Latest news from the club

Saturday 29th October  by  Nick Norman

Nothing much to report, upper wind was south-easterly, so no flying or soaring, obviously.  Lots of tea drunk though.

Oh wait a minute, it seems there was some flying.  The fools!  Sniffer Smith, Miles in JWR and Dave Weeks with Tom Bomford in PK all took launches.  They got their just desserts, NO SOARING - it after all being a SE wind, what did they expect?

But then Phil and Andy in ETA suddenly reported 4 kts, and that was after they had released from the tug.  Sniffer announced he was taking a 4k launch so I duly obliged - having looked to see where ETA was...  Turning left over the high ground just E of Achlean, we were rewarded with a scoop of God's hand and the tug vertical speed showing 1800ft/min despite still being below hilltop height.  Sniffer true to his word stayed on for the very short time it took to reach 4000ft to the sounds of ringing tills in your Treasurer's ears.

Dave Weekes and Howard then did likewise, releasing in strong lift at 2200ft.  Meanwhile Miles was contemplating lunch. I recalled that many years ago after I had rapidly ascended to FL240 in the Ventus in Glen Einich east wind wave, I landed to advise one of our visitors who was desperate for his Diamond Height, that he should launch asap. Trouble was, dinner was shortly to be served in the clubhouse.  So it became a matter of "Dinner or Diamond". He chose the former, then regretted it for a long time as his Diamond remained elusive and he eventually gave up gliding without obtaining it.  So it was with Miles, a question of "lunch or launch". Fortunately he chose the latter - I turned left at Achlean, the hand came down and scooped us up,  and he enjoyed a nice wave flight, forgetting about his rumbling stomach.  He landed with quite some grin! So much for the inadvisability of flying in an east wind.

I then launched Alan in the DG, and John Anderson in PK, but had to leave for Colin Sword's memorial at Portmoak.  After landing Alan towed Paul Maddocks in JWR, and Dave Weekes with Jordan in PK. The wind was forecast to veer round to due south and increase later, which it did, making things rather turbulent in the circuit for the late-landers. All entirely predictable. 150/15 good wind, 180/25 bad wind.  Simples.  Total of 11 launches and 13:45 flight time, several people up to around FL100 which is not bad for an unflyable SE wind.   <tap tap, is this thing on? ... no, I don't think so>

Dave Weekes has added this thoughtful PS:   "when I flew in PK with Tom Bomford, he did most of the aerotow but then pulled the yellow knob the instant we hit 2000ft.  Note - releasing at 2000ft is NOT compulsory and it's much better to hang on until you're NOT in strong sink!  So that flight lasted a stonking 12 minutes!" 

Octoberfest flying summary    by  Nick Norman and Paul Myers

Nick:  the daily weather forecasts always seemed to be fairly dire, but we flew every day except one, which must be a record.  Stats up to end of play on Friday were 119 flights with a total airborne time of over 125 hours.  First week's visitors all left happy. A bit thin on the ground second week but we made it work, thanks to the usual helpers (you know who you are).  And of course all topped off by some great catering.

Paul:  the workload was quite high for the three tug pilots and that is due to the situation we are in.  We were all happy to volunteer and have no issues with that. Flying the Cub can be challenging enough to maintain interest and rewarding one about one in ten flights when I get a landing spot on!


I did wonder if we could have done with a volunteer roster for other duties as when not tugging I found myself instructing and acting as Duty Pilot when no-one else was available. These weeks are about the visitors and promoting Feshie and we all have to muck-in and help, however, a volunteer roster may have encouraged a few more members to turn up and let others know there was cover arranged. And to perhaps get a day off and fly.

(Editor:  it is possible we may have a volunteer to organise duty rotas for Mayfest and Octoberfest next year.)

Duty Pilot report for 8th October    by  Lee Mitchell

The numbers were a bit low early on due to visitors leaving and absentees due to COVID test results.  However, Tony C was ready and raring to go, loading a parachute and batteries into his glider.  His enthusiasm was stymied when he realised there were no connectors in his glider to marry up with the new ones on his batteries.


Meanwhile, Bill Anderson was hoping to keep his nose clean and just get on with the business of flying.  His Cirrus was pushed out of the hangar, and after the sound of two reassuring clicks upon connecting his two fully-charged batteries, he was ready to go.  Bill and his glider breezed past Tony's stricken Cirrus as if he was Phillip Schofield.  Once Tony's glider was ready, he pushed on to the line, and it rained.  After drying down Tony's glider, he was finally ready to go.  On his radio check, we all witnessed an unusual event where Tony's mouth was clearly moving but nothing was coming out.  As we all stood there amazed at what we were seeing, we finally realised that Tony's radio must be one of the few things failing to transmit at Feshie just now.  When his glider was moved off line, there was a crystal clear downwind call from Bill. His Cirrus glid gracefully in to land, and he received warm applause on his return to launch point after a textbook flight.  His glider was returned to the hangar, and there were two reassuring clicks when his batteries connected with ease to his chargers.

There were 16 flights in total with around 12.30 flying time. Les Blows went on line late on.  During his checks, he was heard saying "full negative, full positive". I was worried he'd incorporated a lateral flow test into his pre-flight checks and he got the wrong result. It turned out he was just checking his flaps. He went on to have the longest flight of the day.  Thanks to all who helped out today and we wish a speedy recovery to those who are currently missing out.