Dartmoor Gliding News-Saturday 19th January 2019

What a difference a day makes. The weather on Friday was awful. There was heavy rain, strong winds and a cloudbase so low and dark that the day seemed to be twilight the whole day. If there was ever a day to wish to emigrate to warmer climes then this was it.

The early morning southerly view. Lots of low level mist and orographic clod
So what a surprise on Saturday. The day started cold ( frost on the car!) but the sky was mostly clear and it was calm. Would the airfield be flyable? Surprisingly yes. There were some puddles here and there but the grass was mostly firm.

The K8 on the way to the east end launchpoint
The start to the flying day was delayed a little by some low orographic cloud sitting over the runway, but once this had disappeared it was game on. The first flight was a check flight with Phil Hardwick flying with Rick. It was nice to see Phil flying again after his recent hip replacement. The other notable early flight was Steve Raine flying the K8 for the first time in a very long time. Getting ready for some soaring Steve?

Does the metal hip affect the compass Phil?
Steve in the K8
The flying conditions were pleasant. The air was absolutely smooth and the wind was mostly calm. There were showers in the area but they stayed well clear of the airfield. Perhaps this was bad news for the soaring pilots but made for ideal conditions for today's visitors, Gail Barr and Rosalind Wiggins. Gail enjoyed herself learning to operate the controls and has promised to return soon for some more flying lessons. Rosalind did extremely well mastering her misgivings about flying in a small unpowered aircraft. Well done.

Gail with me waiting to launch
Rosalind mastering her apprehensions
Also joining us today was new member Malcom Wilton-Jones ( and experienced glider pilot) who has recently moved into the are from Spain. Welcome to the club Malcom.

Malcom ready to fly with Rick
The solo pilots made good use of the K8. Even though there was no lift to be had, they were still challenging for the longest flight. There were several runner up flights of 7 minutes  but the clear winner was Allan Holland with a dizzying 8 minutes. How can I tell it's been a while since we have seen a thermal?

A good club flying day.


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