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TALES OF AN AGEING GLIDER PILOT
No 1 - A different glider

So, we have been solo, and tried most of the club fleet. Then a friend from a different site suggests hiring a Ka8 for week, to give us each unlimited free flying every day. One of the club aircraft at the Long Myndd is duly booked and we turn up Sunday evening full of eager anticipation. Steve (my partner for the week) thinks it would be a great idea if he took a quick launch, just to make sure “all was well” for the week ahead.

For those who don't know it, the Myndd is a beautiful moorland site in Shropshire, home to one gliding club, a thousand sheep and a million bilberries. And all co-habit happily. Until Steve manages to land a bit short that Sunday evening. His finals take him low over a few sheep, who instead of ducking, decide to jump into the air, as they do, just as he starts to round out. The inevitable result is one sheep wrapped round a tailplane.

We all survey the wreckage - the tailplane was in “kit form” to the extent that Flair would have been proud of it! The sheep was beyond caring.

Steve decides to do the decent thing and call the farmer, who wastes no time in turning up in his battered old Landrover.

Farmer: “You were flying too low!
Steve: “Your sheep was flying too high!
Farmer: “That sheep cost me £50!
Steve: “There's your £50!(hands over money)
Farmer: “Give me a hand to get it into Landrover
Steve: “No way - that's my sheep now - I just paid for it!!

Last we saw of Steve that day was of a solitary figure dragging a dead sheep towards the kitchen door of the clubhouse

The following week occupied the two of us in the nearest thing to modelmaking without KeilKraft being involved. We cut ply and hardwoods, glued them together, finally covering the finished product with something strikingly similar to Solartex. Friday evening came and the Ka8 was declared fit to fly, ready for the first of the regular club fliers on Saturday morning.

I remember the week with some fondness, perhaps because of the lamb chops, shepherds pie and roast leg of lamb?

All clear above and behind?
Err - one sheep on finals!!