Thursday, 21 June 2018

Club nametag order

I will be sending in an order for club name tags. With a large club, it makes it a nicer experience on the flight line, and it's good for the log-keepers. The name tags are retained by a mechanical clasp, so they don't go adrift in the glider (i.e. they stay on the hat). There is space on the name tag for an FAI badge. Ordering instructions on the Yahoo Group.

Sunday, 3 June 2018

Old Bold Pilot

By Doug Laurie-Lean

Alex Smith, Doug Laurie-Lean, Norm Wong
Sunday, looked  like a beautiful summer’s day with blue skies and mild temperatures. However, there was a brisk SE wind and only broken thermals. We had 13 glider flights with IFX,  with Simon Dufour towing in the morning and J-M Chadourne towing with the Pawnee in the afternoon. Karl Boutin did the instructing in the morning and Roger Hildesheim did the afternoon instructing.
Only five flights did last longer than twenty minute due to the brisk winds and the broken thermals. These five flights were  achieved by Ian Grant ( back to the Club from his stint at the the UAE  -  Welcome back); Wally Wilson (from his winter in Arizona); Mike North; Luc Savoie; and lastly myself from ‘medical leave I (and glad to slip the surly bonds of earth, if only as P2).
Although the thermalling conditions were not great, I was grateful to be able to fly with my erstwhile student, and now competent ‘safety’ pilot, Norman Wong. We were also graced with a visit to the airfield by our former Chief Tow Pilot, Norm Rylance.
I am hoping to organise a Freedom’s Wings Fly Day sometime in July, on a Wednesday, or Thursday, on a date to be determined. As I no longer fly as pilot in command, we will need volunteer tow pilots and passenger rated glider pilots, etc. Club flying can operate in parallel. Let me know by email or phone if you are interested.

Note from Karl

Even though the day was not good for cross-country flights, it was a perfect day for challenging new students with take-off and landing into windy and gusty conditions.

Hangar doors opened at 8:30 sharp and by 10:00, the whole crew was lauching IFX from the edge of 08.  All of the students of the morning shift had the same briefing about wind gradient, illusion created by drift, speed control  and circuit planning. Julie, Alex, Bill and Debbie took their turn performing most of the steps of those short 2000' flights.  The flights might have been short, but I can attest that from the back seat of the Blanik, the pilots had their moneys worth of challenge and fun. Well done all!

Even when the weather conditions are less then perfect, there is a lot to do and learn at GGC!

Sunday, 20 May 2018

C-FFAG First Flight

By Sandrine Gressard

On Friday, May 18, 2018, I flew my glider for the very first time. Prior to take-off, I went through the entire spectrum of emotions: fear, excitement, doubt, anxiety, happiness,... you name it! Although I had flown 8 different models of gliders over the course of 5 years, I was totally freaked out by the idea of flying this light sailplane and making it safely through the tow and back onto one of the three grass runways of our Club.

John and I spent a couple of hours washing both of our vintage ships and preparing the radios and other electronic devices. We then walked them out to runway 08. Luc Savoie walked by and said, "Hey! There's Mini-Me!" The L Spatz-55 does look like a mini version of the Ka 7.

Here is the nice family photo of our two ships
Before I was going to to take my single-seat glider up, I went on a flight with John in the Ka 7. This allowed me to practice side slipping and complete my first flight of the season since my check out last Sunday. This also gave me the confidence that my skills were adequate. The weather was ideal: 8-10 knot winds, blue sky, 17¡C and all the high-performance ships competing in MayFly were far away from the field.  Our flight in the Ka 7 was great! My boyfriend/instructor checked me out and confirmed I was ready to go.

Moments later, I was sitting in my very own glider, on the flight line doing my checks. For several minutes, I was a nervous wreck... I had to ask John to leave me alone a few minutes and although the tow pilot was ready to go, I thought of every piece of advice I had received over the years... "if you need more time, if you want to take several minutes to do all of your checks and check yourself internally, by all means, do it!" So, I did. I sat there breathing deep and after an emotional moment of tears rolling down my cheeks, I finally realized that I was ready. I wanted to fly my ship and take her soaring high above the ground. I called upon John and gave him the thumbs up. He passed me the canopy and I locked myself in.
The tow was uneventful yet very different than any other tow. This sailplane weighs a total of 585 lbs. with me and my parachute on board! But its wing span is 15 metres! So, the tow pilot has to keep the speed at 60 MPH not a notch above and even then, I had to side slip or skid continuously to keep the rope tight.

At 2400' AGL, I released and began flying my little ship. What a great feeling! I screamed "Wooo-hooo!" at the top of my lungs and went back to find that thermal I had just felt... I soared up to 3500' and flew level for a bit. John had planned to take-off again in the Ka 7 to join me in the air. I stayed around the field thermaling here and there to wait for him and then watched him take-off behind the tow plane.

Within 5 minutes, we were soaring together in the same thermal. John had brought along our Nikon D3000 camera and took some great shots! I felt like a Million bucks! My man and I were both flying our vintage ships together in a thermal at 3000'! How many couples get to say that!?!?!

Once I was ready to bring her down, my anxiety shot up ever so slightly because of all the warnings I had received (the spoilers on the L Spatz-55 aren't very effective, but the rudder authority is unbelievably strong. So, if you're willing to accept that every landing will involve side slips, you're home free). So far, my flight with her was going extremely well, so, within seconds, the anxiety was replaced with confidence. I prepared a circuit for runway 08, but simultaneously, a couple of pilots competing in the MayFly had just called in their intentions to land on the same runway. I called in my changed intention and chose to land on runway 13. I side slipped on my turn to base, and side slipped again on final with a full stop 50 ft. short of the P-patch. I had heard another pilot saying he was landing short on 13 as well and didn't want to be in his way – I wanted to land longer, but under-estimated how quickly she stops.

Needless to say, I stepped out of C-FFAG with a huge smile on my face and bent over to give her a big kiss on the nose! I am now looking forward to completing my Silver Badge with her and hopefully even my 150km badge prior to July 1st, 2018.

So, gents and ladies, get ready to see a tiny red and white vintage ship up in the skies and hear SG on the radio!

P.S. Thank you, Sam Michaud, for taking the time to teach me how to rig her, for providing me with pictures and the full story of her life. Thank you, Don Henry, for giving me the insight and also helping with the rigging. I feel really blessed to own this 55 year young ship!

MayFly 2018 Fly Day 1 results

Further to KB's posting, here are the results. We aren't flying today, but tomorrow looks good. AT did not fly (Contest Director), making sure everything ran smoothly...

Saturday, 19 May 2018

Mayfly 2018, Day 1

We had a good first day of competition for Mayfly 2018. Is was blue again, just as it has been for the past few weeks of soaring in the area. Thermals were there, you just had to find them!

Teams from MSC , RVSS and GGC were present for the 11:00 initial safety briefing.

Grid time is later on the first day of the Mayfly to give visiting pilots time to arrive at Pendleton and rig their sailplanes. On Friday, 10 gliders took part of the race.

Thanks to an efficient crew on the flight line and two powerful tow planes, all of the competitors were launched quickly. The gate opened at 14:15 for a three hours task .

Once the rush of the launch was passed, the flight line crew could relax.

Others, found their way to relax in vintage aircraft.

And at the end of the day, after pizzas and beer, everybody could also wind down

Except  for the weather man who is already planning Day 2.

Friday, 18 May 2018

First "vache" of the year

As soon as we launched at 12:10 on Thursday, we could see that the day would be better then we had expected. Cu's began to form even though it was suppose to be a blue day. In quick succession, Jarek towed the seven single seat gliders up to 2000' and each pilot was on his way for a great day of soaring.

I had declared a 200 km triangle task: Pendleton - St-Polycarp - Williamsburg South - Pendleton.

It started well .... but it did not last for me...

I ended up at the Lancaster Airpark, east of Cornwall Regional. It is a nice grass strip, 07/25, 2400 feet long.

Stan, a nice gentleman who flies a 1946 Luscombe from the aerodrome, was kind enough to tow me back to the end of 07.

I relaxed most of the afternoon under the wings of KB while listening to my friends from GGC and MSC having fun at 5000 feet in the sky. Usually, when you land out far away from Pendleton, you cannot get reception on 123.3. However that afternoon, since everybody but me was so high, I could remain in communication with my potential retrieve crew.

Dan Daly did messages relaying and agreed on the spot to come come for a the trailer retrieve. (Thanks Dan). But since I knew from the Doodle that three tow pilots were in the vacinity of the GGC that afternoo, I was hoping to be able to "schmooze" my way with an aero-retrieve.

At 16:10, Martin and Don H. woke me up from my afternoon nap and it was time to get back home. Even though the runway was dry and nicely cut, Martin had to takeoff with two notches of flaps to clear the trees. There was still some thermal activity in this late afternoon as we were cruising home bound but I decided to remain tethered to QIH until I was on a final glide to Pendleton.

And, as is often the case at GGC, the afternoon ended with a smiling glider pilot.

Sunday, 6 May 2018

More spring checks and training flights

Another day of good soaring brings an almost perfect score for this first weekend in May.

While a team of dedicated owners performed aircraft weighing in the Boudreault hangar with Niall digital scales, the flight operations started early again at Pendleton.

Chris preparing for his second spring check flight

Alex wing runner extraordinaire and new ab-initio student
Spring checks and training flights were on the program for the day. Even if she is not really new to GGC, welcome to Alex Smith as a new ab-initio student in our club.

Sometimes, on spring check flights, the instructor has the chance to ride in the front seat. Hey, look how clean is IFX's canopy! 
Ready to T/O in IFX on 08
It looks like someone got a simulated rope break here?
IFX, Base leg, right hand circuit for 08

Final, 08
It is not always about work at GGC, sometimes we take it easy
Jacques doing business
Because of the shifting winds throughout the day, we did operated on 5 of our 6 runways: 13, 08, 17, 26 and 31.

Two instructors almost ready to go. Yes, the canopy is locked and so are the spoilers...
Ulo and Jeff on a spring check flight

JCZ ready for T/O, wings level