Saturday 19th August

Another busy day at the club, weather wasn't fantastic but hey, its August what do you expect! James Flory having received his BGA paperwork launched into full instructor mode today and John Sillett covered the afternoon shift for Phil Morrison who was having fun in Pocklington, Matt Williamson flew all of the trial lessons today in the K13, yes that's right the K13!!!! 
North Hill Airfield (Lisa Humphries)
I got back into the back seat with proper instructing today and thoroughly enjoyed myself. Pete Startup rigged his Discus and  flew longer than anyone else 2 hours -as expected, Ron and James took the ASH25 for a spin, VG was aired and the Cub flew in with Mike and Barbie in the evening.
Tricky for soaring sky (Lisa Humphries)
Everyone flew - even William Stainer who despite turning up very early this morning managed to put his name at the bottom of the list as he thought it was the gentlemanly thing to do, he will learn! All in all a nice day at the Club!- Lisa Humphries
Nice field (Simon Minson)
and the DG505 was at The Park on the ICL, watched on Spot the Gliders  with Simon Minson and Pete Bennett, 166kms and landed just 8kms short. Well done Team.

Friday 18th August

It was another special Trial lesson voucher day, to catch up on the backlog of cancelled flights, and the weather forecast was trying hard to be difficult. Early in the week it was going to be gales, then the expected wind had eased, but thunderstorms were forecast!
Cumulonimbus anvil to the north (Jill Harmer)

Although the wind did blow, and we did see one flash and a couple of rumbles, the showers were whizzing through so that there were some good clear blue skies in between. 

All 10 pre-booked flights were flown with the visitors enjoying the cloudscapes. Thanks to all the Instructors and Helpers. -J&P


Thursday 17th August

After rain overnight, there was some mist and drizzle initially so we used the time to discuss the Exeter Airspace proposal. Then the sun started shining and we went flying. 
Nice sky (Jill Harmer)
 It was marginally soarable, thermic initially, and feeling a little wavey, then later in the afternoon as the wind backed and increased, the south ridge started working.  

George Sanderson and Andrew Logan changed the hooks in Junior LRD,  Andy Davey completed some check flights and flew his first solos at North Hill.  -J&P


Wednesday 16th August

We had a poor start today with low cloud, strong crosswind, and total cloud cover forecast, but we got the kit out more in hope than expectation.

Once the  cloud base had gone up a bit we started to fly, Roly made a start with Trial lessons but had to cancel  due to the conditions, at the same time the south ridge started to work and for the rest of the day the  most of the flights were 30min plus. 
Strong southerly crosswind (John Street)
Nigel was the only one who flew his own glider managing over an hour  on one flight. Nick Harrison completed his yellow card checks, all in all a much better day than we were expecting.  - John Street

Sunday 13th August

With Club flying started as the morning progressed there were predictions of Silver heights being completed later in the day and cross country flights being planned - no surprise that North Hill cafe was busy throughout the morning as pilots anticipated little time for lunch later in the day.

However as is often the case with gliding, predictions are reliant on the weather playing fair to the forecast and unfortunately as the day unfolded it became clear that the high level cloud, which was around for much of the day, was preventing the sun from getting through to really heat up the ground. There were odd thermals evident but often out of reach from a winch launch with various private owners deciding to take an aerotow to endeavour to secure a better opportunity of getting away for a longer flight.
Mid-morning (Mike Sloggett)
The light and generally crosswind throughout the day meant that winch launches were not that high in turn providing limited time for pilots to search for any available lift in and around the airfield. And with the thermals "just too far away" it was no surprise that in and around the airfield there were plenty of 'sink holes' ready to catch out unsuspecting pilots with 'turn in' early decisions being needed in various circuits throughout the day.
Early afternoon (Mike Sloggett)
Trial lessons were completed by Roly Clarke and Pete Bennett in the DG505 and visiting pilots from Kestrel Gliding Club enjoyed flying in various DSGC club gliders.
Late Afternoon (Mike Sloggett)
Pete Startup (Discus 230) and Ron Johns/Daniel Johns (ASH25 711) completed cross-country flights on an Exmoor convergence. - '40kms without turning. Squeaky bum glide home through totally lifeless air though'.

With the gliders and ground kit put away just before 6pm whilst it turned out to be a day of unfulfilled promise nevertheless everyone who wanted to fly had flown, so a good day all round. - Mike Sloggett

Saturday 12th August

The day started quietly, with club members almost outnumbered by our guests from Kestrel Gliding Club, who were bright-eyed and keen to soar the Devon skies even after a night under canvas.  Flying started at around 10:00 with Karen King and Martin Woolner in the K21, whilst Peter Field showed Noah (Kestrel GC) what North Hill looked like from a K13.  Unfortunately, after only a few flights a halt was called to allow a rain band to pass through.
The Clubhouse began to fill – numbers swelled by a family from Cornwall who had braved the traffic on the A30, and were looking forward to their four booked trial flights including one “mile-high”. Disappointingly, low cloud continued to drag over the airfield, but at last the sky brightened in the north-west, and flying began again at around 1200.
Ellie grasped the opportunity of having her feet temporarily on the ground to get signed off for the winch.  Peter Bennett enjoyed flying Matt Williamson’s ASW-20.
When I left the club at around 1400 (Duty Grand-dad) the sky was looking good; two aero-tows had just whisked two Cornishmen into the sky, and there were smiles all round on the faces of our visitors.
The flight-log shows 48 flights for the day, despite the delayed start.  Longest flight went to Jeff Taberham in the Mosquito, who flew for 2 hrs 20 min after a 2000ft aero-tow. - Aston Key

Friday 11th August - Course week

It was a sunny start for the last day of the Course week, but the weather gods hadn't quite finished with us. First launch was just after 09:30 to try to squeeze in as many launches as possible for the Course members.

Ellie was first up to receive those "special Woolly winch launch simulated failures", followed by another solo in K21. Reuben had some check flights and converted to the Junior. 
Reuben converted to the Junior (Dave Herbert)
Dave and Lukasz added more launches to their Junior tally and Dave wanted one of those Woolly specials..... Hannah had a couple of circuits, but Adam missed out unfortunately as the rain set in exactly on schedule at 12:00.

After lunch, we looked at the flight traces from yesterday with the multiple out and returns to Wellington analysed in depth, followed by planning their Silver distance flights to The Park. 
Course members and Instructors (Jill Harmer)
So a rather disappointing week weather-wise, but some good soaring on Thursday helped a bit. Thanks as always to Instructors Pete Harmer and Chris Wool, and the Helpers Aston Key, Richard Harris and Jill Harmer. -J&P


Thursday 10th August - Course week

It was always going to be busy today, with the best forecast for ages and the course members with a lot of catching up to do for the poor weather earlier in the week.
The Clubhouse was jam-packed full by 08:30, and the only delay was the strength of the northerly crosswind and the key decision of which end to go from.
Eventually, we started walking the kit up the field, whilst the private owners were rigging. There was a provisional blue card for the conditions until the assessment could be made, but the wind started abating fairly quickly.

It was soarable from early on, with Pete taking Adam for an out and return to Wellington in KEK, and Woolly and Ellie on the same task in HCX.
Meanwhile, as a reward for helping with the site maintenance (ie driving the dumper truck in the rain) Reuben was treated to a womble with Phil in DD3 Duo Discus taking in Wellington, Ilminster, Axminster and Cadbury Cross for 3 hours.
Streety convergence with changing cloudbase (Mark Courtney)

With the streety convergence staying put most of the day, more local cross-countries were flown to Wellington and back with Pete and Hannah, another with Adam and Woolly and Dave. -maggott racing tomorrow. Unfortunately Lukasz missed out on the task, as it had just got difficult, but made up for it by completing his 50th solo as did Dave.
Lukasz  Kieruczenko and Dave Herbert 50 solos (Lukasz)
So it wasn't always straightforward as the cloudbase was only 2000ft to start with, and many struggled to get away. Pete Startup completed Westbury Salisbury for 228kms but hard work over the Somerset Levels.

Pete Startup ready to launch (Mark Courtney)
The Club members list was very long, but thanks to Peter Smith, Mark Courtney, Peter Field, Paul Carpenter and John Sillett - they were able to keep going all day and into the evening with the remaining two-seaters.

The site maintenance work is moving on well, to the painting stage - thanks to all the workers.

In the evening, the course members (and hangers-on), enjoyed a lovely course dinner at the Keepers Cottage. - J&P



Wednesday 9th August - Course week

It was a sure cert that we wouldn't fly this morning due to the rain and gusty northerly wind, so Dave, Lukasz, Reuben and Ellie did a weather briefing by committee. This was followed by Woolly doing a lecture on thermal structures and centering. 
After lunch, we looked in depth at the Red Arrows notams for their West Country trip, and then with a careful eye outside, as the rain had stopped, a decision was made to get the kit out for the walk up the field.

Starting at 16:00, Ellie and Adam managed to catch up having missed out yesterday, and it was just 1000ft on the launch but worth the wait - we carried on into the evening.
North Hill Sunset (Jill Harmer)
And it was a lovely North Hill sunset - Tomorrow looks promising.... J&P

Tuesday 8th August - Course week

It looked like there would be a usable morning at least with some doubt about the afternoon, so we dispensed with the planned weather briefing to get on with some flying. The wind was light and variable and there were some towering cumulus to the west.  Woolly started off with check flights for Dave and then Lukasz. Pete flew with Hannah and Adam who last flew on a course 5 years ago. Dave having passed his check flights had 5 circuits in the Junior taking him to 49 solos. Reuben handled a couple of launch failures well, and then it was time for lunch. 
Growing Cumulus (Jill Harmer)
We watched the radar rainfall over lunch with the showers steadily moving nearer, and then the heavens opened. So a quick lecture on the Flight Envelope was given by Pete, and then it looked like the weather was clearing from the west, so a quick check of the puddles on the field looked feasible so the blades were brought out to dry the K21s and the Juniors were pushed back to the hangar. But then the supercell moved back from the east, and we had to shelter in the hangar. So that was the decision made with the next easing of rain, the rest of the kit was put away, with Ellie the only one to miss out on a flight.

With Nick, JB and Toby working hard on the site maintenance, the rain was a bit of a dampner!