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December-January 20

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Dreams have been coming true for glider pilots with a flight in the Eta and an introduction to mountain flying. Find out more in the Dec/Jan issue of S&G, which also tells us what we can learn from soaring birds. Plus, Sebastian Kawa offers advice on how to land out in mountains.

When Jean-Sébastien Seytre got a second chance to experience flight in the Eta, there was no way he was going to miss out this time – particularly as he would be flying with Uli Schwenk. Jean-Sébastien travelled to Slovenia to discover why this glider, with its 30.9m wingspan, really is big on performance. Eta is the seventh letter of the Greek alphabet and used in physical science to designate efficiency. Even a top Open Class pilot like Uli Schwenk needs to fly around 100 hours to fully exploit this glider’s outstanding capabilities.

Essex pilot Mike Harris also made a dream come true with a trip to Sisteron, France. After years of admiring the photographs in magazines, but never believing he would actually get there himself, an Aim Higher lecture at the club proved to be the turning point. Mike grabbed the opportunity to sign up for one of Aim Higher coach Kevin Atkinson’s regular visits to Sisteron. Now addicted and looking forward to a return visit, Mike says that if you have cross-country experience and make sure you fly with an instructor who has extensive Alpine experience you won’t regret a trip to Sisteron.

The world’s top-ranking glider competition pilot, Sebastian Kawa, has extensive experience of flying in the mountains. Recently, he was taking part in a gliding competition in Italy when he was unfortunate in experiencing his first hard landing. About 30km from the finish line on a practice day, Sebastian decided not to take any risks and to start the engine. It wouldn’t start and he was faced with landing on a steep slope with hidden bumps. The glider, a GP14, sustained some damage and Sebastian injured his back. (Fortunately, he is recovering well.) Reflecting on this incident, Sebastian offers some valuable advice on how to land out safely in mountain terrain.

When flying cross-country, soaring birds marking areas of lift can be very helpful. Sharing a thermal with an eagle may be a once-in-a-lifetime experience, but are there any reasons we should be cautious when in the presence of soaring birds? Tony Cronshaw talks to leading coaches Kevin Atkinson and Bernard Eckey to find out what we can learn from birds in the first of a two-part article.

Also in this issue: BGA Chairman Andy Perkins reflects on a year showing plenty of gliding activity and looks ahead to what 2020 may offer. Jon Pring remembers a trip to South Africa featuring prominently in his highlights of 2018. Justin Wills concludes the tales of his summer of expeditions. Anne Soltow reports on ICGC’s eventful exped to France. Ebenezer Grimshaw delves into the world of vintage gliding. Julia Robson reports from Gransden Lodge on the Cadet Challenge. Ted Lys success stories are highlighted. William Parker regrets his cunning plan following a landout. Joey Beard reports from the 2019 Junior Nationals. There are four pages of results from BGA-rated UK competitions, plus the announcement of the BGA provisional ratings list. BGA development officer Alison Randle looks at junior development. Andrew Jarvis reports on Gluebirds over the White Cliffs of Dover. Two vintage books are reviewed by Bruce Stephenson and Nick Newton. The BGA safety team looks at low-risk first flights. Plus many more of your stunning images in the Gallery pages.

Fly safely and have fun

Susan Newby
Editor, Sailplane & Gliding
Flying with birds

Tony Cronshaw asks leading coaches Kevin Atkinson and Bernard Eckey what we can learn from soaring birds in the first of a two-part article

The Eta: big on performance

Jean-Sébastien Seytre fulfils an ambition with a flight on the Eta with Uli Schwenk. Here he looks at the origins of the glider with a 30.9m wingspan

Leaving behind a damp winter

Jon Pring reflects on a trip to South Africa that features prominently in his highlights of 2018

Approaching journey’s end

Part five concludes the tales of Justin Wills’ 2018 summer of expeditions, with flights in an Arcus M from Puimoisson to Palermo in Italy

Hard landing

After a hard landing in the Apennines, Sebastian Kawa reflects on the experience and offers advice for safe mountain landouts

Click here for the full version of Sebastian’s letter to OSTIV

Tour is hot stuff

Anne Soltow reports on ICGC’s eventful expedition to France

Advisory 13: A crash of colour

Questions pre-solo pilots want to ask… but never dare to! Ebenezer Grimshaw continues to break taboos, dispel myths and restore reality for newbies

Up for a challenge

Cambridge’s Julia Robson reports from Gransden Lodge on the Cadet Challenge

Awards aiding advancement

Either you need Launchpoint, or Launchpoint needs you! Highlighting recent Ted Lys success stories

Uncontrolled descent

William Parker regrets his cunning plan in the latest of our landouts from heaven or hell

An introduction to Alpine gliding

An Aim Higher lecture, and Kevin Atkinson’s passion for flying, inspired Mike Harris to fulfil an ambition to experience mountain flying

Gliding’s stars of tomorrow

Joey Beard reports from the 2019 Junior Nationals, a competition which offers two-seater coaching and is very much a family affair

The racing year

Four pages of BGA-rated UK competition results and the provisional 2019 ratings list

Gluebirds over the White Cliffs of Dover

VGC President Andrew Jarvis reports on vintage events and highlights events to look forward to in 2020

Book reviews

Two vintage titles reviewed in time for your Christmas wish list: Gliding & Soaring in Britain, the history of British gliders and sailplanes, by Arthur Ord-Hume; and Hellmuth Hirth 20,000 leagues in the sea of air, recently translated into English

A fun but safe introduction

The BGA safety team looks at how we can ensure that first flights are as low risk as practical

Also in this issue:

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

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