13 Logbook 2016
Date FN Pilot P2 From To Task or Route T/O Land Time Kms IGC Pics
25-Feb 741 Rob Ed Dunstable Dunstable Cheltenham-Lower Clopton 12:16 14:51 2:35 223 Rather murky at LGC but cleared late morning to good conditions. A bit spread out at CHL but a nice climb at LCL put us almost on glide. Saw 4,800' once and 3-4kts was around. Fab for Feb.
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28-Feb 742 Steve Ed Dunstable Dunstable Earith O/R 11:59 13:54 1:55 146 An unstable day where we tried to avoid the spread-out and picked our way between the sunny patches which always worked, often delivering 3-4 kts, & once 5 kts. A lovely day to be flying, with crystal clear vis.
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04-Mar 743 Steve Rob Dunstable Dunstable Olney-Swindon-Newbury-Membury 10:54 14:28 3:34 254 Unstable day with threatening showers around. Climbs very variable, often gusty, & some nice streetiing in places. Turned Newbury, short of our intended Basingstoke TP due to the possibility of getting cut off. A bonus day for this week.
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22-Mar 744 Ed Rob Dunstable Dunstable Oakington-Wantage 11:41 14:37 2:56 266 Just on the edge of the overcast. Not very high base but some good runs, only two thermals in the first 130km. Went 7.9/8ths but survived and slowly cleared to nice conditions to the SW. Back in the air at last!
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25-Mar 745 Steve T Hutchings Dunstable Dunstable Chilbolton-Colsterworth 10:36 15:44 5:08 409 Went too early (again!) so got stuck for a while on Chinnor etc ridges. Generally poor run south with weak and variable climbs. Complete change as we came north into ever improving conditions, and some excellent runs. By the time we reached the Rutland area, cloudbase around 4300', and much better climbs with height. Straightforward run home although this involved much street crossing.
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30-Mar 746 Rob Ed Dunstable Dunstable Elmswell-Worcester 11:12 15:41 4:29 451 Forecast was for showers and it was a bit low to begin with but a gentle run out to Elmswell. Some areas of spreadout needed early deviation and slow glides but there were good climbs around. Base picked up to 4,000+ west of the Cotswolds and we saw two showers all day, both to the south. Probably 600 in the day if you'd dared to declare it.
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02-Apr 747 Rob H von Arb San Vittore San Vittore Biasca O/R 16:44 17:31 0:47 44 Short local check flight
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06-Apr 748 Rob T Mills San Vittore San Vittore Massera-Verbania-Aquino valley 11:42 18:30 6:48 300 Extended local flight. Barely soarable at start, but with odd splash of sunshine things perked and allowed a little cross country. Max cb only 8500' very low for location.
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13-Apr 749 Ed Rob Dunstable Dunstable Great Ashfield-Ludlow-Stoney Stratford 11:42 17:16 5:34 526 Expected strong conditions but problems with showers. 1st leg no showers but had to go way north to get any (weak) lift. 2nd leg no showers but cirrus and altocu cutting off the sun. 3rd leg no showers but called it a day near STS as cloud amounts going towards 8/8ths. The odd good climb and a nice run on the 2nd leg, Lakenheath controller very friendly, 526km on OLC.
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17-Apr 750 Rob Ed Dunstable Dunstable Axminster-Belvoir Castle 10:43 16:18 5:35 623 A bit soft for the first 60km but improved steadily after. Good energy lines for 50km in and out of AXM, then more climb and glide. Never got low, found regular 4-6kt averages and generally had a choice of things to aim for and speeds to fly at, which is unusual for the UK! Some spreadout on the northern part of the task, a minor deviation at BVR then a pleasant glide home. Probably another 200km in the day but given the air temperature at 6,000' we might wait until it gets warmer to try it...
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18-Apr 751 Steve A Harrison Dunstable Dunstable Butser Hill-Firle Beacon-Nympsfield 10:10 16:37 6:27 512 Low CB on the leg south, but good climbs nevertheless in cold unstable NE'ly. The South Downs ridge was softer than expected, and we got hung up a couple of times waiting for height to cross gaps, probably down to my relative inexperience of the ridges. Loss of time encouraged us to turn short at NYM. Return leg into increasing spreadout, but still surprising to find the climbs to bring us back.
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24-Apr 752 Rob L Allen Dunstable Dunstable Eyebrook O/R 11:54 14:28 2:34 180 Nice for a while, then mid level came over and killed the day.
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26-Apr 753 Ed Rob Dunstable Dunstable Sixpenny Handley-Bishops Castle 10:12 15:43 5:31 531 Forecast was a bit more showery than had been mooted the night before but we thought we'd give it a go. OK down to SIX, then several shower lines developed. Managed to get through a tiny gap in one then followed another until it all merged together. By then there was no way out, so horizon on and sucked up at 10kts into a cunim. Fell out the back and a little grovel but reconnected. By then we'd pretty much given up with the task, so followed a convergence to Cheltenham then saw a gap with a street and the task was back on! 5K base and 4-5kt averages, got better the more NW we went. Fairly straightforward home with a great run along the sunny side of a shower line from Banbury. Fab vis, I think we got the task about right in the end.  
29-Apr 754 Steve M Hayden Dunstable Dunstable Sixpenny Handley-Bishops Castle 10:13 13:17 3:04 207 Exercise in dodging big very gusty showers, the first of which was too early and stopped any notion of a task. Then the real trough arrived, so end of... 
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30-Apr 755 Rob P Houlahan Dunstable Dunstable Chilbolton-Lyvedon-Chievely 10:26 15:14 4:48 472 Started early based on forecast of showers to come. Central areas looked the place to be and maybe with a trough line in the flow some good runs. The fun started at Northampton with some spectacular showers developing, so a gentle glide in and out of Lyvedon, then followed a great run along the shower line to just short of Bicester. That same line beat me to Dunstable and had wait 10 minutes or so for the rain to clear before being able to finish. Brought my 106kph down to 99kph:( Great day to fly on, just for the variety of sky, magnificent visibility to see it all and some stunning climbs.
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03-May 756 Rob Ed Dunstable Dunstable Tavistock-West Meon Hut 10:23 16:48 6:25 767 The forecasts all pointed to the SW being better, with the possibility of some convergences. Not a bad run out, latched onto a line south of Yeovil that went to Exeter. 5,500' base over Dartmoor, fell a bit into the turn but it looked like you could have gone quite a bit further into Cornwall. Reconnected with the convergence but it fizzled out near Compton Abbas and we didn't think it worth going down to the coast. Much more spread out after the turn, climbed at Lasham then down several gears and a bit of deviation to get home. Great views of the Jurassic coast and Devon, well worth going down there.
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14-May 757 Steve D Adams Dunstable Dunstable Bembridge-Pitsford-Stockbridge 09:53 16:31 6:38 586 Spreadout and blue patches were the main features. Not really as Topmeteo forecast. Best cloudbase achieved 4500', and not many climbs were that consistent. Still very enjoyable, especially to the IOW.
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15-May 758 Ed Rob Dunstable Dunstable Chilbolton-Lyvedon-Chievely 10:24 18:32 8:08 767 OK until hit a reluctant patch between Marlborough and Devizes. Better run past Exeter but the hoped for convergences seemed in short supply. More spread out until Dorchester then opened up a bit - got a clearance from Bournemouth and Southampton and had about 30k of sea breeze until we had to leave it for the TP. Lots of cloud on the run in to Cirencester but it cycled slowly and there was always some sun to go for. Twisty thermals but some quite good cores. Glad we hadn't been too ambitious when we crept back on 1-2kts in a dying sky. 
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16-May 759 Ed T Walker Dunstable Dunstable Kilmington-Welshpool 11:35 17:00 5:25 530 Nice start, with good thermals and runs. Became more difficult beyond Membury and struggled a bit in and out of KTN, between 1500 & 2500AGL seemed to be the norm. Talked to Bristol who were helpful as usual. Sea air up the Channel, just made it to the Forest of Dean on the right side of a convergence. After that, fairly straightforward with 4-5k bases and a good energy run home from Welshpool. A better day than anticipated, almost didn't go flying after the forecast the day before.
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22-May 760 Rob Ed Dunstable Carlisle via York 12:10 16:55 4:45 434 Followed the weather, lucky it followed the task! No problems until north of the Humber where it became a bit spread out and showers started. One route over the Pennines which we gratefully used, pushed through cunims then a fab bit of tourism over the Lake District. Carlisle friendly and we plan to launch tomorrow, destination ???
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23-May 761 Ed Rob Carlisle Kirkbride Laggan Bridge then Dumfries and Galloway 10:54 17:24 6:30 614 Started from Carlisle, base a bit low but it crept slowly up as we progressed north into the higher ground. Lack of wind helped with the confidence. Clearance from Edinburgh, ran north to c.50k shy of Inverness but showers over the turn made it look unlikely. Turned back under a 6700' base then a good run back with a clearance from Glasgow this time, gave us a band 3000-5000 to work which was really helpful. Explored out towards Stranraer as the trough line had become active over Carlisle, landed at Kirkbride which turned out to be a good choice. Stunning views of the Borders and the Scottish Highlands.
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24-May 762 Rob Ed Kirkbride Dunstable via Lake District, Pennines, Woodvale, Rhyl and Hay-on-Wye 11:10 16:59 5:49 501 Took off from Kirkbride, just a few miles from Scotland. 5500 base over the lakes at 11am, cruised south with the option of E around Leeds or W over the sea to Wales. Chose the interesting route and got to 5k on a sea breeze near Woodvale, then a slow glide round the airspace past Liverpool to Lleweni Parc. Not bad from there on but most of the time the streets didn't seem to be aligned with anything and there were some long glides to uncertain thermals at times. 
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25-May 763 Steve M Biggs Dunstable Dunstable Downham Market-Newmarket-Edgehill 10:28 15:36 5:08 346 Low (first half) and tortuously slow in generally woolly thermals. Wisps generally produced better than developed clouds. Anticipating a cut-off c 1630, we abandoned on the leg west.
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18-Jun 764 Steve   Dunstable Dunstable Local 14:14 15:07 0:53 35      
19-Jun 765 Steve N Tillett Dunstable Dunstable Grantham-Upwood 09:59 14:12 4:13 272 Just had to fly! Weak difficult conditions made worse on leg north by top cover arriving earlier than planned. Initially abandoned north-bound leg at Corby, but temp clearance in the top cover stoked it up again for a brief while. Best we saw was cb 3000' but mostly we were 1k' lower. Hoped we would have better conditions into the SE, but not to be, and we threw in the towel at Upwood. Pleased we flew, even in silly conditions.
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21-Jun 766 Ed A Sampson Dunstable Dunstable Docking-Colchester-Earith 10:57 16:48 5:51 436 Good runs to start with but base lowered to 2,500 approaching DOC. Managed to get to Colchester after holding and grinding but didn't quite contact on the way out, lit up in the Earl's Colne circuit. Managed to soar back to LGC under the glook, long glide out from a cloud climb at Cambridge just got us to the next thermal at Bedford.
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24-Jun 767 Steve A Paul Dunstable Gransden Lodge Great Yarmouth-Gransden Lodge(LO) 10:22 14:12 3:50 321 Really nice run downwind to Great Yarmouth, although trickier near the coast. Then back into wind, which had eased, so we thought it was on. Lakenheath undemanding both ways. Around Chatteris, the showers started, we couldn't make Ramsey (well done to TJ who did), and faced with walls of rain, we dropped in to Gransden. Thanks to Robert Welford, Andy Beatty and Phil Jeffery at Grandsden for the tea, hospitality, humour and help. Got back to DUN in a brief window
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24-Jun 768 Steve A Paul Gransden Lodge Dunstable   15:21 15:58 0:37 45  
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27-Jun 769 Ed S Hayley Dunstable Dunstable Dorchester-Chippenham-Craven Arms 12:00 18:02 6:02 561 Last of three cold fronts eventually cleared, good run as far as Salisbury then lower and weaker. Crept up on the eastern edge of Somerset/Wiltshire as poor air was flooding in from the Bristol Channel. Didn't get good again until the Forest of Dean, then base rose significantly. Could see cirrus appearing so a race into the turn then energy lines on the way home so a 140km final glide. The high cover paced us back so 20mins later and it would have been difficult.  
03-Jul 770 Ed Rob Dunstable Dunstable Mablethorpe-Worthen-Corwen 10:03 17:26 7:23 684 Finally a half-decent day after all the rain! Not a bad run up to about 50k short of MBL then lots of spreadout. Crept round the turn and followed a crack of sunshine. Difficult until past Syerston where it opened out. Some good climbs then missed the bubble going NW from WTM and a bit of a grovel. Looked nice over the hills but climbs hard to find. Decided to exit the high ground, little bit of uncertainty until Shrewsbury, then finally broke through up to nearly 6k. Sky much better after that, only a handful more climbs needed to get a good glide home. 
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05-Jul 771 Ed T Jenkinson Dunstable Dunstable Longleat-Nympsfield-Carreg Cannen Castle 11:43 18:14 6:31 556 A fair amount of spreadout on the way out and good climbs were a long way apart. Better beyond the Severn, looked OK in Wales but lower base and rapid cycling. Had to use the ridges on the Brecon Beacons on several occasions, base went below 3k near Sennybridge, just where it would have been nice to be a bit higher. Crept round the TP then a bit of a struggle, frankly. Improved from Cheltenham then not too bad. Overall we found the clouds very hard to read and energy lines didn't last very long but good to be flying!
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06-Jul 772 Rob Ed Dunstable Dunstable N Walsham-Ipswich-N Walsham 10:56 17:10 6:14 516 RASP said convergences on the east coast, so off we went. Nice to start then soft until over the sandy soil near Mundford. Clearance from Norwich, met sea breeze near the TP then Ipswich and back along the coast. Not an amazing convergence but it did work in places. Last 120k a bit of a grind under overcast, don't think we could have got much further in the direction of home.
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13-Jul 773 Ed Rob Dunstable Dunstable Mendlesham-Thrapston-Winslow 10:09 14:21 4:12 333 High were our hopes and fair the wind at our backs when we set off... Unfortunately, after a reasonable run to MEN, bands of showers started appearing. Saved it near Ely then ran into a wall of rain near Kettering. Good energy along it and we eventually found a gap but it didn't look like it was worth pushing through as lots of showers ahead, confirmed by the weather radar.
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14-Jul 774 Rob L Roberts Dunstable Dunstable Plymouth-Stockbridge-Bicester 10:18 17:23 7:05 634 Cloudbase took ages to rise so had a closer look at the Jurassic coast than usual on the way out. Interesting line of strong lift and high cloudbase immediately downwind of Dartmoor. From there in and out of Plymouth proved tricky with difficult to find climbs in a messy looking sky. Once back downwind of Dartmoor it was a straight forward return with some good thermals.
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21-Jul 775 Rob  Ed Dunstable Dunstable Wantage-Ely-Beverley 10:27 17:07 6:40 617 OK to Oxford then a bit patchy. Slow in and out then an improving run to Ely. Top cover made the thermals a little random but just when you thought it was dying a better climb turned up. Talked to Coningsby, not bad round the turn then slower and weaker with spreadout and cirrus combining to cut off the sun. Took several weak climbs to stay in contact but not quite on glide. A surprise 7kts near Santa Pod for a fast final glide but it looked pretty dead after.
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23-Jul 776 Rob S Venables Dunstable Dunstable Boston-Chilbolton-Oakham 10:36 17:10 6:34 621 Quite a small area to fit a big task in, so chose Boston as a first TP, though wished I hadn't as it was barely soarable for 20k in and out. Then things improved heading South into a really nice day though I feel sure I didn't get my fair share of 6kt thermals. 
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25-Jul 777 Ed   Dunstable Dunstable Newent-Reedham-Colchester-Rattlesden 10:39 17:26 6:47 617 OK run until west of Enstone then lots of spreadout. Committed to a glide-out to near the TP (why oh why didn't I go east like everyone else?) and got away fairly low. Didn't see a decent climb until I had waffled to past Banbury, then much better. Sea air just coming in at the turn, base now 4.5-5 with 3-5kts. Hit some spread after Cambridge but not too problematic, nice 3kt glide home. Due lack of a P2 flew on my own today, could have really done with a bit more weight in the runs. Talked to Gloucester and Cambridge ATC instead.
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30-Jul 778 Steve Chula Dunstable Dunstable Wragby-Bedford-Thame 10:31 15:39 5:08 377 Top cover & spreadout, but mainly topcover meant we needed to deviate considerably from intended track. Just couldn't make the last 50k (wot again!) to intended TP at Scunthorpe, & pleased to have made it back. Some nicely behaved thermals under some of the glook.
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31-Jul 779 Ed T Russell Dunstable Dunstable Plymouth-Four Marks 10:32 17:16 6:44 653 Made a last minute decision to go SW rather than Yorks/Norfolk. Difficult with medium cover until past Didcot then opened out. A fair amount of spreadout, took a cloud climb to jump it then a bit of a convergence along the Jurassic Coast. OK in and out of the turn, looked like you could have gone further but with difficulty. Another convergence gave us a free run of about 50k in zero sink under a wide shelf. Very good in Southampton's zone (thanks)
then a couple more climbs and home. Also spoke to Boscombe, Old Sarum, Bournemouth and Exeter. 
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05-Aug 780 Steve T Rose Dunstable Dunstable Newbury-Gainsborough 09:51 16:22 6:31 476 Very slow to get going, stuck on ridge at Halton. Several low points, too much RT to too many airfields in their ATZ's, but special thanks Barkston Heath who were really helpful. Good to have got back, an interesting flight, but another uncompleted.
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06-Aug 781 Rob Ed Dunstable Dunstable Didcot-Driffield-Great Ashfield 10:55 18:30 7:35 650 Bit blue at DID but OK climbs. Managed to get 3-4kt averages for most of the rest of the flight although they took a lot of searching for. Lot of effort to get on glide, was 1,100' over 20k out then bad air and gave up about 7k short.
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07-Aug 782 Steve L Pike Dunstable Dunstable Andoversford-Bedford-Cherington 11:09 15:29 4:20 361 Delighted at last to have completed a task, whatever size! Breezy day, challenging in parts, some nice runs up & down wind, some nice 4-5 kt climbs. Mostly below 4k', with the day dying rapidly at BIC.
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09-Aug 783 Rob J Jeffries Dunstable Dunstable Brecon O/R 11:38 16:11 4:33 407 Started as a short flight for JJ, which led us to Gloucester. Conditions quickly improved further West, so flew the NW face of the Black Mountains, then Pen-y-fan, before running home under some wonderful clouds. A great flight all round
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14-Aug 784 Steve H Jones Dunstable Dunstable Crediton-Fordingbridge 09:56 16:34 6:38 531 8/8 at DUN when we launched, & remained that way until Marlborough, but was soarable nevertheless. One low point in the first of the sunshine, then conditions improving really nicely to the SW for a straightforward run to Crediton & back (apart from Glastonbury which is always bad). Return was fine until weakening around Benson, & last low point near Aylesbury. It was a combined harvester that kicked off our last climb to FG.
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26-Aug 785 Steve P Stammell Dunstable Dunstable Wendling-Wantage 10:00 15:56 5:56 409 Just too slow in the blue heading east, poor conditions & too many low points. Coming back we eventually met cu at Wyton, and conditions became significantly better for the run as far as Oxford. Then out into blue again (but now with haze caps) & not enough time to complete, so abandoned at Wantage. A day of many parts.
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29-Aug 786 Ed Rob Dunstable Dunstable Cray Rservoir O/R 11:32 16:19 4:47 424 Rather low and gloopy at Dunstable, first reasonable climb in the Bicester circuit. Carried on with the low theme until past the Cotswold edge then improved a lot. Nice run in and out of Cray along the tops with converging winds on either side. Base went to 5,000' in the end with good thermals so a good run home. Probably another 200km in the day if you'd dared and didn't believe the forecast...
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04-Sep 787 Steve Rob Llanbedr Llanbedr Local 12:17 12:57 0:40 52 Local familiarisation flight
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07-Sep 788 Rob C Hampson-Jones Llanbedr Llanbedr Local 13:14 16:30 3:16 85 Colin Hampson-Jones, extended local flight  
10-Sep 789 Rob M Barrowman Llanbedr Llanbedr Cadair Idris-Bangor-Lleyn Peninisular-Snowdon 12:43 17:32 4:49 222 Fascinating flight just above Cadair Idris then moved North to Snowdon followed by a convergence near Bangor, back to Snowdon before following a cloud street almost the whole length of the Lleyn peninsular, final mounatinside climb of Snowdon before heading home. Great day in Snowdonia.  
14-Sep 790 Rob C Taunton Llanbedr Llanbedr Local to Snowdonia 12:45 17:28 4:43 149 Wave flight behind Snowdon, not sure why there was wave as the wind was only 5 knots at times nevertheless we reached 14200' with some stunning lenticulars for company. Then a nasty surprise as the whole area went gloopy with 8/8ths from the South, we could only just make out the runways when 3000' above. A reminder of how the time to descend from high altitude can be overtaken by weather below!
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16-Sep 791 Rob E Hollinshead Llanbedr Llanbedr Local to Snowdonia 11:27 14:25 2:58 151 Wave above and around cu to near 10k, Cadai working well on ridge though rather cloudy
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16-Sep 792 Rob C Marriott Llanbedr Llanbedr Local to Snowdonia 15:10 17:48 2:38 123 Similar flight though not quite so high
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21-Sep 793 Rob D Keegan Llanbedr Llanbedr Local to Snowdonia 11:34 15:32 3:58 115 Weak wave in the Mawddach valley  
26-Sep 794 Ed N Kelly Portmoak Portmoak Portmoak local 13:40 14:16 0:36 27    
27-Sep 795 Ed Christine Portmoak Portmoak Glenfarg-Tarland 13:08 18:24 5:16 239 Quick clearance into a strong westerly flow. Wave around but the clouds were fairly poor indicators. Fairly extensive cover to the W which broke up in the edge of the hills. Ended up near Aboyne and decided to get as much height as possible to get back, which was a wise decision with winds up to 93kts in places. Moderately hairy getting back, Scottish ATC helpful with a pre-arranged use of P600 if we wanted it. Blustery describes Portmoak on landing but survived.  
29-Sep 796 Ed Steve Portmoak Portmoak Portmoak local 12:15 14:37 2:22 51 Steve celebrating 45 years since soloing at Portmoak in a fundamentally dissimilar glider, a T21.