Thursday 8th. A light SW’ly airstream generated some useful thermic conditions that were exploited by the 14 ATs flown before the increasing wind strength and change of direction to W’ly caused a change to winching, this generating a further 12 launches. 14 of the day’s 26 flights exceeded an hour with course member John Elwell continuing to add to his flying hours by having 2:29 in the DG500 with John Marsh from their winch launch. Steve Briggs had 2:32 in the Astir off a morning AT, while Colin Troise, one of the 4 private owner launches of the day, had 2:06 in his DG600, off an afternoon winch launch. All the club single seaters were flown, as were the available club 2 seaters, the latter being well utilised by club members and the days 5 Trial lesson pupils. The Rotax Falke was kept busy with 4 flights.
Friday 9th. A light SE’ly soon switched into the SW and slowly freshened 15 ATs being flown before the wind strength and direction, moderate to fresh/W’ly, caused a repeat of Thursday’s switch from ATing to winching mid afternoon. The 9 winch launches gave a day’s total of 24 launches, utilising all the available club fleet with the exception of the Ka8, but only 1 private owner flew. Flight times were generally not as long as Thursday but 6 flights exceeded an hour, the majority of these from ATs, with Andy Hatfield topping the list with 3:13 in the Astir. The John Marsh/John Elwell combination kept up their flight times with a 1:35 in the DG500 and a further 6 Trial lesson pupils were flown.
Saturday 10th. A moderate SSW’ly generated some thermal activity and some wave and the conditions prompted 5 private owners to launch, contributing to the 30 ATs of the day. The club DG1000 had returned to site and so all the 4 club two seaters were flown but only one club single seater, the Discus. Jon May/Les Rayment flew Jon’s Duo Discus to Pontefract but the expected thermal activity over Eggborough Power Station failed to materialise requiring an engine burn to reconnect with the available thermals. Returning to land at Sutton after a flight of 3:48, wave interference was evident and Lindsay McLane managed to utilise the wave in his flight of 3:22, reaching an altitude of 8000′ asl in his Ventus. Cl0ud base was around 3000′ asl most of the day and thermals difficult to work but Dick Cole/Martin Joyce had 1:10 in the DG1000 and Liam Watt 1:45 in the Discus. During the day, Martin Joyce re-soloed in the K21 and Andy Hatfield had his first flight in the Discus, so congratulations to them both. A further 5 Trial Lesson pupils flew and there was 1 flight in the Rotax Falke.
Sunday 11th. A W’ly meant a winch launching day but the wind speed varied tremendously over the day, gusts to around 33kts delaying the start of flying until nearly 1400 hrs with periods of very light winds thereafter. The delayed start of flying meant only 11 winch launches were flown, the most interesting of which, to the observers if not to the pilot, was that of Richie Toon in his LS7. A low launch failure saw him cross the ridge at less than 50′ but manage to eventually contact the wave that was in all probability the cause of the variations in wind speed, and reach 10,000′ asl in a flight of 2:52. Ron Beezer flying with Chris Thwaites in the DG1000 also managed to exceed the hour barrier with a flight of 1:07. Both K21s and the DG1000 were busy with the 6 Trial Lesson pupils of the day.
Monday 12th. A cloudy, damp airstream from the ENE/NE brought rain from mid-morning until early afternoon and low cloud thereafter. Consequently the gliders remained in the hangar but flying continued on the simulator.
Tuesday 13th. The wind had gone round to the E, bringing in overcast skies. However, the lower cloud, base, 1500′ QFE, was not always continuous, allowing ATs off runway 20 in the light cross wind conditions to climb through the gaps and give 2000′ + launch heights, necessary for reasonable flight times as lift was virtually non-existent. 10 ATs were flown utilising both club K21s, six of the flights being with Trial Lesson pupils. On one of the flights, George Rowden flying with Trial Lesson pupil Chris, found some weak thermal lift at around 900′ QFE that delayed their descent and resulted in the longest flight of the day at 27 minutes. On the last flight of the day, Andy Parish/Malcolm Winter indulged in some aerobatics.
Work continued on the site of the forestry clearance to remove the remaining tree stumps. A Komatsu hydraulic excavator, equipped with a single, vertically hooked blade made short work of extracting the tree stumps from the ground as the photos below show.