Archive for February, 2009

Tuesday 24 to Thursday 26th.

Thursday, February 26th, 2009

Tuesday. A light NW’ly wind heralded in the day but slowly backed to SW’ly by the end of the afternoon. Although flyable, a lack of customers limited flying to one aerotow, Ken Arkley getting back into the saddle after his travels to the Far East and Europe, meaning he missed out on all the snow and cold!!!
Wednesday. A moderate to fresh WSW and bright skies saw the winch in action and the hill working well. Cloud increased around midday as a weakening cold front passed through, but the subsequent clearence brought with it wave. The club K21’s, DG 500, DG 303 and Discus were in all action with most flights exceeding 30 minutes and 8 being of an hour or more, Albert Newberry had 1.7 hours in the DG 303. The most exciting flight of the day was by Dick Cole in the Discus, who contacted wave and eventually reached 12,500′ QNH, climbing 8000′ in around 9 minutes. Dick must have been in a bit of a hurry for the whole flight, take off to landing took 53 minutes.
Thursday. Another good hill soaring day with the winch again in action. I had to leave early so will report the flying detail in the next Blog. However, the web cam is now installed and can be accessed via the YGC website (Thanks Alex). While the on site weather and visuals can really give you an appreciation of how the day is shaping up/progressing, they are no substitute for being there. Just ask Dick Cole.

Sunday 22nd to Monday 23rd February.

Monday, February 23rd, 2009

Sunday. Following the splendid soaring of Saturday, hopes were high for a repeat on Sunday, indeed a very promising sky beckoned. However, the wind had veered into the NW and freshened, with the result that flying was limited to 4 winch launches, all in the club K21s, and 2 flights in the club Motor Falke. Albert Newberry/S Nath soared for 51 minutes off the first flight of the day, thereafter flight times were typically 30 minutes before the increasingly rough conditions caused flying to be terminated.
Monday. A light and cloudy NNW’ly was a feature of the day, with some light drizzle around lunch time and a lowering cloudbase and further drizzle late afternoon. Flying was restricted to 2 flights in the Motor Falke and 3 ATs, 1 by a private owner and the other 2 by one of the club K21s. Flight times were typically in the 15-25 minute range. For 1 pilot, the deteriorating flying conditions were swapped for a Cumulus filled sky in the simulator, a very useful place to hone those soon to be required thermalling skills.

Thursday 19th to Saturday 21st February

Saturday, February 21st, 2009

Thursday. Rain early delayed flying but eventually 5 aerotows with the club K21’s enabled flying to restart at Sutton after a long break due to the snow. A very light W’ly was not enough for the hill to work and all flights were in the teens with CFI Andy Parish/A McGregor managing the best flight of the day at 19 minutes.
Friday. The day started promisingly with again a light W’ly but clouded over later with a few spots of rain. However, 12 ATs were flown all in club aircraft, including the K21’s, Ka8 and DG500, the latter being rigged and test flown after its recent CoA. Most flights had durations in the teens but Nick Gaunt, flying the Ka8 demonstrated its light wind soaring capabilities by staying up 44 minutes on the hill, while Mike Wood, another of our more mature pilots, gave his trial lesson pupil 28 minutes in the DG500.
Saturday. A light and variable wind greeted all those present on site for the regular morning briefing but with the promise of a strengthening W’ly and wave. Most people, dressed suitably for February at Sutton Bank, found the morning sun and light winds a surprisingly warm combination but early flights hinted at the presence of wave which developed as the day progressed. In all 31 ATs were flown before the increasing wind speed brought the hill into play and caused a change to winching by mid afternoon from which a further 9 launches were carried out. Late in the day, wave interference caused the wind speed to drop right off and a final aerotow was carried out giving a total number of launches for the day of 41. Of the 32 AT’s, most were of 25-35 minute duration with 12 over an hour, while the 9 winch launches generated 6 flights over an hour. Visitor Russel Cheetham used the wave to explore the area between Barnard Castle and Hexham in a flight of 4.5 hours, one of 12 private owners to take to the skies. A significant number of pilots contacted the wave, with a number reporting peak climb rates of >10 kts and John Carter getting to 9000′ asl while flying the DG1000 solo after scraping on the hill. Brian Wise/Andy Wilson in the T21 also reported high rates of climb in their flight to 8,300 asl. The most eventful flight of the day was by Andy Parish/Ed Harrison in the club K21 who were winch launched into non exisitent hill lift as the wave shifted. Gradually sinking below hill top height they made for a field to the west of Hood Hill only to encounter the wave at minus 200′ QFE and eventually get to 6000′ asl. All this and a fantastic sunset made all that waiting for a good flying day worthwhile.

Sunset Feb 21st

Sunset Feb 21st

Friday 13th to Wednesday 18th February

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

Following the extra snowfall of Thursday 12th, the site remained snowbound into the following week although temperatures slowly rose above zero, reaching the high teens on Sunday and remaining there over the next few days. Consequently, although the subsequent thaw was relatively rapid, the site didn’t turn green untl overnight Monday. Surprisingly, the ground conditions were sufficiently good on Tuesday to allow 3 Motor Falke flights, although the take off and landing runs were carefully reconnoitered before taking to the skies.
Wednesday saw the site in cloud and drizzle all day with a very light and variable wind, so no flying was possible. The opportunity was however, taken to sort out the club’s stock of spare instrumentation, courtesy of Andy and Glyn, while Josephine kept multiple admin balls in the air including reviewing the photographs sent in for the planned “Yorkshire from the Air” quiz, a part of this years 75 years of the YGC celebrations. Contributions to this quiz are still welcomed. Mo and Desmond were also on site continuing with their painting of the doors in the entrance lobby while the Auditors were ensconced in the lounge going through the books. The painting of the member’s kitchen is complete and very smart it looks.
The DG500 is back on site from its CoA, albeit in its trailer, awaiting better weather and a few willing and knowledgeable people to allow rigging to take place, while the Astir was derigged and taken off site for its CoA.
For all those who keep a watchful eye on the readout from the club weather station, its current demise is solely due to a flat battery which will be replaced shortly. With the snow gone and the site drying out quite well, flying is set to resume as soon as the weather permits and of course all you keen glider pilots turn up.

Tuesday 10th to Thursday 12th February

Thursday, February 12th, 2009

The site remained snow bound over the reporting period with more light snow on Wednesday and a heavier fall on Thursday. During a visit to site on Thursday am, I found the metalled road off the A170 no problem and after traversing an icy club access road, nearly managed to get into the car park, just failing to advance beyond the NW corner of the hangar. Josephine and Andy were as ever hard at work, Josephine in the office and Andy transforming the members kitchen by applying a first coat of paint over the two end (originally wood panelled) walls. The immediate effect was to brighten up the room and when the final coat of Magnolia is applied it should look very smart indeed. Another case of a fine painting job was to be found in the workshop where Mark is transforming Lena’s Olympia whose fuselage is now a splendid combination of Red,Copper and cream. Once the wings are done and the weather becomes soarable, Lena’s Oly will certainly grace the skies, making all those white GRP jobs look very plain.
The onset of snow mid morning led to a look at the Met Offices rainfall/snowfall radar web site and with a few hours of snow forecast, a discretionary return down the hill was undertaken. Even so a fresh couple of inches had already accumulated by the time I left the club around midday so the world record attempt to build 49,998 snowmen is still on if you fancy it. Alternatively, we could attempt to roll a similar number of large snowballs which would have the added advantage of clearing the snow off the site.

Thursday 5th to Monday 9th Feb 09

Monday, February 9th, 2009

Our newest member of staff

With the temperature on site remaining below freezing for virtually all the report period, the amount of snow on site has, if anything, increased due to the snowfalls of Thursday and Sunday.  Visiting the  site on Monday I had no difficulty driving along the club road but  found access to the car park still impossible, the combination of snow and slope by the side of the hangar proving too much.   Josephine was, as ever, busy in the office and Robin Strarup was also on site, as were Brian and wife who were  keeping the place clean.   A walk around the site should have resulted in some pictures with this Blog, particularly the low stratus to the south of the site which looked rather attractive. However, the upload/insert fuction on the blog wouldn’t work so they will have to wait until I have a chat with Kelly. However, the snowman outside the visitor’s entrance looks rather splendid, or could it be an overenthusiastic duty pilot who underestimated the severity of the blizzard.  We will have to wait for the thaw to find out.
George R

YGC Closed this weekend (7/8 Feb)

Friday, February 6th, 2009

The YGC will be closed this weekend due to the snow.

Access into the car park is difficult, and even if you could get in, we won’t be able to fly as the airfield is totally snowbound. Fingers crossed for next week, though the Met. Office is forecasting more snow!

Sunday to Wednesday 1st to 4th Feb 09.

Wednesday, February 4th, 2009

Sunday 1st.  The ex Burns Night revellers and attendees for the morning briefing were greeted with an 5-15 kt E’ly and a temperature that fell from 0 to -2C during the day.  The accompanying low cloud and snow flurries meant that no flying was possible.

Monday 2nd.  A cold and snowy 5-15 kt ENE’ly throughout the day led to the metalled access road to the site off the A170  becoming impassible to most vehicles.

Tuesday 3rd.  Although the metalled access road to the site from the A170 had been ploughed, vehicular access off the metalled road  into the club car park was impossible for most vehicles  due to snow.   Little improvement was anticipated as the temperature was below freezing all day in a 10-15 kt NE’ly.

Wednesday 4th.  With generally 4-6″ of snow on the site and significant drifts around the hangar and buildings, vehicular access into the car park remained impossible to most vehicles.  Mark was however busy spraying his glider a nice shade of red in the club workshop while Mo and Desmond arrived late am to continue with their painting of interior doors.  The weather, for what it is worth was a flat calm am with very poor visibility although a 5-10 kt SE’ly developed midday bringing snow flurries.

Sunday, February 1st, 2009

SUTTON BLOG Friday 30th to Saturday 31st 2009.
Friday. The SE’ly flow continured into Friday even increasing a little to 15-25 kts, but the low cloud disappeared for a while allowing 2 AT’s both in the K21. Both flights lasted 19 minutes although one was off a 2000′ tow and the other off a 3000′ tow.
Saturday 31st. The wind had backed and decreased a little overnight and was now 12-20 kt, ESE’ly. 8 AT’s resulted off runway 06, the majority giving flights of 14-18 minutes although Albert Newberry/Simone Latimer had 20 minutes unsuccessfully looking for wave off a high tow. Rory O’Conor took off in his DG800 also looking for wave but could only find some weak lift to the south of Hemsley. His subsequent proposed trip to the seaside to soar Bempton Cliffs had to be abandoned due to an overheating engine. All pilots reported a strong wind gradient with wind speeds of 40-45 kts at 1500 to 2000′ QFE. Later in the day Dick Cole did a fly by in the Dishforth Chipmunk, while during the hangar packing the missing canopy cover off the DG1000 was discovered in the wing root of the K21.
A goodly number of members then assembled to listen to David Latimer’s talk on preparing for cross country flights before retiring upstairs to enjoy Brian’s splendid Burn’s Night supper orchestrated by Anne Silver.