Dartmoor Gliding News-Wednesday 2nd December 2020

The first day after lockdown 2 brought an eager group of solo pilots to the airfield. We were greeted with low cloud and drizzle as the weather had not read the script. The forecast was for a bright start and gradually deteriorating during the afternoon.

Although the equipment had all been checked over the last couple of days, one of the quad bikes refused to start. Scratch set about diagnosing a blocked needle jet and get it running again.

Scratch in his element.
Another job that needed doing was to de-rig the SF-27 ready for some TLC maintenance.

SF-27 being prepared for de-rigging.
Fuselage into the hangar
Wings safely in the trailer.
Over a socially distanced lunch there was some eager tapping on mobile phones to look at various weather radars to see if there was any chance of a clearance. Although a small clearance was imminent, it could be seen that the weather would close in shortly afterwards. But a further clearance would arrive with just enough time to hopefully allow everybody to have one flight at least.

We set the airfield and then got a K13 and K8 out of the hangar, DI’d and taken to the launch point. At 14:18 I took the first launch in the K8 to assess conditions. After I landed Scratch took Heather for a flight in the K13. Steve Lewis replaced Scratch and also flew Heather around.

K13 launching
Phil Hardwick, Steve Fletcher, Gavin Short, Malcolm and Colin Boyd each took turns to have a flight in the K8. Hugh Gascoyne had a couple of flights in the K13 with me to practice his skills in flying without an altimeter.

K8 launching
.... and returning
Our new human windsock
With the light starting to fade it was time to put the aircraft away in the hangar. Everybody had flown and were happy.

Thank you to everybody who were at the airfield and helped get everything done.

Peter Howarth

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