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