March 30th was an instructor benefit day, principally to get instructors tuned up for the following weekend when the club would be flying ATC cadets but also to test out the winch, which then produced the inadvertent problem of an automatic gearbox failure. This then threw the cat amongst the pigeons. The winch was trailered off to a garage in Stratford. Repairs were completed by late Friday and a couple of test flights made.
The Indian summer continued for the weekend of April 5th & 6th. We flew 14 cadets on Saturday. Also two launches for Sam Tullett and one for Tim in TE.
Will Hopkirk and Glyn Jackson the instructors, John Tullett the winch driver, Tim Hardwick-Smith working the launch-point and Les Sharp doing the glider retrieval. Cadets were helping with the last two tasks. All went well. Tyler Turpie and Glyn Jackson had the best flight with 12 minutes achieved.
For the 6th, a different crew: Les Sharp and Peter Williams the instructors. John Tullett and Tim the winch drivers. Dennis Green at the launch-point, Jim Finer and Peter Miller on glider retrieves. Once again all went well, interrupted briefly by a weak-link break. The right one installed and the launches continued. Best heights that day were 1000ft and …. Bailey with Peter Williams did 12 minutes. Cadets pitched in, taking turns to help with various tasks. They even found time to put up a couple of tents, adding a homely touch to things. Glyn & Tim installed a couple of GoPro cameras which gave intriguing pictures of cadets’ reactions to the sensations of launch and flight.
All in all, a very successful weekend for the Stratford and New Plymouth ATC Squadrons led by Julie Woods and Steve Muir. The day was enjoyed by all parties.
Below: Jordan Sunnex and Peter Williams just prior to launch.
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