Club member profile - Chris

Sir Christopher CovilleSir Christopher Coville

We asked our Club members how they started gliding, what they enjoy and have achieved at Devon and Somerset Gliding Club. Chris will be speaking at BGA conference 17 February 2018.

What are your first memories of gliding?

 

As an Air Training Corps Cadet; flying the Sedbergh and Kirby Cadet Mk 3. That was a few years ago, so my memories of it are fading!

Why did you start gliding again after a career in military aviation?

 

After 50 years of flying in uniform, at Her Majesty's expense (Thank you, Ma'am!), I was not ready to hang up my flying boots. Additionally, I felt I had left gliding many years ago just as I was starting to enjoy it most.

What are your favourite aircraft?

 

Very difficult! I loved the Lightning, which was a real sports car, but the Phantom and Tornado were better weapons of war. I had the joy of being a display pilot with the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, so was able to fly Spitfires and Hurricanes, and even have a co-pilot qualification on the Lancaster in my log book! I suppose my answer should be the aeroplane I've last flown. All forms of flying bring challenges, joy and rewards.

What is your most memorable flight?

 

The last one I have flown

What single word sums up gliding for you?

 

Freedom.

What level of gliding do you hope to be at in 2 years time?

 

Still hoping for Silver C this year, if my bladder can hold out for the five hour sortie and we get some soaring weather. Now owning a half share in an Open Cirrus with Paul Little should help. But I have to be more determined to break the umbilical to North Hill. It’s great that the Soaring Section is being reinvigorated by Ron Johns and Simon Minson; I’m sure that will help several fellow novices to progress.

What do you like about DSGC?

 

Great people and wonderful bacon butties. We are blessed with a superb location and a very professional, dedicated cadre of instructors.

Where else have you flown?

 

Just about everywhere.

Age:

 

Don't be personal.

Occupation:

 

Company Chairman

Started gliding:

 

1961-64; then a long lay off until three years ago

Number of launches power and gliding:

 

about 700 including ATC flights.

Number of hours power and gliding:

 

about 5000

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