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Portmoak 2019

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Wednesday was a very windy day with about 15 G 25kts. Everyone was required to fly with an instructor, but the wind meant the ridge was working well and we all got to about 3000'. Chris took the last launch of the day and saw a wonderful sunset from 3000', shown in the picture. However, flying in the clouds and with cold temperatures, the airbrakes froze close and a sideslip landing was planned, until they unseized at low level. A useful lesson learned, but a stunning flight nonetheless.
 
[[File:Portmoak2019_3.jpg|thumb|left|The view south from 8000']]
Thursday was flyable but with light winds, so the ridge didn't work. Jenn and Rob stayed behind to get some circuit practice while the rest of us went walking in the local hills to a reservoir.
Friday was not forecast to be good but turned out to be the best day of the week. Chris and Timo started early with check flights to be allowed to go solo in the Junior. The wind was in the right direction and wave had setup on the local ridge. We easily got to 4000' on the check flights and had to come down to give others a go. Chris went off in the Junior soon after and got to 8200' (and could have got higher if he wasn't called to come down...). Fantastic views, but extremely cold and he suffered from exterior icing on his descent. Unfortunately the wind died down into the afternoon and the wave weakened, but still a fantastic experience for those who got the chance.
As with last year, it was a fantastic week. Hours flown ranged from 3 to 6, with each of us flying on at least 3 days. Our thanks go to the staff and instructors at Portmoak for being fantastic hosts once again. We'll be back in December 2020.
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