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Dec-Jan 24

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How can we increase motivation, improve skills, and strengthen bonds in the gliding community? Find out in the Dec/Jan issue. You can also read how your development could benefit from a bursary, what happened to a glider stuck on a hilltop, and what to do if someone experiences a heart attack or cardiac arrest at the club.

For several years, there has been a decline in the number of active glider pilots in most countries. This is why WeGlide was established by a group of glider pilots – an online platform connecting the worldwide gliding community and aiming to make the sport more accessible. In the last article in a three-part series, Joshua Rieger highlights the WeGlide features that aim to increase motivation, improve skills, and strengthen gliding community bonds. WeGlide badges are aimed at both beginners and experienced pilots. There are easily achievable badges for those starting out and suggestions to improve skills, celebrating achievements along the way. There are also badges for those preferring the occasional afternoon flight, those on epic flights, and for achievements in vintage gliding. A direct messaging feature encourages pilots to discuss flight techniques, exchange tips and organise soaring trips.

If you want to develop your skills but would benefit from financial assistance, why not apply for a Ted Lys award? Gliding charity Launchpoint provides Ted Lys awards for advanced training and coaching of individual pilots or groups. Typically for cross-country flying courses, aerobatics training, instructor training and TMG training, Launchpoint is also open to pilots or coaches creating their own programme, either as individuals or groups. For those looking for basic gliding training, Launchpoint offers Caroline awards.

With a non-functioning and extended engine, an outlanding was inevitable. Having congratulated himself on a perfect landing, Trevor Stuart then faced the question of how to retrieve the glider. A two-day adventure involved knocking on houses that all seemed deserted but had signs warning of dogs, planning an over-ambitious retrieve route which meant abandoning the trailer, enlisting help from Denbigh Gliding Club and finding a helpful farmer to save the day. Lessons learned included never leaving car keys in your pocket even if flying a turbo glider and never leaving home without the means to pay for anything.

In general, the BGA Safety Team only hears of heart problems when they cause a pilot to be incapacitated in the air – and even then, the subsequent diagnosis can be elusive or uncertain. Over the past 50 years, it is thought that about a dozen pilots have suffered debilitating heart problems while at the controls of a glider or tug, resulting in roughly the same number of fatalities as rigging errors and aerotow upsets. A recent survey suggests that heart troubles beyond the cockpit significantly outnumber those while piloting. Unlike heart problems that happen aloft, those on the ground occur within reach of help. Would you know what to do? The BGA Safety Team offers useful advice.

Also in this issue: BGA Chairman Andy Perkins reflects on maximising opportunity for clubs. Kamil Bulak is in the spotlight for our pilot profile. Adrian Morgan reflects on those flippin’ five hours. David Dodds highlights eight things you should know about instructing. Kevin Atkinson reflects on looking out. Andrew Jarvis reports on a season of vintage maintenance. Ten-year-old Harry Jones soaks up information at Dunstable. There are four pages of results from BGA-rated UK competitions, plus the announcement of the BGA provisional ratings list. Grimshaw highlights authority encounters. Alison Randle reports on the importance of engaging members. Pete Stratten looks at potential tweaks to SPL requirements. Andrew Jarvis’ book On Wooden Wingsis reviewed. Joey Beard looks at mental health awareness in our sport. Plus, many more of your stunning images in the Gallery pages. 

Fly safely and have fun

Susan Newby
Editor, Sailplane & Gliding
Pilot profile: Kamil Bulak

In the spotlight for this issue’s Pilot Profile is Essex & Suffolk GC’s Kamil Bulak. At just 17, he is one of the UK’s youngest instructors and has recently attracted a fair amount of media coverage, which he hopes will attract more young people to gliding

Launchpoint helps develop gliding skills

Could your development benefit from a Ted Lys award? The application process is now open for 2024 bursaries. Jeremy Pack reports

Flippin’ five hours

One pilot’s ‘ascent into competence’ with the final leg of the Silver cracked on a fabulous June day with a cloudbase that reached a barely believable 8,000ft. Adrian Morgan reports

Eight things you should know

Twelve months in – what David Dodds discovered about instructing

Stuck on a hilltop

With a non-functioning and extended engine, an outlanding was inevitable. Having made a perfect landing, the question was how to retrieve the glider. Trevor Stuart reflects on a retrieve from hell

Atkinson’s law: Looking out

Kevin Atkinson looks at developing situational awareness to keep you and others safe during soaring flights

Take the next step 3

In the last article in a three-part series Joshua Rieger looks at WeGlide’s features aiming to increase motivation, improve skills and to strengthen bonds in the gliding community

Autumn: a season of maintenance

Vintage owners are giving gliders a little TLC, reports Andrew Jarvis

Future of gliding

Exploring Dunstable Downs, Harry Jones noticed the gliders. He has since taken every opportunity to visit London GC and soak up knowledge. Rupert Robertson talks to 10-year-old Harry

The racing year

Four pages of BGA-rated UK competition results and a link to the provisional 2023 ratings list

Click here  for the 2023 ratings list

Advisory 34: Authority encounters

Ebenezer Grimshaw sticks his head over the parapet to highlight brushes with those in charge

Respond and make a big difference

Alison Randle reports on the importance of engaging club members

Sailplane pilot licence update

BGA CEO Pete Stratten looks at potential tweaks to SPL requirements

Book review

Reviewed in time for your Christmas wish list is On Wooden Wings: celebrating the Golden Jubilee of the Vintage Glider Club, by Andrew Jarvis

Heart troubles

The BGA Safety Team discusses heart attacks and cardiac arrest

Also in this issue:

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

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