Tis the time of year again for cold winter flights with epic views. Fingers crossed for good weather and not too much rain but we are still flying most weekends so if you would like to come then give us a shout! See you in the skies!
Freshers week is finally here and we would like to welcome all of the new members to the club. If you would like to find out more and go flying then come and meet us at the freshers fair on Wednesday and Thursday. We will also be doing a talk on Thursday night where you will be able to sign up for flying on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Hope to see you there!
The wintery darkness is coming to an end and there have been some great flights recently. We are all looking forward to many more of these as soon as these exams are out of the way. Keep your ears open for upcoming trips and weekends.
We're now half way through the week and the competition is going well. Gobble and Woodstock are steadily flying their way around Oxfordshire, taking in the sights and gaining lots of points!
So far we've only had one land out, a 50k ending with an aerotow retrieve from Sywell. We've attempted a few longer tasks but the weather hasn't always played fair... Despite the usual challenges the weather can provide Andy and James managed to get a good 150k and we're hopeful conditions will improve towards the end of the week.
On Wednesday evening we start our talks with an introductory meeting to tell you lots about what the club does and how fantastic gliding is! We will also be signing people up to the club if you bring your £45 membership fee.
Wednesday 18th September, 20:00 - 21:00
Lecture Theatre 270, Old College
If you don't know where that is, don't worry - we'll be there to guide you from Old College's entrance.
After the talk we will head to Teviot for a more pub-like setting to get to know everyone. Even if you can't make it to the talk, feel free come along and meet us there.
So to anyone who hasn't already heard, EUGC are the new University Champions of Gliding in the UK!
We managed to bag all three trophies (Progression, Soaring, and Cross Country) which is a first for a long time, if not ever, so congratulations and thank you to the hard work of all our competing pilots, instructors, crew and other helpers!
This year our fleet consisted of Gobble (our two seater, K21), The DG (A borrowed two seater, DG 505), Snoopy (our single seater, K8) and Demon (Bruce, Andy and Gareth's single seater, Mosquito). Quite a fleet for an even bigger team!
Arguably mixing quality and quantity, we decided to take 4 instructors, 1 solo pilot, 5 pre-solo pilots, a first timer, some crew and a dog. Truly an epic team! Lots of flying, 100's of km's and 1000's feet later, Seb and Johnny went solo, and Seb even won the progression award, so an extra special well done there guys.
What a great way to start a new year of Gliding for EUGC. Here's to Fresher's Week and to meeting some new future pilots!
EUGC is flying all summer long. The good weather is here and we are making the most of it. Please contact us to arrange a trial lesson for you or for a group (discounts available!). Bring your flatmates, classmates, officemates, supervisor, external examiner!
We're also hosting and competing in the Inter-University Gliding Competition this year. We need everyone to join in, from experienced pundits to those who haven't even had their first flight! It will be great fun, so go to the website and get yourselves signed up. Feel free to contact us for more information.
EUGC and Walking on Air present: "Escape From Colditz"
7pm, 29th March 2013, Appleton Tower Lecture Theatre 4
Edinburgh University Gliding Club and Walking on Air would like to invite you to join us for a screening of the Channel 4 documentary, "Escape from Colditz". The documentary realises the daring "Colditz Cock" escape plot in which British prisoners of war held in Colditz Castle constructed a two man glider from scavenged materials, aiming to launch from the castle roof and glide to freedom under the cover of darkness. The war ended and the prisoners were liberated before the glider was fully completed, but the story has lived on as an example of the ingenuity and spirit of prisoners of war in WWII.
The screening will be followed by a talk and Q&A session with Tony Hoskins, who was closely involved in the project, and constructed the replica glider used in the documentary.
Tickets cost £10 (£5 for students and concessions) and are available in person at JCMB level 3 foyer (next to the Magnet cafe) or in the Appleton Tower foyer between 1:30pm and 2pm on Wednesdays and Fridays from the 22nd March until the day of the event. Alternatively, tickets can be reserved by emailing email@example.com.
Our weekly talks will be running throughout semester one on Wednesdays, at 8pm, in David Hume Tower Rm 13.07. Stay tuned to our mailing list or FB page for more details. In other news, we had our first wave day of the semester on Saturday! Three new members, and a few old ones, enjoyed the view from 12,000ft. Fingers crossed for more of the same in the coming months!
Great news everyone! Last week at the Inter University Gliding Competition, EUGC won the Cross-country competition and the Soaring Cup. We also came a close 2nd in the progression competition. In addition to an excellent team performance, several of our pilots also placed highly in the individual competitions. A special mention should also go to Martin Ruefenacht, who went solo on on Friday!
Well, the end of exams is nearly upon us, signalling the start of uni summer! We’ll be planning quite a few trips to exciting airfields, as well as our regular flying at Portmoak to enjoy the excellent weather conditions and long days that summer brings. Even if you’ve not had your trial flight yet, you can still join us in time for some excellent flying and expeditions. Stay tuned to the mailing list for more info about our upcoming activities.
Yes folks, Scotland's summer has arrived, replete with snow and biting winds... Luckily we're getting all of the bad weather out of the way in time for Easter Week! On the 7th of April, several other uni gliding clubs will be descending (and ascending) on Portmoak for a week. If the weather's nice we'll have trips going out to the airfield most days. It's an excellent time to learn to fly and meet some of our comrades from the South. Expect lots of flying and the odd party. We plan to round off the week on Friday 13th with a ceremonial pyre for a sadly unairworthy glider accompanied by a barbeque and some beers. Hope to see you there!
For more info on our grand summer plans, have a look at Competitions
The days are getting shorter and I'm sure we all look forward to the 21st when the days begin to lengthen again. The airfield is still basically serviceable and we're making every effort to keep flying in the stunning conditions even when ground handling is hard work. We are concentrating more on training now, but we still have spaces for trial flights. If you're interested then you should email us.
Our Wednesday talks have finished for the semester but we're still holding events. Last week we humiliated ourselves with moustaches (real and fake!) and next week we'll host the annual Xmas dinner at Adam's flat. Details on the facebook event page, or contact us if you want to come along.
Hello Folks, we've just set up a Flickr pool for EUGC photos. You have to be a Flickr member to join the pool, but setting up a Flickr account is free and easy so get onto it! I'm looking forward to seeing lots of photos on it so don't let me down! Sarah
Tomorrow night at 8pm come to Appleton Tower room 2.04 (not 2.14!) and allow Stu to entertain and enlighten us all about an important and often misunderstood topic: Stalling and Spinning. You'll be learning about why it's important to keep your airspeed, what the rudder is really for and how to recognise the correct response when the world is rotating around you. We'll also show you the fun we have in unusual attitudes and what manoeuvres you can enjoy in EUGC aircraft.
Afterwards we'll probably head on over to Teviot, so if you can't make
it to the talk we'll see you there.
At 8pm this Wednesday come on down to Appleton Tower room 2.14 and allow Bruce and I to take you on an epic journey across the skies...
You'll be working in teams to put your growing knowledge of weather, circuits, airmanship, principles of flight and flying skills to use. As you navigate your way across uncertain skies to complete your very first competition task, how will you cope with changing weather conditions in unfamiliar terrain?
This is a great opportunity for you to bring together all your skills so far and to find out what we get up to at summer competitions and on flying trips.
Come along even if you've missed some (or even all!) of the other talks. This will be a good chance for you to find out what we've been up to over the passed few weeks and especially how the weekend trip to Feshie went!
We'll probably head to Teviot at about 9pm, so if you can't make the talk we'll see you there. Whoever lands out can buy in the first round of drinks!
If you can't find us, call me on 07971945334.
Looking forward to seeing you all on Wednesday for an epic cross-country flying day!
Say hello to our ecstatic president, Adam Watson! In this photo he's busy competing at the Two Seater Competition in Pocklington, keeping a good lookout and having an amazing flight! But how is your lookout?
Follow the link to take a look at two photos of Adam during the competition and if you can spot all 10 differences you could win a delicious prize...
You've always requested the window seat; you've dreamt about being a pilot; or you're just curious to try it. Isn't it time you learned how to fly? Edinburgh University Gliding Club is meeting twice daily during Freshers' Week at 9am and 1pm outside Pollock Halls Reception to get you airborne. Trial Lessons cost just £40 and include club membership for a year, your first flight and your transport to the airfield. Join us and see the world from a new perspective.
Well done to everyone who has been helping to represent Edinburgh University in competitions over the summer. The Inter-uni team achieved a decisive victory in the cross-country competition and a joint Edinburgh/Bath team flew GBB to an impressive seventh place in the two-seater competition at Pocklington.
For those who don't know, the Inter University Task Week (IUTW) is an annual competition between the UK's university gliding clubs. This year it is being held at Aston Down airfield, near Stroud (the South West) and hosted by Bath University Gliding Club. You can find out more information at the website: IUTW 2011
The week is a great opportunity to progress your flying, whatever stage you are at. During my first IUTW in 2009 I went from having 8 or 9 flights to nearly solo! There will also be plenty of opportunities to experience cross country flying in 2 seat gliders.
Please get in touch if you are interested in coming along.
Congratulations go to Martin Ling and Kate Byrne for some laudable flying — with both flights within a few days of eachother. Martin took Snoopy to Gold height by climbing 13,140' to a maximum height of 14,687' (and coming down again in under an hour) in the wave of the Helm wind. Certainly worth the trip to skelling!
Kate on the other hand has completed her gold distance from Hus Bos, via Lichfield, Cambridge, and Stony Stratford in under six hours, earning a very creditable 1836 points for EUGC in the ladder. Gareth Francis and Martin have also logged flights worth 314 and 268 points respectively. Well done everyone!
Finally the weather was good at the weekend, and loads of people had some great flights, with some people turning up boths days to make the best of it. It was even quite warm under the canopy! Sunday was nice and windy and most people enjoyed a good spell soaring Benarty - there were even some thermals.
Well once again the weekend weather decided to do exactly the opposite to what was forecast, which was unlucky for those hoping for a trial flight on Sunday (sorry, we'll get round to you soon), but fortunate for the people who decided to brave the soggy field on Saturday. With the only showers being at lunchtime, everyone got a good flight (in sometimes rough conditions!) with some lucky souls getting into a little bit of wave. A great day to dodge the rain and the clouds!
This weekend saw us make our first trip to Portmoak after the winter weather finally let up for long enough to fit in some launches. Several intrepid members braved the near-zero temperatures (witnessed by a semi-frozen Loch Leven) with wind chill, and in all seven members had flights, most of which were in GBB. Let's hope there's some more good weather in store, particularly for our strong cohort of pre-solo pilots.
Welcome back everyone. With hopeful signs of flying resuming after the bad weather, we'll be beginning the term's series of talks this Wednesday at 8pm, venue to be confirmed. Andy will give us a talk on circuit planning, and also some details of our proposed Easter trip to Edensoaring at Skelling. Keep an eye out for confirmation of where we'll be meeting.
This Wednesday at* 8pm in LT175 Old College*, Kate will be giving a talk
on landing. This is an excellent talk to attend even if you have only
done your trial flight (or even not flown with us at all) as it's
something you will probably try doing in the very near future. The talk
will followed by details of our planned gliding club *trip to Feshiebridge
*in the Highlands. This will be during the last weekend in October which
isn't too far away. We'll be providing some details on cost and the likely
format of the weekend, and so come along if you'd like to express interest
in going. Afterwards we'll be heading to Greyfriars Bobby bar on
Candlemaker Row (since we haven't been there for a while).
On Wendesday (the 6th) our talk will be an introduction to weather given by Andy, and will include some basic meteorology together simple ways to work out whether a weekend will have good flying days in store. As usual we're in LT175 in Old College at 8pm, followed by drinks in the pub.
Tonight's talk will be a brief and non-technical introduction to how things fly and methods of controlling them. As usual this will be at 8pm in LT175, Old College. Afterwards we will be heading to the pub for plenty of gliding (and non-gliding) chat.
This Wednesday at 8pm in lecture theatre 175, Old College we'll be holding our first talk of the year. Whether you have flown with us in fresher's week and are keen to fly again, or if you're new to the club and would like to know more then come along to find out all about gliding and EUGC.
Welcome to Edinburgh University Gliding Club! We will be running trial flights for any interested students (not just freshers) from Monday 13th to Sunday 19th of September. Simply turn up in front of Pollock Halls reception area (near the taxi rank) at either 9am or 12pm any day, and you will be taken to the airfield to have a flight with an instructor in a glider and even take control yourself. Price £40 (includes travel); flights are weather permitting. Have a look at the trial flights page for more information.
Tonight we will be meeting in The Earl of Marchmont, which is of course, in Marchmont. At 7.30pm there will be a committee meeting, followed by drinks as usual starting somewhere between 8.30pm and 9.00pm. See you there!
The First Aid Society will be delivering an awareness session for us at 8pm, Wednesday the 28th of April. We could all benefit from having first aid skills — you never know when you might need them while gliding — so it would be great to have a good turn out for this event.
Venue: LT 175, Old College
The cost of winch launching at Portmoak has now increased to £7.70 per launch, as a result we have had to alter our charges accordingly. The following price increases will be implemented with immediate effect.
Come along to LT183 in the Old College at 8pm to learn the basics of the mysterious art that is circuit planning. We'll talk you through the main principles, along with a couple of examples and plenty of time for questions.
If you're not in the mood for a talk, then find us in the Brass Monkey from 9pm onwards for a chat and a pint.
Talks are now finished until after the Christmas holiday, but this evening we will still be meeting in The Southsider, located on West Richmond St. in the Old Town. Flying however continues --- weather permitting of course!
Tonight Kate Byrne will be talking about aerobatic gliding, so if you've ever watched Battle of Britain and thought all that looping and inverted flying looked like fun, this is the talk to attend! As usual we'll be holding it in the Balcony Room in Teviot from 8pm, followed by drinks in the bar.
This wednesday's talk will be covering the beginning and end of every great flight - launching and landing. We'll cover all the main points, including a little of aerotow launching. Why not stick around for a drink and a chat afterwards whilst we plan the weekend's flying. As always we're meeting at 8pm in the Teviot balcony room.
A new vulture has been inducted into the illustrious squadron. Stuart completed his first solo flight in GBB on Saturday followed by a satisfactory landing, earning the requirements of his "A" badge and starting well on his way to a lifetime of gliding bliss.
Our talk topic this week will be covering the most important factor to aspiring and experienced pilots alike: the weather! Come along this Wednesday, 14th October, to the Teviot Balcony Room at 8PM where we'll teach you where to find weather information, how to out-forecast the BBC, read synoptic charts, and what it really means in terms of flying.
This Wednesday's talk will be on Principles of Flight, given by Martin. Come along to the Teviot Balcony Room at 8pm to find out how a simple wing lets us soar to great heights and fly for hundreds of miles.
Stick around afterwards for drinks, chat and organising the weekend's flying.
Hope to see lots of you there!
Hello! If you put your name down to be added to the mailing list, but haven't received a welcome email from us then your email either hasn't worked, or we couldn't read it, so go to the contact page and add yourself!
It's fresher's week again, which means one thing - lots of flying! If you're interested taking a trial flight then this is your chance (you don't even have to be a fresher).
Meet at the reception of Pollock Halls at 9am or 1pm every day in fresher's week.
Also, if you want to find out more about gliding or have a chat to our members (at your own risk) then come along to our pub crawl on Wednesday. We're setting off from the Southsider at 8pm.
OK, we haven't been very good about keeping the news page up to date recently so here's a quick round up of what's going on.
Firstly, we're meeting tonight at the John Leslie from around 9ish.
Flying is still happening: the recent trips to Skelling were very successful - photos here - and Saturday saw some XCs from the 'moak. Also (belated) congratulations to Ewan on going solo!
Next week is Inter-University Task Week. So far the following people have said they are coming: Andy, Martin, Gareth, Bruce, Amy, Ewan, Steve, Adam and Toni. If anybody else wants to come - and you certainly should do - then please let me know.
Although we all have exams at the minute the weather is starting to improve and become more summer like so now is the time to fly! The weather for this Saturday looks nice so if you would like to fly add yourself to the flying list and we will let you know what the plan is for the weekend.
This Wednesday we'll be meeting at the Cumberland Bar by around 9 for drinks and the usual Gliding banter. Additionally, those of you who still need to purchase tickets to the Hi-Flyer's Ceilidh can do so at this time…they're only £5 per person, and of course all are welcome! Hope to see you all there!
On the 22nd March at 7.30PM, Gliding will be joining forces with the University Skydiving and Ballooning clubs to host the 2009 Hi-Flyers Ceilidh! Tickets are on sale now running at 5GBP apiece; contact the committee to buy. Bring friends, family, club members, and partners, all are welcome. The loft bar will be open to serve drinks, and ceilidh music will be provided by Folk-It, a local ceilidh band.
This Wednesday: Competitions Pt. II & The Brass Monkey (UPDATED)
Apologies to those of you who have received my latest e-mail regarding Wednesday's talk, but the topic this week will in fact be Competitions and Navigations given by Andy. An especially useful talk to those of you planning to fly in competitions later this summer, the talk will begin as usual at Old College, Lecture Theatre 183 on Wednesday, 18th February at 8PM. We’ll be relaxing at the Brass Monkey afterwards for discussions over drinks.
This Wednesday: Cross-Country Flying and the Brass Monkey
Flying over Portmoak's fun enough, but what about soaring the open air beyond the Loch? Learn how to fly cross-country this Wednesday, February 11th at 8PM with Martin Ling. The talk will be held at Lecture Theatre 183, Old College, and afterwards we'll be going to the Brass Monkey for a drink.
IF you've yet to get up in the air, don't worry, we're doing our best to get you flying. As Matt Allen's mentioned earlier, you can increase your chances by coming to our Wednesday talks and coming for a round with us in the pub.
Upcoming talk subjects include a talk on landing out by Gareth Francis, a talk on summer trips and competitions by Andrew Bates, and a special guest speaker. Further details will be announced in the following three weeks, so be sure to watch this space!
Ever wondered just what safe flying meant? Come on over at eight tonight for a Safety talk from our longtime pilot and expert, Bruce! We'll be meeting in Lecture Theatre 183, Old College tonight. Afterwards, it'll be off to Steamie for some drinks and even free food!
Hope to see many of you there...and be sure to pay attention to this spot for more information on upcoming events!
Thanks to everyone who came to our reunion event on 22nd November and made it such a special and enjoyable occasion. Photos from the event are now available, and some further information will be sent out by email soon.
Tonights talk will be in the same place as always, Lecture Theatre 175, Old College (the big building opposite Blackwells) at 8pm.
Bruce will tell us all how circuits work and what to do when the unexpected happens!
After that, we'll be heading over to the Doctors pub at about 9pm for drinks, and some semi mindless banter...
Come for a flight in a glider! We do trial lessons every day until Sunday. Meet us at 9am or at 12 noon in front of the McEwan Hall (Bristo Square). Cost: £35, including membership. (Extra flights will cost you only about £10)
Amy and I spent a very enjoyable weekend in Feshiebridge with the Portmoak Inter-Club team and the usual suspects from around Scotland. It was spectacularly won by the boys from Highland GC. Low cloud and clag threatened to put a stopper on our cross-country attempts, but Saturday cleared up enough by about 3pm to allow some impressive runs along the Spey valley to Easterton. I managed a whole 10km in Snoopy to take second place with 76 points (the day was devalued to 400). More details and links as I get time...
Unfortunately Sunday was less forgiving. After setting a racing task, falling back to a short assigned area and sending up a couple of sniffers, the day was scrubbed and we all packed up.
I've not heard any news from the Inter-Unis, except that Sean has gone solo. Well done! Myself and Amy are heading up to Feshiebridge this weekend with Snoopy to fly novice class at the Inter-Club League. The weather forecasts are pessimistic but changeable. More news as I hear/create it.
On Wednesday evening, we're giving a presentation introducing the sport of gliding to newcomers. You'll get to see plenty pictures, some video clips and a good overview of what gliding and our club are like. Afterwards, we'll be at Doctor's Pub as usual!
Date&Time: Wednesday 19 September, 20.00h
Place: Old College, Lecture Theatre 175
(Old College is on South Bridge, corner Chambers Street. Enter the courtyard. LT175 is on your right hand side, just up the stairs.)
PS.: This is a repeat of the talk we gave during Fresher's Week!
Come for a flight in a glider! We do trial lessons every day until Sunday. Meet us at 9am or at 12 noon in front of the McEwan Hall (Bristo Square). Cost: �35, including membership. (Extra flights will cost you only about �10.)
It was a spectacular wave day in Scotland. In case you couldn't go to the airfield (like me), you missed out big-time. Andrew "The Rat" Bates did a out-and-return to Deeside (230k), Wriglet managed to get to 9,000 feet (and forgot the logger) and Martin Ling is now signed off to instruct budding pilots.
Cloud base at 400 feet, solid cover and torrential rain flooding my tent: Tibenham and all of East Anglia has seen better days weather-wise. Because the outlook was appalling and even the famous Weather-Jack didn't have much hope (except perhaps for one marginal day over the weekend), we decided to cut our losses and came back early, to be greeted with sunshine in Scotland. The story of the tyre that disintegrated and the lost trailer door (bad door, no donut for you!) will be told another time!
Congratulations to all who competed in this year's Inter-Uni Task Week at Aston Down.
Some good cross-country flights during a weather-wise excellent week and Steven Wrigley's first solo contributed to the runner-up position. With ~7,000 points, EUGC came a close second after Bath (9,000) and before Manchester (4,000).
EUGC pilots will be taking part in two gliding competitions this summer: The Inter-Uni Task Week in waterlogged Gloucestershire (Aston Down Airfield) and then in the Junior Nationals at Tibenham, Norfolk.
Of course we'll keep our members and fans informed about the progress.
Daylight all night long � not a surprise in Scandinavia. But 35 degrees Celsius in the shade, and a mosquito plague? Edinburgh University Gliding Club was in luck when we set off for a great weekend at Notodden Airfield in Norway.
Back in March, on a cold wintry and windy day in Portmoak some of us met Bjornar and Vidar, pilots visiting from the Sandefjord Seilflyklubb.
To our delight, a couple of months later we were able to take up their invitation to fly in the country of fjords.
A direct flight from Glasgow Prestwick took us to Oslo Torp. We then drove for two hours in hire cars to the airfield in Notodden. The journey took us through some amazing scenery, filled with lakes and mountains.
The Seilflyklubb runs two two-seaters (a Blanik and a shiny ASK-21). Unfortunately, because of the requirement for foreign pilots to have a JAR/ICAO 2 medical to fly solo in Norway, we were not allowed to fly any of the clubs very nice single seat gliders (among them an LS4, an LS8 and a DG300).
Owed partly to the knowledge of the pilot in the back seat, most of the group achieved a cross country flight. Aerobatics was enjoyed by mostly everyone.Especially Mark who emptied the contents of his digestive system over the front of the cockpit whilst thermalling. WELL DONE!!
Bj�rnar Ryeng, an aerobatics enthusiast, and Vidar Ingebretsen, a Norwegian champion, seemed to be quite keen on inverted flight, which was a novel experience for many of our club members. Many chandelles and stall turns later, we lit the grill, enjoyed plenty of meat and our imported bottle of single malt, a rarity in the supposedly �dry� Norway.
On Sunday, several people managed to get away on cross country flights and explore the local peaks and lakes. Cloud base was reported to be at 3200m, which is probably about as high as it gets. The airfield has a comfortable concrete runway, shared with general aviation and a few commercial aircraft. Radio procedures were simple, yet impenetrable for non-Norwegian speakers.
However, flying in Norway is not cheap � the bill was about GBP 70 per flight.
Sandefjord Seilflyklubb has a number of cabins with a few spare bunks for visitors and there is a large camping ground (with cabins) adjacent to the airfield. Pitching tents on the airfield worked just fine, except for the scorching sun rays beaming down on the tents from 3.30am.
Peter Williams, longest-standing member of Edinburgh University Gliding Club, receives the 2007 Alain Chainey award for outstanding contributions to university sports in recognition of his service to the club spanning several decades.
Next year, the Gliding Club is celebrating its 50th anniversary. For more most of this time, Mr Pete Williams has been member, supporter, valedictorian, instructor, maintenance expert, fundraiser, string-puller and honorary president of the club.
It was the mid 1960's when Pete came up from London to work as deputy director and later director of the department that is now called Computing Services. Their offices were located in KB and behind Buccleuch Place, where there is now nothing but sheds and a Beetle garage, where Edinburgh's very first computer was housed. EUGC members still joke about whether the first computer really predated Pete, or the other way round.
In the early years 1970, Pete took a hiking trip up to the Cairngorms, where he stayed at a youth hostel in Kingussie. Another chap staying there was Ken Stewart. Ken was the national coach of the British Gliding Association, and he invited Pete to come along for his first glider flight. Much better than hillwalking, said Ken, and Pete agreed. Pete learned to glide at Feshiebridge, the same Highland gliding site that the Gliding Club goes to every now and then.
Pete soon became a gliding instructor. Instructors are accomplished pilots with many hundreds of hours of flying experience. For about two decades, Pete passed on his skills and taught club new students to fly. In the genealogy of the club, Pete is basically the great-grandfather of the current generation - it goes like this: Pete taught JP. JP eventually became an instructor an taught Andy, and for a couple of years now, Andy has been teaching the current members. So, in flying terms, there's a little bit of Pete in every one of us.
Among Pete's other students was Kate Byrne. Having met in 1979 in the Gliding Club, they eventually got married. After a hiatus of a few years in the 80's, both came back to the club and now, Kate instructs for the club just like Pete used to.
Pete has always been a practical person. Most people outside the world of aviation would never think of taking an aircraft apart or inspecting its mechanics. Pete loves aircraft and has been at the centre of our glider maintenance for decades now. He a sought-after source of knowledge at the 300-odd member club at Portmoak and at the university's Gliding Club.
It takes a lot to keep an aircraft flying over the course of 30 years. Gliders are elegant machines, they're rugged and can take hard landings. When they fall out of the sky and recover, they take enormous G-forces in various directions. But gliders are also delicate: handle it in the wrong places when you push one across the airfield, and you'll damage it. Once a year, gliders are thoroughly inspected for wear. Small punctures in the wings and fuselage need to be fixed, various hinges greased and instruments calibrated. It's a science, and know-how is key. We trust our lives in the technical expertise, and in this case, in Pete's expertise. And in a way, every time we fly our aircraft, there's a little bit of Pete keeping us in the air.
It is about three years ago when what was then our main training aircraft showed deterioration in the wooden structure that forms the wings. We had to take it out of service. Former university offices behind Buccleuch place, now turned into a shed, became the operating theatre for the glider's wings. In what we think was about 140 hours of work, Pete and some other club members took the wings apart and refurbished them. The big yellow glider flew again and has been used to train many new pilots since. Pete's friendship and long-standing support of his club are invaluable to the other members. The concrete help we have been getting in keeping the aircraft flying is worth gold to us: we could simply not afford to keep the aircraft if it wasn't for Pete.
University clubs are always in flux. Members come and go. Some of our oldest members have managed to fly with the club since their undergrad years and now drag on their PhD's, but their service pales compared to the time Pete has been with the club. When membership figures went down in the late nineties, Pete and Kate stuck around and kept the club alive. Members like Pete and Kate are those that you would wish every club.
When Summer comes around, Pete and Kate can be seen at the national competition for pilots in university gliding clubs, the Inter-Uni Task Week. And of course their car happily tows one of the several gliders we take to the "comp", all the way around the country. When a pilot has to put down the glider in some farmer's field, an hour later he can be sure that his crew will turn up to pick him up. Invariably, that was Pete at so many occasions. They'd take off the wings and carefully stow them in a trailer. As it happens, one of our trailers was designed and built by Pete.
Gliding seems to be a sport that is divided between retired people, who have time and money, and students, who've got the time because they don't have a family yet. Usually, the people from each group stick to themselves. And where is Pete? He's always hanging out with students. Of course we're not surprised about that. But we're grateful that we have him.
The Alain Chainey award is aimed at those people external to the University and its Sports Clubs, who selflessly give up their time to help the Clubs within the Sports Union, Clubs which without their contributions would not be able to function in the way that they do. The Award is given in honour of Mr. Alan Chainey, who, whilst a member of the University infrastructure has always been happy to give up his time and work outside his remit, assisting individual Clubs, primarily the Men's Football and Golf Clubs, in numerous ways and with no extra reward for over 30 years.
I, supported by the current committee and certainly by dozens of active and former members of Edinburgh University Gliding Club, would like to congratulate our member, mentor and friend Peter Williams for the 2007 Alain Chainey Award.
David Reitter, President of Edinburgh University Gliding Club 2007-2008
If you've been anywhere else but in the air over the long Easter weekend, you have seriously missed out. Sunshine, pleasant temperatures and a friendly westerly breeze allowed us to soar Bishop Hill on Friday on Saturday, with various flights in EUGC's two-seater "Gobble" (GBB) and "Snoopy" (DSF), and also the yellow syndicate Pirat "Pig". Sunday brought in strong Westerly winds and a good, easy-to-reach Wave right over Portmoak, with EUGC pilots being elevatored up to 10,000 feet (and quickly down again on the other side of the wave bars!). Andy did some 100 k in his Pig, I got my Silver Height in Snoopy.
If you're now confused about all this gliding talk about pigs on the airfield, we did some wordly things, too: we gate-crashed Nottingham's Quarters, broke into our car (keys in the boot!) and had a meat-laden barbecue in the cold cold night. It's all good!
March deal: cheap winch launches for frequent fliers
EUGC members can fly for even less money in the month of March, thanks to the new special deal of the month.
We're reducing the price of winch launches by 50 percent, starting from your fifth fully paid winch launch in the month of March.
That is, if you as a student member train for your next gliding rating and take more than four winch launches in March, you'll only pay �3.50 for each launch from the fifth one on.
On the 27/01/07 Edinburgh University gliding club went on a trip to Feshiebridge. The day started early, very early in fact, leaving at about 5 in the morning to drive to The Cairngorm Gliding club in the highlands. On arrival we discovered there was no tug pilot, which is required to get off the ground and go flying. So we waited and eventually at 14:00 in the afternoon the tug pilot finally turned up. We were going flying!! Everyone got the fly in the end with some amazing views of snowy mountains thousands of feet below.
The next day everyone got up to disappointing weather conditions. As the day went on the weather improved but with no tug pilot we resorted to looking at the Cairngorm gliding clubs very scary looking winch. This consisted of a large part of an old lorry, which had been adapted for use as a winch. Maybe luckily for us the winch refused to run so alternate plans were made for the day. We decided to pass the rest of the day by sampling the delights of Aviemore. We ended up going climbing which everyone seemed to enjoy.
Overall a good weekend was had by all and hopefully we will be back at Feshiebridge in the near future. If you would like to find out about future trips with the gliding club or would like to come along for a trial flight, we meet for drinks in Doctors every Wednesday at 9:00 pm or just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Talks: Launching and Landing / Citigroup @ Informatics
Tomorrow night we have a talk on the principles involved with launching and landing a glider. It will be held in the Teviot Mezzanine at 8pm.
Citigroup also have a technology presentation tonight aimed at undergraduates looking to start an interesting career. The presentation is at 5pm, being held at the School of Informatics, Conference Suite, 4 Buccleuch Place.
We are proud to announce that we have accepted an offer of sponsorship from Citigroup. In return for this sponsorship, we are invited to their corporate presentations. The first event is on Wednesday and they have asked us to provide this information:
Citigroup Corporate and Investment Banking invites you to attend our Corporate Presentation. The presentation will be followed by drinks and a canap� reception.
Date: 11th October 2006
Venue: National Galleries of Scotland - The Hawthornden Lecture Theatre
Who: Candidates from any degree discipline
Come along to meet us and speak to our wide range of business representatives. We look forward to meeting you!
Aboyne is a friendly club situated on the edge of the Grampian mountains, about 30 miles west of Aberdeen and well serviced by bus (for anyone who wants to come for one day). It is likely to wave in any wind direction except easterly. Most people will be in tents but there are bunk rooms available.
Let me know by email or at the talk on Wednesday if you want to go...
Fresher's Week is over. Despite adverse conditions on quite a few of the days, we did a good job in introducing many new people to the wonders of flight. We've flown 37 keen new Edinburgh University students, many of whom should already be hooked.
So, welcome new members! And a big thank you to everyone in the team who has made this possible.
University of Edinburgh's Gliding Team were the fastest in the air at this year's Inter-University Task Week, where eight UK teams competed for the trophy at Pocklington Airfield near York. Despite the difficult weather conditions, Edinburgh scored 3684 points for speed and distance, University of Bath came second with 1746 points. Edinburgh's Andrew Bates scored the maximum 666 points on day 5 with a flight in a yellow "Pirat" that led him to several turnpoints in the greater York area.
University of Nottingham won the "Progression" category with 1725 points. This category rewards pilots who fly unfamiliar aircraft or acquire other additional ratings during the week (Edinburgh and University of the West of England both came in second, with 450 points each).
Glider pilots regularly compete on national and international levels, reaching predefined landmarks. A typical course can cover 300km. Gliders are fixed-wing aircraft, usually carrying one or two pilots, without an engine. In the right weather conditions, they can climb high and reach destinations many hundred kilometres away. ScoresAbout Edinburgh University Gliding Club
Exams are a pain, we know. However you have probably noticed that the weather is improving, so now is the time to squeeze in a flight or two between exams. If you want to fly again or you're thinking about taking your first flight in a glider, give us a call to arrange the big day. We're still going to the pub on Wednesday nights, but it's worth giving someone a phone in case we've gone to a different pub!
We will be flying all summer and everyone is welcome to come along on the expeditions.
In actual news, I am thoroughly impressed with the thermals that have started popping up all over Scotland. They are atypical of the Scottish rough-as-hell thermal and are close enough together to fly reasonable distances even if you (or the glider, though that's never stopped us before) are crap.
Martin succeded in flying 60km to Aberfoyle for his Silver Distance and in finding the best retrieve family ever (they fed us!). Piglet has flown a few medium-sized tasks and the new cockpit navigation system (read: PDA) seems to do the job nicely. I took a short flight around Portmoak before realising how good it was, then deciding it would be a bad idea to go cross-country without a map. The instructional flying has also been amazing, we flew at least six student pilots last weekend and it's good to see the commitment of everyone involved. Andy's car passed another MOT (somehow) so we might actually be able to transport all the gliders to the summer competitions. The entries for task week are coming in now, but we will always be looking for more, so if you know any glider pilots at other universities then prod them to enter. We promise it will be fun!
I can't be bothered writing something trite about the Christmas party so if you missed it you'll just have to use your imagination and make sure you're at the next one. You probably won't have long to wait.
Last weekend an elite volunteer force was dispatched on a top secret mission to darkest Yorkshire. Unfortunately we can't yet tell you what they were up to, but here are some photos of them being distracted by flying and pretty lights...
Our annual ceilidh in cahoots with the Skidiving and Hot Air Ballooning clubs was another great evening. The band, "Thunderdog", did a fantastic job of keeping us on our toes and calling dances that kept people engaged all night. The many raffle draws produced only one gliding club winner (rumour has it that Claire is very happy with "The Beast Must Die" on DVD) and the bottle of whiskey (won by rolling a pound coin nearest to it from ~10m) went to a skydiver. We apologise to those who were unable to get tickets and thanks to everyone who organised a great night and we look forward to next year!
A large party headed north to Feshiebridge in the Cairngorms last weekend, with the Ratmobile leaving about 5 hours later than everyone else, but managing to arrive seconds after - this may have had something to do with them not having to de-rig the K13 in the rain and spend a long time looking for the tools which turned up in the K7 after it had supposedly been searched!
Despite the weather nearly everyone got to fly, although not soarable much fun was had by all, ("Waltzing Waters" really is a once in a lifetime experience - once done you don't want to go through it again!) and after people had been check flighted - the aim was to rig Snoopy. However the tool kit and pins were "missing" - presumed left at Portmoak. Poor Snoopy spent the whole weekend in the trailer. Then while we were packing up to go the tools were discovered to have been in the trailer all along!
The evenings consited of many games of "Spoof", pickled onion eating and drinking a whole keg of beer - which has to be a club record. However the traditional sacrifices to the weather gods was not sufficient to stop the rain and low cloud - but I suspect that we'll be going back soon - maybe we'll remember to pack the tool kits next time!
Freshers' week is over and we are all completely knackered. Thanks to the 40 people who came along to experience the joys of unpowered flight. We're still doing trial flights every weekend and if you've already flown with us, come back soon. Good night!
In a remarkable turn-up, the forecasts for the whole of the week 14th-20th August were spectacular: the weather was much better than predicted. Andy and I went to Sutton Bank to visit piglet and hopefully do some flying.
It just so happened that the week coincided with YGC's task week so we decided to casually join in and try to fly their tasks. Andy pulled off a stunning 165km flight in their K8, DKC, which we later learned actually had no trailer! That flight helped him to 5th place overall in the task week.
This is a week we suspect will not be repeated soon and will not be soon forgotten...
(Despite the good soaring conditions, visibility was poor on most days, so fewer photos than usual will be appearing)
Congratulations to everyone who competed in IUTW 2005! The week was a great success with Edinburgh taking the top spot in both cross-country and personal achievement categories. Well done to Ben for going solo, Martin for his Silver Distance and to everyone who pulled off fantastic cross-countries on days we didn't think would work!
As the winners, we hope to be hosting next years competition. Stay tuned for more news!
Well, another Easter Week come and gone. Sorry about luring you all up to
Scotland with tales of wave and then making you sit on a rainy airfield
for a week.
For the benefit of those who weren't there, the week started
promisingly with a couple of days of westerlies and even the odd
thermal I'm told (sadly I blinked and missed it). Then the wind went
easterly and the fog rolled in–just in time for the barbeque. The following day some boring types went to the cinema and the rest of us went on a hunt for the now absent sun. We did see quite a lot of Scotland and even pushed some people up a small hill (very slowly), but apart from a brief glimpse at Bridge of Allen the sun had gone into
The following morning we woke up to find that not only was the wind
resolutely easterly, it was still foggy and now raining as well. So we
sent everyone cross-country (on the ground). Amazingly (to the
organisers anyway) only two of the possible tasks remained unattempted.
Hopefully someone will upload some photos soon.
The following morning it was still raining, foggy and easterly. Most
people decided to cut their losses and went home. Highlights
(lowlights?) included trailer repairing in the rain (always good for a
laugh) and watching some Cambridge types rig and derig a K21 for no
discernable reason. I am informed that on Saturday the wind finally
went round to the south and the fog and drizzle gave way to heavy
Well, last night was the AGM. Holding it this term rather than
next appears to have been a good move as attendance was very good.
Thanks to Spikey for playing host, and to everyone who made food–it was
all very good.
Many thanks to the outgoing committee for all the hard work they've
put in this year, and good luck to Bruce, Amy, Neil, Martin, Evan and
Claire. Pete was reappointed as Honourary President and Andy, Hon VP.
Special thanks to both for their continuing hard work on behalf of the
Hope you all had a good Christmas and New Year! The end of last term was good fun. Thanks to everyone that came to the xmas door! lots of fun was had, although more potatoes were thrown out the window then were eaten.
Unfortuanatly we haven't done much flying so far this term as the weather hasn't been amazing however we hope to do more in the near future!
Thanks again to Sutton Bank for putting us up and putting up with us for another weekend of fun, flying and food. Thanks also to Pete and Kate for taking the K13 on another tour of the country, even if it didn't exactly work out as planned.
Congratulations to Amy and Martin (again) on first solo aerotows and to Andy on his acute hearing and even more acute paranoia which saved Snoopy from a potentially messy situation. Those of you who didn't make it, make sure you're on the next trip, sometime next term.
Well the beginning of the university year has come and gone and so another freshers' week has passed. This year's has to be classed as a success, if only for the pub crawl on Monday night! The sight of 100+ people tied together in twos and threes marching around Edinburgh trying not to fall over is one that has to be seen to be believed. It was a great night and I think everyone involved enjoyed it!
As for the flying, well we managed to get 40 people into the air over the week with most of them enjoying it (and a couple of them coming down a slightly different colour to when they went up) The committee members, whilst organising everything also managed to get some flying done, which makes the week even more pleasurable. Thanks go to Bruce who shared the driving with me and to all the instructors that flew (especially to Don Johnstone for the loan of the grob!)
The freshers' fair was quite quiet this year, which I think was mainly due to the societies fair being moved to Appleton Tower, but we still got a lot of interest (as well as a few close calls - Gliders and cricket balls don't mix!) and a lot of people came on the last weekend to experience the thrill of gliding.
So far this term we have had a promising number of the freshers come back, eager to learn, as well as a number of people still wanting trail flights.
Thanks to everyone involved in the week, I think it went very well under the circumstances (we can't control the weather!) and I look forward to the club growing over the year.
Sometimes a synoptic speaks to you (mostly they just laugh); however,
on Monday it was Rat who dragged me into the realms of consciousness to
point out that the 24 hour forecast was actually quite good and that
we should probably think about going to the airfield that evening to
prepare for the awesome wave day that was obviously about to occur.
Midweek adventures of this sort are invariably quite fun (for example, insanity
week) and this one was no exception. Monday evening will probably
be remembered for its spaghetti bolognese rather than its flying.
Tuesday, on the other hand, was a great day—just not quite the
one we had predicted.
Waking at seven, I noted the entirely blue sky and complete lack of
wind, then went back to sleep. Two hours later, having had a
leisurely breakfast and watched the pundits launch, with varying
degrees of apprehension, into a still blue sky, our thoughts turned to
rigging. By midday the fleet was airborne and our apathy (or patience
if you want to be charitable) was rewarded as the sky filled with
unseasonably good thermals.
Chris, flying Snoopy, missed out on his silver height by sixty feet.
Andy contemplated emulating Guy's crossing
of the Forth, but thankfully took the K13 to Glen Almond and back instead.
Meanwhile Piglet and I eventually found some wave near Crieff, although
it was neither particularly strong nor particularly high. At Comrie
the clouds refused to suck, so, deciding that looking up at the scenery
was unhealthy, we turned tail and headed home. On the way back I met
some buzzards and practiced my field selection and final glide
calculating skills. While neither very far (90km) or very fast,
definitely the most fun flight this year.
Oxford university organised a top-notch task week from the 26th July to the 1st of August. Claire and her team remembered everything, except the weather. All 3 gliders went cross country whenever feasible. This led to two silver distances by Bruce and Myself, and Andy parking the k-13 in a police dog training field. Gareth and Andy both putting in good flights earlier in the week (without landing out :-(... ). There was also skiing, bowling, sunbathing, thermal scratching, spot landing, Pig wheel-heap challenge, bollocking gathering and other competitions throughout the week. Oxford won the week and we came a close second.
All in all, a good week was had by all. Thanks to Oxford and well done for beating us!