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North Wales Gliding Club

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Warning, if you are allergic to nuts, gliding may not be for you. As it contains a high proportion of nuts, as you will see from the videos and pictures on this site.

 

You are able to fly Solo at aged 14, so we start them young at our club, but not that young. He will have to come back when he can see out of the cockpit.

Reza the first Solo of 2018

A short video of Reza’s first solo take off. Very well done, probably the best take off you will ever do. We could hear your knees knocking from 1,200 ft below. A good safe flight, very well done.

 

 

 

 

 

Wave at North Wales Gliding Club (NWGC)

 

 

Classic Wave clouds looking towards the Vale of Clwyd from North Wales Gliding Club. To fly in wave is a dream.

Wave flight on a freezing cold, beautiful day at North Wales GC.

A beautiful day, 24th February 2018 at North Wales Gliding Club. This was a solo flight in one of their club K13 training gliders.

This video shows me flying in what we called “wave”. Wave is one of the types of lift that glider pilots search for to gain height and prolong their flights. It is quite rare and is the most prized by many. Wave lift occurs when strong wind is forced over high mountains. The air beyond the hills then effectively bounces up and down like ripples or waves on a pond - hence the name. Wave lift is prized because of a few reasons - firstly it can climb to fantastic heights, over 20,000ft, secondly it is (usually) very smooth air to fly in and thirdly it can go for miles and miles. You can see in the video how smooth and serene it is but I gain height very quickly and could have stayed aloft for ages.

The other very noticeable meteorological feature in the video is a well defined temperature inversion layer. This happens on calm, high pressure days when the higher, warmer air traps a layer of cold air underneath it. It can be seen as the very hazy layer below me at around 1,000ft.

At various points in the video you can see other gliders from the club as we all fly around the local area.

Thermalling on an icy winter's day at NWGC

7th January 2018 and really cold - not much above freezing!

This is a solo flight in one of the club’s K13 training gliders at NWGC.

It shows me trying hard to fly in “thermals” - No! not nice warm underwear but actually bubbles of warm air that rise up through the atmosphere. Caused by warm parts of the ground heating the air above, they eventually detach themselves and slowly climb. If you can find one and keep inside the bubble by flying in tight circles you and the bubble will rise. It’s that easy! Well not really. That’s the theory but doing it in practice is another thing altogether. We are given clues to help us find thermals - cumulus clouds mark them as they are created by the rising air - large birds like Buzzards also use them so we can follow (although they are slightly better at it than we are).

Start of a 3h20m thermal flight at North Wales Gliding Club in my Astir CS77.

15th April 2017. What a fantastic gliding day! Days like this are quite rare and usually coincide with something that you can’t sneak away from to go flying.

This was a day with big, strong thermals that carried me up to 3,400ft all day. This flight was in my own single seat Astir and I had decided to put the camera on the tail for a change.
I fly all around the area today, from the club to the Horseshoe Pass and over towards Llangollen, down the valley to Carrog near Corwen and over the Nant-y-Garth Pass towards Ruthin and then backwards and forwards between them all. The full flight was 3 hours and 20 minutes - fantastic.

The music, by the way, is “Enigma” if you didn’t recognise it. I think it suits the visuals well - and if you don’t like the view just chill to the tunes!

Ian’s first flight in the orange Zugvogel (Bird of prey)

Back in 30th July 2016, one of my Zug syndicate partners, a so called friend (Graham, you know who you are), fitted his GoPro at the rear of the cockpit and set it to record, unbeknown to me.
So, warts and all, my 1st flight in the Zug was recorded, edited and posted on YouTube for all to see. Thankfully or Sadly it was a short and uneventful flight.
Some people have had flights of over 5 hours, flown from our airfield near Llandegla to the Midland gliding club at the Long Mynd. Then I do 4 or 5 minutes, well 4 minutes then, on my first flight, it was the conditions, I tell you and I’m sticking to it.

 

An ultra-low cable break in the Zug

On 2nd April 2017, I captured an ultra- low cable break on my video camera mounted on our Zugvogel. I was hoping for a soaring flight, but as you will see due to the cable break had a very short flight.

All glider pilots are trained to cope with launch failures, or what we call cable breaks. On every winch launch when going up on the wire, you are thinking cable break. When you experience a cable break, it’s nose down, build up landing speed, on this day in the Zug it was 55kts, then decide,
     1.   Land ahead if in your judgement it is safe to do so, or
     2.   An abbreviated circuit, i.e. turn to fly back towards the launch point, then turn in to land.

An abbreviated circuit, could be as little as a 360 deg turn to land, or as much as immediately joining the circuit and land as normal. Then anything in between.
The ultra-low cable break can be quite dangerous, as you haven’t got much height, so it’s nose down quickly to build up landing speed and land ahead. Normally when landing you would use your air-brakes, but on an ultra-low cable break, don’t touch the air-breaks as you are far too low and might fall out the sky. Only open them when on the ground. This is where your training cuts in and you land safely.
The music by the way is Safety Net, I wish I had, had one on that flight, but hey, I landed safely.

A 20 minute flight in the Zug, back in April 2017

A lovely day back on 3rd April 2017, the conditions were quite good, views were great, just thermalling and soaring the hills at the end of the Clwydian range of hill, overlooking the Horseshoe Pass.  A typical April gliding day. Since then although not caught on video, I have had several flights of over an hour, going up to 3,500 ft above our airfield, which is our limit, due to airspace restrictions. Only coming down early, to give one of my syndicate partners a turn. When you share a glider with other pilots, there has to be lot of give and take.