Thursday 21st to Friday 29th May.

Thursday.  A light to moderate WSW’ly that slowly veered into the W brought slow moving, heavy showers that restricted flying to 11 ATs, the majority in the club 2 seaters but 1 by a private owner.    Aerobatics training continued with Paul Conran.  The visitors from Stratford GC made the most of the day with Barrie Monslow flying  his ASW20 for just under 2  hours and Phil Pickett/Chris Bingham having 1.5 hours in the K21.  In the evening, Tom Cassells, the UK open aerobatic champion gave G-loving pilots trips in his T67 Firefly.

Friday.  21 ATs and 5 Rotax Flake flights were flown in a moderate, and thermic SW’ly, by 8 private owners and virtually all the club fleet.    Sharon Kerby of the Stratford GC topped the day with 3 hrs in their K21, while home grown Brian Wise had an hour in the club DG303.

Saturday.  The first day of a task w/end for YGC pilots saw a  212 km and a 138 km task set but the weather failed to  cooperate, providing a light to moderate SE’ly that slowly  veered into the SW.  Only 2 flight’s were possible am but the afternoon brought better flying weather with 20 ATs flown.  Flight times were typically in the range 10-30 minutes but visitor Martyn Davies had 45 minutes and John Marsh gave his Trial Lesson pupil 43 minutes in the K21, one of the 3 Trial lessons of the day.    The Rotax Falke was busy with 7 flights and there was a single flight on  the simulator.

Sunday.  A light W’ly brought reasonable thermic conditions and there were 66 ATs, 19 of which gave flight times in excess of an  hour.  19 private owners flew as well as all the club fleet.  A number of pilots attempted cross countries but only John Ellis put his 258 km flight to Newark and back on  the National ladder.  Jonathon May/Steve Ball had 4.5 hours in their Duo Discus, Dick Cole /Dave Ireland had 2.1 hours in the club DG1000 while Reg Watson had 1.75 hours in the club Discus.

Monday.  Today saw the start of a holiday course but although the weather was flyable, a light SE’ly, most flight times were in the 20-30 minute bracket.  36 ATs were flown with all 4 club 2 seaters in action and there were 7 private owner flights as well a Falke flight.  Jonathon May/Steve Ball again topped the duration stakes with 57 minutes in their Duo Discus, while Andy Parish/S Lowe had 51 minutes in the club K21.   There were 4 Trial lesson flights.

Tuesday.  The passage of an active cold front overnight left the site in a moderate to fresh W’ly so the winch was in action.  All the club 2 seaters were flown with 5 private owners taking to the air and of the 13 launches, 12 gave flights of over an hour.  Jesper Mjels, flying his Pik, stayed up for 5 hours while Andy Parish /Steve Briggs were up for 2.5 hours in the club DG1000.  Martyn Johnson landed out in his DG 600 and there were 2 flights on the simulator..

Wednesday.  The passage of a front brought low cloud and no gliding was possible although there was a single Falke flight.

Thursday.  A light to moderate W’ly brought plenty of cloud during the morning but this slowly decreased during the day.  Wave was in evidence from early on but during the cloudy morning could only be accessed from a slot over Thirsk via a long/fast AT to keep below the cloud.   Later, as the cloud decreased thermal activity increased and some pilots used thermal lift to contact the wave.  Both John Ellis and Lindsay McLane used the wave to fly north from the site  with John declaring a Hexham turn point.  However, wave activity was weaker to the north causing both pilots to turn back early and John used the wave to turn Wetherby.  Jesper Mjels joined John and Lindsay in having a flight of over 5 hours while 15 of the 31 ATs gave flights of an hour or more.  John Marsh/L Townsend had 1.25 hours in the K21 and Robin Hutchinson 1.5 hours in the DG303.  Ken Arkley, after having failed to contact the wave over Thirsk, took a later more successful launch and eventually reached 10,000′.  Martyn Johnson, obviously having enjoyed his land out the previous Tuesday, repeated the experience today.  The 6 Trial lesson pupils of the day certainly experienced some interesting flying and in addition there were 5 flights in the Falke.

Friday.  A bright morning with a moderate SE’ly promised good soaring, but by mid morning a layer of stratus at 1200′ QFE  covered the site restricting early flights to circuits.  The overcast gradually broke up providing strong thermals by early/mid afternoon with  cloud base eventually rising to around 3500′ QNH by the end of the afternoon.  33 ATs were flown off runway 20 with most of the club fleet utilised and 6 private owners taking to the air.  Derek Taylor attempted a Sut/Goole/Pontefract/Sut triangle in his ASW 22 but poor thermal conditions approaching Goole and a strenthening wind forstalled the attempt.   Most pilots stayed local with George Rowden having 1.5 hours in his LS8, Paul Foster 1.4 hours in the Discus and John Marsh/L Townsend 51 minutes in the DG 1000.   There were 5 Trial lesson pupils.

Tuesday 19th to Wednesday 20th May.

Tuesday.  A cloudy, moist, moderate and ultimately wet S’ly airstream covered the site, restricting flying to 7 ATs, all the in the club’s K21’s.  With no soaring opportunities , flight times were in the range 11-18 minutes but some of these were aerobatic flights under the tutelage of Paul Conran who was available all week to provide  views of North Yorkshire from unusual angles.

Wednesday.  The wind, 10-20 kts, started in the SW but slowly veered into the W as the day progressed.  15 ATs were flown off runway 24 (with landings on 20) before the first of a series of very heavy showers terminated flying at around 2pm.  With hill lift available on the northerly section of the main bowl, plus some thermal activity, 7 of the flights were around or over an hour although no one managed to contact the high level lenticulars that were visible above the convective cloud.  Martyn Johnson had around 3 hours in his DG600 with Ken Duxberry having 1.25 hrs in the club Astir and visitor Neil Hayes from Gransden Lodge, 1.2 hrs on his first ever hill soaring flight with Andy Parish in the club DG500.  Those members not in the air were  treated to one of the club K21’s doing prolonged inverted flight, including inverted turns and other manoeuvres as Paul Conran continued to provide aerobatic experience and training to club members.  All flying came to a sudden halt at 2pm as a very heavy shower approached, this also providing good practice in getting the hangars packed in a very short time.  The weather after the shower passed improved greatly, but as the writer had to leave site at this time it is not certain if flying resumed.

Thursday 14 to Monday 18th May

Thursday.  Sutton lay just under the edge of the frontal cloud associated with an occluded front so a dry, solidly overcast day resulted, with an moderate E’ly and no soaring opportunities.  4 ATs were flown off runway 06, all in the club K21, with David Lynch flying one of these solo and managing the longest flight of the day at 18 mins.   The course members. as well as getting into the air also spent some time on  the simulator.

Friday.  A persistently wet day that only brightened up towards evening meant no flying was possible.

Saturday.  A cloudy, blustery SE’ly that slowly veered into the south brought turbulent flying conditions with rain am and isolated heavy showers  pm.  Flying was delayed by the early rain and disrupted by the showers and as a consequence, only 6 AT’s were flown, 1 by a private owner and the rest in the club K21 although there were 3 flights on the simulator.  Flight times were generally in the 10-20 minute range but Andy Parish, flying in the K21 with A Causer, stayed up for 33 minutes to clock up another official soaring day.   We welcomed back a group of members from the Stratford GC who are visiting us for the week.

Sunday.  The day started off brightly with a 10-20kt SE’ly but clouded over with rain in the late afternoon.  17 ATs were flown by the club’s 2 seaters and 1 private owner and there was a single Falke flight.  Soaring was difficult with most flight times of 10-30 minutes but Martyn Johnson gave his Trial Lesson pupil (one of 5 for the day) 44 minutes in the K21 to notch up the longest flight of the day and Sue Aherne recorded 32 minutes in the K21, the best solo flight of the day. 

Monday.  A blustery, 15-20 kt SW’ly brought heavy showers, with the corresponding sunny spells being just too short to warrant starting flying.  Consequently no flying was possible.  Approaching the Bank along the A170 during the late afternoon, travellers were treated to a spectacular, broad, low level rainbow stretched across the main bowl.   Some slight compensation for the non-flying weather.

Tuesday 12th to Wednesday 13 May.

Tuesday.  An 8-15  kt ESE”ly prompted operations off runway 06 and 17 AT’s were flown by the club’s K21’s, DG1000 and Astir and including 2 launches by private owners.  Strong thermal conditions existed but with equally strong sink and Bill Payton/Steward Heaton visiting Masham in their DG1000t, found getting back against the wind a struggle compared to the outward journey.  Their flight time of just over 2 hrs was the longest of the day.  Andy Parish/Sue Aherne in the club DG1000 had an hour exploring upwind of the site as did Jesper Mjels in the club Astir in his flight of 1.3 hrs, reporting cloud base of around 3800′ asl.  There was a single Trial Lesson flight and a single Rotax Falke flight.

Wednesday.  The airstream continued to come from the ESE, albeit somewhat strengthened at10 – 20 kts and an occluded front was forecast to approach from the south later in the day.  AT’s were again off runway 06 and pilots reported turbulent conditions below the inversion at 2000′ QFE but smooth conditions above.  One of the club’s Pawnees was  flown down to Bagby for its annual check.  Cumulus were visible over the Pennines from mid morning but did not appear within gliding reach of the site until late morning and any lift found was broken.  The first flight after lunch, with Kelly Teagle/Gordon Wallace in the K21, found improved soaring conditions with a cloud base of 3200′ and provided the longest flight of the day at 29 minutes.  However, the wind was now gusting to around 30 kts and flying was therefore  terminated  with the Cirrus from the approaching front visible overhead.   The continued advance of the front soon brought overcast skies and a few spots of rain.

Friday 8th to Monday 11th May

Friday.  A 15-30kt WSW’ly airstream brought a few showers but also a working hill and thermals.  6 winch launches resulted, 2 by Private owners and the rest by the club 2  seaters with all of the flights over 30 minutes and 3 over an hour.  Albert Newbery/S Briggs had 1.1 hrs in the K21 and there was a single flight on the simulator.

Saturday.   An advancing front was not expected to reach the site until late afternoon, so with a 13-20 kt SW’ly winching was the order of the day.  A party of Scouts, 2 Day Course  and 2 Trial Lesson pupils  ensured a busy day for the club 2 seaters with all 4 in operation as well as the Astir, Discus and DG303.  Several of the Scouts went on the simulator.  In all 23 launches were taken, 7 by Private owners.  Sue Aherne flew with Lindsay McLane in the DG1000 for  advanced cross country tution and had the longest flight of the day at 2.5 hrs all in thermal.  This was one of 11 flights of over an hour.   Wave was present but was somewhat elusive, but Chris Teagle in his LS6C and Martyn Johnson in his DG600 both contacted and reached  between 9,500 and 10,000′ asl.  Mr Davies, had the longest  club single seater flight, just under an hour in the  Discus.   At around 4pm  the forecast front arrived with  low cloud and rain, terminating flying for the day. 

Sunday.  The day dawned with a complete overcast in a 0-5kt SW’ly. and so aerotowing was in order.  Around lunch time 4kt thermals developed briefly in spite of the overcast skies but intermittent light rain then followed with no soaring opportunities.  11 ATs were flown all in the club 2 seaters with flight times generally in the 11-20 minute range, although Mike Wood, taking advantage of the brief thermic spell managed 27 minutes in the K21 with L Davies, one of 4 Trial Lesson pupils.

Monday.  A 5-15 kt NE’ly airstream brought sunny skies and thermals that verged on the blue.  20 ATs were flown off runway 02, with all the club 2 seaters in operation as well as the Astir and DG303.  This was the first day of a course week and the course members, Mark and Gordon had a very enjoyable day, as did the 4 Trial  Lesson pupils.  Thermals were strong, narrow and generally short lived but most flights were soaring flights and 6 exceeded an hour.  Andy Parish/Tony Maufe had just over an hour in the DG1000 while Ken Duxbury had the same time in the Astir.  There were 2 private owner flights, with Bill Payton/John Marsh attempting  Sutton/Barnard Castle/Pontefract/ Sutton but having to resort to turbo power in a blue section of the task  and George Rowden utilising the hill and thermal lift off the northern edge of the North Yorks Moors before trying unsuccessfully to use some very weak wave downwind of the site.

Wednesday 6th to Thursday 7th May

Wednesday.  A 20 kt WSW’ly meant a winching day with a combination of hill lift and wave, which, with the moist airstream, meant very mobile slots and holes in the cloud sheet which appeared and disappeared rapidly.  6 launches were done in the club K21s and DG1000 with all flights greater than 30 minutes and 2 in excess of an hour, with pilots reporting interesting conditions.  Andy Parish / Mr Huggins reached 5000′ asl in the DG1000 in  their flght of 2.2 hrs and there was a single Trial Lesson pupil. 

Thursday.  The passage of a cold front overnight left the site in a 25 kt WSW’ly that slowly backed into the SSW and, during the morning, was accompanied by gust of around 30kts.  Winching was again the order of the day, with 23 launches undertaken, 6 by private owners and the rest by all the 4 club 2 seaters and the club DG303.  There were 2 Trial Lesson Pupils.  Wave was evident from the satpics at briefing and most pilots contacted off the hill using strong wave affected thermal to get suficient height to transfer into the wave.  Once in the wave initial climb rates were of the order of 10 kts.  Lindsay McLane in his Ventus, John Hart in his Vega and Bill Payton/Stewart Heaton in their DG1000t all crossed the Pennines with Lindsay and John reaching Ullswater.  George Rowden stayed this side of the Pennines but found good lift over Leeming to reach just over 17,000′ asl, courtesy of a newly installed oxygen system.  Mike Wood, flying the club K21 solo, visited York and gained to 14,000′ making a very rapid return from just north of York back to circuit height at  Sutton in around 3 minutes.   David Hill/Bob Bailey climbed to 8000′ in the club K21 and visited Yarm having a friendly chat with the ATC at Durham Tees Valley airport.  All in all a cracking day, so much so that Albert Newbery/Phil Lazenby took a launch  in their DG1000t  at around 1800 hrs following its return to site by their other syndicate partners, Bill and Stewart.

                                                Teesside from 17000'

Sunday 3rd to Tuesday 5th May.

Sunday.  A fresh NW’ly brought good soaring conditions but no flying was possible due to turbulence downwind of the main ridge on the take off from runway 02.  Some pilots resorted to the simulator.

Monday.  A wet and cloudy SW’ly airstream persisted all day preventing any flying.

Tuesday.  A fresh and cloudy WSW’ly airstream was again in evidence with the promise of hill and possibly wave lift.  The first winch launch of the day was however abandoned when the cloudbase turned out to be much lower than anticipated, resulting in the rapid return to earth of Dave Cambell/R Huggins in the K21 .  Thereafter the wind slowly increased with gusts up to  35 kts accompanied by bits and pieces of rain, although bands of sunlit ground towards the Pennines showed the presence of wave.  With no appreciable increase in cloud base as the day progressed,  no further flying was possible although the simulator was again in action.

Sunday 26th April to Saturday 2nd May

Sunday.  A  moderate SSW’ly airstream continued the  good soaring conditions of late Saturday and 38 AT’s were flown by the all the club’s gliders and 13 private owners.  A  number of Sutton’s pilots attended a weekend advanced soaring course at Pocklington with all completing a 300+ km task in spite of  being denied permission  to enter Doncaster/Sheffield’s Class D airspace which entailed some significant diversions.  A number of pilots also flew over 300 km from Sutton but while not experiencing problems with Doncaster’s Class D shared the problems of significant spreadout mid  afternoon  which caused the  curtailment of some tasks.  10 of the flights from Sutton exceeded an hour with around 70 hrs soaring accumulated.  Bill Payton was aloft for 5.3 hrs in his Ventus while Jack McGregor and Andy Darlington shared a flight of 1.75 hrs in the club DG1000.  The 6 Trial lesson pupils chose a good day for their first flights.

Monday and Tuesday.   Rain  and low cloud on both days prevented any flying, apart from some flights on the simulator. 

Wednesday.   A light, cloudy, moist,  SE’ly airstream bringing very poor visibility initially covered the site, with conditions not improving sufficiently to allow flying to take plaee until early afternoon.    Following this late start 10 AT’s were flown in the club K21’s and Astir as well as by 2 private owners.  Soaring was possible on most flights but an indication that conditions were much better further south was provided by the appearence of a Lasham based glider  which then struggled to get sufficient height to make the return journey.  Andy Parish/Andrew McCann had 66 minutes local soaring in the club’s K21 while Mike Smith just pipped them to the longest flight of the day by staying up for 68 minutes in his ASW20.

Thursday.  A light SSE’ly airstream brought showers and longer periods of rain so flying was confined to the Simulator.

Friday.    The  wind was  now a moderate SW’ly but periods of rain restricted flying to 3 AT’s including one by a  private owner.  Andy Parish/J Hamill made it a soaring day by staying up for 33 minutes.

Saturday.  A light W’ly that slowly backed into the SW brought good soaring conditions although there was a tendency for spreadout.  Cloud base rose from around 3500′ asl to around 5000′ asl by the end of the day.  Saturday was the first day of a Task Weekend for YGC pilots and 2 tasks were set,  212 km around Leyburn/Pontefract/Masham and 138 km around Leyburn/Knaesborough/Masham.  Most pilots completed their selected task but Tony Waddup landed out in his Ka6.  Lindsay McLane decided to explore to the North in hisVentus with the idea of contacting the wave forecast for the extreme north of England and Scotland, but  deteriorating conditions meant he couldn’t get beyond Newcastle.  Lindsay vied with Bill Payton for the longest flight of the day at around 7 hours, 2 of the 28 flights that exceeded an hour.  In all 49 AT’s were flown with 25 private owners and most of the club fleet taking to the skies.  The 4 Trial Lesson pupils all enjoyed some good soaring in gentle but strong thermals and Dick Cole/Andy McCann had 2.3 hrs in the club DG1000 and Mr Davis just under 2 hrs in the club DG303.

With the hangar packed, CFI Andy Parish held an instructor’s/tug pilot’s meeting aided by Deputy CFI Dick Cole and this was followed by a BBQ, rounding off a good day’s flying very nicely.