Booker Gliding

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This blog is used to report on activities that are happening at and around Booker Gliding Club.Bob S
Updated: 7 hours 46 min ago

Another December solo

Sun, 12/16/2018 - 17:33
Cadet Basel Hammond took time out from his duty day today for his first solo, well done Basel.

December sunshine successes

Sat, 12/15/2018 - 14:40

Congratulations to Ed Skipsey (far left) who was sent solo by DCFI Steve Williams, and also to Stuart Whitehouse who completed his Basic Instructor Rating yesterday.

You can catch up with all of 2018's achievements, expeditions, comps and other activities in the latest newsletter, up on the website here.

Farewell to Scotland

Sun, 10/28/2018 - 11:57
Friday saw the arrival of the snow so there were alternative activities - one party went to the Grampian Transport museum in Alford, another group bravely circumnavigated Loch Muick in a blizzard.

Between snow showersAnd then it was time to pack up and drive home. Many thanks to Deeside Gliding Club for welcoming us and for laying on some fantastic weather for us to fly in. We will be back next year!

Snow on Morven

Thursday waving

Fri, 10/26/2018 - 10:57
Yesterday started a bit cloudy but then opened up into a beautiful westerly wave morning with proper wave bars. Richard and Frankie in 315 and Barry LTY got to 15,000ft or so, Jacek 318 and Ashley 319 also got to great (unspecified) heights. Rain stopped play after lunch so most people adjourned to the Black Faced Sheep for lunch morphing into afternoon tea. The evening saw the whole team assembled at the Boat for another excellent meal.

The view from the ground

Much better view from above
Spectacular lenticular
Those two lochs again

Another good day for wave

Wed, 10/24/2018 - 22:00
Another good wave day. It was effectively a blue day in the local area, although we had a blanket of cloud at about 25,000 ft.  There were some clouds marking wave bars North of Strathdon (25k away). The local wave weakened for a while mid morning, but then re-energised with some good climbs. By late afternoon there was a steady 8 knots to 10,000 ft and more in the lee of Morvern.  Richard took 315 around the periphery of the Cairngorms, a 210k XC with William P and then again in the afternoon with Howard. Bob D (V66) flew to Glenfiddich to sniff the air, then to a few other local hotspots.  Jacek got an easy gold ht with a climb to 19,000 ft.  Others bimbled around the local area with climbs up to 20,000 Ft.  Oh yes, and Jane (118) got to FL 210 for an easy Diamond badge at her first attempt.

Wow, sunset pic from Jacek.A blue day with no sun! Loch Muich and the Tay Estuary (Dundee) in the distance.
Spot the airfield.


Tue, 10/23/2018 - 19:08
Yesterday the BBC forecast a bit of a breeze, which appears to be their word for hardly being able to stand up. The Met Office spot wind forecast had something like 95kts at 18,000ft. Anyway, there was wave, so there was flying. Howard gets the prize for endurance, spending 6.5 hours in the Pegase, and finally missing out on a Diamond height by 12 metres. David 314 climbed to 14,000ft, Ashley 319, Bob T4, Bob V66 and the KSM team John and Nick got up to around 18,000ft, Richard and Jacek in 315 made it to 20,000ft.

Lenticular viewed from KSM
315 topping out
Ashley's view of the sea
By the time the gliders were put to bed the wind had really picked up to quite a moderate breeze and a large crew was required to put the covers on KSM.

Hanging on tightIt was a lot more peaceful at ground level on the shores of Loch Kinord, normally viewed from above.

Nice wave barsToday the breeze was even more moderate, and after a few flights - 315 was one of them, up to 18,000ft again and over to Braemar - flying was suspended for the day, 30kt gusts were making the circuit too exciting. After lunch in the Black Faced Sheep a group went to Ballater and climbed Craigendarroch, from which there are excellent views over the town and mountains.

Height gain 717ft

It's choppy on tow and windy in the circuit

Sat, 10/20/2018 - 21:44
Many of the week 1 participants have now made their way home as we move in to week 2 of what is proving to be a great expedition. Another great day of wave soaring at Aboyne, a repeat of yesterday with a weak front passing during the day to make life interesting. At one point it got quite windy on the ground. As we sat in the wave it was a little thought provoking to hear discussions on the radio about putting aircraft in the hangar to avoid them blowing away. Nevertheless, the wind was straight down the runway and not a problem.  Lots of really good fun flights.
Dave B and Jan (316) went for a climb to 14,000 at Corgarff Castle and then pushed further west. Howard J (318) also went out over the cloud to Corgarff and almost accidentally got a Gold Ht in the process, luckily he missed by a couple of metres and avoided the paperwork.  John H and Paul F had an adventurous flight taking the Duo (KSM) on a tour to Feshie and Easterton getting to 16,500 ft in the process.  Richard C and Chris R (315) got high and went West.  Jane M (13,500Ft - that tow was a bit bracing), Dave H, Bob D, Bob S (18,000Ft) stayed closer to home but all got above 10,000 ft.

18,000 Ft over the Lochs looking South. Nice wave gap.Thursday. Loch Muick (rt) Lochnagar (ctr) Ballater (under wing tip) East coast in the distance.

Rainbow Friday

Fri, 10/19/2018 - 21:30
Yesterday was a rest day - nil wind and a bit overcast so there was walking and tea shops and model flying. Today it paid to get up and get going into the magnificent sunrise. Jan and Dave got the covers off the Duo and Maddi and Richard flew the K21 and by 8.30 they were storming up to FL100 in 15kts of lift. The later launches didn't get quite such fast climbs but there was plenty of fun to be had up to 12,000ft or so before an occlusion arrived and it looked as though we would get rained out of the sky so the entire fleet landed for a cup of tea. After lunch the second wave launched for another go as the wave re-established.

Start of another gliding day30 mins later Jan and Dave were at FL100 Passing Tomintoul
Eye to eye with an approaching occlusionCircular rainbow
Airfield rainbow

What day is it? Ah yes, Wednesday

Wed, 10/17/2018 - 20:36
So much flying! We had a fantastic lot of weather today, a nice westerly with no bumpy bits, lift all down the Dee Valley to Braemar and beyond. Here's the tally:

Luke (319) - second solo at Aboyne, 14,000ft
Max (318) - second solo at Aboyne, 10,000ft
David (314) - first solo at Aboyne, 10,000ft, could have gone higher but forgot to turn the oxygen on!
Bob (V66) - 11,000ft
Barry (LTY) - 7,500ft
Bob (T4) - 16,000ft, and he went to Feshie South, he didn't get his 50k because he failed on the 1% rule by a significant margin
Jane (118) - Glenshee car park, Linn of Dee, 11,000ft

And in the two seaters:
Simon in 315 with Dave went to Spittal of Glenshee, climbed to 12,000ft
Phil in 316 took Richard to Spittal of Glenshee - very bold in a K21!
John and Nick in KSM were having a very nice time up the Dee Valley when the local constabulary called at the club to ask who was 'circling over Balmoral'. What they were doing was making use of a wave bar at around 8,000ft but a new lot of royal protection officers had got a bit jumpy - must have very good binoculars! The local police were very apologetic at having been instructed to come and make enquiries.

Photo gallery from the day:
Beinn a'Buird - no, we don't know where it is either
Dubh Loch and Loch Muick
Over Glenshee - in a K21

Somewhere else
Gastronomy notes - apparently they are eating well at Birkellun. Here in Wisdomhowe we are taking a different approach.

A southerly breeze.....

Tue, 10/16/2018 - 21:08
Another murky start with a very damp airmass so although there was wave there wasn't room for more than a couple of gliders in the gaps between the clouds. Richard and Maddi in the K21 made it to 15,000ft, they had with them our friend Glyn, for his last ever wave flight. After they landed, we all went to the river bank where Roy scattered Glyn's ashes at a place he loved.

After lunch the air dried out and pretty much everyone launched. Ace of the base was Chris in 318 who got to 18,000ft, but the other gliders posted respectable height gains, as well as trips up the valley to Balmoral and Crathie church. Here are some of the views we saw:

Richard and Maddi taking Glyn for his final wave flight

118 from 315
Interesting mushroom over Aboyne
Scotland somewhereClouds
More cloudsNick and John with KSM
The sun set in the East today - either that or Aberdeen is on fire

The early bird catches the wave

Mon, 10/15/2018 - 21:42
The sun shone early this morning and there was enthusiasm for flying. Luke struck lucky flying with Richard in the K21, they launched early and managed to get into the wave and climb up to FL100 - Luke's first experience of wave flying. Max also flew in wave for the first time, in the Pegasus - he didn't climb but had a nice sightseeing flight over Morven. Dave and Jan in the Duo also contacted some weak wave.

Luke and Richard heading for 10,000ft
Later in the day the thermals got going and a Bob (V66) and Jane (118) had a very nice time going round in circles for a while.

Meanwhile, Jan, Maddie and Luke went off to explore local beauty spot Burn O'Vat....and there was quite a lot of fettling getting done in the trailer park. We are ready for tomorrow!

Maddie out on a limb

Booker goes to Scotland

Sun, 10/14/2018 - 21:17
It's the start of Booker's annual expedition to Aboyne - home of Deeside Gliding Club - with the aim of experiencing the best that wave flying can offer. Most people drove up yesterday, in the most appalling weather. The locals accused us of bringing the rain with us, but it only really started lashing down when we crossed the border so.....

Today the strong winds had died down to nothing, and although the day started grey it slowly brightened from the west into a gloriously sunny afternoon. The day was devoted to check flights, with Dave B in the K21 and Richard in the Duo working hard to introduce newcomers to the local area and circuit planning at a site which is quite different from Booker. Three people did a first Aboyne solo in the Pegasus - Maddie, Max and Luke - well done to them.

Dave strappiing in, helped by Phil, with Maddie showing her appreciation
The lochs looking a bit murky before the sun came out
Tomorrow there is a bit of wind forecast so we will be up early to take advantage.

Gastronomic notes: The Birkellun residents have hit the jackpot, as Hakan's partner Fiona has said she will cook for them all week. Tonight the menu was apparently roast pork. Watch this space!


Mon, 10/01/2018 - 15:36
The Wardrobes were a bit low key after the wet weather postponement from last weekend, but there was fun to be had flying these beautiful machines. Here is a selection of pics:

Cadet MkIII
Hutter and half its 9.4m wingspan
Hutter instruments - it has all you need!
Nick buckling up in the T21
T21 with Pawnee
Meanwhile, up on the roof of the hangar, Mike Sinclair was risking life and limb removing entire ecosystems from the gutter - trees, grass, leaves. There's still plenty that needs removing if anyone else has a head for heights.

Whispering Wardrobes - finally......

Fri, 09/28/2018 - 09:39
After a wet weather postponement, the Wardrobes will be Whispering this weekend. The long awaited Vintage Glider Club meeting will take place on Saturday and Sunday, with some colouful gliders on display and flying. All welcome, come along and join in.

Easter Eggs, vintage aircraft and a show

Sun, 09/09/2018 - 10:42
It was a very busy day at Booker yesterday. As well as the usual trial lessons, and some basic instructor training, we had the long awaited Easter Egg Cup aerobatic competition, postponed from rainy April. With British Aerobatics Association judge Charles Baker judging and Graham Saw  acting as safety pilot, seven pilots executed a variety of aerobatic maneouvres, some of which were recognisable as part of the prescribed sequences. Entrants could choose from Standard, Tricky or Joker - no-one attempted Joker!

After prolonged deliberation and abstruse calculations in the briefing room a winner emerged and the trophy  - and a selection of Easter Eggs - was awarded. The podium places were:

George Darby - 80.5%
Maddi Roberts - 80%
Andy Monk - 78%

George and William engaged in some arm wrestling over the trophy
Many thanks to judge Charles for sitting out in the cold all day and Graham for organising it all, and congratulations to all the entrants who gave it a go

Meanwhile, CFI Richard was taking all-comers for rides in a Miles Magister from the Shuttleworth collection. There was a slight pause in the middle of the day when it took an awful lot of prop swinging to persuade it to start but all those who had a flight said it was a great experience.

In other news, at White Waltham, a team from Booker was giving people rides in our simulator as part of the West London Aero Club members' day fundraiser - the thrid year we have been invited to attend. Despite the grey skies they did good business, with queues forming - another opportunity to showcase gliding and Booker. Thanks to Chris Arnold, Henry Ross and John Lambie for working the stand and to Max Norfolk for towing there and back.

Inter Club League Final 2018

Sun, 09/02/2018 - 22:30
This weekend we have had the pleasure of hosting the ICL final, where the winning teams from the different regions come to battle for the title - we had 15 pilots (including two world champions) from 5 clubs on the grid.  Jim White directed the comp and also set tasks for each of the three classes - Novice, Intermediate and Pundit, while Pete Wyld did all the complex work of scoring, including sorting out the final tie for first place. We had two days of excellent weather and some equally good safe flying by all contestants - and no landouts - as well as a Saturday night BBQ.

In the end Bicester wrested the trophy from HusBos who had held it for the past 5 years. And good fun was had by all.

The winning team
Andy Mayer (Intermediate), Team Captain Miles Bailey, Pundit Jon Gatfield, Novice Olly Wheeler
ICL co-ordinator Chris Luton with Team Captain Miles
World Champion Andy Davis, day winner in the Pundit class
Chris and Jim mildly amused by it all

No caption needed