Sailplane & Gliding
December - January 2007
At this time of year in the UK, nothing can beat those rare, magical days when the grey of winter unexpectedly breaks. The sun shines, the whole world looks different and, if you’re lucky, then a wind of just the right strength blows from just the right direction for ridge or wave. In the December-January S&G, Trevor Stuart describes how one such day gave him and a friend a gem of a flight, while Gliding Gallery showcases how pilots from England, Wales and Scotland have been exploring winter soaring.
Back on the ground it’s been an eventful time for the BGA, quite literally, with two important events reported in this issue. In October, it was great to see so many dedicated and capable volunteers at the first event – the BGA Chairmen’s Conference/Treasurers’ Forum – and to hear how clubs across the country are dealing with the challenges many of us face. Self-reliance, intelligent judgment and pragmatism have been hallmarks of British gliding’s self-governance throughout its history; it’s good to see all of them in play as we move into the next phase of change for our sport.
The second significant event, in November at the RAF Club in London’s Piccadilly, was very much a celebration of past, present and future. It’s now more than 50 years since HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, became the British Gliding Association’s Patron and the BGA marked the occasion with a formal luncheon and the presentation to Prince Philip of a photograph of a Duo Discus against a backdrop of blue sky and cumulus. The event, organised by Rose Johnson, was attended by a good cross-section of British gliding, and genuinely much enjoyed by all.
Also in this issue, Jochen Ewald flies and enthuses about the new 18-metre version of the Antares; Roddy Maddocks tries out five mainstream gliding simulators and offers a personal view on which he thinks is best; Andy Perkins updates us on opportunities to further your gliding or power flying; while Mike Witton and John Marsh explain what it’s like to be a Basic Instructor – and what they get out of it. We print all UK nationals and regionals results along with reports from Pete Harvey on the first UK Gliding Grand Prix, Richard Smith on the Open Class Nationals, Junior Champion Mark Holden on the race for a place at Rieti, and – for those of you sorting out next summer’s UK comps – the provisional BGA ratings list.
Enjoy planning 2007’s flying – but don’t forget to grab the flying fun you can have this winter, at home or abroad.
Editor, Sailplane & Gliding
It gets better every year
Attracting 75 officials from 40 clubs, the BGA Chairmen’s Conference and first Treasurers’ Forum took place in October. Alison Randle reports on what is a gliding clubs’ event, for chairmen and treasurers, hosted by the BGA
Developing club strategy
Robbie Robertson of Talgarth shares what he told the BGA Chairmen’s Conference about how to make sure your club is on track for a successful future
Do try this at home
Roddy Maddocks test flies some of the gliding flight sims that you might want for your PC
A gem of a flight
Nympsfield’s Trevor Stuart ignores the wave to introduce his friend Steve Lynn to Welsh ridge running
Opportunities in aviation
Andy Perkins updates us on how to get into gliding and further your flying – especially (but not exclusively) if you’re under 25. And a lot of it’s free...
Fifty years as Patron
Helen Evans reports on the BGA luncheon that was held to celebrate 50 years of Patronage by HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh – and to thank him for everything that he has done for British gliding
Leading the way
Jochen Ewald tries the new Antares 18S – and concludes that it sets a new standard for 18-metre ships
Sharing a passion for flight
John Marsh and Mike Witton both achieved Basic Instructor ratings this year. They explain how they went about it – and what they get out of it
First Gliding Grand Prix
Pete Harvey reports from the top of the podium on the UK’s first Gliding Grand Prix, at Gransden in September
The juniors race for a place at the Rieti worlds
Mark Holden gives the view from the winner’s spot at this year’s Juniors
Great fun at Gransden
Rich Smith reports from the front cockpit of Nimbus 970 on the vagaries of this year’s Open Class Nationals
Hopes and dreams at Enterprise
Winner Justin Wills reports on the 33rd Competition Enterprise, exploiting wave and thermal from Deeside GC
Also in this issue:
BGA news; BGA Instructor News; your letters; BGA Executive News; BGA Regulatory Group News; Gliding Gallery – exploring winter soaring; club focus (Buckminster); club news; obituaries; BGA Badges; incident and accident summaries; AAIB update
Tailfeathers: Plat looks north, and considers the etymology of clouds