Saturday 14th October

The forecast was for overcast skies a light SW wind and a clearance by midday. On that note a small but dedicated team where at the club early to start getting things ready; first prize going to Dave Woodward who left home at around 06:00 to be at the club around 08:00, now that’s dedication to the cause! Having got all the ground kit out the gliders were then prized from the hanger, but with successive bands of orographic cloud forming off the SW corner of the field the focus changed to cleaning rather than flying. By around 10:30 cloud base was beginning to look flyable. After some discussion DI Stuart Procter agreed it was good to go so James Flory and David Woodward took the first launch to almost 1400 feet, although there were patches of orographic cloud all around the field. Stuart and James then worked through the training list with Peter Smith joining in to help around midday. Phil Grant and Alan Turner both had short flights in the junior, but ensured they stayed current.

We were joined around midday by a couple of instructors from Camphill who had flown down especially to look over R37 with the prospects of buying it; note that was a scheduled flight down into Exeter, rather than an extreme cross country in completely flat conditions! The forecast clearance didn’t appear a lunchtime, why were we all not surprised by that! With bands of cloud hampering fall launch heights, it did however offer a good opportunity for people to practice different circuit patterns and launch failures. By around 15:30 the winch was reporting cloud lowering again. With one last flight for one of the instructors from Camphill to fly the K13 all the kit was returned safely to the hanger. Sadly not an ideal day, but those who flew managed to get the opportunity to practice launch failures, fly in different conditions and most importantly stay current. Thanks to all those who helped but were unable to fly, your help was much appreciated.  Congratulations to Chris Woodward who gained his white card and was signed off checks by Stuart. Needless to say as we all sat having a chat and a last cup of tea at around 16:30 the forecast clearance finally appeared and we all left the club under clear blue skies, darn weather, but we flew and that’s what counts. - James Flory