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Dec-Jan 21

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Bubbles and yellow cards paved the way for some interesting competition flying. Find out more in the Dec/Jan issue of S&G, where you can also learn about the discovery of a new type of gravity wave. Sometimes we come down to earth with a bump – find out how we can lessen the impact. Plus, how maintenance can be a real eye-opener.

When Covid-19 struck and threatened the highlight of Steve Thompson’s year – the UK Mountain Soaring Championship – he was disappointed. However, he said: “I should have known better than to lose heart. The wild and uncompromising members of Deeside Gliding Club were made of strong stuff, and they were not about to let anything as insignificant as a world pandemic interfere with their annual championship.” The threat of a yellow card, together with allocated bubbles and Zoom briefings, enabled the club to run the competition safely and successfully. Denbigh Gliding Club was also able to hold a Covid-safe task week for juniors who had taken time off and had been looking forward to competing in the Junior Nationals.

Jean-Marie Clément’s expedition to the Atacama Desert in Chile had come close to cancellation when he came up against strikes, social violence and refusal of insurers. However, if the planned ‘classic wave’ project had to be cancelled for lack of third-party liability insurance, it was brilliantly replaced with the discovery of ‘tropical wave’. Jean-Marie describes this phenomenon in simple terms, and is working on presenting a study at the next OSTIV (International scientific and technical soaring organisation) congress in 2021.

Around half of the serious injuries reported to the BGA over the past 45 years involve fractures of the spine, typically from a heavy landing. If we do come down to earth with a bump, it is the glider cockpit and related systems that protect us, but there are improvements we can make ourselves to lessen the impact. The BGA safety team looks at the benefits of using energy-absorbing foam.

Having listened to Adrian Emck’s lecture on ‘comfort in flight’ at the BGA conference, Harriet Gamble decided to make the most of some good weather to take her loan K-6 out of its trailer with the intention of some cleaning and preparation. She noticed corrosion on the trailer, which resulted in much hard work and a transformation of the trailer that should now be sound for many more years. The maintenance involved in owning a glider was a real eye-opener for Harriet and she is now confident the trailer is ready if needed for a field landing. When the first lockdown lifted, Harriet was finally able to take to the sky with a first cross-country under her belt.

Also in this issue: BGA Chairman Andy Perkins reflects on challenging times ahead, but remains confident in a healthy future for gliding. Paul Fritche is in the spotlight for our pilot profile. Iain Macdonald and Roy Garden take Deeside’s Perkoz for a wave flight. Finn Sleigh reports from the Czech Republic Nationals. Luca MacGregor and Luke Pike go from solo to Silver in seven weeks, while Allan Hopkins explains why his Silver journey took 40 years. Bruce Marshall and Pete Belcher reflect on their landouts from heaven or hell. Adrian Morgan doesn’t get the smooth return to gliding he had hoped for. A tow ball system to make ground handling less unwieldy is developed in Australia. Ebenezer Grimshaw uncovers another area of murky gliding horror for newbies. Kevin Atkinson discusses his law on dynamic mixing and flows in the thermal factory. Alison Randle looks at the importance of community. Pete Stratten reflects on building a strong future for gliding. Andrew Jarvis reports on a summer of vintage gliding. Plus many more of your stunning images in the Gallery pages.

Fly safely and have fun

Susan Newby
Editor, Sailplane & Gliding
Pilot profile: Paul Fritche

Paul Fritche achieved a long sought-after goal, gaining the UK Standard Class free three turnpoint distance and also the three turnpoint distance records during a flight from Lasham on 20 July. S&G caught up with Paul after his successful record claim

Deeside’s Perkoz stretches wings

Iain Macdonald and Roy Garden put Deeside’s Perkoz through its paces with a wave flight.

Maintenance is eye-opener

Harriet Gamble experiences the hands-on work required in having your own glider before taking flight in her loan K-6

Czech out the competition

Finn Sleigh reports on the juniors taking part in the Czech Republic 2020 nationals

Solo to Silver – seven weeks

Summer 2020 will be one to remember for Buckminster GC juniors Luca MacGregor and Luke Pike. Luca reports on their speedy progress

When success comes slowly

Burn GC’s Allan Hopkins explains why his journey to Silver took him 40 years to complete

Gallery special: junior task week

This issue the Gallery pages focus on a Junior task week. Denbigh CFI Chris Gill reports

Competing against the odds

Creating bubbles enabled Deeside GC to run a successful competition, reports Steve Thompson

Eventful tale of a drawbar

Bruce Marshall tells the story of a winter afternoon retrieve with a twist in the tail! Pete Belcher has a similar tale to tell

Tropical wave

Jean-Marie Clément discovers another form of gravity wave during a recent expedition to the Atacama Desert in Chile

Feels like flying backwards…

Adrian Morgan returns to the skies, but things do not go as smoothly as he would have liked

Making life a little easier

A system to make ground handling less unwieldy has been developed in Australia by Rob Brown, with Graeme Greed and Mike Burns

What they didn’t tell you – advisory 16: discovering something new… or not

Ebenezer Grimshaw continues his mountain soaring saga for newbies to expeditions

Atkinson’s law on dynamic mixing and flows in the thermal factory

Kevin Atkinson investigates in the second of a two-part article

Encouraging new interest

The BGA’s Chief Executive, Pete Stratten, reflects on building a strong future for gliding

The show must go on

Not all was lost when it came to enjoying a vintage summer, reports Andrew Jarvis

Cockpit remedies

The BGA safety team highlights steps we can take to lessen the impact in the event of a firm landing

Also in this issue:

BGA news; opinion; your letters; Gliding Gallery; Club Gallery; Club Focus – Rattlesden; development news; news; BGA badges; obituaries; incident and accident summaries

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