Sun 9th August

For anyone wanting to maintain currency, practice takeoffs, circuits and landings in a crosswind the weather forecast suggested that today was potentially a good day for same - but with minimal likelihood of soaring no surprise that first thing the Clubhouse was quiet with few private owners around.

The low cloud and ‘interesting’ wind strength and direction kept enthusiasm levels fairly low initially but with the forecast suggesting a steady improvement during the morning soon Ron Johns as Duty Instructor and Nick Redfern as DLM were organising gliders out of the hangar and ground equipment being set up.

And then it was a question of long walks to the South West corner of the airfield with both K21s and a Junior - and with the sun evidently burning off the cloud more and more, it was clear that a long hot day ahead awaited all.

Training underway (Mike Sloggett)
 

Training flights were soon underway with Ron Johns and Andrew Broderick taking HCX airborne whilst Mike Sloggett and Charlie Broderick used KEK. James Flory took advantage of the improving skies to take Falke BVG off for some local flying whilst Dave Perriam completed more flights in Junior LRD.

By late morning it was evident that a rest would suit all so a lunch stop was agreed - and with everyone suitably refreshed and reinvigorated it was back to the launchpoint for - more takeoffs, circuits and landings.

With the wind direction and strength not increasing as forecast the afternoon allowed all present to fly if they wished to - Guy Adams and Nick Redfern in HCX with Mike Sloggett and Harvey Skeggs in KEK. Meanwhile Trevor Russell and James Smart gave their ASW19 (877) an airing with - takeoffs, circuits and landings. Andy Williams and Paul Medlock flew the Junior and after an eventuality check flight Charlie Broderick took KEK for two solo flights adding to his first solo during last week’s course.

James Smart in ASW19 (Mike Sloggett)
 

With hangar flights completed and aircraft/MT hangar doors shut, a weary but contented group of members were soon wending their way home having made the best of the day. As ever great teamwork meaning everyone got into the air today - a particular Thank You (again) to Team Family Hender who all helped on the ground in one way or another but did not fly. - Mike Sloggett

And in the evening, the Club Condor soaring task was from Hembury Hill to Mudford Gate then taking in the sights at Wimbleball reservoir back to Northill2. HHL MUD WIM NH2. 

Condor task

Hosted by Matt Howard chosen and planned by John Davis with help from Stewart Henshall. Geoff Lawrence and Ray Dodds joined us for the 77.2 kms sortie in a Genesis2 Ray flew in a familiar Discus 2.The fastest time was completed by Stewart in 41 minutes, Matt followed 9 minutes later with John 6 minutes after that to complete the podium. 

Genesis2
 

Geoff made a valiant effort to finish in a time of 1:09, Ray enjoyed his first flight with us hoping to join another task next time. - John Davis

Fri 7th August

 After 2 foggy days there was blue sky with signs of medium level instability, and rain  was seen falling to the east of North Hill. 

Flying started with fairly short circuits for everyone with John Sillett helping out with the instruction.

Medium level instability (Jill Harmer)

The wind was light and variable on the surface, but by mid-morning,  the Met Office rainfall radar showed more showers had started developing over Dartmoor and moving towards North Hill. An early lunch was called with concern for heavy rain and lightning showing on the back edge. In the event there was very little rain at North Hill as the storm passed by. 

After lunch, John Sillett took each Rigby for a 4000ft aerotow spinning sortie in the Perkoz. Short circuits continued with eveyone improving their circuit planning and landings, and there was a second interruption when thunder rumbled nearby, but with no rain.

Unfortunately Charlie wasn't feeling so well and was unable to consolidate his solo flying from Tuesday. 

All course members achieved their personal objectives, Thanks to Course Instructors Pete Harmer and James Flory and guest Instructor John Sillett and helpers Gordon Hutchinson, Andrew Logan and Jill Harmer. - J&P




 


Thurs 6th August

After yesterday's foggy low cloud it was a repeat performance as the cold front /warm front sat above North Hill.
Weather Briefing (Mike Sloggett)

The course members enjoyed more lectures on weather, circuits and spinning and the simulator was also in use, and the Thursday regulars got on with some maintenance tasks.
Nick Bromley in the simulator (Jill Harmer)

In the evening the customary course dinner was replaced by a Fish and Chip picnic supper from Highfield Fish Plaice Dunkeswell,
Fish and Chip Picnic (Charlie Broderick)

and as forecast the fog had cleared and the sun was out! - J&P

Tues 4th August

It was a light south westerly wind, and there was quite a lot of cloud around, but launches were high and broken lift extended flights.

First up to fly with Pete Harmer was Charlie Broderick, who was not too impressed with the instruments being covered up for the training exercises. But having completed successfully all that Pete could check, Charlie enjoyed his first solo flights.
Congratulations - Charlie's first solo (Jill Harmer)
Meanwhile James Flory continued training flights with Harry Rigby and Josh Batchelor.
Increasing cloud (Jill Harmer)

After lunch the wind started to pick up from the south with the approach and landings on the training flights becoming more challenging with the wind gradient and shear.

But the later flights also found some weak broken wave in the Broadhembury valley. 25 flights in all. -J&P



Mon 3rd August

Our first Course week of the year got underway with a sparkling clear blue sky, but the soarable clouds didn't really sort themselves out until after lunch. 
Course photo (Jill Harmer)
With James Flory starting with new member Josh Batchelor and then Harry and Mike Rigby and Pete Harmer flying with John Davis, Charlie Broderick and Nick Bromley (on his 3rd course at North Hill).  Only Charlie missed out on the soaring, but he was concentrating on simulated launch failures.
Clouds sorted  (Jill Harmer)
Spare cables were used by Andy Davey (KCM), who did a bit of cloud flying practice, and Eric Alston (G29) with a swift Club 100. - J&P

Sun 2nd August

The Club was a tad quiet at the start of the day with just a small group of members - a little surprising bearing in mind the generally positive weather forecast but with rain interrupting the day on several occasions perhaps others had a better crystal ball than those there today

With Peter Field as Duty Instructor and Guy Adams and Mike Sloggett as the booked Instructors for the day both K21s, the Perkoz and a Junior were soon having daily inspections completed whilst the winch run was set up for the forecast wind direction of ‘generally West’ but maybe a bit of South and a bit of North during the day - as it happened it was good that the windsock is designed to blow in several directions as that is just what happened throughout today!
Family Bennett lunch bubble (Paul Summers)
The flying list made steady progress during the morning with Jack Raybould having some check flights before completing further solos in the K21 whilst Matthew Howard had the “fun” of eventuality demonstrations and practice.
Drying the gliders after another rain shower (Fiona Bennett)
After quite a delay for a heavy rain shower to go through Paul Summers took the opportunity to reacquaint himself with the Perkoz after which it was time for lunch.
Well done Jack converting to Junior (Mike Sloggett)
With lunch completed the afternoon had the odd interruption for rain going over the airfield but saw Jack convert to the Junior whilst Dave Perriam completed some more solo flights in a K21 - then also converting to the Junior.
Well done Dave converting to Junior (Mike Sloggett)
Paul Summers and Pete Warren completed some mutual flying in the Perkoz whilst Peter Field and Dave Cowley flew the Junior and Paul Medlock flew a K21 solo.

There was just time for Mike Sloggett and Pete Bennett to take the Perkoz for the last flight of the day after which it was time to put the gliders away.

Thank you to all for the teamwork to help others fly today - particularly Dan Hender and Gordon Hutchinson who winched all morning and afternoon respectively, without flying. - Mike Sloggett

Sat 1st August

We had only a skeleton crew, so it was all hands on deck throughout to keep the operation going.  Martin Woolner and Stu Procter took turns flying their LS3, Eric flew his ASG29 and John Pursey and Stirling Melhuish rigged and flew the "new" blue Eagle.  Conditions could not be said to be booming, but there was a reasonable mix of ridge and thermal to keep the skilled aloft.  Stu just pipped Team Eagle for the longest flight of the day, with both achieving about 1hr45.
Exe Estuary (Stu Procter)
Phil Morrison treated young family friend Ben to a flight, in between the pair of them providing an excellent glider retrieval service - hopefully Ben will be back for more.  Meanwhile Ross Pratt and Ruth had their skills interrogated by John Sillett and James Flory respectively.  Each was rewarded with a solo in the K21s and their rating cards reinstated.

Huge thanks to Andrew Logan and Paul Medlock for providing all the winch driving even though they did not fly themselves. - Ruth Comer