Dartmoor Gliding News-Sunday 7th August 2016

At this 'typical' gliding club we normally have two K-13s and a K-8 available; today we were down to one K-13 (whilst the other is being prepared for its annual CofA) and it was not long before the K-8 was also taken off-line, the result of an eagle eyed DI'er who spotted that the fabric was detached (not broken, just separated) from one of its wing ribs... So, were we downhearted? Not a bit of it! In 'typical' gliding club style, and with permission from Inspector Colin Boyd to rig the second K-13, (and 'happy' with the instruction from him to de-rig the glider again at the end of the day... plus the K-8!) we set to with a will (see photo) – the cloudbase being below launch height but forecast to rise giving us every incentive.

Rigging K-13 G-DDMX whilst waiting for the cloudbase to rise.
 Peter Howarth was Introductory Flight Pilot today, flying with Philip Shears, Sefton Green, Lawrence Hands and Cristina Nartea (see photos), in the morning. Peter is a very good 'thermal sniffer' (as shown by a 13 minute flight with Sefton Green on the third launch of the day) which prompted the private owners to get their steeds into the air (Robin Wilson achieving 1 hour and Roger Appleboom 25 mins in their respective K-6s before lunchtime). The day then very rapidly overdeveloped, with spread-out yielding no lift at all, and the due west surface wind betraying a gradient and shear to the south that could have 'gotchered' those who opted for a north side, right hand circuit. After the spread-out dissipated, however, the clouds recycled such that, in the afternoon, it really was a matter of chance whether you struck lucky or not..
Philip Shears was also an early flier with Peter.
Visitor Sefton Green flew with IFP Peter Howarth.
Lawrence Hands looks happy to hand control to Peter Howarth.
Rich Roberts managed 10, 9 and 7 mins in his K-6, (but did produce the stunning wingtip photo featured here), whilst Leith Whittington test flew his Dart 17R following inner tube 'creep' and Peter Howarth flew with visitor Elizabeth Ferrie (see photo).

Final visitor of the day Elizabeth Ferrie, with her Dad, Peter and Paula Howarth.
View from Richard Roberts’s wingtip as he centres his K-6 in a thermal over Brentor.
Two of the K6s waiting for their turn to kaunch
After his business trip to Canada, it was really good to see Jerry Wellington back on site who, after the requisite check flights – including a quick soar to 2,000ft at 5:45pm, was able to get back into his K-6 for one of the final (if that's possible) launches of the day. The final launch, with trainee Philip Sellwood flying the launch for the first time, was number 35 - not bad for a 11:41am start.

So, having been rigged this morning, as we drew K-13 DMX back down the hill for derigging, we reflected that this was exactly what our forebears used to do when the club was formed with a single T-21 thirty three years ago (only they did it on every flying day..!)

Roger Appleboom is delighted to see that his photo-voltaic panel
manages to generate electricity through the Dartmoor gloom.
Thanks go to Heather Horswill for retrieving, to Barry Green for winching, to Joe Nobbs for learning how to winch (we need more people like you...), to Jeff Cragg and Jorg Beasley for attending without being able to fly (largely due to the low cloudbase late start) and to all those who welcomed, helped and hosted our steady stream of visitors today; a recently published email on the forum shows that it is appreciated.

Martin Cropper

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