Bannerdown News - Category: Uncategorized

Cool First Solo!

Congratulations to Zack Francis-Cox on completing his first solo on Saturday.

Zack Francis-Cox Solo

Zack, pictured here with his instructor Mark Critchlow, flew his first solo flight on a very cold, crisp winters day. He fist flew with Bannerdown when he was 13 as part of our link with local Air Scouts.


Date posted: December 10, 2014 by admin

Bannerdown visit Wyvern Gliding Club at Upavon

With no access to Keevil until 29th November, a few Bannerdown members took up Wyvern Gliding Clubs kind offer to fly from their site at Upavon.

CFI at Upavon

I think our CFI enjoyed playing the nervous student a little too much ūüėČ

Date posted: November 17, 2014 by admin

Airfield Access

A reminder that Bannerdown members DO NOT HAVE ACCESS to the airfield, hangers or clubhouse after Wednesday 12th until first thing 29th November.

Bannerdown Gliding Club is a Royal Air Force Gliding Soaring Association Club and the airfield we operate from, Keevil, is in active use by the UK military throughout the year. On rare occasions, like the next two weeks, these exercises mean that the airfield is not available to us.

Date posted: November 11, 2014 by admin

Bannerdowns Juniors at Westminster

Junior Bannerdown members Alex Bartlam and Charlotte Acton visited the House of Lords yesterday to support “UK Youth in Aviation” along with other BGA Juniors.

Charlotte and Alex at Westminster

Alex (hiding behind the lectern) and Charlotte (2nd from right) both flew solo before their 16th Birthdays.

Date posted: October 30, 2014 by admin

Another first solo!

Congratulations to Neil Wilkin on his first solo at the weekend. He is pictured here after landing, with his instructor Andy Smith.

Neil Wilkin First Solo, Andy Smith first solo student.

We should also congratulate Andy, as Neil was the first student who he has sent off on their first solo.

Well done to both!

Date posted: October 27, 2014 by admin

So what do our visitors think ….

Date posted: by admin

Our Newest Instructor

Over the last few months Bannerdown’s Club Secretary, Mike Swanson, has been working hard towards gaining his BGA¬†Flying Instructor (Sailplanes)¬†rating through the BGA’s¬†new modular course.

Mike chose the modular route, as at the time, he wasn’t a Basic Instructor and felt he was relatively inexperienced compared to some people attending the older style courses.¬† He felt he would benefit from the longer course.

He attended his A module course in February 2013 at Dunstable.   The A module is a classroom based course that teaches the theory of flight and that of instructing.  Whilst not pass / fail, performance was assessed at the end of the module.

The B module is taught by designated coaches at club level.¬† This is not merely coaching, but getting signed off as competent to brief, fly and teach the exercises.¬†¬† This module does place a certain amount of burden onto¬†clubs.¬†¬† At the same time as Mike¬†was¬†needing a two seat trainer for his instructor training, ¬†the first long spell of good weather¬†saw an influx of new members, and¬†many¬†trial lesson visitors –¬†all of which were competing for the two training aircraft.

Mike Swanson Instructing

That wasn’t the only thing slowing him down though.¬†¬† Mike needed a Knee replacement, which stopped him flying for over four months!

Mike attended a C module course at the Black Mountains Gliding Club, Talgarth, in early July.¬†¬† A large part of the C Module is an assessment of the Club’s teaching, as well as introducing a couple of new exercises.¬†¬†It comprised of¬†both classroom briefings and flying.¬†¬†¬†¬† With the modular course being new, the syllabus had been reviewed and amended during Mike’s enforced break, so some catch up was required in some areas and he was ahead of the game in other areas.¬†¬†¬† Mike made the most of his launches totalling¬†three hours flying from his three launches.¬†¬†¬† The C module is a pass or fail module.¬† You cannot start the D module without having successfully negotiated the C module.

After completing the remaining B module exercises with Andy Miller, (those that were outstanding due to the syllabus changes), it was time for the D module course that was being held at Cambridge Gliding Centre.¬†¬† The course was again a mix of briefing, teaching and flying, with¬†four¬†of five days flyable,¬†a flight in a motor glider, an aerotow and fourteen winch launches.¬†¬†Having to teach¬†launch failures kept the hours down a little.¬†¬† The assessment at the end of the week recommends, or otherwise, you for an ‘Assessment of Competency’ with an Examiner.¬† This should be done within two weeks of the completion of the D module at the home airfield.

Mike flew his assessment flights with Andy Miller Рand passed it!    Apparently the most nerve wracking part of the entire course.

Congratulations Mike!

Date posted: September 22, 2014 by admin

Members continue to progress

When flying, there is always something new to learn.  This weekend our members have once again been trying new things.

On Saturday Neil Geraghty, after recently completing his BGA Silver¬†badge, was able to convert to R3 – the club’s LS8.

Neil Geraghty in LS8

Richard Hafferty, after going solo for the first time last month, converted to the single seat K18 R32.

Richard Hafferty in K18

Mike Edwards also generously allowed Ben Dews to fly his Ventus 2CT!

Ben Dews in 808

On Sunday, Sam Arnold converted to R61 our K13 ….

Sam Arnold in K13

…only so she could convert to the K18 too!¬†¬†Pictured¬†here before launching with her instructor Ken Reid.

Sam in K18

Last year Bannerdown was awarded¬†the “Bicester Cup” at the RAFGSA AGM.¬† The cup is¬†awarded to a RAF GSA club with the most achievements in the year.¬†¬†Bannerdown has to be in the running for retaining this award.

Well done all!


Date posted: September 14, 2014 by admin

Another First Solo

Congratulations to Alex Bartlam, aged 15, on completing his first solo flight on Sunday.

Alex Bartlams first solo


Alex was sent solo by Bannerdown’s Chief Flying Instructor –¬†Ian Harris.


Date posted: September 8, 2014 by admin

First Solo for Richard Hafferty

Congratulations to Richard Hafferty for successfully completing his first solo flight.

First Solo for Richard Hafferty

Richard is pictured here sitting in the K13, with his instructor Bob Brain.

Date posted: by admin