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June/July/August 2010 Hi everyone, At the start of my last newsletter I remember saying that I would try to get this edition of the newsletter out to you all on time. Last time it was a few months, this time it is a few of weeks so maybe next time it will be a few days! On a slightly more serious note I am sorry and I am going to work even harder to get the next one out on time. Thank you for all the great feedback I got on the last newsletter. I hope that I can keep the standard up. Thanks to everybody that contributed to the last newsletter and this one. Without your news, articles and announcements there would not be much to the newsletter at all so thanks to you all. This is a bit of a gliding heavy newsletter with an article on the Ladley’s Prefect by Julian Horn and my report on the Vintage Gliding Club rally which was held at Tibenham this year. I also have a short report on the highly successful round table event that happened earlier in the summer and some pictures from the parascending which took place at the airfield as part of the scout camp Norjam. There is also a note from Mike Atherton (which you may have received by email) and the other usual (but just as important) bits and bobs. If you have been to the club recently you will have noticed our new entrance and sign. Out of fear of missing somebody out I’m not going to mention any names but I think those involved with it have done a brilliant job so well done! On the subject of ‘well done’ I think I ought to mention that Julian Horn went solo again after a break away from gliding - well done Julian! If you have anything for the next newsletter please get in touch. Thanks again to everybody that has contributed to this edition. Lauren Email: laurenbean1@yahoo.com Phone: 0787655881


Important Information Concerning Shipdham Airfield. Due to the level of rumors and speculation that seem to be going around I am sending out this notice so that you are made aware of the negotiations concerning the future of Shipdham Airfield. Firstly I should like to make it clear that Dick Jordan has agreed to assist me in securing the future of the airfield whilst discussions with the Landlord and a third party continue. We are in discussion with a Norwich Airport based commercial flying school with the intention that they will take a lease and operate the airfield on a day-to-day basis with resident staff. I am sure you will appreciate that one of the major concerns over the last 3 to 4 years has been the inability to manage the airfield in a manner to secure the income needed to meet ongoing financial obligations. If the current proposals proceed to a satisfactory conclusion it is anticipated the new operators will move quickly with the intention of establishing themselves at Shipdham before the autumn. I do not see this will have any detrimental effect on the current users of the airfield, in fact quite the contrary, as it secures the future of the airfield in the long term and offers a flying training facility a lot earlier than originally intended. I will keep you all advised on the progress that is being made and will be contacting aircraft owners/ groups on my return from India in about 7 days time. In the meantime it is “business as usual”. I would however request that any concerns you may have as to how this may affect you are addressed to me in the first instance. Regards, Mike Artherton 9 August 2010

Museum notes (part 1)

The Museum report is perhaps a bit more philosophical than factual this month as the 65th Combined Celebrations happen in Moscow and remind us that WWII will soon only be a page or two in a history book for the next generation. We museum folk are realising that the ‘Folded Wings’ section of the 44th Bomb Group Veterans magazine is ticking inexorably away and the heroes of Shipdham are becoming a very rare breed. The guys that flew the 44th’s bombers from here on an almost daily basis are all starting to feel the passing of time and their visits will become fewer and farther between. We will see their children and their grandchildren, of that I’m sure, but the memory of the men of the 44th Bomb group must remain one of the priorities of the current aviators who use Shipdham’s historical runways. We will do that through the museum. Peter & the Museum Team


Phil's bit. This years charity airshow which was scheduled to take place on Sunday the 26th of September has been cancelled. This decision was made by the Directors based upon a number of factors. Whilst it is disappointing that this decision has had to be, we have every intention of continuing with the charity airshow in 2011. At this stage, if you would like to be involved in next years event please can you let us know as we would like to begin looking at ways to raise sponsorship for the event as well as allocating sections of the planning and organisation to willing volunteers. To just give you an idea of the type of funding and the costs we need to meet to put on a show which equals last years wonderfully attended event the costs look something like this: 6 act display, £6,000 12 act display £12,000 The above includes the licence from the CAA for the event. Fly bys of The Reds or the BBMF are free but use a slot from your licence. Airfield and runway preparations £1,500 Toilets £800 Signs and posters £300. All in all we have to find between £9,000 and £15,000 each year to hold the event. Ideas and assistance all very gratefully received. We would like to think that with your help next years event will be as good if not better than last year. Kind regards, Phil

Club Stall OK, so now the weather is better and you are all flying, please don’t forget that we are always looking for ‘flying memorabilia’ (Stuff) to sell from the club’s stall to sell at our big event(s) during the year. As mentioned before, old maps, Pooleys, whiz-wheels, books, aeronautical magazines etc, etc are all very welcome. Please leave your unwanted bits and bobs outside the club office door. Thanks. Jane and Maggie.


Vintage Glider Returns To the Skies After 27 Years! Julian Horn (Mid-Norfolk Times) In 1969, as a 16 year old Staff Cadet at 611 Gliding School, David Ladley had his first encounter with a Slingsby Prefect glider, which at the time was considered the ultimate flying experience for cadets. He continued to fly the same machine until leaving the Air Training Corps in 1971. David’s passion for flying continued unabated and when the RAF decided to sell the machine in 1979, David and fellow ex-cadet David Dunwell clubbed together to buy the glider that had given them so much joy as youngsters. They flew it from RAF Swanton Morley with the Norwich Soaring Group until that group disbanded in 1983, and it was flown for the last time on the 31st July 1983. The Prefect was then put into a trailer and stored at the Ladley family home until, in 2005, David and his son Matt determined to restore the machine to flying order. In 2009 he and his son, also a skilled glider pilot in his own right, began work in earnest, stripping the machine to its component parts under the supervision of engineer Mike Simms, and with the valuable help of other members of Shipdham Flying Club. Together they checked, replaced or restored every single part before laboriously reassembling it to a condition that is as good as, if not better than, new.


And on the 11th July, just 15 days short of the 41st anniversary of his first flight in the glider, David Ladley piloted the machine back to the skies from Shipdham Airfield. “I was probably more nervous than the first time I flew her” said Mr Ladley “but it was wonderful to just to sit in there in the open air. So many memories came flooding back.” “I am so grateful to everyone at the 8 Ball Gliding group at Shipdham airfield, but especially so to Mike Simms for his skills, knowledge and guidance, and also to Paul Baldwin and Jerry Berringer for all their help.” The great moment was watched by the entire Ladley family, David Dunwell and his son James, plus many Shipdham Flying club members. Reflecting the views of the family, Dave’s wife Janet said “It was wonderful! As a family we have all lived and breathed the restoration these past years, it has occupied every spare minute of their time I have no idea what they will do next.” “Perhaps I will get them to decorate our house” she said with a grin.

Pictures by Julian Horn and Doug Mounter.


The Gliding Bit. Well here we are in June and no really good days yet (at weekends anyway) things are ticking along, the Astir has proved to be very popular with quite a few already converted to it. I have flown with quite a few people which is also good, including Mike Driver who is now back fit after the new knee. A few points that I have come up with over the last few months: Daily Inspections - please do these at the hangar or before taking the glider to the launch point rather than dragging it out and then finding something wrong! Included in the DI should be parachute(s) in, battery in and checked and a clean canopy. And remember the job isn’t complete until the book is signed. Towing out - when towing out behind a vehicle, please make sure the tow rope is the length of one wing plus a bit, attach it to the gliders belly hook not the nose, this means you can back release it from outside the canopy rather than putting your hand in to pull the release and risk breaking the canopy. Rigging - to try and keep movements of vehicles and trailers to a minimum around the airfield I am trying to encourage people to rig up where all the trailers are, I and a couple of others have turned our trailers round so the front now faces the fence. It is very easy to rig in that area and saves driving trailers about or have them in the way by the hangar or the launch point. Gliding is a very time consuming sport sometimes for little reward and a fair amount of man (woman) power is required to keep things going just to launch takes a tug pilot, wing runner, rope hooker on, someone on the radio, log keeper so it’s very labour intensive. I appreciate these days people’s time can be precious and limited, however I am trying to introduce a policy of at least doing half a day, that can be getting stuff out and staying till lunchtime ish or the other half and helping put away, of course if you want to stay all day that’s fine too (many do). I am very happy to start early and always try and get to the airfield around 9am (earlier if the day looks really good). Medicals - please make sure you have a current medical for solo flying a copy of which should be passed to John Waterman so we have a copy on file. Things are going ok albeit a little slow. One way of keeping up with what’s going on is to check out the Shipdham Flying Club page on Facebook by clicking the following link if you are reading through the online version or simply searching ‘Shipdham Flying Club’ on Facebook. It’s updated weekly and has a lot of pics on it from flying to silly costume days!! And weather reports for the weekends And finally for now, lurking in a garage in Mattishall is the almost finished and eagerly awaited Ladley Prefect, the final finishing touches are being done and hopefully it will appear in the near future, it will be great to see it back in the air again, cameras at the ready.. Jerry That really shows how late I was! The prefect is finished and has flown! - Lauren


Ramblings From an Ex-Editor. Great first edition of the SFC newsletter Lauren. Long may your quill be sharp and your ink flow smoothly! However with Lauren firmly planted in as P1, it does mean I can ramble on to my hearts content, about ‘other’ aviation matters that prompt me to stand on my soapbox from time to time, and spout forth. As these letters fall turgidly out of my PC, the current volcanic blip in modern air travel is lingering over most of the UK airspace, and my bet-noir, the great un-educated Mr British Public, aided by the great, even more un-educated, British media is venting forth (pun fully intended) about not being able to take the slovenly Mrs Public and her four cap wearing, shaven headed, yobbish Public Juniors out to Costa del Somewhere… RIGHT NOW! Yesterday I even heard a TV presenter suggest that if the ash plume was at 30,000 ft they could fly him home at 20,000ft. An infantile guest on his programme even suggested that it was done so the airlines could now charge more for carting the ungrateful Mr & Mrs Public to their destinations! You may recall the same Mr British Public took the Tribe Public on a winter break in January and was lucky enough to get interviewed then, while hundreds of the airport staff and their contractors battled to clear the snow and re-open the runways. At that time he noticed the flashing lights of the runway clearing team through the snow flecked window of the terminal and commented to Amelia Plonker-Smythe from Sky News that ‘If them out there are on the runway …then it must be OK for my flight to take off.’ The fact that the snow was already drifting up the wheels of the Jetway had apparently escaped his limited vision, and that there were 89 flights waiting in front of his on the departure board, had not yet fully registered. It is rare you will hear me say that that anyone earning the sort of money an Airline Captain pulls in on a monthly basis, gets my sympathy, but on these occasions they really do. We all trust them with our lives… then some ignorant buffoon mouths off when a decision is made to maintain what is a great safety record, and it delays him an hour or so. Fifty years ago delays of a few days was not uncommon on some long haul flights. Few moaned then and they were very grateful not to be aboard a grotty little boat, bobbing up and down in a choppy Force 9, doing the same distance with a journey time of weeks. Then finally there is the clown who arrives at check-in as the push back is started, and expects, and sometimes even, loudly demands, the plane to be pulled back to the gate for him, thus delaying it a further 20 minutes while fresh paperwork is generated , a fresh slot obtained and 183 other passengers delayed, just because he can’t be bothered to get to the airport on time. Aghh!... Gripe over. Peter B


Museum Notes (Part 2) It seemed appropriate to comment on the Museum in the Newsletter again following the Directors announcements in recent days regarding the future of the Shipdham Airfield complex. The 44th Bomb Group Museum (heritage) unit will continue as an independently run trust in much the same way as it has for the last four or five years. The only planned change is to make it grow and to put in place a mechanism to allow it to open on a far more frequent basis. To that end talks have taken place recently with a representative of a group of WWII enthusiasts and historians who feel they could well join with us to expand, promote and improve the museum, memorial garden etc, and to increase its appeal to both fellow WWII, B-24 and enthusiasts with similar interests as well as the general public. If possible there will be a push towards increasing funding and creating a school children friendly angle within the display. Further contact is ongoing and we hope that before the end of the summer season we will have more to announce. A complete copy of Peter Bodle’s book series, Bomb Groups in Norfolk is being added to the Library collection in September, and we hear that several more donated books are heading into the collection before the winter. Peter & the Museum Team

Scouts Try Parascending at Shipdham. With the help of 9 staff members and a group of senior scouts, 3 minibuses loaded full of scouts were able to take to the skies, in the form of parascending, each flyable day. The scouts were visiting as part of Norjam which was held at the Norfolk showground. The scouts were towed up to 180-200ft AGL behind a light weight Land Rover at around 10mph. The parascending took place between between the 2nd and 7th of August and was organised by Sky-Lincs.


Pictures by Julian Horn


Vintage Glider Club Rally 2010 - Tibenham! Over 150 pilots visited this year’s Vintage Glider Club rally which, for the first time in 10 years, was held at Tibenham airfield. Tibenham were fantastic hosts and their large airfield was perfect for the rally. The best part of 100 vintage gliders were brought along to the event and proved, if nothing else, that flying really is fun. Lots of people worked very hard at the rally including members from Shipdham and Cadets from Watton. The hard work put in by everybody seemed to pay off and really helped make the somewhat chaotic event run quite smoothly! We only had one day of bad weather and it didn’t go to waste. The helpers and organisers rested their legs while most of the visitors occupied themselves with the few things that Norfolk has to offer! The total number of launches over View of Tibenham from the front of a T31 the week exceeded 600 and some brave pilots actually flew to point of no return, even if that was just past the peri track for most of visiting gliders. Several pilots had mistaken their old wooden ships for high performance gliders and consequently some cross country flights were made. Along with the cross country flights came the inevitable landouts. The Hols Der Teufel landed out on the North Norfolk coast, Stefanie Gester, from Germany, landed on a farm which turned out to be former WW2 airfield and our very own Matt Ladley made his very first land out just a few miles short of the airfield.

Typical ‘organised chaos’ at the launch point


The Dart ‘on the wire’

The gliders brought from Shipdham to the rally include two T21s, a T31, a dart and the recently renovated Prefect. Early on in the week we had a bit of drama with the Prefect, for a moment it looked like it would not be able to fly for the rest of the rally which would have been a shame considering the work that was put in to get it ready for the event. We need not have worried though because a trip to the hardware shop and some fettling later the Prefect was once again fit to fly!

The DFS Habicht! All in all it was a fantastic week full of fun and flying, the evening entertainment wasn’t bad either. I’d definitely recommend the rally to everybody, gliding or powered, even if it just for a day. Next year’s rally will be held at Spitzerberg, Austria if you can’t wait for the VGC rally to return to the UK. The rally had several sponsors, one of which was Fenton Insurance Solutions:

Jerry, from 611 VGS (Watton), about to go for a ride in a Capstan


“Because of our relationship with Shipdham Flying Club and The Norfolk Gliding Club, we are delighted to offer all members and associates a free, no obligation review which we believe will lead to an insurance recommendation that will combine competitive and cost effective rates for the insurance protection needed by today’s private flyer” Contact Graham Osborne for more info: 01553 760005 X237 graham.osborne@fentongroup.co.uk

The Sky

The Minimoa and Scud 3 sharing a thermal

Zugvogel 4a on the winch

For more info on VGC and rallies check out the websites below. http://www.vintagegliderclub.org/ http://vgc2010.norfolkglidingclub.com/ http://www.wt-fischbacher.at/spitzerberg/vgc/

Pictures by me (Lauren) & Jochen Ewald.



Shipdham Flying Club Summer Newsletter