Sunday 17th September

The day dawned with the promise of a reasonable forecast; unfortunately the weather hadn't read the script and the small but keen band of members who arrived bright and breezy at the club were greeted by a chilly blustery North Easterly wind and layers of low cloud. Despite numerous efforts a forecast that actually reflected the conditions at North Hill was hard to find, and we did really look! Despite this the gliders and kit were soon positioned in the South West corner of the field ready to start flying, but the low cloud led to a retreat to the club house for tea and breakfast. Meanwhile James Flory and Martin Woolner positioned the Falke ready for a flight as soon as the cloud lifted and Simon Jordy readied the tug for the planned trial lessons.
Looking for the wave in the Falke (James Flory)


After much tea and discussion the cloud finally lifted enough to allow flying to start around 11:30. Duty Instructor Simon Leeson took the first launch, closely followed by James and Martin in the Falke. Conditions were far from booming, but there were broken thermals to be found. James and Martin also searched for wave downwind of the field, but only found broken lift. Simon did a great job, especially as there were reports it was his birthday, working through the two seater list whilst several club members enjoyed trips in the junior.  James, back from his Falke trip with Martin then stepped in to cover until JB was able to arrive mid afternoon to work through the rest of the list with help from Steve Westlake. There were even reports of Ron and Woolly having a quick two seater trip together, while Guy Adams took Dave Cowley up in Victor Golf to see if he could navigate his way home to Martock. Two trial lessons were flown by Matt Williamson, including one mile high flight. Everything was safely packed away soon after 5. Particular thanks to the members who helped all day but didn't fly, especially Tim Petty who did a stirling job driving the winch for half the day.  Not the best weather but a good days flying none the less. - James Flory

Saturday 16th September

An interesting day at the club, not many members turned up to fly and the showers were rather frequent. I did manage to capture a bit of a rainbow before the Airfield was thoroughly soaked and at 4pm the kit was packed away and dried off in the Hangar.
Rainbows (Lisa Humphries)
 In the evening, we held our SGM for the members to approve the purchase of a K13 replacement glider. The recommendation was approved with 84 votes in favour and 5 against. We will now start the process of finalising the specification and ordering the Perkoz which we hope will be delivered to the club in November.
Thanks to all who attended and those who couldn't for submitting their proxy votes. - Lisa Humphries

Thursday 14th September

There was a strong and unusually gusty north westerly wind with strong thermals from the first launch, but disappointing low cloudbase.
Aston Key and John Borland led the way in the Juniors with long flights, but the conditions particularly on approach became increasing boisterous, and limited to yellow card.
Looks better to the north east (Jill Harmer)
There was a long line of heavy showers to the west of the motorway nearly all day, whilst the airfield stayed predominantly dry and sunny with the ridge working quite well at times.
Storms to the west (Jill Harmer)
Pete Startup in 230 persevered for 2 hours locally, Wyn flew W7 and there was a rare outing for DG1 with Tom Sides. 
Tom with DG1 (Jill Harmer)
Woolly was kept busy with Roly's BI revalidation, and then some back seat flying with Aston Key in the DG505. 
Thanks to Robert Lee and Mike Fairclough for standing in tugging. -J&P

Wednesday 13th September

Another Wednesday another lousy forecast so little hope of flying, the trial lessons were cancelled, hardly any members turned up.  But then there was a glimmer of hope - the strong Westerly was right down the field and members started to drift in and the sun was trying to come out so we decided to get both K21s out and and set up the field for N/W launches.
 
At about midday Pete Warren and George took the first launch and radioed down that he was in good lift, John Street and William soon joined him, the only problem was a line squall spreading from the north west.  The lift ahead of the squall was off the clock which is usual in these conditions - but before the rain arrived - airbrakes open and on the ground ASAP.
Cloud Street shadow looking east (John Street)
 An early lunch was the order of the day, after lunch a weather check at the end of the field looked as if there was going to be more rain.But before people started to drift away I did another weather check and the prospects looked much better, the next problem was to prize people out of the comfort of the clubhouse and onto the very cold airfield.
Geoff flying up the cloud street (John Street)
 Pete Startup saw the wisdom of the flying possibilities and started to rig his Discus and reaching Tiverton - quite an achievement in the strong wind. After such a poor start to the day the afternoon produced some excellent conditions with abundant thermals, cloud streets and ridge lift. Most of the flights airbraked down, and on the last flight of the day there was  some wave just to round the day off. - John Street

Saturday 9th September - The highlights

At 9:28 the hanger was unpacked ready for a day of flying.

At 10:09 the hanger was packed away due to impending rain. 


At 10:30 Francis arrived and immediately started his daily digest of today's newspaper.

At 10:31 Francis took a snooze.

At 13:02 Francis awoke and promptly left for home.

At 13:30 Ruth and Rowan took the first launch of the day to enjoy off the clock lift to 1700 feet cloud base and a 40min flight of shower dodging.

At 14:24 Paul S. and William took a half price aerotow onto the ridge only to be forced home because of a wall of showers.

At 14:48 the kit was put away due to heavy showers.

Thanks to the brave tuggies James H and Simon L who towed us aloft in either exciting or challenging condition depending on your perspective. 

Friday 8th September - Course week

The final day of the last course week for 2017 proved to be disappointing, weather wise. So after a course washup, we gave up mid-morning with the cloud still on the ground and an afternoon forecast of heavy rain and thunder. 
Thanks as always to the Course helpers - Richard Harris, George Sanderson, Chris Coville and Allan Mounce and the back-seat drivers John Sillett and Paul C.

Thursday 7th September - Course week

It was a slow start with low cloud, but the Course members enjoyed more lectures from John and Paul. 
Ready to go when the cloud lifts (Jill Harmer)
As soon as it looked possible to launch the Course got going and the Club members decided to wait until after an early lunch. 
There were soaring flights for both Nat and Rob Rankin, with the West ridge kicking off some low level thermals in the brighter gaps of the cloud sheet.
September course and helpers (Jill Harmer)
During the afternoon, the brighter gaps disappeared but the ridge started working more reliably, for a while before the rain appeared in the valley and the kit was put away just in time after 40 launches.

The evening flying had been cancelled, but the Course members and helpers enjoyed an evening at the Keeper's. - J&P

Wednesday 6th September - Course week

The forecast for Wednesday was for the weather to be the best day of the week and so with great expectations there was plenty of enthusiasm to get things going and there was quite a queue in the club line with several private gliders, two club Juniors and the K13.
A good line of Wednesday flyers (John Street)
The wind was a brisk northwesterly and cloud base at about 2,000ft, the September course K21s were first away and had mixed success to start with but soon began to stay up.
Pete Startup, Andrew Logan, Nigel, JB, Barbie and Simon Minson all flew their own gliders and all had good flights,
Pete landed out at Smeatharpe whilst attempting the Club 100......
"Round TIV and picked up a great convergence which I ran for 33km without stopping towards CRK. But then the convergence stopped and so did the sky. Backtracked to Chard where I picked up a climb and it looked better towards CRK by then so tried again. Got rained on 5km from turnpoint so went for home by which time the sky had stopped giving and ended up landing out at Smeatharpe."
A late convergence (John Street)
Both Juniors were kept busy all day and Pete Warren made good use of the K13, a large convergence set up  about 5.00pm and both course K21s spent about an hour in it kept company by Mike and Barbie, Mike in a Junior and Barbie in the Pik, they all landed about 6.00pm or just after. - John Street.

Course blog
A great day for the Course! Early low cloud dispersed rapidly, and we managed to get the first flight off before 0930. Everyone managed some soaring, with the ridge providing feeble support, and the occasional thermal bubbling up in the afternoon. One cable break; possibly instructor error, but we know that never happens at DSGC, so Rob Rankin takes the blame! John Sillett and Paul C had a very long day, but the reward was in the buoyant mood of the course members as we put the gliders to bed as the sun was going down. Tomorrow OK, but Friday looks bad; so a good day today was very welcome. Downside? Failing to see Pete Startup after his safe land out; apparently this has happened before, proving that the lift Gods occasionally tease even their favourite sons! -CC

Tuesday 5th September - Course week

Day Two of the course. 
Fog, rain, low cloudbase. Lecture programme continued, with extra- curricula discussion on ethics, Brexit and a short talk from Chris C on the Red Arrows. Zoe and Emma raised spirits, and also served an excellent lunch.
At 13:30, John and Paul gazed at the heavens some 30 ft above them, and after consulting the course members, we all shrugged our shoulders and headed home, looking forward to a better day tomorrow. - CC

Monday 4th September - Course week

 Day One of the final course in 2017

Arrived under leaden skies and driving rain, with low cloudbase and near zero visibility. Good morning for ground training!
The weather showed a marginal improvement by 1300, and we started flying 30 minutes later, with a series of early pull offs under a 900 ft cloudbase. Nevertheless, 22 shorties flown with all course members getting 2 or 3 flights, eventually finishing at 1730 with the weather closing in again - CC (first-time blogger)

The flights of t’Eagle & d’Discus

an Ode by Phil & Gill Morrison; on a train to London, September 2017


t'Eagle heading across the Humber (John Pursey)

At the briefing they said, “‘twould be thermic”,
with clouds all puffy and white.
Hot ships would have to go later
but t’Eagle should take the first flight.

Now ’Eagle has seen many summers
and has soared in many a sky
Her beauty and grace are a legend
and her pilots both eager to fly.

Alas, age has sapped her performance,
compared to more modern machines,
but her pilots were emboldened and daring
and fixated on winning it seems.

Then launching by ‘tuggies was started,
as soon as the sky looked just right,
all those who were waiting and gridded
were eager to start on their flight.

The ‘Eagle, in Mustard White livery
had only just vanished from view,
whilst the others in rapid succession
were all being launched, two by two.

Her “groundies”, still flustered and sweaty
from just having rigged the damn thing,
watched ‘launches, then went for a shower……
...‘Twas then the phone started to ring.

The task ‘twas six places to visit.
Scattered all over the weald
but ’Eagle made barely a couple
before she were down in a field.


Latest addition to the Morrison flight crew (Gill Morrison)
Meanwhile, d’Discus’s pilots,
aloft in their glassfibre ship,
were circling high over Scunthorpe;
not worried one little bit.

They pressed on regardless to Gainsborough,
down Valley of Trent as thee know.
But by now ‘top cover were showing;
‘twould soon be the end of the show.

At ’turnpoint it became quite apparent;
the ground seeming awfully near,
that, without hesitation or slacking,
toward home they needed to steer.

Our boys turned back with reluctance
to a small patch of light near the fell.
By now ‘land were covered in shadow
and Scunthorpe looked darker than hell

But failing to make upward progress
their decision ‘came perfectly clear
and by pushing buttons and switches
an engine was made to appear.

They figured, by way of excuses,
that ‘twas certainly bound to transpire
their bodies would surely be needed
to get ’Eagle out of the mire.

On landing back on the airfield
with runways so welcome and clear
They found ’Eagle…..already nested,
so they opened a bottle of beer.

Saturday 2nd September

Flying started early with some expectation of soaring weather before the approaching warm front, and some managed to soar, but it was mainly a training day with some extended circuits using the South ridge after the wind had backed a little.
Cheesey grins from Reuben and Ellie -the latest Junior members to convert to K6 (Jill Harmer)

Thanks to Ian Mitchell for completing the Annual on K6 DRE, which was rigged and then first Reuben Buss tried it out for size followed swiftly by Ellie Carter. They both enjoyed the delights of flying a K6. - J&P


Friday 1st September

It was another special Trial lesson voucher day, to catch up on the backlog of cancelled flights, and the weather forecast was very promising with a ridge forming and just the decision of which end to fly from in the northerly crosswind. 
In the event, there was a little bit of east in it, so the decision was made. 
A little wavy interlude in the cumulus (Jill Harmer)
With it being a lovely soarable day, there was no problem with giving all the visitors  a great gliding experience of the Devon countryside. Eleven flights completed with four Mile High's. Thanks to all the Instructors and Helpers. - J&P

The Tale of Pocklington 2017 – The Knights Return

With the passing of a year since the last battle of the North,  Lord Jones of Hemyock did once again summon his faithful knights to take passage with him to the Northern Lands and re-engage with the wily nobleman from the North and Midlands in the tournament known as Pocklington Two Seater Comp. As is custom, the mighty mobile palace of Hemyock did set itself in place on Friday to be circled by the various strong holds of Sir Philip of Exmouth, Sir JB of Taunton and the knavish Sir Pursey of the S Hams. Missing was the magic man, Malcolm of Wellington, grave injured in a recent skirmish. His skills with potions and fires would be much missed.
Flags of Devon and Somerset...
The flags of the lands of Devon and Somerset were hoist a topped by the mighty yellow tadpole representing the fertile lands of Hemyock and merriment began. Ales, wines and liquor were ordered to be brought forth by the Lord and the campaign planned. With a new steed at his command, the mythical Duo from the lands of Schempp and Hirth, Sir Phillip was given to much encouragement and the recital of prose during the pre-tournament feasting. The Lady Gill of Exmouth did roll her eyes…
Sir JB  and Sir JP.....
The Sunday brought a first battle with challenges to the south, the market town of Beverley, and onwards via the hellish land of Scunthorpe to Cottam the former lair of a coal-eating dragon. Sir JB and Sir JP did wrestle with the elements and take their trusty Eagle south but with encroaching vapours did alight on heading north twixt the flashing sabres of a Scunthorpe windfarm. Sir Phillip’s steady hand took the Lord safely around all the challenges and back to his palace. On finding himself locked in his field the resourceful Sir JB did enchant local maids with tales of soil and barley yields. He was successful and the Lord's wagon did come safely to the rescue with the fair maid Steff of Taunton and the ever resourceful Stirling of Melhuish. Much merriment in the tavern that night led to a good Knight’s sleep…
Sir JB enchanted local maids....
Monday and the morning court session of the Northern Barons did proclaim the Eagle as victor on the previous day’s challenge for wooden craft. Sir Phillip was much pleased with his standing.
The tournament jester, John Norman of Hull, did then brief of challenges first to the south to Goole and then north to Malton and other exotic places. The vapours were returning to the skies and much was the struggle to leave. 

 
Sir John with Alan of Ilford.......

Sir John with Alan of Ilford spent much time with the Eagle’s stablemate the venerable Capstan as they hedge hopped to Goole. Lucky spirits were with the Eagle because it turned and made a slow, low passage to the magical outer perimeter known as the finish ring and then settled next to a tavern in a field of stubble. Sir Phillip’s enchanted steer made easier passage and returned from Northern quarters with Lord Jones. A feast was arranged with Salmon encrusted with spices from the New World. Caskets of beer and wine were broached and the sacred waters of Jura brought forth. 
The sacred waters of Jura...
Tuesday, and jester John announced good standings for the Lord’s men and a day of rest as foul airs brought cloud. The palace and encampment of Lord Jones became the scene of a banquet as fellow competitors gathered to share Spanish flavours around the fires of the Southern Knights. As the evening wore on Sir Phillip did recount more odes and poems from his youth, the meaning of most lost in the mists of time. A new sacred spirit was tested as the maiden Linden from Knaresbough offered “Slingsby Rhubarb Gin” from the ancient family Slingsby of York. Much was drunk and the poems did keep coming…
Luckily Wednesday which had been heralded by mighty storms with much electricity and magic in the skies was declared another day of rest for the Knights were jaded from their revelry. Later with the sun back in the sky, the Eagle went on a journey of discovery and attempted to soar the ancient hills of The Wolds. Low and with only ridge lift from a stand of trees, Sir JB took Sir JP into a field of gold, attracted by the sight of bisecting power wires and a wide gate. A simple supper followed and the young knave Matthew of Woolwell brought life to the tired party. More ale was broached and the waters of Jura once again sampled.
Thursday and the Northern heralds encouraged readiment but it was to be all for naught as vapours covered the sky. Late on and the sun returned making the Knights take to the sky in search of joy. Tinctures of wave and convection were sampled and the steeds carried new Knights aloft. On return fires were lit and a vat of exotic fare prepared. More story telling ensued and poems recited before slumber took hold. The Lord was tiring.
Friday and the Knights were greeted with commands to head west and cross the vast plain of York. After false start and re-light, Sir JB and Sir JP found the greyness overwhelming and flew to a field not from the Planes of Elvington whilst wise Sir Phillip, quietly slipped across the Vale and returned. With the camp returned the ancient dish of orange chicken was prepared and devoured amid much consumption of ale as the secret fires of red chilli caught hold the Knights. Sir Phillip was less moved to verse and with camp fires burning, waters of Jura quietly consumed as the Knights contemplated the coming challenges.
Saturday and the jester John let his wise man Bill-The Met talk of much excitement in the sky and the setting of routes to the south. Sir JB drawn by vigour in the vapours aloft, took the Eagle into the grey using long-learnt skills to take the craft high above the fellow Knights. Unfortunately he was too close to the fortress of Pocklington and penalties were to ensue. Also the lure of further forays into the veils of the sky meant that the trusty Eagle was out of sync with the sky and soon Sir JB and Sir JP were sitting at the gates of Hades also known as Scunthorpe steel works. A field soon followed and the Knights were crest fallen. Sir Phillip however prevailed and took Alan of Ilford on a great voyage to the towers of Belvoir beyond the Great Vale of Trent. Alan was kept aloft longer than he had experienced for many a year and was much enthralled by the marvel of the noble Duo and its lack of demand on the feet. That night the Northern Barons held a celebration in their castle but the Lord Jones men were tired and they were soon quietly sipping the waters of Jura in the mobile palace of Hemyock. Wisely the Lord of Hemyock had an early night for he knew of the seriousness of the battle to come. 

Soaring wolds field.....
Sunday and the final day. The Eagle needed to be strong to avenge the previous day's defeats and the morning proclamations were much studied and the Knights took their places. Sir JP was entrusted with carriage of the Lord of Hemyock and Sir JB given charge of the Lady Gill in the magic Duo. Routes South, then East and South again were set. Sir JP carefully took the craft south with much trepidation as the skies were at once full then empty of vapours. With the location of competing wooden craft unknown, the Eagle rounded Goole then headed east on an ever-downward path. With fellow craft alighting into fields and a healthy 400ft still showing the Eagle pressed on… In a final moment of enchantment, goblins conjured from afar by the Wizard Malcolm, startled birds out of a field as they released precious warming updrafts for the Eagle. With half its height gone that enchanted moment was enough to stop the downward path and allowed the southerners to prevail. Many turns later, the craft was high enough to continue and make good on passage to Beverly and Scunthorpe before returning home. Sir JB letting the Lady Gill take rein of the magical Duo, sailed round and was there to greet the returning Lord. With victory secured for wooden craft and the mighty Duo a creditable 7th, Lord Jones declared that celebration be made and a trip to the tavern was undertaken. 
Another day, another golden field.....
The next day with banners lowered the camp was struck and the campaign of Pocklington 2017 declared a success. The trusty Disco 5 bore the Lord of Hemyock home and the Knights returned to normal duties. - JP

Thursday 31st August

Sunshine and showers later was the forecast for a very pleasant Thursday, and there were some private gliders rigging, as the club gliders were put on line.
John Borland got cleared  solo aerotow,
John cleared solo aerotow (Mike Sloggett)

and Andy Davey converted to the Junior and Pete Bennett completed his BI renewal checks but the highlight of the day was just before lunch.
Peter Smith arrived in style in a new 2-seater ..... not quite what you are thinking! ..........
A pre-arranged birthday treat flew in from Exeter via Dunks,  the 'Spitfire' flew a low pass of the airfield.


And there were some nice cloud features
A line of cloud turrets (Mark Courtney)
and a rainbow effect that was new to all but tricky to photo...
Low-level rainbow under the shower (Mark Courtney)




Wednesday 30th August

A very wet start meant that only a few of the Wednesday regulars were keen to fly in the afternoon. Luckily there was a family of visitors from The Park to make up the quorum, and it was pleasantly soarable for the 10 launches. - J&P

Sunday 27th August

Arriving at the club today for the afternoon shift of launch point marshall duty, I expected a detailed hand-over from Mr Williamson who was on the morning shift.  As it turned out, I was just in time to see Ron Johns launch in the ASH.  "Who's flying with him?".  "Matthew Williamson" came the reply!  However, having inspected the list and noting the four people awaiting training I did manage to forgive him.  

The weather was glorious and the sky was improving by the minute.  Jill and Pete Harmer in OL and Pete Startup in 230 followed Ron & Matthew into the air to make the most of the conditions.  Mike Sloggett was enjoying flying his own glider ENW after a busy course week.  Simon Minson swapped instructor hats with Ian Mitchell who got busy putting Josh Funnell through his paces before sending him off for an excellent soaring flight.  Mike squeezed in a trial lesson in between ASW20 flights with Linda who has to be congratulated on conquering her fear.  The beautiful weather was bringing in the visitors with two 'walk-ins' - Sarah and Matthew flying with Simon and Ian respectively, Matthew taking the opportunity to have the full mile high experience.
James and Lisa in G-CDSC and Stu and Guy in B-BKVG
James Hood with Lisa Humphries and Stuart Proctor with Guy Adams took the motor gliders to visit Dorset gliding club for a cup of tea.  On her return Lisa took the opportunity to take a K21 for an early evening flight and found copious amounts of lift, reaching 3000ft from the launch in about 5 minutes!

The cross country pilots had started to drift in - Pete Startup and Ron & Matthew both making Dorchester  124Kms  using blue wispies to get there and a weak sea breeze convergence to get home. Jill and Pete had hung around for a bit waiting for the cloudbase to rise, and then a couple of streets just appeared, so they followed the energy to South Molton and back. 
A great day in the sun :) - Tim Peters

Saturday 26th August

A beautiful summers day for a change and the sky looked good. Several set off on cross-country flights, Simon Minson SM, Pete Startup 230, Mike Fairclough DFK and Paul Medlock HMS (attempting 50K), also Peter Smith flew 1UP and had a nice long flight.
Peter in 1UP enjoying some local soaring with a late evening cloud (Peter Smith)
 Pete and Jill took the Falke for a cruise .....
Nice and easy to spot MUD (Jill Harmer)
.... and VG was aired again with William and Heather.
Pete and Simon completed Wilton, Cerne Abbas for 200Kms. Paul landed near Sutton Bingham, and Mike landed near Ilminster.
Paul missed the Silver distance but picked a nice field in Ryme Intrinseca
Probably because it was a Bank Holiday weekend there was only 1 student on the flying list so he had John Sillett's undivided attention and in the early evening he enjoyed his first solo flight, well done to James Price who has recently returned to North Hill.
Congratulations to James Price (John Sillett)
In the morning, the Falke was busy with Mark Courtney and Ray Dodd practicing field landings and Roly was as usual taking trial lesson customers to the moon and back!

I flew Alex this evening, who came to have a look at gliding, he used to fly Microlights, I think he is converted and has expressed an interest in joining the Club.
Nice day out for all who were here, roll on tomorrow! - Lisa

Friday 25th August - Course week

Over the Course dinner last evening there was much talk about the week so far during which all four days had been flyable and whether it it might be a tad greedy to hope that the optimistic forecast of some potential soaring would actually happen.

With a bright blue sky over the airfield and a good weather forecast there was an evident air of keenness and enthusiasm first thing with various Club gliders brought out of the hangar and ground equipment being readied for action. The arrival of several private owners indicated that the general optimism for some soaring was (probably) well placed.
North Hill in the sunshine (Mike Sloggett)


The weather forecast suggested that flying ought to start from the North West corner ahead of a probable change of ends later in the day - however with only a minimal wind of variable direction the winch was dispatched to the North West corner and the gliders were walked up to the launch point which was now in the South East corner of the airfield

The first flight of the day was airborne just after 9:30 and it became apparent that there was already thermic activity in and around he airfield albeit cloudbase not very high. But as the morning progressed then the thermals became more evident whilst the flights became longer

It almost seemed wrong to stop for lunch but pilots and ground helpers needed refreshment after a good but warm morning's activity.

Before lunch Pete Startup (Discus 230), Mike Fairclough (Pik DFK) and Simon Minson (ASW20 SM) had all launched and successfully "got away", disappearing for a couple of hours in the directions of Tiverton and Crewkerne for the Club 100.

By the time lunch was over the sky had improved further providing everyone with the opportunity to enjoy a soaring flight (or two) during the afternoon to finish the Course Week.
Course Members, Instructors and Helpers (Mike Sloggett)
A good week all round, well done to the Course members Simon Collier, Rick Andrews, Graham Hawker, Callum Ayres, Ross Pratt and Mark Worsfold for making progress with their objectives for the week and particularly to the ground helpers William Pope, Roly and Heather Clarke without whom we could not get airborne, and the Back Seat Drivers Martin Woolner, Mike Sloggett and 'Rookie Instructor' James Flory. - Mike Sloggett

Thursday 24th August - Course week

Day 4 of the course dawned with promise of a better day. But once again the weather gods had other plans; we’re obviously not talking to the right people when it comes to booking the weather. Despite this the equipment was soon made ready and launch line was set up ready to go. 
Not quite overcast (Mike Sloggett)
Rick Andrews continued to enjoy flights in the Junior whilst Mark and Martin Woolner continued with Mark’s training, having already began to master landings. Mike Sloggett and Mark Courtney meanwhile had taken a metaphorical hacksaw to the DG 505 wingtips and replaced them with the stumpy training tips with the idea of trying the DG for training; this was after Martin, George Sanderson and Graham Hawker all did their bit to replace a deflating tail wheel. The DG was then brought on line and mixed in with the K21’s and K13 to be used for training. Without it’s go further wing tips it blended in quite well. Graham Hawker and Martin then leapt forward to start to us the new clipped wing beast. 
A bit nose heavy with Graham and Mark (Mark Layton)
James Flory and Ross also enjoyed a number of really good flights as did several others. All in all not a bad training machine! The weather progressively improved through the day with conditions becoming quite soar-able  as afternoon progressed.  Meanwhile the rest of the course kept the K21 and Junior busy and Simon enjoyed another flight in his ASW15.  Overall another good day despite a few early dark clouds and some damp stuff. -James Flory

The Thursday regulars got on with a few jobs this morning, assisted with the DG505 tailwheel, changed both winch cables, changed the oil in the tractor, and then it was time to go flying, working round the two-seaters that were being used for Course flying. There was variable success with soaring as the conditions changed during the day. 

Ray Dodd passed his Bronze exam, and then followed that with a navigation exercise with Pete Harmer in the Rotax Falke. James Smart and Ian Mitchell flew in with a Jodel for tea. 
Jodel D112 (Jill Harmer)
Tom Sides and Peter Smith supervised the delivery and installation of the new Avgas tank.
Positioning the new tank (Tom Sides)
 In the evening the Course members enjoyed the Course Dinner at the Hare and Hounds near Honiton. - J&P

Wednesday 23rd August - Course week

A mixed forecast with the possibility of a shower, brightening in the afternoon, there were some showers about but they all missed us.
Thermals started (John Street)
All the club gliders were out plus the DG1001 Neo, there was a bit of low cloud about but aerotows went ahead with the DG demonstrator and managed several flights in the gaps in the cloud cover before being derigged and returned to Lasham.
Clean and valet DG1001 Neo (Mark Layton)
The second August course was in full swing with Mike and Martin doing a fine job. All the Wednesday suspects that turned up flew and most had reasonable soaring flights although the cloud base didn't get much above 2,500ft.
Busy launch point (John Street)
The only private gliders were Nigel and Jeff, Robert and Pete W were the tuggies.
We finished flying flying about 5.30pm and handed over the two-seaters to the Air Cadets evening group. 
Another great North Hill sunset (Mike Sloggett)
It was a very pleasant and productive day with more than 60 flights. - John Street.

Course summary

Day 3 for the course dawned typically summery, for Devon; overcast and decidedly chilly. Despite the rather inhospitable conditions the course members and ground helpers got everything ready with the help of the normal Wednesday crew ready for another days flying.  Mike Sloggett was the first to bravely leap into the air on the winch doing a weather flight with Mark Worlsford. The conclusion was it was flyable but with areas of low cloud; how much more summery could you get! 
 
However, as the day progressed the cloud base slowly went up and the course got flying in force. Rick Andrews took advantage of the free Junior whilst Mike, Martin Woolner and James Flory worked through the list of course members wanting dual flights. Mark continued to progress really well with Martin’s coaching, whilst Graham Hawker continued to enjoy flights in the DG, thats the 505 rather than the 1001! Callum Ayres bravely stepped forward to fly with James Flory as the new instructor on the block and enjoyed three launches later into the afternoon. Simon Collier was able to enjoy an aerotow in his ASW 15, helping him to build experience in his new glider. Sadly one of the course members had to drop out, but fortunately Mike "sales man" Sloggett was able to fill the slot within minutes. Ross Pratt wasn’t able to move quickly enough before the full powers of Mike’s sales technique landed on him and his mum. Suitably persuaded Ross was duly signed up; good job Mike!. Although not a perfect weather day everyone managed to fly and good progress was made by all.

The day then continued into the evening with trail lesson flying for Air Cadets from Exeter and Bodmin. All the cadets enjoyed good flights, with the weather rather typically getting better as the day went on and the sun began to set. Special thanks to all the ground crew who had to cope with several cable related problems on the winch. Overall a good days flying at North Hill. - James Flory

Tuesday 22nd August - Course week

The second day of the Course Week saw low cloud drifting across the airfield but with a positive weather forecast the gliders were brought out of the hangar and based on the forecast wind direction the launch point was set up in the North West corner of the airfield.
The Northwest corner of the airfield (Mike Sloggett)
With a brightening sky and suggestions of cloudbase improving both K21s, a Junior and the DG1001 demonstrator were walked down to the launch point where it became clear that the cloudbase was still too low to enable flying to start for the day so it was a return to the Clubhouse for some briefings on winch launching and launch failures.

And then with the cloudbase much improved it was time to return to the launch point and start the day's flying.

And then it was a day of continuous flying of both Course members and also Club members taking the opportunity to fly in the DG1001 demonstrator.
DG1001 Neo Demonstrator (Mike Sloggett)

The wind direction and strength allowed the South ridge to work in places albeit not very strong and providing the opportunity for pilots to test their skills at extending the time of their winch launches suitably.

With a freshening Southerly wind by late afternoon all the Course members had flown so  the Club gliders were put away for the day whilst the Club members continued to fly the DG1001 on into the evening. - Mike Sloggett

Monday 21st August - Course week

Those arriving early at the Club found mist and low cloud, but with every expectation that the sun would soon start to burn through and see clearer skies as a result - well that is what all the forecasters were saying would happen...

And that is exactly what happened - as the Course briefing was coming to an end there were glimpses of the sunshine and evidence of an increasingly improving sky above and around the airfield. Both K21s, the DG505 and a Junior were brought out of the hangar and the launch point set up in the North East corner of the airfield.

Meanwhile the DG1001 demonstrator was getting lots of interest from members and was soon rigged and also taken to the launch point.
Form an orderly queue for DG1001
Mid-morning, the first launch of the day saw a K21 not achieve full launch height due to low cloud so a coffee break was called for.
Blue skies (Mike Sloggett)
And patience was rewarded within a short while with full launch height being achieved and then it was a day of continuous flying by both the Course members and various other Club members taking the opportunity to fly in the DG1001.
DG1001 on aerotow (Mike Sloggett)
Late afternoon with all the Course members having flown and made good progress with their objectives for the week all the Club gliders were put back in to the hangar - whilst the DG1001 continued to be flown well into the evening to make good use of the glider whilst it is with the Club. - Mike Sloggett

Sunday 20th August

The weather forecast was rather pessimistic for today but a few members turned up at the Club, primarily to fulfil their duty instructor and launch marshall duties.

With rain evident on the weather radar the decision was made to get flying as soon as possible in the expectation that rain would arrive later in the day. Both K21s and a Junior were brought out of the hangar as well as the Pawnee.

And under a grey sky with threatening rain clouds some check/training flights in the K21s, some Junior flights, a Trial Lesson and a Friends and Family flight were all completed by just before midday - and then the light drizzle rain arrived as forecast.

With an element of optimism an early lunch break was taken but as the afternoon unfolded it became evident that it was time to put the gliders and ground equipment away before even heavier rain arrived as forecast it would. Still some flights completed which is good for Spring, oh wait a minute it is supposed to be Summer.. - Mike Sloggett

Saturday 19th August

Another busy day at the club, weather wasn't fantastic but hey, its August what do you expect! James Flory having received his BGA paperwork launched into full instructor mode today and John Sillett covered the afternoon shift for Phil Morrison who was having fun in Pocklington, Matt Williamson flew all of the trial lessons today in the K13, yes that's right the K13!!!! 
North Hill Airfield (Lisa Humphries)
I got back into the back seat with proper instructing today and thoroughly enjoyed myself. Pete Startup rigged his Discus and  flew longer than anyone else 2 hours -as expected, Ron and James took the ASH25 for a spin, VG was aired and the Cub flew in with Mike and Barbie in the evening.
Tricky for soaring sky (Lisa Humphries)
Everyone flew - even William Stainer who despite turning up very early this morning managed to put his name at the bottom of the list as he thought it was the gentlemanly thing to do, he will learn! All in all a nice day at the Club!- Lisa Humphries
Nice field (Simon Minson)
and the DG505 was at The Park on the ICL, watched on Spot the Gliders  with Simon Minson and Pete Bennett, 166kms and landed just 8kms short. Well done Team.

Friday 18th August

It was another special Trial lesson voucher day, to catch up on the backlog of cancelled flights, and the weather forecast was trying hard to be difficult. Early in the week it was going to be gales, then the expected wind had eased, but thunderstorms were forecast!
Cumulonimbus anvil to the north (Jill Harmer)

Although the wind did blow, and we did see one flash and a couple of rumbles, the showers were whizzing through so that there were some good clear blue skies in between. 
Trial lesson Visitors enjoy their flight (Mark Courtney)
All 10 pre-booked flights were flown with the visitors enjoying the cloudscapes. Thanks to all the Instructors and Helpers. -J&P