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.

Saturday 23rd May - Open Weekend

Day 1
A very pleasant May day, slack south westerly wind, a veil of high cloud and warm. Never really any chance of soaring. Perfect weather for a day of trial lessons.

Our trial lesson guests arrived steadily although we were running with about an hour's wait most of the day.

Late in the day, with about ten people still to fly we had a winch snarl-up and as soon as the cables were back the sea air passed through and we had to change ends. Fortunately it was such a pleasant evening the remaining guests did not seem to mind the one hour delay.

Hangar doors eventually closed at about 20:00. In all we flew 91 trial lessons, four of whom signed up to our special offer of four months' membership and a few more are thinking about it.
Thanks to H for providing food and drinks all day, and to the Club members who turned up to run the event.

Thursday 21st May

Just to cheer Matt up who has gone back to work, (but we know he's watching) - we had a cracking day today!

Beautiful cold front clearance gave a west north-westerly breeze with 6 (sometimes 10) knots to 4000ft QNH. Soaring flights from start to finish with the two ASK21s & Junior, two Discus, two K6, B4 and Astir having a whale of a time. Although the 6 knots sink did occasionally catch a couple out. Geoff Sharpe resoloed after a long layoff.

Wednesday 20th May

The first flying day for a week or so, brought out the usual Wednesday crowd. The wind was SSW, and quite blustery restricting solo opportunities. The day started with patchy low cloud, but we could launch when the blue bits came through, as the day progressed there were glimpses of thermal, south ridge and weak wave lift - but barely usable apart from a short period at lunchtime.

A beautiful blue Tiger Moth fluttered down the final approach on a perfect evening, and the Trial Lesson Session of the Devon Strut of the Light Aircraft Association had officially begun. The other participants, who had been arriving by car, made there way across the field to the launch point: everyone enjoying the warm sunshine and south-westerly breeze - a vast improvement on the weather from the first attempt last week. There were sixteen flights, using the two K21s and the DG 505, giving each "student" a chance to get their hands on the controls. There will be another Devon Strut Trial lesson Evening next Wednesday for a second group of enthusiasts from the Light Aircraft Association.

These two group evenings followed a presentation that Robin Willis-Fleming gave to their April meeting, on gliding in general, and on the activities of the Devon and Somerset Gliding Club in particular. There was great enthusiasm about arranging some gliding, and enough members interested to set up two evenings.

Our thanks to Mike Mold for the photos and Peter White, Coordinator of the Devon Strut who organised things so efficiently from his end, and from DSGC Graham Barden who liaised and organised the event from our end. We very much hope that Devon Strut members will make use of their one month membership that goes with the trial lesson, and come back to fly with us at normal club rates during that time. We would be even more delighted if some decide to join us permanently! In the meantime, we are looking forward to next Wednesday, and hoping for similar weather.
- Wendy

Inter Club Comp at The Park 09,10th May

Saturday started off with low cloud and even some drizzle, but after the 10am briefing the predicted improvement was evident by the decision to launch the grid at 11:30. Tasks were set routing south and then east towards Lasham (212km) for the pundits, Popham (165km) for the Intermediates and Shaftsbury (119km) for the Novices and returning to The Park via Salisbury South. The fairly strong south westerly wind added to the challenge. Simon Leeson's early start paid off and he completed  the Intermediate task to win his group. Simon Minson didn't have quite the same luck and descided against a final glide with 200 feet to spare,  to instead scratch around for one last climb but ended up in a beautiful field only about 5km short. Matt Wright managed to get around the Novice task in first place which gave DSGC the day win.

Sunday was on the surface a better day but RASP was predicting extensive high cover which would limit the day's soaring. The tasks were set routing to the north via Westbury and then east to Marlborough (112km) for the Novices, Membury (136km) for the Intermediates and Ilsey (near Didcot 177km) for the Pundits. Andrew mugglestone completed the novice task to finish second, Simon Minson was much happier after completing the pundit task only to discover the others had done it quicker and Steve Westlake was sucked out the sky by the bad juju of some crop circles near Devises. 

Team DSGC ended an enjoyable soaring weekend in second place trailing The Park by 3 points. Next comp is at North Hill at the end of the month, come and see how much fun X-country flying can be.

Sunday 10th May

A crisp, clear sky and blustery south easterly - not our best wind direction.

It was just soarable through the morning, just after midday the wave influences from the upwind ridges seemed to subside and some very strong thermals developed.

There was an unusually large number of trial lessons, hopefully generating new members.

Friday 8th May

Field maintenance continued after a slight delay because the alternator was missing from the digger, both sides of the cattle grid are now clear,land drain repair is now completed.

All waste from ditch clearing has now been burnt, roots and stumps removed, we await the purchase of a ditching bucket to complete the job.

Most holes have been filled and seeded.

Many thanks to :- John Street, Peter Smith, Nick, Les Hill, Ian Hunt, Phil Grant, Matt Wright and John Sillett for their hard work.

Thursday 7th May

Cold front passed through at first light but there wasn't a classic clearance. 8/8 cover with cloudbase 1400ft. There were two periods of lower cloudbases and patchy drizzle conveniently timed at lunch and afternoon tea.
The rest of the day was circuits with Joe Drury clocking up yet another 9 solos in the day towards his Bronze C, having passed the exams yesterday. Ian Hunt resoloed for the new season with a couple of well-handled, 'thought provoking' circuits.

A visitor on a Trial lesson said to his wife on opening the canopy after landing 'I could well be selling the golf clubs' and he plans to use his 3 months membership in ernest and bring his wife and mother for trial lessons as well.

Wednesday 6th May

Slow start today due to low cloudbase and poor viz.
Conditions eventually perked up after lunch to give some ridge soaring and even some easy thermal soaring under 8/8ths cover with embedded Cu, but only to around 1500'-ish.
5 Club gliders flew, as did HCX after returning from Poland, and very nice it looked too - lets try to keep it looking this good with regular cleaning after use. 5 private gliders came out to play too.
Fingers crossed for another weekend of good weather and Good Luck to the boys flying Inter Club at the Park this weekend.

Tuesday 5th May FIELD DAY

General Street, was promoted today, to the esteemed rank of Field Marshal, for courage and dedication above and beyond the call of duty. Without flinching he lead his small team of volunteers out onto the field to do battle with the fiendish field drain blockage, the bothersome bald bits and a heinous hole or two. 

Dave R and Pete S were in the workshop putting the finishing touches to HCX which they hope to rig and fly tomorrow.

Monday 4th May

After the great weekend weather, wasn't too surprised by only a few die hards turning up to fly in the overcast and sporadically showery conditions. The west ridge provided most of the lift with the odd thermal thrown in, giving John Sillet the 'Flight Of The Day" at 39min in the DG505. John Street had 2 flights with a jurno who didn't get a chance to fly on the media day. At the end of play, 22 launches and 1 minute shy of 6 hrs flown. Not bad at all.

Field work day tomorrow. General Street will be inspecting the troops at 9 am. Volunteers are most welcome!

Sunday 3rd May

The morning saw heavy high cover with some soaring beneath the cover, and a brisk 14-15 knottish North Westerly wind at the surface, more at flying heights.
After scrubbing a Club task at 13:00 for the above reasons, Pete in 230 and Steve in FER decided to try the proposed task of O/R to Dorchester anyway - both got back ok but had low points - wouldn't be any fun without at least one scrape would it?.Pete was saved by a flock of soaring gulls to show him where the lift was and Steve reckons it was a farmyard full of cows that saved him - at least I think that's what he said!
As the afternoon wore on the high cover burned off and gave some excellent local soaring even in the breeze.
Pete Smith got his Bronze checks signed off after lots of stalling/spinning type stuff with Simon Minson and James Hood is progressing well with his Red card checks.
Lots of other stuff done but one of the Juniors stayed in the hangar all day - possibly not enough Blue card rated pilots?
Tomorrow looks cloudier and breezier but dry and the West ridge should work.

Saturday 2nd May

With a reasonable soaring day in prospect, the Club was busy from early on with lots of ab initio and further training.
Tea and medals today go to Ed of the Exeter Uni GC who went solo today - well done Ed!
230 attempted NHL-CER-WEG-OKE-NHL but abandoned the task just 6km short of OKE which was in sea air by the time he got there. Lots of other soaring done by private and Club gliders.
Lookout was tested even more than normal as many gliders from the East were using North Hill, Honiton, Okehampton and other local turnpoints today.
The K21 is back from Poland resplendant in it's new finish but it won't be available for use for another week.Many thanks to Dave Reilly for the marathon drive to go and get it!
Looks promising again tomorrow.