Imperial College Gliding Club

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1980 - 1989

Plans were laid for our Golden Jubilee in 1980 and a celebratory dinner was attended by 86 guests in May. 1980 proved to be a good year, with 4 Diamond goals achieved and two Gold heights gained on the Aboyne expedition. We at last gained a permanent home at Lasham in the spring of 1981, with our lease of the old Scout Hut. The summer saw increased competition activity at the Inter-University Task Week and in Regional competitions, but another accident caused a lengthy grounding for'96'. The fragility of the Astir forced the committee to apply for a replacement and after a buyer was eventually found, we gained out present 'hot ship', the ASW-19. The new generation of competition pilots, Chris Starkey and Phil Guthrie took part in several Standard Class Nationals, Chris coming 8th using our ASW-19 in 1984. The students were also active in competitions, holding the Task Week at Lasham in 1983. The first foreign expedition for some years was mounted to Aosta in 1986, when Martin Judkins made an epic flight over Mont Blanc , gaining his Diamond height in the process. 1986 also saw the arrival of our newest machine when the veteran K-8 was replaced by a Grob G-102 (a fibreglass club-class glider) which adopted the number '296'.

In recent years a foreign expedition has been made annually to Gap in the French Alps, in addition to members competing in the Task Week and various Regionals. The G-102 has proved to be a docile, well-handling fibreglass equivalent of the K-8 and has also been used to achieve a Diamond goal! Most recently, the new Junior Nationals contest has encouraged student competition pilots to stretch their limits. As the Club passes its 'Diamond goal' its future appears secure with an excellent glider fleet and a core of committed student and ex-student members.