Sunday 28th in Norfolk

Holiday time and an opportunity to slope off and visit the local gliding club.  This time it was the Norfolk GC at the massive WW2 airfield at Tibbenham.  What luxury, the classic A set of hard core runways, several hangars and a substantial club house complete with mains supplies, briefing room, bar and bacon butties (other refreshments were available).
The practice is not to use the cross runway (the horizontal line of the A) because its condition is not too great (looked fine to the casual observer).  This meant we had a 90 degree cross wind and with the launch point at the runway intersection, the result was launches of only around 1,000.  Lots of runway behind the launch point meant it was very easy to land behind the launch point (in fact effort had to be made to get back to the launch point).  Launching was from the grass alongside the runway and landing on the hard runway.  Some folks landed into wind on the grass alongside the cross runway.  Interestingly (to me at least) only radio was used for launching.  The launch point vehicle had lights but apparently rarely used.

Launch point
A fairly quiet day so it wasn’t long before I was able to go for a site check with Andy the DI in their K21.  Prior to my flight only short circuits were being flown.  I found some weak lift and scratched away gaining a whole 50′ at one point but only managed 14 minutes.  The Vega that took the next launch and joined us and was less wimpy than I was about the drift and took the longest flight of the day (by a very large margin) of just over 1 hour.  Slightly higher launch of 1,100′ in the club’s Astir but only a couple of turns in zero within reach.  Then it was time to blag a ride in the privately owned T21.
Launch point seen from a T21 – end of the day with 2 gliders being towed to the hangar

At the end of the day almost all those who had been flying lent a hand to derig the K21 ready to be sent off for its ARC.

Many thanks to the members of Norfolk GC who made me most welcome and offered me the chance to sample the delights of facilities at Tibenham – next time hopefully there will be more in the way of thermal activity.  It’s not very often one gets the chance to move from a K21 to a T21.

The T21 is called “The Barge” by it’s owners so just in case it lands on one of the broads

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Shalbourne Gliding

Shalbourne Gliding