Sunday 27th June 2010

Hangar doors opened, cables out and checked, glider at launch point
ready to go ---and all before 8.30am. Alan Ballard stayed over and
couldn’t sleep, so he set the field up after being bribed with a
fantastic fried breakfast.

The westerly wind early am tempted us to check out the ridges. They
certainly  looked promising although the motor glider doesn’t climb
brilliantly, we will check again when the winds are around 15knots

A good soaring day, but difficult for beginners because the thermals
were chopped up with the wind. Congratulations to Will who re-soloed,
and commiserations to Alan who had another bar bill after landing out
to the north.


Saturday 26th June 2010

Another warm sunny day.

The day started early with the 2 seaters launching at 9am. The early start was driven by Dave and Ged pushing to finish the balance of their instructors course with Don. David Jesty completed his today – well done Dave. Ged will finish his on Wednesday – weather permitting.

The was a lot of good soaring today with convergences to both the north and south giving very interesting conditions with climbs of 6 knots to 3800ft. It was possible to get above cloud base by flying up the side of the southern convergence. To get an idea of what this is like look at David Jesty’s video taken on a previous occasion

So lots of possibilities today. Andrew Beamont completed his Bronze. Alan Ballard completed his Cross Country Endorsement – well done.

Today’s wooden spoon entry must go to the chairman (me) who only noticed that his parachute was missing when getting ready to launch. This realisation was followed by panic. Was it left outside the front door at home? There ensued a mad dash home ( 34 mile round trip ) to discover the offending parachute safely in the hall where it had been left. This might indicate symptoms of early onset senility if I could only remember what this is.

A special thanks must go today to Roger and Barry Green who spent a lot of today replacing the clubhouse front door.

The day finished with a glorious sunset as a backdrop to a group of members having a drink and barbeque at the clubhouse.


Wednesday 23rd June 2010

A pleasant day, with some decent thermals until mid-afternoon, before over development occurred. But where was everyone? I know some people were on holiday, or completing their instructors' course - and of course there was distraction of the World Cup - but apart from that, I am sure there are a number of solo pilots and trainees who could have had a rewarding day's flying had they been at Brentor.

It was good to have our usual team of Wednesday stalwarts there - and we were pleased to welcome back a number of temporary members taking advantage of their three months' membership. Well done Colin Boyd especially for making them welcome and for briefing them so thoroughly. Our 'fixed price to solo' member Richard Morgan had a couple of soaring flights. His training is progressing well and it's good to see him involving himself in all the ground activities too.

The fact that there were so few experienced members around put a bit of a strain on our operational capability (and curtailed their own flying to a certain extent), and things were not helped by the ML winch and grey Land Rover Discovery being unserviceable. Then, later in the day, the Guslaunch winch developed a brake problem. Our stalwart 'winchies' Dave Rippon and John Howe, advised by Alan Holland, managed to work their way round this, so we weren't delayed for too long.

Better news as far as our gliders are concerned. Following all Martin Smith's hard work at removing excess weight from cockpit of the K8 (and thus enabling heavier pilots to fly it) which was supervised by John Bolt, I test flew the glider including stalling and spinning it and it gave me no unpleasant surprises. However, with my usual 'trim lever forward' setting for at the start of the launch, the aircraft tried to rotate into the climb more steeply than before, requiring both forward stick and a further trim adjustment. All pilots should be prepared for this and, I suggest, start their first flight with the trim well forward until they get the feel for the aircraft.

With the K8 C of A'd and on-line, the day ended with the K6 being de-rigged ready for C of A inspection today.

Bob Pirie

Ged Nevisky and David Jesty continued their instructor training at North Hill. Thanks to our friends at Dorset & Somerset we were able to make significant progress and Ged and David are almost ready to start instructing.

Sunday 20th June 2010

A blue thermal day, great but difficult flying was to be had.

Alan Ballard then flew in the motor glider and completed his field landing test: and all before 9am.

Dave Rippon cooked us a great fried breakfast while we completed his bronze paperwork.

The two two-seaters were busy all day.

Chris visited us from Eaglescott and re-acquainted himself with winch launches.


Saturday 19th June 2010

A cracking soaring day.

Dave Rippon completed his bronze C: well done to him.

David, a potential new member, spent the day with us learning the ropes.


Friday 18th June 2010

An early start (0730 take off): Mike completed his field landing checks and then returned for a well-earned scrambled egg on toast.
Lester became current again in the motor glider and then Colin and I  paid a visit to our friends at Eaglescott with the motor glider.


Thursday 17th June 2010

Beautiful warm day. Colin Boyd and I sat and watched a small deer on the edge of the airfiled for a good ten minutes before it ran off.

The visibility was fantastic at 2000': you could see both the north and south coasts of Devon.

The evening was well spent with Mike Stock passing his bronze exam with flying colours.


Wednesday 16th June 2010

A warm sunny day with a strong gusty wind from the north provided very challengining flying conditions. Instructor Bob Pirie flew on manfully providing check flights and training in these difficult conditions.

Trevor managed to scrape 23 minutes flying the Jantar1. And then John Blaskett showed everyone the way to do it with a flight in the K6 to over 3800 feet. He described the lift as a smooth 2 knots in long lines. He had found wave without realising it. Well done John.

At 5:30pm Bob relinquished command to Roger Matthews who supervised Martin and Ged flying a group of Explorer Scouts from Saltash. Judging by the smiling faces a good time was had by all.

The day ended with the team putting up the removeable fence across the west end of the airfield. The fence is made up of a series of posts which fit in to sockets in ground linked together with long galvanised steel fence panels. This normally straight forward task went well untill the last panel which appeared to be 10cm too short. Some members thought that the airfield had grown ??, some thought that the (steel) fence panels had shrunk ?? . After some judicious swapping around of fence panels to take advantage of the manufacturing tollerences, the task was eventually completed. Glider pilots at their best.


DGS Safety Corner Launched

We are pleased to announce that the DGS Safety Corner website was launched today.

The ground breaking Safety Corner is intended as a single point of contact for all safety matters.

Central to this new system is the “Report Something” facility which will encourage all members to report any safety related incidents / observations which will be compiled and used to spot any trends which require attention.

The DGS Safety Corner can be accessed from the home page of the Main Dartmoor Gliding website.


Sunday 13th June 2010

Winds northerly to start, then NW, then SW, then S. We certainly needed to pay attention. Strong thermals to about 3000ft QFE, rain arrived about 4.30.

Some interesting flying today, and a couple of gliders from Northill used Brentor as a turn point, great to see them.
The steady run of training flights and trial lessons kept us reasonably busy.

The highlight of the day was retrieving our K6 from a local field. Alan Ballard did exactly the right thing and landed out, rather than
risk a marginal glide back---good landing in a good field, well done.


Is it just me or does Alan look relieved? - Steve

Saturday 12th June 2010

A building high pressure with a brisk wind from the NNE promised a blue day.

Early in the day there were some visible signs of wave activity but while nobody connect with it, it’s influence was apparent throughout the day.

Soaring was best in the mid afternoon with strong thermals to 2500 ft.

Lots of training today with the 2 seaters kept busy throughout the day. Andrew worked on the his Bronze tests making good use of the thermals to get the height required to complete his stalling and spinning exercises.


Wednesday 10 June 2010

The forecast for today did not look promising which is probably why the club was fairly quiet today.

This is a pity because the day was perfect for training, bronze tests etc. with a little challenging soaring to amuse the solo pilots.

David Rippon was working hard on completing his General Flying Test for his bronze which also occupied the pilots on the ground trying to guess which exercise was next. Bob and Martin were in training mode throughout the day.

The real story of the day though was the amount of work going on around the site. Tony worked the whole day on the mower repairs assisted by Bob. Dave, Phil and Steve completed urgent fencing repairs. Martin and John were working on the K6 & K8 repairs. Dave and Martin planned and started refurbishing the ML winch guillotines which they are confident will be completed before Saturday. Dave built up some new strops etc etc etc. The full list of work undertaken was quite astonishing.

If you think from the above that there must be several members called Martin, this is in fact one man who has an endless capacity and enthusiasm for work around the club.

Thanks to everyone for their efforts.


Sunday 6th June 2010

The day started with low cloud touching the top of Brentor church.

The club members waited expectantly with instructor Roger Matthews but the cloud got steadily lower until they eventually gave up and scrubbed the day at midday.

Better luck next time.


Saturday 5th June 2010

A warm day that started with mist on the airfield which gradually lifted to give a flyable day.

Deputy Chief Flying Instructor, Mark, arrived at the airfield at 7:45am to find that he was not the first. Two members had beaten him to it, hangar doors were open and the setup was underway.

A steady training day with some new visitors. Mark was assisted ably by instructors Martin and Bob.
Andrew Beaumont took advantage of the  conditions to convert to the Zugvogel and had his first 2 flights in this glider type.

We welcomed University student Mathew who is hoping to re-solo with us soon.

The K13 started today with a brand new rear wheel and tyre and finished the day by having the main wheel tyre and inner tube replaced with new ones after a late puncture. It was nice to see the club members working together to change the main wheel on the runway ; not an easy task. Well done everyone.


Wednesday 2nd June 2010

The day started with a warm breeze and blue sky. Cumulus started popping very early indicating the presence of thermals. Inevitably this lead to the system overdeveloping – too much cloud cut off the sun and stopped the thermals until the cloud cleared and the sun warmed the ground again.

To complicate the situation further the sea air arrived a 3pm which cooled the whole system and cut off further thermal development.

So what did the pilots make of all this?
The Jantar 1 and the Twin Astir managed flights just short of 2 hours. Several others managed flights of 1 hour.

Andrew Beaumont managed 40 minutes which is his second bronze leg. David Rippon was working on the final parts of his bronze flight tests. Philip Hardwick converted to the Zugvogel .

Dev, our summer visitor from the Long Mynd, made his annual appearance and enjoyed soaring in the K8.

We also welcomed a new junior member, James Yarde, who has already flown solo with the ATC and seemed to enjoy the freedom to explore thermals that sport gliding offers.

All of this activity was supervised in great style by Bob – Thanks Bob


Monday 31st May 2010

A very pleasant day, but not too many people around---probably the poor forecast put some off. A strong inversion made the blue thermals very difficult and relatively low level.

With just enough people to operate, Martin spent all day on the winch (thanks from all of us for that), Mike Stock soloed on the winch launch after 2 intensive training days, Dev spent much of his time teaching ground skills to our ab-initios
Colin Boyd  pitched in wherever he was needed to keep things going, thanks to everyone for your efforts it was very much appreciated.


Sunday 30th May 2010

The day had an unpromising start (low cloud etc), and developed into a great flying day.

A lecture on winch launch methods was followed by a practical application by our trainees.

Welcome to our visitor Dev from the Mynd, Dev is a nickname because his real name is unpronounceable. Several trial lessons were flown by Martin, and the club training was busy all day.

Thermals from around 12 noon onwards, until overdevelopment in the late afternoon.

Rain showers brought proceedings to a stop about 5.30. only to clear up after the hangar doors were closed!


Late news

After 3 uneventful flights in the K6, with no broken weak links. Alan Carter was signed up to drive the winch and spent all afternoon launching, almost to perfection, a multitude of happy flyers. I had a great time doing it too.