Thurs 28th November

With more than 70mm of rain over the last 7 days, the prospect of a dry day brought 'everyone' out, but it was a slow start with the wet ground making it a reduced price aerotow-only day. It took most of the morning before the canopies cleared and the humidity reduced. There was 1 launch before 12:00 but we were still plagued with the intermittent small bands of lowish orographic cloud forming on the west ridge, so it was an early lunch before getting going in ernest.

Aerotow queue (David Clements)
3 two-seaters and the 2 Juniors were in action and Martin Woolner KMV also rigged and took a launch. 
Aston Key with an aerotow recency flight with John Sillett (David Clements)
Aerotow training and some spin practice took place before the temperature started dropping and the orographic cloud returned, which called an early close 11 launches in total. Sorry to those who didn't fly today. Thanks to guest Instructors John Sillett and Peter Field for helping out on a Thursday. - J&P

Sat 23rd November

The wet weather continues.... but Mark Courtney and Simon Leeson were helping prepare some members of Dartmoor GS for their Full Cat test in the New Year. 
Lectures in the Briefing Room (Mark Courtney)
Rick Wiles and Martin Cropper were being put through their paces both in the Briefing Room and the DSGC simulator. 
DSGC Simulator (Mark Courtney)

Meanwhile, some DSGC members prepared and derigged the K21 KEK for its journey to Airborne Composites - thanks to all. - J&P

Thurs 21st November

The regulars met for coffee and bacon baps, with Jill and Pete Harmer reporting on some of the messages from the BGA Management Conference. Mike Horwood kicked off the winter simulator cross-country challenge with an out and return to Tiverton. 
Practising cross-countries at North Hill (Jill Harmer)

At least the dark room gives a much brighter picture of the sky to dream for - Looking forward to the rain stopping...... J&P

Wed 20th November

Once we had walked the gliders to the launch point there was a strong and gusting mainly Southerly wind. Before launching it was found that KEK had a puncture that needed fixing, when we started launching we found the launches very testing due to the sudden gusts, after about four launches it was decided to fly the K21s home as the the pre-solo pilots would not gain a great deal from flying in the difficult conditions,
Library photo of K21 (Mark Layton)
Pete Warren managed nearly 30min on his hangar flight with some interesting ridge lift. - John Street.

Sat 16th November

The day started with the gliders out and DI'd early to make the most of the good weather. With lots of Juniors and club members keen not to miss a good day at this time of year, there was no shortage of hands to get the 4 gliders to the west end of the field. 
Junior members discussing the cloud formation (James Hood)
Good progress was made through the flying list over the morning and with enough helpers we continued through lunch. Charlie Stuckey, Dan Hender, Josh Funnell, Andrew Logan, Alan Turner and Roly Clarke were some of the many to take launches in the Junior. 
Approach to North Hill (Charlie Broderick)
 The K21s were flown regularly with lots of training including a number of simulated launch failures keeping the Instructors on their feet walking up and down the field. Charlie Broderick took an aerotow in the Perkoz for spinning and Matthew Howard enjoyed his first aerotow in the K21.
Aerotowing (Andrew Broderick)
Ruth was able to continue with her solo-flying in the K21 later in the day gaining some great experience.
Wash and brush up after flying (Mark Layton)
 All in all, there were lots of members and 48 flights over the day and everyone worked well to get the hangars packed and everything away in time for the GASCO Safety meeting in the evening. A great day enjoyed by all. - Charlie Broderick

Thanks also to the workshop team for getting Junior LRD out after the Annual and ready for flying for the long list of members who wanted to maintain currency. 
Thanks to GASCO for the Safety evening (Stuart Procter)

The evening GASCO Safety meeting was thought provoking -as always-and well attended although some members had to miss it due to the clash with the BGA Management Conference.

Thurs 14th November

Another day when the forecast and weather precluded flying, there was even a bit of snow to start with. Various jobs were completed: the annual and rewiring on the Junior LRD was finished off. Some lagging on the hot water tank pipes was replaced. The mower was greased, Airspace was discussed. Possible improvements to the Broadband were investigated. 
Lunchtime break (North Hill webcam)
Congratulations to Hans Jenssen who completed his Bronze endorsement with the weather theory elements finally being signed off.
Thanks All - J&P

Wed 13th November

The forecast for Wednesday was for reasonable weather in the morning with rain spreading from the West later in the day. We had a large flying list and a shortage of instructors and two Trial lessons booked so we decided to set up the field and fly until the rain arrived and not stop for lunch.
Nice autumn colours as a backdrop (David Clements)
The flying was reasonable all morning and most flights were in the region of 15 minutes due to weak wave and high launches, most people flew before the rain arrived, the rain stopped for a while after lunch but the field was saturated so the decision was made to call it a day.
Cleaning the gliders as the rain set in (David Clements)

The gliders were put in the hangar as really heavy rain set in, we made the most of the day with the instructors we had, but unfortunately some members did not fly. - John Street.

Sun 10th November

The day started very cold indeed, temperatures were hovering around 3c but with the strong NE wind it felt more like -3c! There were quite a few members in the clubhouse but none were keen to step outside for fear of frost bite, even Captain Shorts (Paul Summers) had his longs on today.

Answering the call for the Junior LRD to be derigged, meant that we had to empty the hangar to get at it, as the gliders were out we decided to D.I them “just in case it became flyable”.

Looking at the grey low cloud noone was prepared for what happened next, the clouds started to disperse and the sun poked its face through the gaps, game on!

With the wind ENE duty instructor Simon Leeson decided to set up at the west end adjacent to the “aerotow strip”. We took the two K21’s and the DG505 because Rowan Smith had turned up and offered to instruct.

First launch was at 12 noon, there were signs of wave to the NE so Simon and James Hood explored that way, alas to no avail.

Next launch was Mark Courtney and Trevor Russell, they decided not to go NE after the first K21’s failure to find wave but instead went West this decision proved to be correct (thanks Simon for exploring to the NE).
Wave bars to the west (Mark Courtney)
They were soon joined by Rowan with new Country member Stewart Henshall from Hong Kong, Mike Fairclough in the Junior and Simon L with Daniel Hender.
Rowan and Stewart (Rowan Smith)
All flights were about an hour enjoying the rather fickle weak wave system, it was great fun to hunt for the lift, the gliders only returning to fly the next people on the list. The sky by now was blue and it felt quite pleasant if you stood out of the wind. Then the wind eased and the card colour dropped to yellow, but this meant  that the wave had collapsed and flights were now much shorter.
Peter Smith arrived as a change of guard and flights continued until late into the day, Simon Minson flew the only trial lesson  visitor today,- James Tyrrell is a regular visitor, but usually only pops in for tea after racing up the hills on his push bike!

The few members who had stuck it out all day got to fly, but with the skies turning grey and the temperature plummeting it was decided that the last four launches should be hangar flights.

Longest flight was Simon and Dan at 1 hour and two minutes, beating Mark and Trevor by 2 minutes, but they did have a 500 ft higher aerotow and didn’t spin all the way down. (sorry Dan ).
Many thanks to Sally who manned the LPV all day and to Simon Jordy for tugging. All bottoms were washed before the gliders were put  to bed, the hanger doors were closed by 4 pm. A great afternoon was had by all, after the miserable start it made the flights even more rewarding. 12 aerotows in total, thanks to all who turned up today. - Mark Courtney and Rowan Smith

Thurs 7th November

It was certainly a chilly start after yet more rain had cleared through overnight, and with heavy dew all round it was decided to give the air a chance to dry out. Meanwhile a pitch inspection revealed a very wet muddy airfield so it would be aerotow only from the centre of the field.

Aerotows only today (Dave Clements)
Field inspections continued  for the reported 'depressions' and 3 were found along a collapsed drain line. Peter Smith led a team to provide temporary  infill until conditions would allow further investigations.
Temporary infill of the depressions (Dave Clements)

In the Clubhouse, there was demand from our newer members for a weather briefing, which showed a good window of opportunity for flying today.
Crystal clear skies over North Hill (Dave Clements)

Flying started at 11:30 into the crystal clear sky, and continued until a late lunch when the wall of rain showers to the northwest had just drifted across the airfield.
Parked up in case of a squall (Mike Sloggett)
 After the trough line had cleared through flying continued with everyone  enjoying  reduced price aerotows, and our two trial lesson visitors were suitably impressed with their short soaring flights. 
Thanks all- 12 launches in total - J&P

Wed 6th November

After a reasonable start to the day, soon  after members arrived, a cap of very low cloud and drizzle shrouded the field, the more optimistic members had got all the ground equipment out. John Sillett decided to give a talk in the briefing room, by the time he had finished his talk the weather had changed to a very reasonable day so very quickly the kit was positioned for southwesterly run.
All ready to fly (John Street)
Soon as we launched the visibility was outstanding in the mainly blue sky, we kept flying until 2:30pm to take advantage of the slot of good weather until it started to drizzle again.
Sandy clocking up more flights in Junior (John Street)
After a quick lunch the weather had cleared again and despite our low expectations we were able to fly until 4:45pm and even had some extended flights on the south ridge. 

Jonathan on his first training flight of the day (John Street)
Everyone flew and thanks to all involved for the cooperation that enabled everyone to fly despite the poor forecast. - John Street

Sun 3rd November

It is said that ‘gliding is like a box of chocolates’, one never quite knows what the day is going to bring flying wise. And that was the case today - the last few days saw all sorts of weather forecast for today with a wide range of potential suggestions around whether any/some gliding would take place.

The latest forecast at the start of the day suggested that some flying would be possible during the morning, with rain likely to arrive any time from lunchtime onwards.
North Hill launch point (Mike Sloggett)
So with Ron Johns and Tom Sides as the morning Duty team suitably organising the members present both K21s, a Junior and the DG505 were soon being brought out of the hangar. With the wind direction indicating that the West ridge might work and with some evident optimism about ‘wave out in the valley’, and with the field having drained well overnight, the winch was set up in the North West corner of the airfield.

And then with the clouds starting to drift away, suggesting that full height launches could be achieved, it was on with the flying list with the first launch underway well before 10 am - and with only a couple of members on the training list well outnumbered by the instructors present there was no shortage of volunteers for the back seat today.

As the morning continued various gliders and pilots made good use of the lift available on and around the ridge and the day provided continuing opportunities for training, maintaining currency or just to be able to enjoy flying with some lovely views from the good visibility.
Eric Alston in Junior (Andy Williams)
With the anticipated weather front evident to the West and with other members arriving, the decision was made to continue flying through lunchtime with the afternoon Duty team of Mike Sloggett and David Cowley continuing to keep things ‘ticking over’.

The training list was such that by early afternoon there was time for some of the morning fliers to have further launches, those members being rewarded for their optimism and being at the Club first thing. During the day Falke BVG had some local flights and an aerotow Trial Lesson was completed in the DG505 following the return of the Pawnee to service.
JB and JP following in some famous footsteps (Mike Sloggett)
The afternoon saw us welcome a new addition to the private owner fleet at North Hill, in the form of the Slingsby T42 Eagle 2 (Ed: the one that famously won the 1956  2-seater class World Championships with Nick Goodhart and Frank Foster and enjoyed royalty - Prince Philip - in the front seat) and which, after being rigged and relevant weighing and measuring taking place, was soon airborne and seen to be making the most of the ridge lift available.

By mid-afternoon the skies had darkened and full height launches were no longer possible, so with rain clearly imminent it was time to put the gliders and ground equipment away.

As someone said ‘we made the most of the day’ - thank you to everyone for helping others to get into the air today, proving that glider pilots are always optimists as to whether the weather will allow us to fly... - Mike Sloggett