Archive for June, 2011

Tuesday 21st to Saturday 25th June

Sunday, June 26th, 2011

Tuesday 21st.  Flying was delayed by showers but when a drier slot came along just before midday, out came  the winch in  the moderate to fresh WSW’ly and although showers came and went, 10 winch launches were flown with the hill working well.  Only 3 of  the 2 seaters were flown andDerek Smith took a launch in his Ventus 2ct hoping to contact the wave that could be seen above the showers.  This he eventually did, but had to break off his climb at 7000′ asl as further showers advanced from the Pennines, while a subsequent glide out to a interesting cloud edge near Dishforth in order to recontact the wave proved fruitless.  A return to Sutton saw some more shower dodging on the ridge until a trough line approached and a landing was called for.  Derek’s 2:25 was the longest flight of the day, 1 of 4 to exceed an hour, with Martyn Johnson andcourse member Stuart Holland having 1:10 in the K21.  2 Trial Lesson pupils were flown.

Wednesday 22nd.  The showers continued but at a reduced frequency and 11 ATs were flown off runway 24 into a light to moderate WSW’l that slowly veered into the NW as rain arrived in the early evening.  The course members were the main contributors to the flying activity with Martyn Johnson andStuart Holland again having the longest flight of the day, 1:05, this time in the DG1000.    This was the only flight to exceed an hour, but most flights were in the 30-50 minute range and the Falke was also flown.

Thursday 23rd.  A wet and cloudy morning in a light N’ly meant the hangar doors remained shut and the simulator door was opened, with the course members continuing their flying instruction in the dry.  The frontal rain gave way to frequent showers with the wind backing into the SSW  late in the day, but the conditions remained unflyable.

Friday 24th.  A light to moderate W’ly, blue skies and Cu meant a busy day at the launch point with 25 ATs off runway 24 and all the club fleet, withthe exception of  the Ka8, flown as well as 6 privately owned gliders.  With a front forecast to push up from the SW during the day, cross countries were even more of a race against time, but Lindsay McLane managed an O/R to Penrith in his Ventus 2ct.  Phil Lazenby/Albert Newbery went for an clockwise circumavigation  of the Doncaster Class D airspace, but having successfully flown from 12 o’clock to 9 o’clock were overtaken by the advancing frontal cloud and had to resort to the engine of their DG1000t near Sheffield.  A further engine burn was required to get them back to Sutton.  9 of the day’s flights exceeded an hour, with Eric Preston having 3:10 in the DG303, back from its ARC, and Martyn Johnson, who else, had the longest club 2 seater flight of the day, 1:05 in the K21 with course member Mike Greenacre.  As well as all this activity, 4 Trial Lesson pupils were flown and there were two Flake flights.  The day shift completed their flying at just after 1700 hrs, making way for the evening shift who, utilising 3 2 seaters, flew 13 Scouts from York, on a very pleasant evening.

Saturday 25th.  Flying was delayed by low cloud and drizzle, but the skies cleared allowing winching to commence just before midday into a moderate to fresh W’ly.  A day course member and 4 Trial Lesson pupils contributed 6 of the 15 winch launches of the day, the hill working well under a cloud base of around 1200′ QFE.  Most flights were in the 30-50 minutes range, but 3 exceeded an hour with the Kirby’s from the Stratford GC spending 1:38 exploring the ridge, while George Rowden had the only solo flight of the day, 45 minutes in the K21, taking the opportunity to keep his winch launch currency in place.

Saturday 18th to Monday 20th June

Monday, June 20th, 2011

Saturday 18th.  The passage of a front overnight deposited 3mm of rain and left the site in a light, but cloudy WSW’lythat prevented any flying until early afternoon.  By this time the wind had veered into the WNW and freshened slightly, providing an afternoon and early evening of hill soaring.  4 winch launches and 1 AT  accumulatingd 7.5 hours of flying with Rob Bailey in the Discus and John Marsh in one of the Astirs having over 2 hours each.  Andy Darlington, the only private owner to fly, had 1:27 in his Open Cirrus while Fred Brown entertained a guest, Liz Newell, with an hour in the K21 off  the solitary AT of the day.

Sunday 19th.  Low cloud and showers prevented any flying until mid-afternoon, by which time most of the members had gone home.  The initially light NW had in the meantime backed into the W and freshened, providing soaring conditions that were utilised by John Marsh and Andy Hatfield, John having 1:22 in Astir KRN and Andy 1:29 in the Discus.   It must be a very long time indeed when the only flights of the day at Sutton were in single seaters and all the 2 seaters remained in the hangar.

Monday 20th.  A very light WNW and blue skies with Cu already visible over the Pennines and NY Moors greeted  Stewart Holland, Mike Greenacre, Gordon Locock and David Morran, on the first day of their week’s gliding course.   The launch point was soon busy as course members, club  members and private owners ventured off into the blue, the Cu by this time showing signs of over convection.  George Rowden in  his LS8t, declared an O/R to Grantham while Les Rayment in his Ventus 3t and Rob Bottomley in his Discus Bt both declared Belvoir.  A number of private owners who arrived later in the day, decided to go and play with the sea breeze front that appeared to the east in the early afternoon.  Derek Taylor in his ASW 22T, Phil Lazenby in his DG1000t, Nick Gaunt in his LS7 and John Carter in  the club Discus all had fun exploring the front which extended down to the Humber Bridge.  However, the front was fragmented over the NY Moors  as Derek Taylor found out, having to resort to his engine near Malton to regain the Cu to the W of the front.  Andy Darlington, meanwhile was happily soaring the local area inland of the front and his happiness was increased when he landed after completing his 5hr Silver leg.  Well done, Andy.  George Rowden and Rob Bottomley returned to Sutton late afternoon having completed their respective 300km flights, finding the conditions on the outward leg a little tricky N of the Humber but really booming further south, cloud base rising to over 5500′ asl and George having an average 6.7 kt  thermal as he started his return to Sutton.  Les Rayment turned Belvoir but had to resort to his engine at Elvington on the way home.  Back at site, the course members made the most of  the good conditions, although it did overconvectat times, with John Marsh/Mike Greenacre having  the longest 2 seater flight of the day, 1:18 in the DG500 and Duncan Pask had 2:18 in the Astir.  The sea breeze reached the site around 1830 hrs.

Those having an eagle eye characteristic,  may have noticed that the happenings of  Friday the 17th have been omitted from the blog.  This was due to an oversight on the part of the author and will be rectified in due course.

Wednesday 15th to Thursday 16th June

Friday, June 17th, 2011

Wednesday 15th.  A generally cloudy day with a light to moderate S’ly wind saw 19 ATs flown off runway 20, the majority by the 5 holiday course members, 5 doctors who had all trained together at Leicester University, and had come on the course at the instigation of one of the group, Resh Khodabocus, a club member.  The lack of any significant soaring opportunities meant average flight times were in the 15-30 minute range, with only one single seater flight, Tony Waddoup in the Ka8.  Both K21s and the DG1000 were however kept busy with training and much more significantly with Resh’s first solo flight, following this up with a second solo flight later in the day. Congratulations to him.  Ron Beezer/Rosha Agarwal posted the longest flight of the day, 35 minutes in the K21, and the day also saw Phil Westerby Jones do his first solo ATs in  the Super Cub.  Flying was completed before heavy rain set in around 1800hrs, with 10 mm deposited. This week has been a good one for Phil as he was called down from his first significant flight in wave late in the day on Monday, but not before he  also achieved his Silver C height.  So well done Phil.  

Thursday 16th.   A light WSW’ly that increased to moderate/fresh later in the day, had towering Cu development in a NW/SE line over the site  by late morning and the prospect of heavy showers.  However, this all moved away and by mid afternoon, blue sky, good looking Cu and strong thermals, and even the hint of wave were the order of the day.  The writer had to leave site around 1700 hrs but by this time 10 ATs had been flown off runway 24,  Tony Waddoup was still airborne in the Ka8 as were Andy Parish/Phil Westerby Jones in the K21 and the course members were still eager to fly.  Cloud base, around 3000′ asl at midday had risen to around 5000′ asl by late afternoon.  Fleet use had been confined to the K21’s,Tony’s flight in the Ka8 and the Rotax Falke, which was kept busy with circuit practice for the course members and there were no private owner launches.  Two Australian tourists, John and Gail, staying in Hemsley, had seen the club’s publicity and had a Trial Lesson each, before staying for lunch.   Flight times increased as the day progressed, with the best by the time the writer left site, being Ron Beezer/Resh Khodabocus with 1:12  in the K21, this including time on the forward ridge waiting for a thermal in which to gain sufficient height to regain the main ridge.

Saturday 11th to Tuesday 12th June

Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

Saturday 11th.  A light NW’ly that slowly backed into the WNW brought convection and showers that resulted in a couple of cross country flights, both in 2 seaters.    Bill Payton took Reg Watson in Bill’s DG1000t  for a sortie down to Downham Market and back, 418 km, in a flight of around 9 hours, requiring a climb to 7000′  in cloud south of York to make it back to Sutton at 1945 hrs.  Jon May/Steve Ball in their Duo Discus did an 166 km O/R to Conisbrough Castle having an equally interesting time dodging showers and hail.    22 ATs were flown, 5 resulting in flights of greater than an hour, and 6 Trial Lesson pupils were flown.  The club’s DG1000, K21s, Astir /and Discus were flown and 6 private owners took to the skies.  Mr Gill had 1:04 in the club Ka8, the only flight in a club glider to exceed an hour’s duration and Roger Burghall/H Wombell had 33 minutes in the K21.  There were 2 Falke flights.

Sunday 12th.  With rain promised by early afternoon, Andy Wright was off early in his Nimbus 3 on a short cross country, followed by John Ellis in his Nimbus 3  somewhat later into a good looking sky, the wind a light SSE’ly.    10 AT’s were flown before the forecast rain arrived around 1400hrs, the aforementioned private owners and the club’s K21s and DG500 being flown for club members and 5 Trial Lesson pupils.  John Marsh/M Walton had 51 minutes in the K21 and Andy Wright returned to Sutton just before 1300 hrs having flown an 104 km  O/R to Market Weighton.  John Ellis, trying a more adventurous 178 km flight, almost made it back to Sutton but ran into the rain at Northallerton and landed at a very quiet RAF Leeming.

Monday 13th.    The passage of Sunday’s front left the site in a fresh W’ly with cloudy skies.  Winching was the order of the day with 15 launches and 4 flights exceeding an hour.  Jesper Mjels had 2:45 in the Discus while Ron Beezer/Mr Roshan had 42 minutes in the K21, both K21s being flown as well as one of the Astirs.  Martyn Johnson was the only private owner to launch, his patient hill soaring  being eventually rewarded as the cloud cover  broke mid afternoon allowing Martyn to contact the wave and climb to over 11,000′, a gain of 10,170′ in his DG600.

Tuesday14th.  The forecast promise of a good soaring day saw the trailer park busy from before briefing and eventually 17 private owner launches out of the day’s total of 47 ATs, 23 of these resulting in flights of over an hour.  All the available club fleet were flown, the 2 seaters being kept busy with club members and 5 Trial Lesson pupils.  The day proved to be somewhat trickier than forecast with broken thermal and a lack of Cu in the Vale of York to start, the blue conditions eventually covering the whole area north of the Humber by mid/late afternoon.  Thermal conditions improved later in the day with some pilots reporting climbs to over 5000′ asl while 3-3500′ had been the norm before midday.  In all over 3000 km were flown in reported cross country flights, Andy Wright contributing 510km in his Nimbus 3 with an O/R to Royston, Derek Taylor 418 km in his ASW 22 after abandoning his declared task at Pocklington after turning Kettering, John Ellis did a undeclared 374 km after the conditions led to an abandonment of a declared 750 km, Paul Foster in his ASW22 and Martyn Johnson in his DG600 both did 300 km flights,  George Rowden did 276 km in his LS8t abandoning a declared 500 km and Phil Lazenby did 204 km in the club Discus.   Bill Payton went west and north in his Ventue cxt,  visiting Carlise and finding good lift over the hills but tricky conditions inbetween, while Lindsay McLane shared a few thermals with George Rowden down to the Humber and then left to fly down to near Cottesmore to take some aerial photographs of the house of the parents of his future daughter in law.  Les Rayment ventured just south as Scunthorpe in his Ventus C  while Albert & Martin Newbery flew their DG1000t for over 4 hours visiting a number of local turning points as did Rob Bailey in his ASG 29.  Back a Sutton most pilots enjoyed a good day’s soaring with Mr Gill again to the fore with a flight of 2:15 in the Ka8 while the members of the week’s course enjoyed the experience of a good thermal soaring day, one of the group, Johanthon Burns having the longest club 2 seater flight of the day, 1:25 in the company of Nick Fellows in the K21.  In among all this activity 5 Trial Lesson pupils were flown and there were 3 Falke flights.

Tuesday 7th to Friday 10th June

Friday, June 10th, 2011

Tuesday 7th.   A light to moderate S’ly was accompanied by burgeoning Cu in the morning and bands of heavy showers from early afternoon.  6 ATs were flown off runway 20 before the showers arrived, 4 of these exceeding an hour.  One Trial Lesson was flown before the weather intervened and there were 2 Falke flights.  Only 2 seaters were flown, the Club K21s and the DG1000, with the only private owner launch of the day being Phil Lazenby in his DG1000t, preferring on this occasion his own company, which he stuck for 1:25, the longest flight of the day.  Ian Plant and course member Damien Bamforth had 1:19 in the K21.

Wednesday 8th.  The initially light S’ly saw operations again start off runway 20, but after 4 ATs and 5 Falke flights, operations were interrupted by a line of thunderstorms accompanied by heavy rain and hail.  The only glider to be flown was the K21, and Ian Plant and course member Peter Bamforth had 45 minutes aloft from the first flight of the day.  Following the departure of the thunderstorms the wind veered in to the W and strengthened allowing Brian Wise and Harry Clark to fly 5 Scouts in the evening, with Dick Cole tugging and Ann Silver and her team providing ground crew support.

Thursday 9th.  A variable but, at times, fresh W’ly saw the winch out and 24 launches performed, 7 for private owners and the balance for the club’s K21s, DG1000, both Astirs and the Discus.  Hill lift was somewhat inconsistent, but most pilots utilised the good thermal lift, the cloud base eventually rising to 5,800 asl during the late afternoon with good thermals  still to be found around 6 pm.  6 of the 7 private owners who launched had flights of over 3 hours, with Bill Payton having 6:10 in his Ventus cxt and Phil Lazenby/Stuart Heaton 4:26 in their DG1000t.  Andy Wright flew Sut/Ctk/Bev/Ton/Sut in his Nimbus 3, covering 233 km before arriving back at Sutton in time to visit the seaside with a flight to Flamborough Head and Filey.  This  added another 150 km to the day’s total but  the return home from the coast was a little bit of a struggle into a 15-20 kt headwind.  John Ellis also flew the same 233 km task in his Nimbus 3 as Andy  and also added on extra kms to the day’s total after arriving back at Sutton early.  Les Rayment visited a goodly number of local and not so local turnpoints in a flight of over 3 hours in his Ventus Ct.  Back at Sutton the course members continued to amass flying hours with Ken Kelso having 1:53 in the company of David Campbell in the K21 while Colin Troise had 1:50 solo in the club DG1000.  Staying up was not however, all plain sailing, with Sue Aherne accumulating around 40 minutes from 3 flights in the Discus, her flights coinciding with periods of poor or non existent lift on the hill and including an abandoned launch due to excessive speed.   Thursday also saw 4 first solos when the resident Pied Wagtail chicks all fledged.

Friday 10th.  An initially light and variable wind went into the SSE bringing in periods of light rain by around lunch time.  6 ATs were flown off runway 24 before the rain arrived, with 2 of the flights exceeding an hour as a band of large Cu developed over and to the N of the site, and the cloudbase rose quickly from 2200′ asl to 4000′ asl.  The rapid development of the Cu indicated the very unstable nature of the airmass as the developent took place under a thick layer of Altostratus.  Ian Plant/Peter Bamforth had the longest flight of the day, 1:20 in the K21 and, continuing her exploits of Thursday, Sue Aherne had the shortest, 14 minutes in the Discus, her launch coinciding with the cessation of thermal activity near the site and the arrival of the first few drops of rain.  David Hodgson   managed 2 Trial Lesson flights before the rain came and Andy Parish sent John Ludrecius solo in the Falke, so congratualtons to him.  With most of the club fleet back in the hangar by early afternoon and the rain gently falling, the writer left site so any resumption of flying will have to be reported later.

Sunday 5th to Monday 6th June

Monday, June 6th, 2011

Sunday 5th.  A light to moderate NNE’ly wind that slowly veered into the ENE brought generally cloudy skies and a few, very light showers.  24 ATs were flown off runway 02 and with lift difficult to find, only 1 private owner launched and there were only 2 club single seaterflights, one in the Astir and the other in the Discus, Peter Goodchild in the former having the longest flight of the day, 41 minutes.  The 2 seaters were, however,  kept busy with 6 Trial Lessons and 2 Day Course members as well as Club members.  Average flight times were around 20 minutes of a 2000′ tow, but Tony Waddoup flying the DG1000, gave his Trial Lesson pupil 45 minutes off a 3000′ tow.

Monday 6th.  With a cold front disappearing to the east,  the  NE of England was  left in an light W’ly flow, this slowly backing into the WSW over the course of the day.  Cu developed early but, given the relatively low pressure,  were surprisingly of limited vertical extent, resulting in a very good soaring day. 16 ATs were flown off runway 24 with landings on 20, the majority in club aircraft with the 2 K21s busy with course members Ken Kelso, Keith Johnston and Damien Bamforth and his Dad. A long  time power pilot,  Ken normally flies a Chipmunk in Cambridgeshire, and was very impressed with gliding.  Mr Bamforth the elder had the honour of having the longest club 2 seater flight of the day, 1:13 in the K21 with Ian Plant, David Campbell being the other course instructor with John Ellis nobly being the tug pilot, much to his chagrin on a good soaring day.  Mr Gill had 2:17 in the club Astir while the 6 private owner launches  generated some good flights.  Bill Payton/John Carter had over 5 hours in Bill’s DG1000t, during which time they flew with George Rowden to Masham and Staindrop before parting company with George and visiting Durham.  The sight of a sea breeze front along the Durham coast tempted them to Sunderland from where the flew south before turning inland, getting permission to transit the Durham Tees Valley airspace, and then visiting Harrogate and Market Weighton before returning to Sutton.  George Rowden meanwhile went south from Staindrop to Pontefract in his LS8 before returning to Sutton,  covering 233 km.   With plenty of afternoon left and conditions still good he then flew the Sut/Poc/Ruf/Sut 100 Km triangle.  Pete Thewall also flew the same 100 km triangle in his Standard Cirrus, visiting Rufforth first, at a handicapped speed of 98.9 km/hr.  This normally would have put  him in contention for the Roy Watson Trophy given for the fastest handicapped speed around this particular triangle.  However, Pete used barrels instead of sectors, decreasing his task distance to < 100 km, so his flight doesn’t qualifiy.  Hard luck Pete.  Malcolm Winter also had an enjoyable afternoon in his Kestrel, visiting Ripon, Catterick and Burn.

Below is a photo of Sunderland and the Durham coastline taken during Bill and John’s flight.


Friday 3rd to Saturday 4th June.

Saturday, June 4th, 2011

Friday 3rd.  A light to moderate E’ly brought clear blue skies and isolated Cu and slightly lower temperatures.  15 ATs and 3 Falke sorties were the order of the day, but with soaring conditions not easy, no club single seaters were flown, the 5 flights of the day exceeding an hour’s duration all being by private owners.  The club 2 seaters were, however, kept busy with 4 Trial Lesson pupils and club members. Bill Payton took Martin Joyce along on a trip to the Lakes and back in Bill’s DG1000t, cloud base getting to around 6000′ over Cross Fell.  Peter Clay, having done an O/R to Grantham on Thursday, went north this time to Barnard Castle in his Ventus, while David Ashby went a little further north in his ASW 22.   The best of the club flying was by Mike Smith and Colin Troise who had 45 minutes of each other’s company in the DG1000.  In the evening, a group of scouts were introduced to gliding, bringing the day’s launch total to 20.

Saturday 4th.  Today was a memorial day for past member Con Greaves, with a lunchtime BBQ and a chance to support the York Hospital Bladder Scanner Appeal via a raffle.  Although early risers were rewarded with the sight of clear blue skies, the start of flying was accompanied by increasing cloud of decreasing base as a weakening cold front moved south.  Flying terminated before lunch due to a low base overcast, but not before 5 ATs had been flown off runway 02, 3 with Trial Lesson pupils.  Chairman Graham Evison gave his Trial Lesson pupil 2 trips as the first had to abandoned at 1400′ QFE due to encroaching low cloud.  On the second flight, the only blue hole migrated to just downwind of the site with Graham finding  surprising patches of  lift at the upwind edge of the slot.  Andy Parish, flying with Peter Guest in the DG1000 utilised a wave slot upwind of the site to climb to around 4000′ asl, the climb having to be terminated as the slot quickly filled, a similar flight being experienced by George Rowden with his Trial Lesson pupil Malcolm in the K21.  After leaving the closing slot, George and Malcolm also found lift on the upwind edge of the cloud just downwind of the site.  Andy Parish/Peter Guest’s flight of 32 minutes meant it was officially another soaring day at Sutton.

Saturday 28th of May to Thursday 2nd June.

Friday, June 3rd, 2011

Saturday 28th.  A moderate to fresh Wly meant a good hill soaring day from 0940 to 1830 hours.  30 winch launches were flown in the club’s K21s, DG1000, Discus and Astirs with  private owners contributing 6 launches.  Jon May flying his Duo Discus did 3 of these, one of which was with Marion Stanley, the flight, according to Jon’s syndicate partner Steve Ball, being  promised to her by way of recompense for some misdemeanour or another by Capt May some time in the distant past.
Whatever the reason, and speculation is rife,  Marion appears to be making the most of the experience.


 14 of  the day’s flights exceeded an hour with Jesper Mjels having 4:39 in the club Astir  and Jon May/D Brown 1:22 in Jon’s Duo Discus.  Marion’s flight with Jon lasted 1:04, with husband Tim Stanley just beating this with1:09 in the K21 with Dave Ashby.

Sunday 29th.  A cold front brought rain and low cloud in the morning, clearing away early afternoon  and leaving the site in a strong and gusty W’ly.  No flying was possible.

Monday 30th.  Another cold front kept the gliders in the hangar for most of the day, a brief clearance allowing 1 of the day’s 5 Trial Lesson pupils to have a flight around midday.  Deteriorating conditions then meant no more flying was possible for a while but the patience of the remaining Trial Lesson Pupils was rewarded when clearing skies allowed them all to be flown in the late afternoon.

Tuesday 31st.  A good thermal day in a light to moderate W’ly.  31 ATswere flown off runway 24 with Lindsay McLane first off at 1017 hrs not returning until 6;18 hours later, the longest flight of the day and one of the 18 that exceeded an hour.  The club 2 seaters were in demand for members and 4 Trial Lesson Pupils, while the Discus and Astir were also flown and 13 private owners took advantage of the conditions to post some good cross countries or enjoy some local soaring.  Andy Wright in his Nimbus flew a 319 km task before deciding to visit poorer conditions on the East coast which resulted in him having to use his engine.  Derek Smith, taking a late launch in his Ventus Ct, covered 116 km of his declared task before weak conditions and a need to get back for an evening’s dinner engagement meant  the use of the engine to speed home.  Matt Woodhouse in his 17.7 m Cirrus flew the Sut/Poc/Ruf/Sut 100 km triangle as did John Shaw in the DG200, the first time he has flown this far and thus gaining one of the legs of his Cross Country Diploma.  John has also completed his Silver C over the last few weeks so congratulations to him.    Back at site, Phil Jones had 2:06 in the club Discus and Brian Wise/N Watkins had 1:36 in the K21.   Late afternoon, P Spencer, a visitor from Rufforth landed before taking an AT retrieve back home.

Wednesday 1st June.  A fresh W’ly  that moderated as the day progressed brought another hill soaring day, this time with the added bonus of wave.  20 winch and1 AT were flown with a number of pilots reaching 10,000′ asl, Martyn Johnson in his DG600 being the only pilot to post his flight on the National Ladder with an absolute altitude of 13,595′, the gain being 12,024′.  13 of the day’s flights exceeded an hour with Jesper Mjels topping the endurance stakes with a flight of 5:35 in his PIK 21, Ken Duxbury having  2:03 in the Astir and Andy Parish andMike Smith having 2 hours in the K21, reaching 7,ooo’ asl.  Day course member D Marfleet certainly picked a good day for his introduction to gliding, his 3 flights with Bob Beck in either the K21 or DG1000, totalling 3:18. 

 Thursday 2nd.  An initially light W’ly soon backed into the SE but remained light as the high intensified.  Early Cu over the NY Moors and Pennines were joined mid to late morning by clouds over the Vale of York and the prospect of a good soaring day saw 30 ATs off runway 24 with landings on 20.  Flying started at 1024 and continued to around 1730 with all the club 2 seaters flown as well as the Astir and Ka8, 14 private owners also taking advantage of the day.  John Ellis in his Nimbus and Bill Payton in his Ventus Cxt both flew an 417 km O/R to Kettering, John finding the conditions around York on the return to site difficult.   Similar difficult conditionsaround Wetherby caused George Rowden to abandon his declared task and return to site, covering 188 km. Dave Ashby flew within a few km of Spalding in his ASW22 and Derek Taylor, on his first cross country of the year flew an 300 km O/R to Grantham in his ASW 22, declaring himself a little rusty during the first 50 km.  However,  the conditions were so good on his return to Sutton that he added on another 60 km to his flight total for the day north of the site.  Dick Cole took M Robinson on a 300 km flight in the DG1000, turning  Beverley and  Carlton before having to abandon his declared flight to the Humber Bridge due to sea air which had penetrated inland as far as Market Weighton.  He did have the satisfaction of having a good smooth cloud climb in the convergence, however.  Phil Lazenby/Albert Newbery declared a circumnavigation of the Doncaster Robin Hood airspace in their DG1000t,  but were just about to return to site as the writer left, so completion of the task awaits confirmation.  Conditions were not entirely straightforward, good conditions with strong climbs, high cloud bases and good visibility being interspersed with weaker climbs, lower cloud bases and moderate visibility.  In general the poorer visibility was to be found south of the Humber.  Back at site, 7 Trial Lesson pupils were rewarded with good soaring and visibility and 18 of the  days flights exceeded an hour.  Chris Thirkell took the opportunity to finish off his Bronze flying test, so well done Chris.