Dartmoor Gliding News-Saturday 20th June 2020

Setting out for the airfield, the weather did not look too promising. There was a lot of low cloud sitting on the tops of the tors all across south Dartmoor. At the airfield the cloud was a little higher but still not looking great. The RASP forecast was suggesting some soarable conditions later so the decision was made to rig the gliders and wait for the improving weather.

The early cloud cover was uninspiring
Even the gliders join in with the virus protection measures.
Here the Zug models it's latest face mask
The forecast was for the southerly wind to swing a little to the west so the winch was positioned at the west end. However, by the time that wanted to bring up the gliders, the wind had a little east in it, so a quick change of ends was required and the winch was dispatched to the east end.

The winch making a quick detour to the east end
As the cloud base improved the cloud over the airfield evaporated leaving the cloudscape a little sparce. This seemed to be due to sea air coming up from the Tamar valley in the southerly wind. Early flights were best described as a struggle with the cloudbase at 1600 feet and climbs a bit hit and miss. My own flight in the Zugvogel 3B was a 14 minute grind never higher than launch height and much below 500 feet. Good practice as this definitely concentrates the mind.

Cloudbase at 1600 feet
The open cirrus climbing on the North side of the airfield
Astir on approach
Conditions did improve allowing flights for most pilots of over and hour (except me). prize for the longest flit is shared between Phil Hardwick and Steve Fletcher both of whom acheived 1 hour 31 minutes.

The clouds over Dartmoor looked so much more tempting
The strong conditions were always to the east but difficult to reach and we had to content ourselves with the much weaker sea air.

This photo was taken by Martin Cropper from Buckland Monachorum.
This is the convergence between the warm thermic air and the sea air.
See the lack of cloud on the left hand side that is the sea air which was over the airfield

A  good day.


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