Black Mountains Gliding Club
BMGC Flying Reports
Thurdsay 31 December 2009
The NE wind was blowing 30 kts first thing but slowly moderated down to 5 kts by late afternoon. The first flight of the day was a mutual with Geoff King and myself. We came off tow at about 1,300' and had off-the-clock lift straight up to about 6,000' at which height the lift suddenly stopped. I think the wave system had reached a strong stable layer and the airflow at the top of the climb had reversed direction and was doing a circular motion which reinforced the wave, hence the very strong climb rate low down. Geoff took some spectacular pictures of the snow covered scenery which are in our photo gallery. One of them clearly shows the airflow reversal with fingers of cloud forming into wind. We then pushed North through some quite nasty turbulence and found some more conventional 2-3kt wave which we worked up to FL95 QNE.
In the afternoon I flew with Joe Harper. The wave had moderated down to a gentle 1.0 -1.5kt climb low down but slowly was increasing to 3 - 4kts as we reached 8,500' QNE. Unfortunately it was getting late so we had to break off the climb at that point in order to land and pack the hangar before dark.
Many thanks to Keith who took over the tugging to allow the rostered tuggie, Don Gosden to fly the other K13 with Graham Bowser in the morning (who also got to FL95) and Ben Harper in the afternoon (who just missed out on contacting the wave). An interesting day but due to the lack of members turning up we only managed 4 launches.
Sunday 27 December 2009
Jane with Robbie were away in NW wave to 5k asml for an hour or so, Gerry was similar in the club Pirat--- we had some shower dodging to do later, and the last flights with Mark and Mike E had to end to avoid getting wet.
Sunday 20 December 2009
Very cold, as you'd have expected, with snow on the hills and Llangorse lake half frozen over - looked stunning in the weak winter sunshine.
Flying itself wasn't much to write home about but most of us got up to an hour in weak wave over the top of orographic cloud and then in the turbulent "out of phase wave" ridge lift. Snow showers came through at fairly regular intervals but they were light enough not to cause a problem.
Could hear Simon France, flying out of Usk, climbing in wave east of Abergavenny up to 9000ft - wow must have been cold at that height cause it was minus 6ºC at 3000ft with us.
Those out, that my old brain cells can remember, were Mike Entwisle, Mike Rossiter, Martin Langford, Tony Bartlett who completed his final Ass. Cat training - congratulations Tony. Gordon Dennis and his syndicate partner (name?), the Harper Family, Andrew, Tony and Anne Crowden and later Peter "doc" Saundby. Great club day.
Friday 18 December 2009
A bitterly cold day on the airfield with a stiff NNE wind. Thermals were compulsory wear. Tony Crowden was first off in T10 with a visiting relative from South Africa. They contacted wave over the Cwmdu Valley at 2,000 ft and went up to around 10,000 ft, returning frozen cold but with smiley faces. The cloud filled in a little overhead site whilst we took an early lunch and then cleared sufficienctly to convince John Coward and I to get going in K13. We also contacted wave immediately off tow over the Cwmdu Valley at around 2,000 ft. Initially broken climbs of around 2 knots. Venturing further down the valley towards the scree slopes and then across to Crickhowell eventually gave us a solid 4 knot climb up the base of the airway. Others up in the wave today included Robin Howarth in FHF and Robbie with another member in T10. Mike Rossiter was suitably inspired to rig HUR and also had a nice wave flight. Another great Talgarth wave day.
Thanks to Don Gosden for the aerotows.
Tony and I also went up in the afternoon in T10 and scratched the remaining weak wave to 5.5K in the Cwmdu Valley. My first experience of wave and an emergency decent demonstration!
Saturday 12 December 2009
(BMGC webcam 12/12/09)
What a great day, why were so few members out? Only six launches, but everyone reached at least 10,000ft – all except Robbie in DNX. He reached over 11,000ft. Also out playing were Ben and Joe, Gerry, Alan Cridge, Martin Pingle going mutual with Anne Crowden! and Mike Codd taking an unexpected trial lesson. Most launches only went to 1000ft so Gold Height was on for today. Freezing level was just over 2000ft so plenty of insulation was required. Many thanks to Tony Crowden for the launches. The field is holding up well and should dry out even more over the next few days.
(photo Robbie Robertson, 12 Dec 09)
Thursday 10 December 2009 - Weak wave to 4800 ft QNH
No wind on the field and a cap of orographic cloud shrouded the top of Edas and surrounding hills but good news it wasn't raining and we could see blue skies and the sun (you remember, bright round object in the sky!).
First off was Mike Williams in BMW, and first back was Mike Williams in BMW! mmmm not very encouraging.
Next off Gerry in K6 and takes a tow to 2200ft and disappears for 45 mins - now that's more encouraging. Turns out there is some weak wave above the clouds.
Those out included Robbie (snoopy), Martin Brockington (Snoopy and club K6), The other Mike in BMW, Mike Rossitor in club K6, Don G tugging, Keith playing around in his Europa over to Derby and back with John Price.
Most eventually worked out that a high tow of around 3000ft was best to contact the weak wave which was working between 2000-3800ft QFE. I managed to stay aloft for over 2 hrs getting close to Builth by jumping the wave bars upwind, until I ran out of bottle and then made a quick retreat for TAL.
So not a bad day's flying, the field held up incredibly well although the
rigging area around where I rigged was getting a bit boggy. Hopefully the next
few dry days, with nightly frosts, will firm it up nicely.
Weekend 7+8 November 2009
Both days were flyable and there were quite a few visitors including 2 Duo Discuses (or is that Disci?) from Lasham, one of which sampled the overshoot field on Saturday!!
Saturday was 20kt+ WSW turbulent airflow with some "interesting" moments on the Cwmdu and Llangorse ridges. A bit of low level wave was contacted by a few but generally we all got thrown about in the out of phase ridge/wave lift.
Sunday a light northerly and not as much enthusiasm but nevertheless 13 launches were made. Using Mynydd Troed, Ydas, Lord Hereford's thingy and the Hay Bluff ridge down to Black Hill conditions were reported as "soft". However, one visiting pilot soared Mynydd Troed for over 3 hours!
Tuesday 27 October 2009
As duty dog, I arrived at 1000hrs to a strong SE blow and cloud down on the hill but I had spotted high lennies near Abergavenny. This, coupled with a positive RASP wave forecast, gave us hope. A bit wild for the K21 but John Price towed me off in K13 with a visitor from Eaglescott (Jim) and after an enjoyable (I jest!) aerotow, we dropped in front of a great wave bar over Hay and immediately climbed to 8,500 QNH. Pulled the brakes after an hour and dove back thro the rotor to load young Ben Harper onboard. Again, a rough tow but we contacted the same bar near Hay and went to 7700ft above site .... great views and a very happy pupil! Tony Crowden rigged HBC and climbed to 14,000 QNH in the primary over Brecon. A last tow with Joe harper failed to contact ... sorry!
Great fun ...
I think Robbie is doing himself an injustice. When he did the first launch there was a large stable gap from site to a huge roll cloud over Hay. This cloud was 6 miles away directly downwind! The broken lower cloud was only 1400' QFE. At this time the wind strength of over 30 kts at tow height. I took the second launch encountered massive lumps of turbulence all the way to the wave. It was one of the roughest tows I've experienced at Talgarth.
The wave worked well and as the cloud started to clear a second slot opened up this side of the Beacons. As I was flying something a lot slipperier than a K13 I managed to push forward into the primary over Brecon and climb up to FL125. I then pushed forward and contacted an upper system which was peaked at 5kts at about 10,000'. By this time all the cloud had completely cleared and there was stunning views of the whole of the Welsh coastline from the Seven right around to Snowdonia. I've put the .IGC trace of flight on the BGA ladder for those of you who are interested.
Wednesday 16 September 2009
Yesterday Robin Howorth got the best height of the day at 10,100' in his recently acquired Pegasus (nice one Robin)! Today the forecast was for more of the same NE wave set off by the almost stationary high pressure situated to the North of the UK. John Clark, aka Clarkie and I got equal best heights of the day topping out at around FL90. The lift was generally 4-6kts at the bottom of the wave which rapidly reduced with height, although there were a few very strange small 8kt hotspots. It's worth looking my .IGC trace on the BGA Height Ladder if you want a laugh at my attempts to get back from the Blorenge during a period when the wave stopped working and I had to resort to thermalling into a 25kt headwind.
Tuesday 11 August 2009
Visibility was stunning all day with verdant green countryside and true blue skies and BMGC looked at is very best for the visitors from Lasham. Cloudbase stayed low so it was a pretty, rather than a stunning day but the main ridge worked and teased us with thermals and, in the evening, wave to 3.8K above site.
Highlight of the day was a visit from a Jungman biplane en route from Lundy Island to Shobdon whose pilot got caught short and dropped in for some relief. What a fantastic aircraft complete with flames spitting from the stub exhausts and a rising sun colour scheme. The pilot, Peter, stayed overnight and spent several hours helping John H and me replace the hot water tank in the clubhouse that had split. We traded a flight in a glider for a real experience in the Jungman and John and I experienced the full aero sequence and other flying antics that I cannot possibly mention here! Bribe me with beer for details! What a fantastic experience!
Wednesday 15 July 2009
I arrived on site late so not sure what went on earlier but when I arrived could hear Mike Williams reporting weak wave down the Cwmdu and Martin Brock was just taking off in 209.
Wind was a fresh wsw on the field but once in the air and on the ridge, which was working perfectly, the air was not as rough as expected. Down over Cwmdu and Crickhowell, sure enough, there was weak wave to around 5000ft amsl which 209 and myself played around in for a while.
Others out included Dick Jeffcoate and Anna Baik who both completed their AFR's successfully. Anna also had a flight late on in the Junior.
Michael Jackson, back from the dead, also had a flight in BMW! Jane, a new member who comes from Cardiff, had a whizz around with Bo in K13. Steve was flying his Olympus. John Horley did the tugging and think Peter "Doc" who was at the club with his grandson had a flight. Missed anyone?
We then all went to the Castle for some post flight beverages and food - nice afternoon.
Friday 10 July 2009
High level cloud was with us from very early on but there were embedded cu beneath which together with a light/mod west wind gave a few hrs gave some soaring conditions. 3 or 4 Air ex flights and quite afew club members out made for a pleasant day. Alex, a 15yr old on a work experience week with us did a fantastic job of keeping the launch point going and also got a flight in as well.
I had some fun with Bo doing my annual check incl lots of spinning and for good measure a couple of consecutive loops.
Those out incl Martin Brock, Robbie in snoopy, Robin, Mike Entwisle, Gerry, Mike Ashton, John Horley, Keith (tugging), Don G, John Coward in K6, and a few others who's names escape me for the moment - sorry.
Wednesday 8 July 2009
Light NW winds made a great change! Main ridges were working well and quite a few ventured into the Beacons with Martin Brock and Tony
Bartlet venturing furthest west. 209 tried the TT but had to resort to the metal chicken in the end. Out playing were Mike Ashton, Gerry, Brock,
Tony Bartlet, Geoff Stinchcombe, Robin Howarth, John Coward, John Clark (Flying our "new" club Pirat) Robbie and several others.
Sunday 5 July 2009
Mod SSW backing slightly, increasing cloud and some light showers passing through but not interfering with the flying too much. A lot of Air Ex flights flown by Mike Entwisle and Mike Codd.
Others out were Richard Robbins flying his own glider, Anna Baik had 2 flights in K13, Robin Howarth flew the Junior, Bo flew Belinda, a pilot friend and then had a BBQ in the rain! Alan Cridge did his AFR whilst I just couldn't be asked to fly, even though my glider was rigged, and faffed around helping out on the ground. Don G did the tugging and impressed all the punters with his skill.
Think that's about it - so quite a productive day in less than favourable conditions.
Thursday 03 July 2009
Well weather did clear as forecast and whilst it wasn't a brilliant afternoon, it was soarable with a mixture of good thermals, some weak wave over Talybont and a bit of turbulence thrown in for good measure.
It was a bit oppressive under the canopy as the heat built up so much so that Ralph landed after less than an hour complaining that he was having difficulty staying awake!! I landed after 2 hrs with the same problem.
Others out included Mike Rossiter, Keith, John Price, John Horley, Don G, and
Mike Codd who managed to stay awake for a flight of nearly 5 hours.
Thursday 02 July 2009
A quiet sort of a day. Only John Clark in the K21 and myself in the Dart flying.
Clarkie found some weak wave late morning. Blue thermals to 3000' were to be had
after lunch. These unexpectedly improved to 4kts to 4500' with cu. Turned Brecon
easily enough but on the way back none of the cu worked and the viz became
increasingly murky. Eventually unsoarable in pea soup - landed after a little
short of 2 hours. Worth rigging though.
Monday 29 June 2009
A lovely sunny day after clearance of early showers. Only 3 on site so went up in the K21 with Jamie Sage. The SE lenticulars seen from the ground did indeed work and we slowly climbed above them to 7500' over Hay.
Stunning views above cloud.
Where were you all?!
Saturday 27 June 2009
Lulled into a false sense of urgency by a weather report that reckoned high cover would spoil the afternoon i launched early into a good looking sky that only fired up for 1/2 an hour. A re launch after midday secured good lift interspersed by some pretty serious big sink resulting in high speed 80 kt dashes twixt themals to stay air borne.
The high cover or hefty showers didn't happen and we all had a good time fairly locally , in my case to the hills north
and nw. for at least a couple of hours.
Monday 1 June 2009
Wave again in the S Bowl most of those present contacted it and got to circa 5k.
Sunday 31 May 2009
Looked similar but good blue wave over the South Bowl all day with most people contacting. Snoopy went to 5000ft giving 14yr old David from Neath his first taste of wave and a personal best height of 5000ft in Snoopy (photo above). What a smile he had afterwards! Later Don G and Robbie took Snoopy up for an evening wave flight and ended up at 6000ft above site and all cloud tops! Great views and not even cold.
Saturday 30 May 2009
started slow and blue but got better and better and better ending up with a 5500ft QFE cloudbase and great visibilty. Rumours of wave in the NE wind but only sink found as far as I know. Great BBQ in the evening under the Talgarth Oak.
Sunday 3 May 2009
What a great day Sunday was! Ridge, strong thermals and wave-exceptional visibility, busy but friendly helpful airfield-Tony Crowden managed 20 launches and stopped to refuel in 2 hours--!! Then carried on to do 38 !! Our new 13 year old twin boy members and their Dad flew as did many members and some new members. Martin P got to over 10K but I think Geoff King got even higher. Ridge was working very well down to Hay Bluff, 6 or 8 up thermals and wave [for some!] over Talgarth. Ralph went round Carreg and Ludlow Castles - just another great Talgarth day !! Credit crunch or not-Talgarth is having a great season--lets hope the forecast of a "barbecue" summer is accurate!
Easter Monday - 13 April 2009
We usually (but wrongly) write off S and SE conditions, but Monday showed they can be useful. The sky looked good from about 11.00am. Those out included Mike T and Robbie, plus Graham, Annette and John from Bicester and our friends from Tibenham.
For my part, I got to within 5k of CCC then went east to HER.
Saturday 11 April 2009
Local conditions really got going well in late afternoon. A black mass of cloud parked itself over the Black Mountains and provided a huge area of lift with a cloudbase of about 6600 QNH.
Sunday 5 April 2009
big turn out on another great day this year. Light southerly breeze but with some good strong thermals and base around 4-5000ft amsl rising to an amazing 6000ft by the evening.
Mike T and Robbie did the Talgarth Triangle in about 1hrs 20 mins and 1 hr 30 mins respectively. I flew up to Stone (just south of Stoke on Trent) and had a fairly straighforward flight till I got back to Hay and nearly ended up in a field. Managed to get back so then flew down to Crickhowell, Llangynidr and Brecon before landing.
Gerry flew down to Tredegar whilst James Metcalf did Monmouth, Rhigos and Builth Wells. Others out included Gordon Dennis, Dick Jeffcoate, Mike Ashton, Mike Rossiter, Simon Withey (who wanted it known he went to Llangorse lake - twice!!!), Anne Crowden, Robin Howarth, John Horley, Anna Baik (another solo flight), Mike Hutchinson, Peter Saundby and Don Gosden in charge of GAZPA.
Excellent day finished off with a nice pint at the Castle - ahhh! what more could we want.
Thursday 2 April 2009
Day started overcast but with signs of East wave in a light (10kt) flow and a reversed windsock. About midday, blue holes appeared and the classic wave gap opened up over the field so I took a launch with a visiting pilot from Brentor. We contacted rough wave over the club and got to about 3200 above site. Geoff Stinchcombe in the Junior and a group from Mendip GC also contacted. Later nice gentle thermal conditions until sunset. Thanks to Brock for tugging.
Sunday 29 March 2009
Wow what a day - must have been best XC conditions we've had for a very long time. Cloudbase varied from 4000ft amsl to 5500amsl out in the flat lands beyond The Malverns.
Tuesday 24 March 2009
Mod WNW wind with some fantastic high level wave (see photos I've posted) which none of us could get to. Geoff King was on form today contacting the wave first and getting to 8500ft QNH before flying up to Builth Wells.
Others out included Robbie doing the instructing who got to around 8000ft, John Horley approx 6500ft, me at 7500ft, the ITN boys were there as well, Don G was tugging, Andrew flew the K6, Robin Howarth in the Junior and Anna Baik had another successful solo flight in the K13.
Sunday 22 March 2009
wave all day in a mod NW wind. Took a while for a group of us to get away from the ridge but once it turned on we were away and it was only the length of the day that stopped us flying. I think Robbie got best height at around 9500QNH but generally it was working between 5-8k QNH with lennies running SW-NE all the way to shobdon and beyond, which a few of us used. The wave bars were at regular frequencies, although not always working as well as they should have as I found out when I got near Llandod!
Apparently one pilot (haven't got name) did the new TAL triangle, so it's been completed twice within a week of it being announced, so seems Tony C has made good choice with this task.
Could hear Shobdon and Usk pilots all having just as much fun and at slightly greater heights.
Those out incl Martin L, Robbie, Andrew, Geoff, Mike Codd, Gordon D, and a handful of visiting pilots, incl one who flew back and landed at Usk as he got caught out by the increasing cloud cover and couldn't find a way down - good decision and an option worth remembering. Thanks to Peter Saundby for tug duties.
Saturday 21 March 2009
warm, high pressure sort of day with an inversion at around 4500ft QNH. Visibility was bordering on the very limits of visual flight rules and to be honest without a good view the flight was almost pointless. I arrived late so not sure who flew but did see Martin L, Robbie, Geoff King, Grev Earle, Mike Ross, Tony Bartlett, etc. Thanks to Tony C for tug duties.
Sunday 15 March 2009
Pressure rising after yesterday's vigorous wave conditions, day starting bright and still with very light winds becoming westerly then later NW, causing main ridges from Hay Bluff down to the Cwmdu also Llangorse ridges to work, although weak at times, but with thermic activity as well. max heights around 3400 QNH, a nice day for local flying. Quite a number of flights between 2 and 3 hours done today. A lot of private gliders out today taking advantage of the spectacular soaring conditions.
Saturday 14 March 2009
Great wave day! The wind was about 15kts NW on the field going to 25kts+ at height. Most of the people who flew got into the wave climbing away from either the Llangorse or main ridges. When the rotor was right overhead it made some of the tows extremely rough which was in marked contrast to the ground run on the field which is now very smooth thanks to Robin Howarth, (self appointed BMGC groundsman), who spent two full days rolling it last week!
The Beacons were also working very well for those who ventured in that direction. Cloudbase was a bit variable but rose to about 3,500ft QFE by mid afternoon. The best wave seemed to be to the North of the site in the Shobdon/Mynd direction. The only fly in the ointment was the fact that the wave slots closed up with monotonous regularity! Several pilots found themselves over 8/8 cloud and had to fly back towards site before finding a decent slot. Mike Codd beat us all by getting to FL125 and has a probable gold height claim (I had a quick look at his trace and I think he's in by more than 300ft by my reckoning). He's put it on the BGA ladder for those who want to see it.
Many thanks to Don Gosden for all the tows, who said that some were "quite interesting".
Tuesday 10 March 2009
The day started grey with low cloud on the hill but rumours of clearing skies later in the day. With a good wave profile and a long list of jobs to do at home, I opted to stay on a bit. By 2pm, there were signs of clearances from from the west with definite signs of wave in the slots and a 10/15kt WNW wind.
Monday 9 March 2009
Almost everybody missed what turned out to be a marvellous day that just got better and better - unfortunately there were only 3 of us there (plus Doc as tuggie).
Wednesday 4 March 2009
NW wind 10kts. Cloud base went up to about 3,400ft QFE in the afternoon. Congratulations to Stephen Moore who came with a RN expedition, launched in their Junior at 12:55 pm and managed to get his 5 hr Silver duration landing just before dark. I took Carl Watson, another member of the RN exped down the Beacons in K13. The highlight of the flight was climbing over 1,400ft from the base of the Pen Y Fan ridge to the top in one beat. He was gob-smacked by the flight, which for a Talgarth Xcountry pilot would have been a `normal' run into the Beacons. It just serves as a reminder what a special site Talgarth is. Carl took some photos during the flight showing the Beacons covered in snow which I'll put them on our website the next time I'm at the club.
Sunday 1 March 2009
A dull start with the remains of a cold front dragging through soon gave way to a brilliant bright post cold front day with winds going west then further NW.
Quite a few private gliders out: Mike Rossiter (Cirrus HUR), Alan Cridge (Sie-3 FRG), Mark Fisher (Club Libelle FYG), Robbie Robertson with several P2s in Snoopy (T21 ASB). North Hill visiting pilot Simon Minson in his ASW20 managed a flight of just over 6 hours. Plus the Bronze course was out flying most of the afternoon on all 3 club 2-seaters.
No-one really went anywhere as far as I know, but there was a lot of local soaring to be had... ridge and thermal, the cloud streets being very impressive at times. Ridges working from Hay Bluff down to the Crickhowell scree slopes, plus the Llangorse ridge and for at least one pilot, parts of the Beacons were used but in general probably too much west in the wind for it to be epic out there.
No wave reported this time, maybe we just didnt notice it...
A good time had by all who flew, followed by a classic Talgarth sunset, that magical light that you get on the mountains sometimes just before the sun goes down.... Here's my best photo of it:
Sunday 22 February 2009
A classic Talgarth weekend. You've already had some good reports from
Doc and Gerry so I'll just fill in the gaps, just like the cloud did
yesterday at times!
Robbie probably holds the record for the number of wave ascents to 6000 ft + sitting in the back of the K13 singing "Free Bird"!
Those out included Geoff King 13500ft, Martin Brock 11000ft, me at 16300ft, John Poland 2 x 8000ft, Alan Cridge 8000ft, Robin Howarth 6000ft, Tony Bartlett 8000ft, Anna Baik 7000ft, Peter Saundby 10,000ft, Gerry Martin, Mike Tomlinson, Mike Hutchinson, John Horley (sorry didn't get your heights).
At 16000ft it was minus 8C with 55kts of wind and so flying backwards and going up became the method! However, I was running low on oxygen and so let down out of a steady 2kt climb and then flew into a solid 8kt down over Builth and before you knew it I was scuttling back to Talgarth.
Could here a few from Shobdon also having fun in the wave and at least one came over and joined us over Llyswen for a while.
In all 32 launches on Saturday and 23 on Sunday so thanks to tug
pilots Keith and John Price and John Horley. Total hours for weekend?
well lots but didn't get chance to add up.
A fantastic day with ridge and wave up to 16,000ft + QNH for Martin Pingle ... near Builth I think.
The local wave structure on Sunday 22 Feb at low level was complex with a short wave length of about 1.5 nm between peaks and a confused pattern. At higher level the wave structure was simpler with a wave length of 7 nm or more. Thus some low level waves did not go high and others at the internodes were strong. One of these was above where the river Wye turns NW at Llyswen. There I left 4 kts climb at 10,000 ft. The upper wave continued in a line from north of Brecon to just south of Shobdon. I was 8000 ft at Shobdon. Reports from Herefordshire GC and other gliders reported wave further north at Knighton and Oswestry so long distance cross country flying should have been possible. The lower wave system was quite irregular in the Black Mountain area but south west towards Neath the cloud tops indicated that the longer wave length predominated at lower level. The forecast had indicated multiple inversions which might be the explanation. Cloud base remained clear of the mountain tops but a GPS is vital when above cloud and although I could have descended through gaps, a cloud descent proved easier.
Twas a fun wave day with the early pilots martins Brock&Pingle cruising around mid wales at 16k in NW WAVE.
Others where on there way up there Tony Bartlet,Mike Ashton Alan Cridge mike tomlinson Geof king ect,
Robby kindly rigged 464 for his syndicate to fly as he was flitting around all day in a K13.
Pushed out to Bronllys Castle from the ridge and had a slow climb through the wave gap, then 6kts to 6500ft and explored along the wave ridge towards Hay, keeping an eye on the Wye through gaps, Had an interesting descent through a gap which closed so used the T&S tokeep a straight descent and emerged over Talgarth town at 2500. Theres fun for you.
Saturday 21 February 2009
Saturday started very soft with about 10 of us batting back and
forth just above ridge level, which concentrated the mind somewhat.
Later it started to work slightly better as Martin B and myself
managed to get into some low level wave around 4-4500 QNH over towards
Hay and Brecon.
Monday 16 February 2009
Light west wind and pleasantly warm (well after what we've had recently anything above 2 degrees C is warm!!) Nice bit of ridge lift, if a little weak at times, but the occasional thermal kept things interesting.
Those out were Rhona, in Junior, Mike Barratt, T10, John Horley in
FAV, Martin Brock in 209 and I took the wife (Judith) for a spin in
K13 - well not literally so don't panic Martin L!!
Sunday 15 February 2009
It turned out much better than forecast and gradually improved thro the
day. Martin Pingle contacted weak wave in Cymdu and later Martin
Langford took the club K6 to 5000ft near Talybont. Ridge and weak wave
set up later in the day as the sun struggled through and took most of
us up to 2300 on the main ridge to Hay Bluff.
Sunday 2 February 2009
Strong easterley wind with good signs of wave early on. Tony Crowden launched in the K21, shot up to 9500ft in terrific wave and watched the slot start to close below him .... back on the ground in 20 minutes with a very impressed visiting pilot from Mendip GC. Later, the sky opened up and many members and visitors reaching heights up to the base of the airway with off the clock lift in the Cymdu valley. The launch and approach were interesting but all coped well. Immediately before the 10am briefing, I shot a 10 minute timelapse from the BBQ area looking west ...this shows clearly the wave and why it was bouncy!
Saturday 24 January 2009
Saturday started with cloud down on the hill, very little wind in a slack area of low pressure. The Mendip group were out in force and true to forecast (well one of them anyway!) the cloud slowly lifted and the breeze picked up from the W-SW. I think there were about 20 launches in all with the W and S bowls working, if a little soft, but helped by some thermal activity enhanced by wave influence. Light wave was found in the Cwmdu and out towards Llangorse but only going to just ove 5k QNH.
Tuesday 13 January 2009
Well, we flew but no records broken! Light westeries with lotsa low
cloud on the hill until around 1400hrs. Eventually Geoff Stinchcombe
launched in the club K6 followed by Mike Williams and Robbie in K13.
Cloudbase slowly went up as a few holes appeared. Geoff flew twice and
Robbie and Mike managed an hour in the two seater.
Saturday 3 January 2009
Unexplained lift in zero wind
Saturday was a very bright start, a huge blue sky, but not a breath of wind. Soaring was not predicted at briefing.
It was my last day and I hadn't flown since Sunday... I wanted to fly, so decided to rig FYG anyway, unsoarable forecasts have a habit of being wrong, especially at Talgarth...
I decided a high tow would be the best way to extend the flight, so went to 3200 overhead the site. The air surprisingly buoyant, and despite me checking out the handling and stall speeds on this my first flight in the glider, it still took what seemed like an age to drop to 2000, although there was never anything above a zero on the vario... Then at 1800 feet, the glider surged, the Ilec vario gave off a musical chirp, and I realised had blundered into an area of unexpected lift. Just off to the NW of Y Das, in nil wind and sub zero temperatures, here was some definite lift - amazing... If anything maybe a SE drift at height, but not strong enough to associate with wave. In some ways it seemed like a thermal, and circling was the most efficient way of staying in it. Tighter turns when it got stronger. But it didnt feel like much a thermal, and it stayed there for a very long time.
I was able to get up to 2300 in that lift and then go off to explore the area, always able to return to the same spot and find it again. Eventually Mike Codd in the K13 came over and joined in. After the best part of an hour I was down to 1600 QFE and decided to go for the circuit. I noticed some smoke near the airfield showing a barely perceptible westerly drift. Landing Easterly in nil wind was ultra smooth and I looked up and wondered what it was that had kept me up for 52 minutes.
Don G in the tug thought it was a thermal, but Mike and I both thought it felt more like wave.
I remember flying with Ivor Shattock in 1989 and experiencing similar conditions. I never did understand what caused that column of lift then, and today seemed the same effect. It seemed a remarkable coincidence that in my first ever flight in Ivor's Club Libelle FYG that this should happen again.
Any ideas on this? in 1989 Ivor just said: "Lift is where you find it" How true.
Some possible explanations
It was Tom Bradbury who said that if you want to understand wave, stand on a bridge and watch the surface of a river flowing over a rocky bed. It will have the classic undulations, but also there will be many convergences, eddies, swirls and turbulent upthrusts. The defining characteristic is that they stay in the same place.
With a low level inversion, the lower air may be still, but there can be enough wind aloft to produce effects. Sometimes this is visualised and once, when the valley up to airfield level was filled with a flat topped cold fog, we watched a wave induced rotor lifting fronds of mist which streamed upwards and evaporated in the drier air.
mmm...... yes might well have been thermic lift there Mark as there was some weak sun on the slope and the air was very cold but also there might have been abit of wave induction too. I'm glad you got the airtime whatever
Updated: 31 December 2009 MF