Sunday 28th September

Members arrived at North Hill full of optimism that the forecast would mean another good Club gliding day but almost as soon as the launch point had been set up at at the South West corner the low cloud had started to form above the field. A weather check flight sadly proved the view from the ground that cloudbase was too low to allow flying to get underway. So it was back to the Clubhouse and cups of tea and discussion across a wide variety of subjects with several members seen wandering around and looking up at the sky evidently trying to use the power of thought to will the cloud away.

Meanwhile Simon M was well underway with the completion courses for Rowan, James and Mike S in the briefing room. Tea drunk and discussion topics exhausted the decision was made to try another weather check flight but again with the same result as before. So no surprise back to the Clubhouse for more tea and discussion. 
Simon enjoying the front seat view
Then around lunchtime the weather gods got bored, deciding to let the low cloud disappear - and the flying list started to be worked through. Club flying and trial lessons continued throughout the afternoon together with the flying exercises for the Instructors' completion course but with canopies starting to mist as the afternoon came to an end it was time to fly the gliders home.

A day of unspectacular but pleasant gliding, with some members evidently enjoying the opportunity to fly a simple circuit without being distracted by fluffy clouds and thermals.
After more time with Simon in the briefing room, - Congratulations to Rowan, James and Mike S who all had successful outcomes to their completion course.

Saturday 27th September

A rather dull, cloudy day, but nonetheless there was a steady stream of members wanting instructional flights or card checks. The field was set up for a light and variable south westerly in the morning, but by lunch time the wind had swung round to the east which meant changing ends. The Duty Instructors Phil M and Ian M were kept busy all day – helped by Robin W-F when he wasn’t needed for tugging. Thanks also to the DLMs who worked hard to ensure the smooth running of the ground operations. Paul M rigged and flew his DG100 for the first time, making the watchers on the ground feel dizzy, as he went round and round and round again! A good day for practising circuits!! - WWF

Thursday 25th September

Another nice day dawned with a very pleasant light westerly wind, and a clear sky, and the gliders were soon prepared and taken to the launch point. The first few launches made 1500 -1600 ft - thanks Aston!
The forecast decaying Occlusion passed through at lunchtime with just a sheet of cloud which broke again quite nicely which enabled both the Mile High Trial lessons to get above the clouds and see the magnificent view across Devon.
Longest flight went to Mike and Barbie in DG505 who managed to find lift in the Broadhembury valley (however it was formed). 

The massive two-seater list was completed by 18:30 - thanks to all for staying late to make sure everyone flew. A lovely day for late September and well done to everyone who achieved their 'personal firsts'.
Aston stretches his legs after a long day in the winch

Wednesday 24th September

The early wet start certainly did not delay flying - we had a brisk north westerly wind and perfect visibility after the recent Easterlies and poor vis.
The flying got off to a good start with lift on the ridge and thermals from the first flight, at times it was difficult to get away due to too much North in the wind, but when you did contact lift the soaring was good with strong lift up to 3,500ft.
There were many private gliders flying all having long soaring flights Matt W and Pete St attempted the Club 100k and the other Matt in the SF attempted his 5hrs - he managed 4hrs - bad luck Matt.
Wave set up West of the ridge for the last couple of hours and several late flyers had some enjoyable flying in it. Congratulations to Nigel for achieving his Silver height in the Junior.
Peter on his instructing debut with Andria
Peter Sm had his first full day instructing in what was a very rewarding day. - JSt
Gliders  North Hill enjoying the wonderful conditions

Sunday 21st September

At last a change in the weather, a day of sunshine and gliding
After a number of Club days where the weather has been frustrating members either by not being flyable at all or by providing 'interesting' conditions such as poor visibility and low cloud, for once the weather cooperated. (Although The Met Office forecast was going for total sun, and RASP was reluctant to give us good soaring.)

With a steady stream of Club members scarcely able to believe their eyes as to an actual opportunity of flying there were soon a number of Club and private gliders being taken down to the launch point which had been set up in the South West corner of the field.

With the first launch under way just after 10:00am, the Club flying list started to be worked through whilst the private owners waited to see what the day might offer. Around lunchtime the private owners started to launch either on the winch or by aerotow and all got away using the gradually improving thermals to good effect.
Still waiting for the clouds to form over the airfield

Ian reunited with Rotax Falke
Pete & Jill in OL (unusually) led the launch foray as the first clouds were forming over the airfield, followed swiftly by Martin in KMV, Pete in 230, whilst Matt in M5 took a winch launch, and Peter Sm flew 1UP for the first time since May following his successful Instructor Course. Once the clouds woke up, the streets developed, OL and KMV established that there wasn't any usable wave, and eveyone flew some local tasks up and down the streets, cloudbase rose to 3500ft in places. Thanks to Matthew  W for building the North Hill Flarm receiver, and to Peter Sm for mounting the aerial to the Clubhouse.

Meanwhile Club gliders were in continuing use throughout the afternoon with members taking the opportunity to test their flying skills landing in the "lively at times" North Easterly wind

And then seemingly as soon as it had started, - the day was over - with Club gliders flown back to the East end of the field .
The end of the best day for over a month
By the time the hangar doors were closed a total of 68 flights had been completed - 57 winch (40 dual 17 solo), 11 aerotow (7 dual 4 solo) with a total of just over 25 flying hours. - Mike Sl

Friday 19th September

With Tim, John and Matthew's 3rd successive group afternoon (for UTC Aerospace) cancelled due to the weather, alternative entertainment was arranged. A couple of guys went surfing and then finished up with a feast at NHL cooked up by John P. 
Apres surf
Dinner was washed down at the pub in Broadhembury. After a drunken walk back up the hill the night was finished with more drinks by the fire pit. :) Matt

Thursday 18th September

A bright start and quite a few members, got 4 gliders out of the hangar and readied, and there were some interesting cloud formations to the south.......
Pileous cloud -  the pileus is essentially an accessory cloud, that appears as a smooth cap, or hood above a cumulus or cumulonimbus cloud. The cap forms when a humid layer is lifted to its dew point above a rising thermal.

 ............but then the sky turned black, it looked like rain so they were put back in the hangar. After a coffee,  and a chat about streets and wave, it brightened up so we set off for the south west corner, where the wind had strengthened to gusts of 24knots, so two-seater flying was the order of the day and mostly only one in the air at a time. The banks of low cloud appeared stationary on either side of the airfield, but they kept appearing and disappearing almost in between launches. A couple of launches contacted some weak wave for a few beats, longest flight was 12 minutes. After lunch, the wind suddenly dropped right out and the low cloud disappeared, but the visibility did not improve much.

Wednesday 17th September

A large number of members came up to the club today, despite the foggy conditions, the gliders were quickly walked up to the southwest corner in readiness for the conditions to improve. 
The weather was slow to clear and there was a very strong Easterly wind as well, frequent met checks were carried out during the morning although the weather was improving it was still not flyable, so an early lunch.
After lunch, the weather was much improved so we decided to make a start, unfortunately some of the members who had been waiting all morning to fly gave up and went home.
Despite the strong wind the flying conditions were not too challenging and everyone who flew had some useful practice at strong wind flying.
Thanks to Lisa and Peter Sm who lent a hand with the flying we managed to get through the flying list. - JSt

Saturday 13th September

Another murky day dawned at North Hill.  Ever hopeful, the intrepid band of glider pilots towed two K21s and the DG-505 to the south west corner through the gloom.  They waited and watched as the cloud base went up a bit, then down a bit, then up a bit, then down a bit more,....  By lunchtime the conditions had been declared "almost flyable" but, well, we had to have lunch.

Soon after lunch, afternoon duty instructor Robin hussled the members, and a small but perfectly formed team assembled back at the launch point.  But the Trial lessons had to be rebooked as the cloudbase was too low for aerotows.  With Rowan and Roly instructing too we managed to get through the whole flying list.  New members made progress with stick/rudder coordination while the "old guard" ticked off some checks.  Others got in some experience with an unfamiliar type or practiced their sideslip approach.  In the evening, Fiona's mum Rosemary enjoyed a hangar flight with Roly. - Ruth

Thursday 11th September

There was a reasonable forecast for easterly wind, sunshine and some soaring, which brought the Thursday regulars out in force.
The hangar was emptied - first time in a while - and five Instructors and all the two-seaters were kept busy all day. Late morning it became soarable to 2400ft and the junior pilots joined in with the local soaring. Robin W-F was the sole private owner rigged and he flew for most of the soarable part of the day. 
Ron tries out his new Leica camera
 Congratulations to Paul M, occupying CFI Pete all morning and successfully completing his Bronze flight skills tests. We also hosted Jordan and John from Culdrose with Wooly giving them refresher winch training (they normally auto-tow) prior to them attending an Asst Cat course next week. Thanks also to Ron, Paul and JB for occupying the other back seats.

Wednesday 10th September

A warm and pleasant forecast, and we had just that with a large flying list, we walked four two-seaters to the N/W corner and Robert took the tug up in anticipation of the booked Trial lessons.
Thanks to Eric, Matt, Paul C and JB for ad-hoc instructing so we managed to get through the list, we also had three new quarterly members.
Well done to Peter Sm on completing his instrustors course, it was rounded off with completion flights with Regional Examiner Graham Morris.
It was soarable for most of the day with a cloudbase of about 2500ft, Robin and Jeff T flew their own gliders.
Some of the Exe Valley Rotary Club
The last evening group of the season Exe Valley Rotary Club enjoyed the lovely evening sunshine for their flights until misting canopies brought a slightly premature end. - JSt

Sunday 7th September

The low turnout on Saturday was completely offset by a large number of members and visitors showing up on Sunday. 
The flying list filled up quickly, and with a combination of Muggles filling in for Peter F for the pre-solos, Guy in the afternoon John St with the post-solos and Paul Summers handling the Trial lessons, we got through pretty much everyone who wanted to fly. Oh, can’t forget to thank Simon L for also stepping in and helping out in the afternoon, particularly with those needing card checks. With a gentle easterly wind, the sky was generally...well, mediocre! Matt W and Tom S were able to steal the DG505 over lunchtime for the longest flight of the day while Robert mowed more grass. But after almost two weeks of almost no flying, who can complain. Maybe it’s an Indian summer and we can still snatch a bit of soaring. - TS

Oh and congratulations to Mike F for converting to the Junior!
Mike F takes the Junior into the wild blue yonder!

Saturday 6th September

Well - Where was everyone???? Bad visibility & low cloud  for the start of the morning, although the Met Office forecast was for a clearance by 1pm,   but by this time the non-believers had all gone home! Only five members left  and  Lisa - Duty Instructor - ever optimistic rallied the troops and a great afternoon's  flying (although rather hazy) was had by all. 
Andria took advantage of being the only student on the flying list and had five flights today working towards her goal of going solo!
Lisa found the time to do a Trial Lesson which Michael Foster thoroughly enjoyed with his “Young Lady instructor”  (as he put it)  which chuffed Lisa no end!! Simon L flew Trudie's nieces, and  Mike F wins the award for the longest flight of around an hour in the Pik. Runners up were Roly & Heather who had 29 mins in KEK, Finishing off about 6pm    - with Heather having an aerotow with Lisa  which she finished off with a hangar flight.  Stu with James ventured off in VG to South Molton and back.
 As we say - If you are not there you don’t fly ! - Lisa & Heather

 Meanwhile up the road at Taunton Racecourse,...We had a great day at the Somerset Military Tattoo. Our pitch was in a perfect position beside the entrance so we had a constant flood of people visiting us. 
Lots of interest at Somerset Military Tattoo
 A lot of interest was shown and I am hopeful that several are keen to fly with us in the future. I was helped by Paul S, Stirling and Toby, William and John Si. All help was much appreciated. - Guy

Friday 5th September - Course week

Another grey day but with higher cloud base so when the visibility improved we were able to start flying. Still frustrating though, with very poor viz making it difficult for the less experienced pilots and mostly circuits and short ones at that. Ollie converted to the Junior after lunch and on his fourth flight he and Rick in the other Junior connected with the only thermal of the day and managed 39 and 38 minutes respectively. Well done to both (through gritted teeth!!).
All in all a very disappointing week for everyone - Thanks to Instructors John and Paul  and helpers Liam, Heather and William  for making the best of the flying time available  and keeping everyone amused the rest of the time. - John Si

Thursday 4th September

The air mass has changed very little, but there was a glimmer of hope as the forecast was going for sunny intervals, the North Hill weather station was rather stubborn on 95% humidity all morning. 
Out of the gloom, mid-morning we had some unexpected visitors - 2 French microlights en-route from Bodmin to Old Sarum, they hit a wall of fog and cloud over Hembury Hill and were only too glad to see a large green field to make an emergency weather landing at North Hill. Luckily we had some French speakers on site who helped with the conversations.
French visitors
Having fed and watered at North Hill cafe, they waited for the afternoon improvement and then set off into the gloom.

 Meanwhile, it started to look a little promising and the humidity dropped to 88%. By 15:00 and after more lectures for the Course members,  John and Paul took a weather check, but it had started to thicken up again, and they decided to land at the hangar, followed by the other gliders. The evening group was also cancelled as some were traveling from Cornwall.
Ironically, at about 17:00,  instead of continually thickening  cloud, it suddenly all disappeared and the evening was full of beautiful sunshine. - Don't you just love our micro-climate!

In the evening there was the usual course get-together at the Keeper's Cottage, with the hope of some flying on Friday.

Wednesday 3rd September

More frustration with the weather, no flying at all today and the Treasurer is looking more worried than usual.
- John Si

Tuesday 2nd September - Course week

Well we all flew today but it was frustrating (again), the morning started bright but with a fresh northeasterly which kept the early solo pilots in the two seaters. There appeared to be wave well downwind of the airfield for a while but a foray off the winch proved fruitless. By lunchtime the gloom set in and the cloudbase lowered so it was mostly low circuits and practice launch failures after lunch. - We hope for better things tomorrow. PS both Liam and Ollie were on time this morning (is this a record???). - John Si

Monday 1st September - Course week

Typical North Hill warm sector, low cloud and drizzle with enough brightness from time to time to keep us interested. JSi did a weather check with Hans mid-morning getting to 450 feet so it was more coffee, followed by an early lunch, and more coffee until we gave up and put the kit away just before 16.00. Time was filled with a couple of briefings as well as cockpit briefings for Chris M and Ollie ready for the Junior. Meanwhile Paul briefed Konrad on the K21. - John Si

Sunday 31st August

'A nice day to end the month on'

A good weather forecast no doubt encouraged members to arrive bright and early - with a long flying list to get through and a group of members keen to fly, the gliders were soon all out and readied to fly with the first flight of the day in the air soon after 10am.

Then it was non-stop flying during the rest of the day with our steadily increasing number of Junior members playing an active part in keeping the launch line going, and learning new skills along the way.
A variety of private gliders (711, 611, ENW, G29, 230, OL, DQS, H5, DG1, 380, DKU, DFK) launched late morning/lunchtime and found it a typical gliding day - with some of the clouds which should have been working clearly not as good as they looked.
Blue sky with clouds coming and going

Mark C and Pete St found some weak wave just the other side of Tiverton climbing up to 2800ft, everybody else found the effects of the wave interfering with the thermals. Adrian and Guy in the two motorgliders enjoyed a day out to Keevil.
Pete B tries out the back seat
By the time the hangar doors had been closed a total of 74 flights (19 solo winch, 45 dual winch, 4 aerotows solo, 6 aerotows dual) had been completed including a number of booked trial lessons and all members on the flying list having flown.

With total flying time of just over 34 hours (15.5 hrs solo,18.25 hrs dual) completed a really nice day to end the month... - Mike Sl