Sailplane & Gliding
February - March 2007
British glider pilots are gearing up gladly for the thermal soaring season. Some have been honing their flying skills in warmer climes; others are thinking of shaking off their winter hibernation and regaining currency. But just how current are you? The BGA’s currency barometer, printed in the February-March S&G and also available on this website, offers useful guidance for your pre-flight risk assessment – however experienced you are.
Some British pilots – or would they prefer to be called Scottish? – have in fact been exploiting their soaring skills in colder rather than warmer climes. Their pioneering exploration of Scotland’s wave continues, with John Williams soaring further north than anyone has done before, reaching the turning point of Tongue on the north coast – a turning point created especially with such a flight in mind. Alongside John’s story, Kevin Hook describes his back-to-back 300kms in November, while Val Alexander explains why her first wave cross-country, with Santiago Cervantes the same month, was such a special flight. You’re harder-hearted than I am if you don’t find her article both inspiring and moving. Thanks, Val, for sharing it with us.
From the personal to the political: John Allison’s article is about why he values gliding and believes that it’s in the front line of a battle for freedom. As President of Europe Air Sports, he’s well placed to comment on the big changes that are affecting pilots like us. It’s thought-provoking stuff.
Turning the pages to look at the pictures, we’ve some superb photos in the February-March S&G. As well as the usual excellent contributions to Gliding Gallery, and a page of striking submissions in Club News, the images taken by Andy Bates from Portmoak show the most beautiful rainbow I’ve seen. We’ve run an extra Gliding Gallery just for these. Don’t miss them.
Also in this issue, Jochen Ewald reports on the world-beating Diana 2; Barney Crump outlines why he chose to become an Assistant-rated Instructor and what he gets out of it; and we learn why three German glider pilots chose to tour England last summer. Vintage enthusiasts can test their knowledge of rare and not-so-rare types with our mini-quiz while at the other end of the scale Pocklington’s Bill Dick recalls the flight that got him hooked on gliding.
Finally – and it could so easily have been finally for this particular author – we have a compelling account in Salutary Soaring of three seconds of mayhem on a gliding club’s runway. “Scenes of violence and partial nudity” was how this anonymous CFI chose to advertise a talk on the subject at his club. I decided not to print the gory pictures but even so I guarantee his article will make you think hard about the way your own club operates. Required – as well as fascinating – reading.
Don’t forget, S&G is your magazine. Please keep on sending in your photographs, articles and stories to entertain, inform and amuse the worldwide gliding community – it’s always great to see them.
Editor, Sailplane & Gliding
How to check your currency
Use the BGA’s currency barometer to guide your pre-flight risk assessment
Diana, the huntress
Jochen Ewald flies the Diana 2 – the sailplane that won last year’s 15-Metre Class World Championships in the hands of pilot Janusz Centka
Pursuing their research
Jochen Ewald reports on the gliding research centre of the German Akafliegs
We are all still pioneers
How four pilots made the most of wave – John Williams’ trip farther north than anyone has soared in the UK before; Val Alexander’s story conveys the thrill of her first wave cross-country as P2 to Santiago Cervantes; and Kevin Hook’s back-to-back 300s
Gliding in the front line
John Allison, former C-in-C of RAF Strike Command and now President of Europe Air Sports, tells Helen Evans why he values gliding – and thinks it’s in the front line of a battle for freedom
Three seconds of mayhem
There’s a lot to learn from this well-written article – and not just at winch sites. But if you’re squeamish, look away now
From Basic to Assistant
In the second of our series on becoming an instructor, Barney Crump describes why he chose to train for an Assistant rating and what it’s like
Wandersegelflug in England
We love GB? Hartmut Hummel tells the story of why three German glider pilots forsook Continental thermals to soar across England last summer
Ayala Liran explains what she learned from the women’s development week run by the British Gliding Team
Jochen Ewald reports on the VGC’s 34th International rally, held at Angoulème in France
Soaring with hands only
In an excerpt from his memoirs, American pilot Bruce McGhie describes his passion for flight
This gliding game
A proud early solo member of Wolds GC, Bill Dick, recalls his impressions of the flight that encouraged him to take up the sport
Also in this issue: BGA Airspace News; BGA News; your letters; BGA Executive News; BGA Communications News; BGA Development News; Glider News; Gliding Gallery – it’s better to travel; Gliding Gallery Extra – sun and rain; club focus (Lincolnshire); club news; obituaries; BGA Badges; incident and accident summaries; AAIB update
Tailfeathers: Plat visits the Dreadnought Infirmary to offer a few sage words of safety advice culled from his vast experience