Dartmoor Gliding News-Saturday 24th March 2018

Very low cloudbase with drizzle giving way to a period of more general rain. So not a flying day.

While traveling to the airfield today I was already planning this blog post ( what!! You actually plan this stuff?? I hear you ask). In my mind I thought that I could resurrect a very old, bad joke along the lines of " There's a hole in the runway but don't worry the committee are looking into it". This would be accompanied by a suitable picture; job done.  I was actually surprised to find that the aforementioned hole is now the site of a substantial sump, designed to direct water into the new drainage system ( and ruin my joke ) and that Scratch and Mike were busy finishing it off.

Mike and Scratch working on the sump while Ged looks on.
( Ged was to represent the Committee for purposes of the failed joke attempt) 
Meanwhile, down at the hangar, Rick was reassembling the mower ready for the new season. Now that's what I call optimism. Well done Rick.

The mower partially assembled
( Rick's hiding in the hangar with a very large pot of grease.) 
Just after lunch there was an influx of members as the committee assembled for their planned meeting which took most of the afternoon with us eventually leaving in the forecast steady rain.

The forecast for tomorrow is looking better.


Dartmoor Gliding News-Wednesday 21st March 2018

A busy day at the airfield but unfortunately no flying.

Today's spectators
Colin Boyd worked tirelessly bricking up the sump at the top of the cross track drain with Phil Hardwick, Dave Downton and myself acting as labourers which mainly involved cleaning 400 second hand bricks! The farmer moved his sheep across the field which gave us a bit of light relief as they stood and watched us working for a while.

Amongst his many talents Colin also has excellent brickwork skills
 A long day and we did as much as we could in one day with a bit more left to do later in the week. Huge thanks to the guys especially Colin for all their hard work.

Steve Fletcher

Dartmoor Gliding News-Sunday 18th March 2018

Today was a No Fly Day
Although the Met Office predicted lighter winds and clearer skies than originally thought, after a bright start following light snow overnight, it wasn’t long before the wind freshened and, by 1100 (exactly as forecast by the BBC) snow showers started to sweep in from the north-east.  By lunchtime the area was in the grip of persistent snow and low cloud that contrasted sharply with these early morning photos.

Wave cloud to the SW of the airfield (but not for long...)
Cap cloud in evidence behind Discus V5 trailer
The launch point and Brentor church in bright sunshine
 Martin Cropper

Dartmoor Gliding News - Saturday 17th March 2018

Despite my prayers to the weather gods the run of poor weather continues. 2 weeks ago we had the "Beast From The East". Last week it was the "Pest from the West" and this week we are under threat of the "Mini Beast from the East" or "Beast from the East 2" ( sounds like a slightly dodgy sequel !! ). Can we please have the "Fun in the Sun " instead.

I had been watching the weather develop as the weekend approached as there was a chance of a day with easterly winds and wave conditions. In the event the wind was a little too far to the north and far too strong to be of use from the airfield which was particularly frustrating as the was evidence of extensive wave systems overhead and to the south and east of the airfield. Gliding is sometimes very character forming.

Part of the wave system as seen from Yelverton looking north towards Brentor
There were several members on the airfield attacking various tasks. Scratch and a gang were in the hangar where they had erected a scaffold tower to repair the leak in the roof. Success was reported which we will be able to judge when it next rains.

The uninspiring view of the looking east along the runway.
Over the last 2 weeks Scratch and Rick have been working on the simulator with the idea of improving the software. We were treated to Scratch's own monster computer which demonstrated what can be achieved when money is no object. Flying around a photo realistic landscape was awesome. Perhaps we have to request some club funds for computer upgrades. In the meantime, the simulator has has had a software upgrade to Condor 2.

Leaky pipe repairs with Mike and Rick
Last week's work list also included the repair of  several leaky pipes caused by the recent freezing conditions after which a trip was made to the east of the airfield  where the ML1 winch was serviced in place on the end of the runway the prevent any possible damage to the new track in the very wet conditions. This took real dedication. Thanks chaps.

Servicing the winch on the airfield in the rain. Outstanding
Any predictions for improved weather anyone?