Arrangements for this season's coaching week at Horsham are now well in hand and I trust that the weather gods will relent and give us some decent soaring after the 'great wet' of last season. The Wimmera is still fairly damp but will certainly dry out over coming weeks. At present the countryside and crops are green and lush with smiling farmers all around !

Bernard Eckey will visit us again with his ASH25 and other two- seaters have been confirmed as available. Tim Shirley from GCV, Benalla will be assisting me this year although we will be without David Wilson who is attending the GFA Nationals at Narromine. A number of VSA coaches have advised their intention to come, in preference to attending the Nationals. Already I have six pilots registered to participate and expect many of our regulars to re-appear.

 I recently visited the Horsham airfield and talked with their CFI, Peter Weissenfeld who is looking forward to our event once again. The club has repainted the briefing room we regularly use and it is such a total transformation that you have to see it to believe it. As well, the new extension of the North/South runway is completed and just awaiting the installation of runway lights. This new sealed runway now extends well south and is most impressive.

There is now a much broader grassed area on the western side although the eastern side is narrower and looks a little marginal for glider operations. Peter advises that he expects gliding operations to transfer to the western grassed area. There are another two new hangars installed in the southern hangar area where we usually park our gliders which will reduce opportunities for tie downs. However Peter expects that we will have access to the new grassed areas which have been opened up by the N/S runway extension.

Horsham itself has bounced back from the floods and as far as I could see all the hotels, motels and caravan parks are operational. I enjoyed another good meal at the Dooen pub.

Fees for the Coaching Week have been increased from $ 50 to $ 100 in order to provide for adequate financial contingency in the event of bad weather and reduced flying opportunities as occurred at our last event. This fee includes the $ 50 charge by Horsham Club for the use of their facilities and also covers camping fees for pilots who are staying on the airfield. Ii is likely that we will enjoy a normal and active soaring week with good incomes from aerotows so I expect we will be able to reimburse some of the surplus registration fee to pilots.

See you at Horsham and if you have any queries do not hesitate to contact me Ian Grant, VSA Coaching Coordinator.