Dartmoor Gliding News-Wednesday 9th September 2015

The current high pressure system has brought a very enjoyable Indian Summer. As the high pressure is to the north this has brought an easterly airflow. Readers of this blog will know that an easterly airflow creates a lot of excitement at the club as members anticipate ( hope for? ) good wave flying conditions.

However, to form good wave there are a few other factors that need to be in place. Winds with a lot of east in it. Good. There should be increasing wind speeds with height. Today’s atmospheric soundings indicated that that the airspeeds would be high at flying heights but would be more or less constant with height. Ok I’ve seen some good wave with this wind profile. The killer blow though was the temperature profile. There needs to be an inversion fairly low down indicating the presence of alternating layers of stable and unstable air. There was a weak inversion but it was relatively high ( 4000+ feet ).

Careful ground handling was required on the brisk easterly wind.
The excitement at the club was enjoyable as members bustled around to get the airfield, and aircraft, ready. ( Who am I to ruin the mood by voicing my doubts? ). The wind speed at ground level was definitely higher than forecast so the first flights were left to the 2 seater crews to assess conditions which were mostly ok with large areas of smooth air in the 30 knot+ wind at flying heights with some rotor and thermal activity to keep the pilots honest.

Visitor Anne Pennington
Liz Murphy sharing a joke with Fred 
Conditions were gentle enough to allow us to fly our visitors today so this is what we did. Liz Murphy and Carol Warren for with IFP Fred Marks, Dennis McDonald flew with Ged Nevisky and Anne Pennington and David McDonald flew with me. Everyone enjoyed their flights and left the airfield with smiles on their faces.

A very sprightly 92 year old Dennis McDonald with son David David 
Visitor Carol Warren 
And the soaring? Well there were valiant efforts from all our pilots trying to exploit the bits of thermal. rotor and wave that were all mixed together in the local area. Longest flight of the day was by Adrian Irwin in the Zugvogel who managed to slow his decent from launch height to landing for 37 minutes. The were many soaring flights in the 15 to 20 minute range.

Thanks once again must go to Barry Green and Steve Raine for the winch driving and to Heather for her cable retrieve driving.


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