From setting a record with a 1,250km flight in Namibia, to two first 50km flights in the UK, the April/May issue celebrates these achievements. There is also advice on cockpit comfort to help you fly for longer, and the importance of keeping up to date with changes that affect the way we fly.
Landing after just under nine hours in the air in Namibia, Lasham’s Patrick Naegeli and Roy Pentecost were delighted to discover they were the first to achieve a declared two-seater 1,250km. Namibia has a reputation as one of the best places in the world for long-distance thermal cross-countries. This flight on 11 December certainly delivered. Bitterwasser celebrates certain flights with the ceremonial planting of a new palm tree in its ‘Palm Alley’. Now Patrick and Roy have had the honour of planting a tree, they say they will need to visit regularly in the years to come.
For those new to cross-country flights, planning and achieving a first 50km flight can be equalling (if not more) daunting. Two Highlands pilots achieved their first Silver flights at the end of last year, both flying from Easterton to Feshie. It may have been the same goal, but conditions were very different, as were the gliders. Ian Tait was flying a Silent 2, while Adrian Morgan flew his Grob Astir. CFI Mike Black comments on the two flights and reinforces the message that it is always a steep and challenging first step for inexperienced pilots and one they will never forget, regardless of future mega km adventures.
If you have found yourself in pain and discomfort after a long flight, maybe it’s time to consider a spine-shell. Adrian Emck is a member of the Lasham cockpit research team, which has published research papers and articles on cockpit comfort and the impact on safety. In the first of a two-part article, Adrian looks at the difference flying with a spine-shell has made to a number of pilots. The current process of making one is laborious and difficult, but research is under way to find a small range of sizes that will fit almost everyone, enabling off-the-shelf spine-shells to be purchased.
Many aspects of gliding, its environment, society and technology can change in the course of one’s flying lifetime, and the assumptions behind our original training and established practices might no longer be appropriate. Older pilots may be surprised by how much is different; younger pilots will be astonished by how things once were. Tim Freegarde and the BGA Safety Team outline some of the many changes that have affected the way in which we fly and recommend that we all ensure we are up to date.
Also in this issue: BGA Development Committee Chair Dave Latimer looks at what makes a great club. Nick Norman is in the spotlight for our pilot profile. Peter Valentine reflects on Roger Morrisroe’s 57 years in the skies. Martin Roberts reflects on a Nigel Attenborough Serengeti Experience. David Dodds reveals a group of skilled aviators sharing Portmoak airspace. Norman Leater relives an ill-fated flight in a Grasshopper. Andrew Jarvis reports on the UK events marking 50 years of the Vintage Glider Club. Ebenezer Grimshaw rummages around in yet another dark side of our sport. Kevin Atkinson talks about effective thermal entry. Chris Luton says it’s not too late to get your club involved with the 2023 Interclub League. Alison Randle looks at pitching communication at the right level. Plus, many more of your stunning images in the Gallery pages.
Fly safely and have fun
Editor, Sailplane & Gliding
Pilot profile: Nick Norman
Hooked after a Hogmanay outing many years ago, Cairngorm GC’s Nick Norman is an instructor, treasurer, chief tug pilot, regional examiner and inspector. He still finds time for some memorable flights and to design gadgets that make launching safer for club members
A tale of two Silvers
Two Highland pilots achieve their first 50km flights – both from Easterton to Feshie. Same goal, but very different conditions and gliders. Ian Tait and Adrian Morgan report
Paying tribute to our legend
As NVGC’s Roger Morrisroe retires from gliding, Peter Valentine reflects on Roger’s 57 years in the skies
Lurking in the undergrowth
Martin Roberts reflects on a Nigel Attenborough Serengeti Experience. (Names have been changed to protect reputations…)
Bat aviators of Portmoak
David Dodds reveals that the Scottish Gliding Centre shares its airspace with another group of skilled aviators
Grasshopper leap of faith
Norman Leater relives an ill-fated incident during his school days involving a flight in a Grasshopper
The unsafe glider cockpit, part 1
(It’s the cockpit, stupid!) Nick Goodhart and spine-shell revelation by Adrian Emck
Celebrating VGC half-century
VGC President Andrew Jarvis reports the UK is the location for events marking 50 years of the Vintage Glider Club
Lasham GC’s Patrick Naegeli and Roy Pentecost reflect on a FAI 1,250km in Namibia this January
Advisory 30: Rigging horror
Ebenezer Grimshaw rummages around in yet another dark side of our sport
Atkinson’s law: Skill drill number one
Kevin Atkinson talks about effective thermal entry
Spread your wings with ICL
Interclub League co-ordinator Chris Luton says it’s not too late to get your club involved with this year’s events
Talking to future and current pilots
Alison Randle looks at pitching communication at the right level
The BGA Safety Team outlines some of the many changes that have affected the way in which we operate and fly
Also in this issue:
BGA news; opinion; Gliding Gallery; Club Gallery; Club Focus – Norfolk; development news; news; BGA badges; obituaries; incident and accident summaries; AAIB bulletin
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