Season end


Sadly the 2018 soaring season at Skelling Farm has drawn to a close. It was a good year overall with spells of stunningly good weather in the first half followed by a greater than usual number of wave days in the last 2 months. Several new members and above all no accidents. As CFI I thank everyone, member and visitor, alike for their flying this year.

We can look forward to 2019 with relish but during our closed season one of our members, Frank Bradley will try to organise some informal trips to other clubs, I welcome this and will personally try to join in if time and othercommitments permit me. Please support Franks initiative.

John Castle

CFI Edensoaring GC

Junior training week


Next week starting the 20th August we will be holding a Junior training week to advance our junior members along their gliding careers. As well as offerring dedicated training we are also giving them the opportunity to bring a friend along for a flight at a much reduced rate during the week Mon to Fri.

Tony Walker who is the Duty Instructor will be running this week and will also be hoping for good weather to maximise the week. He will also be running some low key class room sessions to ensure the theory part of learning to fly is not missed.

members are welcome to fly long side this activity and can always help Tony with the organisation of the field

John Castle


Some achievements by members


Earlier this year Andy Jones completed his Silver C with a flight to Gretna and Jon March gained his FI (R) Instructor rating.

Kieth Nattress and Mike Dodd went away to The Gliding Centre and obtained there X/C endorsements. Mike subsequently did the 50 Km and Height gain for Silver C on a flight from Skelling Farm to the seaside at Silloth and on Tuesday he flew for 5 hrs to complete his Silver C.

Fiona Campbell, a 15yr old Junior member was sent Solo afer some intensive training and today also flew on the ridge Solo for the first time. Fiona then did the 1 hour flight required for Bronze.

John Castle



This is becoming a great season!


Despite the "unsuitable" winds we have had some excellent soaring conditions.

So far:

2 x 50Km silver legs flown, a silver height, 2 x X/C endorsements gained, several X/C flown and 2 safe landouts

Not bad so far from a small but enthusiastic club.

And we are only half way through the season yet.......... more to come I hope.

Keep flying, stay safe

John Castle CFI


6000 ft QFE Cloud base 1st July


The members and visitors that were enjoying soaring over the Eden Valley today were treated to an excellent days flying. Over the Pennines high ground it was even higher at more than 6500ft QFE and Martin Sandwith who ventured more than 100 Km North reported 6800ft QFE.

What a marvellous playground we have.

John Castle


The wind is back!


After over 4 weeks of very nice weather in an Easterly airstream I am pleased to report that we have the return of steady SW'ly winds this week and they will very likely stay with us for the next 2 weeks or more.

Immediately we have had wave climbs to almost 8000ft and Silver X/C legs being completed by our eager pilots.

Currently Ian Ashton (CFI of Bowland Forest) is in charge. I expect he will be joined by some of his own club members throughout the next week. Its always nice to see new faces enjoying our fabulous Skelling Farm airfield in the beautifull Eden Valley and overlooked by Crossfell.

John Castle


The season so far


The 2018 season started very well. for the first 3 weeks we have had lots of good soaring weather, both thermal and ridge. The field is remarkably dry after the winters snow and rain.

After the members enjoyed sole use of the field for the first 2 weeks we have welcomed visitors from Nene Valley and Husbos. Unfortunately this coincided with some really nice weather. Only 1 day was lost to an unflyable Easterly wind but the rest of the week was only thermic. Nearly everyone got away each day and some long flights over the Edenvalley and the Lakes were enjoyed. Then as they departed for home the inevitable SW'ly blew up. Derek Coker and Tony Walker had stayed on for the weekend and enjoyed 2 ridge days.

Sadly were are currently plagued by a steady Easterly air stream however when possible we are still flying under the supervision of Ed Foxon.


March 2018 Newsletter


Edensoaring members newsletter March 2018

Once again I hope that you have re-joined Edensoaring for the 2018 season as a Full or Dual Member. If not this may be the last newsletter you receive.  We are hoping to advance the club members overall abilities during this year as previously mentioned in the last newsletters. Here is a little more detail;

2018 Rota

The new Rota is fully confirmed by our visiting instructors. No planned closures will take place in 2018.

8.33 Mhz Radios

Are you aware that the CAA have given an exemption to us to delay the upgrade until 2019?

I include below an extract from a recent BGA newsletter:

IR 1079/2012 states that from 1 January 2019, all ground services will be operating on 8.33 kHz channels. Ground services across the UK will be converting to 8.33 kHz channel spacing at different dates throughout 2018, mostly driven by their annual licence renewal date. If a ground service is still using a 25 kHz frequency then you can still communicate with it using a 25 kHz radio.  Once a ground service has converted, aircraft must utilize an 8.33 kHz capable radio to communicate with it.

In practice, you can only continue to fly with just a 25 kHz radio if throughout your entire flight you only need to communicate on 25 kHz frequencies.  Note, you must check regularly to confirm that your ground services have not converted.  The CAA expects that most ground stations will have converted well before the end of 2018. After 1 January 2019, use of a 25 kHz radio will very restricted, principally to only the emergency frequency of 121.5 MHz.

FLARM, OGN and pilot Aware

We have committed to the upgrade to our OGN which will relay FLARM to Pilot Aware equipped GA. Mark Johnson is doing this work and it is hoped to have the new installation on test and functional after we re-open on April 28th. Obviously until we have FLARM equipped gliders flying we cannot fully test the new kit.

This will increase glider conspicuity in the area.

It further underpins the benefit of fitting FLARM to your glider. I recommend you seriously consider this.

Pilot Check System  As mentioned in an earlier newsletter I have established a new system.

This is based on a proven system in use at many clubs.

If you missed it before the levels are as follows:

Level 1 Post solo but still on daily/conditions checks.

Level 2 Off checks (depending on conditions) but pre-bronze.

Level 3 Pilots post Bronze and X/C endorsement or more

Level 4  All instructors. Flying subject to the flying orders and overall supervision by the DI.

The DI will place a number plate sign on the launch point trailer to show the current level. If conditions change significantly this can be changed throughout the day. It is the pilot’s responsibility to visually confirm the current level is appropriate for them to launch.

If necessary discuss with the DI who may agree to you launching with additional briefings.

Mike Fox Videos on U-Tube

Please Google “Mike Fox Gliding” and view them. Extremely good videos and useful to all of us.

X/C Tasks. I have attached a list of easy tasks that anyone can try; some will not take you out of gliding range on a reasonable day. Those are therefore suitable for pilots who are pre-bronze with X/C endorsement. Not really X/C but they will get you to stretch your legs. As a confidence builder why not ask an Instructor to fly a task with you in a K13. They can also be flown solo in a K13 but check with the DI that the day is suitable. We are fortunate that all our approved DIs are also X/C pilots and can offer sound advice.

The Club Tasks that Martin set some time ago are also on the BGA Ladder. They are 100, 200 and 300km badge flights for the more expert. You should all have ensured that you have access and can upload to the BGA  ladder this year. IT’S VITAL WE DO THIS.

 I hope that all solo pilots will look at the tasks on a local map. If you are still training then please take the opportunity to ask your instructor if he is prepared to fly one of the shorter tasks with you. This of course depends on the pilots waiting and the suitability of the day but can introduce a very motivating experience into the routine of training exercises.

Don’t forget the current Northern map. I strongly recommend that you investigate getting an electronic map and learn to use it; not essential but it is advisable, there are some low cost options available. We must avoid airspace infringements.

If you are looking for your 50km Silver leg there are 2 possibilities, if in wave see tasks 6 & 7 on my list. Always carry a logger!

New Season start

It’s getting closer! Don’t forget that we start our 2018 season on 28th April this year. We will need as many members as possible on site to rig K13s and generally help with the many small tasks that we need to tackle quickly to allow us to get on with flying.

A "New” glider to fly

We have an SB5e V-tailed glider for approved solo pilots to fly. This aircraft is X/C capable with modern instruments including an OUDIE.

Some of you may remember it being flown some years ago at Skelling Farm when it was owned by Ben Dawson. If you want to be on its approved pilots list you will need to have a Bronze and 30 hours solo. It’s like a K6E to fly.

2018 Pilot Checks

Please try to get to the club early in May to take a check flight. The club will not be accepting visitors or trial lessons from 28th April to May 5th. Additionally visitors will not be on site before May12th. This gives us the first 2 weeks when we can concentrate on getting everyone safely back in the air even if you missed going to Denbigh. Further for solo pilots; should you not complete your checks early in the month you will still be able to fly solo subject to the normal currency requirements (see the Flying Orders) up to May 31st 2018.

Winch safety

There have been two incidents at other clubs fairly recently. One involved a K13 which was winch launched on the nose hook. This resulted in the pilots being unable to release the cable at the top of the low launch due to angles and tensions and the K13 began to dive uncontrollably. The winch driver guillotined the cable, which resulted in a safe outcome. Another incident resulted from a possibly incorrectly adjusted hook and an additional problem with the back release. This time it was lucky that the weak link broke.

I will discuss the need to ensure that our winch has regular guillotine safety checks. We also need to ensure that the winch drivers know that this does happen occasionally, and if they are in doubt about the situation that they must Guillotine the cable. In the two examples above, the winch drivers were reluctant to use the Guillotine. The Guillotine may be the only option if we can’t release for some reason at the top of a winch launch.

Denbigh Expedition  April 14th to 21st

Finally: Don’t forget we are taking a K13 to Lleweni Parc in April. Even if you have not already booked its not too late to decide to join us.

Safe Flying

John Castle.

CFI Edensoaring GC


Suggested tasks from Skelling Farm


Task No.




TP 1















SW'ly  and 3000' at each TP










SW'ly. 3000' at each TP. 1st leg on ridge (avoid Warcop)










WSW to W'ly. 3500' at ULL. 1st leg on ridge.










SW'ly 4000' at HOT, 4500' at SPS. Thermal










light S'ly 4000' at CCK. 5000' at TEB. Thermal










50Km Silver Leg O & R. SW'ly wave will make this easy










50Km Silver Leg O & R. SW'ly wave will make this easy










Uses SW'ly Wave










Uses SW'ly Wave (avoid D442 & Warcop)


The tasks below are badge flights from the Ladder as set by Martin Sandwith for the more expert pilots











FAI 28%

100Km FAI triangle or open task (avoid Warcop)










100Km Open task (avoid Warcop)









FAI 28%

200Km FAI triangle or open task









FAI 28%

300Km FAI triangle or open task  (avoid D512A & Warcop)





Carlisle Airport


We have published a response to Carlisle proposal, see below. The consultation ends on the 28th March and I hope that common sense prevails. Point 3 is particularly relavant.

Carlisle Airport Consultation Response
The British Gliding Association (BGA) represents 80 gliding clubs and some 7000 pilots. The BGA understands the need to change and modernise airspace and to ensure that airspace structures are proportionate and reflect the needs and safety of all users. It is our belief that this can only be done by understanding the needs of all users before airspace design work is undertaken; any other approach risks wasting resources, suboptimal outcomes and unnecessarily adversarial consultation activities.

The location of Carlisle at the narrowest part of Great Britain surrounded by mountain, coastal and military areas requires particular care to ensure that all aviation needs are satisfied.
We note and welcome that in paragraph 2.4 of the consultation document you confirm that you are not proposing any change to classification of airspace. Should you have any intention of changing this situation we request that you contact us well in advance of any formal consultation or preliminary design work. Nonetheless we have examined the current consultation document and would comment as follows.

The Proposal
We are pleased to note the use of 3.5 rather than 3 degree gradients. We are however concerned by the location of the proposed hold for 06 for a number of reasons:-

1 The area to be overflown by the hold pattern will be over the Northern area of the Lake District National Park. The hold pattern, although centered on Caldbeck, will extend to Blencathra at the southern most point due to radius of turn etc. This has been designated as an area of outstanding natural beauty whose tranquility will clearly be impacted.  With a height of 2848' Blencathra is heavily frequented by walkers and visitors to the area and a hold starting from 5000' amsl has aircraft circling in a particularly inappropriate place.

2. The airspace at that location is often used by soaring gliders using ridge lift, thermal and wave conditions to operate from terrain height to the current limit of FL125 below N601. The collision risk is a concern if the hold is in use.

3. Because we, as soaring pilots, are familiar with the area we point out that in certain wind directions the atmosphere can contain both strong upcurrents and downcurrents. These can approach 1500ft per minute and can extend from terrain level to the upper limit of FL125. The area is also well known for atmospheric convergences which promote strong icing conditions. The combination of high terrain, cloud and icing would create unnecessary danger in a hold used by both CAT and commonly used twin-engine training aircraft.  We suggest that the safety and passenger comfort of commercial or GA holding in this area would be compromised. Moving the hold North to a position over the Solway would solve these problems.

Formal Response
For the reasons above we must record our formal objection to the proposal as written. If however the proposed 06 hold were moved to a better location over the Solway we would have no objection to the proposal as a whole.

John Castle

CFI Edensoaring GC

February 2018 Newsletter


Edensoaring members newsletter February 2018

A reminder that if you are planning to fly under reciprocal membership at another club with which we have that arrangement you should have paid your 2018 membership and BGA fee to Edensoaring beforehand.

Denbigh, Lleweni Parc expedition

So far I have very few confirmed members planning to join this trip. Please ensure that you contact me by March 1st if you plan to join us. Insufficient numbers will mean that we may not be able to take a K13.

Please contact me on 07496 126935 or by email

Carlisle Airport plans

You have all probably heard of the plans to return passenger flying to Carlisle airport. At the moment this has only a small impact on our operation at Skelling Farm. The situation is being monitored by ourselves and the BGA. An appropriate response will be made and circulated in March, well before the deadline of the consultation.

Mutual flying

Last year there was an increased interest in mutual flying in 2 seaters. This is a very satisfying way to fly with a fellow member.

I think it would be useful to explain the rules that are applied to this activity. This is different to Friends and family. (see below)

Mutual flying privileges are available to any Bronze level pilot with 50 hours Solo in the logbook but are only issued by the CFI. If granted your logbook will be endorsed. When flying with a fellow club member P1 sits in the front seat and must carry out the launch, circuit below 700ft and landing. P1 must therefore be agreed before getting in the glider and P1 does the checks. X/C is allowed if P1 has the X/C endorsement.

Please note that this is a locally applied privilege.

Friends and Family flying

F&F privileges are available to any Bronze level pilot with 50 hours Solo in the logbook. The difference is that P1 is sat in the back seat and must therefore be cleared for this by the CFI.

As above a log book endorsement is made. This is good preparation for a BI/IFP rating and will involve detailed discussion about passenger safety considerations which is a priority. Even if an X/C endorsement is held, flying out of gliding range is definitely not permitted.

Please note that this is also a locally applied privilege.


Please have an up-to-date airmap for 2018. The BGA recommends that we all have electronic maps. This is essential if you are planning to fly X/C this year but very advisable if you are hoping to climb above cloud. Position location is almost impossible from great height and if looking for landmarks through holes in the cloud. We don’t have much airspace nearby but cannot risk infringements. If you go away from the local area it gets more complex.

John Castle

CFI Edensoaring GC

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