This was going to be my first trip to Middle Wallop to one of John's and the Ghost Squadrons flying events, And the last big events of the year. Had a great trip down to Middle Wallop and went through the gates nice and early at 8.10am, and lined up with the rest of the pilots that stayed over night to drive on the the airfield, Middle Wallop has it's own Museum with a very nice cafe. A interesting fact about Middle Wallop, It has the biggest grass airfield in Europe, and until you get on there you can't believe the size. This year there were 14 pilots staying the camping area set a side near the museum. There was a early mist all over the airfield with very little clearance to see anything while we were going a round the perry track until we got to the other side off the airfield, opposite the main buildings, hangers and Museum. Flight line coming in to view and the mist is clearing, with vans rolling in one after the other and blue sky coming through, Which is a great start of a good days flying. It was nice to meet up with friends again from Binham, Belle-vue and Siege cross. This event at Middle Wallop happens three times a year for two days this being the weekend each time. Now to go down the the line where we are parked to have a look at some of the gliders being built up, then make myself a nice cup of tea before getting stuck in to some flying.
The line of vans camper vans and the gliders seems to go on and on and they still were coming in, to be part of the last events of the year.
I have never seen such a large assortment of gliders in one place since I have been flying and it was great to see.
It was the first time out for my Jantar that I got from Pam and John, and after all the preparations I Can't wait to get her in to the air. I could see John getting the tugs ready to start the day of towings, John had given me the go ahead to get the Jantar in the air to get her trimmed, the real reason is John has been trying to get his hands of her since he knew I got her, because the Jantar was his first big glider 17 years ago, I need to go and borrow a dolly from Antonia. Because the grass was not short so the possibility of the wing tips catching was high,Pat had the tug ready and John has got my tranny, and the big moment had come. They both went up nice and gentle to about 800ft and the trimming begain, not a lot was required the only thing that John could say was it was a little nose heavy, this I put down to the Jantar was only used as a slope soarer, I have not see a glider fly so gentle and I think John was also enjoying him self to much I could tell with the big grin on his face, and to finish of the first maiden flight he landed her right at his feet.
More from me on more trimming fights later, now for some more pictures of the morning.
A couple of pictures or the all or the vans parked up.
I hope this gives some idea how big this great airfield is.
The field is now started to get filled with gliders, the picture on the right shows how the flying area has been set out,in the middle of the picture can be seen a red fencing going straight outwards, this is the divide between taking off from the left hand side and landings for the gliders on the left so the tugs can do there job without any gliders landing getting in the way.
More flights of the Jantar were made through the morning it started to become more adiditive the more I flew here,as I have only flown vintage gliders to date, this was a nice change and I started to relialze why some people like just flying glass ships.
The flight area s now starting to get filled out.
By 1.30pm a lot of us had started to go back to our vans for a nice cup of tea and some light snacks,wasn't to say the flying stopped because it carried on through out.
The jantar is lining up for the afternoon session the battery has been moved back a bit more and John was standing by for some final trimmings but I think it was another excuse to fly it again, In the afternoon session the line for a flight got even longer it seemed that everyone want to get in to the air. so four tugs were working hard to get everyone in to the air.
There were 6 tugs all together and a big thanks goes out to them for getting us in to the air all day. Now back to the Jantar flight in the afternoon as normal the Jantar lifted from the dolly very smoothly and we were towed up to 1000 ft, John did some alterations and then handed me the transmitter at 800ft, the first thing I found was this was a completely different glider I was flying this morning, and what a difference. It was smooth and very calm to fly, well I had found some thermals under a dark cloud that come over the field and up she went to the ceiling of 1500ft of the cloud and this is where i stayed for quite a long time, making it my longest flight of the day and my best of the day. Now back to some more pictures of some of the gliders a round the field.
I have never seen such a wide range of gliders on one flying field
The cue's still didn't slow down deep in to the afternoon
Three vintage unusual german gliders
The real pilots are now resting
Another great event comes to a close and what a brilliant day it was, I will be coming back to this event next year, it was a very well organised event and run very smooth, well done to John and the Ghost Squadron roll on next year.