Dartmoor Gliding News-Sunday 6th November 2016

Contrary to most Sundays today the forecast actually tempted us into the air, predicting a reduction in wind strength from yesterday's 25kts plus to a gentle 10kts, albeit 90 degrees crossed from the North. An upward blip on RASP around lunchtime provided additional temptation, and so we set to with a will. Little did we know...

At the third attempt Alison Jackson, from Exeter,
finally flew her One Day Course with Peter Howarth.
It was great to see One Day Course student Alison Jackson on the field again today: this was our third attempt to get Alison flying and, thanks to efficient use of time by our new Asst Cat Instructor Peter Howarth, she successfully achieved all 6 flights of the course, plus a visit to the winch and learning how to run the wing, hook on and de-rig a glider. We look forward to the possibility of seeing Alison return in future.

Visitor Matthew Nicholson also flew with Peter Howarth.
Visiting brothers Nigel and Chris Thomas.
The wind through the morning remained consistent at 10 kts, northerly, thus enabling trainees Dave Downton and Dave Westcott to practice their crosswind skills (as if anyone at Brentor needed greater proficiency in dealing with this element of the syllabus). As the afternoon progressed, however, the wind backed 30 or so degrees (a good thing) and steadily increased in both strength and gusts (both bad things) until one very wise pilot decided it was time to land the K-8 at the hangar end of the runway (thank you., Allan...) That said, it remained safe enough for the K-13s to soldier on, with Pete Howarth flying visiting brothers Nigel and Chris Thomas, and Matthew Nicholson, whilst solo privateers Paula Howarth and Rich Roberts consolidated their conversions onto K-6 and Discus respectively.

‘What do you mean, Shower Approaching?’
The airfield was caught by just the edge of this downpour.
The low atmospheric pressure eventually manifested itself as a densely isolated shower that clipped the airfield as it passed N-S, preventing flying for 30 mins and which, with an associated sharp drop in temperature, persuaded us that hangar flights were now the order of the day. And so we 'proceeded in a westerly direction' to put the gliders away, conduct a shuffle of assorted mainplanes for Colin Boyd to work on in the workshop and position the 'new' ML winch on the hardstanding ready for work on the cable drums tomorrow, before darkness fell.

‘The Shower now departing...’ has left a very wet K-6 in its wake!
So that was it, a typical Brentor (35 launch) day of honing skills, maintaining currency and coping with a 'boisterous' 90 degree crosswind. Thanks go to... but what's this?? A logkeeping error??? Surely not..!! Could it be..? Launch No 10, Mr Leith Whittington, Dart 17R, is recorded as 10 minutes... as thus warrants his first ever award of 'Flight of the Day'*. Well Done, Leith (and if the angle of bank continues to increase you could be buying the beers on more than one occasion...) No, really, thanks go to Barry Green at the winch for coping with tricky crosswind conditions today, and to Heather Horswill who, as ever, delivered the cables throughout.

*Jointly shared with Allan Holland for an exciting (when viewed from below) 10 minutes ridge soaring in the K-8.

Martin Cropper

1 comment:

Rich Roberts said...

Great report thanks Martin , and a day when pilot skill was order of the day for soaring, dealing with the crosswind and decision making. Great progress for all the hardy winter pilots