Sunday 27th December

First we had to clear the sheet ice from in front of the hangars!
The day started with squally showers with the attendant very gusty winds but around 13:00 a slight change in wind direction to 280/15 saw the worst of the showers passing down the South side of the field.
We were left in good clear air with plenty of ridge lift and weak wave in places to about 2,500', wind at flying heights being 30kts+.
Out playing were Pete in Discus 230,Martin W in Ventus G-KCHG,a couple in the Junior and some 2 seater work with Si Minson and John Street back seating.
JB flew with his son who enjoyed the flying very much.
Streety had eaten enough carrots over Xmas to be able to land in the dark - well,almost!
Many thanks to those who brought up their Xmas leftover biccies and buns for snacks.

Boxing Day Saturday 26th December

A glorious sunny day with a gentle south westerly wind - unfortunately the overnight rain had frozen to cover most of the field and all the hardstandings with sheet ice. Gradually the sun had some effect in melting the southern facing surfaces but not enough to enable the winch, tug or gliders out! The SuperFalke with Stu flew a few trips 'round the bay'. Seven of us sat down to a 'Christmas leftovers bring and share' buffet.

Wednesday 23rd December

A few stalwarts struggled through the road conditions to get to the Club.
Mike Fitz,John Street and John Sillett wandered round the field looking at the sky and Mikes barely twitching hankie,then just as they decided to do a few small jobs around the place while waiting for any improvement, the Heavens opened and it rained,sleeted and snowed.
The rapid thaw combined with the significant rain saw water running off the field in rivers!
Never mind, H's bacon butties were as good as ever - DON'T FORGET - H is not back until the 2nd Jan 2010, so any body flying twixt Xmas and New Year will have to take butties and tea making kit.

Photo is of the first 2 glders to make use of the new glider workshop,ASK21 KEK and Petes Discus 230.
Merry Xmas and a stonkingly soarable 2010.

Sunday 20th December

After a night of rain/snow/frost the surface of the airfield was similar to an ice rink, a cold, unstable westnorthwesterly at 5knots gave a couple of soaring flights amongst the nice smooth circuits.

Rowan, Will and Heather are all making good progress, Henry completed his bronze after cable brakes with JB.

Very good day in the cold, but be careful where you stand when it's icy!

Saturday 19th December

A bright cold flyable day, reports of premature end in the middle of the afternoon with a little trough line.

Thursday 17th December

What a glorious day - perhaps a liile cold and blustery, but with only 4 stalwarts we never reached critical mass to operate!

Wednesday 16th December

A promising start with 2 winch launches but then fog / low cloud engulfed the airfield for the rest of the day. The afternoon was spent in the classroom discussing safe winch launcing.

Thursday 10th December

The air was much drier today so the fog cleared earlier to a glorious calm sunny day. Aerotows only again, the tug was refuelled at lunchtime - this is a first for a Thursday! High cloud covered the sun mid-afternoon and with a dramatic cooling the canopies instantly misted up. Pete & JB enjoyed spinning the K13 in as many different ways as possible. The Glider workshop is finished and the benches are being moved back in ready for K21 ARC inspection next week. Well done to all the workers ably led by Peter the Chair.

Wednesday 9th December

The day started with fog in the Exe valley and unfortunately it crept up the ridge to engulf the site until lunchtime. Misting canopies restricted us to 4 aerotows in the short afternoon (the ground is still too wet to winch but the price of aerotows are reduced).

Sunday 6th December

Very heavy rain over night meant a waterlogged field so no winching took place. Instead our lovely Treasurer, Pete C, agreed to cheaper aerotows!
The Pawnee was flown by Robert and Peter W. The blustery south westerly wind made the aerotows very challenging for both glider and tug.

Henry has completing his final bronze flights with Simon L. Martin W and Peter W completed their 3-year instructor standardisation checks. Well done everyone.
Simon M and Jimbob took a 4000ft aerotow and did a good show, including loops, rolls and flying inverted above the airfield! Great fun!!!!

The gliders were cleaned and put to bed ready for the next session.

Saturday 5th December

The waterlogged airfield prohibited the use of the cable retrieve vehicle, so there was no winching. But the Pawnee was put to good use, before the rain set in just before lunch. Two Trial Lessons and several members enjoyed the turbulence over the far end of the field, on the climb out, in the blustery south westerly wind.
The afternoon was then spent in the Clubhouse talking through the BGA safe winch launching briefing.

After an excellent evening meal from 'H' for 25 or so members, the Club gathered for the AGM. At least three quarters of the membership attended to hear that the Club had a healthy fleet, infrastructure and bank account but was suffering from an alarming drop in numbers. Something to think about for the new Committee, which has a change of Chairman, Secretary, CFI and several new members elected.
Annual trophies were presented to the usual culprits. The President invited the retiring Chairman to join him at the 'top table' as Vice President. Mike Fitz was thanked by the massed ranks for his generous and dedicated work for the Club, having completed 50 years instructing with us. He was presented with a gift from the members and a framed 'Matt' cartoon.

News form Kenya

Keen to make the most of a business trip to Kenya, for a one person flying expedition, Jonathan Stoneman googled the one and only club there - the Rift Valley Gliding Club (membership - 7). About 100 miles NNE of Nairobi, near Lake Elementeita, the airfield sits 6100' amsl.
Being pre-solo, Jonathan was delighted to find an instructor from Lasham on a visit. He was taken to the airfield by private plane - a 35' flight over a couple of extinct volcanoes. The club has a nice collection of planes - a DG400, A Cirrus, a K13, and a couple more privately owned ones. There's no winch, but a tug flown by a Lufthansa pilot was taking people up on his day off - these were short launches, with someone pulling the bung more or less as soon as a reasonable thermal was encountered. Thermals were springing up all over the ground, and could be easily spotted by the little dust spouts they set off as they lifted off. And instead of buzzards guiding the pilots into the thermals, the bird to look out for turned out to be a vulture.
The other major difference from North Hill was the need to beware of zebras rather than sheep on landing. And imphala. They are wont to cross the runway without warning. Warthogs are a no-no: they don't move for anyone!
Jonathan relates, with some embarrassment, that after spending most of his 45 minute flight circling in thermals (about 44' more than he's used to) - and reaching 8700 QNH, he felt slightly sick, and decided to come down. Christian, the ex-Swissair pilot who's one of the RVGC's leading lights disappeared off for 90 mins in his Cirrus.
Still - it was a nice change from the wet Devon weather. An unforgettable day.

Wednesday 2nd December

Another blustery, low cloud, showery day. But it did mean that the Wednesday club got stuck in working on the glider workshop. Floor topcoat was smoothed, perimeter floor paint first coated and skirting trim fixed. Gutter leaks meant removal of that for replacement and the gaps left behind filled. All completed while the suspended ceiling installers worked away on mobile scaffold towers. They finished their task by close of play. Electricians should be back on Thursday to complete the wiring of the lights.
Floor painting is on for Saturday and Sunday together with fixing steelwork and replacement guttering. We should then be able to see it in use straight away for the K21 C of A.
Ian and Joe made a good job of replacing the repaired starter motor in the Pawnee.
The skies cleared, the sun came out and the Pawnee put to use doing half a dozen or so aerotows, until misting canopies stopped play.

Saturday 28th November

Initially we were only going to aerotow today due to the state of the field but a sheared drive on the Pawnee starter motor put paid to that.
We managed to set up the field with a launch run that avoided the problem areas at the expense of lower launches - there was very little wind to assist either.
Most people managed a couple of training flights and a few solo pilots went round in the Junior.
The rain arrived on schedule at 14:30 and stopped play - how often have we seen that this month.

The glider workshop is coming along nicely -
"The new roof is complete and the workshop is now weathertight. Dry lining is complete as is the new floor. Peter, Ian H, Mike The Chair and Chris H all helped with getting the first mist coat and most of walls second coated, which unfortunately had to be curtailed by lack of paint because someone brought floor paint rather than emulsion. Jammed door locks were sorted with assistance from Mike the Vehicles and the whole area cleaned up. Over to the Sunday crew now to complete the painting.
A volunteer is needed to rub down and paint the pedestrian doors and frames now that the outsides have been clad with galvanised steel (which doesn’t need painting).
The suspended ceiling is programmed for Wednesday and electrics either side of that, with a view to painting the floor next weekend ready for the K21 to go in for COA on the 8th." - Peter the Designer
There is now a crash barrier fitted in front of the LPG tank.
Henry was under pressure doing his bronze exam.
Don't forget the AGM next Saturday - and buy some tickets for Nick's charity raffle!

Wednesday 25th November

This awful weather that we seem to have had for the last month relented a little today. There was no rain, except a brief shower whilst we were having lunch, and the wind was only 25 knots (40 knots at the top of the launch) but near enough straight down the field.
About half of the ridge worked all day, being able to maintain 12-1400 feet in the right places. There was some thermic activity, particularly late morning taking us towards cloud base at 4-6kts. The day ended prematurely due to misting canopies and a low sun.
Three two-seaters, a Junior and Discus were flying, sometimes all in the air at the same time.
An unexpectedly good day, not too rough, just very windy.

Sunday 15th November

A very good day following six days of wind and rain. Today's forecast showers fortunately missed North Hill. A good amount of people on the ground meant everyone flew! The two K21's, the K13 and one Junior were out. Each were flown from 10 until dusk.
The wind was coming from the South West at about 10kts. The south ridge was working at a low height, but nothing special. In the morning Henry, with John, and Jimbob, with Mark, were exploring the weak wave in the valley.
Henry also was doing Bronze flight tests with Ron in the K13, as was Jimbob with Mark.
A few pre-solo pilots were there today being taught various procedures on the ground and in the air! - Jimbob

Sunday 8th November

A boisterous northerly wind limited flying to a single challenging circuit before the toys were put back in the box at lunchtime.

Work on the glider workshop continued with Andrew L’s sterling Saturday effort in removing the old sheeting paving the way for an early Sunday start by the cladding team, led from the front as always by Field Marshall Street. Muggles and William P got stuck into the sheeting work with Peter S. Mike R drove the digger, positioning the front bucket for use as a working platform with mathematical accuracy. All the vertical sheets were cut and fixed, and a clean-up completed by close of play. The finishing trims can now be ordered, and more importantly work inside can continue regardless of weather during the week. Once again, thanks to all helpers.

Saturday 7th November

Late start due to lack of experienced members, but once we got going, wind was straight down the strip and 1700ft winch launches all day. There were some hints of ridge and wave but nothing sustainable. Stuart completed his 3 year Instructor checks. Today's trial lesson Dave enjoyed the launch point ambience and stayed all day. A pleasant early winters day - we managed to miss most of the showers. Jimbob enjoyed 30mins aerobatics with Ian in his Cristian Eagle including a flyby.

The bonfire was lit at 6:00pm and everyone enjoyed the barbecue although it was little wet. Thanks to Graham and Cheryl for the organising.

Thursday 5th November

Slow start due to lack of numbers, but once we reached a 'critical mass' we were off with a K21. At the top of the first launch, the air was so buoyant that there was a radio call for the second K21 to the launch point. Part of the ridge was working at 1300ft with the wind at north westerly 15kts. The thermal of the day - kicked off by the point - was more than 3 knots to 2000ft - not bad for November! Showers started to form but passed either side of the site, and we had lunch in shifts to enable flying to continue. The air was dried out by the Welsh Hills, the wet streets could clearly be seen on the Met Office Invent radar display. Through the afternoon, the wind backed a few degrees and the showers grew more and spread until we had to stop flying - but it was also getting dark. Not a bad day, but where were the Thursday regulars? didn't they believe the forecast?....."Maybe an interesting flyable day." - PH

Wednesday 4th November

Wednesday started with a wet and blustery westerly but we managed a few flights before lunch.

In the afternoon, the weather was much kinder and we flew until dusk, Sandra, a visitor from Brentor visited us again and had two memorable ridge flights. All those who wanted to fly were rewarded by some good conditions.

JS and Alan contacted wave on the last flight of the day and had a pleasant flight of over half an hour only returning to earth when some kind person let the sheep out.

The glider workshop is progressing well. - JS

Sat. 31st Oct & Sun. 1st Nov.

Had a great day on Saturday.
Mike and a pupil in a K21 and Henry in a Junior contacted wave for a brief period, 24 and 27 minutes respectively.
Ed from the Uni Club was allowed solo again, the second time in as many months.
The day was cut short due to canopy misting

A sterling effort by the Saturday crew cleared the contents of the glider workshop ready for the Sunday (heavy) team to launch a vigorous attack on the structure . The ragged brick pier by the door was quickly demolished, cables and fittings removed and the walls cleared ready for the attentions of the dry lining crew. The lights were removed, cleaned and stored safely ready for re-use after the new ceiling is fitted. Down came the old ceiling, together with a vast quantity of other material including a pigeon’s nest complete with eggs. One of our revered instructors was seen offering pigeon egg omelettes, although there were few takers. The offending section of wall to the vehicle workshop was severed in a trice and pent up frustrations released by several upon the innocent brickwork through a substantial sledge hammer. A huge clear up operation followed and by close of play all the material had been disposed of satisfactorily the building swept ready for the builders who are due in the morning.

Huge thanks to all who turned to and put in so much effort to move the job forward and save the club significant cost by so doing.

We all enjoyed it so much we forgot to fly

Thursday 29 October

Flying wasn't possible due to the low cloud and strong southerly wind, although there were several bright spells to tempt thoughts of getting the kit out. Back to the classroom for basic training and Bronze C work including field selection.

Wednesday 28th October

Wednesday started misty but soon cleared leaving us with a very warm day and a light westerly wind, most of the usual Wednesday crowd were in attendance plus Harry one of new Exeter uni members we also had two trial lessons.
We flew all day until the bright low sun made it advisible to stop.

We had a visit from Don Puttock who has taken over from Robin W-F as the regional safety officer.

Today we saw the arrival and installation of our new gas tank. Work starts on the glider workshop refurbishment next week, volunteers are required on Sunday morning to move the benches and other kit.

Sunday 25th October

A great afternoon's flying today! I can only tell part of the story as I was on a flying visit - literally - and had to leave to go to work.
A mixture of thermal, ridge and some good convergence lines in the brisk 15kt westerly wind provided a lot of fun with only one short sharp shower to spoil things, but some managed to stay airborne around it.Most of the afternoon you could look back at the airfield and see nothing on the ground!
A few private gliders were out including Pete(Discus 230), Robin W-F(ASW27 JPT), Matt(Cirrus 477) and Chairman Mike(Pik 20 DFK).
All the Club fleet were airborne - a few of the new Uni crowd were running around enjoying themselves and a lot of other flying was done - can somebody fill in the gaps please?

I see there was wave at Talgarth today too - how was it for our guys and gals?

Saturday 24th October

News from Talgarth
The morning was spent shopping whilst we waited for the cold front to pass. By 1330 the tuggy pursuaded Mark and Cheryl to take a launch in the DG-505 (JZK), with the promise of wave and a run down the the Cwmdu Valley! Unfortunatly at 1000ft after experiencing severe wave rotor and seeing a curtain of rain approaching, they abandoned the tow and returned to a violent approach! Clean underwear all round please!

The club instructor took Graham up to the hill in their K21 but quickly returned quoting the worst aerotow in 2000 gliding hours!

We are looking forward to Sunday with a promising forecast! - Jimbob

Friday 23rd October

News from Talgarth
The day started gloomy at 0830, but by 0930 Simon and Mark launched the DG505, after an hour of low level ridge soaring, they came down to give the rest of the group a fly.
Henry was the next victim, who continues to improve and has really benefited from this week. Rain stopped play on that flight after just over an hour.
Further soaring flights throughout the afternoon saw the group regularly acquainting themselves with the hill walkers. The day was finished off by Mark 'greasing himself' into a K6 for late weak ridge soaring until almost dusk. On his landing he remarked 'it was like being strapped to a wing suit'. The North Hill gang packed up and left an empty airfield. - Jimbob

Thursday 22nd October

It rained - sometimes very heavily. We took the opportunity to do some classroom work for the newer members.

Wednesday 21st October

Definitely a Blue card day!
Blustery Southerly wind today which gave rise to some exciting approaches and landings, more so as the day wore on but the rain that was threatened in the forecast stayed away.
The morning had the best of the day with some thermal streeting and the South ridge worked for a bit giving the lucky few some soaring.
In the afternoon the thermals became very broken and difficult to use as the wind increased and the ridge stopped working.
Most who flew the Junior decided that once was enough but John Si went for 3 white knuckle rides!
Quite a lot of K21 flying with John St, Mike and Paul back seating so that everybody could experience the conditions - thanks to them.
We started to clear the glider workshop in preparation for its refurbishment. The Club said goodbye to the old Supercat winch, to make way for a new Skylaunch. Preparations for the LPG fuel tank are underway.

Monday 19th October

News from Talgarth.
The day started with Mark and Dave being encouraged to take the first launch. They were rewarded with a 2 hour and 15 minute flight, the low cloud preventing others joining them. Eventually the bowls cleared and the masses took flight. Henry and Mark launched at mid afternoon and rattled around the bowls as the winds picked up giving a rollercoaster ride. Jimbob had a very hairy aerotow in rotor in Talgarth's K6, however enjoyed working with ridge at low level! - Jimbob

Sunday 18th October

Sunday was a nice autumn day and with a light S.W wind and sunny periods.
A lot of club members turned up and we had four new uni members to fly and four Trial Lessons, John was kept busy all day.
Guy sent Alex solo. Well done Alex.
All the club gliders were kept busy all day.

News fron Talgarth.
Despite the day starting with very light conditions, the North Hill travellers had a memorable day. Jimbob and Henry were cleared to solo at Talgarth and both took the opportunity to exercise their right and enjoyed using their new found freedom to explore the bowls of Talgarth. Towards the end of the day, despite the surface wind being less than 5MPH, Mark and Dave in the DG-505 (JZK) and Simon (SM) had over an hour and half to the bewilderment of observers on the ground. Not a classic Talgarth day, never-the-less enjoyable! - Jimbob

A Diamond In Our Midst

Saturday 17th October

Yet another glorious autumnal Devon day! The day started blue then low cu formed which by lunchtime had got to 2000ft and eventually to 2500ft in cross wind streets.
The tug was busy all day and both Falkes were flying until dusk, the whole club fleet and 4 private owners were soaring for most of the afternoon. There were lots of trial lessons keeping John and Lisa busy and Exeter Uni continues to provide new pupils.

Dave in AM flew one of his Devon/Somerset rambles for ~190kms.

Friday 16th October

News from Portmoak
The day started with ice covered cars and gliders and no wind.
The lack of wind continued through the morning and only circuits were being flown by the locals.
After lunch, and more in desperation than anything else, we started launching and blow me, Benarty was working just enough to stay airborne.The odd Cu then started to pop which meant we could climb away from the ridge and push North beyond Loch Leven and eventually into weak wave. All 3 types of soaring in one flight although it was quite difficult to pinpoint the wave as there were no wave bars.
JB eventually got to 10k', helium filled Matt to just under 10k', and yours truly to 9.3k'.
John B in M5 and Ron/Woolly in 711 beat the ridge to death and got into some weak wave as well.
I'll leave you to guess who was last to land today but it was around 18:00 shortly followed by the thousands of geese.
So, a day of weak ridge,weak thermal and weak wave but the best bit about today is that viz was stunning in the almost cloudless sky and a real bonus.We could see the big mountains to the North West and the guys on the radio in Aboyne were reporting being able to see the Western Isles from where they were.
I don't want to come home :(

Wednesday 14th October

Yet another glorious October day in Devon, although the visibility was not very good, barely being able to see the south coast. But it was warm, bright and sunny with a very slack south easterly wind. It became thermic just before lunch, and continued until the end of play around 17:00. Early afternoon thermals were giving a good 3-4kts to 2500' QFE cloudbase.
The new intake from Exeter University GC have started their training.
There were a couple of Trial Lessons and a group from Pocklington visited to view the old winch, they have agreed to buy it.

News from Portmoak
After drying off and polishing the gliders we had an educational trip to the local RSPB reserve - not as daft as it sounds if you're at all interested, as this is one of the best places in Britain to see migrating waders and to find out about the squadrons of Pink Footed geese, seen whiffling out of the evening sky on previous days.

Eventually the wind picked up just enough to take a launch and hang on to the ridge for an hour late in the afternoon.
18 degrees here today so very warm and thousands of geese appeared on cue at 18:00 - spectacular.

Tuesday 13th October

News from Portmoak
The Wind Gods - they heard me!
Not a spectacular wave day but there was enough wind to sustain ridge flights on Bishop hill of several hours, Top Dog being Matt (who else!) with 6:20.
There were spasmodic short periods of weak wave just to tease us into staying airborne in the hope that it set up.
A spectacular sight is that of several thousand Pink Footed geese return to Loch Leven to roost at about 6 every night.They fly in various formations to their chosen spot then drop out of the sky like rain - quite spectacular, and we're hoping to go down to the waters edge to get a better view tomorrow.

Monday 12th October

News from Portmoak
After yesterday's spectacular day today we were in the doldrums - very little wind but a lovely warm Autumn day.
A few launches were taken and both Bishop and Benarty tried but neither worked well enough to sustain flights of longer than 20 minutes.
We're praying to the Wind Gods for more blow today.

Sunday 11th October

It rained at North Hill.

News from Talgarth
Great day again!
The day started off with drizzle and low cloud but broke up at about 3:00pm to about 900ft. Simon and Peter S took a tow and did some ridge running below the cloud and then the cloud broke and wave formed going up to round 4000ft. Nothing like Portmoak but nevertheless! Very fun.
Guy Adams and Pete Warren then took the DG for a flight running up and down the ridge. - SM

News from Portmoak
Today was a fantastic day. The wind was a brisk Westerly which veered North West. Although none of us from North Hill had any badge claims there were several flown from here today.

It took a while to get established in the wave but once we got going John Bugbee went to FL195, JB to 14.5k, Pete and Matt to 12k and Martin to 7k on a late afternoon flight but was prevented from doing more by the cloud which started moving around and closing up. Pete in 230 covered about 260km and MegaMatt 289km.

The Club 300k task was not on (not even by the locals), due to excessive cloud amounts at both turnpoints and a shifting wave pattern as the wind changed direction but we still managed to get into the hills around Loch Tay and Pitlochry. Most of us landed when we got cold - Matt flew until it got dark!
Ron and Wooly have just arrived and we are now off to the pub to tell them what they've missed! - PS

Congrats to Joe D who did his 5 hours at the Mynd a couple of days ago.

Saturday 10th October

The hangar was unpacked and gliders readied in thick fog, flying started with low cloudbases late morning. The sky opened up nicely with west-north-westerly streets and cloudbase around 1400ft but it quickly rose to 2000ft and there was an empty launch point and it was soarable til gone 5:00pm. The first batch of Exeter University freshers enjoyed their trial lessons and several have decided to continue their training. There were a couple of visitors from Brentor.

News from Talgarth
Just Simon M and Stu P at Talgarth today. Fantastic day overall. Light westerly wind and good weather meant a good flying day! The main ridge was working and they had two flights totalling over 5 hours.

News from Portmoak

Very light winds today so we stooged up and down the ridge for about 3 hours - very relaxing start! - Pete S

Friday 9th October Portmoak

Note to travellers copied, main pin check, oh damn where is the parachute???????? Two more of the expedition arrived safely in Portmoak and even had time to complete the now mandatory site checks. All ready for fun tomorrow.

Thursday 8th October

What a glorious autumnal day over the Blackdown Hills. The cold front cleared off south over night, leaving us under a bright, sunny sky with a cold north easterly wind. It was not soarable at all, so a good day for circuit training. Three two seaters were busy for most of the day, and one Junior was used by the small band of winch drivers. Several awkward height, but very well handled, cable breaks were had.
Most of the Thursday regulars were on the field, plus a number of refugees from Wednesdays, which had been wet for the last three weeks at least. Lisa appeared with most of the family on which to practise her newly signed up BI privileges.
Peter S started the refurbishment of the glider workshop by replacing the old damaged up-and-over door with a pair of custom build outward hinged beauties.

Memo to those trekking 500 miles north in search of wave - "Take your main pin with you!"

Sunday 4th October

Winter is here! Very wet air mass coming from the south west meant a very slow start. The only flying done was cable breaks, power failures and general cloud dodging. Mike O completed his red card checks. The day ended early as persistent rain came in. - Jimbob

Saturday 3rd October

A quick resume of the day up until 13:00 when I had to leave.
WSW wind of around 15kts on the surface and more at height. John P did the flying, Tim J did the winch and cable retrieve and yours truly did the Bubble - sorry, LPV and other general running around - that was all of us!
Only students were the Portugese Air Academy guys led by Captain Joao!
Low cloudbase and at times horizontal drizzle limited the flying but at least we got something in - without JP and his half full glass we probably wouldn't have bothered.
Joe D, now having got the Cirrus trailer down to bare metal, seems to have lost it and is now going for the totally transparent look! - PS

Thursday 1st October

What a brilliant day, especially for October, even surpassing some of the good days during the 'summer'.
Very cold, bright and sunny early, then the cloud from the cold front quickly covered the sky. By mid morning the front was clearing to the south, and thermal started popping with cloudbase only just above launch height. Very swiftly cloudbase rose to eventually reach 2700' QFE by mid afternoon, thermals were averaging 4kts, one that I saw was a steady 6-8kts for a few turns. There was a beautiful street coming off Exmmoor right over the Club all afternoon until about 5.00pm, it was still soarable after that but not reachable from winch.
What a pity more were not out to enjoy it - one private owned Discus, one Club solo pilot flying a Junior and another in the K13 and eight pupils to share four instructors and the K21 and DG505. Two Trial Lessons also enjoyed the conditions.

Saturday 26th September

Subject to final clearance from JB, Lisa today completed her BI check flying with the Regional Examiner Tony Parker who came down from Aston Down to do the honours - Well Done Lisa!
It was calm and overcast until late afternoon - I think yours truly had the only meaningful thermal of the day with one very slow climb in KHA from 650' to over 2000' - and then nothing! Thanks anyway Mr.Buzzard.
Lots of training going on in the ideal conditions and a couple of trial lessons, back for a second time using their temp membership - they had enjoyable flights so let's hope we see them again - I think we will.
There was a crew from the Western Morning News around today flying in the DG and taking lots of pictures so more good publicity should be coming our way.
Several people taking advantage of this dry spell to fettle their trailers ready for the Winter.
Westy spotted doing some more Falke flying with Curly and another Falke payed a flying visit from Dorset earlier in the day.

Thursday 24th September

Cold front cleared to the south east overnight leaving Devon with a bright day with a NNW wind after the mist had cleared. A few small cumulus clouds formed below launch height initially, but cloud base soon rose to 2000ft. Half a dozen private owners had good soaring flights locally and there was a hectic day of training flights and trial lessons throughout the day.

Sunday 20th September

Launching from SW corner with little or no wind, cloudbase was 1300' QFE in the morning but with good looking clouds starting to pop just after 11am. It became very thermic with 3-5 kt climbs to 2100' around midday, but calming down in the afternoon as cloudbase reached 3000'.
There was not a very strong turnout of Club members, but four Trial Lessons helped keep the Pawnee busy, with 15 tows in all.
First single-seat aerotows to Jimbob the K6 (HEB) and Henry in a Junior, and good soaring for most.
A good day indeed for late September. - JS & HF

News from Eden

Pete & Jill have returned from a week at Eden Soaring, near Penrith in Cumbria. The persistent anti-cyclonic conditions giving strong winds at North Hill was centred over the Lake District and provided little wind for this exciting ridge and wave site. The Easterly Helm did set up late on Monday evening but launching the Duo downwind was out of the question. On Tuesday and Thursday, long thermal flights over the Eden valley and into the foothills of the Lake District made the trip worthwhile and if the cloudbase had been a little bit higher above the summits we would have explored further.

Sunday 13th September

Sunday started with a moderate N/E wind and promised to be a good day with inviting looking Cumulus appearing about noon but the thermals that did form were poor with a low cloud base at 1300ft. Cloud base rising only to 2000 ft over the site in the afternoon even so the launch point was kept busy all day with many training flights and several trial lessons, all four two-seaters were in the air all day. Dave in AM flew for over 3 hours. Cheryl enjoyed spinning in the DG-505. Gerard resoloed in the Junior after a short break. Well done to Henry for solo aero-tow. - JS & HF

A Hot Air balloon paid us a visit after packing up. Hot air balloons are quite good at herding sheep!

Saturday 12th September

With Easterly wave forecast, 6 members visited Brentor, unfortunately the wave didn't happen as promised only thermals to 2000ft QFE. -Henry

Friday 11th September

Another cracking day the N/E wind was much lighter and the flying much easier all course members had plenty of soaring, all in all a very useful week and an enjoyable and rewarding one to.

The last flight landed at 7.15pm - Robin at the controls after re-soloing - well done Rob.

Thanks to John and Chris for instructing and helpers Dick, Nick, Les & Richard for running things.

Thursday 10th September

The high pressure is still to our northwest, bringing strong blustery north easterly wind with blue sky but warm (out of the wind.) Thursday Club flying mixed well with the course, but in the conditions worthwhile training was limited. In the afternoon the wind dropped and made instructing much easier and a few thermals managed to pop giving most course members some soaring.

Roly and team of adventurers did find his tail 'chute, which was jettisoned yesterday amidst the trees and bracken, half way down the ridge.

Thursday evening all the course members and quite a lot of club members attended the course meal at the Keepers Cottage. 25 in all came - a record for a course meal and everybody had a good time. Roly and team of adventurers did find his tail 'chute, which was jettisoned yesterday amidst the trees and bracken, half way down the ridge.

Wednesday 9th September

A cracking day today working closely with the Wednesday club we managed 80 flights in all most of these were soaring flights, a brisk N/E wind made the flying interesting. Pete (230) ventured out nearly as far as Cheddar until he hit a blue hole. Cloudbase struggled up to 3300ft locally at the end of the day but most of the day was at 2500ft with thermals not always going to the top.

Tuesday 8th September

Whilst large parts of Devon experienced wave slots, the moist south-westerly blowing straight up the Exe Estuary meant that the airfield was in orographic fog most of the day but we managed to get a few flights in at the end of the day. - JS

Monday 7th September - Course week

Foggy start turned into a warm and dry day, but flying was hampered by the intermittent orographic low cloud. The South ridge worked at times with a little bit of wave.

Sunday 6th September

Very good day after the bad weather forcast! 15/20kt southerly wind made the south ridge soarable, after lunch thermals were popping and streets were forming all over our area! Good day to practice cross-wind landings as they were challenging at times! James had an aerotow 'cable break' with Mark so he's all signed off solo aerotow. Young Liam had a few flights in these testing conditions and is progressing well. It's also very good to see instructors trying to build their solo hours as it's coming to the end of the year!
Roly's caravan is now in place, with Steve moving further up the plot.
A good day out! - Jimbob

Following a kind invitation to attend, the DG505 was put on display at an Open Day at Dillington House, near Ilminster, today. We were allocated a fantastic space on the lawn in front of the house, large enough for us to display the DG505 in her full wingspan, and with room behind to park and display the trailer. Arriving at 1030, we promptly got down the the business of causing an obstruction on the drive (sorry!!!) and rigging in our spot. Thanks to John S, John S, Muggles, Cheryl and Graham for their help in being there to ensure this happened as smoothly and quickly as possible. Having set up in good time, including erecting the precautionary weatherproof gazebo, we set out in search of tea and cakes in preparation for the start of the event.

After a relatively slow start, interest soon picked up in our very impressive display - probably the best of all those attending the event - and as the picture demonstrates we soon had good crowds around us wanting to know more. There were many people who showed an interest in trial flights, and a few who also showed a strong interest in membership. Thanks to Simon for giving us a couple of hours of his time to help us out, and to Mandy for being official photographer for the team.
Whilst it's always a little difficult to judge immediately the effects of attending these events, I think we all feel that it was a very successful day, and it will hopefully bring us a few trial flights and maybe even a member or two. - Muggles

Saturday 5th September

Wet and windy mid-week, so no flying, Saturday looked promising early on with nice blue sky, but low cloud and drizzle soon took hold and just a few hardy souls managed some circuits whilst others watched a game of musical caravans.

Saturday 29th August

Clouds started popping early although cloud base was low to start. Streets set up in the 15 knot westerly wind, cloudbase varied from 2600ft in the west to 3800ft in the east. Ron in 711 whizzed round Okehampton-Yeovil on a Nav-ex with Peter S, Dave in AM explored a north coast convergence past Bridgwater, the rest of us enjoyed the local conditions of 6-8 knots til gone 6:00pm.

John (Lak 19) visiting from Camphill enjoyed his second day soaring and took this interesting view of the Exe estuary.

Thursday 27th August

After yesterday's washout, Thursday showed early promise with clear blue skies and light westerly wind. Gliders were rigged and early flights found plentiful low level thermals. A trough line came through late morning bringing the 8/8 cloudbase down to 1100ft despite still being soarable underneath. Then, quite suddenly gaps appeared and cloudbase lifted to 2000ft with the wind picking up significantly and backed to southerly with 'interesting' approaches through the curl over.

Nancy Sampson bought herself an 80th birthday present and enjoyed the trial flight experience in front of friends and family, and has pledged to return to try out a winch launch.

The evening group just managed their flights before the next trough arrived.

Sunday 23rd August

Sunday started with low cloud and a brisk S/W wind, as the cloud base lifted we managed a few flights in the ridge lift before the low cloud returned and stopped play.

The Club was very busy with a lot of visitors.

The east of country had all the good weather with some of hottest days this year and many long cross country flights, still we won back the Ashes from the Aussies! - JS

Friday 21st August

Last day of this week's course, provided the course members and a couple of private owners only circuits dodging the rain and retiring to the Clubhouse for cups of tea when the showers got too big. But being able to do only circuits without the hinderance of having to soar helped all the course to progress a great deal. Around mid afternoon the air stabilised out and it became quite pleasant.
Many thanks to JB & Pete for instructing, Dave, Ian, Godfrey & Cheryl for winch driving, Nick for logkeeping and H for keeping us fed & watered.
The Evening Group from Somerset County Council had a good session.

Thursday 20th August

While the cold front finally cleared the "Fine Week of Soaring" DVD was watched recounting an American Regional Competition in the ridges of Pennsylvania. Stirring stuff - lets go and try it on our ridge, but then it is only 3kms long not 500 and despite the 20kt WSWly wind it wasn't working - but the streets were. Great fun making 14kms runs into the wind gaining 2000' in the process!
In the evening the course and helpers had a very enjoyable dinner at the 'Keeper's Cottage'

Wednesday 19th August

Day three of the course and normal Club day. Variable broken cloud throughout the day, starting at 1500'QFE and slowly coming down as the front approached, and a very tricky, blustery southerly cross wind. Not a particularly nice day and not easy for the pupils, but everyone had an experience to remember.
By 6.00pm when the second Evening Group from Westlands arrived cloud cover was total and down to 500' so the session was cancelled.

Tuesday 18th August

8/8 cloud cover initially gave time for classroom work on circuit planning. The blustery southerly crosswind made it difficult for the course members to put the theory into practice. Some very weak thermals and ridge lift extended the circuits a little and tantalising hints of wave came to nothing. At the end of the afternoon, the wave gaps opened up filling the sky with lenticulars. An Evening Group from Westlands took over at 6:00pm.

Monday 17th August - Course week

Slow start due to low cloud, by mid-morning cloudbase was high enough to start flying with gentle thermals to 1300'. In the afternoon the cloud broke to bright and sunny with decent soaring to 2000' QFE. The gentle westerly wind gave good training conditions for the course members who are at various levels of pre-solo.

Sunday 16th August

The forecast said mainly cloudy and it was, but there was just a glimmer of hope that the stratocu might break and it did at 3pm for about an hour. Cloudbase was consistently at 2000ft QFE and the wind was westerly 12 knots - there were visual hints of some wave but none of the explorers managed to find it.

Saturday 15th August

The forecast for low cloud and drizzle obviously put people off, but the cloud broke nicely after lunch and a few devotees enjoyed some extended ridge circuits. Harry Jacobson (ex-ATC at Cosford 30+ years ago) returned for his weather aborted trial lesson and his wife enjoyed a surprise flight too. Jackie and Ray visiting from Gransden had a couple of flights in the club K21.

Thursday 13th August

The cold front cleared earlier, and much quicker, than expected. It started gently soarable to the 1000'QFE cloudbase, but within an hour we were romping up to 3000'. The entire Club fleet was out, plus 5 or 6 private owners. Sea breeze fronts from both coasts were explored, and it was still soarable until quite late even though the air had dried out and the sky gone completely blue.
There were many day members and trial lessons, and Club flying had to continue into the Evening Group session to get everyone flown.
A hectic day, but I think all enjoyed it and went home with a smile on their face.

Wednesday 12th August

Although the forcast was not too bad, cloudbase did not get above 500ft above airfield, so we did not fly.
Rod Ward (ex CFI Cambridge and ex DSGC member) and his partner are visiting us again, with their DG300.
The Chairman of Shennington GC, on a touring holiday of the south west, made a flying visit in his Grob G109 Motorglider. - JS

Sunday 9th August

The day looked promising based on the number of gliders being rigged. The field was in a blue hole 'til noon although clouds could be seen popping all around.
By lunchtime everyone was launching and some were setting off on the club task O/R to Salisbury. Cloudbase locally reached 4500'QFE with 4-6knot thermals across the peninsula.

Henry took off for a short local flight in Ka6 (HEB) and after 2 hours was persuaded to stay up a little bit longer, after 5:06 hours he landed- Well done Henry!

Joe having driven the winch most of the morning and forgotton to put his name on the list (after his long adventure on Saturday), managed to get into K21 HCX and sprint to 4500' (having been careful to get his low point) - Silver height - Well done Joe!

Ron (711), Pete (230), Simon (SM) and Robin (JPT) returned successfully from the 213kms task having found spread out at the Salisbury end and great conditions back at North Hill.

Saturday 8th August

A very good day of local soaring today but almost a repeat of yesterday for those trying to go X-country with extensive sea air incursion from Bridgwater down to Lyme Bay making any progress past Yeovil impossible - see photo.

Pete in 230 got as far as Crewkerne before the struggle got too much and headed West to Eaglescott for a very slow 170km.

Mike Fairclough reported difficult conditions around Okehampton too with a muchh lower cloudbase than locally.

Joe Drury completed a valiant Silver distance aiming for the Park but got caught in the sea air and landed out at Castle Cary, but as it was from a low winch launch it just qualifies under the 1% rule. Well done Joe!

Friday 7th August

A great day, all day, all course members had a brilliant day and we made up for time lost earlier in the week, last flight landed at 6pm just in time to hand over to the evening group.
Francis flew in in a very big Antonov An2, I managed to scrounge a flight in it - John S

Dave (AM) enjoyed a trip round Lasham and Buckingham, Pete (230) and Matt (477) with good intentions to O/R to Lasham reported that "it turned into a survival exercise in sea air coming down from the Somerset Levels - had to run down almost to the South coast just to stay airborne but even then there was no real convergence."
Joe (JZG) toured Devon.

Thursday 6th August

What a bitty, frustrating day. Rain showers, fickle wind, change ends, cable breaks but nobody got upset and we got through unscathed. The course week members went to the pub for their evening entertainment, and the fourth minibus-full from Devon Youth Service came for an Evening Group session.

Summer 2009

With a tip of the hat to Giles whose June 21st 1964 cartoon still rings true today!

Wednesday 5th August

A dry day! and a very pleasant one. A cloudy morning with some thermic activity underneath then broke into a glorious afternoon with views from Portland to Torquay and consistant 4kt climbs to the 2500'QFE cloudbase. The course and Club members mixed well to keep operations running smoothly.

The conditions provided a very good session for Chris Heide's Evening Group.

Tuesday 4th August

It rained...persistantly, all day. A useful day of DI training and refresher for the course, including a 'rigged' glider to find faults on.

Monday 3rd August - Course Week

Very strong southerly wind and initially 800' cloudbase with some gaps allowed a bit of soaring on the South ridge. The gaps filled in and the cloudbase reduced to 500' which gave enough time for some cable break practice - then it rained.
After lunch worked through some questions from the Bronze C confuser, in preparation for Bronze C exams during the week.

Friday 31st July

News from Nympsfield
Not quite as bad as I had forecast yesterday - there was a brisk Southerly which meant aerotowing only today, but the high cover which was expected to kill the day early didn't actually reach here until later than expected.

Sid didn't set a specific task but left it open for "free enterprise" undeclared tasks just to get people flying. The conditions cycled quite a lot so it was difficult(impossible) in parts but very good in others.
Pete in 230 managed 130km of scratching routing via Yate and Faringdon and finding some very good climbs in Oxfordshire. Unfortunately Matt got one of the bad bits of the cyclic conditions, as did a few others, and landed back. Local pundit Alison Mulder won the day with a flight NYM-BAD-BIR-DID-NYM which was ..........................well,a heck of a lot further!

Not the best week as x-country task weeks go but an enjoyable week away with some x-country,ridge running and local soaring over some different scenery.

Images courtesy of Jon Baldock,JEE.
Fingers crossed for kinder weather next year. - Pete S

News from the Mynd
Wave was around so Eric and Kaye launched the Duo Discus XT, started the engine and tried to find the wave. Ian and Steve tried to find the wave, however failed without having an engine. Mark and Simon found a little bit of weak wave and stayed up for 30 minute. Paul and Jimbob flew the Junior around trying to keep it airborne but only managed extended circuits. Jimbob also converted into the K23. - Jimbob

Thursday 30th July

The very wet cold front cleared overnight, leaving another showery airstream until lunchtime when the sky turned into white puffy clouds base 4000'QNH.

There was some soaring in the rain before lunch and then after dinner - steady 6-8 knot climbs, although the strong westerly wind meant everyone stayed local. Three new members from the Open weekend are now regular Thursday flyers and enjoyed the good soaring. Another group from Devon Youth Service enjoyed the pleasant evening conditions.

News from Nympsfield
Only one person got away from the field on task (fallback O/R Didcot), before a barrage of heavy showers put a stop to that idea. Later in the afternoon after the showers eventually stopped some good local soaring was had and a few went down the ridge to Bath in the brisk South Westerley wind.
711 crossed the river to the dark side.
Brisk Southerly wind tomorrow(probably rubbish), Saturday - rain(definitely rubbish)
See you soon. -Pete S

News from The Mynd
What a fantastic day! The day was just like Monday. 25kt wind coming from the West and thermals peaking to 3000ft QFE. The day started very rough so we all needed check flights to make sure we could fly solo.
Henry converted to a new type and flew the Mynd's K23, he kept this airborne for around 3 hours. Ian flew his Kestrel for 8hrs and 40mins all the way around Wales and back! Paul managed to solo at the Mynd and flew the Junior (KHA) for 1hr 30mins.
There was a total of 35 hours flown today! What a venue!
We've already booked the accommodation for next year as we're trying to make it a regular thing. Watch this space for further Mynd info. - Jimbob

Wednesday 29th July

Persistant and heavy rain all day at all sites of interest.

Being on holiday the Long Mynd detachment went to the RAF Museum at Cosford and looked at a few planes. Then the front came through clearing the sky and giving us a good evening to fly the models.
Tomorrow looks a lot better! - Jimbob

Tuesday 28th July

News from Nympsfield
Sadly Nympsfield was a task free zone today due to poor weather. A rough SW wind would have made flying interesting in the morning had we been able to launch but difficult circumstances including failed ground equipment (punctured tyre and failed Land Rover clutch) meant that first launch of the ASK21 was delayed till 1400hrs. - extract from BGGC blog

News from the Mynd

Nothing like yesterday at all. South westerly at 15kts all day which meant only circuits were flown. The DG-505 was used a lot by our members today doing cable breaks and just normal circuit training/practice. - Jimbob

International Competitions - "Team GB" is again doing very well in both current competitions, the European's in Lithuania and the Woman's World's in Hungary, in the Club and Standard classes. See and

Monday 27th July

News from Nympsfield
Forecast for today was SSW winds of 20kts+ and wind broken thermals to around 3,000' asl.
Sid decided not to set a cross country task so Nympsfield ridge maestro Trevor Stuart gave a lecture on the ins and outs of the Bath ridge run, with a planned lead and follow with him leading plus 3 newbies trailing. Matt in 477,Pete in 230 and a local set off on the usual adrenalin producing flight.
A second lap had to be scrubbed because the wind went too far South and the ridge all but stopped working - shame, but we managed a little bit of local soaring.
Phil in 711 did the run with another local pundit in the back seat to show him the way and enjoyed the flight. - Pete S

News from the Mynd
What a fantastic day it turned out to be! The morning was grey with lots of showers. Briefing was at 0900HRS and the duty instructor told us about the field layout etc...
We all had our check flights with Mark and Simon in the DG-505 and one of the Mynd's K21.
Steve, Ian, Andrew, John and Martin all flew their private gliders and all had decent flights!
The wind is coming from the West at 25kts. We're on a very short launch run where the height of the launch is 300ft! As soon as you launch and release you're up to 1000ft before you know it! Cloud base reached 3000ft QNH with thermals peaking to 6-8kts+!
A very good day here for all of us as we've all had decent flights. - Jimbob

Sunday 26th July

It rained!

News from Nympsfield
Rain,rain,rain - lots of tea drunk.
Simon and Jim have arrived to collect the DG and are off to the Mynd after a cuppa.
Matt won the paper dart comp - I reckon he spends a lot of time on long sectors in his 747 making them and perfecting his design, although he denies it!
Here's hoping for a ridge day tomorrow. - Pete S

News from the Mynd
John and Henry arrived early to get their checks out of the way so they're now ready to fly solo.
On Sunday the rest of the gang arrived; Mark and Dave were towing the Junior while Simon and Jimbob collected the DG from Nympsfield and took that up. Martin is with his Ventus. Ian is with his Kestral. Andrew is with his K6. Eric and Kaye are with their Duo Discus and LS7. Steve with his Discus and Roy with his LS7.
Rain all day on Sunday so a lot of model flying, drinking, and pool playing was done! -Jimbob

Saturday 25th July

A few members have gone to Sid's Task Week at Nympsfield and a large detachment with the DG505, a Junior and several private gliders have left for a Club Expedition to the Long Mynd. Those members who were left had a pleasant gently thermic day. Nothing epic, just a nice day culminating in a very enjoyable birthday barbeque for Cheryl and Steph attended by thirty or so family and friends.

News from Nympsfield
With a forecast of spreadout to the South and East and a sea breeze incursion up the Severn valley in the afternoon(sound familiar?) , Sid set a task of 241km, Buckingham - Newbury and back.
The forecast was pretty much spot on. Pete in 230 got round but slower than a tethered tortoise after struggling under spreadout at Newbury and then making a meal of the into wind leg home, blaming the increasing wind and the sea air - well that was his excuses anyway!
Matt in 477 on the other hand, went round quite quickly until Cricklade on the final leg when he decided to ignore 230 and several other gliders scratching in a weak thermal and go for the next(and last before the sea air) cloud.Sadly it didn't work and he ended up landing out 20km short at the small airfield of Oaksey Park and got an aerotow retrieve.
John Bugbee flying off the back of the grid as a non-comp, decided he wouldn't bother with the fantastic conditions in Oxfordshire and dropped into Enstone for a cup of tea and a bun! Pete and Matt did the retrieve and found a fantastic fish and chip shop in Chipping Norton with a glider trailer sized lay-by right outside - bonus!
Phil and Gill took off last and sailed round the task with ease in just over 3 hours wondering why all the fuss - damn those big wings (and a little bit of skill)! - Pete S

Thursday 23rd July

Same showery airflow as the last few days. Today started bright blue and scattered cumulus, which rapidly got bigger and wetter, finally washing us all out of the sky at lunch time. But before this we had 6-8 knot thermals to 3000' QFE. The afternoon was blighted by occasional, not too heavy, showers - but just too heavy to slow the launch rate. The really big clouds and heavy storms being in a line 4-5 miles to our north.

Star comment of the day was from the ten year old son of a visitor - "Are we in an old peoples' home?". Our reply was "You should have been here yesterday".

There were three trial lessons through the afternoon, returning visitors from last week, and an Evening Group from the Devon Youth Service. All enjoyed themselves.

Wednesday 22nd July

We are in a persistant cloudy, showery south westerly airstream. Today opened with very low cloud and therefore a late start to the flying. Once that lifted it was thermic to low heights, and then what gaps there were filled in. At the end of the day the clouds broke again and it was beautifully soarable into the evening.

John Street has swine flu, he strongly advises against catching it!

John Sillett completed his BI acceptance checks with JB, welcome to the happy band.

A small evening group from EDF Energy had the best of the day.

Sunday 19th July

Strong, boistrous westerly winds and heavy showers. However the enthusiastic amongst us did manage to fly, putting in half adozen launches between each band of rain.

ICL was again scrubbed at Mendip, so previous results stand.

Saturday 18th July

Dry in the morning, under a grey sky with cloudbase at 1500'QFE and a gentle westerly wind. General training and local soaring until the persistent rain set in early afternoon.
A (winch launch only) Air Cadet came to sample an aerotow, Claire is hoping to solo with us through the summer. Later Trial Lessons were postponed because of the rain.

The Inter Club League at Mendip Club was scrubbed mid-morning for the day, let's hope for a better day tomorrow.

Thursday 16th July

From the forecast we did expect to get at least a morning's flying, but the low cloud and rain was four hours early and set in for the day at about ten o'clock. So the tea pot was kept warm through the spinning theory, aided by experiences from Ian who did his first spinning last week. Then a look at the excellent BGA Safe Winch Launching web pages.

We entertained the Trial Lesson candidate and his friends to a chat about gliding and a tour of the hangar, and probably sold three more Trial Lessons. Some local walkers brought three friends from New Zealand for a Clubhouse lunch, hoping to see some activity. No luck there but they also got a guided walk through the hangar.

A productive Instructor's meeting occupied the whole evening.

Wednesday 15th July

It was actually soarable today!

OK, so it was a bit desperate with only feeble thermals to about 2,000' and the odd spot of drizzle but more than we expected looking at the sky this mornng.

All the available Club gliders were in use and 3 or 4 private gliders were out.

It looks like the weather will have stayed ok for the evening group.

Sunday 12th July

The day started out grey and the cloudbase was low, the first flight was dodging in and out of the low cloud restricting the amount of gliders airborne to one. Once the cloud broke and lifted we commenced flying as normal. The day progressed into a very nice local soaring day - at about 11am it started to pop and gliders were staying up for 15/20 minutes. After lunch it really started to go and the thermals broke to around 4000ft QFE, despite the rainy convergence not far to the south, throughout the afternoon. This continued until around 7pm where the same faces stayed to actually pack the stuff away!

Well done to John Sillett on getting his BI! He spent the weekend in the classroom and the K13 doing all his flight tests and now needs to have a flight with the CFI JB to make sure he is happy with everything. Many thanks to Tony Parker, the BI Coach from Aston Down. - Jimbob

Friday 10th July Course Review

With ages ranging from 16 to 83, the second course of the year was an example of how truly inclusive the sport of gliding can be. The weather was varied, with a prevailing north westerly wind, and the changing cloud cover patterns that usually accompany it. Gliding was possible every day, and some reasonable soaring on the first four days. Ray Rimes re-soloed and converted to the Junior, and Mark Wallis achieved a first solo! - well done both. The other members made excellent progress, and all hope to continue flying. Thanks to instructors, designated ground crew and other club members who took the time to help around the launch point. - Wendy

Thursday 9th July

Strong and gusty northerly wind, which somehow kept the west facing ridge sort of working and broken thermals low down, but once above 1500'ish they were OK. Spreadout kept cycling.

A lot of new members arrived for training, Thursday regulars wanting spin and aerotow checks now that the Pawnee is back, and solo pilots flying Club and private gliders. Quite a busy Club day alongside the course.

The Evening Group, from Cruwys Morchard and Met Office, arrived just in time for the sky to open up to give a glorious evening with 50Km+ visibility from the top of the launch, and gentle 1-2 knot lift everywhere.

Wednesday 8th July

A strong 15kt north westerly kept the ridge working well all day, and brought the decent thermals through at a reasonable pace. Cloudbase reached 4500'QNH, but 20+kt winds at height and obvious wave interference progress upwind was a bit tricky. There were plenty of long soaring flights but no cross-countries.

With all this soaring today's Club flying did not really interfere too much with the course. At times the entire fleet and several private owners were airborne together. JB has returned from his holidays and was immediated put to work running John and Lisa through their BI training.

The day concluded with another Evening Group, having extended trial lessons on the ridge and remaining thermals.

Monday 6th July - Course Week

This year's second course week, with Robin and Stu instructing and Dave, Wendy and Don helping. Course members are a good mix of real ab-initios, existing members part way through training and just post solo.

Monday - it rained, but we flew between the showers.
Tuesday - a little better, and we flew all day.
Wednesday - much better, and we flew a lot more.
Thursday - weather not quite as good, but we flew again. Ray re-soloed.
Friday - the forecast rain stayed away to allow more flying.

Sunday 5th July

The day started with a very gentle south westerly breeze, but soon picked up to become Yellow Card all day. We started launching from the north east corner of the field with Steve Westlake and myself having the first flight of the day, this was around 0945 and it was already becoming thermic. A few trial lessons were flown round the day. It was good seeing the Pawnee busy as well, Mark Courtney and Dave Weeks wanted to challenge the Quantocks as it was a south westerly and by this time was blowing quite a bit. John Street however thought they were very optimistic and said the wind needed more south in it. However they launched and had over an hour on the hills before landing out in a field by the Wellington Monument. Joe Drury was with Pete Warren in the K13 doing spinning and aerotow training and is now solo aerotow! Well done Joe! Showers came and went as the day went on but overall a good day out! - Jimbob

Brits are 4&10, 1&3, 1,2&5 after seven days, in the three classes of the European Gliding Championships at Nitra in Slovakia. See

Thursday 2nd July

Forecast for incoming thundery cold front stayed just to the west of us for the morning allowing - 4 launches - change ends - 4 launches - rain - so 8 launches better than nothing!

A good crowd of new members and trial lessons enjoyed the day. Unfortunately the evening group had to be cancelled because after the rain it fogged out!

Wednesday 1st July

First, two bits of good news!

1. The tug is back in service after it's extended lay off and was kept busy all day
2. The winch settings for several gliders have been altered which will improve launches and cut down dramatically the number of weak links we were going through - I am particularly pleased with this developement!

VERY hot today and not very thermic to boot - probably due to the light Southerly drift of cooler (relative!) sea air which prevented us reaching the required trigger temperature for thermals to start.

Lisa was the only private glider to rig - went off in the Ventus but even a couple of turbo burns couldn't keep her up for long.

John Street and Mike Fitz covered the training requirements with quite a few launches being done. Top marks to these 2 guys for back-seating in the heat today.
Joe Scaife and Tim Johns finished their Bronze C spinning exercises, thanks to G-DSGC. Keith Jarvis re-soloed.

Considering the surface wind was so light, it came as a bit of a surprise when yours truly jumped into the Junior around 5pm for my weekly circuit, only to find some very weak wave on the South ridge, just enough to float up and down for over an hour at 900' to 1100' - very nice,thank you!

Colin Uncles took the strimmer along the coast to Lyme Regis sight-seeing (what a lovely day to do that), and then Joe Drury went off in it on a navex with Si Minson to the Park (for cross country endorsement) so he will know his way there when he does Silver distance, which I've got a funny feeling won't be too far off!

Pete Harmer went off in the Rotax Falke (more sight-seeing) to Teignmouth & Seaton.

The evening group from Environment Agency had ideal conditions for their flying and I'm sure they will have enjoyed it. Stuart P, Muggs and Si Min did the flying and Team Clive on ground support. Barbeque finished off the day wafting smoke through the committee meeting.

Weekend looks ok and COOLER!

Sunday 28th June

Good day overall. 8/8ths cloud stopped the thermals, the light SE winds meant we were launching from the NW corner of the field to start.
This wind set up some weak wave just south of our field. 4 gliders were flying in the wave at about 1500ft QFE. The wind veered southerly and the wave stopped and everyone was reduced to flying circuits. This wind shift necessitating a change of ends. The wave set up again in the same place and height. A couple of gliders enjoyed this session of wave. The wind changed direction again back to SE so another change of ends. The wave disappered but came back again, only to 1300ft. Very good day for us early solo pilots! - James.

No news from ICL at Upavon yet.

Saturday 27th June

It was a bit of a quiet day at the Club today, there was an away match in the Inter-Club League, hosted by Wyvern GC at Upavon, and the word had got around that there would be no food available from the kitchen.

The low cloud quickly rose and broke to give good thermals to 3500'QNH by noon. Then the sea air arrived and within an hour cloudbase was 2000'QNH and most gliders were on the ground. The sea air never really got reinvigorated, so the day continued with circuits under a very hot bright blue sky and gentle southerly cross-wind.

ICL tasks from Upavon.
Pundit: PEW-OXS-LAS-UPA 169kms
Intermediate: PEW-ILS-LAS-UPA 134kms
Novice: ???

Reports suggest that conditions for the first one and a half legs round Oxford and back to Newbury were good and then the struggle in the blue started to Lasham and home. No results from the ICL are available yet.

Thursday 25th June

Forecast for a cloudy start, sunny break through and thunder storms in the late afternoon, all in an easterly breeze. And so it was to be.

A very quiet day, six members had their instructional circuits, four visitors had trial lessons and yet more Scouts from Colyton came for an Evening Group session.

The storms were heard to pass by about ten miles to the north east between the Club flying and the evening group.

Wednesday 24th June

The forecasts promised much - but as it turned out Tuesday's frontal clearance left some fairly strange air. There was a moderate easterly which enabled some sort of conflict between wave, thermal and sea breeze convergence on SW peninsula.

Pete, Matt and Martin set off into wind and made it to Salisbury before running home, east of Salisbury got too difficult.

After quite a few heavy sink circuits, local soaring became enjoyable after the sea air had gone through. Joe did some cross-country and field landing practice with Simon in the Falke.

It was lovely weather for the evening group from the Saab owners club who came for trial lessons.

Sunday 21st June

The Longest day!
Quite a lot of flying today - a mix of lots of circuits and some gentle soaring in very weak lift under 8/8ths cover,especially towards the end of the afternoon.
Si Minson took James Hood on x-country training in the Motor Falke.
Dave Reilly found some weak wave between the 2 quarries.
Looking promising for mid-week but with an Easterly breeze.

Thursday 18th June

A cold front went through overnight, but the sky did not clear as might be expected leaving a high, thick layer of cloud - cutting down solar heating significantly. The stiff westerly breeze meant that the ridge was working.

There were many members and visitors wanting to use the two seaters. For quite a bit of the day the entire Club fleet was airborne. Despite the high cover thermals and streets to 2600'QFE were plentiful, and the two seaters were called down from their soaring at six o'clock to fly the evening group.

Colyton Scouts came back for their second visit, numbers boosted by good reports after their first visit last week. The fresh breeze meant high launches, the ridge was working and there were still some sort of thermals into the evening. A total of 21 launches, and many happy faces.

Wednesday 17th June

The bright start clouded over very quickly, and a very blustery south westerly restricted who could fly, and it started to rain just before lunch. Rain for the rest of the day caused the evening group trial lessons to be cancelled.

Simon Minson checked Clive's trace for his cross country on Sunday, and despite missing getting to his goal of The Park, his 65kms and a safe height difference was good enough for a Silver distance, and completion of his Silver 'C'. Jimbob's height trace also checked out OK. Well done to both.

Sunday 14th June

A very good soaring day only spoilt by:
a) Not having a serviceable tug, and
b) North Hill being in a big blue hole - which really didn't start to get soarable until 12:30 - 13:00, although frustratingly we could see the good condidtions about 20km away!
The main Club 500km task(NHL-LAS-YEO-CBN-NHL) really wasn't going to be achievable by the time it got going, so those that went x-country fell back to tasks of around 300kms.
Si Minson and Dave Reilly went to Lasham and back for 328kms, on completion of which Dave had some fun running up and down a sea breeze front which had set up between Tiverton and somewhere down towards Yeovil for another 120km!
Pete in 230 and the CFI, JB, went to Candover Church and back for 309kms, Roly went sight seeing around Salisbury Cathedral. JB and Roly managed to run back to North Hill using a sea breeze front - sadly, it eluded me! James Hood bagged a Silver height and a couple of hours in the Ka6 - well done Jim. They'll be fighting over that Ka6 soon - the queue gets longer, Henry Ford got converted to it and had a couple of flights.
Good news from other parts too - Steve Westlake did a 300 from Lasham. Don't know what his task was but he can tell us all over a beer that he'll be buying - well done Steve. Steve was finishing at Lasham while we were still only half way there - oh how the other half live!
Clive and Trev Russell made valiant Silver distance attempts to the Park. Sadly neither quite made it there, but both now have a succesful field landing under their belts which is always satisfying - better luck next time guys.
Lots of training flying at North Hill including several new members, although a shortage of Instructors meant a bit of waiting around for some of them - let's hope the nice weather and the other activities around the Club have kept them interested enough to return.
Here's to more days like this.

Thursday 11th June

A good forecast for today, and so it turned out. Early morning low cloud soon broke and raised to a 3000'QNH base with 3kt thermals before 1100. Eventually reaching 5000'QNH and 4-5kt thermals. The only downside being masses of really heavy sink and the 15kt westerly wind. Although this kept the ridge working, no-one really had to stay on it for long. Again I suspect significant wave interference, as shown on the early morning satpics.

All Club gliders (except K13) were flying, as were 8 private owners. Club task was NHL-Oakhampton-Honiton-NHL, to give Peter Smith an attempt at Silver distance for the middle leg. No-one got near the first turn because of the poorer conditions and stronger wind out to the west. Dave Reilly went downwind first and found much better conditions into Wiltshire, came back, tried to go west, didn't like it and went to Wiltshire and back again for 327kms. Joe Drury got closer to his cross country endorsement by getting several hours in the Junior.

Interestingly, all the long flights out of Lasham down this way had to turn short of their goals (Brent Tor, Bodmin or Oakhampton) due to the deteriorating conditions west of North Hill.

A veil of high cloud cooled it down for the evening group from Colyton Scouts, the wind kept the ridge working so all enjoyed extended flights.

Wednesday 10th June

Again the forecast for very heavy scattered showers kept members away, but the showers also stayed away. Although other parts of Devon got a soaking. The weather started with low cloud and a S/E wind then the sun came out and the wind veered to S/W.

The thermals were many but cloud base only reached 1600ft. Matt Wright has returned from his wanderings only to be informed how good the weather was whilst he was away!

Two potential new members came back after enjoying themselves at the Open Weekend, at one point all the club fleet were airbourne. - JS

Inter Club League Results

The results for the second weekend of the Inter Club League, at North Hill, are in. They can be viewed at the entries for Saturday 30th and Sunday 31st May. Points from the first weekend at The Park are added, giving overall positions half way through the competition.

Sunday 7th June

The forecast was for heavy showers, and having seen the local flooding of yesterday many members stayed away.

So much for the weather forecast. The sun was shining from the start but we didn't begin very early, first launch at 10.30am, and it was thermic from the word go. Two of our new members started their training, and there were two trial lessons.

Simon Leeson & Lisa did a short X country in the DG505, cloudbase 2500ft with a light S/W wind, a quiet but very enjoyable day. - JS

Friday 5th June

Friday started with a light S/W wind and the thermals soon started popping, and Simon Leeson flew the DG505 with several of the course members, by lunchtime the thermals were reaching 4000ft. Early afternoon, a convergence and overcast stopped the thermals, the afternoon was nice and smooth - ideal for training.

This first course of the season was a huge success, we flew all day every day with no weather problems. We had over 28hrs soaring between us and approx 150 flights. Many thanks to Dick Stevens, Dick Wolff,& Tim Johns - the helpers, and John Street & Guy Adams - the instructors. John Sillet was also at the Club all week and was a great help.

A footnote from Sean, I'm sure echoed by the rest of the course:
"Credit where it is due!
I would like to pass on my thanks to all of those who were involved in or helped with the first Intensive course. Particular thanks to John Street and Guy Adams, Dick, Dick and Tim and "H" for their relentless energy and enthusiasm. A credit to the club, I look forward to having a long and pleasurable association."

Thursday 4th June

A decaying cold front moved through the high pressure and parked itself over east Devon for the morning, it remained dry but gave us low cloud over the field.
The summer course did cable break training below cloud base and the few of the Thursday group present went through some theory in the Clubroom. After lunch the cloud broke, and with cloudbase now at around 1400'QFE course and Club flying continued with a few weak thermals to help the enjoyment. The course members went off for their end of week dinner and the Club set up for a trial lesson evening.

The second group of the LAA Devon Strut managed, at last, to get their flying, after two cancellations because of bad weather. Two members flew in from Dunkeswell, and one all the way from Cardiff. It was a beautiful cloudless evening: no lift, but wonderfully calm conditions and good visibility. All ten members of the party flew. There were enquiries about Club courses, and also about returning to fly during the month's membership period. A successful evening enjoyed by all. Again, thanks to Devon Strut organiser, Peter White, who liaised with Graham Barden to finalise the organisational details. - Wendy

Best flight of the day: 720kms out of Lasham to Welsh marches and back twice, taking a few minutes short of ten hours.

Just a few stats. about this blog. In the five weeks that we have been running there has been 1160 visits, from 315 unique visitors and 12 countries, at currently about 30 visits per day.

Wednesday 3rd June

The day started hot with a moderate n/e wind, being a club day it was quite hectic at times. In the afternoon it became quite thermic with climbs to 4500ft although many pilots found it difficult to find the first thermal. In the evening there was a trial lesson evening for friends / colleagues of Simon Minson.

Tuesday 2nd June

The day started hot and blue with a brisk n/e wind, in the afternoon the cu built up and the wind moderated giving thermals to 5000ft. Dick Britton and Sean Parramore re-soloed and all course members had good soaring flights.

Monday 1st June - Course week

The persistant high pressure is still centred way to our north giving very dry weather and strong easterly winds.

The June course started today with Guy Adams and John Street instructing in the ASK 21's. A very windy morning blew out any thermic activity but everyone had plenty of circuit practice, 6 minutes being about average. As the day progressed the wind moderated a little and even John had to give up thermal avoidance and by the end of the day an 80 minute flight up to 5000' was becoming the norm. Dave Reilly buzzed off into the blue at lunchtime and came back as we were packing away some time after 5:30. His turning point was Salisbury and we rather suspect he went via all the National Trust properties en route just to make it a bit of a challenge! JB pinched a cable in the early afternoon with a view to visiting Sturminster Newton. That achieved he managed a wings level flight back to base from Yeovil. Nifty bit of kit that Ventus! - Tim.

It was nice to see some old faces, Dick Britton and Robin Street have been coming on these courses for over 20 years, and some new ones

Sunday 31st May - ICL

Interclub League
Another blue day dawned,but today clouds started forming about 12:00. There was still a strong easterly wind. Tasks were again set into wind.

Pundit NHL - Sturminster Newton - Westbury - NHL 197kms
Intermediate NHL - Sturminster Newton - Bruton - NHL 157kms
Novice NHL - Sturminster Newton - NHL 137kms

North Hill pilots:
Pundit - Simon Minson, ASW20
Intermediate - Mark Courtney & Paul Summers, DG505
Novice - Andrew Muggleston, Cirrus

It was quite difficult initially particularly into the strong wind, and the clouds proved to be more of a distraction to finding the lift than the blue of Saturday. There were at least two landouts but most got back. North Hill did well today, Andrew was the only novice to complete the task, and Mark missed first place by three minutes in two and a half hours.

Pundit: 1 Park, 2 Wyvern, 3 North Hill, 4 Shalbourne
Intermediate: 1 Mendip, 2 North Hill, 3 Wyvern, 4 The Park, 5 Shalbourne
Novice: 1 North Hill, 2 Mendip, 3 Wyvern, 4 Shalbourne

Overall points:
North Hill: Sat 7, Sun 13, 2nd w/e 20, 1st w/e 17, Total 37, Position 3
The Park: Sat 16, Sun 8, 2nd w/e 24, 1st w/e 20, Total 44, Position 1
Shalbourne: Sat 5, Sun 6, 2nd w/e 11, 1st w/e 3, Total 14, Position 5
Wyvern: Sat 14, Sun 11, 2nd w/e 25, 1st w/e 16, Total 41, Position 2
Mendip: Sat 11, Sun 10, 2nd w/e 21, 1st w/e 14, Total 34, Position 4

Saturday 30th May - ICL

Interclub League
A clear blue day dawned, with a fresh South Easterly wind.
DSGC welcomes all the visitors from Mendip, Shalbourne, Wyvern and The Park.

Task details
Pundit NHL - Taunton - Shaftesbury - NHL 164km
Intermediate NHL - Tiverton - Yeovil - NHL 121km
Novice NHL - Taunton - Yeovil - NHL 101km

North Hill pilots:
Pundit - Pete Startup, Discus
Intermediate - Mark Courtney & James Hood, DG505
Novice - Stu Proctor, Junior

It got going about 13:30, all in the blue locally, but there were some blue streets and haze caps further east, with the good thermals 5kts to 5000ft. Despite the Task Setter's pessimism, most got back and completed the task.

Pundit 1st Wyvern 2nd Mendip 3rd Park 4th Shalbourne 5th North Hill
Intermediate 1st Park 2nd Mendip 3rd North Hill 4th Wyvern 5th Shalbourne
Novice 1st Park 2nd Wyvern 3rd eq North Hill Mendip Shalbourne

This evening's trial lesson group came up for a birthday party. 14 flew, lovely weather and a really nice buffet supplied by H. Thanks to the small group of members who run the evenings. Are there any more volunteers? - James

Thursday 28th May

Probably the biggest crowd of members for a Thursday, for a long time, sat in the Clubhouse all morning watching the low cloud and drizzle blow past. After lunch it was dry and the stratus rose to about 1000' QFE. With that cloudbase and very little wind there was no real soaring, so circuits for all. Three Club gliders and four private enjoyed the fun. Because of the late start we flew right up to 'evening group' time.

This evening's group were staff, friends and families from Motorola. Seventeen people enjoyed the calm evening, still restricted by that 1000' cloudbase, six of whom had a second flight. The evening finished with a cold buffet outside the Clubroom recounting their experiences.

Watch the video of the evening on youTube

Sunday 24th May - Open Weekend

Day 2

The day started with a light northerly breeze and strong sunshine, the first visitors arrived at 0830am. Flying started quickly before breakfast. Around lunch time the wind changed to south-east when we changed sides and then 2 launches later it changed again - to south-west and we had to change ends causing a little problem with flying queues building. It became soarable through the afternoon, which meant we had to limit some of the flight time to ensure everyone flew.

Stories of the Day
"Sam Cotterall with 1000hrs in a Lockheed F104 Starfighter serving with USAF in Vietnam had ejected from one of his 8hour combat air patrols. He was also an instructor in a T33 Shooting Star, his last flight was in an Antonov 2 in 1996, and today, he handled the K13 brilliantly.

"Steve Welch attended a two-week course at North Hill and remembers cloud flying with Mike Fairclough in a Bergfalke, he vowed to return, and 37 years later he brought his daughter Bonnie along to fly.

A large number of visitors turned up who were staying at the local Forest Glade caravan park.

There were 79 flights today and 3 new members have signed up for the special membership. We have also sold 6 voucher flights. We have raised £170 for the Devon Air Ambulance.

Thanks again to H for the refreshments and to the club members for running the launching so efficiently. Special thanks to Trevor for the organisation.

The evening was complete with an impromptu barbeque run by Cheryl.