Wednesday 29th February

Warm spring-like weather greeted us today with a very long flying list, all the gliders were out with the two seaters in the air all day but with no thermals and rather hazy, poor vis conditions.
Mike and Barbie flew the Pik, JB was flying with Clive and Matt preparing for their BI courses, Mike R gave the new Disco an airing.
Good news via Mark, Paul is now out of hospital and back home, he was very touched by the cards and messages of goodwill he has had from members of the club.
With a little prompting from JSt, Peter the Treasurer has agreed to extend half-price soaring on the Juniors for another month. - JSt

Sunday 26th February

The kit was out early on the field, but members were always thin on the ground. The weather again exceeded expectations and was even pleasantly warm during the afternoon. Initially a slight easterly prompted setting up at the west end until inevitably it was all change and back to the east end for the launchpoint. The high pressure system gave us a beautiful clear blue day with just a hint of thermal activity between 11.30 and 2.30 to tease us! but it was difficult to use gainfully and always going towards Dunkeswell - although the buzzards were teasing us on the south ridge. The approaching Warm Front held off until the end of the afternoon making a spectacular view to the west above the sheet of white cloud as young Max took a 5000ft aerotow with JB to get all his pre-solo spinning checks completed. Both K21s were kept busy as well as one Junior and the 505. Andrew ended the day with some nice aerobatics in the K21. By just after sunset everything was back in the hanger and the clubroom glowed with tea and happiness!

I was down in the woods again but no big surprises for me - only fitting bits to the water pumping station and definitely no bears about, neither any strops which rumour has it, are also attracted to the woods. - PSm & JB & MS

Simon M and Guy decided to take VG to Bodmin Airfield for lunch, and ASW20 ENW came out for a first airing this year.

Max aerotowing high for spin checks

Saturday 25th February

The forecast had been changing from cloud on high ground to possible cloud breaks, but it seems that most members had believed the pessimistic view. In the event, there was mist / low cloud at first, which broke quite nicely before filling in again and we had to wait until about mid-afternoon for the clear blue sky to appear. The winch had a problem with the fan belt and pulleys, which meant we reverted to aerotows for the afternoon. Those that decided to stay were rewarded with a very pleasant end to the day, thanks to the team who spent the time elbow deep in the bowels of the winch.
A new junior member George, had trial flights before deciding to join the Club. We were also pleased to help Abel on his 15th birthday have a trial lesson in the Motor Falke which he thoroughly enjoyed.
Thanks to Carl and the team for finishing the DG annual inspection within a week, back on line with hardly anyone realising it had gone into the workshop.
Abel, in red, with brother Devon, mum Sue and Stu before his flight in VG

Thursday 23rd February

The very warm, moist warm sector provided so much low cloud on the hill that the beech trees weren't visible. The morning was spent viewing various foreign gliding videos, and a 1940's Walt Disney Goofy video -which was brilliant.
Grown-ups watching cartoons
Then Matt gave a practice run-through of the seaside flight presentation that he is giving at the BGA Conference.

Wednesday 22nd February

Incoming warm front produced low cloud and drizzle all day. There was a sweep of the airfield looking for strops from failed launches. In the workshop, the K21 gas strut and bracket had arrived, and thanks to a team of people and a very clever tool for compressing the strut - designed and manufactured by Chairman Peter, the canopy has been refitted.

Sunday 19th February

Wow- what a day - and its only February! The forecast had suggested a good day since mid-week, I don't think I've ever seen that many private gliders (13) out at this time of year before. It was a good cold start with a nice ridge building, soaring started before 11am and was almost continuous all day until late afternoon. There were 2-4 knot thermals to 3000ft, and cloud streets north- westerly. A cloud street just to the north of the Blackdowns was raining (or actually snowing) nearly all day, but it washed out the sky at lunchtime and we actually had a slight shower on the airfield at 5pm.
Congratulations to Rowan and Jack (Mendip) for successfully completing their BI checkout. Thanks to Adam for completing the checks. Congratulations to Stuart P for getting his Stage 1 & 2 BGA MGIR signed off with a navigation exercise to Eyres Field (Dorset) with Simon M in VG.
Congratulations also to Dylan for his first 2 hours soaring flight in LS7 480.
There were 9 flights of 1-3 hours and other soaring flights that allowed for crew changes.
The DG505 was derigged ready for its annual inspection.

Saturday 18th February

There was some flying early on but then the rain started as forecast about 1100, and everything was put away. Meanwhile, Regional Examiner Adam was quizzing Rowan and Jack (from Mendip) in preparation for their BI flying exercises. The rain cleared through nicely about 1530 and we managed four aerotows in the nice clear sky (well there was just 1 squally shower) to complete the spinning exercises. K21 HCX was rigged after its annual, although the new canopy strut and bracket are still awaited.

Thursday 16th February

It was an early start for a Thursday, with the sun breaking through a high cloud sheet.

Hey Mark - Can you see your face in it yet?
The wind was very light with a slight north westerly component. Pete's forecast had been for the possibility of wave, ridge or thermal, in the event there was no usable wave, the ridge worked sort of -at times, and there was the odd thermal, we even had a light rain shower. So not a 'very good' day but just 'pleasant'. Liam and Will compared Ka6 with the Junior by swopping gliders all day.

Dylan converted to the Ka6 after a couple of flights in the LS7. Daniel practised BI training, Mark C and Tom had the longest flight in DG505 - 36 minutes.

Wednesday 15th February

The weather forecast promised a good strong N/W wind, but what we got was a very strong Northerly making handling very interesting.
By mid-afternoon the wind speed had increased and was still Northerly so we called it a day.
Thanks to "triple P's" - Peter S and Pete W for engineering a tool for extracting the gas strut in KEK and fitting it in HCX with the help of Pete St.
Our water supply was checked today and received a clean bill of health with only a few minor adjustments to be made. - JSt.
We all send our best wishes to Paul recovering in Derriford Hospital, Mark has posted further details to the DSGC Google group.

Sunday 12th February

A surprisingly cold start to the day but at least we would be flying from the East end for a change. Members huddled around each other to stay warm, acting more like King Penguins from Frozen Planet than tough glider pilots.

Paul S flew with Simon L continuing his B.I training, later they took an aerotow to a now familiar wave bar just south of the Wellington Monument, there they floated and gloated at 3000ft for over an hour while us mere mortals did circuits in sink. Andrew L had several flights towards Yellow card revalidation with Mark C, and JB was acting Bloggs for Rowan who is putting the final touches to his flying in readiness for his BI test next weekend.
We continued in this vein until the umpire (Roly in the winch) called for “change ends and new balls please”. The gliders were flown to the other end where we set up camp in our all too regular spot.
Tuggie Simon J was kept fairly busy during the day considering the cloud base and could often be seen going around because a leaf had strayed across his landing area! Simon L gave way to JB for the afternoon duty and as usual he took the day by the scruff of the neck and injected new life into us all.
Henry made a late appearance and kindly pointed out the areas of sink on the north circuit, a brief switch to south circuits faired little better but he did still hold on to the coveted shortest flight of the day award. Guy A continued training with Peter F in the Falke with several impressive touch and goes, the new engine sounding quite the sowing machine.
JB eventually wound down at dusk giving us time to wash our glider bottoms and derig the K21 for its inspection. Thanks to all the helpers. A few lucky members led by John S had the opportunity to wash down Simon L DG 505 before putting it to bed.
A great day on the whole with everyone flown, tea and biscuits at the end of play with talk of spring soaring and Air Experience evenings with our new BBQ.- Mark C

Saturday 11th February

A lovely sunny day with a light easterly wind, it was a cold start with the ground frozen underfoot. It was soarable 2-4knots to 1700ft cloudbase. The tug was out in the afternoon after changing the retractable towrope. Above the inversion it was beautifully clear. The airfield started cutting up badly after the top inch thawed over the frozen subsoil. Rowan and Matt were practising the patter for BI training.

Thursday 9th February

The start was delayed by low cloud but flying started as soon as the sun came out. Congratulations to Dave C, who took the opportunity to sit and pass the Bronze exam with flying colours. A more pleasant day on the field than of late as the wind had dropped and the sun had some heating. In fact some members found it too hot for their suits.

Wednesday 8th February

The weather was as cold as last Wednesday, the wave was abundant, but hard to get to from a winch launch because the cloud was too low to get high enough to dash downwind to the wave bar. Simon L managed to get in it from an aerotow but had to abandon his flight because the wave gap closed up on him.

Unfortunatly Pete F did not come in fancy dress this week, it looks as if the cold East wind will be with us for some time yet,so we might get another display. But we do have another disguise act to guess.......


Sunday 5th February

Chairman Peter, CFI Pete, Safety Officer Ernie and Regional Examiner Simon M attended a Regional CFI's Seminar at Yeovilton. Subjects discussed were the much improved accident statistics, EASA licensing, Olympic airspace restrictions. All information will be circulated to members in due course.
Back at North Hill, the field proved too slippery after the combination of freeze and thaw for any takeoffs.

Thursday 2nd February

The same cold easterly blast from Siberia greeted the Thursday regulars, but the glorious winter sunshine kept enthusiasm up. Peter F and Lisa kept the 2 seaters going all day. Lisa had a wardrobe malfunction late afternoon and had to go home early (sorry no photos). Ozee are replacing the zip within a week. - that's service for you!
Last week we said goodbye to Cachel in the kitchen and today Zoe -our new regular weekday caterer went solo.

Wednesday 1st February

Considering the weather, most of the Wednesday crew turned up and all, when asked if the wanted to fly - said yes.

The weather in the S/W corner was bitterly cold with the strong 15 - 20kt N/E wind bringing the temperature down to -6c to -8c with the wind chill factor, all the flights had high launches in the strong wind, there was evidence of wave which extended some flights.

Clive continued his back seat flying and patter, Peter F wore a fetching pink floral jump suit, not without comment, the likes of which have never been seen on a Wednesday before.

Jonathan & Matt had a high A/T to finish the day off, we welomed Mike Jewell a new member, to the Wednesday crew.

Everyone had a thoroughly nice day despite the weather, we flew until 4.30pm. - JSt