Wed 10th October

Another hot Wednesday at North Hill, but with a strong southeasterly wind, for a change there was quite a long flying list - so it was up to the Northwest corner.
Walking up to the top of the airfield (John Street)
There was little chance of any soaring so Roly Clarke,  Chris Warnes and David Clements decided in the 'at times' blue card conditions to get their card ratings renewed, so quite a few flights were launch failures.
Check flights (John Street)
We had one Mile High Trial Lesson Visitor and a quarterly member returning after his trial lesson, and along with the testing conditions, the day was well used getting the card checks out of the way. John Street 

And with Denbigh High Flyers having a rest day, it was time to check out the increasing number of woodland walks and sculptures at Lleweni Park. 
Delightful sculptures  on woodland walks (Rowan Smith)


Tues 9th October - Denbigh

With a dire forecast for Portmoak for the rest of the week, some of the party had already set off for home, whilst others had negotatiated to arrive at Denbigh early. The plan worked out quite well with those at Denbigh battling through a washing machine to get to 19,200ft. 

Yesterday was an epic day at Denbigh all 10 or so aircraft that launched took wave climbs over the Conway valley  wave machine to 19,000 plus feet.  Congratulations to Rowan who bagged his diamond height. 
Congratulations to Rowan - Diamond Height (Rowan Smith)
Snowdonia was blanketed in cloud but every where else was in the blue  and the visibility was outstanding. 
Outstanding visibility (JB)

Quick returns to the Conway valley hotspot got you back up to the ceiling and off you went to somewhere else.
Great Orme Head  from DD3 (Phil Morrison)
 Rodney reckoned it was the best conditions he had ever had.

I don’t think today will be as good, too much south in the wind but you never know! - Nick Jones

Sun 7th October

After the poor weather yesterday it was thought that today at the Club might be busier than it actually was - but as it happened there were just the right number of members, including Instructors, for the flying list to be completed by just before 6pm.

At the start of the day the wind direction, with an evident Easterly component, was different to the forecast so whilst both K21s, a Junior and the Perkoz were taken out of the hangar a decision was made to not rush to set up the winch and launch point just in case the direction changed to be more inline with the forecast.

However it became clear that if a decision was not made soon then we might still be being indecisive at lunchtime so rather than have any further delays to the day’s flying the winch was set up in the North East corner of the field and gliders were towed down to the South West corner. And then the day’s flying commenced with just enough members to allow launching to continue across lunchtime.
Launchpoint in southwest corner (Mike Sloggett)
The wind had steadily moved around to the North West by early afternoon so a change of ends was needed but this was completed quickly through good teamwork.

The day’s flights were generally uneventful in terms of finding much lift of any sort although by mid/late afternoon the direction and strength of the wind encouraged the West ridge to work ‘here and there’ allowing extended circuits.
Mike Sloggett and Karen King (Mark Courtney)
By the end of the day all the members present had flown, as well as various Trial Lesson Visitors and Friends & Family flights being completed.

During the day Mark Courtney and James Hood ‘popped down’ to Brentor in the Rotax Falke whilst William had some local flying in VG.

A very nice day of gliding in October, thank you to all who played their part in today’s teamwork getting others into the air. - Mike

Meanwhile in Scotland the rain and gusty wind set in, 
Some of the group at RSPB cafe (Jill Harmer)
and it was just the customary walk to the RSPB reserve
JB in contemplation mood or bird spotting (Rowan Smith)
  on Loch Leven  for tea and cakes. -J&P

Sat 6th October - Portmoak

Thermals were aplenty, both ridges were working and visibility was glorious. Those who had arrived on Friday had enjoyable flights some venturing to Perth. 

Glenfarg reservoir (Rowan Smith)

Andrew Logan over Loch Leven (Rowan Smith)

Pete Startup tried Portmoak's other Club 100 Stirling - Methven

"The other Portmoak Club 100. Bit squeaky going into Stirling with airspace on one side, big 'ills on t'other and iffy thermals down the middle. Once round STI the rest was easy, just one shower to dodge on the way to Methven.
Another day where some of the thermals wouldn't have been out of place in the Summer."

Fri 5th October - Portmoak

The early travellers were able to make us of the good weather on Friday with Pete Startup completing one of Portmoak's Club 100's.
Glendevon -Lindores - Dollar  108.7 Kms

"Some of todays thermals wouldn't have been out of place on the good days of Summer!
Had the task in but made no real effort to complete it until at the end of the afternoon when I could actually reach Dollar comfortably after several abortive attempts earlier on.
Bishop ridge working well too."

Thur 4th October

A smaller group of the Thursday regulars turned up today hoping that the actual wether might be better than forecast. However as the morning unfolded the continuing low cloud and lack of any sunshine suggested such optimism was misplaced so the Clubhouse was put to good use with conversations across a variety of aviation and non-aviation subjects.

The Club simulator was also used for some fun flying by various members.
DSGC Simulator (Mike Sloggett)
Then around midday it seemed as if patience might be rewarded with suggestions of the cloud lifting enough to allow some gliding to take place. So a Junior and K21 were brought out of the hangar and the winch set up in the South West corner of the field - with glimpses of blue skies the members present were suitably encouraged to leave the Clubhouse to start planning for some gliding.

And then within just a few minutes of the weather seeming to improve the potential window of opportunity was slammed shut and everyone took up their previous seats in the Clubhouse. A short while later and it was evident that the gliders and ground equipment needed to be put away

As someone said ‘Oh well at least we had a go....’ - Mike Sloggett

Wed 3rd October

Not a promising start or a useful weather forecast, that indicated a cloudy day with little sun and a light indifferent northwesterly wind -  it was no surprise that not many members turned up.
Lizzie Westcott and John Sillett (John Street)
As the day progressed some early weak ridge lift gave some extended flights,  about lunch time it got quite warm and contrary to the weather forecast, started to go blue.
Low clouds in the valley (John Street)
In the afternoon some low thermals started to form and the N/W wind started to pick up giving some excellent soaring opportunities, all members who flew in the afternoon managed good soaring flights John Street had the longest flight, air braking down after 48min. Both trial lessons had good flights and Pete Warren and Robert shared the tugging.
What a difference the new entrance area makes (John Street)
We tried to pack up at 5pm and had to wait for the two k21s to land, a good day was had by all  - John Sreet.

Sun 30th September

Thankfully, the forecast of cloudy skies and a crossing cold front during the day wasn’t enough to deter a large turnout this Sunday. There was a large flying list for both the single and two-seaters and Peter Field, Ron Johns and John Sillett started cracking on with the training.
Clouds cycling (Jules Minson)
The morning flights were generally short but breaks in the cloud encouraged everyone to keep trying. There was a large Junior turnout this Sunday with Charlie, Jack, Ollie, Daniel, Harvey and Oliver helping out when they weren’t flying. After a quick stop for lunch, flying resumed with (OMG) thermals as well a small amount of ridge lift providing lengthened flight times. The weak cold front continued to cycle the cloud cover and by mid-afternoon most of the thermal energy was gone.
SM keen to fly after a day REing at Brentor yesterday (Simon Minson)
All of the voucher trial flights went away with cheesy grins, and the member flying finished up around 5pm. In all, it was a fantastic way to end the last day of September. - Tom Sides

Sat 29th September

Today was warm and sunny at North Hill, and a very pleasant day to be at the club.  In the morning, young members Daniel Hender and Harvey Skeggs continued their training in the K21s with James Flory and Peter Smith respectively.  Meanwhile Mark Worsfold went off with Ian Mitchell in his Falke to get some useful practice.
Pete Harmer with Daniel Hender (Keith Lippiat)

In the afternoon there was soaring to be had if you timed your launch right, though also plenty of sink in places to foil the unwary pilot.  Pete Startup and John Pursey rigged 230 and HOG respectively and disappeared for several hours, as is their habit.  Pete went looking for a non-existent convergence at Bridport, and JP turned Whiddon Down before heading east. Rowan Smith, having taken over the Duty Instructor mantle for the afternoon, enjoyed hour-long soaring flights with Ruth Comer and later Andreas Kraemer.
Junior  soaring  North Hill (Dave Herbert)
 In the late afternoon, some of the extended Hender family arrived to learn what Daniel's new hobby is all about and watch him fly an aerotow launch with Pete Harmer. - Ruth Comer

Thurs 27th September

Pete's forecast was for another gloriously blue sky day with light winds and only a remote possibility of any soaring from the local hot spot.

Blue sky day (Hans Jenssen)
But the day had started a little foggy in the valleys, with the airfield out in the sunshine.

Arriving at North Hill (Hans Jenssen)

Whilst waiting for the surrounding fog to clear, the Thursday working party set to picking stones.

Stone picking party (Mike Horwood)
The hangar was emptied and the launch point was soon set up starting with some simulated launch failures until it was judged safe to start aerotowing as well. Today the single seater list and two-seater list  were equally long, and Hans Jenssen set the 8 mins circuit to be beaten on the first Junior flight.

Busy Club launch point (Mike Sloggett)
Training and solo flying continued side by side all day, alongside the 3 Trial lesson visitor flights.  By the time the list had gone round once, Hans managed to find the hot spot on the sunny ridge on his second Junior flight and claimed the 36 mins longest soaring flight. Wooly and Seb Mounoury also found the same spot for 34 mins in K21. 
North Hill in all it's glory (Peter Smith)

Congratulations to Ray Dodd on his persistence in achieving his Bronze having satisfied Pete Harmer today with the final part of his flying skills test.
Ray Dodd completes his Bronze
With a complete team of Instructors and Tuggie, we completed 43 winch launches and 12 aerotows for the 23 members who flew (Apologies to those who have to work!). - What a glorious day with that lovely North Hill hotspot with the sun and wind on the ridge late afternoon.

After flying, another work party of George Sanderson, John Borland and Rob Rand, installed some LED Battery indicators for the Perkoz to hopefully remind members to swap batteries  during the day.  Great team, great day,  thanks all - J&P