Ottery glider pilot soars to Diamond height

Ottery St Mary glider pilot Pete Startup with fellow Devon and Somerset Gliding Club pilots Stu Proc

Ottery St Mary glider pilot Pete Startup with fellow Devon and Somerset Gliding Club pilots Stu Procter and Tom Sides in Scotland - Credit: Archant

At this time of year, members of Devon and Somerset Gliding Club often trail their gliders to other gliding sites seeking new experiences and achievements, writes Jill Harmer.

This week one group visited Scottish Gliding Union at Portmoak in Scotland, and another group visited Midland Gliding Club at Long Mynd in Shropshire.

Both groups enjoyed good weather and flying conditions and many hours soaring into the mountains, the trip to Scotland also saw some FAI badge claims.

Congratulations, to Pete Startup from Ottery St Mary who has achieved his Diamond height (height gain of 5000m), Stu Procter from Dunkeswell and Tom Sides from Ipplepen both achieved their Gold height (height gain of 3000m). High flights can be achieved in gliders by flying in ‘lee wave conditions’ where the air blows over the mountains and produces a ripple effect.

Back at North Hill, the first summer course enjoyed 5 days of flying, with Gordon Hutchinson from Exmouth working his way back to solo flying after a bit of a break, and James Smart from Upottery flew solo in a glider - a change from his day job as a Commercial Pilot.

You may also want to watch:

Devon and Somerset Gliding Club are holding an Open Weekend on Saturday and Sunday, April 29 and 30. We are hoping for some good weather and lots of visitors to experience the thrill of silent flight, no booking is required.

For more information on all things Devon and Somerset Gliding Club visit

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