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Everything posted by HEM

  1. At the age of 9 or 10 in the 2nd-to-final year at junior school (this was in the 1960s) I chanced upon a well-worn hardback in the classroom library: Coot Club. I read this from cover-to-cover. This sparked an interest in sailing & the Norfolk Broads. Over the years I aquired the whole set (mostly as hardbacks) and still have them in the loft of our house now in Germany. Sadly these books don't fit into modern life - consider Pigeon Post: any kid nowadays would ask why they didn't use a cell phone.
  2. We didn't have a television at home back in those days, however 50 years ago we were on a sort of work/vacation in Switzerland, staying in the Kilchberg (south side of Lake Zurich) appartment of a scottish colleague of my father whilst they were visiting family in Scotland. Thus we watched the landing on their B&W TV, trying to understand the swiss commentator in his efforts to speak high German. Once they had landed the plan was for the crew to rest before the walk so we all went to bed - waking to find they had cancelled the planned rest & had gone walkies whilst we slept. Back home I think we got our first TV in time for the final(?) landing on the moon.
  3. Its a true statement! I retired at the end of January 2018 after 43 years working in IT (first as part of the High-Energy Physics research group at Manchester university, then witha German software house & the final 19 years & 9 months for a global IT manufacturer. Now my wife complains that I spend even more time sat at my desk working with the PC (that what one gets from being involved with a sport at local, national & international level on a voluntary basis - same amount of work - just no pay). It wasn't exactly planned that way. I have a whole list of things I wanted to do around the house before I get too decrepit to do things. Am not making much progress.
  4. A bit O.T. but the converse is even more true (says he having retired early last year - one month before my global IT employer would have put me out to grass).
  5. HEM

    My Day

    Saturday: Drove to local airfield giving 2 14yr-olds a lift (they recently joined the club). Specialist sailplace weather forecast predicted quite good soaring weather over Northern Germany but you can never be certain if they smoked the right stuff. Got trailer out of garage & assembled sailplane. Checked everything, selected same task (511km) as on previous Monday & took off at 11am. Departing to the North taking care not to infringe on Hamburg airport airspace, up North to the first turnpoint then course Southeast to an Autobahn exit in former East Germany. Having navigated around Lübeck airspace we ran out of clouds - had to "park" until the sky developed - then off to the 2nd turn point & then Southwest across the river Elbe and to the 3rd TP on the Autobahn just North of Hannover. At this point it was getting a bit murky & the easterly wind was freshning. Now just the remaining 100kms or so in Northerly direction home which was quite a struggle due to not all clouds "working". Finally the navigation system said I was on "final glide" home but it tends to be a bit optimistic & the margin melted away. Finally managed to add about 100m altitude over Stade airfield which gave sufficient margin to glide across the river Elbe and home. Had some difficulty getting out of the cockpit after 7 1/4 hours in there! Flight took 3/4 hour longer than same task did the previous Monday. Our CFI (flies same plane type as I do) just managed 600kms but hes younger...
  6. Although I don't live that far from Berlin (we live on the Northwest outskirts of Hamburg) I have only been to Berlin a couple of times. A few times before the wall fell; the last time was to the Deutscher Segelfliegertag at the end of October 2016 where I was lucky to find my way there & back through the rail & underground systems. Can't say Berlin is my favourite city - can get rather hot & sticky (& thundery) in the Summer.
  7. Normally I only eat two small slices of toast for breakfast. But during our recent visit to Northern England** (3-10 April) I had excellent English breakfasts when we stayed at B&Bs (Mobberly, Keswick, Buxton). Suprisingly that together with sizeable pub dinners had not caused my to put on weigth - its just more unfortunately distributed. Back to 2 slices toast now (can't get the bacon out here you know)... ** Intended to be a last pre-Brexit visit - foiled again.
  8. I have documented (i.e. made a video) of my flying club's Summer camp over the past few years. When my family gave me a DJI Phantom 3 drone for my 64th birthday it took me some time to get used to controlling it (and that with previous experience flying model R/C aircraft before I moved on to full-scale). Once I got the hang of it I have inserted drone-sequences into these videos which certainly have given an additional perspective. The quality of the drone footage (including how stable the clips are) is quite impressive.
  9. Looks like a Grunau Baby but cannot be sure. I had a circuit in a Grunau Baby once - I did not feel at all at home in it!
  10. As one who is affected in a way different to most on this forum since I live in mainland EU... But you have probably already seen this.
  11. Nope - thats due to flying too fast...
  12. My father owned a Ford Corsair - bought in 1966 - we took it with us when we lived in Munich for a year. He sold it just before I got my license. It had automatic transmission (also on the steering column) but that wasn't so much of a problem.
  13. I never treated cars as a status symbol to try to impress people with - they are just a convienient way to get from A to B in reasonable comfort. I was 57 when I took delivery of this - which turned a few heads at our local airfield, particularly when it gave me a significant improvement in cross-country flying: This is the image that appears on our old TomTom when switching it on.
  14. I trained & soloed on a K-13 back in the early 1980s. Great plane to fly - when our club introduced its first ASK-21 I still preferred to fly the K13 on passenger flights as I could beat the ASK-21 anytime in a thermal! (K13 flew slower & gave good warning of an impending stall). I own a DG-808c which has a glide ratio of 1:51 (on paper).
  15. For some reason we very rarely went into Poynton. I do recall the garden centre with the narrow gauge railway.
  16. I often fly passengers here (they have to put up with my accent). Either flying the DG-1000S or the ASK-21 (which we normally use for training). I've only seen close-up side-by-side gliders in the UK (Capstan or T-21). Never flown in one. Presumably your colleague owns a single-seater (as do I) but would be able to organise a ride in the club's 2-seater. As for your wife being scared - often families come to our airfield asking if its at all possible to have a flight (it almost always is). When we ask who wants to fly they point to the kids, the man but the woman usually says "not me". When the rest of the family come back with an ear-to-ear grin sometimes the woman will give it a try - and is walking on air for the weeks to follow.
  17. I grew up in Bramhall (Cheshire) on the boundary to Woodford. Many a day did I walk home from school up Woodford Road (or from home) hearing the roar of a Vulcan leaving Woodford aerodrome after maintenance & seeing the 45 degree smoke trail with a black dot at the front. I attended several 1-day airshows there (including when the Corcord 002 prototype made 4 fly-pasts just weeks after her maiden flight). Also from home I'd see a glider (T-21?) going up in the winch, circling 3 times & landing, thinking "whats the point in that"? 50 years or so on I have over 1300 hrs on high-performance sailplanes!
  18. My last employment (lasting 2 months under 20 years) included a company car. I had 3x Passat, 2x Golf Plus and a Touran, all diesels (the last 4 being 2-litre 140 hp). We were very sad to see the Touran go when I retired - I could have taken the car over but the leasing companies don't really make good offers plus there is such a media campaign in Germany against diesels that we shied away from a possible deal. Its also probable that I would not drive enough to warrent a diesel (road tax is high here; fuel costs lower than petrol). To cut a long story short we ended up at a nearby Toyota dealership where they had a Verso S+ (1.8 litre petrol) in the showroom. It was what they call a "Tageszulassung" - I don't know if the equivalent happens in the UK but some dealerships who are just short of some sales target buy the cars themselves & register them for one day. They then sell the cars at significantly reduced prices but have collected the bonus for meeting the target thus making a profit overall. The cars are technically 2nd hand but have never been driven and usually only a couple of months old. Stood next to it was a Yaris (1.5 litre) - similar deal. So we said "what if we take both?" & got first annual service free plus each tank full of fuel. Cars are nice to drive - the Verso is not quite in the same league as the Touran but does have fair carrying capacity. We do miss the power of the turbo diesel - especially when joining the Autobahn. The Verso is not an "exciting" car to drive but so far reliable & I took it to the UK (Scotland) & back last Autumn. My wife's Yaris is quite nippy & looks good. We'll see how things look in 5 years.
  19. HEM

    Broads Toll 2019

    The last 20 years (rather 19 years & 10 months) of my working life was for the German branch of a large global IT company with headquarters in California. Despite my role in Support Services being (a) global & (b) supposedly rather vital to hardware services delivery there was not a single pay rise in the last 8 years I was there. After the "acquisition" in 2010 it was clear that the new service chiefs did not like having acknowledged experts in "old" Europe & replaced them with cheap fresh-out-of-college workers in Bucharest. The final insult was that one month after I reached retirement age I would have been (and all my DE colleagues were) put on "garden leave". UK colleagues followed a few months later.
  20. I'm from Yorkshire & am partial to a bit of lamb - like leg stuffed with apricot stuffing. Curiously many Germans claim not to like lamb but luckily my wife does - daughter also.
  21. Looking a bit sheepish... Actually I was unsure whether that was a sheep or some breed of sheepdog he was carrying...
  22. HEM


    Just invite this guy round...
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