Thursday 23rd. The declining high pressure provided a foggy/misty start to Thursday, this only burning off around lunch time, allowing flying to commence just after 1400 hrs into rather hazy blue skies and a light SSE’ly wind that slowly freshened to become light to moderate by the end of the day. The slow start to the day resulted in no significant convection developing, so the 9 ATs of the day, all in one or other of the K21s, were circuits, with the longest being that by David Hill and C Williamson in JVZ with 20 minutes with Kevin and Liz Keiley next longest in KLW with 17 minutes.
Friday 24th. The wind had become a light W’ly and with no trace of fog or mist, flying got underway just after 1000 hrs, the sky being a hazy blue but with the first signs of an approaching front visible in the far west. 14 ATs were flown with the club’s 2 K21s again in action, these being joined by the club Discus and 3 private owner launches. The approaching front’s upper cloud gradually thickened and lowered, causing the rather ragged, pre frontal thermals to give up altogether, this being the main reason for the land out of Rob Bailey in the club Discus,who, after having flown around 69% of a 100 km triangle, landed out on the his final leg after turning Pickering and York East. The other reason was the strengthening wind which eventually became moderate. John Ellis, flying his DG800 started off relying on the thermal activity but, soaring in front of the forward ridge, contacted blue wave which eventually took him to around 9,000′ asl and allowed him to complete a 181 km flight with TPs at Kirby Stephen Station, Pateley Bridge and Boroughbridge, the damper air mass to the west providing some lenticulars. Martyn Johnson, flying his DG600 and Michael Pointon, flying his Discus, made up the list of the day’s 4 pilots to exceed and hour in the air, Martyn having 3:06 and Michael 1:35. Andy Parish took one of the day’s 3 First Flight pupils for a 30 minute flight in K21 KLW to record the longest flight of those flying in 2 seaters while the Falke had a single flight.
Saturday 25th. A southward travelling cold front was forecast to terminate the flying early and so it proved, the lowering cloud base ahead of the front causing flying to stop in the early afternoon, a drop in wind speed and change in direction to N’ly also contributing. Prior to the front’s arrival, the moderate WSW’ly wind had provided some good hill soaring conditions with the 16 winch launches, 5 of which were for a group of Scouts and Explorers, leading to flights which also benefited from some strong and streeting thermals. Although not forecast, the morning’s Satpics showed the presence of wave, but pilot’s experiences of this were limited in time, strength and altitude, the best reported of the latter being around 3,000′ asl. This was also cloud base height for those being convectively supported. Tony Dury in his DG300, one of 3 private owners to rig, had 2:38, while Martyn Johnson had 2:28 in his DG600. Steve Ogden, flying Astir GBK had 1:18, his GoPro video of his launch illustrating the rather lively conditions of the day, these also contributing to some bouncy approaches. Stills from Steve’s video are shown below giving a good impression of the beautiful countryside over which we fly and the streeting Cu which contributed to the day’s soaring.
Roger Burghall and Mark Newburn flying K21 KLW, were a couple of the pilots to experience, albeit briefly, the smoothness of wave in their flight of 1:12, while among all this activity the Falke had a single sortie. The change in the weather meant that 3 of the visiting Scout/Explorer group did not get a chance to fly so they retired to the simulator room with George Rowden where the sun shone and they and the virtual birds thermalled. Later in the day the club held its AGM where Chris Thirkell was re-elected as Club Chairman and Ken Arkley and Steve Thompson were elected onto the Board replacing retiring members Mike Smith and Fred Brown who were thanked for their contributions to the running of the club.