Thursday 28th. Rain and low cloud in a light to moderate SW’ly delayed the start of flying until after midday, with 8 ATs being flown in the afternoon/early evening. All but one of the launches were in club 2 seaters with the exception being one of the Slingsby Week visitors, Mr Winch, who had 40 minutes in his Swallow. Jesper Mjels and P Thomas had 1:26 in the DG500 and Bob Beck and B Fasa had 1:00 in K21 JVZ to record the two flights to exceed or equal an hour in the air and make it another soaring day at Sutton. The day also included a single First Flight pupil flight.
Friday 29th. The SW’ly wind had increased to moderate to fresh with gusts to around 30 kts, the airstream bringing with it a number of showers. This didn’t put a stop to flying activities , however, with 16 winch launches, 4 of which were for the Slingsby visitors, 3 of whom posted the longest flights of the day. These were David Cornelius and Ron Page with 2:06, Peter Thomas with 2:36 and top of the list Mr Goldsmith with 3:35, with 2 other flights also exceeding an hour. Club flying was limited to the 2 seaters, these being used to give 3 First Flight pupils a taste of hill soaring while Bob Beck and Mark Walton shared 46 minutes in the DG1000 and the Falke had a single flight.
Saturday 30th. Yet another Saturday in August produced a good hill soaring and wave day, as a moderate to fresh W’ly, briefly gusting to the high 20’s, encouraged most, if not all of the Slingsby visitors to launch, as well as 6 First Flight pupils and a goodly number of members. The day’s launch total was 51, comprising 49 winch launches and 2 ATs, with 36 of these launches generating flights of over an hour. Top of these was Axel Mahnke in his ASW 20 with 6:34, but most notable was Slingsby visitor Mr Liddiard who completed his Silver C duration in his Oly 263 which he had bought for the princely sum of £1. So congratulations to him on 2 counts. 26 private owner launches were flown, with a several recording good climbs on the National Ladder. Bill Payton and Stuart Heaton flew their DG1000t for 4:05, visiting Harrogate North, Guisborough and Carlton to cover 136 km and climb to just over 14,000′ asl. Stuart has kindly provided the following photo of the gliding club taken from around this height, the white blob left of centre being the White Horse. Their flight also included a track of around 17 km some 2-4 km offshore to the SE of Saltburn. As indicated from Stuart’s photo the wave was not well marked and became increasingly blue as the day progressed.
Other YGC pilots to record their flights on the ladder were Phil Lazenby, who reached just over 9,000′ asl and Rob Bailey who reached around 12,400′, Rob providing the following photo while over the Pennines, the wave pattern again being not particularly obvious.
Saturday marked the end of a successful Slingsby and Vintage Glider meet with lots of flying and social, particularly culinary, activities. As well as providing a colourful set of characters, vintage glider meets also provide some colourful airframes to offset the monochrome white of modern gliders and this is illustrated in the next couple of photos provided by Jon Hart, which contrast the colour scheme of a vintage glider with a modern one. The photos also show the well marked wave clouds which were present during the early part of the day, including the one illustrated to the north east of the site. Other pilots to take advantage of the conditions were Martin Joyce who flew Astir KRN for just over 5 hours, while the 2 seaters were not to be left out, Bob Beck and John Tayler having 1:27 in the DG1000 and John Marsh and Adrian Melia 1:26 in K21 JVZ.
Sunday 31st. The W’ly wind had decreased to light to moderate with the conditions providing a good thermic day that was much appreciated by those who flew. 37 ATs were flown, the majority of the club fleet being utilised and 8 private owners taking to the air. The day saw 7 First Flight pupils flown, a single Falke flight and 12 flights of over an hour, with some good cross country tasks. Rob Bailey went for a tour of the Pennines, visiting Hawes, Ullswater, Dufton and Brough to cover 230 km and provide the following photograph of Ullswater in his flight of 3:35.
Phil Lazenby spent a similar time flying a 218 km task taking in Tockwith, Pocklington, Richmond and Harrogate North in his Pegase while others breaking the 3/4 hour barrier included Paul Whitehead with 4.24 in his Ventus, Martyn Johnson with 3:25 in his DG600, Tony Drury with 3:97 in the Discus and Axel Mahnke with 3:02 in his ASW20. The day was also marked by Will Andrew’s solo, so congratulations to him and the following photos showing Will receiving his wings from John Marsh after his flight.
So ended August 2014 which turned out to be a very good month for wave flights, the total of height gained, at almost 130,000′ being the highest total ever recorded for August. Given that not all pilots post their wave flights on the National ladder, the actual height gained would have been significantly greater.
Monday 1st September. A weak cold front deposited 4 mm of rain on the site in the early morning and left a legacy of low cloud that delayed flying until the afternoon, the wind being a light to moderate N’ly. 7 Ats were eventually flown, 4 for First Flight pupils with John Tayler taking 2 of them, Peter Oliver and Julie Collins for 24 minutes each in the DG1000, these proving to be the longest flights of the day.
Tuesday 2nd. A sunny morning tempted 3 private owners to rig as the wind remained light and variable, mainly from an E’ly direction. Promising Cu development soon led to overcast skies, the cloud base being around 2500′ asl and this led George Rowden to abandon his proposed cross country task and land his LS8 t after 48 minutes. Albert Newbery and Stuart Heaton, taking off a little later in their DG1000t, decided to use their engine to get to brighter conditions further south and subsequently did an O/R to Burn, diverting to the west to stay in the better conditions and finding sufficient lift under the overcast on the return to Sutton to do a straight in approach to runway 02 after a flight of 2:32. Peter Crawley took off in his DG800 and did some exploring to the west and east, with some recourse to his engine, to record 2:30, ending up soaring some large, but weak areas of lift under the overcast with visitor Ian Bateman in the Ka8 late in the afternoon. Ian, who had had a significant break in his gliding, first had a 36 minute check flight with Andy Parish in the DG1000 followed by an earlier 12 minute flight in the Ka8 but, in his later flight in the same glider, recorded a very commendable 1:15. Liz Keily had a busy day taking guest Carnell for 2 flights in K21 JVZ and having 2 solo flights herself, first in the Ka8 and then solo in K21 JVZ and made a significant contribution to the 21 ATs flown off runway 24, mainly by the Eurofox, although the Super Cub was used for some of the 2 seater launches. These included 4 flights for First Flight pupils, one of who had two launches as the relatively low cloudbase and lack of lift meant a restricted time in the air.