Primarily for general aviation discussion, but other aviation topics are also welcome.
Hi All,

I’m planning a flight elstree to Shoreham this Sunday and noticed there is a large area notam in place due to a major gliding competition taking place at Wycombe.

Our options are:

1) route to the south via stokenchurch while in radio contact with Wycombe. Not keen on this as I presume the area will be swarming with gliders.

2) route to the south via the tight gap between Wycombe ATZ and Heathrow Class D.

3) Heathrow zone transit

4) Route the very long way round via the east.

5) stay home and watch the cricket World Cup final and Silverstone Grand Prix.

Any advice greatly appreciated.

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Gliders won't be tasked anywhere near airspace. Also depends on the time of your intended flight, they will be going "away" from your route (because London). Wycombe won't be much use to you as it's A/G only.

If it was me i'd probably go Beaconsfield - Burnham - Ascot (the heathrow zone transit route not above 1100ft QNH) then direct, which would be the quickest route regardless of any competition. N/B you will need to sort your own way around the EGLF Class D established by NOTAM from 1650-1800L.

Look at before you go. Unlikely you will see any competition activity before 1100L in any case.

Also worth noting that Booker is quite a small competition; Husbands Bosworth, Bicester and Lasham have 50+ for their competitions over the next few weeks. A standard XC day at Lasham is more than 25...
They only have 15 entrants, I believe the number in the NOTAM are estimates when the ACN is written.

We don't like the low airspace ceiling (LTMA at 2500') and the typical start zone from Booker are around Stockenchurch and Turville. So the aerotow go W or NW and that where they'll wait for everybody to be launched/conditions to improve. So if your timing coincide with the launch/waiting for start of the gliders and you want to avoid them, avoid Stockenchurch
So if it suit your flying staying option 2 or 3 are better. There is also option 2bis, call Wycombe tower and ask to transit overhead through the ATZ
Hi all,

Some great advice provided above. So, I phoned booker gliding club on the morning of our flight. They advised to route south of the ATZ via Marlow which is what we did. On way out we gave tower a call to make them aware. On route back we stuck with FRN west as we had a traffic service. Was all very straightforward but glad we did our research.

Saw a few tugs and gliders over Wycombe Atz so was a good idea to stay out of their ATZ and route south. They were certainly heading N NW.

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Worth noting that they didn't launch the grid on Saturday. What you saw was "just another day".

Good skills, anyway. I think it's good that competition tasks are being formally promugulated now, but can't understand why someone would contemplate binning a trip because there's a task in the way. There's plenty of room up there for all of us.
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I can see why someone might be concerned. Gliders don't behave the same way as powered aeroplanes, so finding yourself with 30 or so around you, all behaving oddly, could be disconcerting. Plus we think 200m separation if travelling in a similar direction is more than enough!

But the unpredictable stuff mainly happens around the start, where the entire field could be stooging around waiting for go. An enroute gaggle or stream of gliders is visible a long way off. So find out where that might be, avoid it, and then it's no worse than any other day.

The area around gliding sites is also a place for unpredictability, with spin training, erratic thermalling, etc. Another reason to watch out or route around, in addition to winch cables.