Tues 26th October - Juniors Expedition Long Mynd

We woke up early and hopeful for a good day of flying, and  after a quick breakfast we had the hangar unpacked by 10:00. This was followed by a quick briefing and we got ready to fly. First launches were practise launch failures for the Long Mynd pilots around 11:00 with the DSGC Juniors helping out on the ground for a couple of hours before a lunch break.

The Long Mynd launch point (Mike Sloggett)

 The low cloud continued over lunch and some of the Juniors headed down to Church Stretton to explore the antiques and charity shops, whilst the others enjoyed some model flying off the ridge.

Midland Gliding Club at The Long Mynd (Mike Sloggett)
 

Around mid-afternoon, flying kicked off again with the cloudbase increasing to an impressive 1000ft above the airfield. Josh Funnell and Dan Hender had long ridge flights in the Junior whilst Charlie Stuckey was unlucky and only managed a shorter flight due to “disappointing conditions”. Rob Hender was the first to fly in the DG and was followed by the rest of the Juniors flying with Mike, Mark and Simon and everyone had an exciting flight before we finished flying around 5:30 due to the low sun and dicey conditions. 

Hangar packing at MGC is always impressive  to DSGC visitors (Josh Batchelor)

  Overall, a frustrating morning was succeeded by an exciting and fun afternoon for everyone. - Charlie Broderick

Mon 25th Oct - Juniors Expedition Long Mynd

A clear start to the day at the Long Mynd and a reasonable wind on the ridge, led to all North Hill gliders being rigged and flown! 



 Josh Funnell took the first flight in the K6 staying up 25 minutes. Jack Raybould then had a short DG505 flight to covert to the K6 which he managed to do later in the afternoon (Well done!). Andy Davey (CLM) also had a long flight in his Libelle while trying to access some weak wave that seemed to be setting up 0.5mile into the valley. Mike Sloggett rigged his ASW20 (FUN) with the help of the juniors, and had a nice long soaring flight while also trying to access the wave. Harvey Skeggs and Simon Leeson had a brilliant flight of an hour in DG505, giving Harvey the chance to learn the local area. Up next in the JZK was Harry Rigby and Mark Courtney who achieved flight of 46minutes.

Ruth in K8 (Andrew Logan)

 Following this, Ruth Comer managed to fly the Long Mynd’s K8.  Well done!  While all this was happening, Dan Hender got a flight of 2 hours in the Junior, and Charlie Stuckey took the K6 for a ponder.  Josh Funnell then flew the Junior until the sun set, with a flight time of about an hour and a half.  Josh Batchelor took the last two DG505 flights with Mike Sloggett, picking up on some new ridge-soaring techniques. 

The Long Mynd (Mike Sloggett)

  
Thanks to all the MGC members and instructors for all their help and warm embrace.  It was a challenging day with the failure of the retrieve winch, and having to resort to a vehicle instead. A big thanks to all the DSGC instructors who have made this trip possible. - Dan Hender and Josh Batchelor 

Sun 24th October

 Despite the unflyable weather during the day at both North Hill and Long Mynd, at 7pm on Sunday five intrepid DSGC pilots took winch launches from North Hill for the evening’s Club Condor task.


 

The task was NH2 - Bampton - Taunton - Crewkerne - NH2, a total of 109 km, in club class gliders - four LS4as and a new DG101 getting its first outing. Conditions were pretty good - base was up to 4500 ft, but there were a number of challenging blue gaps to catch the unwary, as well as the Merryfield and Dunkeswell ATZs. Four pilots finished the task, but all slightly miscalculated the final glide and needed a climb at the finish to get to minimum height of 2000 ft QNH.


 

As always it was great to fly and chat with friends on the task on Discord - as well as explore the local cross-country area.


 

All are welcome to join - it’s a great way to keep flying when real world conditions don’t cooperate. Club events will be 7pm each Sunday and other times in the week subject to demand. - Stewart Henshall


Sat 23rd October

 Autumn has certainly arrived. It was chilly as the ground equipment and gliders were assembled. With the DG505 and a Junior away at the Long Mynd the hangar soon emptied. Numbers were light first thing, in fact instructors nearly outnumbered trainees. James Flory, Peter Smith and John Sillett filled in for Mark, then Glenn Turpin joined in too. A surprisingly high cloudbase and fairly calm conditions in the morning followed by cold, strong and gusty southerly winds in the afternoon.

The excitement of the day was Andy Broderick’s first solo,  following check flights with Peter Smith, many congratulations Andy.

Congratulations Andy Broderick with Peter Smith (James Hood)

Four members of the Hicks family arrived for their pre-booked trial lessons provided in the Perkoz by IFP's James Smart and Robert Lee. Tug duties were shared between Stu Procter, Robert Lee and James Flory. Unfortunately a combination of nerves and strong southerly winds meant only 2 of the trial lessons were completed.

The Hicks Family
 

Meanwhile Jill, Pete and Stewart Henshall continued with the upgrade of the simulator with an array of functions including undercarriage, flaps, trim and water selections. Landing gear up was demonstrated - not nearly as embarrassing in the simulator!

The K21 were kept busy and the flying list was soon exhausted. Last flight landed by 16:30 and the hangar was packed  by 17:00. 32 gliding flights. - James Smart

Sat 23rd Oct - Juniors Expedition Long Mynd

 The morning started with breakfast at 8am, and discussion immediately turned to how many times each member had used the facilities during the previous night, and how much the rest of the visitors had been disturbed!
The Juniors then had a ridge soaring briefing, lessons learned…. Charlie Stuckey can’t draw!

DSGC Juniors at Long Mynd (Mark Courtney)


We then joined the Mynd members for a briefing. The adults helped take the club gliders to the Launchpoint and the juniors rigged the DG505 and Junior (FZF) hopeful of some solo airtime later if the wind dropped.


Jack Raybould had check flights in the K13, which meant he could then fly the K6, while Simon Leeson and Mark Courtney started taking the youngsters new to the Long Mynd in the DG505, Harry Rigby, Harvey Skeggs and Josh Batchelor.


By 12pm Dan Hender was able to take the first launch in the Junior, followed by Josh Funnell and Charlie Stuckey. Launching continued through lunch, with members staggering their breaks to allow flying to continue.


Josh Batchelor and Charlie Broderick then both flew in the K13’s ready for the K6 later in the week. Charlie S then flew back seat with Simon in the DG.


With Ruth Comer, Dave Perriam, Mike Sloggett and Rob Hender getting in the air too a good day was had by all. Oscar helped on the airfield all afternoon retrieving and I even got my fix, by doing the logging for day! We finally packed away at 6pm, all needing to thaw out and ready for our evening meal. - Sally Hender

Thurs 21 October

 Following a long dry spell, there was a large amount of rain over the last few days  and particularly on Wednesday evening (42mm), 

 

North Hill Rainfall Totals

so detailed pitch inspections were needed to see how the new levelled grass areas had behaved. Peter Smith was pleasantly surprised to find that the new areas had drained really well, and in fact the only puddles on North Hill were in the middle of the airfield on the old grass. So it was decided to wait for the wind to drop a little and use the morning for other things and fly in the afternoon.

The DG505 and a Junior were derigged ready for the Juniors Club expedition to Long Mynd. In the simulator, following Pete's modification to improve the elevator control, the proof of concept for electronic trim and flaps was successful and the old K2 original stick trim was disconnected. 

Clear Devon air after the deluge (Jill Harmer)

 With lunches taken, flying started at  just past 14:00, the flying lists were long as nearly everyone had hung on. 3 two-seaters and a Junior were in constant use, and with the north west wind the ridge was working.

Soarable spot mid-afternoon (Mike Sloggett)

There was an empty launch point mid afternoon as an active cloud street set up over the winch.  Aston Key had the longest flight at 34 minutes. Very pleasant day, thanks all. - J&P

 

Sun 17th October

A foggy morning and a very low turnout was leading the Duty Instructor, James Flory, to consider cancelling operations for the day. But as a few more members trickled in and the sun started to come out, the small group agreed to get going and pulled out both K21s and a Junior and set up the winch to begin launching by 11:30. 

Visitor from Lasham (Graham Barden)

  Fortunately it was an experienced group on hand and there were only a few people wanting training. It was a hazy sky and thermal marker clouds were hard to come by, but Rowan still rigged his Libelle to achieve the longest flight of the day at 36 minutes. By the end of play, the 13 members agreed that they had made the most of what originally looked to be a lost cause. Good effort everyone. - Tom Sides

Sat 16th October

A foggy start in the South Hams for me but the drive to North Hill did go through a couple of bright clear patches, so I was hopeful that NH would be basking in sun surrounded by a sea of mist. It was not to be as passing Exeter the fog was more a raised layer of very grey cloud. - Sure enough it was thick at the club with a good number sitting, teas in hand in the clubhouse.
The Met Office update to the day was starting to slip the “full sun” symbols to late afternoon. Did we let this get us down? Of course not - James Flory to the whiteboard, a quick sniff of the marker pen and off he went into a launch failure briefing. Lamely I opted for cake…
A drive to the green campsite project taking shape in the triangle where, with Competition Enterprise 23 in mind, the vision of a quiet spot for camping is being quietly worked. Much hard work by Stirling-digger-Melhuish!

Creating an eco-camping area (John Pursey)

Driving back I sensed the sky westward looked brighter so to encourage the masses to stay I enlisted the young men (who had already rigged the K6 on my advice) to start unpacking the hanger. DIs in the mist gave way to DIs under  a still grey but rising cloud.
A tactical stop for an early lunch at 12 and by quarter past blue patches were floating by. And so we flew…
Putting James’ lecture to use, launch failure demos and practice for Andy Broderick and Stuart Thomson got the list going. The K6 went up round and slowly down with a succession of young faces and John Sillett took over from me with an afternoon of warm sunshine and gently buoyant skies.
Discussion round Eurofox tugs might be on the up, when in an unfortunate episode the Pawnee tail wheel fell off in front of the DG505 about to do an introductory flight! Leaf spring to the wheel failed, all safe and no harm done except to the tear in the turf. - John Pursey


Thurs 14th October

 At last,  a flyable Thursday as well as Wednesday this week, with North Hill popping out above the mist in the valleys, and it was glorious sunshine from early on. It had been a bit chilly overnight with very heavy dew on the grass, so we delayed getting the gliders out of the hangar so they could warm up a bit and not get covered in condensation.

Mist in the valleys (Mike Horwood)

 Then it was full steam ahead with the hangar emptied and white card conditions. Both Juniors were in demand and Mike Sloggett and Pete Harmer started working through the long training and checks list, and Wooly flew with the IFP's. 

 

Dramatic long shadows (Mark Layton)

Launches were high with extended circuits in the smooth, calm conditions, just before lunch time, some small cumulus started developing over the airfield, but there was no lift under them. Then  a little bit of over-development created a streety convergence, also not producing any lift. 

 Streety / Convergence building (Mark Layton)

But everyone seemed to enjoy the day, so thanks to all for the smooth running.- J&P



Sun 10th October

 On some recent Club days there has been no flying due to low cloudbase. As members assembled at the airfield under blue skies today it looked as if the cloudbase would not be a problem for the day’s flying. - However the wind had other ideas both in terms of the forecast and actual direction.

With a number of training flights needed and several Trial Lessons booked all four two-seaters and a Junior were brought out of the hangar whilst Simon Leeson as Duty Instructor assessed as to the likely best set up for the day. A drive to the West end by Simon to see if there was any benefit to launching from that end of the airfield resulted in an assessment that there would be none so the launch point was set up in the North East corner of the airfield.

But by the time the gliders had been towed across to the launch point the wind was being a tad devilish and had become more of a tailwind - so now it was a question of either waiting to see if the wind direction would improve or make a decision to change ends before the first launch of the day had even taken place. So we waited…


 

And then a weather check flight was completed which allowed a full height launch to be achieved, and with Simon using the direction to land towards the East end of the airfield and demonstrating how gliders do not always have to land in the same direction as take off.

With careful continuing consideration of the wind direction before launching Simon and Mike Sloggett started to work their way through the flying list - with quite a few inexperienced members involved, ground and flying briefings took time and with limited winch drivers available we were appreciative of Dan Hender winching and driving the cable retrieve all morning.


 
A quick lunch break for Simon and Mike was needed, but the arrival of Pete Warren and Chris Wool ensured flying continued through the lunchtime period which allowed members to make the most of the weather and available gliders. During the afternoon the flying list was completed with particular thanks due to Liam Vile and Tom Sides winching and retrieving all afternoon.

The day’s Trial Lessons were looked after by Robert Lee and James Smart. - Mike Sloggett