Saturday 26th to Monday 28th June

Saturday 26th.  A light to  moderate SE’ly brought hazy conditions and limited soaring opportunities but flying action covered 7 hours from 1000 hrs to 1700 hrs with the club’s K21s. DG1000, Discus and Astir in action but only 2 private owners launching.  In all 25 ATs were flown, including 6 Trial Lesson pupils and 1 guest and there was a single Falke flight.  Only 1 flight managed in excess of an hour, the Jon May/Steve Ball/Duo Discus combination staying aloft for 1:48.  Roger Burghall took guest Lewis Calder for a 39 minute flight in the K21 and Andy Hatfield had 25 minutes in the Astir.

Sunday 27th.  The light wind started in the SSE but slowly veered into the SW as the day wore on, the air mass generating thermals by around 1030 hrs,  albeit with a 2000′ QFE cloud base.  Cloud base and thermal strength improved as the wind veered, cloud base eventually reaching 5000′ asl and 5 kt thermals were to be had.  16 private owners took advantage of the conditions contributing to the 35 ATsflown on the day, with flying starting at just after 1000 hrs and going on until 1730 hrs.  22 of the day’s flights exceeded an hour so the 5 Trial Lesson pupils had a good introduction to thermal soaring.  Jon May/Steve Ball had the longest flight of the day in their Duo Discus but no details have emerged of where they went.  Bill Payton/Stuart Heaton in their DG1000t turned Thirskbefore going way down south to turn Alton Towers, while Derek Taylor and Andy Wright both did 300 km flights, Derek via an O/R to Grantham and Andy via a Yo Yo with turning points at Doncaster N, Leyburn and Pontefract.  Tony Waddoup literally made a flying visit to RAF Linton on Ouse in his Ka6.  Kelly and Chris Teagle “hot bedded” their LS6C with successive flights around the Sut/Ruf/Poc/Sut triangle, Chris covering the 100 kms at 73 kph and Kelly at 62.9 kph in spite of Kelly carrying water.  The fact that the water was amniotic fluid may have contributed to the result.  Back at  Sutton Eric Preston had 2:14 in the club Discus and Messrs Kiely and Hancock had 1:03 in the K21.  Among all this activity, the Falke managed a single flight.

Monday 28th.  A light to  moderate WSW’ly airstream saw thermals blossom by mid morning although the cloud base was initially only 1800′ QFE.  The cloud base rose steadily during the day and the sunny conditions generated some strong thermals,  encouraging 11 private owners to rig.  25 ATs were flown off runway 24 with  landings on either 20 or 24 and the club K21s, Astir, DG303 and Discus were well utilised with  club members, a Day course  and 2 Trial Lesson pupils.  14 of the day’s flights exceeded an hour, with Bill Payton circumventing the Doncaster ATZ anticlockwise inhis Ventus 2 Cxt, via Aysgarth Falls,  Sheffield South, Tuxford Junction and the Humber Bridge, a distance of around 350 km, the total flying time being 5:20.  Bill had the unique experience of out climbing a carrier bag over Pontefract.    George Rowden did a 304 km YoYo in his LS8t, turning Pontefract, Catterick and Beverley.  Martyn Johnson also turned Pontefract and Staindrop in his DG600  but  returned to Sutton to record 219 km, having to abandon his attempt to get to Garforth due to wave influence and increasing cloud.  Ian Bullous also found the going difficult late in the afternoon and, with the A1 north of Dishforth only 800′ below, started the engine on his DG800.  The wave influence that had contributed to Martyn’s return to Sutton, was investigated by a number of pilots, but only one, Malcolm Winter in his Kestrel managed a significant climb, contacting the wave over Dalton and eventually reaching 8500′ asl.  Back at Sutton the Day course member enjoyed his day clocking up a couple of hours flying while David Watsham had 2:16 in the club Discus and Ian Plant/Andy Bowes had 52 minutes in the K21.  The sky clouded in around 4pm and some light showers arrived around 6pm but in between Albert and Martin Newbery in their DG1000t landed back having done an O/R to Gainsborough,  managing to find a last thermal near Pocklington that got them on their final glide  to Sutton.

Just for the record, the attendees on the very successful course of the previous week together with their course instructor’s John Carter  and Dave Ashby  and the aftermath of Will Parr’s solo have been captured for posterity and are shown below.


Will Parr with John Carter

Will Parr with John Carter

Thursday 24th to Friday 25th June

Thursday 24th.    The good weather continued under the influence of high pressure with a light to moderate wind from the W’ly quarter although cloud amounts were greater than the previous day.  27 ATs were flown with the K21s, DG1000 and Astir being flown from the club fleet and 5 private owners launching.  7 Trial Lesson pupils experienced their first glider flight while 9 of the day’s flights exceeded an hour.  Dean Crosby, flying Sam St Pierre’s DG200, had just under 4 hours while Albert and Martin Newbery had 3:15 in their DG1000t,  staying mainly local.  Phil Lazenby flying the club Astir attempted the local 100 km triangle and was on the return leg to Sutton only to meet a convergence with a  much lower cloudbase.  The air on the Sutton side of the convergence was completely dead so Phil landed in a stock Beet field near Full Sutton, and won over the initially truculent farmer with his friendly charm.  ( If you don’t know what stock Beet is ask Phil or any of our farming members).  The farmer’s truculence was due to memories of a field landing by another YGC pilot some years ago, the latter proving to be somewhat truculent himself.  Phil’s retrieve proved to be something of an event in itself.  Meanwhile, back at Sutton, the course members continued to amass their flying hours with Richard Wilkingson adding a further 1:04 to his tally with David Ashby in the K21.  David Lowe did likewise with his solo hours with a 1 hr flight also in the K21.

 Friday 25th.  With the  high still in charge and its centre not far away, winds remained light but mainly from  the W’ly quadrant, but large areas of the sky were covered with medium level cloud, the blue patches soon dotted with cumulus.  45 ATs were flown off runway 24 with landings on 20, 11 of the flights being in the evening for a group of Scouts from near Wetherby.  The conditions tempted 8 private owners into the air with all the club 2 seaters, the Astir, Discus and DG303 also being flown.  Conditions improved as the day progressed with good strong, smooth thermals and the cloudbase rising to over 5000′ asl by late afternoon.  Will Parr, on the course with his father Kevin, soloed in the morning and in the afternoon on his second solo flight, stayed up for 1:47 climbing to 5100′ asl and gaining one of his Bronze duration legs and his 1000′ gain leg.  Congratualtions to him.  Most of the private owners disappeared from the locality, with Andy Wright  in his Nimbus and Bill Payton in his Ventus reportedly crossing the Humber into Lincolnshire.  Peter Clay visited Rufforth, the Humber Bridge and Dishforth before returning to Sutton in his Ventus , while Ian Johnston in his DG300 took a keen interest in Drax power station before returning to site.  Albert and Martin Newbery again toured Yorkshire in their DG1000t, one of the 12 flights to exeed an  hour. David Watsham contributed to this statistic with 1:33 in the Discus, as did David Hill/Geoff Crawshaw in the DG 500 with 1:22.  Phil Lazenby’s exertions  of the previous day continued through the morning with the re-rigging of the Astir,  the process not being helped by the dropping of a torch into the bowels of the fuselage during the final insertion of  the safety pins into the aileron and brake connectors.  With the looming prospect of having to take the wings off again , Phil’s last effort to retrieve the torch proved successful, much to the relief of all.   The day was also marked by newly appointed BI Mike Smith’s first Trial Lesson flight, one of the 5 of the day plus 2 guest flights.  So congratulations to him.   Course instructors, John Carter and Dave Ashby rounded off their successful week with some wild gyrations in the DG1000 with CFI Andy Parish as they completed their 5 yr instructor checks. 

All members received an email this week advising them of further work on the area  where the  trees have been felled, work that will require a number of trailers to be moved.   In order to justify the request, Acting Airfield Director, Ian Johnston and Office manager, Josephine Runciman made a personal and detailed inspection of the area before issuing the request and they both looked appropriately regal,  as the photo below shows.


Wednesday 23rd June

Wednesday 23rd.  A light to moderate WSW’ly veered into the W as the day progressed with the result that although all take offs were off 24,  initial landings on 20 switched to 24 later in the day.  The sight of cumulus and high level lenticulars persuaded 9 private owners to take to the skies, but the only report of wave lift was from Sam St Pierre in his DG200 who managed a 500′ climb above cloud base.  Sam then went on to complete the Sutton/Rufforth/Pocklington/Sutton 100km triangle but not fast enough to trouble the current holder of the best speed.  35 ATs were flown, with 10 being with a early evening group of ladies from the West Yorkshire WI, their second visit to the YGC.  Club flying continued with the course and club members,  all the club 2 seaters plus the Discus and Astir being flown.  A number of the private owners disappeared on cross countries, Lincolnshire being favoured by Bill Payton in his Ventus, Lindsay McLane in his Ventus and the Phil Lazenby/Stuart Heaton team in their DG1000t with O/Rs to Tuxford, 229 km, Gainsborough, 195 km and Hemswell, 205 km respectively.    Chris Teagle, flying his LS6C attempted a 300 km but the details are currently not to hand.  George Rowden turned Chesterfield/Masham to record 251 km.  Pilots reported a cloud base of around 3500′, with conditions going blue south of the M62 and narrow thermals, resulting in low average climb rates so cross country speeds were not high.  14 of the day’s flights exceeded and hour with 10 exceeding 2 hours, and the course members enjoyed another good days soaring with Dave Asby/Kevin Parr posting the best club 2 seater flight of the day with 1:12 in the K21.

Sunday 20th to Tuesday 22nd June.

Sunday 20th.  A light N’ly that slowly went into the W brought mainly cloudy skies that slowly brightened as the day progressed allowing some soaring.  24 ATs were flown with flying commencing at 1003 hrs and continuing until 1644 hrs.  6 private owners flew and the clubs K21s, DG500, Astir and DG303 were utilised.  Rob Bottomley disappeared to Husbands Bosworth in his Discus T, while Rob Bailey had 1:23 in his Discus, 2 of the 5 pilots to exceed an hour in the air.   The 2 seaters were busy with 4 Trial Lesson pupils and a Day course member, David Hodgson taking one of the Trial lesson pupils, S James for a 39 minute flight.  Among all this activity, there was a single Falke flight.

Monday 21st.  A very light E’ly started the day but veered into the W as the day progressed, the sunny conditions of  the morning raising the temperature to 21C and giving rise to some good soaring conditions.  9 of the day’s 19 ATs generated flights of over an hour, with Bill Payton and his P2 having almost 5 hours in Bill’s DG1000t and Rob Bailey just over 4 hours in his Discus.  The club K21s, DG1000, Astir and DG500 were all employed, 3 private owners flew and there were 3 Falke flights.  Father and son William and Kevin Parr together with Richard Wilkingson constituted the week’s course members under the tutelage of John Carter and Dave Ashby and we also welcomed back Andy Bowes who had the longest club 2 seater flight, 1:13 with John Carter in the DG500.   Duncan Pask had 2:42 in the Astir while Derek Taylor did  the only cross country of the day, details of which are a little sketchy but a flight of around 250 km was flown. 

Tuesday 22nd.  A light to moderate SW’ly airstream provided an essentially blue day although flat cumulus were visible on most horizons though not usually within reach.  Soaring commenced around late morning with 9 of the day’s 19 ATs exceeding an hour.  Conditions were good over the N York Moors with  climbs stopping at around 5000′ asl,  but conditions were more difficult to find over the Vale of York with Peter Clay in his Ventus having 3 attempts to get to the clouds over Masham.  Martyn Johnson also ventured into the Masham area via Northallerton in his DG600  with Nick Gaunt venturing as far as the Tontine and Easingwold in his LS7.  9 of the day’s 18 ATs exceeded an  hour with George Rowden having 3:25 in his LS8t, finding 1 climb to 5500′ asl under a transient cloud late in the afternoon  and Andy Parish/Geoff Crawshaw had 1:15 in the club K21.      The club’s 2 seaters were busy with the course members and 2 Trial Lesson pupils, while Tony Waddoup and Hugh O’Neill both had 43 minutes in the Astir.  Rob Bailey had his usual late launch at around 15:42 in his Discus and was still airborne when the writer left the site.

Thursday 17th to Saturday 19th June

Thursday 17th.  A light, mainly NW’ly flow produced predominately sunny skies and cumulus mainly confined to the N Yorkshire Moors.  22 ATs were flown utilising the club’s K21s. DG1000, DG 303 and both Astirs and 2 private owners flew.  In addition, the Rotax Falke had 3 sorties in a flying day that started at 1000 hrs and went on to 1655 hrs.  The light wind conditions were just the ticket for first flights and 6 Trial lesson pupils were flown, but the thermal conditions were less straightforward with areas of heavy sink so only 3 of the day’s flights exceeded an hour.  Martyn Johnson had 3 hrs in his DG600 while the new club Astir, registration, KRN, had its first soaring flight as a club glider with 1:17.  Ian Plant took P2 Tiffin for 53 minutes in the K21. 

Friday 18th.  A strengthening N’ly flow eventually brought in a lot of cloud at a front moved down from the north.  Operations were restricted  to 3 ATs before the wind strength and cloud brought flying to a halt just after lunch.  The 3 flights, all in the K21, included a Trial Lesson that managed 20 minutes to record the longest flight of  the day.

Saturday 19th.   A strong and gusty N’ly continued to blow, bringing in low cloud and light rain showers so with no flying possible.  Activities were restricted to lively discussions about future plans for the club over lunch and John Marsh’s continuing attempts with the airfield mower to rival Wimbledon’s green sward.

Wednesday 16th June

Wednesday 16th.  Blue skies and an light wind from the SE saw operations commence of runway 20 with Cu forming early over the NY moors and Pennines but only over the Vale of York from around midday.  18 ATs were flown, 2 by private owners and the rest in the club’s K21s, DG1000 and  DG303.   The new club Astir, call sign KRN, was rigged and given its maiden flight as a YGC glider, and very smart it looks.  The majority of the two seater flying was by members of a partially sighted group from Sheffield who were taken up by Messrs Beck, Hutchinson and Wood, the group fully enjoying their day which included lunch.  The  balance of the launches were by club members and a single Trial Lesson pupil.  Conditions aloft were variable with some occasional very strong climbs but generally broken lift that was difficult to centre.  Cloud base started off at around 3000′ asl and increased to 4000′ asl as the day progressed.  Most flights managed some soaring with 3 exceeding an hour, George Rowden having 2:44 in his LS18t during  which he flew the Sutton/Pocklington/Wetherby/Sutton triangle.  Mike Smith, fresh from his trip to Worshop to get the Super Cub’s engine mounting frame welded, had an hour in the DG303 and Bob Beck/Steve Briggs had 47 minutes in the K21.   In the late afternoon, with flying finished for the day, Chris Stothard flew a few circuits in the Pawnee, under the ground based but watchful of Ian Plant, to re-establish himself on the Tug pilot rota after a long layoff.

Sunday 13th to Tuesday 15th June.

Sunday 13th.  A wet and overcast day kept the gliders in  the hangar and meant that  the visiting group from Rolls Royce had to suffice with  a tour of the facilities, a meal, a talk on gliding and  time on the simulator courtesy of Ron Beezer and John Marsh.  A evening visit is now planned.

Monday 14th.  Monday started off with low cloud and rain so the 5 Trial Lesson pupils were put off until lunch time.  The expected clearance did arrive around 1300 hrs but was accompanied by a  fresh to strong N’ly, definitely not suitable weather for trial flights.  With no other customers the day was spent in flying the Super Cub and Pawnee down to Bagby, the Super Cub for a 150 hr check and the Pawnee due to metal contaminated oil.  The starter motor problem that had curtailed the flying of the other Pawnee on Saturday was fixed on site to leave it serviceable for the rest of the week.

Tuesday 15th.  A moderate N’ly flow saw Cu blossoming early over the site and Andy Wright off at 0945 hrs on a 500 km O/R to Wescott near Aylesbury in his Nimbus 3.  Thereafter 17 ATs were flown off runway 02 as the wind veered slowly through NE into the E.  The promising conditions saw 9 private owners launch with the club’s K21s busy with club members and Trial Lessons of which there were 5.  9 of the day’s flights exceeded an hour, with Bill Payton/Stuart Heaton having 5 hours in their DG1000t, a flight which saw them abandon an intended flight to Wales at Matlock due to worsening conditions, but not before their route south included a Sutton – Sheffield sector flown without circling.    The poorer conditions to the southalso affected Andy Wright who gave up on his attempted 500 km at Chesterfield and Nick Gaunt in his LS7 who, heading for Camphill,  turned back at Sheffield  and returned to Sutton before unsuccessfully searching for elusive wave.  Nick’s flight notched up his 3000th hour in a glider, so congratulations to him.  Martyn Johnson turned Pocklington for Wetherby but having erroneously inputted the trigraph for Whitby Bridge into his Ipac, found himself pointing in the wrong direction.  With cloudbase some 1000′ lower at Pocklington than at Sutton, he abandoned his erroneously declared task and visited Carlton and Rufforth before returning to Sutton.  John Ellis flew Sutton/Pontefract/Staindrop/Pocklington/Sutton in his Nimbus 3, covering 305 kms and recording the longest cross country of the day.  Back at Sutton, Andy Bowes, returning from last week’s weather ravaged course had an hour in the K21 with Ian Plant, the pair finding a very strong thermal that took them quickly to cloud base at just over  4000′.  Finally  the new Astir has arrived on site but has yet to be rigged pending some minor works.

Friday Evening 11th to Saturday 12th June.

Friday evening 11th.  The good weather of the afternoon remained in place giving a very pleasant evening of flying for a group of Scouts.  The smooth airfield operation ensured that the 15 visiting Scouts were given a gentle introduction to gliding  in just over an hour and a half of concentrated aerotowing. 

Saturday 12th.  A fresh and turbulent cross wind across the 24 and 02 runways delayed flying for a little while but had eased sufficiently by around 1100 hrs to allow AT operations to commence  off runway 02.    Early launches were by some of the 17 private owners who flew off to take advantage of excellent visibility and a good looking sky, although overconvection was already in evidence.  By the end of the day 44 ATs had been flown, this total being helped by a group of some 11 visitors on a corporate visit who enjoyed their introduction to gliding via a powerpoint presentation, time on the simulator, either a soaring or aerobatic flight and a hot lunch provided by caterer Brian.    All the 7  available gliders of the club fleet were in action but staying up was not as easy as it looked, so the  log showed a large variation in  flight times.  Top of the list was Lindsay McLane in his Ventus with5:31, one of a number of pilots to exceed 3 hours in the air but surprisingly, only one pilot posted a flight on the National Ladder, Derek Smith covering 181 km in his LS7 and reporting difficult soaring conditions over the Pennines.  Richie Toon in his LS7 turned Chipping in the Forest of Bowland and Jon May/Steve Ball turned Carlton and Leyburn but needed a little help from their engine to recover from a low point and return to Sutton.  Jon was soon back in the air this time with Reg Watson.     Back at Sutton, Andy Parish gave corporate visitor Mr Ferguson 1:22 in the K21 while Colin Troise in the Discus had 1:14, 2 of the 17 flights to exceed an hour.  Congratulations are due to Ross Gleave who secured the first of his Bronze C  legs with a flight of 1:22 in the K21.  Albert Newbery/Phil Lazenby were back late in their DG1000t followed by Richard Burchall who, launching late, had a pleasant hour and a half of early evening soaring in his ASW 20. .  At the end of the day, CFI Andy Parish departed with the club Discus for a week of personal flying elsewhere.

Tuesday 8th to Friday 11th June

Tuesday 8th to Thursday 11th June.   With a depression slow  to clear the south of the UK and it attendant  occluded front stuck over Northern England, the Tuesday to Thursday period saw the site permanently  in cloud so no flying was possible.  The course members were, however, kept  busy at lectures and simulator trips in the mornings with time to tour the local area in the afternoons.

Friday 9th.  The depression with its attendant front finally moved off but a decaying front moving down from the north kept the cloud base low in a light NW’ly flow.  The low cloud soon broke up with flying  commencing off runway 24 with landings on 20 from around 1045 hrs, the high overcast allowing high tows but delaying the start of convection and consequently giving smooth flying conditions .  Brighter conditions followed from the NW late morning, with initial Cu developing at low level, ~1300′ QFE, but around 1400 hrs the overcast moved off to the SE giving good thermic conditions and a cloud base of around 4000′ asl.  The good conditions lasted for around 2 hours when overconvection led to overcast skies again but with some weak lift still available.    18 ATs were flown in total, with the club’s K21s, DG1000, Astir and Discus flown and there was 1 private owner launch plus a Rotax Falke flight.  5 of the days flights exceeded an hour with Rob Bailey having 1:45 in his Discus and Hugh O’Neill in the club Astir and Colin Troise in the club Discus each having around 1:15.     The 3 remaining course members finished off their time at Sutton with at least 2 hours flying each,  all having soaring flights and Paul Chambers having 1:14 in the K21 with Ian Plant.  A much happier end to their gliding course as the photo below shows.  One of their wives also had a flight, one of 2 Trial lessons flown that day.  The day’s flying did not cease then, as a group of Scouts were booked to fly in the evening, the writer leaving the site before this operation commenced but the cloud broke up nicely and showed signs of wave as the evening progressed.   In other news, David Whatsham returned from his sojourn in the USA with a Silver C, having completed his Silver Distance in his USA based Discus on the 14th May, while the club have purchased another Astir to cater for the growing band of early solo pilots, although it is not yet on site.   The Ka8, meanwhile, is off site for its annual inspection.


Sunday 6th to Monday 7th June

Sunday 6th.  A cloudy, light to moderate flow from the NE brought in a succession of showers, the rain only stopping later in the day allowing John Marsh to complete the mowing of the remainder of runway 24 and Rory O’Conor to land back in his DG800  from his Saturday evening engagement in  Oxford.  The simulator was however put to good use.

Monday 7th.   Grey skies and low cloud in a very light N’ly flow, greeted the 4  course members at the start of their week at Sutton,  but the cloud base had risen sufficiently by mid morning to allow instruction in the Rotax Falkefor 3 of the course members with 2 also having instruction on the simulator.  Skies continued to brighten and the cloud base to rise and ATscommenced off runway 24 with landings on 20 as the wind freshened slightly and veered into the SE after lunch.    5 AT’s were flown in the K21 and DG1000 before light rain arrived around 1545 hrs stopping flying for  the day but not before Andy, Les, Paul and David between them  had sampled the full range of virtual and real gliding at Sutton.  3 of the course members have flown at Sutton before, one being David Ireland who is on his 8thgliding course visit with us.  David solved a current mystery by revealing he was  the anonymous donor who had built and sent the model K21 to the club some while ago, the model being displayed in the office.  Meanwhile the contractors continued to chip and remove the brushwood left behind from the harvesting of the trees on the northeastern corner of the airfield over the winter.