Flying Report 18th April 2017 – Another 300 First.

The briefing room was unusually full for a Tuesday morning but with the RASP forecast showing 5* red over most of England you could see why. I wasn’t the only one to ‘skive’ work that day and the numbers were further bolstered by a few Juniors on their school holiday who all wanted to make the most out of great predicted soaring conditions.

Dan and I declared a 308km task of Snitterfield SW – Aylesbury – Alcester – Thame Airfield – Snitterfield and Dave M declared a 147km task of Snitterfield SW – Thame Airfield – Snitterfield SW.

The mini-grid of single seaters before launch

The mini-grid of single seaters before launch

Dan in his Lak and myself in the club’s LS4 got ourselves airborne around midday and after checking the conditions over Stratford we returned through the start gate and tentatively made our way to Aylesbury. Things started improving and the second leg back to Alcester was quite good helped with some very strong climbs. The third leg had a bit of dead patch in the middle around Bicester but here we bumped into Dave in the Astir who kindly marked us a thermal. The 3 Amigos? circled over Bicester Airfield with the local boys joining us below. Once at cloud base we parted company, Dave back towards Stratford and two of us towards Thame. Just before the turnpoint we hit a stonking thermal – a much needed boost. The final leg was slow after Bicester as the sky was beginning to die and I had to scrape a final glide to get home where at times I thought I’d be paying Wellesbourne an unscheduled visit.

The task was meant to be a pairs training flight for the forthcoming Bidford Regionals competition however this was made quite difficult with failed batteries for 2/3’s of the flight. I’m still new to this X/C malarkey, so loads of areas to improve on before the comp.

It was great day out of the office and my first 300km.

[Editors note: Peter’s flight in the club LS4 is the first recorded 300km+ flight from Snitterfield in a club aircraft]

Peter Looking Tired and Emotional

Peter looking a little tired after his first 300km flight.


Dan & Peter’s Flights

Other notable achievements:

Well done to our 14 year Junior Ben for completing his 2 hours in the Junior. He wasn’t that short from his Silver Height too, next time?

Dave M completing his longest X/C flight to date.

[Editors note: Also his longest final glide at 31km 😉 )

David's Astir Flight

David’s Astir Flight

Mike C completing the longest flight of the year – 350km (‘underset’ in his words for the conditions)

Mike's 350km Task

Mike’s 350km Task

It was great day at the club and everyone had a good flight or two. It is just a shame we didn’t have more single and two seaters for people to enjoy longer flights.

Thank you to Alan W and Nick J who instructed all day and for making sure everyone had a good flight. With only 2 two seaters available (one is in maintenance) they were kept very busy all day. A final thanks for Dave M who graciously gave up the LS4 after having first call on it to allow me to attempt the 300km.

On a side note I have recently registered our club’s LS4’s FLARM ID with , this now means we can track it on Spot the glider when it is flying. If you’re interested follow this link and look for EMG to see how they’re getting on, or how they’re not getting on! (Most of our X/C privateers have registered their aircraft too so also look out for their competition ID’s such as FA, TT, UG etc.)

Peter C.

Flying Report Sunday 2nd April – Launching the 2017 Cross Country Season

With RASP and TopMeteo suggesting in the days before that Sunday would be a good day, our members were looking forward to it’s arrival. For this time of the year it certainly didn’t disappoint and the following report gives a small insight to what we got up to from Snitterfield that day.

One of the most fought-over trophies at our club is the one awarded for the first 300km of the year. Andy our Chairman, and Mike decided they’d go head to head to try and win the accolade and the first bragging rights of the season.

Initially the sky didn’t look too promising so whilst we eagerly awaited it becoming thermic the ab-initios cracked on with their training and check flights.

Once the first gliders began to stay up Andy took a launch in his LS8 which was soon followed by Mike in his LS10. As they set off we placed bets on who would complete the task first!

With the cloud base starting to rise, Ben our 14 year old solo pilot, set himself the target to complete his 1hr Bronze soaring achievement and so took a launch in one of our K13’s.

Peter looking totally calm and collected before tasking.

Dan in his Lak 19 and myself in the club’s LS4 set ourselves a 121 km task to blow away the winter cobwebs and to practise team flying in readiness for the Bidford Regionals later in the season. The task Dan suggested was Snitterfield W – Pershore – Banbury W – Alcester – Snitterfield. Dan launched first and I followed 10mins later – (Thank you Ben for marking my first thermal!) After a couple of climbs over Stratford to warm up we went through the start line and set off towards Pershore. We went around the majority of the task together working the sky between as we progressed. Apart from one low point over Shennington GC it was relatively straight forward to get around task ending with my first competition style finish.

For those who are interested the traces of our flights can be found here:



Meanwhile back at the club everyone was making the most of the conditions.

Ben could have easily completed his 2 hour achievement but the need for two-seat gliders meant he came down after 1hr 20mins to allow others to fly. Well done still on your completing your 1hr on the first attempt and showing your dad up on the day!
Nick rigged the “best Dart in the country” and flew for a couple of hours with the rumours suggesting he ventured as far as Wilmcote.
Neil and Kit, both yet to complete their X/C endorsement still managed to tick off some local turnpoints in the club’s Astir whilst staying in gliding range.

And Dave tried out his new selfie stick! – [insert photo here]

Meh – Selfie sticks are overrated.

Back to the main event – the 300km battle. In the end Andy was the first to complete the task crossing the line about 5mins before Mike. Well done to both, but the winner of the trophy goes to Andy.

You can view his flight details here.

Stats for the day

Total Launches: 44

Total hours: 37

Thank you to all the instructors on duty that day especially as you missed the chance to fly your own gliders.

And finally. With Ben completing his 1 hour Bronze soaring flight he is starting to cement his position at the top of the achievements badge ladder. But who’s going to win it this year? Click here for further information and the current standings.

Peter C.

Peter C’s first 100km in the LS4

Peter C completed his first 100km X/C task in Stratford’s LS4 on Sunday along with his Silver Duration and Silver Height gain achievements. He sent the following write-up:

With the first favourable forecast for many months, I dragged myself out of bed early to guarantee the LS4 as mine for the day. Phil had the same intentions but his delay of 15 mins meant he was relegated to the mighty Astir…..sorry.

Having done my 50km Silver Distance last season all I needed now was just my 5hrs and 1000m height to complete my Silver Badge so I “declared” 5hrs and with the sky already looking good at briefing, I was keen to get going.

It was “jokingly” suggested to me that taking the clubs hot ship for 5hrs of local soaring was not the done thing. Fortunately Dan and Keith came to the rescue and persuaded me to join them on a 100km task. (Snitterfield – Edge Hill/Shennington – Worcester –Snitterfield).

Dan in FA and Keith in 302 got themselves airborne and loitered around whilst I waited for my launch. Luckily I came off the wire straight into a thermal and I soon got up to nearly 4000ft and with a quick radio frequency change to 130.4 I got myself through the start line. The task was now on and we were Shennington bound.

Overlooking Gaydon

Overlooking Gaydon

It was great fun of the 3 us flying in formation and sharing thermals together. Flying efficiency was somewhat reduced due to us all taking photos of each other. It was more about positioning our gliders centre in frame and not centre in thermal whilst keeping lookout for other traffic!

Keith in his LS8 and Dan in his LAK19

Keith in his LS8 and Dan in his LAK19

With Shennington reached we then took it in turns to lead towards Worcester. All was going well until I got cautious and I stopped to take a climb and unlike the SAS, Dan and Keith at this point left a man behind. It was then just me and my poor thermalling technique to get me to Worcester. With the sky ahead not looking great I drifted back to the sanctuary of the sky above Snitterfield. Here I floated about until I got high and confident again to crack on towards Worcester. (Keith and Dan had already completed the task at this point and were already back on the ground).

Gaining Height over the Stratford River Festival

Gaining Height over the Stratford River Festival

With no obvious land-out fields below I tentatively made my way to the Worcester turn point. The next issue was a gaggle of competition gliders on task from the Shennington regionals right in the area I needed to go to turn Worcester. Eventually I eased myself within the group, turned Worcester and soon got above final glide and I made my way back to Stratford with no issues. At this point I still had 1.5hrs to go and so I kept high going through the finish line and then set about staying high until the 5hrs was up.

Turning WORcester over the Sixways Stadium

Turning WORcester over the Sixways Stadium

Ragley Hall and Alcester & Ragley Park Cricket Club where I played for many years

Ragley Hall and Alcester & Ragley Park Cricket Club where I played for many years

The next hour went quickly as I was enjoying climbing high, playing with the clouds, taking photos and finally getting my Silver Height. The best I got was 5750ft QNH just west of Stratford – the views were amazing.

The flight time was now 4.5hrs. The next 30mins seemed to take an age to get through. I kept looking at the time and each minute dragged by so slowly. I kept saying to myself, stay high, stay high.

5hrs up and time to relax. I radioed to Snitterfield Base to confirm my time but the reply came back that I had a lot of beers to buy. I took that as the confirmation.

As the conditions were still great I went on another quick tour to Alcester to take a photo of my old house and then tried to burn up some height by flying at 135knts. My fastest speed to date – it was great covering the ground so quickly.

Alcester from above.

Alcester from above.

5.5hrs now up and I thought I better come down as everyone was starting to get thirsty. After using the air brakes to lose 2000ft I entered the circuit and landed on 27.

Subject to the BGA’s rubber stamp, I’ve now completed my Silver Badge, my Part 1 100km Diploma and I also now have a significantly lighter wallet (thank you Chris for organising the monster round, I owe you one!)

Thanks must go to Dan and Keith for persuading me to do the unexpected 100km and for Phil who cleaned the LS4 wings after I landed even though he didn’t get to fly it. I promise it is all yours next time and I’ll return the cleaning favour.

Peter C

Flying Report 11/7/15

Bristol Sid’s forecast for today matched up well with what we experienced in our area, particularly the arrival of the top-cover.

However, tasks were flown, the longest being by Mike C in his LS10 flying Snitterfield South West > Winchcombe > Calvert > Snitterfield South West for a 157.1km triangle at 82.2kph.

Geoff B and one of Stratford’s newly cross-country endorsed Bronze C pilots, Phil S converted onto the club’s new LS4 G-DEMG.

We couldn’t get Phil out of it, he flew it a total of 5 times and enjoyed every minute of it.

The club’s LS4

Today saw the first day of operating the club’s LS4, 9 pilots flew the glider and it did 11 launches and flew for 209 minutes.

Everyone that flew the LS4 was delighted with the flying characteristics along with the gliders performance and I can see it will become a popular glider.

The minimum requirement’s needed to fly the LS4 are as follows.

Bronze C with a Cross County Endorsement along with 30 hours solo.
Bronze C pilots without the Cross Country Endorsement will be limited to no more than 5 nm from the site and must carry a FR300 flight logger.
A minimum of 15 launches in the Junior, experience on other single seater glass types will count and a conversion flight in the K21 may be required.
At the moment instructors that are authorised to brief pilots for there first flight in the LS4 are the CFI, DCFI, Barry K , Mike C and Andy B.LS4 EMG Launch 1

LS4 EMG Launch 2


Regards Steve