Dartmoor Gliding News- Saturday 1st February 2020

The new month brings new hopes. Today these hopes were well founded. No rain in the forecast, the forecast cloudbases looked workable. The only slight negative was the wind strength, possibly 15 knots + and strengthening later with moderate gusting. So the airfield was no place for a K8 today; such a lightweight glider is best left in the hangar but K13 G-DDMX certainly man enough for the job. Pilots would need to pay attention to the wind when planning their circuits but the wind will be down the runway, promising good launch heights and sensible approaches.

Richard Roberts begins his launch ( Rick is in the back seat)
DMX just leaving the ground for it;s next launch
Another "high energy" approach
Flights started with well flown circuits culminating in high energy approaches but flight 4 ( Richard Roberts with instructor Rick Wiles ) managed to extend the circuit under what looked like a cloud street. Step up Scratch. His flight with Rick showed some real promise. He did not try to circle in the lift; the wind was very strong aloft. Instead he headed into wind under the cloud street in the lift only turning down wind and then back into the wind to repeat the process. The reached the cloudbase at 2400 feet above the airfield ( 3200 feet above sea level. Very enterprising.

Looking down on the launchpoint
Climbing at 6 knots at 2000 feet - impressive
By 2pm the wind had increased to the point that discretion was the better part of valour and the K13 was returned to the hangar while the pilots returned to the clubhouse to defrost and avail themselves of tea and medals and a tale of "derring do" or two.

The view over Tavistock with the Tamar Estuary shining in the sunlight at Saltash
While all this fun was going on, you would not be surprised to hear that there was a lot of work going on in and around the hangar. The Green army ( no not Plymouth Argyle but Barry and Roger ) were wiring up the generators to make power available to the existing facilities and the new Vehicle Hangar. Mike Bennet was on the roof of the new Hangar this time painting the roof of the northern container. In the hangar, Colin was finishing off the C of A work on K13 G-CHXP which ended the day ready to be rigged. Between the two John was quietly working on the Bus / Launchpoint project preparing to fit the new control tower to the top.

The  "sill" for the control tower on the roof of the bus.
Everyone who wanted to do so flew. Our thanks to everyone who helped. But special thanks today to Rick who flew in every single flight in the boisterous conditions.

Rick and Scratch look pleased with themselves

A good day


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