Thursday 1st to Friday 2nd October

Thursday 1st.    The anticyclone remained in charge of the weather, although slowly declining, its associated valley fog and low stratus obscuring the failed launch option fields upwind of the site and therefore delaying a start to flying.  The got under way from runway 20 into the light ESE’ly just after 1300 hrs with some optimism that the longer hours of ground heating on the Moors not affected by the low level fog might provide some soaring opportunities.  However, this did not prove to be the case, the 3 flights from the 12 ATs on the day that did exceed 30 minutes, all coming from high tows.  The stable conditions were, however, very suitable for the 4 First Flight pupils of the day, with 1 of them,Charlie Cattell, with instructor John Carter via a Mile High launch, topping the duration list with 42 minutes in the DG500.  Staffordshire GC visitors P Crump and G Sandford had 37 minutes of their high tow while  Graham Taylor, flying Astir KRN, had 36 minutes, again of a high tow.

Friday 2nd. The synoptic situation remained essentially the same so although the site was in clear air the surrounding low ground was immersed in fog, that downwind of the site starting to clear by 1100 hrs while upwind remained completely obscured as the following photos show.



However, the slow clearance of the fog continued and by 1300 hrs the upwind fog had cleared sufficiently to allow flying to commence, with the Falke being first into the air with Albert Newbery and George Rowden on board, the view from the approach to runway 20 being shown in the next photo.


The Falke flight was followed by 14 ATs behind the Eurofox under virtually calm conditions and, with a strong inversion at around 1500′ asl with a distinctly  yellow/brown colour to the to of the  haze layer, all pilots were treated to  smooth and stable flights with not a trace of turbulence or lift.  The layer of air under the inversion was also made more opaque by a number of heather fires which, fortunately, were all downwind of the site.  The lack of lift meant no flight exceeded 30 minutes, with the longest flights of the day the result of 3,000′ QFE tows,  all 5 of the day’s First Flight pupils having this experience and consequently having flight times of between 25 and 28 minutes each.  The flying day was rounded of by Polly Whitehead who took K21 KLW for a solo flight of 24 minutes.  The poor visibility in the  Vale of York in the morning resulted in a diversion from Bagby  by a Saratoga which landed to refuel, before departing later to a now clear Bagby to pick up some jockeys, while in the early afternoon a smart, camouflaged Havard, piloted by a friend of Andy Parish, made a low level fly past en-route to Scotland.   Later in the day a number of members plus trailers made their departure north to be in place for the YGC expedition to Millfield starting on Saturday 3rd of October and Andy Parish flew the Super Cub back to site after its service check at Bagby.

Friday 25th to Wednesday 30th September

Friday 25th.  An unstable WNW’ly blew all day, declining from light to moderate to become light by the end of the flying day.  The conditions encouraged 13 private owners, other club members and visitors to fly, including a Day Course and 4 First Flight pupils, so that the launch total reached 35.   Pilots reported good streeting thermals and high cloud bases although some over development meant staying airborne was not easy at times.  This was demonstrated by  Rob Bailey in his ASG29t who completed 91% of his 208 km Sut/Scunthorpe/Filey/Sut task before having to resort to his engine to make it home.  Better soaring conditions earlier in the flight are shown in the  following photo which Rob took after turning Scunthorpe and crossing the Humber on his route north to Filey.

Sept Xing Humber Rob Bailey

John Ellis, self launching in his DG800, took advantage of the streeting conditions to go upwind to Northallerton before doing a 180 degree turn and following a cloud street all the way to Flamborough head before returning to Sutton, covering 184 km.  John’s arrival back at Sutton coincided with a dead period so a landing followed. Steve Ball and Axel Mahnke shared a 2:06 flight in Steve’s Duo Discus with visits to the eastern flanks of the Pennines, while Lindsay Mclane in his Ventus and Graham Morris in his ASW 27 had the longest flights of the day, 3:53 and 5:02 respectively although I do not know where they went.  The above pilots were some of the 15 to exceed an hours flight time, this list including Chris Ogden whose 2 flights of the day in the Astir included one of 2:14 and the other of 1;07, while Dad Steve also chipped in with a flight of 1:16 in the Discus.  Visitors Duncan and Sherwood from Portmoak, awaiting the completion of some  glider repairs at North Yorkshire Sailplanes, took advantage of the good flying conditions to have an hour in the DG1000 on a very good soaring day for late September at Sutton.

Saturday 26th.  A mid level overcast which eventually cleared to leave blue skies by mid afternoon, put paid to a soaring day, the  wind being a light S’ly that slowly veered into the NW.  32 ATs were flown, 6 for a group of Scouts, while a Day Course Member and 5 First Flight pupils were also flown.  The lack of soaring opportunities was reflected in flight times, with no flights over an hour and only 1 over 30 minutes.  The latter was flown by Phil Lazenby with 14 year old grandson Elliot Lazenby as P2 off a 3,000′ tow in the DG1000, the flight time being 32 minutes.  Phil followed this up with the second longest flight of the day, 27 minutes in the same glider, but this time with his granddaughter, Sophie Lazenby on a day when all the club 2 seaters were utilised.  Elliot’s reaction to his flight was  “ that was really cool  –  I am going to take up gliding when I retire”.  Hopefully Phil encouraged him to start a lot earlier.   Single seater flying was via the Astir and Discus, with Graham Taylor having flights of 23 and 22 minutes in the former glider and Adrian Melia being more consistent in his two flights in the latter glider with 20 minutes each time.  Although the day from a soaring point of view was unspectacular, the arrival and subsequent departure of a trio of vintage aircraft led to a lot of interest and not a few admiring if not “I wish I could fly it” glances, the latter being caught on camera as CFI Andy Parish took a close look into the cockpit of one of the visitors, a Tiger Moth.


The Tiger Moth  was accompanied by its sister a Leopard Moth, the pair being shown in the next photo parked outside the club house, with the Leopard Moth’s immaculate instrument panel also worth a photo.

Tiger and Leopard Moth SEpt

Leopard Moth panel Sept

The third member of the trio was a Tipsy Bellair, shown in the next photo, as it made its departure, the parked trio being shown in the final photo below.

tipsy belfair Sept

27 Sept

Sunday 27th.  The start of Sunday’s flying was delayed until around 1330 hrs as an intensifying anticyclone with its initially clear, cool night led to a morning of fog and low cloud in the Vale of York. Once flying did get under way, 21 ATs were flown, this total including another group of 7 Scouts and 5 First Flight pupils.  The slow start to the day meant that there was insufficient heating to generate any thermic activity with the result that there were no flights of over 30 minutes, Mike Smith getting closest with 2 flights in the DG1000 of 28 mintes each  as he took his First Flight pupils for 3,000′ tows.    The club’s 2 seaters dominated the flying with no club or privately owned single seaters flown, but Charles Willoughby, Steve Olevour, part of a visiting group from the Staffordshire GC, and Naomi Kennard flew either the DG500 or one of the K21’s solo for flight times of between 8 and 25 minutes dependent on launch height.  The day’s flying was augmented by 3 flights in the Falke.

Monday 28th.  The anticyclone had intensified further, with the result that the low cloud and fog, persisting in the light to moderate SSE’ly flow did not clear until late afternoon.  The clearance came too late to allow any flying to take place apart from a single flight in the Falke,  but the late sunshine did allow those left on site to rig the newly acquired Astir which had been  trailered up from Dorset by Steve Thompson over the weekend.  The rigging process is shown in the following photos, the second of which shows John Carter practising the  large animal veterinary skills which are particularly useful when rigging an Astir.


John Carter and new Astir Sept



Tuesday 29th.  The anticyclone remained in charge with the wind again a light to moderate SE/ESE’ly and the  resulting fog/low cloud again evident in the Vale of York.  As with Sunday,  the dissipation of this low level moisture took quite a long time, the start of  flying being delayed until mid afternoon with flying then continuing until around 1820 hrs.  The result of this activity was that the day’s launch total reached 9 ATs, all the launches, apart from one, being for club 2 seaters.  The exception was a launch by Staffordshire GC pilot Mr A Noble, who, flying his DG303, posted the longest flight of the day at exactly an hour.  No one else came close to this time, but Andy Parish, flying Mile High  aspirant Dorothy Scorer in the DG1000, took advantage of the high tow to eke out 38 minutes of air time, Dorothy being one of the 4 First Flight pupils of the day.

Wednesday 30th.  With the anticyclone starting to decline, the clearance of the early morning fog and low cloud was more quickly accomplished and flying got under way off runway 20 into the light to moderate ESE’ly around 1100 hrs.  By the end of the flying day the launch total was 15 ATs, including 2 private owner launches, the most profitable of these again being by visitor A Noble, who this time flew his DG303 for 1:37.  This time was exceeded by 2 other visitors from the Staffordshire GC, Messrs Crump and Bowes who had 1:54 in the DG1000, using a succession of thermals  which were initially marked by Cu, then haze caps before becoming blue, the vertical extent of the lift being at the clearly defined inversion around 3,000′ asl.  These two flights took off within  half an hour of each other around 1300 – 1330 hrs, with thermal conditions declining thereafter, although the visibility steadily improved to become excellent by the end of the day.The day also saw a Day Course pupil, Brian Footitt and 3 First Flight pupils flown, while Peter Wright had 29 minutes in Astir KRN, just failing to join the 4 other flights to exceed 30 minutes aloft.



Jim’s meticulous wiring and soldering is nearly complete, and connecting the panel to the engine via the wiring looms is well under way.
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Airframe and engine installation is complete, and the retract winch is installed and tested.
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Thanks to everyone who has helped with this fascinating project. Our first EuroFox has now launched over 4000 gliders. This is our second build, and the new aircraft has the Rotax 912 iS injected engine. The installation appeared to be very complex owing to its extensive wiring looms and connectors, but as the many connections are made and checked it is coming together really well, and will be very neat and tidy. The engine now has coolant and oil, and no leaks! Once the wiring is complete we will purge the oil system and fuel up so that the injection system can be leak checked and flow rates measured.

We are also very grateful to John Barrott for his help clarifying the 912 iS wiring diagrams, and EuroFox UK who are using our project to finesse the 912 iS kit.

Tuesday 22nd to Thursday 24th September.

Tuesday 22nd.  A front crossed the site around 0600 hrs leaving in its wake very light and variable winds which soon settled into the N and became moderate.  Flying started around 1130 hrs off runway 02 with 10 ATs flown, only one of which exceeded an hour, this being Rob Bailey’s cross country in his ASG29t, in which he flew 118 km, with TPs at Market Weighton and Burn.  Although not quite making it back to Sutton, the engine coming into play,  the flight did have  a surprise encounter, with a soaring Cormorant just north of Selby.  Rob was one of 3 private owners to launch, with visitor Graham Morris in his ASW 27 posting a flight time of 29 minutes.  The only club glider to fly was K21 KLW, which was kept busy with 4 First Flight pupils, including a Mile High aspirant, who were introduced to gliding mainly by Mike Smith, with the Mile High flight occupying 25 minutes of Mike’s time.  The day’s flying activities were supplemented by 2 flights in the Falke.

Wednesday 23rd.  The day started sunny with a light W’ly blowing but a weak cold front approaching from the west soon led to the sun disappearing behind an high overcast that progressively thickened and lowered but did not produce any rain.  As the front approached, the wind backed into the SW and strengthened to moderate, these conditions giving rise to some pre-frontal wave that was used by visitor Graham Morris to climb to around 6,000′ asl in a flight of 4:58 in his ASW 27 as he shuttled between Wetherby and Masham.  Chris Ogden, flying the club Astir also contacted the wave but had to break off his climb at a lower altitude due to the slot he was climbing through closing, Chris’s flight time being 1:24.  The 3rd flight of the day to exceed an hour was flown by Andy Parish and Day Course member B Cook who had 1:01 in K21 KLW while more moderate but equally enjoyable flight times were experienced by the 2 First Flight pupils of  the day.

Thursday 24th.  Conditions behind yesterday’s cold front were typically unstable, the moderate to fresh WSW’ly bringing along a regular supply of showers, most of which missed the site, passing to the south, while the ones that did affect the site only led to an early lunch break.  29 winch launches  were flown off runway 24 with all 4 club 2 seaters and 2 of the single seaters utilised.  Private owner launches totalled 10, with a number of POs taking a second launch in  the afternoon after having been forced down by the midday shower earlier.  Although forecast, no body reported any high wave climbs with Fred Brown reporting the highest climb to 4,200′ asl in his flight of 2:16 in his Ventus although he did report seeing a glider above him while at his peak altitude.  Fred was one of 6 pilots to log 2+ hours aloft, the others being visitors Steve Codd and Emma Sharp in the DG500,David McKinney in the Astir, Richard Watson in his DG200, Albert Newbery and Stuart Heaton in their DG1000t and Nick Gaunt in his LS7.  The only pilot to exceed 3 hours was Graham Morris in his ASW27 with 3:05, while in total 13 flights exceeded an hour and an additional 11 exceeded 30 minutes.  Pilots reported good lift under streeting Cu, cloud base being around 3,500 to 4,000′ towards the end of the afternoon.  The day also saw 4 First Flight pupils flown and flying continuing until after 1800 hrs, with the cool temperatures and wind chill making that extra layer necessary as a reminder of the approach of autumn.

ps  The table top sale of aviation/gliding books that was located in the clubhouse raised £62 towards the purchase of an YGC archive cupboard, so thanks to all who took advantage of the sale to expand their personal aviation libraries.

Wednesday 16th to Monday 21st September.

Wednesday 16th.  After 2 non gliding days, apart from some Falke flights on Tuesday, the weather on Wednesday improved sufficiently to allow a full day’s gliding and even some soaring in the light to moderate N’ly, this setting in after the early morning E’ly disappeared.  24 ATs were flown from runway 02, the majority of the 6 private owner launches of  the day being by the visitors from the Stratford GC, and they also dominated the flight time list, with J Gale, 1:30, Philip Schwalde, 1:22 and Barry Monslow 1:03 being 3 of the 4 pilots to exceed an hour during the soarable part of the day from 1230 hrs to 1430 hrs.  They were joined by YGC pilot Rob Bailey who flew 138 km in his ASG29t, but had to abandon attempts to get to first Leyburn due to flat conditions and later the Tontine due to sea air incursion.  He did, however, turn Wetherby South and Sutton on the Forest in his flight of 2:29.  John Carter and pupil Laura Sim posted the longest 2 seater flight of the day with 38 minutes in K21 KLW, while Andrew Evans, a friend of Paul Whitehead, had  3 check flights with Steve Thompson before successfully completing his first solo flight in a glider, 49 minutes in K21 JVZ,  to add to the thousands of hours he had accumulated as a fast jet pilot in the RAF and then a commercial pilot.  The day also saw 2 First Flight pupils flown while the Falke had 3 flights.

Thursday 17th.  Blue skies and a light W’ly greeted those arriving at the 0930 hr briefing, but it was not too long before the first Cu appeared and rapidly spread out to fill the sky.  Nevertheless, the day did provide some soaring opportunities, with Stuart Heaton and Albert Newbery leading the way with just over 2 hrs in their DG1000t while Stratford GC visitor Barry Kerby had 1:33 in his Duo Discus.  These private owners were 2 of the 3 to fly on a day when the launch total was 18 ATs and an additional 7 pilots exceeded 30 minutes in the air.  Stratford visitor Philip Schwalbe had 49 minutes in the DG303 and YGC pilot David McKinney had 45 minutes in the Astir.  Two seater pilots John Carter and C Richardson in K21 KLW had 37 minutes while John Tayler and Mr Bealby had 36 minutes in  the same glider.  The day’s flying included a single Falke flight and 3 First Flight pupils were introduced to the gliding experience.

Friday 18th. Morning showers on a light NNE’ly flow delayed the start of flying until midday, with flying then continuing until just before 1800 hrs, a couple of afternoon showers not disrupting activity for long and allowing 19 ATs to be flown in total as the wind slowly increased in strength to light to moderate.  Ron Beezer took the first flight of the day, his Mile High pupil having 34 minutes in K21 JVZ, and this was followed by an additional 4 flights of over 30 minutes and 2 of over an hour with both the latter being by the visitors from Stratford: Barry Kerby in his Duo Discus and Barry Monslow in his LS8.  They were joined by compatriots Philip Schwalble with 49 minutes in the YGC DG303 and by Sharon Kerby with 40 minutes in her ASW28.  The 4 First Flight pupils of the day’s experience of gliding was also shared with  8 members of a local RAFA group who all had 1,000′ tows starting in the late afternoon  and by a further 2 members of this group who preferred the virtual reality of the simulator to the actual reality of  the sky.  The day’s flying activities were completed by 2 Falke flights.

Saturday 19th.  A cool but sunny morning with a light SSE’ly blowing was accompanied by a forecast of a good soaring day.  Consequently, the trailer park was soon busy and flying got underway around 1000 hrs as the wind veered steadily into the SW and finally W over the course of the day. The 16 private owners who eventually launched had to wait for the day to develop, soaring conditions getting established around 1230 hrs and lasting until around 1500 hrs, although Les Rayment, taking tpwards the end of this period  in his Ventus, managed a flight of almost 2 hrs, landing at around 16 20.  The day saw 44 launches, 11 of which led to flights of over an hour, and and additional 6 of over 30 minutes, while a number of pilots set out on cross countries.  Cloud base reached around 4,500′ asl with some strong lift at times but conditions were very variable and a number of pilots landed out.  One of these was Phil Lazenby who finished his flight in a field just 6 km short of Sutton after covering 127 km of his task, while Martyn Johnson, attempting the Sutton/Pocklington/ Rufforth/Sutton 100 km triangle, landed out in his DG600 SE of Easingwold, this same task being completed by Rob Bailey in his ASG29t.  Paul Whitehead, resorting to the engine of his Ventus due to the flat conditions, found it not to be developing sufficient power  so also landed out, while Darren Lodge in his LS8 abandoned his attempt to get to Burn but did manage to return to Sutton courtesy of a couple of weak climbs on the return leg and thereby covered 109 km.  Darren was one of 3 pilots to post a flight in excess of 3 hrs,the other two pilots being Graham Morris in his ASW 27 who was aloft for 3:30 and visited York and Alex Mankhe who flew 167 OLC kms in his flight of 3:32, turning Bilbrough, SE of York, before venturing east to between Driffield and Bridlingon and then returning to Sutton in his ASW20.  Those pilots who stayed local found conditions a little tricky and as a consequence staying up for any length of time was a challenge.  John Marsh and Andrew Tyas managed 32 minutes in K21 KLW while Andy Hatfield had 29 minutes in the Astir and Fred Brown and Alan Beamish had 28 minutes in K21 JVZ.

Sunday 20th.  A sunny morning and a light WSW’ly wind did not lead to a good soaring day as the cloud steadily increased to overcast and  the wind increased to light to moderate.  27 ATs were flown off runway 24 with only one, that of Graham and Shiela Morris off the penultimate flight of the day just exceeding an hour, this being in the DG1000.  No other flight exceeded 30 minutes, with a flight time of 28 minutes being popular, this being achieved by no less than 4 flights: first  Tom Dale and then Chris Ogden  in the Astir, John Marsh and Claire Buckley in K21 JVZ and Andy Hatfield and Andrew Colbeck in the DG1000, the latter 3 of these flights all taking off between 1313 and 1402 hrs.  Apart from club members the 2 seaters were busy with the day’s 6 First Flight pupils, all contributing to the 27 ATs flown on the day, the Falke adding a further 3.

Monday 21st.  A depression with its fronts meant it was a non-flying day at Sutton, the initially light, SSE’ly wind veering into the W and becoming moderate in the afternoon, this change coinciding with the cessation of the rain around 1430 hrs, 7 mm having fallen in the previous 4 hrs.   The associated low cloud did not lift and break until later in the afternoon, too late to allow any flying.  The non flying conditions did allow those on site to get a leisurely look at the smart, new Tarmac floor in the tug hangar and also discuss the imminent arrival of another club owned  Astir at site, this being expected to be trailered up from its present home in Dorset  sometime over the coming weekend.

Saturday 12th to Tuesday 15th September

Saturday 12th.  A moderate to fresh SE’ly gusting to around 30 kts was accompanied by low cloud and rain as a front crossed the UK.  The front crossed the site around 1400 hrs after depositing 16 mm of rain,  the wind veering into the W and then declining to light to moderate, but the skies did not clear until around 1700 hours so no flying was possible.  Congratulations are due to  John Ellis, Steve Thompson and Richie Toon who took part in the Mountain Soaring Competition at Aboyne over the last week.  Particular mention should be made of Richie’s win on day 3 of the competition when he covered 356 km at an average speed of 193.3 kph, eventually being in  5th place after 3 contest days.

Sunday 13th.  A light to moderate SE’ly blew all day with blue skies and, at times, nice looking Cu.  Following the non-flying day on Saturday, there were many keen members and visitors to fly, including the  group from the Stratford GG who are welcome and regular visitors to Sutton Bank at this time of the year, they contributing to the 9 private owner launches of the day out of a total of 44. Visitor Sharon Kerby, flying her ASW28 visited Catterick and Pocklington in a flight covering 152 km, while husband Barry, flying in his Duo Discus with P Challons, recorded another of the 3 flights to exceed an hour with 1:35.  Most of the day’s flights failed to breach the 30 minute barrier, illustrating the fact that the day looked better than it was, and another visitor from Stratford, G Gale posted a flight of 54 minutes, while YGC members, Tony Drury in his DG303 and Tom Dale in the club Astir had flights of 34 and 33 minutes respectively.  John Carter and Chris Ogden, with a flight of 35 minutes in K21 JVZ, ensured that 2 seater pilots were  mentioned in despatches.  The day also saw 6 First Flight pupils flown while the Falke had 3 flights, but the undoubted highlight of  the day was Naomi Kennard’s re-solo in K21, JVZ, so congratulations to her.

Monday 14th.  Another depression resulted in Monday being dull and damp all day, the initially light NE’ly soon veering into the E and strengthening slightly to become light to moderate.  In spite of the dampness of the day only 1 mm of rain was recorded but the low overcast, if not the drizzle and light rain, made sure that the hangar doors were never opened.

Tuesday 15th.  Yet another depression  travelled eastwards across the UK, its active fronts depositing some 40 mm of rain on the area over the overnight period and keeping the site in cloud until around 1400 hrs.  The lifting of the cloud was followed by a sudden shift in wind direction and strength, the initially light N’ly becoming  W’ly and increasing to light to moderate.  The improving weather situation was taken advantage of by John Carter as he continued his progress towards his motor glider licence in the Falke initially under the tutelage of John Tayler, before doing a number of solo touch and goes off runway 24 .

Thursday 10th to Friday 11th September

Thursday 10th.  The overcast broke earlier today in the light to moderate ESE’ly and the 2 seaters were soon busy with the holiday course and club members.  There were also 5 private owner launches, with  Lindsay McLane in his Ventus and Rob Bailey in his ASG 29t both exceeding 2 hours flight time, Lindsay with 2:50 and Rob with 2:20.  I have not news of where Lindsay went but Rob, after failing to get to Castle Howard due to sea air, went west and turned Leyburn and Ripon, covering 101 km in the process.  They were the only pilots to exceed the hour mark, but there were 10 other flights of over 30 minutes out of the 30 ATs flown off runway 20.  3 First Flight pupils were flown, including a Mile High flight in which Mike Smith and no relation Graham Smith recorded the 2nd longest 2 seater flight of the day, with 37 minutes, this just being pipped by Charlie Jessop and Bill James with 38 minutes in K21 KLW.  Banbury GC members Laurie Clarke and Mike Love both flew their Mini Nimbus for 36 and 34 minutes respectively while Falke had a single flight.  After the non flying day on Tuesday and limited flying on Wednesday, the course members made up for it today with most having a minimum of 3 flights.

Friday 11th.   The clouds were broken from the start of the day,  but the by now moderate to fresh ESE’ly initially brought in low cloud, this delaying the first launch until just before 1100 hrs.  This was the first of the 21 flown on the day with all flights  being off runway 06 behind the Pawnee.  Take offs and climb outs were generally sporting but the rapidly increasing cloud base with attendant thermals did permit some soaring to take place, although the wind at flying height resulted in rapid drifting down wind.  In  the event, only 1 flight exceeded 30 minutes, this being achieved by John Marsh and Lasham visitor David Griffiths, father of one of the course members, who contacted a thermal that took them back up to cloud base which at the time was around 3,500′ asl in their flight of 46 minutes in K21 JVZ .  Laurie Clarke flew his Mini Nimbus before trailering it back to Banbury, while fellow Banbury GC member Mick Love, flew P2 in one of the club 2 seaters and John Tayler posted the longest single seater flight of the day with 23 minutes in the Discus. Off the last launch of the day, George Rowden and returning First Flight pupil Jeanette Lyons took a launch to 3,000′ QFE in K21 JVZ and found some weak wave that delayed their descent for a while and enabled them to stay up for 28 minutes, the same time being achieved by Andy Parish and Frieda van Bell earlier in the day in K21 KLW.   George and Jeanette’s flight proved to be the last of the day as the increasing wind speed resulted in increasingly turbulent take offs.  The opportunity was taken, as the hangars were being repopulated, for Andy Parish to photograph the holiday course members with course instructor Charlie Jessop, the youngest member not taking any part in the flying being essentially a hanger on, as  following photo shows.


It has been rumoured that,  because of certain members interest in sailing, that a sub section of club would be formed to foster this alternative way of using atmospheric energy.  This has been strenuously denied by the Board but suspicion has deepened with  this recent photo of the now ambiguously named tug hangar.

Boat House 1



Sunday 6th to Wednesday 9th September

Sunday 6th.  Sunny skies and a light westerly greeted the day, the wind slowly increasing to become moderate and veering into the WNW.  In spite of the sunshine the skies remained devoid of Cu and soaring was limited to the afternoon when the 5  flights to exceed an hour launched, the day also recording an additional 13 flights over 30 minutes.  The sunny skies and warmth encouraged many of the members to fly, with all the club single seaters, 3 of the two seaters and 7 private owners contributing to the day’s  41 launches, the last flight landing at 1812 hrs.  The day was also a busy one for First Flight pupils with 7 flown.  Two of the private owners topped the endurance stakes, Alex Manhke in his ASW20 and Ken Arkley in his LS8t, having 2:34 and 1:22 respectively, though neither strayed far from the site,  Rob Bailey flew the club Discus for 1:13, Tom Dale  the Astir for 1:21 and Joan Wilson the Ka8 for 1:10.  Angela Veitch, one of  the remaining Slingsby Week visitors, enjoyed her last day on site with 2 flights in her Olympia that each threatened the 1 hour mark without actually exceeding it .  Tony Drury flew his DG303 twice while syndicate members Steve Wilson and Martin White shared the honours in their Pegase.  Among the 2 seater pilots, 38 seemed a popular choice as this was the flight times of Chris Gill and First Flight pupil Jason Maxwell in the DG1000, John Carter and Ian Johnston also in the DG1000 and Chris Gill and Mark Newburn in K21 JVZ.

Monday 7th.  The light to moderate NW’ly slowly veered into the NE over the day, the morning being overcast with a low cloud base, a somewhat dreary start for the week’s holiday course members, David Cutting, Michael Dunne, Johnathan Griffith,  Frieda van Bells and returning First Flight pupil Bill James.  Johnathan was also accompanied by his father David, a pilot from Lasham.  The club also welcomed Laurie Clarke and Mick Love, visiting from Banbury  GC at Hinon on the Hedges with their Mini Nimbus.   The cloud started to break and lift around lunch time and flying commenced just after 1300 hrs, with the 2 seaters soon very busy with course and club members.  Flying continued until just before 1800 hrs, but in spite of the afternoon sunshine, soaring opportunities were limited, with only 2 flights exceeding an hour and an additional 5 exceeding 30 minutes.  Visitor Mick Love was one of these with 1:22 in his Mini Nimbus, while club members Graham Taylor converted to the Astir in style with the longest flight of the day, 1:40, so congratulations to him.  The day saw a single First Flight pupil flown and the Falke have a single outing, and while no 2 seater flight exceeded an hour, course members Frieda van Bell and David Cutting came closest, Frieda with 55 minutes in K21 KLW with Charlie Jessop and David with 45 minutes in the DG1000 with John Marsh.

Tuesday 8th. The cloud deck remained stubbornly in place, its low base meaning it was a non flying day, even for the Falke, as the wind continued to blow, albeit fitfully, from the N.  Consequently, the course members with their instructors retired to the simulator and the briefing room for virtual training and lectures.

Wednesday 9th.  The wind had now become a light ESE’ly, this increasing throughout the day to become moderate.  The overcast remained in place but its base was now high enough for the Falke to operate, and shortly after it completed its flight with  Andy Parish and Frieda van Bell on board, the lower layers of cloud departed revealing a much higher layer above.  The opportunity to fly was quickly taken, the conditions even allowing George Rowden to take the day’s only First Flight pupil, Dave Dryden, on a tow to 2,900′ QFE, and thereby claim the longest flight of the day, 24 minutes, in the DG1000.  The lower cloud subsequently returned but its base was high enough to allow flying to continue and, consequently, the day’s AT total was 7, all take offs being from runway 20 with later landings on 06 as the wind freshened. John Carter and Mark Newburn flying the DG1000 off the last flight of the day, made a valiant effort to beat George’s time by utilising a small area of lift on the eastern facing slope of the gulley which borders the south eastern edge of the site but, on putting the wheel down in preparation for their circuit, discovered that the increased drag cancelled out the weak lift and their landing came 16 minutes after their departure.

Friday 4th to Saturday 5th September

Friday 4th.  The Atlantic anticyclone continued to very slowly drift in towards the UK but the North Sea Depression was reluctant to leave, its fronts providing another day of cloudy skies and occasional drizzle over the North Yorks Moors, the low cloud base, around 1,000′ QFE, precluding any gliding except in the Rotax Falke which had 3 flights while the Eurofox contributed a single sortie.  A number of the Slingsby Week visitors departed for home while the remainder stayed on, encouraged by the prospect of a better day on Saturday.

Saturday 5th.  Saturday dawned with  blue skies but by the time briefing was over, promising the prospect of wave, the skies had filled in with low base Cu, although some transient holes suggested the forecast of wave might be correct.  The cloud base was, however, high enough for the Falke to operate and the first two of the day’s 6 First Flight pupils were offered and accepted this mode of flying, Bob Beck taking Donatas, a Lithuanian visitor on the first flight and reporting a 1,000′ engine off climb above the overcast.  The overcast continued to rise and break up and the first pur glider  launch of the day was just before midday via AT off runway 02 into a moderate N’ly breeze, this providing some choppy climb outs.  By the end of the day 20 ATs had been flown, with those Slingsby Week visitors who had remained on site contributing 5 launches, Angela Veitch in her Olympia and Peter Thomas in his Oly 463 having 1:35 and 1:13 respectively in some late afternoon thermals, the wind by now having declined to light to moderate while remaining from the same N’ly direction.  The remaining 4 private owner flights provided the four longest of the day, Axel Mankhe having 3:59 in his ASW 20, during which he went west, first to north of Ripon and then to between Richmond and Masham, the latter point seeing him contact wave and climb to around 5,000′ asl.  Tony Drury, flying his DG303 fro 2:04 also reached around 5,000′ asl in wave while Phil Lazenby had 2:51 in his Pegase but, to my knowledge, didn’t  contactact the wave.  Fred Brown, contacting the wave via a thermal near Northallerton in his Ventus,  followed the wave bar to Scarborough and out over the sea before  deciding that  a further good looking wave bar further out to sea was a bar too far.  Fred returned to Pickering before visiting Scarborough once more and then retuning to Sutton, his total flight time being 2:58 and his maximum altitude around 11,500′ asl.  Fred has provided the following photo of his journey to Scarborough which nicely shows the wave bar along which he was travelling east, the variometer showing a climb rate of  just under 6kts at the time.

Fred Brown enroute to Scb Sept 5

I can only conclude that Fred’s flight was just reward for his efforts earlier in the day when, assisted by John Tayler, he finished the construction of an stand for the spare Pawnee engine.  A satisfied  Fred and John with the engine on its stand are shown in the following photo provided by Jim McLean.

Fred, John with Pawnee engine mount Sept 5

The day provided 16 flights of over 30 minutes with 8 over an  hour, the next highest climb to Fred’s being recorded by George Rowden as he took First Flight pupil Lisa to 6,700′ asl and back  in 32 minutes in K21 JVZ, the views of the wave from this altitude being quite stunning.

Thursday 3rd September

Thursday 3rd.  The depression in the North Sea extended its occluded front over the east of the UK providing a cool, damp and drizzly day at Sutton in the light to moderate N’ly wind, the temperature peaking at 10C.  The only flying was by the Eurofox as it made two passes in front of a crowd of relatives and friends who had  gathered to remember Ann Silver as her ashes were scattered on the airfield. Prior to the flypast,  Graham Evison and Ann’s brother William had  spoken warmly of Ann, as did a representative of the Slingsby Week visitors, whose annual gathering at Sutton had been a highlight of Ann’s time as a member of the YGC.