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2012 Archive

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Wednesday 5 December 2012

Wave to FL100




An excellent call for a flying day by Martin ... he deserved getting to FL100 in the wave even if it was very, very cold. Seems he had some plumbing problems but would not go into detail ... thankfully. Plenty others out playing but, being mere mortals, were confined to the main ridge with great visibilty and consistent lift. Brockie and Robbie are just about thawed out after 2 flights of over an hour in Snoopy! Thank goodness for electric insoles. Martin is posting some excellent photos of the Beacons from wave shortly.
Robbie Robertson

Tuesday 13 November 2012

SW wave over the Beacons

Text book SW wave. Contacted over Llangorse Lake with very strong lift low down. Climbed to the base of the N864 airway under the FL95 section then pushed out and hit the base (again) under the FL125 section. At that time the sky was 8/8 with just two very small wave slots between Llangorse Ridge and Brecon but later in the flight the amount of cloud reduced allowing more slots to open up. Wind at height was about 40kts
Tony Crowden

Sunday 11 November 2012

NW ridge day

A cold and clear frosty start. V light NW wind and lots of members out to play. Hard work early on but the main ridge settled down after lunch and we had up to 11 gliders playing happily up there.
Good to see several visitors from Bicester, North Hill, Usk etc and lots of smiles all round. A nice relaxed day ...

      light refracted on clouds as seen from Snoopy...

One very keen member (Who shall remain nameless!) was seen to be signalling up slack for Snoopy. When the tug started to disappear slowly into the distance, it was realised that takeoffs are definitely better if the glider is hooked on! Got off in the end to have a lovely hour up on the ridge with a visitor from Usk!
Robbie Robertson

Saturday 27 October 2012

N wave 5600 QNH

      in N wave at 5000

Saturday dawned calm with a forcast of 15kts northerley. Lots of people out flying. After suggestions of wave were found above Troed by Alan C and Mike E in the K13, it seemed a good idea to sniff around the cumulus popping up and this was rewarded with a nice climb up the front of the clouds to around 5.6k QNH. Several others contacted the wave and had great fun skimming along above the cu. Ridge and thermals as well .... a great fun day. Several members made their first landings over the gate on the NW runway. Two photos posted
Robbie Robertson

Friday 26 October 2012

East wave 5500 QNH

      K13 in wave at 4000

Despite a forecast of blue skies and sunshine, it stayed overcast most of the day but with good ROUGH east wave in the Cymdu Valley. Topped out at around 4500ft above site and was just about the roughest wave I've seen for a while. Stimulating.One photo posted.
Robbie Robertson

Sunday 21 October 2012

West wave to 6500 QNH

Grey and foggy at first but gradually fog burnt off in a light easterly flow. I launched in K13 at around 1330 hrs with a visitor and was soon at 5500ft looking down on the world. Impressed Tim our visitor no end! Others, including visitors from Wyvern and North Hill GC's followed and we all had a few hours fun up in the sun. Best height was around 5500 despite a totally wrong tephigram for wave (Aaaah ... but that's the beauty of Talgarth!)

Thanks to Alan for helping in the 2 seaters and Geoff for towing. Commiserations to those who pulled off a bit too low to contact the wave.
Robbie Robertson

Tuesday 16 October 2012

West wave to 9000

There was a strong Westerly wind at midday, which decreased down to nothing by late afternoon. The skew-t diagrams for the day suggested that there would be a wave window early afternoon. This actually happened and a lot of pilots managed to contact the wave around the Llangorse area. I think Adrian in HUR and myself got the best heights of the day topping out at about 9,000' albeit in different wave bars, (apologies to any visiting pilot if they got higher than that). Many thanks to Brocky for doing a lot of tows up through some quite bumpy rotor. After flying Will Greenwood gave an impressive ground run demo of the jet engine on his Shark glider.
Tony Crowden

Saturday 6 October 2012

A challenging day

Just about the best visibility we've seen at BMGC with warm sun and gentle thermals to around 3k above site. Gerry in the Jantar managed over 3 hours and Robbie soloed in Snoopy for over an hour after scraping away from 600ft above site. Lots of others chasing the elusive lift during the day. Thanks to Alan and Chris for instructing and Tony for tugging.

Quote of the day was by Alan giving an air experience guy his pre flight chat. Seemed this guy was fairly adamant that his voucher said he would soar for an hour to which Alan replied "I wil do my best to manage your expectations! Wow ... must remember that line.
Robbie Robertson

Saturday 29 September 2012

Wave to 8000 QNH

Good NW ridge and thermals from the start until around 1300hrs when wave set up over Hay. Initially, it was very difficult to contact but Mike Codd showed us the way and soon many of us were up at around 8000ft QNH .... not sure of the highest climb of the day but suspect it was a bit more than that. The Dunstable boys were happy as were we all. Too many to list but special thanks to Bo for doing 36 tows with a good fast turnround.
Robbie Robertson

Saturday 22 September 2012

Wave to 5200 QNH

Saturday dawned with blue sky, fog rolling up the valley, and a gentle easterly wind. A few Dunstable pilots had arrived, and some had site checks, then they rigged, and we all waited for cu to pop. About 2pm, I launched after some of the Dunstable folk, with a few broken cu at about 2500ft, by Myndd Troed. There was a report of wave down the south end of the Cymdu Valley over the scree slopes, so I popped down there in the Skylark 4, - BMW. Topped out at about 4200ft QFE, in fairly transitory wave, but it was excellent flying for my 2.5 hours. You could see almost all of Wales, I just wish I had taken my camera.

All in all a good day, 20 launches, but very few BMGC folk about. No queues at the launch point, - everyone was smiling, including the trial lesson punters.
Where was everyone one else? It was a good day, and guess what, it's raining cats & dogs now!
Mike Williams

Saturday 1 September 2012

Weak wave to 6200 but hard to contact

      wave to 6200 QNH...

Duty Instructor Andy Sutton predicted wave ridge and thermal at the morning briefing and he wasn't wrong. Lots of members out enjoying some late summer soaring. It was a bit rough low down at times. The weak wave generally offered only 1 or 2 knots but was super smooth topping out at around 6,200 ft QNH down the entire length of the Cwmdu Valley. Photos above.
Mike Codd

What Mike modestly omits to say is that, along with Anne, he was one of the few to get into that wave and stay in it, pegging out his sheets on the line, while the rest of us played rinse and repeat in the twin-tub below. Still, it was all very good fun, pushing out, feeling for wave then scuttling back into the bowl, waving up at the walkers and trying again.
Phil Swallow

Speaking as one of those in the twin-tub with Phil, I can confirm that the wave was playing extremely hard to get.... several times up to about 4000 QNH only to lose it and as Phil says back to square one on the ridge. The rotor lower down was quite strong at times, and accompanied by strong sink. As usual the best contact point seemed to be the burnt patch at the north end of the Cwmdu valley, get as high as possible here and push into wind for the wave, using the time honoured method of Ivor Shattock, the pioneer Welsh wave wizard (and whose old Club Libelle I am now flying). Finding the lower wave was not too difficult, but the higher stuff was a challenge too far for most of us out on Saturday. Great fun trying though and a cracking end to 4 great days flying for me.
Mark Fisher

Monday 20 August 2012

It started to get nicely soarable in thermals from about 13.00 and we were getting away from the spine in weak to moderate lift to 2000' QFE. It wasn't very strong towards Brecon and Mike was down to 1500QFE over the city before returning to the airfield where lift improved and was in the 2kt range over the north half of the mountains. Then over towards Madley 3kt to 2900QFE and from Madley northwards returning with only 1 or 2 circles at high speed via Golden Valley in some nice thermals and following the Wye to landing after 1hr 24 for Adrian to have a go for 2hr 25 while the lift was still ok. Conditions better to the east then, confirmed afterwards by others. Lift fizzling out from 1700 but looking nice again at 16.15 for a short while.
Wave tomorrow at Talgarth in the windier conditions. Shall we see. Hope the tug's back then.
Mike Rossiter

Saturday 18 August 2012

Miserable grey start to the day, very low cloud rolling over us in a southerly - 'not again!' we were all saying - only a handful of us there. Duty dog Tony was watching Sat24 and predicting a change in the afternoon. One trial lesson rang from Ebbw Vale and cancelled - 'It's rainin' yur!' and then another cancelled. Still we hung on and finally the promised break started to appear.
As skies began to clear, Bo towed deputy dog Phil with a trial lesson out towards Brecon, where ragged cloud was starting to look wavy. Phil didn't contact, meanwhile Dick launched in the Pirat and found wave off the end of Troed, eventually reaching 6000ft and was still climbing, before choosing to descend as cloud seemed to be closing up below. There were stacked lennies over the Beacons at about this time.
Phil took another trial lesson and this time contacted in the same place as Dick, taking his passenger to 5000ft - a glorious smooth flight in briliant sunshine and warm, dry air and a clear Fohn gap over Llangorse. A couple more short dual flights took place; wave was already starting to break down, probably only there for 2 or 3 hours in total.
I learned that sometimes we give up on a day too soon and that satellite images can be more motivating than forecasts. When you're at home and morning weather puts you off, worth checking again at lunchtime if you are less than an hour away.
Phil Swallow

Without Broadband at our eerie above Erwood, my plan had been to post a flying report for Saturday on my return to Wiltshire/connectivity (via the pub) this evening (Sunday). Beaten to it, with thanks to Phil (he who, with his syndicate partner, makes enterprising use of the back of the bog door (gents' only though - for a reason later explained by Anne C) I'm left with adding just a few details.
Whilst the forecast for the day had been on the rubbish side of good, the charts had indicated an ounce or two of promise, hence my determination to get off the ground. Like many of us, I suspect, I needed a good flight to stay current although I half expected I might find myself on my jack jones at the airfield - not far off, as it turned out. However, greeted, on my arrival at 09.59, by Tony, Anne, Phil and Bo the possibilities were unlimited. We made for the clubroom, had a brew, had a quick squint at Sat24, viewed NASA rocket boosters from close quarters (thanks Tony), marvelled at the Olympics, carried out a DI sign off (thanks again Tony), had another brew, sorted out how The World ought to be run (but correctly), had fresh squint at Sat24 (whilst looking out of the window as well, of course) then (@ 14.00) went flying - at just the moment the rain stopped.
Phil's trial students were Martin and Julie. Martin had 2,000 hours in his log book, many of them at TAL and was clearly pleased to be back. For Julie, it was a present and she was evidently intrigued, thrilled and delighted.
Happy days, happy times.
Dick Jeffcoate

Saturday 28 July 2012

Ridge and thermals to 4000

      with Tony C in the K13


      with Robbie in Snoopy

As a member of Southdown Gliding Club, Parham on holiday staying with my family at Brynich Caravan Site, Brecon, I successfully negotiated time off for good behaviour and promptly legged it the few miles down the road to Talgarth airfield.
Weather for the day promised 12-15 knot Westerly with sunny periods which would lead to overdevelopment. On arrival at 0900hrs there was a horrible looking black cloud hanging on the top of the ridge, but by 1000hrs this had disappeared and the sun was shining.
In no time I found myself sitting in a K13 (tail number K13) with Tony in the backseat and Bo flying the tug towards the ridge, released at 1500ft and then the very intimidating ridge loomed with Tony at the controls. We headed off towards Hay Bluff and lift was good all the way, on the way back found some horrible sink across the gap but soon regained height the other side. The thrill of ridge soaring the Black Mountains for the first time and my memory has failed me but I believe we made it almost as far as Crickhowell. Following a short visit to the Llangorse Ridge it was time to land and let someone else have a go.

Thermals later were working well and several pilots reported climbing to cloud base at 4000ft, visibility was good and after lunch Robbie rolled out his T21 Snoopy.
After the first flight where Robbie managed to join those thermalling high, I had the chance to fly in Snoopy. After a very interesting aero tow right onto the ridge, Robbie demonstrated the air to ground communication facilities, the horn, to some walkers below. I mentioned the visibility was good and it was even better in the open air. By this time the wind had got up a bit which meant that we couldn't take the thermals all the way for fear of being blown too far behind the ridge, but with plenty of lift around it was still easy to get an hour in the air before the warmth on the ground beckoned.
A big thank you to Tony, Bo and especially to Robbie for a fantastic day at Talgarth!
Andrew Longhurst

Sunday 24 June 2012

Excellent afternoon despite the forecasts

      David just before his trial lesson.....


      ... and on tow in the K21

Forecasts confusing with several conflicting themes. I was duty dog with Brock the Tug and Gordon heading the team. RASP was giving thick cloud cover down to 2500-ish all day but the BBC was showing a nice sunny day after a dull start. At briefing we tended to think the RASP was going to win, and we prepared for a day of hanging around in case things improved. One trial lesson cancelled himself, and we advised the other visitor (David, pictured above...) that it was 50/50 whether we would fly at all.
well things did improve and we got the stuff out late morning when a couple of blue patches appeared. Cloud still well on the hill but a brisk westerly made it potentially very soarable on the ridges. First take off in the K21 around midday, a visitor from Booker on a site familiarisation flight. Cloud still just above the west bowl, but the NW run now clear, it was quite pleasant and the conditions improved steadily all afternoon.
Later flights enjoyed excellent visibility, ridge and thermal and a cloudbase going up to about 2800QFE with some streeting. Winds went round more to the NW. Almost one of those go-anywhere and stay up days.... Not at all what RASP had in mind for us, there's a moral there somewhere.
Not many members out at all, where were you all chaps :-) I think about a dozen flights were done in all. Les from Rufforth had longest flight at around 6 hours.
A cracking afternoon at Talgarth!!
Mark Fisher

Sunday 13 May 2012

good local soaring, some XC

Sunday was not such an inspiring day although you could fill your boots with local flying, the Cwm Du was working well in the SW wind. Not to be left out I felt I should try the new Talgarth Triangle, it was all going so well until the second turn point, but I managed to complete at a handicap speed just over 40kph! Barry was not so lucky but had a safe land out at Whitney.
John Clark

Saturday 12 May 2012

excellent XC day

Well, the second good weekend in a row. Saturday was a super day for stretching your boundaries, there should be lots of traces on the ladder - and a few badge claims are going off to the BGA. Congratulations to Geoff Stinchcombe for Silver distance and both legs of his 100k Diploma TAL, LEO, BRE, TAL. (the old Talgarth Triangle). Also congratulations to Tony B and to Mike W for their 100k Diplomas although Mike still has to do the second leg. Tony did the new Talgarth Triangle (TAL, LEO, LED, TAL 125k) at a blistering handicap speed of 81kph. Mike went O/R to the Mynd. Martin Pingle and I took off early having declared an optimistic 500k. But half way along the first leg to Banbury we realised that flying in England was not such a good idea so we turned Pershaw and headed back towards Wales. Rodney's Pillar (NE of Welshpool) was next and the conditions were going well as we passed the Mynd. After Rodney's Pillar we went our separate ways, Martin doing 350k and me doing 320k.
John Clark

Tuesday 8 May 2012

Thermal and wave limited by airspace...

Amazing (for this spring) - a three good days out of four! Gerry, Dick, Anne and myself were the only single seater pilots to fly. Cloud base went up to about 3,500' QFE with a strongish WSW wind making the Cwm Du ridge quite "interesting". The thermals were streeting quite well and occasionally between the streets there was some sporadic wave which could be used up to the base of N864 over Llangorse lake... I contacted the wave between some large gaps in the cloud streets near Llangorse ridge. Hit the base of N864 (yet again) then did a search along the next cloud street gap away from the airspace that didn't produce anything worth using. The strange dips in the trace half way through the flight were my attempt to record some spins on a camcorder!
Tony Crowden

I managed 2hrs 22 in the K6, hard work to use the main ridge and the Troed until the thermals got going. Then to 3800 QFE over Llangorse and Bwlch, at times in weak wave. Brilliant views and climbs.
Tony Murphy

Sunday 6 May 2012

Cloudbase 6000, some XC

Two good flying days in a row - amazing!! Sunday was quite different from Saturday with very little wind to speak of but it was exceptionally good with a cloudbase of over 4500ft amsl and 3 to 4kt thermals as early as 11am. However, as expected it did overdevelop by early afternoon although cloudbase went up to near 6000ft with some surprisingly good thermals under the gloomy skies. Lots of people plus we did 6 air ex flights which meant for a busy launch area. John C and myself flew to Raglan, then Sennybridge and back to the club, where I landed, but John continued to near Shobdon before returning.
Martin Pingel

Saturday 5 May 2012

NE - Pandy ridge working

Interesting day. There was a good NE blow so the Bluff and Pandy ridge was definitely the place to go. The ridge was working well together with some surprisingly good 2 and 3 kt thermals up to cloudbase at around 4k ft QNH. I got down past Pontypool before returning and John C got to Abergavenny before turning up the Usk valley into the Beacons and had an "interesting" glide back arriving a little low on Mynydd Troed! Not a big turnout which was surprising seeing as it was the first decent day for some time but nevertheless a pleasant time was had by all.
Martin Pingel

Thursday 5 April 2012

Snow in April

A small group of folks took advantage of a little bit of rotor and ridge flying from a wintry airfield and we felt very brave trudging around in the snow

      ... the White Mountains Gliding Club?


Gerry Martin

Sunday 25 March 2012

E wave to 8300

The visiting Booker pilots looked a bit sceptical when the duty Instructor said that there could be wave around. Around 1200hrs, Grev Earle in KAU called us on the ground to announce he was climbing in E wave at 5000ft in Cwmdu. A lot of scurrying around ensued and soon many of us were up there in the blue wave in beautiful visibility. Even Snoopy was seen hovering around 6000 QNH with two happy and (unusually) warm pilots! A lovely day.
Robbie Robertson

Nil wind conditions on the airfield, and unsurprisingly the visiting Booker pilots werent in a hurry to get airborne... no-one knew at that point what a cracking day was in store. It looked like sleigh ride conditions, yet the light easterly above was to prove enough to produce a steady supply of wave lift all afternoon. After Grev's radio call of wave I decided to rig but while helping to pull Snoopy out of the hangar I had a better idea... split a launch with Robbie and see what we could do in Snoopy, still half expecting a short flight. From release, we steadily climbed at around a knot to about 5000QNH and then saw 2 and 3 knots indicated by the Cosim pith balls... mostly green :-) .. occasionally red :-( ... eventually topping out at 6000 QNH. After 2 hours in the open air we slowly descended with a handful of other gliders in the fading wave. For me the highest and the longest flight I have had in Snoopy... an epic flight.... pics below. Grev got to 8300 in his DG300.

      descending from 6K...


      the view behind...

Mark Fisher

Saturday 24 March 2012

weak thermals, wave to 4K

A light SE wind allowed a few of us to soar the back of the spine and pick up weak thermals and a bit of wave to around 4k.Thanks to Geoff King and John Clark for the tows. First BBQ of the year was enjoyed by all.
Robbie Robertson

Monday 19 March 2012

Ridge and thermal to 4.5k

Not a bad day with 9 flights and nearly 20 hours of flying. Flying started at 11am with weak thermals and ridge lift but gradually, as things hotted up, the thermals really started going with some 4kt climbs around the Beacons. Cloudbase, which initially was around 3000ft amsl, went up to around 4500ft by mid afternoon but it also overdeveloped which rather spoilt things. All in all a good day.
Martin Pingel

Saturday 25 February 2012

Ridge, thermal and wave!!

Snoopy over the airfield
      Snoopy over the airfield


Snoopy on tow - main NW ridge
      Snoopy on tow - main NW ridge

A lovely day on Saturday ... hard to believe it is only February. Light NW wind kept the main ridge going all day in beautiful sunshine boosted by 2-4kt thermals. Martin Pingle managed to contact wave directly above the club in EBF and got up to 7500QNH ... he reports great views but, unfortunately, no photos due to his camera going AWOL. Snoopy was up there on the ridge with a variety of pilots and spent around 4 hours airborne to the delight of all! Many others out enjoying themselves as well. Thanks to Brock who towed us all up and Mike Codd for instructing.
Robbie Robertson

Wednesday 1 February 2012

Wave to FL125

After a lot of sterling work by John Horley, we finally got the tug started and off we went to find the easy blue wave above the club. John unerringly dropped us in the wave and we all contacted easily and several of us climbed right up to the base of the airway at FL125 above site.
Cold, (Hooray for electric feet!) but great visibilty looking down on the snowy mountains. What a great day! A couple of photos here to make you jealous.

      View from the Junior in East Wave at FL100


      Table Mountain from 10,000ft in the Junior

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah. Great fun!

Robbie Robertson

and a couple from Alan Langlands...

      view from the DG300


      Rigging in the cold...

Thursday 19 January 2012

Martin's slight worries about a slow start when he called a flying day were justified. Low cloud until around 1200hrs woth showers threatening and no signs of the promised wave. With only a few of us there, the weather cleared around 1300hrs and we squeezed in 3 launches...Alex Jenkins in Kilo 13, Mike Williams in BMW and John Horley and me in Snoopy. We all had nearly an hour dodging rain and cloud in rough conditions. Fun? Well maybe ... but at least we flew!
Robbie Robertson

I certainly would also like to thank Robbie, Don, Alex, John, Tony for making an "initially duff sort of day" into a good soarable day on the ridge. Yes, it was a bit bumpy, and we all landed to avoid the rain showers, but it was good fun. The flying, and cups of tea made it all worth while. Nice to see Snoopy up and away in the sky too! May I recommend Robbie's latest video offering starring Snoopy - hopefully he will stitch something for Youtube.
Mike Williams

Sunday 15 January 2012

SE wave to FL125

It was a pleasant sunny SE wave day with the field drying out quite nicely. Only a few private owners rigged but all the available club machines were kept busy all day. Best height of the day was done by Grev, aka Greville Earl who bounced his DG off the base of N864 at FL125. Most people managed between 8-11k in the wave which set up between the club and the hill. I managed 11k in the club Pirat - see BGA Ladder. For those of you who are observant you may notice a small blip at the beginning of the trace. This was me demonstrating what happens when you pull off too low, with a badly misting up canopy, lose the wave, and attempt to beat the tug down.

On a serious point for a moment please do not use too much polish when cleaning a canopy and make sure you clean off all the residue after. The Pirat canopy went completely opaque when I turned into sun on my first flight and I had to use the DV cut-out to see out. Yes, it was my fault for not double checking the cleanliness for the canopy before I took off, but on the ground what was a light barely noticeable smear changed dramatically into a thick opaque film as the temperature/humidity changed inside the cockpit after I became airborne.
Tony Crowden

I decided to fly the club Junior rather than rig as it was there doing nothing at the launch point... a rough aerotow to 2400, followed by very smooth strong lift up the side of a pure white wall of cloud and then into the clear air above. Very peaceful up there. The eventual descent had to be forced.... full airbrake and 70kts was needed to descend into the increasingly turbulent and murky lower air. It would be easy to overcook this near the normal circuit height where the sink can be extreme anyway... sink and turbulence present as usual down to a couple of hundred feet, then smoothing out just in time, with an approach speed of 70kts which did not prove to be too much!!

Mark Fisher

      the view at about 7000 feet...


      nice lennies ahead...

Saturday 7 January 2012

A great NW wave day

      NW Wave to 15,352 ft on 7th January 2012


      Air brakes out and time to go down before the slot closes up

At first the ridge wasn't working very well despite 20+ kts of wind but the clue was in the views of lenticulars all around. Obviously the wave was out of phase with the ridge lift and the mix was pretty horrible at times. Eventually it got more into phase and working better and everyone got into the wave with heights between 8k up to 15k+. At 15k it was minus 12 degrees and blowing 60 kts so flying backwards was easy to achieve. Lots of people out including Chris Mann as instructor who had the widest grin on his face at the end of the day coz he'd had 3 wave flights in succession in the K13. Field was a bit soft and left its mark all over the gliders and tug but thankfully everyone got stuck in and cleaned them all before putting them back in the hangar or boxes

Martin Pingel


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Updated: 5 Dec 2012 MF