Friday 12th. A moderate and wet N’lyairstream with low cloud that didn’t clear until evening meant that there was no flying.
Saturday3th. The wind remained moderate but had backed into the WNW by Saturday morining and with a sunny morning preceding a thermal/wave day a busy airfield was well marshaled by the duty team. The entire club fleet was flown and the good conditions led to 11 private owners also taking to the skies, while the Rotax Falkealsoflew. Most pilots managed soaring flights, with11 exceeding an hour in the air and the day was notable for the first significant cross countries of 2010, with Chris Teagle covering 148 km in his LS6C, David Latimer 256 km in his Ventus and Rory O’Conor, 280 km in his DG800. All three flights were predominately flown in wave with Chris turning Hawes and Knaresborough, and David and Rory traversing the Pennines and some of the Lake District to round Wast Water West in their flights of around 4:35. All three pilots didn’t find good wave conditions until well to the west of Sutton. David Latimer also recorded the best gain of height so far this year, 9,147′. Mike Wood and Les Rayment shared just over an hour in their T21, while Martyn Johnson/J Shaw had a similar flight time in the club K21. The freshening nature of the wind, which had backed into the NW, led to a decision to suspend flying at around 1530 hrs due to rough conditions on take off and landing. One pilot had a personal rough landing when the undercarriage on the DG1000 retracted on touch down. The day was rounded off by a presentation of BGA accident statistics for 2008/9 and the start of 2009/2010 by chairman Graham Evison. This highlighted an increase in fatal and serious accidents and generated a lively discussion on how the more common accidents might be reduced, with particular reference to operations at the YGC.
Sunday 14th. The wind had remained in the NW and had freshened so only 2 flights were flown, one by Mike Wood and a guest of Steve Briggs in the DG500 and an exploratory flight in the K21 by Les Rayment, the duty instructor, the outcome of this flight being that flying was terminated for the day due to the rough conditions. John Marsh took the opportunity to start rolling the east/west runway and certainly flattened and consolidated the surface which had been badly affected by the long weeks of snow and frost. The flattening also applied to the left hand engine panel of the tractor which fell off during the above work and was ridden over by the 4 ton roller, the aesthetic appeal of the tractor being adversely affected, fortunately, John retained his. The lack of real flying meant that the simulator was put to good use.
Monday 15th. A light to moderate W’ly withvariablecloud amounts led to a good hill soaring day with some wave. 9 ATs were flown in the club K21s, DG1000 and DG303 while 3 private owners also flew, the total hours for the day being around 18. Messrs Harrison and Ryall shared a 4 hour flight in the club DG1000 in which they got to 6500 ‘ QNH in wave while Gary Vaughan also had around 4 hrs in his ASW 19.
Tuesday 16th. 26 ATswere flown on a day with a light to moderate wind that started in the NW and backed into the S as the day progressed. Early convection led to spreadout but lift was still to be found, albeit somewhat sporadically and 5 pilots had flights of greater than an hour. Most of the club fleet were flown and there were 6 private owner flights. Mr Belcher, flying his ASW 19 had 2:04 aloft while the Mays had 1:10 in their Duo Discus. Les Rayment/Karl Schnieder flying the K21 had 47 minutes while Mr Bailes flying the DG303 and Mike Wood flying the Ka8 vied for longest club single seaterflight with 30 minutes each.
Wednesday 17th. A moderate WSW initially brought in overcast conditions and a low cloud base but this soon rose to 1500′ QFE, and early flights found the hill working well in conjunction with wave, although climbs had to be regularly terminated at around 3-4000′ QNH as the transient gaps closed. By early afternoon the lower cloud started to decrease in extent although a cirrostratusovercast remained. 16 launches were flown in total, 10 via AT and 6 via the winch, with the club K21, Discus, Astir and DG303 utilised and 2 private owners rigging. Dean Crosby, flying the club Discus had 2 flights of around an hour, one via AT and the other off the winch and Andy Parish/Hugh O’Neil had 1:05 in the K21 off the first flight of the day. George Rowden, flying his LS8 spent the early part of his flight of 2:50 trying to nullify the wave lift to avoid entering cloud, but, as the lower cloud cover diminished, utilised the local wave to climb to around 6000′ QNH over Old Byland, getting a good view of the site as the photo below shows. Venturing further S, a climb over the disused Old Moor airfield took him to 9000′ and a tour of the Easingwold/York area before returning to Sutton. Rob Bailey, flying the Discus, took off after 1600 hrs and hadn’t returned by the time the writer had to leave site, so some better flight statistics may have been achieved.
- YGC from 6000′ QNH
To-days arrivals at the club found the club access road part carpeted underneath a layer of gravel, part of a cunning John Ellis plan to prevent potholing and further work was in evidence as contractors set about transferring diesel and heating oil between tanks. Meanwhile the task of repacking numerous parachutes was underway in the workshop and the wind sock was untangled from the pole.