Dartmoor Gliding News-Saturday 30th January 2021 - Condor

Saturday we gathered for the week's Condor2 challenge. Even though we were missing some regular members (Scratch John, and North Hill member Matt) spirits were high as it’s good to have a little human contact, however virtual. We congratulated the Theatre Royal for the slot on the One Show about Alan Fox. Ed informed us that the interviewer should actually have been Elaine Paige not Michel Ball. “A shame” mused Richard as he said, "She knows him so well".

The task was set: - Brentor, Crediton Station, Weston-Zoy, Sherborne, The Park, Glastonbury, and finish at North Hill. Distance of about 251kms or 135 NM.

The task
Conditions were set: - Wind 13knts from NNW, Turbulence = Strong, Cloud base 4500ft high chance of variation, Strength = Moderate with a high chance of variation, Width = Wide with a low chance of variation. There were the usual complaints about tug pilots, task setting, and the strong turbulence which highlighted the difficulties with heavy water loaded gliders towing in a crosswind.  Not a common problem at our club!

Ed led the field across Dartmoor most of us enjoying strong thermals and good cloud bases, at this point Matt joined us on TeamSpeak, He's still unfortunately on East Devon time had missed the start gate, so we all agreed to restart the task from NH (NOT influenced by Ed flying in front of Rick!).

More traumatic launches (see Hugh’s demise below after dropping a wing on the ground run) from north hill Forced Rick to change the wind direction more west and away we went again. Matt leading the way with a EB 29 which we think may have been wider than Brentor Airfield!

More aerotow practice required Hugh?
At the Weston-Zoy turn point, Rick had placed a large rectangular air space 2000' QNH to FL45. The approach was at 2000' at VNE the exit to Sherborne fortunately followed a cloud street all be it into Yeovil’s MATS in my case.

Alan in the distance
Hugh sharing a thermal
This area is known for bad thermals and in Condor it's no different, this caused even more complaints. especially as the fastest way back from Glastonbury was back through it again.  Alan and I required help – i.e., the "Q" button which is the equivalent to a land out but less work. Hugh elected to land out 12 miles from the finish (pic below) rather than resort to using the “Q” button.

Ed below
Matt returned first followed by Rick and ED. The rest of us drowning our sorrows in a virtual pub in the Somerset levels. Had the CFI organised the retrieve crews, unplanned incidents paperwork for airspace infringements the task setter would now be very unpopular. It's a good job, it's only virtual!

The results over laid on the Duo Discus
This isn’t flying but it’s the best we can get at the moment, thank you to all that took part.  The company and chance to use sentences like "you’re turning the wrong way" or "you will climb better without air brakes" help to remind us of better times.


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