RAF Gliding and Soaring Association Take To The Skies On Soaring and Task Week

  |  Published: Aug 2nd 2016

For the fourth consecutive year, a Soaring and Task Week was held by the RAF Gliding and Soaring Association (RAFGSA) Chilterns Gliding Centre at RAF Halton‘s Airfield.

This year the event was particularly well supported by members of the Centre and visiting pilots from other RAF Gliding and Soaring Association clubs.  A total of ten pilots took part in cross country flying whilst other pilots remained local to the airfield to achieve various Federation Aeronautique Internationale (FAI) Badge claims.

A full Task, Meteorological and Airspace briefing was given on a daily basis by Ken Sparkes, the RAFGSA Competition Director, and a total of 4112.19 kilometres were flown over a nine-day period with challenging cross country flights being recorded every day.

Officer Commanding Operations, Squadron Leader Gary Coleman, said: “During a week of exceptionally hot weather, the longest flight was recorded by Mick Webb who completed a task of 301.9 kilometres at an actual speed of 97.8 kilometres per hour. Cpl Ben Gronow, a staff member of the Force Development Centre at Halton, achieved a five-hour flight and a height gain of 4112 feet to claim his FAI Silver Duration and Height Gain badges. Other notable achievements included a three-hour soaring flight by sixteen-year-old Air Cadet Josh Rees whilst Flt Lt Becca Langton also completed cross country tasks for the first time in preparation for her participation in the forthcoming Inter-Services Gliding Competition.

“Finally, there were also many conversions by pilots on to different types of gliders during the week whilst other tasks on the ground were undertaken by Centre members who helped to make this a safe and enjoyable event.”

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