Friday 19th. A moderate to fresh W’ly gusting to over 40 kts kept the gliders in the hangars, the initially clear skies soon turning cloudy and providing a few, isolated showers later in the day. In the absence of any real flying the simulator came into its own, the variety of exercises flown nicely illustrating its versatility as a teaching aid and fun tool. Mike Brown and Sam St Pierre emphasised the latter characteristic with a soaring flight, while John Tayler and Roger Burghall’s cloud flying exercise illustrated the former. Andy Parish and Dave McKinney’s exercises in failed launches with subsequent field selection and landings made good use of the greatly improved graphics, a feature also of importance on the circuit training exercise flown by Jamie Quartermaine with his pupil.
Saturday 20th. The W’ly wind had moderated to become moderate, although it did gust the mid 20 kts in the middle of the day. 13 winch launches were flown in total, with Ben Dawson in his Cirrus being the only private owner to fly and making the most of the conditions with a flight time of 2:19. Tony Drury, Robin Hutchinson and Brian Wise all flew the DG303 with times of 57, 51 and 44 minutes respectively, while Nick Gaunt and John Shaw had 1:36 in the DG1000 and Albert Newbery and Mark Butcher almost made it 3 flights over an hour on the day with a flight of 52 minutes.
Sunday 21st. Initially a low cloud base and then an increasingly strong SW’ly flow, with gusts to the mid 30 kts, meant it was a non-flying day, some showers later in the day just adding to the general gloom from a meteorological as well as a spiritual perspective.
Monday 22nd. The, by now, very gusty and mild WSW’ly airflow brought some rain at first with gusts to the mid 40 kts, putting paid to any hopes of an early start to the flying day. The wind, while slowly backing and moderating to become a moderate SW’ly, retained its gustiness, with values into the high 30 kts being recorded in the late afternoon. Consequently, there was no flying but at least it was mild with temperatures at lower levels reaching 13C.
Tuesday 23rd. The gusty and mild SW flow continued, being moderate at first but increasing to moderate to fresh over the middle of the day before declining back to moderate as the afternoon wore on. The associated gusts were generally around 30 kts throughout the day and this, with the low base to the extensive cloud cover, again meant no flying. The cold front that had been lying virtually stationary over the extreme north of England over the past few days, began to move south, bringing rain to the site in the early evening and colder conditions in the early hours of Wednesday.
Wednesday 24th. Your Blogger made a brief trip to site to catch up with the last few day happenings, and reported above, and also to find winch launching off runway 24 in progress and some evidence of wave in the cold and moderate WSW’ly flow. Details of the day will follow after the Christmas break. Meanwhile could I offer to you all the very best of wishes for the Festive Season.
Post Script to the Blog of Sunday 14th to Thursday 18th December. You may remember that I asked for suggestions on a somewhat puzzling orientation of wave like clouds on a photo taken by Andy Parish on Wednesday 17th December. Well, if you read the comment on that particular Blog you will find an explanation supplied by Dick Cole.