Pennine Soaring Club Annual General Meeting 2019

By Carl Fairhurst on  February 17, 2019 15:51
Pennine Soaring Club Annual General Meeting 2019

Pennine Soaring Club Annual General Meeting (AGM) Minutes

11th February 2019, The Sea View Inn, Chorley


20190211_202844171_iOSPaul Hester, Club Secretary, sent his apologies prior to the AGM and requested that Jacob Cleverley represent him and take the minutes.

There were 29 attendees in total for the AGM.


The AGM of the Pennine Soaring Club was opened by Graham Jones, Chairman at 20:02.

Chairman’s Opening Statement (Graham Jones)

The Chairman expressed how much the committee have done for the success of the club in the past year, with a notable appreciation for the efforts of Jim Ashley for services to the club, and how this should be appreciated by the membership.

The Chairman concluded that he will be standing down from the role and from the committee.

Officer’s Reports


Treasurer Jim Ashley showed the attendees a comprehensive spreadsheet of the club finances from 2017 and 2018. The key figures are as follows:













The Treasurer noted that there were some abnormal costs that made the Outgoings ‘look’ worse than they actually were, and that overall the club finances were in a good state.

Donations to the North West Air Ambulance (NWAA) Charity from club events and sale of assets had gone through with Gift Aid. The Treasurer also noted that there is now an NWAA Charity shop in Longridge, and encouraged the membership to utilise it.

Membership Secretary

Membership Secretary Jim Ashley reported that in 2018 there were approximately 180 members. He highlighted that there were some members who underpaid, but upon investigation this is usually people who do not fly or participate in club activities any more but still have a direct debit running. Therefore it is not a major cause of concern. There are some people who are paying into the club account and cannot be contacted- e-mails, texts and letters have been posted with no reply.

The Membership Secretary stated that helmet stickers will not be posted to all members this year because of general lack of use by members, but there are stickers available to members upon request.

It was noted that the reduced rate of £10 for new members is adequate and the BHPA membership is very healthy. It is the best ever recorded and only three lapsed- all of which reinstated immediately upon request.

Sites Officer

20190211_202850658_iOSAndy Archer reported that it had been a good year in terms of sites. Bottles have been delivered to landowners/farmers/gamekeepers as a mark of goodwill, and they all seemed amicable of the club’s activities in the past year.

The Pendle East site is still not condoned by the club but efforts are being made to regain the site through contacts of the landowner.

The license fee for Nont Sarahs/Pule Hill has been proposed to be increased by the National Trust. This was discussed with the membership who attended the AGM an action was taken to question the National Trust on this issue. The club committee are considering whether to retain the site or serve notice on the licence as it was considered rarely used by PSC members. The club will canvas the membership and DHPC who contribute 50% towards the licence fee. The matter will be discussed at future committee meetings.

ACTION: Respond to the National Trust and determine level of usage of the sites by PSC members.

A question was raised by an attendee about the condition of the Edenfield site due to motocross bikes causing land damage- it was agreed this would be monitored. Also, the potential use of the ‘007’ site was raised and discussed- from past issues it was determined that although it shouldn’t be disregarded, it was unlikely.

Safety Officer

20190211_203322282_iOSBrian Stewart noted that 6 people took the club incentive and completed SIV courses in the past year.

There were 4 Pennine Incident Reports raised in the past year:

· A Hang Glider incident on Parlick in March

· A fast landing on Fair Snape resulting in injuries in May

· A serious head injury at Nont Sarahs in May

· A tandem accident on Parlick in August.

Brian noted there were some minor incidents that were not reported, and encouraged members to report any incidents since identifying a hazard could help pilots avoid accidents in the future.

There was one conflict with the Bowland Forest Gliding Club which was dealt with well and amicably. There was also an Airprox report raised by a Paraglider pilot due to a proximity incident with a Sailplane.

It was noted how winter conditions once again caused headaches due to ground level inversions and large wind gradients, but also noted that awareness of this utilising online forecasts with wind at altitude seems to be improving. No incidents were reported over winter.

Brian reiterated the message that Aviation is serious and Paragliding/Hang Gliding/Powered is unforgiving and not easy, with practice being absolutely key. He also emphasised the importance of caution in the upcoming Spring unstable air, and to do something about dangerous or potentially situations by speaking up to pilots or the Safety Officer.

The £50 subsidy for first time SIV members will be continued, and a First Aid course will be scheduled in due course.

Stay safe!

Chief Coach

John Murphy emphasised the importance of safety and his method of ‘staying scared’ so as to not forget the hazards when conducting flying operations.

John stated the 3 lectures for the Pilot Rating exam were well attended and a great success, with several pilots also sitting the exam.

It was reported that Coaching days have been blighted by poor weather, but still have been successful and valuable with site briefings, coach advice and ground handling sessions with attendance and awareness steadily increasing. John stated that pilots of all levels, from newly CP’d to XC seekers, can benefit from attending the coaching days. The efforts of Jim Ashley were once again noted for heading out rain or shine! John said people who want to be coached should be proactive about it to get the best results.

John also mentioned the new BHPA Pilot Development Structure and encouraged people to use it. Also, he has some foreign pilots conducting alternative entry to the BHPA and encouraged anyone who wants this/knows someone who would benefit to contact him.

Competition Secretary

Simon Blake reported the tremendous success of the BP Cup round with 4 consecutive taskable days.

Simon reported on notable PSC competition performances:

· Richard Butterworth achieved a top 10 finish in the National XCLeague table with 1015.3 points.

· Jack Pimblett achieved a top 10 World ranking in Acro paragliding.

Simon reported an increase of Pennine flights in the XCLeague and an increase of pilots entering flights from the PSC.

Simon laid out the challenge for the year involving XC flights from Edenfield- a site with minimal entries but a lot of potential. There is no declared flight from Edenfield and Simon laid out the rules for pilots to potentially set a site record.


Carl Fairhurst demonstrated the new website to the room which is a staggering improvement aesthetically and functionally- and is also more mobile friendly. Events are now shown on the homepage of the site, and encouraged members to submit any suggestions and improvements.

The option of having a PSC YouTube channel is being investigated.

Social Secretary

Andy reported that the Christmas do was excellent, well attended and more upmarket this year! Several successful club nights including Richard Carter, Jocky Sanderson and the PSC SIV candidates all delivered excellent and informative talks.


Paul Hester could not attend but Jacob Cleverly passed on his message. A constitution change was proposed whereby club members who perform at high level International competitions would have their membership fee waived, at the discretion of the committee. This was proposed, seconded and passed with no objections.

Social Media

Catherine-Anne Scott reported on the improvements made in the club social media accounts, with new additions including an Instagram account to showcase the club activities.

Power/Hang Gliding Coordinator

Simon Scott reported that he was not aware of any reported incidents. There was one Paramotor pilot who landed on Parlick, but this incident was dealt with by members on the scene.

Simon informed the membership that the Power Nationals are relatively local and take place from the 23rd to 26th August.

He stated there were no known issues at the designated power field and anyone who is interested in Paramotoring can contact him, with an emphasis on getting power training since it has different hazards to free flying.

Simon thanked Andy Archer, Sites Officer, for negotiating to get the Hang Glider landing field available at Parlick.


Tim Gridley is arranging the annual Penninefest, which is all going smoothly.

Thanks to all Committee members for their efforts during the year and contributions to the AGM.

Election of Officers

The following officers stood for re-election to the committee:

Safety Officer

Brian Stewart


Jim Ashley

Membership Secretary

Jim Ashley

Competition Secretary

Simon Blake


Carl Fairhurst

Sites Officer

Andy Archer

Chief Coach

John Murphy

Power/Hang Glider Coordinator

Simon Scott

Sub 20 Officer

Andy McLoughlin

All were Proposed, Seconded and elected unanimously.

Paul Hester and Graham Jones stood down from their positions on the committee. They were thanked for their outstanding contributions to the club. Andy McLoughlin stood down from the Social Secretary role but is still the Sub 20 Officer.

The following nominations were proposed:

Club Secretary

Jacob Cleverley

Social Media

Catherine-Anne Scott

Social Secretary

Tim Gridley


Simon Scott

All were Proposed, Seconded and elected unanimously.


Best Newcomer

Presented by Graham Jones, the best newcomer award went to Max Kirk.

Most Improved Pilot

Presented by John Murphy, the most improved pilot award went to John Westall.


Bent Upright Award

Presented by the previous holder, Simon Blake.

Honourable Mentions: Jacob Cleverley for his patriotic onesie tree landing and Sam Ashley for two incidents including landing on the road to Parlick.

The winner was Billy Maxwell, for being the only pilot to legitimately have to ask ‘Am I on fire?’ after landing- by clipping a fire-pit.


Representing the Club

Presented by Graham Jones, this award went to Paul Winterbottom.


Overseas World Class Performance

Presented by Simon Blake, this award went to Jack ‘Pimplett’ Pimblett.


The William Marshall Trophy

Presented by Brian Stewart, this award went to Graham Jones.


Best Flight

Honourable Mentions: Graham Jones for his 102km Flight from Parlick, Richard Meek for his 126.5km Flight from Fair Snape.

A special mention was raised for John Oliver’s 57km Flight from Pendle East.

Presented by Simon Blake, the winner was John Westall for a 118km Flight from Parlick- previous personal best was 31km.


Loop League Winner

The winner of the Loop League was John Murphy.


Fun Class League Winner

The winner of the Fun Class League was Paul Winterbottom.


Sport Class and Overall League Winner

The winner of the Sport and Overall League was John Murphy.


Congratulations to all award winners.


Any Other Business

Nothing to report.


The meeting was closed at 22:01, with thanks to all members that attended.


Minutes submitted by: Jacob Cleverley

Approved by: Simon Scott

Flight Diary–Parlick to Haltwhistle

By John Murphy on  February 15, 2019 09:56

I had a really nice flight on the Thursday afternoon, floating around at cloudbase out the front of Pendle so had accepted Friday would be a work day. Fortunately, when I got to work I had a quick check of the weather forecasts.

RASP was looking excellent, boundary layer depth over 5000 feet, light southerly, a 4 star day for what would be the track north from Parlick. It was too good to miss, so a frantic 3 hours followed by a quick exit from work saw me on Parlick for 12pm.

As I walked up I was watching John Oliver climbing out in what was obviously a really nice thermal. A couple of the local pilots were sat on the top, they were able to confirm that Paul Winterbottom had left the hill earlier but they thought conditions were a bit strong. It didn't feel too bad to me so I quickly got ready and launched. A few exploratory pushes out towards where the clouds were gave bits of lift but nothing good enough to tempt me away from the hill. A radio message from one of the guys on the hill that it was blowing strongly up past take off brought me back and as I pushed out from take off over the big gulley that runs up the south face of Parlick I got into a super 2m/s climb all the way to 4000 feet.

parlick_haltwhistleThat was me committed to leaving the hill and as the lift slowed I glided over to get under the big cloud that was tracking slightly west of me. This also worked and I was able to stay with this cloud over the 1st moorland section although I didn't make it to cloudbase.

JO radioed to say he was down at Abbeystead in what he thought was sea breeze, with forward speed of 5K when he landed. PW also came on the radio to say he was over Killington Lake and that the wind strength was OK all the way to there.

Both messages were a help – as I glided towards the next cloud I tracked towards the east side of it to try and stay away from the sea breeze, and knowing that the wind shouldn't be a problem for the next 40K took one worry away.

Good lift under the next cloud took me all the way to cloudbase at 5000 feet, and this made the crossing of Tarnbrook and Mallowdale fells, often tricky with a long walk if you go down, relatively easy. The sea breeze was noticeable as clouds were forming below me on the western side and it was bumpy as I negotiated what seemed to be an area of convergence.

The lift died so I set off on a glide to a cloud to my north. On route it started to dissipate with holes showing in the cloud shadow. I decided to head back into wind to try and find lift, partly as the cloud I had left still looked good. This didn't work and I ended up at 1,000 feet, 12 minutes after being at 5,000 feet.

At this point I realised that rather than looking at the clouds I should be looking at the ground features. Off to my right, among all the green fields were two brown dry looking graded fields with one of them on a slight slope. They worked for a broken climb to 3000 feet and then a short glide to the edge of Kirby Lonsdale and a better climb back up to 5,000 feet.

Another long glide and this time I used both the ground features (nice dry cut field with a tree line at the downwind side) plus clouds just downwind to find a good climb back up to 5,000 feet.P5020045

It was tempting to head into the Lakes following a line of cloud that was forming along the windward side of the hills but I decided the better option was to carry on along the direction of the wind, especially as my Oudie was telling me that the wind was up to 26kph so my drift was good.

This was new territory for me, I have never managed to fly past the eastern side of the Howgills and for the first time ever I was flying with a pee tube. As I was high over open countryside I decided to give the pee tube a go, leg out of the harness and - nothing. My brain couldn't persuade my body that it was going to work without me ending up wet and smelly!

The next 15k to Tebay was very pleasant, flying in towards the middle of the cloud to top up and then back out to the sink at the east side of the cloud, down 200 foot or so then repeat, drifting along at a decent speed. The views were fantastic with the Lake District on one side and the Howgills and then the Yorkshire Dales on the other.

North of Tebay I had to work hard for about 20k before another great climb back to cloudbase which was now about 5,300feet.

The next 20k were incredible, again drifting with the cloud I flew the length of Cross Fell at over 5,000 feet, watching 5 sailplanes that were flying the ridges about 4,000 feet below me. The first half of this section was along the eastern side of the cloud, the sun by now was off to the west. It was relatively smooth with gentle climbs and transitions to the sink. One of the highlights was watching the distance to take off pass the 100k. Another highlight was managing to use to the pee tube for the first time as the pressure overcame the doubt. I was glad there were no spectators as it definitely can't look cool flying along shaking your leg to try and get rid of the drips!

The lift started to slow so I transitioned across to the sunny side. What a difference, stronger lift and sharp edges, this wasn't as comfortable. I also had to decide which way to head, stay with the direction of the drift even though it looked blue ahead or try and work crosswind into the flats towards Carlisle.

With hindsight I may have made the wrong choice due partly to having the display on the Oudie at too small a scale, I stayed with the drift without realising it was taking me straight towards the Spadeadam danger area, which is huge! By the time I spotted it on the map I was too close to fly round and it's too big and high to fly over. This meant that there was no way I could achieve one of my ambitions, to fly to Scotland from Parlick.

The flight ended by flying past the moors where I had a long walk out earlier this year after a flight from the Lake District, to land on the outskirts of Haltwhistle for 121K. A slightly windy landing, short walk, lift from a chap I had asked directions from and I was at the train station.2018-20184087-1

Another lesson from the flight, removing pee tube attachments need more privacy than the middle of a field. For anyone who saw me after I visited the loo on the Virgin train from Carlisle, the tears weren't emotion, they were pain, after discovering that the glue on the sheath sticks even better to hair than skin!

The main lesson for me from the day was how lucky we are nowadays to have easy access to such good weather forecasting. RASP is especially good and learning to interpret it really can pay dividends. For me the town and city forecast to give detailed analysis of the local conditions, combined with the traditional maps to show the likely conditions on a possible flight path, give a great indication of what might be possible and also clues as to what the best track to follow might be.

Now just have to wait for the right conditions and opportunity to try and make that flight to Scotland!

View flight on XC League

BP Cup 2019

By Carl Fairhurst on  February 1, 2019 16:19

Entries for the 2019 rounds are now open and we have a round in the Pennines and one in the Yorkshire Dales. As requested by our pilots last year, entry is now restricted to EN A, B and C gliders only, Tandems are allowed but the same pilot must fly both rounds. All competitors must be pilot rated. An exciting new element has also been added, see the website for details -


SIV Club Night at the Sea View Inn

By Carl Fairhurst on  January 15, 2019 15:58
SIV Club Night at the Sea View Inn

Image may contain: one or more people, people sitting and indoorA great presentation by Andy Elliott on behalf of the Pennine Soaring Club members who went on the SIV course to Oludeniz in Turkey. The benefits of taking part in the course were clear to see with some very interesting videos of the tasks set by Jocky Sanderson. I’m sure a repeat SIV course will be proposed for later on this year along with a financial subsidy for Pennine Soaring Club members to encourage participation.
Watch this space for further information. GJ.