Chairman’s Chat Steve Williams Contents

As I write this we have had a reasonable September flying, not the greatest soaring summer but some good days of note.  We now have to look forward to some nice Northerly winds over the next few months to get the ridge working.  Some club members have headed off to Scotland to fly at Portmoak and Feshiebridge in the autumn wave season.  Let’s hope they get some diamond height flights.  Julian Hitchcock and Ian Symms did very well in the 20m Multi-Seat Nationals at Aston Down in July where they came in 4th overall.  Well done!


The clubhouse extension and refurbishment is progressing with Building Regulations approval nearly complete and we are getting ready to go out to bid.  We have identified three local builders to bid on the project and we will be setting that in motion in the next week.  There will be some disruption to the clubhouse during the work but one of the factors for discussion with the builders will be how they plan to execute the work while limiting their impact on our operation.


The TAG Farnborough airspace proposal is still with the CAA although we expect some statement from the CAA soon.  We have seen no movement from TAG Farnborough, in fact their final proposal was worse than their original proposal sent out for consultation.  This is still a wholly disproportionate airspace grab by Farnborough.  We will keep you informed when we receive the ruling from the CAA and what happens next.


On the domestic front we are getting a contractor to do repairs to the main drive which has deteriorated over the past few months.  We will also be adding a tarmac strip from the main hangar apron to the workshop to make it easier to move fuselages and wings from the workshop to the rigging area in front of the main hangar.


Following the fire in the battery compartment in the FES Shark we have had the fire foam system recharged and we are looking into a replacement trailer to put it on as this got damaged during the emergency.  In the mean time we have foam extinguishers in the fire truck and we have also added powder extinguishers to each of the gator buggies.  Please have a look at these the next time you are at the club so that you know how to operate them in an emergency.


I am pleased to say that many of the club aircraft now have their 8.33 kHz radios installed and the tugs will be updated shortly.  We have also a new Icom launch point radio in operation which is a great improvement.  The club has claimed the 20% subsidy from the CAA for implementation of the radio change to 8.33 kHz, but this has still been an expensive operational change.


The LS4 HPL will be out of service from early October until early 2018.  It is going off to have its gel  refinished in Poland.  There is never a good time to send an aircraft away for a number of months but this is necessary to protect to the long term serviceability and value of the aircraft, so please bear with us.


Finally many congratulations to Jon and Katie who tied the knot on Saturday 23rd, now Mr and Mrs Gowdy.   Best wishes from all of us.


Happy and safe flying