Dartmoor Gliding News-Sunday 10th November 2017

With the crescent of an occlusion cutting a swathe across the SW peninsula on the Met Office F215, and a cloudbase of 800ft agl at 0900, there was little difficulty in persuading the hordes of members in the clubhouse that: a. a cup of tea was in order, and b: that to take a K-13 up to the launchpoint only to risk it to getting wet by about 1030 was a very risky enterprise and hence that we would be better off keeping our feet on the floor.

And so we set about the tasks left for us by the Saturday Swingers: had they worn out the battery in the secondary quad bike (you know the one, that goes slower than the rotation of the earth in first gear), could we cut the grass on the airfield and strim opposite the clubhouse, and could we sweep up the shavings that had been left on the floor of the hangar? Disappointed that we'd missed the prize fight, we tackled the quad bike first. An enormously fiddly task (battery, battery box scarcely bigger than, lots of cable interference) we eventually proved that the battery was dud, and called for reinforcements...

We then addressed the grass cutting: a traditional gliding club amusement; no instructions, guidance on the equipment or clairvoyance to tell us how to a. attach the supposedly universal PTO shaft onto the PTO coupling of the tractor (it wouldn't fit, until we reversed it, and then it did...), and then get the PTO drive of the tractor to work (it's the lever on the left hand side of - forget it!) following which the Zetor was despatched to go where no sheep have gone recently.

‘Precision Pete’ Harvey and Zetor
And finally, having got one of the strimmers in the Genny hut working, we set about the grass opposite the clubhouse. After about 10 minutes Pete (time and motion analyst) Howarth decided upon a more efficient solution. Calling in 'Precision Pete' Harvey in the Zetor, we got the strip of grass cut with two swathes, the cutters being deftly handled to pass within an 'nth' of the notice at the top of the track. Such accuracy by 'Precision Pete' saved us more than at least 30 mins strimming, for which we (and our ears) are forever grateful.
‘Precision Pete’ Harvey cuts a swathe through the grass opposite the clubhouse...
...and this is how close he got the cutters to the sign at the top of the track..!
The rain swept in proper by about 1230, so after a light lunch of satire and setting the world to rights we departed the scene... Thanks go to Pete Harvey for his intrepid driving of the Zetor and grass-cutting.

Martin Cropper

1 comment:

Rich Roberts said...

I am devastated I missed all the action. Damn the cheap Spanish sun, sangria and boring poolside. See you soon 👍