Thursday 30th August

Unusually, there had no weather update from Pete for today, as the forecast had been fluctating between good and bad and it was anybody's guess as to what would ensue. The day started with a large amount of top cover although cumulus clouds could be seen widely on the horizons. The wind was very light but with a north easterly bias, and the forecast showed a change likely to north west at some point during the day.

With RASP now showing RED this morning, the optimistic private owners rigged and towed and parked at  the west end in readiness. Whilst training commenced in earnest with Mike Horwood  and Daniel Hender in the K21s, the Junior pilots and private owners decided to 'wait for better things'. 
Cumulus starting under the top cover (Jill Harmer)
By lunchtime, Tom Sides managed to get the first soaring with the Trial lesson visitor. This led to a minor frenzy for launching, with some great soaring conditions all afternoon.

Just after 15:00 we had managed to empty the launchpoint and the windsock started swinging out with a westerly wind so a swift end change was completed with nearly all airborne.
Godd afternoon skies (Jill Harmer)
Pete Bennett completed his BI revalidation  checks with Chris Wool. Mike Horwood resoloed after a significant layoff. The Junior members rigged the K6 DRE and Charlie, Josh and Ross all enjoyed flying it, with Ross converting for the first time and Josh managing 1½ hours.

The cross-country pundits flew round the Club 100 but as conditions were so good, continued the westerly leg to Barnstaple. 
230 made it back in the deteriorating conditions, but Wyn in W7 went for a pint at The Keepers Cottage - 3 km short. Chris Wool and Peter Bennett in the Perkoz  ventured out beyond Tiverton. Rob Rand with JB in K21 (supposedly practicing an aerotow) flew west nearly making MUD  and the furthest that Rob has explored. 

Trial flights launching into stunning skies (JB)
The evening group was made up from Capital Aviation and Ashill friends and the remaining Unity 5 group who missed out last week, enjoying flights with some stunning skies.

John Street and Guy Adams at Flybe (Mike Sloggett)

The second group of Instructors/Committee members visited Flybe to discuss mutual airspace considerations and fly the Embraer simulator, thanks again to Flybe and training Captain and DSGC member James Smart.  Another great day for DSGC.- J&P

Wednesday 29th August

Not a particularly inspiring forecast for today and a low turnout of members, rain was promised for the afternoon but in the event we had very little,  so rain hardly disrupted flying at all.
During the day the the cloudbase rose to over 2,000ft, and many soaring flights were to be had with many flights of over 30mins recorded.
Dan Hender continues his training with John Sillett  (John Street)
Two of the booked Trial lesson Visitors enjoyed their flights, but unfortunately the Mile High Trial lesson visitor missed out due to the restricted cloudbase.
Andy Williams our Easyjet pilot had several soaring flights and Tim Johns had the longest flight. It was good to see Robin Street back again at the club enjoying some flights with John.
Robin and John Street in K21 (John Street)
The clouds opened up nicely for the evening group from the Torquay Round Table. - John Street.

Sat 25th August

What a glorious day we had, the Club was buzzing with lots of members experiencing full on Aerobatic  training with Martin Woolner and John Sillett following last week's scrub due to the weather, thus keeping Simon Leeson busy in the Tug plus of course the Trial lesson visitors and some private gliders setting off on various tasks. Even the CFI managed to get some solo time in his own glider for a change. 
Nice sky (Simon Leeson)
James Flory covered JP's morning shift and I took over at 12:30, it was non-stop for the next 5 hours and we managed to fly everyone so lots of smiley faces. Dave Wojnar renewed his red card, Jorg Beasley who recently flew on a course week had a couple of flights, Andreas  Kraemer refreshed his skills, Marley Chinn had his last flight with us before venturing to Portmoak (which will be his local club as he is starting his studies at St Andrews University) and Dave Albasiny had a nice long flight thermalling up to cloudbase several times. 
Lisa and Dave  (Lisa Humphries)
 At 6pm, we hosted some Trial lesson visitors from the Porsche club who unfortunately had their evening cut short last week due to rain. 
Porsche Club visitors enjoying the pleasant evening weather (Simon Leeson)
Thanks to the members who stayed on to make this happen, the Porsche Club visitors were absolutely delighted with their flights.
Spot the Gliders - busy in |Devon (Jill Harmer)
Whilst the Competitions up country were tasking down to Devon, our slightly delayed start meant our planned tasks changed to fallbacks. Pete Startup 230 headed off east (turning Dorchester, Bullington and Ansty Cross for 300Kms) and returned 4½ hours later after a few tricky moments - "Too many long glides, low points and slow climbs. Then the ground sucked me down and tried to eat me. I escaped from the abyss and had a nice run home on a sea breeze convergence. Funny old day.". Eric Alston completed 165Km Knowstone - Sherborne, and well done to Rich Roberts who was spotted struggling back to Brentor.
Pete and Jill  Harmer in OL wombled around dashing along some good convergences.
Good convergences set up (Jill Harmer)
Congratulations to Paul Medlock in HMS for completing his Silver distance to Eyres Field. Martin Bennett enjoyed his longest flight yet in DG1 just short of 3 hours.

It’s getting to the end of the summer - but what a summer we have had, and hopefully the forecast will come good next week to enable us to fly the last of the Trial Lesson evenings for this year. 

When it is busy we rely on everyone to make the day run efficiently, today was a great example of the Club pulling together and thanks to everyone for making it a great day out! - 20 aerotows and more than 40 winch launches in total. - Lisa Humphries

Update from Two-seater Comp. at Pocklington 
Saturday was Day 3 the best and the final day of an inauspicious flying week in the Wolds. Duo Discus DD3 flew 388Km at 74kph and placed 11th overall. 
DD3 trace

Team Eagle BBB flew down to Kirton on Lindsay but fell short of getting back to Pocklington by 3.5Km. But Congratulations to Team Eagle for Best Wood for another year. - Nick Jones

Fri 24th August - Course Week

Charlie Stuckey, Josh Funnell, Reuben Buss and Ross Pratt all achieved their goal of getting a red card rating by the end of the week, and Oscar Katzinski made excellent progress with Mark being very impressed with the aptitude and skill that he showed. Alan Stoneham returned to flying after around 10 years away after retiring as a BA Training Captain and found the soaring and feel of the glider fascinating and we can all expect to see him at the Club soon.
K21 is smaller than Alan is used to (Mark Courtney)
We were fortunate with the weather all week, and by the end of the week all of us have come away having learnt and progressed even more than we had hoped to.
Josh trying out the back seat (Mark Courtney)
A massive thank you to all the helpers who gave 100% in order to give us a great launch rate and gave their time for us. A good amount of ground training went on too with Reuben, Josh and Charlie all learning how to winch drive and be the Duty Launch Marshall with Alan and Oscar gaining valuable knowledge of glider handling and launching.
North Hill (Mike Sloggett)
A brilliant experience which was always good fun and relaxed, wouldn’t have been possible without the amazing instructors.  - Josh Funnell

Thurs 23rd August

It wasn't foggy this morning, but it had rained overnight and the grass was wet, and the sky looked promising behind the cold front.
Peter Smith and Rob Rand ready for first launch (Mark Courtney)
It wasn't long however before the sky filled in,  although cloudbase did eventually get to 2000ft. 

Sky had filled in (Jill Harmer)
Just before lunchtime, it became reasonably soarable and the private owners lined up for launches alongside the course operation.
A line of private owners (Mark Courtney)
There were a large number of card checks for the Club members which Pete Harmer and Peter Smith waded through involving a lot of walking back from down the field. Reuben, Charlie, Josh and Ross continued building their solo flights with Reuben completing his longest flight of 1½ hours so far. 
HCX launching into a dark sky (Mark Layton)
Through the afternoon, the next frontal band made itself known  with increased wind and lowering clouds but the ridge started working better.
Feeeling cold (Mark Layton)
By the end of the afternoon it was brightening up again, started feeling warmer and the wind had dropped again just in time for the evening group from Lukasz and Dave's Unity5. However, only 4 flights were possible before some showery rain came in.

Over 60 flights today thanks all for making it run smoothly. - J&P

Wed 22nd August

With cloudbase not getting much higher than 1000ft  all day we spent a lot of the day releasing at 700ft and flying quick circuits. 
North Hill under low cloud from Perkoz (Mike Sloggett)
Having done his fair share of eventualities Charlie took a short solo before learning to drive the winch. 
ditto from K21 (Mike Sloggett)
Reuben and Josh enjoyed back seat flights in the Perkoz and DG505 and Josh taking a few solos to progress towards red card. All other course members spent the day hanging on till the cloud lifted this evening and took some circuits and beat ups, the simulater also got well exercised. - Charlie Stuckey

Tues 21st August - Course Week

Today was the second fantastic day of the course week with all course members making progress.
Nice sky (Mark Courtney)
Ross Pratt resolod after a short layoff, Josh Funnell revised reduced G and stalls, Oscar Katzinski did his first landing.
ENW got an airing (Mike Sloggett)

Alan Stoneham had his first experience of soaring, spinning and landing a glider (with no engines). Charlie Stuckey stayed at home with a poorly belly. Reuben Buss learnt to drive to the winch.  
Cloudbase improved a little during the day (Mike Sloggett)

The day ran super smoothly with a huge help from Chris Wool, Mike Sloggett, Steve Westlake, Mark Courtney, Rob Rand, William Pope and James Hood. - Reuben Buss

Mon 20th August - Course Week

This morning we began our Course week with Reuben Buss as course leader. Only to be confronted by thick fog. 

Luckily the weather cleared up after various ground briefings, allowing Reuben and Josh to be cleared for solo and Charlie to be checked out, ready for solo tomorrow. Our new member and retired British Airways Training Caption Alan Stoneham made great progress. New member Oscar very much enjoyed his first day at a gliding club and first ever flights.
North Hill is going green again (Mike Sloggett)
All in all a great day. Thanks to all the course helpers and instructors! - Ross Pratt
Taking off at Exeter Airport (Jill Harmer)
Several members visited Flybe Training Academy at Exeter Airport, discussing mutual airspace considerations with Flight Operational Services Manager Captain Chris Jones.  They then enjoyed circuits at Exeter and Geneva in the Embraer Simulator with Training Captain and DSGC member James Smart in charge. Many thanks to James Smart and Flybe for organising this. - J&P

Thurs 16th August

It was a wet start as forecast, and after just a short wait, the airfield started to dry out well and the cloudbase rose to 1200ft.  With a nice northwesterly we were hopeful for the ridge to work, but probably some wave interfered and it was rather tricky to get away from the winch. 
It suddenly became soarable (Mark Courtney)

After a late lunch the wind increased, cloudbase went up to 3000ft and suddenly the sky was soarable and the launchpoint was empty. 
Cumulus over Devon (Mike Sloggett)
Pete Harmer and Daniel Hender followed the cloud street to Cullompton and Daniel was excited to fly over his house for the first time. It was good to welcome Reuben Buss back from his gliding adventures down under. Congratulations to Chris Warnes for getting the final signatures for his Bronze. 
Mark Courtney congratulates Chris Warnes on his Bronze (Mark Courtney)
In the evening, a large family group enjoyed the late evening sunshine and extended ridge flights. - J&P
Treborough Summer Camp group (Mark Courtney)
News from Denbigh
North Hill Nomads Pete Startup 230, Wyn Davies W7 and Tom Sides DG1 enjoyed a few laps of the Denbigh ridge at 110kph.

Wed 15th August

Low cloud put paid to an early start, flying didn't start until late morning and then without any thermal activity, after lunch the whole situation had changed with the cloudbase rising to over 2,000ft and good abundant thermals that lasted all afternoon everyone had a soaring flight and two of the booked trial lessons were flown with Pete Warren in the tug.
Robert Lee enthusing the next generation of glider pilots (John Street)
The group from Kestrel Gliding Club at Odiham enjoyed  a taste of North Hill soaring.  
Porsche Owners Club  South west region (Alan Stoneham)
 In the late afternoon, a large group from the Southwest region of the Porsche Owners Club started to arrive for their evening of  flying. Only half of them managed to get airborne as the low cloud unfortunately  arrived early, but the Porsche Owners enjoyed  the social gathering and barbeque and will return on another day. - John Street.

Fri 10th August - Course Week

Friday morning was not quite the forecast that we had hoped for - with low cloud, but there was some hope that conditions would improve in the afternoon. 
James gave a briefing on airmanship and local airspace rules, and then Pete and James  went through some spin training using the simulator. By lunchtime we were still hopeful for some flying weather and prepared the ground equipment ready. 
Lovely late afternoon sky (Jill Harmer)
And the skies cleared as the wind picked up and flying started at 16:00, initially the ridge was working well, aided by some rather boisterous thermals. So all the course members enjoyed their first ridge flights of the week, but by the time all 6 course members had flown, the wind went round to the north and the ridge stopped working. 
August Course
It was a good soarable course week with flying every day, interspersed with ground school and simulator training, all the course members made good progress towards their individual goals. Many thanks to the course helpers - Richard Harris, Aston Key and Jill Harmer  and Course Instructors Pete Harmer and James Flory. - J&P

Thurs 9th August

There was a lot of What's App enthusiasm for the RASP forecast today, however, there were a few indications this morning that suggested that all was not going to plan. 
The veil of high cloud had not moved to the east, some low-level clouds seemed to be moving with a northeasterly blow, and there was a large build up of towering cumulus to the west..... The cross-country pilots rigged and then drank tea, and more tea.

The Thursday regulars started preparing the gliders, whilst Pete gave the course members a briefing on safe winch launching. 
The Flight line (Jill Harmer)
Launching got underway by 10:20, but the circuits were all quite short. Just after 11:00 a quick look at the radar rainfall called a temporary pause in proceedings as a large cell on the trough line was heading straight for North Hill. So having securely parked all the club gliders and advised the private owners to take their wing dollies off, the Clubroom was severely crowded to say the least.

The heavy rain took a while to pass, but there were no nasty squalls, but unfortunately the wind sock pointed the wrong way for quite a while after the storm had cleared, so an early lunch was called for to wait for the wind to change back to westerly.

First launches after the break were soarable and this continued all afternoon.  The course members took the outside line and the club members and private owners queued on the inside line. Pete Startup 230 managed O/R to Eaglescott but it was quite a struggle in a 17knot wind.
Another great North Hill sunset (Hans Jenssen)
 Thanks to everyone helping we then managed to complete the whole flying list before handing over to the Air Cadet evening group who then benefited from the ridge working during the evening flights. The Course members enjoyed a course dinner at the Keeper's Cottage- J&P

Wed 8th August

With the first August course in full swing the entire fleet was out and ready to go before 10:00am. From the first launch it was very soarable, there was a hurry to launch because the much needed rain was forecast for the afternoon.
Tom and Mark in the Perkoz (John Street)
The conditions were very soarable and at one point all the fleet was airborne at the same time the thermals were very strong and climbs to 4,000ft were to be had.
Checking out the Perkoz (John Street)
Peter Smith was duty instructor today as John Sillett was away  running a course for Heron Gliding Club, Peter kept himself entertained with some interesting simulated launch failures.

Unfortunately the forecast rain arrived mid-afternoon and some Wednesday regulars  and couse members did not get to fly. - John Street.

Tues 7th August - Course Week

It was another foggy, low cloud start so the early morning briefing was on circuit planning. There were signs of cloud breaks by 10:00am and launching started soon after. 
Cloud lifting (Jill Harmer)

Hans enjoyed another instrument being covered up for some advanced training, before flying the Junior again.
Informal course photo just after lunch (Jill Harmer)

All the other course members made progress primarily with circuits, although Pete and Graham in DG505 managed to find a few thermals / maybe some wave  in the late afternoon flights. - J&P

Mon 6th August - Course Week

It was a foggy start, so after the usual course briefing and introductions, James Flory gave a briefing on winch launching, whilst we waited for the air to dry out. We got going just after 11:00am, but cloudbase was still quite low - but soarable. As the temperature increased, the cloudbase rose to 2000ft and Pete Startup 230 and Eric Alston G29 took spare cables just before lunch, but found it difficult to go far.
K21s at the launchpoint (Jill Harmer)
The morning flights concentrated on circuits whilst  the afternoon flights were all soarable and cloudbase rose to 4000ft.. 
Hans Jenssen  two hours in the Junior (Jill Harmer)

Well done to Hans Jenssen for completing his 2 hour flight towards cross-country endorsement and just short of Silver height. - J&P

Sun 5th August

As forecast, there was a varying southerly wind at the club today which gave members a chance to practice circuits and even occasional soaring in sporting conditions. At one point we did change ends, but as usual, whilst we were doing so the wind direction changed again. 
Nick Redfern won the award for the longest flight with 86 mins and there were quite a few flights over 30 mins. We had three Mile High trial lesson visitors as well as a few friends and family flights which were fitted in around club flying. 
Clear blue skies for Mile Highs (Simon Minson)
 We also welcomed back Anja who progressed her flying with JB. Simon Minson put his regional examiner hat on and put James Flory and Steve Westlake through their respective checks in the Perkoz - congratulations on passing (completion and revalidation) to both of them! Towards the end of the day, the number of members present reduced and we were left with the minimum number of people needed to fly, but due to the number of instructors, it was no problem getting through the flying list. Thanks to everybody that stayed on to help.
Regional Examiner hat on at North Hill (Simon Minson)

 (The worst part of the day was getting home and seeing the number of 300km and 500km flights on the ladder. Can we move NH 50 miles east please?)  - Pete Bennett

Sat 4th August

A busy day at North Hill today with lots of visitors:  Anja, from Germany, who has spent the last year in New Zealand and learned to fly there came to find out if the soaring is as good in Devon.  Also Nick, a member at Culdrose, sampled some flying in our Perkoz.  Together with several Family and Friends flights and the usual booked Trial Lessons the instructors' work was cut out.
North Hill (Lisa Humphries)
The day started overcast with launches unable to reach full height.  The cloudbase slowly lifted and a the cloud began to break up around lunchtime.  Some local soaring became possible but getting away from the winch was so uncertain that even maestro Mike Fairclough elected to take an aerotow.  In the late afternoon and towards evening the sky around North Hill unexpectedly became very buoyant. Mark Courtney and new member Adam in the DG505, Lisa Humphries and newish member Marley in a K21 and Rowan Smith and really-not-so-new-member Ruth in the Perkoz were delighted to find climbs up to nearly 4000 feet.

Congratulations to Geoff Lawrence, who achieved his first solo aerotow, and to Rowan, who accomplished his first first-solo-sending since becoming an instructor.

Pete Startup 230 whizzed round the Club 100 then went for a bimble out to Witheridge to check on Pete and Jill's runner beans while Pete and Jill in OL went for a womble over Exmoor (but just missing Dunkery Beacon  as the clouds were lower over the top). 

The Pawnee, Rotax Falke and Fred all visited Dunkeswell to take part in a world record attempt for flying 200 types in a day.
Stu Procter in Fred from chase plane Rotax Falke (James Hood)
Thanks to DLM's Pete Startup and David Clements for shuffling gliders, instructors and P2's round to keep the show running all day.  Special thanks to Alan Turner for diagnosing and fixing a problem with the Skylaunch's fan, to prevent further overheating issues. - Ruth Comer

Thur 2nd August

It was a low cloudy start, and a 'will it - won't it' clear? While we were waiting a length of winch rope was changed and all the glider batteries and chargers were labelled to help with the diagnosis of  recent battery failures. 

The wind was a bit lighter than forecast and it took a little longer to clear than expected, but as all the kit had already been prepared, everything was ready for a few simulated cable breaks to check out the lifting cloudbase.
Tug finding the breaking clouds (Mike Sloggett)

Lunch was called to give the sky a chance to improve which it eventually did, cloudbase didn't get much above 2000ft but the gaps improved significantly. The sun  came out and the humidity was still high, but thermals were quite strong, and it was locally soarable all afternoon. 

Tom Sides with Preston in Perkoz (Mark Courtney)
The Trial lesson visitors were rewarded for their patience, with soaring flights, as did Tom Sides and Peter Smith with their respective grandsons. - Total flying 24 winch launches and 6 aerotows in a reduced day. - J&P

Wed 1st August

All the kit was out early under a very overcast sky with a promise of better weather later in the day. With a light southwesterly wind and nothing much in the way of lift - it was a good time for some check flights and familiarity flights in the Perkoz with plenty of simulated launch failures.
The kit is out and ready to fly (John Street)
As the day progressed the South wind picked up making for some interesting landings and the South ridge started to work with some thermal activity as well.

The 2000ft trial lessons went ahead  and Tom Sides grandson was introduced to gliding with an aerobatic flight with John Sillett and a flight with his Grandad Tom in the DG 505.

The Skylaunch seemed to be holding up with the temporary fix of Radweld, the soaring was not as good as it has been in the last few weeks but nevertheless some useful flights were to be had.

Nick Harrison flew in with his RF5 and the Falke was also used to good effect.- John Street.