Archive for February, 2011

Friday 18th to Thursday 24th February

Friday, February 25th, 2011

Friday 18th to Wednesday 22nd.    With a persistent moist, cold and cloudy airstream from  the SE, with the site in cloud  for most of the period and  a wind chill temperature as low as -4C at times,  the conditions could only be described by the North Country word dreek.   This translates in flying terms to ziltch.   Saturday 19th had the added benefit of 3″ of wet snow which had the effect of reducing the audience for John Marsh’s Met lecture in the evening.  The wind eventually went into the W on Wednesday 23rd with a welcome rise in  temperature but no corresponding rise in cloud base.

Thursday 24th.  A damp early morning progressed nicely as a front moved away eastwards, leaving a mild flying day in a moderate WSW’ly.  A group of members visited Pocklington for a session of winching and winch launch failure experience under the tutelage of Andy Parish, with flying only being stopped by sunset.

Tuesday 15th to Thursday 17th February

Friday, February 18th, 2011

Tuesday 15th.  A moist, moderate and murky SE’ly airstream kept the site in cloud all day, preventing any flying.

Wednesday 16th.  The SE’ly flow prevailed, albeit a little lighter,  but with a drier airmass, clear skies resulted and  flying commenced around 1130 hrs.  The day saw 12 ATs  flown, including a single Trial Lesson.  Weak convection under a lowish base in the early afternoon allowed Mike Wood to achieve 39 minutes in the Ka8, while the clearer parts of the sky allowed Malcolm Winter and David Watsham to complete David’s  spin check flight off a 3000′ tow in the DG1000 in a flight of 22 minutes.  K21 KLW and Astir EBM were also flown, the skies clouding in as the kit was put away in the late afternoon.

Thursday 17th.  The dreaded, winter,  SE’ly flow reverted to type, ie moist and murky, and with a little drizzle thrown in for good measure the site was shrouded in cloud and there was no flying.  Progress was, however, made in a number of areas.  John Ellis’ production line for the replacement  bottom sections of the hangar doors reached its target, the welding of the undercarriage structure on the Falke was completed and the Auditors continued to make good progress with the annual accounts.  The next step for the hangar doors is to soak the new sections in wood preservative before painting, while further advice is awaited from the Falke factory to ensure the replacement undercarriage legs are fitted correctly.

Wednesday 9th to Monday 14th February

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

Wednesday 9th.  A moist and moderate SSE’ly airstream brought in  overcast skies with a low cloud base that prevented any flying apart from on the simulator.

Thursday 10th.  The day dawned with the site just to the north of an extensive cloud sheet that covered the rest of England and Wales.  A moderate N’ly decreased and veered into the E as the day progressed with the result that 9 ATs were flown off runway 02, the DG1000, the Discus and the Astir being flown.  Lift was hard to find with the result that flights were generally of the launch/descend variety but Rob Bailey had 27 minutes in the Discus of a 2000′ tow and Bob Beck/P Westerby Jones, 25 minutes in the DG1000.  I assume the latter flight encompassed spin checks as the 25 minutes were off a 4000′ tow.

Friday 11th.  A cool light to moderate E’ly flow brought in extensive low cloud and a little rain in the morning with the result that there was no flying.

Saturday 12th.  An eastward moving front deposited 7 mm of rain overnight but cleared the site around 1300 hrs, the wind going from an E’ly to a W’ly in the process and strengthening from light to moderate.  Flying commenced at around 1330 hrs and thereafter, 26 ATs were flown with all the available club fleet in action.    The day’s flights included 3 Trial Lesson pupils and some afternoon convection/hill lift enabled most pilots to defeat gravity for a while, with 3 of the day’s solo flights exceeding an hour.  John Shaw had 1:28 in the Discus while Derek Smith and Klaus Schneider Zapp,  had 50 minutes in the K21.  Kelly Teagle continued her  return to gliding with her first post pregnancy solo flight in the Astir.  Meanwhile, John Marsh continued his Full Cat training with a winching session at  Pocklington in the company of Ron Beezer, the pair of them setting the longest flight of the day there by some way at 32 minutes. 

Sunday 13th.  Another slow moving front deposited over 10 mm of rain and kept the site in cloud all day in a moderate to fresh SSE’ly flow.  Needless to say there was no flying.

Monday 14th.  A generally clear start to the day in a moderate S’ly saw extensive orographic cloud over the southern ridge although this disappeared by mid morning to be replaced by more extensive Cu/StratoCu with showers, some of them heavy.  Valentine’s Day kept most of the weekday crowd at home pandering to their loved one’s every whim, or a least that is the only reason I can think of for the lack of anyone to fly except me and Malcolm Winter, who called in during the afternoon.  Josephine and I were however kept busy, Josephine answering emails, telephone calls and financial queries from the auditors who were encamped in the lounge, while I did two tours of the facilities and equipment, first for 2 easyJet pilots who had called in hoping to get a flight and then an ex-commercial pilot interested in taking up gliding.

Sunday 6th to Tuesday 8th February

Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

Sunday 6th.   The day opened with a moderate SW’ly, overcast skies and rain, the rain giving way to showers late morning as the skies brightened.  However, the clearance was marked by a large increase in wind strength, the wind gusting to 40 kts by early afternoon and veering into the WSW.  It then slowly decreased in strength, but not sufficiently before nightfall to allow any flying.

Monday 7th.  Some rain overnight preceded a very windy day with an average 20kt S’ly giving way to an average 30 kt W as cloudy skies were replaced by sunny ones by early afternoon.  With the wind gusting to 45-50 kts, no flying was possible. 

Tuesday 8th.  With most of the UK under the influence of a ridge, a pleasant day’s flying ensued.  A light W’ly slowly backed into the S and strengthened slightly as the day progressed and initially clear skies turned somewhat cloudier with ragged and low cloudbase Cu over the middle of the day before increasing high cover dispelled all the lower level cloud by mid afternoon.  22 ATs were flown off runway 24 with landings on 20 and all the available club gliders were flown except for the 2nd Astir.  Early flights by the two Mikes, Woody in the Ka8 and Smithy in the DG303 found some weak wave to the S of the site, although climbs were limited to a few hundred feet.   In the early afternoon, weak thermals  and thermal augmented hill lift on the more southerly facing part of the main bowl, generated the longest flights of the day.  Rob Bailey in the Discus had 1:01, David Lynch in the Ka8  55 minutes and Mike Wood/Les Rayment had 43 minutes in the T21. John Tayler continued his aerobatic practice in the K21 and on the last flight of the day Dick Cole flying the DG1000 solo, checked out its spinning characteristics.  The only booked Trial Lesson of the day generated a second as the lady supporter of the Trial Lesson pupil decided to add to  her parachuting, paraponting and hot air balloon experiences by having a Trial Lesson herself.  The pleasant weather and even more pleasant flying coaxed a few more members out of their winter hibernation and the launch point was kept busy as the following photos show.




Meanwhile, John Ellis, having done his share of tugging for the day, returned to the workshop to continue his mass production of 40 replacement bottom sections for both sets of  hangar doors.  Very professional he looked too in his paper coverall.


At the end of flying and packing the hangar,  John was enticed out of the workshop into the kitchen by the offer of a coffee, a group of members therein mulling over the events of a very pleasant day’s flying, with those leaving site  in the growing darkness being treated to very nice sunset.


A beautiful flying day, convivial company and a glorious sunset, what else could anyone wish for.  (How about a little more lift!)

Thursday 3rd to Saturday 5th February

Saturday, February 5th, 2011

Thursday 3rd.  A moderate W with generally sunny skies saw the winch deployed and 19 launches off runway 24.  With the hill working well and some wave about, 7 of the flights exceeded an hour, with Brian Wise/Barry Ogilvey topping the duration stakes with 1:29 in the K21 and Rob Bottomley having 1:02 in the Discus.  In addition to these two gliders the other K21, DG1000, DG303 and Astir were also flown. with Mike Wood contacting wave and climbing to 6000′ asl over Kilburn in the DG303.  With the barometric  pressure dropping steadily during the day, as a very deep depression tracked NE to the north of Scotland, the average wind speed increased steadily  to around 20-25 kts with gusts over 30 kts by the end of daylight hours.  Concurrently, it  backed into the S, this resulting in the repositioning of the winch mid afternoon and later landings on runway 20.  The pressure continued to drop after daylight hours, falling 16 mb in the 12 hour period from 11am to 11pm, resulting in a very windy night with gusts of 50 kts and 7 mm of rain.   Flying conditions remained much calmer in the simulator where a group of 7 Scouts on an evening visit enjoyed a taste of gliding.  The opportunity was taken to return Astir EBM to site from its annual inspection while the DG500 went in the opposite direction.

Friday 4th.  A strong W’ly blew all day, increasing in strength as the day progressed .  With average wind speeds of 25-35 kts and gusts of up to 50 kts, no flying was possible.

Saturday 5th.  A rapid reduction in wind strength in the early hours saw the flying day start with a moderate W that decreased and backed into the SW as the day progressed.  In spite of a low cloud base, down to 800′ QFE at times, there were sufficient holes to allow flying and 28 ATs were flown off runway 24, with most landings on 20.  7 Scouts from the 1st Kirby Moorside Troop were introduced to gliding utilising one of the club K21s and the DG1000, while there were 18 additional AT’s by club members and 3 for  Trial Lesson pupils.  In addition to the gliders used for the Scouts the other K21, both Astirs, the Discus and the DG303 were also utilised on a day of variable hill lift and occasional wave.   The later proved to be difficult to read and variable, resulting in transient slots and limited height gains.  Dick Cole, flying the DG303 made the most of a slot over Thirsk and reached 5500′ asl, the best of the day.  There was only one flight of over an hour, Rob Bailey having 1:20 in the Discus, his wave climb having to be terminated as the slot he was flying in closed.  Most pilots enjoyed soaring flights, with flight times generally in the 30-40 minute range with Andy Parish/Steve Ball having 50 minutes in the DG1000.  Stuart Heaton preferred the calm and balmy condtions of the simulator to take  Steve Briggs’ 3 sons for flights.  At the end of the flying day, Dave Ashby gave an interesting talk on Basic RT for Glider pilots, based on a mythical flight from Sutton across the Leeming MATZ and then  into wave that required communication with both the Leeming and Newcastle ATCs.  This was then followed by a very nice supper from Brian and Sarah as the front that had gone south earlier returned north, bringing rain and shrouding the site in cloud.

Sunday 30th January to Wednesday 2nd February

Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011

Sunday 30th.  A light SE’ly that slowly veered into the W as the day progressed was accompanied by overcast skies with a low cloudbase.  However, the cloudbase rose to  between 1800′ and2000′ QFE by early afternoon allowing a group of 10 eager Scouts/Scouters to experience gliding, albeit mainly of the launch/descend variety in the absence of any significant lift, other than a few burbles off the hill.  Consequently flight times were in the 15-25 minutes range.  The only other flight of the day was by Colin Troise/Simona Latimer in the K21, the writer being indebted to Colin for providing a summary of the days events on the back of the flight log.  All such contributions are thankfully received.  There was, however, a disappointing note to the day when on landing the front seat passenger in the DG500 contacted the canopy with his head turning an existing minor crack into a hole.

Monday 31st.  Monday provided a cold, but generally sunny day with a light but slowly strengthening SSW wind.  Although flyable, a lack of personnel meant no flying was undertaken.

Tuesday 1st Feb.  After early cloudiness, the skies cleared and with a freshening wind veering from SW to W, a good day’s hill soaring was enjoyed.  24 winch launches were flown, with both K21s, the DG1000, Astir and DG303 utilised, plus the Ka8 via the only AT of the day, in which Duncan Pask made sure of minimising  his overall cost per minute by staying up for 2:38.  2 other flights exceeded an hour, one of these being Bob Beck who had 1:07 in the DG303 while Andy Parish/Nick Gaunt had 46 minutes in the DG1000 from the last flight of the day, as the hill lift was augmented by weak wave to yield operating heights of 1500′ - 2000′ QFE.  The day’s activities also included 2 Trial Lesson pupils.

Wednesday 2nd.  A 10 kt SW’ly flow under high cover greeted the day, but conditions were expected to deteriorate rapidly as a front moved in from west. The few members on site therefore decided to leave the hangar doors closed and direct their energies to removing the undercarriage legs off the Falke, the replacement legs and propeller having been delivered to site.  The small band of helpers were soon hard at work as shown below



So much so that the job was soon completed in time for lunch, with a visit from Mr Fox from Bagby expected thereafter to prepare for the fitting of the new legs and propeller.



As with most gliding club joint efforts, some contributions were first class while others were bum, as the following photo illustrates.


 Who is the owner of this derrier?  Suggestions on the YGC forum please.