Dartmoor Gliding News-Saturday 30th May 2020

Clear blue sky. RASP was suggesting some thermal activity midday and onwards but not looking strong. Wind today was easterly 12 knots. 12 knots from the east!!!! must be a wave day. A close look at the atmospheric sound did not look great for wave but we'll see,

No hurry in the early launch queue
Today's grid consisted a club K8,  K6, 2*Astir CS's, Open Cirrus and the Zugvogel 3B. we eventually encouraged Mike to take a launch in his Astir at 11am. He headed out to the east looking for wave but found only a area of reduced sink in very smooth air. So the wave was trying to form.

Zugvogel 3B with Astir CS beyond
 Over the next couple of hours launches only resulted in extended circuits the longest of which was Andy Davey in the Zugvogel 3B at 16 minutes.

At 1pm things changed. The west end of the airfield became thermic with lots of thermal bubbles roaring skywards giving 4 knot+ climbs to 4000 feet. Wow. Throughout the afternoon the conditions remained strong with 7 pilots bagging flights of an hour or more, the best of which was Steve Fletcher in his Open Cirrus with 2 hours 11 minutes.

Open Cirrus and Astir share a thermal
Approaching Roadford at 3500 feet
Astir on final approach
The flying was interesting. Westwards from about half way down the airfield there was frantic thermal activity with lots of very narrow cores some of which were really quite strong. Eastwards from the mid point of the airfield, things were very different. An area of 6 knot sink gave way to very smooth air just east of the end of the runway. This smooth air had reduced sink and if you were careful some beats across the wind with slow climbs could be found. The best I recorded was only 1.4 knots which lasted for just one pass and then faded away. So the wave was definitely trying but not quite getting there. The area of smooth air stretched from just south of Tavistock to Meldon Reservoir in the north.

Malcolm, in the K8, found a 7 knot thermal !!!!!

An interesting flying day.


No comments: