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Question on Flying and Coaching

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Question on Flying and Coaching

Postby Darren Wood » Tue Jul 10, 2018 2:17 am

Hey Folks,

Been a member of LMSC for a couple of weeks now and have some questions and comments.

1. Where do people in the club fly? No one seems to mention on the forum when and where they might be out flying? I see this on other club sites but not LMSC? The forum is fantastic for prediciting potential flying locations thanks to Geoffm and one or two others hard work, but no club members actually suggest where they might be flying on any given day.

2. How do I actually speak/interact with a club coach? Tried several contacts from the LMSC site to no avail. I’ve called some numbers several times.

I am a newly qualified CP and if people shared on the forum where club folks are flying along with where the coaches mights be on a given day I could then turn up, seek advice, and begin building my hours.

Sadly without this I am somewhat grounded, which seems very counterproductive. As an example Corndon has been predicted as flyable this week by Geoffm. However I can’t fly there unless I have a briefing on site from a club coach, or I have +25 hours flying. I can’t get the 25 hours unless I fly! I can’t fly without a coach. Chicken and egg anyone ?

I joined the LMSC so I could progress and fly more when conditions allow, well we have the conditions, if only points 1 and 2 above could be addressed. I would be eternally grateful :D

Cheers !

Woody
Darren Wood
 
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Re: Question on Flying and Coaching

Postby David Broughton » Tue Jul 10, 2018 6:28 am

Hi Darren,

I understand your frustration!

The coaching side of the Long Mynd club is abysmal & virtually defunct. The list of coaches may be out of date in terms of qualification & most, if not all, are inactive (as coaches) and some don't even fly anymore. The club should make an effort to offer good quality, available coaching by recruiting more coaches or come clean and admit that coaching is not available in the club.

With regard to posting about who is out & where, that's largely down to individuals. Geoff & Dave Thomas give excellent pointers about the weather and suggested sites but can't tell you if anyone will be there. Basically groups within the club, a few mates, arrange outings between them & don't tell anyone else - unless it's on Facebook or other social media which I don't use. https://www.facebook.com/groups/223094877746938/

I don't know your location but if you have other clubs you can reasonably reach you may get better responses there!

My 2 cents.
David Broughton
 
Posts: 183
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Re: Question on Flying and Coaching

Postby Darren Wood » Tue Jul 10, 2018 11:16 am

Hi David,

Thanks for your candid and open response. It seems that perhaps I may have made the wrong decision joining this club. :(

I joined it because initially the web site and forum looked very good and informative with site and safety information etc.

However, I need a club with active coaches and people flying with the club (as opposed to niche little groups).

I will see if anyone from the club responds to my original questions over the next week or so, and if not I will request a refund. I need an active helpful coaching club not just a regular weather up in the forum!

Thanks,

Darren.
Darren Wood
 
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Re: Question on Flying and Coaching

Postby Crawford Coulson » Tue Jul 10, 2018 11:55 am

Hi Darren

It is not anywhere near as bleak as Dave paints it, but there is room for improvement - both with Dave and Coaching.

Firstly for the non-dinosaurs amongst us, there is the Telegram App on which you can find the LMSC group as well as many others. The forum is not great for this purpose as it is slow and not mobile optimized but it serves its main purpose well. Telegram App is much better for mobile use and site updates and retrieves. It also links in (if configured) to xcrt.aero website – see https://flyaszent.com/xc-retrieve/ . It also has a desktop version. However, as with anything, it will only be as popular as those who actively use it. So install it, join the LMSC group (ask any current member to add you) ask your questions – and you will mostly get the ‘which site’ advice you are after. Many clubs use Apps instead of forums for this now.

Dave does have a point about coaching though to which there are 2 sides:
Firstly the Club really does need more coaches and those non flying ones removed from the coach list – perhaps if it were to offer a subsidized BHPA coach course locally it could resolve this issue. On the plus side, the club has Mark Leavesley as Chief Coach and you simply won’t getter better advice from anyone and a top bloke to boot. Despite running his own school he will always take the time to provide free coaching to LMSC members though being busy he won’t be at your beck and call all day. To those who want more time and attention, I think he still offers a pay for more personalized service with all the advice and hands on you’ll ever need. Look him up at leavesleyaviation.co.uk - and if it is flyable at Corndon he will almost always be there. Whichever option you prefer, I highly recommend you introduce yourself to him and explain what you need.

If you have any questions feel free to call me on 07891 630 798.

[Personally I lost interest in being a coach when the BHPA brought in, underhandedly in many peoples opinion (I was Chair at the time and remember the farce well), the ridiculous (my opinion) decision not to keep top landing as part of the CP requirements simply because a minority of BHPA schools overseas did not require it. This raises a whole can of worms but I’ll not elaborate as this was not your main query but could explain why it is harder to get coaches on-board these days.]
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Re: Question on Flying and Coaching

Postby David Broughton » Tue Jul 10, 2018 2:46 pm

but there is room for improvement - both with Dave and...


Haha - sadly not, at my age it's all downhill from here :lol:
David Broughton
 
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Re: Question on Flying and Coaching

Postby Stephen Taylor » Wed Jul 11, 2018 8:53 am

Having 'telegram group' is Ok, however there is no mention of this on the website or Facebook page that I can find. Also there are no contact numbers / e-mail addresses on the website (once again that I can find) apart from the coaches, who probably aren't coaches anyway.
Stephen Taylor
 
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Re: Question on Flying and Coaching

Postby Crawford Coulson » Wed Jul 11, 2018 10:19 am

Just to be clear, I’m not on the committee and so I’ll keep the reply brief with a bit of history on coaching at the club:

To be fair to the Club, I was a coach for probably 5 years and I was never asked to do any coaching and got perhaps 2 general queries. Dave is much more experienced and been a coach for longer and he has the same story. For some reason the club simply wasn’t asked for coaching and hence there was little reason to spend time on the issue of providing coaches - between the coaches there was ample provision for the very few requests. Mark quite possible dealt with more requests as he is almost always out flying – not the case for most others. If this is changing and members are now asking for coaching (probably due to the new BHPA post CP syllabus) , then I would hope the Club will sort this and the Committee can respond to that.

At least some in the current coaches list are vastly experienced and current pilots and I’m pretty sure still validated coaches so don’t dismiss their status so quickly! If you can’t reach or don’t get a reply from a coach, please let the committee know so they can check the contact details are still correct and that the Coach is still interested. Some are incredibly busy with work but I would hope they would reply if they got a request.

On the website the email addresses for all committee members can be found at: committee pages – committee members, but you have to click on the names to get the email address (probably to try to hide email addresses from spammers). It works on my PC, perhaps it doesn't on some phones? Personally I tend to just use committee@ as whatever the query it will reach whoever it needs to and the whole committee are then kept aware of what is happening.

Someone new has just taken over the role of looking after the website, so I hope he will pick up on any requests such as adding the Telegram group etc. I know this was mentioned in the forum but it should of course be easy to spot within the website itself.

This sort of feedback is great - usually the Club gets very little which means they think everything is spot on, it is only with constructive criticism that they can make the changes that members want!
Crawford Coulson
 
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Re: Question on Flying and Coaching

Postby Roy Dade » Thu Jul 12, 2018 2:03 pm

I think Darren made some good points but I also think he has been a bit unlucky recently as we've had a lot of NE winds lately which severely limit suitable site choices. At the the end of the day though the caveats for flying at Corndon exist for a number of good reasons to keep pilots safe and deal with the site’s particular sensitivities with landowners etc.

Hopefully we’ll get some westerlies soon and he can fill his boots and log book on the Mynd with the rest of us.

As an aside I’ve added Luke Evans as a group admin for the LMSC Telegram Group (98 members) but any current member of it can add friends or contacts. We did publicly post the joining link but our generous offer was taken up by someone posting links to porn sites. Luke is adding the group joining link to the joining pack I understand.

I agree with other comments suggesting that coaching is generally in a bit of a crisis. Having been a coach for a few years its a real challenge to find someone who can be at the hill when you are who can get to know your skill level and track your progress. The game was recently upped when top landing coaching / training was passed over from schools to club coaches. Coaching is time consuming, increasingly technical and as ever carries a huge personal responsibility despite BHPA insurance. Its no surprise to me that more schools are taking on post CP development and that more “time poor” but not necessarily cash rich pilots take that option.

Regards

Roy
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Re: Question on Flying and Coaching

Postby Dave Thomas » Thu Jul 12, 2018 4:03 pm

Some excellent and constructive comments made by everyone on this subject. As a long time committee member and coach (and one time Chief coach), I can confirm that in all those years virtually the only people who have ever approached me except when already on the hill, have been non-members wanting advice on flying our sites. It's been a case of apathy breeds apathy regarding coaching. I am almost always available and willing to give advice on the phone and try to put members in touch with others who can help.

But it is a major issue that our current list of coaches are generally no longer regularly on our sites.

On the point of the forum weather advice, I whenever possible try to point out suitable low airtime ridge soaring opportunities, but in fact it is massively harder for me to identify good ridge days than when it's likely to be suitable for thermalling and going XC - the parameters for making a good day on any hill are often so specific and restrictive that it is very difficult to be as reliable for that.

Even when I suggest sites other than the Long Mynd - almost no-one ever actually goes to them - is it just idleness that has the magnetic attraction to the place, or lack of legs to walk?
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Re: Question on Flying and Coaching

Postby Sian Leavesley » Thu Jul 12, 2018 4:38 pm

Hi buddy and welcome to the club, I don’t come on here very much at all but this has been bought to my attention, the club is a cracking club and site, As the others have said we hardly ever get asked to coach anyone, I think in the last 3 years I have been asked twice and the twice I went to meet them they both never turned up haha anyway email or ring me and I can help you out anytime it’s flyable and we’re on the site, I use the Mynd/ black knoll/ corndon and Sarn a lot......more than anyone I would risk saying so come along anytime buddy.
mark@leavesleyaviation.com
07774-856056
Sian Leavesley
 
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Re: Question on Flying and Coaching

Postby Darren Wood » Fri Jul 13, 2018 7:06 pm

Hi Mark - many thanks for your input. I have just you a text message.

Cheers!

Darren.
Darren Wood
 
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Re: Question on Flying and Coaching

Postby David Broughton » Tue Jul 17, 2018 7:20 am

Darren - I hope you are feeling a bit more positive about the prospects for advancement. As Roy says conditions haven't been ideal for beginners recently so hopefully things will improve with a change in the weather.

As an aside - and I'm not blaming anyone - back in the day we used to have monthly club meetings attended by both HG & PG pilots and occasional indoor coaching sessions with talks on Air Law, Navigation, etc. and sometimes a guest speaker.
More recently - an annual BBQ at the Mynd.*

I think these largely failed due to poor attendance (lack of interest?) and many Long Mynd members live a fair distance away. To my mind the club's main function now is simply site maintenance & whilst that is, of course, of prime importance it doesn't do much to bring members together in a way that the term "club" would suggest.

*Thankfully there is still the "Big Bash" get together & thanks are due to the organiser(s) of that.
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