Dartmoor Gliding News-Sunday 22nd January 2017

After the early morning front had passed through (see photo), and with no visitors scheduled, there was every prospect of today becoming a pleasant south-easterly day – and so it turned out. With recently qualified instructor Peter Howarth at the helm, we had proceedings underway by 10:00, and with Paula Howarth, Leith Whittington, Colin Boyd and Rich Roberts taking up the 'Dress Circle' in the single seaters, whilst Dave Downton, Dave Westcott, Ed Borlase and Ben Caverhill mucked in with the two-seaters the 'stalls', we managed a full day's flying, with 29 launches overall.

As soon as an early morning trough had passed through, we were ready to go.
Dave Downton and Joe Nobbs provided entertainment for all with simulated launch failures, whilst Joe also won the accolade of Flight of the Day in the K-13 by bumping into a mildly buoyant thermal just south of the winch for a full 12 minutes – thus causing third degree burns (thankfully not permanent) to his wallet!

Joe Nobbs brings K-13 DMX into land after a successful simulated launch failure.
Ben Caverhill practices use of the trim lever after changing speed.
Not all the entertainment was in the air, however, as Phil Hardwick demonstrated during his check flights with Peter Howarth with a devastating display of millinery (ie. a fez-like hat) that would have had Tommy Cooper gasping how he did it (answer? - Just like that!)

Glider Pilots do it... in hats!
Phil Hardwick models the ‘must have’ in this season’s gliding millinery...

As the sun dipped behind a cloud bank at about 4:30pm the temperature plummeted and it was time to get the gliders back to the (relative) warmth of their hangar.

Rich Roberts looks for ways to improve the launch rate whilst Joe Nobbs mounts up.

Thanks go to Rich Roberts and Dave Downton for driving the winch, and all those who ran the retrieve and launchpoint: a lean, mean team who consistently delivered just over 5 launches per hour throughout.

Martin Cropper

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