|Wormingford Airfield, Fordham Road, Wormingford, Colchester,|
Essex CO6 3AQ Tel: (01206) 242596
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Reproduced below is the "Club News", as sent for publication to "Sailplane & Gliding". It may have appeared slightly differently in S&G due to editing constraints. Suggestions and contributions for Club News please to Bob Godden.
Members are extremely pleased with the result of our recent Planning Appeal, which finally removes in entirety the previously imposed unjustified restrictions on winch launching. The Club wishes to acknowledge the very considerable help received from the BGA in obtaining this outcome, which must surely be to the long-term benefit of the whole gliding movement.
Together with a second winch, our fully operational clubhouse, and our new (lottery-aided) hangar, we will now be able to take more effective advantage of good weather when it occurs, and we look forward to receiving many visiting pilots, and organising trial lessons and courses at much more convenient times.
The Club won the East Anglian Inter-Club League for the third year running, and the Anglia TV Cup for the second year running.
Congratulations to John Bone, Peter and Brian Darton, and Graham Drinkell for their first solos, and to Tom Brenton for a good performance in his first Junior Nationals in the club's Sport Vega.
Our new hangar has been built, and it will be a relief not to have to rig and derig the club gliders every flying day.
Steve Jones and Eric Hibbard have gone solo.
Our new hangar has now been completed and is due to be opened by HRH the Duke of Edinburgh on Wednesday 3rd June.
On this day we will also be having a ceremony to mark the club's acceptance of the flag of the United States of America, donated by Mr. Martin Lucash, who flew from Wormingford with the 362nd Fighter Group during the Second World War. We will be receiving a contingent of 362nd FG veterans, a representative of the USA Embassy, and the Mayor of Colchester, for the ceremony at the USAAF Memorial on the airfield perimeter.
Peter Phillips and Steve Matthews have gone solo.
New syndicate gliders on site include a Standard Cirrus, an ASW20L and a Ventus.
The Club's Web Site now has an interactive BGA turning point search page and a cross-country task calculator page.
The Club was highly honoured on 3rd June by a visit from the BGA's Patron, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, who opened our new hangar in the presence of many club members. Also in attendance were civic dignitaries and a representative of the Sports Council; the National Lottery provided a large part of the construction funds. The Duke arrived by helicopter at 10:00am and, after the opening of the hangar and a tour of our other facilities, he watched a demonstration flight of our club Twin Astir. Though the weather was rather showery, it did not manage to ruin this special occasion. Reports of the visit appeared in the local press and a short item was featured on the evening TV news.
After the Duke had left, the club accepted gifts including the flag of the United States of America that flew at Wormingford during the Second World War, together with two Presidential Unit Citations, donated by Mr. Martin Lucash, who served with the 362nd Fighter Group of the US Army Air Force. An impressive number of war veterans visited us, including the Group's wartime commanding officer, Colonel Morton Magoffin.
A ceremony was then held at the War Memorial to remember those airmen from Wormingford who died in battle during the War, and prayers were offered for the peacekeeping work of the United Nations.
Recent first solos have been achieved by Ken Rogers, Steve Grant, and Jean-Pierre de Tourtoulon. Rob Austin has re-soloed.
Club member John Kelk, who has recently soloed, applied for a special grant from the "Shell Employee Action" scheme, which promotes community involvement among employees, and the club gratefully received a £350 donation from Shell UK Limited to help purchase an electronic weather station.
Sergei Kotomin has also gone solo.
The club hosted another successful Inter-Club League competition on 1st-2nd August, and although the Saturday tasks were scrubbed, we won all three classes on the Sunday.
Kessack Young-Smith has joined the Skylark 4 syndicate. Steve Grant has bought a Slingsby Swallow. The T21 Sedbergh is in the process of being re-covered.
Penny Foulger has achieved Silver height.
Andy Sanderson has taken over from Vivien Haley as Safety Officer.
Chris Borley, Sheila Graham, Ben Jones and Paul Stocker have gone solo. Paul Foulger, Penny Foulger, Steve Jones and Chris Smith have completed their Bronze badges. Rob Lockett has Silver. Mike Benson has flown 300k. Chris Bailey, Tom Brenton and Chris Nunn have Diamond Goal.
John Hassell, who was involved with the building of a Slingsby T21b ("Min") at Leighton Park School in the late 1950s, first flew solo in 1960, achieved Silver Height and Duration in 1962, and has now completed his Silver Badge having taken up gliding again after a 30 year gap.
The Club won the eastern region of the Inter-Club League for the third year running.
It is with much regret we announce the sudden passing of Bob at the Club on Wednesday 16th December 1998, at the age of 66. He had flown during the morning, and was in the process of preparing himself for another flight. Gliding was something he enjoyed so much, he had completed his Bronze badge and recently his cross country endorsement. Although he had been a member for only just over four years, Bob was a kindly man and everybody's friend, he would always ask after other members who were absent for whatever reason.
Bob was always very precise in all the jobs he undertook for the Club, and was a stickler for detail; we will remember his pre-flight checks, an example to us all.
Bob will be missed by all at the Essex and Suffolk Gliding Club and our heartfelt sympathy goes out to Iris and his family.
Colin Neil, James Wilson and Ken Lewellen have flown solo, and Dick Skinner has re-soloed after a gap of more than 25 years since he flew with the ATC.
Despite the weather last year, our total hours flown increased by 8% and our number of launches increased by 22%. We attribute this to the removal of the restrictions on our launching times.
At the Club's AGM in March, Chris Price retired after seven years as Chairman and was appointed Vice President. Paul Foulger retired as Membership Secretary and was appointed Chairman. John Bone was appointed Membership Secretary.
About 25 club members went for an Easter camp at Aboyne and had a very good week with wave on most days, marred only slightly by poor visibility in south-easterly winds just before the Easter weekend, and a drizzly Tuesday. The final Wednesday and Thursday more than made up for this, and were excellent wave days with many high flights including a huge silver height claim to 9000 feet from Rob Nunn (K6), gold claims from Mike Friend (ASW20), Bob Adams (Mosquito), Chris Nunn (DG202) and Chris Price (Janus), and a very marginal diamond claim from Andy Sanderson (Vega), to 19,800 feet.
We have two flying weeks organised for this year: the first week of June and the first week of August. Our Interclub League event will be held on the 31st July - 1st August.
New gliders on site are a Standard Vega and a Mosquito. Tragically, the syndicate T21b Sedbergh that had been immaculately restored over the past year was destroyed in a workshop fire whilst away for its repaint.
Cross-country pilots using our local turning point WRM please note that it has now been moved approximately 1km east, from the old runway intersection to our new hangar.
Cadet Peter Gartland flew solo on the next flying day after his sixteenth birthday.
Cross-country pilots using the local TP (WRM) please note that this has been moved approximately 1km east from the runway intersection to our new hangar.
At the last AGM Chris Price retired after seven years as chairman and was appointed vice-president. Paul Foulger was elected chairman and John Bone membership secretary. Twenty-five members went to Aboyne earlier in the year to explore the wave. Many high flights were recorded including 9000ft from Rob Nunn, Gold claims from Mike Friend, Bob Adams, Chris Nunn, Chris Price and a Diamond claim from Andy Sanderson (19,800ft).
A visit from veterans of the USAAF 3rd scouting group who flew from Wormingford in WW2 added to our items of airfield memorabilia. For the fourth consecutive year ESGC won the local Inter-Club League. Phil Duffin and Rob Lockett both flew 300km. Ken Rogers, Chris Smith, Sergei Kotomin and Steve Jones all gained Silver legs and Andy Booth got Silver badge on one flight. Soloes include two cadets, James Wilson and George Green, as well as Harvey Watts, Kevin Holden, Kim Smith and Eric Lowe. The latter two soloed on consecutive cables and have since formed a K-6 syndicate.
Chris Nunn and Dennis Heslop have gained Assistant Instructor ratings and Mike Benson is a Full Cat. Robbie Nunn and Tom Brenton are the latest additions to the ranks of our Basic Instructors.
Since the completion of our new hangar, members have been turning the old one (a lean-to corrugated iron shed of insubstantial proportions) into a garage/engineering workshop, a task now near completion. I remember with affection the days when this used to store at least two and sometimes three derigged ships. Our new building will take at least seven rigged aircraft (including a T-21 and the Twin Astir) and recently allowed us to hold a sit-down meal for 80-plus members and guests and still keep both K-13s rigged in there. This also included for the first time an after-dinner speaker in the erudite form of Platypus.
A recent expedition to Talgarth was blessed (sic) with easterlies. People who flew experienced the wave off the Black Mountains although the rotor over the site made for some very interesting launches and approaches. We have had a very successful year for trial flights and day courses and have grown from 125 to 150 members in two years. Let's hope the soaring weather improves.
Late 1999 achievements include: Dennis Heslop, Diamond goal and distance; Brian Darton, Silver; Colin Neil, Bronze and cross-country endorsement; Eric Hibbard and George Green, Bronze (in addition George was granted a Churchill Award which contributes toward his flying fees); and Malcolm Myers and Kieron Boost have soloed.
We flew on December 31 and on New Year's Day. Winter is, for flatlands clubs like ours, a quiet time, but very useful for doing annual checks and taking P2 flights to brush up on specifics. There has been the odd opportunity to soar and we have seen at least two flights of 20 mins-plus duration, which for very early January in this part of the world is a rarity. Our CFI is busy refurbishing the club K-6E and our T-21 is off site being completely renovated ready for the coming season. The club continues to grow and we have acquired land for a new trailer park.
At our AGM Chris Smith became Winchmaster and Rob Lockett Technical Officer. The club has bought a side-by-side French two-seater, the Silene - very cosy. New member Mark Jerman brought his ASW 27, Merv Gooch acquired a Mini Nimbus and Robbie Nunn bought himself a Cirrus in which he has already notched up 100km on one of the few good days so far. Despite poor weather Peter Hibbard and Steve Cocks have soloed. Luck came Eddie Leach's way recently when he found himself working (he swears he was) near Aboyne. With "a few hours to spare" he went there, took a check flight to 12,000 feet then was let loose in the ASW19, which he took to 14,500 feet for Gold height, So well done Eddie and if anybody wants any pump engineering done in Scotland or Wales please contact me via Essex & Suffolk GC.
Now it has finally stopped raining perhaps we can get down to some serious flying. We have two new aircraft on site: Kieron Boost has bought a Discus and the club has added a Mistral C to its fleet, bringing our total to eight aircraft, four singles and four twins. Husband and wife Lynn and Neil Morley both soloed on consecutive days at the end of our first flying week. Congratulations to Pete Nicholls on his Full instructor's rating.
Despite the dismally inconsistent summer, we have at last seen some semblance of good flying weather and some very good long-distance flights. Andy Sanderson and Chris Bailey both did 500km for Diamond distance (commiserations to two compatriots who, respectively, fell out at 496km and missed a TP sector). Robbie Nunn and Bryan Smith both flew 300km for Gold. Other accomplishments are Keiron Boost, Kim Smith and Steve Cocks (Bronze); George Green and Eric Hibbard (Silver) and Eric and Colin Neil (100km Diplomas).
As I write, the scene is glorious. We are hosting our leg of the Inter-Club, so there are lots of aircraft, and two tugs dragging a comp grid into the air (unusually for us - we're allowed to fly power for one week a year). We sent our recently-refurbished T-21 to sniff out conditions along with one of our K-13s. Both have stayed up but when you consider that the four occupants have probably got the thick end of 90 years experience so they should. I bet half the grid doesn't...
PS: it didn't (but we won the weekend, and for the nth year the league, too.)
Andy Sanderson and John Gilbert Jnr are fully rated instructors and Kim Smith has a cross-country endorsement. We have purchased a K-21, bringing our Club fleet to 9 (five twins and four singles). The K-21 has all the whistles and bells for advanced cross-country training, fully linked GPS and LNAV with repeaters. Some of us are going to have great fun learning how to drive it. So with our impressive cohort of instructors and equally impressive fleet we are thriving.
I found learning to drive the winch nearly as daunting as learning to fly. You are acutely aware that, if you get it wrong, you could muck up everybody's flying for the rest of the day (or longer?). For the driver who achieves this, read pariah. You're thinking: what's this got to do with Club News? Well, as I have no flying news (guess why) all I can report on is our efforts to convert two big block Chevvy marine high-performance engines to gas operation and fit them into modular cradles. It should let us change an engine very quickly. So when someone becomes a pariah, the exile should be short lived.
Crap weather, strip's flooded, minimal flying. What's new(s)?
Flying weather still doesn't seem to have arrived in our part of East Anglia: in fact Easter was positively arctic (Easter Monday saw 20 knot northerlies with a day max temp of 11 degrees Celsius). Very chilly. Still, it does mean that we are all getting our annual check flights in without the pressure of decent weather. As our recent AGM some changes were made to the committee, the most notable of which was that Paul Rice, our CFI for the last seven years, has resigned (I won't bore you with the others). Paul intends to carry on with his CofA and repair work, and hopes to get more flying in. Mike Benson takes over CFI, which, with his duties is a new dad, should keep him occupied. Simon Hindley went solo.
We welcome the conditional lifting of the cross-country ban and look forward to normal service resuming. On one of the rare good days recently two of our more accomplished pilots, Andy Sanderson and Paul Rice, managed respectively 235 and 225 km. Let's hope this is a good omen for this belated and curtailed season. The project to re-engine the No. 1 winch is near completion. This is taken the team rather longer than expected due to a number of factors, some of which were foreseen and others weren't, but hey, that's life. The result of the increased power that the big Block Chevy will deliver should result in more controllable and safer launching ("winch" people will know what I mean) as well as imposing less stress on the whirly bits. Congratulations to Brian Darton on his BI rating.
No news submitted.
Due to technical reasons beyond my control (brain failure), I did not report our activities in the last issue. At the time there wasn't much to report. Happily that has changed and we have seen some significant post foot-and-mouth distance flights by some of our more able pilots, including Dennis Heslop, who got his 500km. The most impressive, though, was Rob Lockett, who flew O/R to Challock, not a huge distance - but look at the airspace and the width of the estuary. Brave man! Andy Sanderson also had some notable distance flights and managed second place in the Easterns. I guess he must be getting used to his new ship.
(Oi, what about my attempt at going round the London TMA clockwise (WRM-RIN-LAS-BED-WRM) then? I very nearly made it round - got to Hildersham on the way back. I'll do it this year. Andy)
By the time you read this Christmas will be over and we will all be looking forward to (we hope) a better soaring season in 2002 than we endured in 2001. What with foot-and-mouth and the generally poor weather it can't get much worse, can it? Steve Carter went solo at the end of October and Rob Lockett finally got his 500km Diamond distance. Andy Booth and Eric Hibbard are the latest of our club to achieve BI status and particular mention must be given to Tom Brenton, George Green and Robbie Nunn who all did well in the Junior Nationals. We have been in negotiations with our new landlord for some time now and have at last reached agreement to lease some more land from him. This will allow us to extend both the length and the width of the runway at both ends of the strip and will thus enable us to maintain the launch length whilst enabling returning flights to land into wind behind the launch point: so no retrieves to block the runway. This should facilitate a much more efficient launch rate.
Like most of you, we have endured a warm but very wet winter. Being a predominantly grass field site this has sometimes led to problems with retrieve and keeping wheel boxes cleared. Consequently this has slowed launch rates up but to my knowledge has never led to the suspension of operations. So the stalwarts who turn up come rain or shine have managed to stay flying but purely short circuits to stay in check. We are all eagely awaiting the first soaring of 2002 and are all predicting a terrific season (I reckon that the overriding personality trait one has to have to be a glider pilot is optimism). Let's hope we're right. Good soaring to you all.
We have negotiated with our landlord to lease more land to enable us to extend our runway by an additional 400-plus metres, giving us 1,500 in total. When this comes into use we will be able to move our launch point to enable aircraft to land downwind of it thus not blocking the launch run, which should improve our launch rate no end. Three of our number have recently been to Bicester and gained Assistant ratings so congratulations to Robbie Nunn, Alan de Tourtoulon and Eddie Leach.
Despite the variable weather some accomplished members have been achieving notable flights. Johnny Gilbert and Rob Lockett played follow the leader, and flew 120, 135 and 200km triangles together, which would seem to be good practice, for John at any rate as he went on to 500km Diamond Distance on May 31. The previous week saw Andy Sanderson achieve a cloud climb to 11,000 feet, something not managed too often from this part of the world. Frustration of the month must go to John bone, who missed Silver Duration by five minutes. We have had three Bronze completions in the period, (Eric Lowe and Neil and Lynne Morley), a first solo (Richard Robinson) and Keiron Boost gained his PPL. At the Interclub League's May meeting at Rattlesden we won the day, a first and two seconds (Paul Rice, Colin Neil and Peter Hibbard) so in all a pretty satisfying time. But I do wish the summer would properly arrive. But then, don't we all?
Despite variable weather, we are managing some decent flying. Notable recent achievements include Silver Badge (Ken Rogers), Silver Height (Kim Smith) and first solo (David Morris). Phil Duffin is now a full rated instructor and Andy Sanderson has finally circumnavigated the London TMA.
The weather has finally turned, but we can't complain as it has been quite good with some cross-countries from more accomplished members. Juniors George Green and Robbie Nunn were 5th and 6th respectively in the Juniors. (Robbie also came 5th in the Eastern Regionals this year, and managed to get his Assistant rating, busy boy.) We also won the Anglia TV Cup: Andy Sanderson and Pete Nicholls represented us. John Bone and Paul Johnson have BI ratings. Liz Russell is our latest soloist, so congrats to her.
What with short winter days and the continuing non-glider-friendly weather, I decided not to submit any news last issue. The flak I've had! Nice to know I have some readers. Tried blaming the editor, of course, but I don't think it worked. The weather is consistent (consistently bad, that is). I can, though, report a first solo: congratulations to Richard Gormley. Two of our number have decamped to Oz. Dennis Heslop has yet to report but Phil Duffin already has two 500kms. Lastly, we have lost Rob Lockett, who has had to leave us due to work commitments. He will be sorely missed. Fortunately he's not leaving gliding so some other club's gain is our loss. I see more flak coming, as I'm sure I should know where he's gone. Oh well.
Perhaps it's my imagination but the summer seems to be starting off really quite well (that's put the kybosh on it for sure) and we are achieving some good early performances. We have had three first solos, from Peter Sohm, Richard Crockett, and Paul Carroll, as well as silver distance flights from Bob Godden, Kim Smith and (at last) Graham Drinkell. Our Wednesday and Friday flying days are now well-established and seem to be the days that enjoy the best conditions, probably because I can never get to either.
Trying to soar in the kind of temperatures that we have been experiencing recently is definitely sapping my energy (and enthusiasm). Still, many of our number have been doing some pretty good distance flights, including Kim Smith and Bob Godden, who both achieved Silver Duration (this completes Bob's Silver Badge). Eric Lowe got his silver distance and Eddie Leach and Paul Johnson both achieved Gold Distance. One of the more interesting flights (and unusual for this part of the world) was an O/R by Dennis Heslop to Syerston, which included a 10,000ft wave climb. We also have a good crop of first solos: Tony Bramley, Alex O'Keefe, Martin Lawson, Andrew Cartwright and Bill O'Malley - congratulations to them. Finally, sadly, we have to report the death of our founding member and President, Eric Richards.
Not having reported since August due to one thing and another I'll restrict my ramblings to the really significant achievements. Top of the list must be the fourth place achieved by Robbie Nunn in the Junior Nationals, followed by George Green, Tom Brenton and Peter Hibbard who finished respectively 11th, 22nd, and 45th. Once again we put up an excellent show in the regional competitions, with Paul Rice, Dennis Heslop and Johnny Gilbert finishing 3rd, 11th and 12th, and we also won the Anglia TV Cup. It has been the best soaring summer for many a year and this has been reflected in many notable distance flights: Viv Haley did 500km for Diamond, Paul Rice, John Gilbert and Dennis Heslop all did flights of 600km or more, and no less than nine people did flights of 300km or more (Ian Agutter and George Green for Gold/Diamond) and seven others added various bits to their Silver Badges (three duration flights on the same day). Finally, Ged Coles and Doug Johnson soloed. Let's hope that 2004 is as good.
We have had flights in recent weeks in excess of 40 minutes! I don't usually get to write double-digits in the flight log until at least April. We have added a rather nice Pegase to the fleet. The usual culprits have been diligently involved in a complete strip down of one of our Tost winches. I have to correct a typo that crept into the last issue. Viv Haley did 500km not 800 as reported (sorry, Viv): still very, very impressive. A re-solo to report: Graham Wright, after some 30 years from his first with the ATC. Well done. A new initiative at ESGC is 7-day flying for July and August - trial lessons as well as one- and five-day courses. We are taking bookings now, so call John Bone on 01206 710991
The continuing good weather is letting our more able pilots venture far and wide - hope that lasts. We have finally finished rebuilding our main winch, a project beset with problems. Not before time, as our second threw a con rod on the day the rebuild was back in service. I think it was trying to tell us something. Ken Rogers and Andy Joslin have joined the ranks of our BIs and Andy Booth and Eric Hibbard both achieved Assistant ratings. Two of our cadets are making great strides: Alex O'Keefe and Richard Crockett both completed Bronze in February and Silver in May. Other Silver achievements were Richard Robinson, height, and Graham Drinkell, height and duration. Peter Hibbard flying his syndicate's SHK (restored to flying condition after 12 years in storage) Gold distance and Diamond goal. Finally two new solos: Ian Mitchell and Carol Mackintosh.
We have three new solos, Gary Collins, Marc Amey and Keith Coomber, and two Silver Heights, Tony Bramley and Norman Feakins. Well done to all of them. Our more able pilots are still flying far and wide in this continuing (well, most of the time) good weather. Frantic preparations amongst the younger element, who are setting up for the Juniors at Lasham. Like last year I hope to report their sterling efforts next edition. Watch this space. Finally, apologies to Graham Drinkell whom I reported last edition as gaining Silver height and distance, when it was in fact the complete Silver Badge that he earned.
As the season draws to a close we are busy planning next year's expeditions and the coming Xmas festivities, for which as usual we have to thank the lovely Rita. Our juniors put up another good show at the Juniors with 9th, 11th, 29th and 36th places, respectively Rob Nunn, George Green, Tom Brenton and Peter Hibbard. Four members have recently soloed: Will Ellis, Ian Smith, Richard Belcher, and memorably on her 16th birthday Stephanie Smith. We're not sure who was more chuffed, Steph or dad Kim; at least he was, until he realised that she's soon going to be asking him for the loan of his K6...
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