Dartmoor Gliding News- Sunday 28th September 2014

An ethereal view driving to the airfield
Depending on where you drove from to get to Brentor this morning your journey might either have been in fog, mist, or brilliant sunshine. Those, like myself, who come around the moor, could see the brooding September cloud clinging to the top of the moors, whilst those whose route followed the river valleys, were clamped in by mist, until they got to the airfield which was, refreshingly, in the clear. 

Fog in the river valley
Thank goodness! For there was a lot to fit in: a long list of visitors pre-booked, plus the club training schedule and recently married Jerry Wellington to be converted to his new mount (stop it!) - K-6CR FUB!

It was a day for getting your glider covered in insects
In light airs with an easterly forecast we launched to the west (thanks for the tip, Saturday Sages, we went with what we could see, not the forecast and in the event the windsock draped in every direction but from the east) and with the winch in the top field were routinely able to achieve 1300ft, not far below cloudbase.
A busy launch point
With two two-seaters in operation it was great to see trainees Kit Smith, Boeing 747 driver (ret'd) Adrian Irwin and Chris Jones developing their flying skills, whilst retired GP Robin Wilson and ageing rock star Colin Boyd gave Jerry W some tips on how to enter the K-6 (that's enough..!)

Soaring with the Jantar
As morning progressed to pm it was no surprise, given the slight upward 'bump' in the RASP forecast around 1300, to see Trevor Taylor and Allan Holland appear and, indeed, exploit the cyclic conditions of the afternoon (Trevor managed 1hr12mins between 1400-1500, Allan 26mins and Colin Boyd 15 mins in a breakthrough of afternoon sun between 1645-1715). 

Mike Keller also rigged and soared his K-8, both aspects of which are getting easier..! By the end of the day we had flown 7 visitors (see photos for names), 3 trainees and 6 club private pilots for a total of 30 launches.

Visitor Alan Beard
Visitor Alex Ranford
Visitor Barry Philips

Visitor Barry Whittaker
Visitor Ken Bowden
Visitor Mark Gibbons
Visitor Kevin Halfyard

A busy and productive day.

Martin Cropper

Dartmoor Gliding News-Wednesday 24th September 2014

Initially the weather just did not look very promising with 8/8ths cloud and some drizzle in the air. Gradually things improved so several gliders were rigged and flying started at 1pm.

The afternoon turned out to be quite good
 The day was planned to be a non training day but trainee pilot John Rogers turn up anyway determined to help everyone else fly. He was rewarded with 3 flights in the K13 with instructor David Jesty the best of which was a soaring flight of 1 hour 35 minutes.

Several other pilots made local soaring flights in the improving condition. In fact, the Twin Astir made 2 soaring flights around 1 hour.

Our thanks must go to Steve Raine who winched today and in doing so sacrificed his chance of flying.
Thanks Steve but next time you are flying.

The day finished with a nice sunset for the drive home

Dartmoor Gliding News–Saturday 20th September 2014

The forecast for today gave light and variable winds mostly from the north and that’s what we got. The forecast also gave sunny periods but we did not get anything that even resembled sunny. Most of the day the cloudbase was around 1500 feet over the airfield but touching the hills over the western flanks of Dartmoor. This gave the impression of a really grey day.

Were we put off? No, we are made of sterner stuff and even with the limited number of members we put together a plan to maximise use of the day.

A somewhat uninspiring grey day
 Steve Raine rigged his glider hoping for a clearance but, this time, he was disappointed by the weather and ended up putting it away un-flown after driving the winch for us most of the day. Thanks for you help Steve.

After changing ends on the airfield, the Zugvogel 3A G-CHKV was rescued from the back of the hangar, it’s monthly maintenance brought up-to-date and it was taken to the launchpoint where Dick Masters and Fred Marks were converted to flying it. They both managed a couple of successful circuits each and, judging by the smiles on their faces, we now have 2 new Zugvogel fans. Club member Jeff Craggs took the opportunity to re-acquaint himself with the delights of the Zugvogel.

Dick Masters (left), new club member Fred Marks and the Zugvogel
Fred Marks who is a fully licenced pilot already, has been flying under our reciprocal agreement but today joined Dartmoor Gliding as a full flying member. Welcome to our club Fred.

Visitor Edward Taylor with instructor Ged.
 We welcomed two visitors today. Edward Taylor and Mike Jackson both had a couple of flights each in the K13 G-DDMX with instructor Ged Nevisky. The flights were enjoyed and both are contemplating the opportunities that learning to fly a glider presents.

Mike Jackson waiting for a launch in the K13
We made the best use of a quiet day.


Dartmoor Gliding News- Wednesday 17th September 2014

The forecast was for strong easterly winds. The atmospheric soundings looked favourable for wave. There were wave clouds all across Plymouth as I left for the airfield. There was also signs of rotor turbulence with some trees apparently still while others looked ready to break off.  Today was planned to be a non instruction day so there would be plenty of opportunity to fly my own glider.

At the airfield there was a healthy number of pilots around but very little action as everyone was a little concerned about the conditions. So, like penguins waiting to dive off their ice flow, we needed someone to go first.  We picked a volunteer and decided to launch Ged in his Twin Astir to test out the conditions and he promptly went soaring for an hour before returning to pronounce it flyable with care with large smooth areas and the usual turbulent rotors over the airfield.

If you have never experienced wave flying in a glider, you may be wondering what all the fuss is about. I thought that I would describe my own flight to allow you to make up your own minds.

Yours truly with the Jantar1
We quickly rigged the Jantar 1 and towed to the launch point while Ged was still airborne. Strapped in, canopy on, cable on, ready to go. The windsock was waving around like the arm of a demented orchestral conductor. So could be a little rough then.

“Take up slack”, deep breath,”All out”. The Jantar leaves the ground in it’s own length, my own hand is now mimicking the windsock as I keep the wings level. Rotating into the climb I set the flaps to +1 and the climb continues. At 1100 feet the launch goes smooth and I release at 1500 feet. Great launch.

Flaps 0, undercarriage up, push forward at 60knots, smooth air, here is the wave. Slowing down to 40 knots, flaps +1, and the variometers creep above 0. Turning across the wind and feeling for the strongest lift, I manage to find an average rate of climb at about 0.6 knots. Not fast but I am climbing in beautifully smooth air. Relax. The lift peters out just south of Tavistock so I turn to the north to retrace my steps along the wave. And so the flight continues flying alternately north and south along the wave bar always in smooth lift.

The tempting wave clouds
At 5000 feet I am comfortably above the lower level wave clouds and can see a really nice looking wave cloud to the north which looks like it will provide stronger lift. So flaps –1, 75 knots and off to the cloud. On the way the rotor is very active with the variometers showing full up and then full down as the aircraft bounces around in the violent air. The cloud does in fact produce much stronger lift but it is very rough and I decide to bravely return to my original wave bar where I continue the climb in smooth lift.

Looking east across Dartmoor
At 8000 feet I am approaching the upper cloud layer and there is no obvious way to continue the climb. I relax for a few minutes as the Jantar continues quietly on, the only noise is the whispering of the air passing by and the comforting beep from the variometer. We are over a mile and a half above the airfield, the views while not stunning have an ethereal quality through the hazy air.

The view towards Plymouth with the Tavy, Tamar and Lynher estuaries on view with Milbrook Lake and Plymouth Sound beyond
Time to go. So, a good look around, particularly underneath, flaps 0, 65 knots, full airbrake, wheel down. The descent rate settles to 800 feet per minute as I spiral down above Mary Tavy. 10 minutes to landing then. Taking more interest in the airfield now I see there is a glider in the middle of the runway. They seem to be taking their time clearing the glider so at 3000 feet I put the airbrakes away, intending to delay the descent for a couple of minutes as I really want an empty runway just in case. The wave is really strong now and without trying the averager shows a climb rate of 5.8 knots and by the time runway is clear I am back to 4000 feet.

Descending towardsMary Tavy  
Another good look all around and airbrakes out to continue the descent,  initially spiralling down overhead Mary Tavy and then moving to the south side of the airfield for a right hand circuit. I start the circuit at 1800 feet still with the airbrakes out and 65 knots as I fly into the rotor. The aircraft bounces around but I have flown in worse. I turn to final approach at 700 feet, level the wings, continuing at 65knots all the way to the ground. Nearing the runway I raise the nose a little as the aircraft settles into the ground effect, keeping it straight as the speed bleeds away and we settle gently onto the grass. I climb out with a big smile on my face and 2 more hours of superb gliding in my logbook.

Longest Flight of the day Andrew Beaumont in his Astir
A what about the rest of the day. We did a total of 17 flights, 4 of which were 2 hours or more and a further 5 were over 1 hour. Longest flight of the day was Andrew Beaumont who flew for 2 hours 35 minutes. Highest flight was by my syndicate partner Trevor Taylor who took the Jantar to 8300 feet above the airfield struggling to go higher than me by circling in a rotor which carried him the extra 200 feet. Thanks Trevor. I really enjoy being the pilot to beat.

Trevor getting ready at the front of the launch queue
Our special thanks today must go to Steve Raine and John Rogers who manned the winch for us and to Jorg Beasley who did the cable retrieves all without the prospect of flying themselves. Next wave day I will take them up in a two seater.

And what are the best dressed glider pilots wearing this season
The tail lifting strap tied around the waist makes Phil look every bit the farmer that he is.


Dartmoor Gliding News- Sunday 14th September 2014

We all know the legend of King Canute who turned back the sea; except it wasn't quite that: rather, it was he who put his throne onto the sands to show his fawning courtiers that even he, royalty, was not able to stop the nature and the incoming tide. Today at Brentor, where thick grey cloud had prevented the sun from reaching the ground all morning, a similar kind of cry went up, "'What's all this cloud doing here?! It has no right..! How can air which has travelled all the way across the continent and then this country arrive here with enough moisture to form so much cloud?" This from our nearest equivalent of royalty Allan Holland, to which the only answer could be 'I don't know Allan, if it won't listen to you it certainly won't listen to me...'

Following which came the 'echo' "Well, the forecast said it was going to clear by midday and it's now 1202 so it should have gone by now" in an all too familiar Irish brogue. So with two pundits willing the cloud to be gone did it conform? Not a bit if it. Of course easterly winds always bring the prospect of wave at Brentor, often directly at top of the winch launch, so there was a lot of anticipation that today might be the day...

Prior to our local Canute's demands of the weather, there had been a clear demand from our solo members to get their gliders rigged, so we did so, in advance of getting club gliders to the launch point.

The arrival of One Day Course student Martin Rylands, who lives and works in Aylesbury, Bucks, kicked us into a more 'customer focused' attitude and we were soon ready to launch. Whilst the aforesaid wall to wall cloud was not conducive to easy instructional flights, we managed to get Martin into the air and make progress through the Flying List whilst the 'pundits' waited for their “Canutian” dreams to come true.
One Day Course Candidate Martin obviously feels the need to check his straps before another flight with Martin! 
New arrivals for a Sunday were Dad and daughter team Pete and Paula Howarth: hailing from Plymouth they had flown on a Saturday recently (in wave) but clearly  had decided that Sunday was more alluring. Pete last flew 23 years ago at Upavon whilst Paula recently experienced her first 3 flights at Brentor with our own Steve Lewis, one of which lasted 22 mins in wave. They both helped out at the launch point and we look forward to seeing a lot more of them in future.

Paul Howarth returned with her dad for some more flying
Next in the roller-coaster ride of life at Brentor it was time for 12 year old Elliot Acton's first experienced demonstration of launch failures both at height and from 500ft land straight ahead.

Solo pilots continued to find no lift, including those who castigated the weather for not changing at exactly 1200, until late afternoon when, after spending some time on the winch, Jerry Wellington took club 'hot ship' K-8 into the sky and flew a line of energy at 2,500ft for 33 mins, easily trouncing the second longest flight (Jantar) at 27 mins.

And from then on conditions improved dramatically, so perhaps Allan Holland's words with the weather had more clout than those of King Canute?! Thanks go to all the team, including newcomers, who helped out on the ground, thus enabling others to get into the sky - it was a case of 'add one move round' throughout the day.

And the wind stays set from the east for Wednesday - who can remember when a period of easterly winds has lasted for over a week?

Surely there must be wave in prospect?

Martin Cropper

Dartmoor Gliding News-Saturday 13th September 2014

The wind is still in the east. At DGS this always gives the possibility of wave. The day started with a low cloudbase and 7/8 cloud cover but this gradually improved through the day.

Today there was no rostered instructor but Ged had agreed to open the airfield and in fact he spent part of his day instructing. He started with Mike Jardine. Mike is our latest Introductory Flight Pilot and Ged put him through a series of cable breaks and circuits to ensure his flying was up to standard, which it was.

Experienced visitor Bob Purdie with Ged in K13 G-DDMX
Ged’s other task today was to familiarise visiting pilot, Bob Purdie, with flying at Brentor. Bob is an experienced pilot whose current club is the Park where he flies his LS4. Bob now has a house near Bovey Tracey so will probably become a familiar face around our club. You are very welcome Bob.

There was a full programme of Trial Flights and these were handled by Mike, Ged and me. Today’s visitors were Ed Haggar, Roger Hand, Robert and Janet Napper, James Rippon, Amanda Stone and Tony Gray. Judging by all the smiles, everyone seemed to have enjoyed their flights.

Visitor Andrew Sweet with Mike Jardine
Ed Haggar enjoyed a soaring flight with me
Visitor Tony Gray flew with Ged
James Rippon had a couple a couple of short soaring flights with me
Janet Napper looks happy to be flying 
Visitor Colin Napper in K7M G-DCLT
Visitor Roger Hand waiting to go
Visitor Amanda Stone
There was signs of wave in the light easterly winds with rotor enhanced thermals giving some weak climbs in the overcast conditions. Best flight of the day was Martin Broadway in the K8 who utilised the weak conditions to stay airborne for just over an hour. Another notable entry in the flight log today was Dick Masters who has somehow missed out on flying a couple of times recently. Today he managed a couple of flights in the K8 including some soaring. Great news.

The K8 returns after soaring in the grey 
Elsewhere, David Bourchier removed the main wheel from CLT which needed a little maintenance. After cleaning the wheel box and checking and lubricating bearings etc. the wheel was refitted and the aircraft returned to service. Our thanks to you David.

A productive day.


Dartmoor Gliding News-Wednesday 10th September 2014

The call had gone out that the forecast was good, and an early start might be wise, so I got to the airfield just after 0830, only to find Mike Keller was even keener than me! With a strong East wind blowing, and barely a cloud over the airfield, we set about getting things together so that we could start getting aircraft in the air. By 1000 there were well over a dozen people, a good mix of Ab Initio students, solo pilots and instructors, and the launch point was well on it's way to getting the first aircraft up.

Bob Pirie took Mike Keller up in the K13, launching at 1025, both to explore the extent of the wave to the east of the airfield, and also to show Mike the likely lumps and bumps he would encounter on the approach if he decided to take his own aircraft up. Maybe the fact that Mike decided to do some winch training, under the expert eye of Steve Raine, should have given the rest of us a clue about the conditions!?!

Flying the K13
I was next to fly with Bob in the K13, and having got a good launch we too headed into the wave. This was my first time in wave, and it turned out to be a great experience. We stayed between 1,200 and 1,500ft for the entire 30 minutes we were up, but I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of being in the air for so long, without having to constantly maintain a turn, though sharing the wave with other aircraft meant keeping a sharp lookout. I was also the next to experience the rotor on the approach to the airfield, and what a ride that was! I was certainly very grateful to have Bob's expert instruction to guide me to a safe landing.

Michael Nuttal-Worsley with Steve in K7M G-DCLT
Steve Lewis took the first trail lesson of the day, with Michael Nuttal-Worsley enjoying two trips into the glorious blue skies and wave. Shortly after this, Martin Broadway took to the skies, scoring the best flight of the day at 2hrs 16mins, and achieving an altitude of 3,300ft. Whilst Martin was in the air, Bob Sansom pulled off the landing of the day; from the minute he turned in on finals, to the second his undercarriage touched the deck, I don't think I took a single breath. His K8 is as light as a kite, and the rotor winds over the approach threw him around like a cork in a washing machine!

It was very shortly after this that Steve Lewis made the call to cancel all further trial lessons, as the idea is to encourage people to come back, not put them off for life! However, the solo and Ab Initio stalwarts continued to head skyward, and we wound up launching Astirs, the ASW20, a Jantar, the K7, a K8 and the K13. Further indication of the difficult landing conditions, if any were needed, was the sight of Allan Holland spending the afternoon picking blackberries, but in the end everyone who flew enjoyed some great, if challenging flying.

Wave enhanced cloud street
Today our special thanks are owed  to John, Ged and David assisted throughout the day by several other club members for their work on the K8 ARC renewal and complteting several other jobs on the Pirat. Thanks everyone

Chris Jones

Dartmoor Gliding News-Sunday 7th September 2014

A quick check of the Met Office and RASP forecasts confirmed it: 040 at 10kts, blue for thermals: fantastic - could be wave. Arrival at the clubhouse gave me the opportunity to deliver clear direction to the horde of members present (Roger Appleboom and Mike Keller): 'We need to change ends!'

As other members began to arrive, we embarked on the process that took an hour to complete whilst I used all my telepathic powers to get the windsock to conform with the forecast. It refused. Whilst the wind was, it must be admitted, very light and was generally northerly, whenever the windsock did move it went to the west, not the east, thus presenting us with a tailwind for launching and landings.

The difference in length of both take off and landing run was significant, but we had a secret weapon in the shape of Dave Parker who delivered plenty of power from the winch, thus getting us off the ground quickly (i.e.. safe), and then keeping us on the wire for as long as possible, such that no-one suffered a launch of less than 1,000ft. Many thanks, Dave. Of course with the wind in the north there was no opportunity for wave to develop, but the first wisps of cumulus indicated the presence of thermals which rapidly developed into classic cumulus all around the site.

Paraglider pilot Andrew Bouldcott exploring the world of sport gliding
The day was busy with at least 5 private owners expecting to soar, 3 club trainees and 4 Trial Lesson students, who were all flown by an Asst Cat Instructor (me!)). As cloudbase lifted towards lunchtime Martin Broadway set off in the ASW 20F for a 2hr plus flight, whilst Chris Owen, flying in K-13 DMX soared for 17 mins, maintaining full control for the first time throughout all stages of the flight. Well done Chris. PPL holder Pete Harvey then took the front seat to show that he can adapt to fully held off approaches, which with a downwind, downhill landing run was no mean feat, and also soared for 9 mins.

Mamdisara Bushell sharing a light moment with Martin
 Bob Pirie took over from Martin Broadway in the ASW 20 mid-afternoon, when conditions were really booming, whilst Mike Keller took his K-8 to 3,000ft for over an hour. Rather embarrassingly, Trevor Taylor needed a re-light in his Jantar before getting away, but then disappeared to all points north, Okehampton, Launceston and Roadford Reservoir, where he found “cloudbase was up and down like the proverbial, the thermals were on the sunny side of the clouds and I even soared up the sides of some clouds” (abridged version).

Sharing a thermal with the ASW20
Eventually, at around 4pm, the wind did finally deign to pick up from the east, thus reassuring my decision first thing in the morning. However with that the conditions rapidly became overcast and murky, such that not long after the last flight had landed we were effectively in IMC.

Dave Stanbury with Martin in the K13
Our Trial Lesson students were Dave Stanbury (pictured), a very happy owner of a 38-tonne Volvo tipper truck, Andrew Boulcott, a product engineer and paraglider pilot who was keen to explore the difference between our two sports (limiting wind speed: 10 mph - you’ve got to run when you hit the ground!) and Mandi Bushell, who spent 15 mins in the K-13 soaring in company with the ASW 20 - a rare and beautiful sight!

Huge thanks go to the ground crew (already named, let’s not make their heads too big!) who made it all happen, and to Bob Pirie who at one point appeared to be permanently seated on the quad bike providing a retrieve service to the launchpoint (although he did manage to collect some sizeable mushrooms en route!)

Martin Cropper

Dartmoor Gliding News–Saturday 6th September 2014

Looking out of the house this morning I was hardly able to see more than a 100 meters or so. This is bad news but as I had two One Day Courses to run it was off to the airfield with no great expectations.

The early cloudbase was very low indeed but the airfield was readied and the aircraft inspected and fettled in the hope of some flying later. While all this activity was going on the local cloudbase began to rise. The visibility to the north and south was poor but in the immediate vicinity of the airfield the cloud dissipated so, on with the flying programme.

A busy launch queue
The start was a little bit later than usual but with great efforts from our members and visitors alike the launch rate  was quite respectable. My two One Day Courses were father and son Chris and Jake Bennett. Jake had the first 3 flights and with each one it was obvious that the air was becoming more buoyant. Chris was next and on his first flight we managed to scratch out an 18 minute flight always below launch height. After one more circuit flight Chris and I were away and we completed his Course in one glorious soaring flight of over an hour during which Chris flew us all over the local area. Jake was champing at the bit when we landed so off we went for another soaring flight. Great fun

Father and son duo Chris and Jake Bennett
Meanwhile, the solo pilots were enthused enough into get into the action. After a circuit flight, Astir owner Steve Raine launched again to soar for 2 hours 16 minutes to complete his Cross Country Endorsement. Steve has previously completed his Bronze “C” so is now a qualified pilot. Well done Steve and welcome to the world of the licenced pilot. The other notable solo flight was Mike Keller flying his syndicate K8 for 1 hour and 25 minutes.

Tired but victorious, Steve Raine our newest licienced pilot
And what of Instructor in charge Ged Nevisky. He worked all day in the K13 flying initially with Max Jones ( son of member Chris ), then with Chris. Ged also flew with Karl Andrews who returned to us after an absence during which he changed jobs. Ged and Karl soared for 55 minutes during which they were able to work their way through all the spin and stall exercises.

Max Jones still smiling after landing
Elsewhere on the airfield Rick Wiles was to be found working away on the ML winch. We also welcomed David Bourchier back after a few weeks of absence. David came specifically to help Rick produce rope strops to replace the wire ones we normally use. The rope strops are for use with the single seat aircraft which require a blue weak link.  Thanks David.

An excellent day from the most unpromising start


Dartmoor Gliding News-Wednesday 3rd September 2014

Wind easterly. A line of cumulus developing to the north of us; clear blue overhead, and a mixture of low cumulus and orographic cloud running across the face of the moor just to the east. The question was, were our expectations of wave realistic? Would thermic conditions prevail? Or would the two types of potentially rising air remain in conflict, providing us with yet another day of scratching around trying to stay aloft?

A small but enthusiastic group of members heeded the call for an early (by Wednesday standards!) start and were on the case at 09.00, with others rolling in over the next hour or so. Apart from the inevitable hassle of changing ends (executed by Phil Hardwick and Robin Wilson) and all the preparation of club gliders and rigging of private ones (which involved a good team effort by everyone), K7M 'CLT' was due its monthly maintenance before being released for a full schedule of trial lessons. This task was accomplished efficiently by Fred Marks and Ian Osborne.

Airspace-wise, the Willsworthy Range was active, but one bigger uncertainty remained in the form a huge restriction zone during certain parts of the day for airborne operations associated with the NATO conference in Newport, South Wales. Not wishing any of our cross-country aspirants to come into conflict with the 'hot ships' operated by our allies (up to and including Eurofighters and Mig 27s), I spent a while poring over maps with our safety officer Mike Gadd, and on the phone to a gentleman at the CAA, who clarified the situation. Reassuringly, just as I was embarking on a preamble about the particular requirements of this "l'il ole gliding' club on the edge of Dartmoor", he stopped me and said that because he hailed from Barnstaple he had a reasonable appreciation of our local situation. A pleasant and helpful guy!

K13 G_DDMX on final approach
So gliding got underway, but with all the preliminary issues having had to be addressed, our one hour earlier start resulted in our first launch being just 15 minutes sooner than usual. But no matter. Enthusiasm, teamwork and energy levels were maintained and by the end of a long and rather hot day, 44 launches had been achieved.

Back to the launchpoint for another flight
 Flying-wise, while I had a full programme of  ab inito instruction, Steve Lewis coped with 7 trial lesson visitors for a total of 12 flights (with the workload being lightened later in the day with help from Ged Nevisky). Today’s visitors were Chris Woodford, Roger Lewis, Malcolm and Sue Squire and Peter and Paula Howarth. Paula was returning for some more flying after her first visit a few weeks ago and built on her skills with the controls while flying in the wave to over 3000 feet. Paula’s father Peter, an ex gliding instructor with the Army club at Upavon, flew with Ged. He made two unassisted flights even though he has not actually flown a glider for more than 20 years. Well done.

Ged with Malcolm Squire
Paula Howarth ready to go soaring
Sue Squire flew with Steve
First on today's list was Chris Woodford. 
Roger Lewis complete with his GoPro camera.
Again, there was disappointingly low demand for club's single seaters, but as usual the K8 came into its own as the day progressed and brought a smile to various faces as conditions improved. Privately-owned gliders on line and airborne today were an Astir, a K8, K6CR, Open Cirrus and ASW 20F.

So what about all that soaring potential that inspired our early start and those high expectations? Well, the large number of launches is a good indicator, because for most of the time it was a case of up, round and down, with occasional hints of embryonic wave out towards the moor, followed by a quick dash home. Otherwise, there were short soaring flights as some of the wisps started to develop into more defined cumulus. However, it was not until after 16.00 hours that it all started to happen.

Bob in the ASW20
I 'upgraded' myself from the back seat of the K13 to the ASW20F, in the hope that its 'longer legs' might lead me to wave. However, a launch to just 900 feet gave me little to play with, so I dropped back to join Steve in the K7M under a productive cumulus cloud for a top-up of height before setting out towards the moor. This proved to be worthwhile, because I made contact with steady wave lift and spent a pleasant and peaceful hour and a quarter climbing to 4,200 feet before breaking off and returning to the 'real world'. An enjoyable interlude, with decreasing visibility up-sun being the only drawback. Over the next couple of hours several other gliders joined in the fun with climbs to well over 3,000 feet and durations of around an hour, with Mike Gadd achieving the longest flight of the day of one hour nineteen minutes.

The view of the airfield from 4000 feet shows the generally poor visibility later in the day 
De-rigging and hangar packing were carried out by the relatively few members who saw the day though until evening. Finally, once the toys had been packed away, we returned to the clubhouse to find that Adrian Pike had applied his carpentry skill to making and fitting a smart wooden shelf to support the new lavatory which had been installed last Wednesday.

De-rigging in the evening sun
All in all a  most enjoyable - if tiring - day with a great bunch of friends and enthusiastic visitors.

Bob Pirie