Sunday 24th. An old front moving south around the high pressure in the Atlantic gave a little bit of rain in the morning and a low overcast that lasted all day in the light to moderate N’ly wind, thus preventing any flying.
Monday 25th. The continuing N’ly wind fell to light by mid morning and generally clear skies after the clearance of some cloud allowed the Eurofox to undertake 3 tows off runway 02. Photos of the day’s operations can be found on the Eurofox portion of the Blog. With smooth conditions aloft and no lift, all 3 flights in K21 JVZ logged 15 minutes, a tribute to John Taylers sense of fairness and timekeeping as he flew twice with Duncan Pask and once with Howard Marshall. Dick Cole has given us a report of towing from the Eurofox, so would those who have had a Eurofox tow like to contribute their impressions from the glider end. If so please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tuesday 26th. The wind had become light and variable, starting off in the ESE and finishing up in the WSW. Skies were generally cloudy with Altostratus to start but soon cleared to sunny blue and 7 ATs were flown in either the DG1000, the Astir or the Ka8. Again the conditions were not condusive to staying up but, off the last flight of the day, Rob Bailey managed to keep the Ka8 aloft for 33 exhilarating minutes, beating the 25 minutes of John Tayler and M Bullen in the the DG1000 and the 24 minutes of Mike Wood in the Ka8.
Wednesday 27th. With the anticyclone starting to decline, the wind had become a light NW’ly so all 4 ATs of the day took off from runway 24 the subsequent landings being on runway 20. The altrocumulus layer proved no restriction to flying although a line of long lasting Virga to the SE of the site provoked some discussion at the launch point. A photo of this is shown below.
Pupils John Martin and Tony Lowes found the smooth conditions aloft ideal for training, with Chris Gill taking John on his 3rd and 4th flights and also spending time with Tony on the Simulator while Ian Plant returned from a Navex and field landing trip in the Falke. Ian then took Tony for the final flight of the day in K21 JVZ, the steed for all 4 flights, and managed to eke out 24 minutes, the longest of the day. While Ian and Tony were flying, the launch point crew observed a Hercules do a shallow climb through the layer of Altocumulus, producing condensation trails as it approached the underneath of the cloud sheet. The passage of the aircraft and/or its condensation trails then caused the super cooled water droplets comprising the cloud to turn to ice crystals which grew and descended before eventually evapourating. The following photo of the developing Fall Streak Hole in the layer of Altocumulus was taken about 30 minutes after the Hercules climbed into the cloud, its subsequent path through and above the cloud being evident in the photo. Within a further 30 minutes, all the ice crystals had evapourated, leaving just a hole in the Altocumulus layer, but by this time as was half way home down the A1.
I dd think about staying at the club to witness the sunset as the sun dropped below the cloud layer, illuminating it from below, but decided to go home where I arrived just in time to get this shot of the sunset.