Dartmoor Gliding News-Turquoise Delight

While we are  grounded imposed by Covid-19, we thought that some stories of flights that were memorable to their pilots would be appreciated. This is a flight by Richard Roberts in his Discus flying from Brentor last May.

So just to share a flight I had in May, it was a brisk northwesterly wind and not as good as the forecast suggested it was going to be, so a bimble around Devon was the order of the day.

Launceston taken from the north west side looking south east,
Tesco’s showing white by the A30
As I got more confident and gradually pushed further away from the club, only to comeback as I got lower.
After a while I was happy local soaring ....But I decided it was looking better to the north so pushed out to around Halwell junction.

I should have known it would get sticky ...as I have previously landed out in that area a while ago when Adrian Irwin kindly collected me from a grass field you could describe as ‘Lush’

On this occasion in May I got down to about 2000ft above the ground ( ground in that area is 200ft QNH ) looking back toward the club (750QNH) was a very flat glide that I wasn’t going to even try and attempt. So I changed into survival mode ,and I actually picked a cloud that was the best of a bad bunch. This was however further to the north, and further away from the airfield, but needs must. Surprisingly I was still a fair way out from the edge of the cloud and my wing tip gave a very clear sign of lift to the right , so I pulled some speed off ,and rolled in tight. It only needed a small adjustment and I was centred!!

This is the first part of the reason I am telling this particular story as most pilots will know rolling into the centre of a thermal off one turn hardly ever happens. Added to the fact it was a cloud that didn’t even look that good,I knew I had used up my quota of luck for the day.

With the extra height Safely in the bag I caught a glimpse of a lake shining bright turquoise, basking in the sunlight that was now breaking through the cloud.

My Turquoise Oasis
It is actually an old China clay quarry but the sunlight made it a man made oasis on that particular day to me

I will be honest it looked like the colour of some out of place Caribbean  ocean in the middle of Devon. Then when the sun had disappeared behind the cloud I understood why I had never seen it before.  It just melted into a grey/blue/green colour that was absorbed into the colours around it.
The rest of the flight was uneventful and just a good day out gliding .

Landing back at DGS
It’s moments like this that you can reflect on ,and in the winter months-or times of a pandemic !! -remember why all the effort we all put into the club, and our flying is still worth doing.

A magical moment of a hidden gem I wanted to share at this difficult time.

All stay safe and happy landings.

Richard Roberts

Dartmoor Gliding News-Saturday 7th March 2020

Another overcast miserable day and sodden airfield meant no flying again, but were the Saturday bunch down hearted? Disappointed yes but down hearted no, with so much to do working on vehicles and the shelter everyone set to work with the normal Dartmoor ‘can do‘ enthusiasm.

Scratch Phil and Rick continue to take battle with the red tractor pto!
They were kept topped up with tea by hard working Heather who also deep cleaned the club hut, what would we do without her. Rick, Phil and Scratch did manly mechanical things getting very oily in the process.

Mike doing a great job directing the work on the vehicle shelter.
Mike Bennet continued to drive forward the work on the shelter with help from Malcolm, Mike Jardine and myself. Dave Archer helped both teams.

Precise carpentry work ready for the cladding at the eastern end of the shelter.
Thanks to everyone who turned up knowing it was going to be more work and no play, great team spirit.

Steve Fletcher

Dartmoor Gliding News-Wednesday 4th March 2020

A couple days of drier weather, would we be able to fly? Not a chance. Overnight rain and continuing throughout the day ended any thoughts of flying. Inspection of the field revealed jus how bad things were.

Looking east over what is usually a better area of the field.
As members arrived we set about continuing some of the projects underway at the club. First up was the topping out ceremony of the new bus launch tower. After lifting the roof onto the bus it was placed in it’s final resting place.

Roof secured in place.
After this PVC cladding was put in place to protect the wooden structure.

Completed roof.
The next task was to cut the hole in the roof of the bus that will allow access to the completed control position.

John cutting the access hole.
The green army were back on site to continue the electrical installation in the two containers. By the end of the day all the conduits were in place along with socket and switch boxes.

Conduits being installed.
Sockets ready for some cabling.
Scratch was also at the club to refit the alternator to the green tractor. The electrical problem was diagnosed to some faulty cabling in the ignition circuit. Hopefully the new portable jump start unit will not be required for a while.

Thank you to everybody who was at the club today. Good progress was made with the various projects. A special thankyou to Heather who was back at the club keeping a steady flow of teas and coffees to the workers.

Peter Howarth

Dartmoor Gliding News-Sunday 1st March 2020

Today, St David’s Day, the only daffodils in evidence were those daffy enough to ignore the forecast and venture through wind and rain to get to the club. 

“The beam bone’s connected to the noggin bone…”
 And today’s subject was…woodwork (of course). Both one of the new containers and the old one, being elevated above ground level present problems of accessibility, especially with large items, to which Chairman Rich Roberts’s solution is to build ramps of suitably sized timber.  Having obtained the wood (from sustainable sources) and cut it to length (with an ‘s’ – the two ramps being of similar width but different lengths), today’s task was to assemble the frameworks.  And hence chief chippy Rich, assisted by John Allan, Ed Borlase, Martin Cropper and Peter Howarth assembled the beams, suitably supported by noggins and fastened by screws long enough to reach the Tamar ready for the next event - cladding.

 Frameworks for the ramps lean-to in the container.
All of which was quite enough to drive us into the clubhouse for a well-earned brew and a few flights in the simulator where, appropriately, we launched from Lleweni Parc to explore the delights of the North Wales ridges.  In the afternoon John Smith arrived to continue work on the new launchpoint control tower roof, a substantial structure that will surely be more than equal to the ruthless weather we have been experiencing this winter.

John Smith surveying the new control tower roof.

Martin Cropper