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.