Ged and myself made it to Keevil Friday evening, and after a delay due to trailer electrics on the tow vehicle, Ray, Matt and Rick arrived Sat PM. Since Ged and I were sharing the cirrus, we agreed that Ged would fly on Sunday, and I would fly Sat after the rain of Friday night has passed through.
My task was a 101km with 3 turnpoints, Keevil, Pewsey, Frome, Devizes, Keevil. After a slow start in the morning to rig and let the rain clear, I launched into a reasonable sky, at 1pm and after a slow scratchy climb out under a low base of about 2600 QNH (2400 QFE), made it to Pewsey (24km) without too much difficulty. Base had now risen to 3400QHN (3200QFE). The push into a 25kt wind to Frome was difficult and every time I got low and circled, I was heading back towards Pewsey, so after a few tries at this, I decided to head towards clouds further away along my into wind track. Alas however, I quickly lost too much height, and not having much to start with, I was now looking at landing options. The cloud I wanted didn’t really work so after a short battle with weak thermals, I headed to my land-out which was a small private airstrip with a windsock. This was to be my first out landing, so I chose carefully to put the glider down in the middle of the field away from the edges and long grass. To my surprise I stopped very quickly as the ground away from the narrow main grass strip that the light aircraft use, was soft and not as expected. However a safe landing to add to my log book at an airstrip called ‘Lydeway’
|Retrieve by tractor|
|Not exactly easy access|
The sky looked promising, but the wind was always to be an issue today, and after making the first turnpoint at Membury, he like many was not able to push into the strong winds and ended up landing out. So day 2 was a second retrieve for the open cirrus.
|Ged on aerotow|
|Landing in a meadow|
|Matt and the Pirat|
|Matt ready to launch|
Finally on Sunday after the Cirrus was retrieved from a hay meadow, we all headed home after a full and fun weekend with Bannerdown Gliding at Keevil. Special thanks to Ray Swinfield for pulling the club Pirat and crewing for us. Hopefully next time he will get a chance to fly.
I will publish the scores when I have them.