Monday 14 August 2017

Huttons Ambo Gliding Evening

Huttons Ambo Gliding Evening

22 Huttons Ambo villagers and friends gathered at the Wolds Gliding Club in Pocklington on a fine clear Friday evening but with rain threatened later. Following the safety briefing, flying got under way with former villager David Jackson being first into the air. The flights followed quickly with the last flight being taken by David Green. Rain was now very close and the last two gliders were flown in to land adjacent to the hangers. Everyone seemed to enjoy the evening and there have been requests to do it again.

Jim Monks

Firstly, a big thank you to David for organising this splendid event;  fortunately the weather was excellent, enabling it to be a huge success.
It was indeed an exhilarating experience being hauled up at high speed,  at an angle of 45 degrees to well over 1,000 ft.,  and then to circle in silence around the airfield.   Being able to take control for a while was marvellous.   The site was an old RAF station and it all took me back to my service days, especially when strapping on the parachute.
It was impressive to see club members giving freely of their services,  and many thanks to the young pilots,  so  extremely accomplished, and competent.
I personally hope to have another trip;  perhaps even have a try in the simulator.
Thanks too to Carol in the control cabin, logging each flight.
So,  all in all,  a very memorable and enjoyable evening.

Susan Milward

I had not been in a glider before.  What an amazing experience it was!  The high speed pull by winch along the grass and the surprisingly steep and fast ascent.  Very exciting circling round and looking down on the countryside below, sitting in the front and feeling like the pilot.  It was so silent and peaceful, unlike being in an aeroplane.  All too soon the gradual descent to earth.  Thank you David for arranging it.

Simon Lealman

David had mentioned about open days at the gliding club to me before, but they had always fallen on days when I had other things to do. When he said that he was organising an evening for the village it seemed an ideal opportunity to go. Laura is 9 years old now, and had really enjoyed it when we flew on holiday a couple of years ago, so I asked her if she would like to come with me, leaving Anne to look after Emma at home. On the Friday evening I picked her up from school and we drove straight to Pocklington, and sat and had a picnic in the car. When David and Carole arrived he took us to the hangar where the winch tractor was. It was really simple, having two big spools of metal cable linked to a big V8 engine. It proved to be very effective when pulling the glider up into the air, as we all found out later on.

After the demo of the glider and its controls, followed by the safety video in the clubhouse we started to line up for our flights. Murray Naylor and David Jackson were the first two in. Their flights seemed to be over in about the same time it took to get the parachute strapped on their back and safely installed in the cockpit. Laura and I were due to be the next two, but this meant we would be in the air at the same time. I had promised to film her flight so Anne and Emma could watch, so swapped with the next person in the queue. The parachute was only slightly smaller than Laura’s torso and was much bigger and heavier than either of us were expecting. She seemed to be a little bit frightened, but was mainly excited about the impending flight in a glider. Laura got in to the back seat, the cockpit closed and a minute or so later the rope started to move very rapidly quickly followed by the glider. I had trouble keeping the camera trained on it because of the speed and in a few seconds the glider was up and only a tiny shape was visible in the sky. I was then putting my parachute on and getting ready for my own flight. Laura’s descent and landing looked smooth. I went over and when the cockpit opened she had the biggest smile imaginable on her face. Laura had really enjoyed the experience, telling me she had flown it for a while and was asking if she could go up again.

My flight was in the same glider, so after she got out of the back and was safely with the rest of the group, I climbed in, but being slightly heavier than Laura, at the front. I like flying in a normal aeroplane, but I don’t particularly like take-offs, so was expecting something similar. I wasn’t disappointed. The acceleration was tremendous. However, this only lasted about five or ten seconds, which was as long as the winch was pulling the glider up in the sky. Once up there, the view was fantastic and I was able to see for miles in every direction. I could have spent all evening just looking at the countryside around Pocklington and beyond. I was given control for a few seconds, moving the joystick slightly and trying to feel the effects. Then, after circling round for a while we came in to land within a few yards of where we had taken off from. The landing was very smooth, with only a slight bump as the back wheel of the glider hit the ground. Like Laura, I also had a thoroughly good time and would definitely repeat my gliding experience another time. However, David has since told me that the glider flights pulled by an old crop-sprayer they have at the club are probably more my thing if I’m not keen on the winch take-offs.

Laura Lealman

On Friday 14th July we went to the Wolds Gliding Club with David. We got there first and he showed us the winch which pulls the gliders up into the air. We saw lots of gliders kept in a garage called a hangar. Other people from the village started to arrive and David told us about the history of the airfield and how it was used in the war. Then he showed us a glider that looked like the one we would be flying in and explained how the controls worked. We went inside the clubhouse to watch a safety video. After that we walked out to a van where Carole was recording who was flying. Before we went in a glider we had to wear a parachute. It was really heavy. We had to have an instructor with us, mine was called Bob. He went in the front seat and I went in the back because of weight balance, everyone else’s instructor went in the back.

When I took off it was bumpy and steep going up. I was expecting a cloudy, foggy sky but once I was up there it was clear. Up in the air I could see buildings and fields a long way away. I enjoyed looking out of the window and seeing the view. Bob let me have control of the glider up in the air. When we landed it was a smooth bounce.

I enjoyed gliding very much and if David organised another evening I would gladly go.

Eleanor Green

I’ll admit I was a little…apprehensive about being launched into the air in a small vessel only big enough for two people, especially when I saw how quickly the gliders shoot up into the sky. However, everyone who had been up said how brilliant it was and they were totally right, I loved it! It was really great to be there with a group of familiar faces – not your usual village outing!

Tim Green

It was a very fun and exhilarating experience, something totally new that I’d never thought to try before. Everybody was kind, professional and reassuring which made it all the more enjoyable!

David Green

With ominous clouds approaching, I found myself on the last flight of the evening which made it all the more exciting.
After the release of the launch cable and the slight stomach dropping sensation it was a great experience to be handed control and given the chance to make a few turns and to realise how sensitive the controls were. It was over all too quickly and the landing was made almost to the doors of the hangar. Ten minutes later, still on a high, the rain arrived.

© 2017

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