Saturday 29th January 2011

With the early wind in the NE there was an indecent haste to get flying. There were several private gliders rigged and waiting, along with several visitors from North Hill  So the scene was set.

The wind strength never reached the forecast level which would almost certainly set up a good wave system. Instead pilots were teased with occasional glimpses of wave and rotor.

However, training continued apace with the two seater busy all day.  Everyone had a good time trying to find the elusive lift and the best flight of the day was Bob Jones in the Open Cirrus who managed to find what was probably the only thermal of the day.


Friday 28th January 2011

This evening a significant number of club members and guests got together at the DGS Annual Dinner which was held at the Trout and Tipple, Tavistock.

A good time was had by all at this informal event arranged largely by club member Mike Keller who decided that the club needed an annual dinner and just got on and organised it.

 Well done Mike and many thanks.


Wednesday 26th January 2011

Everyone was keen to get going early today, no doubt encouraged by CFI Don who was filling in in Bob’s absence. So gliders out, airfield ready and then wait for the low cloudbase to lift.

The intervening time was filled with the usual bronze discussions and housekeeping fueled by tea in the warm clubhouse. The Zugvogel was reassembled after it’s C of A and is now ready for another season – thank you John and David.

Wave clouds teasing the Zugvogel
The cloudbase lifted, so, game on. The wind was just east of north which put straight across the runway.Would there be wave? The were obvious wave clouds in the area but this proved to be elusive with most pilots sustaining their flights a little with fleeting touches of wave lift. The exception to this was farmer Phil who flew with Don for a master class in ridge soaring. They stayed airborne on the north ridge for a considerable time and looked like they could have stayed there all day.

Good news. Richard Williamson, who has experience of gliding with the ATC, completed the first step in his conversion to sport gliding and flew solo for the 1st time as a civilian. Well done

Richard Williamson on final approach for his first civilian solo.
Also congratulations to Robin Wilson for completing his Bronze. The Cross Country endorsement is next Robin


Sunday 23rd January 2011

Weather was much as forecast with varying amounts and types of cloud which made for an interesting sky-watching day. The wind was quite fresh but rather more northerly than would presage a classic Brentor wave day. And so it turned out, with broken wave coming & going to tease and tantalise the healthy crowd who turned out.

A busy launchpoint with at least one member looking for divine guidence
Four consecutive cable breaks on the north drum announced the end of life of the wire so we soldiered on with the south drum only. No more failures and a creditable, under the circumstances, 32 launches by the time we retired to the clubhouse. Nigel Williamson worked hard most of the day to gain his wings (or is that "wincs") on the Guslaunch.

Longest flight was just shy of half an hour. Even Trevor in the Jantar1 failed to get away despite flapping his wings furiously (or was it turbulence?) but everyone who wanted to fly had their fill. The sky was littered with lenticulars as we packed the toys away for another day.

Alan Ballard

Saturday 22nd January 2010

Winds 020/10, evidence of wave all day. An amazing cloudscape but only really soarable for an hour or so.

Very well done to Andrew Carter who not only went solo today, but also completed his first bronze leg.

Andrew Carter with CFI Don Puttock
Darren Wills went off in the K8 for the first time and Matt Wiles completed his first qualifying soaring flight for the cross country endorsement.

Darren Wills looks pleased after his first flight in the K8
Shrek did his epic trip from North Cornwall using public transport and still arrived smiling.  Also a warm welcome to Richard Cooper our latest new pupil.

Thanks everyone for making this a great day, and a special thanks to Chris Matten who spent much of his birthday on the winch and also to John Bolt and Dave Bourchier who spent the day wotking on the Zugvogel getting it ready for it's annual inspection.


And  Sandra’s view of the day

The weather tested us with strong rotor and wave today with Matthew Wiles achieving the longest flight of the day with 70 minutes in the K6. 

This picture from Matthew Wiles in the K6 at 3000 ft showing some of the wave clouds and a K13 much lower

Congratulations goes to Andrew Carter for his solo flight in the K13 after only three visits to Brentor, who then went on to get a bronze leg in the wave of 48 minutes.  Well done also to Darren Wills who progressed on to the K8.  The wave then teased the rest of us, with myself only managing 11 minutes! 

It was an enjoyable day with the four aircraft being kept busy all day while those not flying, kept warm by doing various jobs around the club house, making sure the woodburner was kept stoked and plenty of sheep herding.

Sandra Buttery

Wednesday 19th January 2011

Four stalwarts rose to the challenge of providing a really early start to a full flying day, and by the time other members started to appear, having encountered icy roads and fog, they found the winch and control caravan already in place at the right ends of the field, and the gliders DI’d and at the launch point.

DI-robics? Jeff Craggs gives the K8 a thorough DI.
 Although it wasn’t soarable, it was a fantastic day, with blue skies, spectacularly criss-crossing airliner con-trails above and fog remaining in the valleys.  To paraphrase what John Howe said: “We’re so lucky to belong to a club in such a beautiful place.”

'Fixed price to solo' student Richard Morgan is congratulated by instructor Bob Pirie after going it alone for the first time
Flying started on a high-note, with fixed-price-to-solo student Richard Morgan soon doing his first solo (Congratulations, Richard!),. Then trial lesson student  (and one-time Kelley College pupil) Richard Cooper was introduced to the joys of gliding by Ged. All the Wednesday regulars as well as some weekenders (Dave Longden, for example) were on parade, undergoing training, having check flights or just keeping (or getting) current. It was good to see Robin Wilson completing further flights towards his Bronze Badge and, by the way, “Welcome back” to our recently-absent ‘yachties’,Martin Broadway and Chris Fagg..
Everyone pitched in splendidly, achieving 37 launches (not bad for January!), and special thanks to those who carried out the pre-C.of A. de-rig of the Zugvogel - without any interruption of flying activities. After sunset - and an equally spectacular rising of the moon  over the moor,  the customary stoking of the woodburner and ‘abuse’ of the flight simulator took place.

New temporary member Richard Cooper gets a site briefing from Chris Fagg
Today was not all good news, however, because the Club has fallen victim to Air Southwest’s departure from Plymouth Airport. Our resident Dash-8 captain, Alan Bamford, announced that he is being reassigned to Aberdeen, where he will be converted to command Eastern Airways’ SAAB 2000 turboprop airliner. We wish him and his girlfriend, Haley, every happiness in their new home - and Allan every success on his next step up the airline ladder. (Hmm. I wonder if we can claim a transfer fee from his intended new club at Aboyne?)

Moonrise over Dartmoor
Bob Pirie

Sunday 16th January 2011

Plenty of rain, and as Mike Kellar pointed out---"someone has pinched Brentor Church".

The day took on the new non-flying day format---some briefing, some fun and a little housekeeping.

The briefings covered NOTAMs weather flight limitations and preparation for navigation part 2.

The housekeeping was directed at the principle of first impressions, from the entrance gate to the clubroom---making the club look and feel comfortable.

Thanks everyone for your great efforts here.


Saturday 15th January 2010

Wind, rain and low cloud. A full set.

Bronze training interspersed with chores and crashing the flight simulator were the main activities.

Principles of Flight, met and the bronze C oral test were the subjects---well done Robin who completed the bronze oral test, he is now getting dangerously close to completing that bronze.

Thanks everyone for completing the numerous housekeeping chores, we now have plenty of computer power, Wi-Fi, clean vehicles, more gorse cut back and loads more wood for the fire.

Lets hope this low pressure system moves away soon.


Wednesday 12th January 2010

Fog, low cloud and torrential rain with a forecast for it all to get worse meant that this was always going to be a non flying day.

Was the airfield deserted? Not a bit of it. A steady stream of club members arrived at the warm clubhouse; some to work; some to play and some to pass the time.

The simulator was kept busy all day. Phil flew a short cross country out of Brentor. Ged tried ridge soaring the western flanks of Dartmoor (the programme seems a little inaccurate here), Jeff did some local soaring, Bob and I took on the challenge of soaring the anabatic winds in the Slovenian mountains.

It was not all play though, Jeff completed the blackout curtains for the simulator, Ged and Phil changed the clutch master cylinder in one of the Discoveries and Phil, Ged and John adjusted the rudder pedals in the K8. Between the worst of  rain, Ged was to be found clearing the drainage channels. Now that's dedication!


Sunday 9th January 2010

The airfield had dried out significantly to allow operations to proceed though flying didn't commence until after mid-day as problems were encountered  with the tractor which broke down halfway down the runway with launch hut in tow. Once rectified flying started under a bright blue sky and tantalising glimpses of cumulus heading our way on a light westerly.
Early flights were of limited duration until the wind strengthened slightly and with the suns heating, those lucky enough to be launched found themselves underneath those clouds and finding lift, myself reaching the giddy heights of 2,500 feet and the vario at one point registering 6 knots of climb.

A good looking cloud street - especially for early January.
 All too soon it was over and normal service was resumed though all gliders were out of the hangar and members took the opportunity to remain current and enjoy the view.

Looking west along the runway
 On a personal note, as I was one of the lucky few today I managed to stay airborne for 48 minutes, obtaining my first Bronze leg in only my sixth solo flight. Nobody told me this gliding lark would be so addictive! 
As usual hard work and team work from everybody ensured operations ran smoothly and everyone that turned up managed to get a flight.
Darren Wills

Saturday 8th January 2010

With lots of club members on site and DCFI Mark keen to fly it was very disappointing that the field was just too wet and soft.

Even with this disappointment people were not idle. A group was discussing Bronze exam subjects with Mark. “Want to be” lumberjacks Ged and gang were cutting up wood  for the stove. Will led a group clearing the stones from the hangar apron which had been deposited by the heavy rain. Jeff purchased and installed a blackout curtain for the simulator. Rick was installing software on the new computer supplied by Colin. I spent some time fixing website bugs. The simulator was kept busy throughout the day.

Thanks everyone


Wednesday 5th January 2010

Fog and teeming rain (which rejuvenated the mud) failed to deter a hard core of members, who fired up the woodburner and engaged in a variety of activities, including simulator training, equipment maintenance, wood-chopping and 'line-shooting'.
The simulator was kept busy as usual, but either the damp (or possibly a hit and miss attempt at 'tweaking' by a previous user) contributed to some particularly erratic flights - and spectacular crashes. ( This was fixed later – Steve )

Ged was persuaded to model his new soaring hat whist flying the simulator
  A brace (duo? couple?) of field treasurers was seen in earnest conversation - so if your flying account is in the red, watch out!  
Meanwhile a number of us discussed the pros and cons of various types of parachute, in preparation for the purchase of two brand new ones for the club via the Sport England grant. It was particularly useful to be able to investigate various possibilities via the newly-installed internet connection in the clubhouse.
There was a feeling among a number of us that (a) that the club was very fortunate to secure such funding (£9,750) in these times of financial stringency (thanks again, Bob Jones), and (b) that we should always make a special effort to ensure that organisations or individuals awarding grants, bursaries and donations to the club and its members should be thanked formally and acknowledged publicly wherever possible.
Whilst many gliding club 'stalwarts' around the UK are still hibernating, a sure sign that spring is on its way was an appearance by Dave Bourchier, who spent the day checking our current stock of parachutes and re-pack dates, repairing the launch cable repair equipment and finally the guillotine mechanism, on the ML winch.

Dave at work on the winch - I think he could teach the safety officer at thing or two about PPE
Bob Pirie 

Monday 3rd January 2011

As the snow stayed away, it was a busy day with practise launch failures, circuits and Bronze training.
The K13s are busy
Congratulations to Chris Kaminski who passed his Bronze today.  Alan Ballard worked tirelessly on the winch all day, giving instruction to Nigel Williamson  The K6 was found a better parking position in the hangar.

Do we need an extra pre-flight check? - A ( are you awake)
As the temperature began to drop it was back to the Club House for the last of the Christmas mince pies!


Sunday 2nd January 2011

The forecast was promising, but the view through the rain streaming down the clubhouse windows was less so. We had time to spend with a practical lesson in NOTAMs before the cloud lifted and we all went flying.

Quite a busy day, welcome to Henry Acton and Richard Williamson who spent the day helping and getting used to field operations. Henry Ford and brother popped in with many other pilots looking for some post Christmas fresh air.

The wave taunted us all day with some valiant attempts at soaring, but little over half an hour locally
The edge of the wave bar is clearly visible to the east
Well done Nigel Williamson, first flight in the K6. Of course we now expect a few bronze legs.

Scratch spent the whole day on the winch, thanks very much---that made the day possible.


Saturday 1st January 2011

After the most successful year that DGS has ever enjoyed, it was important to get the New Year off to a flying start.

The low cloudbase with 8/8 coverage, misty conditions and a light northerly wind did not promise much. The pilots made good use of the day though with everyone maintaining their currency. Bob and Steve continued with their instructor training with CFI Don; Cable breaks, stalls and steep turns today.

Junior pilot Matthew Wiles continued his meteoric progress. He soloed on his 16th birthday on the December 7th. Since then he has completed lots of solo flights, achieved 2 bronze soaring legs, converted from the K13 to the K8 and, today he converted to the K6.

Superman? I don't think so ---  Just an excited Matthew after flying the K6

Thanks to Rick Wiles for lots of winching today and also for working on the second club computer and the wireless modem/router. The club now offers the use of wireless broadband to the those club members who use laptops, netbooks or smartphones on the airfield.