Thurs 29th November

Its been a wet week and last night was quite wild, so the field was soggy and the strong southerly would have been a handful. A select group of Thursday regulars met up for tea and a chat.
Rob completing Club 100 (Jill Harmer)
Mike Horwood wanted to practice some spins in the simulator, and then Geoff Lawrence, Ray Dodd, John Borland, and Rob Rand all tried some local cross-country tasks with mentors Pete and Jill Harmer. We started off with some nice high cloud bases and plan to introduce more challenging conditions and competitive racing on the non-flying Thursdays over the winter. Rob took the prize today for a completed Club 100 Tiverton - Crewkerne. - J&P

Thur 22nd November

Wave or not to wave? - that was the question. Early on the bars to the west, out in the valley, (downwind) looked promising. The wind had picked up to a brisk easterly at the launchpoint, but the clouds were all moving with a strong southeasterly, so there was quite a shear. 
Juniors waiting patiently for the results of  the weather check (Jill Harmer)
The first flights were all quite short in patches of quite strong sink, and no-one dared to make a dash for the downwind bar. 

Eric Alston with the excuse of checking his vario in G29 took an aerotow and dropped back to the bar and found some lift, he managed to climb to 3000ft but broke off due to the very poor visibility. Pete Harmer and Ray Dodd in Perkoz aerotowed to a similar area and climbed a little in front of the lenticular but also opted out due to the visibility. 
Aerotowing to the wave (Mike Sloggett)

After lunch, it was clear  that misting canopies was becoming an issue as the moister air had pushed in from the south, so a combination of hangar flights and walking back was completed for an early finish. 

But by this time everyone had flown - 20 flights - J&P

Wed 21 November

Wednesday started on a very misty note and although we could see up, we couldn't see across the field; this was sufficient to discourage some of the lightweights. 

The remaining seven, some might call magnificent, hung on and the ordering of early lunch produced an instant improvement in the weather. 
Pleasant  afternoon (Mike Sloggett)
We set up at the West end with the wind light Easterly veering South East and enjoyed a pleasant afternoon dodging the showers. David Clements and Chris Warnes found a little bit of zero climb to claim joint 'Hogs of the day', a role they are eminently suited to!- Glenn Turpin

Sun 18th November

First thing this morning, one could see that the assembled members were balancing the potential of flying in a nice blue sky against staying inside the warm Clubhouse away from the evident Easterly, and no doubt chilly, wind.

In the end there was only one decision to be made - how many items of warm clothing to be worn before getting gliders and ground equipment ready for the day’s flying.

A K21, the DG505, the Perkoz and a Junior were then all taken to the South West corner of the airfield where the launch point had been set up for the day.
DG505 at the launchpoint (Mike Sloggett)
And then by mid-morning, with everything ready to go, it was on with the flying list with various members taking it in turn to maintain currency in the fresh Easterly wind. All the gliders were kept busy all day - but with no lift sources available gliders were soon into the circuit with good planning needed to take into account the wind strength on the approach.

With enough Instructors and members available to keep flying going through lunchtime the decision was made to make the most of the day allowing our Trial Lesson visitors to all complete their flights.
Sunset (Mike Sloggett)
Both Falkes completed some local flying and James Flory enjoyed his first flight in the Pawnee.
Congratulations to James Flory converting to Pawnee (Mike Sloggett)
A rather pleasant day in the air, thank you to everyone who helped others to get airborne today. - Mike Sloggett

With Easterlies forecast all weekend Steve Westlake and I decided to visit Dartmoor Gliding Society at Brentor. For those who do not know, Brentor is a small club on the edge of Dartmoor just north of Tavistock. Steve and I arrived at the club earlier than expected and we were pleasantly surprised to see a few members already there, drawn by the lure of wave no doubt!

Launching started just after 9:30 with myself and a Dartmoor member doing a met flight, with a launch height of 1800 ft it was easy to step into the wave that had set up just in front of the winch.
Young Dan Hender from North Hill flew with me to 6000ft only returning to fly other members after 30 mins or so, he had a rather large grin on his face! The views across Dartmoor/Plymouth and Cornwall were spectacular. 

Mark Courtney and Dan Hender - needed a cushion! (Rob Hender)
Members were quick to launch and they all contacted the wave immediately, Andy Davey joint member of North Hill and Brentor climbed to 12000 ft above site in his Zugfugel closely followed by chairman Richard Roberts, every training flight aborted the climbs at 6000ft to return for the next member.
Steve Westlake had a high  cable break, as he pushed forward to position for a circuit bumped into the wave and went straight to 8000ft! 

CFI Mark Courtney at Dartmoor Gliding (Rob Hender)
Richard Roberts was tempted to head for Lands-end from 11000ft but was unsure about his retrieve! next time Richard!
Wind on the ground was at times very calm but wind at 2000ft was 40 mph! this made for careful circuit planning!

A truly amazing day, made special by the hospitality of the Brentor members and a very accommodating CFI  ;)
Just like trips to Mendip, DSGC intend to visit both local and not so local sites during the winter with a club two seater, so please keep your eye on GG and get your name down as soon as you see a chance! 

Sat 17th November

As the weather sets into winter mode, Saturday was a reminder that faith in forecasts and the faith to turn up does pay. 

With Saturday promising a bright sunny afternoon it was with faith that in thick fog Alan Turner organised getting ground equipment out and DI'd. With the cloud just above the trees the duty instructor turned up (having diverted via a field near Honiton for a recce of a potential bolt hole from what will probably be a future ill-judged attempt to soar a new local ridge) and found the faithful few keeping the cafe going. 

Top marks to young members Oliver and Ryan, who along with their Dads held out on the promises of "it will clear up". - And so it did. 

Midday and with a K21 out and a Junior the cloud had parted and launches were rewarded with a great view across the tops of local clouds, but enough of a hole to avoid too much tension... 
Clouds parting (John Pursey)
Ryan and Oliver got their much earned training and the other faithful a Junior flight. Local heavy sink in the fresh easterly gave witness to what was really happening and Andy Williams then William Pope with JP spent the money on aerotows to get into the wave downwind on the hill. 
Winter wave (John Pursey)
William had his first flight in NH2 and despite a severely misting canopy at the start of the tow did a masterful job of first finding, then milking the wave to 5,000' (above site). Still going up at 5,000 he was old and wise enough to realise that everyone had packed up and were waiting and so mosied off checking out the lee of the other N-S ridges before landing to help with the clubs stocks of Otter ale.
Brilliant sunsets (John Pursey)
 Lesson of the day -  as the weather takes on its winter personae, don't be too quick to dismiss a day, keep the faith, keep Graham busy and fingers crossed that at least half a day can be achieved and some brilliant sunsets witnessed. - John Pursey

North Hill (Andy Williams)

Congratulations to Andrew and Philippa (Lisa Humphries)

In Tetbury, Lisa and Malcolm and JB and Val helped to celebrate Andrew Mugleston and Phillipa Roberts wedding. 

Congratulations to the happy couple from all at North Hill. - J&P

Thur 15th November

Low cloud as forecast, but there was plenty to do today. Mark Courtney led a team painting the new approach reference marker paving slabs. 
Moving paving slabs across the waves of pine needles (Mark Courtney)
 There was a token gesture at clearing some of the pine needles that have accumulated everywhere.

Then Junior LRD was rigged following the Annual inspection - thanks to the Technical Team for the swift turnaround. So with an empty glider workshop, K21 HCX was derigged ready for its Annual inspection, just in time as the low cloud was turning into fog with drizzle. 

After lunch, a few of the Thursday regulars decided that they needed some flying and so the simulator was fired up for some aerotow practice and a short soaring task to Tiverton and back with some nice white puffy clouds. - J&P

Wed 14th November

Wednesday's forecast was for a strong Southerly wind and that is just what we received, the ridge was working from the first launch with Mike Fitz and John Street enjoying a flight of over 30min was a good start.
David Clements ready to soar the south ridge (John Street)
During the day most flights enjoyed soaring conditions on the South ridge the good lift lasted all day with short periods with quick circuits and sink.
In the strong wind some of launches were in excess of 1,500ft and our thanks go to the standard of winch driving in difficult conditions.
Landing after a good soaring flight (John Street)
Some of the landings were a little testing but everyone who flew handled the conditions well, at the end of the day, we had all three gliders soaring in good lift  with Glenn Turpin having the the longest flight of nearly an hour.  - John Street

Sun 11th November

It started off bright and sunny, with a gentle southwesterly wind and a small gathering of members and instructors. 

A small group of instructors headed off to Mendip Gliding Club for the day, and the rest got the club gliders ready for flying. 

A K21 and a Junior were moved to the launch point and Josh and Charlie rigged the K6, and they both managed to fly it before the wind picked up. By this time more members and instructors  had arrived, and another K21 was swiftly brought into action.
Sunny day after the recent wind and rain (Jill Harmer)

Round about lunchtime, the wind picked up significantly giving higher launches and extended flights with some lift developing to the south of the airfield. It wasn't until a nice convergence set up along a line of showery rain into the setting sun that Chris Warnes got the longest flight of 34mins, - forced to land due to the rain.
Long shadows in November (Jill Harmer)

35 launches in total (with a respectful pause at 11:00am) - J&P

At Mendip Gliding Club
A last minute decision to go to Mendip Gliding Club meant that Simon Minson had to leap out of bed leave his tea and rush to the Club. Steve Westlake and I were having breakfast by the time he arrived, Martin Woolner was hitched up by 9 and we all set off by 9:15.

We arrived at 10:15 to see the club pleasantly busy, the launch point set up and a glider ready to launch. The wind was bang on the ridge @SW15 gusting 25. Out of our group Si launched first followed by Martin and Steve in his Discus.

There was only one instructor on site and with a spare K13 at the launch point I was asked to instruct, with the ridge booming it was an easy decision! The ridge was working all the way to the motorway and back to Wells. To get to the motorway you have to get down to less than 600ft QFE at Cheddar Gorge which makes for a  fantastic view of the ridge, when you turn back the airfield is a very long way away! 

Cheddar Gorge (Mark Courtney)
Martin got into wave and because a “box” had been opened (an agreement with Bristol airport) he could explore to 4500 ft QNH cutting off before 5000ft as per agreement. Steve landed after a couple of hours to let me have a go in his Discus ( thanks!)
Cheddar reservoir (Mark Courtney)
The ridge was strong all day enabling long, low, fast beats for the entire length, with thermals being boosted by the ridge lift we had 5 kts lift at times.We all elected to land by 3:30 to de rig, we set off home feeling very content.

Many thanks to our friends at Mendip for making us feel so welcome.

Further trips are planned from North Hill with the Perkoz and/or the DG505, keep an eye on GG for info should you be interested. - Mark Courtney 

Thurs 1st November

Brilliant blue sky and a gentle north westerly wind welcomed the Thursday regulars at North Hill this morning. 
Club gliders ready....(Peter Smith)
The air felt buoyant from the first launch, but it took a little while for it to start working properly with the arrival of a few clouds from the North. 
North Hill (Mike Horwood)
For a few hours through the middle of the day it was really good with John Borland and Aston Key leading the way in the two Juniors. 

Seeing this, Pete Startup 230, Wyn Davies W7, Robert Lee DKU and David Clements CVV  pushed out to join in the launch queue. 

Some streets set up in nice lines from Tiverton to Axminster with Pete Startup enjoying following the energy for once for 133Kms.  There were 4 knot thermals to a main cloudbase at 3000ft, but occasionally flying round the front of the clouds it was possible to get to 3800ft above North Hill, - not bad for November!
K21 (Dave Clements)
Wyn was heard to call that he was low over Cullompton, but he made it back to the ridge, but when he set off again he was not so fortunate the second time - getting caught out south of Hembury Hill for a field landing.
South coast (Wyn Davies)
The convection had a very sharp cutoff, although slightly later than RASP forecast, the sky went blue. As the day drew to a close, the ridge started working really well, but heavy clouds appeared on the horizon and we were just 5 minutes too late in packing the hangar as the rain showers arrived. 

A great November day enjoyed by all, totalling 43 flights  - J&P