Sunday 13th September at the Park. “A generous serving of glorious sunshine today, topped off with a soupΓ§on of both Ridge lift and Thermal lift” 😎.

Good evening fellow aviators.

Blue skies and glorious sunshine all day at the Park today, a real seasonal treat at this stage in the year, it felt more like a Sunday in July than one in September.

Todays weather at the Park wasn’t quite right for Cross Country tasks, and locally the opportunities to soar were modest. It was an almost completely blue day with very few clouds. Early in the day the upper wind was approx. 10 – 15kts at 210 degrees, easing to a balmy 5kts later in the day.

There was some Ridge lift early in the day, and later in the day as the wind eased the local south facing slopes that had been baking in todays glorious sunshine started generating thermal lift for the pilots to enjoy. The enthusiasm to fly continued all day with launching  only pausing briefly for cable retrieves.

Mike J had a productive day instructing, Julian R was kept busy flying todays guest, and Alastair M was on hand to Pilot the Tug for the days aerotows.

A very pleasant and sunshine filled day at the Park πŸ™‚.

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

Kind regards.

Damien.

Glorious weather all day at the Park today. The only clue that today was a day in autumn and not the height of summer, was the mosaic of freshly harvested crop fields around the airfield.

Terrific enthusiasm to fly today. The Launch Point was kept busy all day, pausing only briefly for cable retrieves before commencing launching one more.

Smiles all round today, a great atmosphere and everyone working hard to keep the airfield running smoothly πŸ™‚.

It was great to see every available club Glider out of the hangar and being flown today.

Martin D, making good use of the days clement conditions to get comfortable at the controls of his new steed “306” πŸ™‚.

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Today’s News

A great team effort from the few (8?) people at the club today with a 10am first flight. The ridge proved a useful playground Β JKW & KAN for a while before rain stopped play at 1:30. Mike J & John H were on hand to provide instruction for the three students.

Ridge Smoking and Cloud Soaring Denbigh Edition

Hi all,

This past week I have been staying at Denbigh Airfield with Chris Gill and a small group of juniors.

We aimed to have a task week in and around the local area. Since I don’t currently have my own glider, Chris said he would have some two seaters arranged for the week.

In traditional welsh style it was raining when I arrived on Friday 21st August with a howling wind across the airfield. Perfect camping conditions!

The next morning we had a briefing about the site and the day’s task. In he briefing I spoke to Rod Witter and he invited me to come and fly with him in his Arcus M LEW. 

The task for the day was to run the ridge from DRS to Denbigh Ridge South.

We took off via self launch and held above the ridge waiting for a slot to open up as we were running 5 gliders at once on the course. 

Three very rough and wet beats, we pulled up and abandoned the task, after gaining some height we found some weak wave and I learnt about the signs of wave and how to fly effectively in wave, we managed to get up to around 5000ft msl. We then flew to the seaside !

Arcus wings are amazing for photos ! featuring Rhyl.

The next day was a shorter ridge task from Denbigh ridge to Denbigh ridge south. Me and Chris Launched in G-OSOR as the sniffers and managed to complete the task slowly at 103kph. 

Not much happened on the Sunday apart from a few beat ups and smokers over the ridge.

The correct speed for a ridge

Monday was a very weak thermal day, but I was lucky enough to fly with Rob Vaughan in his new to him Duo T. We managed to make it 50km before we did some motor gliding up to the sea breeze front by the coast. I forgot how much I love original Duo’s!

Back over the coast this time in a Duo T

Tuesday was a survival exercise, as we were battered by 50 mph winds and had to take the 8 man tent down in pouring rain. We moved into the hanger for the rest of the trip, as the tents were destroyed or badly damaged. 

Freddie said that evening that he wanted to be up at 7am to go wave flying.

7am rolls around.

Heavy rain, back to bed. 

We got up at 9am and I was invited to fly the Rob V again. I took the covers off the duo and got her ready for flight, including the oxygen kit.

We were the last aircraft on the stubs on 27, we also went back for a soft drink in the clubhouse. No rush. Unlike some of the other aircraft after seeing Chris motor into wave. 

12pm rolls round and we take a 4000ft tow to Llyn Brenig, you could see the rolling effect on the clouds from miles away. (strangely other people were taking 3000ft tows to the same spot and pulling off under the wave and meeting the sink instead of hanging on like we did.)

Check left is clear, check.

Pull release, check.

2 Knots up check.

We flew around the edge of the clouds getting higher and higher. The rest of the Juniors bar Lewis and Freddie, were all sat on the ridge at 1000ft, not happy.

We eventually got 6 knots constant.

12,229ft Check!

I will let the photos and videos do the rest 0f the talking!

Heading Back to Denbigh

The Lenticular on top of the CU

WAVE!!!!!

I aim to go back up to Denbigh in the Winter / Spring. 

Dan.

Wednesday 26th August at the Park. “Not much thermal lift around today, but we kept ourselves busy and bathed in glorious sunshine all day” 😎.

Good evening fellow aviators.

Todays weather at the Park wasn’t quite right for Cross Country tasks or extended Local Soaring flights. The Park was nonetheless a hive of activity, with plenty of flying and lots of work going on to keep our Park in tip top condition.

Locally, Cloud Base was approx. 2,500ft QFE. Early in the day the upper wind was approx. 25kts at 280 degrees, backing and easing to 17kts at 270 degrees later in the day.

There wasn’t much thermal lift around the Park today, however the enthusiasm to fly remained undiminished and the launches kept on going, pausing only briefly for cable retrieves. The whole of the Park was a buzz today with Members keeping busy with all the essential jobs that keep a Club running smoothly πŸ™‚ πŸ‘πŸ».

Mike J had a productive day instructing, and John H was on hand to Pilot the Tug for the days aerotows.

A very pleasant and productive day at the Park πŸ™‚.

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

Kind regards.

Damien.

A trio of visiting aviators.

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Well dear aviators, I’m really not sure what caption to write beneath this picture πŸ˜‚.

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Caption competition perhaps? πŸ˜‰.

Monday 24th August at the Park. “A very pleasant and relaxing day at the Park today” 😎.

Good evening fellow aviators.

As the forecast suggested, todays weather wasn’t quite good enough to tempt many Club Members up to the Park. There was light rain for much of the morning and early on in the day cloud base sat obstinately around 200ft QFE.

We did however have a very welcome guest booked to fly, Will P, so a small band of aviators hung around to see if the weather would improve so we could get him airborne.

As luck would have it, by around midday there was break in the inclement weather. The rain cleared and the cloud base went up to around 2500ft QFE, with a balmy 240 degree wind quickly drying the airfield.

Mike J was Duty Instructor today to fly Will, and John H was on hand to expertly aerotow them on Wills first soaring flight.

Will is already a PPL holder, so hopefully today will have ignited within him the same passion we all share for soaring aviation.

As there was no one else left to fly once Mike and Will had completed their flight, I took the opportunity to ask Mike if he would fly me in the K21 as a demonstration of aviating best practice. I have recently completed all of my Bronze assessments, and I was very interested to see what the difference between my present aviating ability is in relation to an experienced instructor. It was a very illuminating experience for me, and also a very enjoyable one. During my flight with Mike today I observed that his control inputs and his decision making, all appeared that bit more crisp and polished than mine, he is after all our CFI. It was a real pleasure to just sit and relax as a passenger in a Glider being piloted by someone with Mikes experience, and I now have a refreshed bench mark on where I want my own level of aviating capability to be. It was a terrific experience and one I will definitely repeat in the future.

I took some pictures of my flight with Mike to share with you all. As Mike had full control of the aircraft for the flight, I took quite a few pictures, hope you enjoy them.

A very relaxing and pleasant days flying from the Park dear aviators πŸ™‚.

Kind regards.

Damien.

It’s a very relaxing experience being the passenger on an aerotow.

As a passenger it was very nice to have all the time in the world to examine the fields we were being aerotowed over, and assess each one for potential land out scenarios.

There’s more time to enjoy the view as a passenger too πŸ™‚.

“Low tow” being demonstrated by MJ….

…. and “boxing the tow”.

Spectacular cloudscapes around the Park today.

Not sure if that is a cloud in the image, or just some fluff on my camera lens πŸ˜‰.
Heading back to base.

Mission accomplished 😎.

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Sunday 23rd August at the Park. “A chill wind blew, but we all kept smiling” 😎.

Good evening fellow aviators.

Todays weather at the Park wasn’t quite right for Cross Country tasks or extended Local Soaring flights. The cloud base never rose much above 2,400ft and there was very little thermic activity. There was however still plenty of flying going on, and no shortage of willing volunteers keen to help keep the airfield running smoothly πŸ™‚ πŸ‘πŸ».

Locally, Cloud Base rose to approx. 2,400ft QFE, with a 10-15kt 280 degree upper wind.

The wind had a real chill factor to it today, but nothing appeared to be able to dampen the enthusiasm of the attending Club Members. As the day progressed the temperature did dip considerably with the wind chill. Coats went on and hoods went up to protect us from the wind, but everyone kept smiling. It really was a delight to see the entirely undampened enthusiasm from everyone to enjoy the day πŸ™‚.

Mike J and Mike T, had a productive day instructing.

A chilly but still very pleasant and productive days flying from the Park dear aviators πŸ™‚.

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

Kind regards.

Damien.

Lots of Club Members mucking in and getting jobs done at the Park today. John H even got the strimmer out and tended to the grounds around the hangar/club house πŸ™‚ πŸ‘πŸ».

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The longest flights of the day were flown by Dennis S in BNH, and John H in CCU.

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The two seater Gliders kept going all day, only pausing briefly for cables before taking to the skies once more.

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The enthusiasm to fly, and the enthusiasm to help out at the airfield, remained undiminished right up to the end of the day.

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Saturday 22nd August at the Park. A band of like minded aviators, “converged” on some terrific local soaring 😎.

Good evening fellow aviators.

Todays forecast really didn’t promise too much at all for the days flying. From early on in the day however extended thermic flights were enjoyed, and by the afternoon a terrific convergence had developed above the Park that resulted in some excellent local soaring, with wings level climbs of up to 6kts being experienced πŸ™‚!

Locally, Cloud Base was approx. 3,300ft QFE, with a brisk 20kt 240 degree upper wind.

Thermal activity wasn’t suitable for Cross Country Tasks from the Park today, but was excellent for Local Soaring.

Mike J and Andy F, had a productive day instructing, and John H was on hand to take care of all of our aero tow needs in the brisk cross wind conditions.

A very pleasant and productive days flying from the Park dear aviators πŸ™‚.

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

Kind regards.

Damien.

Thursday 6th August

Today on the Flying Week the drizzle and low cloud plus the need for social distancing, didn’t stop Mike Jenks giving an excellent interactive briefing on a variety of important subjects from launch failures to stalling and spinning. Don’t let the weather put you off attending .

Dennis enthralled us with his experiences of stalling and spinning Hunters, Gnats, Hawks, Venoms and many other types at impossible g loadings and attitudes. +6 G spin anyone?

Alastair

Sunday 2nd August Photos

Hi All,

Just thought I would share some images from Sunday the 2nd August at the Park.

The RASP soaring forecast was optimistic, but conditions were otherwise. 

Locally, Cloud Base was approx. 33000 ft-3500 ft under the odd Cu, QFE of course, with a 9/10kt upper wind, varying between approx 300 – 330 degrees.

Thermal activity was generally very low but with strong thermals when found at the Park today so only 1 Cross Country task was flown by Graham H in D2, Melksham, Bruton and back. Many Pilots did however make very good use of todays modest thermal conditions for training and currency flights, and bit of local soaring. 

Here are the photos I took:

Spot Mike T

D2 on Finals

 

Saturday 1st August at the Park. A very pleasant and productive day for training and currency flights 😎.

Good evening fellow aviators.

Only a very modest soaring forecast for today at the Park, but still a very pleasant and productive day for training and currency flights.


Locally, Cloud Base was approx. 2000ft QFE, with a 10kt upper wind, varying between approx 240 – 270 degrees.

Thermal activity was generally very low at the Park today so no Cross Country tasks were flown. Many Pilots did however make very good use of todays modest thermal conditions for training and currency flights, culminating in a flight total today of 25 Glider flights and 3 Motor Glider flights.

Mike J and Adam B, had a productive day instructing.

A very pleasant and productive days flying from the Park dear aviators πŸ™‚.

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

Kind regards.

Damien.

Heavy cloud cover for most of today at the Park.

Many Pilots made good use of todays conditions for currency flights and training.

Nick B contacted some gentle wave today in the Motor Glider, that carried him to a little over 3000ft QFE.

By the end of the flying day, the clouds had parted and we were treated to some glorious summer sun 😎.

Wednesday 29th July at the Park. A very pleasant days Summer Soaring 😎.

Good evening fellow aviators.

A relatively modest forecast preceded what turned out to be a very pleasant day for local soaring.

Locally, Cloud Base was approx 3,300ft QFE, with a light 5kt upper wind, varying between approx 240 – 270 degrees.

Thermal activity was generally very good all day for local soarers, occasionally thermal strength would fade, before cycling again and becoming soarable once more.

Although local soaring was very good, there wasn’t sufficient thermal activity for our Cross Country Pilots to fly tasks from the Park today.

Mike J and Phil G, had another productive day instructing.

A very pleasant days Soaring from the Park dear aviators πŸ™‚.

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

Kind regards.

Damien.

A “Low, Winch Induced Launch Failure”, being demonstrated to a pupil by MJ.
Club Puch FUY, rounding out before gently touching down, following the “Low, Launch Failure” demonstration.

Tuesday 21st July at the Park. Flying Week day 2, another excellent days Soaring πŸ™‚.

Good evening fellow aviators.

Our Clubs Flying Week continues, with another excellent days Soaring 😎.

Locally, Cloud Base was approx 5,700ft QFE, with a light sub 5kt upper wind, varying between approx 330 – 030 degrees.

Thermal activity was generally excellent all day, with many Pilots enjoying extended soaring flights throughout the day.

The Cross Country Pilots were out in force again, and there is another selection of very impressive BGA Ladder updates to enjoy for those interested πŸ™‚ πŸ‘πŸ».

Our CFI had another productive day instructing Pilots who are returning to flying following the easing of the lockdown.

I left the Park at 18:50 today and Doug T was still airborne! With only 10 minutes remaining to achieve his first 5 hour duration flight, and still going strong at 4,000ft QFE, Doug had his Silver Badge 5 hour duration flight in the bag . Well done Doug, great effort πŸ™‚ πŸ‘πŸ».

Glorious sunshine all day 😎.

Excellent soaring all day πŸ™‚.

Lets hope these terrific soaring conditions continue.

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

Kind regards.

Damien.

The sky surrounding the Park, started to show promise from very early on in the day.

Club members worked hard at the Launch Point getting the days Pilots airborne.

Even better visibility today than yesterday.

The countryside around the Park looked spectacular bathed in todays sunshine.

Following the energy lines around the Park today, regularly resulted in over 2kts up of sustained lift in level flight.

Now I’m not saying the image in the centre of this picture I took today, is a Sky Angel. But it may be one dear aviators πŸ˜‰.

Monday 20th July at the Park. An excellent start to the Clubs Flying Week πŸ™‚.

Good evening fellow aviators.

A truly excellent soaring forecast, preceded the beginning of our Clubs Flying Week.

Locally, Cloud Base was approx 4,700ft QFE, with a light sub 10kt upper wind, varying between approx 330 – 030 degrees.

Thermal activity was generally excellent all day, with many Pilots enjoying extended soaring flights throughout the day.

The Cross Country Pilots were out in force, and there are lots of very impressive BGA Ladder updates for those interested πŸ™‚ πŸ‘πŸ».

Our CFI had a productive day instructing Pilots who are returning to flying following the easing of the lockdown.

Glorious sunshine all day 😎.

Excellent soaring all day πŸ™‚.

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

Kind regards.

Damien.

Monday 13th July. Wave hunting from the Park 😎. Didn’t find any, this time πŸ˜‰.

Good afternoon fellow aviators.

The thermal forcecast for today was very modest, but there was the potential for some light wave πŸ™‚.



Locally, Cloud Base was 5,000ft QFE, with approx a 10kt 270 degree upper wind.

With such a modest thermal forecast we opted for aerotow flights today to the Ridge at King Alfreds Tower, to see if we could connect with any Wave.

There were signs of light Wave, but the conditions weren’t quite right this time. A high performance Glider would have had a reasonable chance of connecting with the Wave, but the best we managed today was reduced sink and a few bubbles of very light lift.

Many thanks to our CFI for today’s very informative Wave hunting instruction, and Adam B for being available to fly the Tug for us.

A very pleasant days flying from the Park dear aviators, and fear not, that Wave can’t elude us forever πŸ˜‰.

Kind regards.

Damien.

Sunday 12th July at the Park. Into the wild blue yonder 😎.

Good evening fellow aviators.

Another excellent forecast, preceded another excellent days soaring from the Park πŸ™‚.

Locally, Cloud Base was approx 5,300ft QFE, with a light sub 5kt upper wind, varying between approx 245 – 325 degrees.

Thermal activity was generally excellent all day, even out in the blue πŸ™‚.

Locally, many Pilots enjoyed extended soaring flights throughout the day.

The Cross Country Pilots were out in force, and there are a few BGA Ladder updates for those interested πŸ™‚ πŸ‘πŸ».

Our CFI had a productive day instructing Pilots who are returning to flying following the easing of the lockdown.

Glorious sunshine all day 😎.

Excellent soaring all day πŸ™‚.

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

Kind regards.

Damien.

A packed Launch Point is always a good sign, of a great days soaring to come πŸ™‚.

Locally Cloud Base was 5,000ft plus for most of the day.

Strong thermal activity all day, even out in the blue.

Saturday 11th July at the Park. An excellent days soaring 😎.

Good evening fellow aviators.

The forecast for today was very promising, and Mother Nature certainly delivered πŸ™‚.

Locally, Cloud Base was approx 4,300ft QFE, with a 330 degree 5kt upper wind.

Thermal activity was generally excellent, with my vario indicating 8kts up on a couple of occasions, and many Pilots enjoying extended local soaring flights. Cross Country expeditions were equally successful, the days BGA Ladder updates are an impressive read πŸ‘πŸ».

Duty Instructor John H put the ASK 21 to another very productive days use, instructing Pilots who are returning to flying following the easing of the lockdown.

Glorious sunshine all day 😎.

Excellent soaring all day πŸ™‚.

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

Kind regards.

Damien.

Tuesday 7th July at the Park. Some moody looking skies, but happy looking aviators 😎.

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 πŸ™‚.

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!