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.