Well, it's been awhile since the wing commander shuffled off to Aboyne, at a stroke halving the HrcGC's members. Life and gliding went on in a kind of Billy No Mates way, the wing co on some wind swept Aberdeen hill, his c pilot doing something silly with a glider on some wind swept hill in Wester Ross.
But finally it was time to see what all the fuss and phone calls were all about ("Oh, it's beautiful today. I am on a hill and the lift is fantastic and the sun is shing (it always shines in Aboyne)."
Well it doesn't but more often than over on the west side, so
we hacked up a hill somewhere and threw an Excel 4004 and an Alpina off
and they did indeed soar. We also went full size soaring, catching wave
to 12,500 feet. Our instructor from Hungary, Istvan, had never seen a
model glider fly so we took him up the hill and within a few minutes he
was throwing the Swift around like a real pilot, which of course he was.
Well, it was certainly sunny the day we went up that hill. The wing co is wearing a dead beaver on his head, road kill following a collision with his Lotus. There's a plane up there somewhere.
No, not a collection of crashes but a selection of the toys we took that day. A Vagabond, Excel 4004, Mini Nimbus and the Alpina are all there nestling in the grass.
Graupner mini Nimbus, 3.5m for sale if anyone's interested. Flew well but too precious for our rocky slopes. Yours for £200 including servos, battery and receiver.
The day before we took this to 12,500 ft in wave. And then invited Istvan to come and fly with us.
Another day another slope, this time with our instructor Istvan on the sticks.
It was a week then of gliding of all kinds, big and small. The verdict? I'd like to go full-size gliding in Aboyne if it weren't so far away and expensive. Too much to learn at my age. Maybe 25 years ago when I first went up, but not now.
Stick to models with maybe the odd flight.