621 VGS Historic Flight
Historic Flight Fleet

Historic Flight News

Posted on: August 9th, 2010 by nimbus

Hi all,
Well all I can say is what a fantastic week!

Monday – Wind 210 / 15kts cu cloudbase 4000′. We all arrived to lovely hot summer weather, Rick Fretwell’s SHK aka ‘the V bomber’ was rigged along with DNE the ‘621 syndicate’ Astir and these along with the Prefect and Sedbergh were towed to the launchpoint. Thermals were tricky lower down and it was quite windy. The SHK and Astir proved no match for our winch and both duly disappeared leaving the rest of us to fly the HF pair. The initial thermal search was often lucky but both gliders had some lengthy flights as well as visiting the bottom of the Lyneham CTA. Pete Turner held briefings for those requiring field landing checks and flew with Andy and John in the Falke. to complete theirs. An enjoyable BBQ finished of the evening.

Tuesday – Wind 210 / 18-20kts gusting 23kts at times cu cloudbase 4500’+. A similar day to yesterday but with increased wind strength making thermal searching in the wooden gliders even more of a challenge. John Williams did his final qualifying hour for his cross country endorsement in the Astir and the MKIII was also rigged ready for the Pilot Magazine photo shoot at the end of the week. Unfortunately towards the end of the day the Peugeot finally gave up the ghost. Not to be deterred and in true 621 fashion an intrepid trio set off for Shepton Mallet at 7 in the evening to collect a car trailer, then on to Bournemouth to collect the replacement Peugeot finally making it back to the airfield at half past midnight!

Wednesday – Wind 210 / 15kts cu base 4500’+. An early start today for some ( 0630!) as the new Peugeot that had suffered a front end impact needed the front end of our old car. All repairs done by 0900 and a new cable towing vehicle was born! From a flying point of view again it was a bit of a struggle for the wood to thermal search but Oli Bourton managed a half hour leg ( in fact just short of an hour), Phil Woods did his field landings and Andy Trickey the nav flight to complete his cross country endorsement. All knackered by the end of the day so went to the pub!

Thursday – Wind light and variable but settled on 060/5kts. The new cable was fitted this morning and as it got thermic we started flying. Oli got his next bronze leg and John did his nav flight in the motor glider to complete his cross country endorsement. Thunderstorms and more general rain stopped play in the afternoon although Rick in the SHK managed to stay airborne finally appearing out of the gloom well after it had started raining at the airfield. The brakes on the winch finally gave up the ghost as we stopped flying so it was back to the hanger to strip them down.

Friday – Wind light and variable. The winch brake problem was narrowed down to a faulty master cylinder, so a new one was bought and fitted with a temporary brake pipe to get us flying. After a few run changes the wind settled on 360 calm. The Astir and SHK took aerotows and dissapeared but the wood struggled with 800′ launches. Peter March photographer for Pilot magazine was down for a photo shoot and hopefully we’ll have some fantastic air to air shots of the Sedbergh, MkIII and Prefect all bombing around the circuit with Pete juggling everything to keep station with the Falke so Peter could get the photo’s. Three of us aerotowed the Grasshopper to 2000′ and all I can say about that is if you get the chance give it a go it will be worth every single penny! A Will Embrey BBQ bought proceedings to a close and I’d like to thank all those that put in such effort to make this week such a success, I feel it probably won’t be a one off!!