Dartmoor Gliding News-Saturday 9th October 2021

Here we are, once again, in season of mists and mellow fruitfulness. Today started with a mostly clear sky with some alto cumulus cloud high up, orographic cloud covering the higher parts of Dartmoor and the river valleys hidden in thick, white fog. There was a heavy dew which made the grass on the runway very wet. Whilst this is probably good for the grass it is uncomfortable for any unwary pilots not equipped with waterproof footwear. Personally, I discovered that my waterproof shoes no longer are.

Early Morning looking east with the tors hiding on the cloud
The weather forecast gave light easterly winds early in the day, swinging around to the west later as the remnants of an old cold front passes over. This lead me to think that there are old fronts and cold fronts but old, cold fronts? Perhaps I should get out more.

The day started with Rick and I flying together for my annual BI check flight. For check flight read practice cable break. With that out of the way it was on with the flying programme. Today we welcomed One Day Course candidate Jeffrey Cane. After briefing, Jeffery had an initial flight with IFP Scratch and then completed the rest of his course with me. By the end of the day Jeff was really getting to grips with controlling CCY with a delightfully light touch. Smiles all round.

One Day Course Candidate Jeffery Cane 
Scratch (Dene Hitchen ) enjoyed himself flying our air Experience visitors Ric Rothwell, Ben wheeler and Jane Coghill. 

Ben Wheeler
Jane receives her Certificate from Scratch
Ric Rothwell with family (and Scratch)
And what of the flying? Early on it was soarable under the occasional black bottomed cloud. Cloud base was only about 1400 feet above the airfield and could be reached with 5 or 6 circles from a 1000ft launch height. This did provide some entertainment with Adam Hoskin making the best of it with 25 minutes in the SF27 just beating Steve Fletcher's 24 minutes also in the SF27.

Looking over the west end launchpoint with some low, dark clouds
which provided some soaring possibilities
Early afternoon, with the "Old Cold Front" approaching, the wind swung around and the decision was made to change ends. 45 minutes later flying recommenced from the east end but the soaring was over. Did this stop the fun? Not a bit. The search for lift is always enjoyable. Pilot John Allan used the benign conditions to convert to the SF27. Well done John.

John ready for his first flight in the SF27

A satisfying, autumnal flying day.


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