Thursday 27th February

The gliders were out early with the bright blue sky and westerly wind, but with another 5mm of rain overnight there were some puddles on the field - so aerotowing only again to avoid cutting up the ground. 
It doesn't look very muddy here!
 For a change, the Junior was the first to launch with Adrian and it was almost the longest flight of the day  with 67 minutes, but Pete St managed to eclipse that by one minute over lunchtime. The Juniors were in the sky all day taking advantage of the reduced soaring charges. There were two stops for heavy showers during the day, but they rushed through quite quickly and within 30 minutes it was soarable again. A more determined band of rain came through at 15:30, calling an end to proceedings but most had flown at least once by then. 
After the final deluge
 Some new additions to the DSGC Club shop were modelled by Mark L at lunchtime.
Wooly hats and fleeces now available

Wednesday 26th February

At last!  - Brilliant weather on a Wednesday, a good forecast  for a bright start to the day and a long list ot members wanting to fly.
First though we had to inspect the condition of the field, after much deliberation and reports of several cable breaks on Saturday we decided to change the South cable to give the field time to dry out a bit.
The field was still a bit wet so great care was taken in locating the LPV and cable run, from the start the ridge was working, so all the available two-seaters were in the air and both Juniors.
All solo pilots had good soaring flights and the two-seaters had to be called down on a couple of occasions so we could fit all the flights in.
The demolition crew were hard at work dismantling a couple of caravans and Pete CFI demonstrated how to plough a field with a Volvo (unfortunately finding a very soggy bit of ground).
Stu checked out Carl in VG after the long break from flying the Motor Falke.
A very rewarding day with good ridge lift, a bit of weak wave and thermals up to 2,500ft and just a couple of hail showers. -JSt

Saturday 22nd February

Saturday was a day of three seasons, three card colours - from benign white, through a blowier red, to howling yellow. - 
That meant lift, most of the day, sometimes in the oddest places. 

 Most of the morning flights were 20 minutes or so per launch from an aerotow, which, given the state of the field seemed the only option.  By lunchtime the drying sunshine and wind had made winch launching possible, and the launch rate went up. There were thermals to be had in an almost spring-like sky.  Eric was top of the league table with a flight of 50 minutes. 

Congratulations to Matthew W who successfully passed his Bronze flying skills test with CFI Pete.
The wind increased, and put the small but perfectly-formed instructor team under pressure to do checks, aerotow training and so on. 

Motorglider VG took to the skies early on, after downtime of 12 months, and was airborne several times until dusk with syndicate members being checked out.

Some of the syndicate celebrating VG taking to the skies again
Having started the day with no single seaters available, Pete St completed an epic O/R to collect KHA from Sussex, - returned rigged and flew Junior KHA soon after lunch.......

Pete takes a winch launch in KHA for an  airtest
....... leaving Andrew L to cap his day with a longish flight and a cheesy grin. 

Lots of flying, learning and fun for the hardy souls who stayed all day. Cold though! - Jonathan

Thursday 20th February

Another 'suck it and see forecast' from Pete with a cold front clearance with a hope of more sun and less showers in the light westerly breeze. And so it turned out that it was too wet again underfoot for winching, but with some careful positioning of the launch point, we managed 12 aerotows with most of the Thursday faithful enjoying long soaring flights.
Thanks to Carl and helpers for the fast turn round on the annual inspection of the DG505, which was rigged first thing and made up for the lack of Juniors with KHA still away in Sussex and FZF now derigged and being inspected.
JB and Aston scrubbing away the mud

With the field still wet there was a copious amount of washing, both at the end of the day, and even between launches.

Wednesday 19th February

A large turnout of members today, the forecast wasn't too bad, but we were greeted by low cloud, nevertheless as a  clearance of sorts was forecast, we got the two K21s the K13 and a Junior readied for flying and retired to the clubhouse to whinge about the weather.
This suited the  VG Motor Falke syndicate who wanted the hanger emptied so they could weigh their glider in comfort.
The weather was slow to clear so an early lunch was called for, about 12:45pm a clearance arrived, many members were keen to winch launch as a lot of them hadn't winched this year yet.
We managed several launches before the low cloud returned and put a stop to flying, unfortunately many members didn't fly. - JSt.

Sunday 16th February

At last – a day to remember for all the right reasons.  40 winch launches, 9 aerotows, a first solo, and soaring flights!
The cool crisp blue morning brought people out in force, including members from EUGC (now recognised as a sports club by the University), returning new members, and many familiar faces. By 9am the flying list was as long as an August day’s, the gliders were mostly out and being DI’d, and first launch – by winch on a frosty field we prayed wouldn’t turn into a quagmire – was just before 10.
Conditions were benign – just as well, as the majority of members hadn’t flown a winch launch for quite a while! By late morning lift along the south ridge was becoming thermal, and some clouds worked almost as well as in early spring. 
Pete St had the longest flight in R37 of 42mins using only the steam driven vario, followed closely by Michael and Martin also in K13 in the middle of the day.
Tim P was sent solo after some check flights – having joined in August last year, and done a course at Lasham, he had only really been held back by the weather.  Matthew passed his Bronze exam, and Matt  Sm converted to the K6 - Congratulations to all.
Martin congratulates Tim after sending him solo
Meanwhile, Mark C had a huge syndicate gang at work on ENW's trailer – never in the history of North Hill have so many launches been missed by so few, with so little complaint. (But I bet they thought it was going to be a rainy day like all the others!) - JSto

Saturday 15th February

With more than 40mm of rain in the last 5 days, it was not surprising that the field was very wet, with standing water in many places. The anemometer gets some shelter from the south, but did record 44 knots from 242° at 13:47 on Wednesday, and 40 knots from 248° on Friday night. The Club also suffered a  power cut on Friday night between 1830 and 0815.

Fortunately, everything (power and water) was back in action as CFIs from the region arrived for the BGA Regional ATO workshop.  In fact several more turned up than had been expected and so a swift rearrangement meant that the presentations were given in the Clubroom (instead of the Briefing Room). There were relatively few club members present but apologies for any inconvenience.

The ATO workshop delivered by BGA Chief Executive Pete Stratten, was an informative session explaining the intricacies of EASA licensing and how management of Instructing will have to follow new standardised procedures of an EASA Approved Training Organisation. There were also good opportunities for networking amongst the CFIs from clubs in the south west.
Some of the ATO delegates on coffee break
 It is hoped that with a bit of sunshine, a breeze, and no more showers,  it will be flyable tomorrow, (subject to a pitch inspection).

Sunday 9th February

Despite the forecast of rain, a strong wind and generally pessimistic flying conditions, a small but hardy group of members turned up to the Club, more in defiance of the weather than any real optimism of any flying.
With over 70 mm of rain on the field this week, there were still a lot of puddles in places. After some tea and discussion, followed by more tea and even more  discussion, and much looking out of the window and at the weather radar, spurred on by the high level of optimism being generated by Mark C, a decision was made to start getting gliders and the tug out ahead of an anticipated weather clearance and a reduction in wind strength.
With a K21 and the tug ready to go a decision was have more tea and more discussion........
Mid-morning and the first aerotow of the day was underway with Paul S continuing his Asst Cat Instructor training with Simon M.
Paul and Simon made good use of the aerotow managing to stay up for about half an hour with the ridge working, before finding out how interesting the approach was in the windy conditions.
Where has the glider gone?....

After more tea and more discussion, a decision was made to not do any more flying and everything was put away.
Ray H proved that we could get a clubhouse flight simulator up and running. JB and others continued to work hard on the K21 in the workshop. Pete H signed off another EASA licence application. Cheryl and Graham had returned from their holiday in Morroco with nice tans.

All being well there is better weather ahead of us all...- Mike Sl

Thursday 6th February

Well unfortunately, the flyable weather slots haven't cooperated this week with either Wednesday or Thursday, but there was some useful work going on around the club.
The Clubhouse roof has been inspected (and needs a little attention), The glider workshop now has proper fittings for tips and tailplanes.  HCX is in the workshop and the Annual and 6000hr check is progressing well.
We had an attempt to get Condor flight simulator running in the Briefing room, but will need an upgrade to the computer to get it working properly.
We have received sad news that Madge Aplin (Jim's wife) has died. I'm sure there are lots at DSGC who will remember Madge & Jim. The funeral is on Monday 10th Feb at 2.30 - Taunton Crematorium. Family flowers only.

Sunday 2nd February

A generally positive weather forecast with a light south westerly wind, saw a small but keen number of members at the Club bright and early in expectation of a potentially good day. A field inspection resulted in a decision that the winch would need to stay unused for another day to avoid damaging the wet field. After suitable canopy cleaning to minimise misting the first aerotow was underway before 10:00am.
Other than a brief stop mid-morning to let a heavy shower of rain pass through, overall the showers kept away and by the end of the day, 31 aerotows had been completed. 
Pot of gold at the end of.........
The inclement weather of recent weeks has seen members taking advantage of the reduced price aerotows to either maintain currency on this form of launching or in some cases learn new skills, a positive side-effect of the weather...
Peter Sm and Paul continued to prepare for their Asst Cat course with Mark C, and Liam is getting the hang of the back seat as well. 
Liam practices back seat flying with Matt
 JB completed his BGA aerobatics badge under the watchful eye of Simon M (and other unofficial assessors!)
With many members now very current on aerotows due to the continuing rainy weather let's hope that we can start winching again soon otherwise we will all need to be checked out again for winch launches!
Thanks to everyone for helping to wash and derig HCX ready for annual inspection.- Mike S

Saturday 1st February

A few at the club today but the ground was very wet,  with a bit of the white stuff first thing, and by the time it had drained there weren't enough people to operate the field.  
After a year VG has now returned to North Hill, wings are back on ready for the prop and she will be back in the air very soon - thanks to all who helped put her back together today.
Stuart, Guy and William fetched VG from Branscombe
Ian finished the Annual on ASW20 LH whilst Ernie and Lisa cleaned the glider and trailer, so a productive day for those who stayed - albeit -  no flying.  - Lisa and Stu