A Blue Saturday to reward tenacious scratchers.

Sat 14th Sept was a beautiful sunny one.  Not a cloud in sight, and a gentle SE wind.  Hardly the glider pilot’s vision of a great gliding day!  Several were rewarded with prolonged flights though after Chris Teasdale showed us where to find the lift, in HTR, over the higher ground.  The whole club fleet was out and well used during the lovely warm day.  Cady eked out the last dregs of the day, scratching for over 40 minutes above the same spot on the ridge, honing his turning skills after a summer lay-off.

The Longleat balloons were on show in the morning and evening, book-ending a very pleasant autumnal day.

(For KTrax flight log enthusiasts, don’t believe all of the exaggerated times on yesterday’s log file.  There were obviously some logging issues.  I don’t think anyone flew much over an hour and a half. )

2 thoughts on “A Blue Saturday to reward tenacious scratchers.”

  1. Thanks Mike. I’m most flattered / fluttered / flattened? For me personally it was one of the most rewarding flights i’ve had. I actually felt like I had ‘made’ my own luck and was in charge of the situation by the end of it!
    After dubious glances and exclamations myself and Gavin rigged ( thanks Trev too) as we’d discussed in the preceeding days knowing our 3rd man was off on a cider bender.
    Armed with a hint from Mike T (from a 1200ft launch) I ventured to the North East edge of the ridge and found precisely not very much. An amble along the ridge to the West resulted in some small return and a small height gain from launch height, most of this lift being in the 2 bowls to the Western end. In very weak sporadic 1/2 -2 kt lift I managed to attain the lofty height of 1700ft, very difficult to centre and mostly only finding lift around 2/3rds of the turn.
    I hadn’t paid a great deal of attention to my launch time and I was having a fairly good mental and physical work out before I found myself losing more than I was gaining and approaching pre circuit checks. WULF checks complete with ample height I made my way from the ridge over the farm intending to joing the circuit.
    Once above the farm I was rewarded with strongest lift I had encountered all flight, seeing the vario at 8-10 up and 4.6 on the averager. I was soon back at 1700ft and heading back to the West end of the ridge. Behind the spine and above the clump of trees to the top of the spine appeared to be producing the strongest lift. Possibly due to the farmer below in the bright orange tractor cutting his field. Additionally the ridge was working sporadically with thermal lift from the bowls.
    After having been joined during the flight by the CFI ( who I pushed out, sorry!) and the Puchacz on a BI flight the lift dissipated sufficiently for me to head back to the airfield. I possibly could have searched a little longer but was content with what i’d achieved with plenty of margin in the bag.
    Being pretty much the syndicate newbies it was slightly unsettling to see nobody else rigging. BUT it was the right choice as we eked out 2 1/4 hours between the 2 of us.
    Maybe I can do this flyjng ‘thing’ after all.

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