Dartmoor Gliding News-Saturday 15th September 2018

The forecast was for a SW wind backing to SSW and eventually to South with the speed picking up towards the end of the afternoon. The RASP predicted low cloud until around 9.30 with good soaring conditions from about 1330 to 1630.

Arriving at the airfield at 8.15 it was clear that the weather wasn’t following the script, thick fog enveloped the airfield and the wind was definitely from the SE. Hoping that the wind would follow the forecast and the cloud would lift the Saturday regulars set up the field and got the Clubs K8 and a K13 ready to launch. By 10.30 the fog was still stubbornly sitting on the airfield.

The sun eventually broke through and gliding began around 11.00. Rick was the duty instructor but he had to leave at 2.45 so anyone wanting to fly after that had to be a current self certifying qualified pilot with their own glider, but was it worth us rigging? The cloud cover was varying between 6 and 7 octars with a large bank of cloud hanging over the airfield. After a few indecisive minutes and debates Barry Green decided he would rig and fly his new SF27,  Roger Green and Andy Davey decided to rig their Zug and I rigged my Open Cirrus, believing it was better to have rigged and not get away then not to have rigged when others were getting away.

The wind didn’t follow the forecast and at best was from the South.

Visitor Catherine Downing
Rick flew our 3 trial flyers who all were on two trial flight vouchers. Around mid day Rick managed to get up to 1800 feet and did the longest flight of the day of 24 minutes. Roger and Allan Holland decided to fly at this time and both worked hard to get 21 and 19 minutes respectively. But the thermals never really got going and most of us had short flights hunting weak thermals and working hard to stay up.

 Visitor Jackie Holland
Visitor Joelle Penderton
The Southerly wind freshened giving a 10 to 15 knot cross wind so everyone got in some good cross wind landing practice.

After Rick left only Andy Davey and myself flew but we were never going to get away with both of us struggling to stay above 700 feet in very weak lift.

The decision was taken at around 15.30 to pack up.

As we finished de rigging the last of the 3 gliders around 16.30 the sun broke through strongly, the clouds went fluffy and Allen Holland said "I told you we should have waited"!

Steve Fletcher

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