Sat 30th June

Another very hot day today at DSGC and not many members (several pundits have decamped to Aston Down for Competition Enterprise and Nympsfield for Sid's Task Week) but enough to keep the launch point busy. Thanks to James Flory, Glenn Turpin and Rowan Smith for their hard work in the back seats, also to Stu Procter and Mike Fairclough for providing the tows. Everyone flew and there was quite a lot of sink with the Easterly wind, especially on the approach. 
The grass at North Hill going very brown (Lisa Humphries)
Later in the afternoon things calmed down a bit and there was lift everywhere for those who could brave the hot cockpits. 
Mike Willmott and Lisa on tow (Lisa Humphries)
There were several Trial lessons Flights and a visitor from Lasham,  all of whom went away very happy. Thanks to everyone enduring these unbelievably hot conditions, team work is what makes it happen! Winter will soon be upon us so mustn’t complain! - Lisa Humphries

Fri 29th June - Special Trial Lesson Voucher Day

A fantastic clear blue sky and another sizzler at North Hill today for our Special Trial Lesson Voucher Day. No problem with doing the Mile High flights today due to the cloudbase.....
Tuggie Pete Harmer (Jill Harmer)

.....although the Pawnee did struggle a little to power through the solid  brown inversion at 3,500ft - no wonder the thermals found it tricky!
Bryan Wright, Simon Reckless, Phillip Woodgate (Jill Harmer)

All 11 pre-booked Trial lesson Visitors enjoyed their flights with help from their Instructors Peter Smith, Mike Sloggett and Pete Bennett. See  the complete photo album on DSGC facebook
Thanks also to the Helpers  - James Smart, Hans Jenssen,  Jill Harmer and Graham Barden in North Hill cafe.

In the evening, a group of friends and family of Ross, Kris and Lesley enjoyed their gliding experience see Lesley's write up
- J&P

Thur 28th June

Another sweltering blue sky day and with a rather fresh easterly breeze, but there was a very strong inversion at 1500ft which seemed to be enhancing the sink. All morning the circuits from the winch launch were in low single figures. 
The pundits towed out, but dumped their gliders at the launch point for more tea and inspiration and inspection of Spot the Gliders showed that at least today, we weren't alone across the country!

After lunch, the inversion started climbing rapidly to a maximum of 4500ft above North Hill, and fast cycling small cumulus clouds appeared. 
Small cumulus appearing (Jill Harmer)
 The Pundits all got away mostly from aerotows, and if you were lucky - so did those from the winch, - if they managed to avoid the 8 and 10 knot sink in the circuit. 

John Borland was keen to check the igc file for his hangar flight in the Junior, but unfortunately missed out on Silver height by 200ft. Congratulations to Lukasz Kieruczenko for passing his Bronze exam. 

Ron and Wooly in 711, Pete in 230 and Wyn in W7 completed Cerne Abbas - Sherborne 124km and Phil and Malcolm in DD3 Taunton - Yeovil for 99km. 
Another nice sunset (Mike Sloggett)
 Alongside the Club members flights, we also flew 3 Trial lesson visitors and 2 Family and friends - 33 Winch launches and 8 aerotows in total. - J&P

Wed 27th June

Another very hot day with temperatures in the high twenties but with a fresh breeze that made things a bit more comfortable on the ground.
The wind was southeastely not our favourite launch point, in the morning we started flying fairly early but with sink of 3-6 down everywhere the flights were very short.
Ian Mitchell fixed the magneto on the Pawnee so by midday we had our tug back, but the winch launch durations were so short we decided on a early lunch. 
Chris Warnes getting ready for an aerotow with Pete Warren (John Street)
The afternoon was much the same as the morning regarding the sink, the first aerotow to 3,000ft nearly beat the tug down, but late afternoon we enjoyed several soaring flights to nearly 2,000ft.
Two visitors from the Dorset club visited us but did not fly but Phil Hardwick from Brentor had three flights in his Astir and nearly soared. - John Street.

Sun 24th June

Thanks to a number of members having stayed overnight on site after the Members hog roast, the ground kit was out, checked and ready before 8:00am. The gliders soon followed and were towed out to the South West corner under an increasingly hot sun. Duty instructor Simon Leeson was soon having fun putting David Cowley through a series of cable breaks, awkward launches and low circuits  (5 flights for a total of 8 minutes) but both were still smiling at the end. Chris Wool flew our weekend  trial flight guests in the Perkoz and soon found where the lift was hiding, returning them safely with broad smiles. Mark Wallis managed to find the lift and was away for over an hour in FZF and threatened a silver height qualifying flight but was daunted by an inversion (I don’t think he quite made it). As the morning progressed most flights showed signs of extended circuits and soaring. Later a  few private gliders appeared with (Phil Morrison and Stirling Melhuish having the longest soaring flight of the day in Duo Discus DD3). John Street  joined the fun with his soaring flight falling just short of the hour.....but he was rumoured to still be happy (although this was unconfirmed at the time of writing)!

Young Daniel Hender flying with James Flory fortunately spotted smoke in the cockpit  (before his flight) with his keen young eyes and quite probably saved the club much expense and pain by preventing sun/canopy interaction damage to KEK, so very well done young man!

Later in the day after the wind had changed direction there was still enough energy and enthusiasm to change ends for the final 90 minutes of the afternoon, so all the equipment and gliders were stopped over and flying continued. Thanks to everyone who worked hard in the blazing sun and high temperature to ensure everyone flew. - David Cowley

Saturday 23rd June - a hot one!

Just a quick note of happenings at the Club today - at least the ones I know of.

Lots of training carried out in what became a very soarable sky with cloudbase up to 5,000'. This enabled extended flying and valuable training not usually possible in the '5 minute circuit' scenario took place, I'm sure. Thanks to the Instructors who back seated on a very hot day.

The good conditions also allowed  Lukasz to get his Silver height, a feat not often possible at North Hill. I'm sure Lukasz made sure that Dave Herbert was the first to know - I wonder what it'll be like at work this week. Well done Lukasz.

Mike Harris having joined the Open Cirrus CEC syndicate had his first flight in it after a briefing by CFI Stu and off he went for a mere 3 hours soaring so he obviously got the hang of it.

Pete Bennett had another good soaring session of over 3 hours in DG100 DG1 which both he and dad Martin are now syndicate partners to Tom. I think Martin may have his work cut out getting Pete out of it though. Good prep for Pete who's flying in Comp Enterprise next week.

Several other private gliders took advantage of the good local soaring conditions.

The cross country contingent that consisted of  230, 711 and DD3(SM on a 'check' flight with JP up front), decided on tasks to the West first(Roadford res/Launceston) where Cu was forecast and then to the East where we knew it was going to be blue and relying on a sea breeze converegence to run home from Blandford. The aforementioned convergence never materialised but the thermals in the blue were pretty good when you stumbled into them and everybody got round.

Which was just as well as the highlight of the day was the annual club Hog Roast at which club members came together for drinks, food and a damn good chinwag with friends new and old. Very well attended on a beautiful Summers evening after a great days flying - what more could you ask. Many thanks to all those involved in the organisation, you know who you are.

Sorry but I don't have any pics.

Sat 23rd June

Another glorious day with beautiful blue Devon skies, RASP was going for  a good forecast for the south west, and the Club was crowded with expectation from early on.

All the Club Fleet was in constant use and and it was soarable from first winch launch. Just a little hiccup with some difficulty starting the Pawnee, but  Robert Lee seemed to have a magic touch enabling the cross-country pundits who wanted aerotows to get started. 

Congratulations to Lukasz Kieruczenko who achieved his Silver Height in the Junior, and to Michael Harris for converting to the Open Cirrus and soaring for more than 3 hours. Pete Bennett also enjoyed his first long soaring flight in DG1.  
Pete Bennett preparing for Comp Enterprise in DG1
Andy Williams missed out on his flight in the Junior as the tailwind had picked up with sea air from the north. 

Paul Medlock was hoping for a 50Km flight but struggled to get away as his instruments were giving confusing messages. 

Lisa and Emma  in K21 (Lisa Humphries)

Pete Startup 230 ended up top of the National Ladder today with John Pursey and Simon Minson  in Duo Discus DD3 (potentially second - get the trace on the ladder please). The conditions looked good to the west so Pete went to Roadford Reservoir first,  DD3  and Ron and Dan in 711  turned Launceston, they all then headed east  for Blandford but with the party due in the evening Ron decided discretion was the better part of valour and headed off after Chard for Exmoor.  230 and DD3 turned Blandford and got back using the mainly blue skies as the epic convergence didn't develop as forecast.
DD3 in Cornwall (Simon Minson)
46 flights in total,  and then in the evening the Members Hog Roast took place. With such a lovely evening it was great to see so many members and their guests at our party to thank everyone for all the volunteering that is involved in running the best / largest gliding club in the south west. - J&P
Lovely weather for the Members' Hog Roast
Lisa's  bit
'What a lovely day, after a quick circuit with Emma we decided to try again and engaged in lift from the top of the launch, some minutes later we soared to 4000ft and took a leisurely flight to Tiverton, JCT 27, and then after 55 mins we thought it best to come back and airbraked down, how many times can we do that with the UK weather, let's hope there is more to come before the winter months are upon us. Thanks to the Committee for organising a super evening tonight for the members hog roast, nice to see lots of friendly faces!' - Lisa Humphries

John Pursey's flight
As a Cornishman, I am always happy when RASP and Ron agree that a trip into God’s county makes sense. And so it was this Saturday when arriving at the Club, Ron was full of talk of a turn point at Launceston and then east. My happiness went up a further notch when very generously Nick and Phil suggested I check out the Regional Examiner in the Duo. 

Having had my first ever flight in a glider with a long-haired Simon Minson in 1980 it was amusing to look over my shoulder to see he had reading glasses on for checking instruments and declared me P1! Somehow he coped with the launch and the motor start to climb to 2000’. With the tug now behaving (starting issues all morning) we were about to be chased by the ASH 711 and Pete in 230 so as sniffers we headed off to Cornwall. It was a super looking sky going west, and the run to Launceston was very enjoyable with alternative goes on the helm and discussion about sea air. 

The sky over the Moor looked particularly booming but not having done our homework about the danger zone we stayed north. Pete turned Roadford and the ASH swooped past us to check off Launceston. Going east past the club the impact of the RASP prediction of a narrowing of the good air seemed spot on with convergence effects but ever vanishing clouds. 

Radio Ron went from playing upbeat to downbeat sounds, and talk of sea air killing thermals meant that despite the get you home engine, the duo in the Duo did an about turn beyond Chard to scuttle back to cloud. 

Pete, however, had his optimism dial set to max for a change and just moved into blue thermal mode. Keeping slightly further inland he pressed on to Blandford. My coaching of Simon was going well and he seemed to be getting the hang of it so we duly set sail following Pete who was by now well ahead. Flying in the blue is an act of faith and staying high. Thermals did appear when really needed and despite being surprisingly tricky to make sense of progress was made and we passed Pete on his return leg, some 25k ahead. Really showed how just 20-30 mins of dithering can kill your speed. Tag teaming climbs with Simon to share the blame for being slow, we tiptoed round and had a slow but steady return. 

Top marks to Pete for pressing on, some marks to Ron for the task but deductions for bailing on Blandford! And how did the regional examiner do? Well apart from flying sideways a lot he showed promise and he survived some of my hi g tight thermalling with out blacking out so may be available this summer to share the magic of the Duo.
DD3 (John Pursey)
Finally,  top top marks to Nick and Phil for the use of their lovely glider - thank you! - John P

(For Pete's story - see separate blog)

Fri 22nd June - Course Week

The week finished on a high, the weather was glorious with blue skies a stable wind. We all got plenty of launches and some where lift was found and others where we came straight back and got practice on circuit planning and approach runs. 
Blue skies (Jim Binning)
The day finished back in the clubhouse with our tasks being signed off and we showed our appreciation for the excellent support from the ground staff and the excellent direction we had from our instructors. We had 3 instructors today which kept the flow of launches going very well.

After discussing our personal highlights through the week we left all looking forward to coming back and getting in the air as soon as possible. I had set a target for myself to achieve by the end of the week and I am pleased that I massively exceeded my expectation. My expectations for the course were high and they too were exceeded. The week has been great fun with a supportive group of people and is extremely good value for money. 

Course photo (Michael Thom)
Thanks to John Sillett, James Flory and Peter Smith and the Course Helpers Ian Hunt, Tim Petty, Ian Hunt, Andy Davey and William Pope. - Jim Binning  

Pete Bennett in DG1 (Martin Bennett)
 Pete Bennett tried out the DG100 for size and also Pete 230 and Jeff 380 took advantage of the launch availability today but the blue thermals to a solid 2,500' inversion restricted them to local flying.
Late sunset at the solstice (Lisa Humphries)

In the evening, groups from West Buckland Scool and Honeywell enjoyed the sunny conditions. 

Thursday 21st June

 Course Week
We started the day in the same way as the rest of the week. A cup of tea and a chat while the Instructors decided on the layout of the field. We had the added benefit of blue skies and the promise of good gliding weather, however, crosswinds proved to be quite challenging and we got no further experience in taking control on the climb. However, once in the air we all found some lift and got lots of experience on the stick and with thermalling. 
Early morning sky (Mark Courtney)
The day also brought with it a new instructor as James Flory was unable to reschedule this day from the original course and Peter Smith was our course instructor for the day.

I was fortunate enough to find a lot of lift and managed to stay up for an hour and a quarter concentrating on thermalling. It is quite tiring and as we still had quite a bit of height left Peter decided to keep me alert by doing some stalling practice, an introduction to spinning and some spiralling turns. All very exciting.
Clouds in the distance (Peter Smith)
Such is the supportive nature at the club that if an Instructor and a glider are free they will offer to take us course members up in the air. Consequently with the Club flying list sorted, Sue got to go up in the DG505 with Woolly, which she described as quite an experience!

We finished the day with the course meal at the Keepers' Cottage which James kindly organised. It was a good opportunity to find out a bit more about our Course Members and the Course Instructors and an enjoyable time was had listening to anecdotes around the table. - Jim Binning

Club Flying
The gusty crosswind from the north restricted some of the early solo pilots to flying the two-seaters, but the rapidly cycling sky meant that some had good soaring flights and others short circuits. 
Pete Harmer and George Sanderson in Perkoz (Jill Harmer)
RASP had forecast some slightly difficult areas and a late start but didn't actually predict that the 17kt Northerly wind would render the Levels an uncrossable blue desert, and even Ron with Sir Chris in 711 had to abandon plans to get out of the peninsula (to join in the fun of 1000km flights) for local soaring. However all was not lost as Phil Morrison and Nick Jones in DD3 explored Exmoor and found some wave that was usable at Bampton climbing to 5000ft.

In the evening, a group from Torbay Scouts enjoyed the summery weather as the wind had eventually dropped. - J&P

Wed 20th June

Besides being a course day Wednesday is a club day so we saw and introduced ourselves to some more club members. Again we started the day with a low cloud base. This gave our instructors a chance to to do some ground schooling in the club hut. Our group started with looking at launch failures at various points in the launch cycle. We had time to cover some basic airmanship before we could get out and help move the gliders into position. We all felt more confident about collision avoidance and the rules governing airspace, particularly around Dunkeswell.
Gliders ready (Mike Sloggett)
It was my time to fly first with James and we managed three flights before lunch. The repetition of tasks is really helping to embed the necessary control, almost to the point where some operations in flight are becoming second nature. My two colleagues helped out with ground tasks.
Clouds lowering (Mike Sloggett)
After lunch Tim got a flight but then the wind direction veered and we needed to move the launch line. While this was going on the cloud came down again followed by some light drizzle and no more flights were undertaken. Time for tea and a brief chat among ourselves before Mike Sloggett suggested we went into the briefing room and work out circuit planning between us. A very useful exercise. Mike gave us ten minutes and then took us through the different key points on the plan we drew and added some we had not thought of. He followed up with a discussion of pre-flight planning, getting us to recall information James had given us over the last couple of days. Again very useful.
- Jim Binning

Tue 19th June - Course Week

Tuesday started with a low cloud base so we split into our two groups and James took us through Circuit planning and the theory of the launch. An early lunch and we were able to fly. We reinforced the skills learnt yesterday and had new ones introduced to us. The group has bonded very well, sharing experience and knowledge, and everyone at the club has been friendly and helpful. 
K21 (Jim Binning)
 In the evening, Yeovil Rotary Club enjoyed 18 extended circuits  in the pleasant evening skies.

Mon 18th June - Course Week

Our course, C1(B) rescheduled from early April, got off to a good start on Monday. Five of us had met on the postponed course and Tim Powell joined us from the waiting list. James Smart joined us a little late after an interesting landing the previous day that needed completion. After an initial overview of the course by the two instructors we were split into two groups. James Flory took my group through an Introduction to Gliding and by 11:00am the weather was suitable for flying. 
K21 (Jim Binning)
Our group managed four flights each and a common theme from us all was:
  •    excellent instruction
  •     paced to test us
  •     consecutive flights helped us progress quickly
  •     suberb support from ground crew who were always ready to guide us in assisting to  launch and glider retrieval
  •     great fun, leaving on a high of excitement and enthusiasm.
Jim Binning (First-time Blogger)

Fri 15th June

Today was a specially arranged Trial lesson Voucher day, to help with the building backlog of Trial lesson flights due to weather cancellations.
Nearly all the available slots were taken and even the weather cooperated today, with the isolated showers staying away from the airfield and the clouds opened up just at the right time for the Mile High flights. In fact everything ran very smoothly once we had got the Pawnee started!
Mike, John and Tom Reed and family with Instructors Pete Bennett and Mike Sloggett (Jill Harmer)

Brothers John and Mike Reed  arrived for their flights with a large family gathering, and enjoyed their flights in the air at the same time, and son Tom Reed from Exeter University decided to join in the fun too. 

We look forward to seeing some of our Visitors back to fly with us during their 3 months temporary membership.

Thanks to all the Instructors, Tug Pilot and Helpers. We have another special Trial lesson Voucher day arranged for Friday 29th June which is booking up fast. - J&P

Thurs 14th June

We were expecting to have to wait patiently during the morning as the cold front cleared through, but it had very little rain, just an increasing gusty wind from Storm Hector. An early lunch was called and Pete Startup 230 and Martin Woolner KMV were keen to get going in the still gusty, but improving soarable  conditions.
Northwesterly streets (Jill Harmer)
The northwesterly streets set up nicely over the airfield  enabling an easy get away from the winch for all. With all four two-seaters going all afternoon, and being called down for crew changes it was the best Thursday soaring for a while. 
Clear air now the wind has changed (Mike Sloggett)
It was a day for following the energy and Pete in 230 turned Tiverton, Culmhead, Molton etc on his 3 hour flight. Martin and Stu were both keen to check out the recently returned LS3-17. Ron went searching for the wave in DG505 with first Ray Dodd and then Paul Medlock, but it was not useable - just nuisance value in the streets.

Fortunately, by 18:00 everyone had flown, and we handed over the gliders to the evening group from the Air Cadets Devon and Somerset Wing, some of whom had helped at Competition Enterprise last summer and had suffered up to 6 aborted evening attempts to fly due to the weather!
Air Cadets from Devon and Somerset Wing with James Flory (Mark Courtney)
21 launches before 18:00 and another 22 launches after 18:00 - Thanks everyone - J&P

Wed 13th June

Not a brilliant forecast for Wednesday but we had reasonable start with difficult weather promised for afternoon, so we worked through the list as quickly as possible. 

All ready for the first flight (John Street)
There were two Mile High trial  lessons booked for the morning but patches of low cloud were threatening making the flights potentially unsafe so Tom, John Sillett, and Robert decided to delay the flight to see if the weather would improve, Tom entertained the visitors while waiting to see if the weather improved.

The weather front arrived at 12:00, which saw the Falke return with some haste so we decided to stop for an early lunch with a temporary clearance promised for the afternoon. 
Nigel Everett looking for thermals (John Street)
 It was flyable again after lunch, Tom managed to fly his first trial lesson visitor with two winch launches.
The weather improved a bit in the afternoon allowing several short soaring flights on the South ridge but the low cloud returned so we called it a day.

The Perkoz was re-rigged after its initial 50hr inspection, thanks to George sanderson for the speedy turnround and to all those who helped to rig it. - John Street.

Sun 10th June

A keen group of members had most of the Club gliders out of the hangar before 9am and with a forecast of a North Easterly wind the launch point and winch were set up for launches from the South West corner of the airfield. Both K21s, the Perkoz and the Juniors were soon being walked down to the other end of the field. With the weather forecast suggesting that cloudbase would not be high enough for Trial Lessons the tug was left in the hangar in the hope that the actual weather for the day might be better than the forecast. 
Dave Cowley tries out the Perkoz (Mike Sloggett)
And then it was on with the flying list, the cloudbase being just high enough to allow full height launches - for those members wishing to practice winch launches, circuit planning and landings the weather was ideal. With James Flory, Glenn Turpin, Stu Proctor and Mike Sloggett working their way through the flying list everyone had flown at least once during the morning so with the skies getting greyer and greyer a decision was made to stop for lunch. 
And John Street in the back seat (Mike Sloggett)
After lunch everyone who wanted to fly again was able to do so with various members flying  the Perkoz for the first time. There were hints of blue here and there during the afternoon amongst a brightening sky and with cloudbase slightly higher than in the morning but the afternoon was simply more circuits - for those who needed to practice same it continued to be ideal weather!
Perkoz derigged for 50hr inspection (Mike Sloggett)
Late afternoon hangar flights were completed and the Perkoz was taken down to the workshop ahead of being de-rigged for some standard checks following the glider’s introduction to the Club fleet.

During the day Stu Proctor flew with Tom Sides in the Perkoz to complete Tom’s acceptance checks, Well Done Tom on joining the Instructor team. A particular thank you to Rob, Sally and Lorna, Neil and Caelin for their help with various ground duties which was much appreciated, particularly as none of them are flying members. - Mike Sloggett

Fri 8th June - Course week

Yesterday, Jill's blog started, "It was always going to be cloudier today-but there was some doubt about the possibility of rain". - Sounds similar to today!

After the course dinner at the Keepers Cottage last night (thanks Jim for organising) we all turned up on time in anticipation for the last day of the course,but again were met with low cloud and spots of drizzle. Further briefings commenced,this time on circuit planning, theory of flight and Instruments. All interesting stuff and all of us learned something.

June Course (Robert Lee)

Just before lunch, John and Guy had one final weather check and although it was slightly brighter the cloud was still only about 400ft, so after consultation with course members it was decided to scrub the day. However despite finishing on a low it had been a great course. We had barely 3 days flying but still managed some 93 launches in total.

Great progress was made by existing members Simon, Jim, Andy and Mark and also new members Jon and Alex. Its a great shame that Alex lives too far away to continue to be a regular member, but we hope he continues to enjoy his training at lasham. Good luck Alex !

Many, many thanks to John Sillett and GuyAdams for their excellent instruction and long days that they put in when we did fly and also many thanks to helpers Tim Petty, Robert Lee, James Smart, George Sanderson, Jill Harmer and Graham Barden. All in all a very enjoyable week. - Andy Williams

Thurs 7th June

It was always going to be cloudier today - but there was some doubt about the possibility of rain....
With several of the Thursday regulars away on holiday, and others choosing the sunnier Wednesday, it was a quieter Course week Thursday than normal.
Flying continues with leaden skies (Jill Harmer)
The cloud started off at a reasonable height allowing 6 - 8 minute circuits, but gradually the base started to be less defined .......
Sheltering from the heavy drizzle (Andy Williams)
  .......and  late afternoon there was a period of heavy drizzle which brought proceedings to an early end with the gliders walked back to the hangar. 
Chris Wool playing with his new toy (Andy Williams)
But a busy day with 40 launches in total. - J&P

Wed 6th June

A bit cooler today, but a bright start, all the Club gliders were taken to the southwest corner in readiness for a very busy day with a long list and the June course in full swing. The Wednesday club had a Junior and a K21 at their disposal and the DG505 if needed, while the Course used a K21, Perkoz and a Junior.
John Sillett briefing for the Perkoz (John Street)
The course and the Wednesday club integrated well with no hick-ups, Robert Lee and Peter Warren were on standby should the tug be needed. There was not much thermal activity in the morning but some difficult thermals started after lunch Nigel Everett starting the soaring with the longest flight so far in the day, later on the thermals were reaching just under 2,000ft and several flights of over 30min were recorded. 
Busy launch point (John Street)
Tom Sides had his acceptance flights with CFI Stu.for his BI rating - Congratulations to him for completing the course. All the Wednesday crew flew on what was a very busy day. 
Fred takes to the air again (Robert Lee)
In the evening as the Committee were engrossed in their meeting, it was disrupted for a while as Mitch put the 'Fred' through its paces, followed by Stu having his first flight. - John Street.

Tues 5th June - Course Week

Oops, I spoke to soon ! All course members duly reported at 08:30 to be met with low cloud and drizzle. John Sillett and Guy conducted some lectures and James and Tim showed Andy how to refuel and DI the ground vehicles ( do we or don't we check the steering oil levels).
Ground Vehicles - READY (Webcam)

There was a vague hope that a clearance would arrive just after lunchtime. So the aircraft were pulled out of the hangar and DIs carried out. An early lunch ensued in anticipation of the most optimistic forecast that we could find. 
Gliders - READY (Webcam)
A certain instructor and helper were obviously getting bored as some verbal sparring between John and James was evident regarding merits of Navy vs RAF ! Quite entertaining. 

After lunch the simulator was fired up giving course members semi-valuable experience of some basic exercises. Thanks to Mark who seemed to know how to get it going. More speed for the loop next time!

At 2:30 it was decided to put the kit away and the day was scrubbed. Thanks to Nick for fitting the tow bar to the new Freelander, - looks very smart. Tomorrow's forecast looks better.......maybe. - Andy Williams

Mon 4th June - Course Week

Driving up the hill from Cullompton in the rain brought back memories of my (cancelled) course in April. However the forecast for the rest of the week was reasonable so hopes were high(ish).
New members Alex and John and existing members Simon, Jim, Mark and Andy all made our introductions and sat down for the course brief from instructors John and Guy. Serial helpers Tim, James and Robert got the ground kit out early and set up the LPV in the south west corner. James having arrived in style in his Jodel. 

Cumulus clouds were forming early on but thermals were broken and difficult to work in the strong north east wind. Most course members had 6 flights so good progress was made. 
Andy hogs  the Junior (library photo)
Andy (apparently) hogged the Junior (only 5 flights) and had a flight of just over 1 hour to 2300ft base.
33 launches total and some 6 hours flying.A great start to the week, let's hope it continues!
Sorry no photos, everybody busy flying ! - Andy Williams

Sun 3rd June

RASP didn't seem to have a grasp of the high cover that had invaded Devon during the morning, but training flights carried on regardless with our keen bunch of new members. 
North Hill once the sun had come out (Simon Minson)
The Pundits drank more tea and eventually decided to give it a go after lunch.... the top cover receded from the south and some tatty cumulus appeared at last locally which was working quite well. At the same time a swarm of Lashamites appeared having been able to start soaring in the east some hours earlier. 
Salisbury Cathedral (Wyn Davies)
Pete Startup 230, Ron and Dan 711, Wyn Davies W7 and John Pursey HOG  turned Salisbury for the Club 200. Local soaring continued into the early evening as the forecast switchoff never happened.
First checking out in the new Perkoz (Simon Minson)
After instructing all morning, Simon Minson took on his RE role checking out Tom Sides for BI rating. 

Thanks to everyone who helped run things during the day. - J&P

Sat 2nd June

Well this is Summer!! What a lovely day it was too, a day requiring good lookout, it’s a shame the power pilots aren’t taught that when they go for their PPL, we witnessed at least 4 private Aircraft going over our launchpoint at around 400ft into Dunkeswell today without a care in the world! Anyway we are more vigilant so no harm caused! 
Winching (Mike Rigby)
The launch point was busy all day and everyone flew, my duty started at midday and I flew a lovely trial lesson with Jamie Smith, a previous  Hang Glider pilot from Taunton, and he also flew with Martin Woolner later in the afternoon,  I believe he will be joining the club so good job done by all as it is the North Hill experience which counts not just the flying! Pete Harmer flew with Len Payne from Exmouth, who was celebrating his 85th birthday with his large family - also loving the flight.

Martin Woolner had been busy all morning including checking out Ross Pratt for the Junior.  Well done to Ross for also having the one of the longest flights of the day - 38minutes in the best soaring part of the day.
Martin briefing Ross for the Junior (Mike Rigby)
James Flory was as usual busy all day with a massive grin as he is one who can never get enough gliding!

 I flew with Emma Kendall, a new member from the Met Office, 3 super flights and she was great company, more women pilots, whatever next ☺. 

Various members enjoyed solo flights including Roy Boddy, Dick Stevens, Mark Wallis, Jeff Taberham and Peter Startup rigged  but  were disappointed with the lowish cloudbases and tricky soaring in the south- southwesterly breeze.

Steph and Stirling returned from Dunkeswell having visited the LAA Devon Strut annual fly in and later in the day the Faircloughs flew the Cub in having done the same in readiness for their trip to Saunton Sands Beach landings tomorrow. 
Lisa and Simon in Perkoz (Lisa Humphries)
 Towards the end of the shift I blagged a couple of flights with Simon Leeson (who had been busy in the Tug all day) in Perky, lovely glider and great fun followed by a few laughs over a cuppa before running off to Cullompton to pick up my Indian (low fat!) take away. 

Thanks everyone both on the ground to make it happen and in the air for a most enjoyable afternoon shift! - Lisa Humphries

Thurs 31st May

A week of misty low cloud and thundery showers as trough lines passed through after the hot sunshine of Bank Holiday Monday.

But the day was spent with Ian Hunt  and Aston Key cutting the grass again - (the new mower was money well spent), and Ellie Carter, Dave Herbert and Lukasz Kieruczenko all making great attempts at their Bronze papers.  Congratulations to Ellie and Dave for sorting out the units on the ruler and passing the exam. Lukasz now knows the areas that he needs to concentrate on.....

Mike Sloggett gave a presentation to Jack Raybould and Daniel Hender on circuit planning. 
Club Fleet  and some ground equipment (Pete Smith)

The rest of the Thursday regulars spent their time unpacking and repacking the hangar after the new Club Fleet photos were obtained. Thanks to everyone for helping. - J&P