Saturday 8th. A moderate to fresh S’ly brought in leaden and low cloud base skies, these not clearing until early afternoon when flying was able to commence off runway 20. Utilising the remainder of the day allowed 22 ATs to be flown, including 6 for a group of Scouts from the Thorton area of Bradford who tried out real flying after being introduced to the virtual version on the simulator in the morning, under the tutelage of George Rowden and Roger Burghall. The afternoon’s flying provided some weak and broken lift off the southern ridge, some associated with the ridge itself, but that at around normal release height of 2,000′ QFE being presumably associated with the forecast wave. No one, however, managed more than 27 minutes aloft, this being achieved by Rob and Guy Bottomley in the DG1000 and Charlie Jessop and Durham University student E Bratten in K21 KLW. The only solo flight of the day was by Naomi Kennard who had 17 minutes in KLW. Apart from the bits and pieces of lift, the other feature of the day was the poor visibility under a well defined inversion at around 2000′ QFE, which meant that the only thing able to be seen on the ground when looking up sun were isolated building roofs and flooded fields as a result of sun glint. Inversions and other temperature and dew point profiles also featured in the evening lecture when Steve Ball explained the mysteries and intricacies of tephigrams, with participants using pencil and ruler as they worked through a number of exercises to illustrate the power, or was it the bafflement, of this particular way of describing the atmosphere as a means of determining soaring potential. Mental excercises was then replaced by digestive ones as members enjoyed a chicken chasseur with vegetables main course followed by a fruit tart and cream dessert provided by Liz with assistance from Sarah.
Thursday 27th February. A front crossed the site at 0630 hrs, the following air mass providing a good day’s soaring as the W’ly wind slowly increased to moderate to fresh and was accompanied by some strong thermal activity. Flying commenced around 1030 hrs with ATing off runway 24, some 9 ATs being flown until the wind strength became such that winching became appropiate, a further 4 launches by this method contributing to the day’s total of 13. Chris Thirkell in Astir GBK was the first to exceed an hour in the air with 1:04, this being followed by Bob Beck, also in GBK, with 1:01, while Bob also had 46 minutes with Howard Marshall in K21 KLW. Harry Clark, back after a 2 year lay off, was persuaded to have a familiarisation flight with George Rowden in the DG1000, and after a turbulent AT found a 6-8kt thermal that took them to cloudbase at 3,500′ asl. This was followed by a 80 kt dash under a cloud street while still climbing at 4kts and Harry certainly enjoyed his return to the excitement and thrill of soaring flight. The 4 winch launches of the day saw all the flights manage between 39 and 47 minutes aloft, David Hill in GBK providing the 39 minutes and Ron Beezer/Kit Bottomley the 47 in K21 KLW.
Tuesday 4th March. A light to moderate S’ly that slowly veered into the W brought a day of sunny intervals, isolated showers and usuable convection. 10 ATs were flown in either the DG1000, K21 KLW or the DG303, while John Ellis took a flight in his DG800. 3 of the day’s flights exceeded an hour, with John Ellis honing his cloud flying skills in a climb from 3 to 6,000′ asl in his flight of 2:50. Rob Bailey had 3:20 in the DG303 while the club welcomed back Bob Calvert, who after a 45 minute check ride with Andy Parish in KLW, had 1:23 in the DG303. 3 Falke sorties and one First Flight pupil added to the day’s mix with Nick Gaunt checking out his spin entry and recovery techniques with Andy Parish in the DG1000 on the last flight of the day, landing at 1730 hrs.
Wednesday 5th. A generally cloudy day, with occasional bright intervals in a S’ly flow that veered into the SW towards the end of the day, provided few soaring opportunities. Flying commenced late morning and continued until mid afternoon with 8 ATs flown, predominately in K21 JVZ, but with Duncan Pask providing a private owner launch in his DG303. No one broke the 1 hour mark, but Duncan tried hard with 43 minutes and Steve Olender, visiting from Rufforth, had 30 minutes solo in JVZ. The only First Flight pupil of the day enjoyed a smooth introduction to gliding.
Thursday 6th. The S’ly flow increased from light to moderate to moderate to fresh as a front made progress NE, the base of the extensive cloud sheet being too low to allow any worthwhile gliding activity although the Falke had a single flight.
Friday 7th. Early rain gave way to brighter skies with the wind becoming a moderate W’ly. Flying commenced late morning and 8 winch launches were flown predominately in one or other of the 2 K21s, with Tim Milner, visiting from Pocklington, joining in the fun in his Standard Cirrus and having 3:21 aloft. The wind increased to fresh in the early afternoon, threatening to curtail flying, but then decreased as the day drew on. Apart from Tim’s, 3 other flights exceeded an hour in the air, Bill Payton and guest Martin Bunford having two of them, with 2:51 and then 2:44 in K21 JVZ, while Steve Olender, visiting from Rufforth, had 1:25 solo in K21 KLW. As well as providing good strong hill lift, pilots found strong 6 kt thermal climbs to a cloud base of around 4,000′ asl, while the day’s only First Flight pupil managed to get a flight in one of the calmer periods of the day.
A post scrip to the retrieve of K21 KLW on Sunday 23rd February.
John Carter has kindly responded to my hint in the previous Blog and sent me some of Mark Walton’s pictures of the retrieve which are included below. The first 2 show the picketted down KLW after its overnight stay in a field near Kepwick while the last 2 show the trailer being man handled along the rutted farm track in order to minimise the distance the derigged glider had to be hand carried. KLW can be seen in the background.
Friday 28th. A light wind and clear skies allowed some fog/mist to develop in the Vales of York and Pickering overnight, and the light wind conditions persisted all day, the direction slowly backing from the N into the W. Flying started at around 1400 hrs and continued until just after 1600 hrs by which time 5 ATs and 2 Falke sorties had been flown. Although generally sunny, the high overcast limited the strength of the sun so soaring was not possible, the longest flight of 37 minutes by Rob Bailey and Ian Holmes resulting from it being a Mile High flight with a release height of 5,300′ asl. Tor Tavener had 20 minutes in the Discus from a more usual release height .
Saturday 1st March. Another light wind day with the wind starting off as an ESE’ly and late in the day veering into the SW. Skies remained generally cloudy and, with lift hard to come by, most flights were of the up round and down variety. The round and down part of the flight was accentuated by the 6 pilots who took the opportunity to do their spin checks under the reduced cost Winter Checks scheme, the said pilots being Roger Burhall, Nigel Burke, Fred Brown, Jon May, Alex Mahnke and Martyn Joyce. Meanwhile, the Falke was busy providing 4 pilots with the opportunity for the other part of the Winter check scheme, field landing practice. In spite of the less than promising soaring conditions, Rob Bailey managed 2:12 in the Discus and Roger Burghall and Alex Mahnke 50 minutes in the DG1000. After completion of flying those involved assembled in the briefing room for an introductory lecture on cloud flying, the start of a process that should result in a number of pilots gaining their BGA Cloud Flying Endorsement which can then be transferred onto their EASA LAPL(S) or SPL licence.
Sunday 2nd. A moderate to fresh SE’ly flow brought in copious amounts of low cloud and periods of rain and drizzle so there was no flying.
Monday 3rd. 3 mm of rain overnight left a legacy of low cloud that didn’t lift until midday, but thereafter, the blue and sunny skies became dotted with firm based, chunky looking Cu that gladdened the heart of any glider pilot. The light NW’ly airmass also brought excelent visibility and the conditions were appreciated by the limited number of members who flew the 4 ATs of the day. Rob Bailey again had the longest flight of the day, 2:25 in the Discus, while Rob Bottomley and son Kit had 2 flights in K21 KLW, recording 55 minutes off the first and 40 of the second. The day’s flying activities were completed by Tor Tavener who had 27 minutes in Astir GBK. David Hill turned up to fly the tug on what was a beautiful day to celebrate his 80th birthday. Congratulations and best wishes David.
The eagle eyed among you will have noticed that activities on Thursday 27th of February have not been reported. This omisison will be rectified in the next Blog.
Sunday 23rd. A moderate to fresh S’ly gusting to 40 kts meant it was an unproductive day for gliding but a productive one nevertheless as the landed-out K21 from Saturday made it back to site. This feat was accomplised by the magnificent and muddied eleven, who had to push the trailer 150 m up a deeply rutted farm track in order to minimise the hand carriage of wings. fuselage and tailplane from the field to the trailer. The hand carriage of some 100 m, involved the negotiation of a nicely situated quadmire at the field access point. I understand that some photographic records of this retrieve were taken but have yet to make it into my inbox. (Hint)
Monday 24th. A weak front crossed the site around 0730 hrs, the following air mass eventually providing sunny intervals and some nice looking Cu by afternoon in a light to moderate SW’ly flow that eventually backed into the south. Somewhat suprisingly, there was no flying, the most likely emplanation being that the cloudy morning had put people off coming to the club.
Tuesday 25th. A moderate to fresh S blew all day under generally cloudy skies, these brightening at times to give the occasional sunny interval. A 4mm pressure rise from 1500 to 2000 hrs was accompanied by a change to much drier air with the relative humidity falling to around 70%, something of a record this winter. 5 ATs were flown in K21 KLW over the period from 1008 to 1607 hrs, including one for the day’s only First Flight pupil who had 27 minutes flying in the company of Rob Bottomley. Liz Keiley had 20 minutes solo in KLW while John Marsh was P1 on the remaining 3 flights, the ones with Steve Ogden and Adrian Melia amassing 30 minutes each and that with John Martin, 29 minutes. The good weather also saw the Falke have a single flight.
Wednesday 26th. The light S’ly flow quickly veered into the WSW and strengthened to become moderate to fresh, this change allowing the winch to be used as the launch method and 10 launches to be flown. Peter Guest in Astir GBK had the longest flight of the day, 1:20, being the only pilot to officially break the hour barrier although, according to the log, John Marsh in the Discus is still flying. David Hill and John Martin came close to breaking the 1 hour barrier with 55 minutes in K21 KLW, while Mike Smith had some winch launch/failure checks with Andy Parish. The 2 First Flight pupils of the day were able to experience hill lift and 4 kt thermals which, hopefully, gave the more experienced pilots a taste of things to come.
YGC Expedition to North Wales. Flying was only possible on Saturday 22nd due to the weather, but 6 winch launches were flown. The longest 3 flights of the day saw Chris Gill and Simon Hawen have an hour, Charlie Jessop and Sam Roddie 40 minutes and Chris and Alex O’Keef 30 minutes. A cable break on one of flights close to the strop, caused the latter to strike the under side of the fuselage near the tail causing some damage.
Saturday 22nd. A moderate to fresh WSW’ly that backed into the S after the end of flying, provided a good day’s soaring, mainly via consistent hill lift but with wave and some isolated thermal activity to add to the mix. 25 winch launches were flown off runway 24, with all 3 available two seaters and 3 of the club single seaters flown, 5 private owner launches adding to the variety. The Falke and Eurofox contributed a single sortie each, the latter with Paul Whitehead mentoring Phil Westerby Jones on an Eurofox familiarisation flight. 5 Scouts from a troop located in south Bradford certainly enjoyed their flying with the conditions enabling them to experience both the thrill of a winch launch and that of piloting a glider. Early flights were hampered by a low cloud base at around 700′ QFE, but the amount of cloud decreased and its base rose as the day progressed with some impressive high level lenticulars developing, some with very colourful irridiscent edges. 9 of the day’s flights exceeded an hour but most people had a least 30 minutes, while a few brushed up on their launch failure skills via instructor operation of the yellow knob. Simon Richardson, visiting from Pocklington, enjoyed the longest flight of the day, 4:11 in his Cirrus, but all the other pilots who exceeded an hour aloft were content to land shortly afterwards. These included Roger Burghall in the Discus with 1:18, Les Rayment in the DG303 with 1:10, Phil Westerby Jones in the Discus with 1:13, enthusiastically reaching 4,300′ in wave and John Ellis in his DG600 who used his engine to contact the wave and in his flight of 1:08, reach 8,300′ asl over Easingwold. John reported that a foray to Dishforth found no usuable lift and that the generally slow climb rates were confined to very narrow areas. Martyn Joyce so enjoyed his first flight of 1:09 in Astir KRN that he repeated the feat later to record 1:10, while Fred Brown and Lucia Grey had 1:10 in K21 KLW, indulging in a few aerobatics in order to burn off the height they had accumulated during their wave climb to 3,400′ asl. The day was well and truly rounded off by Robin Hutchinson and Rory O’Conor who on a check flight, confirmed the effect of gravity by instead checking out a field near Kepwick. To add to their discomforture, they unfortunately didn’t check that the K21’s trailer was on site, this having been used by club members to take the DG500 on an expedition to North Wales. Thanks to Paul Whitehead for using his good offices with the Wold’s GC at Pocklingon to arrange for the loan of their K21 trailer on Sunday 23rd and thanks to the Wolds GC’s chairman for authourising the loan. The day ended with Rory being despatched back to the field near Kepwick armed with stakes, ropes, a tressle and sundry packing materials to enable him and Robin to safely secure KLW in her field for the night, with Rory undertaking to pick up and return the trailer to Pocklington the next day in order to get KLW back to Sutton.
Wednesday 12th. A dull and overcast day at Sutton with 3 mm of rain falling, as another intense depression moved in from the Atlantic. A pressure fall of 28 mm was recorded from 0500 to 1800 hrs with the initially SE’ly wind veering into the South and increasing from moderate to strong. A gust of over 60 kts was recorded at nearby RAF Linton on Ouse around 1800 hrs. Not surprisingly there was no flying.
Thursday 13th. The low had departed northwards leaving the site in a moderate to fresh SW’ly with gusts in the low 30’s. Low cloud delayed flying until midday, with 9 winch launches subsequently flown before the the wind speed increased to a point when flying was stopped around 1530 hrs. The low atmospheric pressure meant that the altimeters could not be zeroed at QFE so QNH was the standard setting for the day. K21 JVZ and Astir KRN were the only gliders flown, with Albert Newbery having the only flight of over an hour in KRN, landing after 1:08. 5 pilots, Colin Troise and Chris Gill, both solo in JVZ and Stuart Heaton, Mike Wood and Ian Johnston all separately in KRN, flew for between 30 and 40 minutes, the KRN pilots taking advantage of free first 30 minutes of flying time in a club single seater.
Friday 14th. Overcast skies and then rain in a steadily increasing SE’ly meant it was an non-flying day as another deep depression made its presence felt.
Saturday 15th. A generally cloudy day saw the initially moderate to fresh W’ly decrease to light to moderate by the end of the day, with flying restricted to 4 winch launches over the period from 1045 hrs to 1320 hrs, flying stopping at this point due to the lowering cloud base. K21 JVZ and Astir KRN were again the only gliders to be flown, with no one having over an hour in the air but 3 of the flights exceeding 30 minutes. John Marsh and Colin Troise shared a flight of 50 minutes in JVZ before John took Will Andrews for a 41 minute flight in the same glider. Peter Guest, with 35 minutes in KRN added his name to the >30 minute flying list.
Sunday 16th. A sunny morning with a moderate W’ly that decreased and backed to become a light to moderate SSW’ly provided a full day’s flying from 1000 to 1630 hrs, this including 27 winch launches, 4 ATs and 1 Falke flight . The 4 ATs were flown in the DG500, K21 KLW and the Ka8, the latter providing Joan Wilson with a flight of 1:06, one of the 11 flown on the day to exceed an hour. The AT list also included one of the 6 Scouts from the 1st Pannal troop, the other 5 opting for the more exciting winch launch. The majority of the club fleet were logged on the winch launch list, this also inlcuding 5 private owner launches, with the T21 emerging into the light of day for its first 3 launches of the year, one of whom, with Les Rayment and Mr White on board, also exceeded and hour in the air. Ben Dawson in his Cirrus topped the endurance stakes with 3:20, while G Spelman had 2:45 in the Discus. John Shaw, with 2:11 in the DG303, was the only other pilot to exceed 2 hours aloft, while David Hill and Adrian Melia just failed to beat the 1 hour mark with 59 minutes in K21 JVZ.
Monday 17th. A moist, moderate SE’ly flow, again kept the site in cloud all day so there was no flying.
Tuesday 18th. The cloud that had shrouded the site finally lifted around 1230 hrs allowing Naomi Kennard to have 2 flights in K21 JVZ, the first with Ron Beezer and the second solo. The light S’ly veered into the W and increased slightly with the clearing skies but the wind speed was insufficient to provide any usable hill lift so that both AT led to flight times of 15-16 minutes.
Wednesday 19th. The WNW’ly flow slowly backed into the SW over the day, remaining light and, with generally cloudy skies, it was a day when flight times never exceeded 30 minutes. In spite of a lack of soaring opportunities, however, there were plenty of eager pilots and by the end of the day, 21 ATs had been flown, although none in single seaters. The flight list included 2 First Flight pupils, with Roger Burghall/C Connary having the longest flight of the day, 27 minutes in K21, JVZ. Naomi Kennard, with 2 solo flights in K21 KLW and Duncan Pask similarly solo in the DG500, both managed to break the 20 minute barrier, as did Dave Campbell/Mr Al Akhras, John Tayler/P Williams (twice) and Paul Whitehead/S New in either JVZ or the DG500.
Thursday 20th. An approaching front ensured the site was in cloud at the start of the flying day with a fresh SSW’ly gusting to around 30 kts. The front crossed the site around 1030 hrs and although the weather improved to sunny intervals and the wind decreased a little, there was no flying.
Friday 21st. A mainly cloudy day did provide some bright and sunny intervals at times, particularly in the afternoon when some hefty showers also made their presence felt. The moderate SW’ly steadily increased to moderate to fresh, the gustiness of the wind and the showers leading to flying coming to an end in the early afternoon after 3 winch launches had been flown. The wind direction meant a pronounced left-wing-down climb was required to keep the released cable and parachute from dropping to the west side of the winch track, but on the last launch a cable break just before the point of release was reached, resulted in the parachute slowly drifting down to land well to the west of the launch track. Colin Troise, first with John Tayler and then with Duncan Pask, enjoyed 2 of the flights in K21 KLW, chalking up flight times of 56 and 38 minutes, an approaching shower contributing to the shorter flight time and also providing some hail. George Rowden, flying Astir KRN, had 1:14 aloft, finding better lift on the southern ridge compared to the northern end of the main bowl. the somewhat turbulent conditions enabling an operating height band of 1100-1300′ QFE to be readily maintained and a couple of sorties made along the southern ridge to Bylands Abbey. With the wind quite cross on runway 24, George elected to land long on runway 20 to avoid the soft patches further north. Meanwhile, Charlie Jessop, Chris Gill and friends arrived on site to trailer the DG500 over to North Wales for a weekend’s flying while Mark did some painting on the Super Cub.
Tuesday 11th. Yet another front crossing the country provided a thin covering of wet snow on the approach road and parts of the site, but this had all gone by late morning as the cloud slowly started to lift off the hill. A look at the satellite pictures suggested that the frontal cloud would be followed by a clear slot before wintry showers affected the area and so it turned out to be, the initially light to moderate S’ly veering into the W with the clearance and strengthening to become moderate to fresh with gusts to around 30 kts. The clear slot allowed the DG303 to be derigged and taken down to North Yorkshire Sailplanes by Derek Smith to have its troublesome winch hook sorted, before Jesper Mjels and then George Rowden each had a winch launch in Astir KRN. Both found the ridge lift to be turbulent due to passing thermal activity, with maximum heights achieved of around 1,700 to 1,800′ QFE, the air being much smoother at this height and suggestive of wave. However, with clouds already massing over the Pennines it was no time for a patient exploration. Jesper had 53 minutes and George 35 to record the 6th consecutive flying day at Sutton, with both venturing onto the forward ridge and finding lots of turbulence on the circuit and then heavy sink on the final stage of the approach to runway 24.
Sunday 9th. A moderate to fresh WSW’ly blew, increasing to fresh during the middle of the day before decreasing back to moderate to fresh, the gusts in the middle of the day peaking around 35 kts. A winching day resulted, with 9 launches, flying commencing around 1030 hrs with the last landing some 6 hours later. Nick Gaunt and Jon May shared a flight in the DG1000 and posted the longest time, 1:10, during which they had a little competition to determine the fastest time to the Tontine and back, with Nick coming out 3 minutes ahead of Jon and recording a speed of 116 kph. Bill Payton and Mark Walton also breached the 1 hr mark with 1:05 in K21 JVZ, while Bob Beck and Malcolm Morgan came close with 52 minutes in the DG1000. The only 2 single seater flights of the day both resulted in launch failures, Geoff Spelman in KRN suffering a weak link failure and Tony Drury in the DG303 having a hook based failure that will require an investigation of the mechanism.
Monday 10th. The moderate to fresh WSW’lies of Sunday had died down to become a light SW’ly, a thin, high overcast allowing a frost to develop overnight but providing a pleasant, sunny/bright day. Flying commenced at around midday and continued to dusk, with 11 ATs flown behind the Eurofox off runway 24. The absence of any significant lift meant staying up was something of a challenge, but Steve Thompson and Tony Lowes managed to just exeed 30 minutes in the air in K21 JVZ, with the next best being Chris Gill and Andy Benjamin, a Durham University member, with 26 minutes in the DG1000. Geoff Spelman, with 22 minutes in the DG303, was the only other pilot to exceed 20 minutes, managing 22 minutes in the DG303. The day’s flying was completed by a single flight in the Falke by John Tayler and David Campbell.
Flying on each of the 5 days from Thursday 6th to Monday 10th February, constitutes the longest period of successive flying days so far achieved this year and, given the continuing series of deep Atlantic depressions affecting the country, is quite an achievement.
Wednesday 5th. A strengthening, moderate to fresh SE’ly brought cloudy but bright conditions to start the day, but the cloud soon increased bringing rain at times, while gusts to near 40kts were recorded by late afternoon. Consequently, there was no flying.
Thursday 6th. A moderate SW’ly flow meant a winching day, at least to start, but with the wind decreasing as the day progressed and backing into the SSE by the end of the flying day, the afternoon’s flying was via ATs. 3 winch launches were flown in the morning session, with all providing flights of over an hour, Peter Guest in Astir KRN exceeding 2 hours as he soared to 7,500′ asl in wave. While Peter’s climb was in excess of that required for a Silver height claim, the logger did not record the flight, as the memory was full and the logger such that it did not automatically delete sufficient old traces to make space for a new one, so Peter will have to do it all over again. Commiserations to him. Bob Beck in the DG303 with 1:30 and Albert Newbery/Neil Covill in K21 JVZ with 1:00, were the other winch launched pilots to exceed an hour in the air. The subsequent 7 ATs did not provide a flight over an hour, but did contribute 3 over 30 minutes, two of these being by John Tayler, with 40 minutes in the DG303, and Mike Smith/Ian Johnston with 30 minutes in K21 JVZ.
Friday 7th. Another front cleared the site around 0730 hrs, the wind showing a marked veer from SE to W and the conditions then improving by mid morning to leave a day of sunny intervals. Flying commenced just after 1100 hrs and continued until just after 1700 hrs as the light faded, the first 6 launches being by AT and the remainder by winch, as the initially light flow increased to moderate. The initial 6 ATs yielded 1 flight over an hour and 2 over 30 minutes, Duncan Pask flying Astir KRN being the >1 hour pilot with 1:06, and the > 30 minute pilots being Colin Troise/Ben Dawson in the DG1000 with 58 minutes and David Hill/Tony Lowes with 36 minutes in K21 JVZ. The 6 subsequent winch launches generated 2 flights of over an hour, all the remainder being in excess of 30 minutes, with Andy Parish and Steve Ogden having 1:16 in the DG1000 and Duncan Pask adding a second launch to his log book with 1:14 in the DG303. Lift was of the mixed variety with contributions from the ridge, wave and thermal, but was sufficiently prolific to allow the DG1000 to climb to around 3,500′ asl before fading light caused a return to earth. The day also saw a First Flight pupil accomodated and the Falke airborne with Peter Cowling at the controls.
Saturday 8th. In spite of a forecast of strong winds and frequent showers, the drive to site was under blue skies with a moderate SSE’ly flow. A group of Scouts from Pannal near Harrogate joined members in the briefing room where CFI Andy Parish warned of the likelihood of deteriorating conditions as another low pressure system located off the west coast of Ireland moved slowly north and the strong winds around its southern flank made their presence felt later it the day. Flying commenced just after 1018 hours under by now cloudy skies, when Scout Sam Tichmarsh took to the air with George Rowden in K21 JVZ off the footpath side of runway 20 behind tuggie John Tayler in the Pawnee. This was quickly followed by Robin Hutchinson and a second Scout, Jack Thomas in the DG1000, this combination chalking up the longest flight of the day, 30 minutes. The south ridge was working well, probably with wave assistance, it being reltively easy to maintain a height in excess of 1700′ QFE, with George and Sam even managing to climb 200′ above their release height of 2000′ QFE. The approach and landing onto 20 provided something of a challenge and, with the wind continuing to increase, the third flight of the day proved to be the last, John Carter and Graham Evison landing JVZ at 1119 hours. However, those Scouts who had not managed to fly did so virtually on the simulator with George Rowden. By the end of the day, the average wind speed had increased to fresh to strong, with gusts of over 50 kts.
Sunday 2nd. John Marsh’s call to arms resulted in a goodly turnout at site in expectation of a good hill soaring day. However. the weather didn’t totally play ball as, although it was flyable all day and the wind was strong enough, the direction was a little wayward, having too much south in it for a classic ridge day. The resultant operations consequently led to a mixture of ATs and winch launches. Nevertheless, 29 launches were flown in total, 21 of them being via the winch and the balance of 8 via aerotow. The early launches were all via the winch off runway 24, but the wind’s southerly component created problems with the cable dropping towards the public footpath along the edge of the hill. A decision was then taken to change to ATing off runway 20 and this commenced just after 1100 hrs, with 8 launches resulting, before the decision was taken to revert to winching off 24 just after 1400 hrs. The aerotowing phase of the day included 1 flight of over an hour, with Rob Bailey and Resh Khodabocus having 1:07 in the DG1000 and climbing to around 4,500′ asl in wave, while the other AT initiated flights all exceeded 30 minutes in the air, including those with the 2 First Flight pupils of the day, with Brian Wise and Jess Badminton being the best of the rest by having 47 minutes in K21 JVZ. The winch launches contributed 5 flights of over an hour, with Tony Drury having 1:29 in the DG303 and Roger Burghall 1:00 in the Discus. Rob and Spencer Bailey had 1:06 in the DG1000, again climbing in wave to around 4,500′ asl, while Jamie Quartermaine and Phil Westerby Jones had 1:03 in K21 KLW. The best area for hill soaring was the northern end of the main bowl, with the operating height being between 600- 900′ QFE. Flying continued until quite late, as Adrian Melia’s photograph , showing the Discus getting ready for a launch , beautifully exemplifies.
Another view of the sunset, but this time from the air, is provided below, courtesy of Rob & Spencer Bailey.
The resultant glider washing and hangar packing was therefore carried out under the illumination of the recently installed floodlights, as Adrian’s next photo demonstrates.
With CFI Andy Parish’s return from Australia, today marked the end of the tenure of Acting CFI John Carter and our thanks to John and Dick Cole for providing weekday cover for Andy during his absence.
Monday 3rd. Another approaching depression provided a return to the predominant airstream of the winter, a moist, moderate to fresh, SE’ly one, with gusts to 30 kts. The airstream was sufficiently moist to generate an overcast with its base below the hill for most of the day, so no flying was possible.
Tuesday 4th. An anticipatory drive to site under bright skies dissipated after leaving Thirsk, as orographic cloud could be seen over the site, the climb up Sutton Bank on the A170 leading into cloud. However, this soon started to clear and the first launch of the day off runway 20 into the moderate SSE’ly at 1035 hrs saw Albert Newbery and Steve Ogden soaring K21 KLW in weak wave . However, the orographic returned, briefly engulfing the glider and occupants and causing the canopies to mist up, before Albert and Steve found some clear air and returned to site under a cloudbase of around 500′ QFE. Operations were then suspended awaiting an improvement. This occured around 1300 hrs and flying then continued until just after 1515 hrs with 6 ATs being flown in total. George Rowden took Mile High pupil Geoff Rhodes for a 47 minute ride in K21 KLW, finding some weak wave that allowed an O/R to Osmotherley, followed by a airbrake descent through a hole in the developing cloud and some time hill soaring the White Horse ridge at around 1000′ QFE. Nick Gaunt, flying the Ka8 bettered George and Geoff’s time with 50 minutes hill soaring the White Horse ridge, while Andy Parish and Chris Thirkell in KLW even reported coming across a thermal. In spite of all the rain, runway 20 presented no problems for landing provided the top end of the runway and the area lower down and to the left of the centre were avoided. The only glider to land in the latter area generated some interesting colours, a very impressive black bow wave, an unmistakable furrow in the green grass and a red faced pilot. Two Falke sorties with first Peter Cowling and then David Campbell on board, completed the day’s aviating.