Dartmoor Gliding News-Sunday 9th July 2017

If you read yesterday’s blog then you can be sure that today’s is nothing like the same, with the exception of the weather..! The Met Office low level chart showed a waving cold front across the Bristol Channel being caught up by a warm front across Wales, with the resulting meteorological train-smash due to occur at whatever o’clock, whilst the wind was supposedly W’ly, NW’ly of VRB, depending on which box you referred to. So the similarity with yesterday’s blog is: we elected to go to the launchpoint in a spirit of discovery and let the weather decide what it would deliver (we could always return to the hangar if things turned threatening).

With Gordon Dennis on hand as Duty Instructor, a One day Course booked, two trial lesson visitors plus a number of members declaring their ‘friends and family’ hands at Morning Briefing, there was every good reason to give it a go, and so off we went…

  Bright sunshine on the airfield whilst the threatening fronts pass us by.
Gordon flew with new member David Carter, and other club trainees Callum Doyle and Dave Westcott, whilst IFP Rich Roberts was on hand to fly with our visitors, first of whom was teenager Joe Taggart, to be followed by an even younger Toby Uren. Rich was also first to spot that some of the almost uniformly grey clouds were greyer than others, as the sun intermittently managed to break through to ground level, allowing him to whisk Joe (who declared “I don’t want to go above 1,900ft”) to 1, 899ft (for 12 mins)! (…and some way short of cloudbase).

One Day Course Student John Owen, from Saltash, with Martin Cropper.
Visitor Eddie Robertson also flew with Martin.
Meanwhile, One Day Course student John Owen flew with Martin Cropper. In conversation during the short intervals waiting for cables, the pair discovered that they had both attended a barbecue as guests of the owner of a Mine Captain’s house at Harrowbarrow…27 years ago! Small World! John also spent time with Dave Downton at the winch and discovered the importance of the wing-tip holder and retrieve driver. Martin also flew with visitor Eddie Robertson, whose flights were part of a bucket list fulfilment campaign (being paid for by his daughter..!)

Visitor Tobias Uren being presented with his Certificate by Rich Roberts.
Visitor Joe Taggart flew with IFP Rich Roberts.
Our friends and family visitors came in the shape of Callum Doyle’s partner, Kat McCue, who flew with Gordon, and Colin Boyd’s guest Polly and Helen Schilling, who could be heard enjoying their flights, even at ground level!

Callum's partner Kat McCue
Overall, the high point of the day has to have been at around 1415, when Rich Roberts, our ODC pair and Leith Whittington were aloft simultaneously, Rich for a Flight of the Day winning 1 hr 10 mins in his Discus, Martin and John for a cool 13 mins to 1,200ft, and Leith for 2 flights of 13 mins soaring success in his Dart 17R!

Sharing A Thermal
At the end of the day, and with 34 launches logged, it had to be admitted that: a. the fronts – although threatening - did not put a stop to flying, and b. that HXP, with its new Colin Boyd inspired colour scheme, has been transformed, particularly in terms of visibility. Can someone submit an Unplanned Event Form for an IMPROVEMENT in Flight Safety, please?

Martin Cropper

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