Thursday 21st to Saturday 25th July

Thursday 21st.  A light to  moderate W’ly blew all day, providing a mixture of thermal, ridge and wave lift for the course and other members, and also the 2 First Flight pupils of the day.  The  soaring conditions led to 17 of the 24 winch launches exceeding 30 minutes with 11 exceeding an hour, the average duration for the day being boosted by the 8:09 spent by Bob Calvert in his Ventus, although I have been unable to determine where or how high he went.  Derek Smith had just over 5 hours in his Ventus, he and Bob being 2 of the 5 private owners to fly,  while the course members enjoyed another hill soaring day that allowed them to practice repeated approaches without landing, as closing the brakes and overshooting runway 24 propelled them back into the rising air in front of the hill, whereupon they could regain height to repeat the exercise again.  Thus Geoff Turner and Charles Willoughby were able to spend a productive 1:26 each with Bob Beck in K21 JVZ.  The Ka8 was also well utilised with both Nick Gaunt and Howard Marshall having an hour or more, providing glimpses of days of yore.  (This refers to the Ka8 and not them of course).  Another representative of that bygone age was the T21 which had 3 flights, accumulating almost 3 hours of air time and at one point climbing in the wave to 5,000′ asl with Nick Gaunt and Phil Lazenby on board.  Fortunately, they drifted out of the wave shortly after passing 5,000′ as it would have been interesting to find out who first  decided the cold or lack of oxygen was a good reason to return to lower altitudes.  A photo from the K21 during the flight is shown below.

Phil Laxenby T21 July

Friday 24th.  A light wind blew, starting off in the NW and backing progressively to the NE by the end of  the day, but with cloudy skies, soaring opportunities were hard to find, only 6 of  the day’s 21 ATs managing to exceed 30 minutes and none in excess of an  hour.  Mike Smith and Junior member P Boumont topped the list with 42 minutes in the DG500 off a 3k tow, while Graham Taylor managed 39 minutes solo in K21 KLW.  Martyn Johnson and Bob Sergeant, one of the 4 First Flight pupils to be flown, had 38 minutes in the DG1000 and Bob Beck and course member Tony Smyth had 36 minutes in K,  while the 3 Falke flights added to the day’s activities.   During the evening, Brian Wise, Fred Brown and Robin Hutchinson shared the flying of a group  of Air Training Cadets from Leeming but the day’s highlights were the re-solo of course member Andrew Feldhann and the solo of club member Charles Willoughby, so congratulations to them.

Saturday 23rd.  The day opened  with a moderate to fresh NNW’ly  blowing that provided some turbulent take offs from runway 02 and caused a cessation of ATing after a couple of launches.  The wind, however, progressively moderated and backed into the W, so flying recommenced around 1230 hrs and continued until around 1730 hrs when a large shower caused those that were aloft to land and get somewhat wet on  the subsequent retrieve back to the hangar.  The day’s 25 launches included 8 for a group of Scouts from St Albans but with opportunities for soaring being limited by over convection, only 2 of the day’s flights exceeded an hour, with Rory O’Conor having to resort to the engine of this DG800 as he explored the lift on the North Face of the North Yorks Moors in his flight of 1:23, while Darren Lodge eventually managed to get above his release  height in his flight of 1:10 in his LS8.  Late in the afternoon recycling of the cloud amounts saw the Stratocumulus melt away and some nice looking Cumulus develop, enticing some of the day’s private owners to launch.  However,  as  noted above, their flight times were truncated by a large shower, with Tony Drury having 47  minutes in his DG303 while Rob and Spencer Bailey had 44 minutes in the club DG1000.  Andrew Feldhann had a good second solo flight with 41 minutes in K21 KLW.  The day’s 5 First Flight pupils included Grandmother and Grandson Mandy and Colin Wood who, courtesy of John Tayler and Fred Brown had 22 minutes and 35 minutes respectively.


Monday 20th to Wednesday 22nd July

Monday 20th.  New holiday course members, Geoff Turner, Charles Willoughby, Tony Smyth and Andrew  Feldhann, were introduced, or in some cases reintroduced, to gliding on a day when soaring was at a premium.  The initially moderate S’ly wind veered into the SSW towards the end of the day but before then, progressively lower cloud with accompanying rain meant a stop to flying around 1430 hrs,  14 ATs being flown before this happened.  There was no solo flying but 3 of the club’s 4 two seaters were flown to sastify the demand of the course members, club members and the day’s 4 First Flight pupils.  Staying up was something of a challenge, with only 2 flight exceeding or equalling 30 minutes duration, this particular goal being reached by Brian Wise and Ben Walker in the DG500 with 31 minutes and by Course instructor Bob Beck with course member Andrew Feldhann with 30 minutes.  The cessation of real flying was followed by as session of virtual flying on the simulator for the course members.

Tuesday 21st.  The wind had become a moderate SSW’ly so it was out with the winch to give the course members the experience and enjoyment of both winch launches and hill soaring.  The day’s 11 launches led to all but one flight exceeding at least 30 minutes, with 8 exceeding an hour and the course members took full advantage of the conditions to get time in the air.  Geoff Turner had 1:34 in K21 KLW with Bob Beck, Tony Smyth had 1:26 in the DG1000 with Paul Whitehead and Andrew Feldhann had 1:26 in KLW with Bob Beck on a day when there was no solo flying but a single First Flight pupil was flown.

Wednesday 22nd.  A light and variable wind meant it was a day for ATing off runway 20, the initially blue skies soon filling in with a medium overcast that allowed high tows but eliminated any convective lift.  Flying got under way around 1100 hrs with the course members splitting their instruction between the Falke and the 2 seater gliders while George Rowden took Mary, the first of the day’s 4 First Flight pupils, for her flight.  Conditions were very smooth but towards the end of the flight light rain began to fall as visibility towards the west became very poor and, shortly afterwards,around 1230 hrs,  flying was abandoned as the rain became heavier.  The course members retired to the simulator for some more ATing, circuit and landing practice,while the rain radar indicated a long period of rain, so the remaining First Flight pupils departed the site having rebooked to a later date.  The skies cleared and the rain stopped around 1600 hrs, allowing the course members to recommence their training in either the Falke or the 2 seaters, flying finally coming to an end around 1830 hrs and the day’s AT launch total being 10.  The post 1600 hr flying had to contend with broken cloud with a base at 1000′ QFE so those flying the 2 seaters concentrated on circuit and landing excercises into a by now light to moderate SSW’ly.  Flight times were generally low, the longest being George Rowden’s flight with First Flight pupil Mary which ended after 26 minutes off a 3,000′ QFE tow.

Tuesday 14th to Sunday 19th July

Tuesday 14th.  A baiscally cloudy day with an intially light N’ly that eventually veered into the WSW and increased to moderate, did not provide much in the way of soaring opportunities, with only 2 of the day’s 7 ATs exceeding 30 minutes.  CFI Andy Parish took First Flight pupil Simon Thompson for 45 minutes in K21 KLW, while Day Course pupil Janet Amos had 2 flights in K21 JVZ with instructor David Hill, managing 30  minutes on the first and 17 minutes on the second,  She then took a flight with David Campbell in the Falke.  All the other flights on the day were for First Flight pupils, the conditions not tempting any  members to fly.

Wednesday 15th.  A ridge of high pressure provided a good soaring day, the light NW’ly being accompanied by some nice looking Cu, cloud base getting to around 5,000′ in places and even a somewhat variable sea breeze front to play with.  26 AT,as were flown off runway 02, 12 of these for Private Owners, many of whom departed to various points of the compass.  Derek Smith, flying his Ventus, did a 427 km N/S YoYo with TPs at Durham, the Humber, Northallerton and Rufforth, making use of the aforementioned sea breeze front, while Rob Bailey flew his ASG29t 233 km around his personal Beverley and Pontefract TPs, adding in Northallerton before returning to Sutton, and remarking on the good conditions enroute.  Phil Lazenby flew a 203 km triangle in his Pegase, taking in Goole and Grassington but found the conditions around the latter a little challenging, while George Rowden, limited in time by a need to leave site early, flew a 106 km triangle around Snaiton and Stamford Bridge in his  LS8t, having to dive under what looked like a sea breeze front to reach the Snaiton TP.  George’s early departure was welcomed by his syndicate partner Ken Arkley who took their LS8t for a 2:11 flight that took in the eastern side of the Pennines and the North Yorks Moors, the latter providing some interesting convergence flying.  All the above pilots were among the 9 who had flights of over an hour, while 11 had flights of over 30 minutes, some of the latter being the 5 First Flight pupils of the day. Those flying club aircraft also made the most of the conditions, with Roger Burghall and Nigel Burke sharing a flight of an  hour in the DG 500, John Carter and Ken Duxbury having 57 minutes in K21 KLW and Mike Greenacre having 43 minutes in the Astir.    The T21’s newest syndicate member, Duncan Pask, continued his introduction to the glider with flights of 41 and 56 minutes in the company of Les Rayment.  Among all this activity, the Falke had a single flight.

Thursday 16th.  The conditions on Thursday morning seemed to promise a continuation of those of Wednesday, a light N’ly blowing.  However, as the ridge of High pressure declined cloudier conditions prevailed as the wind became a moderate SE’ly before strengthening further to moderate to fresh and backing into the E.  21 ATs were flown, mainly in the club 2 seaters, with only 2 private owners launching and providing the only 2 flights to exceed an hour on the day.  Rob Bailey set off on a Hemsley, Hawes, Pateley Bridge, Pontefract task but after finding only scrappy thermals on the way to Hawes, abandoned the task around Ripon as the overdeveloped skies meant recourse to the engine of his ASG9t after 115 km.Rob’s flight time was just over 3 hours, while  Colin Troise, flying his DG600 had just under 3 hours in the air.  As noted above  the club’s 2 seaters were kept busy, partially by the 6 First Flight pupils of the day, but club members also participtated, with John Carter and Mark Newburn having 44 minutes in K21 KLW and Joan Wilson taking the DG500 solo in a flight of 47 minutes, they providing two of the flights to exceed 30 minutes aloft.  The day’s flying was completed by a single Falke sortie.

Friday 17th.   A front associated with a depression to the NW of Scotland brought low cloud and rain overnight, the low cloud continuing into the morning before breaking up and lifting and allowing flying to commence around 1415 hours. The wind, initially a light to moderate S’ly, veered into the SSW and steadily increased to become moderate to fresh by the end of flying around 1715 hrs.  The conditions meant it was a winching day and 8 were flown, with 4 leading to flights of over an hour and 2 others of over 30 minutes.  Phil Lazenby was the only private owner to fly, having 1:49 in his Pegase, while Colin Troise had 1:10 solo in K21 JVZ.  John Tayler and Adrian Melia had 3 flights together in K21 KLW, the first lasting 1:07 and the last two lasting 15 and 11 minutes respectively.  This marked  reduction in flight time was not due to a change in conditions or a relationship problem but was the result of a emphasis on circuit flying off the ridge.

Saturday 18th.  With Friday’s depression still off the NW of Scotland, the winds at site remained moderate from a SSW’ly direction so it was again a winching day.  15 launches were flown, with the hill lift and associated wave making for an enjoyable day’s soaring,   Martyn Johnson in his DG600, Fred Brown in his Ventus and Bob Calvert in his Ventus were 3 of the 6 private owners to launch, and 3 of the pilots to exceed 4 hours duration.  Martyn climbed up to 15, 578 ‘ asl in wave but in spite of additional attempts could not get any higher, while Phil Lazenby took his Pegase to just under 9,000′ asl before breaking of  the climb as he had no oxygen on board.  Martyn  contacted the wave straight of the winch launch but after an initial high rate of climb found this dropped off quite rapidly so that acheiving his maximum height took some time.  Lindsay McLane, spurning rigging his Ventus, instead took the club DG303 for a  1:39 flight, while Paul Whitehead and Mark Newburn had 2 flights of  1:35 and 1:36 in K21 JVZ, before also having two flight of 9 minute in what I assume were circuit training flights onto runway 24. Of the 15 launches, 8 led to flights of over an hour and 2 of flights in excess of 30 minutes.

Sunday 19th.  With the SSW’ly wind initiallly showing signs of abating, flying got under way around 1115 hrs with ATing, but only 3 were flown before the wind speed increased to become moderate and winching again became the order of the day, 11 being flown.  3 First Flight pupils, including 2 Mile High pupils, took advantage of the early ATs with first John Marsh and then Martyn Johnson taking their Mile High pupils Peter Aisncouth and James Curtis for flights of 39 and 38 minutes respectively.  2 Further First Flight pupils had the more exciting experience of a winch launch, they being joined by the only private owner to launch on the day, Bob Calvert in  his Ventus making sure he got  value for money by staying up for around 4 hrs, being one of 5 pilots to exceed the hour mark.  He was joined by Martyn Johnson and Nigel Burke who shared 1:37 in K21 KLW, Fred Brown and David (920) Bradley with 1:95 in the same glider and Colin Troise and Roger Burghall who shared 1:06, again in KLW.  Chris Knapp had the longest solo flight in a club glider having1:12 in the DG303.


Friday 10th to Monday 13th July

Friday 10th.A warm and moderate S’ly blew for most of the day, veering into the SSE by evening.    As reported elsewhere, the Enterpriser’s struggled to put more cross country kms on the board and similarly, club pilots found staying up to be a challenge, with only 2 of the 9 ATs flown leading to flights of over 30 minutes.  One of these, Mike Smith’s 44 minute long flight in K21 JVZ was with Mile High pupil L Senos, so the high tow came in handy.   John Marsh and P Cockerham, also in JVZ,  met the 30 minute challenge from a more usual tow height to provide a pinnacle of achievement on more of a gliding than a soaring day.

Saturday 11th.  A moderate, predominately WSW’ly flow led to 26 ATs being flown.  As well as ridge and thermal flying, it turned out to be an interesting wave day and as a result, 15 of  the ATs led to flights of over an hour, only 3 of the day’s flights being shorter than 30 minutes.  Fred Brown, flying his Ventus,  reported the highest climb, to around 11,000′ in his flight of 4;00, Darren Lodge got to 7,600′ asl in his LS8 combining this with an O/R to Burn, the approach to Burn resulting in a descent below the cloud tops.  Dave Latimer in his Ventus embarked on a declared 385 km flight starting and finishing at Thirsk, and taking in Haydon Bridge, Wetherby and Selset reservoir.  After a tentative start with weak and disorganised wave lift, things improved significantly and after completing the task at 86 kph, Dave decided to fly one of the 205 km club wave task that started and finished at  Masham, with TPs at Barnard Castle, Wetherby South and Catterick.  Dave went on to  complete this at 134.9 kph  flying around 633 km in total in his almost 8 hr flight.  Dave is convinced that given the right conditions and task, a 750 km wave flight should be perfectly possible from Sutton.   Other pilots to record long flights were Martyn Johnson in his DG600 with 4:12 and Conrad Thwaites in his Discus with 2:50,they  being two of the 10 private owners to fly on  the day.  Those flying the club two seaters were not to be ignored however, with Chris Gill taking one of the day’s 3 First Flight pupils. Christina Griffiths, for 1:15 in the DG5000, Brian Wise and Peter Marston having 1:10 in K21 JVZ and John Marsh and C Willoughby having exactly an hour also in JVZ.  Father and son Steve and Chris Ogden appeared to have what  I hope was a friendly competition to see who amassed the longest time in the air, with Chris having 2 flights in K21 KLW to total 2:07, this exceeding Steve’s earlier 1:04 flight in the Discus.  However, late in the day, Steve embarked on a flight in the T21 with Rob Bailey to add a further hour to his total but just failed to come out on top of this particular contest.  Steve also modelled  some Biggles type head gear before taking to the skies in the T21 as the following photo shows but, based on the photo, I would recommend he sticks with his present job.

Steve Ogden July 15

Sunday 12th.  A weak front which crossed the site in the early hours left the site in a moderate W’ly flow that increased to moderate to fresh as the day progressed.  The strengthening of the wind led to a mixture of ATs and winch launches, with 4 of the former and 28 of the latter being flown  and 19 of the combined total of 32 launches exceeded an hour with only 5 less than 30 minutes.  The latter included 2 very short flights as Andy Hatfield was given some simulated  failed winch launches to cope with by John Carter.  The 4 ATs included 2 flights of over 2 hours withFred Brown in his Ventus and Martin Joyce in the club Discus having 3:04 and 2:08 respectively, while Graham Taylor flew K21 KLW solo for 1:16 off his AT.  Of those taking winch launches, Bob Calvert took the first and disappeared for most  of the day, reportedly getting to 7,000′ asl in wave, while Martyn Johnson also contacted the wave, getting to just under 8,000′ asl in his DG600 in a flight of 4:12.  Darren Lodge added another 3:30 to his weekend total in his LS8 while Conrad Thwaites had 2:50 in his Discus as 7 private owners flew. John Carter and Naomi Kennard topped the two seater endurance table with 1:16 in K21 KLW, while Paul Whitehead seemed fixated on a time of 1:07, achieving this with both Tom Dale and Charles Willoughby  in the DG500 and then with wife Polly in KLW.   The last period of the flying day was marked by a number of instructors taking advantage of the conditions to fly solo, with Andy Hatfield having 2:10 in the Astir, Brian Wise 1:20 in the Discus, John Carter 1:05 solo in K21 JVZ and John Marsh 1:00 also in the Discus.  Perhaps, a busman’s holiday was called for after a hard day’s instructing.

Monday 13th.  A weak frontal system kept the site in cloud for most of the day after having deposited 1.3 mm of rain overnight, the SSE’ly wind being light to moderate and only veering into the SW late on.  The low cloud ruled out any flying, but had no effect on the build programme being undertaken in  the workshop where John Tayler, Dick Cole and Tuggie Jonathan continued to progress the construction of the new Eurofox.

A few piccies from the week

I have a few representative photos from the week.  I’ll do a few more for the Enterprise website – I assume someone will do a proper write-up and collect more photos from everyone.

Anyway, here goes:

Thursday – The Wash:


Thursday : MY nice street heading west (before it went too “blue”)


Friday: In shear wave, at ~4000ft ASL, looking back at Sutton Bank, cumulus base was ~3500ft ASL.  Enough to entice people into the air!


Saturday: I had pulled off tow at 1000ft and “notched my barograph” – can you tell why? 


Saturday: Really sorry about this, not my best photo of the day, but I was having fun and I fluked getting another glider in the shot.


Saturday: Last one for now. This is interesting.  Well above the cumulus, below the lenticular at only 4000ft above site.


Thank you so much to YGC (Sutton Bank) (and the other YGC (Rufforth)) . I flew in:

  • Ridge
  • Thermal
  • Sea breeze convergence (at least 4 times in completely different locations)
  • Another convergence (reason unknown)
  • Shear wave
  • Mountain wave

Other than the “Thermal” I learned a lot and consider myself a bit better – wow!  I didn’t do a power station or any dynamic soaring – that’s about all I missed out on.  I must learn to cloud fly and I must force my self to talk to ATC and go through class-D rather that just avoid it!!!

Thanks to everyone involved.  Considering the weather wasn’t brilliant most of the time we really did do lots of flying and had lots of fun.

Well done Justin – again!

Looking forward to next year already.


Thank you Sutton Bank!

Just a quick final post to say a HUGE thank you to everyone at Sutton Bank for making Enterprise 2015 so special.  Seven days flying out of eight –  thermal, ridge and wave, friendly members and excellent catering – Sutton Bank was wonderful!   To quote one competitor “I flew further and higher than I’ve flown before plus the most enjoyable flight in a glider I’ve ever had”.  That says it all.   Thank you Sutton Bank and YGC for Enterprise 2015, see you all in 2016!

Piccies from the presentation

In no particular order (with non-pc comments that might be edited) out later :-)

Justin (looking smug, I think he might have practiced this before). He did say he couldn’t have done it without Gillian (ah):


Chris (YGC chairman),  (I think he wants a kiss)


John ( he looked at the with me at the wave in Scotland and clearly wished he had been there .  Jesus! I’d have been happy with Gold height and a couple of hundred km along a lennie. Actually I hope a. he comes to Enterprise again  b.Enterprise goes to Scotland to an “easy” site sometime soon c. I am better at wave and cloud flying by then)


Mike (Adrian and Liam need to get their acts together in the K6’s. A K6 can win Enterprise!)


Robbie (the girls were screaming his name!!!)







Guy and Clive (apparently they never win a trophy – I think that is inherited with the glider :-))




Phil, Diana and Tony (the three of them make a really good double act!)


Andrew and only-me (the scorer does more work than ANYONE.  The met’ man should brush his teeth and not smile!)



Looking forward to Aston Down next year…



The results and presentation

It’s raining quite hard now.

Have written this at 19:40 and will send after the actual presentation.

Today’s results:

  • 3rd Mike Armstrong 460km, 501 points
  • 2nd John Williams with 560km,  540 points
  • 1st Phil King/Tony Maitland 560km, 550 points

But John “wins” the day because DD2  has already won a day.

Overall results:

  • 3rd Mike Armstrong, 1900 points
  • 2nd DD2 (Diana King, Phil King & Tony Maitland), 2106 points
  • 1st Justin Wills, 2262 points (Congratulations – this is for the 14th time – we just counted)

By my calculations, Robbie Rizk has actually completed his gold badge (silver distance + gold distance + gold height) and also did his first field landing this week.

… so he wins the John Cadman trophy (with an honorable mention for Justin for his amazing flight to Millfield at the start of the week).

The Sam Witter trophy is normally awarded for the best flight after an engine start (or relight).  This year it is going to “EF” (Guy Glover & Clive Groves).  They started their engine at 600ft 7km away from Rufforth, immediately after launch and after that they did 415km via Downham Market, Saltby and Sutton Bank without burning any more petrol!!!  They tried to claim it was a legitimate relight, but they got ZERO points :-)




What happened

So we had:

  • - 18kts on the ridge which worked a treat
  • - nice strong thermals and streeting
  • - and it waved big time, easy to get into

I failed to get my gold height, but have some marvelous photos. I will post them later if I find a lead for my camera.

Robbie Rizk got his gold height.  I expect he’ll have another bottle of wine to give to his crew.

The scorers are still at it, but I asked what the top distance was – 540km.


The sky is quite dark now, but it is still waving with marvelous lenticulars.

Day 6 and 7 winners

Just a quick update from the winners of Day 6 (Epic Thursday) – won by Mike Armstrong with 634km – and Day 7 (Quite hot Friday) by Diana King and Tony Maitland with 94km, which is really impressive given the conditions!