans died peacefully in his sleep on 22nd November. David was a keen power and glider pilot and was for many years a member of the club.

I am sure all of us who knew Sandy and David will be very much saddened by this news.

Chris Davis

Congratulations to…

Chris Greening – who has re-soloed on 29th September after a 59 year break, sent by Robert Thiel. Chris first went solo in 1955, 10 years before his present instructor was born!
Image: Robert Thiel
Image: Andy Beatty
Glenn Stride – who was sent solo by Andy Beatty on 30th September
Image: Steve Gibson
Wenshu Xu – was sent solo on 11th October by Steve Gibson.
Image: Jay Derrett
Christophe Couderc – who was sent solo by Ian Noble on 12th October.

Michael Powell – was sent solo by Mike Smith on 29th November. Mike says that Michael flew 3 excellent circuits and landings!
Image: Mike Smith

Congratulations also to our four new Basic Instructors; Andrew Huggen, Becky Ryan, Graham Spelman and Malcolm Morgan.

ClubHouse Refurb

Phil Jeffery writes:

James Shaw and myself were volunteered to rejuvenate the club buildings and facilities. The exterior of the clubhouse will have the rotten soffits removed and replaced by UPVC ones. The rear of the building will have cladding similar to the front two faces. In addition the double fire door, which is in a pretty sorry state, will be renewed with modern mostly glazed ones as will the rear entrance door in the corridor. All the existing cladding will be power washed to remove the green tinged algae.
Images: prw

The bunkhouse and ablutions blocks will have the soffits renewed, as per the clubhouse, and new concrete steps made to replace the existing rotting wooden ones.

The workshop walls, apart from the front which has UPVC cladding, will be covered by steel sheeting in a tasteful blue colour. The double doors at the eastern end will be replaced with slightly larger steel ones. Hopefully, if we provide the materials, the scouts might be persuaded to repaint their clubroom.

There will also be a blitz on what appears to be vast quantities of rubbish in the hangar, Romney hut and around, particularly at the back of the workshop. This will involve more than one large skip so, if you have any treasured and valued possessions that might appear to others as something of an eyesore, please at least label and tidy them or preferably remove them from the site.

Clearly all this will be a costly exercise, I suspect in excess of £15,000, but ‘management’ say we’ve got to present a better image to all and sundry so the bullet is being bitten.”

2015 Nationals

We’re hosting the Open and 20m Nationals next year at Gransden from Saturday 1st August to Sunday 9th August. Here Iain Baker, the Competition Director, gives a heads-up and requests some help!.

“The Open Class is a non-handicapped ‘unlimited’ class which until recently has been dominated by gliders with at least 25m span such as the ASW22 and the Nimbus 3, 4. Now however ‘agile’ gliders such as the JS1c have shifted the balance more towards 21m. Andy Davis is the current Uk champion and runner-up at last year’s World Championships in Poland.

The 20m Multi-Seat is the latest FAI/IGC handicapped class aimed at creating competition for the Duo Discus, DG1000/1001 and more recently the Arcus. The 2015 UK Nationals will be re-introducing it to the UK calendar – Steve and Phil Jones are the current World Champions.
Image: Jonker Sailplanes

Entries for each class are limited to 30 gliders (although this could be flexed if one class is heavily over-subscribed) so it’s likely there will be be 60 gliders and 90 pilots flying, more if we add hors-concours entries, so the scale of the contest will more than double the size of any recent CGC Regional competition. It’s going to take a huge amount of organisation (that’s a plea for help) and will require some changes to normal club operations during the competition week.

Why you might ask? Well of course we want to support the gliding movement, we have great facilities at the club to share and we believe we can create a fun, interesting and enjoyable event – but we also see an opportunity to seek sponsorship.

The fun part is not just about competitors and crews; we want club members, families and spectators to also have a great time. The Open Class will attract World and European champions and be especially competitive; the 20m Multi-Seat Class is more fun. We intend to have live tracking on a super-large screen with Twitter feed commentary so everyone is able to follow events on task in real-time. There will be opening and closing parties with live music and professional catering, social events during the week, flying displays and more. Ideas to make it as much fun as possible are very welcome – though not sure about repeating the belly-dancing evening from the Shenington Regionals
Image: Iain Baker

A high profile National competition provides an opportunity to secure major sponsorship. Live tracking over the internet attracts huge interest (the Sailplane Grand Prix final got 300,000 unique hits) and a prestigious contest can create excellent media coverage – both of these are interesting to sponsors. Of course bagging a major sponsor is a difficult aspiration but this is our intent and Richard Brickwood is leading the efforts to secure it.

Club flying will not stop during the Nationals. Whilst there will be some restrictions during launch and finish periods we will eight or more tugs available to remove waiting time and winching may also be possible.

We know that restricting normal club operations for a week during the summer season may not be popular with everyone so there will be a club competition in late August, open to club members and regular visitors by invitation with a minimal entry fee. There will be daily briefing, weather forecasts and a variety of tasks suitable for all experience levels with winch and aerotow launching probably without a grid. It could be a seven day contest with scoring over the best four or five days so that nobody has to take a full week off work or risk sitting on an airfield in the rain. But, as you might guess, we are looking for ideas to make it really enjoyable, flexible and as inclusive as possible.

Please get in touch with me if you might be willing to help or would like to know more. We will keep you posted as ideas continue to develop and the events firm up.”

Bits and Pieces

The MF135 tractor is back online after receiving rebuilt engine, new dynamo, regulator, and loom.

I guess everybody will know by now that the EASA licence changes have been deferred – information on this link link

Winter operation – please:
•Close the isolation valve in ladies toilet after using the hoses
•Drive only essential vehicles on the grass

Appeal for Charts – Students on the Bronze Course will need a ½ mil chart (which doesn’t need to be current) for the navigation lessons in February. If you have an out of date edition it would save unnecessary expense if you would please donate it for student use. There is a box placed in the office for this purpose. Thank You.

..and finally..

Yuletide is almost here so put your feet up and enjoy this mountain soaring video – four gliders take a trip from Serres to Furkapass passing some of the greatest Alpine peaks – 24 minutes of fabulous scenery and flying – and as a bonus without music
Image: LSVFlachkurbler; YouTube e
(Video link best viewed on a large screen).