Dartmoor Gliding News-Sunday 13th September 2015

We packed up early today. No, this is not an admission of failure on behalf of the Sunday Soarers, merely an acknowledgement that, as Barry Green set the Zugvögel down from his award winning, 49 minute 'flight of the day' (see photo), the clouds to the SE were looking increasingly threatening (Allan Holland was 'hoisting the storm cones' saying we had 30 mins max before the gliders would get wet). And, indeed, it was with a certain smug satisfaction that, as we drove out of the car park, the first spots of rain began to fall.

Adrian Irwin moves the launch point to the west end under an ‘interesting’ sky.
Those of you who have been in any kind of managerial position will no doubt have had the misfortune to come across the concept of 'LEAN', a reinvention of 'time and motion' that swept through the commercial world 5 years or so ago. There were even 'LEAN' events... Well, today at Brentor the turnout was so 'LEAN' it was positively anorexic! However, with Adrian Irwin spiritedly towing the launch hut to the west end under an 'interesting' sky (wind from the SE), and Roger Appleboom attending to the cables, there was, thanks to the hand-held radio, no reason why we shouldn't get up and explore the possibility of wave.

We were visited by fellow glider pilots Andy and Claire Holmes from Lasham.
It wasn't long before we were joined by two travellers from the east, namely Andy and Claire Holmes (see photo), who hail from Lasham (and also the Mynd), where Andy flies an LS-8 and Claire 'makes do' with one of the club's Discii..! Andy flew with Roger Appleboom for a couple of site acquaints, whilst Claire was quite happy to remain on the ground, since she is expecting twins in five weeks' time. All the best, Claire! As they left we welcomed our Introductory Flight candidate of the day, ex-Serviceman Dave Miles who, in his Army days as a physical trainer in Gibraltar, had actually played football against the England team during their summer training camp. Dave also flew with Roger (see photo).

Visiting Service veteran Dave Miles flew with Roger Appleboom.
As regular readers know, safety is synonymous with soaring on Sundays, and we were glad to have left the K-8 down at the hangar as the early morning breeze increased to 15-20kts as predicted. And whilst the wave was not in evidence, the wind strength didn't prevent thermals forming, and indeed assisted in marshalling the cumulus into streets. Thus Roger, Adrian and Colin Boyd (flying dual and solo) obtained some useful times exploring various strong, smooth thermals, the best of which seemed to be downwind of the airfield, thus presenting their own 'Should I stay or Should I go?' challenges... Trainee Ed Borlase was also able to experience thermals that enabled him to view the scene from 2,700ft (see photo), whilst getting back into the groove of using all three controls to slip, skid and stall around the sky.

Trainee Ed Borlase captured this view of Tavistock from 2,700ft.
By the time Barry got into the Zugvögel, after another epic shift of winching (thanks, Barry), weather radars (my mobile) were showing a thick bank of cloud encroaching from the Channel, shortly thereafter to be confirmed visually, but that did not prevent Barry from spending an enjoyable 49 mins cavorting. Which was just about where we came in...

Veteran Winchman Barry Green lands the Zugvogel to claim ‘flight of the day’.
Thanks go to Heather Horsewill for her retrieving, to Allan Holland for assisting whilst not flying, and especially to Richard 'glazier' Roberts for replacing the left hand window in the Guslaunch, using glass he has had cut to order, a task which he described as “A bit of a pane, but one which I just had to see through..!” (groan...)

Martin Cropper

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