You may not get RCM&E Magazine like I do, and if not you may not realise that the Scale Fly In, usually organised by one of our members Ant Jervis, is always held in the middle weekend of August each year. It is an event that has been running regularly for a number of years, and is aimed at those, unlike me, who fly scale gliders. Simon Cocker, he of RCM&E authorship fame, is also a member of LMMGA, and can be seen on an irregular basis at our slopes. The scanned image shows the December 2015 edition with the heading “Leek & Moorland”.
Simon swops penship with Andy Ellison to produce the slope column in the RCM&E Magazine each month. December was Simon’s turn. As Simon regularly attends events all round the country, we don’t see him very often at Leek. He is quite a regular vistor at the Orme and Long Mynd, and other venues which hold glider interested events.
The weekend of August 15/16 this year was the chosen date for the fly-in. We were away and missed it. Well attended it usually is, and was this year. If you read the article, you will know that this year the weather did not bless the competitors with good wind, which was light, but on the Gate/Mermaid as is usual at that time of year.
You will also have read Ivan’s write up of the event in our September Newsletter. I must admit that there is a wealth of detail in the RCM&E which Ivan would not have appreciated in view of Simon’s extensive knowledge of Scale Gliders, their manufacturers, names, and other detail. So all credit to Ivan, but if you want to read more detaiil of the planes which were there, it is a must read. Obviously I cannot publish the article here as it would be breach of copywright, but if you missed it then you can get a back issue digitally from RCM&E via the My Hobbystore Site.
If you want to see the club version of the August Scale Fly-In then read our page.
Featured in the article is John Watkins and his son Paul. John produces the most amazing plan built scale gliders from scratch often with an incredible eye for detail.
I had the good fortune to meet John one day in Anglesey, when I was looking for a South Westerly slope above Church Bay near the Lobster Pot if you know it. There is a road which leads up from the Church. When the wind is WSW one can fly in abundant lift which comes off the sea. There is a thin strip of a field to land in and a telegraph wire to avoid, but the flying is good. I was flying my Phase 6 when a lady appeared from behind ordering me off the land and saying that the National Trust won’t allow anyone to use it.
I now know that this was nonsense because National Trust land is public land. She was a house owner who was trying to prevent people using the road, which certainly was access to some properties up there but public none the less. John was still in his car at this stage. He has had a stroke and finds it difficult to walk but has enormous awe inspiriing energy. We decided not to argue and made a hasty retreat. The woman had obviously had a bad day, and was wanting to cause trouble. I think hooligans had used it to party the night before.
We thus moved to Sandy Beach Caravan Park where my caravan is located. There is a small bowl at the end of the beach where one can fly in the same wind direction but not beyond a certain height. I helped John over the gate with his scale glider which he flew happily for an hour. A delightful afternoon.
So, John, who seems a little more immobile now attended the Leek and Moreland Event again this year with his son Paul. John was flying a home made Slingsby Sky, whilst Paul had an all moulded Salto from Valenta. When I met him, I was full of admiration for his true grit. Since his stroke, he has learned to fly with the left stick only because the stroke has affected the right side of his body, thus he is limited to 2 channel, which, after all arguably is all that is needed for a scale glider if you avoid rudder and flaps, or fly rudder elevator as the scale glider I saw used.
So if you attended, and this article lacks detail, get the December 2015 RCM&E Magazine.