Thursday 16th February

It was a slow start with fog overnight lifting into orographic cloud on the hill, so the kit was readied but flying didn't start until just after 11:00, but it did give time for the Junior FZF to be rigged after it's Annual - (thanks to all for the fast turnround).

With the low cloud on Wednesday and it being Half-term week, there were a lot of members on the flying lists, and so all the club fleet was in operation, and four instructors going all day - Thanks to guest Instructor John Sillett for filling in for the holidaymakers. 
Busy launchpoint with all the Club fleet in action (Dave Clements)
There were large areas of zero sink in the light southwesterly wind and nearly all the flights were extended circuits of 12 - 13 minutes. The odd passing cumulus also gave some short-lived soaring. Pete Startup 230 was convinced it was worth rigging and on his third launch, he managed to disappear to the north for just over an hour. 
Some interesting clouds (Dave Clements)
There were the usual winter check flights and launch failure practice for some members. Pete Harmer managed to latch on to one of thermals to get high enough to refresh Reuben's spin training before sending him off on his first solo in K13. Congratulations to Reuben.
Reuben Buss goes solo (Jill Harmer)
The wind picked up a little in the afternoon and some flights were extended on the ridge, but above the normal ridge height lift!

So with a total of 53 launches, a first solo, a soaring flight and 30 members flying it was  a really pleasant, sunny, warm winter's day flying at North Hill. - J&P

Wednesday 15th February

Today was the funeral for Leslie Hill, a founder member, gliding instructor and former Chairman of DSGC. A true gentleman who contributed a lot to our Club. This is a picture I took of Leslie and Gordon Peters on one of their many walks around the Airfield. 
Gordon Peters and Leslie Hill (Lisa Humphries)
The funeral  at Holy Cross Church, Sampford Arundell was very well attended with over 200 people, what a lovely man he was. - Lisa Humphries

Sunday 12th February

With just a handful of members present no doubt due to the uninspiring forecast, confirmed with grey skies and a fresh wind, no surprise that it became evident very quickly that there would be no flying today.

However there is always something to be done and the hangar doors were opened late morning, sadly not to fly but to allow Junior FZF to be taken out, derigged and put into the workshop ahead of it's annual checks and inspection.

And of course the Junior in question was at the back of the hangar!
Hangar repacked (Mike Sloggett)
However with some careful manoeuvring Pete Warren, Mark Courtney, George Sanderson and Mike Sloggett had the Junior out and into the workshop, and the hangar repacked, all within an hour of starting - great teamwork and communication evident! - Mike Sloggett

Saturday 11th February

A very cold snowy day at the club and no flying, but some members fettling with their gliders in preparation for the glorious summer we are sure to have.
North Hill webcam looking west
This evening we were fortunate to host the GASCO  Safety presentation, it was reasonably well attended by North Hill members and some visitors. A very well put together presentation followed by an excellent North Hill Cafe curry.

Many thanks to CFI Stuart for arranging this and hopefully more to come, its good to focus on safety for everyone.
GASCo Cockpit Companion  (Lisa Humphries)
All who attended were given this Cockpit Companion. - Lisa Humphries

Thursday 9th February

After two wet Thursdays, it was a rather 'chilly' but dry start today, but the frost cleared quite quickly. The gliders were readied and walked to the western end and the padded suits came into their own with the fresh southeasterly wind.
It must be a wave gap! (Mike Sloggett)


There was some hope that there might be some of that nice gentle wave that we sometimes get in a southeasterly, but although there were banks of cloud around it can't have been in phase with North Hill. 
Fairly hazy sky (Mike Sloggett)

They were decent high launches with extended circuits of ~ 11minutes and at about noon when the sun was peaking on the south ridge, there was some sort of lift in the Broadhembury valley which enabled Paul Little to claim the longest flight of 19 minutes.  Flights and check flights continued all afternoon, (although with reducing durations) until sunset. 

Thanks also to everyone for getting the K21 KEK rigged and back on line after its annual. - J&P


Wednesday 8th February

Another busy Wednesday, for once the forecast was spot on with a light northwesterly wind, we started flying at about 10am with a large flying list to get through, fortunately we didn't suffer from misting canopies.
An interesting cloud street (John Street)
 
As there was not much scope for soaring a lot of members opted for card checks, John Street spent the whole day  giving launch failure practices helped by Martin Woolner.
Chris looking serious (John Street)
 
As forecast, the wind started to back to the northeast, so at lunch time we changed ends to the southwest corner resulting in much better launches.
Junior landing (Dave Clements)
 
 Both Juniors were in use today and kept busy plus HCX and R37 with the tug on C of A there was no trial lessons today. We managed 43 launches and John Street clocked up walking about 4 miles up and down the field with all the launch failures. - John Street.

Saturday 4th February

After a drop of rain (well more drops than we have had for a long while) the field had drained better than expected, and a Clubhouse full of members were keen to get flying. But we had to wait for the ground frost to clear first. 

It was mainly launch failure practice and check flights to start with in K21s and the Juniors on slightly extended circuits going down the solo list, in the blue skies and  very light south westerly wind. 
K21 landing (John Borland)

With enough members to continue flying through lunchtime, some cumulus formed  to the south and there were thermals forming off the south ridge. Eric Alston got the timing just right and had the longest flight of 36mins with the lift going up to nearly 2000ft. 
James and Stu with more Ass Cat training in K13 (John Borland)

With an increasing southerly wind, we ran out of people in the afternoon, but everyone had flown - 38 launches  and the kit was washed and put away before the forecast rain turned up. - J&P

Tuesday 31 January - New Zealand

We had a great few days at Omarama with Justin and Gillian, two good flying days in Duo Discus RW.
Day one up to Mount Cook and down to Mount Aspiring some times down in the valleys other times at 14,000ft.
Day two strong NE wind,  wave to over 22,000ft winds at that height 95knots a new experience for me! But we did do a 500k out and return.
As usual I only think of photos after we have set out and then my camera phone is trapped in my pocket by the straps......
Justin and Nick climbing through 15,000ft in New Zealand (Nick Jones)
But I did manage to wriggle it out and took this shot, soon after this we started to climb at 14kts and Justin requested clearance to 22000ft. As we approached the ceiling we increased speed to 120kts but still had a very high rate of climb so deliberately moved out of the wave and finished the flight with a circuit of Alexandria and back to Omarama down through the roughest turbulence I have ever flown in.  - An amazing 3hr 45min flight. - Nick Jones

Saturday 28th January

The day started with a fresh bite in the air and a fair few misty canopies! Considering the weather we were surprised at the lack of people. 

Martin Woolner turned up, and with one Instructor things slowly got underway, with Fran taking multiple launch failures. David Buss suddenly decided he could speed up operations by retrieving the crew separately to the glider putting them in the other two-seater while the previous one was towed back. This sped things up and we had quickly got the first two students flown. 

I then took a check flight and got cleared for solo, putting my count up to 8 solos now! Unfortunately this ruined David’s retrieving system but Steve Westlake turned up and so did the weather! Pete Bennett took the Junior for a long flight and HCX was up for a good 30 minutes.

 We said farewell to CCY as Ian Mitchell towed it to Mendip GC with the Rotax Falke at lunchtime with Matt Williamson having his first ferry flight.
Nice cloudscape with CCY on tow (not quite the flypast I was expecting! - Jill Harmer)
 A stop for lunch and afterwards only a few flights were needed to complete the list. Karen King had a solo flight and thoroughly enjoyed it, all in all a good day was had by all despite the cold!! with 33 flights in all. - Charlie Stuckey

Wednesday 25th January

A much larger turnout today with a reasonable forecast, thankfully the wind was southwesterly and not southeasterly, as some forecasts had suggested.
Mike Fitz and John Street were first in the air with a 25min flight in weak wave / southerly ridge, nearly all subsequent flights were soaring flights.
Thermals starting (John Street)
The soaring was best between 12noon and 2:30pm with many long flights logged. 
Parked up for lunch (John Street)
 Pete Startup (who else) had the longest flight of over two hrs in his Discus, Jeff T had the second longest with 90min and there were many more flights of around one hour. Eric had a good flight in the Junior, wishing he had rigged his own glider, at one point in the day we had all the gliders soaring at the same time.
Good strong thermals (John Street)
Peter Stoker joined us today-  he was a Wednesday regular up until a few years ago, let's hope he re-joins us in the near future. 
The lift was quite varied today, we had weak wave to start with, lift on the South ridge, good thermals to 2,500ft and cloud streets - not bad for late January. - John Street.