Wed 29th June

 The low cloud over the airfield ensured a slow start to the day, and whilst waiting for the cloudbase to ascend Chris Warnes and myself took advantage of gaining some valuable simulator training time. 

An elite quorum of usual suspects turned up (eventually) after deciding that the optimistic RASP forecast may be close to reality. As the sky began to look more inviting two gliders were deftly liberated from the hangar and once the ground equipment was established Dave Perriam took the first launch in FZF and radioed the news that cloudbase was at a heady 1,450 feet. 

Longest flight (Mike Wilmott)

Another 6 flights launched punctuated by lunch (and a coincidental shower) when CJW gave a couple of us an XCsoar tutorial. I'm pretty sure that, soon, most pilots will have this excellent (and free) app to aid their flying experience, and if you need practice with using XCSoar in flight then it is available in the DSGC Simulator.

XCSoar (Mike Willmott)

I was pleased to achieve the longest flight of the day (33m) a lot of it spent just under cloudbase and even squeezed in some aerobatics  to entertain the crowd. Just as one of the heavy showers hit, it was decided pertinent to get gliders and equipment hangared,   so 14:20 saw the last launch of the day.  Sadly the weather was to curtail any evening flying. - Mike Willmott

W7 in Barcelonnette - June 2022

 Arrived here a couple of weeks ago, to the usual greeting of "you should have been here last week when conditions were perfect!".

I spent the first flight getting back into the mountains, with winds which were upsetting my usually reliable ridges , but once I got my head around it all, I managed to visit the Glacier Blanc. 

Glacier Blanc close up (Wyn Davies)

 The second day brought rain and no flying.

My second flight was fun, visiting the Glacier from wave which took me up to FL185. This time the local ridges were all upset by wave interference and thermals were rough and ragged. Once into wave and viewing the Alps from on high I settled for sightseeing, and a return to the local area, whilst the pundits visited Mount Blanc.

Wave over the Alps (Wyn Davies)

Decided to visit family in Lyon while some very severe weather brought cloudbursts and flooding.

Then clear skies gave a great day for visiting the mountains north of Brianson and thermal streets which developed allowing a high soaring dash south to the Lac St Croix.

Lac St Croix on a thermic day (Wyn Davies)

 With changeable weather we've spent time climbing the Morgan on foot rather than gliding, and the local pundits are declaring that tomorrow will be epic for gliding. Was it ever thus? - Wyn Davies W7

Thur 23rd June

A slightly indifferent forecast which included potential thunderstorms  and torrential downpours and not so much of the 'hot blue', but with an instructor team of Pete Harmer, Peter Smith, Chris Wool and Mike Sloggett leading the way to the West end of the airfield, 15 or so members  got operations going just after 10:00a.m.

Skylaunch  (Mike Horwood)

 Early in the day Karen King was put through her paces by Chris by encountering, on the downwind leg, ‘imaginary sink’ requiring a landing across the field and coming to a stop slightly inside the club’s non-official conservation area.   Mike Horwood revalidated his Red card rating and then enjoyed a K21 solo  achieving longest flight of the day 33 mins. John Borland also enjoyed several walks from East to West before converting to the Perkoz. 


John Borland converts to Perkoz (Karen King)

Training and solo flights continued in the benign light and variable tending to southerly crosswind.

The line of rain stayed beyond the South coast until finally fizzling out, so another good day  - but you had to be at North Hill - 32 winch launches - Karen King & J&P

Wed 22nd June

 It was blue but good for local soaring,  with John Sillett, Glenn Turpin and Pete Warren instructing  and Chris Warnes looking after the Trial lesson visitor, and Pete Startup 230 as ever tiptoed off for a (slow by his standards) 300kms.

Blue skies (Mike Sloggett)

 NH2 - Calne - NH2 - Molton - NH2

"Bluer than a blue thing painted blue in Devon and Somerset today, until late pm when a few Cu appeared. Tiptoed out of Devon as far as the Mendips where a few whispies started to appear then a steady plod around the task. Should have changed gear for the middle 150km............................... "  Pete Startup 230

Following the master's lead Stewart Henshall HMS completed 107kms  turning Bridgwater and Tiverton East, and Geoff Lawrence in HES also enjoyed local soaring to Wellington Monument and Culmstock.

"Blue day, limited hopes and no XC endorsement, hence resorting to an own TP. Struggled to get away but above 2000’ some of the thermals were a lot better than expected, others less so…" Geoff Lawrence HES. 

Many others had long local flights. - J&P

Flying until sunset (Mike Sloggett)

A dozen or so members gathered  from around 5 p.m. for a sunshine filled evening of flying.  Although there were very few thermic flights, a fabulous evening was had by all.James Flory and Mike Sloggett (back from honeymoon) kindly instructed and after a good number of K21 (dual seater), and Junior (single seater) flights  continued until dusk.

A good day ( Mike Sloggett)

  A total day of 61 winch launches and 4 aerotows . - Karen King

Tue 21st June - Camphill

Vintage Rally Day 4

Camphill - Alton Towers - Chatsworth - Camphill
Set off with high hopes, in company of Mr. Pursey, which were soon to be dashed when we flew into stagnant air from the Liverpool gap. Wasted 700 ft optimistically searching around the inside of a massive quarry before abandoning the first turn-point and tiptoeing back to a hot looking rock face adjacent to a landable field, both of which were obliged to work! Trouble was, nobody told the rock face. so we scrabbled around for 20mins at about 800ft until the rock face got the message and provided the required thermal! 

Chatsworth House (JB)

A visit to Chatsworth on the way home, because it would have been rude not to call in on the Duke of Devonshire as we were passing. 

Many thanks to all our friends at Camphill for organising an excellent rally. - JB

Mon 20 June - Camphill

Vintage Rally Day 3 - A much more encouraging start weatherwise and an upbeat briefing including a task. A modest 80k, down to Carsington Water then back up to Howden Dam and home.

A Slingsby affair (John Pursey)

With 6 Capstans all now rigged, along with the club T21 and our Eagle it was quite a Slingsby affair.
AXJ went off with Alan R in the rear gunner seat and me at the helm. Plan was to have an hour or two then land and do the task with JB. 

Launch the Eagle (John Pursey)

 Plan changed when JB chose to have lunch rather than get jammed in an Eagle. So Alan had to endure 5 hr 26m and a trip round the task in an effort to get the plonk prize! Tricky thermals but was a great day out. 

TP1 (John Pursey)

Plonk won but Alan may not be able to walk for a while…
Next day looking good.  - John Pursey

Sat 18 / Sun 19 June - Camphill

 After a completely wiped out weekend for flying at North Hill due to a combination of rain / low cloud / wind, it was good to get a flying report from upcountry......

Camp Hill report

Team Eagle with AXJ travelled on the hottest day of the year to miss a ridge soaring afternoon by an hour or two. “You should have been here earlier, ridge was going like a train” is what I was greeted with after a speedy, sweaty rig. Bother I thought!

A rather indifferent Saturday but some vintage soaring for some with nearly an hour by a K18. Team Eagle went walking…

Launch the Eagle (John Pursey)

Sunday, with a sunny start and after an upbeat brief and a task being set, the clouds didn’t read the script and filled in for a while. By the time AXJ got on the line the ridge was just doing enough to allow weak thermals to keep people up. Dodging the paragliders JB, kept AXJ up with me for nearly an hour.

John Pursey and Phil Morrison (John Pursey)

  With a bottle of plonk as a daily prize the gloves were off. The sky was fairly grey but there was enough contrast to give away the better bits. A flight with Alan R and then a cable break with Phil killed enough time for the sky to clear to proper cumulus allowing climbs to nearly 5000ft !

Great sunset at Camphill (John Pursey)

A fabulous end to the day and a great sunset. Fingers crossed for tomorrow. - John Pursey and Team Eagle

Thur 16th June

The forecast for soaring weather at North Hill wasn't great for Thursday,  but an exclusive (small) number of Thursday regulars turned up and with the wind being mainly light and variable, we opted for the easy option and set up the launch point at the eastern end. 


Hazy cloud tempered the heat (Jill Harmer)

Peter Smith, Pete Harmer and Chris Wool worked their way through the two-seater training list with mainly circuits and eventuality flights. The Junior managed to get the longest flights of the day 12 minutes for John Borland and 11 minutes for Pete Harmer and Peter Smith, Robert Lee looked after the Trial lesson visitors, and Barbie Fairclough and Robert Lee shared the tugging.

Andy Pincombe converted to Perkoz and then Junior (Jill Harmer)

 Well done to Andy Pincombe for completing his spin checks and converting to Perkoz and Junior. Well done to Stewart Henshall  for converting to DG505. 20 winch launches and 4 aerotows - J&P

Wed 15th June

 It was a busy day 40+ launches with mainly local soaring of club and private gliders,  and a great media plug from ITV News West Country weather

ITV News  West country weather at DSGC (Mark Layton)

 And at 17:00, a small but enthusiastic bunch turned up based on the prospects of a nice summer evenings flying. 

Lisa Humphries was first off  with a couple of launch failures with James Flory before flying solo for the first time in a few months. Connor Williams was next off with a solo in the K21 followed by his first solo flight in the Junior, -well done Connor. 

Connor converts to the Junior (James Flory)

 The next on the list was Andy Pincombe a returning glider pilot and former instructor, who after a few eventualities  with James also went off solo. 

Meanwhile Rowan Smith flew with Dawson Panter-Wray and Stuart Thomson, and the other solo pilots all  enjoyed flights in the Junior and 21. Special thanks to Stewart Henshall for winching for most of the evening. Overall a lovely and very productive evening and another 20 launches! - James Flory

Tues 14th June - Ad-hoc day

 Yesterday's ad-hoc day was scrubbed but Tuesday looked on with RASP showing some hopeful stars. 230, DD3, CLM,  JB, KMV and HMS lined up for aerotows - Thanks to Barbie Fairclough for tugging.

The grid (Rowan Smith)


"RASP said yes! Pete Startup set the group task which was the 300km to Wantage out and return. With a cloud-base of 2500 it didn't feel like a 300K day but I'd taken the day off and all my gliding chums were game so I threw caution into the wind and went for it.

Glastonbury being set up (Rowan Smith)

The Somerset levels were consistent in proving to be challenging but I managed to get over them without any low points. Flew over the Glastonbury Festival site that is getting setup for next week. Normally the high ground, going East, after the level is much better. Instead it was blue and low. It was hard going around the task and the thermals challenging to find and inconsistent. After turning Wantage, coming back was even harder than going. I knew it was going to be challenging getting home over the Levels so before I left the high ground I got as high as I could before setting off. I felt I was doing everything right, and was confident I'd get home. Then after Bridgewater the options for home started to look a bit dire. I pushed on but found nothing and before it was too late I backtracked and landed at Westonzoyland fixed and flexy wing airfield.

They were very pleasant and apparently I was the first glider to land there to the members' knowledge. Ian Mitchell kindly can with the Pawnee and after a 20 minute tow I was back at the club. Overall a hard but adventurous day, worthy of a day off." - Rowan Smith CLM


"Quick couple of hours in the LS, before lunch with the wife -great being on holiday" - Stuart Procter KMV

"Another "I got round - eventually" flight. Found it all quite scrappy really with a mix of unreliable Cu and some blue, and while I never had any real low points, it never felt that high either! Nice to be able to cross the Somerset Levels for a change." - Pete Startup 230

"Egged on by Nick we declared a somewhat ambitious 500k o/r to Grafham Water. Unfortunately the weather or piloting skill did not come up to expectations and after a quick calculation 60k short of Grafham said we would get back to North Hill at 8.00pm! We abandoned and flew home more in hope than expectation eventually making it in the late evening blue. Not sure either of our bones are that enamoured of 6.75 hours in a glider these days :-)" Phil Morrison DD3

 "A conversation at North Hill, late 2021: Pete S: “I would love you to do a 300 in that”. Me: “Give me the day, and I will do it Pete”. And so it turned out, but this was not quite the day I had in mind! After I landed I was just a melted, dripping pool of a pilot in the seat - I have never been so tired after any flight of any kind. The day was full of challenges. Firstly getting across the Somerset Levels, which nearly didn’t happen - endless scratching under ‘yesterday’s clouds’ for sub 1 kt climbs. Then an almost entirely blue sky across most of Wiltshire and Oxfordshire, thermals that had to be constantly worked to stay in, let alone centre, lines of horrendous sink, and another nerve-wracking transit of the Levels to get home. The club pundits all agreed it was a tricky day. No disagreement here! Very, very glad to have this one done..! Diamond goal ticked off.

Some food for thought: Yes, I do have an aviation background, but there is no way that I would have reached this level of performance with so little actual gliding time without flying and racing in Condor over the last couple of years. This is just my opinion of course, but perhaps the evidence speaks for itself."-  Stewart Henshall HMS

Stewart and Pete discussing the task (Rowan Smith)

Well done to Stewart Henshall for completing Gold Distance and Diamond Goal NH2 - WAN -NH2 306kms