Dartmoor Gliding News-Sunday 6th September 2020

 Those snakes in the grass R.Asp & Co certainly had this Duty Instructor fooled with the promise of cloudbase rising early, wind straight down the runway gusting no more than 14kts and Stars rating 2.5 by early afternoon, thus causing us to get a K-13 out and down to the launchpoint as quickly as possible.  Whereupon it began to rain.  Retreating to the clubhouse it then lashed down.  Emerging from shelter an hour later, the photos bear witness to the moisture-laden sky.  

 Sunshine over the airfield following the rain bearing clouds.
Ed Borlase’s view of an isolated shower over Tavistock.
Despite the delay and, although still a little gusty, we then able to settle down to some training, first with Ed Borlase and then, as the gusts declined with Ray Boundy: both at their own level deriving benefit from flying in less than ideal conditions.  

Returning to solo trainee Ray Boundy
carries out ABCD checks of K-13 HXP before...
…getting aloft…
 …and making a perfectly held-off landing.
The layered cloud and westerly wind did not allow much in the way of thermic activity to develop but, with his keen eye, Peter Howarth did manage to find something in the K-13, as he reports: “The launch took me to 1,200ft and I turned right towards Black Down.  I soon found some broken lift, but the thermal was very narrow.  Only climbing slowly to about 1,400ft I looked back towards where I had started and spotted what looked like a better cloud.  Pushing back into wind when I arrived under the cloud I was only at about 1,000ft but only started climbing slowly back to 1,200ft.  Again, pushed back into wind but failed to find anything else…”  

In summary, an enjoyable day for those involved – just a touch embarrassing at the start for the DI – for trusting a snake..!

Thanks go to Rich Roberts for winching.

Martin Cropper

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