SoAGC congratulates our newest solo pilot: Richard Z!

On Sunday, we congratulated our newest solo sailplane pilot, Richard Z!

Richard is one of our most enthusiastic flying members and he spent part of the day flying with senior instructor Barry K to assess his readiness.

Sunday provided good training weather a with moderate easterly wind and little by way of thermal activity.

Once Richard had been fully checked-out, Barry authorised him for his first solo in Stratford Gliding Club’s K-13 G-DCBW!

Richard’s first solo flight was well flown and finished with a lovely landing. So, after congratulations from Barry and the members on the airfield, he was sent on a second, consolidating solo flight.

Well done Richard!

Peter R re-solos in sailplanes at SoAGC

Congratulations to Peter R who becomes our latest solo glider pilot at Stratford on Avon Gliding Club.

Peter, an airline pilot, joined us at the end of the last soaring season along with his daughter, also a student sailplane pilot.

Peter was checked out for his first glider solo in some years by senior Stratford instructor Mike C. Peter took to the skies in one of our fleet K21s G-CLVU.

Well done Peter!

Junior Glider Pilot Elliott converts onto the Astir

Well done to Stratford junior sailplane pilot Elliott who converted onto our Astir CS-77 single-seater G-FECO on Sunday.

Elliott who flew his first solo flight in April this year has since been flying our K13, K21s and SZD Junior club gliders. The Astir presents a more advanced, higher-performance, 15 meter glider with water ballast systems and retractable undercarriage.

The Astir has good cross country performance and is often the type that our members will fly their first cross-country solo flight after gaining the BGA Bronze with cross-country endorsement.

Elliott will now be working towards the full Bronze so he can fly the Astir cross-country next season and also convert onto the club’s LS4.

Well done Elliott!

Junior Glider Pilot Jenna Goes Solo

Congratulations to our newest solo glider pilot at Stratford on Avon Gliding Club, Junior member Jenna D!

We had a tricky start to the day on Sunday with a low cloud base and north-easterly wind so we didn’t get flying properly until the early afternoon.

Once the low overcast lifted and we began flying, senior Stratford instructor Mike C put Jenna through some simulated launch failures and flying skills tests to ensure her readiness.

Mike then authorised Jenna for her first solo flight, in Stratford’s K21 G-CLVU!

Launching on the winch, Jenna climbed to altitude and flew on her own as pilot in command of an aircraft for the first time!

Then, rejoining the circuit, she flew back and performed a perfect landing on ’09’ at Snitterfield.

Jenna was then given a second solo launch for consolidation.

The smile afterwards said it all! 😀

Stratford on Avon Gliding club is a Junior Gliding Centre offering a range of programs and opportunities for young pilots aged 14-26 to take part in sport aviation at discounted cost.

Jenna will now begin to work towards her ‘Bronze’ flying certificate and ultimately her Sailplane Pilot Licence.

Well done Jenna!

Phil C Achieves his Gold Height Gain

Last Sunday, Stratford Gliding Club member Phil C achieved his FAI Gold Height Gain on an away visit to the Scottish Gliding Centre at Portmoak. The FAI Gold Height requires a climb of 3000meters [9843feet].

As we are a flat-lands thermal soaring club, this magnitude of height gain would be a very tall order off our winch. As such, our pilots rely on their own enterprise to seek out suitable soaring conditions on expeditions and away visits to other clubs.

Phill launched solo in the early afternoon in Portmoak’s DG505 ‘5GC’, a two seat glider with selectable 18m or 20m wingtips (Phil opted for 20m 😉 ). Launching on the winch, he made a bee-line back onto Bishop Hill and began ridge soaring to gain altitude for a push out to contact wave lift.

It was a very windy day and wave contact wasn’t straight-forward. Phil spent 40 minutes on the ridge fighting down-wave. He made three windward runs out to Loch Leven below 2000′ before making solid contact with the wave on a fourth big push.

The initially gradual climb soon erupted into a 12-knot [1215 feet-per-minute climb] which Phil described as “rather aggressive”! To add to the difficulty, careful attention had to be paid to the boundary of the massive area of restricted airspace for COP26 summit. Winds aloft were as high as 65-70knots so it would have been easy to drift back with little visual reference!

Phil’s climb peaked out at 12,024′ above sea level, just over an hour after launching. This meant Phil had climbed a total of 10,892′ and qualified for his Gold Height!

A brilliant achievement for Phil who previously completed his FAI Silver C flying from Stratford on Avon!

Well done Phil!

Andy M Re-Solos at Stratford on Avon Gliding Club

On Bank Holiday Monday, returning member Andy M flew his first solo sailplane flight in 20 years at Stratford on Avon Gliding Club.

Andy, a former member who has been training with us for a few months was re-qualified as a solo pilot by senior Stratford instructor Tony P.

Andy flew solo once more in Stratford’s modern composite K21 training glider, G-CLVU.

Well done Andy!

Anastassia Goes Solo At SoAGC

On Sunday, our French member Anastassia flew her first solo glider flight at Stratford on Avon Gliding Club.

Anastassia was checked out during the day for her first solo flight by senior Stratford instructor Barry K.

Anastassia flew her first solo sailplane flight in Stratford Gliding Club’s K21 G-CGAG.

Anastassia Goes Solo At SoAGC

She said afterwards that she was thrilled to have been joined in a thermal by a red kite. She flew Round and Round with the soaring bird, a species which has recently colonised our rural airfield.

Well done Anastassia!

Rob P re-solos at Stratford on Avon Gliding Club

Last weekend, our re-joining member Rob P flew his first glider solo since 1998 at Stratford on Avon Gliding Club.

Rob, who’s father Tony is a senior instructor at our club, first solo’d 25 years ago as a Junior Glider Pilot at Snitterfield.

Rob P solo

Rob was checked out and authorised for his re-solo by Stratford’s DCFI Pete F in K21 G-CLVU.

Welcome back Rob!

Gliding Course Pilot Richard Flies Solo

Congratulations to Richard on flying solo with us this week at Stratford on Avon Gliding Club during his 5-day gliding course.

Richard, who last flew solo in his Air Cadet years in a Kirby Cadet, re-soloed today in Stratford’s K13 G-DCBW.

Richard flies solo in K13 G-DCBW

Richard was authorised for today’s solo flights by senior Stratford instructor Allan W.

Well done Richard!

Junior Pilots Move Through The Club Fleet

Recently, some of our Junior glider pilots have progressed on to new single-seat aircraft in the club’s fleet.

Junior pilot Tom recently moved into the club’s Standard Astir CS-77 G-FECO, a capable cross-country single-seater. Junior pilots Ed and Kai have also qualified to fly this glider.

Junior pilot Elliott who only went solo in mid April, today moved on to his first single-seat glider. Stratford’s SZD 51-1 Junior G-CHDB. Senior instructor Mike C briefed and authorised Elliott’s first flight on type.