Saturday 31st August

A funny day - strong northerly wind, in the ridge of very high pressure following the weak cold front that went through overnight. RASP suggested a short period of soarable conditions after lunch, however there was great expectation with 12 private gliders rigged. 
It became soarable  for about half an hour this morning but then it all switched off and didn't get going again until lunchtime. 
JB in Ventus and John P in Lak HOG got to Yeovil and back. Most of the other long flights were chasing up and down the long northerly streets looking for a hint of crosswind wave interference. Pete St Discus 230 managed to turn some turnpoints for 159K. - Pity the weather is not as good as the other side of the country......

Thursday 29th August

It was an early start, with orographic cloud still on the hill...
No sign of the Beech trees yet!
so we all retreated to the Clubhouse to watch the BGA field landing dvd.... and by the time we opened the blinds the sky was clearing. Cloudbase only reached 2000ft but it was gently soarable. 

Ollie had his first solo soaring flight. Chris C still waits for his first full 1 hour flight. Several of the Thursday regulars enjoyed an Eagle experience. 

There were several trial lessons and Tom's Spanish friends enjoyed their flight over the Devon countryside.
After a few cycles of overcast and sunshine, at the end of the day, the cloud broke completely for a pleasant evening cup of tea on the patio.
Towing back to the hangar - nice sky!

Wednesday 28th August

With high pressure still in charge a very pleasant start to the day, all the gliders were walked up to the south-west corner but with poor visibility and low cloud, we didn't start flying until 10:30.
Peter Sm had quite a queue for his services as BI duty instructor - a task that lasted all day, and as soon as the cloud was high enough CFI Pete  managed an aerotow. We welcome back Ben, a new Junior member who had enjoyed the one-day course with Teign Academy last month.
Congratulations to Glyn for going solo, 40 years after his ATC solo. 
Ernie congratulates Glyn on his resolo
 From about mid-day it became soarable, Tim J had over an hour in the ASW19, JB checked out Malcolm to fly the Eagle solo.
CFI Pete flew with a visitor Mike from Southern Cross GC in Australia, who was interested in the hand operated rudder controls that can be fitted to K21 HCX  for teaching disabled pilots. - JSt

Bank Holiday Monday 26th August

 It was a decidedly slow start and very little flying until the afternoon.
Waiting for cables after a rope break
Murky visibility made for limited soaring (Matt in ASW24 made it to Taunton and Rowan in Libelle to Culmstock). Stu and Simon M had a little jaunt in the DG505 in the murk. But Paul M had over an hour in the Junior and everyone got to fly at least. - Tom
Tom soars to his 6th flight on the ladder
I think the club is that way!

Sunday 25th August

Sunday had an optimistic forecast which predicted good conditions out to our west and a band of gunge to our east. The early morning sunshine strengthened the enthusiasm of members and by 9:30 the 2 seater flying list was 16 deep. Almost as if on queue a lot of low cloud started to form albeit with magnificent signs of wave, the gunge had decided to ignore the forecast and come and visit us. Texas Tom said that on his drive up to the club it looked like a scene from Independence Day with a foreboding lenticular shaped cloud hovering over North Hill hiding the massive alien invasion.

Undaunted, Simon L and Steve W marshaled the troops and launching from the south west corner was soon underway with tantalizing hints of the wave to the north of the field. The wave slots, or suckers gaps, as they are know as at North Hill, even prompted a couple of private owners to rig their gliders but no sooner had they done so the sky filled in and a gloomy overcast settled in for the day.

Flying consisted almost entirely of circuits in the very windy and surprisingly chilly conditions. The strong north wind was causing problems for the winch drivers too, with gliders kiting at the top of the launch causing the engine to stall and the parachute to go on an adventure down the side of the south ridge.

JB took over from Simon in the afternoon and Steve W soldiered on catching up on his instructing time. Late in the afternoon the sun made a welcome return and the toys were packed away at about 6pm with every one who wanted to fly satisfied.

The sun starts breaking through

Saturday 24th August

The wind was howling from the north-north west giving a very gusty crosswind to handle, no trial lessons could be flown due to the conditions. However once away from the ground , trees and turbulence it was quite soarable. Thanks to Roy for bringing KEK back from High Wycombe, it was rigged and test flown complete with new total energy probe.
The Eagle had several flights, and 230 did find some wave " distinctly low moment when I actually had a field picked followed by a very slow climb into the wave. 2 areas of very short beats, difficult to work a consistent line but steady if not spectacular wave – weaker than a weedy bloke on a Weetabix free diet! Better than those bumpy roundy, roundy things for a change though and as always really nice when I reached the tops of the clouds – just." - Pete St
We welcome our increasing number of new members (5 today) and it was just as well as there were very few experienced members present. 
Thanks to James H and Ian M for completing 50 hour check and some remedial work on the Pawnee. Thanks to Adrian who again was up to his elbows in Disco engines. And a very big thank you to Cheryl for filling the breach and supplying a wonderful selection of cakes.

Thursday 22nd August

A crisp dewy morning, followed by wall to wall sunshine and a light south easterly wind. There was the hope of some wave with this wind, and a couple of private owners found it, but it wasn't strong enough even to keep the K6 up. Just the rotor and sink provided confusion for the trainee's circuits.  
Ray B got the prize for the first soaring flight in the Junior at 18 minutes and later for the shortest circuit of 3 mins ( although there were plenty of 4 mins too)
In the morning Ruth navigated her way to Compton Abbas with Mark in the Rotax Falke ......
Ruth at Compton Abbas
and after a crew change Dave C and Pete flew round The Park. Congratulations to both for passing their Navex part of cross-country endorsement..

Wednesday 21st August

All the kit was out early, there was a long list plus four Trial lessons booked, the weather was pleasantly warm with a light westerly wind with some high cirrus cloud.
All four two-seaters were in use all day plus the Junior and the K6 HEB. there were a few weak thermals about and the lucky few had extended flights. All in all, a pleasant busy day with some useful instructional flights flown, we managed to get through the list we finished flying just after 6.00pm.
We had a visitor from the Park  in their Motor Falke. - JSt

Tuesday 20th August - One day course

We welcomed a group from Exeter Air Scouts for a one day course, with the weather looking perfect for their trial lessons. They all flew twice and some wanted a third go, with extended circuits and some local soaring. After lunch, Thomas was invested as a Scout.
Thomas' investiture
Of the private owners that had hoped to soar, only Matt succeeded with an out and return to Okehampton. Chris C navigated to Compton Abbas in the Rotax falke with Ian, for another part of his cross-country endorsement. Thanks to all the Instructors and Helpers for a very smooth running day.
Final Glide into the gloom over North Hill
Some of the helpers relaxing after a successful day

Monday 19th August - adhoc flying day

Doom and Gloom first thing
A call to action for a cross-country day (and for those of you who missed out - get on to DSGC google groups). The morning didn't look too promising with spreadout and Pete's planned task looked a bit flaky. Jill was convinced it would be Ok by lunchtime so we sacrificed Rowan Libelle CLM to the thermal gods and he stayed airborne. Launching quickly followed with Matt  ASW24 M5, Jonathan ASW19 877, Eric ASG29 G29, Adrian Jantar FDX, Pete St Discus 230, Pete and Jill Duo Discus OL, and finally Wyn LS7 W7. Thanks to Stu for tugging.
G29, 230 and CLM completed the Club 100 TIE - YEO, 877 did an O/R to Chard, FDX and W7 stayed local.
M5 turned  Salisbury and Witheridge for 285kms, whilst OL also went to Salisbury and Tiverton. for 240kms.
A nice cross-country day with cloudbase varying between 3500 and 5000ft QNH, with strong thermals and some mixed spreadout.

Turned SAL looking south to the Isle of Wight

Sunday 18th August

Showers delayed the start a little, but soarable conditions developed, with a fairly long two-seater list including trial lessons and friends and family flights. But what a difference the fourth two-seater makes, it was just as well that there were 4 instructors on the field. 
Congratulations to James and Mike who eventually pinned the CFI down to complete their acceptance checks for Asst cat instructors - they will shortly be joining the roster. Welcome back to Martin and Peter from their course at Bicester last week where they both resolo'd and converted to the K8. 
There was a short period in the middle of the afternoon when landings were suspended due to a Catalina display at Dunkeswell.
Catalina close to base leg

Friday 16th August - Cross-country week

Well the last cross-country week day this season didn't quite live up to expectation.The drizzly rain of this morning gave way to a glorious warm sunny afternoon, but it was too stable for soaring. 
Chris C had arranged some family and friend aerotow flights and and a voucher flight turned up as did Peter G with a family and friends ( he thought it was Thursday). So thanks to Mark for tugging and Pete H and Roly for back seating. And we rigged R7 as Pete St and Roly had collected the wing in the rain on Wednesday.

Thursday 15th August

There was a little pessimism with the forecast but all the Thursday regulars turned up and were soon watching a video on thermal soaring techniques (thanks to Black Mountains GC). This proved to be really worthwhile as several pilots had their first and / or best soaring flights in the afternoon.

There was a pleasant south westerly breeze and initially a 1500 ft cloud-base rising later to over 2000 ft. There were a couple of visitors from Yeovilton who had field landing checks in the Rotax Falke.

Well done to Ruth for completing her Bronze.
Congratulations to Geoff L for his first solo soaring flight in the Junior and also to George who resoloed the K21 after several months, and then converted to the Junior and soared that as well.
Cheesy grin - George enjoyed that!

Tuesday 13th August - Cross-country week

This had been forecast as the best day of the week but... with a north-westerly wind the ridge was not working so wave interference was suspected early on. Pete St, Discus 230, launched first and the sky looked quite good with reasonable sun on the ground. He tried yesterday's task and got to MUD to check on the CFI's runner beans, but then the sky cycled again and he beat a retreat back to the ridge which wasn't working. Adrian Jantar FDX  and Jeff Mosquito 380 local soared in the difficult conditions. Pete and Jill in Duo Discus OL were launched in the cycling sky and were soon running on the engine, motored to 3000 ft to look at the wave slots but found they kept closing up and the wave wasn't working anyway. Thanks to Robert for tugging again.

Monday 12th August - Cross-country week

Not very promising morning, but by lunchtime the overcast clouds cleared and cumulus developed. Pete St set the task Mudford Gate - Dulverton but then had second thoughts on undersetting. First to launch was Tom in DG1 followed by Adrian in FDX, Roly and Heather in JZK and Pete and Jill in OL and Jeff in 380. (Pete decided to have a chill out day and provide the crew.)
Conditions proved quite tricky beyond Tiverton, with rapid cycling of big holes and overcast and lowering cloud-bases. FDX, JZK and 380 headed back, and DG1 ended up in a 'gallops' between Bampton and Dulverton.
Nice long field
Early on in the task, OL redeclared a modified Club 100 and romped round at 86.1 km/h with very little turning, arriving back, added another 50 km along a local street between Tiverton and Hembury.
Thanks to Robert for tugging and Pete for groundcrew.

Sunday 11th August

Overnight rain and a decent NW breeze shook up the lower atmosphere enough to make the day interesting to everyone who came. It was much less obviously busy than Saturday, but there were 45 launches nonetheless, ranging from newcomers and a couple of "walk-ins" through to several private owners who rigged and flew.

It looked as if the pattern of Saturday would be repeated - development and overdevelopment until conditions died. But it was much better than that. The window of opportunity lasted longer, and delivered a bit more than Saturday's.  In all 20 flights were longer than half an hour, and of those, 11 were over the hour mark. Pete St  Discus(230), Ron J ASW20 (611), Simon M ASW20 (SM), Pete and Jill Duo Discus (OL), Eric ASG29 (G29) all set off in pursuit of turnpoints with varying degrees of success. Pete St completed the Club 100, whilst Simon ended up in a field near Crewkerne.

Closer to home, Paul S and Mike S were testing out their newish Instructor ratings and keeping things moving at the launchpoint.

A good day was had by all. Thanks to everyone who made it work, and kept it going.- Jonathan

Saturday 10th August

A throng of members - several of them new - and a long long flying list greeted the duty instructor, Mark C. Conditions were not great for soaring - the vast majority of more than 70 launches were short to shortish, but the wind was benign and one flight set a new record for DSGC - our youngest solo pilot, our first 14 year old since the minimum age was lowered: Peter B.
Mark congratulates Peter on his first solo
Other pre-solo pilots continued to make progress, and there was plenty of circuit practice for everyone. By lunchtime the gaps in the clouds allowed enough sunlight on the ground to extend flight times - in all 6 people managed flights in excess of an hour, with both Phil G in his B4 and Matt W in M5 going for just over 2, and Eric A in his brand-new, but not at all squeaky, G29, being airborne for almost 2.5 hours.
Sea air south of Chard much lower than the almost 5000' base inland
Although the cloud cover returned quickly after lunch there were odd areas of lift, or minimal sink, and some people managed to stay up - including Heather C looking more and more at home in her K6, DQS.
Roly briefs and Jimbob dozes off holding down the tail
The flying list was gradually whittled away by Mark C, James H, Rowan S, and later Simon L, who was dragged back by text SOS from a family day in Sidmouth, and everybody flew before we put the kit away at 6pm.- Jonathan

Friday 9th August - Course week

Last day of the course and it was hoped for some nice gentle conditions, but instead there was a rather brisk and gusty north-westerly, but again it became good and soarable, with the ridge sort of working, nice looking streets and  wave interference.
The course members enjoyed both launch failure practice, circuits and long soarable flights, with flights going outside their normal familiar area. 
Chris C, following completion of Bronze flying tests yesterday to complete his Bronze, flying the Junior in the morning, went on a field landing exercise with Ian M in the Rotax Falke. (The fields are in short supply at the moment with the long crop waiting to be cut). 
A very successful course with only one day lost to the weather with a total of 84 launches and about 20 hours flying. Thanks to Instructors Pete H and Chris W and helpers William, Gordon and Jill. 
The August Course
Pete St in Discus 230 flew Dulverton and Molton, and Eric enjoyed his first flight in his new toy.
Eric's ASG29 or is it an ASW27-18?

In the evening, a large group from Honeywell and Westland,  with family Bennett enjoyed good flying and a barbeque. 

Thursday 8th August - Course week

A lovely clear morning , and with the eager course members assisted by the Thursday regulars first launch was at 9:30am. The launchpoint was a dream of organisation with one queue for the course and one queue for club members and private gliders. Lunchtime rota was planned to precision to ensure maximum use of the course 2-seaters for the Thursday regulars. From lunchtime onwards, everyone was soaring with strong thermals.
John enjoyed his first mini- cross country flight with Wooly

Paul also enjoyed his soaring flight with Wooly
The private owners  played up on Exmoor, - 'Persistent 8/8ths and then sea air prevented tasking to the East so had some fun in our local playground. A mix of sea air(bad) and convergences(good) kept it interesting. 611, KMV and W7 played along.' -Pete St
In the evening, a group from the Met Office enjoyed some pleasant evening soaring, and the Course members, helpers and hangers-on visited The Drewe Arms in Broadhembury for the enjoyable traditional course dinner.

Wednesday 7th August - Course week

It was an early start, but with some thick cirrus cloud suppressing the heating, the cumulus clouds were just a little too far away in the morning for soaring.
After an early lunch caused by a winch snarlup, it became highly soarable in the afternoon.
Members of the course progressed well, and we welcomed two new members returning after their recent trial lessons.

Lasham VGC Rally

With conditions forecast to be very good the vintage gliders (and lots of plastic) were out in force. I think everything was soaring including the Primaries!
Eagle BBB flew several times and even managed a couple of short x-countries.
  Rons ASH replacement. He liked this - says it goes with his Panama hat!
Beautiful Jaskolka - Danish registered but Polish built from the 1950's
Liam tries out his new dream machine - the Danish 2G from 1950

Tuesday 6th August - Course week

The day dawned bright and sunny with a chill in the air, and the grass was wet underfoot and had started growing again already.
Just before we got going, there was an interesting cloud formation in the valley. A towering cumulus developed as we watched and then it's source (a fire) stopped and the cloud was cut off from its thermal generator and spread out a little before disappearing.
Artistic impression (MF)

2 minutes later

The course flew all day, the clouds looked good out of range but within reach they were disappointing. Some short soaring flights were possible for most. Robin flew ASW27 JPT taking off just before lunch for 2 hours.

Monday 5th August - Course week

The forecast rain was a little daunting for the first day of the course, although in actual fact the low cloud was more of a problem. There were met talks to explain the weather outside, NOTAM briefings and launch failures. In the hangar and workshop, briefings on DIing the Junior and a look round a derigged K13. Jack was introduced to driving the Disco, and new member Rob was shown round all the club equipment. The sky cleared miraculously at 1630, although the airfield was still running with water after the last heavy shower.

Total rainfall for the day was 8.4 mm with half of that falling just after 1600 at a rate of 73.0 mm/hr!

Saturday 3rd August

Another quiet morning with a fairly short flying list.  It was great to welcome some new members - Mike, who is keen to polish his skills and go solo following the July course week; also Rob and Zed who had their first glider flight last week and already admit to being a bit hooked!

By late morning the cumulus were looking really quite attractive, and a healthly queue of private-owned gliders appeared.  Unfortunately most were washed out of the sky by a large lunchtime shower.  Only  Wyn in W7 managed to dodge the deluge by heading out to Wellington, only to be rewarded with more field-landing practice.

Despite a few more showers most members enjoyed some local soaring.  Congratulations to Paul M for his first K13 solo, and thanks to Pete St for un-U/S-ing the K13 this morning to make it possible. - Ruth

The Eagle arrived safely at Lasham for the start of the 40th Vintage Glider Rally - just getting a little wash and brushup on the way, with the rather heavy showers.

Thursday 1st August

The low cloud cleared quickly, so that launching could start before 10:30, the two-seat list was gi-normous again- thursdays are so popular!
Unfortunately it was not soarable in the hot air, and the wind veered from south east to south west at lunchtime causing a slight delay for changing ends.
Ian H went to the Park with Mark C in the Rotax Falke for his navex. 
There was a great evenings flying tonight, 19 scouts from Newbury all flown and Pete Sm first T/L evening, he was grinning all night, thanks to all of the helpers for making the evening run so smoothly!
From Lisa:
Had a lovely evening tonight flying 19 scouts from Newbury with Pete Sm  and Stu, all well behaved and one lad I flew had never been in any Aircraft, I asked him what his hobbies were and he replied 'I don't do many things because I don't want to make my sister jealous' I said 'why would that happen' to which he replied ' because she is 8 years old and in a wheelchair and could never do things that I do' - Makes you think how we all take things for granted!. Dear little chap!!! - LH