Dartmoor Gliding News-Saturday 19th August 2017

The weather forecast looked very usable. 4/8th's cloud cover with 15 knots of wind from the west. Little to no chance of rain although there is another front due this evening. While 15knots is reasonably strong it was straight down the runway and was not very gusty so was a real pleasure to fly in.

What about soaring? Well this brought a few surprises. At the upwind end of the airfield (and beyond) there was a large area of sinking air which stayed there all day irrespective of what the clouds were doing. At the downwind end there were a lot of thermal bubbles lifting with surprising amounts of energy. With the strength of the wind climbing in these bubbles would give 2000 feet by the time the wind had pushed you about 3 miles downwind of the the airfield; overhead Cox Tor. Pushing back into the wind could then be accomplished in large areas of lift, too smooth to be just normal cloud streets. My best guess suggests that this was a wave system in the strong westerly wind which was enhancing and suppressing thermal formation over relatively large areas. Very interesting.

The Zugvogel 3B about to launch from the head of the grid
The solo pilots are usually quick to catch on to the conditions and today was no different. After some short soaring flights by the 2 seaters, the Zugvogel 3B syndicate lead the way with flights of 23minutes by Alan followed by 50 minutes by Roger who topped out at 3000 feet. Longest flight of the day was by Barry Green flying the Silent who flew  for nearly 2 hours engine off after his initial launch. Regular blog readers will not be surprised to hear that Alan Holland managed 47 minutes in the K8.

This is Mike Jardine's view of the Zugvogel while they shared a thermal.
It's against the cloud top right
Roger Green's view from the 3000ft cloudbase
Today's visitors were One Day course Candidate Brian McManus and Air Experience voucher holder Steve George who flew with me. Another Air Experience visitor was Richard Jones who flew with Rick. Today also saw Bella Cset returning to continue flying training after his visit last Saturday.

One Day Course Candidate Brian McManus ready for another flight
Visitor Steve George helping to return the glider to the launch point after his flight
Visitor Richard Jones flew with Rick
Returning from last week to start his training is Bella who flew with mike.
Our thanks, as always, are due to all the members who helped make this a successful day. I am sure you know who you are.

The day finished with a meeting of the Committee who were still working all the way through sunset and beyond. Now that's dedication.


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