Thursday 31st March

With a transient ridge and cold advection forecast, there was a lot of expectation for a good soaring day. The Thursday regulars were joined by Junior members on Easter hols.......
Some of the DSGC Junior Members (Mark C)
.........and a large number of private owners.  But after a cold start, the crosswind from the north proved a little tricky and stronger than expected. The first flights struggled to get much height on the launch and flights were rather short.

Private owners were out in force rigging enthusiastically, but then all parked up for tea waiting for trigger temperature.
Sky starting to look good (Ali F)
The thermals started just after 11:00, cloudbase was still quite low, but it soon perked up with cloudbase rising fast, thermal strength rising - and so was the sink!
Josh picks a good day for his return to gliding (Peter Sm)
13 Private owners started taking launches and some got away first time but others had relights.  Matt M5 completed the longest task Dulverton, Okehampton, Roadford, Dorchester, Cadbury Cross for 321Km, with Pete in 230, Ron in 611, and Martin in KMV following a similar theme, enjoying the stunning views of Devon and Dorset.
Stunning views of the South coast (James)
Cloudbase eventually topped out at 5200ft, allowing Joe to claim a Silver height in 877. Unfortunately, with the fresh crosswind the other silver hunters missed out, having had to wait for the wind conditions to improve, which it eventually did - at tea-time.
John B goes solo (Jill)
Once we had some calmer conditions, Congratulations to John B for his first solo, and to Lizzie for converting to the Junior. Jess was also able to fly the K6 having had to keep it parked for most of the day. Congratulations also to Pete H for completing 10,000 launches on a flight with Rob.
Lizzie converts to Junior (Jordan)
We welcomed Steve and son Greg who are flying on next week's course, Jordan from Lasham and David who enjoyed his Trial lesson flight.

Thanks to all for staying late to enable everyone to fly - 58 launches and 53 hours flying with Martin having the longest flight in KMV 4hrs 36mins. - J&P


Wednesday 30th March

A beautiful day but where was everybody? We were thin on the ground but what we lacked in quantity we made up in quality!

The day was soarable from the first launch at about 10:15 with some ridge and then thermal developing. The privateers hurried to rig. Tim J in his ASW19, Nick H in JDD, Chris M and Gordon B in their new toy all had good flights. Matt in M5 and Pete in 230 disappeared for just over 3 hours each covering Okehampton, Yeovil and Bampton.
High cloud killed off the thermals after lunch but not before Chris Wa had a good solo 30 mins in the K21.

Tea was taken at about 17.00 - a good day had by all. - John Si
Seabreezy stuff near Yeovil

Good Friday 25th March

A Bank Holiday flying day at the club today, with the weather forecast for the Easter weekend suggesting this might be the only respectable day and even soarable! Luckily Mark C had offered himself up as 'responsible adult' for the day to enable flying to take place. A very large number of members (30) turned up keen to take advantage - possibly the busiest day of the year so far.
Instructing kicked off with Stuart P and Mark C flying with Ellie and Sam. In between instructing, Mark also flew the tug to enable Roly and Heather to take an aerotow. A blue sky hid some thermals, and extended flights were available from early on.
Busy launchpoint (Mark C)
Private glider owners turned up in force (14) all expectant of a good day having looked at RASP and the launch point was very hectic at times. Such was the expectation, that even Paul S rigged and enjoyed a three and a half hour flight. Conditions lower down were varying with some luck involved in getting away, so Jess S took the opportunity to show Matt Wi exactly how to do it ;). A few instructors took the opportunity for ‘friends and family’ flights - Lisa flying her Mum and Matt Wr flying Maddie.
Lisa flies her Mum (Lisa)
John P spent the morning tinkering with his Lak 12 HOG. He was seen removing enough cable to wire an entire glider along with various instruments from his glider. He then proceeded to have the longest flight of the day, over 4 hours almost getting to Okehampton. Obviously whatever was removed had the desired effect.
Pete St Discus 230 visited Bampton, Eaglescott and Taunton for 143kms, finding some good climbs to 4500ft on the edge of the sea air near Taunton, where he met Pete B in K6 HEB.
Empty Launch point and great looking sky (Mark C)
After feeling less enthusiastic earlier in the day, Lizzie had an excellent lesson, finding and climbing up to well over 3000ft.
Wave setting up (Mark C)
During the afternoon the wind slowly went more southerly and the South ridge started to work. A few members with no homes to go to, hung around at the end of the day cooking food and generally making a mess in the kitchen.
Many thanks to the Instructors that agreed to open the Club and instruct on what turned out to be a beautiful Bank Holiday's gliding with 47 winch launches, 11 aerotows and just short of 50 hours soaring. - Good Friday dining group

Thursday 24th March

The forecast suggested a short flyable window in the morning, and with 3 instructors available, the two-seaters were busy. The launches were good to 1400ft, the ridge was working low down and there were even some thermals under the overcast sky. The rain turned up on schedule at 11:00am and the kit was all put to bed. -J&P

Wednesday 23rd March

Wednesday started with a clear blue sky and a little haze John Sil started the ball ro─║ling with the first flight before 10am.
The visibility and the sink were a bit of a problem at first with short flights all round, but Robert was first to soar with a flight of 45min, this prompted Tim J, Matt M5 and Nick H to rig their own gliders Matt fell out of the sky on his first attempt but managed 2hrs on his second, this was the longest flight of the day. Tim and Nick also had good soaring flights.
The wind picked up during the afternoon and the West ridge started to work, the thermals went to almost 3,000ft.
Malcolm shares John's 20,000th glider flight (John St)
Congratulations to John St who flew his 20,000th glider flight today. - JSt

Saturday 19th March

Today was the quietest flying day I have ever known at the club.  Having arrived early to get my name on the flying list, I found that I was the flying list.  The sky looked miserable first thing, and Alan T took the opportunity to service the winch and test its guillotine.

By lunchtime there was enough enthusiasm among the small group of members to drag a K21 to the west end of the field. DLMs Joe and David C were both on hand to a keep a grip of the hectic schedule!

Stu flew the tug, I flew twice with Rowan before handing over to James H and Paul S who took a flight each with the other sitting in the front providing encouragement.  There was some weak lift along the edge of the Sheldon valley, though being surrounded by some rather stronger sink it was a little difficult to stay in.  Meanwhile Lisa drove her Landrover around as a retrieve / mobile LPV, before taking the hangar flight with Stu for her turn (after much arm-twisting Simon L had agreed to drive the Pawnee for the final launch). - Ruth
Cheesy Grins despite the weather!

Thursday 17th March

The High pressure is still holding leaving us in a cold but sunny Easterly wind. The kit was readied early and the gliders were walked to the far end, the wind was stronger than expected with 17 gusting 30knots initially. The first flights found heavy sink all round the circuit and especially behind the ridge. 

Mark and Paul K  in DG505 went exploring downwind looking for wave, but only found soarable rotor. A few scruffy cumulus formed at 1500ft but there was not much chance of pushing through the strong inversion.  The visibility had improved for a while before the haze thickened again especially into sun. 
A buzzard joined in for low-level soaring (Mark L)
At the peak of the day, most flights were marginally soarable, with Matt in M5 taking the prize for the longest flight of 44 mins. Unfortunately by the time the wind had settled down for the early solo pilots, the flight times in the Juniors were down at 4 mins.
The Junior jumped over the moon....(Mark L)
Another nice day out albeit 'bracing' with 52 launches - J&P
Busy launchpoint (M5Matt)

Wednesday 16th March

After the last two Wednesdays, today had promise, but we would have to wait for the low cloud to disappear, whilst we were waiting John Sil gave a talk on spinning.
 
The cloud had cleared by mid-morning so we got the kit out and had an early lunch.
Hooking on - the grass was dry (Andre)
John Sil was first away with a good soaring flight followed by Roly in the Junior, most flights were soarable and the cloudbase was over 3000ft.
It was warmer in the cockpit than outside (Andre)
We had a strong wind today making the takeoffs and landings interesting and the soaring difficult.
 
Everyone flew today including Carl and Dave C in the Falke. - JSt

Sunday 13th March

With a flying list all but full by 8:30 in the morning it was a question of teamwork needed by everyone from start to finish.
The DG, both K21s, R37 and a Junior were taken out of the hangar whilst the launch point and winch were set up for the South West/North East run albeit with an expectation that should the wind direction move round as forecast then a change of sides at the East end of the field may well be necessary during the day.
Hazy to start (Mike Sl)
Flying started around 10 with the limited visibility needing pilot lookout to be sharp and focused - after the first flight a decision was made to limit the number of gliders in the air at any one time to 3 although as the day progressed the visibility did improve to the extent that this restriction was lifted. The visibility was not very good throughout the day below an obvious inversion which limited the hard to use thermals to about 1500' QFE and the brisk easterly wind only added to the challenge of soaring.
Good inversion (Mike Sl)
During the day there were odd pockets of 'blue' lift areas which allowed various pilots some fun working such lift in the absence of clear clouds marking them.
Power at North Hill - two Falkes and Pawnee (Mike Sl)
Simon M (ASW20 SM) and Pete St (Discus 230) both had fun in their gliders recording the longest flights of 40min and 60min respectively. 230 was feeling flush and wanted to get into the clear air above the inversion, at least momentarily, so took an aerotow to 3000' which Pete W was happy to oblige.
Teamwork! (M5Matt)
As they say every cloud has a silver lining so the tricky thermals allowed the flying list to be worked through steadily and by late afternoon with everyone who wanted to fly having done so gliders were flown home and the hangar repacked suitably. CCY was also derigged and put in the workshop ready for its annual maintenance check.
Another North Hill sunset (Mike F)
An unspectacular day but with good signs of spring around the corner and with 48 winch and 4 aerotow flights completed for the day. - Mike Sl

Saturday 12th March

With a sensible forecast, the lack of rain, a bit of sun and wind unlikely to cut you in two a keen group of members arrived at the club hoping for an early start. 
 
Unfortunately the weather has the last say and with everything ready to go irritatingly low cloud and poor visibility forced a retreat to the clubhouse! Small groups engaged in various essential activities busied themselves until John P deemed it ready to fly mid morning!
 
From the off it was one of those days when despite everyone's best efforts, the launch rate was somewhat painful! Simon M spent the whole day entertaining Matt W and was untypically in relaxed mood! 
 
Pete St finalised some bits and pieces on the DG505 instead of rigging, Stuart and Martin rigged the LS3 KMV. Chris M had a couple of launches in the DG100 LRN and Alan T rigged and flew the B4 CYA after its ARC. 
Luton Minor flew in (Simon L)
Ian M flew the Luton Minor in for his PM duty slot which seemed to suffer from falling numbers.  
Oscar winching (Simon L)
Oscar L spent most of the afternoon on the winch whilst Louis L was in charge of retrieving anything that moved and stopped! 
Louis retrieving (Simon L)
An occasional tailwind added to the challenges to the afternoon flyers which continued until the light faded and the temperature dropped quickly! Tim L entertained Simon L with an unusual recovery from a simulated launch failure but obviously didn't frighten him too much as was happily seen sitting in the Junior LRD for two flights. 
Another North Hill  sunset (Simon L)
A few bits of lift provided a few lucky members with extended flights but most were short! Martin W had the longest flight 1hr 35 in KMV. All said and done, it was a very pleasant day and dare I say the first sign of Spring! - Simon, Oscar & Louis

Thursday 10th March

After yesterday's gales from Storm with no name....deja vu? Thursday's forecast was looking good with a sunny start, but someone forgot to turn the northerly wind off. 
The gliders were walked up the field, and the first launch found more than the normal sink all round the circuit in the 20 knots gusting 35 northerly. However the second venture to the north ridge found strong bubbles of lift coming out of the gully to enable some soaring and the launch point filled up nicely.
Lovely cumulus streets  downwind (Mark C)
By lunchtime the wind had started to ease a little, and the cumulus that was out of reach in all directions started to form over the airfield as well.
Busy launchpoint (Mark C)
Eric in ASG29 was the first to get away successfully, but with just a little low struggle initially. The DG505 had been towed back from Yorkshire yesterday (Thanks Tom & Matt) and after a rigging party this morning  took a launch just before lunch with Matt and James S following Eric to the North ridge. They worked their way up to the 3000ft cloudbase flew into wind and carried on going up  at 2-3 knots- topping out just over 5000ft above North Hill and way above the clouds.
Above the clouds (Eric)
The afternoon continued with the wind dropping off dramatically, and all the solo pilots were able to fly the Juniors. Although the lift was hard to find and much weaker, but we managed to fly right through to sunset. 
North Hill sunset (Mark C)
Longest flight to Eric 3hrs 04 and 49 launches total - J&P

Sunday 6th March

At the start of the day there were very few members at the Club perhaps a little surprising in view of the reasonable weather forecast and the lack of flying yesterday - although the fact that it was Mother's Day may well have tested the negotiating skills of some members...

Slowly but surely the number of members present increased and both K21s and a Junior were taken out of the hangar whilst the winch and launch point were set up for the North West/South East run.

With the arrival of a few more members and sufficient people to look after the gliders in use a decision was made to take a K13 and the other Junior out of the hangar.
Getting the gliders out of the hangar (Mike Sl)

Meanwhile DSGC Instructor Coaches and visiting instructors from other Clubs in the South West had started to assemble for a training/discussion seminar run by Graham Morris and Mike Fox for Flight Instructor Coaches.

As the morning progressed so did the flying list with some glimpses of blue sky and potential thermic activity encouraging some private owners to rig (877 ASW 19, 611 ASW20 and H5 SF27).

Meanwhile during the morning both Falkes were flown up to visit Mendip Gliding Club at Halesland.
G-BKVG  and G-CDSC at Mendip (James H)

Around lunchtime whilst the ridge was not working particularly well, there were enough lift 'pockets' coming off the end of the West ridge to allow some long flights for those pilots lucky enough to find the lift and also able to de-rust their soaring skills - as ever the first climb of a flight was crucial in determining whether one could stay up and with some pilots deciding that a "helping hand" from an aerotow made good sense.

After an enforced stop for lunch due to lack of enough members to keep flying, the afternoon provided the opportunity both to complete the flying list and also offer additional flights to those members who wanted them.

During the afternoon both Falkes went off for some sightseeing along the South coast.
The South Coast (Mike Sl)

With everyone having flown and/or flying account balances having reduced to nil there was little interest in continuing to fly - so the gliders were put away at just after 4pm.
North Hill (Mike Sl)

Total number of flights 52 (46 winch, 6 aerotow) with the best flight of the day completed by James F in his newly acquired ASW19 (877) - 87 mins. - Mike Sl

Thursday 3rd March

Yesterday's gales gave way to a transient ridge which as luck would have it came through during the day. The wind started off just west of north but fairly light, and the cloudbase was around 2000ft above North Hill. There were 2 K21s a K13 and 2 Juniors  from the Club fleet and 4 private gliders rigged. 

Streets formed (Mark C)
  The thin upper cloud cleared and some nice streets formed for a while, but the ridge never worked very well.
Towing back always looked better downwind! (Mark C)
After lunch the wind had backed to south of west, and the cloud started to fill in and lower as the next front started to make it's presence felt. The drizzle started at about 16:00, but everyone flew with 43 launches.

Eric A had the longest flight in one of the Juniors at 52 mins as he caught the best of the soarable weather beating all the private gliders  that had rigged. - J&P