Was there any flying? Well yes, the simulator was busy all day teaching all manner of flying lessons. Phil’s young son and his friend flew together learning to fly loops. Bob Jones and I practiced intermediate ridge soaring and cloud flying.
Bob Pirie lead a group on some gorse clearing to work off some of the season’s excesses. Their work made a real difference to the appearance of the fence opposite the hangar
Myself and Bob Jones with later assistance from Bob Pirie and Robin removed the scrap winch cables from the side track which have been buried under the snow for weeks.
Another successful day.
|And today we will be flying at 1 foot.|
|Safety Officer Ged has obviously removed his PPE for photogtaphic purposes|
The day ended nicely with some tasty mulled wine, courtesy of Karon, and mince pies warmed on the stove.
|Mulled wine and mince pies anyone?|
Ged was on hand to offer bronze lectures, soaring discussions etc. but he did not have any takers.
Many thanks to all those members who made the effort. Better luck next time.
Next flying day will be Tuesday 28th
The wave switched on and off all day, the Wiley Henry Ford showed us all how it is done by returning the best flight of the day, and Martin Cropper took another Henry (Jacobs Friend) for a great soaring flight.
|On Circuit to a snowy runway|
It was good to see some visitors from Northill (Henry Ford and entourage). Northill have been hit badly with very big snow drifts, which make it impractical for operations.
|K6 & K8 being prepared for another wave flight.|
Another great day, albeit a tad on the cold side.
Merry Christmas to everyone
|The airfield approach road would look good on the front of a Christmas card|
The sky was blue, the westerly wind very light, and the views aloft were stunning.
|The runway from the north west corner|
|Brentor church from the air looking west.|
|Cold on the outside, warm on the inside|
The solo pilots kept the K6 and K8 busy. Richard Mogan had the K13 and instructor Bob to himself until Gareth Matos arrived from Kelly College to fly. It was almost an exchange visit as Bob and Ged had taken their Open Cirrus down to the college as an exhibit for their fun day.
The day ended with everyone assembled in the warm clubhouse.
The wave was unreliable and confused all day (or was it us that were confused), a few flights managed to contact the wave---probably as it came into phase. Jacob and I climbed to over 3000ft sometimes in off the stops lift/rotor.
|Jacob Knight climbing nicely in the wave|
Hopes for silver height claims and bronze legs came to nothing , but as they say, we should always travel hopefully.
Everyone had a great day, with the whole fleet out of the hangar.
Don conducted bronze lectures with a largish group in the clubhouse while they waited for conditions to improve. Then, it was out to the airfield for some flying. The cloudbase was still low so practice cable breaks / abbreviated circuits were the order of the day. The cloudbase lowered even more, so back to the clubhouse for tea, mince pies and bronze lectures.
|Alan Carter talks junior Simon Thornton through a DI of the K13|
Special thanks today to Rick for all the work he is doing on the club computers to repair and replace the somewhat unreliable system.
Clear blue sky. wind mostly northerly and strengthening throughout the day.
Many thanks to Don for standing in for Bob at short notice, Bob has the most shocking cold but is determined to be back next Wednesday.
The north ridge promised a lot but delivered little today, just extending flights by a few minutes. But it was fun trying and everyone took the opportunity to stay current.
Matthew is the 10th pilot to solo (or re-solo) at DGS this year. This would be a good number for a club many times our size . Excellent
Many thanks to all the club members including DCFI Mark Courtney who came to the airfield to make today happen.
|Matthew is congratulated by his family|
After a morning of exams, which I'm sure to fail after the thought of going solo a few hours away distracted me. But at 12.20 when they finished my mum drove me up to the gliding club. With Robin Wilson, David Rippon, Bob Jones, Mark Courtney and of course my dad all setting up the airfield ready for my arrival I was ready to go, thanks guys!!
So after a very nervous check flight the task of going solo after 6 years was here. So after the 1400ft launch, I took the chance to go left and get ready for my circuit when I hit a bit of wave which gave me 8 up on the vario!! Could it have been? I kept flying and kept going up. Amazed at my luck I kept flying until I reached 2000ft. So with that under my belt I opened full airbrake and made a decent to do a citcuit. I touched down after 17 minutes.
I got briefed by my instructor Mark to keep an eye on the airfield to make sure I didn't get caught out by fog and then away I went again but this time I was armed with a watch with an aim to get my bronze leg. It wasn't as easy as my flight before, there I was scratching away on tiny bits of wave, but then, I hit the good stuff and climbed to 2100ft once again. At 30 minutes I opened full airbrakes and practised my sideslip down. Then a circuit and land, 34 minutes and bronze leg.
I was extremely lucky to get this day, who would have thought it? I certainly didn't!!
Then it was time to go to the clubhouse, warm up and drink a cup of tea and to bug Mark to sign off my first bronze leg. All of this could not have been acheived without the help and support of the whole club.
What an amazing birthday present!!
I think he said it all.
"Clear blue skies and light northerlies. The gliders were icing and canopies misting during the early part of the day. The views across the moor were stunning.
The early solo pilots took advantage of the day to maintain currency in the K6 and K8. Well done Mike Kellar for flying the K8 for the first time, for those who don’t know Mike, he is the ex Army helicopter pilot who laid the slabs for the woodburner.
Our pupils today included "Shrek" (we call him that because we cannot pronounce his correct Polish name), Shrek travelled down by public transport from Perranporth. He is now considering buying a car---good idea.
Thanks again to all the experienced hands that made the day possible.
Hangar doors open at 8.30 as usual. Don started the day with the pre bronze pilots by demonstrating how and where on the internet to get Notams and weather charts.
After a very slick change of ends flying commenced. However, after the first few launches the forecast rain arrived with a vengeance. So back to the warm clubhouse.
The last to arrive back was junior Matthew who had drawn the short straw and had walked back from the far end hold the K13 wing. He could not have been wetter if he had been swimming. Thanks Matthew.
A good try for some flying.
The wind today was NNE and 12 knots on the airfield. The temperature never got above freezing which although a little uncomfortable at least meant that the runway was not muddy. Is this the DGS version of permafrost?
The pilots all got some soaring on the north ridge while trying to connect with the wave system, generated by the north edge of the moor, which was evident from the lenticulars downwind of us. This wind direction also gave the opportunity to practice circuit planning in the tricky crosswind conditions.
Many thanks to CFI Don who took on the Wednesday duty at short notice and helped everyone with his extensive ridge flying knowledge and experience.
Light North east winds gave us a gentle weak wave up to 1800ft QFE, with a clear blue sky. The day was fairly busy with a mixture of soaring and training going on.
The "Green party" took the single seaters for an early soaring flight, just to show us how it should be done.
Matthew Mackay and Nigel Williamson flew the K8 for the first time, Nigel soared for an "almost" Bronze leg, and Matthew cracked it with a flight of 32 minutes (a very good effort in quite difficult soaring conditions).
Jacob Knight flew the K6 for the first time, followed by a perfect landing, very well done to him also.
We all retired at sunset to a clubhouse ( now up to 14 degrees)---big grins all round. Thanks everyone for making it a great day.
|View from the west end looking towards the east|
The extreme cold soon drove members back to the clubhouse and the warmth of the woodburner. Rick and Matthew breathed life back into the computer system, several members took part in a soaring contest on the simulator, Don gave a pre bronze lecture and the rest of the members chatted over steaming cups of tea ( later replaced by ice cold beer ).
After the heavy showers over the last couple of days and today’s showers and low cloudbase it was decided that this would be a non flying day.
There was still a lot going on though.
Don was in lecture mode with two pre bronze pilots discussing stalls and spins.
Andrew and Phil, the “Astir Construction Company”, really pushed on the “Private Pilots Parachute Storage” project rearranging the back office, filling in the wall where one of the windows used to be, and positioning the new parachute cupboard. Many thanks. Only the background heater system to go.
The woodburner kept several members busy cutting up logs for the coming days.
The ML winch was fitted with a new cable. This winch will come offline now for some much need attention. The “Guslaunch” winch was checked over. started and the left hand drum released ( the brake tends to stick on ) ready for use on Saturday.
Light north-westerly wind, and the airfield beginning to dry out. Cloud at about 3000ft to start, but heavy overcast at 800ft by the end of the day. The wave teased us all day, and needless to say it was working well as the sun went down.
A big vote of thanks to Barry, Heather, David and Martin who worked hard all day to make it a success for newer trainees .Not only did Barry spend the entire day on the winch, but he started by painting the club house door, and Heather vacuumed the clubhouse before driving the cable retrieve truck!!
Well done to Nigel Williamson and Matthew Mackay for going solo, to Jacob who now has as many launch failures in the K8 as normal flights.
The day was completed with Marta demonstrating how many different ways you could overstress a K8---thankfully it was on the simulator.
The early flights were a little disappointing with the gliders able to maintain launch height for 20 –30 minutes or so.
|Approaching the wave slot|
|K6 photographed by Simon in his K13 while returning from 6500 feet|
Thanks again especially to David Jesty and Alan Bamford who helped make a very
professional training session.
Lets hope the field dries out for the easterlies this weekend.
The field was ankle deep in water today, but at least we didn’t have the same serious difficulties as St Austell!!
Thanks to everyone for the housekeeping efforts, and to Andrew who secured the simulator screen properly to the new wall. We now have a parachute cupboard for those private owners who would like to use it.
Rain,low cloud and then more rain all morning.
The good news was we could also find it was forecast to be showery by going onto our brand new internet connection. The first weather forecasts were printed off with an admiring audience.
The morning was spent discussing Navigation for the bronze C exam, and then Marta polished her turning skills on the simulator, and Jacob demonstrated his aerobatic skills in the Fox. ( the simulator can be many different gliders )
The field was very wet, so only one glider was operated in the afternoon---with a great deal of care to ensure the field surface was protected. We flew as many training and currency flights we could, then the heavens opened and we returned to a nice warm clubhouse to dry off.
Everyone who wanted to fly did so. It is important for Matthew to stay current, his 16th birthday ( and 1st solo ?) is less than a month away.
Although the flying was relatively low key there was a lot going on.
We welcomed polish visitor Przemek ( nickname Shrek ) who is keen to join us and learn to fly. A measure of his dedication came from his epic journey to visit us. He caught a bus from his home in Perranporth to Truro; a train from Truro to Plymouth; a bus from Plymouth to Tavistock and yet another bus from Tavistock to Brentor. Phew!!!
We also welcomed to return of Alan and Sandra who both soloed earlier this year but who have been missing from the airfield for some time following a accident on Alan’s 2.3 litre Triumph motorcycle which left them with a broken leg each.
Our current projects continue to grow.
The simulator project is almost complete. Masterminded by Martin Smith who did all the original design and engineering work, the project has now been moved forward by Rick and Matthew Wiles – computer and software. David Jesty – trim system, John Bolt and Andrew Beaumont – building alterations. Sandra Buttery painting and decorating. I now hear there are plans to add extra screens for an all round view to enable teaching of circuit planning. Great work everyone.
|How it all started|
|After a lot of hard work in Martin's garage|
|One worker and three watchers|
|Danger! Sandra at work|
And finally. The new woodburner kept the clubhouse warm and cosy all day. This only needs a little cosmetic work to finish the project.
|Missing a little paint and pair of slippers|
A quiet day? I don’t think so.
Two batches of cadets arrived for their simulator and theoretical training, they all practised co-ordinated turns and they all made credible landings. We are now quite sure the simulator will shorten the practical training time.
|The cadets seem intent on the simulator action. Instructor David Jesty is supervising|
Two one-day course students Colin and Stephen Davies joined us and flew with Ged. We’ll be welcoming them back shortly to complete their course
Club aircraft were put to good use, with advanced pre-solo pilot Chris Fagg finding the first thermal of the day, then John Bolt in the K8 achieving 17 minutes. In fact, at one stage there were three gliders in the air, which is quite an achievement on a barely-soarable day at this time of year. Meanwhile Phil and Andrew continued to get acquainted with their recently acquired Astir.
Following a briefing from Dave Jesty, Dave Rippon, our Field Treasurer, proved that his abilities extend beyond the K8/6 (and cash box!) by progressing to his first flight in the Zugvogel. This means he can now fly every glider in the club fleet.
|Field treasurer David Rippon flies the Sheibe Zugvogel 3A|
However, I’ve left the best news until last. The highlight of the day was when Mike Keller completed his first solo glider flight in K13 G-CDMX. Mike, who hung up his wings (rotor blades?) as a Royal Marines helicopter pilot 35 years ago, has been training with us throughout the summer and his flight was a text book example of how it should be done. Congratulations, Mike!
|Mike Keller being congratulated by instructor Bob Pirie|
Under Don's leadership as CFI, Dartmoor Gliding Society has had a healthy 'run' of first solo flights this year, but as those pilots progress through their post-solo training, that leaves plenty of room for new trainees. So to anyone whose been thinking of trying gliding - but never got round to it - we invite you to wrap up warm and come on down any Wednesday, Saturday or Sunday
A wet start that soon cleared, with light NE winds. Soaring for an hour or so, mainly thermals triggered by the ridge.
The wet ground and cross wind convinced us to leave the motor glider on the ground today.
Alan Ballard spent a hard day fixing up the new wood burning stove, which is now operational and was gently warming the clubhouse by the end of the day.
The K13 trailer is now ready to be shifted and inspected for potential repair.
Well done, Jacob Knight for his first flights in the K8 the third flight being a well handled cable break.
Three pupils today kept us busy, thanks to everyone for keeping the field operating for them.
This was a good training day with both the K13s manned and busy. Juniors Simon and Matthew were both flying well with Matthew completing another sequence of cable break practices in preparation for his much anticipated first solo on his 16th birthday next month.
Story of the day must be about Darren Wills who went solo today, 24 years and 6 days after he first flew solo in a motorglider as an ATC cadet. Well done Darren. This was a double first as it was also instructor Ged Nevisky's first time sending a new pilot solo.
|Double first solo. Darren Wills ( left ) being congratulated by instructor Ged Nevisky|
Martin Smith commissioned the simulator which is looking magnificent in the clubhouse. The screen still needs to be finally mounted but the computer and software are working and Martin is already talking about upgrades to include controls for cable release and trimmer. The major flying controls ( elevator, ailerons, rudder and airbrakes ) are already working well. Last seen, it was surrounded by a group of pilots either flying it or offering “helpful advice” ( read banter ) until late into the evening.
Alan Ballard spent his day mostly on the clubhouse roof fitting the chimney for the new wood burning stove. This will be finished soon.
Several members have been clearing out and burning the old K7 wings from one of the spare trailers with the idea to make one of the trailers roadworthy for K13 retrieves.
Rick wiles was working on the broadband installation which is making progress and will be available soon.
Finally, CFI Don Puttock, assisted by Sean Parramore and Karon Matten, cooked a meal of sausages and sweet potato mash with crusty bread for the all the members in the very busy clubhouse none of whom seemed in a hurry to go home.
A great club day.
The Kelly college cadets had their first proper ground school sessions with the benefit of the new plasma screen----very impressive.
David Jesty, Alan Bamford and I shared the lecturing task, with Mike Jardine there for moral support.
With deteriorating conditions forecast for later in the day, we made a prompt start in the hope of at least conducting some launch failure exercises in the K13, as well as running a spot landing contest using the K8, in aid of the Poppy Appeal. We achieved the former - just - but the latter was a non-starter with the first competitor abandoning his launch due to lowering cloud.
Thank you all for your enthusiastic act of faith in getting the airfield, the gliders and the equipment ready at the beginning of the day, and congratulations on the speed with which you put everything away (including re-erecting the fence) as the rain started to fall.
Back in the clubhouse, there was a great atmosphere, with members gathered in small groups reflecting on past achievements or discussing ways of improving the club still further. All the while Mike Keller and John Bolt were kept busy fending off 'advisors' as they worked on the installation of the CFI's "T-Swindle Thermal Generator", while everyone was full of admiration for the gleaming new flight simulator which is largely the brainchild and handiwork of Martin Smith. Congratulations, Martin!
Rain and cloud greeted us first thing. Slowly a wave slot appeared and the cloud began to clear. After changing ends, we were treated to gentle wave in the SE winds. During the day the wind backed and the wave shifted to just out of reach----at that moment, a tug was at the top of our wish list. We just managed to keep going with a limited number of people. The day turned out amazingly and was nothing like the
There was lots of stuff going on around the site.
The simulator arrived with Martin Smith, it wouldn’t fit through the front door---oops but it did fit through the back door of the clubhouse---phew. The plasma screen is now ready to be mounted.
Despite a heavy cold, Mike fitted the slabs for the wood burner. What I can only describe as surgical precision was used to lay them.
We are now very close to being broadband connected, Martin Cropper is just looking for that last bit of expertise to complete the connection.
With the club relatively quiet, Darren and new member Marta took full advantage of the training on offer to progress their flying skills. Will continued his winch training.
Phil and Andrew, our latest Astir syndicate, rigged their new toy with the intention of continuing their practice and familiarisation flights but decided not to fly it as the wind strengthened. Good decision. So rigging and derigging pratice only today.
The wind strengthened throughout the day. This made circuits and landings interesting but did permit all pilots to practice circuits and landings onto the stub runway from the north. This included Phil and Andrew who used the K13 to experience the challenging conditions; Good decisions seem to be becoming a habit.
The day finished late afternoon when the lowering cloudbase brought the start of the forecast rain.
An interesting day.
David Jesty has recently got his 3rd Diamond, the 5000 meter height gain. Here is his story.
Back in the summer I accepted an invitation to join some of the North Hill pilots on their October trip to Portmoak near Edinburgh for six days of flying.
Five of the six days were flyable with often a combination of ridge, thermal and wave. The wave was often very weak and gentle (unlike Brentor's usual offerings!) One day produced 50kt winds at flying height allowing a hovering flight to take place in the wave but pushing into wind very difficult. Generally one could fly for as long as required, dependant mainly on how cold it was.
The best day was the Wednesday which started out blue and very cold. The CFI warned about the dangers of a very crowded ridge although he hoped that some blue wave might start up during the day. The first hour or so consisted of ridge flying: a mentally exhausting operation keeping eye on the other 14 gliders. A slight shudder of the wings announced the arrival of very weak wave and a slow climb ensued, helped by watching the other gliders marking the good and not so good lift.
Once up at 9000' I moved upwind to find stronger lift. The inevitable sink concentrated the mind, but each time it was fairly easy to find a new wave. The P600 airway creates a bit of a problem (you have to duck under it) but once out the other side you're clear up to FL195. A comment from Pete Startup a few days earlier about the local wave hotspot sent me west to the very cloudy Loch Earn area rather than east to Dundee where a classic rotor cloud was sitting. Flying along a nice wave slot the lift was fairly consistent but never booming. I headed to an area where there was a thin lenticular above the rotor.
At 12000' I donned the very fetching oxygen cannula and searched for the best lift. This was easily found and a continuous 3-4kt climb ensued, breaking off at just over 19000' being careful not to get pushed up into the airspace that was now very close above. The air temperature was well below -20C and with very cold feet I carefully descended, having to get below cloud base to avoid icing, then a down-wind dash for home.
There are more writings about the week on the North Hill website (DSGC) blog and, for any who might be interested, my flight log is on www.bgaladder.co.uk
Dave was back with us instructing yesterday and with few pre-solo students around, we were able to provide some intensive coaching to Mike Keller, Chris Fagg and Mark Lowrey, who is normally a ‘weekender’. Mike and Chris have attended - and flown numerous times - on three Wednesdays in a row, and it is noticeable how beneficial regular attendance is in terms of their competence - and confidence.
Ged and Steve Lewis concentrated on winch driver training - and gave us some super launches in the process. Thirty eight launches with no breaks, only one weak link failure (with the strop quickly found) and no cables dropped over the hedge, despite a crosswind, was a pretty creditable performance for everyone involved.
In terms of ‘new faces’, we were pleased to have Dominic Tomalin (C.O. of Kelly College CCF) with us for a series of training flights. It will be interesting to see who solos first; the boss - or one of his cadets.
As with the previous Wednesday, a brief crop of useable thermals in the late afternoon got us all excited, with Barry Green achieving 29 minutes in the Zug.
Finally, my thanks to all of you who responded to my ‘rallying call’ via the Forum and had the airfield, gliders and equipment ready early, so that once some early low cloud had cleared, we were able to start without delay.
Weak thermal/ridge/wave for a period.
Both 2 seaters were fully occupied, Jacob Knight brought his friends to have a taster of gliding, and promptly went solo, well done Jacob.
The canny Irishman waited at the launch point for the perfect launch time, and the canny club members sat and watched the canny Irishman. Eventually he managed to scrape away in difficult ridge/thermal.
|Canny Irishman in strange Gaelic tribal regalia|
The day ended when the canopies began to mist and the sun began to disappear.
The start of flying was delayed due to a large shower passing through. The time was not wasted as trainees Mike and Darren discussed airspace, maps and navigation with CFI Don.
Mike and Darren then took full advantage of the flying with instructor Martin.
Will made good use of the time continuing with his winch driver training and is making good progress.
The day finished a little early as yet more showers moved through the area.
Lovely autumn weather with a couple of showers, and a marked drop in temperature whenever the sun was obscured by cumulus clouds. Thermals were a bit elusive - but Richard Morgan did well to achieve 28 minutes in DMX while I admired the scenery from the back seat. Richard and Chris Fagg, along with Mike Keller (who flew with Ged) benefited from several flights apiece, and it is great to see how their skills (and confidence) are improving. One of our temporary members, Ray Newman, also made a return visit and flew, leaving with a smile on his face.
Brentor always has some surprises up its windsock, and Wednesday was no exception. After a day with lacklustre lift, Phil Hardwick in the Astir suddenly found himself being propelled up to 2,800 ft by a strong thermal, then spent an hour exploring the skies - probably in some sort of wave effect. An envious group of onlookers watched his every move, and congratulated him on crossing this latest hurdle towards his cross country endorsement.
|Phil returns to the airfield after his 1 hour flight in his new Astir. Picture by syndicate partner Andrew|
|Lenticulars over the launch point|
Very few managed to get away and soar, the flight of the day went to Trevor in the Jantar, unfortunately he was unable to break through to the upper wave system.
Thanks again to the regular supporters who made the day possible.
And Trevor reported
Got 1200ft launch contacted weak lift at 900ft just southeast of Mary Tavey gradually worked up to 1200ft cloud base. Lift broken and turbulent, saw lots of wave which shifted regularily!!!. Cloud base went up rapidly to 3400ft searched all over for the illusive wave eventually contacted 0.9kts smooth lift thought I had it made, managed to climb to 3,800ft which took ages then lost it.That was my max ht. Stayed fairly local didn't have much trouble staying between 2500 and 3500 still chasing wave which either couldn't connect or dissapered when I approached. Came back at 100kts quick loop circuit and land 2hrs59mins.
Mark Courtney, DCFI and today’s leading instructor, was kept busy with training flights. He was ably assisted by Ged.
Very welcome today was a visit from a contingent from the Exeter University Gliding club who were checking Dartmoor out after our recent wave days.
There was a very good sight at the club today. Chris Matten’s K10 made an appearance at the launch point after several years of not flying during which the wings were recovered and repainted.
|Chris Matten and the K10|
For those who do not know, Chris’s Schleicher K10a is a very rare glider indeed. It was one of only 12 prototypes built during 1963 – 1965 as a replacement for the venerable K6CR. It has an all flying tail, new aerofoil section and a very sturdy wing construction which was aimed at producing a highly laminar airflow over the wing. Glide angle was improved from 28 K6CR to 32. Schleicher used the lessons learned from the K10 to produce very popular K6E which replaced it. This K10 is the only one on the CAA register and may well be the only one in flying condition in the UK.
Phil Hardwick and Andrew Beaumont have bought themselves a very nice Grob Astir CS from the Barry and Roger Green who ( if the rumours are to be believed ) are looking for a DG303 or similar.
|Andrew and Phil trying out their new toy.|
Have fun chaps
|A competion grid? No just a Wednesday at DGS|
Good to see so many visitors; especially Andrew and Ericka Thompson from Lostwithiel. Andrew came along for a voucher flight, then Ericka (who is disabled) was persuaded by our resident 'meeter and greeter', Heather, to give it ago - twice! From a backseat perspective, it was wonderful to hear Ericka's laughter and share the joy the experience gave her. Thanks to all the members who gave them such a warm welcome.
|Vistors Andrew and Ericka Thompson (centre) with instructors David Jesty and Bob Pirie|
In all, a respectable 43 launches were achieved.
A big thank you to all who helped out - which was most of you - and commiserations to Colin Boyd and Alan Bamford, who worked particularly hard but remained earthbound, so that others might fly.
Many thanks and well done.
Sandra made a visit after her unpleasant motor cycle incident, Alan is still in hospital but cheerful and getting better. Hopefully they will be flying again soon.
Early pm the low cloud began to clear and the K13 checked things out with a quick climb to 7500ft in wave followed by an ear popping descent.
The wave established nicely to allow reliable beats from Meldon reservoir to Yelverton at height from 6000ft to 9000ft. James Hood took BVB up to 9000ft, probably the best height of the afternoon, several members experienced the fun of wave for the first time---so big grins all around.
Trevor landed out after several hours of exploration, and Alan Ballard landed out in the K6 after several minutes of exploration---but thats
The day finished with a beer courtesy of Alan Ballard---cheers.
Early on the cloud cover was almost complete with a cloud base of an estimated 500 feet. The rotor / wave influence could be clearly seen but with the cloud cover it was a case of “rig and wait” for the 3 private gliders.
Late morning the cloud rolled away just enough to permit a 2 seater to launch. They found very rough rotor everywhere. More waiting then.
Mid afternoon the cloud cover openned a little more allowing another three K13 launches but still rotor, no proper wave.
|Picture taken by Ged of the cloud cover whilst flying in the rotor|
The wind towards then end of the afternoon had built up to 25 knots or so on the ground and 40+ knots at 1000 feet. Discretion is the better part of valour so toys away and back to the clubhouse for tea and buscuits.
I bet tomorrow will be good.
CFI Don Puttock and Mark Courtney went up in a K13 to check conditions and came back confirming there was wave lift just east of the airfield. Without further ado Trevor took a launch and disappeared in a steady climb. Meanwhile Don and Mark briefed the Kelly College contingent.
Conditions were brisk, but Dominic, Darcey, George and Tom who had already flown with us, were given the opportunity to see Dartmoor as they had never seen it before - at 2,000 feet from a glider. They were each airborne for twenty minutes or so and then we managed to get in some shorter flights for those who had not flown before. Unfortunately the low cloud that had been lurking to the east came spilling across the moor to curtail operations. Trevor was the last to land with another two hour flight to log!
The cadets then helped to repack the hangar before finishing off with a talk in the clubhouse by Don.
As Mark Courtney pointed out - "There aren't many gliding sites in the South of England where you can enjoy the experience of wave flying on your first visit!"
A strong cross-wind proved challenging for those who flew and variable attempts at 'laying off' stimulated criticism worthy of Craig Revel Horwood from our 'Strictly Come Winching' team. Seriously, gents, thanks for all your efforts at getting us airborne - and thanks also to those who mended the fence. On the plus side, it is always encouraging to see relatively inexperienced pilots progress to the point where they can cope competently with strong crosswinds and wind gradients, and yesterday was such a day.
It was especially nice to see John Bolt airborne solo in the K6 showing the youngsters how to do it. John, an ex instructor, has had a bit of a lay off from flying but is now solo again and has that very satisfied, knowing smile sported by pilots the world over.
After yesterday’s torrential rain the airfield was in surprisingly good condition and perfectly flyable. With the moderate wind from a little east of south, after a quick change of ends, it was game on.
Instructors Mark Courtney and David Jesty were kept busy with training flights and ensuring Leanne Unsworth made the most of her One Day Course.
The thermal activity was fairly low, just teasing the pilots by extending their circuits a little except for Alan Holland who managed to soar the K6 in the very difficult conditions.
The day finished with cups of steaming hot tea and slices of lemon drizzle cake in the clubhouse.
The encroaching warm front stayed clear of Brentor long enough to allow all eight to get in two flights each. Dominic and Darcey Ball then managed a flight each with Darcey able to add fifteen seconds of cloud flying to her log-book! Within minutes of the group leaving Brentor, the heavens simply opened!
Yours truly accompanied on double bass!
Everyone was rewarded for their patience after lunch when the cloud cleared and the sun shone. K13 out and flying commenced.
Ged and Phil did not fly but instead repaired the red Landrover replacing the transfer box output shaft bearing, seal and universal joints (Whatever these are? Answers on a post card please. ).
Most people found it difficult to get away, but at 2000ft or so the thermals became organised and easier to use.Surprisingly few private gliders being flown, those that did found it was definitely worth rigging.
On the ground we were a little short of skills and started to operate just one of the 2 seaters until more help arrived.
Alan Bamford went for a thermal we were all enjoying, but arrived too low and landed out. Good field and the glider was swiftly recovered thanks everyone involved there.
Generally a busy day, with a steady flow of trial lessons, one of which is a photographer who took 350 pictures!! The flight of the day in the 2 seater was with Jacob who took me to Lifton out and return---not far but a very interesting flight.Thanks everyone for a great day.
With clear skies and a low temperature overnight and a forecast for sunny intervals, there was every chance that today would a least give some soaring.
The club was strangely quiet today. This led to plenty of availability for the trainee pilots and visitors alike.
The afternoon did give some good soaring with pilots taking full advantage. The usual friendly rivalry raised it’s head with Ged being beaten in to 2nd place for the longest flight of the day by 5 minutes. Modesty prevents me from naming the winning pilot
The day finished with a committee meeting which stretched late into the evening. Can we bottle all this “hot air” and use it to generate thermals?
Our thanks go to CFI Don Puttock and David Jesty for instructing, Barry Green for winch driving and to John Bolt and Andrew Beaumont for running the launch point.
DGS members also took the opportunity to fly before it was time to pack the hangar.
|The Long Mynd airfield from the Asir|
Staying aloft for 5 hours for would be no problem, assuming the wind continued to blow and visibility allowed. I elected to stay grounded so Roger got prepared, we cautiously towed out and, without further ado, he was launched.The winch launch into a west wind is VERY short but all that is needed is about 300 feet which is enough to get over the slope. Roger managed well over an hour until squalls and poor visibility forced him to abandon the endurance test and land, approaching at the prescribed 90 Knts.and holding off until the speed had bled off to not a lot more than jogging pace. Only four launches were made,and then the hangar was repacked.
Thursday morning looked good and, after a comprehensive briefing, we towed out to the launch. Conditions had deteriorated but after doing follow the leader in ridge lift, thermals started so I landed after well over an hour so Roger could have a go. He got under a street at about 1800QFE and had to fly at 70 to 80 knots to avoid being engulfed,eventually landing after some three quarters of an hour as a very large squall approached. At least one pilot flew till the rain passed,but it did not look very enjoyable.
Friday saw more westerlies. Roger flew first for just over an hour,and once again conditions worsened. The CFI elected to change ends,so all the gliders had to be moved,winch and retrieve winch also, a couple of hours lost. I eventually took a launch in our faithful Astir into weak ridge lift for follow the leader yet again, I managed just under an hour,landing when I could not sustain 400 Ft.
We both flew on the Saturday,each doing well over the hour. I was lucky in that I was able to get 2700 above the field,possibly the highest of the day. I was able to fly to Bishops Castle and look straight down upon the house where I lived as a young lad.
|Roger and Barry Grenn and the trusty Grob Astir|
Still no Silver 5 Hour,but never mind we had a very enjoyable time.
Keep watching this space,
The clubhouse was busy and Don delivered several lectures / discussions.
The club maintenance work continues apace. It was nice to see a large group of members working together to collect up and dispose of the old winch cables.
While we waited for the weather to improve we continued with the ground briefings (circuits, local airspace and air law).
We then practiced our cross wind take off and landings. Our trainees getting progressively closer to solo with some valuable cross wind experience.
Some enthusiastic locals took trial lessons and will hopefully join us.
The corner of the hangar has been rearranged, so packing the Zugvogel should now be easier.
Don was duty instructor with Ged Nevisky backing up and taking on a number of trial lessons. Congratulations go to Mike Jardine who successfully completed his check flights with Don to be able to fly friends and family.
|Mike and Don at work in the K13|
Then it was time for the customary tea and 'munchies' in the clubhouse.
The woodburner fund is now early £80.00 better off and the scrap metal gone, thanks to Robin and his trailer.
A good time was had by all!
A strong westerly wind made conditions tricky for low hours pilots who joined with the trainees, air ex visitors and a “ One day couse” student to keep the 2 seaters busy. There was some soaring to be had if you timed your launch correctly.
Phil Hardwick completed his Bronze”C” today and Robin Wilson passed his “Bronze “C” examination. Well done both of you.
The winds were a fresh WNW with thermals from around 11 am. Not as easy as it looked, Trevor needed a relight before getting away----it all depended on the timing of the streets and thermals as they passed through. Another very interesting soaring day, with the Dartmoor ridges kicking off good thermals all day.
The 2 seaters kept going all day, but even then some were disappointed because they couldn't stay long enough to fly. Just one of those days everyone decided to arrive on the same day.
Rumour has it that a new K6 syndicate is about to form around Dave Hooper’s lovely aircraft. It will be great to see it flying again. I expect that will be followed very closely by Chris Matten et al and the K10.
Lets hope for more classic September weather.
David Jesty was instructor in charge of two one day courses which kept everyone busy.
Don was kept busy in the other K13 with a mixture of ab-initio, post solo and instructor training flights.
There was plenty of soaring with streets forming in the brisk westerly winds. Highlight of the day was a convergence which moved through the area which allowed soaring above the local cloud bases, Great fun. The thermal activity last well into the evening.
After packing the hangar, the members retired to the clubroom as the sunset in spectacular fashion.
Since becoming an accredited Junior Gliding Centre, Dartmoor Gliding Society has been busy promoting the idea of training schemes for youth groups and individuals. The response so far has been encouraging with a number of enquiries.
We are delighted that one of these has led to a trial affiliation scheme with the army contingent of Kelly College Combined Cadet Force.
The aim is to provide trial lessons and ground training for 40 cadets and staff over the next four months. If successful we hope to extend the facility by making it available to every student at the school.
However, there was plenty of keen members around to make the best of the conditions and they were rewarded with some effective training flights thanks to instructors Martin and David and a couple of good soaring flights at the end of the day when conditions made a remarkable improvement.
The ML winch had it’s cables replaced by Bob and Ged. Thanks chaps.
We just had enough people to operate one glider, thanks to Martin and Alan Ballard for keeping the launches going.
The wave was trying to set up all day, a few tantalising short climbs were had in quite strong wave thermals. Great fun, and the pupils filled their boots.
Debrief and tea in the clubroom to finish.
With a warm front located just off the north coast, the weather was very unpredictable. The Jantar1 and Open Cirrus both rigged and waited to see what would happen but, in the event, It was mostly cloudy and too stable for much thermal activity.
DCFI Mark Courtney was on site today to help with BI training for Bob and myself.
It was a busy day with lots of training and Air Ex flights. Alan Bamford converted to the K8.
Towards the end of the day there were some challenges presented by the winches but these were overcome by the usual suspects.. The GusLaunch had it’s brakes sorted out ready for tomorrow and the ML winch will have new cables this week.
The day finished in usual style with a gaggle of glider pilots swapping stories outside the clubhouse.
Clear blue sky and winds 10-12 knots from the east ensured plenty of early activity today as the whispers of a possible wave day spread like wildfire.
The launch point was impressive with 10 gliders in the queue; almost like the grid at a competition.
Did the wave materialise. Well no. There was some wave influence on the streeting thermals which again made things a little tricky. However, plenty of pilots managed to soar which gave rise to gaggles of gliders in the best of the conditions. Best climb was a 4.7 knot average and longest flight approached 2 hours.
The training operation continued throughout the day with both K13’s busy.
Mike Jardine took advantage of Don’s presence to finish his “Friends and Family” qualification which will enable him to fly his friends family in one of the club 2 seaters. Good effort Mike.
Thanks once again to Barry and Heather for their exceptional efforts helping other pilots to fly.
Not put off by this was Nahir, a visiting glider pilot from Israel, who soloed on the winch yesterday and soared the K8 today showing the other pilots how it’s done.
Also soaring well today was Alan Ballard who led the way in the K6 and achieved his Silver Height with a recorded height gain of 1019 meters. Well done Alan. 5 hours next??
|Alan in thoughtful mode taken on a somewhat colder day.|
The club welcomed Nahir, a visiting glider pilot from Israel, who wanted to add winch launching to his skills. This he achieived and made several solo winch launches.
Great news. Alan Bamford went solo today. Well done.
Thanks needs to go again to the Green Party (Barry, Roger and Heather) who have worked tirelessly pushing, pulling, winching, towing etc to make it all happen.
Simon Leeson and DCFI Mark Courtney arrived from North Hill in the Rotax Faulke, made the tea, and then flew back to their home airfield. Now that’s what I call service. Perhaps bacon sandwiches as well next time??
Dominic Tomalin from Kelly College dropped in for a meeting with Bob, Don and myself to discuss Cadet flying.
The cloud rapidly developed throughout the morning and even looked to threaten rain at one stage. But as the cloud lightened a little so the thermal activity started. There were lines of thermal energy surrounded by some heavy sinking air which made soaring a challenge. The sort of day that really helps pilots develop their soaring and decision making skills.
Flight times ranged from a few minutes to well in excess of 2 hours. Cloud bases were variable ranging from 2000 – 2700 feet QFE.
There was a lot of training and Air Experience flights mostly conducted by Don and Martin. By the end of the day there had been a total of 48 flights.
The day finished in, what has become traditional style, in the clubhouse.
A very good day.
However, I digress. We drove away toward Nympsfield, having been informed by David Jesty that an epic time was to be had over the next few days. An easy drive followed, we arrived to find room keys etc. as promised,so a beer,then bed.
Up early, breakfast in Stroud, then out with all the club kit. All very tidy. Roger had an aerotow with David in the back seat. I think the lady tug driver had her work cut out [mine was not much better]. During this time all sorts of exotic glass ships were being assembled and proposed tasks of gargantuan proportions were being plotted, the sky now was looking GOOD.The long distance fliers were all gone in a surprisingly short time.
Roger and self now had check flights,surprising how much more concentration is needed to do decent circuits and landings at a different field. However, all was acceptable.
We are both desperate to get silver distance and duration, however being the guy that I am, [always modest], I let Roger have first launch in our Astir. By this time the sky was not so good, another launch ensued. Roger flew for some 50 mins. and explored over a considerable area, but no 50Kms. today.
Shortly after he landed gliders were returning in large numbers, some with tales of "daring do". At least one 500km around various turnpoints, plus other long flights [grrrrr].
Next day weather not so good, field very quiet. Roger continued aerotows, self took one launch in Astir, for 55 mins. Not bad considering conditions,and I believe longest of the day,flying very conservatively,in gentle ridge lift and the odd weak thermal.
Having towed our glider to the Long Mynd [Church Stretton] and Shennington [Edgehill],earlier this summer we are finding that completing Silver Tasks is not as easy as we thought,but Nil Desperandum, Persistence will prevail, only the timing is uncertain.
Good Flying All,
Barry and Roger Green [The Green Party]
Thanks to everyone who attended, and especially to Barry and Heather for launching us and retrieving the cables so efficiently. Thanks also to John Bolt, whose latest improvement to the launch caravan has been the installation of a 'picture window', which gives visitors and our own 'caravan lurkers' a greatly improved view of all the work and antics going on outside.
Congratulations to Phil the Farmer, who after a dual soaring flight with Dave Jesty, then a couple of failed attempts on his own, conducted a successful and rather impressive Bronze C leg duration flight.
With all the banter on the forum about locking (or failing to lock) the site and the clubhouse, we ended the day by introducing DGS's first-ever 'Ceremony of the Keys'. Clad in leather flying helmet and pink tights, Martin Smith rose to the occasion - but as he marched under escort away from the securely locked clubhouse, a hammering on the window and some muffled shouts revealed that Sean Paramore was still locked inside!
Let's hope we manage to organize other 'ad hoc' flying days like this.
Meanwhile Martin Smith and Martin Cropper had the field ready for a quick start, Martin stayed on for an hour or so to get us going.
A good training day, but the thermals proved to be fairly useless. There were plenty of pupils to take advantage of the conditions including a new junior (Jacob) who is joining us. A fairly busy day with Alan,Barry and Roger doing great work on the winch finished with a couple of tinnies by the clubhouse.