Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Bicester Regionals 2010

The most popular Regionals in the UK (if the number of entrants is anything to go by!) is scheduled for 24th July to 1st August 2010. The entry form is now available online at Bicester Regionals 2010.

Now, you know you want to go there. So to be sure of a place, click the above link and make your entry. Do it, now!

Monday, 9 November 2009

Lots of Solos, Lots of Uni Students

This year we seem to be getting a large number of students solo, many of them on our weekly courses. So far, the total is 21 solos and there is still several weeks of good flying left this year!

And now we have a large influx of new students from Oxford University and Cransfield University, around 45 new ab initios, so with a bit of luck we will have a similar number of new solo pilots in the next 6 - 8 months, weather permitting.

Monday, 12 October 2009

Still going cross-country in September and October!

Late September and early October are not the normal time of the year to be out on cross-country flights.


A couple of weeks ago we had Andy Smith doing 340km+, on the 10th September, for what we thought would be the last long flight of the year. Wrong!

Ken Hartley and Bob King went out and return to the Long Mynd on 20th September while Andrew Reid went to Ely and back on the 26th. More recently Matt Turnbull went to Broadway and back on 3rd October, then his syndicate partner did a shorter o/r immediately after Matt landed, while Gary McKirdy made a flying visit to his Mum for a cup of tea (she lives near Pocklington) then flew back again a few days later (8th Oct.). That same day we had another couple of 200km flights by Dave Watt and Bob King. And on 10th October Ken Hartley did 180km.

And these are only the flights I've been told about - I'm assured that there were others.

Who says global warming brings no benefits.

Meanwhile, Derek Staff is notching up gold and diamond heights every other day at Aboyne.

But that's not all the good news!

George Tvalashvili and Pete Cadle finished their Basic Instructor course yesterday under the tutelage of OJ and await their acceptance flights from the CFI.

Monday, 28 September 2009

What a great week!

This last week Monday 21 to Friday 25 September gave us five days of perfect weather for our eleventh Going for Solo course. We had three pupils all of varying levels of experience and our staff instructors worked their socks off every day. There was a great atmosphere here all week and it was one of the busiest weeks ever with 198 launches over the five days. Two of our Going for Solo pupils achieved their first solos on Friday with the third making very good progress.

We also had two other new members flying with us – the dynamic Parr brothers! Dave Parr was a pupil on the Going for Solo course which ran from 7 to 11 September and he achieved his first solo on 11 September. Dave carried on flying whenever we could fit him in and on 18 September he flew a K13 for 51 minutes, easily qualifying for his first Bronze leg. His second qualifying Bronze flight came on 25 September when he flew the K8 for 47 minutes.

His brother Simon was inspired to learn to glide and joined us on 16 September as a Learn to Glide member and started flying that very day. He went solo on 24 September and then, just to show brother Dave that he could also fly, he was checked for his second solo on 25 September and stayed airborne for an astonishing 45 minutes to qualify for his first Bronze leg!

Our Going for Solo courses have seen a number of first solos this summer and together with our booked intensive days our newer (and a few of our more established) members are making rapid progress. We are extending the commercial side of our operation throughout the winter and we will be offering bookable day intensives on Wednesdays and Fridays at £30 per day booking fee – this guarantees two pupils to one instructor.

Monday, 21 September 2009


Well Friday came and it rained, it eased off long enough to get the Duo packed away before we went over to La Motte to see Jacques for a beer. Saturday morning Pete and Phil set off for the airport leaving us SOGS behind to consider their options. Briefing was not encouraging with a very unsettled forcast, even Dickies bus had stopped entertaining us so we made the decision to de-rig the ASH and planned to leave first thing Sunday.
In true Brit style we kept a stiff upper lip and had a BBQ on Saturday night in the pouring rain followed by much pastis and discussion on potential plans for next year. Although the weather had basically been very poor we still flew and had a good break.
Lots of ideas thrown about including possibly bringing Jacques over to Bicester for a presentation on Alpine flying in the early spring.
The return trip was uneventful and Dickies bus finally came up with the goods.
We hope you have all been mildly entertaind with our postings and invite you all to try to crack the OGS code!!!
over and out

Friday, 18 September 2009

HOGS on tour day7 continued

Well nothing is ever as good as it looks and that was true for the conditions that developed. The Duo made it to the first TP, the Tete de Clappe but options to cross the valley towards Briancon were much reduced because of a low cloud base on the mountains to the east. Meanwhile the ASH was delayed on the airfield as it could not launch with the tailwind that had now set up. The Dou backtracked to La Motte to try to find a way across to the Par Cours, in doing so nearly fell off every mountain around ended up scratching around on the Jouere for a while. By now the ASH was encountering the same problem at the Clappe so the DUO returned towords the Pic De Bure to try to team up for some photography. Both gliders met at the west face of the Pic for some very interesting rock polishing on its west face. followed by some formation flying and pikkies, back to Sisteron put the gliders to bed then beer and arguments over who had actually got further around the task, certainly the Dou had covered the most distance but had been 1 hour longer in the air. Close scrutiny of the loggers decided it was a draw. Pete spent the day sprawled out on his wing covers in the Duos trailer, some sod kept snoring and waking him up though! Good news he should be able to fly tomorrow. Weather permitting!

Thursday, 17 September 2009

HOGS on tour day7

HOGs on tour day7 (Thursday)( except Pete)
Yesterday was a washout but today looks like being the best so far. Dickies bus was collected this morning having had both drive shafts replaced CHING CHING Dickie is now 750 euro poorer, lets hope that we have sorted the power problem too. Sadly Pete has managed to bring a heavy cold with him from the UK and is disappointed not to be able to fly today, but…… One mans disaster is anothers good fortune Phil offered his empty seat to Tel, he thought about it for a microsecond before accepting, silly not to!!!
With 300km set to the north and south gliders made ready, off to the Janus for Café au lait.
To be continued…/


Tuesday, 15 September 2009


Terry’s turn on jankers so primary task to sort out Dickies bus. The weather wasn’t looking too bright so set off to the garage with Pete for support and a lift back. Checked in the bus and managed to get a banger rental for 15 euro per day. Started to rain which would be in for the day and the outlook now not looking too good until Friday. Jumped in the banger and went on exped to La Motte to see Jacques Noel .
Much back slapping and hand shaking, we were made very welcome and went to inspect their new 440hp winch, very interesting, hydraulic drive, well engineered built by a commercial company in Germany.
They are using 5.5mm 7 core cable with a polyester centre core. They use a very complicated technique to join the cable without using cleats on which Terry was given a 40 minute lesson by Jacques. Not sure he managed to absorb it all but a similar method may work with our cable too.
As we left Dickie met another old chum, Gean Renaud Faliu. Made arrangements to go there on Friday for their club bbq.


Today Dickie is on jankers, Stu and Tel’s turn to fly.. Conditions looked good. Looks often decieve and in this case came true. Pete and Phil set off first with a high tow to Trainon where there appeared to be good thermic lift generating a cu, Stu and Tel took a tow 30 minutes later to the Gash and were soon joined by the Duo which had fallen off Trainon. For those who have yet to fly here Trainon is at around 5,000’ and is usually the second step towards getting to the higher ground, the Gash is around 4,000’. It wasn’t long before the mighty ASH fell off the Gash closely followed by the Duo. We both struggled for the next hour scratching around but finally climbed away from Blachere near La Motte GC. All plans were thrown out the window as our intended task area looked too soggy so we set off to the lower land in the south. With the weather cycling we spent the rest of the day sight seeing. I understand this sounds like the conditions were poor but we were climbing in 5kt averages to 7,500’.
This was a day of two halves, while we were flying Dickie decided to replace the fuel filter in the bus. Power had returned but we were sure it would be the same when we tried to tow, so as the filter was the cheapest and easiest option this would be our first step. Did I say “easiest option”, we really should stop tempting fate. Dickie replaced the filter while we were flying but having done so the bus went into complete limp home mode, couldn’t pull the skin off a rice pudding. After we had touched down we were approached by a very depressed looking Dickie and the bus which only just managed to pull the ASH of the piste, he was well pisted off. We put the glider to bed and after a beer took at look at the bus. VOILA!!!!!! Dickie had knocked off a plug to the mass air sensor this should fix it, spoke too soon.
The plug now re-connected Dickie drove off with Tel for a test drive, the bus pulled like a train, in his elation Dickie floored the throttle to give it a good thrashing, all too late Tel saw it coming but could not warn Dickie in time……. WALLOP full belt into a speed hump…… OOOOOERRRR whats the clunking noise? Dickie had now sheered one of the bus’s drive shafts, that’s gonna be a garage job!!

Monday, 14 September 2009


So day 4 arrives with a similar forecast to yesterday, Stu's turn for jankers Tel and Dickie headed for the mountains. Not so easy conditions today just trying to stay in the better weather but still managed to clock up nearly 200km with a forray into the lower southern hills where the thermals were more frequent. Cloudbase was a little lower today with most thermals averaging 5kt plus to 8,500'.
A closer look at Dickie and Stu's flight the day previous showed several climbs that peaked at 14.6kt to 10,000'. Pete and Phil arrived mid afternoon after stepping off their flight to Marseilles and stepped straight into the Duo, ( we rigged it for them earlier) they managed 2.5 hours staying fairly local. 6pm gliders all tucked up off to the Janus for dinner and beer. the evening was rounded off with several pastis and g&t's. Tomorrows weather looks better.

Sunday, 13 September 2009


Weather forcast is for more storms later and after a bright start the cu popped over the higher ground. After a quick FLARM installation the ASH set off for the mountains. Tel remained at Siseron on jankers. Dickie and Stu returned 3 hours later with reports of 10kt climbs having been up to Briancon dodging the odd Cb. With Cb's now developing all around the airfield we hastily bagged up and tied down Dickies other bus ( at least this one performs OK) then off to the Janus for beer and tiffins. The outlook is for an improving situation with the weather and looking forward to Strats and Phil arriving tomorrow.


So someone suggested we go off to Sisteron for a late season exped to the
Alps, sounds like a good idea, lets take the ASH.All packed we set off for Dover with Dickie Stu and Terry on board, the plan being to meet up with Strats and Phil who were travelling out by "squeezy jet" fly the Duo. Nothing could possibly go wrong! WRONG!!5 miles from Dover Dickies bus suffers a sudden loss of power oooer. Quick decision, abandon ASH in layby and find a Ford dealer, backtracked to Canterbury to a dealer who put the bus onto a diagnostics straight away ( thought this is going to be expensive) but oddly the engine power returned
during the trip to the dealer. Diagnostics couldn't find any problems mmmmm!
next bit was the bill.... NO CHarge things were starting to go our way.... Or
so we thought!!! Got to the port missed our ferry, small print says we need to pay £25 admin
and £??? rebook fee, they let us off RESULT! Stu did some number crunching and deduced that we had enough time to take a more scenic route driving through the night via Andorra and Madrid, on reflection and with 20/20 hindsight this may have been our first BIG mistake. 20 mile out of Calais the bus decided to teach us a lesson in forward planning and reduced its power to about 40bhp, this gave us enough to increase momentum to 50 mph on the flat and 20mph or less on the inclines, ( Stu's new route was going to be a bit hilly) and with 800 miles still to go
we were beginning to wonder if we would ever make it. We struggled for 3 hours when it was time for Tel to drive, after a stop for fuel we set off again, miracle, power now returned, much discussion as to what caused this but we were now happy to be cruising along at speed, 10 minutes later the bus throws its toys out again and we were back to slug bus mode. During the next 3 hours we discovered that cycling the ignition could restore the power but
after each cycle the cure only lasted a few minutes. We settled back for a long slow trip. After a second fuel stop power returned for just long enough to get us over the foothills to Grenble before we lost it again. We finally arrived at Sisteron 15 hours after leaving Calais with Dickies Cassandra continually telling us we were going the wrong way... Knackered!!


Well we were here, at least we would get to fly................That is as
long as at least one of us could pass through the French medical requirements. Off to the ECG Doctor Sammini to get fully wired up, ching ching 40 euro's later we were told we can continue with all the drugs, fags, booze, fatty foods and sex, no dicky tickers here. Next to Dr Neuveux for a full medical, ching bl.....dy ching another 80 euros, methinks a JAR medical before we leave is the best way to go, however all this does allow us to fly here until 2011.Back to the airfield a bit more paperwork, rig the ASH, fed and watered and all fit to fly tomorrow. Then it RAINED, followed by thunderstorm followed by power outage, maybe Dickies bus has jinxed the weather too!

Monday, 7 September 2009

More competition success and more happy visitors

Congratulations to Dave Watt on coming second in the 15m Nationals, only 10 points behind the winner, while Fran Aitken was 8th in the Junior Nationals.

We had 18 power pilots in six aircraft from the North Weald Flying Group visit us for a day out to try gliding on Saturday 5th September. They had a lovely time organised by the club, including an excellent lunch. Several were rather successful on their first attempts at aerotowing, and all left with a smile on their face.

We hope to organise a few other events like this next year, so let the office know if your flying club is interested.

Monday, 24 August 2009

300s, 500s and other things

Due to comps and work, we have been a bit busy, so here are several updates.

First, congratulations to member Pete Harvey who has now added the UK Open Class win to his recent European Open Class win.

We have have several weekends with good cross country weather, such as 25th July, 2nd August and 8th August, with multiple 300km flights each day (6 to 8 pilots each time). Andy Smith however, did 597km on the 25th July and 500km on the 8th August and also midweek, on the 13th August. Ordinary pilots also did many 200km+ flights these days.

We said goodbye to Tim Wheeler, one of our full-time staff, on Friday 21st August. After 5 months as staff instructor he has moved on to Boeing to help them with their many projects.

We have been well represented in many comps recently. Apart from Pete Harvey's triumphs, we have had Owain Walters in the Standard Class Nationals and Derren Francis (4th place overall!) and Dave Watt in the 18m Nationals, while at the time of writing, we have Fran Aitken, Felix Hofmann and Philippa Roberts in the Junior Nationals, Derren Francis and Dave Watt in the 15m Nationals, and Steve Bradford, Paul Copland and William Parker in the Grandsen Regionals.

So, overall, a very active year for cross countries and comps (and I've probably missed out several others as well).

Monday, 27 July 2009

The Regionals

The Bicester Regionals 2009 were a great success. The weather was not as nice as we would have liked, due to the jet stream moving to the wrong place, but Dan the MetMan did a great job of forecasting, enabling Ken Hartley to set tasks to match the conditions. Overall we had five days in the Open Class and four days in the Sports Class (increasing wind strength on one day prevented them from flying).

There were at least 28 people working hard to make the Regionals a success, giving up at least a week's holiday to be there - and many were not even members of the club! For example, the girls in Control travelled from Liverpool and Portsmouth, just to help us out, and a group of Scouts also turned up to help with launching and lots of other jobs, including keeping the place tidy.

As for the winners, John Wilton won the Open Class, with local pilots John Roberts (131) second and Martin Durham in LS8 third. In the Sports Class it was definitely local hero time, with Sunay Shah in HGG in first place, beating Ian Smith and Micky Boik in AA into second place and Cris Emson (sharing 379 with Red Staley) in third place.

We had many regular visitors competing, but with overlapping Nationals at each weekend, the turnout reduced was to 54 pilots (27 in each class). However we still seem to be the most popular Regionals in the country as we had a bigger entry than any other Regionals.

Saturday, 4 July 2009

June was nice

We have had a stream of visitors from other clubs coming to sample gliding at its best over the last three or four weeks. Pilots from Portsmouth, the Vintage Gliding Club, Kent, Aboyne, Kent (again) and arriving soon, some from Vectis.

Our courses are a popular as ever, and soon we will be running the most popular Regionals in the country. Although the number of entries is rather low this year, a mere 59 at the last count, we still have room for another 20 or so entrants. So if you wish to join us, enter soon as the comp starts on 18th July.

Yes, a dozen or so pilots on a local task week can be fun, but a full-blown Regionals is even more fun! And our large all grass airfield, devoted to gliding not power flying, makes finishing so much easier and safer. So don't delay, enter today. Bicester 2009

Finally we can offer NPPL training for those who prefer an engine. Got a full PPL but not tried a motor glider yet? Compare what you pay elsewhere for a Cessna with flying a motor glider www.windrushers.org.uk/fees.htm

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

So how did things go on Sunday 14th June?

Well, apparently Derren heard a strange knocking sound while on task, and couldn't extend his bug wipers... ;)

Bob King - 757.5 km - WELL DONE !!!
Andy Smith - 739.2 km - so verrrrrry close.
Mark Szymkowicz - 719.7 km so close.

Matt Turnbull and Philipp Schartau - 503.2km well done.

While all on the same task of 339.9 km we had:-
Owain Walters, Dan Pitman, Dave Watt, Derren Francis, Al Mac, Andy Henderson, Ken Hartley.
While Derek Staff did a different 375 km

Me? I sat on the ground helping with the Interclub League, which we won very convincingly. Not that I'm bitter, what with Matt getting to the glider ten minutes before me and using the old excuse that I had flown it yesterday, or with me having had a bad flight on the Saturday, and forgetting to put sun screen on my nose, and the logger failing. No, I wasn't bitter at all, not one little bit...

On the Saturday we had 11 pilots race round the same 206.3 km task, with many others doing smaller ones.

We had visitors from several clubs turn up over the weekend, many flying the same tasks as above, and all seemed to enjoy themselves. Last time I checked, 31 pilots did tasks on the Sunday from Bicester.

Saturday, 23 May 2009

Task week - day one

A great turn out of 15 or so turned up for a 10.00 am briefing under a promising sky. Two tasks were set, Task A (Experienced) was BI1, LRI, CAX, BIC for 234km, and the novice task BI1, LRI, NPT, BIC for 144km. There was a threat of the day getting cut off from high cover. Unfortunately, this happened before the day really got started so most scrubbed the day. Dave Watt went off locally in GAM with Chris Palmer. KBS also launched.

There was also plenty of club flying, congratulations to Christian Fernau for getting his second bronze leg. The day finished off with an excellent BBQ, where 40 or so attended. It's still all going on in the bar...

Tomorrow looks better, breifing for the task week will be at 10.00.

Friday, 22 May 2009

A busy Friday

A few launched to give a short task a go, but the weather never went that way, so they all came back (apart from Seth)!

James Duncan went solo on the aerotow today, having soloed on the winch on Wednesday, well done! The instructors course were motorgliding and winching today, finishing off with cable breaks.

This evening we hosted our first flight and bite of the year (thanks to the weather), and flew 25 of Clive's colleagues from work in just over an hour. A huge thanks to all those who helped out!

Tomorrow will be a great day to start our task week. Is summer returning?

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Going for solo first solo

Congratulations to James who is attending this weeks going for solo course, for going solo this afternoon. Well done! The instructor course spent the day aerotowing, and we welcomed the Swift, which spent the afternoon practising for the aerobatic nationals. Richard Lever (ML) and Sef (EKV) launched and did some extended local soaring. JED went to the Southdowns and Wiltshire...

The new briefing room is now very near completion, and will be great for briefings during next weeks task week.

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Finally some flying weather..

After a very disappointing couple of weeks it was good to get flying again. The instructors course made full use of the reasonable height cloudbase, and the going for solo course progressed onto the winch.

G-OTIB has had it's undercarriage legs taken off and sent to France.

Tomorrow is looking quite good, and our task week kicks off on Saturday morning, briefing will be in our newly refurbished briefing room at 10.00am. All are welcome!

Sunday, 17 May 2009

Yet another good X/c day

Sunday 10th May 2009.
The season has well and truly started. Sunday produced another good x/c day with the big boys doing 270km. Al Mac, Andy Smith, Derren, Dan Pitman did Bicester-Market Harborough-Ely-Kettering-Bicester.

Us lesser mortals still did 207km. Sunay Shah, Marko Bacic, Andy Henderson and Derek Staff did Bicester-Didcot-Grafam Water-Bicester.
Derek Staff turned back just 13km short of Grafam water (tut tut!) having landed out the week before 5 fields away from Sackville with no mobile phone and no money.

Even Wee John was shovelled into his glider for a late start 150km.
We all made the same mistake in not launching as soon as the weather was soarable and consequently not making best use of the day.
Roll on the regionals!

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Last week...

On Tuesday, Dave Watt took George off in the Acro for some soaring training. G-OTIB is now back from it's annual. Congratulations to Corbin, who has bought into an ASW19, JJL and flew it for the first time today. Unfortunately, we had to Can evening flying as a thunderstorm moved in and wiped us out.

Wednesday was a very promising day with DW launching just after 10.00 on a 750k. Howver, the day did not pan out aswell as we all hoped, with a couple of landouts from our Weston on the Green visitors, and everyone else cutting their tasks back. The evening got better, with Tuesday evenings group turning up and enjoying some great evening soaring. A couple of 50k guy's from Lasham also made it up here.

At 19:40 a Lasham based Duo Discus X landed here, having been up to Sutton Bank (N.Yorkshire). They were aerotowed home during a very pleasant sunset.

Thursday and Friday were ok too, with some club members training.

Saturday and Sunday were also very good, with the grid going off on various tasks, up to 300k in length.

Bank holiday Monday, we got everything out, did 3 aerotows, then put everything away in the rain...

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Going for Solo course and a brilliant Sunday

The Going for Solo course was one of the best we have ever run, with 5 excellent flying day's. Both guys on the course made rapid progress from zero flying experience, both are now ready for launch failures and, pending doing ok at those, solo.

Saturday shaped up much better than forecast with Ken going out to Newbury and back along the streets. Derren and Owain also did something, not sure exactly where they went.

Sunday was the day. DW, Bob King and others ventured out on a 500k, congratulations to Marco who did his first 300k, and to Roger Westerhuis who went to Hus Bos in the K6 for his 50k, but then took a local aerotow to 3000ft, and flew home into wind! Many others did the club 300k task.

I was homebound, which was right underneath the general dropzone for the aerotow. How painful it was!

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Another very good soaring day...

Corbin Davies and James Best have done their 50ks! Both took an Astir each to Lasham, James landing their just 1 hour 30 after launching off the winch at Bicester. Well done guys.

DW, Derren, Mark Simplyrich, Sunay and Bob King did Lasham - Avebury for a very fast 220k.

The guys on the Going for solo course filled their boots today on the winch, and are now doing the entire flight by themselves. Dave also did another long soaring flight and looked at Spinning.

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Monday 20th April and Tuesday 21st


The summer is here, temperatures into the 20s and soaring conditions that make things happen.

DW, Derren and Matt Cook headed out yesterday into the yonders on Bidford and Bedford. Meanwhile. back at Bicester we have Tarmin and Dave on a weeks intensive going for solo course, both who have started afresh to gliding today. Both had a great day, both doing 3 hours in the air each.


Again, a cross country grid of 15 launched into a working but blue sky. Not sure where they all went today, but one things for sure, life is too short for work when there's good gliding to be done.

The course guys had another cracking day and have now progressed through stalling onto circuits. We also welcome two new members who have joined us today, one who came on a half day course, and another who just popped in to have a look around, and then was persuaded to go flying, not that he needed any persuasion! It was also nice to see a busy bar this evening.

Tomorrow looks like another reasonable day!

Last week...

Internet problems at home stopped me from updating last week. Last week was our first official week of full time operations, and what a successful week it was, until it rained and rained.

Both Charles Jessop and Alan Linfield were on a Going for Bronze course. Charles got solo at Bicester, then went on to do several long soaring flights, a couple of nearly silver heights (logger needed to be switched on), converted into a single seater, completed his bronze written exam and field landings, as well as clocking up enough hours and launches for the bronze. The only thing left is his GFT, shame the weather wasn't quite good enough on enough day's!

Alan got solo again after a long layoff, and though already Bronze, did enjoy the couple of good days in the sunshine.

On Monday, DW, Derren, Owain Walters and others headed out x/c. Derren and Owain did two tasks, with Derren relighting for the second task, whilst Owain scraped away from his finish, nice one.

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Todays videos

Wave to FL130 - but you needed a turbo!

The rain cleared at lunch time to give another great ridge day, with a good 20kts straight onto the Bishop.

Many tried to get into the wave but few succeeded. Lukas, T19 got to 7500ft by pure luck, and Terry got to 13000ft at Pitlocherie (but needed his turbo to get into it)!

I didn't get established in the wave until it was getting dark; I'm not bitter....

Annette flew the K6 on the ridge. A fine time was had by all.

GAM Bishop Bashing with Terry & Rob

Monday, 6 April 2009

Portmoak Video's and Photo's, so far..

Seth has a collision between his elevator and his nose...

For videos please see below our youtube links:- YouTube Link

Another great ridge day and Micky Boiks birthday

Another nice ridge day with thermals and weak wave. Easy to stay airborne, and many did long flights. Much bashing of the bishop was done...

Micky Boik enjoyed a couple of nice flights in the mighty AA, and some walked up to the top of the ridge to take photo's. These will be on tomorrow. Micky also enjoyed a proper coming of age, and is currently munching on birthday cake in the bar.

Not sure what happened at Bicester today, forecast looked good.

Tomorrow looks really promising in the afternoon,with small ridge of high pressure and a NW'ly flow. Will it wave properly???

Good day at Portmoak, cracking at home...

A moderate SW'ly gave good ridge on the Bishop all day, so much bashing of the Bishop was done.. It was also very thermic with some 6kt climbs to 4500ft. Unfortunately, this screwed up the wave with only acouple of us climbing up to FL50 in 1/2 kt.

Rob Hatcheck did his 2 hour cross country endorsement leg in the morning, and his hour leg after lunch. 46 different gliders launched from Portmoak on Sunday and 105 winch launches were done.

Although it was nowhere near as good for x/c as down south, it was an excellent fun day.

Back home the club task was 300k, going out to Cambridge and Grantham. Conditions were reported to be cracking, with a 5000ft cloudbase and climbs to match. Many thanks to Andy Henderson, Maz, Nick Kelly and everyone else who helped out on the field yesterday.

Just a quick note on tomorrow (Tuesday). It's looking good at home.

I hope to upload photo's and video's from Portmoak later today.

Saturday, 4 April 2009

Ridge and Wave at Portmoak, Thermals back home..

Today started wet both up here and at home, with a clearance arriving about 14:00. Conditions at Portmoak were ok, with a good wind on the Bishop ridge, and weak wave up to FL55.

Back home looked good too, with at least one silver height under a 5000ft Cu base.

Tomorrow is looking good!

Thursday, 2 April 2009

Portmoak trip starts

OJ and Debbie and Mike P and Felix left Bicester today and are now at Portmoak. The others will join us in drips and drabs over tomorrow and Saturday. Luckily the forecast is promising for the next few days...

Back at home, John Wright is covering for me tomorrow and on next Wednesday, and winching will be available on both days.

We will begin full time operations from Monday 13th April running through until the end of October.

In the mean time, we hope to report great things from the North over the next week / 10 days.

Another nice day and Dave Watt lands out..

A good turn out for a reasonable day, with some 18 aerotows. Dave and Derren declared BIC- Cambridge - Great Malvern - BIC for just over 300k, but turned back at Broadway. Derren scraped in, Dave did not landing a few fields away.

Mark Lavender and Dereck set off on BIC- Oakington - Hus Bos - BIC for 220k. Mark went round, Dereck did GRL Out and return.

We welcome Paul Murphy as a new member, who flew with Dave Perkins in the T21. Must have been cold...

Corbin tried for his 50k to Gransden in the clubs Astir but landed at Silverstone. Conveniently, DFR is now in it's box ready to head north to Portmoak on Friday.

Thanks to John Marriott for instructing, Dave Hook and Alan Twigg fot towing.

Monday, 30 March 2009

A fantastic Sunday...

What a day for March! Bob King did 400k, Dave Watt and Pete Stratten did a very quick 200. Tony Cleworth did his 100k, Richard Lever his 50k to Gransden, James Best his 5 hours and Silver height, George unpronounceable did his Silver height to complete his Silver. This is what I know about, if anyone achieved anything else, please let me know. We also welcome John Roberts and Fran Aitken who will be flying with us during the summer. Conditions were reported to be as good as 6kt averages to 6000ft!

Work has been progressing on the briefing room refurb, a huge thanks to OJ, Debbie, Pete Cadle and George. Also, Phil Gardner spent a great soaring day fixing the Astir trailer, thankyou Phil.

A good Tuesday..

The task, Bicester - Kineton - Newport Pagnell - Southam and back to Bicester. Derren and Dave Watt got round in their Venti, starting and finishing together. Tony Cleworth, the jolly old Pete Cadle and myself planned to fly the same task together, however Radio problems meant that we all went our seperate ways. The weather was a little tricky, with a strong wind at flying height and definate wave interferance. I got round Kineton and NPT but failed to get round Southam, Pete did Kineton then Southam. Corbin also did a couple of hours locally. Everyone was home for tea...

Monday, 23 March 2009

Thermals, wave and pea soup

Friday was fairly quiet, with only a few ab initios hitting the circuit, but all did lots and lots of flying.

Saturday was for the desperate and the brave, with K19 and KBS getting as far out as Stow on the Wold and back for 80km. The rest of us tried to stay in sight of the airfield in very hazy conditions. A certain Discus BT could be heard polluting the natural quiet of Bicester for quite some time....

Minoo Patel, who has recently joined us, flew his brand new ASG29 for the first time today. Shiney shiney! Want one.

Sunday was much better. Not really sure where everyone went, but some managed to contact wave to the west and Ken Hartley managed to climb to 7000ft. James Best converted to the Astir, Sal Cooper has now completed her cross country endorsement, and even John Wright, yes John Wright, flew SOLO in the club's Astir. Spending his own money - must have a new web design client again.

Richard Chapman had the best adventure of the day, with a trip down to and along the South Downs in his Ventus BT, achieving the out and return with only 13 minutes engine time.

Hopefully, we will be reporting some good flights on Tuesday...

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Spring is here....

Friday was scrubbed due to poor weather in the morning, but the afternoon did clear up enough for Derren, Pete Stratten, Miff and Mike to go over to Booker to pick HAL up from it's annual inspection.

Saturday was fun, with some managing to get into the wave at Upper Heyford. Others managed some local thermal soaring. We did 60 odd launches.

Sunday was very busy, with over 100 launches flown. The grid launched and managed 100k's, some doing Enstone - Northampton South, others doing Bletchley, Silverstone, Aylesbury. The Fox was out and about, doing aerobatics all day with many getting the chance to pull some 'G'! Maz and Dave Morgan were practising for the Dan Smith trophy at Dunstable in a couple of weeks, aerotowing until dusk.

Monday, 9 March 2009

Are you ready for 2009?

What are your flying ambitions for 2009? How are you going to achieve them?

Dave Watt and Mike Pettican are holding a meeting on this coming Saturday night (14th March) at 18:30.

The focus of this meeting will be on those who are looking to achieve duration flights, and 50k's, and those who are looking to fly their first x/c tasks. However, as always all are welcome. Look forward to seeing you there!

Friday, Saturday and Sunday - just gone..

Friday proved to be another good day (we won't mention Thursday), with 10 or so launching around about midday. Dave Watt, Derren Francis and John Giddins in their Venti, and Bob King in his ASW27, got round Chedworth - Silverstone (146k) in good time. On the winching side, we had 12 abinitio's out, Dave Burrett converted to the K8, and John Hunter converter to the Astir. Many thanks to John Wright (the pro winch driver) for coming down and spending the day in the back of a two seater instead, and a huge thanks to Alan Smith and Ian Smith who helped me ensure that everyone got flown.

Saturday was not so good for thermal soaring, but instead we welcomed members from all over to fly aerobatics in the Fox and K21, with many members receiving aerobatic instruction and getting a taste for learning aerobatics. For all those that missed it, we are only charging £32.00 for a 4000ft aerotow for aerobatics.

On Sunday we flew in the morning in an ever increasing wind, until rain stopped play around midday.

Thursday, 5 March 2009

Update - Thursday 09:00

Ok,so we did not wake up to sunshine this morning, as a layer of Cirrus has moved up further north than previously forecast.

None the less, this should retreat to the S by midday, still leaving a reasonable airmass that should give good climbs to 3500 - 4000ft maybe a little more in the best bits.

Still a good 200k day.

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Thursday and Friday looking GOOD

Today turned out to be a cracker despite of the poor showery forecast. I saw 4500ft over Kettering (in the motorglider on a nav ex).

Congratulations to James Best for completing his Bronze today.

Tomorrow looks lke it could be slightly better than today, with a slighly drier airmass, and less wind. Ignore RASP, it's currently broken. Tonight will be frosty, and we should be waking up to a nice sunny morning tomorrow. Be here rigged and ready for thermals to start about 10.30, going on until 16:00 ish. We should see consistant 3kt climbs to 4000ft or more. Tomorrow will be a 300k + day. (Thanks to Dan for providing this info).

Friday is also shaping up well, with a slight ridge of high pressure, but an occluded front is fast approaching from the west which may shut it down with high cloud cover by early afternoon (here at Bicester).

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Potential Good Day this Friday

This coming Friday is now showing some potential to being another reasonable day, with a small ridge of high pressure. We'll keep you updated as this is still some way off.

Monday, 2 March 2009

The 2009 Cross Country Season begins

Dave Watt and John Giddins launched first on a 227km task to Little Rissington and Gransden Lodge in their Venti. Both completed.

Mike Pettican (Std Cirrus) and Mark Lavender (ASW19) launched on a 140km task to Little Rissington and Newport Pagnell. Both completed.

Several other also flew on what was a nice early March day, which at best gave 5.5kt climbs to 4000ft.

Norman Hollifield visited Oxford and nearly Milton Keynes in the clubs Astir, before completing his first 'real' field landing, and getting introduced to getting stuck in the mud.

The Dunstable DUO Discus also popped in for tea and a tow home.

Both the Pawnee and the club Robin are at Turweston for servicing or maintenance, so we are using our third accessible tug D-ENBW until G-OTIB comes back, hopefully by this Friday.

My apologies for not attaching photo's to recent blogs, having recently moved house I can't find my camera download lead :(

Saturday, 28 February 2009

Long shot for Monday

It's a bit far out, but this coming Monday (2nd March) shows some x/c potential. We'll update on Sunday night...

Fine Fabulous February Friday of Flying

Forty fun flights on Friday for fit fellow flyers – fantastic feat! Follow-up – fly Fridays frequently, forever.

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Weekend 20 / 21 / 22 February

We started out on the Friday with 36 flights, with almost everyone managing a bit of soaring, including 2 hours 30 mins by "Miff" in the K6e. Dave Watt and Derren Francis tried a mini cross country in the Ventus and Duo.

On the Saturday things improved even more, with over 80 flights, and again some soaring by most pilots.

On Sunday, we manage about 55 flights, and yet again many pilots managed to soar. Pete Harvey stayed up for almost three hours in the mighty Nimbus.

So if you are staying at home waiting for the better weather, well, you are missing the chance to fine tune your skills ready for when Spring and (for those with really good memories) Summer finally arrives.

Safety Talk

Don't forget that Hugh Browning is coming along to give a talk on Saturday 28 Feb at 1830 in the briefing room. Hugh has a reputation for giving very interesting and informative safety talks which review and discuss accidents. Come along and don't become a statistic.

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Recent Weekends in February

The last couple of weekends have seen a lot of activity on getting the new bus ready for use. Seats have been repositioned and shampooed, tables fitted and work on the electrics is in progress. This has slowed up the re-decoration work on the briefing room, but the new ceiling tiles are in place, and the new lights will be fitted soon as well.

The team leaders for the bus and briefing room work have produced lists of things to be done, and volunteers are requested to help out on these jobs. Some jobs are straightforward and suitable for anyone to tackle, others require some technical skills, some even just require background research to be done. So don't be shy at coming forward, it's your club and this work is to give you an even more pleasant set of facilities to use.

On the flying side of things, we have averaged about 50 flights per day for each flyable weekend days this month. When the weather improves, we will probably see this figure increasing to our usual 80 - 100 flights per day at weekends.

Oxford Uni's recent winter recruitment drive has produced another dozen or so new faces, all keen to learn the mysteries of flying without an engine. Hopefully we'll be reporting some as new solo pilots in the not so distant future.

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

25th - 26th January

We had a good weekend's flying on 25th and 26th, with five or six new members from OUGC turning up. As usual, they all got a fair bit of flying and went home smiling. Sunday's weather was better than forecast and members spotted this in time to get in some flying.

The refurbishment of the briefing room is progressing, and we will have a working day on Sunday 1st Feb, but there is a list of jobs to be done for those with free time mid-week. So don't be shy about helping.

Special thanks to Mike Pettican, Roger Crouch, Phil Gardner and Bruce Wainwright who did a lot of clearing up of the bits removed during the last big work session, after having a full day's flying before hand.

Our new launch point facility AKA The Bus will be arriving this week, and soon we will be organising work teams to adjust the seating, etc, to suit our use. So again, don't be shy at offering to help. Having worked on three previous buses, there are always many little jobs that can be done by almost anyone. If I can find tasks that suit my limited skills, so can you. We can't expect OJ and Pert to do all the work (or we'll soon see why they call him OJ...)

Tuesday, 6 January 2009


The start of 2009 brings the start of the planned site refurbishments to the briefing room, entrance foyer, bar, toilets and members lounge.

Sunday 4th January saw many club members mucking in to strip the briefing room, ready for upgraded electrics and then plastering. In order to keep costs to a minimum, any and all contributions of time and skills in order to get these refurbishments done will be very gratefully received. We'll keep you updated on the blog on our progress!

Happy New Year

We had a gathering of some 25-30 at Bicester for new years eve. Please see photos.

The night consisted of a non-existent curry at the Taj (16 of us walked out after waiting for 3 hours), then much beer at the bar was consumed to make up for it! The new year was welcomed with Champagne, and new years resolutions.

George unpronounceable has even given up smoking.... Good luck George! We'll all be watching out for those sneaky cigarettes finding their way to your lighter. A great night was had by all. Bring on the 2009 season!