How to rescue a glider from a “not very high” tree

Last meeting at the field saw Campervan Dave arrive with a brand new model, a E-Flight Radian XL no less, and very nice it looked too, well for a short time anyway.

After some stalling by Dave as he spent some time messing with his transmitter, off he set along with Adrian to commence the maiden flight, which went quite well and was uneventful.

It wasn`t until the third flight of this wonderous model, that disaster stuck, the result ending with the plane parked quite nicely in a tree.

The rescue mission was led by Barry and Dave, they crossed fast flowing streams, barbed wire fences and knee high nettles before they reached the site of the incident, our correspondent managed to capture the final few minutes of the rescue on video.

Nice work chaps.

Here is a second short video of the perilous crossing of the barbed fence, watch your wedding tackle gentlemen.

I am happy to report that all ended well, apart from a little embarrassment which was suffered by Dave.

New Year – New Project!

At first sight this might look like a portable wind break – but it isn’t!
It’s actually Barry’s new slope project – a big delta winged glider made from sheets of plywood! Ask Barry for details!

Barry flew it for the first time off a bungy (or is that bungee?) at the field last Sunday (14/01/18)
Barry said after the attempt that the CoG needs adjusting! Good luck Barry!

Let’s hope this is the first of many new projects for 2018!

Slightly late – Happy New Year!



The ‘A’ Team

The club ‘A’ team met up the field on Sunday 24th September to be awarded their ‘A’ certificates by the club Safety Officer, Adrian Howley.

Anthony Cundy, Colin Watkins, Barry Twilton and Mel Jones all looked suitably pleased with their shiny new certificates, although Barry’s seems to have gone AWOL for some reason!

Congratulations to those who suffered enormous stress and pressure whilst enduring hours of practice over the months before the test, never mind the relentless micky taking!

At least now we can get back to ‘normal’ flying!








Pheonix descends to the Ashes (Or were they willows?)

‘A’ Dave had been flying his Pheonix 2000 in his usual competent manner for some time on a dark, windy Autumn day. (Sunday 23rd October 2016 to be precise)  He decided it was time for a landing. The wind was from the hedge side of the field (the east!) and so Dave decided to bring the Pheonix in over the river end – you know – where those tall ash trees are! (or are they elm?)  Later in the day Dave was heard to say that if only he had flown a bit higher he would have missed the trees!  (This is clearly in the same league as football pundits who say ‘If only the ball had gone in to the net it would have been a goal!)

20161023_135959-600x1067Careful observation and good eyesight were required to see the Phoenix, but there was no doubt that it was stuck high up in the trees. After an hour or so of waiting for the wind to blow the Pheonix down, a decision was made to take action! A search party, Dave, Mel and Chris, hiked in to a field on the far side of the river 20161023_140120-1067x600Alne in order to get closer to the Phoenix.

This attracted the attention of Farmer David and his assistant who turned up with a large tractor!

‘A’ Dave had brought the club poles with him, but it was pretty clear that they wouldn’t get anywhere near the Pheonix.

Ideas were running a bit thin, when Farmer Dave asked if it would help if he cut the tree down! Everyone agreed that this was a good idea, so off he went to get a chain saw. On his return his assistant started cutting with ‘A’ Dave closely watching the proceedings!20161023_140754-1067x600



A couple of minutes later the tree came crashing to the ground and all eyes searched the ground for the errant Pheonix.



Even after the fallen timber had been cleared there was no sign of the Phoenix!

Unfortunately, the Pheonix seemed to like being high up in the trees and had merely moved from the felled tree in to one that was still standing. If anything it seemed to be higher up and more firmly entangled in the branches.20161023_140816-1067x600

Dave got his transmitter and tried  to fly it out of the trees, but even after much advice and practical help from colleagues, some of which was useful, the Pheonix was still well and truly stuck!20161023_142047

So there it was left! The hope is that it will come to earth on its own over the next few days. The Pheonix might fall from the ashes. (or are they birch?)


If you look towards the Alne from the flying strip, you might see a gap where a tree was cut down in order to retrieve ‘A’ Dave’s Pheonix. It must have been an ash tree, surely?


Dave Modifies his Riot!

It was quite a bleak, somewhat miserable day on Wednesday 25th May. Helping to cut the grass on the landing strip meant standing around for some time in the chilly wind watching the more experienced  members of the club operating the mowers with precision and skill. When flying actually commenced, one or two members were were chilled to the bone. However, Campervan Dave had a plan to warm us up.


He launched his Riot and flew it about for a bit. I was flying my Trainstar at the time, so I didn’t take a great deal of notice of the sounds that were coming from Dave. He often comments on how well his flight is going, so at this stage I wasn’t concerned!  However, when I landed the Trainstar I was the only person on the flying field and when I returned to where the cars were parked, there wasn’t a soul in sight! Everyone seemed to have disappeared!

To cut what could be a long story a bit shorter, it appears that Dave had lost control of the Riot which had quickly flown out of the flying field and apparently out of the next field as well! Everyone had formed a search party to look for the missing Riot.

The good news is that the Riot was found. The bad news is that it had apparently landed on its tail. Again another first for Dave.





When it was first inspected, there didn’t seem to be much damage!
















However, on further inspection there was some minor damage which would probably need a bit more than a polish!



Dave was sure that when the Riot took off, both wheels were pointing in the same direction.







He was also sure that it didn’t have an all flying tailplane and rudder!





















In fact the damage was so bad that Mel commented – ‘It’s dead, Jim!’ ( I think that’s what he said!)








There was much speculation about what had caused Dave to lose control. Some suggested the ultra-sophisticated, modern, technically advanced frequency hopping ACCST technology. Others suggested pilot error and failing eye sight. There was no firm conclusion to this debate.









Dave tried to screw the Riot back together with his biggest screwdriver, but even after lots of advice and guidance from colleagues backed up with offers of gaffer tape, superglue, hammers and a six inch nail, Dave decided to abandon flying for the day and get the Riot back to the workshop for a bit of a makeover. It remains to be seen whether he chooses to keep the all flying tailplane and rudder.

On the bright side – the folding prop was still serviceable!









Orme weekend May 2016

It started when Adrian invited our slope soaring gang to have another go at flying under Llangollen pier.  Adrian, Mel, Dave, Chris, Scott, Steve-B, Mike and Tony and a sprinkling of the fairer sex met up at the Great Orme Ski centre on Saturday lunchtime.  We could not detect any wind but the forecast of a 10mph Easterly tempted us to walk up to the slope.

There was just enough lift for ultra-light discus launch gliders but flying was much easier for those who could use electric assist.  It could be a bit scary to chuck a glider over a precipice and out over the sea – Mel provided a maiden launch of Steve’s wing.

Going Gone

Landing is difficult on this slope due to small undulations and rocky outcrops but most of us avoided serious damage.


We all retired to our accommodation to prepare for a pre-booked visit to Romeo’s for an excellent Italian.  Colin had been on his way home from a motorbike tour round Scotland and diverted to join us for the meal and stay to watch the next day’s flying.


Sunday started calm and damp but eventually blossomed into a good day for everybody else.

Boys and their Toys

My Libelle DLG seemed to be right for the early morning light air until competence was overtaken by too much confidence.  A couple of clumsy manoeuvres at the dodgy left side of the slope took the model below the height of the cliff.  I recovered to stable flight but could not find any lift to get back up.  Eventually the model went out of sight and I left it to its own devices.  While I headed off to check beside the under cliff road, my beautiful butterfly (Libelle is German for butterfly) came back into sight from the top.  If the tide and wind had been right, I might have met Adrian’s challenge of getting under the pier, but instead it looked like Dublin next stop.

Missed the pier Llangollen Pier

I could have been tempted to lock my other models in the car but as the wind picked up I joined the rest in some great flying with plenty of

Contemplation Concentration Relaxation

Most of the gang went home at the end of the day but Adrian, Mel, Dave and Tony stayed for another morning.  More sun and wind gave a great morning, including a spectacular flight from Adrian’s 2.5m mouldie and a maiden for Tony’s Wild Thing.  We had a visitor who couldn’t make up his mind whether to fly himself or just hope for a free ride.

Free Ride

He eventually walked off in a huff when we tried to insist he joined BMFA.


If any other members are interested in slope soaring please get Adrian to put you on the circulation list for trips to the hills.


Tony Cundy

Sloping and floating off the Great Orme.

I stopped off at the Great Orme on my way back from a bike trip to Scotland to see a hardy bunch of SMFC slopers, and I was glad I did!

On Sunday 8th May the weather started damp, but gradually improved throughout the day to such an extent that when I got home I was chastised severely for not applying any form of protection from the sun!

However, on to the sloping!

First the participants assembled as per instructions:




Dave was planning to fly a new (old) model he had just completed! He was given ample support and encouragement by all, including Adrian who was to be test pilot for the maiden flight!:



Eventually, after much procrastination it was time to fly. Again help was on hand , and after some concern about the flexibility of the wings, the model was thrown in to the sky:




Where it flew rather well!



To say Dave was happy would be a massive understatement!



However, despite his massive experience, the test pilot was rather put off by the multiple announcements of ‘RSSI Critical’ which kept being issued by Dave’s transmitter. Adrain had never heard anything like it in all his flying days, and therefore was keen to get the model back to land where the problem could be investigated.

The model was landed undamaged, no small feat on the rocky surface of the Great Orme, and the best minds on the Orme offered more advice and guidance to Dave who was rather perplexed!


















Despite all the skills and experience available to Dave, his model didn’t fly again that day!
















In the meantime, Mel was quietly going about his hobby with the usual enthusiasm:P1030333


Later in the day, an observant flyer noticed that Tony had wondered off on his own somewhere.



Apparently he had lost sight of his model and had gone off to look for it .

Some time later there was a cry of ‘There it is!’ followed by many hands pointing towards the sea!

Sure enough, the model was spotted in the Irish Sea and appeared to be making its way around the headland!


P1030340 P1030343 P1030341 P1030342


Despite Tony describing his glider as a ‘floater’, I’m sorry to have to report that currently there have been no reports of further sightings. We will have to assume the worst!

Another enjoyable day’s sloping with SMFC!

Thanks to all!