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.