Dartmoor Gliding News-Sunday 4th October 2015

“…and for the South a clear day with plenty of sun so make the most because there’s a definite change in the air for the beginning of next week…” so with that clear direction from the weatherman to make the most of it, it was on with shorts and t-shirt for a good day’s flying. Or so I thought; as did a very good turn-out of members at the club. It was just a matter of waiting for the low cloud to clear…

To show willing, we sent the K-13 with 15 year old trainee Amelia Johnson as P2 for a snifter. Entering cloud at 450ft gave just enough height for an abbreviated circuit and Amelia just enough time in cloud to realise its effects. And so we waited. Whilst asking a question of glider pilots is a bit like seeking an opinion from lawyers: ask 3 and you get 4 different replies, today there was a general consensus that a clearance from the SE was imminent.

So as lunchtime approached and with a perceptible rise in the cloudbase we had another go – managing to get both K-13s and the Zugvögel away. But by now the wind had veered due South (90º crosswind) and its gusts increased in ‘dynamic range’ (i.e.. 5-20kts) and with a gale warning issued with effect from 1pm, it was decided that we were not able to fly safely any longer.

Fortunately, Dave Downton was on hand to rebook those visitors who had arrived eager to experience soaring flight – so at least they weren’t too disappointed, and we were able to fly Karen Jasper, partner of club member Chris Owen (see photo).

Karen Jasper flew with IFP Roger Appleboom
So the afternoon was spent swapping stories and doing odd jobs on the To Do List (such as painting the windsock poles green, so you won’t be able to find them!), whilst Colin Boyd cracked on with essential work on the club’s K-8, which is in for its CofA. Oh, and we made pretty short shrift of Roger Appleboom’s home-made stollern bread - as the owner of a garage and motorcycle training school I don’t know where he finds the time…but it was delicious!

Richard Roberts repainting the western windsock pole
after the crosswind stopped play.

Martin Cropper

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