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.