Chairman breaks Landspeed record
Firstly, our congratulations go to Four Counties' Chairman Wg Cdr Andy Green, who achieved his goal of breaking the Diesel Landspeed record on the Bonneville Salt Flats in America. It seems all that practising up and down the runway paid off!
The fleet has been upgraded further with the addition of R20, a K21 formerly of Bannerdown, which is in very shiny condition following a complete refurbish in Poland. At the same time as R20 arrived, our current K21, R35, headed to Poland itself for the same treatment.
Within the next few weeks then, we can expect two shiny K21's in the skies over Wittering. Sadly this will mean we have to say a sad farewell to the faithful Acro, R15, which has provided us reliable service since Syerston. A final date has not been set though, so it will be with us for some time yet.
Hopefully the next update you will see here, will be in the new format, as the site is midway through an extensive makeover. Much of the content will be the same, but the format will be altered to be crisper and provide a more positive front for the club.
Chileans and Friday Nights
After a fair while without updates I'm pleased to report that the Chilean weekend was a great successs, with lots of flying, both by the Chilean officers themselves, and by the club as a whole. The Barbecue on the Saturday night was well attended by all, including half the GSA, or so it seemed! Thanks go to all club members for turning up and putting alot of effort into what the Chileans described as a highlight of their trip. (Photos to follow)
Congratulations are in order for Tom Leighs, who recently became our first home-grown solo. Tom was 'encouraged' out of the block at Cottesmore by Serena, and took his first ever flights at Wittering several months ago, and has been with us right through to his solo. Well done Tom, and hopefully we can look forward to further gliding achievments in the future.
Andy Green is now a tug pilot following flights with Chris Heames, and Mark Tolson is close behind. Andy put his tugging skills to the test, with the first of the Friday Night flying evenings last weekend. Thanks go to him and Chris Jobling for providing the launches, and to Pete Pearson and Hilly Davey for providing the BBQ after. The entire evening was a great success and all the guests really enjoyed themselves.
Finally, the Uni K13 currently skulking at the back of the hangar, is due to go in for its facelift very soon, and with any luck should be ready by October, to fly the new crop of students from Loughborough, providing nothing else is found to be wrong with it!
Official Chilean Visit
On the weekend of the 1st/2nd July Four Counties will be hosting a vist from five officers of the Chilean Airforce, in Britain courtesy of the RAFGSA. The Centre will providing multitudinous aircraft for them to fly, and they will be flying tasks should the weather permit.
The club will be providing a BBQ on the Saturday night, and all help over the weekend to make the Chilean gents feel welcome would be appreciated. Club flying should continue as normal, and the more people we have out the better the weekend can be.
So if you can make it out, it would be great to see you, and show the Chilean's some proper Four Counties hospitality.
Solos, Workshops and a Uni
Congratulations go to Danny Thorogood, who re-soloed last weekend. Danny rejoined the club at the Easter bank holiday, after a several year layoff. He last flew with us at Syerston, and we're more than happy to welcome him back to Wittering.
On the workshop front, the portacabin is now in place next to the hangar, and the next task is to turn it into a proper aircraft maintenance facility. All help with this would be appreciated.
The MT has received a new addition in the form of a Quad Bike, generously donated by Mark Tolson. This will allow us to tow gliders when all the tractors are busy with winches/wagons etc. and save wear and tear to the fire truck,which should no longer be being used as a tow vehicle. The situation should soon improve further, as the red tractor is well on its way to being healthy(!) again. It's dulcit throbbing tones were heard reverberating around the hangar just last weekend, and it seems a few more bits and a bit more work will get it towing cables again. Many thanks to Pete Pearson for his hard work there.
The most major recent development is the arrival of Loughborough University Gliding Club, who have left Hus Bos to sample the delights of cheaper GSA flying, on a BIG airfield. This will be a big boost to the club in terms of members and students, and we welcome them to the club. They bring with them a K8, and most of a K13, which will hopefully soon be up and flying, although if you have seen it in the back of the hangar, don't hold your breath!
On the social side things are looking up, after the bank holiday weekends set the trend of evening meals on Saturday nights. Accomodation is now plentiful and more people are staying each week to make a gliding weekend, with the bar and the local chinese/chip shop receiving great use! Now all we need is the weather to perk up!
Easter Flying and Full Cats
The Easter weekend proved to be a good one for the club, as we achieved something in the order of two hundred launches over the four days, and everyone managed alot of flying in what could have been slightly better weather. Our thanks go to Hilly Davey for cooking delicious evening meals and running the bus during the day, and a special mention to Pete Pearson for building a quality barbecue, and then manning it for most of Saturday night!
As well as the Easter flying, the club was also running it's first Instructor Course from Wittering. Congratulations go to Mark Tolson and Paul 'Baldrick' Mason on gaining their Full Rating, and to Dick Hunt for regaining his long lapsed Full Rating.
We also welcome back R15 and R10 from their trip to Scotland in the hands of Nottingham Uni. NUGC kindly let us use HPE, their K13, for the duration of the trip, and it received much use at the hands of Chris Heames, doing spins on the Instructor Course.
We hope to achieve the same success this coming weekend, at the May Bank Holiday, when once again we shall be flying all three days, and Hilly Davey will make an encore appearance on the bus and in the Clubhouse in the evenings. So if you missed the Easter weekend, come down and enjoy the May Day weekend!