Junior Glider Pilot Noah flies solo at Stratford on Avon Gliding Club.

Congratulations to Junior Glider Pilot Noah who flew solo for the first time at Stratford on Avon Gliding club last Sunday!

Noah, a keen member of our club, was put through his paces with a series of simulated launch failures and unusual attitude recoveries by Stratford senior instructor Mike C to ensure his readiness to fly solo. He then also flew with Stratford’s CFI Pete F in K13 G-DCBW who thoroughly briefed him in readiness for his first solo flight.

Noah’s dad Tom watched as Noah took to the sky for the first time as a solo pilot in command of an aircraft. Noah executed a perfect launch and landing where he was greeted by his elated father.

Noah went on to fly two further consolidating flights the same day, the first of many for this enthusiastic junior glider pilot!

Well done Noah!

Stratford on Avon Gliding Club is an accredited Junior Gliding Centre. If you’d like to know more about becoming a Junior Member at Stratford on Avon Gliding Club, click here.

Stratford Junior Pilot Ben Edkins joins the British Juniors Team!

Stratford on Avon Gliding Club are delighted to announce that one of our junior pilots, Ben Edkins, has been selected to join the British Junior Gliding Team!

The British Junior Gliding Team is a prestigious team of young glider pilots who have been selected from gliding clubs across the UK for their exceptional talent and commitment to the sport. Ben’s selection for the team is testament to his hard work and dedication to gliding over the past few years.

Ben was first introduced to gliding at Stratford on Avon Gliding Club by his father Chris, also a pilot, when he was just 12 years old. Since then, he has gone from strength to strength. After flying solo on his 14th Birthday he has gone on to become one of the most promising junior glider pilots in the country, competing successfully in regional and national-level competitions.

British Junior Gliding Team 2023

As a valued member of Stratford on Avon Gliding Club, Ben’s determination to succeed and passion for the sport have been evident since day one.

Ben is one of five young pilots from across the UK who have been selected for the British team competing at the European Championships in Denmark this year. The British Junior Gliding Team provides an outstanding opportunity for young pilots to develop their skills and experience, and Ben is clearly well-deserving of this honour.

We wish Ben the best of luck for his upcoming competitions and for all his future gliding endeavours. We are sure he will make the most of this fantastic opportunity and do the UK proud.

Congratulations once again to Ben!

Ryszard P goes solo at Stratford on Avon Gliding Club.

Ryszard P is our latest solo sailplane pilot at SoAGC.

Ryszard started flying with us in July during one of our gliding courses and has already made it to solo standard!

Ryszard flew his first solo glider flight in one of our two-seat K21 training gliders, G-CLVU.

He had an excellent first flight, returning for a spot-landing on our short ‘crosswind’ runway at Snitterfield Airfield.

Well done Ryszard!

Katharine B is our newest solo glider pilot at SoAGC!

Congratulations to Katharine B on becoming our latest solo glider pilot at SoAGC!

Katharine flew her first solo flight from Snitterfield last Thurssday, winch launching in our K21 G-CLVU.

Before being signed off for her first solo, Katharine was put through a series of check flights with senior Stratford instructor Andy S.

Congratulations Katharine!

Video by Anastassia M.

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! πŸ˜€

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 πŸ˜‰ ). 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!