Sunday 30th April - Open Weekend

Well it was a disappointing second day of our Open Weekend, with a forecast of strong winds, potential thunderstorms and rain for most of the day.

The small number of visitors were shown round the gliders in the hangar and invited to sample our normal trial lessons at a later date.
Busy Clubhouse for a rainy day

Thanks to all the members who turned up and helped to tidy up the site in the rain. Well done to James Flory for organising  his first Open Weekend at North Hill. - J&P

Saturday 29th April - Open Weekend

A very relaxing open day, nice but less visitors than previous years, maybe the Bank Holiday is not the best as there are lots of other events. However, it was a success with smiley faces and hopefully some new members - we will see!
One of the smiley faces -Thomas flying with Lisa (Lisa Humphries)
The wind was a pain, one minute easterly and then westerly so a change of ends was initiated early on by the CFI. Blustery approaches but fantastic views and some good soaring was had by all who flew. Club flying of course did not take place today but the members all rallied around to provide 39 visitors with a great experience, thanks to all that contributed and gave up their flying time in aid of the Club.
Roly prepares to fly one of our visitors (Mike Fawcett)
Tomorrow's weather not looking so good - let's hope the forecast is wrong. - Lisa Humphries

Thursday 27th April

It was a lovely bright start with the light wind just to the west of north, and all the kit and several private owners were ready to go with the first launch just before 10:00am.
But after just 7 launches, the wind had picked up and become a quartering tailwind and had made both launches and landings difficult, so there was a swift change of ends before continuing.
We managed another 10 winches and aerotows into good soarable streets before the windsock swung round yet again. So there was a call for a quick lunch to see what would happen in the next half-hour. In the event, the wind had now stabilised back to the North west and the upper frontal cloud had filled in all the gaps. So after another rapid change of ends we continued launching with everyone feeling the increasingly cold wind. Amazingly we managed a total of 35 launches with all the changes, and several quite reasonable local soaring flights.- J&P

Wednesday 26th April

Another good Wednesday, (not quite as exciting as last week), but nevertheless very soarable up to 4,000ft.
Ron was debating  if the weather was suitable for a cross-country, Pete Startup decided it was and also Eric and Paul Medlock decided to rig, in the event it was a good decision - Pete 230  flew to Mendip and Wells followed by a swift Club 100.
Plenty of cloud streets (John Street)
Most of the time it was possible to get away from a cable, if you were in the right place at the right time, at other times there was ferocious sink about that managed to deposit you back on the ground in five minutes.
John Sillett preparing to fly a Trial lesson (John Street)
There were two Trial lesson flights and JB took his daughter Alice up for a long flight in the DG505. - John Street.

Sunday 23rd April

With only a few members at the club early Ron Johns (DI) soon had the launch point set up in the NE corner, and proceeded with some challenging cable breaks in the very light cross wind, good experience for all!

By lunch time the first signs of lift started to appear as Mike Sloggett took over from Ron, with this a few private syndicates brought their gliders to the launch point and soaring began!

Pete (230) Martin ( KMV ) and Simon (SM ) headed off to the East with Pete turning Crewkerne  followed by Tiverton (Club 100K ), Martin also turning Crewkerne then enjoying the sea breeze before returning to North Hill, Simon continued to Dorchester and returned for 120kms (ish).
Nice looking clouds at Dorchester (Simon Minson)
Congratulations to Ellie for adding another 5 solos in the Junior. Mark Wallis and Rick Andrews enjoyed ~1½ hours each in the Juniors. Robin W-F in JPT had the longest flight of nearly 3 hours. There were a total of 28 winch launches and 7 aerotows. We welcomed Manos and Neil who had soaring trial lessons.
Opportunity for a photoshoot - Best of British (John Burrow)

Thanks to Guy for driving the Pawnee today, and all who helped out on the field! - Simon Minson

ICL at Halesland - Day 2 
The day started cool with little signs of sun and RASP's optimistic outlook for an 11:00am start was not going to happen. Team North Hill was depleted to just Wyn Davies LS7 Intermediate, Task reduced to Halesland, Trowbridge, Lyneham,Devizes, Halesland 132km.

Michael Fawcett came along to crew and was rewarded with no field landings to deal with plus a flight in the Rotax  Falke with Ian Mitchell.

(Reduced) team photo (Matt Williamson)

We all waited patiently for signs that the improvement would come, and there were mermerings at 1pm that the task would be scrubbed if there was no improvement by 1.30,
A quarry is always worth a try for a thermal (Wyn Davies)

The improvement came - the tasks were reduced and the grid quickly launched. With us all setting off fairly close together it was fun to be flying with 2 or 3 other gliders to help find the best lift. By the end of the task there were very strong energy lines which made for a reasonably brisk  flight, with a few of us landing straight in from the final glide. - Wyn Davies

Preliminary Scores are:
MGC  - 1 point
Wyvern - 1 point

MGC 67.1kph - 6 points
Wyvern 66.2kph - 5 points
DSGC 62.8kph - 4 points
DGS 174km - 3 points
BWND  161km - 2 points

BWND 70.4kph - 6 points
Wyvern 59.7kph - 5 points

Overall position after Round 1  (Halesland)
1st Wyvern  26 points
2nd BWND 18 points
3rd  DSGC 17 points
4th MGC 16 points
5th DGS 6 points

Well done all. 

Saturday 22nd April

Having spent the morning at home catching up with housework, occaisonally looking at spot the gliders,  I decided to deliver eggs to the club and have a cuppa. The conditions on arrival looked very inviting and as there was a K21 parked up I thought a solo flight was well overdue. A winch launch with very little wind to 1000ft QFE straight into a 4 knot thermal and soon I was at cloud base 3700ft QFE. As it was an unexpected flight I didnt take my phone so no lovely pictures but just under an hour and had to land as I was well overdue my time for the ‘short trip to the club’
Turned out nice in the end (Stu Procter)
There were few members around today (with the ICL leg at Mendip GC)  but  Rowan in the morning and Steve W  in the afternoon were  kept busy with training flights, Stu and James hankering after aerotows and several private owners flying the Club 100.  Thanks to everyone for keeping the show running. 43 flights in total with Pete Startup turning  Yeovil  - Mudford Gate during his 3 hour flight.
A really lovely afternoon, let's hope the weather is as good for open weekend! - Lisa Humphries

ICL at Halesland
Our team for Saturday was Matt Williamson ASW20 Novice, Pete Bennett K6 Intermediate and Wyn Davies LS7 Pundit. There were  good conditions with tasks:
Novice Halesland - Mere - Trowbridge - Halesland (99 km)
Intermediate Halesland - Frome - Badminton - Trowbridge - Halesland (125 km)
Pundit: Halesland - Kilminton - Badminton - Longleat - Halesland (151 km)
Party time at Halesland (Southwest Soaring Community)
Pete Bennett ended up in a field, Matthew and Wyn made it around.
Preliminary Scores are:
DSGC 50.5kph - 6 points
MGC 49.1kph - 5 points
Wyvern 48.9kph - 4 points

BWND 67.5kph - 6 points
Wyvern 57.4kph - 5 points
MGC 56.8kph - 4 points
DGS 55.7kph - 3 points
DSGC 79.2km - 2 points

Wyvern 74.8kph - 6 points
DSGC 54.5kph - 5 points
BWND 117.8km - 4 points

Overall position after Day 1
1st Wyvern  15 points
2nd DSGC 13 points
3rd BWND 10 points
4th MGC 9 points
5th DGS 3 points

Well done all.

Thursday 20th April

What a difference a day makes......! with a similar synoptic situation, yesterday was wall-wall cross-country conditions  and today a weakening tail end of a warm front in the high pressure left us under cloud all day and with no wind to speak of  - it didn't move. 
The morning consisted of discussions and replays of yesterday's flights and some words about the weather, and in the afternoon we were able to get some winch launches to 1200ft. In a carefully monitored moment, we were also able to fly one of the Trial lessons (although not to the MIle High level.)

At the end of such a rubbish weather day, there were masses of Instructors around as they had gathered for an Instructors meeting. - J&P

Wednesday 19th April

A day of much promise, with a lot of early private glider rigging activity, the field was set up for an Easterly with much enthusiasm, all the club fleet taken out of the hangar and walked up to the southwest corner.
The sky looked good with high cumulus forming quite early, but the first few flights had difficulty staying in the lift and were soon on the ground.
All eyes were on Ron Johns and Phil Morrison who had 711 ASH25 on the aerotow line early and was forecasting a 500k day.
Nice cumulus clouds (John Street)
The winch launched gliders started contacting good lift about 11:30am after that most gliders found lift without difficulty as there were good strong thermals at the top of the launch. Just about the time that the Lashamites started arriving to turn Hembury Hill and beyond!
The cloudbase topped out between 4,500 and 5,000ft with silver height easily obtainable for those who needed it. Congratulations to Ray Dodd for his Silver height.
There were few members left to run the field, with four two-seaters  and both Juniors all in the air at the same time.
And some wave late afternoon (John Street)
Robert was kept busy with all the aerotows, helped later on by Pete Warren and Stu, there was some interesting landings when the wind suddenly decided to do a 180 degree reversal with the sea air.
It was nice to see Dave Reilly flying again with JB who managed a short cross-country along the convergence, it was a very successful day with a lot of happy pilots. - John Street.

Cross-country flying
Ron & Phil completed their 529kms - Launceston - Candover - Didcot in 5hr 34, Wyn Davies W7 completed 322kms O/R to Lasham in 4hr 50, and Pete and Jill Harmer (leaving a bit later followed the energy lines) for 253kms Salisbury - Longleat - Tiverton in 3hr.

Sunday 16th April

On a day when many chocolate boxes across the country were being opened to celebrate Easter the day was a bit as Forrest Gump would say - 'gliding (life) is like a box of chocolates, you do not know what you are going to get'.

During the morning in particular, and to be fair like any other gliding day, one glider would find itself launched straight into some lift whether thermal or ridge and the next glider would find itself launched into heavy 'sink' and be almost immediately into circuit.
Lift and heavy sink in the circuit (Jill Harmer)
The morning had started with a very limited flying list but steadily and surely the number of members on site increased with Michael Fawcett and Andreas Kramer making welcome returns after extended periods of time away from North Hill.

After careful consideration by John Sillett (Duty Instructor) re the best way of protecting the field in setting up the launch run for the present/forecast wind direction, flying was under way mid-morning with the K21s and a Junior in use. Cloudbase was only around 1500' initially, evidently thermic in places but with suspected wave interference and ridge all mixing up the odds potential for soaring flights.
Wave clouds and an empty launch point (Jill Harmer)
Matt Williamson (ASW20 611) and James Flory (ASW19 877) both rigged and then launched looking to make the most of the conditions and Dave Clements and John Sillett shared the flying in (B4 CVV). Good progress was made with the flying list during the morning but with a limited number of members, and particularly those able to winch, flying was stopped for a lunch break.
Typical Devon countryside and clouds (Mike Sloggett)
Meanwhile Ron Johns and Daniel Johns had rigged (ASH25 - 711) and with wave clouds all around the Club, albeit at distance, after lunch the ASH was aerotowed to the East of the airfield with a plan of getting into the wave which they achieved to the base of the airway, albeit the wave was not as  good as it looked.
Ron & Dan in ASH getting above the clouds (Ron Johns)
After lunch the soaring conditions improved with successful completion of the flying list during the afternoon ahead of increasing cloud cover late in the day - and with the last few flights of Easter Sunday enjoying wide areas of 'straight line' lift all over the sky.

During the day a trial lesson was completed together with several family and friends flights, with the Pawnee in regular use.

All in all a pretty enjoyable box of chocolates today, if you launched at the right time... - Mike Sloggett

Sun 16th April - Talgarth

An early start with threat of Welsh heat haze later in the day saw the Eagle first on the line. New arrival Stirling was the nominated rear gunner and had his first experience of being towed straight at the mountain. 
Stirling Melhuish in the back of the Eagle (John Pursey)
 With increasing top cover the Ventus and Eagle worked away on the local slopes with a wave starting to set up and tease just as the approaching "heat haze" started making things more exciting. 
Cloud on the hill (John Pursey)
JB landed but the Talgarth K13 launched and joined the Eagle dodging the cloud which was by now on top of the hill. Within a couple of beats the cloud was starting to march down the hill so both gliders retired to the ground. A very pleasant 2 and half hours in the air followed by several hours in the best 4x4 by far as JB gave a guided tour of the Pandy ridge. - John Pursey

Saturday 15th April

After a slow start waiting for the weather to improve flying was underway just after elevenses, a reasonable list and enough to keep Mark, Stuart and Rowan busy. 

There were also various aerotows with a couple of trial lessons and the landings improved in the Pawnee as the day went on, we have some score cards on order for our entertainment.  (Ed: the undercarriage bungees and shock absorbers were changed on the annual, - suspension is a bit stiffer than previously.) 

Conditions were very blustery in the brisk northwesterly wind and the approach proved exciting for most of us. There were some longer flights during the afternoon as the sky  became  very soarable. Pete Startup did his usual disappearing act (3hrs 32) under the cloud streets and completing  Club 100km Crewkerne - Tiverton. Several other private owners flew, Robert Lee DKU, Andrew Logan FMS, Dave Clements CVV (birthday boy!) and the Faircloughs DFK. 
Late afternoon streets (Jill Harmer)

Flying continued until the early evening and a nice Easter Saturday with 40 launches. The first swallows are back at North Hill (a few days later than usual - must have been a headwind!) - Lisa Humphries

Sat 15th April - Talgarth

Team Eagle's Easter excursion to Talgarth got off to a good start with a day much better than forecast. The Jones luxury caravan and hospitality suite had meant a 'less than early night' on Friday but the sight of blue gaps and a stiffening breeze hastened Eagle and Ventus rigging. 

The hill was working well and the sun came through enough to generate good and vigorous thermals which meant the ridge was never really crowded. Wave was never far away but just too far for the 1950s aerodynamics of the Eagle. 
The Eagle has landed at Talgarth (John Pursey)

After 5 and half hours, murmurings from Lord Jones about time and cold brought to a close a most splendid day. - JP

Thursday 13th April

Another rather mixed forecast with a cloudy start breaking through the afternoon, and it turned out slightly better with the breaks starting to appear at lunchtime, although the wind was still across the launch run meaning lowish launches.

The ridge didn't want to play ball at all with too much northerly component, however there were some thermals by the afternoon Robert Lee in the Junior had the longest flight of 51 mins closely followed by Aston Key with 48 mins. 
Curved edge to the cloud bank but not lining up either along or across the wind (Jill Harmer)

We had two trial lesson flights,  one being Jonathan Erskine  a returning Exeter University gliding club member who last flew solo at Dunkeswell in 1964.

As the clouds  were breaking, there were some strange looking formations and thermals and wispies in unusual places, with various theories of out of phase wave and wind shadows. 
Aston waiting to launch to try to beat Robert's longest flight (Jill Harmer)

Thanks to guest Instructor John Sillett for helping out with the flying list. 54 flights in total - J & P

Wednesday 12th April

The weather at North Hill seems to have reverted to winter after the warm weather of late -  it was back to winter clothing.

The strong northwesterly wind suggested the ridge should be working and indeed it was with some unexpected strong thermals as well, on most flights it was reasonably easy to stay up and everyone had a soaring flight.
The sky slowly clearing (John Street)
James Smart had some more solo flying after his successful course last week, Nick Harrison and Pete Startup flew their own gliders and John Sillett looked after the Trial lesson visitor, Pete Warren flew the tug.
Wave slots over the west ridge (John Street)

In the afternoon the weather improved considerably with wave, thermal and ridge lift the only disappointment was the 2,000ft cloudbase. - John Street.

Sunday 9th April

Although the forecast for today was reasonably optimistic it was no surprise that with a number of members having been away on one of the Club expeditions the flying list for today was relatively short. Taking into account a light Southerly wind and the forecast wind the launchpoint was set up in the North East corner of the field. And with flying under way soon after 10:00 the day became one of success.
Great day for a Mile High Trial lesson (Mike Sloggett)
Firstly Charlie Stuckey completed some check flights following which he converted to the Junior.
Congratulations to Charlie Stuckey (Mike Sloggett)
Then Dave Wojnar completed some check flights  and converted to the Junior.
Congratulations to Dave Wojnar (Mike Sloggett)
And not to be left out Ellie Carter had some check flights and then completed the hat trick of conversions to the Junior.
Congratulations to Ellie Carter (Mike Sloggett)
After lunch flying started again but with only a few more flights completed it became necessary to change sides due to the wind moving to a North Westerly and by the time everything had been moved around the cloudbase had lowered to the point that flying stopped for the day.

And an hour or so after all the gliders and ground equipment had been put away as often happens at North Hill the skies became brighter and brighter.... However despite the earlier than planned end to the day all agreed that it had been a very successful one. - Mike Sloggett

Saturday 8th April

A very quiet day at North Hill with members fighting their way back in the holiday traffic returning from expeditions. The light wind at North Hill had a southerly component but fluttered from east or west. 

The sun was hot and hazy - Reuben Buss managed some more circuits in K21 and Jess Summers flew the K6, and there were a few more training flights. We flew 3 Trial lessons including Eric Worsdell who last flew with Pete Harmer in 1988 at Farnborough. J&P

Fri 7th April - Portmoak summary

The Westerly wind that has blessed us all week dropped a little today which meant wave was absent even though we convinced ourselves it had to be there somewhere.

In the event it was a day of ridge flying and thermal soaring. 2 or 3 hours flying was enough today for most as the week has been quite tiring and a leisurely de-rig and prep for the trip home was required before dinner in the club. - Pete Startup

Portmoak Roundup
Having flown at Talgarth the previous week, then mountain biking nearby at Pandy the following weekend the only logical option was to leave a glider at Talgarth for convenience and just in case the weather looked favourable for flying. These conditions arrived on my first available day to fly and I had a beautiful thermal flight in and around the Black Mountains, after landing and packing the glider ready to travel I was questioning my sanity in leaving this fantastic site to travel hundreds of miles north to potentially to sit around drinking tea, little did I know what the rest of the week would bring!

The Scottish Gliding Centre at Portmoak are lucky to have a fantastically large airfield, its split into a North and South strip allowing a different area for landing and launching, with the ridge nearby it makes a relatively easy site to fly and It also lends itself well as a holding station / safety net when trying to get into the wave. The name of the game here is to launch to the ridge, get established and climb as much as you can before trying to transition into the wave which sets up directly over Loch Leven in front of the site, often throughout the week this was easier said than done!

611 high up in the wave (Matt Williamson)
The ridge was working every flight and the wave came in differing varieties almost every flight, sometimes very strong and difficult to read, others obvious and not lending itself to getting really high but to flying cross country. It allowed various members to get their gold height claims and Pete Startup took the prize with a diamond in the bag, I missed out ever so slightly by 255ft!
Wave bars (Matt Williamson)
It’s the first time I’ve experienced almost textbook wave conditions, the wave was well marked by the clouds, every cloud worked, you could push across the gap and lose some height, get to the lift and climb back up and repeat, which we did to get up to Loch Earn in an area renowned as a wave hotspot. Unfortunately further into the mountains the cloud was much more dense and in some places 8/8’s, this didn’t stop the locals completing a 1500km task the day before but to us flatlanders going cross country without being able to see the ground over high terrain was a bit too daunting! For me this flight was the highlight of the week, fantastic scenery, great visibility and excellent soaring shared with some very special friends.

Flying alongside Pete Startup (Matt Williamson)
The week gave everything, nice weather, flying every day, socialising, spectacular views, challenges, frustration, reward and delight from the ridge, wave and thermals. I think it’s unprecedented that during the same week an expedition to the North, an expedition to the Midlands and a course week at home have all experienced such fantastic weather! - Matt Williamson
The Badge Boys - Pete, Stu and Tom

Achievements & Stats
Tom Sides – Gold Height
Stuart Proctor – Gold Height
Pete Startup – Diamond Height

611(Matt) - 6 flights, 18hrs + climbs + 110 km
W7 (Wyn) - 7 flights, 32hrs + climbs + 147km flt
711 (Ron/Dan) - 7 flights, 16hrs + climbs + 1x120 km flt
DG1 (Tom) - 6 flights, 14hrs + climbs
SM (Simon) - 9 flights, 34hrs + climbs + 1x110km
230 (Pete)  - 10 flights, 29hrs + climbs + 1x110 and 1x131km flts
KMV (Stuart) - 10 flights, 25hrs + climbs 

G29 (Eric) - 10 flights, 22hrs + climbs 
CLM (Rowan) - 8 flights, 23hrs + climbs

Total = 213 hours flown in 73 flights.

Matt Williamson

Fri 7th April - Course week

Another day with very light winds and sunshine meant the course members enjoyed lots of short circuits but no soaring today. Gordon Hutchinson continued to practice his circuits with the Junior.
Highlight of the day was when James Smart flew his first solo (in a glider) to add to his collection of powered aircraft types.
Congratulations to James Smart soloing the K13 (Graham Barden)

Thanks to Peter Field and Paul C for a week of full-on instructing (not much in the way of weather breaks to speak of), and to various helpers led by Tim Petty, William Pope, Aston Key, Ray Dodd, Graham Barden and Richard Harris.  A great first course of the season. - J&P

Fri 7th April - Long Mynd

As is often said all good things must come to an end. With today being the last day of the official expedition to Midland GC it was a question of looking at the weather forecast and deciding whether to de-rig gliders or to fly for the seventh day in a row.
After much musing and consideration the decision was made to start de-rigging some of the private gliders whilst the DG505 was taken across to the launchpoint which for the first time in several days was set up at the Northerly end of the airfield.
Final flights at The Long Mynd (Mike Sloggett)
With a very light wind George V was able to complete a further flight in the K23 making the most of the improving thermals, albeit to a cloudbase of only 1000' above the airfield.

Meanwhile Dave Cowley was able to make further progress in relation to regaining his flying currency with two flights with Simon Leeson in the DG505. Ray Buzza (DG100 - LRN) also took the opportunity to fly during the morning.

And then with traffic conditions predicted to be "interesting" due to the start of Easter holidays for many people it was decided that the last flight of the expedition for the DG505 should be completed by 'Lucky George' who readily demonstrated how comfortable he had become in the front seat of the DG505, earning praise from Mike Sloggett for his flying skills.
Some of the expedition group  (Simon Leeson)
And so the DG505 was de-rigged as well as several other DSGC private gliders, and farewells were said to our hosts at Midland GC who had. as ever, welcomed DSGC members 'en bloc' and provided all relevant help and support for us all to get airborne during the week. And then it was time for the DG505 and ASW 20 (ENW) to start off down the long winding road from The Mynd, homeward bound... - Mike Sloggett

Thurs 6th April - Portmoak

The Bishop was working very strongly, and busy. Being inspired by the epic flight of John Williams yesterday - we thought we'd better try to at least attempt a cross-country.

Led by Ron and Dan in 711, Matt (611) Pete (230) Simon (SM) and Wyn (W7) followed at various distances. Creiff was reached and the early group set off into the high mountains - to see Loch Earn and Loch Tay. W7 stayed at Creiff and waited for them to head back via Perth. A brilliant foray from the site.
SM at Loch Earn (Simon Minson)
Stu (KMV) , Eric (G29), Rowan (CLM), Tom (DG1) flew in wave to the ceilling of 7000ft. 
In wave again (Stu Procter)
6 days of flying so far and we (almost) wish we had some time off for museums and tea drinking - Friday looks like we have to fly  ... again... - Wyn Davies

Thurs 6th April - Long Mynd

The weather forecast was optimistic for later in the day, but not first thing, so a plan was made for an out and return with a remote start from Church Stretton (railway station) to Shrewsbury and back - and a small group of DSGC members set off mid-morning on task. Whilst other DSGC members set off to sightsee in various parts of Shropshire including RAF Cosford.
Out and return Shrewsbury (Simon Leeson)
Meanwhile George V joined in with the Midland GC members with a view to getting checked out to fly the K23, which Plan was successfully achieved with George completing 3 short but enjoyable flights by the end of the day.
Congratulations to George  converted to K23 (Mike Sloggett)
The only DSGC member to launch their private glider was Paul Little (Open Cirrus - CEC) who set off late afternoon on a rather ambitious cross country landing in a field some 30 miles away from The Mynd and needing a retrieve as darkness fell. - Mike Sloggett

Thurs 6th April - Course week

There were two potential weather forecasts for Thursday - the sunny one and the increasing cloudy one,  It was sunny to start, then some clouds started popping, it thought about spreading out, but decided to go sunny again, but the wind did change direction as expected during the afternoon.

With the Course and Club flying running alongside, most flights during the morning in the light North easterly were fairly short unless you were lucky enough to get under an early cloud to 1200ft. As the day wore on it did get better and better, with more local soaring.
Changed ends ready to go - windsock? (Jill Harmer)

The highlight of the day was right at the end when Ellie had another solo in K21  and found good lift  gaining her first hour flight for cross-country endorsement.
Ellie ready with her Raybans (Neil Carter)
Malcolm Vest was up in the Junior at the same time and took the opportunity to get his 2 hour flight for cross-country endorsement keeping us all waiting at the hangar! - Well done to both.

Course flying
All the course members progressed well with some enjoying soaring flights.  James and Dave took an extra motor glider flight with Peter Field, and Gordon filling his boots with circuits and soaring flights in the Junior. In the evening the course celebrated the great flying weather with curry at the Viceroy. - J&P

Wed 5th April - Portmoak

The North Hill group woke up to straight west wind and several wave bars right over the club. Enthusiasm was ripe with Tom DG1, Pete 230, Matt 611 and Wyn W7 on the grid line 15 minutes before the winch had even been towed out. They were quickly joined on the ridge by Stu KMV, Simon SM, the Johns Ash, Rowan CLM and Eric G29.
Wave bars as far as you can see (Pete Startup)
Pete was the first to find wave, and it was conveniently right in front of Benarty. Then Stu found another hot spot over Ballado. Everyone was alerted and there were calls of "my vario's pegged at 10 up". 
Stuck on 10kts up (Pete Startup)
Yesterday's accomplishment Stu's gold height was met today with Pete getting his diamond height (after 36 years) and Tom getting his gold height (after busting airspace here in 2013). Matt was a whisker short of his diamond, and true to form will have another go.
Congratulations to Pete Startup for Diamond Height (Pete Startup)
Congratulations to Tom Sides for Gold Height (Tom Sides)
  After a quick lunch, everyone launched again and tested the afternoon wave. Yep, still working for mostly everybody until they were forced to break down for dinner. (Oh Mark, things have changed there as well. If you want to keep flying, it's OK. They'll put film over your dinner and leave the door unlocked so you can heat it up when you come down.)
Wyn's second field (Tom Sides)
Wyn kept trying to gain the Des Champs Vachables trophy by riding wave up to 13,500 feet, and still managing to achieve a field landing! In fairness, it was an outstanding field and a friendly farmer.
Epic day (Stu Procter)
All in all, an EPIC day. - Tom Sides

Wed 5th April - Long Mynd

Another day, and another day of enjoyable flying at Midland GC - and as ever the discussion over breakfast was as to who would be "lucky enough" to make the most of the potential lift available after launching from the Southerly end of the airfield.

"Lucky George" has suddenly become even more popular than he was before this expedition - with a good track record seemingly of knowing just when to fly - the DSGC members have now taken to watching whether George is about to fly or not.

Long Mynd (Mike Sloggett)
As evidenced by a morning of various flights by private gliders and with Mark Courtney and George V in the DG505 competing with Simon Leeson (ASW20) just before lunch as to which glider could make the most of the broken thermals over the ridge.

The morning had seen flights of various duration by both DSGC and Midland GC gliders with no-one really able to get away under what was a relatively low cloudbase and with most pilots agreeing that the ridge was working in places but not that well, thermals which were narrow and broken and maybe even wave interference affecting the flying conditions.

Improving sky (Mike Sloggett)
Over lunch the sky improved greatly to the extent that sandwiches were being eaten quickly and a return to the launchpoint was under way sooner than normal.

And as ever with the retrieve winch in operation, combined with good team work from Midland GC and DSGC members working together, the rest of the day provided some good thermal activity straight off the launch and in the valley so it was another afternoon of fun in the sun - with, no surprise, George having some more fun in the DG505 with Mike Sloggett.

George and Mike in DG505 (Mike Sloggett)
And just to compete with Portmoak, Gordon Bonney (DG100 - LRN) got into wave at 3000 above site and climbed to 4500 QFE.
Five days in a row of enjoyable flying at Midland GC, can we make it six tomorrow? - Mike Sloggett