Sailplane & Gliding
August - September 2005
Forget doom-and-gloom predictions about the future of gliding. By one important measure, things in the UK are better than ever. More and more of us are getting the most from our flying by achieving distances that even a decade ago seemed remote. In May 2005, the number of solo BGA 750km Diplomas topped 50 – and half of those have been claimed since the turn of the century. In the August-September issue, we take a detailed look at those epic flights and showcase the pilots who’ve done them: even if Iain Baker did take my request for a “rogue’s gallery” portrait rather too literally...
Since this S&G went to press, the first leg of the European Championships ended with three medals for the Brits: Pete Harvey and Russell Cheetham’s Gold and Silver in the Open Class and Leigh Wells’ Bronze in the 15-Metres. On the plane to Finland, Pete wrote up his and Russell’s practice comp, the British Overseas Nationals, for this S&G, in his usual inimitable way. Thanks, Pete.
But, as always, S&G isn’t only about elite performance. If you sit in the front of a K-13 – or your club operates one of these reliable workhorses – you’ll be interested in our exclusive report into Dr Tony Segal’s new research. He has tested whether a nosewheel or a skid offers more protection to the pilot’s spine in the event of a heavy landing on a hard surface; his results make compelling reading. Still on the ground, if you winch launch or manage a site that does, you won’t want to miss Debb Evans’ and Jon Arnold’s account from the first UK club to trial Dyneema winchline…
Also in this issue, you can find out: what Neil Goudie did when he saw a crashed glider, and the lessons learned; how one Scottish charity is opening up the skies to people with disabilities; why John Gilbert flew his LS3 from Wormingford to Abbeville; who’ll be representing Britain in the UK’s first world championship for 40 years; what BGA Chief Executive Pete Stratten told Debb Evans about his own flying; and why one Yorkshire Inter-Club League pilot recently developed a healthy dislike of cu-nims. Last but by no means least, with all the perceptiveness and style you’d expect of this leading pilot and superb writer, Justin Wills shares with us a memorable landout “Somewhere in Hungary”.
So, whether or not you’re one of those ace 750s pilots, what’s your gliding goal for the next few months? Whatever it is, we hope you achieve it – and have fun along the way…
Editor, Sailplane & Gliding
What would you do?
Neil Goudie, the winner of the 2004 CAA General Aviation Safety Award, reflects on the lessons learned when he landed out to help an injured pilot
Walking on Air
Joe Fisher, former chairman of Walking on Air, outlines the inspiring work of this award-winning training organisation
Welcome to the Worlds
The first world championship to be held in the UK for 40 years is this August. Marilyn Hood reports on the last-minute preparations for the Juniors
Nosewheel or skid?
Tony Segal reports the results of his new research into whether a landing skid or a nosewheel offers more protection to K-13 pilots’ spines in a heavy landing
Debb Evans and Jon Arnold report on the experiences of the first club in the UK to trial winching with plasma rope
Those two days in May
Our look back at the UK’s first 50 solo 750km Diplomas starts with Trevor Stuart’s account of his flight, lists who’s flown what, where, and ends with a picture gallery of the 750s pilots
Flying, family and fun
European Open Class Champion Pete Harvey, who won this year’s British Overseas Nationals, offers his impressions of a memorable competition – in his usual inimitable style
Just like old times...
John Gilbert Jnr of Essex & Suffolk GC relates how in May he soared his LS3 across the Channel
The church at Csapod
Justin Wills discovered the disadvantages as well as the advantages of technology on a tricky competition flight in last year’s Austrian nationals
How current are you?
Try S&G’s quiz, compiled by Bill Dean and based on the latest – 15th– edition of the BGA’s Laws & Rules for Glider Pilots, to find out just how up to date you are. If you get stuck, the answers are on page 62 of the same issue
Jochen Ewald flies (and falls in love with) the little Hutter 28 II, a glider 20 years ahead of its time. Only four were built – and there’s just one airworthy example
Why I glide
Debb Evans talks to the Chief Executive of the BGA, Pete Stratten, about his own flying
Mud, mud, glorious mud
Jim Ball recalls one fateful day last winter when all the glamour went out of the world of gliding
Salutary Soaring: Overconfidence and luck
This contributor explains why just three minutes during a recent Inter-Club League task cured him of any desire to fly in cu-nims
Salutary Soaring: Nine lives – minus one
What the eye doesn’t see...
Also in this issue:
From the BGA Chairman; British Gliding Association news; your letters; BGA Airspace News; BGA Team News; BGA Development News; VGC National Rally Gallery; Digital Gliding Gallery; club focus (Cambridge GC); club news; obituaries; BGA Annual Statistics; BGA Badges; AAIB accident summaries; BGA incident and accident summaries
Tailfeathers: More stupid things that Plat now confesses…