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

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


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


Wednesday 17th June at the Park ☔️🙂.

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 🙂. 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, 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 🙂.


Something a bit different again – FPV

Firstly, I hope all of you are doing well!

Carrying on from Chris’ awesome video from Peru. I wanted to show you some videos from a little project I have been working on myself. 

One of my favourite travel cinematographers, recently shared this shot of him flying across the tops of palm trees, it wasn’t an ordinary drone shot, but one created using a FPV Drone. After a little more searching on the topic of FPV drones I came across Johnny_FPV, this kid makes his living by creating cinematic FPV Shots, and his work is amazing.

Since there was to be no gliding for a foreseeable while, I decided to order one of these FPV drones and try it myself. I trained by flying a micro drone called a Tinywhoop round the house, and once I was proficient with this I decided to take out the full scale version. 

Disclamer: I have a CAA “Licence” (Its referred to as Flyer ID)  with a Operator ID and a Flyer ID and a friend as a spotter, and we do not fly near the public or livestock.  The people in the video are my friends who happen to be Key Workers such as myself & we all work together at the same place. 

Here is what I have created so far:



Advanced Glider Aerobatics Video

Hi all,

I have recently edited a video from this years British Nationals, the video shows 1 full flight at advanced level. I thought it would be cool to share it with you, so you can get a better understanding of what I fly, and how it fits together as a sequence at a competition.

Video is here if you would like to check it out: https://youtu.be/iomtlgHENTc



British Glider Aerobatic Nationals

Hi all,

Last week, I spent the week at Lasham Gliding competing in the 2019 Advanced Glider Aerobatic Nationals. This was the first time in recent years that the Nationals were held at Lasham, so we were all competing in a new aerobatic box which proved to be a challenge as there wasn’t a great deal marking the boundaries.

The first sequence was our Free Known which we are allowed to design and practice. This sequence went well for me as I scored 1364 points which was 200 points clear of the next competitor. The contest director had decided that we were going to do 2 flights a day so the next flight was unknown 1 – we are given these sequences a few hours before we fly them. Again this flight went well for me as I scored 1044 points winning this flight also.

The next day we had 2 flights left to do, the first one was the free unknown. We are allowed to design this sequence but not practice it!
I tactically chose my closest competitors sequence as it was silly to risk doing poorly on a separate sequence and him doing well. Should bad luck have it, I rolled the wrong way part way through his sequence resulting in my lowest score ever at 405 points ( I had a few words to say about it, when I realised I was the wrong way round). So after landing I thought I was out of the competition….

I had one flight left to do, and after talking to Maz the owner of the fox he helped me through what I needed to do for the last flight. Surprisingly it went really well, so well in fact I won the last flight!

3 wins out of 4 flights. But was it enough?

Unfortunately not.

Dave Gethin had beaten me by 1.2%. Silver medal it is.

This competition I learned a lot, and I feel even more determined and excited to do well in future competitions. Even though this season went well with 2 gold medals and 1 silver and 8,138 points (Which I believe is the most anyone scored this season in the UK)  there is always room for improvement.

You can find the scores here: https://www.aerobatics.org.uk/contest/result/164

The last image was taken on the Sunday, when our coach decided he wanted to winch the Primary as we had free day. Soon as I have 200 hours I’m going to ask to fly it. Carl a team member is stood by the glider in the picture.

Launching the Fox at 9am

Saltby Open 2019

Hi all,

I have just returned from the 2019 Saltby Open, this competition was my first time competing at Advanced level. The competition was a one day competition with a low number of entries at 8, yet 4 of them were from the National Team including myself, so it was still a hard field of pilots to compete against. The competition is 2 unknown sequences ( Which means we don’t know what the sequence is until 1 hour before launch- it’s my least favourite).

The time came around and I towed to 4100ft AGL in the Fox only to be clouded out as a large CU came in between me and the judges so I had to airbrake down, I’m pretty confident that’s the fastest anyone has ever come down off a 4000ft tow as the fox “falls” from the sky at 100 kts full airbrake.

We then decided to wait till the cloud base lifted , which worked and we managed to get the whole competition in on the Friday. With 2 flights each.

I was happy with my sequences as the only error was falling off the tail slide instead of travelling backwards before the tuck. In the evening the judges added up the scores, and you can see the results below !!!!!!!!!!!!!


Daniel Weston 2019 Saltby Open Winner.

50km Attempt Number 2 / Sunday 16/06/19

Hi all,

First time using the blog so apologies if I get anything wrong.

Saturday is looking like a reasonable day to try and go further than 49.73km, so I was looking for some help to come rescue me if all goes wrong on this attempt.

I would be extremely grateful if people are ok to be on standby on Saturday (As long as the forecast holds)  please let me know if you would be happy to do this. Thank you !

On a different note – The photo I have attached was from my 2 hour 12 min  stint on the ridge from Sunday , surprisingly  it was mostly thermals that were keeping us aloft, the best I found was 5 knots, in 25 kts of wind at around 1600ft above site, shame cloud base was only 1900ft. Lower down the ridge worked well even at 75 kts. I just wish the ridge was longer, next extension plan?!

Can you spot the glider?


Daniel Weston.