Dartmoor Gliding News-Wednesday 22nd July 2020

The forecast was for the wind to be light and variable veering more westerly as the day went on. RASP predicted soaring conditions improving during the afternoon. The small group of pilots set about setting the airfield up and rigging private gliders.

First to fly was John Smith, who after many weeks of sterling work on the bus project was itching to get back into the air.

How do we wear these masks?
 The first flight found some unstable air which enabled John to extend the flight to 10 minutes. Mike Bennett was observed circling to the south in the K8, but only managed 7 minutes. John’s next two flights only found heavy sink which resulted in a couple of abbreviated circuits.

Barry Green was next into the K13 after sanitising and donning the obligatory mask.

Barry keen to get going.
 After a good circuit and a couple of well executed cable break practices, he was cleared to  re-solo in the K8. Nobody seemed to be managing any extended flights. Up stepped Steve Lewis. With his Zugvogel still undergoing CofA he climbed into the club K8. He was soon seen climbing away north of the airfield over Black Down.

This spurred the private owners into pulling their aircraft onto the grid.

Privateers getting ready.
 Roger Green, ASW 20, Peter Howarth Astir and Steve Fletcher Open Cirrus. Phil Hardwick said I would probably do better than him, hence I took the opportunity to jump into the Astir. I returned after 33 minutes soaring to get Phil to fly, knowing I could jump back into the back seat of the K13 with John.

Steve Fletcher's view of the ASW 20
 John and I jumped into the K13. After another quick circuit with John not finding anything, we took another launch into a more promising sky. With John struggling to contact anything, I took control to see what I could do. Luckily I managed to find some lift, and we were soon climbing away. John took back control as the lift got better.

John climbing well past 2000ft.
My view of Tavistock.
 After about 20 minutes we used the height to practice some stall and spin recoveries. We landed after 33 minutes.

Notable flights were Steve Lewis 43 minutes (K8), Malcolm 1 hour 4 minutes (K8), Phil Hardwick 1 hour 33 minutes (Astir), Steve Fletcher 2 hour 8 minutes and longest flight Roger Green 2 hour 23 minutes (ASW 20). After a 16 minute flight in the K8, Barry got reacquainted with driving the winch.

Barry back in the driving seat.
A good days flying, slowly getting the club back towards some sense of normality. Thank you to all for the usual duties and keeping things moving.

Peter Howarth

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