Dartmoor Gliding News-Wednesday 3rd July 2019

Arriving early at the airfield, Richard Roberts and Hugh Gasgoyne were hard at work removing the fence and changing ends ready to fly. At the morning brief, all forecasts were indicating a good day. Richard added to this that it looked like an epic day, so it was full ahead rigging private gliders and towing club aircraft to the launch point at the west end. Richard also declared his intention to attempt a 500km out and return to Bicester.

We were lucky today to have Martin Cropper at the field. This enabled Richard to be excused duties as BI for the expected one day course and concentrate his preparations for his declared task. More news on this will form a separate blog.

We achieved first launch at 10:03 which was Robin Wilson with me in the K13. A simulated power failure and a second well flown launch failure cleared him for solo or flying P1 in the twin Astir. While we were flying our One Day Course visitor Tria Raffield arrived and Martin gave her the introductory briefing. After showing her around the K13 we went for her first three flights during which we went through the primary effects of controls and she got her hands on the controls.

Tria ready to start her flying
A busy grid was forming and between 12:00 and 13:00 we managed to launch Phil Hardwick/Martin Broadway (twin Astir), Richard Roberts (Discus), Steve Fletcher (Open Cirrus), Andy Davey (Zugvogel), Roger Green (ASW20) and Hugh Gasgoyne (K8). All were soon soaring away.

Richard before leaving for Bicester
The Twin Astir returned after 1:31 and was soon off again with Phil and Malcolm Roberts on board. Martin took over the K13 and flew with John O’Connell. Two flights of 21 and 25 minutes gave him plenty airtime. A demonstration of approach control gave him chance to put this into practice on the next flights.

John doing his checks (It’s not that bad Martin).
With all aircraft staying aloft, the second K8 was brought from the hangar and Malcolm Wilton-Jones promptly took off and stayed away for his statutory one hour.

Tria was now ready for her second set of flights. Two soaring flights of 17 minutes and 13 minutes gave her plenty of time on the controls and by the end of her flights she was making coordinated turns. She left with a smile on her face, 1 hour and 7 minutes airtime and a promise that she will try and return. We hope to see her again soon.

After waiting patiently all day, Bob Sansom jumped into the front seat of the K13. After a 13 minute flight, a power failure and a cable break, he was allowed to fly the K13 solo. He promptly disappeared for 29 minutes, taking off at 18:54. Well done Bob.

Hats various were the order of the day
Barry Green had a 14 minute flight with me as he continues on the road to hopefully go re-solo soon.

Barry and Bob putting the world to rights.
Ed’s view from the K6
Martin returning in the K8
Other notable flights of the day were:-
Steve Fletcher Open Cirrus 2 hour 14 minutes
Andy Davey Zugvogel 3 hour 45 minutes
Roger Green ASW20 2 hour 55 minutes
Hugh Gasgoyne K8 1 hour 16 minutes
Malcolm W-J K8 0 hour 59 minutes
Allan Holland K8 1 hour
Ed Borlase K6 1 hour 11 minutes
Martin Cropper K8 1 hour 6 minutes
David Westcott K6 0 hour 44 minutes
Phil/Malcolm Astir 1 hour 31 minutes
Martin/Robin Astir 1 hour 5 minutes

So, some statistics for the day. 35 flights. Total air-time 31 hours 35 minutes. Average per flight time 54 minutes. First take-off 10:03. Last take-off 18:54.

How about Richard Roberts I hear you say. I will leave that story to his own report of the day. Was it an epic day, I will leave that for you all to decide, but it was a long and enjoyable day.

Thank you to Heather who retrieved most of the day and to all winch drivers and helpers who made the day. Thanks to Ed for the photos.

Peter Howarth

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