The Jaca expedition started on Sunday night with the gathering of a dedicated team of pressed men and volunteers who aim to transport gliders,equipment and stuff down to Spain. Clive Mansfield drove his trusty old pickup which knows the way quite well now but just in case had Bob Johnson and a garden gnome to make sure we only got lost a little bit. John Simmonds had his usual crew but no gnome to drive the new Lasham van. The ferry from Portsmouth to Le Havre allows for an early start to follow the van's built in satnav to the auto-route system. 13 hours later it delivered us to Santa Cilia.
The general consensus was that the new acquisition was a vast improvement on the old blue van if only because it was not known to the police forces of France and Spain. It was comfortable, easy to drive and averaged just under 30mpg..
By Tuesday lunchtime both gliders were rigged, the paper work completed and an urge to fly generated. The weather was glorious, clear blue skies, light winds, and a fairly solid inversion. Not a vulture in sight. The Duo needed a flight test so with reluctance BJ and CM took a highish tow to make sure no bits dropped off. On the way up a slight movement in the air encouraged a turn or two. 15 minutes later we soared past Las Blancas on our way west then east to Ordesa and back, landing 2 ½ hours later just in time for a beer. 431 is in a new colour scheme designed to impress the birds and complement Gordon's shirts, notwithstanding this a 2hr fight to 8000ft was achieved also
Wednesday was a rest day.