Dartmoor gliding News-Sunday 6th May 2018

After a short altercation between BBC and AccuWeather resulted in the Shape Shifting Sunday Soarers once again agreeing to change ends, we had the airfield swapped around much quicker today to meet the a forecast gentle SE'ly, due in no small part to getting the tractor to start first time. And a good job we changed ends too, since the upper air was definitely SE throughout, even when at ground level the occasional afternoon zephyr went SW-wards. Our trainee also pointed out that RASP predicted 3.5 with 6-7 oktas in the afternoon, but that was not to be.

Travelling from Glastonbury to be with us, our One Day Course Student was Phil Butler, an Adventurous Training Instructor.
We also took the opportunity to give Phil’s wife, Shonagh, a view from the air of Dartmoor.
Our One Day Course student today was Phil Butler, an adventurous training instructor who, with his wife Shonagh, had travelled from Glastonbury to be with us. He rapidly settled into the routine, enjoying three launches in the morning before being invited to lunch with the winch team, following which a slightly wizened participant (there was the occasional simulated launch failure) returned to the west end to learn more about 'all three controls together' whilst questioning almost every aspect of our operation. At the end of the day we also flew his wife, Shonagh, in return for spending most of the day exercising their dog on Dartmoor.

Roger Applebom gets air under the wings of his K-6 as he launches in to cloudless sky.
Our trainees did well to make what they could from the conditions. As alluded to above, the 3.5 on RASP was a never to be, but thankfully the stable conditions did not prevent the occasional, nursery thermal from forming, nor did they obscure that all important horizon. Which was all to the good since, once all club members had flown (ie. Roger Appleboom (see photo), Dave Westcott, Jo Nobbs, Dave Downton, and Leith Whittington), and conditions stabilised further, it was possible not only for Ed Borlase for a re-solo in the K-13, but to (following a suitably embellished brief by Dave Downton) for him to convert to the K-8. Well Done, Ed!

Spot the Difference (1):  Ed Borlase re-soloes in the K-13...
Spot the Difference (2): ..and then type converts onto the K-8 (no we didn’t just cut and shut the rear cockpit..!)
So with Jo Nobbs claiming Flight of the Day with a princely 7 mins, our visitors Phil and Shonagh Butler returning to Glastonbury with well walked dog, and Ed having won his spurs in the K-8, what more could one wish for? Well 1,000km with 3,000 m height gain would be nice, but for the Sunday Soarers a nice day spent amongst friends would do even nicer.

Martin Cropper

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