Dartmoor Gliding News-Sunday 6th December 2020

‘Misty’ was today’s trademark.  No, not the 1959 Johnny Mathis pop hit, or the 1971 Clint Eastwood film, but misty canopies which delayed the start and presaged an end to today’s flying.  Which was a shame, as the northerly airflow circulating around an emergent ridge of high pressure generated gin clear, but cold, conditions topped by a few whispers of tempting cumulus as the day developed.

Despite a gin clear sky, Phil Hardwick and Malcolm Wilton-Jones
had to battle against mist on the canopies to get us going.
Six solo and three trainee members formed our ‘bubble and a half’ today.  To help minimise damage in the soggy ground conditions Rich Roberts (why is it always him..?!) suggested keeping the K-8 to the north on the centreline track whilst the K-13 could do its own thing on the better drained landing area to the south.  

Dave Westcott and Martin Cropper get hooked on for the first launch of the day.
 Returning solo pilot Ray Boundy turns K-13 HXP onto the diagonal leg.
This certainly focussed the minds of the solo plots who, having chased those wispy cumulus or knife-like ridges of lift to windward, were faced with the equivalent of a spot landing between the launchpoint and the track at the conclusion of their flights.  This resulted in a fascinating outcome to the Flight of the Day competition, with four pilots each equal in second and first positions (we don’t yet have ‘Omega’ London Olympic Games timekeeping accuracy on the net book).  Their times?  All more than the fingers on one hand (in minutes), but less than the those on two.

Club K-8 GDK gets a lift with additional help
from the moon’s gravitational pull.
 K-8 on finals to land between the centreline track and launchpoint.
It was great to welcome returning members Sandra Buttery and Alan Carter to the club today after moving back into the local area.  Alan (owner of a Sheibe SF27) and Sandra have recently bought at property in Sydenham Damerel, and we look forward to assisting them in their re-qualifications.

Club K-8 fin and rudder detail.
And so, by 3:15pm, with minimal insulation being provided by the dissipating cumulus, the sun cried ‘Play Misty for Me’ again on the canopies– and it was time to get the gliders home for a well-earned  23 launches in total, wash down and into their beds.

Strangely, for a low achieving day, there were plenty of smiles as members departed – must have been the sun on their faces generating much needed Vitamin D.  Let’s hope it continues…

Martin Cropper

No comments: