Soaring at Kladno

As the devoted public knows, the club field is situated on the very edge of the Prague International CTR, which may seem as a position totally unsuitable for practical soaring sports. The airfield lies within the airspace of Czechia's greatest international airport, where the maximum authorized altitude is as low as 300 metres (1000 feet) above the ground. Considering such circumstances, it is virtually impossible to perform a practical soaring flight. However, soaring activities are surprisingly vital at the Kladno aeroclub. The basic training courses are launched every year. Also, the club organizes summer training camps, which take place at friendly clubs where the soaring conditions are more favourable. We would also like to mention the all-year club contest, named "The memorial of Jenýk Košťál", which is attended by the majority of the club pilots. Most of our performance pilots also attend the national gliding contest (CPS), and some of them compete in various competitions, either national or international.

The summer soaring camp at Rakovník

This camp is renowned for its long tradition. It has always been aimed predominantly at trainees, who struggled to acheive the FAI badge "silver C". However, as mentioned above, the prescribed training lessons are impossible to perform at the Kladno field. Since its very beginning, the camp has been organized and managed by Zdeněk Hejduk alias Kostička and Jirka Sláma alias Béda. The soaring instructors kindly assist them, while the aeroclub of Rakovník lets us use their airfield and facilities. We would like to hereby express our gratefulness.

The entire occasion is perfectly organized and managed, including the issues of food and lodging, which is available at a very reasonable costs. Also, the terms and the length of the camp are chosen to suit the needs of the majority. Throughout the duration of the camp, all our gliders are available and there is always a sufficient number of instructors (the gliders VSO-10 and ASW-20 serve especially the instructors, who decided to assist the full-time instructors with such a great extent of training).

The airfield of Rakovník benefits from its location within the airspace of the Czech Republic, and lets our trainees perform all the flights needed to achieve the "Silver C" badge. The prescribed distance flight of 50 km is traditionally performed within a renowned line between the fields of Rakovník and Příbram, which is well-known from the training distance flight. The other remaining exercises are usually performed within the airfield area, which lets the instructors monitor the trainees continuously and communicate with them. Compared to Kladno, where this is not possible, it is a great advantage.

Lets hope the managers of the camp, the general conditions, and the aeroclub of Rakovník will continue to make this annual camp possible.

The summer soaring camp at Vlašim

This performance camp held by the instructors Pavel Pačes and Marek Čacký launched its tradition lately, with the great support of the aeroclub Vlašim. Unfortunately due to the business of its participants, the camp may not be organized every year.

Soaring at the airfield of Vlašim and in the areas east of Prague in general, is quite refreshing for someone who is nearly "encaged" within the CTR Prague, where the only allowed departure direction is to the west. Thanks to the allowed flight level of 065, and especially because of the terrain features (high activity of the thermals), we may perform full performance distance flights in the conditions of similar to those of renowned aeroclubs. The club life is also very pleasant, the local members consider us as "theirs". During our presence, the club mood is very relaxed (the field traffic is at least doubled) and the holidays turn into a real treat.

The camp is attended by a chosen number of performance pilots, considering the capacity of the club facilities. The number of gliders is selected accordingly. Usually, we take our own towing plane, two VSO-10s, ASW-20 and some private gliders. Considering the number of the attendants, these numbers seem optimal, with the number of pilots being twice as high as the number of gliders. The term of the camp is relatively suitable too. Considering the other summer camps held by our club, the occasion is usually held at the second half of august. The weather is stable and there are always plenty of suitable landing fields by that time. The distance flights flown from Vlašim definitely belong amongst the best and the most exciting we have ever experienced.

The summer soaring camp at Chomutov

The second term of this camp took place at the first days of August. The local members warmly welcomed us at their new hanger, which has been built with a small assistance of our own. We were allowed to store our gliders within it, so we did not have to deal with the hassle of fixing our gliders to the ground every evening.

For the first time, this soaring and biking camp was attended by the private glider owned by the pilots Mr. Drvota, Mr. Pačes and Mr. Petříček. Mr. Drvota has achieved a number of 200 and 400 km distance flights on it.

The weather was quite favourable and thanks to Mr. Václav Zeman from Libušín, we had no trouble getting airborne. Mr. Jan Čáp, who had flown hundreds of kilometers with the gliders L-13 and ASW stunned the others by his will to compete. However, the weather was less favorable for the bicycle trips (compared to the last year), so pedaling up the Fir Mountain remains the longest bike trip of this year.

I want to say thanks to all the attendants of the camp, for their discipline and generousness during the course of the event. I also want to express my gratitude to the members of the Chomutov aeroclub and we are looking forward to Chomutov 2005.

Aeroklub Kladno©