Archive for July, 2009

Sunday 26th to Tuesday 28th July

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

Sunday.  After the glorious soaring of Saturday, Sunday dawned initially brightly but this was very soon replaced by a low overcast and a steadily increasing S’ly wind accompanied by rain from 1400hrs.  Consequently no flying was possible except on the simulator.  John Marsh, however, did a 9 hour stint on the tractor/grass-cutter that was completed early Monday morning, although I am sure he went to bed Sunday night.

Monday.  Sunday’s rain was  initially replaced by a 10-15 kt, cloudy, S’ly airstream but this veered into the West by  lunchtime to bring in brighter skies and good thermals in the afternoon.  Two Trial lesson pupils were flown via AT before the change of wind direction and increasing strength resulted in a change to winching, enjoyed by a further Trial Lesson pupil.  10 winch based flights resulted, 4 by private owners and the rest by the club K21s, DG1000 and Discus.    6 of these flights exceeded an hour with Martyn Johnson having just over 3 hrs in his DG600, while John Marsh/Rob Bailey had 1.7 hrs in the club DG1000. 

Tuesday.  Given the available synoptics, most of the attendees at the morning briefing were surprised to find a light/moderate S’ly wind blowing, which quickly brought in low cloud that delayed launching for a while.  However, once cloudbase had risen and broken up a little, 16 ATs were flown off runway 20 although, as the day progressed, the occasional light showers of the morning were replaced by bands of increasingly heavy rain in the afternoon, with general rain setting in around 7 pm.  Fortunately, the intervals between the bands of rain were sufficiently long to allow time for the gliders to be dried and 2 or 3 launches flown before the next band of rain arrived.  2 of the 16 ATs were flown by private gliders, Dave Ashby in his ASW 22 and Lindsay McLane in his Ventus each having 1.2 hrs, courtesy of weak thermals under a medium/high level overcast.   Frank, a Day course pupil, and 4 Trial Lesson pupils were also flown between the showers.  As well as weak thermals, later flights experienced weak wave, while the S ridge over the White Horse and the main bowl between Gormire and Sutton Bank were also soarable as the wind picked up.  Ken Duxbury utilised the latter part of the ridge in his flight of 51 minutes in the Astir, while Jack McGregor/Tim Howle had 40 minutes in the K21.  George Rowden flying Trial Lesson pupil Barry  in the K21 encountered an UFO during their flight, the object in question looking like a tumbling and misshapen box kite as it passed by above the glider.  Suggestions to its identity are welcomed.  On the last flight of the day, Ian Plant & Frank Wilson made a wet approach to a equally wet landing on 20 in the DG500 as a very big shower band moved in.

Friday 24th to Saturday 25th July

Sunday, July 26th, 2009

Friday.  Another day of an initially light,  SW’ly to W’ly airstream with heavy showers that disrupted flying, but in spite of this 12 launches were undertaken, split evenly between winch and AT.  The first flight of the day was by AT but the freshening of the wind and it veering into the W meant the next 6 launches were via the winch.   The wind  speed then diminished so the remaining 5 launches were by AT.  It was a 2 seater only day with the K21s and the DG1000 in use, with 4 of the flights being with Trial Lesson Pupils.  Flight times from the ATs were typically in the 20 minute range, with Andy Parish/Trial Lesson Pupil N Sanderson having 30 minutes off a 3000′ AT.  Dave Ashby and course member Andy Gibbins, taking advantage of a weakly working hill, managed 45 minutes off their winch launch in the K21 for the longest flight of the day.

Saturday.  A transient ridge meant a day of cumulus but no showers, , the utilisation of the the complete club fleet, 21 private owner flights and a total of 54 launches by AT, with the last flight of the day taking off around 1830hrs.  A light W’ly with visibility that improved from good to fantastic by evening, and cloud bases that rose to 5500′ asl made it a very enjoyable soaring day although spreadout with associated cycling, made it tricky for a number of pilots doing cross countries.  37 of the flights exceeded an hour with 13 exceeding 3 hours. It was a day when the 2 seaters made the  headlines.   Jon May/Steve Ball in their Duo Discus flew a 300 km O/R to Grantham during the longest flight of the day, 6.5 hrs, while Phil Lazenby/Stuart Heaton flew  258 km within the confines of Yorkshire in their DG1000t.    Dave Watsham, flying P2 in the club DG1000 with P1 and mentor Lindsay McLane, was coached in cross country skills while completing the 100 km Sut/Ruf/Poc/Sut triangle, the flight being then extended to take in the Tontine and Ripon.  It was not all thermal lift however, pilots flying local to Sutton reported gaining a few hundred feet above and clear of cloud in weak wave, while Bill Payton climbed to around 8000′ over Swaledale.  In among all this soaring activity, Tim Howells went solo in the K21 with a flight of just under 30 minutes.  Congratulations to Tim.  Tony the Day Course member and the several Trial lesson pupils certainly chose a good day to experience gliding for the first time, while Ken Foster an 89 yr old returning Trial Lesson pupil, took the last flight of the day with CFI Andy Parish, who somehow during the day, managed to squeeze in an O/R to Pocklington.  DCFI Dick Cole was also busy doing a BI course with a member of the GC at Currock Hill.  Thanks to Jack McGregor for putting his welding skills to good use, with the result that the Launch control cabin made a welcome return to the launch point.

Tuesday 21 to Thursday 24th July

Thursday, July 23rd, 2009

Tuesday.  A 12-16kt SE’ly brought a low overcast in the morning and rain from early afternoon.  Consequently no flying was possible. 

Wednesday.  A day of heavy showers, mainly in the afternoon, brought in on a initially S’ly wind that veered into the SW as the day progressed didn’t prevent 19 ATs being flown, all in club gliders.    6 Trial Lessons were flown and typically flight times  were around 30 minutes with thermal  enhanced hill lift, the latter being mainly confined to the beat between Gormire and the A170.  Dave Ashby and course member Andy Gibbins had 42 minutes in the K21 as did Colin Troise, although he flew solo.  The control cabin suffered fractures of its A frame and is now out of commission awaiting someone with welding skills.  Any volunteers?  During the evening, with the showers dying out, 5 members of the Forestry Commission had trial flights, finishing off an enjoyable evening with the delights of Brian’s suppers.

Thursday.   A slightly lighter wind of 5-15 kts from the SSW brought thermal activity in the morning with a cloudbase that reached around 3000′ asl.  However, big vertical development heralded an afternoon of heavy showers and thunderstorms with flying suspended on  more than one occasion and, following the passage of the showers, take offs accompanied by spray from areas of standing water.  In all 23 ATs were flown off  runway 24 with landings on 20.   1 private owner flew with the majority of the club fleet also in action. 7 trial lesson pupils were flown and overall, flight times averaged around   30 minutes.  Mike Smith’s (not the artist the other one) solo flight in the K21 was the only flight to exceed an hour although Reg Watson almost made it with 54 mins in the DG303.    Most flights made use of thermals, which were strong at times between and around the showers, but the hill was also used on  more than one flight when the wind was at  the top end of its range.   Stewart Heaton and helpers sorted out the problem with the retrieve brake on the winch and returned it to service.

Thursday 16th(evening) to Monday 20th July

Tuesday, July 21st, 2009

Thursday evening.  The visitors from the Wensleydale Roundtable managed to have their Trial lessons before the rain set in, the start of a very wet 24 hours.

Friday.  A strenthening N’ly with gusts to 30 kts, low cloud and over 30 mm of rain from late Thursday to late Friday put an end to any  thoughts of flying.

Saturday.  The light wind was still from a N’ly quarter to start the day but backed into  the W and strengthened as the day progressed. Showers in the middle of the afteroon restricted flying but overall 11 ATs were flown all in club gliders with the K21s, DG1000, DG303 and Discus utilised.  3 of the flights exceeded an hour with Reg Watson having 1.5hrs in the Discus and Les Rayment/Robin Strarup buddy flying for just over an hour in the K21.

Sunday.  A generally cloudy, 5-15 kt SW’ly airstream started the day but veered into the W as the day progressed.   Some showers around midday didn’t cause too much disruption and 22 ATs were flown, 3 by private owners and the rest in the club K21s, DG1000, Astir and Discus.  5 Trial lesson pupils were flown and there were 5 flights of over an hour, with Jon May/Steve Ball having 2.7 hrs in their Duo Discus.  Chris Burroughs, visiting from the Stratford GC, successfully converted to the Astir while Sue Aherne successfully converted to the  Discus and enjoyed every  minute of her 51 minute flight.  It really was a case of love at first flight.   Congratualtions to them both.  The simulator was also used for 2 flights, one the local Silver Distance cross country, Sut/Ton/Poc/Sut.

Monday.  A hill soarable 10-15 kt W’ly saw the winch out and 36 launches.  11 private owners flew as did all the club 2 seaters and the Astir and Ka8.  Initial thermal activity led to significant spreadout so cross country flights were limited with most private owners electing to stay local.. Andy Wright abandoned his original task due to spreadout and went South and East to better weather.  After rounding Goole, a cloud climb to 7000′ near Bridlington saw him turn Flamborough Head and start for home, but conditions deteriorated, necessitating an engine start near Kirbymoorside.    Cloud base eventually reached 4000′ asl at Sutton during the sunny intervals with some pilots reporting evidence of wave that was however very transient.  George Rowden even ventured out under the overcast to a sunny slot near Ripon using his engine but found no lift.  21 of the day’s flights exceeded an hour with Dean Crosby staying up for 6.4 hrs in his Standard Cirrus, while Andrew McCann, flying the club DG500, completed his 5 hr  endurance leg.  Congratulations to him given the variable conditons of the day.   The Holiday Course member, Mr Giddings,  under the tutelage of Dave Ashby, certainly picked a good day for his introduction to gliding.  The overcast broke around 4 pm to leave cumulus filled skies and splendid visibility, conditions that were utilised until around 6 pm by a number of pilots, rounding off a good days gliding.

Wednesday 15th to Thursday 16th July

Thursday, July 16th, 2009

Wednesday.  A wet SE’ly airstream and low cloud greeted those who had ventured up to the club first thing. The wind veered into the W around lunchtime, but conditions suitable for flying did not arrive until much later in the day, so that there was no flying and the evening visit was cancelled.   There was however a flying visit late in the day when Jack Stephen flew up from the Club Class Nationals at Pocklington in his DG 400 to return the Northern’s Trophy he won last year.  He then proceeded to take off and soar the main bowl for a while before disappearing back to Pocklington.  

Thursday.  A light and pleasant SSW’ly saw significant vertical cumulus development by around 1030 hrs under some extensive patches of Cirrocumulus.  Cloudbase was initially under 2000′ QFE and locally, soaring conditions were tricky.  In all 25 AT’s were flown off runway 24, with landings on 20, and 6 private owners took to the air with variable results.    Club members and 6 Trial Lesson pupils made use of the K21’s, DG1000, Astir and Discus.  5 of the day’s launches resulted in flights of over an  hour, with Peter Clay in his Ventus and George Rowden in his LS8 each spending some 4 hrs aloft, Peter visiting Scunthorpe and Kirton in Lindsey and George, Pickering, Humber Bridge and Harrogate North, both pilots finding good climbs and 5k cloud bases further south.  John Hart brushed up his cloud flying skills with a climb to 10,000′ before  visiting Masham and places west.   Conditions were never as good local to Sutton, but A Hatfield had 51 minutes in the Astir and David Hodgson and Geoff Cardwell 58 minutes in the K21.   Sutton was also a turning point on  the 5th contest day of the Club Class Nationals at Pocklington, many of whose pilots, like John Hart, took  advantage of  high cloud climbs.  A series of big showers developed to the  N/NE of Sutton by late afternoon and rain approached from the SW during the early evening, so having left the site around 5-30 pm I’m unsure whether the evening visitors managed to have their flights.

Thursday 9th to Tuesday 14th July

Wednesday, July 15th, 2009

Thursday.  A 5-10 kt airstream from a N’ly sector brought generally cloudy skies and limited soaring.  15 Ats were flown, all in club gliders, including 3 trial lesson flights.  Reg Watson, flying the DG303 had 1.4hrs aloft while Andy Parish and S Hunt had 47 minutes in the K21 on the last flight of the day around 5pm.

Friday.  A light NW’ly slowly backed into the W but the bright morning was replaced by cloudy skies again restricting soaring opportunities.  21 ATs  were flown, including 2 Trial Lesson pupils, with the club K21s, DG1000, Astir, Discus and Ka8 all flying but nobody managed a flight of over an hour.  The Kiely’s, flying the K21 on the last flight of the day around 5pm, managed 48  minutes.

Saturday.  The light wind was now in the SE as a front slowly approached from the SW but a good soaring day was enjoyed by all.  46 ATs were flown, 16 by private owners and the rest in the club’s K21s, DG5oo, Astir, Ka8 and Discus.  2 Day course members and 6 Trial Lesson pupils were flown and 18 flights exceeded an hour.  Paul Foster in his ASW22 and Chris Teagle in his water  filled LS6C raced each other around a 224 km task, Sut/Fri/Ley/Mal/Sut,  while Andy Wright completed a 311 km task, Sut/Bev/Ley/Ltf/Sut.  All 3 pilots then enjoyed the soaring opportunities presented by a Sea Breeze front stretching from Pocklington northwards to the middle of the N Yorks Moors.  Most of the other private owners explored the Vale of York and Pickering and/or the Pennines.  Paul Foster had the longest flight of the day, 4.7 hrs while David Watsham had 3.2 hrs in the club Astir before having his first flight of 51 mins in the club Discus.  Congratulations David.  Andy Parish took Gordon Wallace on his first aerobatic flight in the K21.

Sunday.  The front passed through over night but initially left the site in a cloudy,  light WSW’ly airstream that later freshened and went into the W, so that after 11 ATs during the first part of the flying day,  10 winch launches were flown during the latter part.  The 11 ATs generated 1 flight of over an hour, N Davies having 1.2 hrs in the club Discus while Jon May with guest E Hammil had 50 minutes in the K21.  The hill soaring conditions later in the day encouraged 2 private owners to fly, with Martyn Johnson having 2.1 hrs in his DG 600  and John Marsh/John Shaw having 1.3 hrs in the club K21, 2 of the 6 flights from the winch to exceed an hour.  The  village of Kilburn at the foot of the White Horse were having their annual Kilburn Feast and a stall advertising gliding at YGC was provided, while Dick Cole flew an aerobatic display in the club K21.

Monday.  A sunny morning with a 5-15 kt wind from the S’ly quadrant  developed into a day with soaring opportunities before increasing cloud from around 3 pm put a damper on things.  21 ATs were flown, 5 by private owners and 4 by Trial Lesson pupils with 11 of the launches providing flights of more than an hour.  Albert Newbery/Phil Lazenby flying their DG1000t disappeared for 5.4hrs while Andy Wright initially declared Sut/Fla/Rip/Sut.  However, finding very good soaring conditions on the coast he completed a 256 km task, Sut/Fla/Thg/Wby/Sut, although the return leg from Whitby to Sutton was something of a struggle against the wind.  Rob Rose, a day visitor from Currock Hill, had 2.4 hrs solo in the DG500 and Dave Whatsham was introduced to the whys and wherefores of cross country flying by having 1.2 hours with Lindsay McLane in the club DG1000. 

Tuesday.  With a forecast of heavy showers/thunderstorms, the prospects for the day did not look promising but in fact the day provided some reasonable soaring weather. 35 ATs were flown off runway 20 into a light and steadily decreasing SW’ly that slowly backed into the SE.  11 private owners flew, 5 compulsorily, being landouts from the National Club Class competition at Pocklington on the final leg of their Poc/Sut/Goole/Ntl/Poc task.  Most pilots enjoyed the conditions during the early part of the day before a med level overcast spread up from the south limiting/preventing thermal activity.  George Rowden, flying his LS8t intially declared Sut/Ctk/Hum/Yor/Sut but with increasing gloom south of Castle Howard turned Malton and set off for Scarborough where  Peter Clay  in his Ventus and Martyn Johnson in his DG600 were enjoying thermal climbs to around 5k over the sea.   George completed his undeclared 182 km flight while Albert Newberry/Stuart Heaton visited Masham, Ripon and Hemsley in their DG1000t.  Back at site, a number of Trial Lessons were flown and Daivd Ryall had just over 2 hours in the club DG303 and Andy Parish/G Cardwell had just under an hour in the club K21.  A pause in flying then ensued as most members left the site at the end of the normal flying day.  Flying then resumed to provide 7 Trial Lesson flights for members of the Darlington 41 club from around 6pm.  With these flights completed and the hangar packed, the visitors and remaining club members retired to the bar/restuarant for another of Brian’s splendid suppers, during which the rain, which had been visible to the south, finally arrived.

Monday 6th to Wednesday 8th July

Wednesday, July 8th, 2009

Monday.  A light SSW’ly airstream brought early soaring conditions albeit with a low cloudbase, initially 1200′ QFE but rapidly rising.  Storms developed rapidly around the site, initially to the SE, but over and to the west of the site’ conditions remained good allowing local soaring.  The storms to the SE eventually produced a high overcast that gradually cut off the sun and thermal activity and produced a period of light rain around lunch time.  The rain cleared but the overcast remained for the rest of the day, limiting soaring activity.  14 ATs were flown off runway 24 with landings on 20 including 6 Trial Lesson pupils and 2 private owner launches.  Charlotte,  a day course member, thoroughly enjoyed her 3 flights managing 41 minutes on her first flight with Ian Plant during the soaring part of the day.  Colin Troise had 1.1 hrs in his DG600, the  longest flight of the day while syndicate partner Martyn Johnson, flying with his BI hat  on, had the longest 2 seater flight of the day, 39 minutes with his Trial Lesson pupil.  John Russell, flying the DG1000 solo in the late afternoon just failed to get a soaring flight with a time of 29 minutes.  During the evening, with  storms again around, but not over  the site, 11 members of the Darlington Round Table were introduced to gliding with flights of 11-23 minutes before retiring to the club house to enjoy Brian’s suppers.

Tuesday.  The storms and heavy showers of Monday made a return on Tuesday but this time didn’t avoid the site. Consequently, only 1 AT was possible, with course member Terry.  With the non flying weather outside, use was made of the simulator to continue training for Terry.

Wednesday.  A light, NNW’ly airstream covered the site and brought with it a medium level overcast that was however, thin enough to allow  some cumulus development underneath.  7 ATs were flown off runway 02, some experiencing moderate turbulence on the climb out.  With soaring prospects apparently limited early on, George Rowden and Mike Smith briefly amused themselves flying a very small and rubber powered ultralight in the hangar.  Initial flights found some thermal activity with flight times of just over 30 minutes, but the best soaring of the day occurred in the late afternoon when a convergence allowed Grinner Smith in his LS7, Colin Troise flying the club K21solo  and Mike Smith and John Carter in the club DG1000 to accumulate just under 4 hrs soaring between them.  Pilots reported steady 6-8 kts lift that allowed some high speed dashes out to the NW towards Northallerton and SE towards Pocklington. Straying to the N of the convergence provided some very heavy sink.  Cloud base had by this time risen to around 4800′ asl.  Grinner Smith’s 1.8 hrs was the longest flight of the day with Mike Smith/John Carter having just under an hour in the DG1000 and returning full of their experience.  George Rowden, meanwhile, covered quite a few kms cutting the grass on runway 24.

post script.  Grinner Smith completed a 146.2 km flight at an average speed of 99.6km taking in Tontine, Sutton on the Forest, Thirsk and York East.

Sunday 5th July

Tuesday, July 7th, 2009

Sunday.  A mostly cloudy, light SSW’ly airstream covered the site with the maximum daytime temperature reaching 21C.  26 ATs resulted, 4 by private owners and the rest in the club’s K21’s, DG500, DG1000 and Ka8.  Flights were typically in the 10-30 minute range althought Jon May/Steve Ball had just under 2 hours in their Duo DiscusT and Brian Wise/J Dixon had 48 minutes in the club K21.  Around 8 pm Justin Wells landed in his Antares having failed to get to some Cunims to the north of the site and continue his flight into Scotland.  Justin was competing in Competition Enterprise at the Mynd, the day’s task having been to visit as many gliding clubs/airfields as possible.  After staying overnight with his retrieve crew, Justin departed on Monday morning to the Mynd to rejoin the competition.

Friday 3rd to Saturday 4th July

Sunday, July 5th, 2009

Friday.  A bright start with a light wind from the E allowed flying to start but flying then had to be abandoned after 3 launches as  low cloud and heavy rain spread in from the south.  8 mm of rain fell between 11am and 1 pm and the skies didn’t clear until well into the evening.  The early flying did allow 2 Trial Lesson pupils to take to the skies in the K21 with flight times of 19 and 22 minutes.  Between these two flights Dick Cole flew the K21 solo.

Saturday.  As  part of the club’s 75th anniversary celebrations, today was an open day with invitations sent to the local communities to visit and take a trial flight.  In addition, a splendid array of Jowett cars was  on display, Mr Jowett  having been a leading light in the early days of the Yorkshire Gliding Club.tn_100_0139  The weather also cooperated, providing Cu filled skies and a light SW’ly, this backing into the SE in the evening as the skies became overcast.  73 ATs  were flown off runway 24  with landings on 20 and all the club aircraft were flown.  The  public turned up in good numbers and 42 Trial lessons were flown in the club 2 seaters as well as in the privately owned T21.  As well as the open day flights there were 17 flights by private owners, with some electing to go cross country and others deciding to stay local.  Cloudbase started off at 1300′ QFE but rapidly rose and eventually reached around 3000′QFE.  In spite of the good looking Cu,  most pilots reported difficult thermal conditions although those that went to the sea side like Jon May/Steve Ball in their Duo DiscusT and Phil Lazenby/passenger in his DG1000t enjoyed their flights over the east coast, even when soaring out to sea.  Rory O’Conor and Andy Wright both abandoned their tasks to the south, Rory after 103 km and Andy at Grantham but Derek Taylor completed his 300 +km flight around Yorkshire although finding good climbs hard to find and considering an engine start on at least one occasion. Andy Darlington, flying the club Astir attempted Sut/Tontine/Pocklington for his Silver Distance but found only weak climbs after turning Tontine and eventually did his first field landing near Felixkirk.  Mr J Davis flying the club Ka8, one of those who stayed local, managed the longest flight in a club glider, 1.9 hrs while the 2 seat honours went to Alex May flying a Trial lesson pupil in the club K21 who found it hard to descend and thereby stayed up for 31 minutes.  The day was rounded off by catering steward Brian who provided a hog roast with all the trimmings, one of many people, including office staff, tug pilots, organisers and instructors who had worked hard to make sure the flying worked smoothly for the benefit of the many visitors.

Wednesday 1st to Thursday 2nd July.

Thursday, July 2nd, 2009

Wednesday.  A 5-15 kt SE’ly that veered slowly into the SSE was accompanied by virtually clear blue skies and the hottest day of the year so far on site, 25C being attained.  11 ATs were flown off runway 20, 7 of these with Trial lesson pupils and the onset of generally blue thermal conditions mid afternoon allowed some of these pupils to experience soaring conditions.    Andy Parish with pupil B Walkden had  the longest flight of the day at 41 minutes in the club K21, while Mike Smith had the only solo flight of the day, also in the K21.

Thursday.  Similar conditions prevailed to those on Wednesday, a clear, sunny morning with a 5-12 kt SE’ly.  However, this briefly went into the E and meant that the early flights were off runway 06.  A return of the wind into the SE meant a change of runway to 20, take offs being from the public footpath side of the runway.   Both club K21s and the DG1000 were utilised in the 14 ATs flown and there was 1 private owner flight by ‘Grinner’ Smith in his LS7.  Thermal activity didn’t start until around 2pm but any prospects for cross country flying were restricted by the blue thermals,  low inversion, around 2000′ QFE and temporarily by the imposition of a 10 nm radius Class A CTR around Linton on Ouse and a class A airway between Linton and Leeds Bradford airport mid afternoon.  Flights before lunch were typically in  the 10-20 minute range, this rising to 20-30 minutes in the afternoon with the local thermal activity.  ‘Grinner’ Smith managed 52 minutes in his LS7 before lift turned to sink while Andy Parish/Rob Bailey in the DG1000 had 34 minutes.  Not all the red faces on site were due to the sun, as the usual end of the day tasks were preceeded by the tail first elevation of the DG1000 after the undercarriage retracted on landing following the last flight of the day. 

Josephine would like all club members to know that the books of tickets for the Grand 75th Anniversary Draw are now available for collection from the office.