Latest news from the club
Weekend Report for 3/4 July by Andy
On Saturday rain had been forecast for the afternoon and there were only a couple of names on the Flying Calendar. However, on arrival, there were many more people actually in attendance: Paul and Alison, Stewart, Miles, Bob, and Roger. Joining us later were Howard, Ray Iddon, Gabby, Pete the Jet, John Smyth and DB. Indeed, a veritable plethora of tuggies, two of whom were also instructors. First up at 1148hrs was Miles in the Astir. His launch was a bit rough but he managed to stay aloft for 49mins, well done. Next up JW and I in the K21. Our launch was ‘interesting’ – somewhere between a ‘YeeHah’ launch and a ‘Welcome to Feshie’ launch. Bob decided it was too rough to launch any more, meantime. Good call! We joined Miles in some ‘synchronised gliding’ over the wildlife park for a while, never really getting much higher than launch height, before heading back.
A couple of hours later, it seemed calm enough to attempt another launch – this time with Roger in the Ventus U9. Only his second flight in U9, he was even prepared to miss his tea if necessary. Typically, he got his ‘value for money’ flight, and it was the longest flight of the day at 1hr 53mins. The rain was still holding off, and Howard managed to get a flight in the Acro (PK) with Paul. Just goes to show you can never take anything for granted at Feshie – even the weather! The toys were put away by 1630hrs, before the threatening rain arrived.
On Sunday the threatened rain and thunder did not happen after all, and it turned out to be a lovely sunny, if humid day, but with no tuggie or instructor present, it was not going to be a flying day. Several members busied themselves cutting firewood. Neil Robertson (Alastair's son) turned up to visit the memorial bench to his father. He stayed for a chat and a coffee. Just as he was leaving, we noticed a group of people on the runway with a large para wing. So we challenged them, pointing out they were standing in the middle of an active runway, and asking what permission they had. None, obviously. They said that they did not notice a bright red car and a bright yellow car in the clubhouse car park and thought there was no one here (so we had conveniently left the gate open for them, eh?) We pointed out that just because there were no gliders flying at the time did not preclude other forms of aviation coming in to land, and that there was a sign at the gate stating no right of way, and no entry (booking only). We asked them to leave and after apologising, they left without any further trouble.
Octoberfest 2021 from the Secretary's desk (21/6/2021)
It looks increasingly likely that Octoberfest will become a two-week event this year. A number of our visitors have expressed interest in a second week, including Steve Hopkins, Adrian Loening, Martin Cooper, James Hiley, David Rhys-Jones, Ian Skinner, Peter Hadfield and Henry/Yvonne Stott. Several tug pilots have stated they are likely to be available for at least some days, and other club members known to be interested include Bill Anderson, Dave Brown, Tony Cresswell and Howard Thompson (not to mention yours truly).
As with Mayfest the event will be largely informal and will not operate to a fixed duty rota. Apart from tugging we will be relying on volunteers each day to cover other essential duties such as log keeping, vehicle re-fuelling, daily inspections etc. Please help to maintain the club's reputation and safety record.
Depending on prevailing conditions the Duty Rota may return in 2022, but until we have more instructors the situation is likely to be less predictable than in previous years.
Weekend Report by Nick (30/5/2021)
On Saturday we had 16 flights totalling over 17 hours. A notable event was Jordan’s first flight in Cirrus 761, which he is purchasing from Jan. No critical comments regarding the takeoff or landing! Gaby had a good flight and kindly bought a round for the old lags hanging out in the Suidhe. Tows provided by Stewart and Alasdair. Also notable was that it suddenly seemed to not be winter anymore...
Sunday saw an early start by Steve Struthers, Bill Anderson, Stewart Hills and myself. First launch at 09:35 which must be a 21st century record! It was quite a good day with 5000ft cloudbase in the afternoon, total 17 flights, duration 16 hours [my best was 6,700ft ~ editor].
Did someone mention Silver Distance? Well on Saturday John Anderson and I flew out to near Easterton [in the ASH], in the hope of luring Stewart into following, but no such luck. A replay of the FLARM traces showed Stewart’s elastic pinging him back to the airfield whilst we just flew 50km away and then returned. Hmm, some peer pressure / incentive by embarrassment required!
It seemed to work, because on Sunday Stewart made another Silver attempt and the FLARM trace showed a much more determined effort to cut the elastic and fly purposefully away from the airfield. A marked difference. He took an hour and 10 minutes to fly over 50km away down the Spey, before returning to Feshie in time for lunch. Well done Stewart, and Silver height too! Jordan next, methinks!
New feature on the web site 23/5/2021
The Fleet page (Facilities/Fleet) has now been initiated using stock photos of the Robin tug mostly supplied by Stewart. More photos will be added in due course.