Dartmoor Gliding News-Wednesday 23rd May 2018

A reasonable weather forecast, an optimistic RASP forecast and a long day ahead meant Robin and I were in good spirits as we approached the airfield. On arriving at the airfield we were greeted by Steve Raine who was unable to get the padlock open on the hangar. After about 30 mins of fiddling and using his previous employment experience he eventually managed to tease the wheels enough to get the padlock apart. If you find yourself in the same frustrating position the knack is to wiggle the combination wheels slightly as you push the padlock together (apparently).

Approaching Roadford reservoir from my Cirrus at about 5000 feet
Some of you may know that the road sign and along with it our yellow sign on the Brentor Road have been flattened by something very big. Knowing we had a number of visitors today, and in particular I had told Western power to look for the sign when trying to find us, Robin and I lashed up what was left of our sign using cable ties and electric fence posts. First flight of the day was a check flight with Mike Sloggett and Steve Raine. Steve found a thermal straight off the cable and up they went to 3000 ft (see photo). 25 mins later they came back as Mike had a long list of others he needed to fly with.

Meeting of the 2 seaters. The Twin Astir towing in front of the K13
Barry Greene took off in his and Mike Bennet's lovely K6 and after working hard soared off into the blue. Our first guest of the day was my friend Pete Bernardes who flew with Mike Slogget, Pete thoroughly enjoyed his two flights but unfortunately the thermals became elusive and all the flights in the K13 were short for the rest of the day.

A view down the runway towards the west
 Trevor, Phil and Robin flew their twin Astir quite a few times around the airfield bringing a smile to the treasurer and the clubs bank balance. Barry appeared back on the airfield after a lovely 2 hr flight visiting Roadford Reservoir, Gunnislake and Tavistock and managing to get to 5,800 feet. The thermals were getting hard to find by now with most people back on the ground within 5 mins. After Allen Holland showed everyone that the thermals were still there by working away just to the North side of the airfield and staying a loft for 1 hour, I decided to fly my Cirrus. I worked away in the area to the North of the airfield and after 10 mins had managed to gain just 300 feet! But then things got easier and following Barry’s advice that the Thermals were stronger the further North you went I eventually managed to get up to 6000 feet and fly up to Roadford Reservoir (see picture) and then back down to Grenofen to take a picture of my house before flying back to the airfield.

Brentor Church
Mike Sloggett, Mark Courtney and Mike Jardine all flew various members and visitors

Visitor Mike Barnades with Instructor Mike Sloggett
The thermals remained small and weak low down but strengthened above 1500feet and became strong over 3000feet, but some of the sink was awesome at 10 down in places! Philip Harris and John Gaul both completed their one day courses and James Hood an instructor from North Hill came up and flew with Mike Sloggett.
3000 feet and over 2 knots up. Great stuff

Barry had the longest flight of the day with 2 hours and Robin gets a mention in dispatches for managing to keep the twin Astir airborne for 16 minutes in the weak thermals. Flying went well on into the evening with the last flight taking place after 7.30 pm, a total of 29 flights. A long day with lots of smiling faces but mixed soaring fortunes.

A huge thank you to Mike Slogget for all his support and to the North Hill chaps for supporting us even though the onsite catering was lacking in meat pies CFI Mark valiantly stayed on to the end. As always a big thanks to all the Winch drivers and most of all to Heather for driving the retrieve all day, where would we be without you Heather?

A parachute to protect from a fall from the Quad? Heath and safety gone mad?

Steve Fletcher

No comments: