Sunday 29th December

A good day was had by all -
A forecast of fine weather encouraged a small but keen group of members to turn out and enjoy some pleasant flying  both winch and aerotows in the bright crisp winter sunshine. The field remains quite soft and it is very easy to break the surface.
Say no to wheel brakes
A number of flights allowed certain pilots to demonstrate their skills at 'sniffing out' the parts of the sky which offered reduced sink and/or pre frontal wave. 
K13 over the green and pleasant land
Longest flights from the winch were by Pete St  in Junior and Guy in K13 at 18mins. Oh and Matt W with 26 min in the Jr.
Off into the blue
Good team work all round ensured that by the time the hangar doors were closed a total of 39 flights had been completed for the day and that everyone who wanted to fly had flown. Congratulations to Gordon H who has flown in the back seat for the first time and been accepted for Instructor training. - MS

Saturday 28th December

Despite the recent rain, the airfield has drained quite well and with some careful positioning of the launch point, we were able to winch and aerotow today, without cutting the field up too much.
It was a very pleasant day with light south westerly winds and an absence of the forecasted showers. The Hunt made an appearance and there were a large number of walkers passing through. Well done to Cheryl and Graham for surviving their first day behind the kitchen counter.
Another branch down on the beech trees this week, but still a lovely skyscape

Boxing Day 26th December

After the recent stormy weather, the forecast was going for a pleasant interlude with a 12 hour slot coinciding with Boxing Day. A merry crowd of members gathered to enjoy a glorious sunny day with light westerly winds and mince pies and cream. 
Brilliant blue sky, but long shadows at this time of year

The field was still too wet for winch launching, but we managed 14 aerotows, and with some reduced sink on the possibly pre-frontal wave, the longest flight from 2000ft was 28 minutes by Graham H and Paul S. We welcomed Andrew a visitor from Cambridge GC who had escaped from family holiday on the South coast. And even 'bah humbug' turned up to avoid shopping in the Sales and had an extended flight in the K13. All in all, a very enjoyable day, thanks to all for turning out.

Thursday 19th December

The wet and windy cold front of Wednesday evening cleared away leaving us with a bright sunny morning (but a very wet airfield.) We managed to find a dry strip to aerotow from, and completed 12 tows before the next trough came in and washed us away. Dave C took the prize for the longest flight on his first solo aerotow with a bit of some sort of lift over Broadhembury.

Saturday 14th December

Christmas shoppers weren't the only winners today, there was a increasingly brisk to strong south westerly wind, and although the Cliffs and the Quantocks weren't on, the low cloud kept away from the airfield. The whole of the Broadhembury valley seemed to be full of 'rotory lift' which never settled down into proper wave lift. But all the gliders soared for as long as they wanted - up to 2500ft. New member Mike K had his first taste of soaring and was almost blown away....
Visibility wasn't brilliant - but look at all the trees cut down in the wood.

Just after lunch everyone had flown and as the wind was getting even stronger, and the approach more tricky, the toys were put away.

Thursday 12th December

With a southerly wind, there was a delayed  and then a couple of false starts due to orographic cloud and misting canopies. After another cup of tea and a talk on flying local tasks, we got going properly.
Conditions didn't allow much more than slightly extended circuits, although the wave bars were always visible downwind. We managed to squeeze in a couple of aerotows when the orographic cleared for spin checks. 
K13 on aerotow and the wave bar downwind
 As we packed up at dusk, the light drizzle got going, bringing the forecast change from high to low pressure.
And the really good news - the evenings have started drawing out now......

Wednesday 11th December

Thick fog greeted most people driving to the club today, on arrival the fog started to thin out so the kit was pulled out in case it should clear, as soon as the gliders came on to the field the canopies started to mist up.
It took ages to de-mist the canopies also there was patches of low cloud about, we had a quick flight to test the weather it proved to be not yet good enough to fly so it was an early lunch. The wind was due South with sometimes a bit of East and sometimes a bit of West we opted for the S/W run.
We started flying about 12.30pm and it was obvious from the start there was wave about, soon we had three two seaters and a Junior all climbing steadily in the wave, - the wave continued for the rest of the afternoon most of the flights were limited to 30mins. 
Stationary gliders in the wave

Roly had the longest flight 72mins in the Junior, everyone flew, - we finished flying at dusk we managed 19 flights. - JSt

Sunday 8th December - The morning after the night before

After the Club AGM a good number of members, including some EUGC existing and new members, turned out to see what the day would hold. With optimism in the air and despite the weather not perhaps as good as forecast the decision was made to get all the kit out to be ready to fly if the weather improved.
The optimism was rewarded - after a "stuttering start" due to low cloud and the odd rain shower still drifting across the field from time to time, by late morning flying was well underway with both winch and aerotow flights taking advantage of the pleasant flying conditions to 'waft around gently' in the bright and crisp sky.

A dramatic skyscape
With a blend of both experienced and new members the launch lines were kept going until the setting sun and misting canopies saw flying stop for the day
By the end of the day...
36 winch launches and 7 aerotows - everyone who wanted to fly had flown
Mike W had got back in the air for the first time since August.
Rick was cleared for solo aerotow in the K13.
Matthew W had fun flying the SF27.
The Street brothers (John and Robin) flew together (for the first time in a while).

Several EUGC newies had got hooked by both the flying and the ground handling learning and indicated they would be back for more early in 2014 after the Christmas break.
Several of the relatively new members made progress with their flying and also their ground handling learning.

Washing and packing up in the dark

In amongst the fun there was an unexpected visitor in the form of a wayward parachutist from Dunkeswell who 'landed through the approach' and ended up in the East end of the field, fortunately not in the proximity of a glider or the Pawnee - the 'landing' was followed up by the Duty Instructor having a 'suitable word or two' with our flying friends over at Dunkeswell!!
A salutory reminder to all of the importance of lookout and to to expect the unexpected!

Thank you to the experienced members who kept the launch lines going as well as spending time to train up others with suitable skills - a particular thank you to the winch drivers for today who each completed long 'tours' at the other end of the launch line and therefore only had limited opportunity to fly in return. - Mike Sl

Saturday 7th December

Low cloud and drizzle from the warm south westerly airstream meant no flying.  Maria supplied her usual fabulous carvery for 45 members, prior to Lisa presiding over her first AGM as Chairman with a very crowded roomful of members. 
After the usual formalities with Lisa and Treasurer Tom describing the highlights of the year including visuals, Tim J gave a short presentation on considerations for a new Clubhouse. 
One of the highlights of the year - the arrival of  Red 37?
CFI Pete then began the great long list of achievements this year. 
the short version: (more info will be on the website soon)
Trophies were awarded as follows:
  • The Rose Bowl for the Club ladder to Pete St.
  • The Kelsey Plate longest cross-country flight to Liam.
  • Tim Parsons Trophy  for earliest 300kms to Matt.
  • Norman Whyte Shield for best progress to Peter B.
  • Francis Bustard Trophy for best height gain to Wyn.
  • Dave Fewings Trophy for  best 2-seater flight to Ron & Dan.
  • Ken Andrews Trophy for best flight in wooden glider to Liam.
  • Wily Old Bird for no reason in particular to Eric & Chris H.
  • Brian Masters Trophy for Winner of Task week to Pete St.
  • Les' Tankard for best contribution by a Junior member to Peter B.
  • Instructor of the Year voted online by members to Pete H.
  • Tim's Challenge Trophy first or best O/R to Lasham to John P.
There were three new trophies to add to this collection:
  • The Dick Wolff Trophy for hidden ground ops to Les H (winch)
  • Des Champes Vachables for most landouts to Liam V
  • Les Pissoir Trophy for least score on BGA National Ladder to Adrian. 
Trophy winners who were there
 There were 6 Albatross badges awarded to new members of the DSGC Soaring Section:
Adrian, Henry, Liam, Rowan, Tom, Wyn. 

 This year there have been 30 DSGC  pilots submitting 173 flights on the BGA ladder

Congratulations to everybody. 

Thursday 5th December

Whilst up north the wind howled, glorious Devon was warmish, cloudy with a bracing west northwesterly, initially cloudbase was up to nearly 2000ft  but a drizzly feature came through at lunchtime bringing cloudbase down to 1400ft. 
All the Thursday mob soared, a total of 12.5 hours from 16 launches, but early on, Pete St in Discus 230 reported the bracing wind was actually 40kts at 1500ft.  Most flights were climbing along the ridge and then pushing out into wind but fairly stationary in front of the ridge. Matt ASW24 M5 and Pete nearly managed to get to Cullompton, and it was quite a struggle in the K13 and Junior to make any headway. It was quite easy to demonstrate an undershoot from 1000ft over the airfield boundary. 
A rare sight CFI Pete in  a Junior
 Invigorating flying with only a minor hiccup with a rope/weak link break on the last launch, - but whilst the team were recovering the cable from down the hill, they found another couple of strops!

Wednesday 4th December

A disappointing day with a 400ft cloudbase all morning with a light drizzle,  Mike Fitz gave a lecture to the Wednesday hopefuls on flight envelopes. Malcolm V & JSt started a survey of the field to look at what action is required re: field levelling.
After lunch a clearance came through but by then some members had left and there were not enough people to get the kit out. - JSt

Sunday 1st December

Damp cloudy start but with a reasonable cloudbase there was flying all day. There were very few experienced members so some rapid ground ops training of a whole bunch of new members was needed, and the BIs ended up driving the winch.

Liam was cleared P1 back seat on K13 following his acceptance for BI Training by CFI Pete. 

Liam enjoys flying in the back seat
The resurgence of Exeter University Gliding Club continues apace led by Liam. 
Our newest young trainee Oliver (12) will need some foot extensions before he can properly reach the rudder pedals.
Oliver in K21 with Guy

Saturday 30th November

It was bright and sunny all day with a light north easterly wind,  the flying list was quite long but for the last day of November it was really quite pleasant with 52 launches. Matthew W converted to SF27.

Thursday 28th November

An unexpectedly bright morning with a gentle north easterly breeze, had the Thursday faithful on a march to the south west corner. Having added a length to one of the launch cables so it was long enough for the sw/ne run, launching continued smoothly all day with just a stop for lunch. 
Another party from Brentor joined us for aerotow training keeping Peter F on his toes all day in the Tug, until the cloudbase lowered.
A very pleasant day of training and check flights with the longest extended circuit by Harry in the Junior.
Tom has started the work on renovating the old K13 trailer by removing the floor, more volunteers to help would be welcome, please see Adrian or Tom who are leading the work.
After flying, we found Mrs Mop in the Clubhouse making a brilliant job of cleaning the Clubhouse carpet - after a lot of sheep poo was trodden in yesterday. - Thanks Adrian. 

Adrian getting stuck in - but what a result!
Please help to keep the carpet clean by cleaning your boots......

Wednesday 27th November

A very early start,- first launch just after 9.30 am with Adrian keen to practice his " Back seat patter".
The weather was a lot warmer than of late but rather dull with a light Northerly but quite flyable, the weather conditions were easy for a change enabling Chris W to fly his first solo, well done Chris.
Ernie congratulates Chris
The easy conditions helped Vince, Dave T and Glyn to solo again after a long time due to difficult conditions.
We finished flying about 4.00pm after a very rewarding day for all. - JSt

Sunday 24th November

It was a sunny start but it soon clouded over, thanks to Ron for running the show whilst Simon got on with some Regional Examining work. There were lots of new members and trial flights including a batch from Exeter University, and the winch cables needed quite a lot of attention. Flying continued until dusk.

Saturday 23rd November

A bitterly cold day, with a 10 kt wind out of the north adding chill factor. Passing banks of cloud at around 1,500 feet kept the temperature from rising. The site was at its scenic best, with excellent visibility, and there was an enthusiastic band of pilots braving the near-arctic conditions. The flying list was long and business was brisk, with a very good launch rate, thanks largely to the herculean efforts of Ed D around the launch point. Mark C worked like a Trojan, instructing all day, ably assisted by Ernie, Andrew and James.
There were no particularly long flights, but there were a few extended ones, notably by Eric (DG505) and Heather (K6), who managed to extract some energy out of one of the passing banks of cloud. Her K6 partners, on immediate readiness with their retrieve vehicle, AKA Kabuto, were heard to mutter something along the lines of "must keep her away from that glider!"
Malcolm V flew his Cub with Ian M for his Cross-country NavEx, refuelling and departing into a beautiful cold winter sky -  it looked beautiful. 
Congratulations to Simon L on joining the tuggie team, having completed his first tow. Everyone flew, and the kit was packed up just before dusk, with a glorious rosy glow infusing the horizon. - WWF

Lisa, Tom, Pete and Jill spent the day at the BGA Management Conference in Warwick sharing and picking up some useful ideas on marketing and club management.

Thursday 21 November - Doctor's Who and the evil North wind

The Doctors "who" never believe my gliding forecast (Chris M and John A) sat smugly in the warm club house as I predicted a good day.
The evil North wind was battering the windows like a rejected trick and treater  stepping out on to the patio reminded me of the time I used to paint lighthouses in the Arctic, and yet John Sil and I were confident that the day was going to be a success ........probably.
After a few cups of tea and several bacon butties the decision was made to tow the K21's to the 'famously warm' SW corner.
The brave few that made the long walk huddled behind the launch point vehicle like a group of inner-city hoodies.

John Sil and I decided to have a met flight, the cable broke at 1200ft, the parachute and 400ft of rope flew out of sight ending up in the fields at the bottom of the south ridge!
Two brave members Geoff L ( wearing his new fur lined onesie available from all good online auction sites) and Aston "volunteered" to go find it.
News filtered back that they were indeed at the bottom of the hill with the rope coiled neatly.
A 4x4 rescue squad soon picked them up, however  Geoff's onesie was now more of a hindrance than a help, he was sweating like a glassblowers dog.

After lunch flying resumed, conditions were still testing with a 20kts NNE wind but all the Thursday regulars coped remarkably well, some extended flights were possible with teasing lift near the North ridge.
Everyone who wanted to fly had a couple of flights each, the kit was put to bed as darkness fell.
A productive day as predicted ! 

Lovely sunset from the south west corner of the field
More of the same medicine next week Doc's ?? - Mark C.

Thursday 14th November

The cold front blew through the high pressure overnight, leaving us in a very boisterous north westerly airflow. The thursday regulars turned up wrapped up well for the first time this winter (although there was only one green suit so far). After a weather check in the Junior, it was 2-seater flying only with some experiencing their first true blue card conditions. Early on there was very strong lift and sink (turbulence) but the ridge was sort of working and late morning the thermals got big enough to enable some soaring, and Mark C and Mark L got to 3000ft,  until a big shower came through, and we tied everything down and went for lunch.
In the afternoon, the thermals stopped and the wind dropped a little and flying became more comfortable and we carried on til dusk - cold and ready for cups of tea. 
Rob helped Jill solve some software problems with the Instructor of the Year trophy voting on the DSGC website and it is now available for members to cast their vote before the AGM.

Wednesday 13th November

A very early start all aircraft out before 9:00am for the first launch at 9:30, we had a huge list and four two seaters on the go all day plus the two Juniors.
Luckly we had no misting canopies and we were able to fly until dusk, a little weak wave greeted the late flyers who had extended flights, Peter Sm and Adrian were busy trying out their Instructor patter. - JSt

Sunday 10th November

A forecast of a potentially fine day with minimal likelihood of rain unsurprisingly saw a lot of Club Members turn up 'raring to go'.
All of the Club fleet was in continuous use from early on, with the winch and tug launching their first flights by soon after 9:30. Luckily there were plenty of Instructors for the busy launch queues throughout the day getting all Club Members and Trial Lesson visitors 'in the air'. There were also 8 private gliders out today with Stu in KMV LS3  taking the prize with 49 minutes. There was also some competition for tugging in the Pawnee on such a nice day.
Grid launch in November?
As well as the usual Club Members, we had a number of Exeter University visitors experiencing gliding for the first time and also welcomed some Dartmoor Gliding Society members completing some aerotow training with their CFI Don.
All in all a good day's flying with great teamwork getting everyone in the air. - MSl

Thursday 7th November

The rain on the cold front cleared south in the early morning leaving us under the veil of high cloud with very humid cool air, and a very light south westerly. The gliders were prepared and launch point set up but the humidity was so high that the cold canopies and airframes took til nearly lunchtime to be flyable. But Mark filled in the time with a Big Breakfast and a talk on Approach control.
There was an afternoon of extended circuits and reduced sink from a southerly wave influence, longest flight from the winch was Pete and Malcolm in K21 with 12 minutes on the hangar flight, but several gliders managed to do O/Rs to Hembury Hill - surely someone will put their flight on the BGA ladder today!
Red sky at night.........
 There was a lovely short-lived sunset to end a really pleasant day.

Sunday 3rd November

After a very wet and boisterous start to the day the weather gradually improved. As soon as the rain cleared (by about midday) both K21's and a Junior made the most of the clearance with 1600ft launches and ridge and weak wave to help extend the flights. 
Unfortunately there were not many people around but those who made the effort were rewarded with some excellent flying. Later in the afternoon a few members let JB sit in the front seat while they flew from the back. They all enjoyed the experience and were surprised at how easy it was to make the change. (well of course its easier - thats why the instructors usually sit in the back!) By 4pm all desires to fly had had been sated and the gliders were washed and packed away and the final order for the day was TEA! - JB

Saturday 2nd November

It needed to be an early start as the forecast was looking a bit dodgy for the afternoon. Nearly everybody soared in the developing westerly wind, with some wave, ridge and thermals. But increasingly the conditions became difficult low down, at one point a gust of 40 knots came through just as Mark and Lisa were launching - which broke a bolt in the cable strop. This brought an end to proceedings.
In the evening, we were treated to a talk from world renown yacht designer Phil on 'How sailboats fly', followed by a buffet supper from Maria.

Thursday 31st October

A bright enough start to get five gliders to the launch point  by 10am but the air was sooooo damp that it was gone 11am before the canopies would stay clear.
It must be half term.....
From then on it was a very pleasant day with high (1800ft) launches from the Skylaunch (thanks to Adrian for fixing it this morning).
Mark took some more photos for the DSGC calendar
We thought it might be the end when a short spell of drizzle occurred mid afternoon, but it cleared through and we continued until dark. There was a suggestion of wave over Broadhembury which extended most circuits and longest flights were Gordon B in Junior for 17 mins and Peter B in K21 for 16 mins from 2000ft launch.  Liam even did a short cross country to Hembury Hill and back, enabling him to post his 6th flight on the BGA Ladder and so secure his Soaring Section Badge. Well done to all the winch drivers. Rick and Peter B were trained up as duty launch marshalls.
Hangar packing in the dark

Wednesday 30th October

The first day of the darker evenings is upon us so an early start, unfortunately the Skylaunch packed up on us so out came the trusty Supercat to give us launches up to 1,700ft in the strong S/W wind, most flights were extended due to a bit of wave and a bit of ridge, we packed up just as the rain started. - JSt

Mini-Comp Ent weekend - Denbigh

Nick, John and Matthew travelled to Denbigh with the Eagle, and took part in Comp Enterprise and outsoared white gliders for a while..only for a while! Very very rough great wave for some - 19000ft for one, but we stayed safe and low! The task was set as 'Quadrant Conundrum'  - With LLE as the centre you had to fly into each of the quadrants NE SE SW NW doing an O/R, score one point per km in quad 1 then 2 pts in quad 2, 3 in the third etc. 20 points per Thousand feet of height gain. Hope that makes sense! With 40kt + winds and rotor, Eagle was at a disadvantage vs the Arcus brigade
The Eagle soars Denbigh

Came 2nd to last but won respect! All good but too windy today so came home. 
Preparing for the journey - (must finish the trailer!)

- John P.

Winter Series Long Mynd - Sat 26th October

Friday evening: We arrived at The Long Mynd in torrential rain, where a warm welcome was received by the Team GB Juniors. Later in the evening, met up with the Mendip juniors and following a big meal we moved to the bar. In the meantime we had the weather and operations briefing, everything seemed rather optimistic. 
Saturday morning
Saturday: Majority of people were up early at 7:30am, keen to get the equipment out but unfortunately the weather wasn't on our side. We remained in the restaurant until late morning, when suddenly the cloud lifted and first glider was launched soon after. With only one rain gap, we flew for the whole day. Mike and Matt both flew with the local instructors, in K13 and K21 respectively - battling with the very strong and gusty wind. 
Mike in K13
Over 40 pilots have flown today, soon after 5 pm most people were derigged and ready for a hearty meal. The weather for Sunday does not look promising... But we shall see. - M&M

Thursday 24th October

Today's forecast had been changing all week, and after a very heavy dew, it dawned bright, but by the time we had got the kit to the far end for the south easterly wind, some low cloud started building up over the field. There was a morning of reduced height launches in the two seaters and by the time it got down to 700ft we stopped for lunch. The cloud lowered even more and the rain was not far away on the radar, so there was just time for a couple of hops back to the hangar. The solo pilots weren't too upset with not flying and walked the Juniors back to the hangar. We managed to get a trial flight in for Sue Cade who is writing an article for Devon Life on 'Trying something new'.
Wooly has created some DSGC keyrings which will be sold for donations to Ian Beckett fund.

Wednesday 23rd October

Today would have put some of the summer weather to shame, all the kit was out early and ready to go at 10.00am, with a good long list it was soarable from the word go, on the first flight the ridge was working well but we had to avoid the patchy low cloud. As the day progressed the cloud base rose and made things easier, soon we had three two-seaters soaring plus a Junior these were joined by Pete St in the Discus, Joe in the ASW 19. All the the flights were soarable and everyone had a soaring flight, Pete W flew the two trial lessons hotfoot with his new shiny EASA medical. - JSt

Sunday 20th October

With a forecast of an improving day weather-wise a small, but keen group prepared the field for flying.
Mid-morning a weather check flight evidenced that the South Ridge was working reasonably well allowing some extended flights using the available lift to good effect.
With a careful eye being kept on the weather, flying continued until lunchtime when the darkening skies and 'flashes and rumbles' gave warning of time to stop flying, with prudence suggesting that the gliders would be best out of harm's way in the hangar. A good decision as the view from the hangar shows - a huge downpour of rain, with the Clubhouse weather station recording 230 mm per hour of rain in just a few minutes. 
9mm of rain today
With the 'safety' decision made, lunch was taken and optimism was in abundance around the weather clearing through for an afternoon of more flying. The optimism was sadly not supported by the weather which did eventually improve mid afternoon but all too late and with a water logged field the decision was made to call it a day....
Amazing how quickly the field drains
...and go home with a drive home in the sunshine which soon turned into more rain -so the decision to stop flying for the day turned out to be the right one. - Mike Sl

Saturday 19th October

Strong winds and low scudding cloud conspired to prevent flying today.

Time was well spent hoovering out glider cockpits and canopy polishing etc - many thanks to the many hands for doing that stuff. Can we make it a regular thing now we're in the season of mud, grass and baa lamb poo?

CFI Pete has made improvements to R37's total energy system so that the varios may, a. tell the truth, and b. tell the same story as each other! Some other maintenance bits were done too.

Did I mention I went solo in R37 back in 1985? It was all working then - or was I too inexperienced to know any different!

The clearance came through about 3pm by which time most people had drifted off and I suspect the field may have been too wet to use by then anyway.

Better luck to the Sunday crew.

Pete S

Thursday 17th October

The forecast was good and the call to go flying was quite strong.The usual suspects turned up, but the moist south westerly didn't want to play fair and shrouded the field in orographic cloud - just after the weather check flight, so back for coffee before we really got going. The air dried out and there was some very strong thermic lift and sink, with a small shower at lunch time. Harry had the longest flight in the Junior of an hour, and there was a competition between Mark L and Fred for the shortest flight of 4 minutes who both got caught in some really heavy sink.
The sun setting on a good autumnal day
 Congratulations to Dave C who completed his field selection and landing exercises in Rotax Falke for his cross-country endorsement. 
Pete St laboured all day with the DG505 release hooks (not yet finished), and thanks also to Adrian for replacing the front foot of the winch last week.

Wednesday 16th October

Wednesday started with very wet and windy weather as forecast and only a handful of members turned up - not enough to get the kit out.
About 11:00am the weather looked if it was clearing and another couple of people turned up so  after lunch we got just one K21 out, it was still very windy 15kts plus and gusting but the wind was due west, we launched into strong ridge lift and even stronger thermals - 6 to 8 kts at times.
Seven people wanted to fly so we kept the flights to 30mins each, Pete St flew his Discus for nearly 2 hours, a very interesting day and well worth the trouble in getting the kit out.
We started packing up at just before 5:00 pm, James turned up in readiness for the committee meeting and was disappointed that he was just to late to join in the fun. - JSt

Saturday 12th October

Persistence paid off for those who sat around in the drizzle and sometimes heavier rain, by lunchtime it had started to clear, and we were rewarded with a very pleasant afternoon, and longest flights being 10 mins.
Well done to Les and Alan who managed to recover 4 strops from the sheep pen area and down the hill, - that's saved the club £70 a go.
Antonio brought along some more new junior members from Bournemouth University currently on work placements at Westlands.
A surprise visitor arrived with the K13 trailer from Keevil, although roadworthy, will need a little fettling before use.
K13 trailer arrives
We welcomed  back the travellers returning from haggisland, congratulations to all on their various achievements.

Thurs 10th Oct Portmoak- The day after the day before

 Ho Hum! Another boring day having a bimble round the Scottish skies. Oh, there was a bit of wave about, so Chris H and Tom S. were able to log their first Gold Height claims and JB, Matt W,  Pete S, Wyn D,  Ron J  and Chris W  also easily surpassed Gold Height levels. Former North Hill member, Chris D (son of Dasher), knocked out a Diamond Height claim. Later in the day, Ruth, Nick H, Rowan and Ian H  played on the Benarty ridge.

Benarty in the evening sun

 Not content with just going for height,  Martin W, Pete St and Wyn explored the Scottish mountains proper. Ron  and Chris W in the ASH and Matt even had a Close Encounter of the Third Kind.
Loch Earn Lenticular
Pete found some lift near Killin
All in all, a day to remember: crystal clear with wave smooth as glass can only be described as proper epic and congratulatory drinks flowed from the Portmoak bar later. Looking forward to Friday's highs and lows....

Friday dawned with a low grey overcast and the dreaded easterly wind. Tom, Ian H, Nick H, Wyn and Marie went sight-seeing and every one else went home.  - Tom

Thursday 10th October

The warnings had gone out for a cold northerly blast in the bright sunshine, and a happy band of the Thursday faithful arrived suitably wrapped up against the elements.
Clouds started forming over the Blackdown hills but strangely enough they didn't seem to be moving in the north easterly wind - the wave had set up with the UP out of reach and the DOWN around the circuit. 
The sky looked fantastic and even lured out the Chairman from work, but most flights were 4 or 5 minutes with the occasional 9 minutes. 
Street to Cardiff
 Late in the afternoon, the wind dropped a little and suddenly the hangar flights were at 3000ft in a thermal street that ran from Cardiff to Jersey?
There was a lovely sunset ending a very pleasant day.
Short-lived sunset

Wed 9th - Gems, Precious Metal and chilli willi milli vanilli

The Roost
Some days are the day before the best day. If you'd let them pass you by they would have been the day you should have been here yesterday. Silver height Tom S., Silver height Ian H., Gold height Martin W.(completely gold), Gold height Rowan (also completely gold) , Diamond height Wyn. Congratulations all!
Martin way up high
Rowan even higher
"Roof" gained inside information from the local instructor, Chris, knowledge that she is hoping will be put to good use on what may be best day of the week, tomorrow.
Nick H. took the club's DG505 for a wave flight showing the local instructor how to handle the difficult conditions.
The club's pundits messed around in the wave trying to extend their territory but Matt falling down en route to Perth put paid to any more adventurous plans but he did win today's prize for the lowest pre-wave low point. Whilst Captain Slow shot up to 11 k feet and went east to Glenrothes before remembering he had a 50 kt headwind to get back.
The evening was punctuated with rough as old boots rotor and fruity landing.

Tuesday 8th October - Dodging Clouds, Rocks and Gliders

It was windy and bright over the airfield this morning which was nice but there was a street of cloud the same width as the Bishop and shrouding its top which was not so good. Eventually the cloud lifted off the hill long enough to get four gliders in the air before sliding down again promptly halting launching for about half an hour or so. Staying below the 1100 ft cloudbase was quite challenging with the strong wind, almost as challenging as trying to avoid the other gliders. As the cloud base slowly rose more and more gliders filled the gap and at about 4pm we finally managed to contact the wave over West Lomand clearing the traffic jam under the clag.

Martin took the prize for the highest flight with 8500 ft and being the last to land, about 20 min before official dark. Mega cheesy grins in the bar afterwards.
Rowan waving in the Junior
Time to go back

Wednesday 9th October

A misty start but a reasonable forecast, by the time the field had been set up the mist had cleared and we were getting full height launches. The wind was a brisk north-westerly so the ridge was working most of the day, there were many flights of around 30min duration.
Peter Sm flew all the Trial lessons with Robert flying the tug. 
Both K13s were flown all day plus the K21s and the Junior a good day was had by all.
It was nice to see Clive back again after a short break from gliding. - JSt

Monday 7th October - Lustrous Wave

With a southwesterly wind Benarty was churning up to the air which resulted in rough and turbulent approaches. Lots of low cloud added to the mix. Many opted for two seater flights initially. "Roof" greedily flew two types, with one new, the Bocian, a glider which Chris H earned a ban from flying after telling the owner what he thought of the aircraft.
As it progressed the day became easier and most of the private gliders took to the air. The air dried out a bit allowing JB, Matt and Rowan to make contact with the lustrous wave. Rowan took the height prize reaching 5000 feet.- Rowan
Still Climbing

Sunday 6th October - Silver Lined Orrible Orographic

The rain beating on the bunkroom windows when we woke up did not bode well for today's prospects. A leisurely breakfast, multiple cups of tea and reading a "Blog of the Year" story about Pooh Bear passed the time as we watched the cloud swirling up the sides of the Bishop, at least the wind was quite strong. By lunch time the cloud was clear of the hill by at least three feet and a flurry of activity saw the launch point fill and then empty into those three feet. Thirteen pairs of eyes were on stalks for the next hour or so.

If you were lucky and timed it right the gentle wave coincided with a gap in the clouds and you could climb up into a magical cloud-sculpted wonderland.
Eventually though, the extremely moist air mass won over and the gaps filled in, the cloud base lowered back down the side of the hill and drizzle set in to chase us out of the sky. Back to the club house for more tea and after loads of umming and ahhing speculating if it would clear, the kit was packed away just before the sky opened up again for the last hour before sunset.

Pessimism - Long Mynd - Sunday 6 Oct

The day started foggy and quickly cleared to a crisp blue sky. After a less-than pessimistic flying brief, the group was deciding how much longer to stay, a quick visit to Church Stretton for the compulsory coffee ensured the day wasn't completely wasted. Meanwhile, Oliver (German version of Henry) was getting cleared for solo ridging.

Later, Mark, James, Ian and Micheal left early to get back to the grind stone. The skies clouded over slightly but the wind was threatening to make the ridge work.

Henry, Oliver, Paul, Andrew and "random arrival" Andria had plans to fly with Henry bagging the longest flight at over an hour in marginal conditions.
Oliford in half-K21 (K23)

In the evening, we chowed down on a home-cooked roast.

A great trip away which felt like a continuation of the Summer visit.


Sunday 6th October

A very similar day to yesterday but far fewer members to fly. Warm October sunshine and light winds and barely soarable.
There was a steady flow of launches with trainees in the K21s whilst the K13s were used for Trial lessons, Instructor checks and a visitor from Nympsfield doing Full Cat checks with Simon M.

Congratulations to Peter B for converting to the Junior (after yesterday's clearance to drive the winch).
- It's great to have another 'family affair' with gliding.
Another signature in Peter's logbook

Portmoak - Saturday

 And from the Portmoak camp:-
Long drive north , sleep in the van , woke to a bright sunny morning.
After a check flight and site briefing I had a launch in W7 to 1400ft and headed to Bishop Hill. Arrived at the top of the ridge and spent the next 4 hours back and forth - with an occasional foray across Loch Levan trying to contact the elusive wave.
Loch Leven
Great introduction to flying at Portmoak, and the weather forecast suggests it may be flyable for a day or two to come.  - Wyn 
Congratulations to Ian H for soaring DG1 up the Bishop and over the loch to complete his 2 hours towards his cross country endorsement, before selflessly returning to the field to let Texas Tom have a go in their syndicate machine. Ruth was cleared to fly the Junior but only succeeded in depositing it at the other end of the field after a low launch failure. Nick took control of the launch point to ensure smooth and efficient integration of the southern invaders. The rest of the gang again enjoyed the spectacular views, the challenge of searching for the elusive wave and the odd whiz along the ridge.
The last of our tribe arrived in the evening with CLM in tow, and we converged en masse for tasty lasagne in the clubhouse. We may even get a chance to fly tomorrow. - Matt & Ruth

Duvets and Donuts at Long Mynd - Saturday

Today started with coffee and doughnuts at Church Stretton, when we returned to the club the sky was full of flying "Duvets" (approx 50!). The club operation was very slow due to broken equipment (they need an Adrian and a Mike R!)
Oli Ford (very clever) and Mark C (not so clever, but useful)  dismantled the electrics on the retrieve winch and soon had it up and running.
The wind was due West but not that strong,10 mph, despite this gliders were staying airborne and dodging the duvets.
Michael F flew with the local instructor and seemed to impress him, Oli Ford flew with Mark C, Oli commented that at 300 ft at his club he really should be on final not climbing gently along a ridge!
A few members walked across to chat to the duvet boys, Ian M was tempted to take a tandem, maybe tomorrow!
James H in ASW20 ENW and Ian M in Kestrel 523 somehow managed to squeeze nearly 3 hours on the ridge at no more than 400 ft, very rewarding!
James in ASW20
All in all a great day when accurate flying was all important.
In the evening the clubhouse was buzzing, everyone was treated to top class food, washed down with some
rather nice wine, perfect end to a great day. 

Saturday 5th October

The cloud was on the hill when the first members turned up this morning, but it soon cleared into a pleasant warm, sunny October day.  After the recent poor visibility / rainy days the two-seater list was huge and despite having four two-seaters, we still didn't complete the training list until 1830. - Thanks to all the Instructors who shared the load - 76 launches in total.
There were lots of circuits and very little soaring, some Trial lessons and 6 private owners (- yes there were some left in Devon!) joined in.
Congratulations to Matthew W and Martin B for soloing at North Hill after their respective solos on courses at Lasham and Bicester.
Matthew solos at North Hill
Martin solos at North Hill
One of our visitors has sent this message of thanks:

'I'm writing to thank you for your smiling reception when I came to DSGC for my birthday flight.  The flight was brilliant, and I was overwhelmed by the enthusiasm and kindness and patience of everyone.  You have a great team.'
Kenneth Dent 92 years.
Peter flies 92 year old Kenneth on his birthday

A big thank you to Mike F who marked the day with his last Instructing flights before changing to a Ground Instructor.
Mike completes nearly 54 years instructing