Dartmoor Gliding News-Sunday 16th July 2017

The weather: “cloudy but dry with cloudbase rising to 1,800ft amsl by 1200 local”; should have allowed us to get some launches in at around lunchtime and into the afternoon (Brentor being 820ft above amsl). The reality of “cloudy but dry” was that we were within the cloud as much as out of it, and when out of it the drizzle was persistent. So once again we turned to Dave Downton to exercise his diplomacy skills in postponing today’s One Day Course and re-booking our Trial Lessons.

Anyone seen rain falling upwards?"
"Water droplets spotted on the underside of the K-8’s wing.
Meanwhile, we set about finding useful things to do (in the wet). Such as, why is there no neutral light on the quad bike? (Roger Appleboom on removing offending item said he would replacement it with one from his garage stores); why are there droplets of water on the underside of the gliders’ wings in the hangar (a very timely question put just as a blast of Wagner announced Colin Boyd’s arrival in the Green Machine).

Peter Howarth cutting the lighter grass in the mist.
Answer, the hangar doors were left open during a rain shower yesterday afternoon. And can we mow the grass? Well perhaps just the light stuff can be kept a bay – thanks to Pete Howarth for that. We also had great fun digging out one of the strimmers from the pile of ‘It’s no good to us but I’m sure the gliding club would like it’ stuff and (after a lot a semi-H&S compliant tweaking) getting it to work. This enabled Roger Appleboom to go on a voyage of discovery for the yellow warning sign that used to caution drivers about driving down the slope to the hangar with gliders attached. After 10 minutes intense strimming the sign re-emerged from the tangle of grass and is now re-transmitting its safety message.

Roger Appleboom with strimmer rediscovers the south side safety sign.
Excitement of the day was the arrival of a new glider on site, courtesy of Alan Carter and Roger Green who having captured a new prize in the shape of a Zugvögel 3B, had brought it all the way from Essex, thus giving us two on site and one third of the UK’s population of the Scheibe built 17m gliders. It also provided evidence of another growing trend at Brentor: members with two gliders – Alan with his (worryingly similar) SF-27, Roger with his ASW-20, plus the aforementioned Zugvögel 3B (with which Steve Lewis is also to be a syndicate member), Roger Appleboom with his K-6CR plus Club Libelle and, until recently, Dave Parker with his K-6CR and Std Cirrus. The rationale for this multi-asseted ownership is, of course, our relative remoteness for those cross-country pilots domiciled in the West Country who nonetheless want to fly all through the year (keep your hot ship up country and a hack in Devon).

There were two interesting spots (in addition to the rain) today: first, two deer (one adult one juvenile) in the woodland over the south side fence (smiley face), they seemed quite happy watching us watching them; the second, cow pats on the airfield (grumpy face).

Martin Cropper

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