Only a week after the Deeside Gliding Club sent Maddy Draper solo, the first girl in Scotland to do it on her 14th birthday the club’s Juniors programme has had further success.
Last week Keiran McGregor and Alistair Cunningham, both 18, from the Stonehaven area, did their five-hour “Gold” duration flights, with Keiran missing Diamond height by just 1500 feet and Alistair flying west to within ten miles of Aviemore, and back to the club.
Keiran and Alistair have now both completed two legs, the Height gain, after launch of over 3000 metres, and now the duration flight.
The remaining “leg” is a 300km (186 miles) cross country flight, which will have to wait until the summer when the days are longer.
Instructors were in constant contact with them by radio from the clubhouse, and gave them a count-down so they did not have to endure the freezing temperatures at height longer than necessary for the award.
Roy Wilson did the first 500km (say 310 miles) cross country flight of 2017 in UK today, and Roy Garden flew 270km in his new (to him) glider, his second ever flight in it.
He drove it back from Europe in its trailer, 3000 miles round trip, just before Christmas but could not find a big enough Xmas tree to put it under and the wrapping paper would have cost a fortune.
Stephen Clark, of Alford, had successfully bid for a club membership at a charity auction, (the committee donated three memberships to local charities in 2016) had his first glider flight with one of our instructors on an “epic” introductory flight in a club two-seater trainer.
He climbed, un-powered, to 8000 feet and flew from Aboyne to Braemar and back against a 60kt wind in exactly one hour, having used exactly six minutes of engine time, managing to complete three lessons.
He thoroughly enjoyed it and, because of the strong wind associated with the “lift”, was flying at 60 kts and was almost stationary over the ground, and his vertical speed was higher than hisground speed.. like a steep, invisible escalator pulling to the sky.
The only downside of the day was that due to extreme turbulence instructors cancelled flying at noon, (safety first) so some members did not fly- but those who were already airborne were soaring in smooth “mountain wave”, and only had to suffer a few minutes turbulence before landing
Deeside Gliding Club is world-famous for year round soaring conditions, and the “Juniors” program is now showing great success, with some already qualified for cross country flying, some having recently gone solo and a few still in training.
The club are always happy to have more pupils.