Dartmoor Gliding News-Sunday 18th December 2016

Yet another sparkling start to a Sunday led us expect a decent day's flying; so, with the windsock giving no clear indication of wind direction, we set up for a westerly launch. After a later than usual start, getting underway at about 1145, the air was so still it was as if we were in flight test conditions in which the glider did exactly what you asked of it, and your position in the sky was the exact result of your own actions, with no allowance being necessary for (or excuse capable of being attributed to) external forces. Even the cups on the launchpoint weather station were still (and yet it was possible to feel a slight movement of air from the south on your cheek, or hair).

Visiting pilot Henry Ford, from Mendip GC, about to launch in the Zugvogel.
And so, with Peter Howarth conducting operations, we were able to crack on through some very useful check flight/currency work with Dave Downton, Chris Owen and Peter Harvey, whilst Roger Appleboom, Leith Whittington, Karl Andrews and visiting pilot from Mendip GC Henry Ford attempted to stretch their flights beyond 5 mins (Henry's bold venture in the Zugvogel across to Blackdown taking 6 mins, thus equal with two of Roger's energy conserving efforts in the K-8).

Today's visitor was Josh Balsdon, a land agent student at Leicester University who, at home on holiday, was brought to the club by his parents, both of whom had flown with us some years ago (not easily frightened then..!)

Visitor Josh Balsdon (whose parents had previously flown with us)
flew with Roger Appleboom.
Sadly, having got into a groove of about 6 launches per hour, the afternoon's flying was suddenly curtailed by the curse of condensation – misting canopies causing us to return the gliders to the hangar by 3:30pm. Still, 22 launches between 11:45 and 3:30pm (with a couple of simulated launch failures thrown in) was not too bad – for which thanks go in particular to Barry Green and Heather Horswill, the winch and retrieve driving machine!

Whilst wishing everyone all the best over the seasonal break, please remember that Licensed pilots can fly any day they can get the requisite number of suitably qualified members together, and that the next training flying day will be New Year's Eve, Saturday 31 December.

Happy Christmas!

Martin Cropper

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