Thurs 16th August

It was a wet start as forecast, and after just a short wait, the airfield started to dry out well and the cloudbase rose to 1200ft.  With a nice northwesterly we were hopeful for the ridge to work, but probably some wave interfered and it was rather tricky to get away from the winch. 
It suddenly became soarable (Mark Courtney)

After a late lunch the wind increased, cloudbase went up to 3000ft and suddenly the sky was soarable and the launchpoint was empty. 
Cumulus over Devon (Mike Sloggett)
Pete Harmer and Daniel Hender followed the cloud street to Cullompton and Daniel was excited to fly over his house for the first time. It was good to welcome Reuben Buss back from his gliding adventures down under. Congratulations to Chris Warnes for getting the final signatures for his Bronze. 
Mark Courtney congratulates Chris Warnes on his Bronze (Mark Courtney)
In the evening, a large family group enjoyed the late evening sunshine and extended ridge flights. - J&P
Treborough Summer Camp group (Mark Courtney)
News from Denbigh
North Hill Nomads Pete Startup 230, Wyn Davies W7 and Tom Sides DG1 enjoyed a few laps of the Denbigh ridge at 110kph.

Wed 15th August

Low cloud put paid to an early start, flying didn't start until late morning and then without any thermal activity, after lunch the whole situation had changed with the cloudbase rising to over 2,000ft and good abundant thermals that lasted all afternoon everyone had a soaring flight and two of the booked trial lessons were flown with Pete Warren in the tug.
Robert Lee enthusing the next generation of glider pilots (John Street)
The group from Kestrel Gliding Club at Odiham enjoyed  a taste of North Hill soaring.  
Porsche Owners Club  South west region (Alan Stoneham)
 In the late afternoon, a large group from the Southwest region of the Porsche Owners Club started to arrive for their evening of  flying. Only half of them managed to get airborne as the low cloud unfortunately  arrived early, but the Porsche Owners enjoyed  the social gathering and barbeque and will return on another day. - John Street.

Fri 10th August - Course Week

Friday morning was not quite the forecast that we had hoped for - with low cloud, but there was some hope that conditions would improve in the afternoon. 
James gave a briefing on airmanship and local airspace rules, and then Pete and James  went through some spin training using the simulator. By lunchtime we were still hopeful for some flying weather and prepared the ground equipment ready. 
Lovely late afternoon sky (Jill Harmer)
And the skies cleared as the wind picked up and flying started at 16:00, initially the ridge was working well, aided by some rather boisterous thermals. So all the course members enjoyed their first ridge flights of the week, but by the time all 6 course members had flown, the wind went round to the north and the ridge stopped working. 
August Course
It was a good soarable course week with flying every day, interspersed with ground school and simulator training, all the course members made good progress towards their individual goals. Many thanks to the course helpers - Richard Harris, Aston Key and Jill Harmer  and Course Instructors Pete Harmer and James Flory. - J&P

Thurs 9th August

There was a lot of What's App enthusiasm for the RASP forecast today, however, there were a few indications this morning that suggested that all was not going to plan. 
The veil of high cloud had not moved to the east, some low-level clouds seemed to be moving with a northeasterly blow, and there was a large build up of towering cumulus to the west..... The cross-country pilots rigged and then drank tea, and more tea.

The Thursday regulars started preparing the gliders, whilst Pete gave the course members a briefing on safe winch launching. 
The Flight line (Jill Harmer)
Launching got underway by 10:20, but the circuits were all quite short. Just after 11:00 a quick look at the radar rainfall called a temporary pause in proceedings as a large cell on the trough line was heading straight for North Hill. So having securely parked all the club gliders and advised the private owners to take their wing dollies off, the Clubroom was severely crowded to say the least.

The heavy rain took a while to pass, but there were no nasty squalls, but unfortunately the wind sock pointed the wrong way for quite a while after the storm had cleared, so an early lunch was called for to wait for the wind to change back to westerly.

First launches after the break were soarable and this continued all afternoon.  The course members took the outside line and the club members and private owners queued on the inside line. Pete Startup 230 managed O/R to Eaglescott but it was quite a struggle in a 17knot wind.
Another great North Hill sunset (Hans Jenssen)
 Thanks to everyone helping we then managed to complete the whole flying list before handing over to the Air Cadet evening group who then benefited from the ridge working during the evening flights. The Course members enjoyed a course dinner at the Keeper's Cottage- J&P


Wed 8th August

With the first August course in full swing the entire fleet was out and ready to go before 10:00am. From the first launch it was very soarable, there was a hurry to launch because the much needed rain was forecast for the afternoon.
Tom and Mark in the Perkoz (John Street)
The conditions were very soarable and at one point all the fleet was airborne at the same time the thermals were very strong and climbs to 4,000ft were to be had.
Checking out the Perkoz (John Street)
Peter Smith was duty instructor today as John Sillett was away  running a course for Heron Gliding Club, Peter kept himself entertained with some interesting simulated launch failures.

Unfortunately the forecast rain arrived mid-afternoon and some Wednesday regulars  and couse members did not get to fly. - John Street.

Tues 7th August - Course Week

It was another foggy, low cloud start so the early morning briefing was on circuit planning. There were signs of cloud breaks by 10:00am and launching started soon after. 
Cloud lifting (Jill Harmer)

Hans enjoyed another instrument being covered up for some advanced training, before flying the Junior again.
Informal course photo just after lunch (Jill Harmer)

All the other course members made progress primarily with circuits, although Pete and Graham in DG505 managed to find a few thermals / maybe some wave  in the late afternoon flights. - J&P

Mon 6th August - Course Week

It was a foggy start, so after the usual course briefing and introductions, James Flory gave a briefing on winch launching, whilst we waited for the air to dry out. We got going just after 11:00am, but cloudbase was still quite low - but soarable. As the temperature increased, the cloudbase rose to 2000ft and Pete Startup 230 and Eric Alston G29 took spare cables just before lunch, but found it difficult to go far.
K21s at the launchpoint (Jill Harmer)
The morning flights concentrated on circuits whilst  the afternoon flights were all soarable and cloudbase rose to 4000ft.. 
Hans Jenssen  two hours in the Junior (Jill Harmer)

Well done to Hans Jenssen for completing his 2 hour flight towards cross-country endorsement and just short of Silver height. - J&P




Sun 5th August

As forecast, there was a varying southerly wind at the club today which gave members a chance to practice circuits and even occasional soaring in sporting conditions. At one point we did change ends, but as usual, whilst we were doing so the wind direction changed again. 
Nick Redfern won the award for the longest flight with 86 mins and there were quite a few flights over 30 mins. We had three Mile High trial lesson visitors as well as a few friends and family flights which were fitted in around club flying. 
Clear blue skies for Mile Highs (Simon Minson)
 We also welcomed back Anja who progressed her flying with JB. Simon Minson put his regional examiner hat on and put James Flory and Steve Westlake through their respective checks in the Perkoz - congratulations on passing (completion and revalidation) to both of them! Towards the end of the day, the number of members present reduced and we were left with the minimum number of people needed to fly, but due to the number of instructors, it was no problem getting through the flying list. Thanks to everybody that stayed on to help.
Regional Examiner hat on at North Hill (Simon Minson)

 (The worst part of the day was getting home and seeing the number of 300km and 500km flights on the ladder. Can we move NH 50 miles east please?)  - Pete Bennett

Sat 4th August

A busy day at North Hill today with lots of visitors:  Anja, from Germany, who has spent the last year in New Zealand and learned to fly there came to find out if the soaring is as good in Devon.  Also Nick, a member at Culdrose, sampled some flying in our Perkoz.  Together with several Family and Friends flights and the usual booked Trial Lessons the instructors' work was cut out.
North Hill (Lisa Humphries)
The day started overcast with launches unable to reach full height.  The cloudbase slowly lifted and a the cloud began to break up around lunchtime.  Some local soaring became possible but getting away from the winch was so uncertain that even maestro Mike Fairclough elected to take an aerotow.  In the late afternoon and towards evening the sky around North Hill unexpectedly became very buoyant. Mark Courtney and new member Adam in the DG505, Lisa Humphries and newish member Marley in a K21 and Rowan Smith and really-not-so-new-member Ruth in the Perkoz were delighted to find climbs up to nearly 4000 feet.

Congratulations to Geoff Lawrence, who achieved his first solo aerotow, and to Rowan, who accomplished his first first-solo-sending since becoming an instructor.

Pete Startup 230 whizzed round the Club 100 then went for a bimble out to Witheridge to check on Pete and Jill's runner beans while Pete and Jill in OL went for a womble over Exmoor (but just missing Dunkery Beacon  as the clouds were lower over the top). 

The Pawnee, Rotax Falke and Fred all visited Dunkeswell to take part in a world record attempt for flying 200 types in a day.
Stu Procter in Fred from chase plane Rotax Falke (James Hood)
Thanks to DLM's Pete Startup and David Clements for shuffling gliders, instructors and P2's round to keep the show running all day.  Special thanks to Alan Turner for diagnosing and fixing a problem with the Skylaunch's fan, to prevent further overheating issues. - Ruth Comer

Thur 2nd August

It was a low cloudy start, and a 'will it - won't it' clear? While we were waiting a length of winch rope was changed and all the glider batteries and chargers were labelled to help with the diagnosis of  recent battery failures. 

The wind was a bit lighter than forecast and it took a little longer to clear than expected, but as all the kit had already been prepared, everything was ready for a few simulated cable breaks to check out the lifting cloudbase.
Tug finding the breaking clouds (Mike Sloggett)

Lunch was called to give the sky a chance to improve which it eventually did, cloudbase didn't get much above 2000ft but the gaps improved significantly. The sun  came out and the humidity was still high, but thermals were quite strong, and it was locally soarable all afternoon. 

Tom Sides with Preston in Perkoz (Mark Courtney)
The Trial lesson visitors were rewarded for their patience, with soaring flights, as did Tom Sides and Peter Smith with their respective grandsons. - Total flying 24 winch launches and 6 aerotows in a reduced day. - J&P