Sunday 27th February

Rain early in the morning made the field very damp. The radar showed the rain clearing by about lunchtime and the gliders were made ready. Flying was Blue card all day with a strong northerly cross wind. A few squally showers in the afternoon made for interesting circuits with the associated gusting conditions. In between these showers were small thermals allowing some climbs.
Pete W and Ian F had the last flight of the day with 41 minutes and a very interesting touchdown. John Si managed 29 minutes in the Junior. - HF

Saturday 26th February

Overnight rain had left the field quite muddy, but a rather brisk north-westerly set up and helped dry the field out. The ridge was working to a reasonable height with some thermal assistance and the two-seater list was very long - not helped by the blue card status as the launch and approach were "challenging".
From lunchtime onwards the showers stopped and, very much like last Saturday, several cloud streets setup from a north west direction. However, this time the cloud base was 2500 ft. Several flights lasted over an hour for those who could climb away from the ridge.
Considering the blue card colour, it was good to see all six gliders in use for most of the day.
Four Exeter Uni gliding students flew today. Stinky the adopted DSGC dog was also watching the proceedings. The K13 (CCY) master switch and radio speaker were fixed.

Thursday 24th February

Early start for a Thursday with all the kit out before 10:00. Under complete cloud cover at 1200ft but showing signs of breaking, wind was a gentle westerly.
By lunchtime it had broken to allow a short slot when the K21 (Ron & Dave) and both Juniors (Wooly and Colin) transitioned from thermals to wave up to 3000ft within half a mile of the site. Explorations to enticing lenticulars further afield found no more lift, whilst mere mortals struggled with thermals that didn't quite reach the 1200ft cloudbase.
We welcomed some of the 'Wednesday club' who flew on a Thursday out of desperation, 58 launches by 20 members.

Congratulations to Dylan for converting to the Junior - our second 16yr old in a week, and Ian F continued his gliding revival by also converting to the Junior.
Thanks to Carl, Andrew and helpers for finishing the DG505 annual inspection.

Sunday 20th February

We flew!
Having been overcast all morning a slight blue hole appeared showing wave. A large slot appeared and two K21 gliders were taken up the other end of the field.
Four launches were taken, mostly ending up in low cloud, one was slightly extended on the South ridge.
The DG-505 was derigged ready for its annual.
Muggles dug a trench to help drain the tarmaced area outside the vehicle hangar.

Saturday 19th February

Numerous cable breaks were practised until the low cloud cleared at 11:30. Dave W in the Junior, Mike F and Heather in K21, and Chris in his Libelle all had around the half hour mark.
James and Henry returned the longest flight of the day with 1 hour 11 minutes making good use of a local convergence.

Congratulations to Will for converting to the Junior.

The K21 (HCX) had its annual completed by Ian and was then flown with Rowan for some more aerobatics. Thanks to all the helpers for turning this round, next up DG505 in the workshop.

Gasco Safety evening

There was a large gathering at Dunkeswell Air Centre on Friday evening with a good turnout from the club - A few old hands but mainly pre-silver and near/early solo pilots. Plymouth-based members attended the same presentation at Plymouth on Thursday.
The well-made presentation by Michael Bensen was very thought-provoking. Guest speaker Dave Burrows SATCO at Exeter Airport emphasised the need for us to call Exeter radar with height information as they can't get that from their radar displays.

Thursday 17th February

Contrary to the damp forecast, the day started with blue sky and fresh north easterly wind. However by mid-morning it had reverted to variable cloud (height and amount) and a light south easterly. Training circuits and check flights were the order of the day until the misting canopies stopped play early. The main event of the day was the rare sight of Ron getting into a Junior.

PS Don't forget the GASCO/CAA Safety evening at Dunkeswell Air Centre, starting promptly at 6:30pm Friday 18th February. Food is available before and after the session.

Sunday 13th February

North Hill was in a cloud. It rained most of the day. A number of people visited for food and tea, some French!
In the afternoon, the K21 (HCX) was swiftly derigged in the rain, put into the workshop and dried off for its annual inspection. The DSGC dog 'Stinky' oversaw operations.

Meanwhile CFI Pete, Regional Examiner Simon M and Safety Officer Ernie attended the regional CFI's meeting at Yeovilton.

Saturday 12th February

Starting with orographic cloud in the morning, the forecast promised a good day with a transient ridge following some rain overnight and a light south westerly wind. The flying list was long with 32 members flying today.
There were thermals mid-morning until around 1400 when high cover killed them. Just after lunch, some sort of convergence set up to the south of the field allowing runs from Exeter to Chard at 3000-4000 ft. (Satellite images show that it set up right along the south coast). This convergence brought a few showers in the area.

But it didn't last long as the street turned into a shower which washed out the sky for a while. By the time it got going again the sun had lost its heat with some thick cirrus coming in. Pete (230), Pete & Jill (OL) and Martin (KMV) all flew for over 2 hours. There was another good turnout from Exeter University GC.

The DG-505 trailer was left spotless after a cleaning session from James, Dave W and Wyn.

Wednesday 9th February

The weather was less than ideal for gliding with the visibility ranging from being able to just see the beech trees to not being able to see the glider trailers. Undaunted, the group of enthusiasts who turned up ever hopeful that it might clear later, were rounded up by Pete Warren to lend their backs to mending some of the potholes in the driveway. Pete Smith was also on site and he managed to rescue a couple of volunteers from getting covered in bitumen to get them covered in oil instead, by helping to fit a new earth strap to the launch point vehicle which is now self propelled again.

Over the weekend, Les the winch and Allan Turner had cleared the fallen branches off the south boundary fence so that was one less job to do.

Who knows, we might even get the gliders out next week!

Oh and the sheep are back on the field.

Monday 7th February High on Gliding

I was seriously beginning to question my sanity driving up to Nympsfield in the pouring rain on Monday but I had been offered the back seat inTrevor Stuart's Nimbus 3DT and the forecast promised good conditions for an afternoon ridge run down to Bath. As a budding cross country pilot this was comparable to a busker being asked to jam by Eric Clapton and borrowing his Fender Stratocastor into the bargain,there was no way I was going to miss this opportunity.

Needless to say it was epic! Trevor had rallied a few troops to help get us airborne (the only launch that day) and he had even declared a task NYM - Bath race course(BAT) - Dursley South West(DSW) - BAT - DSW - BAT for a distance of 135km. The top of the launch was the highest part of the flight, with most of it flown at around 500' above Nympsfield QFE, the height we would usually be at, at low key on approach to land.

I can only stand in awe of Trevor's enthusiasm and ability which allowed him to search out these "extreme" gliding possibilities and to then share and encourage others to try them for themselves. My gliding horizons have been pushed back considerably which only makes me more of an addict.

Shempp-Hirth Nimbus 3DT, 25.5m best LD 57:1 at 57kts

Sunday 6th February

The day started with a degree of pessimism it has to be said, forecast was for very strong winds gusting to 38 kt and low cloud. The decision was made to drink some tea and review by 10! Ron, the duty instructor, continued the latest trend, held a briefing and talked about the weather and members' needs.

The aircraft were given their DIs and the field was set up with the launch point on the North boundary, however Ron made the decision that the wind was far too gusty at this time so the aircraft were temporarily put back in the hanger.

Pete Warren arrived on site and offered to take over Ron's duty, he then set about waiting for the wind to drop. Before long the wind did drop (a little) so a K21 was taken out of the hanger, the keenest of members hid behind the launch control and took in turns flying. To everyone's surprise it was soarable Paul summers and PW climbed to 2,000 ft, indeed everyone who flew managed to extend their flight times and experienced testing conditions particularly on the approach until lunch stopped play. After lunch Mark Courtney, having finished theory briefings with new member Pete the power pilot, dragged the other K21 out of the hanger and flew with Dave Weeks halfway to Exeter Airport and back, this inspired Matt Wright to get the DG out of the hanger. Simon Minson fresh back from retrieving his glider from Talgarth did not need to be asked twice if he would like to join him!

The south ridge was working in places particularly in the “bowl” near Dunks so whilst SM and MW exploited this area, other members continued to find large areas of lift in the valley.

When the light started to fade the kit was put to bed and the members retired to the club house in high spirits for tea and Minson's biscuits.

To sum up the day; the members who turned up were rewarded with some good flights and extended their skills in difficult conditions, never-say-never always try to turn up whatever the forecast you never know, you might just strike it lucky!

The DSGC dog made an appearance and promptly took a dislike to Paul Summers' glove.

Thursday 3rd February

Overnight cold front cleared giving us a bright, warm? start with a fresh southwesterly wind, with keen members wanting training and check flights. The first briefing bell was rung at just after 10:00 and plans were made.
As might be expected in these conditions, and before any convection started there was evidence of wave above Broadhembury. Then convection started and the wind strengthened and it changed from smooth, benign to quite exciting conditions.
There was some soaring, longest flight 23 minutes by Keith in a Junior. Mark L experienced his first wave flight (needs the lecture now). Ian resoloed his new knee in K21. Towards the end of the afternoon, K21 launches were reaching 1900ft and 19 members flew and everyone went home happy.