Dartmoor Gliding News-Sunday 19th February 2017

An occlusion snaking N-S across the west of UK did not make for comforting reading on the Met Office F215, but on arrival at the airfield, the cloud-base being just greater than ‘tor height’, and the wind a mere zephyr, there was nothing to prevent us from flying – and so we did!

But that was not the only business of the day: first we had to celebrate our Inspector, ageing rock star Colin Boyd’s birthday. This we did with a delicious chocolate and peanut butter sponge generously provided by Paula Howarth, which was gratefully gobbled by all attendees, some of whom were almost moved to a twinge of regret that Colin wasn’t there..! Colin, who normally arrives at the sort of time you would expect from an ageing rock star, was at home convalescing after his recent hip replacement operation.

Colin Boyd’s birthday cake – before
and after ... a pity he wasn’t there to enjoy it..!
Once we had got the airfield re-arranged for the south-westerly that was predicted (and duly arrived) we got going with club trainees Dave Downton and Ed Borlase taking the K-13s whilst Roger Appleboom took the club K-8 and Leith Whittington flew his immaculate Dart 17R. Cloudbase was, it must be said, ‘variable’, causing Roger A on one occasion to disappear for severeal seconds. With no visitors to cater for today provided an excellent opportunity for members to practice launch failures, thus remaining current for when the season begins.

Ed Borlase prepares to commit aviation.
All was proceeding smoothly until, at the stroke of 2:30pm (‘precisely..!’) the occlusion arrived, dropping cloudbase to the deck and soaking us all within 5 minutes. And so it was a long and sopping wet trudge back to the hangar to squeegee off the gliders before we could reward ourselves with steaming hot cuppas all round.

The occlusion swept in within 5 minutes.
Thanks go to Inspector’s Apprentice Dave Downton who, loyal to a fault, saved a piece of birthday cake for Colin – for doorstep delivery on his way home!

Martin Cropper

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