Open day planned at Warminster airfield

This Is Wiltshire: Award winners Alastair McGregor, Mike Thorne, Stuart North and Mark Hawkins Award winners Alastair McGregor, Mike Thorne, Stuart North and Mark Hawkins

BATH, Wilts and North Dorset Gliding Club is marking its 50th year.

It is also 20 years since the club moved to Kingston Deverill.

To mark these events, the club is holding a 50/20-year celebration on July 21 for past and present members. The annual open day, which will include the chace to try gliding subject to weather conditions, is on May 6.

Winners at the annual presentation included: Alastair Macgregor of Wimborne retained top prize of the Keevil Cup for the highest score on the National cross country ladder gained on flights originating from The Park and open to all pilots in all types of gliders. Stuart North of Somerton had a most successful year winning the Park Cup for the most National ladder points gained in a glider without a pop-up engine, the 100K triangle award for the fastest handicapped speed around a 100K triangle and the Four Cathedrals Cup for flying around Salisbury Cathedral, Sherborne Abbey, Wells Cathedral and Bath Abbey in one flight. The Distance Trophy for the longest handicapped flight from The Park was won by Mike Thorne of Whiteparish for a flight to Kings Lynn and back, and the Glider Trophy for the highest score in the National ladder in a lower performance glider went to Tim Fletcher of the University of Bath. Ben Collins from Frome, with his high score of ladder points and excellent progress in his gliding career, was the recipient of the Junior Trophy for the pilot under 25 with the greatest achievement during the year. The Height Award went to Mark Hawkins for a height gain of nearly 19,000 ft in Snowdonia, and the “Almost Did It” award for the best attempt at a flight to a goal was given to George Kamp. The Gordon Mealing Trophy, which is awarded by the Committee to a member who has done an exceptional amount of work for the club during the year, went to Nick Bowers from Melksham for his outstanding contribution and active support to so many of the club’s functions. The University of Bath Gliding club which is based at The Park continues to flourish with over 15 regular participants each weekend. The Chairman, Toby Ayre, says it is great to see so many students viewing going solo as a stepping stone rather than the pinnacle of their gliding experience. Their keenness is shown by the fact that some are working at getting their bronze certificate and are attending courses at other clubs to enhance their knowledge of soaring techniques and competition flying. Once again, the club will be offering group flying days and evenings whereby a minimum of 10 people can book a day or evening for their group alone at a much reduced cost. Full details of this and other club activities can be found on the club website www.bwnd.co.uk. The club welcomes new members, and offers full training for people with no experience right up to advanced level. Its instructors are all highly trained volunteers who give their time at no charge, making the “learning to glide” experience surprisingly affordable. The club is looking forward to the longer hours of daylight and the opportunity to do some serious cross country flying throughout the summer. New week-long courses will be run during the year for prospective members and for more advanced pilots as the club continues to expand its range of options for learning to fly further and faster. All that’s needed now is the weather.

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