Buzzing with Excitement

Visited Darlton Gliding Club on Saturday 20th July 2019 on the off chance of getting a flight in a glider for my 11 year old grandson.

Arrived just as the weather started to improve and we were given a very warm welcome from all the members there. They were very friendly and made both of us feel at ease.

Very soon my grandson was kitted out with the safety gear, weights were added to help with stability and he was up in the air for his first ever glider flight. He was absolutely overjoyed with the experience.

A second take off and flight soon followed. It was an amazing experience for him, one he will never forget and when he found out he had become a temporary junior member, he couldn’t wait to arrange another visit for the next weekend.

I can’t thank the pilot Dave enough for the way he treated and interacted with my grandson. It made his day – he was buzzing with excitement. Thanks to all there and hope to see you again soon.

Eddie’s 80th


I can’t thank you enough for today – my dad is a man of few words and I have never heard him say something is brilliant but he did today.

He hasn’t stopped talking about it all day and says it’s the best birthday gift ever.

You have gone out of your way for him and made his birthday special – thank you.

Please also thank your son, the pilot and the other gentleman, the whole experience has been amazing.

I will send you pictures tomorrow when we’ve sorted them out from pictures of clouds!

Kindest regards


Darlton Powers Up!

Until recently, the lack of mains electricity at DGC has comprimised many aspects to the club’s saftety, security and ameneties.

That changed however on Saturday 30th Septemeber when, after nearly two years since the first application was made to Sport England, Mike Brown flicked the switch and mains electricity became a reality at DGC.

The switch on ceremony, witnessed by Alison Randle (BGA Development Officer) and a group of DGC members, was the culmination of a project that has seen a lot of time and hard work given freely by club members and a grant from Sport England.

The new mains power supply will enable improved training facilities, and access to the Internet would will release significant additional training resources.

The addition of a proposed flight simulator will offer valuable opportunities for teaching, training, entertainment and participation on non-flying days of inclement weather, and improved welfare facilities such as lighting, heating, shower, and food storage will be a huge benefit to all members.

The club would like to extend its gratitude to all those who have contributed their time to ensuring the success of this project: Pete Storey, Roger and Julie Starling, Steve Payne, Ron Vickers, Ian Burgin, Dave Bowns, Robert Tatlow, John Maddison, Chris Gadsby, everybody else that I have not named here (please accept my apologies), and of course, Mike Brown without whom the project would not have succeeded.

Our flying visit last Sunday

We wanted to thank you all for such a great visit last weekend.  We were all a little nervous but were put at ease by everyone’s professionalism, kindness and understanding.  It was a huge adventure and we enjoyed every moment.  Amy was a star, so patient and Jill thought you were great. 
We would recommend this to anyone who is a little apprehensive, the fears will soon go.  An amazing experience and such kudos with everyone we have told, and believe us we are telling everyone!
Thanks so much, we certainly plan to come again .
Tina, Lee and Jill Sinclair and Roger Cox

Pocklington TSC – Day 2 (a different perspective)

Jack Carter has sent this in to share with you all. 

The photo is unrelated to this post but the BBC were caught filming DGC’s Janus, so we thought we’d share it with you.

On with Jack’s story:

Pilots – myself and Craig Hobson.


Early start this morning to grid the gliders before the briefing at 10:00. However, many chucked their aircraft on the runway and ditched them to rush to the briefing early and pinch all the task sheets. Then there were also the opposites who probably missed the memo and went to add theirs to the grid later than everyone else. This caused the pressing to take longer than it needed to. It gave the BBC plenty of time to prepare their cameras though.


Once we’d managed to grid and press the gliders, we headed over to the clubhouse for briefing, where we discovered that they’d managed to forget to provide DTC with a table. So we made one for ourselves. Alongside this, we had no task sheet, but this was consistent with half of the room due to the thieving teams stole them earlier. The briefing commenced with a quick notification about the BBC’s visit; followed by the regular site rules and info; then came the optimistic weather report; then the briefing was concluded with the course: POC-WET-PCT-MEX-CCR-BRN-POC, which was around 226km. (A near-impossible distance for today). Once the briefing was over we collected a freshly printed task sheet or two for our team. We then returned to our region of the campsite and prepared for the flight.


The initial launch time of “No launches before 1130” was pushed on further into the day as the sniffer hunted for any hope of decent flight. During this time, the BBC crew were taken up for a flight in the club’s motor glider. The sniffer struggled on for quite some time and then we finally heard the much welcomed “All pilots and tugs to launch point immediately” at about 13:30. So we drove over to the launch point on runway 18 and Craig and I prepared for launch.


We took off swiftly after we arrived thanks to the efficiency and quantity of tugs. Our launch was fairly uneventful with few turns; we released at 2000ft. After we released we found trickles of lift dotted around, so we decided to join four other gliders in a thermal, most of which were higher than us. Soon afterwards we left the thermal as we saw a small wisp of a cloud forming. After about 2-3 turns underneath the cloud two of the gliders from the previous thermal decided to follow us to the point where there were three of us all circling in the same thermal at the same height, nose to tail. Then suddenly the FLARM started wailing at us and someone raced past underneath us and pulled up in front of us, joining the thermal. So now there were four of us in the same thermal, nose to tail.


We decided that it would be best to leave after several turns in the thermal as it wasn’t generating much lift. We then proceeded to do some lone flying and headed towards Elvington picking up any thermal activity along the way. At this point we had been scratching away, trying to climb enough to get away to the first turning point. Technology wasn’t on our side as Craig’s Oudie wasn’t working and I wasn’t sure how to read or operate the Oudie. It didn’t take long, however, but at that point it didn’t matter because we had very little chance of getting far. After hunting for rising air, we’d lost plenty of height and decided to head back to Pocklington.


After making it back in range of the airfield, less than 900ft, north of runway 18 and prepared to start circuit, there was suddenly some thermal activity more exciting than any other we’d had in the flight. We quickly climbed up and another glider joined our thermal several hundred feet higher than us. Soon after, we reached 2000ft and there was a small amount of lift left there at that point so we headed back towards Elvington and after that we could only find sink and hopped on every tiny slither of lift we passed.


For almost all of the flight, the heat accumulated intensely and it required slurps of water and scoops of air every five seconds or else we could have melted in our seats. At this point in the flight we both agreed that we weren’t getting anywhere and we should land back at Pocklington for a break and cool down, and also see if Richard was willing to fly.


After landing, at around 15:30, we were informed that this was not the case so Craig and I waited 10 minutes to cool off and switch around the technology. And afterwards we were all ready to go and we launched quickly thereafter. The launch was very smooth and uneventful in the same direction as the launch before.


As a matter of fact, the whole flight was fairly short and uneventful with a few dozen turns in 0-3 knots of lift. It had managed to get as hot as last time very quickly. It wasn’t long before Craig and I decided there was no possibility of completing a course and we headed back to land at Pocklington. We entered circuit and hit some decent lift, but we went straight through it as we had committed to landing. Once we turned base leg the vario was screaming at us, which wasn’t much help when landing.


After touching down, the retrieve crew arrived quickly to take the Janus back to its resting area. A few hours later we all ate in the pub and participated in a rather discombobulating quiz

Pocklington 2016 - Day 2

Pocklington TSC – Day 2 (Update)

David Carter, our man in the air, sends in this update:

I took off with Richard in the back at about 1pm and to his massive credit he let me fly the whole trip with some helpful advice but no hands on the controls at all.


Launch was a wild ride behind a Pawnee on a much shorter rope than we are used to at Darlton. 5-10 kts makes quite a difference in how heavy the controls are and it was VERY turbulent, full control deflections needed almost all the way up to 1500 feet, quite a ride.


Once at 2000 we were waved off quickly and connected almost instantly with a decent thermal but because of the wind strength while climbing we were drifting all the time back towards the airfield but perseverance paid off and we quickly climbed beyond 3000 and set off on task towards the city of York.


There were some decent streets working and it was possible to dolphin our way out to Full Sutton where it all fell apart and as we descended through 2000 it was time to find another and with the sky getting busier and busier there were gaggles of gliders to left and right above and below so plenty of choice but no-one really climbing away.


We joined a few gliders in various climbs and tracked backwards and forwards over Full Sutton airfield about four times before I got bored and declared that we were not hanging about here and were pushing on towards the first turn point regardless of the huge blue hole opening up in front of us. Cue negative flap and a 80kt dash across the gap before connecting with some gentle lift under another street and pushing on to the north of York where we had some debate between the Oudie in the front with me and Richard’s GPS in the back as to exactly where the TP was and whether or not we entered the barrel or the sector, but when we’d decided I was talking about this TP and he was talking about the next one we agreed that we were OK and then had the classic debate


“Ok, we’ve made the first TP we’ve got about 2400 feet, do we turn back or go on?”


Happy to say there wasn’t much debate.


“I’m having far too much fun, let’s push on!!!”


So we turned North and headed for Sutton Bank which was clearly visible by the white horse in the distance


At this point we were still in good company with many other gliders and a good lookout wasn’t just important it was absolutely critical as we often had gliders above, below and circling ahead of us. It was a different challenge for me joining thermals with a couple of other gliders and especially the Janus we were following that only wanted to turn left!!! I much prefer turning to the right!


But anyway we kept tracking north towards Sutton Bank but the lift was getting weaker and weaker with less opportunity and the flap lever was getting a lot of work with not a lot of effect.


Other gliders were circling, one or two had made it to the ridge and seemed to be pushing on but at this point we were spotting likely fields as we were circling in zero.


Fountains Abbey was looking pretty but very uninviting and I was working hard looking for some lift from the south end of the hill, which is heavily wooded and the lift was weak and broken.


What was very weird was circling with about 1200 feet on the altimeter and 1000 ish over the valley and what looked like about 300 over the hilltop.


We managed to hold height for about ten minutes but when it became clear that we were not going to make even the top of the ridge to land at Sutton bank then the selection of fields became critical.


Turns out in discussion that we were looking at adjacent fields and while mine was bigger and into wind we would have been landing over the tractor wheelings and they were actually ploughing at the time. Richard’s field was thinner and shorter and crosswind and had cable poles running parallel to the landing run but seemed the better choice because we could run along the wheelings so I opted for that and set up for landing.


However, just to make it extra interesting there was a 200′ wooded hill on base so I ended up thinking that I don’t want to turn behind it into wind in case we have to climb to get over it! So I turned final on the crest of the hill with what looked like the wingtip kissing the trees but was probably a good 100′ clear. Of course, like any gliding landing site, there’s sticking lift in base leg and because of the slope lift and wind direction this was no exception and I actually opened half airbrake as I turned final, kept the nose down to keep speed and really climbed a bit, certainly didn’t go down as expected.


Final turn made, we are then down a glide slope parallel to the hillside and carrying a wee bit too much speed as Richard declares “S**t I don’t think we’re gonna get in here!” I’m ok but accept we’re carrying excess energy, the plus side is we have enough airspeed for solid control and it is still very turbulent as the ground around us us anything but level. The thought passes through my head to ask him to deploy the drag parachute as I’m kinda busy but it figure if he thinks we need it he will do it anyway.


I’d also decided on base leg to land in +8 flap instead of full landing flap as I’m thinking we will need as much aileron authority as I can muster so we are going to float and float as the Janus does in +8 but as I round out the ground swells up to meet us and the float is somewhat shortened. As we contact I pull max airbrake and before I can get to the flap lever, Richard has optimised the time and gone full negative to stick us on the ground meaning that I can squeeze the wheel brake and with stick full back the hedge is still looming.


At about 100′ from the hedge and still rolling I apply gentle left sick to drop the wing and gently ground loop away from the hedge and this is the only time in the flight I feel some resistance in the stick, Richard agrees with me that a slow ground loop was better than rolling into the hedge but his judgement and experience outweighs mine and I feel the resistance to dropping the wing and we come to a stop with about 50′ to the hedge.


My first field landing and we’d walked away with no damage. Bonus!


Lovely people in the farmhouse nearby let us use their phone since we had absolutely no signal and they even took a walk back down to the glider with us with their daughter to take some photos in the glider. (Dad offered to take us to the pub, which was very welcome but we had to decline).


Thanks to Craig and Jack for a speedy retrieve (about and hour and fifteen drive ) with a problematic derig!


All back and happy and DTC sitting in 12th place out of 35 so I’m happy with my day 1 effort and my first comp day and first flight out of a site other than home and first field landing.


Now, sleep ….