Usually an arrival at the Club at around 8:30 in the morning would see members enjoying breakfast and cups of tea followed by lots of conversation and eventually a decision to start getting the gliders out of the hangar.
However today was rather different - with a generally positive weather forecast and blue skies encouraging much enthusiasm to the extent that on this particular morning the launch point had already been set up in the North East corner of the field. With the winch ready to go and with a K21 and a Junior on line the first launch of the day was in the air just before 9:00am.
The wind was forecast to freshen as the day unfolded so Duty Instructor Simon Minson was keen to complete check flights and allow Charlie Stuckey to fly solo. Will Stainer, Lukas Kieruczenko and Dave Herbert all completed further solos in a Junior.
Soon the DG505 and the other K21 and Junior were being brought across to the launch point and the line of gliders waiting to be launched steadily increased in number as the sky improved, suggesting thermic activity as well as a West ridge working here and there.
|DG505 getting ready for an aerotow (Mark Copurtney)|
The steady South West wind was providing launches to a good height with Roly Clarke radioing a 'well done' message to the winch driver for a launch to 1680ft in the DG505. The morning saw a couple of heavy rain showers move across the airfield with some gliders deciding that being on the ground looking up might be better than the other way around and with some gliders managing to keep airborne away from the rain. As the day progressed then the thermic activity continued in phases all mixed up by ridge and wave lift/rotor - as ever if a glider launched at the right time it was possible to get away. If not then extended circuits were possible.
|Soaring to cloudbase (Mark Courtney)|
Mark Courtney and Mike Sloggett again both flew ASW20 (ENW) causing some members to pinch themselves suitably. Andrew Logan (K6 GDE), Tim Peters (SF27 H5) and Phil Morrison/Matt Williamson (ASW20 611) all enjoyed themselves during the afternoon.
|Andrew Logan in GDE (Mark Courtney)|
Three booked trial lessons as well as one walk in trial lesson were completed during the day and with John Sillett taking over instructing duties for the afternoon, the flying list was completed with 38 launches just before 5:00pm so the decision was made to put all the toys away for the day.
There was then time for members to enjoy a cup of tea and a piece of cake on a sunny verandah, reflecting on a pleasant day of fun in the sky. - Mike Sloggett