The Wire July 1997

Issue 8

July 1997

The Newsletter of Stratford Gliding Club


Club Diary

The following events are scheduled for August and September:


4 Aug 9 on course week
11 Aug Club flying week
18 Aug 6 on course week
25 Aug Bank holiday
12 Sept 7-day flying ends


Aircraft News


The K21 is now resplendent with a new set of cushions, thanks to Penny.

From time to time, the number of cushions seems to reduce, though thankfully so far they seem to eventually reappear.

Wing Covers

The K21 has a set of wing covers, thanks to Caroline. Please keep them in the dustbin provided to stop them getting gritty.

K21 Gelcoat

The K21 gelcoat is in poor condition, so please try to avoid getting it unnecessarily wet.


Motor Gliders

Following the decision made at the last Club AGM to pursue the possibility of motor gliding, we’ve recently been running noise tests in conjunction with the local District Council. The tests were performed over a couple of days, after repeated delays due to the poor weather in June, with Barry Kerby flying the Falke and Frank Jeynes flying his ASH26E. Several district and parish councillors attended.


Safety Matters

Mobile Phones

We had a case recently where a launch was interrupted when the signaller answered his mobile phone.

We appreciate that mobile phones are a part of everyday life, but their use does not mix with airfield safety.

Please ensure that, if you do have to carry a mobile phone, you use it sensibly.


Unfortunately, some people are still occasionally signalling without using the bat. As we’ve said before, this is not a safe operating practice, so please make sure that you’re not guilty.

Contact Numbers

In the event of an accident or emergency, we would normally call the number that you’ve told us is your home telephone number.

If you would like us to hold a different contact number, for example if you live alone, please give the details to the Membership Secretary, Geoff Butler.

The details will not be made public. A copy will be held in the instructor’s box in case of an emergency.



Wheels within Wheels

For no sensible reason, Land Rovers have two different sizes of wheels. We are trying to standardise by having just one size, but this is proving harder to achieve than we had hoped.

The reason that it matters is that different wheel sizes on the same vehicle cause the differentials to wind themselves up. This is what happened recently, with the result that the front differential seized up solid.

Retrieve Vehicles

The newest Land Rover has a reconditioned engine fitted, and as a result is running very well.


With loads of TLC from the Engineering group, Taffy manages to keep going.

A revised Winch Drivers’ Manual is being prepared by the Winchmaster.


The Site


We’ve started an ongoing process of levelling the airfield, starting with the worst part of the West end. We’ll do a bit more each year. It involves removing the turf and selling it, and using the proceeds to level and seed the area. It’s safe to land on, in an emergency, but avoid it if you can.


At one time, there were so many sheep on the airfield that they were always in the way, as one K8 pilot found out. The number is being reduced weekly by approximately 60, so the situation will continue to improve.

Rigging Area

Due to the weather, the grass on the new rigging area is taking a long time to get started.


Club Notices

Club AGM

The 1997 AGM will be held on a Thursday in early October at 19:45 in Snitterfield Village Hall. The date is yet to be decided.


The weather in June was exceptionally inclement, and has resulted in a much reduced income for the month.

Several course days and Trial Lesson evenings were rained off, and there was almost no Club flying at all.

Refresher Flying

There is only about eight weeks left to complete your annual refresher flying. Please don’t wait to the last minute.

The Club Ladder

After a very slow start (only eleven flights by the start of July, and two of those in October last year), the ladder has suddenly become extremely active, with over a page of flights already logged in July,

Competition at the top of the ladder is intense, with everyone trying to prove that you can win without an LS6c with 18m tip extensions.

The highest-scoring flight at the moment is 183km in 3:35 hours in the Capstan, worth 1482 ladder points.

There have been three 500k flights declared in July, by Phil King, Diana King, and Mike Coffee. None of them was completed, although Phil got very close with a completed triangle but missing the turning point at Cullompton in Devon because it was clagged in.

Club Merchandise

There are new-style Club hats and sweatshirts available. Jo will be only too pleased to sell these to you.

Who’s Done What

Matt King and Simon Calvert have gone solo.

June Harris, Lee Ingram, Dave Johnson, and Barry Monslow now have AEI ratings.

As usual, we’re sure that we’ve missed somebody out, so please do let us know what you’ve achieved so that we can get it right next time.

New Aircraft

Mike Bell and Mark Pedwell have an Oly 2B, and Derek Phillips has an Oly 2A. The difference is an extra bolt in the tailplane.

Phil Pickett and Mark Parsons have added a Capstan to their private fleet.

Geoff Butler, Martin Greenwood, Karin Hülsemann, and Nigel Wall have a Pegasus.

Care of Parachutes

Please treat the Club parachutes with care.

A chute left out in the rain, or on damp ground, will unsurprisingly get wet. A chute left on dry grass will become a comfortable home for all sorts of insects. A chute carried upright, or work while you walk the length of the field, easily gets scrambled inside.

Put the parachute on when you get into the aircraft, take it off when you get out, and put it back in the bus or the clubhouse when you’ve finished with it.

We use these chutes as ballast, but that’s not what they’re really for, and it just might be You that pulls the ripcord and finds out what’s inside.


The View From The Back

So what happened to issue three of The YR?

It has been the best kept secret (and there aren’t many secrets in a gliding club) for years. The identity of Ivor Bull, the editor, is still unknown… at least to me and most other members… and unless Ivor and his or her team (surely it can’t be a one man or woman publishing company!) come up with another inspired edition, some of the spirit of the club will be sadly missing.

What a washout this season has been so far, at least at weekends. Those in our number who can look out of the window in the morning and think “I think I’ll go flying today” have been luckier, but for weekenders like me this has been a lean flying time.

I suspect the same is true for many who will need refresher flights in what should be the height of the season.

If you are one of those and you haven’t flown with an instructor for a few months I think a short guide on what instructors are really saying is in order … in the tradition of the YR!

Members guide to what instructors are really saying:

Turn left now: You should have turned left ages ago

No, the other left: I said left, not right, you idiot!

Do you want help rigging? I want to fly your glider

It’s your decision: The correct decision should be obvious by now!

Did you enjoy your cooked breakfast? You kept me waiting whilst you had breakfast

Shall we do some spins? Do you want to see your breakfast again?

At the top of the launch aim for that cloud over there: You’ve no chance of reaching the top of the launch!

How many of you want to fly in these conditions? The pub’s open

I’m not sure you’re current enough for solo: I want to fly your glider

Are you worried? I’m bloody frightened!

Let’s have a debrief: Here’s what you did to frighten me

Let’s fly the T21: You need a shave and you sweat a lot

Can I see your log book: When did you last have a cable break?

Did you see that other aircraft? I thought you were asleep

Roundout: ROUNDOUT!!!!!!

Which field could we land in safely from here: There’s a lot of sink here, Pete

Your glider looks nice: I want to fly your glider

The canopy is steaming up: One of us will have to stop breathing

Are you happy about landing straight into the setting sun? The pub’s open

Would you mind driving the winch? I want to fly your glider

The pub’s open: The pub’s closing soon


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