Well there is no hiding the fact that its been a slow start to the flying year with a lot of bad wet and cold weather then latterly we've gone straight into Summer. Well it's expected to go back to a normal pattern in May according to the Met Office. Saying all that some pilots have made it out on a few mid week, evening and weekend days weather soaring or cross country flying on TV sites. Wales and the north seem have been having the best of the conditions so far...
Coaching has been ad-hoc since the start of the year with some pilots requesting assistance and receiving practical and theory help. We will continue to do this and just make yourself know to coaches on the hill. Also more structured study evenings are coming up to keep you busy...
We've had many new novice pilots join the club since January and I welcome everyone to this club. I'd urge all new pilots to buddy up forge new friendships with others at they're level which will help with progress. Also ask for coaching and use the TVHGC Chat or Planning Telegram groups if you've not got a specific contact person.
Anyone who hasn't undertaken slope landings as part of their BHPA training get a senior coach to help you, rather than just giving it a go...
Keep your logbook up to date (spreadsheet will do) also download a copy of the Pilot Task sheet http://www.bhpa.co.uk/pdf/pilot_tasks.pdf and get coaches to sign off tasks when you meeting them.
Fingers x the weather improves through May.
BHPA Pilot Handbook
Those new pilots looking for info to further their learning and theory then grab yourself a copy of the BHPA Pilot Handbook. I think the third edition 2008 is still the most recent. It is still the BHPA official reference guide. https://shop.bhpa.co.uk/product.php?xProd=1963&jssCart=f4a10902a948b899e962815e63d03adb
So as you'd expect i's slightly out of date in respect of: 1) Overtaking in the UK (changed in 2012) 2) Low flying rule 3) Airspace classifications
Ask a coach for details on these if you are studying.
Airmanship and attitude around the hill
As sites start to get busier just a reminder of some generally established advice.
- Owing to our small sites, avoiding doing wing overs, spirals etc. in close proximity and above or in front launch. It will likely endanger yourself or cause distress to other pilots or endanger them. No matter how good a pilot is there of getting it wrong and it goes without saying that low down the margin of error is high and the outcome can be fatal. It also means pilots can't launch and disrupts those trying to soar. Find an area away from the hill or high up if you wish to do this.
- Avoid kiting/ground handling your glider back up the front face of a hill below launch where you can't see the pilots launching. There is a chance they can't see you as they launch. Move to one side where pilots aren't launching.
- Avoid flying through or at thermalling gliders, this is dangerous, always join the gaggle from one side and in the turn direction set by the gaggle.
- We don't advise thermalling under hill height in close proximity to the hill where your track will take you back into contact with soaring gliders of mixed abilities. If you do use you judgement and make a decision early and rejoin the soaring traffic
- Don't kite your gliders or launch if your see horses or horse riders in the vicinity. We want to keep good relations and avoid spooking the horses.
- Keep a good lookout above and in front of your before launching your glider. Remember your "Geordie" PreFlight Checks - A = All clear.
- If a pilot is top landing be courteous and drop your wing to allow them to land safely.
- Do have a chat with another pilot if you feel they have done something that made you uncomfortable. By sharing our concerns we learn to be better pilots.
- Stay on the ground and watch if you feel the conditions aren't suitable or the hill is busy. There will always be a better time.
- If it forecast to be a thermic day (sun out spring/summer), new CPs might find it easier to fly in the morning or evening when the thermals and gusty wind is less and more suitable to soaring. Soaring is difficult on strong thermic days.
- New CPs or rusty pilots do ask for coaching advise on the hill or assistance if your need it. Do check who's offering coaching is a BHPA coach as they are trained to do this, check their card if necessary.
BHPA Pilot Training - theory and exams covering Meteorology, Airlaw, and Flight Theory and Exam Free and open to all who are just have an interest in one subject or who need theory training for Pilot, AP rating with the exam. Get in now.
Places are running short, so hurry and book your place.
Where: The Bear @ Hungerford during April and May.
First aid lecture and CPR Training
TVHGC member and paramedic Gill Bell will be giving a lecture on how to handle first aid and hill emergencies at this event early May.
There will be an opportunity to practise CPR.
The event is free of charge to paid up members of the club, but numbers are restricted to twenty.
Where: The Bear, Hungerford.