It has been a sad few weeks for gliding in Australia with three fatal accidents resulting in the deaths of four GFA members. I know that a number of our club members knew some of those involved well and our best wishes go to them as they grieve their gliding mates. We of course also extend our thoughts to the families and close friends of those involved.
Although formal investigations are still to be finalised, you would have seen my email recently about the importance of currency as we come out of winter and into the soaring season. This was discussed at both the recent Committee and Instructor Panel meetings. Please ensure you know your own situation when coming out to fly and be aware of the rules. I know the CFI, Paul Spooner, will be writing about this in his Glide Angle column.
Closer to home, the days that have been flyable have been busy and it's been good to see members out doing some flying. I had a great couple of flights with Jackson Keogh on the Grand Final public holiday - much better than being at work! I hope those out at the airfield on Saturday 14 October enjoyed the start of the season pizza night and we'll look to have more of these types of events over the coming year.
The Cup Weekend Camp at Raywood hosted by our friends at the Bendigo Gliding Club is fast approaching. Please register on the website as soon as possible so that we know who is coming and what we need to take!
The club will soon be updating our membership categories to align with the new GFA family member approach that has been launched as part of the Soaring to the Future (S2F) initiative. This will include a couple of options for your own family members (partners, children etc.) to join the Melbourne Gliding Club and be part of our sport - ranging from a free membership through to a flying membership. More details soon.
We've also decided as part of our journey to increase participation with the club to introduce a revised ground crew roster in the near future. The Committee and I really want to see our members out at the field, and, as the classic saying goes "many hands make light work". What does this mean for you? Essentially any member who isn't already part of our regular duty roster as an instructor, tow pilot, or duty pilot, will be asked to come out to the airfield on a couple of days throughout the year to assist with operations for the day. We'll focus in on the soaring season (October to April) for maximum benefit. The hope is that you'll come out, help out, and be able to go for a flight as well. This kind of approach is used in a whole range of clubs - I know of some great examples from sailing clubs, dive clubs etc. Again, more details, including notification of dates, on this soon.
On the airfield situation, we await a date for mediation between BMAM and the Council at the Small Business Commissioner. At the Committee, we'll spend some our time at the next meeting planning out the next 12 months. Thank you to Roger Krueger who has volunteered to take one of the three Committee vacancies. The Committee has accordingly co-opted Roger for the next 12 months.
There's plenty happening, so please consider how you can get involved. Please contact me at any time if you have anything you'd like to discuss, and enjoy the next month of flying, including the Raywood camp.
Safe thermals, Tighe