Dartmoor Gliding News-Wednesday 12th July 2018

The RASP was looking good for the morning but very flat for the afternoon and evening. Unfortunately, flying today was always going to start late as supervising instructor Rick was not due at the airfierld until 3.30.

A large number of members turned up to help with various jobs or tinker with their gliders. More members turned up in the afternoon to help with the late afternoon and evening flying over seen by Rick. With a dull over cast sky across the area no one bothered to rig and with the airfield finally set up the first of our trial flight visitors, Dennis O'Connor donned his parachute and walked toward the awaiting glider.

Dennis O'Connor and Rick under a grey sky
Then came a challenge. During the one and a half hours between delivering glider DMX to the eastern end of the airfield and us being ready to fly it the main wheel tyre decided to deflate. Thankfully there was a spare wheel with inflated tyre in the hangar and whilst not as quick as a Formula 1 team the wheel was changed in a very fast time. See picture.

Not a Formula 1 trye change but fairly speedy not the less
It was obvious though that another event must have been happening as the number of people on the airfield was definitely thinning out as the afternoon went on ( World Cup football ??), luckily there were enough members who weren’t that interested in watching 22 millionaires kick an inflated bladder around a piece of grass who stayed on to keep things going. 

Rick and Dennis launched into a grey sky with no thermals to help stay aloft they were back down after 5 mins so Rick took Dennis up again for another flight. The same story for our second visitor of the day, Chris Harris.

Chris Harris
Our Last visitor was Carole Hopcroft who had a short flight and landed just before some light rain passed over the airfield. With gloomy dark grey clouds and that light rain hanging around Rick wisely took the decision to stop flying for the day and invited Carole to return next Wednesday.

Carol Hopcroft
It is difficult for this not to be a disappointing day after the fabulous soaring weather we have had recently.

Steve Fletcher

Dartmoor Gliding News-Sunday 8th July 2018

With high pressure and warm weather continuing, driving to the airfield it looked like another hot day was in store for us again. The usual crew of Sunday soarers set about setting up the airfield ready for flying.

Our one day student was Becky Woodward from Kingsbridge. Gliding was another adventurous sport to try on her list. Becky was a bit anxious about flying but some encouraging words from myself and also Colin Boyd saw her complete the days flying and by the end was able to fly the glider using all three controls, Well done Becky.

Becky ready to fly with me
Our other visitor was Richard Grigg who had a 27 minute soaring flight with Martin.

Richard getting ready to fly with Martin.
Our solo pilots Leith Whittington, Colin Boyd, David Westcott and Ed Borlase only managed circuits in the K8, although Leith did extend one to 17 minutes. David had earlier managed 33 minutes solo in the K13. Phil Hardwick managed 1 hour and 8 minutes in his Astir. The longest flight of the day was Roger Green in his Zugvogel. 2 hours and 39 minutes visiting Oakhampton, Roadford Reservoir and Plymouth. See pictures below.

Roadford Lake
Near Plymouth
Thanks to Phil, Dave and Roger for winching, although Roger didn’t fly. Also everybody else for their help running the field today. Just a reminder to everybody that during this hot weather we must all drink plenty of water and look out for each other throughout the flying day. Sun cream and hats also vital.

Peter Howarth

Dartmoor Gliding News-Saturday 7th July 2018

Another hot day in this long run of lovely summer weather. The pressure remains high as does the temperature with the thermometer topping out at 29 degrees. The light breeze, such as it was, moved around from south east to south eventually settling to westerly by late afternoon but never stronger than about 5 knots. This was a little bit of a puzzle as the RASP forecast winds were from the north.

The airfield hiding in the cloud shadows from 3000 feet
Early on thermals were in the blue but as the day progressed some cumulus bubbled up to help to guide the soaring pilots. It was soarable right from the first launch but early on it needed some attention and a little luck to get away. By far the best flight of the day was by Mike |Jardine flying his Astir CS who was airborne for 3 hours and 12 minutes. There were several other flights around the hour mark.

Mike Jardine's view of the K8 while soaring over a very green looking Black Down
We welcomed 3 visitors today. Steve Butler, Anthony Pain and Ivan Kingdom all of whom enjoyed soaring flights with their Introductory Flight Vouchers. Each had a good chance to try out the controls during their flights. It has to be said that it was very hot in the K13, particularly after closing the canopy before the launch commenced. Perhaps I have gone soft and got too used to the air con in my car.

Steve Bultler and his granddoughter
Anthony Pain
Ivan Kingdom with Rick and the K13
Our thanks once again to Heather for her retrieve driving, and out winch drivers who were suffering in the heat in the GusLaunch winch which came back online today after an engine rebuild.

Looking at Roadford from the 3500 foot cloudbase.
A good day.


Dartmoor Gliding News-Saturday 30th June 2018

The current high pressure weather continues. The pressure has lowered a couple of hectopascals with a line of showers in the SW approaches threatening thunder storms this evening. The wind remains light easterly. Air temperatures were 29 degrees+ all day.

Was this part of a wave system? The beginnings of the roll cloud is in the foreground
For the most part the sky was blue and would remain this way throughout the day except for a peculiar looking roll cloud orientated east west. Was this set off by a different wave system? Was it a so called "Morning Glory" cloud? ( no sniggering please ). This cloud moved steadily to the north throughout the morning and early afternoon. Underneath it there was no apparent effect on soaring; at least. not at the heights we were flying at.

Underneath The roll cloud.
The roll cloud moving north
Initially flights showed very little rising air but by about 12.30 there were some strong thermals bubbles to be found along with some large areas of sink. This was the wave enhanced thermals that we have got used to over the last few weeks; strong, very small cores needing constant centering to use effectively; great fun and challenging in equal amounts. One pilot reported a weakish wave bar at 3000 feet but lost height pushing forward to find the hopefully stronger primary wave bar ( remember those areas of strong sink ) and then was too low to find the wave again. I am sure there is a lesson in there somewhere.

Even Brentor looks parched as the hot spell continues
Looking towards the runway from the west. Can you spot the K6 soaring a little lower?
There was lots of soaring throughout the day with many flights in excess of 30 minutes. Longest flight of the day was by Barry Green who flew his K6 for 1 hour 7 minutes only coming back to make the aircraft available for his syndicate partner.  

Richard Eastmond and family
Today we hosted 2 One Day Course candidates, Kevin Matthele and Richard Eastmond both of whom enjoyed soaring and learning to fly the K13 with me in the hot conditions.

One day Course Candidate Kevin
Our thanks once again must go to Heather for her retrieve driving, to the winch drivers for their patience sat in the winch watching everyone else soaring ( as a pilot this is VERY frustrating) and to those members who managed the puncture repair on DMX with the speed and agility befitting a Fornula One team ( well nearly).


Dartmoor Gliding News-Armed Services Day

Saturday 30th July was Armed Services Day in Plymouth. As part of this there was an air display on Plymouth Hoe. There was also another display centred on Sheeps Tor on the moor.

Dartmoor Gliding Club News[Wednesday 27th June 2018

A keen group of members turned up to see if the easterly breeze generated any wave in the heat of the afternoon.

Will There be wave?
Whilst Andy Davey used a line of energy we watched as the retrieve returned back to the winch to collect two more cables for the launch point.

Looking down at the east end of the runway from the north side
If the wave was there it was difficult to find and thermals in the blue sky were small and a challenge however Bob Sansom managed flight of the day with 15 minutes at 1,350 feet.

Bob Sansom circling south west of the airfield
Mike Jardine

Dartmoor Gliding News-Sunday 25th June 2018

They say things always happen in threes, and as the day progressed it looked like the saying is true. The first job of the day was to open the hangar doors. This gave us event number one. One of the wheels on of the doors had broken, thus preventing the doors from being opened. After a bit of searching around a spare wheel was found. Some blocks were found to support the door and the wheel replaced.

The offending wheel.
The next task was to put up a windsock at the western end. Event number two. Unable to attach the windsock to the pole, caused us to jury rig a piece of cord. This enabled the windsock to be raised. More about event three later.

We set about getting all the aircraft out of the hangar and readying the airfield for a good days flying. Our one day course student was Christopher Woodruffe who flew with me. He had to leave after 3 flights to go and care for his wife who is laid up at the moment. He will return shortly to complete the rest of his flights.

Christopher Woodruffe
Our other visitor was returning two trial flight candidate Terry Mansell. His first visit resulted in a rather short flight and not able to complete the second. Todays second flight resulted in a soaring flight of 22 minutes with me. He was very delighted with this picking out a lot of familiar locations due to the good visibility.

Terry Mansell
This encouraged the solo pilots to pull their gliders to the font of the launch queue. Roger Applebloom in his K6, 2 hours 20 minutes. Colin Boyd in the K8, 52 minutes. Andy Davey in his Zugvogel 2 hours 53 minutes longest flight of the day.

The lift locally was only short lived and our other solo pilots had to be content with extended circuits. Ed Borlase and Dave Downton in the K8. Josef Nobbs and Martin Broadway in the Zugvogel. Our newest solo pilot David Westcott had a couple of solo flights in the K13 after a check flight with me.

And to event three. On one of the retrieves, a loop developed on one drum of ML1. This resulted in the air line being fractured and rendered that drum out of action. We continued using the remaining drum whilst Phil Hardwick jury rigged a line to enable the cable to be wound in. In the mean time our engineering team of Martin, Colin and Phil brought ML2 on line which required swapping the batteries from the Gus winch and freeing a shackle from the rollers.

Only 19 flights today with 6 hours 56 minutes flying time. An average of 21 minutes a flight. Thanks to everyone for their winching, retrieving, engineering skills and general help running the field.

Peter Howarth

Dartmoor Gliding News-Saturday 23rd June 2018

The RASP read well for the day with a boundary layer in excess of 4000 feet and with indications of the wind changing directions from a light southerly direction to a light northerly direction by the end of day.

Tasks planned for the day were Richard Roberts in his discuss to Crediton and back and for Steve Fletcher in his Cirrus for a 5 hour duration to complete his Silver C.

We had 6 visitors for trial flights but we had a small but effective crew to run the field with winch driving , cable retrieve and running the launch point.

James Champ
First off was myself and James Champ. Thermals weren't too strong so we had three flights to have good look at the area.

We watched Steve Fletcher launch at 11.40 off for his duration flight, fingers crossed.

Richard Hewitt was next in the air for his birthday voucher flight.
By the start of the afternoon thermal conditions improved with multiple flights between 1 to 2 hours for Richard in the Discus, Barry in his K6, Phil and Malcolm in the twin Astir. and Allan in the K8.

Tessa Sanders
Next was Teresa Sanders. We launched and as Richard Roberts was thermaling above Blackdown, that's where headed and spent 20 minutes taking in the views at 1700 feet.

Brothers Cameron, Charlie and Angus Hill were keeping track of who could stay in the air the longest. Well they all enjoyed 20 minutes in the air up to heights of 2700 feet and took an opportunity to take control of the aircraft, future pilots maybe?

So Richard achieved his Crediton and back trip, what of Steve Fletcher? Well at 17.11 he landed back at the airfield having achieved his 5 hour duration flight (5hr 31minutes actually) and final leg of his Silver C. Very well done the smile tells all.

Looking pleased with his 5 hour+ flight - I think so
Big thanks to the winch drivers,retrieves and launch point crew for working hard and efficiently in very hot conditions, a very enjoyable day for all.

Mike Jardine

Dartmoor Gliding News-Sunday 10th June 2018

With a small crew arriving at the airfield we set about getting things ready. The weather forecast showed the wind from the east again and 10-15 knots. So again there was the anticipation of wave. Gliders DI’d, winch set up and the hurdle fence down, the first launch was at 09:52. A quick launch failure for Dave Downton resulted in a long walk back from down the field. He later flew the K8 for a couple of circuits. Next up was David Westcott, who recently went solo at Aston Down and had a couple of dual flights last week endured a medium launch failure followed by a power failure. So David was ready for his first solo flight at DGS.
David Westcott ready for first solo at DGS.
Our solo pilots Roger Applebloom, Dave Downton, Ed Borlase, Josef Nobbs made various excursions into the air. The conditions always looked better than what was encountered. The longest flight of the day was Roger in his K6 with 24 minutes.

We had several visitors today. Lesley Noble and Martin Garland were on holiday from Cape Town. Their friend Ingrid Noble also came along. All had 2 flights each. Lesley and Ingrid flew with me. Martin flew with Martin. Also visiting the club to experience gliding was Charlene Nunn and David Murphy who flew with Martin

Lesley ready to fly with me. Spot the deliberate mistake.
Ingrid, thumbs up ready to go.
Martin with Martin
Charlene with Martin.
David ready to fly with Martin
One other visitor was David Westcott’s son Rory. As we strapped him in a rather nervous Rory was given gentle encouragement by both his dad and myself. Going up the launch it was obvious how nervous he was, but some gentle encouragement to look out and see what was happening was like switching a light on. The rest of the flight was fully enjoyed and we may be getting a new member in the near future. Time to sell some more pottery dad

Rory ready for his first flight in a glider
Meanwhile David had another couple of solo flights in the K13. With the light conditions and some good flying by David we decided to convert him into the K8 for a couple of flights. The first was 13 minutes, his longest flight of the day. Well done David.

David Westcott getting ready for his first flight in the K8.
Thanks to Phil Hardwick for winching and not flying. Also thanks to Roger, Ed, Joe, Dave and Martin for winching, retrieving and generally running the field.

Peter Howarth