Dartmoor Gliding Society seems to be spreading it's wings as we have all seen over the last few years. This is a great thing for DGS. and it now includes regular trips to Long Mynd, the Inter Club League at four of our neighbouring clubs, as well as the Aston Down trips when specific training needs are required.
With this in mind I was trawling the adverts on Gliderpilot.net (as is my want on occasions) when I found an advert for a soaring/training week at Denbigh GC (north wales). I made the enquiry and booked a place. I was told numbers were very limited due to the fact it was being run by G Dale.(ex national coach and competition pilot with over 10,000hrs).The places were filling up fast and I mentioned to a few people at Dartmoor I had got a place.
The down side was it was being run at an expedition site (not a training site) this has a requirement of sliver C and self authorising. It doesn't have club gliders to borrow or fly.
Well, over the space of the next week Dartmoor pilots took 36.6% of the 11 total on the course.
the merry band were Me, Roger G(reen), Roger A(ppleboom) and Adrian. Local accommodation booked by Roger G (thanks. It was a great deal)
So Roger G and I elected to leave on the Saturday and tow the 5H30min to site , arriving at 2pm ish. We both took different routes, I went up to nearly Warrington and then turned left across the top of Wales. Bearing in mind, I was 20min behind Roger G, it was a great surprise to me he didn't arrive till about 30min after me. Here starts a reoccurring theme of the week.
Roger and the scenic Horseshoe pass he came over was idyllic however not the best route with a glider trailer.(brave 1)
We arrived early and it seemed half the course had the same idea. We had arrived early to get the accommodation sorted and get to know the systems and places in the area, but, Chris Gill the operations manager had other ideas...."its good weather and the wind is on the ridge, suggest you rig and get on ridge to get your bearings, I will get the winch out as tug not here yet."
So we did just that. Its a little daunting arriving and being told" it will be ok, just looks bad... when you come off the wire turn 180 degrees and head for the ridge, you should make it and join about 1/3 to 1/2 way up it and then you will be away! if not a few of the fields between here and there are landable .....
|The "local" ridge|
|The Arcus T|
|The ASW20 on the narrow runway|
So my go.... wouldn't you know , straight off the winch I contacted 1.5knots up, so took the easy option and stuck with it. Thank God.
We both had a few hours flying the local area out south to the nearest lake 15km away and looking north from the coast you can see a windfarm in the sea (very dramatic) and Liverpool (not very dramatic)
|The windfarm is visible (just)|
The 1st day of the course set the tone, lecture at 930am with a task to be set if soarable, (for the clubs idea of soarable please read 80% of launches don't need a relight) The rest of you crack on with the task.
After checking the NOTAMS , Met and task briefing, the flying gets underway about lunchtime.
1-Roger G and I were set - Denbigh to SLEAP to COWEN to Denbigh 127km triangle-
2-Adrian was set his 50km to Sleap and land for a road retrieve.
3-Roger A got the back seat of the arcus for a 200km around north and mid wales (things were looking up)
|A good looking sky|
|This shower was definitely causing some problem|
|The trace makes it look better than it felt.|
|Roger G in the field with his ASW20|
Cut to Roger A , after landing in the arcus , and completing the task he then had the call, Adrian was down safe in a field about 35km away. The glider access was around difficult terrain to say the least and through 4 fields.
|Fettling required me thinks|
It was then Thursday already, Adrian got a cross country flight in Rod Witters ASG32Mi, an amazing experience on a day when we local soared Rod and Adrian did a quick 200km...... an amazing glider.
|The awesome ASG32|
|The instruments sounded better than our singing.|
Friday was more of the same but Roger G got the honours in the ASG32Mi with Rod.
|They got around their task (but did use the engine twice)|
|Great Sticker but I can see the benefits|
Adrian , Roger G and myself checked the weather for Saturday to be sure we weren't going to miss out and started the long journey home on the Saturday morning at 7am.....NOT VIA THE HORSESHOE PASS (Roger)
Totals flown - RR- 6h25m / RG-7h30m/ AI-3h30m/ RA-2h30m not bad for 4 flying days on a weeks course in May (just)
|Free the Denbigh Three|