Tuesday 7th July at the Park. Some moody looking skies, but happy looking aviators ๐Ÿ˜Ž.

Good evening fellow aviators.

A very pleasant days flying at the Park today.

The moody looking skies above the Park today looked very atmospheric, but didn’t promise much in the way of soaring. Locally however, soaring was very good with many extended flights through the day.

Locally, Cloud Base was approx 3,300ft QFE, with a 240 degree 10Kt upper wind. Thermal activity was generally very good, but with quite a lot of top cover, the lift sources would sometimes fade for a time before then re-cycling again through the day.

A good selection of Club Single Seat Gliders and Private Single Seat Gliders, were lined up at the launch point through the day.

John H, struck thermal gold locally with a climb in the blue that took him to 4,700 ft QFE, well above local cloud base! Mike T even managed a respectable out and return to Ilminster, turning back from an attempt to reach Culmstock when the thermal strength was starting to fade and rain could be seen out over the Bristol Channel.

Our CFI had another productive day in the ASK21, completing check flights with Pilots returning to flying following the easing of the lockdown. Our Club has the good fortune of having the use of an ASK21 fitted with the EASA approved polycarbonate screening modification, that shields the front and rear cockpits from one another. Greg C, Merv B, and Doug T, were the Pilots completing their check flights with the CFI today. It was smiles all round, as the Pilots were clearly delighted to be back flying again.

A very pleasant days flying from the Park dear aviators ๐Ÿ™‚.

Some pictures from the day below to share with you all. Hope you enjoy them.

Kind regards.

Damien.

A moody and atmospheric looking sky above the Park for most of today.
It was nice to see so many Pilots lining up to enjoy the days soaring opportunities.
John H, struck thermal gold with one climb in the blue, that took him to 4,700ft QFE, well above the 3,300ft cloud base!
Occasionally the lifts sources would fade through the day….
But the airmass would then quickly start to re-cycle, and continued generating thermal opportunities right up to end of todays flying.

The Resurrection of two-seat flying. Thursday 2nd July.

For some time now, a dedicated cadre of members have been filling the blog with wonderful pictures of the fantastic weather and soaring that May and June brought us. For some members however, my brother Nicky and I included, we have only been able to watch. Like others, we allowed our currency to lapse over the winter, in our case to focus on preparing for exams that never happened.

Fortunately, a long soaring summer is back on the table, as two seat flying is tentatively returning thanks to our club having the good fortune of gaining the use of a K-21 Glider fitted with the EASA approved polycarbonate screening, that shields the front and rear cockpits from one another. This is a venture that has been talked about since we first retreated to our houses, and I believe was pioneered at Southdown Gliding Club in the early part of June.

Last Sunday, the modified K21 was received to much anticipation from Tim D, who test flew it with Steve L.

Steve L took to the skies again this morning in the K21, with Leslie as P2 this time, for a final familiarisation flight before the commencement of the days training.

Our CFI then took Nicky P for the first two-seat instruction at the Park since the Covid crisis began – completing Nicky’s annual checks and returning him to currency.

Around this time our intrepid single-seat pilots took to the skies, led by Damien M, who took an aerotow behind John H to 3000′, and photographed the spectacular cloudscape. (photos below).

Initially the weather had looked mediocre, but by this point the clouds began to open up and thermals were beginning to rise.

Not long after one o’clock, with a reasonable amount of flying already done, it was my turn to get my annual checks done and return to the wonderful world of single-seat flying.

Mike J, Steve L, and everyone else involved in resuming 2-seater flying, have paved the way for others to begin regaining their flying currency also.

By the end of the day we had sunshine, removed our jumpers and had conditions that were almost recognisable as a July day.

Damien, Doug, and Trevor even found time to pick some delicious looking cherries!

Saturday, 27th June

In spite of high winds and multiple showers expected ( it would have been “Glastonbury Saturday”), I didn’t scrub because I knew that we needed some useful bodies on site. Thanks to all those who turned out.

John H quietly worked on a tug tow rope.  Geoff P was donating blood to the cause, trying to access and fix a tricky (minor) problem with LPM’S release mechanism.  Chris T and Andy F were socially distanced fettling, Phil D was in the workshop.    Nick B led Rob, Andy N, Damien & myself in de-rigging VN, then gave us more lessons in hangar stacking, to make space for a “Covid secure” K21.  We couldn’t find it to rig it but I’m told that its arrival is imminent, probably tomorrow.

The forecast was accurate; the rain varied from heavy to light and the wind remained strong.  The brief spells of sunshine were quicky extinguished by more developing showers, so no flying but a good day’s work done.

Phil

Hot Thursday!

Well this was a different sort of day, we managed to operate seven aircraft with just seven people (including the tug & yours truly). Add to that three aircraft had to be rigged & four de-rigged. The good news is that everyone flew. Mark Player & John Garland made the first flights but decided the weak (& very blue) thermals were not good enough to fly a task. The prize flights go to Dennis Stangroom (BNH) & Chris Teasdale (LPM) who had some good soaring to over 3000ft. Graham Hoile flew his new toy & Gordon Figg gave his glider an airing too.

Thanks to all who worked so hard in the heat to get some flying in & Damien who accepted the call to arms to help us get everything put away ahead of the forecast storms. A great team effort.

Wednesday 17th June at the Park โ˜”๏ธ๐Ÿ™‚.

Another great Wednesday at The Park, very tricky to start with, but “booming” by late afternoon.

To begin with around 12pm, the cloud base was around 2,100ft and it was a hard task just to stay airborne, Me in JKW, Damien in FUY & Harriet in JAL, with Phil in FKA were skilfully towed by John H ( Thank you John !) which made getting away a bit easier.

As the afternoon progressed we had ended up with a relatively high cloud base of approx 3,400 feet QFE, combined with abundant thermal opportunities, I managed to find 5 kts average a few times ๐Ÿ™‚. I noted that it was odd that every cloud had a different cloud base height, and sometimes you couldn’t reach the base no matter what you tried.

At this point a very ominous looking cloud was approaching and rumbling away, all of us could see it but we couldn’t appreciate how rapidly it was growing in size. Thankfully, John H & Mike T could foresee this,ย and called us all back. We had all landed and the gliders had been packed away when it came rumbling past, 3-5 miles south of the site.

That brought a close to play.

I took a few pictures from the day to share with you all. Hope you enjoy them ๐Ÿ™‚.


Daniel.

Tuesday 16th June at the Park โ˜”๏ธโ›ต๏ธ๐Ÿ™‚.

Well we certainly made the most of what todays weather had to offer us ๐Ÿ™‚.

The soaring forecast for today wasn’t a particularly good one, so understandably only a small but hardy band of aviators assembled for some local soaring.

Our CFI Mike J led the way today, taking a Cloud Climb to Flight Level 100! Before having to leave the 8 knot averaging thermal that had taken him there, as our club craft don’t as yet have onboard transponders. In typical Mike J style he made good use of the available height during his descent with a multi-turn spin, and a few aerobatic manoeuvres that were enjoyed by the Pilots waiting back at the Launch Point ๐Ÿ˜Ž.

As the day progressed the soaring conditions did tail off unfortunately, with the lift becoming very patchy. All Pilots who wanted to fly did get the opportunity. Chris B had an enjoyable flight in the Motor Glider, Trevor H and Nick M scratched away in the cooling conditions extending their flights as much as was possible.

I took the final flight of the day. It was a tentative attempt only, as we had already identified rain curtains visible to the South East of the Park. As I released from the top of the winch at approx. 1400ft QFE, the elevated perspective confirmed our suspicions that rain was on its way, so I promptly headed home. I was logged down with a flight time of 3 minutes! Not sure if that’s a record short duration from a full launch flight, but I’m claiming it until someone tells me it isn’t ๐Ÿ˜‰.

Heading back promptly turned out to be a good call, as some rain did arrive not long after. Realising the best of the days weather was now behind us, we decided to pack away. We got everything packed away in the Hangar in good time before the worst of the weather arrived, but did get a little wet in the process.

From the safety of the hangar, we watched the weather build in intensity while tracking it on the Met Weather Radar.ย  The Park was soon to be enveloped in a tremendous storm. Rain of almost biblical proportions ensued โ˜”๏ธ. Even though the inclement weather had shortened our Gliding day, it was smiles all round. It would appear everyone enjoys watching the spectacle of good storm, from the comfort of a warm and dry vantage point ๐Ÿ˜‰.

While driving back home across the Deverill’s this afternoon, I did keep a watchful eye for a large wooden vessel โ›ต๏ธ, captained by a bearded gentleman by the name of Noah. Butย fear not dear aviators, I saw no such vessel, so our Flying Week will continue ๐Ÿ™‚.

I took a few pictures of this afternoons monsoon to share with you all, hope you enjoy them.

The Park found itself right in the heart of a storm this afternoon.

From the comfort of the hangar, the ensuing storm was an impressive spectacle.

Challenging conditions at the Park today dear aviators, but we made the most of what opportunities there were ๐Ÿ˜Ž.

Kind regards.

Damien.

Monday 15th June at the Park ๐Ÿ™‚.

A great start to Flying Week dear aviators ๐Ÿ˜Ž.

Locally we had a usefully high cloud base of approx 3,700 feet QFE, combined with abundant thermal opportunities ๐Ÿ™‚.

The Clubs Cross Country Pundits had a successful days flying also, no doubt we will see a few updates on the BGA Ladder later today ๐Ÿ™‚.

I took a few pictures from the day to share with you all. Hope you enjoy them ๐Ÿ™‚.

A usefully high local cloud base today of between 3,600ft – 3,700ft ย QFE.A useful high local cloud base today, varying between 3,600ft - 3,700ft QFE.

No hunting around in the blue today. One spectacular cloudscape after another continued to roll in throughout the day ๐Ÿ˜Ž.


Kind regards.

Damien ๐Ÿ™‚.

Sunday 7th June. Some Cumulus of potential ๐Ÿ™‚.

Another bright, sunshine filled day at the Park. Quite a few Cumulus around today too ๐Ÿ™‚. Not quite as strong a soaring day as some of those we have been treated to recently, but still a very pleasant days flying ๐Ÿ™‚.

I took the below picture shortly before the first launch this morning at 10:45.

Kind regards.

Damien.

Tuesday 2nd June: A few pictures from the day.

Another great days flying from the Park dear aviators ๐Ÿ˜Ž.

Glorious sunshine and an abundance of excellent thermal lift ๐Ÿ™‚.

It was mostly blue around the Park, but before taking off, I took a few pictures of some very picturesque cloudscapes to share with you all.

Hope you enjoy them.

Kind regards.

Damien.

Tuesday 2nd June

Today was a replacement for the usual Wednesday flying. Many thanks to those who arranged it and the volunteers running the operation. We were a select few today, but the flying was some of the best since we restarted flying with strong thermals and a high cloudbase. Unlike Sunday, only 6000ft though!

I hope this isn’t the end of summer…….

Sunday, 31st May

Today was an exceptionally good day, with a brisk ESE wind but local cloudbases above 6000′ !  We were limited to three Club gliders, with six allocated pilots and of course worked as a team to comply with our Covid19 mitigation restrictions.   Many thanks to all, especially John H. for standing in at short notice to fly the tug, even though he was on duty yesterday (and doesn’t need the practice), interrupting his ARC inspection work and extra thanks to the two LPCs ( Chris B & Chris R), who have additional  workload at these times.

We did 19 winch launches and 4 tows and, third time lucky from the winch, Andy N. exceeded 6000′ for his Silver height gain ( to be confirmed).  Our cross-country exponents romped round their tasks in such good conditions; check out the daily scores in the National Ladder ( from our website link).

Phil G.

Condor feedback required

Evening All

As we are now happily starting to get back into the air ๐Ÿค— (and for some of us back to workโ˜น๏ธ) there appears to be less demand for our virtual sessions. Therefor the plan is, unless anyone has any alternative feedback, to cut back on the frequency of our flights to once a week.

Therefore the next flight is planned for Sunday evening at the usual time.

The sessions we have put together have been well supported and it was this support that made them so successful and enjoyable.

Thanks to Dan for his support with his technical knowledge and all the pilots making it so much fun.

What happens in Condor stays in Condor๐Ÿคฃ

I hope see you all at the club very soon.

stay safe 

George

 

Mid-Week Flying

Just a quick thank you to everyone that made my job as duty instructor over the last couple of days so easy, a great team who worked well within the club’s procedures. Also well done to Damien & Hugh Stewart for revalidating their aerotow approvals today & Nick Bowers who took time out of the workshop to renewed his acquaintance with the K6. 

Saturday Flying

Due to the forcast of very high winds, risk of showers & poor soaring potential I (in conjunction with Mike Jenks) have decided to cancel flying on Saturday. Given that we are obliged to operate in a very conservative way for the time being & the need to restrict “man”power on the airfield I judge the risk of aircraft ground damage to be another factor in this decision.
 
Thankfully the forecast is better for Sunday & the whole of next week so losing a day shouldn’t be a big deal. I look forward to seeing you all again.
 
Best Regards
John Hull (Julie too)

Wednesday 20th May

Today was a trial to see if we could operate safely under the new current government rules. The CFI gave 17 members a long and thorough briefing, and we then flew some Venture flights and eight aerotows with a mix of private and club gliders. The soaring wasn’t great and most of us struggled to stay airborne in very weak blue thermals but it was great to be flying again. The images show Mike Thorne in 919 taking the first launch at the club since the end of March.

After flying we then had a very thorough group debrief and discussion. We are certain that we can fly and run the club safely, but there are many new important procedures and practices to follow. The Chairman will be sending out an email at the end of the week to explain.

It’s unlikely we will fly on Friday due to the weather, but we plan to on Saturday where we will be using the winch as well as the tug.

Don’t forget the flying week next week .

Alastair

Restarting flying

There will be solo flying by aerotow only on Wednesday 20th for those who have arranged flying with the CFI. We then plan to have a more normal operation from Friday, but solo only unless with a member of the same household.

New scenery required

 Last eveningโ€™s outing to Parham was an outstanding success! Most pilots had not experienced the thrill of blasting along at 100+ knots at (and below ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘Œ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ˜‚) tree top height! (What happens in condor stays in condor๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ‘)

We are going to Wales tomorrow! This will require a new scenery area. If you wish to join please download: West-UK2 (1.00)

We will be flying the Duo-Discus.

Hope to see you there,

George

 

 

Ridge Bashin!

Ok Condorteers

Tonight we are going to Parham…Club class gliders only. ย A short task but conditions are ideal for fast ridge run.

I,m expecting a local expert to show us the way,๐Ÿค—

Dont forget to save your task at the end to put it onto the BGA eLadder.

See you there

George

P.S don’t look out of the window this afternoon๐Ÿ˜ŽWhat a beautiful soaring day!!!!!

New condor update

Hi Everyone

Please ensure you update to the new condor patch before flying tonight, version 2.1.3 should fix problems caused by the last patch!?!

tonights task will be:

Park -Membury -Wells -Park,

slight variation in thermal strength and size, light SW wind.

I may not be able to join but i hope to pop in to check on progress…..

Regards

George

Important – Condor Update to 2.1.2.0 – Users please update!

Hi All
Condor have released an update which supersedes previous versions, there is also a separate updated hangar available.
As the dedicated server has not been updated as of yet if you are running the updated version you won’t be able to join multiplayer until such time as the server is updated as I discovered this evening.
There are lots of new features with the update, notably there is now a ‘spectate’ function so those who are not running condor can follow tasks if they wish.
Chris