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June-July 2024

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Want to know how fast to fly between thermals, how heavy to fly, and how tight to circle? You can find out in the June/July issue, which also includes advice on avoiding mid-air collisions. You can read about some enterprising wave flights, and the electric trend at AERO Friedrichshafen.

WeGlide has introduced ‘Coach’, an analysis feature that scans your flight and gives you data and tips on what to do differently. Joshua Rieger explains how three new features: speed to fly analysis, weight analysis and thermal analysis, will help your decision making. WeGlide provides a lot of statistics for your flight but, up until now, you needed to interpret them yourself. Now, enter the weight of your aircraft, and the analysis is done for you. You can also analyse other pilots’ flights on WeGlide.

Of 29 mid-air collision glider pilot fatalities that BGA records show in the 32 years to 2007, nearly three-quarters were in collisions with other gliders, and only two fatalities came about from collisions with traffic unrelated to gliding operations. Collisions with gliders also led to two parachutists, a light aircraft pilot and a tug pilot losing their lives. From 2008 onwards, FLARM seems to have been remarkably effective but is not perfect. The BGA Safety Team highlights that, while technology can help, the key ways to avoid mid-air collision are disciplined flying and vigilant look-out. In all cases, remember that the aircraft you can see may not be the only one to present a collision threat, or the one that triggered your FLARM.

Since taking on the role of CFI at Denbigh seven years ago, Chris Gill has earned a reputation for doing some rather interesting flights, whether it be wave soaring, cliff soaring or getting in amongst the mountains of Snowdonia. Chris was awarded the 2023 Enterprise Trophy for some of his remarkable wave flights. He describes some of these enterprising flights using multiple wave systems and looks forward to the day a 1,250km task from Denbigh might be possible.

This year marked the 30th anniversary of AERO Friedrichshafen, Europe’s biggest aviation fair. It also saw the major glider manufacturers returning for the first time since 2019. There was a strong electric theme, with new gliders including Schempp-Hirth’s Ventus E, Schleicher’s AS 35Mi, Jonker’s JS5 Rey and the 304 RES Shark from HpH. Manufacturers were also keen to offer upgrades and retrofits, rather than just selling new gliders. BGA Chief Technical Officer Gordon Macdonald was present, keen to learn about sailplane developments (including maintenance) and towing aircraft. He was also researching how other European countries are dealing with the lack of new engineers coming into the sailplane maintenance and manufacturing industry.

Also in this issue: Jack Jenner-Hall is in the spotlight for our pilot profile. Sebastian Kawa looks at the dying art of independent competition flying. Hans Jenssen practises cross-country skills on the club simulator. Grimshaw looks at the need for fresh blood in our sport. Kevin Atkinson focuses on operating efficiently using block speed. Mike Vickery has a landout from hell. Andy Smith builds his own sailplane real time kinematic GPS wind measurement device. The significant contributions of Roger Emms are highlighted. Alison Randle explores safeguarding our sport. Pete Stratten looks at recruiting and retaining members. Andrew Jarvis looks forward to a vintage summer. Joey Beard highlights the need for better post-accident/incident care. Plus, many more of your stunning images in the Gallery pages.

Fly safely and have fun

Susan Newby
Editor, Sailplane & Gliding
Pilot profile: Jack Jenner-Hall

In the spotlight for this issue’s Pilot Profile is Norfolk GC’s Jack Jenner-Hall. At just 17, he is an instructor, Aviation Ambassador for the Department of Transport, won the Dan Smith Memorial Trophy for aerobatics, and has his own gliding YouTube channel

Go your own way

Sebastian Kawa asks whether the introduction of technology has resulted in a loss of skills and the dying art of independent competition flying

Electric vibe for gliding at 30th AERO

From all things electric to upgrade and retrofit options, there was a lot to see at AERO Friedrichshafen in April

Keeping skills alive

Hans Jenssen uses his club’s simulator to practise for his first cross-country

WeGlide coach

Joshua Rieger explains how a new analysis feature to improve performance helps you decide how fast to fly between thermals, how heavy to fly, and how tight to circle

Advisory 37: Spreading the word

Ebenezer Grimshaw pontificates about the need for fresh blood in our sport

Atkinson’s law: Block speed

Kevin Atkinson focuses on flying efficiently

Rain stops play in a cultivated field

Lasham’s Mike Vickery reflects on a hellish summer retrieve

Mega wave opportunities

Winner of the 2023 Enterprise Trophy, Denbigh CFI Chris Gill talks about some of his enterprising flights utilising multiple wave systems and looks forward to the day a 1,250km task might be possible from Denbigh

Detecting airmass movement

Andy Smith, creator of a low-cost vario, turns his attentions to building his own sailplane real time kinematic GPS wind measurement device

Celebrating a man of wit and wisdom

Roger Emms has played a major role at Nene Valley GC for over 38 years – now it’s time to fly for pleasure!

Future of gliding is in our hands

Alison Randle looks at the part we can all play in safeguarding the future of our sport

It’s your gliding club too

BGA CEO Pete Stratten looks at recruiting and retaining members

A vintage summer!

Andrew Jarvis looks forward to upcoming vintage events

Safe separation

The BGA Safety Team looks again at the dangers of mid-air collision

It’s good to talk

Joey Beard looks at the need for better post-accident/incident care

Also in this issue:

BGA news; Gliding Gallery; Club Gallery; Club Focus – Portsmouth Naval; development news; news; BGA badges; obituaries; incident and accident summaries

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