Thursday 29th September

It was a slow start as expected as the early morning rain had provided  the humidity for orographic cloud after the cold front clearance. The north westerly wind was fairly brisk and gusty giving rise to the inevitable limitations for the early solo pilots.

It was soarable from first launch just before lunch time with 1500ft launches and the ridge working well to 1000ft and thermals kicking off to 2500ft lining up in some streets.
Pete Harmer soars with a Trial Lesson victim in K21 KEK
Aston Key continued his training in DG505 with Chris Wool, this time from the back seat. Matt Wright  M5 and Pete Startup 230 headed off to Tiverton, with a suspicion of some wave and flights of around 3 hours. - J&P
Flat Bases, Tall Tops and 20kts of wind

Wednesday 28th September

A beautifully warm and sunny start to the day with quite a few members on the list, the first few launches had to dodge the low cloud, but the flying was very pleasant in the light Westerly.
Beautiful start to the day (John Street)
 Wave bars set up and there was wave about but it was short lasting and elusive - but was fun trying.
Chris Warnes and Dave Clements completed their card checks.
Tempting wave bars (John Street)
The three Trial lessons kept Roly busy but all except one were quite short flights, there were eight aerotows and Peter Field was the tuggie. Mike Fairclough and Matt Wright started work on the new Beech tree plantings.
Mike and Matt finding the new beech trees (William Pope)
The only private glider was Jeff in his Mosquito who also had the longest flight of just under an hour Roly was se├žond with his last trial lesson flight of 30min. most other flights were fairly short. - John Street.

Sunday 25th September

Usually an arrival at the Club at around 8:30 in the morning would see members enjoying breakfast and cups of tea followed by lots of conversation and eventually a decision to start getting the gliders out of the hangar.

However today was rather different - with a generally positive weather forecast and blue skies encouraging much enthusiasm to the extent that on this particular morning the launch point had already been set up in the North East corner of the field. With the winch ready to go and with a K21 and a Junior on line the first launch of the day was in the air just before 9:00am.

The wind was forecast to freshen as the day unfolded so Duty Instructor Simon Minson was keen to complete check flights and allow Charlie Stuckey to fly solo. Will Stainer, Lukas Kieruczenko and Dave Herbert all completed further solos in a Junior.

Soon the DG505 and the other K21 and Junior were being brought across to the launch point and the line of gliders waiting to be launched steadily increased in number as the sky improved, suggesting thermic activity as well as a West ridge working here and there.
DG505 getting ready for an aerotow (Mark Copurtney)
The steady South West wind was providing launches to a good height with Roly Clarke radioing a 'well done' message to the winch driver for a launch to 1680ft in the DG505. The morning saw a couple of heavy rain showers move across the airfield with some gliders deciding that being on the ground looking up might be better than the other way around and with some gliders managing to keep airborne away from the rain. As the day progressed then the thermic activity continued in phases all mixed up by ridge and wave lift/rotor - as ever if a glider launched at the right time it was possible to get away. If not then extended circuits were possible.
Soaring to cloudbase (Mark Courtney)

Mark Courtney and Mike Sloggett again both flew ASW20 (ENW) causing some members to pinch themselves suitably. Andrew Logan (K6 GDE), Tim Peters (SF27 H5) and Phil Morrison/Matt Williamson (ASW20 611) all enjoyed themselves during the afternoon.
Andrew Logan in GDE (Mark Courtney)
Three booked trial lessons as well as one walk in trial lesson were completed during the day and with John Sillett taking over instructing duties for the afternoon, the flying list was completed with 38 launches just before 5:00pm so the decision was made to put all the toys away for the day.

There was then time for members to enjoy a cup of tea and a piece of cake on a sunny verandah, reflecting on a pleasant day of fun in the sky. - Mike Sloggett

Saturday 24th September

A strong, blustery, southerly wind, overcast skies and turbulent conditions, meant that the flying list was rather shorter than usual.  Also, a rather late start; but thanks to John Sillett who stood in at the very last minute as “am” Duty Instructor, and Ian Mitchell who took over as official Duty Instructor for the “pm” slot assisted by John.
Our South Coast Experts, John Burrow and Matt Wright, assessed conditions as good for a bit of South Coast Cliff Soaring. Tug pilot, Robin W-F briefed, calls to Exeter ATC made and the gliders were lined up.  Matt and William Stainer had nearly two hours in the DG 505, and made it back to  North Hill in time for lunch!! JB had a slightly longer flight of two-and-a-half hours, landing during the lunch break. 
The Sea mimics our warm glow inside!
Locally, students were tossed around in the air at North Hill, but seemed to enjoy the experience – I think it must be John’s excellent instructional technique - as they came back for more in the afternoon session.
Fifteen flights in all, and some of them up to half-an-hour long using lift generated by the North Hill South Ridge. - Wendy Willis-Fleming 

Will's experience.......

I arrived at the club to be greeted with a very strong southerly wind. Immediately I assumed I would not be flying for the day. Imagine my disbelief and excitement when Matt offered me an opportunity to join him in the DG505 on a trip to the South coast for some cliff soaring.
The flight started with a very buoyant and blustery aerotow, finally dropping us off near the town of Seaton. Whilst Matt and myself were waiting for John Burrow to catch us up we entertained ourselves by hooning around impressing the cliff walkers, doing wingovers and flying low and fast on Sidmouth sea front. Lift was working even at 100kt giving us an average of 3kt up. 

As JB turned up we thought we ought to begin our task. Five legs from Beer Head to Ladram Bay with me doing four of the beats. With the task completed a small amount of formation flying was done to supplement the video footage. 
JB over the windswept sea (William Stainer)
Reluctantly our thoughts now turned to climbing away to make it back to North Hill where Simon Minson and Stuart Proctor were waiting their turn. We were fortunate enough to soar to just under 2300ft QFE and by this time, we had risen above the clouds, giving us a lovely cloud surfing final glide home.
Cloud surfing Return to NHL (William Stainer)
With only 700-800ft lost on the return, North Hill appeared in the distance and after a slightly hairy approach due to the gusty southerly wind we made it back down safely with John Burrow following a little later. An epic days flying. Watch out for Matt's video coming soon on his You Tube channel “Balleka” 
-William Stainer

Friday 23rd September

Third time lucky - after 2 weather cancellations, the VGS Instructors day enjoyed conditions that allowed 4000ft aerotows. 

Blue skies initially  for the VGS Instructors Day (Jill Harmer)
With thanks to funding from a nationwide grant scheme provided by RAFA, the Instructors from 624 Volunteer Gliding Squadron (VGS) Chivenor  enjoyed learning how to aerotow, various aerobatic manouevres, and in the afternoon some soaring.

Thursday 22nd September

Another dodgy weather forecast, but at least this time better than expected. But it did mean that the Thursday regulars were expecting a late start and were slow to arrive at the Club. The front had cleared through earlier than expected and it was a clear blue start with a very light north westerly wind.
Nice day for the Autumn equinox (Mark Courtney)

The first 2 flights were quite short but after that, there was soaring a plenty. Although it did get a bit tricky at midday when most were back on the ground. Matt in M5 and JB both completed Club 100.
Unusually, ENW was flown by both Mike Sloggett  and Mark Courtney. 
Mark enjoyed a whizz along the sea breeze front (Mark Courtney)
 Paul Kane finally converted to the Pegasus having had to wait for a nice weather day. Thanks to all the guest Instructors (including Ron Johns helping out with some Trial lessons!) who turned up early for the Instructor's meeting. There were 44 launches with Matt the longest flight just short of 3 hours. -J&P

Wednesday 21st September

Another disappointing day with early mist and low cloud, but plenty of members wanting to fly.
A damp and foggy start (John Street)
We eventually started about 11:30am with a cloud base of just over 1,000ft with some gaps.
The beech trees gradually appeared (John Street)
 We had three Trial lesson flights booked two of them "mile high" it looked at times as if the clear gaps were large enough for an aerotow, but the gaps closed very quickly making it unwise to try. Roly looked after the guests  whilst waiting for more suitable weather but in the event the weather stayed the same all day with a freshening southerly wind.
JB & Matt got their chainsaws out and attacked the recently damaged Beech tree branches that came down in the recent heavy rainstorm.
Everyone flew who wanted to and we got some useful check flights out of the way. - John Street

Sunday 18th September

As I arrived, it looked to be a spectacular day with blue skies and the sun shining down. Clearly other members had also taken this view and kit was unpacked and ready to go by 8:20. Sadly due to a lack of instructors, flying did not commence until 10:30, by this time layer of cloud had drifted in restricting our cloud base to 2000ft. Many thanks to Guy Adams and John Street for stepping in to instruct with such short notice.

Throughout the morning training and check flights were carried out in the K21’s. As the morning progressed the weather improved substantially, this allowed Lukasz Kieruczenko, Dave Herbert and Nick Redfern to take the Junior for some quick soaring flights. The first trial lesson although a little nervous to begin with enjoyed a 2000ft aerotow flown by James Flory in the K13. Matt Wright flew the Mile High visitor but had to go for duration rather than height due to the low cloudbase. James Flory flew the third trial lesson who enjoyed ticking off gliding on his bucket list.
Cloud filled in to 2000ft (Will Stainer)
At around 1:30, an early lunch was called. This seemed to have great effects on the weather and it was not long before a line of both club and private gliders were queuing for a launch. With JB managing the afternoon flying from the ground but trying not to speak as he had lost his voice, more instructors rallied round to help.

I myself managed to convert to the Junior, joining in on the fun with a soaring flight of 41mins. Thermals were fairly weak although most gliders made it to 2000ft.
Will converts to the Junior (Lukasz Kieruczenko)
Birthday boy Rueben Buss (now 16yrs) enjoyed spinning down from 4000ft with Pete Harmer.
Rueben enjoyed his spin training (Jill Harmer)
The Ka6CR DRE was rigged and enjoyed it's busiest day for over 5 years, with Pete Harmer and the Supporters test flying it.
K6 DRE  was flown by the Supporters (Jill Harmer)
As thermals started to die off at around 4:30, the wind rather conveniently picked up from the north and allowed some members to use the ridge. With the sun slowly dropping at around 5:30 the last couple of training flights were carried out by guest Instructors Ian Mitchell and Pete Harmer. Kit was packed up just after 6pm.

Overall a day worth waiting for considering the slow start. - Will Stainer

Pete Bennett and Jess Summers have spent the weekend at Lasham  on the Junior Aerobatics coaching weekend, however the weather was not very kind, but I'm sure we'll hear more about it.

Saturday 17th September

An unusual open blue sky greeted North Hill members this morning. It was no surprise then that kit was all out ready to go by the time I arrived at 8:30 and flying commenced just after 9:30. However after setting up it became apparent that a strong 10-15knt crosswind from the north was present. This restricted some early solo pilots and forced a red card to be raised. This eventually was changed to a yellow flag.

As the wind strengthened mid-morning strong amounts of lift were reported by a 2000ft trial lesson. Cloud streets were seen running from north to south straight across the club.
Cloud streets (Will Stainer)
Soon after a flurry of private gliders were briskly launched with many managing to get away for some local cross country flying. With soaring conditions improving many members enjoyed some long flights averaging around 40-60 mins. Phil Morrison and I managed to chase down Matt Wright in his shark but we were not brave enough to follow him as he passed over the M5 towards Tiverton.
The trial flights were flown by Paul Summers and Roly Clarke with the help of duty tug pilot Pete Harmer.
Aerotow (Will Stainer)
Sadly the lift did not continue all day and towards 4:30pm simulated power and launch failures were carried out. Kit was packed away around 6pm. Overall a challenging day but at least we got some lift. - Will Stainer

Thursday 15th September

It was a pleasant start, but the Thursday regulars were busy looking at the winch and the problems that had occurred yesterday with the Dyneema.
Skylaunch (Mark Layton)

With the wind clearly from the north east a walk up the field was needed.
Although the launches were quite high, the circuit gave masses of sink all day, with Geoff Lawrence managing the longest flight of 8 minutes. Even Matt Wright flying the Trial lesson visitors to 2000ft couldn't find any usable lift, but they all enjoyed their flights. Thanks to Robert Lee for standing in for Tuggie Mark.
Aerotow (Mark Layton)
Congratulations to Tim Petty for converting to the Junior. - J&P

Wednesday 14th September

A reasonable flying list today with a good weather forecast except  for the early low cloud and poor visibility, but this soon cleared with the visibility becoming  excellent.
The wind direction was forecast to be southeasterly but it turned out to be southwest much to our relief. The launches seemed 100ft higher with the new dyneema  but late in the day the dyneema snagged on a damaged pulley wheel and we finished the day operating on one drum.
We were lucky with the weather because at lunchtime the low cloud returned and the tug was put away but shortly after lunch it cleared again to give us a beautiful afternoons flying.
Roly managed to fly all three of the Trial lesson visitors, there was no soaring to be had but the flying was very pleasant and all had a good time, Stu Procter and Matt Wright were the tuggies today, thanks to Paul C for standing in for John Sillett and we had a visit from David Bouchier from Brentor who is thinking of joining us.
Eastern Beech tree (Jill Harmer)
Sadly we have lost two of the biggest branches on our East facing beech tree, a tree surgeon will give a verdict on the health of the tree. - John Street.

Barcelonnette, Southern Alps 3rd - 14th September 2016

After a very early ferry on Friday morning and a long drive south, Marie and I  arrived in the sunny Alps in time for a late supper.
Saturday saw clear skies and after a check flight, I took W7 for some local soaring - which reminded me just how turbulent the mountains can be.
Day 2 and there was wave around ! - and a 4 hour search found me at 13,000 feet, totally elated, but fairly exhausted.
Lac Serres Poncent (Wyn Davies)
 By Wednesday I felt like a total amateur, as I had failed to leave local soaring and struggled in the rough conditions to get confidently high enough to leave the valley, so I took another instructional flight to sort it out. After a good hour of working closer to the ridges with Antoine, I was set to go again.
Glacier Blanc (Wyn Davies)
 The following 5 days I flew every day for a total of 25 hours in W7. Exploring Les Ecrins with the lure of the Glacier Blanc and a sortie south to Dignes. Most of the flying was done under very strong cumulus clouds, with some ridge flying to climb away whenever necessary. The highlight as always is flying over the glacier - with a safe escape route to St Crepin- Mount Dauphin airfield 6,000 feet below and in easy reach.
I am taking a few days rest from gliding for some tourism. - Wyn and Marie-Noelle Davies

Sunday 11th September - Long Mynd Expedition

After a day of little good flying yesterday, the forecast at morning briefing seemed slightly more optimistic today - a southerly wind with some thermic activity forecast in the afternoon.  Simon Leeson kicked off proceedings flying with David Cowley and Dave Weeks in the DG505, while Mark Courtney, Steve Westlake and Andrew Logan got their gliders lined up in expectation of better conditions.  This was Marks 2nd(?) flight this year in James Hood's his glider ENW, so he launched early, happy to settle for a circuit if necessary.  In the event, he hung on for 30 minutes despite the low cloud base and ending up near Craven Arms at one point. 
Mark Courtney flying his own glider!(Mark Courtney)
Nick Hine was next up with Simon in the DG before launching stopped for lunch.  The afternoon consisted of much the same as the morning, with flight times mostly decreasing, first to 15 mins then to 10.  The exception to this was Mynd instructor Rob Hanks managing a smidgen over an hour in his LS6.  George Vojtisek and David Cowley flew in the Mynd's K13 to get more comfortable with the site, their sights set on the K23.
Dave Cowley tries out T21 (George Vojtisek)

Ex-Mynd CFI Mike Greenwood had been flying club members all day in the T21, but ended up short on clients towards the end of the afternoon.  Paul Little and David Cowley gladly stepped in to experience the wind in their hair.
A Mynd sunset (Nick Hine)

The day ended with a Chinese takeaway in the clubhouse followed by songs by Steve and Mynd instructor Dave Crowson. - Tim Peters

Sunday 11th September

Well for once the weather forecast was accurate - the blue skies and sunshine making it an easy decision to start getting gliders out of the hangar.

What was not so easy to decide was where to put the winch and the launch point with the forecast suggesting a South Easterly direction but with the actual wind light and variable, mainly from the South West. After much looking at various forecasts and use of handkerchiefs it was decided to set up the winch and launch point for the South West and North East corners respectively.
Was this really a Sunday? (Mike Sloggett)
Unsurprisingly with the Club expedition to The Mynd the number of members present was not as many as a usual Sunday but with everyone focused on helping each other to get into the air all the ground tasks were readily undertaken.

With a reasonable wind to start the day the flying list was moved around a little so that
Will Stainer and Tim Petty could complete daily check flights and more K21 solos ahead of a potential conversion to the Junior should weather conditions allow same.
Great visibility today (Mike Sloggett)
Check flights and further solos in a K21 completed Will and Tim were then tasked to read the flight manual for the Junior and get used to sitting in the glider with a parachute.

Steady progress was made with the flying list - Charlie Stuckey having some fun in the increasingly interesting wind conditions which had increased in strength as the morning unfolded, Karen King enjoying the opportunity of circuit planning with a cross wind and Andreas Kraemer being put through his paces.
Guy Adams was kept busy in the Pawnee (Mike Sloggett)
All three booked Trial Lessons were completed in the morning with Gary and Terry Jones finally getting their flights after 5 previous weather cancellations.  We also welcomed some brand new  Royal Naval Officers from Britannia Royal Naval College in Dartmouth, led by New Zealand glider pilot Patrick Richardson. As it was a quiet day for our members, we were able to complete 3 more Trial lessons to introduce his colleagues to gliding.
Pete Harmer flys the visitors from Dartmouth (Jill Harmer)

By early afternoon with an increasingly positive sky the suggestion of a potentially good afternoon of soaring saw JB (Ventus T JB) and Pete Startup (Discus 230) rig their gliders and then launch. JB set off immediately for the cliffs, and Pete was encouraged and tempted to join in the fun. The cliffs were working to 2400ft with some thermal assist, and after a few beats it went a little soft, so they tiptoed back along a southerly street.

Meanwhile with the Card colour having moved steadily up through the colours it was decided that Will and Tim would wait for a better day to convert to the Junior

During the afternoon with the wind having increased even further and from time to time becoming more Easterly it was decided to see if the wind direction at the other end of the field was such that a change of ends might be in order

So three instructors went to the other end of the meadow to hold a handkerchief and the resultant unanimous decision was to stay put.

There was time for more training flights during the afternoon to allow everyone to have the fun of both trying to make use of the broken lift pockets around the airfield and also in approaching and landing in what were by now Blue card conditions - then with everyone having played their part to help each other get into the air it was no surprise that a decision was made to put the toys away just before 5pm.
Sparkling Devon countryside (Mike Sloggett)
Thank you to everyone who helped everyone else today, particularly Tom Sides who winched all morning, and did not fly at all during the day.

Not a spectacular day - but at least it wasn't foggy! - Mike Sloggett

Saturday 10th September

The typical North Hill low cloud greeted us this morning due to a slow moving front from the previous night. Clearly most members had seen this and decided not to turn up. By 9:30 only a handful of members were present and the flying list had 4 people hoping to fly. With the weather forecast to set in some members enjoyed an early lunch, whilst others entertained themselves with some ridge soaring, aerotowing and night flying in the simulator. 
By mid-day a few members had given up waiting which reduced us to around 6 left. Finally, at around 2pm the cloud started dispersing and a decision to get the kit out was made. By the time we were ready to launch cloud base had risen to 1500ft, clearly circuit practice and check flights seemed the wise choice.
As the day progressed and the weather improving some solo flights were carried out thanks to the super-efficient ground team, in some cases swapping between jobs to help get gliders launched. New member Simon Collier, previously solo at Dartmoor gliding club managed to convert and solo in the Junior and got some good flights. By about 3:30pm the weather was good enough for some mile-high trial flights to be flown, with one visitor flying for over 50 mins, thoroughly enjoying themselves in the process.
As the evening approached lift started to fade off and kit was packed up early at around 5:45pm. A big thank you to all who helped out on the ground, without whom, we wouldn’t have been able to fly.
- Will Stainer & Lukasz Kieruczenko

News from Long Mynd expedition
The North Hill flyers were up early and had the DG505 rigged before breakfast and briefing. Due to the light northerly wind there was not much enthusiasm to fly. David Cowley and George Vojtisek walked to the launch point and had two check flights each in the club Twin Astir to get to know the site. Very different approach and landing to North Hill!
Later in the afternoon models were rigged and tested. Whilst waiting for flying to finish the NH guys and some of the members fixed the wind direction vane which had stuck.
Suddenly the wind picked up and changed direction to Westerly and models were flown till dinner time.
It has been great to have such a warm welcome from the Long Mynd club members. - GV

Friday 9th September - Course Week

The weather on Monday started off rather damp, with a foggy morning and a very low cloud base hanging over North Hill. Although gliding was out of the question, it gave us a good chance to drink tea and learn about the theory of flying. We enjoyed the opportunity to see the vehicles used by the club, and the K21s we would be flying later that week.
- Luckily, during the week the weather improved dramatically.
Tuesday started off with a low cloud base hanging over North Hill, the afternoon was clear enough for us all to get in a good number of launches and start getting used to the circuits. Chris Coville managed to reach double figures – with an impressive 10 flights in the Junior in a single day. 

Rob holding the wing as David prepares to launch (Heidi Thiemann)
The sun burnt off most of the low cloud on the third day of the Course, and after lunch we were able to get up in the air. It was our first day meeting many other club members, and we felt welcomed by them all. David and Nat had the chance to experience aerotows – thank you to Robert for this, and we had help from others including Roly Clarke who flew some of the Course members.
Thursday’s weather was beautiful. Despite the wind that picked up a little, all Course members had wonderful soaring flights of up to 2 hours in length, with some of us heading over to the M5 before turning back. For those with little flying experience, it felt like a huge achievement to be able to use thermals to gain over 1000ft in altitude.
After a long day of gliding, the Course dinner at The Keeper’s Cottage Inn was well deserved!
Although we expected Friday to be kind to us with the weather, the fog returned. This gave us time to drink more tea, hear about flights that others on the Course had made, and James and Heidi had fun in the gliding simulator, with mixed success.
In spite of some challenging weather during the week, we all got a chance to make real progress in our gliding skills. With any luck, we’ll return to the club having progressed even further.
Many thanks to the instructors Paul Carpenter and John Sillett, and to the ground crew too, including Allan, Richard, Tim, Jill, Pete and Graham. The Course week has been a great success thanks to your help. 

September Course

From left to right: Tim Petty, Allan Mounce, James Sydney, Heidi Thiemann, Paul C, Rob Rankin, Nat Rankin, David Wojnar, John Sillett. Not pictured is Chris Coville, who had to leave on Thursday afternoon.- (new member) Heidi Thiemann

Thursday 8th September

With a front having gone through overnight it was a clear blue start, but the low cloud thought about rolling in, but the sun got to work quickly on it.The wind picked up and there was an autumnal fresh feel to the air. A little before lunch there was one of those forecast isolated showers, that was too large to avoid, but not much actual rain, but it brought everyone back down.

As this cleared through, the streets developed again, and there was a scramble to launch, with it looking good out west.
Looking good to the west - with wave interference? (Jill Harmer)

Matt Wright M5 and Pete Startup 230 headed off to Okehampton but fell back to Crediton with some possible wave interference. Pete Harmer with Tim Petty in JZK followed them as far as he dared,  and then on the next flight similarly with Rob Rand. Chris Wool and John Borland borrowed K21 whilst the course were at lunch and headed off across the motorway.
230 heads out west
Matt & Pete flew for nearly 4 hours, Aston Key had a couple of hours in the Junior. Late afternoon the hoped for wind drop occurred and some of the early solos flew single seaters but too late for the soarable conditions.

We welcomed visitor Andrew Reid in his Robin DR400 who called in on his way to the Scillies.
Today's visitor (Jill Harmer)
The Course members enjoyed their best day so far with most having long soaring flights.  53 flights in total. - J&P

Wednesday 7th September

The mist and low cloud persisted until after lunch - the few Wednesday members that had turned up had given up and decided not to fly, 
Tim & Geoff waiting for the weather (John Street)
 Peter Smith who was standing in for John Sillett (who was course instructor) was the only one to fly when he flew the the Junior back the hangar.
Meanwhile the the September course was in full swing once the mist had cleared, with a little help from Roly Clarke.
Weather cleared in the afternoon (John Street)
Robert flew the tug for the course members that needed aerotows.
Tim lends a hand with the K21 nosewheel.(John Street)
 The Wednesday members had a pleasant day day drinking tea and putting the world to rights outside the club house in the warm afternoon autumn sunshine. - John Street

Sunday 4th September

Well for the first Sunday of November! (sorry September), it was good to get some gliding in today - made possible by great teamwork all round.

A generally positive weather forecast suggested that the Club might be busy particularly after the poor weather on Saturday had prevented any flying.

However, it was soon evident from the grey skies and lowish cloud over the airfield that some members clearly either had psychic powers or did not believe the forecast was correct. There were only a few members on site at the start of the day but with just about enough to allow flying to take place should the weather improve.

It was agreed that a decision would be made at 11:00am so that if there was to be no flying everyone could go off and make better use of the day.

With the skies trying to brighten and with an element of keenness to fly, at 11:00 it was decided that the decision would be delayed further and just before 11:30 the decision was made to get some gliders out.

With a small number of members and an even lesser number of winch drivers, a call to the Treasurer was made asking for permission to run a reduced price aerotow day - with the Treasurer agreeing (thanks Tom!)

Both K21s were brought out of the hangar whilst the launch point was set up in the South East corner of the field.
Aerotowing (Mike Sloggett)
Late morning Mike Sloggett and Sam Flory took the first aerotow to complete a weather check particularly around cloudbase - it was found possible to climb to 2000ft in a gap albeit with a watching eye needed on some of the clouds, around the airfield, which were lower in height.

And then it was a question of making sure that everyone flew with the team on the ground working away quietly and efficiently helping each other to fly - and with instructors and tug pilots all changing seats (on the ground!) to ensure that everyone flew in something.

There were some pockets of lift here and there which meant that the flights were able to be extended suitably. The weather never really improved to any great extent but it was evident that the decision to wait patiently, was worth it.
Pockets of lift amongst the grey skies (Mike Sloggett)
During the day James Flory completed two of the threee booked Trial Lessons and Simon Minson (SM) showed how to make the most of the weak lift around the field completing a flight of 1hr 39.

Thanks to all who helped to get each other in to the air today, patience was rewarded with 15 aerotows in total! - Mike Sloggett

Thursday 1st September

The start was delayed by fog on top of the hill yet again, but once we got going it was full steam ahead with a light westerly wind. The list of first solos this year continues to grow, with Dave Cowley being put through his paces first before Peter Smith sent him off on his own - Congratulations to Dave with some soaring on his first flight.
Peter Smith congratulates Dave Cowley (Jess Summers)
George Sanderson enjoyed his renewed acquaintence with the Junior. Pete Bennett occupied Wooly with his annual BI revalidation from the back seat of the DG505. 
Chris Wool checking out Pete Bennett (Jess Summers)
It was quite difficult to get away at times, Pete Startup in 230 needed 2 launches! but the soaring conditions were never brilliant and fairly short lived (although Andy Davis came down from Nympsfield half way through a 412Kms - but then World Champions do create their own weather!).
Single seat queue (David Clements)
During the afternoon, a bit of a Southerly / cross / tailwind developed which limited the early solo pilots somewhat. Ian Mitchell and Pete Harmer went to Halesland in the afternoon in the Rotax Falke  to recover CCY to North Hill after its loan to Mendip GC.

For a change (this year) we were able to fly all three Visitors on booked trial lessons. - J&P