Sailplane & Gliding
August - September 2008
From beginner to Gold in just six months to a 30-year journey to solo, from choosing a pair of sunglasses that will protect your eyes while helping you detect thermals to staying established in wave, there’s something for everyone in the August-September issue of S&G.
Our front cover shows Gold medallist Matt Plumridge and Jon Ross putting Lasham’s K-21 through its paces. With memories of summer and thermals fading fast, Matt was looking for something to maintain his interest during the winter. Then he discovered aerobatic flying and how perfecting aerobatic skills leads to greater self-assurance in handling gliders and greater safety in the air.
The weather has been pretty rubbish for the early summer and not just in the UK. Untypical Spanish weather also made for some interesting flying in the Overseas. Shaun Lapworth gives us the inside story on how canyon capers turned what should have been simple into the retrieve from hell. Predicting the weather for competitions can be challenging but rewarding says Hugh Brookes, who has been forecasting for glider competitions since the early eighties.
Everyone’s journey to solo is different. Peter Robinson went for a four-day gliding course at Dorset thirty years ago. Erratic progress resulted in a switch to hang gliding, but gliding felt like unfinished business. Peter finally soloed in the scenic surrounding of Australia’s Lake Keepit where he swapped difficulties with winch launching with the problem of roos on the runway.
September sees the UK qualifying round of the FAI Sailplane Grand Prix taking place at Lasham. Mike Birch looks at how the competition format could transform people’s perceptions of gliding and Grand prix competitor Pete Harvey warns that if we are not careful we will all become fuddy-duddies enjoying our flying but not having the youngsters coming through to keep it vibrant.
Also in this issue: BGA Chairman Patrick Naegeli thanks those that have taken the time to submit their thoughts on Mode S to the CAA. BGA Chief Executive Pete Stratten provides an update on airworthiness transition and emphasises the importance of getting your transition application in by the deadline of 28 September. There’s another great article on wave from Gavin Wills. This time he offers some top tips on remaining established in wave and harnessing its power. Freelance test pilot Hugh Woodsend puts the PW-6 through its paces to see how it rates as a basic trainer. From August all new glider designs in Europe will be required to have a crashworthy cockpit. Tony Segal, medical advisor to the international OSTIV Sailplane Development Panel, looks at the new legislation that should considerably improve the protection of the pilot from injury. British Juniors have been training in Spain becoming more independent, more adventurous and a lot more confident in their ability to find climbs in the blue.
Well I hope you enjoy my first issue. Thanks to everyone for your contributions – your words, photos and especially your support have been much appreciated. Safe flying.
Editor, Sailplane & Gliding
Gliding through the ages
S&G Editor Susan Newby experiences a history lesson in gliders at Nene Valley, starting with a flight in the T-21, fondly known as the Barge
Battling regulation fatigue
BGA Executive Committee member Chris Gibson discusses the issues and implications of the latest EASA consultation, which covers flight crew licensing and medicals
On the crest of a wave
Gavin Wills offers advice on how to remain established in wave and how to harness its power to run distance or climb to altitude
The eyes have it!
With sunglasses an essential item for all glider pilots, John Wright explains what to look for in choosing a pair that will protect your eyes while helping you detect thermals
Fighting bulls and ASG29s
Shaun Lapworth reports on an Overseas Nationals where untypical Spanish weather made for interesting flying and resulted in a few landouts worthy of myth and legend
Weather to race or not
For Hugh Brookes sniffing the weather can give a first indication of how a day is likely to shape up. Here he talks about the challenging but rewarding task of competition weather forecasting
Time to reinforce safety
Tony Seagal looks at new legislation regarding crashworthy cockpits that should considerably improve the protection of the pilot from injury in heavy landings and accidents
Turn your world upside down
A chance encounter with a red triangle got Matt Plumridge hooked on aerobatic flight. Just six months later, he took Gold in the Sports Class of the National Glider Aerobatic Championships at Saltby
PW-6 put through its paces
The PW-5 had its detractors, but how does the PW-6 shape up to the many challenges faced by a basic trainer? Hugh Woodsend takes the controls to see if it ticks all the right boxes
Formula One of the sky
With the UK qualifying round of the FAI Sailplane Grand Prix taking place at Lasham in September, Mike Birch asks will Grand Prix racing transform people’s perception of gliding
Peter Robinson, who has described himself as an impatient late converter, encounters roos on the runway as he finally solos in the scenic surroundings of Australia’s Lake Keepit
Training for the future
A week’s development training in Spain gave a welcome boost to the flying skills of a selected group of British Juniors. Charlie Jordan was one of them and shares his experiences
Also in this issue:
BGA news; BGA Development News; your letters; BGA Airworthiness transition update; Gliding Gallery – Stunning settings; club gallery; club news; BGA Badges; incident and accident summaries
Tailfeathers: Plat ponders on how ‘Silent Flight’ has changed over the years