Friday 5th. A moderate SW’ly brought extensive low cloud and rain so no flying was possible.
Saturday 6th. A very light W’lyaccompanied by sunny skies with some broken thermal lift, principally in the afternoon, led to a busy flying day. 30 Ats were flown, all the available club gliders were flown, the exception being K21 JVZ, which was off site for its ARC. The sunny conditions also tempted 3 private owners to launch and there were 4 flights in the Rotax Falke plus 6 Trial lesson flights. In the bits and pieces of lift for most of the day, flight times were in the 20-30 minutes range, but T Tavener flew over an hour in the club Discus while John Marsh and Rob Bailey individually took advantage of the Ka8’s performance under weak conditions to log flight times of 44 and 53 minutes respectively. John also clocked up the longest 2 seater flight with Colin Troise in the DG1000, 53 minutes, on the first flight of the day, helped, no doubt, by a tow to 5000′. The day was rounded off by a very successful Bonfire night party attended around 70 people. The fireworks were superb and John Ellis and helper’s bonfire bothlit up the sky and kept those near it warm, with Brian’s meals doing the same to the inner person.
Sunday 7th. A clear blue sky welcomed aviators with initially a light NNW’ly, but the forecast orographic developed post briefing delaying operations off runway 02 for a little while. Thereafter, a low attendance kept the number of launches down to 15 with only the K21, DG1000 and Discus of the club fleet being flown plus 1 private owner launch. Later, the still light wind went round 180 degrees, giving Tuggie Jamie some low climbs over the trees at the end of runway 02 before the launch point was changed onto runway 24. In addtion to the 15 ATs there were 2 flights in the Rotax Falke while for those without an engine staying up was a struggle with most flights in the range 15 – 25 minutes. However, John Marsh was able to find sufficient lift to give one of the day’s 4 Trial Lesson pupils around 30 minutes in the air, while Rob Bailey, flying the Discus found that the ridge near Lake Gormire was a good source of weak but consistent lift that enabled him to stay up for just under an hour, mainly between 800 and 1300′ QFE.
Monday 8th. A deep depression with its associated fronts brought overcast skies on a moderate to fresh SE’ly plus steady rain that lasted all day with around 12 mm accumulating. Consequently, there was no flying.
Tuesday 9th. The departing depression left the site in a moderate to fresh, cold, cloudy NNE’ly airstream with a windchill of -3C. The morning’s cloudy skies, with accompanying rain, started to break up during the afternoon, the steady light rain replaced by heavy showers and a wind that veered into the NE so, once again, the gliders remained in the hangars.
Wednesday 10th. A ridge of high pressure brought increasingly clear and sunny skies, though not before a light snow shower had passed over the site around 1000 hrs. Thereafter, 19 ATs were flown from runway 24 with landings on 30, the wind being a light NW to start, later backing into the W as the first signs of Wednesday night’s depression appeared on the Western horizon. Club gliders were the only ones to fly, the K21, DG1000, Discus, DG303 and Astir being utilised while the Rotax Falke had a single flight on a navigation exercise. Visibility was superb, with the snow on the highest peaks of the Pennines being clearly visible. Lift was difficult to come by for most of the day, although Mike Wood had 36 minutes in the Astir early on courtesy of a high tow. Around 1500 hrs, the measured wind speed dropped to below 5 kts and with the windsock vertical, we had the unusual sight of up to 4 gliders maintaining around 800′ over and in front of the main ridge in conditions described as ‘wavy’ by the pilots. These conditions continued until sunset, allowing Rob Bailey to clock up 1:24 in the Discus and Nick Fellows to achieve a 1 hr duration leg for his Bronze C/Cross Country Endorsement badge. Earlier in the afternoon some weak thermal activity developed, allowing George Rowden to give Trial Lesson pupil Steve Grime 22 minutes in the K21, a prelude to Steve, a commercial airline pilot with BMI out of Leeds/Bradford, having a further 2 flights with Andy Parish.