Dartmoor Gliding News-Sunday 22nd April 2018

The forecast hinted that a depression over Northern Ireland would drag a cold front over Wales, that with luck we in the West Country would escape. RASP hinted that, following a mid-morning burst of sunshine, low cloudbase could become a limiting factor. And so, in true gliding fashion, there was nothing more to be said than “Let’s give it a go..!”

Morning Sky by Ed Borlase shows interesting prospects.
Turning the airfield around (from yesterday’s SE’ly wind) was successfully accomplished and, with an interesting looking sky (showing signs of wave downwind from Bodmin Moor) we started launching at a little after 1100.

Martin Cropper and visitor Mark Kennedy after Mark’s first flight.
With two One Day Courses and a Trial Lesson, plus an enthusiastic gaggle of club members, there was a lot to fit in. And from the very first launch there was a buoyancy, not only in the mood of those assembled, but in the air itself, providing visitor Mark Kennedy and Leith Whittington with 6 and 7 minute flights apiece on their first excursions into the sky.

Visitor Mark Kennedy in discussion with Leith Whittington under an interesting sky.
Visitor Ed Clarke, from Newton Abbot, prepares to aviate with Martin Cropper.
Roger Appleboom, always keen to avoid being sent to the winch, echoed that performance, before later announcing that his third flight was to be his 1,000th launch (a shame no-one had a cake handy, but we celebrated nonetheless!)

“All Your Launches and Landings Add Up..!”
Roger Appleboom celebrates his 1,000th flight.
As lunchtime turned into afternoon, however, the clear blue turned into a grey wall of cloud, gradually reducing launch heights from around 1,000ft to 700-800ft that, with intermittent rains showers sadly caused us to call it a day by about 1630. But that was not before all club members flew, at least two launches (with associated eventualities) – so there could be no accusation of being short changed, or deprived of an ‘interesting’ flight.

At the end of the day we welcomed the return of Peter Howarth from North Hill, having completed his Post Course Assessment and re-qualified as an Asst Cat Instructor, courtesy of Simon Minson and the team there. Well Done, Peter!

Martin Cropper

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