Doesn’t time fly!

Up, up and away!

Apologies in advance for this being possibly of limited interest to others.

A couple of years after I left IBM UK and formed my own company, Dataview Ltd., based in Colchester, Essex, I formed both a personal and business relationship with a Roger Davis.

That relationship exposed me to gliding, or sail-planing in American speak, for Roger was a volunteer instructor at Rattlesden Gliding Club in Suffolk that flew from an ex-wartime aerodrome of the same name.

Thus on the 7th June, 1981, I was taken up for two air-experience circuits in a two-seater glider known as a ‘K7’. I was immediately hooked! Those experience flights leading to a 4-minute flight (flight number 46) on the 6th September, 1981 that has the remark in my pilot’s log book: Solo!

Now fast forward to October, 1984 and my log book shows me attending a gliding instructor’s course at Lasham, resulting in me being issued with a British Gliding Association (BGA) Assistant Instructor Rating on the 14th October. (105/84).

 

A K-7 two-seat glider.
A K-7 two-seat glider.

A few days ago, Roger sent me a link to the following video.

It’s a compilation of photos, cartoons from the pen of dear Bob White, and videos. A little over eleven minutes long I do hope some of you find it of interest.

Published on May 29, 2017
Slide show produced from photos and images produced by Mark Taylor for Rattlesden Gliding Club’s 25 anniversary in 2001. Shows a collection of members involved from those early days, including some cartoons produced by Bob White whenever there was a notable event, or incident as well!

Let me close with this photograph!

Roger Davis with Sheila, his lovely wife, gliding over Lake Taupo in New Zealand.

(All those years ago, Roger and Sheila had a beautiful Old English Sheepdog. His name was Morgan and he was a wonderful, loving dog.)

So is there anyone reading this who has experienced gliding?

31 thoughts on “Doesn’t time fly!

  1. No, but it is something I have always wanted to do. I envy Roger flying over Lake Taupo. NZ has some very beautiful sights. You are very lucky to have had an experience like that, Paul. There is something very freeing about being airborne.

    1. Yes, gliding offers many magical experiences. Such as being established in a good thermal and finding the soaring birds joining in, seemingly unafraid by the rather, strange, large bird in their midst! My luck was in meeting Roger and later Sheila. We have remained friends ever since.

  2. I have never done it, but it looks like great fun. I have also seen the hot air balloons in Reno, NV and that looked like a lot of fun, too. Have you done any ballooning?

    1. Tony, no, not done any ballooning but can imagine that must be quite an experience. Strangely, while I flew power aircraft, non commercially but on business and pleasure, for over 20 years, stopping when I became a US resident, I don’t miss it. But I do miss the gliding. Regrettably, there isn’t a sailplane club anywhere close. But before I get too decrepit I do want to have a final ‘waggle’.

  3. What a wonderful video. I really enjoyed that. The “flight simulator” at 3.45 is priceless! And did the two-winged glider ever fly?

    Yep, I went gliding in 1990, I think it was. Fantastic experience, and when the tow line (is that what it’s called??) was released… Oh my… !

    1. I think that glider was something silly going on.

      Yes, that feeling when the cable released is pulled by the glider pilot is precious.

      Was that a cable launch or an air tow takeoff?

      Thanks John.

      1. An air tow is much more civilised! I vaguely recall the Glass House Mountains from my days in NSW and Queensland. Will see if I can persuade Roger D to drop in.

  4. Thanks for reviving even more memories Paul. I see a few of your posters have experienced gliding and as you know, it was Sheila’s father Ralph who got me into gliding back in 1969. Gliding is open for all; the age for going solo in the UK is now 14, and there are many pilots into their 70s and 80s. But if flying solo is a bit daunting, then there is just as much fun flying in a two-seater with an experienced cross-country pilot, even better when in the French Alps, or the Southern Alps of NZ. Google “Omarama gliding” for more videos, or search for “Balleka” on YouTube for video skimming along the south Devon coastline; not all gliding is as dramatic as in those videos, just as much fun floating over the rural countryside in the UK! Some call it the sport of kings, but I prefer to call it the king of sports!
    We have shared many great times Paul, in business, gliding, trailer building, collecting our glider from Germany, etc, etc. Make sure you get your butt back in a glider – if no local club, get one going!

    1. Roger, I was so hoping you would call in! Thank you, and a very warm welcome to this place.

      Motivated by those memories of RGC I did a search on the Soaring Society of America (SSA) website and found a club just across into Northern California, about 90 minutes drive from here. So will be making contact soon and arranging to go and take a dual flight. Strange how the mind works. For in the middle of the day yesterday up popped CBSIFTCB.

      For readers, the mental pre-takeoff check list: Controls; Ballast; Straps; Instruments; Flaps; Trim; Controls; Brakes.

      Yes Roger, we did share many good years. Give Sheila a hug from me.

  5. I had to wait until I had a job that paid more than existence wages but in 1976 began my training in Arcadia, Florida. A few years later we purchased our 1-26 and enjoyed cross country flights and the friendship of our fellow gliderport “bums”. Years, home purchase and failing depth perception put an end to flying but now sailplanes, power and jets are all a part of my novels. The titles give tham away: Sink Rate, Rope Break and Side Slip.

      1. I got the Kindle version and stayed up late. A few sniffles and several chuckles here and there. Posted my 5 star review a bit ago. Thoroughly enjoyed your story. I’ve been a lifelong dog guy and have written about them here on my blog and included them as characters in all of my fiction. Thanks for a fun read. All of my novels are offered on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle versions. Four are out and I have two more under contract coming out in the near future. Currently researching another historical novel and hope to begin writing it this summer. After the home improvement projects are completed you see.

      2. Mike, thank you so much.

        I hadn’t used my Kindle for a long time but recharged it yesterday and am ready to buy one of your titles. Which one would you recommend me starting with? Also going to sign up for your blog asap!

      3. The crime/detective series can be read either in sequence or stand alone. The first, Sink Rate, develops the characters and back story deeper. I would suggest starting there. Sink Rate then Rope Break (still my favorite book), then Side Slip. Enjoy!
        There is a synopsis of each on my “About” page along with the historical novel, Captain’s Cross.

      4. I try to throw in a “dog” post now and then along with the shameless promotion of my novels. Scroll back to “Supporting Role” (a 2015 post) to get a preview of one of my “characters”. The “real” Dutch was a loyal pal for 10 short years in my youth. Just something about shepherds. I do still miss him.

      5. I’ll send you an email explaining the background to how Jean and I met and how that resulted in Jeannie and crossing from Mexico into the USA in 2010 with 16 dogs!

        That leading us to move from Payson, AZ, to Southern Oregon in 2012 with 12 dogs. We are now down to 7 of the gorgeous animals!

  6. Wonderful Paul.. And you may well have flown over my head lol in the past.. as I lived as you know near to Great Hucklow and the glider club there and being in the village in the valley below and gliders would often circle over our village. 🙂 .

      1. 🙂 it will be interesting to see when.. 🙂 I remember also when I was around maybe twelve or so, a glider pilot crash landed on the hill tops over our village.. His plane was a crumpled mess at the front, We all as children went to see the glider on my friends farmland.. The farmer had long since called the emergency services before we got there on foot, as we had seen it come down, and the village war drums of us children soon has us all running to the hill tops.. The pilot was Ok though he had hurt his leg, and had been dispatched to hospital.. There were one or two fatal crashes I remember though..

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