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Further Adventure Of The Ninety Nine Acre Wood Gliding Club - Parlick

The past two months have been somewhat hectic as regards model flying. The weekend after Colin’s and my outing to the Leek and Moorland Scale glider event was the BMFA Nationals which saw Colin taking a well earned break and me pairing up with Paul Blakeborough to enter a few of the Control Line Team Racing events at RAF Barkston Heath. The weekend after this was of course the RAFMAA Annual Championships/Fun Fly held at RAF Honington where Colin and I met up and with all the other old, bold and newcomers and enjoyed a good three days of relaxed model flying in good company. Needless to say a few pints of the falling down water helped. Ever the sucker for punishment the following weekend saw myself and good lady travelling to Lancashire to stay with Colin and his good lady. The plan being that the ladies would take in the local sights and various retail outlets whilst we did what we tend to do best, fly gliders.

Just a short drive from Colin’s house is Parlick Hill, one of the lower slopes of Fair Snape Fell, which is where we headed for on the Saturday. On the plus side the weather and wind was very kind to us but on the minus side there is no road to the top. RAFMAA members of a certain age may remember when we used to travel to South Wales and fly from the top of Garth Hill, nr Cardiff. Whilst I am certain that Parlick is not as high as Garth it felt like it to my legs.

Due to the reasonably high wind we both took our respective Jart and Dude gliders which apart from a short break for a passing cloud burst flew for a good portion of the day. Parlick is also a popular spot for para/hang gliders which therefore requires those flying models to keep a good lookout whilst flying. Fortunately when the wind is up the para/hang gliders tend to stay away which then only leaves the local gliding club. From the top of Parlick you can see and watch these gliders being launched and the first thing they look for is a spot of lift. This means that they hotfoot to the slope and arrive usually at the same height that you are standing. This is not a problem providing that all parties concerned use common sense. I usually take the opportunity to study the full size gliders close up with particular interest in the speed that they fly in relation to our scale attempts and it is always surprising how slow they actually fly. We continued to fly moving slowly around the hill as the wind swung around from the south west to the west before heading home for tea and medals.

On Sunday as the weather Gods continued to smile we returned to Parlick for further fun and mayhem. On the previous day we had returned tired but pleased as despite our best efforts we had failed to break anything. Today was not going to be as fortunate. Flying wise, Parlick is an excellent hill but we tend to fly from about halfway from the top, therefore landings are on the face of the slope and usually in lift. This requires a certain amount of pre-planning as it is possible to find several little areas where the task is easier.

Colin managed to break the rear part of his elevator by what can only be described as “backing it in” for landing. I for my part chose the wrong spot, landed too fast and sudden and shook the wing bolt mounting loose in the fuselage. Flying then took on a more cautious approach for the rest of the time available; the time available being dictated by the approach of some serious looking cloud formations. The warnings for once were noted with the result that as we completed putting all the models away in the car the heavens opened up. The weather Gods had spoken and us mere mortals obeyed. This then brought what was a thoroughly enjoyable weekend to a close, but all was not lost with a future trips out in the offering.


Neil T



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