Thursday 29th June

Two more Club days with no flying due to rain / low cloud / drizzle but thanks to all the members for helping with preparing North Hill for Competition Enterprise 2017 which starts on Saturday.
Great transformation from Ground Hangar to Briefing Room (Mike Sloggett)
Competitors have started arriving and now we just need a change in the weather. - J&P

Sunday 25th June

Following a disappointing Saturday, and after a grey, miserable and slightly damp morning there were very few members left at the the club this afternoon.  Neverless, duty instructor JB rounded up the remnant with his characteristic enthusiasm and we dragged a K21 out of the hangar.  

Launches were lively in the gusty westerly wind.  The ridge worked in places and some fairly strong thermals could be found, though the strong wind at height only allowed a few thermalling turns before dashing back to the safety of the ridge.  Every minute of soaring was hard won and most flights were less than half an hour. 

Longest flight of the day award goes to Barbie, who launched late afternoon in the Pik20 and continued soaring into tea time for a flight of nearly two hours. 

Simon's getting ready for next weekend (Simon Minson)
And after all the preparation work for Comp Enterprise this weekend, we welcomed our first competitor arriving late direct from a scrubbed day at Hus Bos. - Ruth Comer

Thursday 22nd June

The day after the heatwave, there should have been a nice cold front clearance and a change of airmass, but the North Hill micro-climate didn't quite play ball. It was 1200ft - 1300ft cloudbase to start, and the hoped for wave slots refused to appear over North Hill.
The Mile High Trial lesson had to be cancelled, although cloudbase did go up to 2000ft so that Malcolm Watson could enjoy his flight. 
Waiting for the aerotow (Mark Layton)
Training, check flights and solo flying enjoyed variable westerly ridge conditions with it working more consistently throughout the day. 

Paul Little CEC had the longest flight of 1hr 46 with Pete Startup 230  1hr 38 and there were several other extended circuits.
Rob Rand with 50 solos (Mark Layton)
 Well done to Rob Rand for completing his 50 solos, with his Bronze signed up last week.
In the evening, the Okehampton Air Cadets  returned for another enjoyable group session. - J&P

Wednesday 21st June

The longest day and by the time we had finished it certainly seemed like it!
With there being hardly any wind we went up to the northwest corner of the field, as a southeasterly  wind had been forecast.  After a very hot walk with the two K21s and a Junior we were ready to start, there were three trial lessons booked so Pete Warren took the Pawnee up as well.

On the second flight on the Supercat we had a slow launch but as Ray Buzza was having a card check, we used it as part of the red card check, after that we had a major snarl up on the winch which was going to take quite a while to sort out so we started aerotowing until we stopped for lunch.
Not much shade on the Summer Solstice (John Street)
John Sillett flew the trial lessons Pete Warren flew the tug and John Street flew the aerotow check flights until the Skylaunch was fixed.

During the afternoon the wind veered to the southwest so we changed ends, after a very hot day in which several club members were unable to fly, we handed over to the evening crew.  - John Street
Cheesy grin from a Teign Valley Scout (Lisa Humphries)

It was still hot during the evening when the Teign Valley Scouts enjoyed  their group flying.

Sunday 18th June

Well it was probably not too much of a surprise that with it being Father's Day as well as the day after the Club social and also with a fine, hot weather forecast but for anything other than soaring there were not too many members at the Club at the start of the day.
Mr Blue Sky (Mike Sloggett)
However there was sufficient interest in flying so whilst the K21s and a Junior were brought out of the hangar Ron Johns as Duty Instructor considered the best location for the launch point - with a variable light wind, the decision was made to start with the cable run from the winch in the South West corner of the field to the launch point in the North East corner of the field. With the SkyLaunch out of action and awaiting repair, today provided much needed use of the SupaCat 'reserve' winch.

And mid-morning the first launches of the day were soon underway with odd thermals 'here and there' providing the opportunity for extended circuits.

With good teamwork between the limited number of members present, suitable progress was made with the flying list during the morning including two trial lessons. 

Tuggie enjoying the shade from the Pawnee (Guy Adams)
Meanwhile, Dave Herbert and Lukasz Kieruczenko were busy setting up the wifi repeater ready for Competition Enterprise.

Around lunchtime, the wind decided to settle into more of an Easterly direction so the decision was made to land the K21s at the other end of the field and change ends for the afternoon.

And even though it was tempting, with the sunny weather, to stay in the shade of the Clubhouse for the rest of the day, with a flying list still to be progressed after lunch it was down to the North West corner of the field for the afternoon.
North Hill from a Mile High (Guy Adams)
A further Trial Lesson was completed as well as  K21 winch and aerotow training flights, but with some delays here and there for various reasons during the afternoon and with a rather humid feel to the air, it was decided to get everyone flown and plan to put the gliders/ground equipment away late afternoon.
Problems with the heat on expanding canopies (Mike Sloggett)
Thank you to everyone who helped get fellow members into the air today. - Mike Sloggett

Saturday 17th June

The day started at around 7:30, as it was a stunningly clear blue-sky morning. The early birds were checking the vehicles. With the Skylaunch  winch U/S, the SuperCat winch was DI’ed and pulled out of the ground hangar where Alan Turner did a very good briefing on how to drive it. 
A lot of interest was shown in the Demonstrator electric Gator, which performed very well for the whole day; finishing with over two-thirds of full charge despite being put through pre-planned rigorous use. 
Demonstrator Electric Gator (Jill Harmer)
The first few launches of the day were a bit hit and miss until the settings on the Supercat were sorted, from then on the launches were good. As the heat of the day increased so did the chance of thermalling and several gliders managed to get some flights over an hour: Michael Harris,William Pope and Robin W-F managed some good local soaring. 
Stuart and Lisa (Lisa Humphries)
Three trial lessons were flown by Roly Clarke, with great feedback from the Visitors. After friendly conversation from the ground crew, a group of walkers passing through were also inspired to enquire about trial lessons. 
Pete and Jill popped over to Farway Common in the Rotax Falke for their fly-in. By 5pm the heat of the day was draining everyone, especially once the Hog Roast arrived. Flying finished at 6pm, to end another successful day gliding for all. 
Surprise landings were made by Barbie and Mike in their Piper Cub and Ian Mitchell in the Luton.
A very hot blue day but nevertheless the thermals were there.
Member's Hog Roast (Jill Harmer)
A lovely evening was had by all at the members Hog Roast, thanks to Tom for getting it all together, and for Steve for the entertainment - Reuben Buss

Thursday 15th June

The forecast was just about spot on! with the cloud and drizzle to start with the weak cold front clearing through mid-morning. Rob Rand had the opportunity to brief everyone on Weather and Notams towards his Bronze Badge.

It was soarable from first launch, although cloudbase was still a little low. The 12 private owners started launching quite early led by Martin Woolner in KMV, but some found it quite tricky and had to take a relight.

JB was occupied most of the day with Phil Morrison on a 5yr Instructor review, whilst Woolly put Matthew Williamson through his paces for a BI rating renewal.

Pete Startup 230 turned Crewkerne, Witheridge and Bampton for 136km before setting off on another lap of Tiverton and Yeovil in better conditions but stronger headwind to get back.

Mike Sloggett had a whale of a time for nearly 5 hours in his ASW20 with the longest flight.
ENW in a great sky (Mike Sloggett)
To get through the 2-seater flying list it was fortunately still soarable till 7:00pm when the hangar crew started to get a little impatient.

A good Devon day, but still limited for the early solo pilots due to the gusty conditions. Thanks to everyone for mucking in. - J&P

Wednesday 15th June

We started with a southwest wind but it soon became apparent that we would have change ends so we set up shop on the aerotow run and guess what, we were still downwind some of the time.
The weather was warm to hot and very pleasant, except when with the canopy down you were waiting for a slow 'take  up slack'.
The thermals were hard to find at times but some creditable flights were achieved, Ruth had a reasonable soaring flight gained by much determination.
Tom, Andrew and Mike Fairclough flew their own gliders, Robert was the tuggie today with two Trial lesson flights and several aerotows, Pete Warren escaped to Dunkeswell to re-validate his PPL with Ian Mitch, At about 5:30pm we handed things over to the evening flyers with air cadets enjoying a super evening flying. - John Street.

Sunday 11th June

Well there was some flying 22 launches recorded on North Hill flight log, and some soaring but no other details -sorry- J&P

Friday 9th June - Course Week

The third in the series of this year’s Summer Courses, organised by  Ian Hunt, took place at North Hill between the 5th & 9th June. Sadly, the weather gods didn’t look down favourably on us and the course was marred by inclement and unsettled weather rendering three of the five days unflyable. The course instructors, Guy Adams and John Sillett, provided a variety of lectures, time on the simulator and a parachute packing demonstration, courtesy of Peter Callaghan, to make the lack of flying both worthwhile and enjoyable. The two flying days resulted in 69 flights and a total of some 16 hours in the air.

Morale on the course remained high throughout and the traditional course dinner at Keepers’ Cottage, organised by Caspian Merlin, proved a success. Nat Rankin, a pilot with Cathay Pacific, achieved his second ‘first solo’ on gliders in style and, with his father Rob, both of whom travelled all the way from Hong Kong, will be returning for a further course in September. All members of the course, which also included Howard Mascall, Dave Wojnar and Rick Andrews, made significant progress, despite the limited amount of flying.

Course and helpers (+John Sillett taking the photo)
Thanks are due to the instructors, Zoe and Emma in the kitchen, and in particular to the team of helpers - Tim Petty, Dave Albasiny, Robert Lee, Ian Hunt and James Smart - without whose generous contribution the course could not have taken place. - Rick Andrews

Wednesday 7th June - Course Week

It seems that Wednesday was the best weather of the week again after many days of gales and non- stop rain,  with the hangar unpacked before breakfast, all the club fleet were out ready to take advantage of the brisk Westerly.
The whole club fleet ready to go (John Street)
 At first the ridge didn't seem to work but the thermals gave plenty of opportunities to stay up and at times there were no aircraft on the ground.
Guy Adams and John Sillett at last got the Course members airborne and Pete Warren, Peter Field and John Street instructed the club members who needed somebody in the back seat.
Good reliable cloud streets (John Street)
 Tim Johns 877, Pete Startup 230 and Nigel Everett FAJ flew their own gliders (Tim just missing his five hour duration flight because of  approaching rain). Pete struggled for an out and return to Eaglescott, almost dropping in for tea and cakes at MUD!
The rain and high winds returned at about 4pm and all the toys were returned to the hanger. - John Street

Saturday 3rd June

A bright start with the sky looking half-promising, although the few wisps of cumulus in the distance didn't look to high. The Clubhouse greeted the first arrivals with the smells of the Orient from the previous night's supper party for the SF27 workers and guests. 
Chinese delight (Matthew Williamson)

The field was set up for the predicted south of west wind with the usual suspects doing sterling work getting the kit out. Duty instructor John Pursey, having had a final check of the kitchen for evidence from his Chinese exploits, polished off one of Cheryl's cooked breakfasts conscious it could be a long day with pm instructor Ian Mitchell double-booked with Mendip GC. 

A complicated list of NOTAMs with Red Arrow displays and model rockets going into orbit plus an increasingly soggy looking sky didn't deter Pete Startup, Tom Sides and Andrew Logan from rigging their gliders as the first launches were made.

 A succession of quick check rides released Lukas  and Martin Bennett into the wild solo and Dave Albasiny blagged another 4 months of Red card. The sky was cycling with cloud quickly filling in then partially clearing, never very high but giving reasonable climbs on occasion.

 New member Simon Roach was able to get some proper stick time with flights that clicked with periods of generally good air over the whole of the Broadhembury valley. Stuart Procter and James Flory continued the instructor training slog with the DG505 and the privateers launched for extended local soaring. 

Mark Wallis as DLM was replaced by Chris Coville who kept the churn at the launch point despite the modest number of ground troops... Having already consumed a 3000 kcals breakfast JP was happy to press on through lunch because the sky was already showing signs of the forecast rain. Ruth was able to have just about the last launch and enjoyed circling up the front of a curtain of dampness that was working its way in from the west. With the canopy just getting wet, the K21 landed and scurried over to the hanger. Chris C kept a K21 over at the launch point and despite the rain, kept morale high with songs and frequent floggings (I like to think...JP) but eventually play was abandoned and the hanger packed. Obviously when all was done and tea made the sun came out... Hey ho... - JP

16th - 29th May - Fayence

On 16 May I made it to the Pique de Bure for the first time.. Resisting the temptation to take every climb is quite hard , but with the valley breeze well established I enjoyed long glides over the mountains, and the final glide was established 70 k from Fayence- but I couldn't resist a strong climb on the return, which gave me the height for a sight seeing glide past Grasse towards Nice, and back to the airfield.
Pic de Bure (Wyn Davies)
After exploring the nearest outstanding fields from the air during previous flights,  on 20th May I found myself caught in some horrendous sink and made my way to La Mure. I couldn't understand where any lift was and landed comfortably in the field (with windsock ). My retrieve was the tug pilot, who came in the evening, giving me plenty of time to enjoy a leisurely French lunch and explore the area by the river and lake on foot.
La Mure (Wyn Davies)
21-29 May I flew to see the glacier Blanc, and explored some new mountains and routes.
Glacier Blanc (Wyn Davies)
Fayence is another great Alps club to fly from, with the warmth of Provence and the Alps in range. Lots to do apart from flying, with good walks/cycles, and the Gorges du Verdon, 
Verdun Gorges (Wyn Davies)
 and Cote d'Azure to be explored from above and by land. - Wyn and Marie

Thursday 1st June

After another disappointing Wednesday that cleared in time for a beautiful evening, we were expecting a slow misty start for Thursday, but the North Hill micro-climate had other ideas, and the glorious sunshine was there from early on.
Pundit tea and moaning! (Jill Harmer)
The wind was mainly southerly, but was it an easterly or westerly component? so we went for the easy option on the southwesterly run, accepting a tailwind on the ground run at times. As usual with a North Hill southerly crosswind the conditions proved too tricky for the early solos. But there were some unusual circuits for those wanting Bronze training, and aerotow practice.
Aerotow practice (Rob Rand)
There were some interesting cloud formations to talk about, but not much in the way of any lift to be found just an occasional smattering on the south ridge, with Aston and Robert in the Junior competing for the longest extended circuit from the winch launch.
How far away and how high is that cloud? (Jill Harmer)
It was perfect weather for today's Mile High Trial lessons  Lynne Haynes and Trevor Riley having had two previous bookings cancelled for low cloud. They both enjoyed their flights.
Lynne Haynes & Trevor Riley with Pete and Mark
In the evening a group from East Devon Pony Club had a glorious North Hill sunny evening, and CFI Stu even managed to fly with Mo, with a fantastic spread of food afterwards. - J&P
A family affair (Stu Procter)