Dartmoor Gliding News-Wednesday 24th June 2015

The forecast was a little uncertain. Early sunny, blue sky conditions were going to give way to cloudy conditions with possible rain as yet another weak front sweeps in.

The DGS pilots seemed to know better. The enthusiasm seemed endless with lots of private gliders out. Alongside the club K13 and Zugvogel, there were 2 Astirs, an Astir2 ( more about this one later ), an ASW20, an Open Cirrus, a K8, and a K6. Phew that is a lot of rigging and a not inconsiderable grid.

The Grid today looked big enough from back here 
The most notable aircraft was the Astir 2 G-CLLT. This aircraft belongs to a new syndicate and flew for the first time at Brentor today and gave a good account of itself in the variable conditions.
Adrian Irwin in the Astir2 which made is DGS debut today.
The rear hinged canopy is novel.
Flying was definitely a bit patchy with some good conditions followed by periods of poor soaring which gave way to some more good soaring etc. The frontal system was easy to see to the SW coming ever closer but it never caused us any trouble. Best flight of the day was by Ged Nevisky in the Open Cirrus with 53 minutes.

Club member David Downton delayed his flight with Ged to Answer the phone!!
We welcomed visitor Raymond Leathers who was taking advantage of our new 2 flight voucher to try out glider as a means of getting airborne. Ray is an ex power pilot. He seemed to enjoy his flights and was discussing returning for some more flying soon.

IFP Fred Marks (left) presents Ray leathers with his Certificate and membership card 
While everyone was having fun, Phil Hardwick spent today repairing the 3rd gang of the mower. By the end of the day Phil could be seen roaring up the runway in the small tractor with the whole mower working behind him. Many thanks Phil.


Dartmoor Gliding News-Sunday 21st June 2015

Have you ever stopped to wonder what makes a happy Instructor (apart, of course from a willing team of pilots and trainees)? No? Well, I can tell you that, at Brentor, when the wind is aligned with the runway, and the winch 'right up' in the top field (see photo), guaranteeing launches to 1,500ft plus, you get a very happy instructor! No crosswind, no laying off, no crabbed approaches and launch failures where the winch driver is easily able to recover the cable… Plus, with a moderate to fresh breeze (the K-13 was off the ground within 3 steps in the afternoon) trainees were able to get decent flight durations without having to soar.

Wow! The large gap between winch and launchpoint is readily apparent
as the retrieve vehicle passes the K-13 on tow-out over the brow of the hill
So that's great for our trainees, but what about the solo pilots? Well despite the fairly fresh wind at ground level, it was surprisingly benign at height, thus allowing people to scratch into the core and climb away without being whipped away from the airfield (see photo from 1,800ft over Peter Tavy). Cloudbase, at 2,200ft agl, was relatively easy to reach and, at times, cloud streets developed ever so temptingly into Cornwall... So whilst no-one flew beyond soaring range of the airfield, it was good to see Roger Appleboom, Martin Broadway, Adrian Irwin, and Leith Whittington (Dart 16R) log some decent times today.

The village of Peter Tavy from 1,800ft
(the critical feature being the Peter Tavy Inn, nearest the wing root in bottom right hand corner).
Our visitors for introductory flights, both of whom flew with Roger Appleboom, were Bob Watson, from Florida, USA (having travelled up from Padstow with wife and son for his flight), and Steve Stokes, who was supported by a large family contingent.

Visitor Bob Watson, from the USA, who flew with Roger Appleboom.

Visitor Steve Stokes, who also flew with Roger Appleboom, looks ready to go!
 We were also visited by Sean Parramore, checking out his (unique?) Skylark 3F, and by David Jesty for the last time prior to his move to Gloucestershire. Both have contributed greatly to the club by instructing (and in David's case also being Safety Officer) and, whilst Sean remains a full member, David’s return is likely to be less frequent but nonetheless welcome.

With the help of Barry Green on winch, Heather Horsewill on retrieve, and Kit Smith (with Martin Broadway) on radio/launch control, we managed in excess of thirty launches today – so a huge vote of thanks goes to all of them. A good day today and one which, I hope, the trainees found productive and the solo pilots found challenging and enjoyable.

So that’s it. Except there’s a spare photo…oh yes, and Richard Roberts went solo! Richard, who took a break from the club 18 years ago, and was previously part-owner of a Jantar, has been attending in a supportive role since February, and restarted flying in early June. Having ticked (almost) all the boxes in rapid succession, his reaction at being sent solo today is readily apparent in the photo here…

Richard Roberts, looking mightily (and rightly) pleased with himself,
re-soloed today after a break of 18 years.  Welcome Back!
Martin Cropper

Dartmoor Gliding News-Saturday 20th June 2015

In contrast to yesterday’s almost perfect blue skies, today started with very low cloud and a little drizzle as yet another weak front passed through.

There was a real desire to fly today and as we waited, the cloudbase gradually improved to the point where it looked possible. We left the winch in a “short” position as we really didn’t think that the cloudbase was going to be much more than about 1000 feet and that is how it was. Flying conditions were very nice with a steady breeze straight down the runway with no appreciable gusting.

The first flight was a test flight of K13 G-CHXP back in fleet service after it’s annual inspections. All was well with the possible exception of the XK10 variometer which was apparently giving strange readings. A quick inspection of the control unit revealed that the switches were in the wrong positions; an easy fix. The new total energy system seems to be working well.

Chris Matten ready to fly with Ged
Is Chris proposing to Karen again? 
Then followed a couple of flights by Chris Matten with Ged after which Chris was passed ready to re-solo. Karen Matten was next. We welcomed visitor Clive Peter who had 3 shortish flights with me during which we managed to get him flying the aircraft. Great fun. Clive left with the biggest smile on his face. Final flight was by Mike Jardine who flew with David Bouchier. Mike managed to soar for a couple of minutes before hangar landing.

Visitor Clive Peter waiting to fly
The kit was put away early as we had all flown. As we closed the hangar doors the sky improved markedly looking really soarable but by then the desire to get going all over again was lacking.

Special thanks today must go to Karen who spent a lot of time this morning wire brushing and polishing the woodburner which now looks almost new.

Steve Lewis

Dartmoor Gliding News-Wednesday 17th June 2015

The warm front crossing the area ensured that the cloudbase remained far to low to even contemplate flying today. At times even Brentor church was hidden in the clouds, it is less than 200 feet higher that the runway. At least there was very little wind and no rain.

This view is from the east end of the runway over Mary Tavy
You should be able to see the tors of the higher parts of Dartmoor, but the cloudbase spoils the view
The tee shirt and shorts, conditions at least encouraged the members to get out and about on the airfield. Phil Hardwick and Andrew Beaumont spent the day completing mowing the runway, no mean feat given that the big mower is missing it’s central gang which has been removed for some TLC. This is the job that Allan Holland spent his day working on.

Allan Holland working on the mowers centre gang
We had our very own gang of fencers today. No, not the sabres and cutlass style, but barb wire and wooden posts to keep the farmers stock off the runway. Thanks for this to Jorg Beasley,  Robin Wilson, Fred Marks and Bob Sansom.

In the hangar, Colin Boyd and John Bolt worked with owners Steve Raine and Mike Jardine to renew the weight and balance calculations for Astir G-CJSK. Dave Bourchier replaced the bracing wires on the tow out trailer after one had mysteriously disappeared.

David working on the retrieve trailers bracing wires
Preparing to weigh JSK
Last but not least was Heather who made the trip to the airfield from her St Austell home with the sole intention of cleaning the clubhouse. Many thanks Heather, definitely beyond the call of duty.

Heather in our beautifully clean kitchen
Will Saturday see us flying again? I do hope so


Dartmoor Gliding News-Sunday 14th June 2015

Returning to London after Sunday flying one is constantly struck, not just by the number of people who are around in the late evening, but by their dependence upon a regular and reliable Underground service. No other city in the world has a mass transit system of similar complexity or capability to get people into, or out of, the metropolis with speed. And the comparison with Brentor? Well today we averaged 6 launches per hour for 3 hours of the day, and 7 launches per hour over the middle 2 hours which, with the opening and closing scores added, made for a total of 44 launches and average rate of 5½ launches per hour. Whilst the total time in air was only 6 hrs 50 mins (average just over 9 mins), this did include 3 practice (and only 1 real) cable breaks.

With yesterday’s occlusion and its attendant low cloudbase having cleared to the south, this morning we could be confident that a full flying day would be possible. So it was with a will that we put a ‘fair wind behind’ taking down the hurdle fence and put the Guslaunch into the top field as far as possible. In the event, this guaranteed launches to 1,200 ft as a minimum.

Another contributory factor to today’s creditable launch total was the number of winch drivers on hand. With Adrian Irwin’s promotion to the elite, we had 4 winch drivers on hand, greatly easing the load and eradicating mistakes caused by over reliance upon a critical few. Although first launch of the day encountered a thin skein of cloud at 1,000 ft, this quickly dissipated as the ground warmed and soaring was possible by 11:00, as made evident to all by Pete Howarth in the K-8.

Today’s visitor was Chris Mason, from Yelverton, who flew with Peter Howarth.
With a good mix of abilities among club trainees (Paula Howarth, Paul Lowther, Charlie Taylor (who both have powered experience) David Downton and Richard Roberts) and club solo jockeys (Roger Appleboom, Mike Keller, Chris Owen, Adrian Irwin and Barry Green), the team quickly got into the groove of launching, retrieving, and being ready for the cables upon arrival. This was being greatly enhanced by the launch point’s position further up field, thus allowing pilots to land behind the launchpoint and launches to continue unimpeded. It will be interesting to see how this converts into improved stats at the end of the season. And despite a moderate strength 90 degree crosswind, recovery of the cables also went without hitch, testament to the greater area made available by placing the winch as far up into the top field as possible. Our visitor today was Chris Mason (see photo) who flew with Peter Howarth. Having previously flown at Bicester (where the thermals are guaranteed and the pilots all above average) but now living at Yelverton, Chris is seriously thinking of joining – so thanks, Pete, for your ‘salesmanship’ skills..!

Richard Roberts soaring over Blackdown at 2,000ft.

 Whilst it has to be said that conditions were a bit hit and miss, if you hit a thermal they were quite easy to ride, being moderately strong but smooth, as Adrian Irwin was able to prove with his flight of the day winning 47 mins in the Zugvögel. He just needs to watch out for returning member Richard Roberts who, saddled with the burden of my 90 kgs in the back, nonetheless managed a 41 min flight in the K-13. Just wait until he gets to fly his K-6CR (and then I guess moves on to glass..!) With soaring conditions still in evidence, but all trainees having gone around twice, it was decided to call it a day – as Richard and I observed from 2,300ft in the K-13, thus prompting us to remain aloft until the hurdle fence had been well and truly put back in place!

Soaring conditions were still in evidence whilst the K-13 was towed back to the hangar.
Thanks go to all those named above, plus Dave Bourchier and Heather Horsewill: Heather for maintaining our reputation for cleanliness in the clubhouse and Dave for his contribution to H&S on the field (we had failed to erect the chain link safety fence until he pointed this out…).

A very pleasant day, I think, was had by all.

Martin Cropper

Dartmoor Gliding News-Saturday 13th June 2015

After the torrential rains of yesterday, we have been left in a moist, southerly airflow. This created a problem today with a cloudbase around 900 feet and a blustery, southerly crosswind. We had the airfield and aircraft ready waiting for an improvement that just did not happen.

The day wasn’t completely wasted though. K13 G-CHXP was re-assembled after it’s annual maintenance and then reweighed. There is a little bit of work to do to complete the new Total Energy system before the aircraft returns to the fleet.

Phil Hardwick spent his day in the tractor mowing the grass. This went very well until one of the mower heads broke a drive belt. Despite this drawback the mowing was finished. Thanks very much Phil.

The loneliness of the long distance mower.
Phil mows on under a glowering sky.
Eventually, it became obvious that the day was not going to improve, so the gliders were returned to the hangar, the parachutes and launch kit return to the clubhouse, and the west end fence put back up.

Better luck next time


To Aston Down and a 300km Diamond Goal

DGS club Members Mike Gadd ( Open Cirrus) and Roger Green (ASW20) took a week off work and went gliding at the Cotwolds Gliding Club, Aston Down. Here's is the story.

Roger launches in the ASW20
Mike lands in the Open Cirrus
Wednesday 3rd June by Roger Green

Throughout the spring, Mike Gadd and myself had been conspiring to go to Aston Down for some flying. With favourable forecasts from the BBC, RASP and even David Mason, of Lasham forecast fame, confirming good soaring conditions.we decided we just had to go!

We met at Brentor at 08.30 hitched up our glider trailers and departed for A.D. I had to call into Exeter services lorry park,in order to pick up my partner in crime Alan Carter( SF27). I arrived at AD at about 1300 hrs with Mike arriving shortly afterwards. It was obviously an excellent soaring day.

Empty glider trailers on the rigging area and a pile of abandoned tow out gear at the launch bus, along with an excellent sky always a dead give away! I took my launch at 1500 and climbed away straight off the wire in a good solid 4 knot climb.I soared locally, waiting for Mike Gadd to launch in his Open Cirrus. Mike soon had a good climb and was established.We flew over Stroud and along the Cotswold edge to Birdlip, then north of the A417 Cirencester RD to Chedworth (disused WW2 airfield.) We were in radio contact for the flight most of which was approx. 15 to 20 kms out from Aston Down (AD).

Climbing at 6 knots
After two and a half hours of brilliant soaring to 4000 QFE, in thermals up to 6 knots,I returned to land at AD.The launch bus had been put away and Mike Gadd had just landed. We had apres fly beers with Don Puttock and a couple of his course members.The news on the street was, Andy Smith (ASW28) had declared and completed a 500k flight from A.D. that day! If only we had travelled up on Tuesday evening we could have tried for our 300k flights.

A great looking sky
Thursday 4th June -Mike Gadd

Today I spent 3 hours boating about an area of about 50KM between Stroud, Cirencester, Gloucester, and Cheltenham. I had a task planned, but I did not feel confident with the conditions –justified really as some other more experienced pilots than me who attempted tasks had some trouble. There were 4 flights entered on the ladder this day, notably Philip Walker (295 abandoned 400km flight), Tom Gooch (240 land out), Mike Weston (123 who often treats 300’s as a short stroll). It was a strange day with lower cumulus, and a very nice looking higher level Cu’s separated by an inversion layer that we could not reach. I used the day to practice my non-preferred thermal direction and to fly at a much higher trim speed on glides.

Aston Down
Friday 5th June - Mike Gadd

No flying today, rain in the morning and a better afternoon, by which time we had lost motivation for the day.

Saturday 6th June - Mike Gadd

A soarable day, but with a fresh to strong wind putting keeping most gliders in their trailers. I decided not fly, to polish the wings and prep myself for my 300km task planned for the following day. Early night!

Sunday 7 June - Mike Gadd

After a few days of watching the forecast with the hope of a 300km task for Sunday, Roger Green and I started the day at 06:30. Glider covers removed (as they were already rigged), DI’d and towed to launch point at 08:30 to be online for an early cable after the task briefing offered to XC pilots by Andy Smith (one of Cotswolds gliding’s top pilots flying a ASW28) at 09:00.

Even at 08:30 Roger and I were 9th and 10th on the single-seater grid (see image), but since AD often launch the single seaters first in the morning on a good day to get rid of them before the training flights, we were in with a good chance of getting in the air by 11 which was our plan for a 5-6 hour flight. Briefing confirmed a good forecast with RASP offering it’s random prediction of good thermals and a high cloudbase for most of the South UK, with the odd hole to avoid (such as Lasham).

The grid at 08:30. I was the 9th glider in the queue with Roger 10th
Based on what we saw, we planned our own task in the light tailwind to track South in morning when thermals were light to turn at Sherborne in Dorset (84km) then to head North into the headwind when conditions were stronger up to Stratford North West (145km); then turn south again to head back over the Cotswolds late pm when conditions may be light to make use of the trees over the Cotswolds or the ridge of the Cotswold edge.

I had my cable at 10:50 with a launch to 1400ft and straight into lift to climb to 4000QNH. Behind me on the grid Roger took the next cable and soon joined me, so once we were both at cloudbase we headed off straight away towards Lynham which was a short dogleg we had to put in to avoid Bristol CTA (the alternative was to fly under the CTA which we didn’t fancy that early in the day). Conditions were good, and so soon we were crossing the M4, around Keevil gliding club, and Westbury white horse, and then heading on over Longleat, north of ‘The Park’ gliding club and down to our first turnpoint at Sherborne. All ok so far, and good fun to be flying with Roger, always within sight of each other marking lift where we needed it.

Heading South over the M4
Nearing the first turnpoint at Sherborne
Once turned we then re-traced our path back up over Westbury again, Keevil, the M4 and up over the Cotswolds heading north in a light northerly headwind. By this time the sky was busy, there were sailplanes and paragliders everywhere, and at one point I had 3 paragliders flying towards me, Roger to my left and at least another 4 sailplanes in view. No problem though, everyone seemed to be keeping well clear of each other. Roger got separated over the Cotswolds soon after crossing the M4, he took a more easterly track than me and ended up in poorer conditions, but he soon corrected that and caught me up just North of Cirencester.

Heading north towards the Kemble ATZ
Cloudbase now was over 5000ft QNH, and thermals were often peaking at 8kts so the challenge if we were to get on with the task was to not stop and climb (which we both often failed to do – hence our slow task speed). North of Cirencester the sky was not looking so good, very blue ahead and to the east, so my tactic here was to get as high as possible and cross the blue gap towards better looking clouds. This part of the flight from Cirencester to Stratford seemed to take ages, not surprising as I was stopping to climb with anything over 2kts just to stay high with my confidence suffering in the conditions I saw ahead. However, I did manage to reach the turnpoint easily.

The second turnpoint - Stratford NW
My GPS then pinged my glide to AST as 64km and 1200ft below the glide slope I needed to get back. So one more thermal then really, and after topping up again this time to the even higher cloudbase of 6000ft QNH, the GPS then told me I was 500ft over the glide into AST, so with my safety of 750ft programmed in I knew that I should make it back. Even with that confident tactical info, I decided on a more cautious route over the trees of the Cotswolds and larger towns in the hope that if I did get low again through sinking air, I would likely find late lift there.

Finaal Glide over the Cotswold Edge

So I made a very pleasant and slow 60km glide over the beautiful Cotswold edge, and the city’s of Evesham, Cheltenham, Gloucester, and finally Stroud to arrive back at AST at 1250ft over AST – perfect. I made sure I crossed the finish line, and then slowly prepped the glider for landing, entering circuit to land about 20mins after Roger. I had spent 6 ½ hours in the air and my 303km task took a little over6 hours to complete, but Roger and I had both achieved the Gold distance and Diamond goal we wanted, so although we were slow, we made it back.

Final leg over Cheltenham
It was an absolute pleasure to fly with Roger, we’ve spent much time together in the air over the years on hang gliders (in the UK, France and Spain), and so to both fly our 300km Gold together was the icing on the cake really.

Flying with Roger in 268 - ASW20
Our flight times and later analysis of the flight trace certainly showed that we both need to speed up. The tactic with a hang glider is to stay high for as long as possible and mostly drift downwind – with a sailplane it’s much different, something I need to learn. I flew a MC +2 for most of the flight, so was happy with my cruising speed, but I also stayed in the top 1/3 of the available height band, never wanting to get low and stopping to turn whenever I hit good lift. This survival tactic is fine if you’re looking to stay high for as long as possible but not good of you want to complete a task before you run out of day. This is my next challenge to learn to fly faster and have the confidence to get lower before I climb. Much time is wasted going round in circles when I didn’t need to.

However, I’m really, really happy to fly the 300km and I’m looking forward to doing it again, this time faster!

Thanks go to everyone at Cotswold Gliding for their hospitality and help, always a great place to go and fly. And thanks to Robin Davenport who offered to retrieve me.
I’ll be heading up there again before the end of the summer and Roger plans to keep his ASW20 up there until the Autumn, so if anyone fancies a trip up there, let me or Roger know and perhaps we might join you.

Mike Gadd & Roger Green

Dartmoor Gliding News-Wednesday 10th June 2015

With a gusty NE crosswind and thermal and/or wave activity in prospect, it was obvious that this was going to be a character-building (and maybe even enjoyable) day for the hardy few who turned out to share the experience with either Ged Nevisky or David Jesty in K13 DMX, or to take to the air alone in Zugvogel, Astir or ASW20F.

The K13 launches again
Trial lessons and the one day course having been cancelled due to the weather, we were entertained by watching Chris Matten having the cobwebs blown off him and Kit Smith continuing his training in the K13. However, the show really got on the road when Ged and new member Dave Downton climbed away for a 43 minute soaring flight.  The day continued with a mixture of circuits, soaring flights and some definite 'failures', including my own first couple of attempts to get away in the ASW20F. Clearly wave- rather than thermal-hunting was the wrong approach for the first half of the day!

Kit and David in the K13
Hard work this gliding business
Utilising what David Jesty later described as 'reliable thermals and strange, inexplicable and rough energy lines', some decent soaring flights were achieved, including Andrew Beaumont (Astir 33 minutes), David Jesty and John Rogers (K13 40 minutes), Alan Holland (Zugvogel 1 hour), Adrian Irwin (Zugvogel 47 minutes) and Davids Jesty and Bourchier enjoying 1 hour in the K13 while everyone else was waiting to go home. As for my own fortunes, on my third attempt I climbed to 3,000 feet in a thermal, then found wave which took me halfway to Okehampton and back a few times - occasionally topping up to 3,000 feet using productive wisps developing off Dartmoor into strong thermals. After about an hour and three quarters, I was 'well happy'.

Bob in the ASW20F
Big 'thank yous' today to the Jolly Launchers team of Barry Green (winch) and Heather Horswill (cable retrieve plus clubhouse cleaning), aided by Bob Sansom, who took over winching in the afternoon. Also to John Rogers for providing doughnuts for the whole Wednesday crew. Finally, we all owe a big debt of gratitude to Colin Boyd, Alan Holland and David Bourchier for all their work on K13 G-CHXP, which is now ready for weighing and getting back on line.

Bob Pirie

Dartmoor Gliding News-Sunday 7th June 2015

Those of you who play gliding computer games will know that there is an option which allows you to see the thermals as rising columns of red or blue balls. Of course that’s not true in real life. In real life thermals are, like the wind, invisible, so finding them can be something of a problem. Except for today, when everyone who flew met a thermal, guaranteed, and most met many more. If you glimpse at the clouds in the background of today’s photos you will be able to see that today was as classic. A day when glider pilots constrained to supermarket car parks up and down the country would dutifully be carrying the shopping, nodding “Yes, dear” whilst thinking: “I wish I was up there…”

The day started early: first launch of the day yielded a 1 hour flight for Roger Appleboom in the K-8 before returning for Introductory Flight Pilot duties. Following this new solo pilot Chris Owen converted a check flight into 3,500ft and 35 mins, ready to move on to the K-8. New trainee Paul Lowther was able to receive drag inducing secondary effects of the controls instruction whilst the vario remained stubbornly above the horizontal. Tony Dean took the Zugvögel for a 57 min flit, and Jerry Wellington launched in his syndicate’s immaculate K-6 for his longest flight to date (2hrs 38 mins) during which he took some breathtaking photos, some of which record encounters with paragliders in the area.

Jerry Wellington’s view of Blackdown looking over Dartmoor (spot the glider and paraglider…)
Jerry Wellington’s photo of Tavistock from 3,800ft, looking south towards the River Tamar.
 Whilst Roger flew with visitors Simon Hackney (see photo) and Joe Taylor, Mike Jardine was able to show wife Judith and other members of his family just what it is that entices us into the sky, whilst Jeff Cragg achieved his longest flight this year (36 mins), Chris Jones added 2 hrs 7 mins to his log book and Barry Green, after a long and stalwart period of winching, leapt (!) into the K-8 for 37 mins of afternoon delight – well soaring anyway! And of course Allan Holland partook of the requisite hour that would have been effortless in the Zugvögel given the conditions, whilst Mike Keller clocked up a couple of half hours in his syndicate K-8.

 Visitor Simon Hackney flew with Roger Appleboom.
One of Mike Jardine’s ‘Friends and Family’ visitors: Kevin Conner.
Mike also flew with Marilyn Ede.
and finally, wife Judith.
Whilst it has to be said that the northerly crosswind drew in some sea air which caused conditions to deteriorate from mid-afternoon, that didn’t prevent the ridge from working, thus enabling last flight of the day to be more than just a circuit. As we ended the day around 6pm the stats were: 30 launches for a total flying time 15 hours…

Today the Guslaunch was positioned right up in the top field, making for even safer recovery of the cables
(spot the K-13 on the left).
Thanks of course go to all involved in today’s effort (particularly in getting the hurdle fence down and up), but most of all to Roger Appleboom, upon whose initiative it was to put the Guslaunch right up in the top field (about 200m short of the western boundary), which actually made recovery of the cable safer in the crosswind than when the winch is placed closer to the trailer park. Good thinking Roger, don’t let it become a habit..!

Martin Cropper

Dartmoor Gliding News-Saturday 6th June 2015

Generally the forecast looked promising. Long periods of sunshine are sure to provide lots of thermal activity. The only slight concern was the strengthening wind although it was initially SW it was due to back towards the west i.e. almost straight down the runway. Excellent.

We welcomed our first visitor of the day, Sally Nicholson-Smith who enjoyed a soaring flight with Rick Wiles in K13 G-DDMX and left the airfield with a very big smile on her face.

Sally Nicholson-Smith waiting for her flight
Unfortunately, we then had to take the painful decision to cancel our other two visitors for the day because the increasing wind was going to take conditions out of limits for flying visitors. Later we were seeing an average 17.2 knots on the weather station with the gust alarm ( 20+ knots) sounding almost continually.

The wind was so strong that the launch hut additional windsock pole gave up the ghost
Bob Pirie took this picture of  this quarry with Launceston in the distance
Club flying continued apace with Bob Pirie taking the longest flight accolade with 2 hours 16 minutes in his ASW20 only returning because flying conditions at height were too cold for him. Chris Jones was a potential victim of the windy conditions with the K8 banished to the hangar. Instead he flew in the K13 with Rick Wiles as safety pilot as the two of them practiced taking video from various mounts inside the aircraft. Chris was amazed to report that they had found a thermal giving a steady 8 knot climb rate. Also worth a mention today was the Twin Astir G-DDSL which reveled in the strong windy conditions giving it's syndicate members several soaring flights.

Chris took this picture to show the varios during his flight
Twin Astir G-DDSL waiting for another launch
 Meanwhile back in the hangar, work was carrying on apace with K13 G-CHXP which is having a deep inspection and a new Total Energy system fitted prior to it’s ARC renewal. Many thanks to all those involved.