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.