TALES OF AN AGEING GLIDER PILOT
No 2 - it's a steal
So, we have survived the Myndd week, with precisely 0 hours added to the logbook.
Perhaps the best way is buy your own glider? What! How much?? Enter the principle of the syndicate. Total cost of ownership of one glider, divided by number in syndicate = your cost of flying, without a single square root in sight.
So I get carried away a bit. Nothing wrong with a good second hand rig, but might be worth chatting to the smart set. Next, a somewhat cheeky call to a firm selling the new ASW20L. You fly at Nympsfield? Big task week there in 2 weeks? That's right! “Well” they tell me “ a customer of ours who is buying our demonstrator is borrowing the machine for that week. We will arrange for him to let you have trial”.
The d*gs bollocks! Sunday evening Geoff plus wife, 3 kids and the ASW20 all arrive. Geoff is really great - loads of good stories and a great drinker. Mrs Ventus happens to be here and gets on well with Mrs Geoff and offspring. We arrange for the first of my many test flights the very next day. I also ask Geoff if he minds a separate trip for a bit of air-to-air photography, of the ASW20.
Monday sees me having a superb, albeit rather frantic, hour in this super-ship. This was followed by our photo trip, having commandeered the club Skylark 4 as the camera ship. Look at the picture below and you see why people sell Skylarks and buy glass - to even try to keep a formation, the ASW20 has its brakes cracked!
So we land and laugh and enjoy life. Then Geoff stuns us somewhat by saying he has to leave next morning early - something happening back up north. True enough, next morning no sign of Geoff or his entourage. Somewhat saddened - mainly because I was engineering another testflight(!) - I decided to call the agent to see what he would do for an impoverished hopeful. After a short and very bizarre conversation, he told me to sit down and listen! Geoff had apparently stolen the glider, and had called in to the task week, bold as brass, on his way to the continent. He had already cleared the channel ports and was heading towards the alps.
As far as I know glider, Geoff, wife and kids were not seen again…
My new glider - well almost
ASW20L with Nympsfield in the background