Friday 19th to Wednesday 24th June
Posted: 25/06/2015 10:38
Friday 19th. A moderate and somewhat variable NWly wind brought a few isolated showers and a cloud base of around 2,000' asl to start, this slowly improving to 3,000' as as the day progressed. The start of the flying day was delayed by the low cloud base and the day overall did not produce much in the way of soaring conditions, this being confirmed by the fact that of the 11 ATs flown, all in either one of the K21s or the DG500, no one had a flight time of over an hour and only one over 30 minutes. This latter accomplishment was achieved by Steve Thompson and course member Peter Dowker who had 37 minutes in the K21, they being helped in this achievement by a tow to 3,600' QFE. Of those taking more modest 2,000' QFE tows, Andy Parish and Tom Dale had 25 minutes in the K21 while Andy and Jon Ince had 22 minutes in the DG500, a single sortie in the Falke concluding the day's flying activities.
Saturday 20th. Low cloud and rain in a light to moderate SE'ly flow meant it was a non flying day, a clearance to a moderate W'ly flow with a higher cloud base coming too late to allow flying to take place.
Sunday 21st. A moderate to fresh W'ly gusting to around 30 kts and broken cloud meant a good winching day with 40 launches, these including 9 Private owner and 2 self launches. The accompanying soaring conditions meant that 15 of the flights exceeded and hour and an additional fourteen 30 minutes, as members and the 3 First Flight pupils of the day made the most of hill, thermal and wave. The latter proved somewhat difficult to contact and mobile in strength and location, with Jesper Mjels only contacting the wave on his second flight of the day and thereby getting to 8,600' asl and crossing the Pennines to reach the Lake District in his DG800. His return was a little less straight forward as, losing the wave, it was accomplished by a series of ridge soaring and engine on episodes. Bob Calvert in his Ventus Bt had the longest flight of the day, 5 hrs, with Martyn Johnson in his DG600 having 3:40, Darren Lodge in his LS8 3:12 and Wyn Davies in his LS7, 3:37. Tony Drury flew the club DG303 for 2:02 while the achievements of the day's two seater pilots were represented by Brian Wise and Adrian Melia who had 48 minutes in the DG500 and Chris Gill with his guest Nigel who had 46 minutes in the same glider.
Monday 22nd. An intially NW'ly flow soon veered into the N with a marked increase in wind speed to moderate to fresh,with gusts to around 30 kts. This change was accompanied by a drop in temperature of 2C in the early afternoon, as a little but active depression brought 7.5 mm of rain to the site. With a wind chill temperature of 5C it was definitely a day for staying indoors.
Tuesday 23rd. A light to moderate N'ly started the day accompanied by a low overcast that did not start to break up until the middle of the afternoon, the wind then becoming light. These improving conditions allowed flying to commence just after 1500 hrs and continue for a couple of hours, during which time 6 ATs were flown, 3 of these for private owners and only K21 KLW flown from the club fleet. The flying log indicated that Wyn Davies flying his LS7 had the longest flight of the day, 44 minutes, but didn't record the landing time of Bob Calvert in his Ventus Bt, so Wyn was the only pilot to officially record more than 30 minutes in the air. Mike Smith, flying the K21 as PI, recorded 28 minutes with the day's only First Flight pupil Nigel Stonehouse and 27 minutes with Peter Wright while the Falke's single sortie added to the day's flying activities.
Wednesday 24th. A light to moderate W'ly blew all day, the visibility improving as the day wore on, this being appreciated by the group of 17 WI members and husbands who enjoyed a pleasant evening's flying, as well as a satisfying meal courtesy of Liz. Variable thermal conditions, weak hill lift and even weaker wave meant an interesting soaring day for all concerned, the thermal conditions lasting well into the evening when the convective cloud base reached around 4,500' asl. The strength of the sunshine was moderated by the presence of high cloud all day, but the conditions persuaded 5 private owners to launch, although only Phil Lazenby in his Pegase was known to go cross country, his original task with TPs at Burn and Hawes being reduced to a Burn O/R, the O being characterised by some strong climbs but the return being characterised by the converse. Phil's flight time of 2:39 was bettered by who else but Bob Calvert, who had 4:15 in his Ventus Bt, and by Wyn Davies who had 3:21 in his LS7. Mike Smith, determined to add to his solo hours after house move/extension distractions, added 2:39 via 2 flights in the DG303, one of these being on the list of the 5 flights to exceed and hour on the day with the other being one of the 13 to exceed 30 minutes. The latter also included Peter Wright who had 57 minutes in Astir KRN and Andy Parish and Jon May who had 47 minutes in the DG1000 as Jon undertook the revalidation of his instructor rating. Liz and Kevin Kieley both took K21 JVZ for solo flights of 54 and 47 minutes respectively while Polly Whitehead, flying K21 KlW solo, was enjoying some late afternoon thermal flying when she realised that the aircraft was required for the WI group and sportingly landed after 40 minutes. In all the day saw 46 ATs for members, WI visitors and 6 First Flight pupils, the only slight disruption to normal flying activities coming when the arrival of the Air Ambulance to an accident on the hairpin bend of Sutton Bank required all circuits to be flown left handed onto runways 20 or 24.