Dartmoor Gliding News-Saturday 30th July 2022

A grey, drizzly start to the day did not bode well for the coming flying programme. Arriving at the airfield the cloud base was in the trees. The clubhouse area was busy with members doing the myriad of tasks required to keep us flying. Looking at the weather it was obvious that the thing to do was to have a cup of tea and wait. Mike delivered the daily briefing and then we waited some more. By the time Scratch had delivered the visitor brief the cloud base had lifted enough to encourage us to get out the equipment and aircraft in the hope that by the time we were ready to fly that the conditions would be flyable. With the breeze from the west we decamped to the east end launch point. 

By now it was midday, The cloud base still looked a little low so the first 2 launches were Mike and  Mark Elliot practicing launch failures. The cloud base was rising quickly and Mark's 3rd flight was a full height launch and circuit. This prompted the flying programme to start in earnest.

K13 ready to go again...
...and up into and uninspiring sky
We welcomed 2 One Day Course Candidates David and Lesley Jordan. They had their first flights with Scratch before starting their flying training with me. Unfortunately, by mid afternoon the cloudbase was starting to lower again and there was drizzle in the air. At this point I decided to stop the One Day Courses for today and ask David and Lesley to come back on a better day to complete their courses.

David waiting for me to strap in
Lesley was cheerful all day...
...even when I got her working
And what of the flying? I managed to find a thermal over the edge of blackdown which whisked me to the dizzying 1400ft cloud base for an eventual flight time of 20 minutes. This encouraged John Allan to join me in the SF27 for a day topping 24 minute flight. there were a couple of other extended circuits in the 10 to 15 minute range but that was it. 

Looking south across the airfield from 1400ft at the ragged cloud base
New club member Milosz Wysocki
By 5pm the cloud base was definitely lowering so that was the end of the flying programme, but not before we had completed 38 launches with lots of useful training.


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