Archive for June, 2009

Sunday 28th to Tuesday 30th June

Tuesday, June 30th, 2009

Sunday.  An light E’ly airstream that briefly went into the N around midday before going back into the ENE initially brought poor visibility and low cloud.   A brightening around midday brought hope of flying conditions but instead of this rain late afternoon ended any chance of flying with most people heading off home before the skies cleared around 7 pm. 

Monday.  A similar sequence of weather to Sunday characterised Monday, with a light NE’ly present at the start of the day bringing in low cloud.  The airstream  briefly veered into the S bringing clearer conditions but quite quickly backed into the E with a return of the low cloud.  Consequently, no flying was possible.

Tuesday.  A 4-8 kt SE’ly had none of the low cloud of the previous  days but was characterised by a thick layer of Altostratus that prevented any convection.  7 ATs were flown off runway 20 in very benign conditions, ideal for the 4 Trial Lesson pupils who had their first experience of gliding.  A brief period of light rain coincided with a break for lunch before the medium level overcast broke to allow the temperature to rise to 23 C and the first signs of convection to appear.  Reg Rowlinson, flying the K21 solo after lunch,  found the only lift of the day, albeit as he turned crosswind on his approach to Runway 20, while Martyn Johnson flying with his Trial Lesson pupil found a great deal of sink on the downwind leg and has to turn in early.  The day was rounded off by CFI Andy Parish and willing passenger Albert Newbery doing a series of aerobatics in the club K21 before landing on 06.  Flight times were generally around 20  minutes with George Rowden and Trial Lesson pupil Tom Pettler having 25 minutes.   Cumulus development was rapid around 5pm and as a result it rained around 6 pm.

Friday 26th to Saturday 27th June.

Saturday, June 27th, 2009

Friday.  The light and generally E’ly flow of most of the week continued into Friday with a little more N in it.  Sunny conditons early am were soon replaced by more cloudy skies and limited visibility as a weak front approached from the North Sea, limiting covection.  The day’s 10 ATs, all in one of the club’s K21s resulted in flight times in the 15-20 minutes range, although Dave Ashby, flying with guest Mr Hinchcliffe, managed 25 minutes, the best of the day.

Saturday.  Friday’s weather situation continued into Saturday with the exception that Friday’s early  sunshire was missing.  Low cloud and murky conditions were the order of the day, these briefly brightening around lunch time before an approaching trough brought a  return of even lower cloud and  some rain.  No flying was therefore possible.  However, Day Course members Charlotte and Christian were treated to Andy Parish’s briefings on site safety and the basics of controlled flight, putting the latter theory to the test with a flight each in the simulator with George Rowden. Lunch was followed by a look at typical cross country flight via See You in  the briefing room and a re-book of their Day course to a future and hopefully more flyable date.  Meanwhile Chairman Graham Evison got out the club’s big boy’s toys and took to mowing runway 24/06 before reverting to a more normal sized grass cutter to mow the grass around his caravan.  I don’t think Graham asked John Marsh’s permission to use the big mower, but then he is the Chairman!!!

Friday 19th to Wednesday 24th June

Thursday, June 25th, 2009

Friday.  A 12-18 kt W’ly produced a good hill soaring day, with a 3000′ cloud base and strong thermals, the conditions generating 13 flights of >1hr.  5 private owners took advantage of the conditions and the remaining 16 winch launches were flown in club gliders comprising both K21’s, DG1000, Astir, Discus and DG303.   Albert and Martin Newbery again topped the endurance stakes with a flight of 4.3hrs in their DG1000t, while  Malcolm Winter /J Shaw had 2.8 hrs in one of the club’s K21s and David Watisham had 2.2hrs in the club Astir. 

Saturday.  The eminently soaring conditions of Friday were replaced initially by  8  octas of low cloud and light rain showers in a   light N’ly airstream which slowly veered into the W and strenthened late in the day.   Flying started late and was restricted to 10 AT’s, including 3 by Trial lesson pupils.  Flight times were typically in the range 15-25 minutes but John Marsh/M Bennett in the K21 found some lift to record a flight time of 42 minutes. 

Sunday.  The  light W’ly remained but soaring coditions were greatly improved with the result that 32 AT’s were flown, including 11 by private owners and 7 by Trial Lesson pupils.  All the club fleet were flown with the exception of the Ka8.  Darren Clare gained a wealth of cross country experience flying with Dick Cole in the DG1000 while completing a 245 km Sut/Brn/Mas/Poc/Sut task at an average speed of 75 kph.  Bill Payton/Robin Strarup had 4.6 hrs in Bill’s DG1000t for the longest flight of the day.  Kelly and Chris Teagle “hot bedded” (if you’ll allow the expression) their LS6C with Kelly first off to fly Sut/Brn/Mas/Sut landing at 1425 , allowing husband Chris to take off at 1447 and fly a 109 kph O/R to Burn courtesy of a conveniently placed Sea Breeze front.  John Marsh meanwhile had the day’s longest flight in a club single seater at 1.7 hrs. 

Monday.  The  same light W’ly prevailed but this went into the N midday and then into the NE late on.  Conditions were not generally condusive to soaring, with flight times typically in the 15 - 25 minute range from the 7 AT’s of the day, with Andy Parish and Trial Lesson pupil M Byard, one of the two of the day,  having 30 minutes.  Those experts in defying gravity, Albert and Martin Newberry, aided by their DG1000t,  showed staying up was possible in their flight of 2.7 hrs.  Meanwhile, the members of the course week were further introduced to gliding via the simulator.

Tuesday.  The day opened with a light E’ly and a  low  overcast preventing flying but around the middle of the day a local clearence opened up tempting David Hodgson to take an AT with Alan, one of the pupils on the week’s course .  It was a decision David came to regret, for on climbing through the hole in  the  cloud the cloud rapidly closed in below them and, for good measure, it started to rain heavily.  David and Alan made it back to the site before a real downpour started, depositing some 12 mm of rain during the afternoon and putting a end to further attempts to fly. 

Wednesday.  A light E’ly initially provided scattered clouds at around 1500′ QFE but cloud base rapidly rose to around 2-2500′ QFE  and 21 AT’s were flown off runway 20, with a group from the Burn GC also bringing along a number of gliders and their tug.  Initially weak wave was present to the E of the site alowing George Rowden to give Trial Lesson pupil Ken Firth a taste of wave soaring with the longest club 2 seater flight of the day at 36 minutes.  A very nice line of Cumulus underpinning higher wave was also visible some distance to  the NNW of the site.  Most of the 7 private owners who flew all departed to the  W, although Andy Wright set off S for Thrapston, turning back at Belvoir to clock up 303 km, as progress was slow in the blue conditions south of Doncaster .  Lindsay McLane and Bill Payton separately went over the Pennines towards the Lakes with Lindsay finding wave that took him to around 6000′.   Peter Clay did an O/R to Barnard Castle in his Ventus and Phil Lazenby made a detailed examination of the tops of the ridges near Leyburn in his Sut/Ley/Garforth/Sut flight in the club DG303.  The Flying Newbery’s in their DG1000t visited Sheffield and George Rowden visited Masham, Pontefract and Harrogate before managing to get sufficient height to the SE of Dishforth for a straight in landing on 02 through the sea air that had covered Sutton.  In all, 7 flights exceeded an  hour with Lindsay McLane having 5.8 hrs in his Ventus just ahead of the Newbery’s 5.7 hrs in their DG1000t.  At 1600 hrs 16 members of  the WI near Huddersfield arrived for an evening visit. With 2 tugs and 3 two seaters operating, all the visitors managed a flight before low stratus from the North Sea advanced to cover the site stopping flying at around 1900 hrs.  The last couple of flights did manage to use the very visible low level wave cloud that formed just downwind of the site as the stratus rolled in.  The visitors then enjoyed a cooked supper courtesy of Brian and helpers before departing.

Wednesday 17th to Thursday 18th June.

Friday, June 19th, 2009

Wednesday.  A frontal system that took all day to cross the site brought low cloud, 7 mm of rain and no flying. The  clearance arrived  late in the day and, while too late to affect  flying, at least brought the prospect of a hill soaring day on Thursday. 

Thursday.  Thursday duly opened with a moderate WSW and a cloud base that eventually rose to around 3000′ asl. 21 winch launches resulted, 3 by private owners and the rest by all 4 of the club’s 2 seaters and the Discus and Astir.  With the hill working well, 16 of the 21 flights exceeded an hour with John Carter having 3.1 hrs in the Discus and Paul Whitehead/Mr Martin having 1.75 hrs in the club’s K21.  4 Trial Lesson Pupils chose a good day for their introduction to gliding.  Although wave was evident it was exceedingly difficult to contact .  Only one flight made the transition from hill lift to wave, Father and Son Albert and Martin Newbery flying their DG1000t, but even here the transition required a little assistance from their engine. They eventually climbed to around 16,000′ asl in wave  in a flight of 5.2 hrs. 

Friday.  A brief visit to site  showed the wind straight from the W and several gliders soaring in the consistent hill lift enhanced by the strong thermals of the day.  However,  a more detailed review of the day’s flying will have to wait.

While  I was  on site Nick Gaunt asked if I had had a hand in moving his trailer, to which I replied in the negative.  Nick is somewhat perplexed as to why his trailer was moved, so if you were involved or know  somebody who was involved , please contact Nick who is anxious to have the situation explained to him.

Saturday 13th to Tuesday 16th June

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009

Saturday 13th.  A light S’ly that slowly veered into the W brought good soaring conditions that resulted in around 90 hours being logged from the 43 ATs flown, with the last flight landing at 7-19 pm.  22 private gliders launched and all the club fleet were in action apart from the DG303.  Steve Ball/Jon May clocked up the longest flight of the day in the Duo Discus, 5.25 hrs, on their 264 km zig zag around N Yorkshire, just beating the 5. 2 hrs of  Phil Lazenby/Albert Newbery in their DG1000t.  Perhaps if Phil hadn’t spent so much time getting ready, the longest flight accolade would have been  theirs.  Once they did get into the air a 252 km sightseeing quadrilateral around N & E Yorkshire resulted, including around 100 km along an indistinct sea breeze front.  They also found lift on the seaward side of the front  that took them to 4500′  2 miles offshore the  Yorkshire coast north of Scarborough .   Phil provided the following pictures. 

Sea Breeze near Filey

Sea Breeze near Filey

Whitby

Whitby

Chris Teagle took his (sorry Kelly, his wife’s and his) LS6C around another trans Yorkshire 230 km journey, while John Ellis and Andy Wright left Yorkshire to do a 304km O/R to Belvoir Castle in Nottinghamshire in their separate Nimbus 3’s.   Back at Sutton 7 Trial lesson pupils experienced thermal soaring first hand while Lindsay McLane shared a 2.4 hr flight with Marion Stanley in the club DG1000 and Jesper Mjels had 3.7 hrs in the club Discus.

Sunday.  A light W’ly airstream that eventually went into the NE brought even better soaring conditions than Saturday.  Consequently, the total number of hours flown was around 120 from 48 ATs with 28 of the flights exceeding an hour.  Private owners were well in evidence with Andy Wright taking  the first launch of the day at 9-35 am and arriving back some 8.5 hours later having completed  768.4 km, the longest flight of the  year so far.   Kelly Teagle took her turn in the family LS6C to clock up 302.8 km, while Phil Lazenby, flying his syndicate’s DG1000t solo, also exceeded 300 km, although admitting he had missed  Albert Newbery’s  banter, if not his “constructive  comments” from the back seat. Dave Latimer did the fastest flight of the year so far over a closed circuit flight in excess of 200 km by flying 321 km at an average handicapped speed  of 83.7 km/hr  in his Ventus.  Meanwhile Mr Goodchild flew with John Ellis in the club DG1000 to learn the finer points of cross country flying and had a good lesson, all 192 km  and 4.6 hrs of  it, even though the flight had to be truncated due to rain as they flew towards Staindrop.   As well as many private owner flights, all the club fleet were in action with Les Rayment having 2.4 hrs in the Discus, and the 2 seaters busy with club members and 8 Trial lesson pupils.

Monday.  The day started with clear blue skies and a light NE’ly but no customers, presumably due to the forecast of extensive Thunderstorms and all  the flying of the last 3 days.  Although the morning stayed entirely flyable, the forecast Thunderstorm arrived in the early afternoon, depositing an inch of rain.

Tuesday.  The clear blue skies of early morning soon gave way to extensive low cloud with the light wind veering from the NE into the SE and freshening as the day progressed.  The low clouds lifted and broke  around lunch time to reveal a medium level overcast and flying commenced off runway 20.  The first flight saw John Russell, who has recently rejoined the club,  take to the air with Ian Plant in the  club DG1000.  Welcome back John.   3 further flights resulted, all with Trial Lesson Pupils, with cumulus, base 2000′ asl and weak thermals to be found under  the overcast.  Flight times were generally around 20 minutes with the longest 25 minutes.   Conditions continued to slowly improve but a lack of customers saw the hangar packed by around 4 pm.

Thursday 11th to Friday 12th June.

Saturday, June 13th, 2009

Thursday.  A light SSW’ly airstream that veered into the NNW around midday, brought a number of heavy showers, including hail.  However, flying was possible with 10 AT’s utilising all the club 2 seaters and the Discus.  Flight times were generally in the 20 - 40  minute range as the course members continued to advance their flying skills, but Andy Parish/I Seaton had 1.2 hrs in the K21to clock up the longest flight of the day.

Friday.  A promising sky in a light and initially SW’ly wind encouraged early launches by a number of private owners with Lindsay McLane off just before 1000 hrs in his Ventus (returning 7 hrs later), quickly followed by Bill Payton in his Ventus and David Bradley in his LS8.  A further 50 ATs off runway 20 followed with flying continuing into the evening, the last flight taking off at half past eight and 25 of the flights equalling or exceeding and hour.  Private owners departed to all points of the compass, Lindsay McLane visiting Dumfries, Bill Payton the Lake District , Peter Clay went to Belvoir Castle and back, while Phil Lazenby toured Yorkshire in his flight of 212 km, having to tip toe his way to his Beverley turn point, which, by the time he got there, was in the sea air behind a sea breeze front.  Ian Johnson and George Rowden, taking off mid afternoon, did the local 100 km triangle, Ian clockwise and George anticlockwise, with the said sea breeze front providing George with a 127 km/hr straight glide back to Sutton from Pocklington.   It was not all plain sailing however, for John Ellis, on a Sut/Grantham/Leyburn/Sut triangle managed 335 km before difficult blue conditions near Leyburn required deployment of his engine.  Martyn Johnson, with the memory of 2 recent land outs in mind, felt very sastisfied to make it back to site in his flight of around 4 hours.  The day proved a excellent conclusion to the week’s course with member, Terry Vokes having 1.6 hrs aloft with Ian Plant in the club K21 while Mr Thwaites had the longest flight of the day in a club glider, 2 hrs of local soaring  in the Discus.

Tuesday 9th to Wednesday 10th.

Thursday, June 11th, 2009

Tuesday.  The 8-15 kt Northerly airstream brought a succession of light showers to the site all day, although to the north and south it remained dry but cloudy .  Consequently, no flying was possible but the 4 course members continued their instruction on the simulator.

Wednesday.  The unstable airstream continued to come in from tbe  NE but with a lot of medium level cloud, shower development was hindered and a full days flying was possible off runway 02 with some landings on 06.  All the club 2 seaters were utilised with the exception of the DG500 and 21 ATs were flown, flight times being typically 15 to 20 minutes.   There was however, some thermal activity enabling Ian Plant/R Black to have a 36 minute flight in the K21, the longest of the day.  Following the cessation of the days flying, the weather took a turn for the worse with the result that an  evening visit by a group from Guisborough 41 club only managed 1 flight before rain and low cloud arrived.  Retiring to the club house, the group enjoyed Brian’s Lasagna, with some of the visitors having and enjoying their first  experience of gliding on the simulator.

Sunday 7th to Monday 8th June.

Monday, June 8th, 2009

Sunday.  A 10-15 kt ENE’ly brought in a high overcast during the morning with Cu underneath with bases at around 3000′ asl.  There were 8 ATs off runway 02 all in  the club K21s with flight times typically in the 15 - 25 minute range  although later on flights were off runway 06.  2 Trial lesson pupils were flown.  On their instructional flight, John Marsh and his pupil found some more consistent thermal activity enabling them to chalk up another official soaring day with a flight of just over an hour.   Conditions looked to have improved by mid afternoon but a lack of customers mean flying stopped at around 1430 hrs.  The Falke fuselage disappeared off site for its post heavy landing inspection. 

Monday.  The airmass was still from an ENE’ly direction although the wind speed had lowered to 5-10 kts and with a holiday course starting with 4 members, AT operations commenced off runway 02 straight after briefing.  The site appeared to be on a boundary with spreadout to the south and blue sky and  Cu to the north.  The latter tempted Lindsay McLane to go north in his Ventus and although he landed some 5 hours later the extent of his foray is not known.  Bill Payton, flying his DG1000t solo also had a long flight but didn’t go anywhere in particular.  2 other private  owners also flew as well as all  4 of the club’s 2 seaters, but locally conditions were tricky with occasional strong lift under well developed clouds but generally the lift was inconsistent and weak.    In all 26 ATs were flown, including 1 Trial Lesson pupil, with typical flight times in the 15-30 minute range but John Marsh/B Upton had 39 minutes in the club K21 for the longest club flight of the day.

Saturday 6th June.

Saturday, June 6th, 2009

Saturday. The day opened with  low cloud and rain, over 15mm having fallen overnight in a  light ESE’ly airstream.  However, the rain soon stopped allowing John Marsh to start cutting the grass on runway 02/20 with the repaired equipment.  And a very nice stripey look he achieved.    The weather continued to slowly improve and with a reasonable cloud base and cumulus forming, flying started off runway 06 into a fresher E’ly at around 1430.    Andy Parish/Colin Troise  had the first flight in the K21 utilising 2-4 kt thermals in their flight of 1.1 hours, followed by another two K21 flights each of around 30 minutes by which time the cloud base had increased to to around 3700′ asl.  Flying then terminated due to a lack of customers.  The  opportunity was also taken to derig the Rotax Falke and load the wings onto a trailer for transport to Bob McClean’s where it will be given a  detailed inspection after its heavy landing.  The fuselage is expected to follow shortly.

Wednesday 3rd to Friday 5th June

Saturday, June 6th, 2009

Wednesday.  In spite of unpromising media forecasts, the morning briefing suggested good soaring conditions between a cold front moving away to the south and another approaching from the north and so it turned out.  Thermals were strong and cloud base rose from 3500′ to 4000′ asl locally during the day.  7 private owners launched and there were an additional 12 flights in club gliders off runway 02 in a 10 kt N’ly.  8 of the day’s flights exceeded an hour with Peter Clay being aloft for just under 4 hours in his flight  Sutton/Leyburn/Humber Bridge/Sutton, while Andy Wright did a 319 km cross country at a speed of 89 km/hr, a struggle recovering from a low point reducing his speed below an anticipated 95 km/hr.  David Ryall, after doing some aerobatics with Andy Parish in the K21,  took advantage of the conditions to fly to Burn in the club Discus, thus achieving his Silver Distance, so well done David.  Returning against the wind proved a little difficult, the problem being solved by a landing at Rufforth and a AT retrieve back to Sutton.  Back at site 3 Trial Lesson pupils were introduced to thermal soaring with Andy Parish/Peter Claes having a 50 minute flight in the club K21.

Thursday.  Overcast skies and a light wind from the N meant that only circuits were possible and the number of flights were restricted as the clouds thickened and produced drizzle in the afternoon.  5 ATs were flown off 02 all in the K21 including 2 Trial Lesson pupils,  while another Trial Lesson pupil restricted his flying to the simulator.

Friday.  A very light N’ly that  went into the SW before going back into the NE and freshening pm meant some changing of runways and pilots having to be on  their toes.  Initial sunny skies that produced good thermal conditions in the morning were slowly replaced by an overcast and eventually the rain that had been visible to the immediate north from the word go.  There were 10 ATs with 3 of the early flights exceeding an hour, Andy Parish/Mark Hillyer having exactly an hour in the K21 and Sue Aherne having 1.25 hours on her conversion flight in the Astir, the last time she flew an Astir being 25 years and 2 days ago.  So well done Sue, the time between the flights only proving what a young slip of a lass she must have been in 1984.  The engine check on the Rotax Falke after its heavy landing has been completed satisfactorily, but a detailed check is required of the airframe which means that it will be off site and out of commission for a while.