Black Mountains Gliding Club

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BMGC Flying Reports

2013 Archive

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Monday 9 December 2013

Challenging conditions in the S bowl....

Having arrived at the club this morning to sort some paperwork and pay a few bills, it was a pleasant surprise to find the weather improving somewhat after lunch to permit a couple of flights into the south bowl, a little challenging but great fun enjoyed by Robin, John Coward and myself. Many thanks to Keith for the tows.
Geoff Stinchcombe

Sunday 8 December 2013

Weak ridge in the Cwmdu valley, some wave

There was a good turn out of members (plus the national coach) for a pleasant Sunday with all the club gliders in action. The SW wind allowed us to soar the Cwm Du valley and the bowls at each end, and despite my husband believing I was having him on, there was wave as well. Not great heights but 4 knots plus lift at times. Added to that there was some thermal activity. Some of the low flying in the South bowl was just pilots enjoying themselves.
Anne Crowden

Sunday 1 December 2013

Soft ridge in almost zero wind...!

The Met Office wind forecast was for 2mph, gusting 3 mph - certainly the sheep were looking unruffled as they gazed down on us from the ridge tops!
Still, daring the air is better than pounding the ground, so 5 tows were done and most flights were just over half an hour. One was a trial lesson chap called John who was very keen to fly, weak conditions notwithstanding. The most recent previous entry in his logbook was 1987 and the previous one to that 1977! I was able to write Hes not lost it.
Thanks to Don for towing us. Others present were 3 demobbed committee members (Mike Codd, Gordon and me), Dewi and Mark Fisher who showed proper enthusiasm by rigging the Libelle.
Phil Swallow

Definitely a case of "I've rigged it so I am going to fly it" - the feeble wind had already dropped to zero on the field before I took off, but managed to keep up for just over 30 mins by clinging to the ridge top on the NW. The sort of day when one mistake would put you below the top then it wasnt possible to scrape back... Dewi managed a very creditable 58 minutes in the club Junior using this careful method.
Mark Fisher

Saturday 30 November 2013

Weak N ridge day

The day started clear and crisp with barely a breath of wind.
However our intrepid Instructor team of Andy and Tony briefed the day speculating that there would be just enough northerly puff to get the main ridge working.
They proved right with several pilots exceeding 2 hours in very smooth air.
Once me and Tony had finished our antics in K13 for his 3 year Instructor refresher, we finished the day in Snoopy serenely drifting along just above the ridge as the last dregs of the day finally gave way with the sun setting behind the Beacons. Magic!
To keep warm most took it in turns to pump 150 liters each into the new bowser well done team!
So great day out for me, Tony B, Mike E, Dewi, Andrew, Greville, Dave, Anne, Bob, Richard and a few others.
Thanks to the Andy and Tony for running the day and Brocky for the tows.
Martin Langford

Friday 22 November 2013

NE ridge

Not many out today - shame really as it was a glorious day. Mikes Williams and Rossiter shared K13 for an hour on Troed and Mike Tomlinson had a couple of hours using the ridges between Troed and the Bluff and Cats Back.

Tuesday 19 November 2013

Ridge, wave and starlings....

      Snoopy coming in



At minus 2 it was coldest day this winter so far but what it must have felt like in Snoopy with the wind chill factor only Robbie and Peter will be able to explain!! It was a fairly good turn out given the short notice my me, we had 11 of us including John Price who towed out 8 flights in all. Lots of low orographic cloud at first hampered us but this soon lifted to give us easy ridge lift from Edas down to the Bluff and we even had some weak wave to play around in. Late afternoon we were all entertained by a large flock of Starlings - truly mesmerising watching them fly in formation wheeling and diving, although I think it put Stuart off a little as he landed straight through them! Another great day, we all left with a good glow on our faces and a feeling of satisfaction - come and join us next time. I'll put some photos up a bit later
Martin Pingel

A big thank you to everyone who made our visit today really enjoyable.
A special thanks to Tony for flying with John and I and showing us some of his hot spots on the hills! Really look forward to the next visit.
Glyn Read

Tuesday 12 November 2013

Slow start, then smooth ridge lift - NW

      The end of the day...

Turned out very nice after a slow start the orographic cloud soon burnt off and we had a reasonable 17kt WNW on the main ridge.
The ridge lift was amazingly smooth so racing along at 85-90kts was great fun as you didn't get bounced around.
There were signs of wave and we were able to cruise out into and along the valley but never actually connected with anything substantial.
5 flights in total with, apart from me, John Coward (Pirat), Robin Howorth (Junior), Tony Murphy (Pirat), John Price and Peter Galloway in K13.
First two weeks of the "winter flying scheme" and two days flying already - let's hope this continues - see you next week?
Martin Pingel

Sunday 10 November 2013

light NW ridge, some wave

At last, a sunny day with light NW wind so it is hardly surprising we had a good turnout today.
The field was MUDDY but Geoff King and John Price got us airborne in stunning visibility and light (too light really) NW winds. Mike Cudmore found some wave and took the Pirat to 3500ft. Well done Mike. The rest of us played around on the ridges and then had a major gliding washing thing before the end of the day.
A fun day with great club spirit everywhere.
Robbie Robertson

Monday 4 November 2013

Bright and sunny NW day

      First day of winter midweek flying...

A delayed start due to a soggy airfield after lots of overnight rain.
Bright and sunny weather fuelled by a good NW blow soon dried things up and Doc launched Snoopy on to the ridge at around 1200hrs. Soon the whole BMGC single seater fleet was airborne all enjoying great ridge flying and superb vis. BMW also popped up and many of us sniffed around for wave with some limited success.
A lovely day with great visibility and lots of smiles all round. After a rubbish October, we had a great day out playing and even the Treasurer was seen to smile a little!
Thanks to Doc for the launches.
Robbie Robertson

Monday proved that although the airfield was a bit tacky - actually very, very wet, very good flying was available, and in some of the most pleasant winter flying scheme days going. We can't always have warm, dry, sunny conditions at Talgarth, but that would be nice!
Okay, no-one went cross country, no-one got a silver height, but everyone played in reliable ridge lift, great cloud streets, and the odd tickle of wave. BMW & I had three hours together, and Snoopy was having fun too..... I spent most of the time cruising from Hay to South of the Great Lakes (Llangorse & flooded fields) and towards Brecon in .5kt of lift at about 1800ft, and taking the odd black thermally cloud towards cloudbase just for fun, 6kts in November - great!
Mike Williams

Sunday 3 November 2013

Local ridges all working

Very wet airfield. Didn't start flying until the showers died down after lunch. Launched to the West starting off from below the gap in the hedge as it was the only dryish bit of the airfield. Wind was a slowly decreasing Westerly which gave us good lift on all the local ridges. Dave Hope got the best height of the day in wave towards the end of his flight. Many thanks to all the people who stayed behind after flying to de-rig CCT and get it into it's trailer. The de-rig took so long due to various "problems" that we now know that all the hangar lights still work!
Tony Crowden

Sunday 29 September 2013

Superb wave day

      lennie from 464 (RR)


      club gliders getting ready for the wave... (Alan Cridge)

As predicted by Phil King, we had a great east wave day on Sunday with some of the visitors from Dunstable topping out at/near Gold height over Builth (Or Billith as one of them calls it!) Rough in the morning, conditions settled down later and the wave remained easy to contact all day with many climbs to around FL100 or higher near the airfield. Superb classic lenticular clouds everywhere made for a visually stunning day. I have posted a few photos on the album already created by Alan Cridge
A special thanks to John Clark for courageously tugging up and down in the rough! Well done John.
A special plea to put your flights on the ladder to help protect our airspace.
Robbie Robertson

I managed to squeeze in a Gold Height, many thanks for the tow John !
Will Greenwood.

Just worked out I was 200 feet short of Gold - I should've gone for the 'dip'!
My wings got covered in ice as I sliced between the lentics....
Dave Hope

Sunday 11 August 2013

Lift everywhere, superb vis...

Prospects for the day (if you believed in the forecasts/available data) a day or so in advance had not been that good. Until mid-morning, despite early signs of wave, there was little promise but from midday onwards the conditions were gorgeous. A decent westerly blow on the ridge developing into lift everywhere. The whole area above the high ground between the airfield and Llangorse was going up, constantly. Base got up to only 3,500 4,000 QFE but with powerful streets lined up to the west it was an easy time. Not a great day for honing one's tight thermalling skills - just not necessary. A really nice day to be up and away with superb long distance viz.
Dick Jeffcoate

Saturday 17 June 2013

Wave 5200 QNH

The morning appeared unpromising but after waiting for some hours wave started to appear near Y Das. Doc very kindly came back all the way from home to launch Bo and I for my AFR flight. We released at 2200 into weakish wave but put more height on after we found a few hotspots.
Wave induced thermal near the common was extremely turbulent requiring the use of full control range but gave 10kt lift for a few turns.We topped out at about 4,200' above site and then flew down abeam the scree area with decent areas of lift on the way. Returning to the overhead at the common to top up gave 4000' . A short while later the wave extended to Hay bluff , landing after 90 minutes .
It was still good at 19.30 A nice afternoons flying.
Mike Rossiter

Sunday 9 June 2013

Cwmdu - 6500 wave

First two seater flight of the day picked up good wave to 6500QNH at the southern end of Cymdu. Several others contacted the wave during the day whilst others were happy in thermal. An enjoyable day.
Robbie Robertson

Sunday 26 May 2013

Late pm - lift everywhere...

Sunday was a great sunshine day and mostly blue over the local area. I decided to declare my silver distance in the club Pirat and go and land at Long Mynd as I could not get a GPS/Approved Logger combination working. 12:30 off I went into the blue and ended up chasing the tug back with 6kt down all the way after pulling off in what seemed like a bit of lift. The aerotow was very smooth so in hind sight I should perhaps have hung on a bit longer. As it was so lovely and sunny I decided having a grump was not a good option. Later in the afternoon a few Cu started to bubble up so I took another launch after 15:30 and pulled off at the south bowl into a climb up to 3500. Beetled about up and down the ridge for a bit and then decided to try out some of the Cu. Over Talgarth got a climb to 4000ft and then headed off up the valley up to Builth Wells with thermals all the way. I was tempted to head NE and go to Long Mynd but given the time of day decided against it and turned back to Talgarth, then headed on over to Brecon where I got a climb to 5500. Turning left I flew over Pen-Y-fan and then all the way down to Ebbw Vale followed by another left turn to Abergavenny and then on back up the Cwmdu and back to the airfield. Almost all flown at 5000+ft. Although it was blue most of the way, the thermals were frequent, strong well defined and appeared on knobbly bits on the terrain just like the text books say. I was having so much fun that it was only when I got to Ebbw Vale did I realise that the elastic band between me and the club must have twanged some way back. Funny how at that point my flying became more conservative :-) But I needn't have worried, Abergavenny and then Crickhowell kicked off a couple of stonking thermals which gave me a final glide from there arriving back at the airfield at 2700ft. Although I didn't do my silver, for me it was the best days P1 flying so far and I am still grinning! As Mike says, fingers crossed for more days like these!!!
John Sniadowski

With cloudbases extending up to 7,000 ft (yes - 7,000 ft!) and up to 6 knot average climbs on offer over the high ground there was little incentive to venture further afield. I've posted some photos of local landmarks and towns. What a day! Fingers crossed for some more days like these this summer...
Mike Codd

Saturday 25 May 2013


Just posted some photos under album TAL-UTT-CHK-TAL of a flight I did Saturday. Intention was to do TAL-UTToxeter-Snowdon-TAL but for one reason or another I chickened out going deep into Snowdonia and turned at Chirk, between Wrexham and Oswestry. Nevertheless it was a great day and some beautiful views not least was the bumper to bumper tailback on the M6 around Stoke that was gridlocked!!
Martin Pingel

Tuesday 30 April 2013

Good XC day

Great XC day but not many at the Club as some were on an advanced xc course at Bidford!!!
Task set was TAL-CHIRK-BALA-RAGLAN-TAL - 314km
I got around, eventually after a 5 hrs flight. Mike Rossiter got into mid Wales and then decided to go off piste into the Elan Valley reservoir area sight seeing. Mike Williams did near Shobdon, Pen-y-fan, Crickhowell, etc. Not sure what Tony C did and poor Gerry had a problem with his glider wheel so I don't think he got airborne.
A couple of visiting guys from East Sussex had a good day with Bo and a trip in John Price's borrowed racing light aircraft - looked real sporty in bright orange.
I've put a few photos up in "trip to Bala file"
Martin Pingel

Monday 29 April 2013

Strong westerlies, Cwmdu working

I thought it worthwhile doing a flying report for this last Monday. The day started with strong westerlies, strong enough for the K6 to be kept in the hangar so we had T10, K13 and FHF the junior out. Cloud base was about 3,000ft with about 80% coverage. The visitors all had flights throughout the day in one of the K13's and I took the junior. The whole of the ridge from Hay bluff, Ydas and down the Cwmdu to Crickhowell was working well. There were some soft patches down the Cwmdu valley as you would expect and it got very soft down at the Crickhowell end. Field landing opportunities were very restricted due to large numbers of four legged landing obstacles and fields that were vacant had things like power lines in the way so I decided attempting anything further round past Crickhowell with my limited options was not a good idea.

On the way back the south bowl reminded me on how turbulent the ridges can get on windy days so after a couple of beats down to Hay and Back I pushed on out down towards Glasbury to look for thermals. I got some good climbs (after working out how to centre in thermals again) to cloud base which was now at 3,800ft and headed on up wind on a cloud street up to just beyond Brecon and then down to Pen-y-fan. I didn't expect the cloud street to do much but at 3,800ft I pushed forward into wind at 75kt and stayed at 3,800ft all the time expecting it to flunk out, but it kept on going all the way until I hit the blue bit over North Brecon. After then I found blue thermal up to 4,000ft ambled about Pen-y-fan for a short while and with a strong tail wind scooted back to the airfield in some very strong sink.

By XC standards, not magnificent, but a great day for removing rust from one's flying technique.

The car park web cam does not always give you a true picture of what's going on in the air!
John Sniadowski

Tuesday 16 April 2013

Ridge, thermal and SW wave to 5500

Maybe, just maybe, things are getting better at BMGC!

A pretty wild and breezy start to the day with strong SW winds and big bubbly clouds! We got going pretty early with a couple of K13's and a few members plus the eternal ITN boys. HUGE ROUGH thermals plus all the ridges down the Cymdu Valley with good SW wave to 5500 QNH for Robbie and Paul over the scree slope (As always ... what a great spot!)
Robbie Robertson

Monday 25 March 2013

E wave to 10000 QNH

      Soaring the upper Cwmdu wave


      descending in the Junior

We had a great east wave day today at Talgarth.

Doc towed us off into easy to contact wave near the site and quite a few of us got up to around 9000 QFE. Locally, the wave was very rough with one K13 making a fast return after a weak link broke on tow. The wave was a good deal smoother down the Cymdu and, later in the day, a secondary system with beautiful smooth lennies formed above the general cloud.
Robbie Robertson


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Updated: 9 December 2013 MF