Dartmoor Gliding News-Saturday 17th October 2020

 High pressure is in charge of today's weather. The forecast wind direction is basically from the east. Hang on; high pressure; wind from the east; must mean wave? All  the forecast programs for wave said no. A detailed look at the atmospheric sounding showed the reason why. There was an inversion at about 4000ft - good, but the wind profile was all wrong. Instead of the wind strength increasing with height with a steady direction, the wind was going to be 15knots from the east up to the inversion where the wind strength would reduce and change direction to just east of south. Above the inversion the wind would return to 15 knots easterly all the way up. 

CCY and HXP waiting to go
Colin checking out the varios in CCY
But this is Dartmoor and experience has told us that anything could happen, The only way to know for sure was to get the aircraft out and have a flight. First up was Colin Boyd in the front seat of CCY with Mike Jardine in the rear to check out the vario system after the complete replumbing last week. All was reported OK.

The wave clouds were aligned NE-SW instead of the usual N-S
I was up next flying our Junior One Day Course Abagail Finnie in HXP. The launch was amazing; wafting us up to 1550 ft. The air was obviously buoyant. After a little turbulence pushing out to the east we found a weak wave bar that was giving us 0 knots occasionally 0.5 knot up and 0.5 knots down. We very gradually lost height as I worked through the controls lessons with Abagail. Moving back to Mary Tavy, we found some stronger rotor lift but to exploit this would have required some very steep turns, a definite no on someone's first glider flight. Instead we made our way around the circuit through the rotor to land after 15 minutes. Not exactly soaring but, like Buzz Lightyear, falling with style. Two more flights with me saw Abagail turning the glider with some style balancing ailerons and elevator. She completed her course with Rick and was managing all 3 controls by the end. Excellent.

A view of the wave clouds from the air
Looking down at the runway from the east end
We had another visitor today. Peter Simmonds came for a Trial flight which was flown with Mike Jardine in CCY. During this flight Mike managed to find a more solid wave bar which gave them the longest flight of the day at 26 minutes.

HXP on approach with the Twin Astir behind
Down and safe

Rick and Mike shared the rest of the training tasks today with John Allan, Simon Valiance, David Archer and Chris Maciejowoski along with solo pilot Mike Bennett all getting to experience flying in the lively conditions. Towards the end of the day to sky clouded over and the signs of wave were obscured.
By late afternoon the sky was overcast
So a busy day with 2 visitors experiencing gliding for the first time, and lots of club training for a total of 30 flights.

Thankyou to all those who helped especially to Barry and Heather who the handled winch and retrieve driving.


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