When I visited Lasham Gliding Club I asked for a tour round the Gliding Heritage Centre, which has a stunning collection of historical and older gliders, many of which have been beautifully restore to flying condition. This glider wing was stored upright rather than rigged on the glider.
I went to my usual perch at Drumcarrow Craig to watch the Red Arrows from a distance. Usually during the second part of the display various groups come almost right over that location, but this year a heavy shower came through just as the second part started and they were restricted to the ‘B’ display. As a result the number of shots was reduced, but I was very pleased with this one.
Of course as they landed the poor weather cleared away!
Winter continued, and once the airfield was open again I was taken for a jaunt in a light aircraft – my pilot made a point of making sure I took my camera! The Highlands were plastered in snow on all slopes, south-facing as well as north-facing, and all the lochs and so on were frozen including Loch Leven, next door to the gliding club.
In this picture you can see the ski centre car-park is only part-full, and from the plane I couldn’t see any lift queues. Apparently the Glenshee side of the A93 had been shut overnight thus limiting access. The image is rather blue, but this is reflecting the beautiful blue sky.
There was a strong wind – about 40 knots at flying height. It took over twice as long to fly there as back.
The Slingsby T31 is an old training glider, build (mostly) of wood and canvas. This example is part of the Portmoak collection, and this particular image was used in the 2011 Kadet Calendar which we produced to raise funds for cadet flying – that’s 14-18 year olds.As you can see, snow persisted at Portmoak – a few days later the airfield was shut because of too much snow! (it’s a hazard to landing gliders as they stop too quickly in it) If you think it looks cold in this picture, you are right.
The first snow fell before Christmas, and I arrived at the airfield to discover a wonderful light – everything glowed very slightly. The weak links are used to protect a glider from being overstressed when we are winch-launching them, and they come in different strengths each denoted by a particular colour.
The day before I took this photo my new 70-300mm lens arrived. Since the camera has a crop factor of x2, that equates to 140-600mm on a 35mm camera! On close inspection the Red Arrows images were not completely sharp, but for web use they are more than fine.
I took the image from Drumcarrow Crag which overlooks Leuchars from the South. I had been there previously and discovered that during the second part of the display they were flying very low over it!
This image has had a slight cheat – one of the two lower Arrows has been moved.
Amazingly people used to start learning to glide on one of these machines! They would do ground slides graduating to low hops, and then switch to something more obviously like a glider to progress. All flights on this were solo – the instructor stayed safely on the ground. 😮