RSPB have announced that there has been successful fledging of several hen harrier chicks in the Bowland Forest area. They request people stick to marked tracks in the area to avoid stressing these birds during the breeding season. Please be aware of this when flying in the area, and think carefully about landing out where you could disturb them.
By Brian Stewart on June 13, 2019 17:31
By Brian Stewart on April 13, 2019 11:37
Doarama has changed name to Ayvri, and seems to have raised its game. Have a look at the track here: https://ayvri.com/scene/8dk36qe1kx/cjufeds5k00013b64fvfr8bas
Thanks Jim Ashley for the choice of site, I thought the wind was was too far South. Driving through Ingleton we nearly turned back under the uniform grey blanket, but we put our faith in the weather forecast which turned out to be spot on. A triangle around the 3 peaks was set, but after an hour of vainly pushing upwind, Ingleborough wasn't getting any closer, the thermals were rough and spring like and the southerly wind was making life near the hill very unpleasant. Poor Jim, after persuading Graham and I to join him, landed early and had to console himself with a pint and a nice view of Ribblehead viaduct.
Graham and I decided we'd go over the back, and found that the clouds were behaving just like the textbooks say they should. With hindsight we could probably have pushed faster but lacked the confidence to leave the climbs early. Arriving at the M6 we debated pushing on towards the Lakes, but the clouds drew us along the motorway instead. Both of us had low saves at Tebay, and I was privileged to share a 2000' climb with a true king of the sky - a buzzard that stayed just in front of my leading edge all the way to base.
Landing at Langwathby I set up for an empty field but got it wrong and had to stall it into the field downwind as I wouldn't clear the fence. Then bundle up my glider and run for the gate as a herd of frisky cows galloped towards me. I swear one of them was trying to head me off, but I made the gate, throwing myself, still in the harness, and the glider over it in an ungainly heap. Note to self: must stop crashing on landing.
Big thanks to Jim Ashley for following us in Graham's car and a speedy pickup.
By Jim Ashley on April 1, 2019 11:50
To get the ball rolling on our new all singing web site, I've been encouraged to write a few words about the first decent day this flying season.
For once the day arrived at the weekend Saturday 23rd March, light winds and WNW. Parlick was the obvious choice but Andy Archer and I decided on Dodd or Wether Fell in the Dales to avoid airspace restrictions - nothing like ambition! We arrived at Wether Fell but the wind seemed a bit west so we decided on Dodd. We managed to cadge a lift and left the car on the main road avoiding the long drive in on the lane for easier retrieval which eventually proved to be a good move. The day didn't initially look too promising but soon brightened up so we all launched into a reasonably buoyant sky. At times the climbs seemed promising but they rarely took us above two and a half thousand feet. Every so often people were peeling off in pairs, it seemed, and making the glide to Wether Fell which is just down wind. Eventually we made a decent height and set off ourselves towards Wether. Dodd gives you a second bite of the cherry should you fail to make a good escape since you can easily drop onto Wether Fell as its only a few kilometres down wind.
It was interesting to fly with hang gliders on Wether, it took me back to my early days on Parlick. There was a class 5 rigid wing which was pretty sporty and a flex wing who dedicated himself to scaring the pants off me for the 20 or so minutes it took me to get away. A slow climb to four grand and we set off toward Semer Water, I had been left behind slightly so managed to cut the corner when they all diverted north to a small ridge east of Semer which is used for training I'm told. Anyway, it was a good move as most managed the climb out - we dropped two pilots here who glided off north in search of the road and an easier return. So four were still in it but I had fallen out of the lift and ended up gritting my teeth on a low glide to the next dale. Arriving at ridge height at the lee side I knew I might take a beating but happily the lee ridge was gentle not sharp so little rotor effect and bingo - a lee sider. A slow & a rough one though but it took me to base eventually where I realised I was a climb and a glide behind. Andy, on his Iota 1, had done a fine job sticking with the two ahead, one on a Zeno (D wing) but he had to big ears out of cloud at one point so I was on my guard. There can be benefits to being at the back (as well as getting called a 'pimp') since you can tell when things haven't worked out for the leaders and choose a different route - but I wasn't really close enough and in the end lost sight of them. Airwhere or other tracking software might have helped here.
The next moor crossing was a big one with smoke from a heather fire to the south, cloud threatening to suck you in and a huge moor to walk out of if you blow it! Caution was needed here, the climbs were assured to some extent but you needed to judge where you would hit the cloud if at all. The trick was to clip the edge on the downwind side but in the event, I didn't enter cloud at all which is good for me. The gaps between the clouds were quite small so it wasn't that difficult later in the flight but boy was I cold. Having neglected to bring a base layer, I was now shaking like shi££ing dog and even briefly considered landing early. But the rewards were there and eventually the dramatic Dales landscape came to an end and the flats beaconed, I heard on the radio that Harrogate was ahead which confused me as my instruments were saying Ripon and I wondered if I was off course but all was well. There were some glorious formal gardens west of Ripon but the sky had cleared and it was obvious I wasn't going a great deal further.
Andy had chosen a landing field at Ripon which turned out to be an army barracks so had to reconsider at the last minute! Once he was safely down we had a chat and he pointed out the other pilots just north of the town which I hadn't seen. They appeared to be in zeros at best so kept my course to cross the racecourse at the south side. The A1 was in sight and I hoped to cross it between the MATZ at Linton and Topcliffe although it wasn't likely. My landing field at Skelton on Ure was complete with a welcoming mad March hare darting around in a bonkers dance - I felt like doing the same just to warm up! Having packed up next to the church of Christ the Consoler I made my way into the village to find the usual story with regard to public transport - a bus an hour earlier or an hour later then not at all till Monday so I began thumbing on the almost totally deserted road. Car three stopped and took me to the pub Andy had found near the square in Ripon, after the first pint it was beginning to dawn on us that we maybe weren't getting home tonight. There is no obvious route back and zero public transport so it was with relief that I took a call from Jacob Cleverley who, incredibly, offered to drive out to pick us up since his chances of flying after work had evaporated - thankfully!
Once Jacob had arrived and we'd bought him his tea we set off for Hawes and Dodd. It seemed to take forever to get back even in Jacob's motor and had we decided to try our luck hitching we'd have ended up sleeping in the gliders at the side of the road probably. It was pitch black when we arrived at the car and we were glad we didn't have to make the trip across the moor on the gated road. Our thanks to our saviour on the day Jacob - you are the man!
Big walk out here
By Carl Fairhurst on February 28, 2019 10:30
In addition to the proposed change to the airspace around Farnborough, there is a long list of other
planned changes to the airspace in the UK which will affect both general aviation and people on the
On 5 February, Southampton Airport stated on the CAA’s website
(https://airspacechange.caa.co.uk/PublicProposalArea?pID=115) that it was submitting an airspace
change proposal (ACP) to expand its airspace. At an assessment meeting held at the Hilton Hotel,
Gatwick Airport on 22 January 2019, Southampton stated that new routes would overfly some new
communities, not currently regularly overflown. It also stated that there is work ongoing as part of
the airport’s master plan to consult with local communities including parish councils. The area
concerned is shown below in the diagram issued by the airport.
The proposed change to Southampton’s airspace is one of fifteen ACPs under a plan (entitled the
Future Airspace Strategy Implementation South: FASI South) that are expected for consultation in
the near future. Some of these will affect airspace below 7000ft.
We recognise that there is a need to reduce delay and to save fuel. However, it is important that any
new controlled areas are designed to be safe for all users of British airspace and to use this valuable
national resource as efficiently as possible. At present there is a risk that an uncoordinated
patchwork of airspace will be left for general aviation with numerous pinch-points that will increase
the risk of collisions. People living in previously quiet areas of the country may also be in for
As previously reported Lasham Gliding Society has been granted leave for a judicial review against
the CAA in relation to its decision to approve Farnborough Airfield’s airspace change proposal. The
hearing has now been scheduled in the High Court to commence on 5 June 2019.
Lasham Gliding Society and other aviation bodies oppose Farnborough’s proposal because it would
create an inefficient and disproportionately large amount of controlled airspace that would have a
significant and negative impact on safety, and on the Society’s operations and financial health. With
the Southampton airspace and more in the offing, winning this judicial review is more important than
ever to ensure that the needs of General Aviation are properly considered.
To help fight this case, Lasham has set up a campaign fund and asks all to contribute. Lasham would
like to thank all those who have already donated, both pilots and local residents. The target for the
fund is £100,000 and so far, £68,000 has been raised. For details click on