Thursday 26th September

Ho Hum! Today's forecast started to go wrong at lunchtime yesterday - silly low pressure in the Bay of Biscay - bringing in cloudier, moister (read wetter) airflow enshrouding the entire airfield in low cloud and drizzle. But it was warm and there was no wind.
Mark gave a lecture on dry and saturated adiabats and then launch failures.
William supervised the installation of the new dishwasher. Tom was playing with the Accounts most of the day. A selection of members assisted Andy C from USA in trying to mobilise a YS55 trailer (to no avail).

Wednesday 25th September

Where to begin?
Despite the early morning mist it was surprisingly warm at North Hill and most of the gliders were in the North West corner soon after 10:00. With a non-existent horizon and bits of cloud wandering about aimlessly at below 1000ft it was anybody’s guess as to how the day would turn out. - Badly is the answer!

Few flights lasted  more than five minutes, the second one was a cable break and in all only about fifteen launches were made. At lunchtime it was decided to change ends and by the time lunch was taken low cloud had rolled in, the temperature dropped and the rain set in so we put all the toys back in the box and went home...
Hey ho!!  - Tim

Sunday 22nd September

Same warm, moist cloudy airstream but we were able to get going much earlier than yesterday. There were far more Instructors on site today than trainees, however this did mean that instructor training and check flights  did not adversely affect the normal flying.
Simon M was doing 5 year checks with Wooly, Pete was doing 3 year checks with John Si, the Culdrose crew continued their BI training with Mark and Simon L. The Rotax Falke was busy all day including refreshers for some of the VG syndicate. Ollie also had a couple of solos in K21 before leaving for Uni next week.

Saturday 21st September

High pressure is back, but a very warm, moist airstream meant no flying this morning....
Is that a beech tree?
but after lunch it cleared a bit and chivvied up by Duty Instructor Phil and DLM Ian, the kit was got out.
As it turned out cloudbase was only 700ft and practice launch failures was the order of the day for most. 
A couple of visitors from Culdrose brought a Puchacz for a spot of winch and BI training, and Lisa and CFI Pete were busy with 3 year Instructor checks. 
Heavy drizzle and steamed up canopies brought an early end to the day.

Wednesday 18th September

A reasonable forecast for today so a good turnout, and some Thursday flyers trying to beat the poor forecast for Thursday.
There was a very brisk north north-westerly wind which made the aerotows in the K13s quite interesting, in the morning the ridge lift was poor but it was easy to get away due to the plentiful thermals, the cloudbase reached 3,500ft and many long soaring flights were to be had -  Matt (as usual) had the longest flight of over 3hrs visiting Wimbleball on Exmoor.
 Roly managed three trial lessons after the wind dropped a little, in the afternoon the wind backed, and the ridge started to work quite well.
 Ernie & John St. had their 3 year checks with CFI Pete and had some enlightning flying, all in all a very pleasant, busy and rewarding day. - JSt. 


Monday 16th September - Nympsfield Calling

True to tradition it was pouring with rain at 7.30am as we (Matt and JB) rendezvous in Taunton on our way to Nympsfield for a day on the ridges. The forecast gave the wind approx. 280ish @ 27kts and gusting but with heavy showers in the nicely unstable airmass. Trevor had set a 360k ridge task - NYM (Nympsfield), BAT (Bath Racecourse), LCL (Lower Clopton - up near Evesham), BAT,LCL,NYM. which seemed very possible as long as we didn't get washed down in the expected showers! 

Ground Features along the Cotswold edge
 We launched into glorious sunshine at around 11am and set off south along the ridges for Bath. We soon discovered that if you were unlucky and got low down on the ridge, usually because there was wave interference or because the sink from a thermal had killed the ridge lift, it became very turbulent and difficult to climb.

Heading south over North Nibly in glorious sunshine - Tyndale monument under left wing
400ft and in survival mode in the Wooton bowl. Very rough and not working very well! (Tyndale monument in distance)
 So we tried to stay higher by pulling up in thermals and climbing rather than just bombing along lower down. In the strong wind the ridges were an excellent trigger for thermals and staying high was fairly easy and enabled us to dodge the rain showers that were coming in thick and fast by mid day.
Climbing high and dodging the showers (overhead the M4)
 A lot of time was wasted while we waited for showers that were blocking our way to clear through so after turning Bath for the second time and getting stuck at 200ft for a bit soon after, we decided to abandon the last run up to Lower Clopton and be satisfied with 249k and a nice cup of tea back at Nympsfield!

All in all a thoroughly good day out - JB

Saturday 14th September

The forecast looked good for a September day, but unfortunately the wind picked up too strong and too northerly to make an easy get away from the winch. A few who had aerotows found it quite easy to stay up for a while although cloudbase didn't go as high as predicted.

"Soon after 11am I noticed R37 had climbed away under a dark street crossing the airfield. I joined soon after and spent the next 3 hours - scraping north , turned WEG and headed for Chard. With the fresh N wind I found my thermalling techniques challenged . Choosing between the risk of yet another field I turned West and had a comfortable climb just E of Dunks, and spent the rest of the flight in the relative comfort of "local to NHL"  .  A nice flight in some interesting skies. - Wyn"
Saving climb at Wellington Monument

 In the evening,the first of our season of winter talks this year, - Chris gave a good history lesson on the Battle of Britain, on the weekend of 73rd anniversary, and this was followed  by the excellent carvery from Maria and team.

Thursday 12th September

Well that was a nice surprise! after an indifferent forecast expecting low cloud / drizzle, we had a select band of Thursday regulars who flew all day apart from a small slot over lunch when the low cloud and drizzle was a stopper.
At lunchtime, CFI Pete led a question time on instruments and plumbing following his flight yesterday in R37.
Pete St continued with some cosmetic jobs on R37. Carl started replacing the hooks on the DG505,
And a big thank you to Adrian for completing the Auto Disco cylinder head job.

Wednesday 11th September

Not the best of forecasts for Wednesday even so we had a long list, we got flying as soon as we could as rain was forecast to arrive after lunch.
There were plenty of takers to try out the new K13 R37 which was in use most of the day. CFI Pete and  Pete St (who has completed quite a few cosmetic jobs on R37 in the last couple of days) had a couple of flights to try it out.  Thanks to Eric who popped up to do some work on his trailer and offered to  help out with the two-seat list.
Apart from the odd light shower the promised rain did not start untill 5:00pm by which time everyone had flown, a good effort - we managed 52 launches. - JSt.

Sunday 8th September

It was a very slow start, with a call for help on google groups, -thanks to Andrew M for filling in on the Instructor gap.
After the coldish start, and a light shower at lunchtime, it became quite warm and there were some soaring flights.

Saturday 7th September

A very quiet day today, Simon L was busy this morning and James had several instructing flights this afternoon. The RAF delivered our new K13 at 2pm from Halton and flew the loaned K13 back. 
R37 arrives and R7 goes home

Showers became persistent from 4pm so flying stopped. - LH

Friday 6th September - Course week

The last day of the course started with a met. briefing before flying. With rain forecast to arrive by about 16:00 everyone was keen to get as much flying as possible and concentrated on completing the exercises they wanted to cover. Paul C and his three course members enjoyed some excellent soaring and on two occasions found it necessary to set the altimeter to 1013 mb to be sure they stayed clear of the airway.

JB on the other hand spent most of the day doing launch failures, 'modified circuit' practice and various other pre-solo exercises that seemed to result in rather a lot of walking back from the other end of the field! By the time the rain eventually arrived at 17:00 Paul's students were grinning like cheshire cats and JB's were happy to have mastered the skills required to deal with all those unforeseen 'eventualities' and were ready for a good night's sleep!

Everyone on the course said they had really enjoyed the week. Sincere thanks to Dave A, William Whiskers and  Les the Winch for keeping all the wheels turning and getting all the course members involved with the ground based operations right from day one. This resulted in all of the course members pulling together as a team and made for a really great flying week. - JB

Meanwhile the North Hill Soaring section were hopeful of some good conditions as Dave Masson had suggested that Lashamites might visit. The skies over Exmoor looked stunning, and Pete St 230, Matt M5, Eric G29 and Wyn W7 all posted flights on the ladder touring the local playground - the only flights on the ladder today!
5000' cloudbase over north Devon
Spreadout and dragons breath in south Devon

Thursday 5th September

With no morning mist on the hill we were able to make an early start. The Thursday club members merged well with the Course and although there was a light NNW breeze the winch launches were not very high. This was not a problem for the course members who were mainly practicing launches and circuits but it was rather frustrating for pilots who wanted to go soaring. Chris Wo completed most of his pre-solo spin training exercises and Mark E completed most of his Bronze flight checks.
 About 15:00 it became quite soarable for a few flights. Pete St 230 took a quick launch and Matt and Mark L in JZK headed off for Dulverton, for a photo sortie.
Pete and Joe in HCX
It was good to have two K21s and two K13s and the DG505 to use on a course week club day, - this was the first time this season despite the Committee's best laid plans.
Mark climbing over Bampton

Wednesday 4th September

With the airfield shrouded in a thick mist until 12:30, the course members were treated to lectures on the winch launch and launch failures. When the mists finally lifted the rest of the day was warm and calm providing excellent conditions for the course members to practice their launches, circuits and landings. - JB

Tuesday 3rd September - Course week

The day started with mists and mellow fruitfulness while the course members spent some time looking at circuits and reviewing the previous days events. The cloud was low to start and there were practice low launches for all. Once the sun came out the sky looked quite nice, and there was local soaring for all the course members. While the Course were soaring, spare cables enabled a few club members to take a launch.
Mark E on the Course flew in the Junior, Chris C flew the other Junior and Dave C took R7, congratulations as they all joined the '2-hour club' with plenty of paperwork and signatures for the 2 hour flight towards cross-country endorsement. After a 'Welcome Break' Chris also had a 1 hour flight signed up.
Chris, Mark and Dave join the 2-hour club

Matt in ASW24 M5 completed O/R to Iwerne Minster via TivertonE 182 km, Adrian in Jantar FDX and Pete & Jill in Duo Discus OL both found the going tougher and only ventured as far as Chard, with an inconsistent convergence setting up in the light southerly wind.

Monday 2nd September - Course week

The first day of the course week with Paul C and JB went well, with all the course members getting plenty of flying and learning how to retrieve cables, gliders and carry out the general launch point tasks. The course helpers, William, Les the Winch and Dave A ensured that everything ran with the utmost efficiency. The star of the day was definitely the youngest course member, 15 year old Nicola, who by her fifth flight was doing all the flying from the top of the launch to the start of the approach, including S turns on the ridge, some thermal soaring and mastering the trimmer!
We flew on 'til 18:15 to take advantage of the nice weather and everyone went home happy. - jb

Sunday 1st September

Simon * 2 led the very small team to get the kit out early ready for a first launch at 0920. So where was everybody? - only half the club fleet was being used today! 
However it was ideal conditions and plenty of time for Michael to prepare for his first solo - Congratulations.
Simon congratulates Michael
It was locally soarable through the middle of the day, with 611 Ron and Dan and 1UP Peter Sm the only private gliders out today. 
There was a fantastic sunset to close the first day of autumn.
Sunset at North Hill