Dartmoor Gliding News-Saturday 17th June 2017

High pressure is in charge of the weather. The day started with an endless blue sky only spoiled by the occasional arial graffiti left by the high flying airliners on their way to exotic destinations. Although RASP seemed reasonably hopeful, I was a little doubtful. When the atmospheric pressure is high the situation is like a bottle of champagne; when the cork is in, no bubbles; release the cork, bubbles everywhere. High pressure works like the cork limiting the formation of thermals, to release this, the temperature needs to reach a a  "trigger" temperature. Looking at the the atmospheric soundings today's trigger temperature could be as high as 30 celsius.

Looking south towards Tavistock
The airfield from the south side
Today's instructor in charge was Mike Sloggett who has, once again, leaped into the breach to help fill the void left by Ged's recall to hospital and Rick going on holiday (how dare he?). Thanks Mike. Initially we thought that K13 G-CHXP would need to be shared between Mike and I to fly both the visitors and club members but, shortly after we started flying, the cavalry ( in the shape of Colin Boyd ) appeared over the horizon with K13 G-DDMX in tow fresh from it's annual inspection. After a short test flight (I didn't enjoy doing that, honest) we were in business with a 2 seater each.

Kathy waiting to fly
My visitors today were Jacob Little, Kathy Poverino, and Nicola Burke all of whom enjoyed their flying in the relatively calm conditions. Mike's day was a mix of training flights with new and experienced pilots alike.

Nicola and Mother share a moment for the camera
The day started with light variable winds. Right from the start their were signs that thermals were trying to form with the air feeling frothy and light in places but without any signs of cores or even thermal bubbles. Quite suddenly things changed and some gliders were soaring. This was accompanied by a sudden change in the wind strength and direction. The wind remained 8 knots NW for the rest of the day. The soaring stopped as suddenly as it had started and looking downwind over the higher tors it was now obvious that a sea breeze front had passed through. Why is this always easy to see after the event?

Remnants of the sea breeze front over Dartmoor
Best flight was by Bob Sansom flying the K8 for 39 minutes followed by Mike and Andy Davey in HXP with 29 minutes. Mike and Andy used the height that they had gained to complete Andy's spinning excercises and to put him even closer to his first solo flight.

End of the day
A good  day.

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