Thursday 29th January

The forecast was not too promising with cold rain / snow showers and gales, and the showers did rattle through quite quickly, with the cloud being on the low side. 
So the Thursday regulars set about some housekeeping, making up 4 new strops which are waiting for Tost rings.Tom and George  found 2 black strops in the sheep pen and they have been repaired. Then after lunch, we started assessing the clearout of the M/T hangar extension in preparation for fitting it out for a Club simulator.Tom tidied up the library of spare S&Gs, and the long-term lost property was sorted through and anything reasonable was donated to the British Heart Foundation. -J&P

Wednesday 28th January

Windy and wet for the morning was the forecast and that was what we got.  Despite that, just enough stalwarts assembled and hung on in case flying became possible, as conditions were forecast to improve later. This it did with the sky brightening and temperature dropping soon after midday, leaving a strong and gusting north westerly wind.  A K21 was prepared and carefully delivered to the south east launch point, and the Skylaunch winch, now reinvigorated  - (big thanks to Adrian) to the north west corner. A met flight by Peters W and Sm confirmed the presence of  strong ridge lift and sink in equal measure, and a boisterous and character building approach.
8 extended flights with a total flying time of 2hrs 45mins were achieved, 6 in K21 KEK and 2 in Junior FZF when the wind decreased later in the afternoon. The toys were all put safely away before low cloud and snowflakes swept in from Dartmoor. Thanks to Adrian for driving the winch, the only one present not to fly, and well done to Pete St for longest flight in the Junior of 45 minutes and climbing in weak wave to just over 2000 feet in front of the ridge.  - Peter Sm

Sunday 25th January

"Perseverance pays off" (or) "If at first you don't succeed..."

Whether it was the previous day's good weather and flying, or it being the morning after the Burns Night the evening before, or the average weather forecast for the day few members were at the Club for the start of the day.
DIs in progress (Mike Sl)
Slowly but surely members arrived and soon there were just enough people to start getting the gliders out with the launch point set up in the North East corner of the field - with the K21s, a Junior and a K13 sufficient for the members present.
Skylaunch - ready (Marie)
With the Skylaunch winch in position and suitably warmed up the first launch of the day was readied with a K21 and then...nothing. It soon became clear that the Skylaunch did not want to start again.

Despite many hands and brains working on pressing buttons and flicking switches it was all to no avail so Plan B was soon underway - put the Skylaunch away for suitable further research on the problem and set up the SupaCat winch.
SupaCat to the rescue (Adrian)
With both ropes out on the Skylaunch it was then a question of winding both in by hand, and then working out how many people could remember how to drive the SupaCat.

Meanwhile Mark C and Simon L used the Rotax Falke to start on Simon's 5 year refresher checks whilst Guy continued to build his hours in the Falke VG with a tour of the South Coast and the Somerset levels.

By now it was midday so an early lunch was called with a plan of flying soon after everyone had been 'fed and watered'.

With a first flight of the day shortly after 1:00pm, it was then an afternoon of good teamwork to make sure that everyone who wanted to fly could do so - with focus on retrieving gliders and cables to ensure a safe, but quick, turnaround, evident.

Mark C flew in the K13 with Simon L to complete Simon's checks.
And by late afternoon, just as the cloudbase had lowered with light rain starting, all the members remaining at lunchtime had flown.

Whilst an unspectacular afternoon's flying under grey skies, at the end of a day that turned out much better than seemed likely late morning, all agreed that perseverance had paid off..

Flying statistics for the afternoon -
20 flights -5 solo 15 dual (1 hour 47 minutes) - Mike Sl

Saturday 24th January

Another blue sky start to a Saturday heralded another classic January day. Post-front and the wind in the NWish quarter is always cause to shun sleep and head to North Hill. The South Hams team started in the dark and the John P 'cup to bean machine' was put to good use to get Tim P over the limit on caffeine (Tim is a 2 cup a week man with coffee) with a boost that saw him through logging, white card checks, logging, solo(s), logging and a Raspberry Pi love in with Jill. (ed. ????). A trip up to North Hill that was un-memorable for its tunes but laced with coffee machine porn including under the counter photos of a £2.5k grinder and the usual “so what trips this year” discussion…
An efficient hanger evacuation and DI session meant that some half-price launches were achieved and Steve W settled into the back of his K21 for a morning duty. JP did likewise forsaking the intended LAK experience to let Chris, James and Mia experience the joys of a sparkly NNW which despite being quite cross on the ridge, did bring some lively winter thermals and a mixture of ridge and wave that teased all day. 
Eddie & Ian M preparing to fly (Tim P)
Much as RASP predicted the middle of the day thermals did allow for some extended flights and Pete S, despite hating the glider, disappeared in the DG505 for long enough to qualify for a Cross Country award. Roly showed that gloves don’t stop a man soaring and he kept it up with Heather for quite some time despite the cold… He had started the day quite distraught that the South Hams crew had not prepared his glider to his high standards and it did not have its usual surfeit of batteries. Lesson learned by the mortals not qualified to handle the pride of the fleet! Late day thermals slipped into gentle ridge action and the welcome addition of SM to the Saturday skies. Unfortunately for Simon he had to land when the experts all landed and he had no one to follow any more - poor Simon. 
SM gets an outing (Simon)
A Falke syndicate meeting no doubt made up for later. Ian M pushed the last K21 back to the hanger and the day was done, misting canopies and low sun were but minutes away. 
Final flight (Tim P)
As the South Hams van left the club house the haggis party were gathering. As Tim P said on the way home “winter days are some of the best”…here here. - JP

In the evening the inaugural DSGC Burns Supper took place, with tablecloths! A mottley crew gathered in a variety of dress styles, with Chris C presiding and the whisky flowing, the haggis was skirled in, 
Steve addressing the haggis (Mark C)

and Steve W gave a magnificent 'Address to the Haggis'. The lovely meal was followed by The Toasts, and poems and songs from Chris  and Steve. 
Some of the gathering (Pete H)
A big Thank you to Cheryl and Graham for capturing the biggest haggis to grace North Hill and to everyone for an entertaining evening. - J&P

Wednesday 21st January

The forecast for today was poor, you would have had to be an optimist to expect much flying, but on arrival at the Club, we decided to give it a go, we took out the two K21s and a Junior hoping to beat the poor weather that was expected later in the day. We set the field up for a light Easterly wind avoiding some damage to to the field so we positioned the launch point in the middle of the field.
A team led by Pete St. de-rigged the Junior KHA in preparation for its Annual inspection.
Ian helping with the polishing

(Many thanks to Ian and Tom who spent the whole day cleaning and polishing the Junior on their own, a task not made any easier by the fact that the glider wasn't washed after flying on Sunday, because of the freezing conditions.) - Pete St
Pete checking for spares
In the meantime those hoping to fly were at the West end of the field trying without much success to de-mist the canopies which were misting inside and out, and also keeping a good lookout for the expected bad weather.
In the event the weather played ball, the sun came out, we won the battle of the canopies and we started to fly. The weather to the South was low cloud and light rain, to the East there was fog, but North Hill stayed in sun for the rest of the day.
We managed 28 flights and everyone had as many flights as they wanted, after a difficult start to the day it turned  out to be most enjoyable.
Thanks to Paul C for standing in for John Sil. - JSt

Sunday 18th January

A clear and cold night meant an early start with bright sunshine, but the wind had swung round to the north, and  Simon M was ready to start working his way through the long flying list.
Early start - long shadows (Simon M)
However with the crosswind (sometimes tending to tailwind), the launches weren't as good as yesterday and the circuits were very short  (averaging 4 minutes)- but there were a lot of them to make up for it - 44 in total.

Simon M took a break from instructing to fly over Exmoor with James in VG.
Snow on Exmoor (Simon M)
 Peter B and Gordon enjoyed some back seat flying.
Thanks to Pete W, Ron, JB, Pete H, Simon L for helping Simon to get through the list. - J&P

Saturday 17th January

With a possibility of a covering of snow on the airfield this morning, some of the younger members turned up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed in hope of a magical winter wonderland.  Well actually it was mostly just one member, duty instructor John P.  To clarify for those of you struggling with the whole 'younger' and 'John P' thing, youth is a state of mind not a number.  Those lucky enough to share a lift with John this morning were greeted by a cup of espresso waiting in the car from his spangly new espresso machine.  He explained how it had been carefully calibrated by turning all dials to 11.  The journey to North Hill then involved a detailed explanation of the fun that was going to be had involving a tyre, a piece of rope and a vehicle on a field full of snow.  All of this to the soundtrack of one of his favourite bands, Simple Minds . . . .

Unfortunately on arrival all of these dreams were smashed in teeny tiny pieces.  The field was mostly green, although frozen reasonably hard.  There were also some menacing looking clouds hanging around at the west end of the field.  Not only could we not do whatever it was that involves a tyre, rope and vehicle, we couldn't start gliding either.  After an hour or so of DI'ing vehicles and the winch, drinking tea/eating bacon and watching a paltry few flakes of sleety/snowy stuff fall out of the sky, Mark C announced it was time to begin.

John began his role as Duty Instructor.  As those present couldn't fail to notice, he was sporting the latest Duty Instructor uniform - fluorescent orange gloves.  Any instructors needing a pair, please see John for supplier details.  Apparently they have a surplus.  Most of John's students were of a similar youthful age to himself.  Oscar was sent off in a K21 solo after an initial dual flight, and Mia practised her approaches and landings, flying the whole of her final flight herself - congrats!  Matthew Wi meanwhile was continuing the early stages of his BI training.  This apparently involves Mark C pulling and pushing a random selection of cockpit controls during flight in an attempt to 'simulate' students.  I'm sure it's probably more scientific and controlled than it sounds . . ?
Ready to launch (Marie W)
By lunchtime, the thawing process had begun and the field was starting to take on a slightly brown hue as it thawed.  Pete St could be observed 'helping out', although most members now realise this is just a ploy to police glider tracks for signs of excessive braking.  Jonathan S and Phil G took the opportunity of available two seaters to have a fly.  Conditions were fairly benign with a gentle westerly wind on the ground.  The ridge was providing some extended flights if you timed it right and were gentle enough.  Roly took the honours of longest flight of the day - 36 minutes in a Junior. 
Sheep's-eye view of the launchpoint (Marie W)
As members all realise, progression through the DSGC card scheme means you have to get 'signed off' on not just flying skills but also ground tasks to progress.  One of the early tasks required is winch driving.  Stuart P therefore had a couple of sessions with Jonathan S learning the ropes.  "The instructor Stuart?" I hear you ask. Yes that's him.  I'll preempt your next question but won't bore you with the finer details.  Suffice to say he has a reasonably plausible sounding excuse/explanation involving him being an instructor for a very long time, a club member for an even longer time, and a different winch type 'back in the day'.  Benefit of the doubt given.
Roly was adequately punished by the glider gods for having the longest flight of the day.  When launches suddenly stopped, he was found at the winch with a broken cable, lots of mud and a pair of gloves.  Such fun!

James H and Pete H both had sessions in the Rotax Falke with Ian, James continuing his training and Pete to get 'reaquainted'.  Pete was back in half an hour or so, mission complete.  It's fair to say Mark C was magnanimous on hearing of Pete's excellent progress..........

Towards the end of the day Lizzie flew with Mark C.  Lizzie isn't yet solo but seems to be progressing well judging by the well executed loop, beat up behind the trees and expertly judged sideslip approach.  In exchange for flying lessons, Lizzie is teaching Mark how to solve a Rubik's Cube.  She demonstrated in the clubhouse and had it complete in around two minutes flat, explaining as she went.  It was then handed to Mark to try.  I think it's fair to say Lizzie will make a better glider pilot than Mark will Rubik's Cube solver.

Well done to James F for passing his Bronze exam.

No snow, but a good day nonetheless. - Tim P

Thursday 15th January

Following the snow on the Blackdowns on Tuesday night which turned into a slushy mess on Wednesday, and a further load of rain overnight,  we were pleasantly surprised to find the field had drained pretty well. With a fairly lively southwest wind, the launchpoint was carefully selected to avoid any muddy patches, and the winch was driven up to the far end - well nearly! Whilst positioning the winch, it decided to find a rather soft patch and sunk up to it's axles, - but the Tractor recovered the situation and after a short coffee break for a shower, a K21 was ready to launch for the small group of Thursday faithfuls.
Tom 'Bird's Nest' Sides "This is what I get for giving them an 1800' launch" (Matt W)
Launches were pretty good to 1800ft and there was some sort of wavey effect mixed in with the rotory thermals, extending all the circuits.The wind was gusting 25knots on the ground and at approx 45knots the glider was stationary in the air. The showers seemed to manage to slip past North Hill, but at lunchtime there was a very nasty gust of wind that sent all the leaves blowing across the airfield. 55 knots was measured on the LPV, but fortunately we had parked the K21 safely.

Anyone using the wheel brake had their landing track measured and critiqued by Pete St.
We're having fun...Honest we are! (Matt W)
Longest flight was Matt and Ian with 36 minutes on the last flight, and they only came down because they thought everyone wanted to go home.

The Pawnee is looking resplendent with the red bits newly painted, and will soon be back on line. (Jill)

As MarkC always says- you have to be there to fly - but where was Mark? (earning brownie points). - J&P

Sunday 11th January

"A good day was had by all"

With a reasonable weather forecast suggesting that flying might be possible, if not all day, it was to be expected that quite a few members would turn up at the Club in the hope that the weather would be as forecast. 
Lets hope the sky stays like this... (Mike Sl)
 As ever "many hands make light work" of getting the gliders out of the hangar and setting up the field - soon after 9am the K21s were being walked up to the launch point which had been set up in the South East corner of the field.
Time to start flying (Mike Sl)
With the sun shining in a bright blue sky the day's flying was under way around 09:30 - with evident optimism that the West ridge might work albeit a thought or two that the strength and direction of the wind might not be as helpful as it might be.

Today's flying list was quite long with various members wanting to 'have the fun of flying with an instructor' for one reason or another, so all five two seaters were quickly brought into use. 
Lizzie tries out the K13 back seat (Mark E)
Whether card checks, general training, eventualities, how to fly on the ridge or lots of other reasons to fly with an instructor the flying list was worked through steadily and with all members working well as a team to launch and retrieve gliders good progress was made during the morning.

There was lift of all sorts in and around the West ridge providing the opportunity for extended flights in the 'interesting' weather conditions.

As the temperature lowered and the wind strength increased under a darkening grey sky so did the members' appetite and desire for hot drinks so a decision was made to stop for lunch.
Now where did that blue sky go?  (Mike Sl)
 After lunch the first change of card colour for the day took place - having started with Red, the increasing wind strength resulted in a change to Yellow.

But as is said 'every cloud has a silver lining' - with the increasing wind speed seeing an improvement in the consistency and strength of the lift along the West ridge.

The next couple of hours saw the flying list completed with much 'fun' to be had in various gliders making good use of the conditions - as ever lookout and adherence to 'ridge rules' was suitably tested...

By mid-afternoon as the wind strength continued to increase a decision was made to change the card colour from Yellow to Blue - with the approach over the trees now providing a good test of pilot skills in the more challenging conditions.
Afternoon view from the winch (Marie W)
And then late afternoon, with everyone who wanted to fly having had the opportunity to do so, the decision was made to put all the toys away ahead of the anticipated rain. 
Empty hangar - Who can remember which one goes in first?  (Mike Sl)

Teamwork  (Mike Sl)
In amongst the total of 43 flights (9 solo, 34 dual) and just under 19 hours of flight time for the day...

Gordon had the 'fun' of starting his BI training with Mark C, Lizzie and Toby (Junior Members) continued to make good progress, Andrew L flew the only private glider flown during the day K6 (GDE), James completed his NavEx in the Rotax Falke with Ian M. - Mike Sl

CFI Pete, Deputy CFI Martin, Vice-Chairman Stu, and Regional Examiner Simon M enjoyed a day out at Yeovilton attending the Southwest regional CFI's conference learning more about last year's accident record and where EASA is going with Licensing, ATO's, Examining  and Instructor coaching and the new training syllabus - Pete 

Saturday 10th January

The cold front clearance came through on time this morning, but most members must have been put off by the morning's wind and rain as there were barely enough to set up. The North Hill weather station is now back up and running (thanks Henry) showing 46mm of rain so far this month, and a strong gust of wind of 44knots at 08:40 this morning.
The wind speed dropped somewhat during the morning (although still fairly brisk), and with enough people to get a K21 and Junior out, and expecting the ridge to be working quite well, four private owners were happy to get their gliders muddy as well. 
Cloud from the Cold front clearing (Simon L)
Simon M in ASW20 SM and Pete St in Discus 230 shared the honours with flights of just over 2hrs 30mins, Simon L and James both flew ASW20 ENW and Rowan and Chris both flew Libelle CLM. 
The ridge was working well, with strong thermals in the morning to just below 3000ft, but as the day wore on, the cloud cover to the southwest shut off the sun and the thermals lost their strength, and the wind dropped a little. There were always signs of wave, but infuriatingly impossible to contact, apart from Rowan who managed a short climb on the last flight.
There were 11 flights in all with a total of 14 hours soaring. Another good winter's day - you have to be there to fly!
We had the first opportunity to watch the Spot the Gliders display as the North Hill Flarm receiver was picking up the 3 Flarm equipped gliders.(Thanks to Matthew, Henry, Matt and Peter Sm for getting this installed and working). 
Ian admiring his paintwork (Simon L)
 The paintwork on the Pawnee has enjoyed a nice temperature and humidity, and is now ready  for the red bits...  - J&P

Thursday 8th January

I am the first to say that you should never believe the forecast, but today I did, and boy did they get it right! When I left Plymouth at just after 7:00am  ( I was nominated chief gate-opener) I was rather thinking that it surely it can’t clear up to give a bright day. The rain was torrential!
After a quick Costa however things seemed to improve!
As I unlocked the gate turned up, together we rigged 5 or 6 extension leads in the tug hangar so that we could plug in the many heaters that we have managed to scrounge over the last week or so. You see Ian M insisted that for him to spray the finishing coat of paint on the Pawnee, the hangar temperature had to be precisely 17.5 deg C and the humidity between 61% and 72.9%, anything outside these parameters  - and it plays hell with his onesie.

Very few members had turned up by 9:30 and we were getting worried that even if it did clear, we would not have enough to fly.  Slowly but surely however the members drifted in. Pete took the opportunity to try to fix the problem with KEK varios, (hopefully sorted subject to flight test feedback).The ducks took off and the canoeist left so we decided that the field had just about dried out enough to enable us to operate.

By 11:30, Ron and Dan took a launch, they were soon soaring, there was weak wave, lines of energy as well as a mixed bag of rotor, ridge and thermal. With only one person requiring training the instructors flew together at times; Chris W and Mark C had over an hour only coming down because of the need for food and the toilet! Every single flight was a soaring flight, there were three two seaters on the go, as well as both Juniors. Matt and Ray D got flung in the air just as we packed up for lunch, enabling them to hog the DG505 for the longest flight of the day at nearly 90 mins, Matt seemed so pleased to be called down when the DG was required by Wooly - - - - - -.
Ray enjoying the view from Hembury Hill (Matt)
Liam V started his instructor training with Mark C, Liam did remark that Mark was a perfect  “punter”, I think that’s what he said anyway!

After lunch, Graham and Cheryl, Pete and Jill left  to join with over 30 DSGC members (past and present) attending the funeral of our much loved member Les (the winch) Hill who sadly died recently.
Fondly remembered -  Les (the winch) Hill
Last landing was just after sunset, the last of the fleet washed and tucked up in the dark.
Last landing was just after sunset (Mark C)
 A fantastic days flying, the stats showed only a 14 launches but all of them long soaring flights, totalling 12 hrs 30 mins, thanks to everyone who turned up to enable this to happen.
Big thanks again to Ian for his continued effort on the Pawnee (topcoat next), even if it is ruining his favourite garments!
- Mark C

Wednesday 7th January

The first Wednesday of the New Year started with poor prospects for the day's flying, nevertheless enough Wednesday faithfuls turned up to get the kit out, in a effort to beat the forthcoming rain and high winds that was forecast for the afternoon.
With both K21s and a Junior, we were soon experiencing some high launches in the strong southwesterly wind, the rain was spotting but not enough to stop us flyin. Unfortunately, by midday the canopies were misting up inside so in the interests of safety, we decided to stop.
By the time we had cleaned the gliders and put them away the bad weather arrived, all who flew said it was was worth the effort, better luck next time for those who didn't manage a flight. - JSt

Sunday 4th January

"A grey day when grey matter was tested"

A reasonably optimistic forecast saw a keen group of members arrive at the Club from all directions in expectation of some flying. But whichever road one took to the Club it was clear upon getting closer to North Hill that the weather gods had not been made aware of such expectation with a grey, grey sky overhead the field and low cloud evident.

However Club members are always able to come up with alternative ideas to keep them occupied and soon there was a small queue of members ordering cups of tea and coffee to accompany bacon sandwiches and other breakfast fare.
Spot the wave slot (Mark C)
With the Duty Instructors (Ron and James) regularly looking out of the Clubhouse window in the hope of a higher cloudbase some of the Junior members were of course delighted when Mark C decided to use the available time to test their understanding and knowledge around the 'homework' set by Mark during their previous visit to the Club. 
Time to start flying (Mike Sl)
Concurrently with the completion of Mark's "testing" of same the slowly improving weather provided Ron and James with the optimism to try and start flying around mid-morning.

With a long list of pre-solo members to be flown a K21, the DG505 and both K13s were taken to the launch point - although the forecast wind was South East there was actually little or no wind, and if anything a little bit of Westerly in it, so the decision was made to set the launch point up in the North East corner of the field.

The rest of the morning saw around half a dozen flights all achieving full launch height apart from Mark C providing the opportunity for Lizzie to demonstrate how to handle a cable break, which she did well.
And then the weather gods decided to shut the weather window around midday with low cloud stopping the fun just a couple of hours after flying had started.

Simon M rigged ASW 20 (SM), towed it across to the launch point and unsurprisingly in view of the weather had to then tow it back again without having the opportunity to fly it.
Time to stop flying (Mike Sl)
An early lunch was called in the hope that the weather would improve for the afternoon but such hope was in vain - after lunch, despite much walking around and gazing at the sky whilst muttering suitably it was clear that the cloudbase remained too low to allow any further flying so mid-afternoon the decision was made to put all the toys away.
Well if nothing else we can check the winch ropes for potential needed repairs (Mike Sl)
But there was still time for Mark C to provide some of the Junior members with their next 'grey matter' homework which they were no doubt pleased to receive! - Mike Sl

Friday 2nd January

After a bit of a damp squib on New Year's Day, apart from Peter B who finished off his Bronze with CFI Pete - Well done Peter -  

A rather enthusiastic band of pilots/budding pilots turned up today after the weather forecast of a decent strength westerly, had produced some excited chatter on google groups about the possibility of a 'ridge day'.  Things seemed not to be going quite to plan on the journey to the airfield when there appeared to be an absence of the most important ingredient - wind.  Mark C seemed optimistic - he informed us that the weather forecast is mostly to be believed, so once we got to NHL all would be fine.  The NHL weather station was reporting 6 knots on arrival - around half of the forecast.  Not easily discouraged, the 10 or so members emptied the hangar and set the airfield up.  Spirits were high as the Club's liftometer had been spotted wandering around the airfield.  As most regular attendees quickly learn, this is a good thing.  The liftometer only appears when there is at least an 85% chance of a decent flight.  All was not lost.

The two-seater list of 4 was dwarfed by the single-seater hopefuls.  With instructors outnumbering students, and some reasonably calm conditions, it looked like a good day to be a student.  First launch by 9.40.  Good work.  Mia has learnt how the flying list works, and was first up . . again!  Ever optimistic, various instructors and students gave the ridge a good exploring . . but nothing much happened.  A phone call by John P, worried he might be missing out on something exciting was fielded asking for the status of the liftometer.  "Still on the ground" was the answer.
Thermals popping (Jill)
By late morning, instructors had run out of students and were flying for fun.  The windsock began to look a bit more bothered.  Oh . . and the liftometer was seen getting into a glider.  Mmmm.  Some extended flights began - 23 minutes being one of the first notable ones.  The liftometer had landed but was straight back in the queue eager for another attempt.  Lunch was called for, and the final few gliders launched.  This decision looked somewhat poor with hindsight.  The clue should have been obvious.  After nearly an hours lunch, three of the gliders previously launched were still airborne.  Mark L in the Junior, Pete Sm in the DG505 and . . yes . . the liftometer in a K13.  Although the ridge wasn't working, it was helping to produce thermals.  Pete Sm had the longest flight of 1 hr 43, and the liftometer also returned with a pleased looking grin and tales of 2700ft.

Whispers were reaching us of a good day being had at Nympsfield.  Matthew Wi, Matt Wr, JB and Wyn all made the trip to experience the ridges on offer.  Matthew Wi  and Wyn both enjoyed trips to Bath and back with Trevor Stuart in the Nimbus 3DT,  and Matthew had a picture of an altimeter reading 150ft.  While landing maybe?  Matt Wr and JB were still in the air somewhere . . hopefully.

The rest of the afternoon was spent messing around in the sky and making as much as possible out of some weak but reliable ridge lift, or flying the motor gliders.  Mia received her Christmas present - a flight in the Super Falke with Peter F.  Mark C and Simon L took the Rotax Falke for a pleasure flight, with Simon practising a touch-and-go at Dunkeswell.  Mark C then flew again with James H.  Pete and Jill flew a K13, Stuart and James took the DG, and Rowan utilised the spare K21.  
Jill & Pete in K13 (Mark C)
Despite the ridge not quite doing what everyone wanted, after a slightly extended 'float' up and down the ridge with other gliders silhouetted against the setting sun, no one seemed to be complaining.  A slightly unusual, but very enjoyable day. 
Washing the Junior. You missed a bit! (Mark C)
Well done to Captain Slow 'liftometer' for the good call, for a Club flying day on a Friday, and thanks to Peter F for volunteering for Duty Instructor. The hangar was empty Mr Treasurer....
And mention must be made of Ian M splitting his time between K21 and Pawnee to get them both back online very soon.  
Happy New Year - Tim P

Wednesday 31st December - New Years Eve

The last day of the year started well with a good flying list John Sil and Peter B had the first flight and found plenty of lift on the South ridge. Peter F was next to launch in the Junior but the low cloud made it difficult to have two gliders on the ridge.
We had a bit of delay while we waited for the cloud to lift John St and Mike Fitz declined a launch, Peter F  and Martin B had another launch only to be beaten by the low cloud base with a quick exit from the ridge.
The orographic cloud was forming on the southwest corner and seemed to be stubbornly low so we retired for an early lunch, the cloud base had not lifted by 1:00pm so it was decided to call it a day.
It was a good try but a disappointing end to 2014. 
Happy landings for the New Year and we hope  to look forward to a successful soaring season in 2015. - JSt