Saturday 29th Aug - Pocklington

COMP DAY 7...was scrubbed. High over cast dampened thermals to the point the comp director considered it un wise to launch the grid en masse. 

To keep the spirit of the comp alive there was the offer of a prize for anyone flying the task. Some  glass ships followed the Eagle into the air and so started a struggle to prove the task do-able. The high cloud and weak climbs helped the TINSFOS (There Is No Substitute FOr Span) brigade, BBB spent some time going nowhere and then had to divert way north of track in an attempt to reach TOC. Almost no sun on the ground and a final glide round TOC was promptly followed by a landing at Rufforth gliding centre. An aerotow retrieve meant the all important dinner plans were not affected! 

Phil with 711 and Matt W were the silent stars, turning TOC and then Castle Howard for a successful completion of one of the tasks. Well done to Phil who is now on his way home and an intensive detox! - JP

Team Eagle drivers (JP)

And Well done to Team Eagle - winners of the Wood Class - J&P

Saturday 29th August

A smaller number of members than usually present on a Saturday turned up for a very pleasant days flying.  Actually the term 'flying' may be a bit of an exaggeration.  Maybe launching and landing might be more accurate.  

By 10am the remnants of orographic cloud over the south of the airfield were quickly clearing to leave quite a lot of higher level cloud and a slight chill in the air.  During a spare 5 minutes awaiting the winch to be set up, Peter Sm (who volunteered to stand in for JP at short notice) decided to put on his shorts to tempt the sun out.  This seemed to have some limited effect, bringing increasing patches of warmer air.  Peter and Roly began instructing duties.  A few new members enjoyed some of their early glider flights - Charlie who is making fast progress at the age of 13yrs, Reuben and Dad David among them.  Jess had a check flight to give her the chance to fly the Junior again.  
Junior member Charlie (Peter Sm)
Roly flew some repeat customers of his - a couple - both flying today despite only planning the one flight.  Perhaps he should be nominated for the DSGC customer service award?  Simon L helped out both flying the tug and a trial lesson to enable members to keep flying.  Roy B was busy winching all morning, basking in the repeated praise from pilots reporting 'perfect launches'.  Roy insisted it was the calm conditions not his skill and technique.  Very modest. 
A NOTAM for the Red Arrows to transit as specks in the distant sky provided a short lunch break, but no spectacle.

Lisa turned up with her new glider and set about rigging and setting it up for her first flight.  After a large crowd of purring members had finished dribbling on it, it was squeegied off and took an aerotow.  Things must have been going well as the 2000ft tow initially requested was heard on the radio being increased incrementally until 4500ft was reached.  
Lisa and her new toy (Malcolm)
Ian M turned up to take over for the afternoon instructing shift, and soon begun to fly members on their second round of flights such was the lack of students.  Peter Sm was being awaited at home but instead was ensuring Jess was well prepared for her flight in the Junior.  After one short flight, Jess earned the 'flight of the day' award on her second attempt by soaring for 22 minutes off a winch launch.  The rest of the day returned to 5-10 minute flights as it had started, with the exception of Dick finding a bit of lift off of 'the point' towards the end of the day.  The high level cloud never cleared enough to give reliable lift.  A patch of clearer sky to the north, out of reach to us, hung around in the afternoon with some peachy looking cumulus underneath it, just teasing.

Peter Sm was eventually spotted returning the DG505 to the hangar after a flight with Nick H at 5pm.  The planned 'I'll be home at lunchtime' just didn't work out!

A fun, relaxed, if unspectacular, days flying launching and landing. - Tim P and Peter Sm

Friday 28th Aug - Pocklington

COMP DAY 6... The forecast was for more of the same but with less wind. This proved to be a lie... The briefing confirmed BBB's best wood status and with less ribbing about statements to the press the team were awarded a plate of meat to bbq.

On the grid JB and Nick J had a moment of disaster when the newly fitted Brunswick tube got swiped and broken. Offline for some minutes Blue Peter training came to the fore and sticky tape and tubing provided a quick fix. 
Caption competition? (JP)
After a slow tow behind a Robin, the Eagle was away, making reasonable progress despite the wind. First TP was Thirsk and it proved a tough challenge sitting in poor air upwind of Sutton Bank. JB made repeated efforts to climb and push forward but kept going back. The ground team watching all the action on the Spot the gliders screen in the clubhouse and if willpower alone could do it JB was in with a shout. The sky was starting to look seriously showery and gliders started to fall from the sky. A call confirmed The Eagle had landed. 
Morrison's childcare team, keeping Georgia entertained (JP)
Meanwhile Phil had a chance to take Gill up in 711 and demonstrate what a great investment she had just made in a refinish.... Romping along to start, the ASH came up to a huge storm that blocked TP2 the Humber Bridge. Wisely Phil elected to swing back and made a landing ahead of storm that dropped about half an inch of rain in about 20 mins. 

The Eagle retrieve went well mainly because the field JB chose was but a stones throw from the one he and JP chose last year. On return to NHL JB will have a quiet word with the CFI about circuit height but his copilot was all smiles  and reported another great flight.
Scores are awaited with a Capstan that made it to Sutton Bank within a spit of BB - JP

Thursday 27th Aug - Pockilngton

COMP DAY 5....streeting was forecast and it duly set up early on. The tasks set at briefing managed to ignore the streets by running at right angles up and down the vale of York!

 Yesterdays Eagle landing hit the press with the Hull Daily Mail running a story about the "exciting emergency landing" and a photo of JP and Nick looking suitably relieved! 

The day's flying was good with strong lift but a 25kt wind made Eagle progress slow. The ASH romped along with Alan showing Phil what Robin May had taught many years ago using speeds and flap setting previously unused by 711! 

Malcolm and JP clocked up Castle Howard then Goole and up to Sutton Bank where wave influence made life challenging. The Eagle opted to head for home and under a dying sky returned for 175Km. With the wooden competition already on the ground hopefully a third successive"best wood". Matt W had a good day flying the SF27 and Jane P joined the group to swell the female ranks. 

Team Eagle
Thai food cooked in the camp and the fire pit refueled with logs brought up by Matt saw a great end to a successful day. - JP

Thursday 27th August

The forecast sounded quite good , with only a possibility of a light shower, however after nice start the clouds were seen to be building rather rapidly  and by lunchtime the sky was rather black to the west, so the gliders were parked carefully  

Black clouds still around (Pete Sm)
and some returned to the hangar in case of a gust front. In the event it just rained quite hard over lunchtime.
Careful parking  worked well after the event (Pete Sm)

There were some further interruptions for lighter showers during the afternoon, but we managed to get through the long flying list and Trial lessons. There was a short period with some reasonable soaring conditions and an empty launch point. Thanks to Mark and Stu for helping out with Instructing and to Robert for tugging. - J&P

Wed 26th Aug - Pocklington

COMP DAY 4....and the wind blew. 
The clearing (supposedly) front had left a soaked camp site and uninspiring skies but the brief was upbeat unless the prospect of 30kt winds put you off. Gridding duly happened but the local sky was resolutely dogged by the back of the frontal cloud. 
Gridding (JP)
Team 711 decided that the thermals wouldn't be ASH sized and went to York looking for treasure with young Georgia. 

Justin Wills popped into see Nick and admired the Eagle as she sat pegged and trestled under an increasingly lively looking sky. The decision was made to launch and the front row of wood was depleted as the T21 and a Capstan decided it was all too lively.
 And so it was...a two handed job on aerotow through what felt like extreme rotor. Dropped in sink JP and Nick had to burn half their height going into wind to find a useable thermal. I say useable but it was shredded and constantly changing. The extra layer put on to keep warm on the ground seemed like a bad idea as sweat poured off during the ensuing wrestle. 

Back at launch height but further downwind than being dropped highlighted the challenge of the upwind task...Never the less the Eagle started and despite the cloud looking like a street it just wasn't playing the game and a repeat saw tooth cycle of push forward, sink, then climb reversing back down course. 

At this point the glider driver and the Master Mariner in the back both concluded that JB had entered the first TP GO2 (entered by hand) some 30km off its true location! Luck favoured the brave when a good climb was followed by a good energy line vaguely on track. The Master Mariner agreed on the river to follow and Goole hoved into sight. Not knowing the exact TP hurt when trying to clear the furthest motorway jnc to be sure rain ended the flight. 
Colour co-ordinated stubble field (JP)

Two police men and a press photographer were quickly on hand to interview the crew. The best 4x4 by far was needed as the trailer sank into the very soft, soggy stubble field. Hopefully a best wood day for BBB and may be even in a podium overall.- JP

Wednesday 26th August

After the run of difficult weather the forecast for Wednesday was not too bad, but low cloud stopped  us making an early start, but as soon as the cloud lifted a bit we started with some useful launch failures.
Rick had his yellow card checks completed, Pete B completed his BI acceptance checks with CFI Martin and there was some very useful flying in the difficult conditions.
By lunchtime the weather had improved and it became thermic, Roly started the soaring in the DG505, Eric G29, Nigel FAJ, Pete St 230 and Joe 877 all  had some reasonable flights.
Four two-seater gliders were in use today, and they were needed to get through the long list - everyone flew, and we handed over to the evening flyers at 6:00pm. - JSt

Rainbow at Honiton (Lisa)
Super evening, flying Air Cadets again, nice rainbow over Honiton, lively approaches in the southerly wind, all great fun! - Lisa

Sat 22nd - Mon 24th Aug - Pocklington 2-seater comp

The annual trip north was done under leaden skies but the Saturday warm up day brought the sun and a chance to fettle. The Eagle is now resplendent with modern varios that have more than doubled its value, and provide all that important glide data you need in a hot ship...

Eagle - Hot ship (JP)
COMP DAY 1....was scrubbed. Hot and windy with the sea air whistling over the Wolds - a trip to the sea side was in order. The evening saw the continued use of the bbq for fine cuisine with JP's new giant paella pan producing a dish that could have fed the 5000. 
Feeding the 5000 (JP)
COMP DAY 2....was scrubbed but with everything gridded the chance to do some circuits was on. Nick J jumped out to allow Alan to have a circuit with JP. 3 hours later the Eagle landed out after chasing down the side of a convergence that brought vigorous showers through Pocklington. Early in the flight the T21 had shown the benefits of slow tight thermalling by out climbing everything (Eagle included). Obviously the new varios were to blame! 
JP & Nick J (JP)
COMP DAY 3....was not scrubbed and an early grid under a lively looking sky saw Malcolm win the draw to fly with JB. A series of tasks up to Sutton Bank , NRT then various combinations of TPs near home were set. The brisk wind made the offer of a ride with Phil in the ASH very tempting for your scribe. Good local climbs helped all get away but the Eagle started to struggle near SUT with very broken thermals and a bluing sky. A good field within sight of the White Horse left a trusted JB cursing the missed ridge soaring opportunity. Meanwhile in the ASH the TINSFOS (There Is No Substitute  FOr Span) adage was apparent where the difficult conditions and non-ASH sized thermals left the driver cursing and the passenger laughing as every time the flap lever went into + the thermal went flat! Apparently this phenomena doesn't only happen to me. The flap lever became the lever of doom as every time we settled down to climb the big bird fell into sink. 
TINSFOS  + new gelcoat (JP)
Never the less several more TPs were made and a long glide home over York made the better than  60:1 seem money well spent (thanks Ron!). Another evening around the camp fire and a chance to reflect on a fun but challenging day. 
Sunset in Yorkshire (JB)
 Intensive preparations for the next day were made by polishing off the bottle of Talisker and then killing a bottle of Jura... JP

Saturday 22nd August

A foggy start and everyone feared the worst, even though the forecast was suggesting a clearance - it caught everyone out, and so it was a slow start in the brilliant sunshine, with a long walk to the north west corner for the light southerly wind.
First launch was Simon M and Pete B on a 4000ft aerotow from the east end. Rowan started making some headway with the flying list which sped up once Steve arrived. 
Practice rope break coming (Simon M)

There was a little bit of soaring up to the 2000ft cloudbase but mainly a day of circuits.By lunchtime some medium level clouds fed in  and some ac castellanus were forming overhead.
Late afternoon, some ominous looking clouds started forming to the south, soon followed by flashing and banging and some heavy rain which put a halt to proceedings. 
It's stopped raining (Lisa)
 Most of the gliders were walked back to the hangar, although Simon M and Pete B found a brief interlude in the rain to take one last winch launch to complete the very busy day, for his BI rating. 
Well done Pete (Simon M)
We look forward to seeing Pete flying some Trial lessons in the future - at 16yrs, probably one of the youngest BI's in the country. - J&P

Monday 17th - 21st August - Course week

Mainly circuits today for the course members with just a little hint of soaring during the best part of the day. - Good for training though.

Circuits again to start with although the forecast promised more. By lunchtime the soaring had got going and Pete 230, Eric in G29 and later Pete & Jill in OL and Robert in DKU all took spare cables while the Course members were enjoying their best day. 
With some high cloud trying to push in from the East, Exmoor was the place to be, but north westerly streets kept coming to an end  with cloud bases lowering over the higher ground and some sea air came in from Barnstaple, so flights were limited to sightseeing. No sign of the promised convergence on the south coast.

The forecast was not good with rain forecast for all day, and the course members had their fill of lectures on circuit planning and winching. The evening ATC group had to be cancelled along with the Trial lessons.

Low cloud or orographic in the light southerly again put paid to any chance of flying, The course members were drilled through questions from the Bronze confuser, whilst the ASH25 and the Eagle were prepared for their trips to Pocklington 2 seater Comp.
Over lunch everyone watched the great 'A week's fine soaring' video followed by a repeat of the R/T Training presentation. given by Jonathan.

Another disappointing forecast, 
Depleted Course team (Lukasz)

 with fog obscuring the beech trees all day, but there was a little practice using Paul's latest version of Condor. 

New member Ed trying out the simulator (Lukasz)

Can't wait until we get the proper simulator room sorted and can do some proper training with it!

Sunday 16th August Inter-Club League

A rather slack weather situation with some medium level cloud cutting off the sun, meant some even more conservative task setting for ICL. 
Novice CLS - TIE - YEO - CLS in either direction 100 Kms
Intermediate CLS - TIE - SHB - CLS 117 Kms
Pundit CLS-TIE - SHB - CLS 117 Kms

It was very quiet at the Club today - there were lots of visiting pilots from other Clubs for the North Hill leg of the ICL and a few home Club members but an uninspiring sky and not very optimistic weather forecast was clearly dampening any enthusiasm to get things going for the day.

Eventually the K21s were being taken out of the hangar and with a minimal wind as well as a forecast of a Southerly direction later in the day the launch point was set up in the North East corner of the field.

The unexciting weather was however good news for Lizzie and Jess as they were keen to complete more solo flights. After suitable checks which involved some practice eventualities and with a resultant exploring of the Western end of the field, soon Lizzie and Jess were being sent off on their own and with no other members on the training list both were able to complete several solo flights in a K21 during the morning. With limited interest in flying and even more limited resources to be able to do so an early lunch was called.

More solos for Lizzie and Jess (Mike Sl)
The early afternoon saw a steady stream of ICL gliders being towed across to the launch point with most pilots deciding that an aerotow provided the best opportunity for getting away and having an attempt at the task set for the day - however it became clear that the potential pockets of lift were few and far between.

The afternoon saw Lizzie complete another K21 solo flight with the longest flight of the day 51 minutes, and Jess convert to the Junior having had the fun of some spinning with Chris in a K13 - with a second Junior flight completed during the afternoon Jess' smile made up for the lack of sunshine!
Jess converts to Junior
Three Trial Lessons were completed in the DG505 during the day and with all those who wanted to fly having done so, the gliders were put away and the hangar doors closed before 5pm. - Mike Sl

ICL news
Pete B in HEB flying Intermediate took an aerotow and started the task, he turned Tiverton east, but just scraped back onto the airfield. Paul L in H5 took an aerotow but couldn't make much of the conditions. 
Visitors from the Park enjoyed some floating around locally, but the day was scrubbed.
Congratulations to The Park who have won the South west region ICL and now go on to compete in the ICL national final. - J&P

Saturday 15th August - Inter-Club League

A bustling day at North Hill today.  Hosting ICL, 3 trial lessons and the usual lengthy summer's day flying list, meant the club was a hive of activity all day.

The ICL briefing gave an average weather forecast, so the tasks were set to make the most of the better area east of Yeovil.  After much glider pilot type faffing (water in, water out, flight computers programmed, maps found (Liam), covers on, covers off) and a bit of hanging around posturing next to gliders, the first and most enthusiastic entrant launched finally at 13:20 (Williamson obviously).  He was soon back on the ground, deciding that a tug was required.  By this time Mick (The Park pundit) had already taken a tug in a Ventus turbo so Matt Wi was next.  With the benefit of hindsight, this proved to be the best time to launch.  Spot The Gliders showed Mick making good progress towards Yeovil.  At 14:30, the next 'bunch' decided to launch.  Steve Lambourne and Hugh Stewart (The Park), Liam, Tom Hogarth and Jack Tonkin (Mendip).  Out of these, all ended up on the ground in the following 20 minutes apart from Jack (the last to launch).  Steve proved the bravest and in an attempt to get away despite the conditions, ended up in a field east of Dunkeswell.  Simon M left slightly later at 15:00.  After much bullying encouraging, Liam had another launch at 15.50.  

By this time an enthusiastic group had gathered around the Spot The Gliders display in the club house to keep track of Mick's progress and found that this proved nearly(?) as exciting as actually flying.  He had managed CLS-YEO-BLD-FRO-YEO and was heading back to wards CLS.  Mental calculations were being carried out on how far he might be able to get (it was looking close).  The highs were being felt as the climb rate increased, the lows as it decreased.  Unfortunately he had to turbo his way out of trouble 3km from the finish line at CLS.  I think it's fair to say the enthusiastic group felt his pain.  A great flight nonetheless.

Meanwhile . . back at the club, Roly was in fine form flying all the trial lessons and pretending the 505 was his glider.  JP took the newly ARC'd Lak 12 for a spin and Oscar was busy familiarising himself with the K6 under the watchful eye of Dad Simon.  Pete B and James F were getting some further BI training completed, ready for their upcoming assessments. - Tim P

Mike F got cleared off checks and had some interesting lift on the ridge - the southwest corner of the west ridge was working which enabled me to stay up for an extended circuit and some ridge soaring. I certainly had to keep a very good lookout, with gliders running up/down the ridge and soaring above!! Lift could also be found over Forest Glade and the Bowl, and as always on the downwind leg. Later in the afternoon I received the inevitable phone call from Liam....''I'm in a field...again'' so his crew was scrambled for his retrieve.- MF

ICL News:
The weather looked a little tricky to get into the good task area far to the east of North Hill, but Tasks were set, all with a remote start and finish to the North of the club at Culmstock, then on towards Yeovil and then differing turn points within the good air dependant on Class:

Pundits CLS-YEO-BLD-FRO-YEO-CLS (210km)
Intermediate CLS-YEO-BLD-SHA-YEO-CLS (174km)
Novice CLS-YEO-SHB-YEO-CLS (108km)

Matt's flight report:
There was a low cloud base and many found it difficult, but with isolated strong climbs, and  after turning Yeovil for the second time on the way home the sky ahead looked dire, H5 Matt pressed on as much as he dared into the headwind but the declining conditions prevailed. He landed just to the South of Yeovil Reservoir in a very well kept private airstrip, thanks to Paul L for the retrieve. Fortunately it transpired that a 3/4 completed task was enough to win the day in the poor conditions.

Yeovil Reservoir (H5 Matt)

Simon's flight report:
SM launched late and missed the best part of the day, he got within 10km of Blandford but with the rest of the task in sea air aborted the task attempting to return home. He ended up landing at the Yeovil / Westland airfield, Pete St went for the retrieve. 
Almost as smooth as tarmac Yeovil Westlands (Simon)
After a few drinks in the evening SM recalled that the stringent security procedures both in and out of Yeovil airfield put Heathrow to shame, they were extremely friendly and it all went smoothly, unlike Liam's 3 hour retrieve from 2km away from the North Hill at the bottom of Hembury Hill..... - MW

Liam's flight report:
"I launched first at about 2:30ish made a pretty good start for the first 10km then it all went terrible, I came back to have a cup of tea. At about 4 o'clock , (as the weather had improved and the launch point was empty), the peer pressure from Jill  persuaded me to relight. The start wasn't as good as my first attempt, the climb rate was stronger but the thermals weren't as predictable and rather gusty and turbulent. I got low over Chard but managed to get a good climb to take me to Yeovil, getting low had really stopped me from being competitive so decided just to get home nice and  early... which I nearly did... The glide back was horrific with never really getting above 2000ft,  but little by little I got closer and closer home, all I needed was one more climb just to get over Hembury ridge, It didn't happen... 
Almost within shouting distance. We can't disconnect the brakes! (Liam)
I landed in a field... again.. full of cow pats... Thank you to Stirling who was sterling.. Mike, Pete and Jess for being extremely patient with me being grumpy and having little idea what I was doing with this new glider... LV

Provisional results subject to scrutineering:
The Park - Mick Longhurst Ventus CT - 6 points
North Hill  - Simon Minson ASW20 - 5 points 

North Hill - Liam Vile Cirrus - 6 points
Mendip - Jack Tonkin LS8 - 5 points
The Park - Steve Lambourne Pik 20b - 1 points 

North Hill - Matthew Williamson SF27 - 6 points
Mendip  - Tom Hogarth  Astir CS- 0 points
The Park - Hugh Stewart  Carnam JP15- 0 points

With the provisional totals after today:

1st The Park- 38 Points
2nd North Hill- 36 Points
3rd Wyvern- 26 Points
4th Keevil- 19 Points
5th Mendip- 19 Points

In the evening, there was the usual North Hill hospitality with Cheryl and Graham catering for the teams, 
Happy Birthday Liam ( Jess)

and just a little birthday cake for Liam  saying goodbye to teenage years.

Friday 14th August

With rain and low cloud forecast all day, we called an end to the task week,
Foggy sheep at North Hill (Mike F)
and in the evening the low cloud lifted and visitors from across the south west started arriving for the Inter Club League. - J&P

Thursday 13th August

The weather had turned as forecast, and not for the better, but in the evening a good group gathered in the Keepers Cottage to enjoy a dinner with Justin and Gillian. - J&P

Wednesday 12th August

A bright start with a strong north easterly wind and a long flying list, the early flights where quite rough just before lunch there were a few thermals to to be had, but they were difficult to stay in and short lived.
Tim looking in vain for a thermal (JSt)
During the afternoon there was total cloud cover and no sign of thermals, we worked our way through the long list and all who wanted to fly did so, as so often the case at the end of the day the sun came out and it became warm and the thermals started to pop. - JSt 

And well done to Chris M for passing his Bronze exam with flying colours.
Had a lovely flight today with Justin in the DG505. Not as long as we would have liked but we just made it back from Cullompton at 1000, feet eyeing up the rifle range as a back up. Great experience for me to fly with such a legend! - Lisa

Tuesday 11th August - Task week

The forecast had changed with the warm front edging up further from the south casting a veil of top cover that would restrict the heating. 
But we briefed at 10:00am having got all the gliders ready, and then we waited, there was a chance that at maximum heating, the upper cloud might have withdrawn back south. Justin set a task -  pilot selected turnpoints max 4, up to 2 each side of a N/S line through North Hill.

It finally started to look potentially possible for tasking with some lowish cumulus just to the north and west getting a little closer. 
Liam took the first launch in Cirrus 477 keen to get some practice in, followed shortly by Justin and Pete B in JZK, and finally Stu in KMV.
477 and JZK flew for 2 hours!
Justin and Pete took off and headed for the sun on the edge of the sheet of high cover to the north, they tiptoed to the south west to Crediton under a line of scruffy clouds, thought about heading towards Eaglescott but decided to head back up the street past Taunton before returning to North Hill.
Liam in the Cirrus met up with JZK to the west and turned Crediton and came back as far as Wellington.  - J&P

Monday 10th August - Task week

Well we all gathered in the rain to welcome Justin and Gillian for the Cross-country week. We had a very useful introduction session and reviewed and analysed some of the flights from Saturday. 
Tuesday's forecast looks great and there's talk of 500kms.......... J&P

Sunday 9th August

If the members at the Club on Sunday morning were given a pound for every time someone said 'You should have been here yesterday' then there would have very quickly been a nice amount of money in the Tea Fund - which would have been useful in view of the weather which was such that there was a long lunch hour and then tea breaks during the afternoon.

The morning started with a small group of keen members getting the K21s and a Junior out of the hanger and with the launch point being set up in the North East corner of the field.

The first flights of the day found pleasant flying conditions in a gentle Southerly wind and under a mostly grey sky.

Launching into a grey sky (Mike)
For those members wishing to practice winch launches, circuit planning and eventualities the morning provided ideal conditions for same- for other members such as Liam who wanted to stay up longer the weather had other ideas with odd pockets of low cloud requiring launches to be 'abandoned' to avoid the cloud. 
Liam trying out the Cirrus (MIke)
With several Trial Lessons booked and with some optimism re the weather potentially improving both the Pawnee and DG505 were brought on line but as it was clear that cloudbase was too low for same and with a limited number of experienced members available to keep the flying going an early lunch was called.

Over lunch much looking up at the sky and at forecasts suggested that the 'best' of the day may well have come and gone weather wise. A weather check flight confirmed what was thought to be the case - the cloudbase was still too low for aerotows but just about high enough at circa 1000' in places to allow some flying to continue.

Two of the Trial Lessons were completed via winch launches such was the keenness of the visitors in question to get into the air but a decision was made to not complete any further training flights in the deteriorating weather conditions. - Mike Sl

Saturday 8th August

A good day was forecast and another incredibly long flying list. Clouds were popping by 11:00, Ron flew with James H in the 711 ASH25  tasked to Cullompton and Lasham  with a tricky turnpoint at Cullompton taking off at 11:15. Pete B and Liam had a competition for flying first with Jess (who went solo this week), Pete took the first flight  but Liam was more fun!
Simon M  in SM, Pete St 230 and Rowan in Libelle set off for 300kms on a double O/R Salisbury, Crewkerne, Shaftesbury. Rowan landed in an organic grass field farmed for Red Deer near Shaftesbury, thanks to Matthew W and Pete B for retrieving.
Rowan's organic grass field near Shaftesbury

Simon & Pete were lured back into Dorset  but turned short of Shaftesbury along some tricky convergences, but made it back. 
Congratulations to Andrew L in GDE who set off for The Park but ended up at Eyres Field for his Silver Distance - completing his Silver. Thanks to Martin B for retrieving Andrew with HEB trailer after discovering a lack of rotational willingness from GDE's trailer. 
 Pete & Jill in OL taking off quite late as usual flew to Sherborne and Tiverton following the energy.
Congratulations to Richard D, after persevering for a few years  has finally gone solo.
Ian congratulates Richard (Jill)
Liam converted to the Cirrus flying along the convergence, and Jess for 70 minutes on her 4th solo flight, and Heather completed her two hour flight in K6. Mike F and Ruth worked hard at the launch point all day and thanks to Ian M for staying late to make sure everyone flew.

In the evening, Jonathan talked about RT and everyone had the chance to practice their witty banter before enjoying a very nice meal by Cheryl and Graham. - J&P

Friday 7th August - Course week

The forecast for Friday had not been very promising when we did our course weather briefing session on Wednesday, but as always nearer the day, the forecast changed, and this time - for the better. We awoke to clear blue skies, but to the north there were some towering cumulus. The wind was forecast to be light north easterly, but actually it was just light and variable. Having walked the kit up to the south west corner, we stuck with it, and during the morning some spreadout arrived from the north east. 
Training circuits, launch failures  and landing in different places on the airfield - from any direction was the exercise of the day.
Having completed her allotted check flights, Lizzie had to find an enormous number of lead weights  and enjoyed her first solo flight. 
Lizzie goes solo (Jill)
 In the afternoon it became slightly soarable for a short period, and both Jess and Mia consolidated their solos of yesterday.
What about the boys? - Ben, Stirling and Toby all enjoyed more training flights progressing to their goals.
August (1) course (Jill)
Thanks to Chris W and Pete H who reckoned that they had achieved all-time records for the week on the step counter, and to Pete B, Liam and Jill for keeping everything running on the ground. - Totals - 93 launches and 20 Hours flying in 4 days.
The evening was a slightly mixed event with course members enjoying a barbeque and a bit of gymnastics and  'girlie celebrations' .........
Mia, Jess and Lizzie popping the cork on some 'fizzy' (Lisa S)
.........whilst the combined Honeywell and Graham H friends had their trial lessons prior to another barbeque.
- Great Day and a Great Week. - J&P

Thursday 6th August

A slightly slow start due to low cloud, but as soon as it cleared it was soarable, with white puffy clouds in lines to 2000ft cloudbase. 
It was a busy club day with some private gliders joining in, but the confused, organised launch point worked well.
With 3 booked trial lessons , all 5 2-seaters were kept busy for most of the day. Thanks to all the extra Instructors for helping out. 
The course training went well, with congratulations to both Mia and Jess achieving first solos at the end of the day, and Mia finding a little bit of wave on her second flight. - Girl power!
Chris sends Jess solo
Pete sends Mia solo

The private owners found it to be one of those 'difficult Devon days'.

In the evening we took over the Keeper's Cottage with a celebratory course dinner, it was lovely to see our Junior members with  their extended families enjoying themselves. - J&P

Wednesday 5th August

The forecast low cloud and southerly gusty wind arrived as forecast, and the course members enjoyed briefings and lectures on instrumentation, stall/spin, local airspace rules, winch launching and a bit of Met. about the next few days.
Just after lunch, a gaggle of young and old members attended to the windsock at the end of the field that had broken it's lines.(sorry missed the photo unfortunately.) - J&P

Tuesday 4th August - Course week

Another surprisingly good day considering the forecast and the wind stronger than yesterday. Consistently, 1500ft launches ( for those who reached the top) with some strange lift that couldn't be explained and grey clouds, probably thermal / wave interference with the sky cycling every half hour. Pete H and Toby got to 3600ft with just over the hour. Everyone enjoyed further training on launch failures and soaring. - J&P

Another lovely evening for the ATC. It was very nearly cancelled with the weather forecasting gusts of 25kts but that didn't materialise and we had to make sure we didn't stay airborne for too long! There was definite lift possibly wave. They all had a great evening and so did we. Thanks to the evening helpers as usual. - Lisa

Monday 3rd August - Course week

A full flying day surprisingly, considering the forecast. There were wave slots (thanks Dartmoor) from early on in the south westerly breeze.
Wave slots (Liam)

The launches were nice and high, and the circuits were extended with some thermals. The Course members enjoyed a mixture of soaring and launch failure training. - Chris has reached a milestone of steps on his phone app! Thanks to Stirling for fixing the fuel leak on the Disco only to find a water leak later.. - J&P

Sunday 2nd August

There was a rather strong wind  from the south east, and as usual this meant gusty turbulence on approach, with the ensuing blue card and unfortunately the cancellation of the trial lessons. However some eager members were keen try out the rough air, and Pete B was successfully signed off on blue card checks. Matt W rigged H5 SF27 with the hope of wave but just found some extended circuits. 
Late in the afternoon, the south ridge perked up a bit giving the longest flights Pete B in Junior, and JB in K21.
The pre-solo pilots handled the tough conditions well. -Pete B

Saturday 1st August

A much quieter Saturday today with a smaller list of students and no private owners, which was expected with the weather conditions. It was flyable all day stopping for the odd shower during the afternoon.  We flew 2 of the 3 trial lesson flights, unfortunately one of the people booked was 17 stone so just not possible to accommodate. One of the Trial Lessons was for a lady celebrating her 90th birthday, not only did she enjoy her Aerotow around the cloudbase but also took a winch launch AND with a Go-pro strapped to her head by her family who turned up from Scotland and various other places to watch. Supergran must come to mind! and Paul did a wonderful job looking after her!
Supergran Yvonne complete with GoPro (Lisa)

VG was made good use of with Stuart and Oscar and then later on Simon M and Mark all practising their potential field landings.
Liam continued with his BI practising skills on James with Pete B taking notes.
Liam and James with Peter taking notes (Lisa)
Meanwhile James flew a few members this morning whilst Mark C looked on supervising the solo flights he authorised and Tim L experienced a nice awkward cable break before flying the junior. One of our Junior members (Heathers nephew) having helped out all day had a good few flights in the 21 and DG. Everything packed away by 5pm but a nice relaxed day at North Hill for those who were there! - Lisa