Bank Holiday Mon 28th May

Another sweltering Bank Holiday Monday at North Hill - who would have thought it?  A small but dedicated group of members set up in the South West corner of the airfield with initially the two K21s and a Junior, later joined by the Perkoz.

John "The Machine" Sillett worked through the flying list, starting with some check flights.  Will Stainer, who has remembered how much more fun proper flying is, was sent off for another solo after yesterday's return.  Then as the thermals began to appear, our youngest member Dan Hender enjoyed a half hour of thermalling with John.  After that getting away from the winch was somewhat hit and miss, with some achieving almost an hour and others settling for a circuit.  As usual Mike Fairclough showed us all how it's done with 2 hours in the Pik20. 
CFI Stu flies with Georgie (Stu Procter)
Meanwhile Motorfalke G-CDSC had a very busy day, first with Mini Weeks showing a very impressed Mark Courtney how to fly, then his Dad Dave had a pleasant trip with Simon Leeson.  Later, Mark "my shorts are too hot" Courtney took Rob (Dan's Dad) for a trip out to the coast between Branscombe and Beer, for Rob to admire one of his favourite walking routes.  Then it was Sally (Dan's Mum)'s turn - she and Mark returned with stories of minke whale spotting.
Dave and Mini Weeks (Mark Courtney)
In the evening......

Patio squatting (Mark Courtney)

......John "The Masterchef" Pursey and Matt "The Protégé" Williamson served up mouth-watering paella for club members and the extended Jones Clan. -  Ruth Comer

Sun 27th May

As I drove up to the club through various rain storms I wondered what kind of flying if any I would be doing. The Met Office were predicting a mix of rain and cloud throughout the morning followed by a short period of sunshine in the afternoon. By 9:30 it was apparent that this forecast had put most
members off with only a handful of members present. Kit was brought out and walked to the far North West corner in the hope this might entice some more members to come up.

Simon Leeson and myself took the first launch, with an overcast sky the air was unsurprisingly still with very little in the way of lift or sink. This was not helped by constant lack of wind on the field. A few more flights and I was back in the air flying solo once again along with several other training flights. Sadly this did not last long and by around 12:30 a patch of cloud curtailed flying rather abruptly. An early lunch was called in the hope it would go away.
Well done Will - resolo after coming back from the dark side (power) (Will Stainer)
Sure enough to everyone's delight the sun started to poke through breaking up most of the cloud. Flying conditions greatly improved, this seemed to bring out more members and soon the launch point was packed full of eager pilots along with several Mile High Trial Lessons and the odd private glider. Both K21's the Perkoz and the Junior and the tug were all kept busy throughout the day. Geoff Lawrence continued his training towards solo Aerotow with Simon Leeson, whilst JB instructed the pre-solo pilots. 
Soaring conditions had not really improved with vast great blue patches, but at least the ground was not obscured by cloud anymore.  Towards the evening very few members remained so kit was flown back to the hangar. A big thank you to all members who helped out especially instructors Simon Leeson, James Flory and JB who ended up instructing all day. A very gloomy start to the day but those who waited were rewarded. - Will Stainer

Wed 23rd May

A very slow start with hazy sunshine and a strong Easterly wind, the Wednesday regulars stayed in the clubhouse to listen to the morning briefing by Ron Johns & Jill Harmer for the Task week that is in progress. The forecast for the day was not too exciting with maybe some soaring late in the afternoon.
Chris Warnes preparing to fly (John Street)
We started flying about 11:30 with very little in the way of lift, the task week pilots waited for the better conditions that might arrive later in the afternoon.
The better soaring conditions did arrive in the afternoon  (but later than expected) but the lift was broken and difficult to centre in.
Some of the Wednesday club members managed to soar, Andy Williams having the longest Club flight 34 minutes (this was Andy's longest solo flight for some 30 years). - John Street.

Task Week
The trigger temperature was finally reached in the middle of the afternoon, and the task week pilots lined up on both winch and aerotow to make an attempt at the now overset tasks.

Chairman Nick being encouraging in the blue (Ray Dodd)
It proved tricky to get away from the winch but aerotows faired better. Sniffer Phil Morrison and Peter Smith in DD3 reported that there was some possible weak wave to the north, but they headed off to look for Peter's house. Ron and Ray in 711 and Pete Startup in 230 also managed some climbs up the front of the clouds and explored further. Everyone else stayed very local, just pleased to get airborne. -J&P

Mon 21st May - Task Week

Everybody gathered for the briefing at 10:00, and from RASP forecast there was some hope that a 100km task North Tawton, Knowstone or 200km task  Okehampton, Eaglescott, Dulverton, Lapford could be attempted albeit with a fairly late start.
Waiting for trigger temperature (Jill Harmer)
Most of the gliders were gridded at the west end of the airfield, waiting for the trigger temperature to be reached. North Hill felt cold with a chilly north easterly wind and thick patches of cirrus. By 14:30 Ron Johns decided to scrub the tasks and allow local soaring.  Some small cumulus formed mainly downwind, 7 gliders decided to take a launch and completed various small local tasks. - J&P

Sun 20th May

A busy day at the Club today from start to finish with Gordon Hutchinson as AM Duty Launch Marshal being very organised to the extent that the ground equipment was out and ready by just after 8am - as various Instructors and other members continued to arrive, gliders were soon being brought out of the hangar.

And then the discussion started about which way the wind was currently blowing and in which direction it might blow during the day....  And then with a very light wind “sort of coming from the West” the decision was made - to set up the Launch Point in the North East corner of the airfield with the winch in the South West corner.

All the Club two seater gliders and a Junior  had their daily inspections completed and were towed across to the Launch Point - and soon the day was underway with Josh Funnell and Charlie Stuckey being successfully checked out for solo flying. 
North Hill (Mike Sloggett)
And then just after a few flights with the wind settling down to a South Easterly direction the decision was made to change ends and set the Launch Point up in the North West corner of the airfield - gliders were towed down or landed at the other end and after a suitable delay flying started again.

And for a couple of hours progress was made with the flying list with Mike Rigby, Harry Rigby and Ross Pratt being put through their paces whilst various “Friends and Family” and Trial Lesson flights were completed by Peter Smith, Paul Summers and Mike Sloggett.

JB and Nick towed the Duo Discus (DD3) down and JB took to the air on an aerotow with a plan of testing the engine of the Duo Discus. Mark Courtney checked out Ellie Carter in the Falke on field landings.

And then the weather gods decided that too much progress was being made with the flying list and provided an opportunity to improve our previous “change ends time” from earlier in the day - with an evident wind direction of ‘somewhere from the South West to South’ it was clear that a move to the other end of the airfield was needed.
Sea Air (Mike Sloggett)
And once everything had been repositioned back to where it had been earlier in the day it was on with the flying list with Mike Thom and Emma Kendall continuing their training. Meanwhile the K6CR (DRE) was brought into use with Josh, Charlie and Ellie Carter sharing a Junior and the K6 between them. Various members had their first flights in the Perkoz during the afternoon and Ruth Comer demonstrated her skills in flying the DG505.

And then with the list completed and energy levels drained from a day in pleasant but warm sunshine on the airfield the final decision was made - to end flying for the day and put the gliders and ground equipment away.

There was just time for John Sillett to refresh his aerobatic skills in a K21 with Emma Kendall - “shame to waste the last cable” were John’s words...

A big thank you to everyone who worked hard through great teamwork to help others to get into the air today - in summary ‘A good day, no lift of any note but progress made by various members, some happy visitors and most importantly fun had by all’. - Mike Sloggett

Sat 19th May

It was a busy day at the Club.....
Ron Johns and Martin Woolner  ASH25 711, Pete Startup Discus 230, JB Ventus JB, Simon Minson ASW20 SM all completed Club 200 O/R to Salisbury Cathedral 212Kms. 
'Started early suspecting we were in for a short day - too early as the first hour out to Yeovil was 'tricky'. From then on good but always left playing catch up. Thought we'd underset again but got back to North Hill just as the sea air wiped out the site. ' Pete Startup
Turning Salisbury (Simon Minson)
Phil Morrison and Nick Jones  starting a bit later completed Blandford, The Park, Cullompton 204Kms.

Fri 18th May - Course Week

After finishing the briefing on thermalling first thing, it was time to get the gliders out to make the most of the predicted thermals, as cloud cover was expected around lunchtime. The majority of course members had good local soaring flights throughout the day despite the increasing cloud cover in the afternoon which was forecast.
North Hill (Mike Sloggett)
Private Owners took the opportunity of the winch being available in between course flights with Dave Clements 2hrs local soaring, with Wyn Davies and Pete Startup doing Tiverton east/Yeovil Club 100. 
"Never really low or difficult but spent most of the flight wondering if we were going to get home. A thick band of high cover really damped things down making for weak scruffy Cu. It seemed to follow us as we went East, in fact we largely relied on the sea air convergence to get back West to some sun. Never a classic 'running' convergence but the good bits produced some good climbs. Thanks to the Wynster for dragging me round." Pete Startup 230

Late afternoon the Perkoz was brought out for course members to experience a flight in the Perkoz of which everyone enjoyed flying very much.

Mike Sloggett and Rob Rand trying out the Perkoz (Mike Fawcett)
Notable achievements today were Dave Cowley with his 1hr flight duration (88mins) and Andy Davey achieving his Silver Height.

As the course members finished their week's course, James Flory and the helpers took over for the evening's Air Cadets trial lessons.

Air Cadets finally get some lovely evening flying weather (Mike Fawcett)
A great May Course Week, of which all on the Course Members made significant progress with their flying. Thanks to our Instructors Peter Smith and Mike Sloggett and all the helpers Richard Harris, Hans Jenssen, Robert Lee, Jonathan Erskine, Ian Hunt, Jill Harmer, Pete Bennett. -Mike Fawcett

Thur 17th May

With yesterday's weak front cleared through to the south and the High rebuilding we were expecting a reasonable day, although RASP was being a bit cagey about the conditions. Initially the northeasterly wind was still quite strong and gusty, so the first hour was spent with Pete Harmer talking about joining and recentreing in thermals for both Course members and Thursday regulars.

The wind abated as forecast and the gliders were readied, it took a while to get all the gliders to the west end as one of the ground vehicles was off line. But once we started the the Juniors were the first to show some extended circuits. With Peter Smith and Mike Sloggett running the course line and Pete Harmer and Chris Wool leading the Club line, the flying lists progressed steadily. 
Thick Cirrus at times (Mark Courtney)

However, RASP was correct and soaring conditions were rather sporadic and limited to small, strong, but short-lived thermals up to an inversion at 2500ft. For most of the day there was thick Cirrus mares tails around the sky, and several flights around half an hour. 
Perkoz and K21 landing (Mark Layton)

Both Aston Key and Tom Sides were finishing off their BI training and Aston enjoyed a simulated rope break in the Perkoz recorded by Mark Layton.
Simulated rope break (Mark Layton)

So with 45 winch launches and 5 aerotows, it was a busy but pleasant day. 

In the evening the Course  members helpers and extra enjoyed  Course Dinner at Keepers Cottage. - J&P

Wed 16th May

The ground equipment was already out and prepared by the time the May course and the few Wednesday diehards arrived at the Clubhouse this morning. Unfortunately the weather was 'sub optimal' for flying so the May course instructors used the poor conditions to provide a morning lecture series covering a number of gliding related topics. The pre-solo pilots benefited from having their cards signed off whilst  the existing solo pilots enjoyed the very useful refresher. 

Howling crosswind from the north (Mike Fawcett)
With no improvement in the weather the flying was formally cancelled after lunch and members started to drift homewards. However, undaunted by the weather, Mike Sloggett took the opportunity to convert to a new club type by first having a cockpit brief in the John Deere tractor. After some P2 instruction out on the field he was finally sent off into the great green expanse to mow solo, anxiously watched by his instructor Pete Smith!

Despite no flying being possible the day proved useful to brush up on the theoretical aspects of our shared passion for all those attending today.........and the grass is shorter. -David Cowley

Tue 15th May - Course Week

Day two of the course promised to be similar weather to Monday, but with experience of the thermals on Monday, we hoped again for some good soaring flights.  Our valuable helpers Richard and Hans were joined by Jonathan Erskine and had everything lined up early ready to go.
Ready to go (Mike Sloggett)
A review of  NOTAMS injected a curved ball to our game, a temporary Class D airspace was in place for a Devon Royal visit.  We discussed our plan and decided to have two breaks for the inbound/outbound control periods. 
Waiting for the all clear (Mike Sloggett)
The morning one was used for briefing and safety reviews and the afternoon for relaxing in the sun, taking around 2 to 3 hrs out of our flying day.
Relaxing in the sun  waiting patiently (Mike Sloggett)
Around these we managed 22 flights, Mark, Nick and Michael continued their training while Dave and Andy took turns flying the Junior and Rob flew the K21 solo followed by a flight in the Junior.
Andy achieved his two hour soaring flight towards cross-country endorsement and climbed to over 3700ft, while Rob took advantage of the post-lunch briefing to steal the K21 for a 33 minute 3500ft flight.
Andy chilling after his 2 hour flight (Mike Sloggett)
We finished up a little late in the day to make up for our Royal interruption.  
End of another good day (Mike Sloggett)
 Thanks to Pete and Mike for continuing their excellent instruction throughout the day. - Rob Rand

Mon 14th May - Course Week

Monday started clear and bright; the first day of our week long gliding course with 5 current members and Nick Bromley new to the club, welcome Nick. The helpers for the day Richard Harris, Hans Jenssen and Robert Lee had the kit out and ready for us by the time we arrived. We then helped get the gliders out of the hanger before retiring to the Clubhouse for tea and a briefing. 
Blue thermals (Mike Sloggett)
 The forecast was for a strong inversion at just over 1000ft. How wrong a forecast can be with one of the early flights initially climbing to 2500ft and then to 2950ft in some nice tight blue thermals.  Dave Cowley and Andy Davey were flying the Junior and both had good soaring flights. 

This left Rob Rand, Michael Fawcett, Mark Worsford and Nick Bromley  flying the two K21s with Mike Sloggett and Pete Smith instructing. Their flying consisted of some good soaring and a fare few simulated launch failures.  All in all, a very good days flying with a total of 27 launches. A big thanks to everyone for making day one such a success. - Andy Davey (first time blogger)

Sun 13th May

Another Red RASP day which included the South West Peninsula! The kit was readied early and training flights started. A slight shortage of members found Jules Minson remembering how to run the  LPV (used to be called the Bubble). Soaring soon got underway in earnest with the Club gliders leading the way.   
Cu forming nicely (Wyn Davies)
Wyn Davies W7, Pete Startup 230, Simon Minson SM and Ron & Daniel Johns  711 set off for Whiddon Down and Dorchester 206Kms. Pete  and Jill in OL's first outing of the year set off a bit later following the energy over Exmoor. Robert Lee DKU, Jeff Taberham 380, James Flory 877 and Tom Sides in DG1 also enjoyed local flights.
Energy over Exmoor (Jill Harmer)
The FI (S) Refresher course  with DSGC and Visitor Instructors completed early afternoon,  And Peter Smith, Lisa Humphries and Mike Sloggett were soon walking briskly to the Launch Point to find a glider and someone to fly with - with an evidently thermic sky there was no shortage of members wishing to take to the air, some for their first flights of the day and some taking advantage of a relatively short flying list to complete some flights.

Meanwhile John Burrow and Mike Fox (National Training Manager for the BGA) took the Perkoz for a flight - with maps in hand there was clearly a plan to put the glider through it’s paces, after an hour they landed having flown to past Yeovil and back to North Hill. 
Sea breeze convergence (Simon Minson)
With the cross-country task clearly underset, the Pundits all added more Kms to their flights with Club 100s etc and making use of the south coast sea breeze convergence.
Great skies even late on (Mike Sloggett)
Late afternoon John Burrow flew with Ross Pratt to complete spinning refresher flights as part of which they took advantage of the late afternoon thermals to take the Perkoz to over 3000ft competing with Mike Sloggett and David Cowley who were also having fun taking a K21 to similar heights in the late afternoon thermals.

During the day Paul Summers flew the 3 trial lesson visitors who all enjoyed the wonderful Devon clear visibility and soaring conditions. 

With over 40 flights, it was another really good Devon day (although no comparison with the great distances flown up country and into Wales). - J&P & Mike Sloggett

Sat 12th May

A very good day for trial flights, three booked voucher trial lessons, one a belated 80th birthday celebration, two friends and family flights and three walk-in trial lessons, one of who had two flights, so also a good day for the treasurer! Unfortunately, there were very few experienced members on the ground, so we struggled to cope with the demand and all had to work hard. Many thanks to all those who worked hard to keep things moving.

Two of our new and very keen junior members, Daniel & Arthur were able to add their names to the bottom of the list after their first set of flights, so they deservedly benefited from the small turnout of club members.
Lots of top cover (Simon Minson)
The weather was not quite as good as RASP was suggesting with a large amount of thickish top cover restricting the heating. "The planned glider invasion into Cornwall was scuppered when the 8/8ths solid stratus refused to budge. Enough sun eventually got through to allow a few scruffy Cu to form, some with good cores but difficult to find."
The Pundits - Ron in 711, Pete Startup 230, Simon Minson SM and Wyn Davies W7 tiptoed round the Club 100. Wyn had the longest flight of the day with 3hrs 28m.

A number of instructors from DSGC and local clubs spent the day in the clubhouse for an Instructor refresher seminar  with Mike Fox from the BGA. Cheryl & Graham were kept busy feeding them all.

The day was rounded off with drinks outside the clubhouse as a surprising number of members prepared for the evening attraction of watching the Eurovision song contest in the clubhouse. I hope they were all able to singalong in tune and that Sunday’s flyers don’t have too much work cleaning up after the party….. Martin Bennett

Pete Bennett reports from Wales
On Friday evening, Trevor Stuart from Nympsfield emailed me offering a P2 ride in his Nimbus. With only 2 days before my first exam, I couldn’t think of a better way to spend my time!
Trevor Stuart in the Nimbus 3DT (Pete Bennett)
The task was an out and return to Fishguard on the west coast of Wales totalling 378km. The first 60km was slow with low cloud bases and unreliable climbs however as we got over the Welsh mountains, the thermals got stronger and more reliable. The rest of the run out was fairly simple with picturesque views of the south and west coasts of Wales. 
Fishguard (Pete Bennett)
At first the return leg was easy, with a long street taking us over 40km without turning at 80knots until it ended abruptly and left us with an empty, dying sky which took all of our height and all of the Nimbus’ 55:1 performance to reach the next climb. Eventually, a few long glides later, we made it onto glide back to Nympsfield. 
Somewhere in Wales (Pete Bennett)
 It was definitely not K6 weather! Days like these show how much can be gained from flying P2 with skilled pilots - Thanks Trevor. - Bring on task week! -Pete Bennett

Thur 10th May

Probably the best soaring day for North Hill so far this season - Thanks RASP!
Those white puffy clouds that we have been waiting for (Mike Sloggett)

Expectations were high as the kit was readied this morning, and a met briefing looking at the RASP forecasts in more detail helped us plan the tasks. The best area was from North Hill across Exmoor and a short Club task was set to Bampton and Tiverton to try to get maximum number of trips for many pilots through the day in Club two-seaters. The Pundits declared a 300kms to Mottisfont Station and Crediton, ignoring  the dodgy poor soaring area at Yeovil that was on the forecast.
Met briefing (Graham Barden)
Strangely, there were no pre-solo pilots at the club today, but still a few card checks and currency flights to catch up on, not to mention the familiarisation flights on the Perkoz. The first couple of flights tested the air, and then the soaring began in earnest.

Pundits waiting for aerotows (Jill Harmer
Chris Wool attempted three laps of the Club task in DG505 with Aston Key, George Vojtisek and Ruth Comer during the day, just missing TIV on the last one, late in the day.

Ron Johns mentoring Nick Harrison in 711 completed the Pundits task by using the ASH performance to get through the soggy bit. Wyn Davies W7 diverted round the blue hole to use the sea breeze front in the Bournemouth zone (with permission). 
Poole Harbour (Wyn Davies)

Unusually, Pete Startup 230  succumbed to the blue hole and landed near Yeovil. Eric Alston in G29 followed the energy staying on the western edge of the blue hole and completed Melbury Bubb, Wellington. Rowan Smith CLM decided to stay local as he didn't want to land out (having split his shorts whilst rigging). 

Pete Harmer, Peter Smith and Mike Sloggett were occupied all day with local two-seater flights. James Smart attempted his first long flight in a Junior, but missed out on his 2 hours. Congratulations to John Borland, who took a hangar flight in the Junior and found a reinvigorated sky completing his 2 hour flight on a local mini-triangle.
Washing the flies off the wings at the end of the good day (Mark Courtney)

A lovely, busy, soarable spring day at North Hill, 45 winch launches and 11 aerotows, with 40 members flying. Thanks all. - J&P

Wed 9th May

Another poor forecast with rain arriving in the the afternoon, although  it was a bright start and quite warm it quickly started to cloud  over from the West. The wind picked up so it was back to Winter clothing, that is except for Peter Smith who despite being frozen kept his shorts on.. that is until after lunch and suffering from hypothermia he put sensible long trousers on.
Peter Smith briefing a Trial lesson Visitor (John Street)
Peter Smith was standing in for John Sillett and looked after the two Trial lesson visitors, and Peter Field was Tuggie. Ian Mitchell flew three members from Mendip  in the Rotax Falke.
Nigel preparing for an aerotow |(John Street)
Most people managed a soaring flight,  Mike Fitz and John Street had 30min and 2,000ft on the first flight.
We kept flying until we had gone through the lis,t with the weather looking threatening, we put the toys away and it started to rain as we were closing the hanger doors. - John Street.

Bank Holiday Mon 7th May

A cracking Bank Holiday Monday, the warmest ever UK May Day holiday on record in some parts, didn’t disappoint at North Hill with temperatures well into the 20s. The temperature inversion made visibility a little murky with a distinct haze in all directions. What little wind there was suggested a set up at the westerly end of the field, necessitating a long walk from the hangar.  After an exceptionally wet spring, the last fortnight of dry weather has helped bring the field into excellent condition; no more dragging mud out of the wheel-boxes.  The Junior enjoyed a few launches, but it was the two-seaters (Perkoz and KEK) that saw most of the action.
Harry Rigby preparing for his aerotow (Mark Courtney)
The shop at Dunkeswell must have done well out of members, as Graham and Cheryl (North Hill Cafe) took a well-deserved day off and we found what shade the clubhouse afforded to tuck into various microwave “specialities” at lunchtime.
As the afternoon wore on, the wind veered round to the west, leading to my first experience of a switch-around, with all the gear swapping ends. Once done, James Hood (Tuggie) got to take Mark Courtney, Duty Instructor, and Harry Rigby on a 3,000ft aerotow so that Harry could get some more sticktime.  He was chuffed with lots more ticks and signatures on his training card. It was also good to see fellow junior Daniel Hender continuing his training in the morning.
Dick Stevens and Roy Boddy returned from their winter hibernation, Roy and Mark scratched away in the valley to the south of the clubhouse in the Perkoz and managed the longest flight from a winch launch (26 min).
Dick flew with John Street and despite being “ rusty” got cleared for solo as did Roy, great to see them back!
Dick Stevens and John Street walking up the field (Mark Courtney)
Oscar Leeson put in a great shift on the winch and deserves special thanks, sending many willing participants upwards, including Matt Williamson with Simon Leeson, Matt was looking to book the requisite number of flights in the Perkoz. Many of us stopped to admire Stirling’s Pinzgauer when he arrived, no it’s not a glider or a German sausage,look it up!
Harry Rigby's gloves are whiter than Roly's (Mark Courtney)
By the end of the afternoon there was some modest thermal action to the south of North Hill but it was pretty fickle stuff and didn’t amount to much.  Despite that we got a fair number of flyers into the air for currency and training.  Thanks to Mark, Simon, and John Street for instructing in the heat, and everyone who came and spent their Bank Holiday at the club. - Mike Rigby & Mark Courtney

Sun 6th May

The blue sky and warm sunshine from first thing encouraged an early unpack of the hangar in anticipation of a day of flying albeit in warm temperatures and with limited opportunities for thermals. All of the Club gliders were brought out of the hangar and daily inspections completed on both K21s, the DG505, Perkoz and the Juniors following which the gliders were towed down to the South West corner of the airfield where the launchpoint had been set up.
Clear blue skies (Mike Sloggett)
And then it was on with the day with Peter Smith (standing in for Simon Minson), Mike Sloggett, Chris Wool and John Street starting to work their way through the flying list, as a result of which Charlie Stuckey, David Cowley and Trevor Russell all completed solos in a K21 or Junior ‘brushing away the rust of limited flying during the winter months’.
Distinctive wingtips of the Perkoz (Mike Sloggett)
Meanwhile Paul Summers and Guy Adams looked after our Trial lesson visitors completing three ‘Mile High’ aerotows during the day.

The Perkoz was in demand from instructors looking to complete their conversion training/glider familiarisation flights and this continued throughout the day.
James Hood next up to fly the Perkoz (Stu Procter)
At lunchtime the wind had changed direction enough to need a change of sides so the launchpoint was moved to the North West corner of the airfield and where it stayed for the rest of the day.

As ever the day was a story of whether one launched at the right time - those who did managed to use the thermals to good effect and stayed up, those who were not lucky enough to find thermals found themselves back in circuit soon after launch. And with the flying list completed by mid-afternoon there was time for various people to have extra flights before all the gliders were flown home.

Well done to Martin Bennett who completed the longest flight of the day just under 2 hours in a Junior.  We welcomed Justin and Gillian Wills back from New Zealand as they arrived with the Antares, and Justin completed an O/R to Shaftesbury. 

With a total of 61 flights a good day all round - thank you to everyone who helped others get into the air today.

In the evening, there was a celebration supper to thank the DSGC team for the work involved with Exeter Airspace - Mike Sloggett

Sat 5th May

Unexpectedly soarable with white puffy clouds! 
Nice clouds (Simon Leeson)
......with Hans Jenssen beating his personal solo height record of 3250ft, Jeff Taberham in Mosquito 380 having nearly two hours. 
Checking up on the stripes by the new grass cutter (Simon Leeson)
......And Roly flying without his gloves. 
CFI Stu checking out Roly in the Perkoz (Stu Procter)

 More details of the day would be good... but some pictures  tell a bit of a story...... J&P

Thur 3rd May

RASP was looking promising until the tail of the warm front / sea air would limit soaring sometime in the afternoon. A large number of members had noticed this and were keen to remember what soaring was like at North Hill!

First launches didn't find any lift but the grass was still wet.... There were at least 15 private gliders being rigged / readied around the field. Andy Davey was the first to stay up in the Junior, and this led to instant growth of both the aerotow queue and the single seat winch line.
Busy launch queue (Jill Harmer)

Streets set up over the field to the west and it looked good to the east as well, the launch queue emptied in time for a late lunch fortunately coinciding with the short spell of 8/8 cloud cover with the tail of the warm front. 

Wyn took the sea breeze front up to Exmoor (Wyn Davies)
The pundits Ron Johns with Sir Chris in 711, Pete Startup in 230 and Wyn Davies in W7 set off for Sherborne and Cerne Abbas worried about the of length of day, but disapponted later that the 124k task was underset.
Interesting sky at lunchtime (Mark Courtney)
The clearance of the warm front (with the change of launch point) allowed the sea air in so it was just circuits for the rest of the day after the convergence had headed further north. 

Thanks to Robert and Mark for tugging, a busy day for everyone. J&P