Wednesday 30th March

There are those that claim spring has arrived when they hear their first cuckoo whereas any glider pilot knows that what really heralds the change in seasons is the first spotting of a beany hat at an airfield.  I can report that Wednesday started with only wooly hats in sight but by the afternoon a couple of those had been abandoned and replaced by beany hats. Welcome Spring!

A modest turnout for a Wednesday but still enough to keep 4 gliders busy.  No donuts but there were crème eggs on offer (oh Cadbury, why was it ever allowed to sell you to the Americans.  A clear case for nationalisation if ever there was one).  Ah yes, “what about the flying” do I hear you ask (or maybe you’ve just given up on this blog entry by now).

The day started with circuit bashing then Paul B (K13) and Chris K (Puchacz) stayed airborne while the rest of us continued our short flights.  They returned with Paul B taking the advantage to set longest flight target at 36 minutes.  A safe enough target it seemed as we continued to circuit bash until Rob J clocked up 40 minutes.  With gauntlet thrown down Paul B was forced to take to the air again and return 45 minutes later.  That looked unassailable as the rest of us failed to find thermals, until the penultimate flight of the day.  I was flying with Reg G and at 1,000′ we encountered the first thermal I had seen all day.  It was very weak so Reg handed control back to me to try and make something of it.  With real concentrated effort I managed to get to 1,800′ with a lot of drift.  Reg then used 800′ to get us back to where we started and found a thermal there.  This one with a lot more life in it (or he was making a better job at thermalling than I had).  It took us to 3,600′ and we landed (after a few stall exercises) 50 minutes after take-off.  Sorry Paul

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Shalbourne Gliding

Shalbourne Gliding