Turnpoints 2010

There are some significant changes to the BGA turnpoint list for 2010 that affect North Hill.

The most significant is the moving of the NHL turnpoint from the middle of the field to the hangar so a "tight" 300 to the East may no longer be a 300 at all - beware! Actually I don't think that any of our regular 300's will be affected but the 100km triangles were tight so may need a re-think - please double check before setting out on a badge flight.

OK, I've now had a chance to look at this and the only common task really affected is North Hill-Taunton-Yeovil-North Hill which is no longer 100km but just under! All our other normal tasks are still ok.

You can make some nice flat triangles using the CFI's new personal TP at Mudford Gate(MUD) as well - or you could landout there and pop in for tea while waiting for your retrieve!

Other changes include additional TP's to the West and Southwest, and a couple of control TP's at Hembury Hill and Culmstock to bring comp flights from the East around the Dunks DZ.

Honiton(HON) has been deleted due to it's proximity to the Exeter aproach path.

I will put a list of the changes significant to North Hill on the x-country board tomorrow.

Pete S

Sunday 28th March

After the good weather on Saturday and the poor outlook for Sunday not many members turned up.
We had light south westerly wind and a variable cloud base, everybody managed to fly before the rain set in about 4pm
Peter W spent all day preparing the trailers for the long haul to Portmoak next month.

More on Saturday

230 - for more than 1 1/2 hours I was stuck on the ridge before the sun arrived and I got a thermal climb away!
And later I found myself stuck on the ridge again watching a crowd of you running a line of lift to the South and quite high - I just couldn't get a climb to get there! Well done to those that did.

I found that the energy lines were quite short,none too reliable and cloudbase variable - a combination of wave interference(wind 280/15), and the very wet ground I guess. The furthest I got was the eastern edge of Tiverton - wasn't brave enough to try for the TP on the far side. Anybody go any further?

Lisas new glider, a nice ASW 20, is on site from Ireland and should be flying soon - call sign Lima Hotel - what else!!!!!!!!!

So still no real x-country from North Hill yet - it can't be much longer can it?

Saturday 27th March

The promise of a nice afternoon and the forecast for a lousy Sunday brought out 41 members to fly today. There were some doubts in the morning that the low cloud would clear, but just past noon the sun started breaking up the stratus at 1000ft and the ridge huggers could start to find some thermals kicking off. As the sky opened up late afternoon there was clearly some wave interference from the north westerly wind, but nothing workable. 15 gliders enjoyed flights of over an hour with Pete in 230 over 3 hours soaring. There were 76 winch launches for the whole club fleet and 10 private gliders which kept the launch point busy.

Sunday 21st March

The first day of spring! and the weather lived up to expectations,the early sunny conditions enticed more than 30 members to arrive before 9am.
Some early low cloud soon burnt off and soaring was soon underway the cloud base reaching 3000ft with good 4kt thermals, the Skylaunch continues to give superb trouble free launches, many thanks to Les for his hard work in training.
There were 8 private gliders flying, the Ash 25 had it's first Skylaunch without problem and Joe D flew his new Cirrus for the first time, he spent so long polishing it he missed the best of the thermals.
The K13 has been rigged after its Annual Inspection, thanks Carl for your hard work. We finished flying at 6pm with some late Southerly wave. - JSt

Thursday 18th March

Perhaps it was the forecast of rain and strong southerly winds by midday that put people off, because only Cheryl and Dave arrived to fly. Which was a pity as we could have flown until mid afternoon, instead we put them to work cleaning the ground equipment. After lunch Cheryl went on to wash the Clubhouse windows and do a bit of gardening around the front door - we need more like Cheryl.

The Discovery is green after all!

Wednesday 17th March

A picture taken by one of our Wednesday regulars, not bad! A 7 knot climb at just over 9000'.

The early misty conditions soon cleared to give us some hazy sun in the fresh south westerly wind, which was a novel experience for this year.
The first two flights contacted wave and had about 30min each, Robert soon followed in the Junior but the wave had gone or he avoided it. The rest of the day was overcast but good conditions for training.
Ernie continued his Asst. Cat. training with Mike, and Robert had some check flights with Pete H, Tim completed his yellow card flights with Mike.
You guessed it, Joe was not at North Hill but flying a Duo Discus at Omarama for the photo.

Sunday 14th March

Another good March day! the thermals started before 10am and lasted until 5.00pm the fresh north north-westerly cross-wind made for some interesting flying, particularly on the aerotow climbout over the ridge. Our three newish members Wynn, Rod and Dylan all had their first taste of thermal soaring.
Cloud base was 4500ft above site with strong thermals, JSt and Rowan found weak wave over Wellington Monument. Rowan's mother had a Mother's day trial lesson and was quickly whisked to 3000ft, many gliders had flights of more than 2hours, John P managed 5 hours in H5.
All the club gliders plus six p/o gliders had 56 launches, Matt started his B/I training in the K13 with Simon M, at the end of the day the K13 was derigged ready for its annual inspection. - JSt

Saturday 13th March

What a lovely soarable March day - and North Hill was open! and all the gliders were serviceable.
The wind started off west of North but by lunchtime we had to change ends for the easterly component, and by mid-afternoon it changed back again. It was lovely to see all the private gliders out after the winter gloom. The north westerly streets gave plenty of very small thermals to 2500ft until late-on when the street towards Honiton firmed up into a continuous line of lift. Martin went to Minehead in the Ventus, Joe went to Taunton in the K13, the rest of us stayed local. 31 members enjoyed 51 winch launches and aerotows. There were 9 flights of 2-4 hours and 5 flights over 1 hour.
In the evening we celebrated Graham's birthday with a Chilli party.

Thursday 11th March

A slow start as we did not have the correct oil to top up the new winch, but once that was sorted we were launching into a 10kt easterly wind that was significantly warmer than of late, but still cold. There were some scruffy looking cumulus around, with lift underneath, soarable to cloudbase about 2500' agl. Around lunch time the clouds cleared, and the lift became allusive and then dissappeared completely with the incoming veil of high cloud ahead of tonight's front. A reasonably pleasant day out, everyone flew, its getting better.

Wednesday 10th March

The run of very cold NE wind continues, there was a bit of thermal activity around midday with a few extended flights, the Skylaunch training continues.
Ernest had a 4000ft tow with Mike F as part of his half cat training.
We are looking forward to warmer weather this weekend.

Sunday 7th March

A completely cloudless sky provided some warmth in the sun, provided that you could hide from the relentless icy easterly wind. This wind did nothing for the soaring at North Hill, but on the other side of Dartmoor, the locals were reaching 10,000' straight off the winch launch, including our own Steve who was helping out with their instructing. He had two training flights to 10,000' and back, and whilst attempting a third the entry to the wave collapsed. Faced with a marginal return to the site he took the safe option and landed out in a local field.
see Brentor blog http://www.dartmoorgliding.blogspot.com
Meanwhile it was a busy day at North Hill, with probably a third of our membership on the field sometime during the day. Experience with the borrowed Skylaunch winch continued, Martin (from Brentor)had his Instructor rating renewed by Simon M. and Muggles had his annual BI checks. Max enjoyed a birthday treat of aerobatics. One visitor braved the cold for a trial lesson. 59 winch launches and 5 aerotows in total.

Saturday 6th March

The cold easterly wind persists. 25 members flew a total of 55 launches.

Thursday 4th March

Similar Met map as yesterday, except the wind backed a little to the north east and as it did so the air dried out and by mid afternoon the sky was cloudless. Quite warm in the sun, but a very cold wind.
But what's this? bump, bump, funny noise from instrument panel, altimeter is going the wrong way. Yes, it's a thermal, and on a later landing we disturb a pair of skylarks out of the grass - perhaps, just perhaps, this awful winter is over.

Wednesday 3rd March

The cold weather continues with a strong S/E wind and complete high cloud cover, after a battle to extract members from the comforts of the clubhouse we started flying with some execeptionly good launches on the Skylaunch (highest was Clive with 1850ft! not bad with the shortest cable run).

We welcomed back Richard B. who has re-joined the club, Joe test flew the tug and all now seems well after a change of plugs. - JSt

Spring has sprung?

After four months of snow, rain and strong winds it does appear that the weather is changing, presenting us with a wry observation on the first week of the soaring season.
Good streeting thermals have been reported on both the Mynd and Nympsfield blogs and cross-countries, one over 300kms, have been posted on the National Ladder. The good days were last Friday and Monday, Tuesday and next Friday also look possibly good. Between these days we have Saturday, Sunday, Wednesday and Thursday - the days that North Hill is normally open for flying!

Are we beginning to see a trend here already - let's hope it's only a blip in the weather pattern!!!!!!!!!!!!!