GLIDER CHRONICLES 2011 – May 31st : Competition Day

This week is competition week at Lasham. After a miserable weekend the sun came out on Tuesday to allow the competition to have its first day of flying. Although it was a sunny day the competitors were surprised by a hailstone shower coming across the airfield right in the middle of launching the gliders.

[Note that all pictures in this post are just the right eye of a stereo shot. Under each photo I will link to the left hand eye so that those who wish to do so, can mess around and make themselves a stereo shot. Be aware that this is a very photo intensive post, but then pics are always nice to have.]

Some pilots sheltering under a glider wing during the hailstorm. Notice the high fashion parachutistas! As well as the beanie hat brigade.

[Left eye shot here]

Although not taking part in the competition I did manage to fly that day which will be in a following post. However below are some pictures from the competition launch point taken when I took a break from normal club operations to go and help some of the Saturday evening youth flyers getting ready for the off. Dave, the organising instructor from the Saturday evenings, had arranged for two twin-seater gliders to be flown in the competition with a youth member.

The Yoof Gliders

So first up is glider number 775 flown by our beloved CFI (Chief Flying Instructor) Colin with Alex (nowadays cleared for solo) as his second-in-command. The glider is a Duo Discus.

Alex in the front with Colin the back waiting for the aerotow.

[Left eye shot here]

In the other glider, number 778, we had the intrepid and hard working yet eccentric Dave, with Sarah as his second-in-command. Sarah also is solo and has defected to the military for her flying training, intending to be a commercial pilot one day. The glider is an ASK21.

Dave in the front with Sarah looking cool in the back.

[Left eye shot here]

Task du Jour and how they did

The flying task set was to fly 272.8km (very important the “point eight” according to Sarah), from Lasham via Newbury and then up to Silverstone. The return journey required coming back to Lasham via Andover.

Colin and Alex managed to make it all the way round with Alex remarking on landing that his feet had been cold. Yes Alex, that happens when you’re flying near cloudbase! Unfortunately David and Sarah needed an extra launch or two and finished the day by landing out at Popham. They then got an aerotow from Popham that allowed them to fly back to Lasham.

From the smiles on Alex and Sarah’s faces you could tell that great fun was had by all.

More Photos

Colin, Alex, Sarah and Dave sheltering under wings until the rain and hail pass.

[Left eye shot here]

The competition grid in front of the youth gliders.

[Left eye shot here] The full grid of both the ‘A’ class and ‘B’ class contains about 60 gliders.

Sarah watches, Alex gets his cockpit ready and Colin relaxes!

[Left eye shot here] Of course it is so important to get that cushion just right. Although I do believe Alex was trying to work the ClearNav system.

Sarah and Alex doing tech setting up the GPS-based navigation system for the task.

[Left eye shot here] For the tech-heads among us the nav system is a ClearNav flight computer.

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