Monday 4th. A moderate W’ly promised a good hill soaring day with the possibility of wave and thermal, so it was out with the winch, the first launch being around 1030 hrs. The W’ly flow, however, slowly declined causing the hill lift to become “soft” and limited to a small area on the hill. Although some ATing had already begun, as pilots elected to a more certain route to wave flying, ATing became the norm as the wind speed declined and by the end of the day, 43 had been flown, the winch/AT total of 53 launches being accompanied by 2 self launches as John Ellis and Rory O’Conor both took off in their DG800s. The selection of AT as a more certain route to wave was immediately confirmed by Fred Brown, who, flying his Ventus off the day’s first AT, contacted wave and eventually reached just over 8,000′ asl. John Ellis in his DG800 also proved a self launch to be a good route to wave flying as he soon climbed to 8,7000′ asl between Ripon and Pateley Bridge before returning to Sutton to start what he hoped would be a fast wave task. After crossing the Sutton start line, John reconnected with the wave but shortly afterwards the wave collapsed, bringing to an end John’s plans for the day. He nevertheless remained airborne for 3:16, similar times being recorded for the day’s other DG800 pilot, Rory O’Conor, and also Jon May and Steve Ball in their Duo Discus. Jon and Steve launched via the winch as did visitors Carol Pike and Philip Morgan from Shalbourne GC in their Janus who were aloft for 2:18. Later, the same combination of pilots and glider had 1:41 off an AT, with compatriots Harris and Tanner having 2:44 in their Puchacz. Steve Barber, another Shalbourne visitor, also climbed in the wave off his AT in his flight of 4 hours, his altitude peaking at aorund 6,700′ asl, . YGC pilots also enjoyed the conditions with Conrad Thwaites having 3:10 in his Discus, Andy Hatfield 1:56 in the club Discus and Steve Ogden 1:29 in Astir GBK, while Brian Wise and Gordon Wallace had 1:07 in K21 JVZ. In all, there were 23 private owner/visitor launches on the day when all the club 2 seaters were flown together with 3 of the single seaters, the day yielding 22 flights over an hour and an additional 5 over 30 minutes. Among all this activity, 6 First Flight pupils were flown.
Tuesday 5th. A light SE’ly accompanied by low cloud and light rain greeted pilots assembling for the 0930 hr morning briefing, a clearance later in the day being indicated. However,the clearance did not arrive until quite late in the flying day, the now moderate to fresh WSW’ly being accompanied by strong gusts that precluded any flying. The Shalbourne visitors had previously departed to visit the National Railway Museum in York, while a select band of YGC members set to to demolish the remaining bits of the redundant tuggie mobile home, this task being successfully accomplished.
Wednesday 6th. The northward travelling depression that had led to a non flying day on Tuesday was now to the north of the area, but continued to feed in a strong and gusty S’ly wind and bands of rain and showers that affected the site for most of the day, these only clearing late in the day as the wind veered into the W. The Shalbourne visitors departed this time to the Yorkshire Air Museum at Elvington, while John Carter and Tuggie Jonathan made a good job of replacing all the winch cable strops.
Thursday 7th. A light to moderate WSW’ly blew all day, initially predominately blue skies soon becoming predominately cloudy, but with some evidence of wave. 25 ATs were flown between 1000 and 1800 hrs, 4 of the club single seaters being flown and 3 of the 2 seaters. In addition there were 8 launches by private owners/visitors. The skies progressively improved to provide some good thermal soaring by early/mid afternoon, cloud base rising to around 5,000′ als and thermal strengths peaking at around 6 kts. Later in the day, a few pilots connected with wave off the top of a thermal climb, the wave, up to 8 kts at times, propelling Martyn Johnson in his DG600 to 10,600′ asl east of Ripon, Ron Beezer, flying the DG1000 solo, to 9,300′ near Pateley Bridge and Dick Cole in the DG303 to around 8,000′. Dick also completed an undeclared Wombledon, Ripon, Northallerton task. Rob Bailey, flying the club Discus, completed a Sut/Helmsley, Malton. Thirsk. Helmsley, Sut task of 95 km in thermal lift. John Ellis in his DG800 had 5:19, heading the duration list of the 13 pilots who exceeded an hour in the air, the visitors from Shalbourne GC being well represented on this list, with Harris and Garner having 3:11 in the Puchacz, J Walters 3 hrs in the Ka8 and Morgan and Pike 3:34 from 2 flights in the Janus. YGC pilots David McKinney and Polly Whitehead, both flying Astir GBK had 1:09 and 1:25 respectively. 4 First Flight pupils were given a very good introduction to soaring, an experience that was certainly enhanced by the excellent visibility of the day.