A nine-hour flight from Switzerland to the UK and a 60km flight that brought the fun back to flying were both epic adventures for the pilots involved. You can read about them in the Aug/Sept issue, which also includes news of a low-cost vario that is helping pilots fly more efficiently. Plus, you can learn how the risk of mid-air collision can be calculated.
About five years ago, Yves Gerster drew a circle around Switzerland to see which places could be attainable in a single flight. Realising that the UK is not that far away, it was a question of picking the perfect day. That day arrived on 27 April and Yves set off on an epic adventure. As a precaution he started his JS1’s engine for a short while over the Channel, before landing out in Lasham just over nine hours after setting off. He received a warm welcome from club members who had been tracking his flight and anticipating his arrival. The next day Yves made the return journey, landing out just 9km short of his home airfield but inside Switzerland.
Cotswold’s Craig Mustoe gained the height and duration components of the Silver badge in 2018, but further progress was delayed by a crisis of confidence and then Covid. With promising conditions forecast for Easter Monday, he decided to bite the bullet for his second Silver distance attempt. Landing out at Rivar Hill, having successfully accomplished his mission, Craig reflected on his flight. It may have been ‘only’ 60km and slow, but for Craig it was a giant leap in terms of belief, confidence and bringing the fun back into his flying.
We devote a lot of time ensuring our aircraft are as efficient as possible and Andy Smith has tried to apply this approach to a vario/navigation system developed at Cotswold Gliding Club. The project started seven years ago as a simple audio vario using an Arduino Nano single board microcontroller. Steady progress through Teensy and ESP32 micros has produced a more capable flight director that still runs most of the original code. Andy’s low-cost vario is already helping pilots to fly more efficiently, including one in the club’s DG-500 used for cross-country tuition.
When 60 years ago the future of gliding at Lasham was jeopardised by plans for a western extension of the London Control Zone, and overflight by aircraft bound for Farnborough, legendary glider pilot Nick Goodhart came to the rescue. The method of his mathematical analysis of the risk of a collision between an airliner and a glider (potential mid-air collision between an airliner and a glider every 370 years) is still valid. The BGA safety team reports it was recently used to compare present-day risks of light aircraft collisions with glider winch cables and parachutists. Analysis allows us to argue for clearer depiction of winch sites on charts and moving maps, and better publicity of the dangers of overflying them. It would be hard today to sustain Goodhart’s suggestion that most UK airspace could be eliminated, but his intention was mainly to show that collision risks can be calculated and that airspace decisions can be based on quantitative criteria.
Also in this issue: BGA Exec member Rebecca Bryan reflects on the UK hosting WWGC2022 and low female participation in gliding. Claudia Hill is in the spotlight for our pilot profile. Matt Waters flies the first 300km from Waldershare Park. Borders’ K-21 is taken to Poland for refinishing. Marilyn Hood highlights the lasting legacy of WWGC2022. Ron Johns remembers his out-and-return to Australia. Andrea Venturini is delighted to fly the new Arcus ‘20’ M. Malcolm Bond regrets his choice of retrieve team. Amelia Forrester reflects how a Caroline Award has helped her gliding journey. Grimshaw sacks his legal team and bashes recklessly on. Kevin Atkinson continues to explore the water furnace. Alison Randle looks at how clubs can benefit from WWGC20220. Pete Stratten reports on widening the appeal of gliding. Andrew Jarvis reports on vintage events over four counties. Plus, many more of your stunning images in the Gallery pages.
Fly safely and have fun
Editor, Sailplane & Gliding
Picking the perfect day
With favourable conditions forecast, Yves Gerster set off from Switzerland and landed out in Lasham just over nine hours later
Pilot profile: Claudia Hill
London GC’s Claudia Hill is preparing to take part in the 2022 Women’s World Gliding Championships at Hus Bos in August. This is the fourth time she has represented the UK in this competition. Outside gliding, Claudia enjoys open water swimming throughout the year
Seaside flight makes history
It was a special day for Channel GC when Matt Waters achieved the first 300km flown from its Dover airfield, Waldershare Park
Trip to Poland to refinish K-21
Borders’ technical officer Tim Fox explains why Poland was chosen for the refinishing of the club’s K-21. Susan and Derek Ward describe the 2,500-mile trip
Lasting legacy of WWGC2022
Marilyn Hood explains why a programme of events is happening before, during and after the comp ends
It’s one giant leap for a man
Craig Mustoe rids himself of the millstone around his neck with a long-awaited 50km flight needed to complete his Silver
Australia out and return…
Ron Johns reflects on a challenging flight to ‘Australia’ many years ago, making it back to the airfield after this enterprising flight
Efficiency at a lower cost
Andy Smith describes the low-cost vario he has developed, already helping pilots to fly more efficiently at Cotswold GC
‘Ferrari’ of the sky
Andrea Venturini is delighted to fly the new Arcus ‘20’ M
Where could the crew be?
Malcolm Bond wishes his choice of retrieve team was as successful as the field he selected
Freedom and confidence
Amelia Forrester reflects on how a Caroline Award has helped her gliding journey, beating her father to first solo along the way
Advisory 26: Plummeting tales
Following last issue’s scary feature on emergency parachutes Grimshaw sacks his legal team and bashes recklessly on
Atkinson’s law: The unique cumulus water furnace
Kevin Atkinson looks at the water furness in the second of a two-part article
The need for new members
BGA CEO Pete Stratten looks at widening the appeal of gliding
Vintage wings over four counties
VGC President Andrew Jarvis reports on recent events
The BGA safety team describes how the risk of mid-air collision can be calculated
Also in this issue:
BGA news; opinion; Gliding Gallery; Club Gallery; Club Focus – Scottish Gliding Centre; development news; news; BGA badges; obituaries; incident and accident summaries
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