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