Wednesday 15th December

Contrary to the forecast north-westerly wind we set up on the north-east run on a bright but cold day. There were wave clouds dotted all over the sky - the intrepid CFI took a high tow to look for the wave, but to no avail. Circuits all day and the canopy misting held off until the orange sun dropped behind the Dartmoor horizon. John St inflicted launch failure practice on several training flights.

Sunday 13th December

A lovely bright start with a fresh north easterly contributing to the wind chill, Ron went looking for the wave and found the sink - making a dirty dash back. Everybody enjoyed bumpy sinky circuits until misted canopies called it a day. KEK was derigged ready for its annual this week.

Saturday 11 December

The hopeful tried to fly but after a few attempts low cloud won the day.

Thursday 9th December

Thursday dawned bright, but cold with a hint of west in the light northerly wind, which later backed to give a decent breeze down the strip. Plenty of circuits. About midday cloud started to appear and to show gaps across the wind. Ron took a high tow and started to climb slowly in the wave, Pete H took the next tow only to meet Ron coming down through the closing gap, and that was that. By the end of the day it had warmed up enough to melt most of the lying snow.

Sunday 5th December

A blue day with a strong turnout. After defrosting the winch fuel system there were plenty of launches. The aerotow was also in demand with tows to 3000 ft to checkout the mist in the Exe valley.
Simon M flew with Stu for some Full cat coaching and Rowan for further looping and advanced handling excercising in the K13.

Wyn was sent on his first solo, Dylan and Will continued to consolidate their recent solos.

Saturday 4th December

The remnants of snow, low cloud and lack of people meant no flying today, but members started gathering in the afternoon ready for Emma's Carvery followed by the AGM. About 30 members enjoyed Emma's first club dinner, the AGM started on time with more than 60 attending. The usual AGM business was covered along with active discussions on Exeter University subscription fees, and slight revisions to the Constitution. There were congratulations to all who had gained personal achievements (most of which have been reported on this blog)and the trophies for 2010 were awarded to Matt *3, Henry, Rowan, Simon M, Nick H, Pete & Jill.

Food for Saturday 4 December, AGM night

Emma is cooking roast dinners for Saturday evening after flying and before the AGM.

Remember to pre-order your food, so give the club house a ring tomorrow (Wednesday).
There's a choice of Beef or Turkey and two puddings.

Sunday 28th November

A layer of snow blanketed the field, all beautiful until the members turned up. Launching from the south west corner, the wind was chilly but the views magnificent.
With the snow and very few people around, it was an aerotow only day, with 3000 ft aerotows, the views were very much enjoyed.
Rowan was cleared for solo loops in the K13. Matt removed Pete W from the tug to fly some launches. Everyone descended on the kitchen for lunch. After which Emma was flown by Roly. The day had an overall relaxed feel.

Martin W and Joe had an unintentional visit into the rifle range. Diana to the rescue with icy roads and snow covered fields, the glider was swifty skated back up the icy hill to bed.

Thursday 25th November

Well, what a lovely day, far better than expected. It was cold and sunny all day, there was a fresh northerly (which did not help the cold) but it was a lot less strong than forecast.
A happy band of the usual "Thursday Thermallers" turned up to fly, and thermal it did - there was a short period before lunch with proper thermals and cumulus, and what looked like snow showers not far away.
Both K21s and a Junior were busy all day, and again JB grabbed the K13 this time for some Full Cat preparation for Peter F.

Emma is putting on a Carvery after flying, before the AGM, and would to know some idea of numbers to cater for. If you cannot get to the Club between now and then, please phone through your order to the Club.

Wednesday 24th November

Two days after his sixteenth birthday, Will went solo today.
It was a late start, but the rain and murk cleared by around 11 o'clock and launching started just after mid day. The conditions were very gentle with almost no wind and good visibility.
There was a good crowd of club members to fly and both K21's kept going all day by Lisa, Mike F and John St.
JB commandeered the K13, with Will, and concentrated on launch failures - and he was spot on with everything. He went solo at about 3.30 watched by his Mum & Dad, Grandparents and other family members and made a perfect flight with a super smooth landing, to the applause of everyone present and great relief of his Mum! Matt Wright quietly recorded the days events on video so all Will needs now is the tee shirt!

Well done Will. - JB

Sunday 21st November

There was no flying as low cloud kept enthusiasm equally low.
John street washed his caravan and car, it then rained.
BI training has started with a briefing for Matt, Dan, James and Henry.
Emma in the kitchen ran out of chips and tea bags.
Andrew continued with the gorse removal on the South side of the field for a couple of hours.

Saturday 20th November

The morning started bright but things fogged up and stayed that way all day. A few people hung around for lunch but generally drifted home afterwards.

 Pete and Matt, looking for the clubhouse

Matt W still wanted to do some flying, so an experiment was carried out to see if an RC glider could be kited:

A 'foamy' RC glider tied to a length of yaw string.

Things worked well flying in a figure of eight until an accelerated dive into the ground killed it. More experients required!

Thursday 18th November

Yesterday's rain had drained from the field sufficiently to enable aerotows, although there was low cloud and drizzle for the first half of the morning. Once we got started the low cloud was coming and going just out of sync. with the aerotow turnround. Finding odd holes in the clouds, there was zero sink above cloud tops - we just had to be a little cautious with the closing gaps. Only 5 aerotows but at least we all flew in one seat or another.

Wednesday 17th November

The torrential rain and floods stopped a lot of members getting to the club today even for lunch.

Sunday 14th November

After a miserable wet morning the skies started clearing a little just after lunch. Two K21s, the Tug and launch point were put into action on a wet field. Pete W towed, Mark flew with Henry, James flew with Paul and Muggles with Carl.
Roly and Heather helped out on the Launch point. Cloud base was 1500 ft to 2000 ft with some orographic. -HF

Saturday 13th November

Weather was very calm with 55 knot approaches the order of the day. No wind to speak of. High cloud cover from a warm front in the Channel made sure there was no thermal activity. While the rest of the country remained blue.
Heather is progressing well. Gerard took a Junior for his first solo aerotow.
Two EUGC members, Andrew and Emily. Emily made the most of the calm conditions and took an extra aerotow. - HF
In the evening, several members joined family and friends in Torquay to celebate Christine and Godfrey's Golden Wedding Anniversary - a good time was had by all.

Wednesday 10th November

A beautiful blue start with a slightly gusty north easterly, by mid morning the wind changed to light north westerly meaning a change of ends. 5 aerotows and 35 winch launches with plenty of circuit practice, a hint of ridge lift and a multitude of launch failure training flights into the setting sun.

Sunday 7th November

The wind started off north easterly, 10 kts, backing and easing during the afternoon. Cloudbase was low in the morning rising to around 1500ft in the afternoon. Flying from the south west corner. Misting canopies and a completed flying list stopped flying in good time. Nearly 30 flights in total, no extended flights but plenty of circuit practice. Also thanks to John St and Muggles for starting to clear the old DSGC sheep pen. - HF

Saturday 6th November

An early start was swiftly thwarted by low cloud with a restart about 1100am, wind was light north westerly and some dark black streets set up. It was an 'LS benefit day' with Martin (KMV) managing 1hr30, Stuart (KMV), Roy (480) and Eric (194) all achieving soaring flights alongside the whole club fleet with an empty launch point. The 2-seater list was long but everybody flew, and both juniors were in demand all day. Henry and Jimbob have started mutual flying as a workup to them preparing for BI training.

Thursday 4th November

Low cloud greeted the Thursday thermallers, although there were a few short moments of sunshine - it didn't improve enough to fly. The group enjoyed some gliding videos instead.

Wednesday 3rd November

A beautiful bright start, although the first launch approached cloud at 1000ft, it was thought that it would burn off. The second launch reached cloud at 500ft and that was the end of flying for the day.

Sunday 31st October

The aftermath of the party saw more people turn up on this non-flying day than turned up for the party the previous night. A day was spent in the clubhouse keeping Emma in the kitchen busy with food orders and plenty of Tea.

JB and Mike Robinson fitted a ground-handling radio to the Skylaunch. Muggles did some work tidying away the wiring in the kitchen.

Before this blog was around we had a forum, it started quite busy but died off. All blog style postings have been copied over to this blog. They range from January 2008 to February 2009. Use the menu to the right to find them.

Saturday 30th October

A mild sunny Saturday thermic morning with a southerly crosswind, gave way to an increasing and backing gusty wind, but the south ridge was working to 600ft. The clouds built up during the afternoon and it started raining just after packing up. The evening halloween and firework party got going.

Thursday 28th October

Low cloud and drizzle slowed the start today, but it soon cleared to give a gentle westerly wind with patchy cloud at around 1200' and signs of the south westerly wave setting up. The wind started to pickup and backed a little and the whole Broadhembury valley became soarable to around 1500' in very gentle wave all afternoon, until dusk. All-in-all a better day than expected.

Wednesday 27th October

Today started foggy but with a reasonable forcast and a huge flying list we were ready to start flying early.
Early low cloud restricted launch height, so for a while we spent the time on launch failure practice. As soon as the cloud base lifted we had good ridge lift and as the day progressed a sea breeze front set up South of the airfield to give good soaring for a couple of hours.
There were several Trial Lessons and some visitors returning to use their three month membership, this kept the instructors busy all day, both the Juniors were being flown and had the DG505 returned from Talgarth that would have also been kept busy, many flights of around an hour were recorded. - JSt

Sunday 24th October - Talgarth

The morning was still and frosty, frozen gliders were defrosted as the sun shone stronger. The winds picked up Northerly, thermals started popping. The entire club experienced the first part of the Pandy run.
Technique for the long run home; don't leave below the ridge height and don't breathe for the next five miles.
Henry encountered strong sink on leaving the hill and chose a suitable field ... this field, however, had been recently spread with muck. New boots for Mark, James and Henry.
Simon and Cheryl finished the day beating up the ridge landing in JZK just after 18:00
A fantastic weekend of gliding, one more day planned but with no wind forecast, might be an early exit.

Sunday 24th October

A glorious bright day with a fresh, cold north easterly wind. Surprisingly there were not many members to fly, sometimes outnumbered by the followers of the Trial Lesson students!
Roly was busy all day flying Trial Lessons, John St was instructing Club members all day and Muggles completed his Asst Cat acceptance flights with Pete.
A good north-south street formed up over the field at lunchtime and provided excellent soaring all afternoon, with some spectacular views as sunset approached.

Saturday 23rd October - Talgarth

The long wait began, a weak westerly and low cloud on the hill put most people off, rain added to the confusion. Mark and the boys went the Brecon for coffee returning in the just after lunch.
Pete(230) rigged early morning but gave up soon after, as he derigged and exited for home, flying began.
Wave set-up in the valley, Mark, Simon, Matt explored. The hill cleared and the ridge was on! Much excitement was had by the group and most flew.
For Rowan had his first flight at Talgarth straight into wave.

Saturday 23rd October

A day of bright sunshine and heavy, blustery showers of rain and hail, but with sufficient time between them to dry the gliders and get a bit of ridge soaring in.

Friday 22nd October - Talgarth

After an early start, Mark, Simon Leeson, James, Henry and Gerard made their way to Talgarth Airfield.
The wind started westerly swinging around SW during the day. Gerard and James both had dual flights with Mark and Simon in the DG. ENW and CVV both saw some exciting ridging down the Cwmdu valley.
There was wave present above the lower part of the Cwmdu valley and those who got into it were rewarded with a climb to 8,000 ft QFE. However, the sky was cycling and gaps started to close.
Graham and Cheryl made an appearance in the evening, pitching their tent hours before a deluge of rain overnight.
Simon(SM), Pete(230) and Matt(477) also turned up during the evening fresh from a soaking in Portmoak.

Portmoak chronicles 21st October

After yesterdays epic Arctic survival test, today was positively balmy with a brisk but relatively warm WSW wind. The Bishop was lively but wave was difficult to fathom as it seemed to run along the sides of cloudstreets running W-E.
Still, hanging in there paid off and after a while positive wave set up in front of Bishop hill with climbs up to 6,000' between the airfield and Glenfarg resevoir.
Then a trough appeared with rain on it so everybody landed - after yesterdays epic nobody seemed that bothered!
Very strong winds and showers prevented further launching so we started packing for the trip home or other gliding sites for a weekend of fun.
About 15 hours flying from 7 launches.

Thursday 21st October

First significant frost of the season, but a beautiful blue morning with a gentle westerly wind. Rhodri took two 4000ft aerotows for spin training, whilst brother Dylan had a couple of checks flights prior to first solo - well done -(school commitments preventing him from achieving this on his 16th birthday).

Geoff has been practising on Condor Flight Sim and has perfected his circuit planning and landings without the hindrance of an Instructor.
Emma the caterer had her first taste of gliding with Pete and is still grinning. Mid afternoon, rain stopped play.

Portmoak chronicals 20 october 2010

Another astonishing Portmoak day - 40 hours flown from 10 launches. Started with clear skies and very cold on the ridge waiting for the wave to kick in which it did after about an hour. After initial climbs off the Lomond hill most pushed North with a few of the more ambitious going to Pitlochry or Killin and the surrounding area. Most settled for climbs to around 10-12,000' because of the cold, the water in Si Minsons Camelbak froze!
But the medals today go to Dave Jesty who has joined our gang from Dartmoor GC for the week, who climbed to 19,000' for his Diamond and on his first trip too - top effort!
The first snows of the season could be seen on the higher ground to the North.
First picture shows Simon climbing at 7.5kts at 13,000' and the second a classic wave slot, Perth centre right.

Wednesday 20th October

What a wonderful day to be out gliding - and in October!
There was 4000ft cloudbase along one of the northerly streets and the toes didn't get frozen. Visibility was awesome - you could see the Severn Bridge, Brecon Beacons, Lundy and Portland around the horizon. Lisa completed her Asst Cat acceptance checks with Pete - welcome to the duty roster on Saturday afternoons with Ian as mentor.

Tuesday 19th October Portmoak Chronicles

After a very cold clear night, the usual crew were out on the field braving the frost prepping the gliders ready for action, while the more sane amongst us watched from the warmth of the club house , nice cup of tea in hand. The day tuned into a staggering mix of ridge, thermal and wave with a Macflurry of sleet and snow thrown in, resulting in very cold toes, 37 hours of flying and the usual mega cheesy grins.

The lift on Benarty was so good that Ron was out climbed by a MBC Allegro, well at least that's what he thought it was!

Monday 18th October Portmoak Chronicles

The strong westerly wind had the expedition gliders rigged and ready at the launch point before breakfast. There was alot of cloud with the bases around 3000' QFE, but with sporadic patches of lower orographic and wave rotor induced cloud also. By mid afternoon, all the members managed to connect with the wave which set up off the northern end Lomand Hill, masterfully sniffed out by Simon in SM, and climb to between 8 and 10 thousand feet.

Ron made 2 trips into the wave, firstly with Wooly and then with Gill in her first flight since Georgia was born, Phil was left holding the baby. By late afternoon most of the cloud had dissolved, leaving everything bathed in the golden glow of the sinking sun.

In all 12 launches and over 35hrs of flying between us. Mega cheesy grins all round.

Sunday 17th Portmoak Chronicles

The long trip up north of the Haggis Curtain was relatively pain free for the expidition members who travelled on Friday and Saturday. Ron and Wooly however had another epic 11hr saga complete with having to get the fuselage of the ASH out of the trailer on the side of themotorway to get access to the spare wheel.

Sunday dawned with a fresh south westerly breeze but the cloudbase was down on the top of Bishop. By lunch the cloud had lifted and we all launched and spent a few hours alternatively blasting along Bishop and climbing in wave when gaps appeared in the cloud, and airbraking back down to the hill when the gaps closed in. Rain ended play and the gliders were parked up ready for tomorrow's fun.

The highlight of the day was JB senior being bollocked for slurping his gravy off his plate!

Sunday 18th October

A slow start with the first flight just before 1100. Other things working against us were the sheep getting out and the cable breaking. Only a handful of launches before lunch.
After the naff weather during his Asst Cat course at Hus Bos, Muggles has been waiting for Regional Examiner Graham to visit NHL to complete the winch launching part of the course - successfully negotiated today, just awaiting acceptance flights with CFI Pete.
Nigel, an early solo pilot, was checked out for the day and soloed in a K21 getting the longest flight of the day, 51 minutes. Trevor and Henry were the only others to break 30 minutes. Two Exeter University student were present. - HRF

Saturday 16th October

The front cleared overnight, leaving a bright start with a cold north easterly wind. Cloud base rose to 2000ft QFE with some limited soaring. There was some evidence of a weak wave system but not much that was usable. It was nice to see Fred on the field after his accident. Congratulations to Lisa for completing her Assistant Cat course at Hus Bos this week.

News from Portmoak & Talgarth to come...

Thursday 14th October

A good crowd assembled early in the Clubhouse, several claiming to have seen an optimistic forecast for the clag to clear mid-morning. We prepared the kit and towed two K21s to the far end of the field and set up the launching into the cold north easterly wind.
No sign of any brightness, so picket the gliders and return to the Clubhouse for early lunch. Many were still optimistic so we waited, after all it did clear yesterday, the height of the day passed with no change. Some wanted to go home so we towed everything back and put it away.
The DG505 was put in its trailer, ready for a couple of weekends at Talgarth, while other prepared for the long haul to Portmoak for, hopefully, a week of ridge and wave soaring.

Wednesday 13th October

Cold, low cloud and poor visibility greeted the Wednesday crew but the clubhouse was full.
In anticipation we got the kit out, Mike Fitz took a launch and approached "cloudbase" at 350ft so we decided to have an early lunch, after which some members gave up and went home.
After lunch the conditions had improved so JS took a launch and we started with launch failure training,gradually the conditions improved and we had a pleasant afternoon's flying.
Roly continued his BI flying and Clive was practicing back seat flying, we packed up about 6.00pm.

Sunday 10th October - Brentor

After Mark, James and Dave went to Brentor yesterday with some success, Henry looked at the weather for Sunday and persuaded John S(RN Retd.) to take the Pilatus B4 to Brentor.
The mist was thick at North Hill and all the way to Okehampton. By mid-morning a bar of light was breaking through parallel to the western flank of Dartmoor. Around lunchtime James turned up having just rolled out of bed.

Don (The CFI at Brentor) and a willing band of helpers started to DI and rig gliders. The B4 was online and John was persuaded to take the first launch, unfortunately unsucessful. James and Henry jumped into a K7/13 to show him how it should be done.

After being thrown around at the top of the wire in rough wave rotor for a few minutes, the air suddenly went smooth and the vario literally hit the stop!!
Pointing at the altimeter "We're at 2,500 ft" ... nope "3,500 ft", The lift was strong all the way to 5000 ft QFE (8.2 knots average on the trace).
At around 7500 ft QFE the climb levelled out and the K13 saw a high point of 8100 ft. An epic descent followed with full airbrakes being ineffective against the lift, in places still doing two knots up!
The circuits started at around 1500-2000 ft and final turns were well over 600 ft. Approach speeds of 65-75 knots were required until the last 50 ft when everything smoothed out.

Brentor is a great site for wave off Dartmoor in Easterlies, slightly North of East is preferable.

North Hill pilots, get to Brentor more often! It's only an hour away from Exeter.
They have a blog similar to ours.

Saturday 9th October

Summary: Windy and misty. Strong easterly. 15 knots.
The Winch rope was checked out.
With visibility down to the beech trees and cloud base around 300 ft, Mark C carried out briefings in the classroom all morning to several people including two from Exeter University.
By lunchtime it was obvious the mist was not clearing so Mark, James and Dave decided to make a fleeting visit to Brentor. Summary: Rough rotor! Some flights were had in wave.
In the afternoon a blue hole opened up over the valley between North Hill and the motorway. This was probably a wave slot but with no-one around to find out, we'll never know.

H made an appearance, she's probably still getting used to being the 'wrong' side of the counter.

Halloween & fireworks party on Saturday 30th October is being organised by Cheryl & Steph - please look out for posters and put your name down for food.

Thursday 7th October

The forecast was spot on, and not particularly favourable. A bright, misty start with a comfortable southerly breeze, but this soon backed to south east and picked up to boisterous - not our best wind. Every launch and circuit seemed to be different, but the over-riding characteristic was the strong sink in circuit and on the approach with much use of firmly closed airbrakes! Not a very busy day but everyone had at least one sample of the conditions.
The incoming front turned the southern horizon black late in the afternoon, and it started to spit with rain just after closing the hangar.

Wednesday 6th October

Blimey - a soarable day in October - bonus!
The day stated bright and breezy with the wind around 270/10 and increasing and backing as the day wore on to 230/15.
Much training was done and the interesting approach over the trees kept everybody on their toes - it was surprisingly bumpy at times given that the wind was pretty much down the field.
Cloudbase reached around 3,000' QFE during the afternoon and streeting was evident.
Good soaring was indicated by John S(RN Retd.) in his B4(CVV) who got away first and initiated a minor rigging frenzy.
Pete(230) ventured along an into wind street as far as Crediton West before it ran out and turned soggy, Joe turbo'ed off towards Exmoor and JB(KJW) ran downwind to the Quantocks and soared the ridge for a while as the wind backed, then took a thermal climb but the struggle back into the increasing wind and weakening day meant him using the "iron thermal" to get home.
Thermals stopped abruptly at about 16:00 - it was like somebody turned a switch off!
Can somebody fill in the stats and put some detail to all the training that was done today?
A good day and the weekend looks to be warm and flyable both days.

Sunday 3rd October

There was no flying, plenty of rain overnight and poor weather in the morning turned people away.
Several forecasts were wrong with the day becoming flyable in the afternoon but noone around to fly! It seems the rains were off to the east.

Exeter University Activities Fair got some new members signed up, more to follow.

New mobile friendly version of our webcam.
Checkout the Facebook group or Googlegroups for more details.

Saturday 2nd October

There was flying, the winds were breezey and southerly, the yellow card was up all day.

Thursday 30th September

A misty start that cleared as we prepared the kit for flying. Launching started well with unexpected height into the gentle breeze, but there was indication of the wave activity usually found just south of the field in south westerly winds. There were ominous looking small patches of cloud below us, which over the next hour or so thickened up to a solid sheet of orographic with a base at 600'. Early lunch - this was a bit of a shock for Emma on her first day catering for us, in the recently refurbished kitchen, but she coped very well.
After a two hour break, the cloud cleared a bit to give a flyable sky again. There were five trial lessons, and training continued until the orographic cloud returned late in the afternoon, this time thick enough to drizzle on us as we packed the hangar. Doesn't it get dark early now?

Mon. 27th & Tue. 28th September

This time every year there is an influx of potential new members to Exeter University GC. In the past this has caused a fair amount of disruption to normal DSGC operations when several car loads of students arrive to fly. Edd, this year's Captain, suggested a couple of "taster days" outside normal flying days to take the pressure. Fresher's Day was last Sunday, the taster days were set for the following two days - a brilliant idea, thwarted by the weather.
Unfortunately, after the first 3 launches the weather deteriorated with cloud base down to 500 ft. However, 12 students enjoyed a short briefing session from the instructors, and hope to return and fly with the club at a later date.
A glorious morning, sunny and clear, enabled 6 students to get a flight, in some cases 2 flights. The good conditions lasted until lunchtime, when mist and low cloud stopped flying again.
Around 24 students expressed an initial interest in gliding as a “taster”, so Edd is hoping that this will be consolidated into actual membership of the Exeter University Gliding Club.
Thanks to the 3 instructors Pete H, Roly and Robin. Thanks also to the ground crew, especially Dave and Don, as well as some of the former and present members of the University Club who so expertly helped with every aspect. W W-F

Sunday 26th September - Talgarth

A breeze-free morning with a hard frost met early risers, (or maybe just JB in his van on the airfield). The clear blue skies and sunny conditions thawed it rapidly.

Plenty of visitors, including Dunstable with their K21.

Mid-morning, the wind started to pickup towards its forecast Northerly 20 kts. Simon M (SM) launched early reporting winds NNW 13 kt @ 2000 ft. Similar to Saturday but with the extra 2 kt the thermals had a different feel, stronger but more broken, could this be the first sign of wave?

JB (KJW) and Henry (CVV) launched just after lunch. JB Managed to get away but Henry found out what out-of-phase wave does to a ridge and landed shortly after.

Simon and JB both had a taste of the wave system which set up over the black mountains. Simon getting a beautiful climb to 6000 ft above site over the Cwmdu valley. Henry relaunched for a near three-hour flight, Simon and JB both had a touch over five hours each.
JB and Simon came back on the ridge for some ridge running before landing to derig.
The thermals died, the wind dropped, the wave collapsed and the ridge went soft. Time to pack up and off to the pub. Arrival at NH marked by a spectacular moon-lit lenticular off the south coast at gone midnight. Just fantastic!

Sunday 26th September

Today started nice and bright but quite cool with a difficult Northerly wind, soon the thermals were popping giving climbs to 3500ft.

Simon L was putting finishing touches to Lisa's training before her Asst Cat course, Roly made good use of his new BI rating with five areotows.

The Skylaunch winch had new stronger drums fitted over the weekend and is now ready for use. After using the trusty old Supercat for a couple of days it will be nice to get back to the smooth ride of the Skylaunch again.

Saturday 25th - Talgarth

Original plan was Parham but it didn't look like the wind was going to be quite right for the ridge there(we were wrong-damn), so a late change of plan saw Pete S(230), Simon M(SM) and JB(KJW) take a very early trip North to Talgarth with Henry(CVV) following later in the day.

What a fall back plan this turned out to be! Thermals a plenty to 3,500' + QFE, the ridge from Talgarth to Hay Bluff was working and the viz was possibly the best I have ever seen. SM managed a small wave climb to about 4,800' but it collapsed quickly and that was that, no more wave!
Simon did a couple of site checks for visiting pilots before launching but I think the 3 early birds did between 4 and 5 hours each and Henry a couple of hours but he probably had the best views as the sun set over the hills and valleys and made some beautiful shadows - Henry carrying on his North Hill tradition was the last glider to land.

I came back last night but it looks like the others are going to have another cracking day - perhaps one of leftovers could take some pictures. And many thanks to Henry who did just that - excellent pics too.

Saturday 25th September

The season of expeditions has begun with Simon (SM) off to ridge-run the Southdowns, Peter F & Paul C (OL) off to explore the Portmoak wave, and JB (KJW), Pete (230) and Henry (CVV) to see what Talgarth has to offer. Please send in your reports.....

Wednesday 22nd September

Wednesday started with great expectations, warm and sunny, Martin rigged his LS3 and Clive & Nick rigged the Oly, everything was fine until the low cloud arrived, by 3.30 the cloud was descending rapidly so we called it a day.

The afternoon was not wasted though, with a gang of willing helpers we repaired the wheel brake on KEK led by Chairman Peter and ably assisted by Robert

Sunday 19th September

North Hill was suffering in the turbulence and curl-over provided by a Southerly wind. Ron J raising the blue flag just before lunch.

News from Halesland:
After a late night at H's party, the guys in Mark's caravan were woken early by an excited Matt W; "Get your gliders, we're going to Mendip, Dudes!!"

Matt W (477), Simon M (SM), Mark C (ENW), James, Henry (CVV) and Dave made their way up the motorway to Halesland with gliders in tow. The wind was a fresh 10 to 15 knots SW, cloud base around 2000 ft QFE. The ridge started to work well after lunch from M5 to the TV mast in the east. Showers appeared from a strong convergence in the afternoon, any glider airborne was swiftly pulled up to cloud base.

There were 18 launches of which seven were North Hill.
Simon and JB had over four hours each, Mark and Matt had over three hours, Henry nearly 2.5 hours.

The best bit was watching Dave and James ridge running in Mendip's K13!

Gliders derigged, it was time to go home.

Saturday 18th September

A light westerly wind and blue sky started the day, thermals were plentiful but cloudbase took a while to rise. At times there was some significant spreadout but cycling into blue holes. Pete (230), Matt (477) and Pete & Jill (OL) completed the 100km Club task NHL-TIE-YEO-NHL in a tiptoe mode following the energy. There were 3 trial lessons and club flying enjoying the late summer thermals.
In the evening, H gave a party in the old hangar to celebrate her retirement, and what a bash it was. More than 100 past and present members and friends gathered to thank H for her devoted work keeping us all fed and watered in all weathers for more years than anyone wishes to remember.

Chairman Peter and President Dave presented her, on behalf of all members, a short speech of thanks, Life Membership, a "Matt" cartoon, and a significant cheque. Les finished the presentations with a bouquet of flowers.
The partying went on until late in the evening with live music from Alex and Steve.

Many thanks go to Muggles and his team for cleaning out the old hangar before and after the event, and of course to H for providing the banquet.
Surprise announcement of the evening was that Steph and Chris got married earlier in the day - congratulations to both.

Thursday 16th September

A dismal drizzly start, with not much flying before lunch, but the afternoon brightened up, with thermals (to 2000ft) started popping at 1645 - just in time for the last pair of cables.
There were only 6 club members and 2 trial lessons. Well done to Barbie for getting back in the Junior, and to Mark L for his first flights in the Junior.

Wednesday 15th September Ridge Day at Nympsfield

It all started with an email from Trevor Stuart enquiring if Pete S and I would like to join a lead and follow group. The forecast was predicting winds of 270° 15-20kts and he proposed flying down the Cotswold edge from Nympsfield to Bath race course and back a couple of times. JB was also free so he also made the 2hr trip up the M5 to join in the fun.

Mr Dyson's Vacuum powered house which almost sucked us out the sky on our attempted 3rd lap!
Tyndale Monument, something to aim for when leaving the local ridge.

Wednesday 15th September

Clear blue sky following yesterday's front, meant the hangar was emptied, but the cloud filled in and the wind got up to a rather gusty west north-westerly. But it was soarable with thermals kicking off from the ridge to 2400ft under the overcast. There should have been some wave there, but there weren't any holes until late on, and we probably needed to get up a little higher to make contact. Trial lessons were put off to another day. Roly did his first BI flight. Welcome back to John P after his layoff. The kitchen refurbishment has started.

Sunday 12th September

Just to add that Steve Westlake did the Club Almost 100 yesterday as well and Mike Fairclough went down to somewhere around Dorchester way.
With regards to my comment above, TAU-YEO isn't actually 100km any more as the NHL TP was moved this year from the middle of the airfield to the hangar - it's only 99.7km, so if you want to do a 100km Diploma flight do TIE-YEO instead!
I should have known this as I wrote a tome about it at the begining of the season but I'd forgotten until I replayed the trace - OOPS!

Sunday 12th September

The forecast was good for a post-cold front ridge with a north-westerly wind. Early convection drew the moisture out of the ground with a low cloudbase, by midday the thermals had firmed up and cloudbase had risen to 2400ft. At times, it proved difficult to get away from the winch, as the streets were just a little out of reach with a 15knot wind and there was some strong sink around, this produced a busy aerotow queue.
During the afternoon streets set up from coast to coast with higher cloudbases (3500ft QFE) to the south. Pete (230) completed the Club 100 Taunton - Yeovil, and others ran up and down the streets from Exmoor to Seaton enjoying long flights.
It was a good day for the club - in addition to the whole club fleet flying, there were 14 private gliders soaring, 3 trial lessons, 17 aerotows and the Skylaunch did 62 launches into a difficult cross wind, again without mishap or interruption. Many thanks to all who pitched in and contributed to making it a memorable day. Dare we hope for a few more in 2010 before winter closes in?

Saturday 11th September

The expected frontal rain cleared faster than forecast and it became soarable mid- morning. Cloudbase was at 2500ft and the wind was westerly 10 knots. Cheryl completed her red card checks with Mike Fitz. Rowan converted to the K6 and had 6 flights, Stu enjoyed soaring the LS3 and Pete(CFI) added a new type (LS3) to his list of 94 gliders. There were 3 trial lessons but rather quiet for club members.

Thursday 9th September

Today was forecast to be the best day of the week, and so it turned out to be - eventually. The day started with thick fog, slowly the cloudbase rose, high enough by mid morning to complete some launch failure training. Around midday the clouds opened into a soarable sky, with cloudbase up to 3000ft QFE. There were also large areas of sink around which made life difficult at times. The day came to an end with a glorious sunny evening.
Strangely none of the course members were on site today, so it turned out to be a normal Thursday Club day, there was one trial lesson.
Geoff's much loved SF27, which has not seen the outside of a trailer for several years, left the site for a new life in northern Germany. Hartmut, a glider pilot from near Bremen, arrived with his own open trailer, a very wise move, after an over-night 1000km drive, spent 24 hours around NHL and then returned home.
Roly has spent the last two days with Regional Examiner Adam to get his BI rating signed off.

Roly, being congratulating by Pete after the successful completion of his CFI acceptance checks.

Special from Saturday 4th September

Click here for a YouTube video giving some idea of the wave flights of last Saturday.
Or cut and paste

Sunday 5th September

K21(KEK)was at Bridwell Country Fair accompanied by Andrew, Ian, Lisa, Roly & Heather, Graham & Cheryl.

Meanwhile the K21 trailer was put to double-use as HCX with Simon M and JimBob on board landed out at the rifle range following an approach into the curlover of the strong easterly wind. Both K21s returned safely to the club.

Saturday 4th September

A K21 was derigged by Cheryl, Heather and Lisa who also thoroughly cleaned it ready to take to the Bridwell Country fair. The blokes lent a hand by watching and pointing out the bits they missed.
Late start due to low cloud and haze, launching from the West end of the field with a strong 15 kt cross wind. Weak front went through producing some rain at lunchtime.
The wind veered to SSW during the passage of the front and then backed to ESE during the afternoon. The front cleared quickly, some had already decided to leave and missed out on what became a fantastic wave and ridge evening. - wave to 2200ft in area of the south ridge / out to Broadhembury.

Two booked trial lessons, one flew, the other will revisit.

Henry, Rowan and JB, Roly and Cheryl, Ian and Heather, Lisa and Stuart all had extended flights. 1h 30m for JB and Rowan and an epic 3h 10m for Henry who both landed after the sun had set. The wind died suddenly leaving an eerie silence.

Glider pilots are an optimistic bunch of people ... today it paid off.

Thursday 2nd September

Fresh easterly, blue with a strong inversion at 1400ft initially, and later 2000ft but totally unsoarable. There were 9 on the 2-seater list and and 2 for the Junior today with 4 trial lessons booked - busy for a Thursday, Fortunately Peter, Paul and Lisa arrived to help out John & Pete. Ian H and Mark L enjoyed 4000ft tows for spin training with John, whilst everyone else got plenty of circuit practice.

Wednesday 1st September

You should have seen the satellite picture yesterday -cumulus streets all round the anticyclone locally south easterly.

Animated Satellite Image (GIF, 9 MB)

Today the wind was more easterly, cumulus formed in streets, and the sea air started to infringe from the north coast just after lunchtime. To the south a sort of sea breeze front set up but didn't seem particularly convincing or reliable. Local soaring was easy within 12 miles but beyond that it was either blue or behind the sea air. There were 3 trial lessons. Mike (DFK) landed out towards Exeter in the sea air. 

News from Fred - he's hoping to be home next week.

Monday 30th August

Blue with a light north-north-easterly, it didn't really get going until lunchtime, when a blue street set up along the western edge of the Blackdowns. It was there all afternoon providing consistent rescue points from explorations further afield. There was a hint of some blue wave at one point but almost as soon as Simon (SM) had announced it over the radio it disappeared. There was quite a lot of milling with some 'busy for North Hill' gaggles. There were 3 trial flights and some good training exercises for some getting close to solo.

Sunday 29th August

A cold front pushed south during the day with a good sprinkling of showers, the last being around 4pm. Strong northerly winds for most of the day made for interesting launches and approaches with several training flights during the day. Unfortunately the conditions were too tricky for the 4 trial lessons that had been booked in.
After the cold front cleared, the skies turned blue and the remaining handful of members enjoyed flights on the ridge with hints of wave.
Roly cleared his blue card checks with Simon M, despite the escaping sheep doing their best to stop him. Pete signed up Rowan's cross-country endorsement after checks with Ian yesterday. Rowan joins Paul and Jimbob waiting for the right day to do their 50kms flight.

Saturday 28th August

James H and Paul S attempted their 50 km. Both succumbed to the strong winds and low cloud bases and landed back at NH. Plenty of long flights but with yellow card conditions all day, few solo flights were made in the Junior.
Started looking good around lunchtime but high cover killed the stronger lift for a few hours, later in the afternoon cumulus started popping again for a few longer early evening flights.
Pete(230) completed NHL-TIV-SHB with a difficult struggle back into wind.
Visit from three powered aircraft, two of which were G-RVDG (VANS RV-9) and G-BXLN (FOURNIER RF4D).

There were 5 trial lessons, a visit from Justin & Gillian and a German competition pilot. - HF

Sunday 22nd August

With a cold front in the channel sliding eastwards during the day, there was dark cloud over Exeter and along the coast. Some rain stopped play around 2pm but cleared to allow an afternoon of circuits and aerotows. Orographic cloud was present on the coast all day and some pleasant wave like patterns all around, no hint of soarable wave though. Lower Cloud started coming in around 6pm and by 7pm the trees were starting to dissapear.
29 Club members flew today, with six trial lessons and seven friends and family flights the launch point was quite busy. Longest winched flight was Richard Harris in the Junior with 41 minutes around 1pm. Cheryl re-converted to the Junior. Peter Stoker soloed in the K21.

Simon M and James H in the DG had to fly an unconventional circuit to avoid low cloud. - HRF
The best flight of the day was for Lisa when she flew this really special little lad and he loved it, Alexander age 9!

Friday 20th August

Course week - Final day
As forecast, cloudbase below the top of the hill precluded any flying to consolidate yesterday's exercises. The day was spent in theory and discussions, with an evening trip to the Keeper's Cottage.
3½ days of good weather provided 100 launches and 20 hours flying time for Dave, Nigel, Trevor, Heather, Alex and Geoff who with Instructors JB & Pete would like to thank Les, Dick S, Mike R and Nick, Cheryl, Roly for helping to run the ground operations.
John B visited Fred in hospital in Coventry following the 5-hour operation to fix his ankle. Fred is recovering well although a further operation is likely. We all wish him well.

Thursday 19th August

Course week - Day 4
Cloudy moist airflow in south westerly wind gave cloud bases varying between 700- 1300ft under the orographic cloud, so no real chance of reaching the top of the launch. - Launch failure training continued all morning. After lunch the wind backed southerly and strengthened considerably so the south ridge became soarable but with variable orographic we restricted ourselves to one glider at a time. Occasionally a dry bit of air came through allowing a full launch to try out the teasing glimpse of the wave over Broadhembury. The turbulence in the circuit was quite challenging and, with the rain, eventually stopped play.

Wednesday 18th August

Course week - day three. Yesterday's front moved away leaving us in a very unstable westerly flow, it started bright with a stiff north westerly breeze, but soon clouded over totally. The ridge was working and there were some thermals, heavy showers were all around but thankfully missing the airfield.
Flying started early (first launch at 0900) because of Pete & JB's course. All the Club gliders were out, there was a delay with the DG because of a slight problem with the tailwheel, soon to be fixed by Godfrey & JS. Both motor gliders flying.
The only heavy shower to hit the airfield came at 1230 and everyone went for an early lunch. This shower changed the airmass with really good thermals to 2,500'QFE and streets in the strong westerly wind, the ridge was working well and good ridge lift on the west ridge. Several trial lessons were flown, the Wednesday Club flying and the course worked well together, and probably the best bit of the day gave a very good evening group session with incredible visibility, thermal and ridge lift.
Congratulations to Alex who soloed this morning, he had already first soloed in March but then left the scene to concentrate on his A-levels, and joined this week's course to get back to the important things in life.

Tuesday 17th August

Course week, day two. Low cloud and drizzle greeted the course members early this morning, it cleared a little but not enough to be flyable. The morning was spent in the classroom with launch and launch failure theory. At lunchtime there was a substantial rain shower which heraldered the end of the front, and a good clearance started.
Flying started and launch failure theory was put into practice for all, plus a bit of ridge soaring. Cloudbase decended below launch height to stop play at the end of a good afternoon's training.

Monday 16th August - Course Week

This was the weather that we should have had yesterday. Quite a strong northerly, backing NW during the afternoon, cold and bright blue sky. The first couple of launches showed that the air was becoming bouyant, then the cumulus started to appear and away it went. The first thermals were 3-4kts to 2300'QFE, by mid afternoon they were 6kts to 4000'QFE. Increasing top covered weakened the lift towards the end of the day, but extended circuits were still around until evening.
All the course members had good practice at cross-wind circuits and landings, hour long flights were plentiful. With not too good a forecast for the rest of the week, the course flew well into the evening.

Sunday 15th August

Very low orographic cloud hanging on until 1200. Although the wind was strong it was never gusty. Windy and NNE for most of the day only backing off during the last few flights. Plenty of sink around but some strong climbs to 2,200 ft. The west ridge didn't appear to be as sinky as expected with this wind direction.
For some reason it was a very quiet Sunday with only 10 members on the field, but very enjoyable once we got flying.

One trial lesson enjoyed a quiet flight with Pete H. Rowan has now been signed off for yellow card. Longest flights were Henry in the Junior, 37 minutes, and Pete with Mike W. in a K21, 24 minutes.

Muggles was doing some very strange things in the water tank!

Thursday 12th August

A sunny, blue sky fresh start, but before very long there was total spreadout - quite high, with occasional soarable cumulus beneath. The wind was not particularly strong, nor in the best direction but the ridge did seem to keep going, well sort of, all day.
Quite a few members got crosswind circuit practice with a turbulent approach - all good character building stuff.
A number of tourists visited to brighten up their holidays with a Trial Lesson, and the Pinhoe Scouts had an Evening Group session just as the spreadout broke to give a glorious evening and a sky full of lenticulars.

Wednesday 11th August

With a good forecast for today we started with a huge flying list and rather a lot of spreadout. In addition to the normal club members, there were 2 booked trial lessons and a large number of walk-in visitors to fly plus two pilots from Aston Down, we managed to get through the list with Mike, Ernie, Pete W, JS, Lisa and Martin lending a hand.

In the afternoon, the streets sorted themselves out, and Matt (477) Pete (230), Andrew (K6), Peter (DG1), JB (KJW) Pete & Jill (OL) and Martin & Stu with their new LS3 - all had long flights, Matt was showing off his artwork on the nose of his Cirrus, JB & Pete & Jill went to the seaside north of Barnstaple.

Both Juniors were airborne all day, Tim had a 3hr flight in one of them, the day ended with another evening group from Devon Youth Service.

Sunday 8th August

A good forecast promised much, but a huge patch of high cloud covering most of the peninsula left the cross country pilots feeling very frustrated while he rest of the country had a good day. It was a busy day for the few instructors on the field with Club training, booked trial lessons and holiday makers visiting to see what happens at a gliding club.
There was a little soaring under the darker bits of the cloud cover and John St completed his 5 year refresher training with Pete.

Friday 6th August

Final Course day
A wet & foggy start - Chris gave a talk on circuit planning, JSt spent most of the morning changing the cables on the Skylaunch with help from Eddy, Tim, Richard and Ian.
After lunch the sun came out and we all had a good afternoon flying the West ridge, we finished flying at 6.30pm tired but happy after a very successful course.
Thanks to Chris & John for instructing and the ground helpers as above.

Thursday 5th August

Quite a cloudy start but plenty high enough for flying to begin and the course members getting in plenty of circuits. It was a busy day with the course, a lot of Club flying, Trial lessons and holiday visitors to entertain.
The cloud broke around mid-day and it became easily soarable to 4000ft until late afternoon, although it did get a bit rough low down at times.
The winch launching rope is getting a bit tired and a lot of time was lost splicing the breaks.

In the evening, course members and helpers indulged ourselves at the Keepers Cottage, thanks to Nick R for supplying the wine, Jim B was awarded a prize for daring to wear the shirt he was wearing on Eggheads.

An Evening Group from the Devon Youth Service had a good flying evening of Trial lessons in much gentler conditions, but still providing lift to extend the flights considerably.

Wednesday 4th August

Foggy this morning with a light southerly wind, looked like it was clearing so we got everything ready and had an early lunch after some lectures on thermalling and flying the sea-breeze front(practical yesterday). All course members had good soaring flights in very rough conditions, with instructor input for take-off and landings in the strong, gusty north-westerly. Pete (230) and Matt (477) were looking for the wave.
An evening of trial lessons hoping for slightly less rough conditions.- JSt

Tuesday 3rd August

A mixed day today, good circuit practice, stopped early for lunch today due to a light shower,in the afternoon a sea breeze front set in and all course members sampled long soaring flights in it,we also had ridge and thermal lift. - JSt

Monday 2nd August

Course Week - first day.
The fantastic forcast turned out to be just that.
We had a full course, Nic,Jim (who was on Eggheads on BBC 2 today), Ray, and Robin who are club members and Bill who is a new Quarterly member and Jeff who is on his first visit to NHL. Eddie, Ian and Tim are the helping on the ground.
Mike and Barbie are here, as are Richard and Nick H, Dick S and Jean turned up later.
A Grob 109 visited from Lasham.
Exeter airport ATC made an irate call to NHL that a glider was flying over the centre line of their runway, it was not one of ours so we could do nothing.
All course members had good soaring flights, we did 39 flights with over 10hrs soaring to a cloud base which rose to 4,000ft. - JS.

Sunday 1st August

The bonfire was still going. The aftermath of Cheryl and Steph's party was tidied and flying started mid morning.
Mike has been working hard to fix the gearbox in our LPV. While it's offline the Disco has been standing in as a makeshift LPV. Mike and Barbie had the longest flight at 46 minutes in KEK. Generally overcast for most of the day with longer flights having found the odd thermal to get away from the ridge. Heather progresses well with her landings and Harry continued with his red card checks late into the evening.
The leftover food from last night was consumed in the evening with several of the regulars.

Saturday 31st July

Pretty flat all day, ridge working low down. The odd thermal kicking off to
1700 ft but with 7/8 cover you'd be lucky getting away from the ridge.
Supacat winch giving reliable launches. Arthur reconverted to Junior after 18 months out of it. Congratulations to Rowan on passing the Bronze papers and completing field landing checks with Ian in the Falke.
Thanks to all the members who helped the Chairman sort out the Skylaunch ironwork.
The day rounded off with Cheryl and Steph's Birthday BBQ and a flying visit from Mike & Barbie in the Cub en-route from Eggesford to Watchford Farm after an Auster fly-in.

Thursday 29th July

Similar forecast to Wednesday with strong north-westerly wind, cycling very quickly and cloudbase eventually reaching 3000ft QFE. 12 names on the 2-seater list proved a little daunting for the lone instructor first thing, but more instructors turned up during the morning and everyone flew. This must have been the busiest Thursdays for a long time, despite losing some time to a monster winch snarl-up! There was a Trial Lesson, who decided to join on quarterly membership on the spot. Congratulations to Nigel on soloing in the K21.
The Devon Youth Service turned up for an evening of Trial Lessons.

Wednesday 28th July

The forcast for Wednesday was for a sunny day, with a brisk N/W wind - and so it turned out, all the club gliders were in use all day.
The thermals started early at 10am and lasted into the evening, with the cloud base rising steadily and ending up at 3,000ft above site. Three Trial lessons and about 10 members wanting two seater flights kept 7 Instructors busy all day.
Roly and Clive were back-seat training with Mike and JB, John St passed 4,000hrs gliding (17,562 launches).
There were eight private gliders all having long flights, but no-one went far as the flying wind was a little strong 15-20 knots and the sky kept cycling so quickly (about 15mins) that the streets weren't totally reliable. Pete & Jill spent all afternoon in OL trying to read the sky with the expectation of some wave or a sea-breeze convergence.
The Swift Team comprising Swift S-1, Pawnee and a Silence Twister dropped in on their way to Culdrose air display. The Twister departed with smoke and two barrel rolls.

Pete (230) and Matt (477) also had a fun day at Sid's Task week - see National ladder.

Sunday 25th July

A few trial lessons were flown, two new members, with some coming back from last weekend to take advantage of their quartely membership.
Thermals were pretty much non-existent, it seemed as though we were playing with down from the wave all day. The ridge didn't work at times even with 10 kts face on!- it must have been out of phase.
Paul attempted his Silver distance to The Park, twice, however the thermals were avoiding NH and getting away wasn't going to happen. - HF

Friday 23rd July

Third, and final, course day. Waiting for the low cloud to clear lasted most of the morning, but we did get about half a dozen launches in before lunch - the first two being soarable, then it was back to circuits and launch failures, real and simulated.
By mid afternoon the gentle north-easterly breeze had dropped to nothing, restricting launch height considerably but as we were only practising circuits this was not a problem.
The week concluded with several very tired people, but all felt that they had advanced their flying over the three days. Thanks to Dick and Les for keeping the launches coming, to Nick for his ever efficient running of the launch point, and to John, Paul and Pete for keeping the back seats warm.

Thursday 22nd July

Throughout the morning we sat in the Clubhouse watching the rain, eventually the field was awash and covered in 10mm of flowing water. However it did start to brighten the field drained and at 3.00pm we were flying. It was soarable to cloudbase at 2000'QFE, the skyscapes were amazing, white clouds, black clouds, bright blue sky, sunlit fields, columns of torrential rain. Then at about 5.00pm a cloud over Taunton started to grow, making its way into wind towards the airfield. It started engulfing all other clouds around it, and turning black and very ominous looking. At 6.00pm, with two launches to go, it seemed to accelerate towards the field, we made a call to pack up, coincident with the first clap of thunder. Ten minutes later we had the field cleared and everything away, five minutes after that the field was awash again - good call everyone, and we rescued three hours good flying from a very wet day.

Wednesday 21st July

An early very sunny start to Wednesday saw a large flying list, we unloaded the hangar in record time only to be rewarded by a sudden downpour followed by a low cloud base. Flying started at about 11am only to be greeted by another deluge, followed by a quick retreat to the clubhouse for an early lunch.

At 1.00pm everybody was back from lunch to a very thermic afternoon's flying, three Trial Lessons were flown by Ernie. Training flights had to be limited to two each because of the long list, the Juniors were both in the air all afternoon with several flights of over 1hr.

It was nice to see Peter S back after his illness and JB returned from his wanderings,we handed over the two seaters to Chris H for the Trial Lesson evening.
- JS

Tuesday 20th July

The rain and low cloud put paid to any flying today, but the course members were treated to classroom work on various topics including:
Circuit planning
Launch failures
Air Law
How a wing works
to cover most of the theory elements on the training card.

Monday 19th July

First day of the Franco-Welsh course. Early rising campers were greeted with rain and low cloud on the field, but by 0900 it had cleared, the sun was out and it was starting to get hot. A gentle southerly picked up through the day, and high cloud from an incoming front started to intrude from mid afternoon. There were lenticulars all over the sky, but nothing was going up over the site, so it was circuits all day. Much advancement was made through the day with everyone achieving better flying by the end.
We left the field to the Evening Group of 22 Scouts from Taunton just as the first spots of rain splattered the dust on the wings of the K21s, but unfortunately the evening flying was eventually postponed.

Sunday 18th July

Stuart and Lisa flew approx 12 of Lisa's friends on Sunday night using the DG505 and a K21. One particular friend who is terrified of flying stated 3 years ago that he would have a go when Lisa was an instructor and able to take him up. He never expected that to happen so the thought of having to fly so as not to 'welch on a deal' was terrifying for him but I am pleased to say he now wants another flight asap! The visibility was fantastic and everyone thoroughly enjoyed the evening which we rounded off with a BBQ. -LH

Saturday 17th July

After the heavy showers and gusty winds on Wednesday and Thursday, the weather took a while to get sorted until the ridge pushed in properly, a moderate westerly with rapid cycling meant quite a busy launch point for most of the day. By the afternoon, the blackest clouds worked best, and it worked well locally but not many ventured far. Pete(230) did O/R to Eaglescott with some scary moments and a 'balistic climb'(see National ladder comments). At one point 7 gliders landed in the space of 2 minutes (unusual for North Hill when the ridge is working). There were 5 trial lessons and welcome to Jim and James who have joined us on quarterly membership.

Sunday 11th July

The forecasts looked good, and Henry & John had a soaring flight to start off before 10:00am, The launch queue was busy all day with all the club gliders and 8 private gliders, there were 58 winch launches and 9 aerotows, there were 5 visitors for Trial lessons. Pete (230), Daniel (611) and Ron & Phil (711) set off for 300kms Whiddon Down - Salisbury. The high cover and sea-breezes proved to make it difficult and the task was aborted. Pete & Jill (OL) played with the sea-breeze first on the south coast and then on the north coast until the convergence set up over the airfield. Cloudbase got to 4500ft QFE.

Saturday 10th July

A quiet day with only 11 members flying but there were also 3 trial flights.

Friday 9th July

End of Course report

Robin and Stuart's course finished on Friday with satisfied smiles all round. Glorious weather almost all week - just one day lost. All six of the participants made significant strides forward in their flying - Rob R and Geoff L saw tick after tick in the boxes on their training cards, David S was sent solo (having only recently solo'd in a powered plane too),

Ray R, Rowan S and Jonathan S all progressed to Red Cards. Rowan also did his first solo aerotow and solo'd in the K13 (at the same time) as well as completing his 50th solo flight.

Ray and Jonathan managed a 2-hour solo flight each. Big thanks to Robin and Stuart, as ever, and to the ever-industrious ground support crew - Wendy W-F, Dave A, Richard H and and Alan T for organising 155 launches in the four days - totalling almost 38 hours in the air.

News from Long Mynd
Most of us left the Mynd today under low cloud from the slow moving front, to a return journey with cumulus across the sky.

But what a week! - Congrats to all, both at home and away for all the fantastic achivements.

Thursday 8th July

News from Long Mynd
Low cloud bases and considerable top cover and light south westerly wind didn't suggest a particularly good day, but following no flying yesterday, gliders were prepared. Some struggled to get away,without the helpful ridge to assist, but then some thermals were popping off the ridge mixed in with paragliders. Strong thermals kept everyone up until the rain came in, Henry made his first field landing (friendly farmer) and congrats to Jimbob for achieving 50 hrs P1 on his way to Shrewsbury today. Some had been to Shrewsbury earlier to pick up repair kits for the wrecked models -just got back to rig when the rain started.

Wednesday 7th July A week in Paradise

Been in La Motte Du Caire for almost a week now and have flown every day. High pressure is dominating the region with hot sunny days, little or no wind and tricky thermal conditions. Even so, my first flight with Christain Seberger, JaquesNoel's deputy was indescribably EPIC!
From the winch we climbed away in a thermal produced by Early Morning, a hill on the south end of the airfield, jumped to the towering vertical face of Malaup, figure of eighting until we could 'spiral' away off the top. Mountain jumping our way to the east to the dizzy snow covered heights of Tete de l'Estrop at 9800' asl. Eagles, vultures and lots of other gliders sharing the spectacular views. Who would have thought you could have this much fun in a K21.

La Motte has a very friendly atmosphere, with glider pilots from France, Germany, Netherlands and us Pom's enjoying the site. There is a morning briefing at precisely 10:15am
explaining the days weather forecast, given in French and English and starting with Jaques greeting each pilot by name. The instruction is very good and pretty intense, with lots of information to absorb and then to attempt to put into practice, all the while trying to fly
accurately and above all safely, and not scare yourself silly when you get low and your nearest landing (non-stupid) field is completely out of sight. High work-load and distraction (a wall of rock just off your wing tip) take on a whole new meaning!

Jb is enjoying his ever expanding forays into the mountains,
honing his skills and building up his data base of knowledge.

Mountain de Gache

Tete de l'Estrop kicking off 6 knot thermals at 10 000'

Lac de Serre Poncon looking south along the Parcour

Wednesday 7th July

Course week at North Hill
Today has had to be scrubbed - the southerly winds brought low cloud and rain.

News from Long Mynd
Also scrubbed due to low cloud and bands of rain, however, the models were out in force again - with all damage repaired.

Tuesday 6th July

Course week at North Hill
Tuesday dawned with more blue skies and promised much. Tuesday was a day of spin/stall training - I'm not sure that anyone escaped the delights of the K13 pointing vertically downwards!

News from Long Mynd
There was a veil of thick cirrus this morning with a southerly wind, but by mid morning the cumulus started popping underneath. The wind veered round to south westerly and the North Hill fleet was launched. Most flights were between 1 and 2 hours, but all stayed fairly local, rain fell out of the thickening medium cloud but the promised wave didn't really set up until about 6:00pm although even the locals couldn't make contact. 18 hours total flying from 12 flights.

Monday 5th July

Course week at North Hill
Monday dawned with blue skies, promised much and lived up to expectations, with excellent soaring conditions. There were thermals of such strength and abundance that the junior pilots had to fight their way back to earth!! The three pre-solo course members made excellent progress in the capable hands of Stuart and Robin.

News from Long Mynd
The day started blue and the clouds started popping early before 10:00. The wind was westerly with just a touch of north and about 15knots - perfect!
The North Hill fleet was airborne all day with a few crew changes totalling 48 hours from 18 launches. Simon & Mark flew in Mynd DG505 and visited the west coast of Wales, Talgarth and return. Ian (523) went to the coast and around for 5 hours. Pete & Jill (OL) did 192km into mid-Wales and Talgarth. Jimbob converted to Discus, Mike found the tips on the ASW20 to be awesome. Henry has now completed 50 hours P1. Congratulations to Paul for achieving his 5 hours in Mynd's K23.

News from the Alps
Matt's in paradise.

Sunday 4th July

InterClub League at North Hill, a promising start early morning with clear blue skies and warm sun, weather front started rolling in at 0930, but with south westerly wave which soon filled in underneath. Following a report from Nick in the Junior of good climb to 2700 above site, there were 3 competition launches before it went horrid, Joe (JD7)Mendip pundit and Ron & Dan (711), both pundits returned to site and Joe disappeared, and phoned in from Culm Head after 30 mins. As Joe went on task he won the day with 6 points. Final scores from the weekend the Park 41pts, DSGC second with 38pts, Wyvern third with 36pts, Shalborne fourth with 31pts and Mendip 29pts.
Club flying continued. Well done to Andrew for organising ICL with very few helpers due to the detachment up north.

News from Long Mynd
The expected cold front took all day to clear, it looked really nice at 5:00pm, a few ventured off to visit Cosford museum, others worked on the models and then model flying into the evening.

Saturday 3rd July

InterClub League weekend at North Hill, conditions looked good and tasks were set to the east, first launches started at 11:00, Novice NHL-BEA-STU-NHL 136km, Intermediate NHL-SHA-TAU-NHL 162km, Pundit NHL-STU-FRO-NHL 180km
Good effort from Fred (FZF) the only novice to turn 2 TPs winning the novice class. Joe upgraded to Intermediate but despite not reaching the 1st TP didn't come last. pundit Pete (230) got round 2 TPs before landing at Merryfield came 4th. So although only 3 Pundits completed the tasks it was agood scoring day, with Shalborne winning the day, the Park second and North Hill joint third. The day ended with a well- attended barbeque. Thanks to Pete the chair, Lisa and Alan for retrieving,and Ian & Stu for tugging and Tim J for duty launch point marshall.

News from Long Mynd
The early risers arrived in time to get check flights and some soaring, let's hope that Paul's navigation skills for his 50km will be better than following the M5 all the way to Birmingham.
The ICL tasks for Rockpolishers were 100-150km due to the late start.

Wednesday 30th June

All the usual Wednesday crowd turned up we had a nice early start with thermals from the word go in the light S/W wind, the cloud base went to 4,000'QFE and we had a nice sea breeze front to fly in.
There were three two seaters on the go, with Lisa and Ernie flying several Trial Lessons, Matt did his first stint as a tuggie and came down with a big grin on his face (nothing new there). Jeff has flown his Mosquito from North Hill for the first time, much to his enjoyment. Dave got through his bi-ennial flight review with Ian in the Falke, so much better now that he has his new eyes.
A sea breeze arrived in the afternoon and spoilt the thermals a bit but the two K6's and the Oly stayed up.
At 5.30pm a group of scouts from Pinhoe turned up for a Trial Lesson evening.

Monday 28th June

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Sunday 27th June

The high pressure persists, bright, sunny and hot with a gentle southwesterly wind. It was not an easy day to get away from winch launch - but some did. As the sea air encroached from the north a convergence line set up to make soaring little easier during the afternoon. 25 members out to fly, seven flights between 1 and 2 hours and six over two hours. There were 9 private gliders flying.
Otherwise football was the competition (some may have gone on to consider that ill advised in the event...).

Saturday 26th June

A busy and very hot day today. Blue to start with but Cu eventually started to pop but it was always difficult locally to get away from the winch due to sea air although some managed to. Those that opted for an aerotow were rewarded with some good flying both in the thermals that could now be reached and later in the sea air convergences which provided some astonishing climb rates to 5,000' QFE in places!
Rowan flew for over 2 hours in the Junior and was seen smiling a lot!
The x-country efforts were thwarted going East by a huge area of sea air that had come up from the South coast and wiped out everything East of Sturminster Newton.
Pete(230) turned back from there and headed West via Taunton to Mudford Gate then home. Ron and Phil in 711 went West first to Okehampton then East until the sea air forced them back. John B(M5) went to Frome and then returned to play in the convergences, Eric and Kaye(OL) went to Glastonbury to see a bit of the action.
Stu P and Si L took their sons for a trip to the coast in the Falkes followed by Carl T with another keen young flyer.
Lots of training utilising most of the Club fleet and several private gliders were out today.
Thanks to the back seaters for hanging in there in very hot cockpits.

Thursday 24th June

The remnants of an decaying overnight front lingered for most of the morning, with even the odd patch of drizzle. But by lunchtime it was easily soarable to the low cloudbase of 1800'QFE. Then conditions just got better and better through the afternoon with the peak occurring at about five o'clock. This meant that the evening Trial Lesson group from Colyton Scouts got some excellent soaring flights.

Wednesday 23rd June

Clouds started popping in mid and west Devon fairly early, but in the Culm valley and East Devon, the veil of high cloud persisted and delayed the cu development until 1130. However once the sea-breeze had changed the surface wind to southerly, the convergence looked rather ragged and lift was hard to find. Satellite images show a definite break in the convergence line which extended from Bodmin to Salisbury Plain.
Ged and Dave from Brentor completed their 'washed out at Lasham' Ass Cat course with Don. Congratulations to Jeff for solo clearance at North Hill- hope to see the Mosquito out now.
Saab owners club enjoyed another lovely summer evening of trial lessons.

Tuesday 22nd June

An evening session for a large group from the Environment Agency enjoyed a lovely long summers's evening of trial lessons.

Sunday 20th June

A bright start had all the kit out early, set up to take advantage of the forecast light north westerly, instead a fresh NNE blow necessitated a change of ends. Training and checks continued all day, Paul S was to excercise the rights of his cross country endorsement on a planned trip to the Park, but the tricky conditions stopped that before it started.
Another day of high expectations for the cross country crowd - tasks were set -750km for 711 and 500km and 300km for others. The strong NNE and the later than expected start of convection meant that everyone went to fallback quite quickly.
Ron & Peter the Chair (711) went sightseeing round southern Devon and Dorset. Dan (611) aborted the task after O/R Whiddon Down. Simon (SM), Pete (230) and Matt (477) completed their 300km O/R to Chievely. This being Matt's second in as many weeks, however this time he crossed the start line correctly and now has a shiny Diamond - congratulations Matt. Mike (DFK) did O/R to Salisbury. In all 15 private gliders enjoyed the conditions which continued working in the blue locally.

Sight seeing from 711, Totnes and River Dart above and Dorset coast and Chesil Bank below.