Thursday 30th September

A misty start that cleared as we prepared the kit for flying. Launching started well with unexpected height into the gentle breeze, but there was indication of the wave activity usually found just south of the field in south westerly winds. There were ominous looking small patches of cloud below us, which over the next hour or so thickened up to a solid sheet of orographic with a base at 600'. Early lunch - this was a bit of a shock for Emma on her first day catering for us, in the recently refurbished kitchen, but she coped very well.
After a two hour break, the cloud cleared a bit to give a flyable sky again. There were five trial lessons, and training continued until the orographic cloud returned late in the afternoon, this time thick enough to drizzle on us as we packed the hangar. Doesn't it get dark early now?

Mon. 27th & Tue. 28th September

This time every year there is an influx of potential new members to Exeter University GC. In the past this has caused a fair amount of disruption to normal DSGC operations when several car loads of students arrive to fly. Edd, this year's Captain, suggested a couple of "taster days" outside normal flying days to take the pressure. Fresher's Day was last Sunday, the taster days were set for the following two days - a brilliant idea, thwarted by the weather.
Unfortunately, after the first 3 launches the weather deteriorated with cloud base down to 500 ft. However, 12 students enjoyed a short briefing session from the instructors, and hope to return and fly with the club at a later date.
A glorious morning, sunny and clear, enabled 6 students to get a flight, in some cases 2 flights. The good conditions lasted until lunchtime, when mist and low cloud stopped flying again.
Around 24 students expressed an initial interest in gliding as a “taster”, so Edd is hoping that this will be consolidated into actual membership of the Exeter University Gliding Club.
Thanks to the 3 instructors Pete H, Roly and Robin. Thanks also to the ground crew, especially Dave and Don, as well as some of the former and present members of the University Club who so expertly helped with every aspect. W W-F

Sunday 26th September - Talgarth

A breeze-free morning with a hard frost met early risers, (or maybe just JB in his van on the airfield). The clear blue skies and sunny conditions thawed it rapidly.

Plenty of visitors, including Dunstable with their K21.

Mid-morning, the wind started to pickup towards its forecast Northerly 20 kts. Simon M (SM) launched early reporting winds NNW 13 kt @ 2000 ft. Similar to Saturday but with the extra 2 kt the thermals had a different feel, stronger but more broken, could this be the first sign of wave?

JB (KJW) and Henry (CVV) launched just after lunch. JB Managed to get away but Henry found out what out-of-phase wave does to a ridge and landed shortly after.

Simon and JB both had a taste of the wave system which set up over the black mountains. Simon getting a beautiful climb to 6000 ft above site over the Cwmdu valley. Henry relaunched for a near three-hour flight, Simon and JB both had a touch over five hours each.
JB and Simon came back on the ridge for some ridge running before landing to derig.
The thermals died, the wind dropped, the wave collapsed and the ridge went soft. Time to pack up and off to the pub. Arrival at NH marked by a spectacular moon-lit lenticular off the south coast at gone midnight. Just fantastic!

Sunday 26th September

Today started nice and bright but quite cool with a difficult Northerly wind, soon the thermals were popping giving climbs to 3500ft.

Simon L was putting finishing touches to Lisa's training before her Asst Cat course, Roly made good use of his new BI rating with five areotows.

The Skylaunch winch had new stronger drums fitted over the weekend and is now ready for use. After using the trusty old Supercat for a couple of days it will be nice to get back to the smooth ride of the Skylaunch again.

Saturday 25th - Talgarth

Original plan was Parham but it didn't look like the wind was going to be quite right for the ridge there(we were wrong-damn), so a late change of plan saw Pete S(230), Simon M(SM) and JB(KJW) take a very early trip North to Talgarth with Henry(CVV) following later in the day.

What a fall back plan this turned out to be! Thermals a plenty to 3,500' + QFE, the ridge from Talgarth to Hay Bluff was working and the viz was possibly the best I have ever seen. SM managed a small wave climb to about 4,800' but it collapsed quickly and that was that, no more wave!
Simon did a couple of site checks for visiting pilots before launching but I think the 3 early birds did between 4 and 5 hours each and Henry a couple of hours but he probably had the best views as the sun set over the hills and valleys and made some beautiful shadows - Henry carrying on his North Hill tradition was the last glider to land.

I came back last night but it looks like the others are going to have another cracking day - perhaps one of leftovers could take some pictures. And many thanks to Henry who did just that - excellent pics too.

Saturday 25th September

The season of expeditions has begun with Simon (SM) off to ridge-run the Southdowns, Peter F & Paul C (OL) off to explore the Portmoak wave, and JB (KJW), Pete (230) and Henry (CVV) to see what Talgarth has to offer. Please send in your reports.....

Wednesday 22nd September

Wednesday started with great expectations, warm and sunny, Martin rigged his LS3 and Clive & Nick rigged the Oly, everything was fine until the low cloud arrived, by 3.30 the cloud was descending rapidly so we called it a day.

The afternoon was not wasted though, with a gang of willing helpers we repaired the wheel brake on KEK led by Chairman Peter and ably assisted by Robert

Sunday 19th September

North Hill was suffering in the turbulence and curl-over provided by a Southerly wind. Ron J raising the blue flag just before lunch.

News from Halesland:
After a late night at H's party, the guys in Mark's caravan were woken early by an excited Matt W; "Get your gliders, we're going to Mendip, Dudes!!"

Matt W (477), Simon M (SM), Mark C (ENW), James, Henry (CVV) and Dave made their way up the motorway to Halesland with gliders in tow. The wind was a fresh 10 to 15 knots SW, cloud base around 2000 ft QFE. The ridge started to work well after lunch from M5 to the TV mast in the east. Showers appeared from a strong convergence in the afternoon, any glider airborne was swiftly pulled up to cloud base.

There were 18 launches of which seven were North Hill.
Simon and JB had over four hours each, Mark and Matt had over three hours, Henry nearly 2.5 hours.

The best bit was watching Dave and James ridge running in Mendip's K13!

Gliders derigged, it was time to go home.

Saturday 18th September

A light westerly wind and blue sky started the day, thermals were plentiful but cloudbase took a while to rise. At times there was some significant spreadout but cycling into blue holes. Pete (230), Matt (477) and Pete & Jill (OL) completed the 100km Club task NHL-TIE-YEO-NHL in a tiptoe mode following the energy. There were 3 trial lessons and club flying enjoying the late summer thermals.
In the evening, H gave a party in the old hangar to celebrate her retirement, and what a bash it was. More than 100 past and present members and friends gathered to thank H for her devoted work keeping us all fed and watered in all weathers for more years than anyone wishes to remember.

Chairman Peter and President Dave presented her, on behalf of all members, a short speech of thanks, Life Membership, a "Matt" cartoon, and a significant cheque. Les finished the presentations with a bouquet of flowers.
The partying went on until late in the evening with live music from Alex and Steve.

Many thanks go to Muggles and his team for cleaning out the old hangar before and after the event, and of course to H for providing the banquet.
Surprise announcement of the evening was that Steph and Chris got married earlier in the day - congratulations to both.

Thursday 16th September

A dismal drizzly start, with not much flying before lunch, but the afternoon brightened up, with thermals (to 2000ft) started popping at 1645 - just in time for the last pair of cables.
There were only 6 club members and 2 trial lessons. Well done to Barbie for getting back in the Junior, and to Mark L for his first flights in the Junior.

Wednesday 15th September Ridge Day at Nympsfield

It all started with an email from Trevor Stuart enquiring if Pete S and I would like to join a lead and follow group. The forecast was predicting winds of 270° 15-20kts and he proposed flying down the Cotswold edge from Nympsfield to Bath race course and back a couple of times. JB was also free so he also made the 2hr trip up the M5 to join in the fun.

Mr Dyson's Vacuum powered house which almost sucked us out the sky on our attempted 3rd lap!
Tyndale Monument, something to aim for when leaving the local ridge.

Wednesday 15th September

Clear blue sky following yesterday's front, meant the hangar was emptied, but the cloud filled in and the wind got up to a rather gusty west north-westerly. But it was soarable with thermals kicking off from the ridge to 2400ft under the overcast. There should have been some wave there, but there weren't any holes until late on, and we probably needed to get up a little higher to make contact. Trial lessons were put off to another day. Roly did his first BI flight. Welcome back to John P after his layoff. The kitchen refurbishment has started.

Sunday 12th September

Just to add that Steve Westlake did the Club Almost 100 yesterday as well and Mike Fairclough went down to somewhere around Dorchester way.
With regards to my comment above, TAU-YEO isn't actually 100km any more as the NHL TP was moved this year from the middle of the airfield to the hangar - it's only 99.7km, so if you want to do a 100km Diploma flight do TIE-YEO instead!
I should have known this as I wrote a tome about it at the begining of the season but I'd forgotten until I replayed the trace - OOPS!

Sunday 12th September

The forecast was good for a post-cold front ridge with a north-westerly wind. Early convection drew the moisture out of the ground with a low cloudbase, by midday the thermals had firmed up and cloudbase had risen to 2400ft. At times, it proved difficult to get away from the winch, as the streets were just a little out of reach with a 15knot wind and there was some strong sink around, this produced a busy aerotow queue.
During the afternoon streets set up from coast to coast with higher cloudbases (3500ft QFE) to the south. Pete (230) completed the Club 100 Taunton - Yeovil, and others ran up and down the streets from Exmoor to Seaton enjoying long flights.
It was a good day for the club - in addition to the whole club fleet flying, there were 14 private gliders soaring, 3 trial lessons, 17 aerotows and the Skylaunch did 62 launches into a difficult cross wind, again without mishap or interruption. Many thanks to all who pitched in and contributed to making it a memorable day. Dare we hope for a few more in 2010 before winter closes in?

Saturday 11th September

The expected frontal rain cleared faster than forecast and it became soarable mid- morning. Cloudbase was at 2500ft and the wind was westerly 10 knots. Cheryl completed her red card checks with Mike Fitz. Rowan converted to the K6 and had 6 flights, Stu enjoyed soaring the LS3 and Pete(CFI) added a new type (LS3) to his list of 94 gliders. There were 3 trial lessons but rather quiet for club members.

Thursday 9th September

Today was forecast to be the best day of the week, and so it turned out to be - eventually. The day started with thick fog, slowly the cloudbase rose, high enough by mid morning to complete some launch failure training. Around midday the clouds opened into a soarable sky, with cloudbase up to 3000ft QFE. There were also large areas of sink around which made life difficult at times. The day came to an end with a glorious sunny evening.
Strangely none of the course members were on site today, so it turned out to be a normal Thursday Club day, there was one trial lesson.
Geoff's much loved SF27, which has not seen the outside of a trailer for several years, left the site for a new life in northern Germany. Hartmut, a glider pilot from near Bremen, arrived with his own open trailer, a very wise move, after an over-night 1000km drive, spent 24 hours around NHL and then returned home.
Roly has spent the last two days with Regional Examiner Adam to get his BI rating signed off.

Roly, being congratulating by Pete after the successful completion of his CFI acceptance checks.

Special from Saturday 4th September

Click here for a YouTube video giving some idea of the wave flights of last Saturday.
Or cut and paste

Sunday 5th September

K21(KEK)was at Bridwell Country Fair accompanied by Andrew, Ian, Lisa, Roly & Heather, Graham & Cheryl.

Meanwhile the K21 trailer was put to double-use as HCX with Simon M and JimBob on board landed out at the rifle range following an approach into the curlover of the strong easterly wind. Both K21s returned safely to the club.

Saturday 4th September

A K21 was derigged by Cheryl, Heather and Lisa who also thoroughly cleaned it ready to take to the Bridwell Country fair. The blokes lent a hand by watching and pointing out the bits they missed.
Late start due to low cloud and haze, launching from the West end of the field with a strong 15 kt cross wind. Weak front went through producing some rain at lunchtime.
The wind veered to SSW during the passage of the front and then backed to ESE during the afternoon. The front cleared quickly, some had already decided to leave and missed out on what became a fantastic wave and ridge evening. - wave to 2200ft in area of the south ridge / out to Broadhembury.

Two booked trial lessons, one flew, the other will revisit.

Henry, Rowan and JB, Roly and Cheryl, Ian and Heather, Lisa and Stuart all had extended flights. 1h 30m for JB and Rowan and an epic 3h 10m for Henry who both landed after the sun had set. The wind died suddenly leaving an eerie silence.

Glider pilots are an optimistic bunch of people ... today it paid off.

Thursday 2nd September

Fresh easterly, blue with a strong inversion at 1400ft initially, and later 2000ft but totally unsoarable. There were 9 on the 2-seater list and and 2 for the Junior today with 4 trial lessons booked - busy for a Thursday, Fortunately Peter, Paul and Lisa arrived to help out John & Pete. Ian H and Mark L enjoyed 4000ft tows for spin training with John, whilst everyone else got plenty of circuit practice.

Wednesday 1st September

You should have seen the satellite picture yesterday -cumulus streets all round the anticyclone locally south easterly.

Animated Satellite Image (GIF, 9 MB)

Today the wind was more easterly, cumulus formed in streets, and the sea air started to infringe from the north coast just after lunchtime. To the south a sort of sea breeze front set up but didn't seem particularly convincing or reliable. Local soaring was easy within 12 miles but beyond that it was either blue or behind the sea air. There were 3 trial lessons. Mike (DFK) landed out towards Exeter in the sea air. 

News from Fred - he's hoping to be home next week.