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.