Mon 26th October - Club Flying Week

Waited for showers to pass and cloudbase to rise, first flight wasn’t until 11:20!

Launch queue (Mike Sloggett)

 Ashley Thomas and Peter Smith took the first launch of the day with only eleven flights before lunch, but most were more than 30 mins. We then stopped for lunch at 12:30, restarted at 13:40 but second flight was a cable break which delayed flying a lot. Then third was a cable break too!

CFI Stu Procter - nice face covering

More success with later launches - longest flight was Pete Startup with over 3 hours followed by Josh Funnell in DRE with 73 mins.
Peter Smith took up his grandson Roan Wells for family and friends flights.  - Dan Hender



Sun 25th October

Glider pilots are continually optimistic about being able to fly, even against a background of weather forecasts suggesting that a drive to the airfield will not be rewarded by any time in the air. And today was the latest example of such a day - brisk winds, hail, thunder and lightning, rain were all featuring in the forecasts, wherever one looked.

Moody sky with Dave Weeks (Simon Leeson)

Arriving at the airfield the wind strength was less than forecast and there were evident showers on the horizon and around the airfield - but with rain radar suggesting some potential flying gaps there were enough keen members to get gliders out of the hangar and to set up the winch run for a newly designed airfield layout anticipated to provide higher launches with the Westerly wind.

New grass is growing well (Simon Leeson)

As a K21, the Perkoz and both Juniors were taken across to the launchpoint the showers arrived so it was a question of suitable patience before the first launch was underway - and with 1900’ launch height reported back from the Junior pilot at the top of the first launch there was likely to be no need for the Pawnee.

With limited training flights needed various Instructors and solo pilots took advantage of the conditions to maintain currency and with continuing very good launch heights being achieved flights were regularly reaching double figure minutes of duration.

Storms in the distance (Simon Leeson)

 The wind freshened as the morning progressed which ensured pilots’ focus on circuit planning, approach and landing but the day was providing continuing opportunities to demonstrate handling skills and planning to land in a designated part of the airfield (new grass area).

After a short lunch break it was on with more flying but with the skies changing to one of thermic potential the afternoon saw a number of long flights with some gliders needing to ‘airbrake down’ to allow others to fly. The Junior members also rigged K6 (DRE) and Charlie Stuckey enjoyed a couple of flights in it.

Charlie in K6 (Simon Leeson)

 Late afternoon with a steadily greying sky, and with a shortened afternoon following the hour going back last night, with everyone who wanted to fly having done so, it was time to put the gliders and ground equipment away - as we did so the rain, which had threatened us all afternoon, arrived!

End of the day (Mark Courtney)

 Thank you to everyone who helped others get into the air on what was thought might well be a non-flying day - optimism rewarded! - Mike Sloggett

Condor Racing

For the regular Sunday evening slot, it was a trip to the seaside, aerotow to 4000ft and glide to the cliffs on the South coast, after a familiarisation leg, the race with 3 laps started. 

 

Stewart playing catchup (Condor)

Chris Warnes and David Clements led the way, followed by Geoff Lawrence and Rob Rand and late-starter Stewart Henshall going for a fast time.

 

Crossing the low bit at Sidmouth(Condor)

All completed the task with great speeds - Stewart just pipped Chris and David with 158kph and then it was the patient careful climbs to get enough height to get back. David tested out the Farway Common landing option but there were just enough thermals inland on the way back. 

 

Thermals to get back (Condor)

The Condor scenery and soaring conditions are just so realistic. Andy Williams and J&P were watching Stewart's live stream. - Great fun and new experiences, come and join us. - J&P

Thur 22nd October

 After 30mm of rain on Wednesday, the field and the new grass areas had drained remarkably well, but the moisture and orographic cloud lingered all morning.  The gliders were lined up ready after lunch with signs of the clearance appearing.

All lined up ready to go (Mike Sloggett)

 With 3 two-seaters and 2 Juniors available, George Sanderson organised the  flying list efficiently, first up was Ashley Thomas for a check flight and solo at just after 14:30. 

Moody sky (Mark Layton)

 The very low cloud disappeared and another cloud sheet was above launch height, with cycling of bright sunshine almost every half hour. The light  wind was straight down the field, but the ridge was only sort of working, three flights shared the prize for longest - 12mins. 

Last flight (Mike Sloggett)

Late afternoon the cloud sheet thickened threatening drizzle, but last flight was completed at 17:00 with everyone flown. A very pleasant afternoon 19 flights in total - Thanks everyone - J&P



 

Sun 18th October

 A murky start saw limited numbers turn up for the day. The airfield was set up with the LPV at the west end with Mike Sloggett taking the instructors duty. 

Murky start (Mike Sloggett)

 Most flights were circuits of 9 mins and less, with the challenge on between the FZF pilots competing for the longest flight (unsuccessfully)!

Not much sun around (Mike Sloggett)

 
We all stopped for lunch due to the limited numbers, but resumed promptly in the afternoon with Ian Mitchell taking over as duty instructor, circuits remained the norm for the rest of the day, and all was packed away by 5pm. - Sally Hender

Condor Racing

The evening task devised by Stewart Henshall  of 106Kms was Hembury Hill - Bovey Tracey - Buckfastleigh - Plymouth East - Ivybridge - landing at Halwell.  The preparation and homework was completed with a thorough briefing. With no PDAs allowed and all the airspace in penalty zones and high cloudbases, it was a good navigation exercise including radio calls to "Exeter radar". Chris Warnes was asked to lead off, and Dan Hender and Matt Howard had delayed starts, whilst Geoff Lawrence, John Davis, Rob Rand were shepherded by Stewart.

Great views over Dartmoor (Condor)

Dan benefited from the thermals being marked ahead  and won the task at 106kph. Matt got the prize for the best radio calls.  Great fun - come and join in,  to fly, listen to the banter or watch the live stream - J&P

Sat 17th October

 After the trauma of Justin Leigh’s last BBC Spotlight performance, my memory of what David Braine had to say about the weather was sparse - aside it sounded like flyable but little else.
A good turnout at the club despite the low cloud and an easterly and with DLM George’s help the field was set up. Using a point near the west end aerotow point for winch launching gave a long run down to the winch which was quickly moved as far East as possible after the 4th launch confirmed no Northerly component to the wind. With the tug running parallel to & just south of the winch cables, a fairly compact centre of operations was in action with a steady stream of launches.
Simon Leeson in the DG505 with Mark Courtney braved the backseat after a long absence and with a long tow and explore confirmed what we all thought...it wasn’t a great soaring day!

I saw Ashley Thomas off for a few more solos and Kevin Smith demonstrated that a back catalogue of flying helicopters just needs a few more tricks to work the unpowered cousins. A busy morning with lots to thank aside George, with Karen King running the launch vehicle and James Flory testing his nerves with simulated launch failures on a few. Handing on to Pete Smith for the afternoon, I was pleased to see action until late as I laboured on the rear end of Eagle AXJ’s trailer - a job nearing completion so hopefully she can soon be parked back out of the way! - John Pursey

Mark Courtney and Stuart Procter in DG505 (Stuart Procter)

Lots of people and activity at the west end when I arrived for the pm duty, but not much by way of lift apparent! I flew with Andrew Broderick and Karen. Both had good extended flights with some soaring under grey skies and had useful stick time and circuit practise. Meanwhile the Juniors (as in gliders and also some pilots) were lapping regularly with all present enjoying the increasingly benign conditions. Mike and Barbie Fairclough enjoyed a couple of DG505 flights - setting the longest flight at 27mins followed by Karen with 21mins, both under the same patch of murk! Late in the afternoon all were flown home and put safely to bed by 17:30.

 

Grass seed just coming through in North west area (Peter Smith)

 In the brief spells of sunshine the field was looking superb, thanks to Ian Hunt and Paul Medlock for mowing it all during the week. And the seed is coming to life in the recently cultivated north western area.
49 glider flights in total. - Peter Smith

Thur 15th October

A fresh cold northeasterly wind in a blue sky with some cloud at 1000ft greeted the Thursday Regulars. With 5 Instructors available, several solo pilots spotted the opportunity to get some delayed card checks completed.  

There were some very broken tiny thermals that extended some circuits and with the wind dropping somewhat, more solo pilots were able to fly the Junior.

Gordon Hutchinson converts to DG505 (Mike Sloggett)

Ron Johns checked out Gordon Hutchinson for converting to the DG505, followed by Chris Wool doing the same with Andy Williams and bagging the longest flight of the day of 15 mins - well done to both.

Andy Williams converts to DG505 (Mike Sloggett)

 Thanks to everyone for a very pleasant day with 28 winch launches. - J&P

Wed 14th October

 The day started with low cloud and poor visibility and a strong northeasterly wind gusting to over 20 knots, the good news was the wind was right down the field, so after a quick visit to the southwest corner we decided to give it a go.
John Sillett and John Street took a weather check flight - the conditions were certainly  character building.

Cold and gusty (John Street)
 

We decided to limit the flights to two flights each,  most were fairly short considering the very high launches we were getting because of large areas of sink, the highest launch recorded was 1,900ft.

Who had the longest flight? (John Street)

By midday, the wind had slackened a shade and thermal climbs to cloud base were possible for the lucky ones, if the wind hadn't been so strong it would have been a very good soaring day. By the afternoon, with the wind cooperating,  yellow card pilots were able to fly solo if they wanted to.  - John Street

Sun 11th October

A bright forecast and sunny skies encouraged a good turnout at the Club today with the flying list pretty full before 9am.

A K21, Junior and DG505 were taken out of the hangar, but with the K21 unserviceable due to an airbrake problem the K21s were ‘swapped over’ - with the launch point set up in the ‘old’ South East corner of the airfield it was just a short walk with the gliders and flying was soon under way.

The continuing crosswind limited launch heights to no more than 1000ft for most flights, but as the sky improved then there were opportunities to ‘get away’ if one launched at just the right time - unfortunately for most pilots the timing was not quite right so circuits rather than soaring flights were the general outcome.

Good visibility at North Hill (Mike Sloggett)

 As the morning progressed then the Perkoz was brought out of the hangar enabling the flying list to be worked through suitably with three training gliders in use alongside the Junior.

Private owners Pete Startup (Discus 230), Eric Alston (ASG29 G29) and Tom Sides (DG100 DG1) all gave their gliders an airing during the morning.

With enough ground helpers and instructors, training flights and solo flying continued through lunchtime and on into the afternoon - during the afternoon Mike Fairclough enjoyed a couple of flights in Pik (DFK).

Both Falkes enjoyed some local flying during the day. By late afternoon the flying list was completed and the hangar repacked.

Thank you to all who helped others to get into the air today - a particular thank you to Simon Jordy who, with no takers for aerotows, swapped the Pawnee for the Gator and spending much of the day retrieving gliders to the launch point. - Mike Sloggett

 Condor Racing

The regular Sunday evening slot, is increasingly popular with 8 pilots and a couple of onlookers. Tonight's task was a mainly navigation exercise devised by Stewart Henshall, it was a 4-turnpoint zigzag course to Eyres Field with no PDAs allowed. NH2 - YEO - BDP -CER - WEY -BVT 127Km in Club Class Cirrus or LS4.

Turning Cerne Abbas (Stewart Henshall)

There were a few technical glitches prior to the start, but  3 pilots continued on the task in 'stealth mode'. The other 5 enjoyed the race with commentaries of position updates from the hidden gliders. 

Portland Harbour (Stewart Henshall)

 Dan Hender managed his height and speed well to win the task at exactly 100kph, with Matt Howard, Stewart Henshall, Chris Warnes and David Clements (stealth mode) just a few kph slower. Geoff Lawrence and Rob Rand were pleased to get something out of the race after their initial technical problems and John Davis completed his navigation exercise well. 

Condor Racing (Stewart Henshall)

 If you would like to join in -either racing or spectating in Condor, watching a live stream in Discord or just listening in to the friendly banter - you will be most welcome. Alpine races generally take place on Tuesday or Friday late afternoon, join the What's App DSGC Condor Racing group to find out more. - J&P

Sat 10th October

A keen group of members arrived and at 09:00 with the help of John Sillett (who kindly gave a hand to James Flory) a Junior, two K21s and the DG505 were taken out and DI'd. James Flory took the first flight in a Junior followed by Dave Perriam solo in a K21 and Charlie Stuckey and John Sillett undertook two simulated launch failures in the DG, to recheck Charlie as Solo in the DG505.

Charlie Stuckey back solo in DG505
 Charlie Broderick and Alan Turner continued with solo flying in a K21 and the Junior, while Andrew Broderick and Jacob Brook continued their training with John Sillett and John Pursey. Hans Jenssen and Ashley Thomas undertook check flights and in the afternoon Rowan Smith, Pete Harmer and Stuart Proctor continued to help with the instructing. 

Dan and Stu soaring over North Hill (Andrew Broderick)
 Lisa Humphries and Ruth Comer enjoyed some late afternoon solo soaring flights in a K21. Both the K21s and DG505 were kept busy with training and solo flights all day, along wirh a good show of private gliders including Simon Minson SM, Andy Williams FUN, Eric Alston G29, Wyn Davies W7 and Andrew Logan FMS. 

Great to see Ruth Comer flying solo again (Lisa Humphries)
 Overall, a good autumn day with some good soaring and at times challenging conditions. Thanks to everyone who kept the day running smoothly. - Charlie Stuckey

Thur 8th October

 The clearance of the  frontal cloud from the overnight rain eventually arrived mid-morning, but it wasn't til after lunch that the base was really high enough. The morning was spent on various jobs involving big hammers, and the simulator was set up to work with a PDA. 

Murky weather (Mike Horwood)

First launch to check the weather was at 15:00 with Chris Wool and Peter Smith, and the ridge was working and this proved the longest flight at 24mins. Through the afternoon there was an ever-changing cloudscape and the northwesterly wind reduced, so there was more reliance on some weak thermals. 

North Hill - Brighter at times (Mike Horwood)

Last flight of the day was CFI Stu who just got caught in a line of some rain,  before putting all the kit away at 17:15.

Stu Procter and John Borland (John Borland)

So 13 flights in all to make the most of  a quiet day for all those who stayed to fly. - J&P