Black Mountains Gliding Club
BMGC Flying Reports
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.
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
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.
Saturday 27 October 2012
N wave 5600 QNH
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
Friday 26 October 2012
East wave 5500 QNH
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Saturday 1 September 2012
Weak wave to 6200 but hard to contact
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Saturday 28 July 2012
Ridge and thermals to 4000
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.
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.
Sunday 24 June 2012
Excellent afternoon despite the forecasts
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Saturday 25 February 2012
Ridge, thermal and wave!!
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.
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.
and a couple from Alan Langlands...
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!
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.
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.
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!!
Saturday 7 January 2012
A great NW wave day
Updated: 5 Dec 2012 MF