Fri 7th September - Course Week

With some poor weather preventing flying on previous days of the September Course week, it was no surprise that with a good forecast for the last day of the week Course members, Instructors and Helpers were getting gliders out of the hangar soon after 8:30 this morning. With the Course helpers having already got all the ground equipment ready one could sense a steely determination all round that everyone was going to make the most of the evident good weather.
September Course (Mike Sloggett)
And after the first winch launch getting in to the air around 9:30 it was then non-stop flying until lunch.
Early morning sky with a balloon visitor (Emma Kendall)
Lovely Devon sky (Mike Sloggett)
Richard Copus and Rob Rankin both used their morning flights to build further on their flights from earlier in the week and meanwhile Andrew Darke was being put through his paces before eventually completing his first solo in a glider to add to his very extensive private and commercial flying experience including as First Officer on Concorde for a number of years, Well Done to Andrew.
North Hill (Mike Sloggett)
By mid-morning, the sky had become quite thermic albeit as ever it was a tad tricky to get away from the winch launch - however as the morning progressed then so did the consistency of the thermals just off the ridge and the flights became longer and longer.

Just after midday Andy Davey launched in a Junior (LRD) and then spent the next five hours airborne landing just after 5, having made the most of the thermals until they “died” shortly before he landed, Well Done to Andy on his Silver Duration. 
Congratulations to Andy Davey after his 5 hour flight (Mike Sloggett)
During the afternoon, Emma Kendall continued to make progress with her pre-solo training in general and particularly how to spot and use thermals (after all that practice in the simulator yesterday).

The second of our experienced Pilots, Doug Gage was also put through his paces re-soloing at North Hill, to add to his previous gliding solos and his previous commercial flying experience, Well Done to Doug.
Peter Field congratulates Andrew Darke and Doug Gage (Mike Sloggett)
The final training flight of the week for Rob  Rankin was anticipated to be simply an opportunity for Rob to demonstrate his ability to plan a circuit but instead Rob decided he would show how to ‘sniff out and climb in’ a thermal not marked by any clouds so Rob goes back to Hong Kong with that skill nicely established.

And then almost as soon as the day had started it was time to put the gliders away for the week. A really good day to end a week where patience was needed on the poor weather days but where today proved that all good things come to those who wait!

As ever a big thank you from the Course members and Instructors to the various Club members who helped and supported the flying during the week - Richard Harris and Allan Mounce for their 5 day stints and William Pope, Graham Barden, Ian Hunt, Jill Harmer and Tim Petty. - Mike Sloggett