Wed/Thurs at Parham

Pete St and JB headed for Parham on Tuesday afternoon and Peter Sm set off on Wednesday morning in anticipation of a nice day's ridge running on the South Downs. The wind was forecast to be 15 - 18kt Northerly with only the slight risk of an isolated shower towards the east. JB and Pete St planned to run between Butser Hill and Lewis, a 74km beat and just trickle along and enjoy the view while Peter Sm was hoping to get a ride in a K21 with one of the local Instructors and sample the South Downs for the first time.

Wednesday dawned with a 1400ft cloud base and an unexpected rather damp looking sky. Pete St and JB rigged and were on the grid ready to launch immediately after the 10am briefing. Pete St was about 5th to launch, but just after he launched it started to drizzle at Parham so he headed east to avoid getting wet. The gods were not smiling and when he was jumping across the Amberleigh gap he hit some prolonged sink and within 15 minutes of leaving Parham he had landed in the grounds of Seaford College. Peter Sm went to retrieve him as the drizzle stopped and JB launched.
Discus in school playing field (and LS7 nearby) at Parham
 It was still raining to the east so JB and Rob Thompson from Nympsfield teamed up and took some extra height before venturing across the Amberleigh gap to Bignor Hill and on past Seaford College where the two Petes were preparing to de-rig 230.The wind was not as strong as forecast and was about 15degrees west of North which was not ideal. But they had an uneventful run out to Butser and back down to Lewis.

Returning from Lewis they had a momentary shock when the smoke from a bonfire by Devils Dyke indicated the wind to be almost Westerly and along the line of the ridge. They thought they were doomed to a field, but it turned out to be a local phenomenon and pressing on to Truly Hill they soon climbed up to the 1300ft necessary to jump the Storrington gap and arrive on the west side level with the top of the ridge. On arriving back at Parham they decided to call it a day; 148k and a nice time was better than 175 and a wet field, so they ended the day with a few beats of the home ridge at 90kts trying to get below 800 ft before going in for tea!

 Peter Sm had a flight in Parham's K21 and although it was only a short flight he did get cleared to fly solo next time he visits.


Having visited his cousin in Southampton Hospital on Wednesday evening, JB stayed over at Parham and flew again on Thursday. Thursday's weather was what they should have had on Wednesday! It was glorious with not a drop of rain in sight, but the wind was a bit light at only 12 kts Northerly. Soon after launching JB stumbled into some weak wave and climbed to 2400.
A couple of pilots ventured forth but most stayed on the home ridge and enjoyed the peaceful conditions for a change. After an hour JB got lonely and spent the rest of the flight buzzing up and down the ridge until about 3pm when the wind died and everyone landed.
Wave at Parham
It was the most relaxing flight I've ever had at Parham and made a real change from the rough and tumble ridge-top thrashes we usually experience there! - JB

Thursday 29th November

A beautiful day but a slow start due to ice forming on the wings at the launch point. Conditions were quite strange, with  only a light northerly crosswind on the ground but above 200ft an increasing tailwind. This caused a few interesting circuits for the early solo pilots check flights. Tuggie Mark insisted that there would be wave at the Wellington monument and persuaded Ray to take a 3000ft tow, followed by Roly and Heather and Nigel, but to no avail the air was as flat as a pancake / still as a millpond. 
Geoff landing in the Junior
 There was an early finish when the ice returned on the wings and the canopies misted.
Pete St returned form the Soaring section visit to Parham with a lot of mud to pressure wash. The Southdowns did not perform well yesterday and Pete went 'back to school', landing in a very posh, large, muddy playing field.
Discus in school playing field (and LS7 nearby) at Parham

Wednesday 28th November

At last it has stopped raining - instead it is blowing a Northerly gale and very cold, still the Wednesday diehards wanted to fly so two K21's & the K13 were walked to the N/W corner with the temp at 3c with freezing wind chill it was uncomfortable, to warm members up we cleared the drains and mended the fence by the sheep pen.
 The launches and landings were interesting most members found inside jobs ie driving retrieve, logging, flying, - anything to get out of the wind. The longest flight of the day was Richard F & JSt with 22min on the North ridge.

Hats R Us

Last flight of the day
Everyone flew and we put the toys to bed at 4pm. - JSt

Sunday 25th November

Wet, wet, wet with a total of 132mm of rain falling on the airfield this week, the surface was too soft and muddy to fly anything other than models. There were quite a few members who ventured up the hill, and various fettling and small jobs were completed. What started as a 5 year Instructor check for JB with Pete and Simon M turned into a useful,  impromptu Instructors brainstorming session.

Sunday 18th November

Another 'Spring-like day', all the gliders out early with the first two flights managing reduced-price launches.
Early on few people wanted to fly, hoping it would become thermic later, but we were busy getting Dave T solo again, Andreas flew solo again for the first time since his course in September, both Juniors were kept busy most of the day.
 Several members took aerotows for various reasons, notably Lisa who wanted to soar in the reasonable looking sky (to try out her new camera), but only just managed to stay up longer than the tug by a few minutes.Some managed extended flights but nothing of note.
 All the club fleet was in use today incuding the K6. - JSt.

Saturday 17th November

The rain cleared through earlier than forecast, but left some moist air with orographic cloud in the morning. Perhaps some members were put off by the forecast but there were very few people to enjoy the still, autumnal day. In the afternoon some interesting cloud formations developed, but it was only circuits as there was too much north in the wind for the ridge to work. 
Two different wave interference patterns
 We packed up early which was rather disappointing as we had a full complement of Instructors, Duty Launch Marshalls and Tug Pilot.

Thursday 15th November

As forecast, Wednesday was the better day this week, the Thursday faithful spent the entire day in mist and low cloud. Everyone is getting more familiar with the Synoptic charts and F215 as Jill led  another briefing and discussion session on weather.  Mike H replaced the limp microphones in the K21s. The new set of glider batteries are being wired up ready for use.
DSGC Calendar cover photo
  The very smart new DSGC 2013 calendars are now available for sale from the Club Shop.

Wednesday 14th November

The weather was more like spring, and with a not so good forecast for Thursday, the list was very long.
The early flights were short but about mid-day there was lift about, but you could not get above 1,400ft. Tim J had the longest flight of 45min in the ASW19 877, there were several flights of nearly 30mins.
An 'arty piccie' by Mark L while waiting for some cables
Congratulations to Vince who went solo with a 20min soaring flight and Malcolm V who resolod after a summer overhauling the Cub, Tom S practiced some loops from a 3,000ft A/T with John St.
Ernie congratulates Vince after his solo soaring flight

We flew till dusk and a very pleasant day it was too. - JSt.

Sunday 11th November

A second day of glorious easy flying conditions but few members were there to benefit. Mark and Gordon flew the Junior to their hearts content, Liam and Fred flew the K6, Chairman Peter did some back seat flying with Ron, Ollie continued his training towards solo with launch failures and a spinning sortie and also enjoyed an aerobatic flight with John Si.
A mini-convergence zone set up just off the end of the ridge at lunchtime but it only lasted about 30 mins with cloudbase at 1000ft.There were some higher cloudbases under streets further afield.
Robert in the Astir DKU got the prize for the longest flight with 71minutes.

Saturday 10th November

Bright and sunny with scattered heavy showers and a westerly wind.The whole club fleet, K6 and ENW were out. Many early solo pilots enjoyed rare white card conditions, Ruth and Mark E filling their boots, this was a perfect day for trainee pilots with easy conditions, those who turned up benefited from a 5-10 mph W/NW wind and gin clear conditions. I think many people were put off by a forecast that couldn't quite make up its mind, but with the old saying that you definitely won't fly at home but you might if you roll up - ringing true, many people missed an opportunity. In the afternoon the convection started to make its mark, there were huge anvil clouds in the distance and massive lines of black but productive clouds!
Paul S continues to practice his rear seat role - taking would be 'bloggs' for a ride (Dave W, Jonathan S and James).  Mark C tested the tug's bungee landing gear and declared it "functional " !
 Flying continued until dusk , with all "dirty bottoms" cleaned before being packed into the hanger in time for the evenings function.
From a personal point of view it was fantastic to see the club house buzzing , one comment from an older member "it is like an AGM only a whole lot more fun" . Many thanks to Jill for getting this side of DSGC going again - a great effort !  - Mark C

In the evening, about 50 members and family filled the Clubhouse and were engrossed by the 2nd of our winter talks, this month given by Jonathan, describing his world travels with the Foreign Office and the BBC. After the talk the clubhouse was rapidly changed  for dining with 38 sitting down to another fabulous carvery supper from Maria. If popularity continues to build we will need a bigger Clubhouse!

Thursday 8th November

At last another good forecast promised the midweekers two consecutive flyable days. BUT the orographic low cloud put paid to the morning flying, so there was comprehensive decoding of F215 and abbreviations to pass the time.
By lunchtime the orographic cloud disappeared and the upper cloud broke  occasionally to give brief rays of sun. There was some reduced sink around 1000ft to extend several circuits. With such pleasant conditions several of the recent solo pilots were able to get more solos in their logbooks. Congratulations to Gordon B for resoling after a long layoff.
Peter F checks out and sends Gordon solo
David C also converted to K13.

Wednesday 7th November

At last a good forecast and a good early start, gliders checked out and ready to go at just after 9.00am.
 A brisk westerly was forecast and was delivered, from the first flight the lift from the ridge/wave was good with lift everywere, the only snag was that cloudbase was stuck at 1200-1400ft it needed a good lookout as all the gliders were at the same height.
 At about 4.30pm we launched the last two gliders Matt with a Trial lesson in a K21 and William in a Junior, both stayed up untill dusk, the sheep let themselves out as they had decided it was time to stop flying.
Everyone had a good day and it was a good start to the winter flying - long may it continue! - JSt.

Sunday 4th November

With a cold and wet and sometimes snowy start the weather didn't tempt many people out but a clearance was forecast so we got a K21 and a Junior out.
The clearance duly came but the field was too wet to consider winching so we decided aerotow only, whilst we waited for the surface water to drain several field jobs were started, the grass was removed from the reference point squares and several bald patches in the field were repaired, when the weather (if ever) is dry enough we will paint the squares.
About mid-day the field was dry enough to aerotow so we made a start, everybody flew, the last couple of flights were interesting with a low sun and misting canopies - JSt.

Saturday 3rd November

Winter cometh and JB’s comeback.
It was 2 °C this morning at the club, with the wind chill it left us feeling that summer was long gone! The forecast was spoton with showers developing both to the North and South of us, thankfully never actually arriving over site . After a slow start members arrived and enjoyed extended flights along the ridge although the massive shower  systems did pull the wind direction from SW to NW at times. 
Quarterly members Adrian (dad) and son, Mark, filled their boots with plenty of flights between them, when they were not  flying they worked  very hard around the launch point, the good news is that they have applied for full membership, - just the sort of members we need! welcome guys.
Stu was kept busy in the Pawnee
The cloudbase looked low at times but surprisingly the  tug was kept busy with tows to 3000ft easily achievable, Roly and Heather took advantage and had a long flight in the K21 together,  as did Mike S and his son Phil. Despite the cold, single seaters were rigged -Jonathan S ASW19, Andrew L K6 and Lisa ASW20. Lisa very kindly offered Martin W a flight in her 20, when he saw that Lisa had put her pink tips on his little eyes lit up,  judging by the way he floated up and down the ridge, I think the LS3 will have little pink tips soon! 
Thanks to Peter S and James for fitting a new PVC window in the workshop, those 30 year old windows don’t give in without a fight. 
JB picks on the Junior
 After the attack on the K21 failing, JB and minder John P decided to pick on a “Junior” for a change, look out Kabota they're gonna get you next! - Mark C

Thursday 1st November

The forecast was for bright sunny start with thundery showers later, - the bright start quickly turned to heavy cloud and the odd shower so there were opportune coffee and lunch breaks in between launches. But in the afternoon the showers disappeared and there was wave, thermal and ridge lift at times but not consistently. 
View to the north east
View to the south west
 Congratulations to Tom and Ian who both successfully converted to their new acquisition DG1 (DG100). 
Tom and Ian with DG1 and cheesy grins
 Ray D consolidated his first solo from a few weeks ago with 3 more solos.