It is with great sadness that I have to let you know of the passing of Jan Förster former President of The Vintage Glider Club. Jan passed away in hospital on the evening of the 18th of June.
His passion for vintage gliders and his dedication to the VGC was well known by you all. He will be greatly missed.
Our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time.
Austen Wood : 27 February 1926 to 28 September 2021
Austen first learnt to fly gliders at Woodford Airfield, near Ringway – now a luxury housing estate! He joined the Derbyshire and Lancashire Gliding Club at Camphill in 1959.
After 22 years of flying, Austen, Geoff Harrison and Bob Sharman acquired the Harbinger – a glider that Austen had admired for some time. They joined the VGC and after the glider had been almost completely re-built, they thoroughly enjoyed gliding in their aptly nick-named ‘Orange Blob.’ They had many exciting adventures – some more memorable than others! In the early days I vividly recall driving down the motorway from Camphill to Lasham, Austen was driving and I turned round to look at the trailer and was horrified to see the Harbinger almost resting on the rear bumper, where it had slipped forward to, coming through the front trailer doors! We stopped very gingerly and between us managed to haul the glider back to its rightful position. We were quiet for some time after that experience.
After sampling various rallies in the UK the syndicate ventured overseas with a first trip to Amlikon in 1985. There was great flying there and great camaraderie and this was the start of the regular overseas trips to join the annual VGC rally.
Around 1990 Austen took on the role of VGC Treasurer which he maintained until the success and rapid expansion of the Club meant it was time to pass it on to a younger member. Austen officially retired from travelling around Europe to the VGC events, just before the 2004 Poland rally. Even after that, and no longer an active member of the VGC, Austen’s interest in gliders and flying continued, and he would often sit by the window with his binoculars keeping watch on the skies.
He was taken to hospital from home in August 2021, and passed away on September 28th, a copy of VGC news by his bedside.
Dear friends and members of the VGC
The board is pleased to inform you that
has received the honorary membership. Here is the certificate of appointment and a picture of him.
Photo: The University of Adelaide
He is very well known through his books:
In 1986 he published “Vintage airplanes” 1908-45. In 1996 “Slingsby Sailplanes”. In 2001 the first book of his unique series of three Sailplanes books 1920-1945 was printed. Followed by 1945-1965 and 1965-2000. Some of them translated in German.
A detailed report will be published in the next VGC News.
Nominations for the 2021 VGC News Skywriters Award
Welcome to the VGC News on-line nomination form for your choice of best written work for 2022. This is a unique opportunity for you, the VGC Reader, to decide who this prestigious award goes to.
Your choice can include any written work, including for example, any article, report, obituary or poem. In order to help you in your choice, here are a few simple suggestions to guide you:
*The written word; the artistic use of language and ability to connect and capture your imagination throughout the entire piece
*Subjective matter; maybe your vote is based upon the fact that the author has selected a new and completely unknown aspect of our gliding history
*Presentation and research; maybe your vote is based purely upon the sheer dedication and thorough research that has gone into the subject
*Educational value; this includes works that significantly enhances the educational understanding of the operation and maintaining our Vintage and Classic gliders
There is only 1 final nomination accepted from each member/reader. In order to prepare for the traditional VGC Annual Awards, registered voting closes on the 31st of August of each year.
Please note that in order to cover all 3 issues per year, the voting year does not run as a calendar year but rather a seasonal year and therefore includes the ‘Christmas issue’ of the previous year.
As a result, for the 2022 Skywriters Award, your vote should cover issues 162, 163 and 164 only.
On behalf of the VGC News Team,
Past winners of the VGC News Skywriters Award
2017: Chad Wille, USA. Article: The Midwest MU-1 (Issue 150- Summer 2017)
2018: Raul Blacksten
2019: Rex Moorey
2018: Raul Blacksten (for his excellent article on the Zanonia, pre-war American Glider)
2019: Rex Moorey (Ted Hull Obituary)
2020: David Underwood (A short history of Dunstable Aircraft Factories)
2021: Andrew Jarvis (Andrew has supported both VGC News and Sailplane & Gliding with various good articles.)
Submit an Article
to VGC News
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