Sunday 21st August

A small but hardy group of members turned up more in optimistic hope than real expectation having seen the forecast - with much ensuing looking up at grey skies, followed by orders for breakfast and mugs of tea and with evident wishing for the sun and blue skies to appear. Conversation and cuppa over, the decision was taken to make the most of the day before a forecast weather front arrived.

The launch point and winch run were set up in the South East and North West corners of the field respectively, meanwhile the K21s, the DG505 and a Junior were brought out of the hangar and readied for the day, as was the Pawnee.

Simon M (SM), Mark C (ENW) and Pete S (230) rigged their gliders in the confidence that the sky would improve as the day unfolded.

As launching got under way mid-morning then the sky did improve and with some thermic activity evident, as well as the ridge working reasonably well in places, at one stage there were 6 gliders and the Pawnee all in the air at the same time.

Paul Summers completed an aerotow trial lesson and family and friends in KEK during the morning. Paul Kane had some 'fun' flying the DG505 in preparation for flying the Pegase.

However the approaching weather front had steadily been creeping closer and closer to the field and by around lunchtime the private glider pilots had all decided that it would be good to land and put their gliders away dry.

As the light rain appeared the decision was made to stop for lunch with the gliders all parked carefully 'just in case' the weather deteriorated further.

Lunch taken, and with the weather radar suggesting there might be a clearance later in the afternoon, most of those present decided to test their skills on the simulator.

And then there was a knock on the door saying  that the light rain was getting heavier so with coats and hats on (it is October after all!) the gliders and kit were all put away for the day.
Putting gliders away, mid-afternoon in August, wearing coats - what!! - (Mike Sloggett)
Thank you to those members who helped get others in to the air but due to the weather did not get the same opportunity. Let us hope that the forecast of more sunny weather for the rest of August is correct... - Mike Sloggett

Thursday 18th August

The forecast slow start was entirely accurate, and there was a lot of briefings, gardening and fettling going on. By lunchtime, it was still quite grey but the murk did look as though it was starting to break up. 

When a Red Arrow passed overhead giving us a cloudbase check, we were encouraged to get the rest of the kit out, and first launch was at 15:19.
'Bloggs' being awkward as usual (Mark Layton)

Wooly was being checked out by Mark Courtney on his 3 year Instructor checks. 

Will Stainer first solo with Peter Smith (Jill Harmer)

Highlight of the day was Will Stainer having some simulated launch failures before flying  K21 solo - Congratulations Will. - J&P

Wednesday 17th August

A southeasterly wind saw the gliders walked to the northwest corner, the forecast was not promising with a hot start and a weather front arriving in the afternoon.
A hot start and blue sky (John Street)
There was no soaring to be had except for a hint of wave on the early flights and a few thermals but nothing to soar in. Tim Petty continued his solo flying before the conditions became a bit tricky.
Mike Fitz brought some family members up for a return flight on their 3 month membership, Roly flew the three Trial lesson flights that included a mile high flight.
The high cloud was evident from lunchtime (John Street)
Pete Warren was the tuggie for the day and managed a bit of instructing as well to help out the two Johns with the instructing.
The evening group flying was cancelled due to the forecast, just as well,  as the rain started as we were putting the toys away! - John Street

Sunday 14th August

Blue sky and sunshine greeted us at the club although a distant bank of cloud to the north west was a slight concern for those intending to depart for places far afield given an encouraging forecast.

The launch point was set up in the south west corner and flying started from there with Fran Knowles being put through her paces by Ron Johns before flying the K21 solo and thoughtfully bringing it back after a short soaring flight so that others could fly. Meanwhile David Herbert completed Card Checks and had a long soaring flight in the Junior.

CFI Martin was keeping John Sillett alert in the K13 on 5 year checks.  The DG505 went off on a cross country, so club flying had to work around the K21s so the list didn't progress as rapidly as we would have liked to see on a good soaring day.  JB pitched in enthusiastically for the afternoon session and amongst others Will Stainer was introduced to the art of spin recovery.

3 trial lessons were flown including a mile high and all enjoyed soaring flights with strong thermals but also inevitably there were areas of serious sink. - Peter Smith

With the first day of a ridge of high pressure and light northeasterly winds forecast, RASP was also going for reasonable conditions with a south coast convergence forecast, the North Hill soaring section set off on cross-countries led by Pete Startup in 230 on the Club 200.

Other early launchers were John Pursey and Nick Jones in the Eagle, Matthew Williamson in 611, Tom Sides in DG1,  James Hood and Paul Summers in JZK, Pete Bennett in HEB. Cloud base was still quite low at Chard and most headed back for the better conditions at North Hill. Pete Startup caught the better weather up, but the Eagle didn't have the pace to get out of the spreadout  near the Cerne Abbas giant and landed near Dorchester.

Meanwhile James Flory in 877 had set off with a 50km attempt in mind to Sherborne. Visitor Andrew Cluskey in his Shark Turbo turned Bovingdon and then headed west but had to turn the jet on to avoid the small fields at Ivybridge. Two hours later Pete & Jill in OL set off to the east turning The Park and Cullompton. 

Cloudbase never got very high and the strong sink was always a little challenging, for some reason the south coast convergence never materialised except in the minds of the Lashamites who arrived en-masse in Devon and Cornwall.
James after completing his Silver distance (Jill Harmer)
Congratulations to James Flory for completing his Silver distance. - J&P


Saturday 13th August

Kit was unpacked at 8:30am, however typical North Hill weather prevented us from flying due to low cloud. Club members entertained themselves in some simulator flying and several theory briefings on circuit planning and ridge lift by Martin Woolner.
Another grey start (Lukasz Kieruczenko)
At around 12:30 a met flight was flown by myself and Steve Westlake. Unfortunately cloud base was only around 1300ft so some simulated launch failures were carried out.

Just over an hour later the weather opened up along with plenty of  thermal lift giving members 30 -40 minute flights. Lukasz managed to soar to around 3,000ft and stayed up for 86 mins, the longest flight of the day, well done Lukasz.
Soarable later (Will Stainer)
As the afternoon progressed Paul Summers flew Lukasz’s friend Pawel for his first flight. He managed 22 mins, with Pawel definitely considering taking up gliding. Club member Andreas Kraemer turned up just to help on the ground, to his surprise he managed to get in a 40 min flight.

James Hood eagerly waiting all day for someone to take an aerotow finally got to tow Stuart Procter in the DG505, Paul Summers in a K21 and Graham Hawker also in the DG505.
Aerotows for James (Lukasz Kieruczenko)
With open blue skies lift died off towards 6:30pm with myself catching the last bit of thermal activity over the ridge before coming back down 5 mins later. Kit was packed up at around 6:45pm. - Will Stainer

Friday 12th August

Nine Air Cadets and their two members of staff enjoyed a fantastic evening’s gliding at North Hill today. 
Air Cadets from Plymouth and Cornwall (James Hood)
The cadets from Plymouth and Cornwall Wing had travelled up from Okehampton and Devonport for the evening’s gliding. 
Stu Procter flying an Air Cadet in DG505 (James Hood)
Each cadet got to fly twice in one of the club’s gliders and experience the excitement of a winch launch. The club’s instructors then gave them the chance to have a go at flying the glider and to enjoy the magic of flying without an engine.  
Great evening views (James Hood)
Fortunately the summer weather behaved and everyone had a great evening with glorious views across the mid-Devon countryside. - James Flory

Thursday 11th August

The forecast from Wednesday was for "quite a pleasant day", but looking at RASP this morning, there were some good indications of wave activity at two different levels and plenty of evidence of lenticulars to the west.
Lenticulars in evidence (Eric Alston)
The first launch found some "strange ridge lift" that worked above 1000ft but not below. Then the challenge was taken up by Pete Startup 230, Matt Wright M5 and Eric Alston G29 who worked their way up to find first the 3000ft wave system, and then climbed up to the north by Wellington monument to reach the higher system at FL100 conveniently outside the airway. However the airway restricted exploration upwind.
M5 and 230 playing in the wave (Pete Startup)
Most flights got easily into the lower system including our visitor Andrew Cluskey from Saltby with his jet Shark.
Spot the gliders showing the two wave systems (Jill Harmer)
With the planned transit of the Red Arrows up the M5 past Wellington in the afternoon, Pete Harmer made a quick call to Exeter ATC to advise them of our unusual operations in the wave, and then Red 1 made a call on 130.1 as they were passing.

While all this excitement was going on there was Congratulations to Tim Petty who achieved his third first solo - Power, Balloon and now Gliding.
Congrats to Tim Petty (Will Stainer)
And congratulations to Malcolm Vest for converting to the Eagle, and George Sanderson for flying the Junior.
Malcolm Vest with JB and the Eagle (Lizzie Westcott)
And another first, James Hood having converted to the Pawnee yesterday, made his first Aerotow from the front of the rope - there will be no stopping him now!
James Hood making his first aerotow (Paul Kane)
It was certainly a pleasant day with 58 flights in total, (17 flights of more than an hour), and 5 gliders flying for more than 3 hours in the quite unusual conditions for North Hill. - J&P

Wednesday 10th August

A totally overcast start to the day yet on the second flight 30 minutes soaring was achieved, but there was no more soaring in the morning. In the afternoon the weather gradually cleared giving some late soaring.
Lizzie Westcott had her white card check with John Sillett and went on to have a half hour flight.
JB giving the Eagle an airing (John Street)
 JB and Nick Jones had some soaring and also a good cloud climb in the Eagle, Nigel Everett in the DG 300 was the only other private glider to fly today.
Latest addition to the Tug pilot team (John Street)
Well done to James Hood who is our latest tuggie and the youngest, he got cleared by Ian Mitchell. - John Street.

Monday 8th August

A nice group from the Environment Agency tonight, everyone had a great flight and some possible new members. The ridge was very weak but beautiful views, after a day in the office it just makes you realise how lucky we are to enjoy such a hobby. 
Great visibility (Lisa Humphries)
 Both K21's and the K13 were busy all evening thanks to our helpers Stirling, Allan, Sam, Richard and Tim for making it all run so smoothly. 
Sunset  (Lisa Humphries)
I also saw the brief for T/L evenings prepared by James Flory, top job and makes everything much easier for the general public to understand! - Lisa Humphries

Sunday 7th August

Low cloud and mist greeted members this morning. After much tea drinking this eventually burnt off and flying commenced at 1100. Several flights were made in both K21’s by instructors Peter Field and Pete Warren before an actual cable break forced us to operate with one cable whilst the other was being changed.  None the less this did not slow the launch rate with a number of private gliders taking a winch launch as well.

Justin Wills and Rowan Smith set off in the DG505 for a cross-country flight, landing out near Silverton paper mill several hours later,  after some soaring over Exeter (with thanks to Exeter ATC) ......
Soaring over Exeter (Rowan Smith)
......and ridge running at Ottery St Mary. 
Justin and Rowan land near Silverton in a big field (Rowan Smith)
It was great to see Justin and Gillian again this year, and a big thanks to Justin for his time in DG505 coaching some of our members.

As the day progressed a strong amount of lift was found on the northwest ridge giving some members some good flights.

JB stepped in to instruct in the afternoon, which was much appreciated by club members.  Along with Pete Warren they managed to work their way through the flying list. With the wind gusting to 25kts towards the end of the day a yellow card was raised. Several yellow card check flights were carried out with gliders being packed away at around 19:00.

Many thanks to all that helped replace the broken cable mid-morning and all that helped to pack the gliders away. - Will Stainer