Sun 28th June

There were quite a few hopeful faces first thing, but the gliders only made it to the launchpoint for just before lunch, due to the forecast showers. However the DG505 was successfully rigged and returned to the hangar, ready for it’s final checks.

The first launch was taken at 12:00 by Mike Fairclough in FZF, followed by John Sillett in the K21. The next few flights all managed about 20mins, while dodging the showers!
During one of those showers the K6 DRE was derigged and packed away back in its trailer, thanks to all for letting the Juniors store it in the hangar in recent months.
The pot of gold - North Hill (Mark Courtney)
The instructors made good use of the club gliders, in the afternoon Tom Sides, Peter Warren, Mark Courtney, John Sillett, JB (JB), Rowan Smith (CLM) and Paul Summers, all grabbing the opportunity to fly in the blue card conditions. Pete Startup rigged his own glider and went off into the turbulent skies, we didn’t expect to see him again any time soon! (97mins in the end, longest flight of the day, no change there).
Pete Startup ready for launch (Mark Courtney)
It was lovely to see lot’s of members (unable to currently fly) turn up to socialise and chat, can’t wait for ‘normal’ times to return. - Sally Hender 
Matt and Dan landed at Eyres Field (Condor)

And in the evening the Condor race pilots were Dan Hender (Antares18), Matt Howard (EB29R) and John Davis (Discus2a)  with a downwind dash to Dorset Gliding Club. Dan and Matt were neck and neck but with Dan winning on handicap, with John getting a new experience of landing away from North Hill. -J&P

Thurs 25th June

Another sweltering hot day, but the Thursday regulars were there in force, even though some can still not fly. Unfortunately the promised lack of soaring was a reality today, with just a couple of extended circuits. 
First two junior flights of the day were Mike and Barbie Fairclough who managed to lay on a great formation landing for us.
Formation landing Juniors (David Clements)
 Most notable flight was Mike Horwood in a K21 who managed to find some small low bubbles on the south ridge (which must have been generally out of phase  with the southsoutheasterly wind the rest of the day.  
DG100 (David Clements)

Thanks also to Robert for standing in as tuggie although aerotows weren't required.
Winch launching under increasing AltoCu Castellanus (David Clements)

But 21 flights in all with solo members keeping currency, let's hope we get the go ahead for training to resume very soon. Thanks everyone - J&P

Wed 24th June

The day started hot and blue with little prospect of any decent soaring, both K21s and a Junior were walked to the Northwest corner, the first two managed to stay up for about 20min each, this energised some private gliders to be towed up the field as well.
Social distancing (David Clements)
After the first two flights it was circuits only, with little wind and it was very hot, this dampened enthusiasm somewhat.
About midday some thermals appeared and gliders started staying up and having reasonable soaring flights, at one stage we had eight gliders airborne.
It become fairly easy to stay up and it became how long you could stick the searing heat. Pete Startup, Jeff Taberham, Eric Alston, Gordon Hutchinson Wyn Davies and the K6 Trio Dan, Charlie and Josh all flew their own gliders, Robert was Tuggie. It was nice to see Dave Clements back flying again.

David Clements back flying (John Street)
A big thanks and well done to Tim Petty and his team for the painstaking and laboriously difficult work in finding the faults with LPV-Winch comms and fixing them. - John Street.

Sun 21st June

There was a lot of early enthusiasm and attendance, so the ground equipment was prepared early, unfortunately the low cloud was reluctant to lift and the occasional rain showers enforced some wide-spaced discussions and interactions.

Socially distanced briefing

The decision to push on and get aircraft out was made just before 11am with the first flights achieved by 1140. A small delay was required to move the winch a little further north to avoid  cables over the new grass, but soaring was possible from the start. The conditions cycled through hill and thermal but Rowan and Pete Startup achieved flights of more than 3 hrs, with club aircraft being shared to ensure reasonable flight lengths.

5 private aircraft joined in with at one point 2 K21's  2 Libelle's and one each of DG100, Discus and an ASW15 all airborne. With 24 flights and a total of more than 20 hours flight time. Pete Startup completed 100kms O/R to Eaglescott but managing a big save at the turning point having dropped off the Flarm map.
Good to see Nick Redfern back (Mark Courtney)

An interesting moderate-wind day well worth the delayed start. With flying of club and private gliders finishing about 6pm when all had flown.

Good progress also seems to have been made by Tim Petty on the "landline challenges" and the early delays allowed some necessary ground maintenance activities. - Gordon Hutchinson 

And in the evening the regular Condor race  was Hembury Hill - Cadbury Cross - Knowstone - Hembury Hill and was won by Dan Hender in Antares. -  Matt Howard preferred a cruise around at great height in the EB29, followed by a landing at Exeter. Geoff Lawrence opted for a Discus 2 with water, but forgot to set up the jettison key. 
Geoff in HES - it's so realistic (Matt Howard)

David Clements is really getting to enjoy the Duo Discus. And it was good to see Ray Dodd joining in spectating, hopefully fly next time. Another good cross-country learning experience for all. - J&P

Sun 14th June

With the continuing ‘lockdown rules’ preventing two-seater flying - this has understandably reduced the number of members turning up to fly at North Hill.

However, there were enough keen solo pilots arriving for the launch point vehicle to be taken down to the North West corner whilst a K21 and a Junior were taken out of the hangar. With a reasonable weather forecast but suggesting limited thermal activity there was little interest from private owners in towing their gliders down to the other end of the airfield, so much fettling could be seen to be going on in the glider paddock.

Meanwhile flying had started under a cloudbase of not much higher than circuit height and as ever it was a question of catching the first thermal off the winch launch otherwise it was simply an extended circuit as a reward for getting to the top of the launch.

Late morning the wind had developed more of a Westerly component so the decision was made to change ends. With an improving sky and a launch point closer to the glider paddock soon various private owners were towing out their gliders to see if the sky was as good as it had started to look. And with more members turning up to fly and a lengthening flying list, the Perkoz was brought out of the hangar for the rest of the day.
Perkoz was brought out (Mike Sloggett)

The afternoon saw much ‘scratching’ in the skies around the airfield which meant busy thermals due to cloudbase not being very high, but the most was made of what was available. Late afternoon with everyone having flown it was time to put the gliders and ground equipment away to end a pleasant if unspectacular day.
Private owners grid (Simon Minson)

Pete Startup (Discus 230), Simon Minson (ASW20 SM), Wyn Davies (LS7 W7), Mark Wallis (Open Cirrus CEC) and Jeff Taberham (Mosquito 380) enjoyed getting their gliders into the air.
Strange patterns on the levelled area (Simon Minson)

During the day James Flory and Guy Adams had separate flights in Falke VG. - Mike Sloggett

And in the evening, the Condor racers Matt Howard, David Clements, Geoff Lawrence and John Davis all completed their Silver distance race to The Park - well done all. - J&P

Sun 7th June

For the cross-country pilots the forecast was not fantastically encouraging, but appeared to offer a reasonable chance at some cross-country flying before a front moved in from the North. A familiar field discussion came up with Salisbury out and return and several private gliders were duly launched, not all bound on such an adventurous task.
Preparing for a great day flying
Preparing for a great day flying (Nick Jones)

For those on task, all went well until just short of Yeovil when the thermals definitely weakened and thickening top cover was seen further East. With several low saves, those headed in that direction abandoned the task and headed south toward what appeared to be a sea breeze front.
Beer Head
Beer Head (Phil Morrison)

This it turned out to be and a great romp home was had by those visiting it. Pete Startup, Phil Morrison and Simon Minson who was enjoying his first flight post lockdown. (Simon had recently had to stare enviously at some excellent skies whilst fitting some new instruments to his panel.)
Lyme Regis
Lyme Regis (Phil Morrison)
The forecast front seemed to disappear as it approached North Hill and soaring conditions remained pretty good locally at least. Several other private owners including Gordon Hutchinson and Geoff Lawrence  managed some local flights and are newbies on the BGA Ladder. - Phil Morrison
Condor Racing
Condor Racing (Stewart Henshall)

And in the evening the Condor racers  who had't been flying today completed another task  NH2 - TAU - CHA - NH2 with Stewart Henshall leading the way , Matt Howard 2nd, David Clements 3rd and Rob Hender 4th,  John Davis had a few penalties but is also making good progress with his flying. - Well done to all - J&P

Thurs 4th June

With a rather strong cold north easterly wind to start, we decided to get on with some gardening initially. After a socially distanced packed lunch, the wind had backed to north west and moderated and a K21 and 2 Juniors were readied for flying.
Next (Jill Harmer)

With everyone taking  ~30 minute flight with the ridge working, some thermal streets  and later even some wave in the valley, it was all worthwhile, albeit with trousers and jackets for the first time for a few weeks.

So just nine flights, and unfortunately the last two missed out on the soaring as the wind and overcast cloud had suddenly changed. Thanks all - J&P

Tues 2nd June

A great call from the Chairman for an ad-hoc day to continue the post-lockdown solo cross-country flyiing.

From the BGA National ladder
Pete Startup 230 272Kms
"Thought we'd nailed the task for todays forecast. We were running well but the clouds stopped more than 25km from Fordingbridge. Not sure if it was sea air or had just dried out and gone blue, so I tiptoed as far as Sixpenny Handley but felt no movement in the air so called it. At another time I would probably have taken a punt. Still, another top day out with some of the NH Nomads."

Phil Morrison DD3 240Kms
"Great start, fantastic conditions for West Country but Fordingbridge out in the blue probably a bit too far. Great day anyway."

Wyn Davies W7 261Kms

Exe Estuary from W7 (Wyn Davies)

Wyn checking up on Pete and Jill at MUD (Wyn Davies)

"Set off with the North Hill nomads heading to Fordingbridge, the going was reasonable until around Sturminster. I decided to head back and completed a random undeclared task. The sky got better and better, so I made a first visit for me to the river Exe by glider , and then followed the energy to Sidmouth and up to Mudford Gate. Another brilliant day out from Devon."

Eric Alston G29 203Kms
"Another very good day for North Hill. Sturminster Newton was just the right place for a turning point as ther no furthe cu east of here. Good task suggested by Phil Morrison."
Andy Davey M 200Kms
"Andy flew 2 laps of the Club 100 Tiverton - Crewkerne "

Rowan Smith CLM 101Kms
Womble along the South Coast
Great view of the south coast from CLM (Rowan Smith)

"A lovely trip to the seaside (beats being at work).
Having decided at 12pm that I work too hard, I  moved all of my afternoon meetings around to allow me to take the afternoon off. I arrived at 1pm to find that the tug had been put to bed and my heart sank. Lucky Robert kindly pulled it back out allowing me to get aloft (thank you so much).

And want a lovely day. Staying in glide plus a safety margin, with the high cloud base allowed me to be wonder down to Lyme Regis, then along to Seaton, Sidmouth, Budleigh and finally cutting short of Exmouth. Taking in the lovely view of the Exe estuary, the visibility and the views where just stunning and reminded me why we do this, sometimes frustrating, sport.

Having attended (most of) the FRTOL course, it gave me the confidence to be a good citizen to talk to Exeter. There was a surprising amount of traffic. They appeared grateful for my participation.

What a lovely day to go gliding thanks Nick for organising the ad hoc day and for Robert who got us (even the annoyingly late) aloft."