Wednesday 24th. As briefly reported in my previous Blog entry, Christmas Eve was a good winching and hill soaring day with 20 launches flown and 3 of the club’s 2 seaters, 2 of the single seaters and a single privately owned glider in action. The assembled members agreed that 2 seater durations should be limited, so none of these flights breached the hour mark, although Bob Beck and Fred Brown with 51 minutes in the DG1000, John Carter and Steve Ogden wiht 47 minutes in K21 KLW and John Tayler and C Kapp with 46 minutes in the same glider came reasonably close. Alec Watt, flying his Vega, had just over 2 hours, but the day’s honours went to John Shaw who, flying the DG303, managed to contact wave and climbed to 6,1000′ asl in his flight of 1:24. John Marsh and Brian Wise also flew the DG303, recording times of 1:15 and 50 minutes respectively while a single First Flight pupil was flown.
Thursday 25th. There was no flying on Christmas Day as this is the traditional practice at the YGC.
Friday 26th. Advancing fronts from the Atlantic resulted in a light ESE’ly flow at the club and, with very poor visibility and a lowering cloud base, no flying was possible.
Saturday 27th. The Atlantic fronts deposited around 5 mm of snow on the site but the post frontal weather, a light and cold NW’ly and overcast skies did not tempt anyone to fly, even though the skies cleared late afternoon as a anticyclone moved in to cover the country.
Sunday 28th. Some patches of freezing fog in the Vale of York did not affect operations at Sutton with 11 ATs being flown behind the Pawnee off the snow covered runway 24. K21 KLW, the DG1000 and Astir KRN were all flown, the clear and sunny skies above, the snow covered moors below and the light wind conditions providing a attractive package for the 2 First Flight pupils of the day. The absence of any usable lift meant it was a day of continuous descent from the top of the tow and Steve Ogden, flying the Astir, managed this the best by posting the longest flight of the day, 23 minutes. John Tayler/Nigel Burke in the K21 and Jim McLean flying with Les Rayment in the same glider,each managed 22 minutes while Paul Whitehead and First Flight pupil Judith Lam had 21 minutes. The attractiveness of the day is nicely illustrated in the following photos provided by Steve Ogden, the first showing the limited extent of the snow, and the second showing K21 KLW all set for a snowy take off behind the Pawnee off runway 24.
Monday 29th. With the intensifying anticyclone firmly in charge, it was another day of light winds, clear blue skies and no lift to speak of, but the limited membership present and the day’s 2 First Flight pupils combined to deliver 5 ATs, all in K21 KLW. It was again a day of steady descents from the top of the tow and in the absence of any lift, most all the flights took tows to 3000′ QFE. This time is was John Carter and Naomi Kennard who managed the energy the best by squeezing out 24 minutes of flying followed by Albert Newbery and his First Flight pupil with 22 minutes.
Tuesday 30th. The anticyclone was showing signs of declining in the face of approaching Atlantic fronts, but the progress eastwards of the latter was very slow so it was again a day of sunny skies and light winds, those at site being from the WSW, while those in the lower altitudes of the Vale of York were S’ly as shown by the smoke from some isolated fires. With the help of 4 First Flight pupils, one of whom walked in off the public footpath on the off chance of taking a flight, and a goodly number of members, the launch total for the day was 14 ATs behind the Pawnee. Take offs were from runway 24 with landings on 20. The Falke weighed in with 3 flights, one of these being for the benefit of Nick Covill as he practised failed launch procedures and field landings with Albert Newberry. Nick also availed himself of some stalling/spinning/spiral diving exercises with John Carter in the DG1000 as he worked his way towards his Bronze Badge and also did some general handling exercises with David Campbell in K21 KLW off the first flight of the day. Unlike the previous days,Tuesday did produce some areas of zero or even weak and spasmodic lift enabling Derek Smith and daughter Charlotte to achieve 30 minutes in the air in the DG500, the next best being the 27 minutes achieved by David Campbell and Nick Covill in their flight reported above. Ethan Barber was the only pilot to fly solo which he did in Astir KRN after having a check flight in K21 KLW with Albert Newbery.
The lack of any significant lift in the days after Christmas, with the consequential slow descents from release height, have obviously been affecting our young-at-heart President, Nick Gaunt, who sent me the following photo of his own brand of earth bound, continuous, but not-so-slow descents.
Nick also included the following greetings to all YGC members: “Say no more, if you can’t glide then slide! All the best to every member of the YGC from a president who is rapidly going down hill”.