Thursday 16th November

The sun was out early, but the grass was rather damp, and there was a light westerly wind and the usual Thursday regulars. By the time the launchpoint was set up, some of that orographic cloud was developing on the west ridge, although it was perfectly clear to the south.

There were a few exploratory launches finding cloudbase at 950ft at times, but the orographic was fairly thin and tending to form in streets. The K13 and one of the K21s was on the solo list with the Junior, whilst training continued in a K21 and DG505.

The forecast was going for a band of rain on a cold front reaching North Hill by 14:00 so there was a plan to fly for as long as possible. Reports from those flying were that there was no sign of the rain upwind, but the rainfall radar display was still convinced. 
Dark clouds gathering (Mike Sloggett)
For a short time, while the front caused the wind to veer, the ridge started to work and Geoff Lawrence managed the longest flight of the day in the Junior of 17 minutes. Tom Sides tried out a few back seat flights with Ron, and Hans Jenssen was signed off for winch driving.
For a time it started to look a bit wavy (Jill Harmer)

The rain suddenly arrived and it was a push back to the hangar after 32 launches.

Well done to Chris Warnes who successfully passed his Bronze exam. Just after dark the Junior LRD arrived back from Tim Dews, thanks to Robert Lee for collecting it. - J&P

Sunday 12th November

After Saturday's washout, at the start of Sunday the Instructors in the Clubhouse outnumbered all the other members present and with a fresh Northerly wind, albeit against a bright blue sky, there was suitable pause for thought re the potential benefit in the gliders and ground equipment being taken out on to the airfield.
As a few more members arrived, and with several layers of clothing being put on, fortified by teas, coffees and in some cases breakfast, the decision was made to get both K21s out of the hangar with the winch being put in the North West corner of the airfield.
However as the gliders were being walked up to the launchpoint it became increasingly evident that the wind was continuing to freshen and in particular that the gusts were becoming 'sharper and stronger'.
A rather gusty crosswind (Mike Sloggett)
And no sooner had the gliders been parked then the next decision was to put everything away.
Models and chit chat (Mark Courtney)
With a return to the Clubhouse completed just before some rain arrived, and with the wind "blowing" in and amongst the rafters, it was agreed all round that the right decision had been made - as ever much better to say 'It would have been nice to have flown" rather than "It would have been better not to have flown". - Mike Sloggett

Thursday 9th November

It was a foggy start with the hope of an afternoon clearance, but sadly the 'North Hill effect' continued for most of the day, with bursts of heavy drizzle.
No sign of the Beech trees

We watched a few time-lapse cloudscape sequences, a recent flight trace from low-level Snowdonia,  and looked at the new Junior Flight Manual. Peter Smith and Dave Clements tidied up around the water pump room and Mike Sloggett and John Borland were preparing the K21 trailer for its trip to Poland. - J&P

Wednesday 8th November

Another bright sunny day at North Hill but a bit on the cold side, we had quite a long flying list so the two K21s, the DG 505 and a Junior were quickly set up at the launch point,  the wind was Northerly and forecast to back to a more Westerly direction later in the day. In the fairly brisk Northerly and sometimes having a little bit of East in it, the launches were subsequently not much above 1,000ft, but it was good practice for crosswind take- offs and landings.
Last flight of the day (John Street)
There was only one trial lesson that nearly beat the tug down from 2,000ft, Andy one of our country members and also a member from Brentor joined us today and after the usual checks had a couple of solo flights.
Sunset over the Exe (John Street)
Nick Harrison had the longest soaring flight in the Junior of 17min in some late weak thermal in the afternoon. It was a pleasant day if a little cold and the green one piece overalls made their first appearance this Autumn worn by the less hardy members! - John Street.

Sunday 5th November

Sunday was a surprisingly busy day considering we were dashing in and out of rain. Which made for some varied cross wind flying, from calm blue skies to turbulent 8 knot thermals in the drizzle which was a bit of a “WOW” moment as I ran out of elevator control, being throw around only to fall into a 8knot down, almost immediately. 
Sun setting at North Hill (Ross Pratt)

All in all it was a good day providing some exciting, but useful learning for someone at my stage of flying. - Ross Pratt

Saturday 4th November

With a fresh northwesterly wind after the overnight cold front clearance, the ridge was working, albeit a touch gusty with thermals going through. A good start was made with the flying list and 4 private owners were rigging. There was a short break for a rain shower just before lunch and another just after lunch, but flying was slotted in around the weather, in the clear skies.

There were also 3 Trial lesson visitors and some Family and friends flights,  and more than 30 flights in total, but John Pursey made the most of the day..... J&P

JP in HOG exploring the sky (JP)

"Sometimes things go wrong for a reason and today the LAK’s refusal to hold on to the winch launch beyond up slack led to an aerotow which put JP up near the base of the clouds. Having sat out the rain sitting in the cockpit on the ground, wet wings and a grey sky didn’t bode well but with the lower parts of the clouds near 2000ft the 3000ft tow allowed exploration of the edges of the cloud  which proved to be most energetic. Circling alongside a wall of cloud an amazing 3-6 kts to 5000ft was only stopped by an upper cloud layer. The cloud appeared to be streeting but with convergence characteristics allowing the old 'half in-half out' turns to maintain a 1000+ feet above cloud base for an hour. Getting more into the cloud mix, lower down, the extreme violence of the lift (and sink) started to shout wave and the next 2 hours were spent chasing all the known NW wave entry points but to no avail. As the day slowed, a return to the hill and 20mins maintaining 1100ft above the under used Hembury ridge was icing on on the cake. November it maybe but still the Devon sky has energy and the power to entertain" -JP

Thursday 2nd November

We were expecting a foggy start but North Hill was sticking out the top in glorious sunshine, calm wind with just some cirrus clouds. The grass was very wet from the overnight moisture. The light wind was forecast to start from the north west and then veer during the day to easterly, so we were expecting an end change at lunchtime.
Ready for the first launch (Dave Clements)
The two-seat and single seat lists got going quickly, but in the very light wind, the launches were not that high and most had short circuits. Throughout the morning some low-level cumulus started to appear but with no useful lift, and the cumulus were seen to be moving westwards with an increasing wind shear at 500ft.
Changing ends completed (Mark Layton)
Just as we were considering lunch, the light surface wind swung round and a lunch-time end change was perfected. Following a short break, flying resumed at the west end, but within an hour a thick patch of cirrus covered the sun, and a chill in the air was apparent. The moisture in the grass almost instantly settled on all the gliders and so at 15:15 everything had to be walked back to the hangar with dripping wet gliders and canopies.

Gordon Bonny in K13 and James Smart in Junior shared the longest flight award for 7 minutes. Chris Woodward resoled after a couple of years, and son Dave Woodward who has recently joined us from Yeovilton  was cleared solo and flew K21, but unfortunately missed out on a planned Junior flight. We welcomed Alistair Worsley who has moved to Exeter from Cheltenham having flown some training flights at Nympsfield.

Unfortunately some missed out on flights due to the early finish. 25 flights in total. - J&P

Wednesday 1st November

Another sunny Wednesday, the wind was Southeasterly, so it was up to the Northwest corner with the two K21s, the Junior and the DG505.
Robert about to fly DG505 (John Street)
All went well until the wind went round to show a little bit of Westerly so we changed ends after we had flown all the gliders to the N/E take off point and stopped for lunch.
Warm or cold for 1st November? (John Street)
In the afternoon the nice weather continued and we flew until everyone had flown that wanted to a total of 28 launches.
William doing some engine runs (John Street)
Peter Smith demolished the old upper water pump house. Nick and JB were making an access track behind the lower glider trailer park leading to a posh new shed. - John Street.

Sunday 29th October

A quiet morning at the Club first thing, well inside the Clubhouse anyway - outside the fresh Northerly wind was blowing around the rafters and with low cloud around the circuit this all deterred any immediate enthusiasm of getting any gliders or ground equipment out.

So, with breakfasts ordered from North Hill Cafe, it was a question of looking at weather forecasts to see what the day might hold - with an indication that the wind strength was likely to reduce as the day unfolded and after much monitoring of the wind speeds, including gust strengths, a decision was made mid morning to set up the launch point and winch run for launches to the North West of the field.
Tricky crosswind (Mike Sloggett)
With a Blue Card rating designated both K21s were brought out of the hangar, the Junior put straight back in, and the Trial lesson visitors cancelled.

And with various Instructors available flying started both to provide less experienced pilots with the opportunity to watch Instructors dealing with the take off and landing aspects of flights and with other pilots able to demonstrate their ability to handle the 'interesting' cross wind.
North Hill airfield - sunny at times (Mike Sloggett)
During the day there were suggestions of limited thermal and possibly wave lift in various parts of the sky but only sufficient enough to provide extended circuits rather than anything else.
Tom solo in DG505 (Mike Sloggett)
As forecast the wind reduced in strength as the day, and flying list, progressed - after a short break for lunch the afternoon saw the flying  list completed including Tom Sides going through his paces with Simon Minson before being the latest non Instructor to be cleared to fly the DG505 solo, Well Done Tom.
The end of another weekend (Simon Minson)
With the flying list completed the gliders and kit were put away - with 30 launches in total a good day to end October. - Mike Sloggett

Saturday 28th October

A cold day at the club, winter is upon us! Not many members but flying took place non the less. SM was the only private glider and had an hour on the ridge over 2 launches. Cloud base was no more than 800ft at best but the ridge was working so some flights enjoyed for a few minutes. Ellie’s film crew had fun flying their drone and those that turned up made the most of the conditions. - 24 launches
No sun on North Hill today (Lisa Humphries)
Time flies and Summer 2018 will soon be here, but lets make the most of the winter conditions to keep us current and ready for it ! - Lisa Humphries