Tuesday 24th to Wednesday 25th.

Tuesday 24th.  A light to moderate W’ly blew initially, this decreasing to become light as the day progressed, the extensive cloud cover also decreasing throughout the day.  The lack of any significant soaring opportunities meant that majority of the 8 ATs flown on the day were for  First Flight pupils, their high tows meaning they helped to generate 4 flights over 30 minutes, with I Traintor and T Braithwaite having 36 and 32 minutes each in the DG1000 with John Tayler.   Steve Ogden flew K21 JVZ for 25 minutes off  the last flight of the day and Steve also supplied this photo of the Gallops just to the north of  the site, the home bowl of the westerly ridge also showing up well..

Gallops Nov Steve Ogden

Wednesday 25th.  A weak warm front lingering over the western fringes of the UK did not extend its cloud beyond the Pennines, ensuring a predominately sunny day at Sutton, the wind being a light to moderate NW’ly.  As a result of the latter, the 11 ATs off runway 24 behind the Pawnee had some sporty conditions to contend with until the White Horse was crossed, with most pilots electing to land on 30.  Bit and pieces of lift were found by most pilots, either in the form of weak wave or more choppy conditions which could have been rotor or hill induced thermal, while around the middle of the day some quite well formed Cu developed but did not last long.  Nobody managed to stay up for an hour or more but 3 of the  day’s flights exceeded 30 minutes with Albert and Martin Newbery having 36 minutes in the DG1000 and Mike Wood having 30 minutes in Astir KRN.  Alex Manke and Duncan Pask shared a flight of 30 minutes in the DG1000, while the 4 First Flight pupils of  the day enjoyed the winter scenery and crisp visibility.  The soggy nature of parts of the airfield meant that the time spent cleaning the gliders at the end of the flying day approached the duration of some of  the flights, but the benign conditions on the airfield meant that the opportunity was taken to rig K21 KLW after its return from its ARC, as the following photo shows.



Tuesday 17th to Monday 23rd November

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.

Nov 21

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.

Sunday 15th to Monday 16th November.

Sunday 15th.  The site was in the warm sector of ex Hurricane Kate and consequently enjoyed both  balmy temperatures that reached  15-17C in the Vale of York and a moderate to fresh WSW’ly that was just right for hill soaring.  However, the accompanying low cloud and periods of light rain and drizzle were definitely not enjoyed as they prevented any flying from taking place.

Monday 16th.  Kate’s cold front crossed the site during the early hours with the result that the maximum temperature of the day, 12.2C, was reached around 0200 hrs with the temperature continually falling from that point to reach  5.8 C at 1700 hrs.  The cooler air mass was propelled along by a moderate to fresh W’ly that contained a few showers, most of whom missed the site, but the wind direction and strength, and the unstable air,  meant it was a good soaring day.  Winching off runway 24 got under way at 1020 hrs and by the end of the flying day, the last flight landing in darkening conditions at 1615 hrs, 16 launches had been flown.  All 3 available 2 seaters were flown as were Astir DPO and the Discus, with only 3 flights failing to beat 30 minutes.  Hill lift was augmented by some strong thermals, these enabling John Carter in the Astir and George Rowden in the Discus to get to cloud base at around 3, 700′ asl while some broken wave got John to 4,200′ asl and George to 4,000′ asl in their flights of 1:13 and an hour respectively. Colin Troise and John Tayler, sharing a flight in the DG500, posted the longest flight of the day, 1:45, with Bob Beck and Andy Tyas having 1:31 in the DG1000 before Bob went off in the same glider solo and had 1:23.  Paul Whitehead and Dave McKinney also exceeded an hour with 1:25 in the DG1000 while David Watson, solo in the DG500 and Roger Burghall in the Discus had an hour and 1:01 respectively.  The effects of all the recent rain could be seen in flooded river valleys to the west and south west as the first of the following photos shows, while the second photo shows a rainbow segment  produced by one of the  day’s less imposing showers.



The next photo might explain why winch drivers feel like forgotten men and imprisoned at the winch.



Wednesday 11th to Saturday 14th November

Wednesday 11th.   An approaching cold front brought rain to the site around midday but 2 winch launches were squeezed in before the rain set in, the first with Andy Parish and T Walker in K21 KLW having 55 minutes in hill and wave lift in the WSW’ly flow.  The moist airmass did however, mean that open wave slots were hard to find, and the lowering cloud base meant that the second and last winch launch of the day in KLW, with Andy Parish and this time E Kavanagh as P2 had a flight time of only 10 minutes.

Thursday 12th.  A light to moderate SSE’ly wind steadily increased to fresh by the end of the day, with gusts to around 35 kts, as the Met Office’s first named storm, Abigail, approached from the Atlantic.  23 ATs were flown off runway 20 and Rob Bottomley even rigged and flew his Discus on a day when 5 flights exceeded an hour and a further nine 30 minutes, with 3 each of the club two and  single seaters flown.  One of the day’s 2  Mile High pupils was taken to a mile and a half, ie 7,900′ asl, by Andy Parish in K21 KLW, the result of contacting wave from the top of the tow and climbing at 2-4 kts, before returning to site after a 40 minute flight.   Andy later took K Bottomley to 6,500′ asl, again in KLW, in a flight of an hour, while Chris Knapp had 1:18 in the Discus and climbed to 5,900′ asl.  David Watson and Colin Troise shared a flight of 1:08 in the DG1000 but were frustrated in their wave exploration  by closing wave slots, but Tom Dale gained 1,000′ while stationary over Hood Hill in Astir KRN, as the upper wind increased to around 55 kts.   Day course pupil Chris Haresnape had a 1:11 flight in K21 JVZ with Derek Smith and followed this up with a flight in the Falke, again with Derek.

Friday 13th.  With storm Abigail battering the extreme north and west of Great Britain, the site was subjected to a moderate to fresh W’ly gusting to around 40 kts over the middle of the day, the air mass containing some heavy showers of rain that were at their most frequent in the morning.  The showers diminished in frequency to leave a predominately dry afternoon and the wind eased a little, but with most people having left site, there was no flying.

Saturday 14th.  The remnants of Hurricane Kate following Abigail on a track towards the UK were forecast to bring very heavy rain to western Wales and NorthWest England, but the rain didn’t arrive at site until around 1430 hrs, although the lowering cloud base did mean that flying was abandoned for the day around 1300 hrs.  Before this, 6 winch launches were flown off runway 24, all in either K21 JVZ, the DG500 or the DG1000, the first 2 launches of the day finding some weak wave that took them to between 3,400 and 2,900′ asl.  John Marsh and Tony Drury, flying in the DG1000 recorded the 3,400′  in their flight of 1:37, with Robin Hutchinson and Andy Tyas having 1:11 in K21 JVZ as they reached 2,900′ asl.  The wave then progressively moved to eventually become out of phase with the hill so that while Andy Parish and Simona Latimer had 33 minutes in the DG500, later flights could only manage between 10 and 20 minutes, the former by Fred Brown solo in JVZ and the latter by Colin Troise and Tony Drury in the DG1000, a sudden increase in cloudiness coupled with its low base resulting in their flight ending in a high speed return to runway 24 from the hill.  The only First Flight pupil of the day, David Staples, had his 16 minute flight in JVZ with George Rowden later supplemented by a much more sunny, high cloud base, hill soaring flight in the Lake District courtesy of  the simulator.

Friday 6th to Tuesday 10th November

Friday 6th.    A day of low cloud with  bits an pieces of rain amounting to 2 mm over the day in a moderate S’ly wind, resulted in it being another non flying day at Sutton, although the simulator did provide some virtual flying time for some  members to offset the lack of any real flying.

Saturday 7th.  An active front crossed the site during the late morning, depositing some 16 mm of rain in the process and generating some moderate to fresh and gusty winds which, initially from the S, veered into the W as the front cleared the site.  The gusty wind, peaking around 35 kts close to the front, was not, however, the main reason for it being another non-flying day.  This was down to the low cloud base which shrouded the hill for much of the day, only slowly lifting above the hill in the late afternooon.

Sunday 8th.   The wind had backed into the SSE as dawn broke, remaining from this direction throughout the day and being accompanied by rain and low cloud during the morning as another front crossed the site.  Skies generally cleared in  the early afternoon, but orographic cloud remained a problem at site in the very mild and moist air mass and this, coupled with the moderate to fresh wind, which became increasingly gusty as the afternoon progressed towards evening, eventually reaching around 45 kts, put an end to any hopes of flying.  The clearing skies and mild conditions did however, mean that the bonfire, firework display and dinner which constituted  the   club’s celebration of Guy Fawkes’ attempt to blow up the Houses of Parliament were enjoyed by a goodly crowd of members and friends.

Monday 9th.  A moderate to fresh, mild SSW’ly flow continued all day, providing persistent and heavy rain on the western flanks of the Pennines but spits and spots of rain for most of the day at site, this occasionally being replaced by short periods of light rain.  The wind gusted into the low 30’s over the majority of the day while the cloud base remained low, although at least clear of the site.  These natural  disincentives to fly were added to by some anthropogenic reasons, as the encroaching trees around some local overhead power cables were trimmed by the power company, resulting in the electricity supply to the club being off for a good part of the day.

Tuesday 10th.  The wind had now become a moderate to fresh W’ly, and, with the still mild  airmass somewhat drier, it was finally possible to fly.  Flying commenced around 1030 hrs and continued until just after 1500 hrs, when increasing wind speeds,  with gusts to around 40 kts, led to the abandonment of any other thoughts of flying, so that  the 3rd First Flight of the day had to be rebooked to a later day.  In all, 9 winch launches were flown in 3 of the club 2 seaters, the conditions ensuring some turbulent hill lift and high approaches through a significant wind gradient to runway 24.  The extent of the wind gradient  could be judged by watching the ridge soaring gliders making very little progress against the wind at around 2-2,300′ asl.  All but 2 of the day’s flights exceeded 30 minutes, with Albert Newbery and Chris Hairsnape having 1:15 off the first flight of the day in K21 KLW and Paul Whitehead and David McKinney having 1:02 in the DG1000.  Paul and Dave, like many of the day’s pilots, found lift well upwind of the hill and explored the forward ridge in their flight, while other pilots had to resort to increased airspeeds and/or the air brakes to keep under the 1,400′ QFE cloudbase, this rising from an initial value of 950′.  John Tayler and Ron Linten had an hour in K21 KLW while Paul Whitehead and Peter Robinson had 59 minutes off the last flight of the day in K21 JVZ.  Transient sunny slots upwind of the site indicated the presence of the forecast wave but none were within reach, while the effects of the recent rain could be seen in flooded fields and  rivers in the Vale of York.

Sunday 1st to Thursday 5th November

Sunday 1st.   It was another foggy day for those living in the Vales of York and Pickering, the light to moderate initially S’ly wind on top of Sutton Bank,  slowly backing into the E.  The fog was only a few hundred feet thick so the club was bathed in bright sunshine that allowed the temperature to reach a somewhat balmy 15C, not bad for early November.  However, the lack of any land out options in the event of a low AT failure meant that flying was not possible.  The contrast between the foggy lowlands and the sunny uplands is captured very nicely in the following photo provided by Phil Lazenby.

1 November Phil Lazenby

Monday 2nd.  Yesterday’s sunny skies were a distant memory as a the light to moderate ESE’ly flow brought in very murky conditions at low level, the tops of the North Yorkshire Moors including, the YGC site, being enveloped in a thick layer of stratus.  This was thick enough to deposit 0.5 mm of rain overnight and restrict the maximum temperature during the day to just under 10C.  Consequently, there was no flying, although that allowed work continued on the DG500 trailer.

Tuesday 3rd.   The synoptic situation showed little overall change, so it was another day of light to moderate SSE’ly winds, this time backing into the E around 1430 hrs,  that continued to bring in the thick layer of stratus that covered the site and providing very poor visibility at lower levels.  Not surprisingly the temperature at site struggled to rise, with the maximum for the day being 7C, and that was not the only thing struggling to rise as  it was another rest day for the gliders.

Wednesday 4th.  Ditto Tuesday in terms of meteorological conditions, the only changes being a light to moderate SE’ly flow that veered into the S over the day and a temperature that continued to  slowly increase from yesterday’s maximum of 7C through the night to reach a day time peak of 9.7C.  With the site again immersed in a thick layer of stratus there was again no flying.

Thursday 5th.  An advancing Atlantic front was expected to sweep away the mist and murk during the day but it didn’t arrive at site until around 1600 hrs, its arrival being announced by the associated pressure change and the commencement of some heavy rain that added 4 mm to the month’s total so far.  Conditions at site otherwise remained depressingly similar to those of Tuesday and Wednesday, with the site enveloped in a thick layer of stratus.  The only other change evident compared to previous days was the increased strength of the wind, this being more moderate than light, although it continued to blow from the SE before veering into the S as the front approached.   Work had continued on the DG500 trailer during the enforced period of no flying and, with the new floor boards and internal steelwork painted  in preparation for some welding work over the weekend, the outside of the trailer was power washed and sanded by Andy Parish and Diane Thomas and others to  remove its flaky paint cover.  The results of this work are shown in the next photo as the rain started to fall from leaden skies.


Thursday 29th to Saturday 31st October

Thursday 29th.  A moderate to fresh SE’ly continued to bring in low cloud and mainly light rain, although this temporarilly became heavy around lunch time, the wind then decreasing to become light by the end of the day.  Being in a cloud while not having to leave the ground meant it was another non flying day.

Friday 30th.  The moist and mild SE’ly flow remained the dominant feature of the weather along with its low cloud that continued to envelop the site, with 4.5 mm of rain falling overnight as another front crossed the area.  However, a clearance arrived around lunch time and preparations were made to  start flying.  John Marsh with Geoff in K21 KLW took the first and only AT of the day, as the launch was aborted shortly after take off due to misting canopies, resulting in a flight time of 15 seconds, the longest of the working week.  Elsewhere, work continued on the trailer conversion for the DG500 as the following photos show, with George Elbourne refurbishing some of the fittings, Ian Barwick sorting out the brakes and the floor removed to allow the support steelwork to be checked over and repainted.

George Elbourne with fittings Oct

Ian Barwick working on brakes Oct

Floor removed and frame ready for painting Oct


In the clubhouse, summer tuggie Johnathon was presented with a Mike Smith print of the Super Cub in the hangar and a mounted  barometer/thermometer on the occasion of the end of his stay at the club.  The following photos show Johnathon being presented with his mementoes  by club chairman Chris Thirkell and then proudly displaying them, with Nick Gaunt and John Carter providing some  reminiscences of and thanks for  Johnathon’s time at the club.

Chris's presentation

Johnathon with print


Meanwhile, outside, Dave Lynch’s ashes were scattered at the end of the winch track with members of his family and friends present, the actual scattering ceremony taking place in a  period of good visibility as the low cloud briefly cleared.


Saturday 31st.  The moist SE’ly flow remained in place as the pressure rose, providing a day with a layer of medium level cloud that broke up occasionally to give sunny intervals in the surrounding countryside, but which was invisible to those at site due to the persistent formation of a thick  layer of orographic stratus.  This not only provided foggy conditions that prevented any flying but meant that the temperature range over daylight hours was only 1C, the maximum being 10.4C.  The lack of any flying did not mean that club members were idle, as Ian Barwick continued with his work on the DG500 trailer, John Marsh and Andy Tyas spent a profitable time on the simulator coping with  failed ATs and Fred Brown, ably assisted by Robin Hutchinson and others, did some work on the tug hangar doors to minimise movement in windy conditions. Photo’s of Robin with a hand grinder and Fred with his welding equipment are shown below, followed by a shot showing the results of their  efforts.




Saturday 24th to Wednesday 28th October

Saturday 24th.  Rain and low cloud associated with a cold front meant it was a non flyable morning but, with clearing skies and change in wind direction from SSE to W’ly, albeit with a reduction from moderate to light in strength, flying got underway around 1400 hrs when the first of 8 Scouts were AT’d off in K21 KLW.  The remainder of the Scouts were flown in KLW or the DG500  but with no usable lift, flight times were in the range from 16-23 minutes.  However,  off the last flight of the day, Paul Whitehead and John Shaw managed 26 minutes in KLW.

Sunday 25th.  The ridge of high pressure following Saturday’s cold front provided a very pleasant autumnal day,  the wind being a light to moderate SW’l to start the flying day before progressively backing into the SE as another depression approached from the SW.  The pleasant conditions did not extend to many soaring opportunities, however, with none of the day’s 41 ATs delivering any flights over and hour, although 8 exceeded 30 minutes, mainly courtesy of high tows. An example of  this was the flight of Peter Goodchild and his guest Steve, who had 42 minutes in the DG500 off a 4,500′ tow.  The presence of some lift was, however, demonstrated by John Marsh, one the day’s 6 private owner launches, who had 50 minutes in his DG303 and by Bob Beck and his First Flight pupil Derik Wilkin who had 37 minutes in the DG1000 off a 3,000′ tow.  The day also provided a notable coincidence, Mark Newburn and Adrian Melia both celebrating their 100th glider flight, with both pilots having 2 on the day, Mark flying Astir KRN with a best time of 35 minutes and Adrian flying the Discus with a best time of 34 minutes.  The day.a pleasant conditions also persuaded Andy Hatfield to have a trip in the Falke.

Monday 26th.  A persistent low overcast in a moderate, mild and moist SSE’ly flow meant it was a day of poor visibility and no flying.

Tuesday 27th.   With low pressure to the west and high pressure to the east, the moist and mild, now ESE’ly flow continued to envelope the site in low cloud so there was no flying.  However, the opportunity was taken to clean the trailer that is destined to be converted to one suitable for the DG500 over the winter, the cleaning operation, with plenty of supervisors, featuring in the following photo supplied by John Carter.

Washing the new DG500 Trailer Oct

Wednesday 28th.  The cold front that had been dawdling over the western parts of the UK finally decided to move eastwards, with the result that the low cloud that had been plaguing the site over the last couple of days was now accompanied by rain, some 8 mm falling between 1000 and 1400 hrs.  The post front clearance did not make its presence felt until much later, in fact so much later that darkness had fallen, so it was another non flying day, except, of course on the simulator, where John Carter and Mike Brown were to be found developing a virtual winching scenario based at Pocklington.  This was to provide winch launch training opportunities, including more varied launch failure options, than is available from the short duration/limited virtual and real winch launches available at Sutton.  The development of this Pocklington winching programme was followed by some virtual exploration of soaring the cliffs along the eastern edge of the North Yorks Moors in a fresh NE’ly.

Tuesday 20th to Friday 23rd October

Tuesday 20th.  A light W’ly blew all day as the centre of the persistent anticyclone moved south of the site with some limited  convective activity providing some soaring opportunities.  17 ATs were flown, with the Nene Valley visitors being among the 5 private owners to rig and fly.  Rob Bailey in his ASG29t and Joan Wilson, flying K21 KLW solo were the two pilots to exceed an hour in the air, Rob having 2 hours and Joan 1:04.  6 other pilots exceeded 30 minutes including a Mile High pupil, one of 5 First Flight pupils to fly on the day, while visitor Dave Mansfield flew his DG300 for 40  minutes.

Wednesday 21st.  An Atlantic depression led to a wet night with 11 mm of rain falling, the associated low cloud delaying the start of flying until the early afternoon and limiting the AT total for the day to 5, 2 of which were by the Nene Valley GC visitors in their DG300 and Pilatus B4.   The ATs were preceded by a single winch launch, a solo flight by John Carter in K21 JVZ  that lasted 25 minutes leading to the conclusion to continue with ATing, the light to moderate WNW’ly providing marginal hill soaring conditions.  The choice of ATs as the preferred launch method proved to be the correct one as the higher launches allowed some weak wave to be contacted that was made use of, particularly by the Nene Valley GC visitors, with C Shepherd in his Pilatus B4 having 1:25 and Dave Mansfield in his DG300 having 59 minutes, the maximum heights obtained being around 3,500 ‘.    John Carter and Dave McKinney had 46 minutes in K21 JVZ, one of three flights to exceed 30  minutes,  on a day when 2 First Flight pupils, including a Mile High aspirant, were introduced to gliding and the Falke had 2 flights.

Thursday 22nd.  A moderate W’ly blew all day providing some superb wave conditions that allowed  excursions across the Pennines and high climbs.  27 winch launches were flown with all of the club 2 seaters and 2 of the single seaters utilised and 7 private owner launches.  The 8 RAF pilots from the Basic Fast Jet training course at Linton on Ouse certainly chose a good day for their introduction to gliding as did the 4 First Flight pupils of the day, including a Mile High pupil who got there via the wave rather than a high tow.  John Ellis, self launching in his DG800 to 500′ QFE on the ridge, added a 18,800′ climb onto this to peak at flight level 19.4 over Kirkby Stephen, having to terminate the  climb with a 4kt climb rate still registering on the vario.  John, like other pilots, reported exceptional rates of climb, with one climb providing a value of 15.2 kts on the averager.  Nick Gaunt, flying his LS7, was another pilot to report exceptional climb rates and contacted the wave between Cowesby Bowl and Black Hambleton.  Deciding that a foray downwind was not on due to the high wind speeds at height, Nick flew upwind to Keswick, finding his initial climb rate of 11 kts at 3,500′ asl had only decreased to 7-8 kts at 10,000′ asl.  Nick terminated his climb at 13,000′ asl and returned to site after, and I quote, “a jolly 4 hours”.  Fred Brown, flying his Ventus, has to search around a bit to contact the wave but when he eventually did he also found some very strong lift, noting a peak rate of 16 kts at one point.  Fred, like Nick, flew west, turning Tebay and Brough before returning east to turn Harrogate North and then back to Sutton to record 219 km.  With no oxygen, Fred terminated his climb at 13,300’ while in 7 kts of lift and also enjoyed a 250 kph return leg to Sutton.   Fred has supplied the following photo of Tebay from 13,000, asl.

Fred Brown 22 Oct

Another pilot to use the wave to fly cross country was Rob Bailey in his ASG29t, who remained on the east side of the Pennines and visited Masham, Carlton, Ripon and the Tontine to cover 153 kms.  Overall, only 0ne of the days 27 winch launches failed to exceed 30 minutes, with 12 exceeding an hour.  Nene Valley GC visitors Mansfield in his DG300 and Shepherd in his Pilatus B4, while not contacting the main wave, had 1:48 and 2:41 respectively, while Robin Hutchinson had 1:37 in the Discus.  The high climbs were not, however, confined to private owners.  John Carter had two climbs to 10,000′  in K21 JVZ and one to 7,000′ in the DG500, being accompanied by Juniors Harvey Dunmore and Charlie Inch on their 8th K21 flights and by Andy Tyas in the DG500.  John has provided the following photos from his flights, the first showing Harvey enjoying the vista from the front seat of JVZ and the second a view of the wave to the east of the Pennines from 10,000′ asl.John Carter and Junior 22 Oct

John Carter 22 Oct Yorkshire

Friday 23rd.  After the superb wave conditions on Thursday, Friday proved to be somewhat anticlimactic,  the initially light S’ly slowly increasing to moderate and veering into the SSW.  The extensive  layer of cloud at around 4,000′ asl did show some wave features but the air remained still and stable with only some occasional and weak  lift to be found at the mouth of the valley on the eastern side of the site.  This allowed Brian Wise to extend his flight with  pupil C Haresnape to 36 minutes to record the only flight of the 10 on the day to exceed the 30 minute mark, with John Carter and Tony Drury being next best with 26 minutes.  The conditions meant that only the 2 K21s were flown off runway 20, flying coming to an end around 1530 hrs due to a lack of trade, although the 3 First Flight pupils of the day enjoyed their smooth flights, one remarking that it should be compulsory for everyone to have such a marvellous experience.