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

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