Wednesday 23rd Murky March

Arriving at the airfield it was grey – there might even have been fifty shades of it.  However many shades, it did not look like anything other than circuits would be the order of the day.  Third launch was Chris Keating getting in some back seat practice in the Puchacz with myself providing ballast in the front seat (how different things look from there).  Off the launch and into some week lift in the bowl.  With any luck, I thought, 2,000’ may be possible if both the lift and he viz hold out.  Much to our astonishment we finally topped out at 2,800’.  In the absence of any other bright ideas we headed for a fire near Wilton Windmill.

Thermal generator near Wilton Windmill

Much to our surprise, it worked (thermal centering by smell) and back up we went to 3,000’ – in far less time than our previous climb.  Ever the gent, Chris decided it was time to return the glider.  When the vario started beeping Chris declared he would ignore it.  I spied the K13 launching and suggested that it would be kind to mark the thermal for the K13.  700’ higher and the K13 in circuit we concluded that our sacrifice wasn’t appreciated.  Time to practice side-slipping and land.  A most unexpected and delightful flight whilst all around were doing circuits.  As we landed the sky was beginning to open up and some blue could be seen in amongst the grey. 

From then on there were 11 more soaring flights of between 20 minutes and an hour.  Colin B taking longest flight honours with 1:03 in the Vega.  For such an unpromising day it proved to be a good start to SUGC’s “gliding camp”.  31 launches and 9 hours 45 minutes flown (the most total time for a day since mid October).

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Shalbourne Gliding

Shalbourne Gliding