Tuesday 17th. The approach of the second named storm of the year, Barney, meant low cloud, rain and increasing winds, the initially light to moderate SSE’ly veering into the WSW and becoming moderate to fresh with increasing gustiness, a peak gust of 46 kts being registered in the early evening. The front that crossed the site around 1615 hrs deposited 17.5 mm of rain, contributing to an un-flyable day.
Wednesday 18th. Barney’s cold front crossed the site around midday, another 11.4 mm of rain falling, with the winds on Barney’s southern flank veering from the S into the W and increasing to become fresh, with gusts to 42 kts, so it was another non- flyable day.
Thursday 19th. Another 6.1 mm of rain fell overnight in the form of showers, but the day provided a light to moderate W’ly that gave a mixture of hill and wave soaring although the first winch launch of the day was not a good precursor of what was to flollow as Andy Parish and Steve Ogden, flying K21 JVZ, were back on the ground after 4 minutes. Abandoning winch launching in favour of AT’s off runway 24, a busy day resulted with the 22 ATs resulting in 5 flights of over an hour and a further 14 in excess of 30 minutes. Rob Bottomley rigged and flew his Discus, while John Ellis flew his DG800 for nearly 4 hours, reaching 7,000′ asl in wave. Steve Ogden greatly improved his start of the day flight time with 1:13 in Astir KRN and later added an hour in the Discus on a day when all the available 2 seaters and all 4 of the available single seaters were flown. Paul Whitehead and Kit Bottomley had 52 minutes in JVZ while Andy Parish and David McKinney had 49 minutes in the DG1000, flying coming to an end around 1615 as the light faded. The day also saw 3 First Flight pupils flown.
Friday 20th. The wind continued to veer as Barney moved east and filled, the initially moderate WSW’ly becoming a moderate to fresh WNW’ly as the day progressed, with gusts to 28 kts around midday. Temperatures steadily fell as Arctic air made progress southwards, but temperatures apart, the conditions meant it was a good hill soaring day, 12 winch launches being flown. These included 4 First Flight pupils, with 2 of the day’s flights exceeding an hour and a further six 30 minutes. Colin Troise, flying the DG500 solo and Brian Wise flying the Discus were the 2 pilots to exceed an hour, Colin having 1:23 and Brian 1:19. John Tayler and Chris Thirkel fell a minute short of an hour in K21 JVZ, while David Campbell took one of the day’s First Flight pupils, Jude Hartley for 42 minutes in JVZ with John Tayler & Andy Tyas and Andy Parish with another First Flight pupil, C Teal all having 36 minutes in JVZ.
Saturday 21st. A fresh and very cold NNW’ly blew all day, the temperature struggling to get above 0C, and the wind chill in the gusty wind being appreciable but certainly not appreciated. With peak gusts around 37 kts, it was a day for staying inside and flying the simulator, a decrease in wind speed and associated gustiness finally arriving in the mid afternoon, too late to allow any flying to take place. Those arriving for the morning briefing found that the first snow of the winter had arrived as the following still from the site’s webcam shows.
The day was not a total white out, however, for in the evening some 70 members enjoyed an informative and enthralling illustrated talk by John Williams on his record breaking wave flying exploits in Scotland and Argentina.
Sunday 22nd. The cold N’ly flow remained in place but had weakened in strength to light to moderate. However, low cloud that produced some light rain over the middle of the day meant it was again a day for flying the simulator rather than real gliders.
Monday 23rd. The day dawned unpromisingly with a light to moderate S’ly blowing under a thick layer of Cirrostratus as a front made easterly progress across the UK, rain being forecast to arrive mid afternoon. The arrival of 2 visitors from the Wold’s GC at Pocklington, eager to experience hill soaring and who had expected a W’ly flow, provided a spur to getting K21 JVZ out of its slumbers and, following the arrival of John Tayler, the day’s rostered Tuggie, the first of the visitors, Graham Cooksby took off from runway 20 with John Carter as P1. Somewhat unexpectedly, after descending gently from their realease at 2,500′ QFE, they found that the portion of the main bowl between the A170 ascent of Sutton Bank and Lake Gormire was working well and after readily maintaining 800′ landed after a pleasant 45 minutes. Richard Carter, the second of the Pocklington visitors then took a 1000′ tow behind the Eurofox before sampling the lift on the same portion of ridge under the tutelage of namesake John Carter, a foray upwind to see if the White Horse ridge was working as well, resulting in a negative response and a quick return and a slow climb back from 600′ to around 1,000′ QFE before landing after 37 minutes. The day’s flying was concluded by George Rowden who, flying JVZ solo, confirmed the good and consistent lift on the northern section of the main bowl and the lack of lift on the White Horse ridge before landing long on runway 20 after a flight of 30 minutes as the cloud continued to descend, rain eventually arriving around 1700 hrs.