Wednesday 29th September 2010

The day started with heavy rain and the morning was occupied with tasks in and round the clubhouse and hangar.

Everyone was rewarded for their patience after lunch when the cloud cleared and the sun shone. K13 out and flying commenced.

Ged and Phil did not fly but instead repaired the red Landrover replacing the transfer box output shaft bearing, seal and universal joints (Whatever these are?  Answers on a post card please. ).


Sunday 26th September 2010

Light and freshening Northerly wind. Thermals started around 11 am with cloudbases of 4000ft amsl and some climbs of 6 knots.Not bad for September.

Most people found it difficult to get away, but at 2000ft or so the thermals became organised and easier to use.Surprisingly few private gliders being flown, those that did found it was definitely worth rigging.

On the ground we were a little short of skills and started to operate just one of the 2 seaters until more help arrived.

Alan Bamford went for a thermal we were all enjoying, but arrived too low and landed out. Good field and the glider was swiftly recovered thanks everyone involved there.

Generally a busy day, with a steady flow of trial lessons, one of which is a photographer who took 350 pictures!! The flight of the day in the 2 seater was with Jacob who took me to Lifton out and return---not far but a very interesting flight.Thanks everyone for a great day.


Saturday 25th September 2010

With clear skies and a low temperature overnight and a forecast for sunny intervals, there was every chance that today would a least give some soaring.

The club was strangely quiet today. This led to plenty of availability for the trainee pilots and visitors alike.

The afternoon did give some good soaring with pilots taking full advantage. The usual friendly rivalry raised it’s head with Ged being beaten in to 2nd place for the longest flight of the day by 5 minutes. Modesty prevents me from naming the winning pilot

The day finished with a committee meeting which stretched late into the evening. Can we bottle all this “hot air” and use it to generate thermals? 


Thursday 23rd September 2010

Today was the second day we hosted students from Kelly College. The morning brought some heavy squalls but the clouds parted as the group arrived for an afternoon's flying. Conditions became quite benign and ideal for trial lessons - there was even enough lift for some gentle soaring. Eight students were given two flights each and college staff Dominic and Rebecca also took advantage of the chance to fly.

Our thanks go to CFI Don Puttock and David Jesty for instructing, Barry Green for winch driving and to John Bolt and Andrew Beaumont for running the launch point.

DGS members also took the opportunity to fly before it was time to pack the hangar.


The Green Party goes to the Long Mynd (again)

More news from the Mean Green Flying Machine.We have just, evening of Sunday 19th, returned from the Long Mynd. We went having studied the weather forecasts intending to do our 5 hour flights for Silver.
The Long Mynd airfield from the Asir
Wednesday morning gave a very strong west wind, spot on, but getting stronger as we unpacked the hangar. We pulled out two K21s and the club discus, which was eventually flown by a club instructor to 6500 QFE, he descended through almost 100% cloud using GPS. The briefing by the CFI gave instructions to get into the glider in the shelter of the hangar and to be towed to the launch point,just two hundred yards away,using a ground crew and a Land Rover,and when landing to use an approach speed of 90 knots, Yes correct, 90 knots and to stay in the machine until a crew arrived to assist.The wind by now was about 32 knots. gusting 42 knots.

Staying aloft for 5 hours for would be no problem, assuming the wind continued to blow and visibility allowed. I elected to stay grounded so Roger got prepared, we cautiously towed out and, without further ado, he was launched.The winch launch into a west wind is VERY short but all that is needed is about 300 feet which is enough to get over the slope. Roger managed well over an hour until squalls and poor visibility forced him to abandon the endurance test and land, approaching at the prescribed 90 Knts.and holding off until the speed had bled off to not a lot more than jogging pace. Only four launches were made,and then the hangar was repacked.

Thursday morning looked good and, after a comprehensive briefing,  we towed out to the launch. Conditions had deteriorated but after doing follow the leader in ridge lift, thermals started so I landed after well over an hour so Roger could have a go. He got under a street at about 1800QFE and had to fly at 70 to 80 knots to avoid being engulfed,eventually landing after some three quarters of an hour as a very large squall approached. At least one pilot flew till the rain passed,but it did not look very enjoyable.

Friday saw more westerlies. Roger flew first for just over an hour,and once again conditions worsened. The CFI elected to change ends,so all the gliders had to be moved,winch and retrieve winch also, a couple of hours lost. I eventually took a launch in our faithful Astir into weak ridge lift for follow the leader yet again, I managed just under an hour,landing when I could not sustain 400 Ft.

We both flew on the Saturday,each doing well over the hour. I was lucky in that I was able to get 2700 above the field,possibly the highest of the day. I was able to fly to Bishops Castle and look straight down upon the house where I lived as a young lad.
Roger and Barry Grenn and the trusty Grob Astir
There was a crowd from Lasham on site at the same time and what with wine,beer and good food cooked by the club, a good time was had by all.

Still no Silver 5 Hour,but never mind we had a very enjoyable time.

Keep watching this space,


Wednesday 22nd September 2010

The forecast was for mist and fog clearing to sunny spells. It was only half right. The fog remained all day.

The clubhouse was busy and Don delivered several lectures / discussions.

The club maintenance work continues apace. It was nice to see a large group of members working together to collect up and dispose of the old winch cables.


Sunday 19th September 2010

An unpromising start to the day with low cloud, but this did steadily clear and allowed us to fly. Not many turned up on this uninspiring day, those that did had a great time.

While we waited for the weather to improve we continued with the ground briefings (circuits, local airspace and air law).

We then practiced our cross wind take off and landings. Our trainees getting progressively closer to solo with some valuable cross wind experience.

Some enthusiastic locals took trial lessons and will hopefully join us.

The corner of the hangar has been rearranged, so packing the Zugvogel should now be easier.


Saturday 18th September 2010

Weatherwise it was a 'getting better' sort of a day with the most thermal activity in the mid-afternoon when cloudstreets formed to 2800 feet QFE.

Don was duty instructor with Ged Nevisky backing up and taking on a number of trial lessons. Congratulations go to Mike Jardine who successfully completed his check flights with Don to be able to fly friends and family.

Mike and Don at work in the K13
As conditions improved Allan Holland and Martin Broadway enjoyed some gentle soaring in the K6 whilst Don took Bob Jones off for some instructor training - circuit planning and spin recovery!

Then it was time for the customary tea and 'munchies' in the clubhouse.

Bob J

Friday 17th September 2010

Superb soaring day with wall to wall 4 knot thermals.  Several navigation and field landing training flights in the motor glider.
The woodburner fund is now early £80.00 better off and the scrap metal gone, thanks to Robin and his trailer.


Thursday 16th September 2010

Today was a red letter day for five CCF cadets and their staff officer from Kelly College, Tavistock. They were the first to enjoy the benefit of the DGS becoming a Junior Gliding Centre.

With a gentle west breeze straight down the runway, conditions were ideal for trial lessons. CFI Don Puttock assisted by Martin Smith provided the instruction and each member of the Kelly College contingent was given two flights together with some useful ground instruction.

A good time was had by all!

Bob Jones

Wednesday 15th September 2010

A strong westerly wind made conditions tricky for low hours pilots who joined with the trainees, air ex visitors and a “ One day couse” student to keep the 2 seaters busy. There was some soaring to be had if you timed your launch correctly.

Phil Hardwick completed his Bronze”C” today and Robin Wilson passed his “Bronze “C” examination. Well done both of you.


Sunday 12th September 2010

The forecast was good, and the flying list for the 2 seater was fully subscribed by 9.15! Thanks everyone for getting the show on the road and keeping things moving.

The winds were a fresh  WNW with thermals from around 11 am. Not as easy as it looked, Trevor needed a relight before getting away----it all depended on the timing of the streets and thermals as they passed through. Another very interesting soaring day, with the Dartmoor ridges kicking off good thermals all day.

The 2 seaters kept going all day, but even then some were disappointed because they couldn't stay long enough to fly. Just one of those days everyone decided to arrive on the same day.

Rumour has it that a new K6 syndicate is about to form around Dave Hooper’s  lovely aircraft. It will be great to see it flying again. I expect that will be followed very closely by Chris Matten et al and the K10.

Lets hope for more classic September weather.


Saturday 11th September 2010

The weather was a bit unpromising early on with lots of low cloud. But with a forecast improvement in the offing it was game on.

David Jesty was instructor in charge of two one day courses which kept everyone busy.

Don was kept busy in the other K13 with a mixture of ab-initio, post solo and instructor training flights.

There was plenty of soaring with streets forming in the brisk westerly winds. Highlight of the day was a convergence which moved through the area which allowed soaring above the local cloud bases, Great fun. The thermal activity last well into the evening.

After packing the hangar, the members retired to the clubroom as the sunset in spectacular fashion.


Junior Gliding

Since becoming an accredited Junior Gliding Centre, Dartmoor Gliding Society has been busy promoting the idea of training schemes for youth groups and individuals. The response so far has been encouraging with a number of enquiries.

We are delighted that one of these has led to a trial affiliation scheme with the army contingent of Kelly College Combined Cadet Force.

The aim is to provide trial lessons and ground training for 40 cadets and staff over the next four months. If successful we hope to extend the facility by making it available to every student at the school.

Bob Jones

Wednesday 8th September 2010

The day started with low cloud and heavy showers.

However, there was plenty of keen members around to make the best of the conditions and they were rewarded with some effective training flights thanks to instructors Martin and David and a couple of good soaring flights at the end of the day when conditions made a remarkable improvement.

The ML winch had it’s cables replaced by Bob and Ged. Thanks chaps.


Sunday 5th September 2010

A slow start with rain and drizzle. 2 pupils had a briefing and practice Daily Inspection, and then the weather improved dramatically.

We just had enough people to operate one glider, thanks to Martin and Alan Ballard for keeping the launches going.

The wave was trying to set up all day, a few tantalising short climbs were had in quite strong wave thermals. Great fun, and the pupils filled their boots.

Debrief and tea in the clubroom to finish.


Saturday 4th September 2010

With a warm front located just off the north coast, the weather was very unpredictable. The Jantar1 and Open Cirrus both rigged and waited to see what would happen but, in the event, It was mostly cloudy and too stable for much thermal activity.

DCFI Mark Courtney was on site today to help with BI training for Bob and myself.

It was a busy day with lots of training and Air Ex flights. Alan Bamford converted to the K8.

Towards the end of the day there were some challenges presented by the winches but these were overcome by the usual suspects.. The GusLaunch had it’s brakes sorted out ready for tomorrow and the ML winch will have new cables this week.

The day finished in usual style with a gaggle of glider pilots swapping stories outside the clubhouse.


Wednesday 1st September 2010

Clear blue sky and winds 10-12 knots from the east ensured plenty of early activity today as the whispers of a possible wave day spread like wildfire.

The launch point was impressive with 10 gliders in the queue; almost like the grid at a competition.

Did the wave materialise. Well no. There was some wave influence on the streeting thermals which again made things a little tricky. However, plenty of pilots managed to soar which gave rise to gaggles of gliders in the best of the conditions. Best climb was a 4.7 knot average and longest flight approached 2 hours.

The training operation continued throughout the day with both K13’s busy.

Mike Jardine took advantage of Don’s presence to finish his “Friends and Family” qualification which will enable him to fly his friends family in one of the club 2 seaters. Good effort Mike.

Thanks once again to Barry and Heather for their exceptional efforts helping other pilots to fly.


Monday 30th August 2010

A blue day with light winds which gave awkward soaring conditions.

Not put off by this was Nahir, a visiting glider pilot from Israel, who soloed on the winch yesterday and soared the K8 today showing the other pilots how it’s done.

Also soaring well today was Alan Ballard who led the way in the K6 and achieved his Silver Height with a recorded height gain of 1019 meters. Well done Alan. 5 hours next??

Dougie at peacock dreams photography (48)
Alan in thoughtful mode taken on a somewhat colder day.

Sunday 29th August 2010

Good soaring day with the wind from the east straight down the runway giving launch heights to 1600ft.

The club welcomed Nahir, a visiting glider pilot from Israel, who wanted to add winch launching to his skills. This he achieived and made several solo winch launches.

Great news. Alan Bamford went solo today. Well done.

Thanks needs to go again to the Green Party (Barry, Roger and Heather) who have worked tirelessly pushing, pulling, winching, towing etc to make it all happen.