Dartmoor Gliding News- Wednesday 4th November 2020 - A Personal View.

 After weeks of heavy Rain, on the day before lockdown we all needed to maintain currency and the day was perfect. 

I started on the winch and quickly found that the wind from the North was stronger than expected with the first cable dropping in the trailer park, followed quickly by the second when the Ka-8 laid off to the South!. After lunch Phil came to relieve me on the winch and it was almost my turn to fly, as yet nobody had found any lift despite the good looking sky, but what do we expect in November. 

K13 being retrieved
K8 waiting for the runway to clear
Barry waiting to fly while Colin provides the entertainment
1100' on the launch and headed out towards the North and a wisp of cloud and was about to give up when the vario gave a squeak and I felt something on the port wing so turned into it but was slowly losing height but as I left to return to the circuit there was a stronger surge on the starboard side and turning into it I started a very slow climb from 650'. After a few turns the altimeter moved up to 700' so I stuck with it and at 900' and well down wind I headed back into wind - in zero sink all the way back to the airfield where I found a couple of knots which took me to 1,400', enough to push upwind to a darker looking cloud which I arrived under at 700' near the church. 2-4 knots saw me quickly up to 1,700' but the cloud had dissipated and all the good clouds were now well to the west or to the north and east. I headed for Blackdown, watching the Ka-13 launch off to my right. 

K13 waiting for the K8 this time
Final checks
Ready to go
I was finding patches of zero sink as the Ka-13 released and turned towards me and slightly higher while I turned towards North Brentor village but finding nothing much I turned back towards the airfield to see the Ka-13 in the circuit, so did a wider circuit and on the base leg flew into more lift at 400'. A high final turn to land on the south side beyond the track with 46 minutes in thermals in November. 

End of the flying day
Everybody had flown who wanted to within the next hour so we packed everything away securely for the Lockdown

Malcolm Wilton-Jones

Dartmoor Gliding News-Wednesday 4th November 2020

After the recent unsettled weather, the day dawned with an early morning frost. The forecast was for light winds east of north and no rain for a change. A good day for the gathering pilots to maintain recency(currency) prior to the start of lockdown the following day.

Autumn has arrived at DGS.
A K13 and the K8 were readied and towed to the west end ready to start flying. The SF27 was found to have a puncture which Colin set about fixing with the aid of a couple of volunteers. After a socially distant briefing at the launch point, first to fly was John Smith with me in the K13.

John Smith getting ready to fly.
The K8 GDK required a test flight following it’s recent CofA and ARC. Up steppe our fleet manager, Gavin. Following a quick circuit the K8 was released ready for general flying.

Next into the K13 with me was John O’Connell

K13 with John and I returning to the launch point.
Both of the John’s enjoyed another two flights each later in the afternoon.

Mary Tavy and Dartmoor.

After his stint on the winch Malcolm returned to the launch point and it was soon his turn in the K8. After launching into what looked a more promising sky, he was seen slowly climbing away near the church. He managed to stay aloft for 46 minutes to claim flight of the day and remained the only soaring flight of the day.

Gavin requested a flight with me to undertake a cable break practice in the K13. Unknown to him I managed to get the winch driver to initiate a power failure. This was not what he was expecting, but flew the exercise well. Motto, be prepared for anything to happen.

Solo pilots, Richard Roberts, Phil Hardwick, Steve Fletcher, Roger Green, Martin Broadway, Barry Green and Gavin all too turns in the K8, but could not emulate Malcolm’s successful flight.

Richard and Phil enjoying the autumn sun.
Alan & Colin at the launch point.
Just before we finished, Steve Lewis took Heather for a quick flight in the K13. This was a reward after she had spent a long period in the clubhouse tidying up prior to lockdown. Thank you Heather.

Steve and Heather all masked up.
Unbeknown to us we were being spied on from afar. Whilst walking the dogs Martin Cropper took this view of the airfield from Cox Tor.

Airfield from Cox Tor.
Thank you to everybody for a good day’s flying. Keep yourselves safe and well and hopefully we will be back flying in December.

Peter Howarth

Dartmoor Gliding News-Sunday 1st November 2020

 As low-pressure systems continue to barrel in from the Atlantic, our photo of today’s windsock and general viz tells its own story: today was to be a ‘no fly’ day from start to finish.  

Early morning mist enveloped the airfield.
So what to do?  Well, it turns out that Rich Roberts had a shopping list of tasks which he’d prepared earlier, and promptly enlisted the help of Chris Matten and Ray Boundy to get accomplished.  These included: moving the K-13 open trailer and SF-27 trailer to the east end storage area, hanging two K-7M tailplanes on the sides of the storage container (ex-workshop) to make space/keep them secure until they can be refurbished and the installation of a shelving system in the new container workshop to allow materials to be stowed safely.  

All this, with suitable breaks for tea and doughnuts, took until about 2pm, at which point we thought it safe to go home and claim a few brownie points for not having spent all day at the gliding club.

Martin Cropper

Dartmoor Gliding News-Saturday 31st October 2020

 Arriving at the airfield in the midst of Storm Alden things looked hopeless. A westerly gale was howling through the trees and the torrential rain had the drains working overtime. The hangar apron and gate area was awash with the run off.

This drain clears the water coming down the centre track
The hangar apron was awash
So, on with the work then. In the hangar various tasks were undertaken on the aircraft. it is nice to have time to complete some "fettling" tasks on the club aircraft. In the Winch Store,  Scratch was working on the refurbishment of the Gus Launch winch. In the clubhouse Rick was in full lecture mode.

Rick demonstrating double PPE use
As the morning wore on the rain finally stopped which allowed me to clear the western gate drains to prevent any possible water damage to the site entrance.

Conditions changed remarkable quickly.
After a late, lazy lunch most of the clouds had rolled away and the wind had abated somewhat. A quick pitch inspection revealed a possible short flying window. The airfield was set up and HXP was taken to the east end launch point. 

Dave with Rick getting ready
There was just about enough time for everyone to have a flight to maintain recency with lockdown2 looming before the end of the week. After 4 uneventful circuits, with a tangle on the winch and heavy shower heading our way it was over and the kit was quickly put away.

Showers heading our  way.
We made the best of the day