Dartmoor Gliding News-Sunday 14th January 2018

With the forecast predicting wind east of south and the winch already positioned at the east end it would have been a foolish set of Sunday Soarers who looked the gift horse given them by the Wednesday Crew (who had changed ends with the winch) in the mouth. The condition of the field was, however, a serious cause for concern as, with the sky clear and mists rising in the valleys, we attended Pete Howarth's morning brief before deciding cautiously to take one K-13 and the K-8 up to the north-west end. First launch was at 1105. With two trial lessons booked, a F&F and a good number of club members keen to regain/maintain currency, getting through the list was always going to be a challenge, particularly with the going so very soft, but it was nevertheless good to see such a healthy turnout.

Roger Appleboom embarks upon his Record Breaking Flight in K-8 FXB.
With a light wind and some cumulus indicating wave from the south, whilst strato-cu formed drifts that obscured the sun, there was no clear soaring modus operandi, but that did not prevent Roger Appleboom from achieving a record breaking personal best with his longest flight of the year. It has to be said, however, that his modest 9 minutes in the K-8 was beaten by Richard Roberts, who managed a whole 12 mins (also a PB at BRT) and that we hope these records do not remain standing for very long..!

Roger Appleboom embarks upon his Record Breaking Flight in K-8 FXB.
Our visitors were Richard Nally, who flew with Pete Howarth, and Chris Brown, who flew with Martin Cropper. Rich brought his extended family with him (just how do children fail to feel the cold..?), whilst Chris's flights had been bought for him by his father, who had also flown with us when Chris "were just 'ubbuy'"..! Both enjoyed their short flights and vowed to return. Our F&F was Luke Vitai, the submariner husband of one of Ed Borlase's colleagues at the Theatre Royal who, despite a long and perishingly cold wait, thoroughly enjoyed his induction flight with Pete Howarth and will be back with us as soon as his underwater duties permit.

Visitor Rich Nally ready for his flight with Instructor Pete Howarth.
Visitor Chris Brown prepares to fly with Martin Cropper
Luke Vitai is given his first taste of DGS by Pete Howarth.
Stretching the day as long as we dared, it was a little after sunset when the final landing rolled to a halt, and we wheeled the gliders back for a well earned wash down and tucking up in the hangar. Twenty-two launches, no new defects and some cold, but satisfied smiles on faces bore witness to a productive and successful day. But for how long will those personal best times remain in place - just now they look pretty safe for at least one week, that's for sure..!

Martin Cropper

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