Thursday 27th. A sprinkling of snow on the ground greeted early arrivals as a cool but light E’ly brought in a lot of low cloud during the morning preventing any flying, The opportunity was therefore taken to derig the DG500 in preparation for its forthcoming annual inspection. Brighter weather after lunch saw flying commence around 1430 hrs and 7 ATs were eventually flown in the DG1000, K21 and Discus. Lift was hard to find so that average flight times were around 15 minutes but Andy Parish/P Jones had 19 minutes off a 3000′ tow and Rob Bailey 27 minutes in the Discus off a slightly higher tow.
Friday 28th. The light E’ly flow continued but as the cloud was more broken with a higher base, flying commenced around 1020 hrs. 10 ATs were flown in the DG1000, DG303 and Astir with the first flight of the day in the DG303 extending to 45 minutes, helped by bits of weak wave but bolstered by a tow to 5100′. The bits of weak wave meant average flight times were of the order of 20 - 30 minutes but Andy Parish/Neil Thorne bucked the trend by having 40 minutes in the DG1000, albeit again helped by a higher than normal tow.
Saturday 29th. The weak flow had gone into the N and initially, with virtually calm conditions, operations commenced off runway 24 with landings on 20. The wind freshened slightly after lunch so operations were switched to runway 02. A group of 8 Scouts and 2 Scouters from the 2nd Herington Troop near Sunderland were flown, although some had truncated flights due to extensive patches of cloud at 1600′ QFE that came and went during the day and restricted launch heights. A period of completely blue sky late morning allowed higher tows while the sun generated snow covered glider shapes in the shade of the parked DG1000 and Astir. In addition to the 10 Scout based flights in the K21s, a further 18 ATs were flown in the K21s, Astir, DG303 and DG500, the latter glider being rerigged to help cope with normal club flying and 5 Trial Lesson Pupils. Lift was again hard to find, although an occasional 0.5 kt up made an appearance. Consequently, flight times were in the 15-20 minute range, with Jon May managing 19 minutes in the Astir and Roger Burghall with his Trial Lesson pupil Mr Walton, 24 minutes in the DG500. With the temperature struggling to get above freezing, rattingly good landings were the order of the day on the frozen grass runways.