Sailplane & Gliding
August - September 2007
“April is the cruellest month,” wrote the poet TS Eliot. He could have been describing 2007 in the UK, when that hot and sunny April prompted visions of another 1976. In 2007, though, June and July were remarkable only for their rainfall. But there’s still plenty for glider pilots to be cheerful about, as this S&G demonstrates.
Even torrential rain can’t drown out the progress that gliding is making. Whether developments are personal or technological, we continue to expand our horizons. This S&G has examples of personal achievement at both ends of the spectrum: from John Williams’ exclusive account of the UK’s longest flight (an amazing 1,200km) to tales we can all identify with – Tom Gooch’s first year in gliding, which he took up after 40 years of wanting to, and Andrew Turner’s first solo on his 16th birthday. “One of the best days of my life,” Andrew says. I guess we all remember that feeling.
As far as technology is concerned, our second report from AERO 2007 showcases some interesting sailplanes, though they aren’t certified as such in the UK, that would fit comfortably into the existing system of supervising British gliding. Moving on to an aircraft that definitely already is on the UK scene, we have a flight test by Jochen Ewald of the new ASG 29 turbo – the ASG 29 scooped the top three places at the British 18-Metre Nationals. And one of the UK’s smaller clubs shows you don’t have to be big to innovate with the purchase of a Turbo Grob for aerotowing. We report on how it performs.
More good news is the award of not one but two medals to someone who’s worked with immense dedication for many years on behalf of British and, indeed, European pilots. This is, of course, David Roberts, the former BGA chairman, who now chairs the Association’s regulatory group. In the August-September S&G there’s a profile of the man behind the medals.
If you’re a glider owner, the big story this issue has to be the change from BGA Certificates of Airworthiness to EASA ones. The Association’s Chief Executive, Pete Stratten, explains what you need to know, how the BGA will help, and when you need to act. It could be sooner than you imagine, so check it out now. Not much to be cheerful about, you might think, in having to follow new rules and to decorate your glider with a G-registration. Believe me, though, it could have been a lot worse without the hard-working BGA team who negotiated a maze of bureaucracy so that your glider can stay airborne legally.
In anticipation of better weather, we’ve also included an article by Geoffrey Miller explaining dehydration. Don’t let yourself be caught out by the wet start to the summer: when hot conditions arrive, stow plenty of drinking water in your cockpit.
Back to the here and now, I’m writing this on the first day of the Western Regionals and met man Sid Smith has filled in the “best area” box on his forecast with one word: “Spain?”. Not necessarily, in fact, as those who went to the tenth overseas nationals at Ocana can attest. In this issue, Steve Olender looks back at ten years of a unique contest.
I’ll end with three more things in the August-September S&G that make me grin: Chris Davison’s light-hearted account of how he came to be a competition director, The Important-looking Man With The Radio (every time I read it I smile); fantastic photographs of soaring in and above the Andes (that volcano’s not extinct, by the way…); and, finally, pictures of a tornado from Fenland GC. You might ask what’s so special about seeing a tornado at RAF Marham. The answer’s in the Club Gallery on p54…
Enjoy your flying!
Editor, Sailplane & Gliding
ASG 29 – with engine
The ASG 29 has just taken the top three places in the British 18-Metre Nationals. Jochen Ewald tries out the new turbo variant
Only mad dogs and English glider pilots
Don’t let the rain lull you into forgetting the fundamentals: whenever the weather gets hot, the glider pilot gets dehydrated. Geoffrey Miller explains why...
What glider owners must know
It’s one of the biggest changes in the history of British gliding, it’s upon us now and, if you’re a UK glider owner, you need to know how it will affect you. Chief Executive Pete Stratten outlines how the BGA will help you to ensure your glider stays legally airworthy
How to register your glider with the CAA
You must register your glider with the Civil Aviation Authority before applying for an EASA Certificate of Airworthiness. Here are some tips to help you
Young and old mingle
Pictures by Peter Atkinson, Craig Lowrie and Julian Hitchcock from this year’s UK Vintage Glider Club Rally at Southdown
On course for a rating
BGA National Coach Mike Fox offers tips on taking your Assistant Rating course
1,200km in Scottish wave
John Williams reports on the longest flight ever flown in the United Kingdom – all in wave within the borders of Scotland
Navigating the unknown
The massive contribution to air sports made by the former BGA Chairman, David Roberts, has been recognised by two major awards. Helen Evans interviews the man behind the medals
Turbo tries UK skies
Tim Wilkinson of Sackville Farm explains why the club bought the UK’s first Grob turbo tug – and why he thinks it’s the way forward for other clubs, too – while Roger Davies, manager of the RAFGSA Centre at RAF Halton, reports on the turbulent day his team tried flying and aerotowing the turbo Grob, to compare it with their usual tug, the Pawnee
Ten years of the Overseas
Steve Olender looks back at a decade of the Overseas Nationals and reports on this year’s contest
Laying out a path to progress
In the latest article in our series on instructing, Rod Ward of Cambridge GC explains how he came to be a Chief Flying Instructor and what it involves
AERO, Europe’s biggest General Aviation fair, takes place every other year in Germany – the next is on April 2-5, 2009. This year, more than 500 exhibitors came from 30 countries. Here is the second of our AERO 2007 reports
Fly often and enjoy yourself
From first flight to first field in the space of a single year. Tom Gooch shares the highs and lows of his start in gliding
One of the best days of my life
Andrew Turner describes what it felt like to go solo on his 16th birthday at Cambridge Gliding Centre and then to convert to a new type on the same day
Hype, help and hope
The Important-Looking Man With The Radio – that’s Chris Davison – describes life from the Competition Director’s front-of-grid perspective
Also in this issue: BGA news; BGA Development News; Your letters; BGA Executive News; Gliding Gallery – Above and in the Andes; Club Gallery; Club News; Obituaries; BGA Badges; Incident and accident summaries
Tailfeathers: Plat travels all the way to Minnesota to find a monsoon and picks Pete Harvey’s brains on different types of soaring