Thurs 29th August

With just 3 flights yesterday before the low cloud and rain, we were hopeful for a good crowded day today and Thursday didn't disappoint.

Exploring the wispies (Mike Sloggett)
With Andy Davey and Ashley Thomas getting all the kit out early, we were ready to go very quickly in the clear blue skies, and  south westerly wind. Launches were high and allowed some time for exploring the developing wispies.
Private owners queue (Hans Jenssen)

 Ashley Thomas was up first and was rewarded with two soaring half-hours although cloudbase was still only 1500ft. The private owners saw this and soon arrived to form their own queue for launches, but there was an element of luck in getting away, and some had to resort to aerotows. 
Dark street forming (Mike Sloggett)
Eventually a dark street formed up to the south,  and 20mins flights became the norm, with Pete Startup 230 followed the energy line to Cadbury and Chard. 
It was good to see visitors Cath Jones back for a visit from Portmoak and Phil Challens from Stratford GC.
Busy launch point all day (Mike Sloggett)

Conditions stayed similar all afternoon and for the evening flying with Lisa Humphries' group from Capital  Air Ambulance.
Lisa flies some of her group (Lisa Humphries)

Thanks everyone -  more than 70 launches in total plus the Falkes which were busy all day and Mike Fairclough for tugging.- J&P

Sun 25th August

Activities started promptly with the launch point setting up at the most convenient corner of the field today - the south east.

There was almost null wind and a cloudless sky all day, with an inversion making visibility exceptionally poor in the first half, and little chance of any thermals.

Emma Kendall - more solos (Emma Kendall)
Still, it made good conditions for pre-solo and early solo pilots, and a smooth ride for the three trial lessons and two friends and family flights. 
Trevor Russell converted to Perkoz  (Peter Smith)
Trevor Russell got cleared to fly solo in the Perkoz, and Emma Kendall racked up three more solos totalling six now, also bagging longest flight of the day with 19 minutes on her first solo soaring flight. Paul Summers took the last cable for a solo in the K21 but ended up getting a real cable break - he showed us how a great recovery is done anyhow.

Thanks to the great gang that worked so well together and got everybody in the air today! - Emma Kendall

TSC2019 Results
Team Bennett arrived back from the TSC2019 at Pocklington as the last day was scrubbed, with Pete and Martin scoring a creditable 21st out of 31 in some very tricky conditions. The Eagle and DD3 are making a more leisurely return and will be arriving back during the week. DD3 came 13th overall and the Eagle was 18th, but BBB did win prizes for Best Wood and Meritorious flight, there also were reports that the "John Pursey Paella evening" was magnificent! - Hopefully a few more details to come. - J&P

Sat 24th August

The day started with a google group plea for Instructing help from James Flory, who was the only instructor onsite and with a 1 to 1, 3 trial lessons, and a flying training list to get through. 
North Hill airfield under blue skies (Lisa Humphries)
I arrived at 11:00  and flights were taking place from the northwest corner. The whole day ran ok with skeleton members but everyone pulled together and subsequently everyone flew. Thanks to Stu Procter for helping out with a Mile High trial lesson in the Perkoz. James Hood for doing a couple of flights with Rob Hender, and of course James Flory who was busy with a 1:1 with Jacob Brook and Glenn Turpin who instructed all day. 
Lisa helping out with instructing  (Lisa Humphries)
The wind was challenging and lots of sink but then it’s good for training, can’t always have it easy.Many thanks to Simon Leeson for tugging, a hot day for all of us! - Lisa Humphries

Fri 23rd August - Course week

I’ll start with thanks rather than finish with them because if it were not for the Team this week we could not have achieved what we did.
August (2) Course, Instructors and Helpers (James Hood)
Official helpers were, Rob Hender, Sally Hender and Gordon Hutchinson; Steve Westlake and I could not have wished for a better team, incredibly hard working, enthusiastic and above all a real pleasure to spend time with.
Many thanks also to the catering team for our lunches, and for putting in a very long shift to give us a course meal, this year in the clubhouse and not down a local pub.
It was a great success, I hope we will be able to do the same next year.
Mike Sloggett was with us all week officially flying his ASW 20 but as usual was a great help to us.
Steve and I wish to thank every one of you.

Well what can I say, without doubt the best course week I have ever been involved with, statistics will probably show that it was also one of the best courses for flight duration and personal achievement with good flying on all 5 days.

New Junior member Adam Mortimer walked in on Monday having only two flights before (Open Day and a Voucher flight), by the end of the week he had the pre-flight checks sorted, launching, landing, circuit planning and an abundance of things signed off in between!

Junior member Harry Rigby was put through his paces all week by Steve and is now on the verge of solo!

Dad Mike Rigby improved all week with lots of soaring, his performances got better when he was banned from wearing stupid white “aviation” gloves and hobnail boots!

Graham Hawker had soaring flights every day, some extending to a mini-crosscountry and a two and a half hour flight, all flown from the back seat of the Perkoz, Graham declared the aircraft to be “wonderful “ but still not as lovely as his beloved DG505.

14 year old Dan Hender had some pretty intense coaching in the first part of the week and has started to learn how to soar, read the sky, “tickle the ridge” and has real purpose to his flying.
He completed solo flights in the K21, was then converted to the Junior, had approximately 20 flights in the Junior, every single landing and approach was great!
Total solos for the week 23, now where is that Red card??.....

And last but not least is Junior member Charlie Stuckey, Charlie has been improving steadily over the last few years, he has flown solo at the Long Mynd and has been enjoying flying the K6.
We had a long week covering everything for his Bronze as well as some fantastic long flights, some epic saves and plenty of eventualities!
Charlie passed with “flying” colours, and to top it all he passed his written Bronze exam, so we now have the latest junior to achieve Bronze endorsement status.
A huge well done!!

During my training to become an instructor Simon Leeson helped to shape me, he always told me that I should never forget that being an instructor at North Hill is not a right, it is a privilege, it is indeed a privilege, this week I was touched by the friendship and teamwork everyone showed.

From Steve and I, “roll on next year”!! - Mark Courtney

Thurs 22nd August

A bright start with the forecast incoming cloud on the horizon to the north, and some beautiful lenticulars to photograph.
Lenticulars out of reach (Jill Harmer)
The Thursday regulars were keen to get started alongside the Course members, and with good height launches and some thermals there were extended circuits and some hour long flights. However the private owners never found it totally convincing and all stayed local with cloudbase at just over 2000ft. Ron Johns and Chris Wool explored some unconvincing convergences in the ASH25.
Dan's enjoying flying the Junior (Jill Harmer)
Dan Hender had another 8 flights in the Junior including soaring flights, and Charlie Stuckey fitted in a couple of flights in K6 alongside passing his Bronze exam, completing the Bronze Endorsement - well done. 
Congratulations to Charlie Stuckey (Mark Courtney)
Mike and Harry Rigby and Adam Mortimer continued their training flights and Graham Hawker enjoyed some more soaring in the Perkoz.
K6 landing (David Clements)
Ian Mitchell was busy in the Rotax Falke including flights with Andy Davey (practising cloud flying) and Chris Warnes (field landings).
Another winch launch for Dan (David Clements)
56 winch launches and 2 aerotows in total.

In the evening, there was the customary Course dinner, but in the Clubhouse cooked by Cheryl and Graham. - J&P

Wed 21st August

A good early start and all the gliders were out of the hangar, starting to be D.I’d by 8.00am.
We welcomed Justin and Gillian Wills who brought the Antares for a launch turning Rutland Water and landing back at Bidford!

There was nothing much in the way of lift for DSGC pilots though, some flights managed nearly 30min, even Pete Startup stayed local, it was a pleasant easy day with the August course slotting in nicely with the Wednesday club. -John Street.

Rob Hender took the morning shift on the winch (to give Gordon a chance to have a change of scenery)! Sally Hender took up her regular position in the Launch point, Gordon  Hutchinson launch area, Steve Westlake and Mark Courtney instructing.
Busy Club and Course day (Sally Hender)
Harry Rigby was back with us but probably wished he wasn’t,  as Steve decided to give him four consecutive simulated launch failures. Mark started off with Mike Rigby, but had to pull off early to avoid launching into cloud. They eventually got away on their third attempt and made up for it with an hours' flight.
North Hill Airfield from the west (Mike Sloggett)
Dan Hender was left grounded by Mark, due to the afore mentioned low cloud base but eventually he radioed down to let him loose, he managed 37 mins in FZF.
Charlie, Josh and Reuben rigged and flew the K6 throughout the day and Charlie also got put through the ringer by Mark, working towards his Bronze. Adam Mortimer flew with Steve and Graham flew with Mark.
Lisa Humphries with Dave Perriam in the hazy setting sun (Lisa Humphries)
Total flights for the day 76, including other club members and the evening flying crew.- Rob Hender

Wed 21st August - TSC 2019

 Day3 - Pocklington
Today presented a very similar series of  tasks to yesterday with Newark being the furthest point south. The maximum task distance was 252km.
Pete and Martin Bennett in DG505 (Pete Bennett)
We launched at around 1pm and it had been predicted that soaring would end abruptly between 4 and 5pm, giving us a 3-4 hour window making 200km seem achievable. The Eagle was first to launch from the NH gang and started very quickly after getting a good climb to almost 4000ft. There were some big holes which required long glides of  2000-3000ft each in the plastic ships. These gaps proved too much for the Eagle which landed out safely after bagging the first TP.
Eagle in another field (JB)
DD3 and JZK made it down to the second TP but the route to Newark looked bleak as the top cover had arrived early. Dad and I in JZK decided to press on and investigate if it was working under the top cover but struggled and then struggled even more to make it home with a few low points. We eventually managed to get into glide after diverting well east of Hull to get back out of the cover and took a climb back too almost 4500ft to put us on a 35km glide back to Pocklington. We saw a few gliders in fields on the way home.
DD3 crossing the Humber (Nick Jones)
It seems that only a few gliders managed to make it down to Newark and of those, only 1 or 2 made it back to Pocklington with all the others landing out or firing up their engines. - Pete Bennett

Tues 20th August - TSC 2019

Day 2 - Pocklington
As usual the task was a list of TPs with the pilots having the option to return to The finish from any of the TPs. The first TP was directly up wind 25k to Rufforth South (conveniently close to the York Gliding Club at Rufforth airfield).
The Eagle was one of the first away and managed to make a fairly uneventful trip to the first TP, but with nothing left in the sky to go for, landed at Rufforth and got an aerotow retrieve back to Pocklington. Content that none of the other Wood gliders had managed to get that far we relaxed in the confidence that we had got “Best Wood” for the day and were only minutes away from hitting the Otter barrel when we spotted one of the Capstans pulling out for another launch.......

So we took another launch and it just so happened that we were dropped in a 4 kt thermal that topped out next to the mother of all streets that seemed to stretch out in the direction of the first TP!
It was too good to be true but we headed off into the 20 kt wind along the street and soon had to fly at 80kts to stay out of cloud. Unfortunately the street was about 6 km north of the turning point so we had to make a dash out to the TP and decided to just go back to street and romp home - might even get speed points, something unheard of in an Eagle!
Heading out into the blue (JB)
It was a very slow climb back into the lift, but we got back into the strong stuff and romped home - 50km in 42 minutes =72kph. So we were quite surprised to see that the scorers had given us a handicapped speed of 151kph.
York Minster (JB)
 In the morning we thought that we ought to just check with the scorers before we were awarded a trophy for the fastest flight in a wooden glider since records began! But they said it was correct because of the BGA “windycap” system which compensates wooden gliders flying in windy conditions. Ironic really considering the Eagle’s rules on wind!
So we scored 8th for the day and got an extra bottle of wine for setting a new record! - JB

Tues 20th August - Course week

Early call from the Rigby’s, unfortunately Harry was not well so a no show from them, (hope to see them all well tomorrow), leaving a smaller group, we started the usual set up, DI’s etc and were flying by about 9:45. This turned out to be the start of another cracking day, which saw several club members turn up to fly alongside the course members.

Mark Courtney started by sending Dan Hender solo in HCX, given the opportunity with the calmer conditions, while Steve Westlake took Adam Mortimer in KEK.
Adam decided to check out Steve's reaction time, when he misinterpreted Steve's instructions and pulled the bung on him! (Good recovery Steve).
Cool Dudes (Mark Courtney)
Dan completed three solo flights in the K21 and the decision was then made to send him off in a Junior (along with 50lb of lead) in which he completed another three solo flights - well done Dan.

Meanwhile a number of other club members had been rigging  and  started to launch and disappear. Pete Startup 230, Eric Alston G29, Jeff Taberham 380, Tom Sides DG1, Wyn Davies W7, Stu Procter KMV.
Great sky (Mike Sloggett)
After lunch, Mark started to give Charlie Stuckey a thorough workout, with dodgy launches and tricky positioning, all good fun for Charlie to put right.
Steve  took Graham Hawker for what turned out to be an extended (2hr 18min flight).

Total glider launches for the day was 42 (1 aero-tow).
Longest flight Pete Startup (No surprise there!) 181min  turning Lapford - Cerne Abbas for 187kms, but there were also some other good efforts. - Rob Hender

Mon 19th August - Course week

The day started with a welcome briefing from Mark Courtney and a useful weather briefing from Gordon Hutchinson. RASP was suggesting some potential good soaring conditions from mid- morning onwards, so we quickly got the kit out and got launching.

Dan Hender and Mark Courtney in a K21 were first launch of the day, well before 10, and disappeared off for an hour in the evident thermic conditions. Steve Westlake and Graham Hawker followed soon after in the Perkoz.
Steve and Graham in Perkoz (Mark Courtney)
Charlie Stuckey had 5 solos before lunch to take me up to the 50 required for Bronze. Adam Mortimer had his first training and soaring flight in which he got to sign up lots of his training card due to the exceptional lift. 
Adam Mortimer had first training and soaring flight (Mark Courtney)

Josh Funnell enjoyed some solo soaring in a K21 whilst Harry Rigby continued with his training flights. Stuart Procter rigged his LS3 and Mike Sloggett his ASW20 and both enjoyed a number of local soaring flights during the morning.

After lunch the lift improved even more and the Rigby’s  (Mike and Harry) both enjoyed soaring flights. 
Kentisbeare (Charlie Stuckey)

Charlie had an hour and a half in the Junior which goes towards his Bronze Cross Country endorsement and Mark and Dan had another hour. 

Everyone thoroughly enjoyed their day and we're all looking forward to the rest of the week! -    Charlie Stuckey

Sun 18th Aug - TSC2019

Day 1 -  Pocklington
The first day of the Pocklington 2-seat Comp was not blessed with ideal weather conditions especially for JB and John Pursey in the old Eagle. It was blowing half a gale from the south west which made for interesting launches due to the cross wind on the south runway!

The wind strength at flying height was 23 to 30 kts so making any real progress to North Duffield, the first TP, 15km upwind was not easy for the plastic ships and nearly impossible for the old Eagle and we spent the first hour crossing the start line many times in both directions - drifting back in the climbs, then pushing into wind - only to end up back where we started our last climb and in need of another climb! This seemed to be the order of the day for everyone and quite a few had to land back for a second launch.

From past experiences flying in the Eagle at Pocklington we have established three rules;
1.Never go back,
2.Take every climb to the top,
3. No breaking of the wind by the P2.
Unfortunately two of the rules were broken due to the conditions and the breaking of rule number 3 went completely unnoticed due to the extreme concentration of the P1!

After a while the cloudbase got higher and eventually we managed to follow a street out to the west til it ended in a large blue hole - clearly influenced by wave. Having finally managed to get 5km out of the start zone the excitement was just too much; we got completely carried away and roared off towards the first TP at a breakneck ground speed of 23kts!

Another two climbs got us to nearly 5000ft and suddenly the Oudie said we might get to the TP with 1700 ft to spare. Unfortunately the sky ahead was devoid of sun or clouds within reach of the 61 year old Eagle - (even one with new plumage), so we just crept on and watched the arrival height dwindle as we progressed. (Clearly reducing the Oudie’s glide calculator settings from a K13 with 20% bugs to 10% bugs was a touch too optimistic!)
Eagle Day 1 field (JB)
As the Eagle approached the TP a nice landing field was spotted and duly chosen on the return leg. It was a lovely field with a nice stone track out to the main road with a lovely wide gate. What could possibly go wrong!

The gate was locked!!

Fortunately Nick’s Land Rover was able to get the trailer in via another field down the road so it all ended well and the Eagle won Best Wood for the day and 14th overall.

Sun 18th August

It was thought from the weather forecast that it would probably be flyable today - albeit with a number of eyes being kept on the wind strength and the chance of some rain showers during the day.

The day started under bright and thermic skies with a small but keen group of members soon getting a K21 and a Junior out of the hangar, whilst the launch point was set up in the North East corner of the airfield.
Bright and thermic skies (Mike Sloggett)
With a steady Southwesterly wind, but with the strength evidently increasing, the initial Yellow Flag was soon being replaced by a Blue Flag - which ensured that pre- and post- solo pilots had their attention focused on suitable circuit planning, approach and landing.

As the morning progressed the “boisterous” thermals provided good opportunities to soar in and amongst the strong sink around the airfield.
Boisterous thermals and strong sink (Mike Sloggett)
Martin Woolner was the first private owner to launch in the LS3  KMV  soon followed by Simon Minson ASW20 SM, Pete Startup Discus 230, Wyn Davies LS7 W7, Andrew Logan ASW15 FMS and Mike Fairclough PIK DFK all enjoying soaring flights of various durations. Pete Startup completed Tiverton - Crediton, and Simon Minson O/R to Crediton with frequent wet wings.

Meanwhile James Flory, Pete Warren, John Street and Mike Sloggett progressed the Club training flights whilst Gordon Hutchinson had a a soaring flight in the Junior.

Around lunchtime the arrival of the first of the rain showers made it an easy decision to stop for some refreshments. After lunch the wind strength had reduced slightly which allowed Trevor Russell and Geoff Lawrence to fly the Junior.
Mark Courtney and Guy Adams (Mike Sloggett)
Mark Courtney had afternoon soaring flights in the Perkoz with Paul Summers and Guy Adams.

And although the odd rain shower delayed some launches, flying continued throughout the afternoon under a thermic sky and with the ridge working in parts.

All in all a good day, which provided suitably “interesting” conditions for those present to demonstrate, practice or learn flying skills. - Mike Sloggett

Sat 17th August

It was an amazingly quiet day at the Club, with not enough members to count on one hand initially, were they all at Beautiful Days? And also surprisingly no Trial Lessons booked today. 
Beautiful Days (Stu Procter)
As soon as the low cloud lifted to a usable height, we set up to launch into the southwesterly quickly forming streets.
Stu Procter and Lisa Humphries in Perkoz (Lisa Humphries)

Mark Wallis had some card checks, Tim Petty had some currency checks, and then it started getting nicely soarable, with most getting hour-long flights.
Rowan Smith and Tim Petty (Rowan Smith)
Thanks to Mark Wallis, Alan Turner and Mike Willmott for sharing the winch driving, and James Flory and Rowan Smith - Duty Instructors. Thanks also to James Hood for fitting the airband receivers in the Gator and Freda. - J&P

Thurs 15th August

After yesterday's washout, the forecast was promising with a cold front clearance and some anti-cyclonic curvature, and after a little bit of low cloud and drizzle before breakfast, the sky steadily open up, and the west north westerly wind increased with the thermal activity - so much so that it was soon a yellow card with the increasing gustiness.
Busy launch point (Mark Layton)
With the wet ground, the cloud base stayed at a rather conservative 3500ft amsl, but the north westerly streets lined up with good blue skies in between, to allow the Mile High trial lessons visitors to fly. 

Training and check flights continued apace with all the club fleet in action, and 6 private gliders enjoying the strong conditions. 
Perkoz landing (Mark Layton)
Pete Startup 230 and Andy Williams FUN headed off beyond Tiverton, but found the into-wind strength challenging, and cloudbase reducing, so remained local. 
Caption competition? "Weight on the nose please Barbie?" (Mike Sloggett)
We welcomed back Joe Somerwill  for an aerotow trial lesson after enjoying his taster at Open Day, he plans to take up the sport.

During the afternoon, some top cover arrived and there were increasing signs of wave clouds, but no-one managed to make any proper contact apart from finding the sink!
Wavy looking sky ( Mark Layton)
So with 46 winch launches and 4 aerotows, plenty of thermals and ridge soaring and the elusive hints of wave, it was a really pleasant day - thanks all. - J&P

Monday 12th August ad-hoc day

Looking at the weather for the next few days Monday looked about the best of the bunch with the best conditions forecast around North Hill(for a change and they were right), an ad-hoc day was called. We winch launched today as the tug had to got to Bodmin for something or other.

Well the weather did eventually play ball although the clearance was a couple of hours later than forecast but when it did arrive it was worth the wait. Soarable from about 13:30 although tricky to start with it very quickly became very good indeed so unstable was the airmass. The viz was astonishing and from overhead Devon you could see the South coast all around Lyme Bay, the North coast and even the Welsh coast was crystal clear all the way up the Severn to the bridge - all at the same time.

The wind was about 10-12kts and a bit gusty on the ground and up to 17kts at flying height. Pete S in 230 had a task of about 150km round TIV then going East. But before even reaching Chard the Somerset Levels were completely devoid of cloud due to the wind direction and strength. Such was the viz I could see Yeovil reservoir about 25km away(my next turnpoint and where I reckon the next cloud was),  and my gadget told me I'd get there at 2500' - well it would running with a 17kt tailwind but coming back would have been a different matter! So I settled for a circular tour via Taunton, Wimbleball, Tiverton and home and just taking in the views.

Many others enjoyed similar flights with regular climbs of between 4-6 kt averages to  4,000' above North Hill.
HCX  Library pic (Mark Layton)

Dan Hender had a couple of check flights with JB and even though he flew very well the gusty crosswind conditions were just a bit much for any more early solo flights. Still, every cloud.............he got to fly with Phil Morrison, skipper of the MV Calypso, in DD3 for a couple of hours. Dan did most of the flying, landed it too and got to do some proper cross country flying - did he have a smile on his face! I think his Dad Rob is dreading having to ask the 'what would you like for Xmas' question! Thanks Phil.

Also out playing today were Gordon Bonny, Geoff Taberham, Andy Davey, Rob Hender flew with JB and the Faircloughs. Carl and Dave Cottingham flew the Falke( I even saw it with the engine stopped!) and Ian was flying the Rotax Falke all day with some students from Mendip.

Many thanks must go to Gordon Hutchinson for winching, Sally for launch point controlling and Jonathan Erskine for dogsbodying, all very much appreciated.

Chariman Nick arrived late from work, de-rigged DD3 ready for it's trip to the 2 seater comp 'Oop North this weekend, and then bought the Otter debrief beers - many thanks Nick - nice end to a good day!

Sadly given the great viz, nobody took any scenery pics so you'll have to settle for this mugshot of Rob enjoying himself - at least I think he is!

Rob near cloudbase(JB)

Sun 11th August

In 2019 there have been continuing plans made for a key date on which a particular event would happen - for one certain junior member the key date was not centred around Brexit but more importantly the legal age of 14 at which he could fly a glider solo.
Dan Hender - 14th Birthday (Rob Hender)
Unfortunately, the rather unseasonal weather  of recent days meant that the potential plan for yesterday, Dan's 14th birthday, could not be fulfilled. However there was a small amount of optimism that today’s weather might provide a small window of opportunity at some stage during the day - more of which later.....

The day started with bright skies and a fresh but flyable wind strength and direction - with an aerobatics course being run by John Sillett and Martin Woolner for Club members, as well as several Trial Lesson flights to be potentially flown, the day was going to be busy and likely to be curtailed by heavy showers from early afternoon onwards.

With the launch point set up in the North East end of the airfield and all Club gliders taken out of the hangar flying was soon underway with Dan Hender demonstrating his skills at both handling the conditions and making use of the evident strong thermals in and amongst the heavy sink around the airfield - with a flawless approach and landing, a decision was made to leave any further flying for Dan until later in the day when the wind was forecast to reduce in strength.

Simon Leeson and Mike Sloggett continued with Club instruction on the winch whilst the aerobatics course got underway with the Perkoz being towed skywards by Pete Stapleton in the Pawnee - with the resultant  flights enabling the occupants of the Perkoz to see the Devon countryside from all sorts of angles and perspectives.
Guy Adams in a Junior (Simon Leeson)
Nick Redfern and Guy Adams enjoyed taking a Junior to fly in the good soaring conditions whilst Simon Minson (ASW 20 SM) was soon rigging and launching to make the most of the positive sky. We also welcomed some visitors who were flown in the DG505 by Tom Sides.

As lunchtime arrived, then so the wind started to reduce in strength, which provided Dan with the opportunity to demonstrate how to successfully deal with some eventualities - at which point the moment had arrived for Dan to take his first solo flight watched by proud parents Rob and Sally Hender. One should not perhaps be surprised that straight off the launch Dan found a thermal and was soon climbing away! After a textbook circuit and landing there were family hugs all round.
Hugs all round (Simon Leeson)
Unfortunately the weather then started to show signs of potential deterioration so a decision was made to stop for lunch and see whether conditions might improve for Dan to complete a second solo flight in the afternoon. Meanwhile Mike Fairclough (PIK DFK) had taken a winch launch and climbed away suitably.
Deep Convection started to build (Emma Kendall)
By the time lunch was over it was clear that the expected rain was on its way with several large weather cells seen to the South and North of the airfield - after a flight by Chris Wool and Tim Petty confirmed back to the launch point that it was only a matter of time before the rain fully arrived the decision was made that the day’s fun had to stop, so all the gliders and ground equipment was put away mid-afternoon.

Well Done to Dan, only one day after his 14th birthday (much better than Brexit!) and a particular Well Done to Rob and Sally not just  for their unstinting support for Dan, but also for how the Hender family have become an integral part of gliding days at North Hill.

Thank You to all who helped get as much out of the day as possible today. - Mike Sloggett

Dan's Day
Well, from the low of yesterday, with Dan’s 14th birthday coming and going without him going solo due to the gods of wind being very unkind, not adhering to his countdown timer and making it un-flyable to all but the birds (and they were struggling) - to the amazing high of today for the entire Hender family, due to all the amazing instructors and volunteers at DSGC and of course Dan, for flying a perfect solo flight. - It really has been a rollercoaster weekend for all of us.
Mike Sloggett congratulates Dan Hender on a perfect solo flight (Simon Leeson)
Early on this morning it looked as though it might hold for him, but soon the winds started picking up again and it looked like his hopes were to be dashed again. Mike Sloggett took Dan for a couple of pre-solo check flights, just in case it became flyable and gave him a good workout with a low-level winch power failure and a 400ft cable break.

I’m sure before you even started to read this BLOG you will have already heard that Dan completed his first solo flight today within a small window of opportunity when the wind subsided enough for him to take a launch at 13:09. The flight was seven minutes in duration and looked perfect from launch to landing.
Dan with proud parents Sally and Rob Hender (Simon Leeson)
Dan’s day was further enhanced when Emma Kendall pointed out that due to the launch time (11th / 13:09) compared to Dan’s actual time of birth (10th / 13:13), he did actually go solo on his birthday!!
A massive thank you to all of the instructors who have trained Dan from two incredibly proud parents. - Rob & Sally Hender.

Sat 10th August

The grand countdown  (for over a year) to Dan's 14th Birthday came and went with some disappointing, horrendous weather, but the party went ahead. 
Dan and Josh (Simon Leeson)

So well done Dan on reaching the important age of 14years. 
Family and friends celebrating (Simon Leeson)
Great party thanks Sally and Rob. Now to get the weather sorted...... J&P

Fri 9th August

Low cloud and a strong southerly wind was forecast, turning into fog in the afternoon and it was all pretty accurate.....
August course members, Instructors and helpers (Jill Harmer)
So lectures on spinning and meteorology were given, followed by some practical work in the DSGC Simulator. 

DSGC Simulator (Jill Harmer)
 It was a good week all round with lots of personal objectives achieved..........

Hans Jenssen successfully completed his Bronze exam and during the week all the flying skills were signed off. Rick Andrews got his Yellow card signed off.  Sam Flory consolidated his solo flying  and got to sit in the Junior in preparation for converting to the single seater. Harvey Skeggs and Rees Edwards-Caulier progressed well through their early training. New member Kevin Smith progressed well in his conversion to quiet flight, and we look forward to seeing him back again to enjoy his new found sport.

Thanks to Instructors Pete Harmer and James Flory and the ground helpers Richard Harris, Aston Key and Jill Harmer for getting as much flying as possible out of the week of changeable weather. - J&P