Archive for November, 2011

Saturday 26th to Tuesday 29th November

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

Saturday 26th. A fresh to too strong WSW’ly kept the gliders in the hangar, the wind getting stronger as the day progressed with gusts to around 50 kts.

Sunday 27th.  A fresh W’ly gusting to 45 kts delayed flying until around lunch time, the delay being exacerbated by a puncture in  the DG1000’s tail wheel.  Thereafter, 7 winch launches were flown off runway 24, John Marsh taking the first of these in the DG303 to record the longest flight of the day, 1:59.  How much of this time was spent trying to lock  the wheel down prior to landing, only John can reveal.  Hill soaring conditions were quite rough but there were indications of wave, Nick Gaunt getting to 1600′ QFE in his flight.  Conrad Thwaites doubled  the day’s total of flights over an hour with 1:08 in the Discus and Jack McGregor and Peter Wilkinson had 35 minutes in the DG1000.

Monday 28th.  A cold, cloudy moderate S’ly started the day, increasing slowly to fresh and gusting to 30 kts as the day progressed.  4 ATs were flown off runway 20, Mike Smith taking the DG303 for 25 minutes, while  Mark Prickett and David Arbcaster, visitors from the Welland GC, had the last 2 flights of the day in the DG1000.  Mark flew with David Hill as P1 and contacted wave, climbing to 7,100′ asl and taking the pictures shown below.  David, having a check flight with Les Rayment, climbed to 6,100′ asl, not bad for a check flight of around 35 minutes.




Tuesday 29th.  A moderate S’ly and bright skies greeted the day but a rapidly increasing wind speed as an active cold front approached from the W meant that a decision to get  the Astir out of the hangar was quickly reversed and  flying ceased after 2 ATs off runway 20.  On the first of these Andy Parish and Mark Pricett, flying the DG1000 climbed to just under 5,000′ asl in 3-4 kts of wave, breaking off the climb while still in lift to allow Andy and the other visitor from the Welland GC, David Arblaster to also sample the wave up to around 4,000′ asl in a flight of 38 minutes.  Both flights experienced turbulent and high sink rate approaches to runway 20, the wind at around 2000′ QFE being 50 kts.   With the arrival of the front around 1500 hrs the wind  gusted to over 45 kts and rapidly veered into the W.

Thursday 24th to Friday 25th November

Saturday, November 26th, 2011

Thursday 24th.  An initial  moderate to fresh SSE slowly veered into the SSW providing some wave flying.  7 ATs were flown, the majority in the club’s DG1000 and Astir with a single private owner launch.  Colin Troise contacted wave off the AT at 2000′ QFE in his solo flight in the DG1000 and subsequently climbed to 9000′ asl in  a flight of 1:20, the wave he was flying in lying from Thirsk to Northallerton.  Higher wave bars were visible, especially later in the day, but contacting the associated lift proved difficult.  Jesper Mjels, flying his Pik 20, also contacted the wave and eventually reached 11,500′ asl in-between Thirsk and Northallerton, but found the system weak to the north and south.  Best climb rates were in the 2-3 kt category.  Jesper’s 2:55 was the best of the day, with David Hill/Ken Kelso posting the longest 2 seater flight, 40 minutes in the DG1000.

Friday 25th.  An intially fresh WSW’ly increased to strong with gusts approaching 45 kts as a trough moved in late morning, bringing a period of heavy rain.  The trough cleared through by mid afternoon, leaving clear skies and a W’ly wind that slowly moderated, but not fast enough for flying to be resumed.  Prior to the arrival of the trough, 3 winch launches were flown off runway 24, 2 in the DG1000 and 1 in the Astir.  Andy Parish/Diane Thomas  and John Marsh/Ken Kelso had around 30 minutes each in wave augmented hill lift in separate flights in the DG1000, reporting winds of 50 kts at 1500′ QFE.   John and Ken landed just before the rain, resulting in a damp retrieve to the safety of the hard-standing in the lee of the hangar.  Jesper, having climbed to around 5000′ asl, decided to stay airborne and was treated to some snowy conditions aloft, eventually landing after the trough had cleared the site with a flight of 3:34.  He reported seeing snow streamlines showing the location of lift.    The cessation of real gliding resulted in a move to virtual gliding with new members, Bernd Heinold and Diane Schubert continuing their training on the simulator with Mike Smith and George Rowden, George demonstrating an uphill field landing to Diane, though not  out of choice.  On a more mundane but important front, the K21 was safely delivered to NY Sailplanes for its ARC.

Friday 18th to Wednesday 23rd November

Thursday, November 24th, 2011

Friday 18th.  The light to moderate SSE’ly flow continued to bring in generally cloudy skies, but these were brighter in the morning than in the afternoon when light rain set in.  Jon Hart, anxious to add to his solo hours, took advantage of the brighter conditions in the morning to take 2 ATs in his Vega, having 30  minutes of  the first flight and 1:30  off the second, helped by a high tow that allowed his to contact some weak wave.  The only other aerial activity was  2 flights in the Falke.

Saturday 19th.  Although fog was present in the Vale of York and the Vale of Pickering during the morning, the site remained clear and with the local low lying area also clear, flying started at just after 10 and continued until 4 pm, 17 ATs being flown.  With the DG500 away for its ARC and one of the K21s now in Poland, the DG1000 and the other K21 were well utilised with members, a Day Course pupil and 6 Trial Lesson pupils taking the opportunity to get into the air.  A light SSE’ly that slowly veered into the S as the day progressed produced some weak wave and although no flight exceeded an  hour, 3 exceeded 30  minutes, with David Ashby taking Day Course Member Thomas Fung for a 40 minute flight in the DG1000 and Colin Troise flying the DG1000 solo for 48 minutes as the result of finding some weak wave (0.2-0.5 kts) over Ampleforth.  With the upper winds more Westerly, the lift was aligned N/S.   The Falke was also utilised with 2 flights.

Sunday 20th.   The light SE’ly flow continued, this time backing into the ESE and being accompanied by fog, low cloud and very murky conditions that prevented any flying except on the simulator, where a couple of members brushed up their flying skills under the tutelage of John Marsh in the clear airs of Harris Hill.

Monday 21st.  Another murky overcast day with the site in cloud, as the light to moderate, moist, SE’ly flow continued.  Consequently, no flying was possible.

Tuesday 22nd.  Fog and low cloud was again the order of the day for early arrivals at site.  However, during the day the wind veered through S’ly into the W and brighter skies arrived just before sunset.  So although no flying was possible, the prospects for Wednesday looked better as the forecast charts showed a moderate to fresh W’ly flow.

Wednesday 23rd.  Members arriving at the site were somewhat surprised to find a light to moderate S’ly blowing and orographic forming on the southern ridge given the forecast.  However the orographic slowly cleared and flying started at around lunch time into a very cloudy sky with scattered low cloud at 600′ QFE and signs of wave, the wind slowly veering into the SSW.  Only 5 ATs were flown off runway 20 with Jon Hart off first in his Vega, still chasing those solo hours.  He then made the last landing of the day at just after 1500 hrs to record a flight of 2:50, being kept aloft in weak wave but never climbing above 2700′ QNH.  In between times, John Marsh had 57 minutes in the DG303, Duncan Pask, 1:19 in the Astir and Bob Beck/K Kelso  48 minutes in the DG1000. Colin Troise/Mike Smith enjoyed 46 minutes in the DG1000, during which time they climbed to 4700′ QNH in 2-3 kt wave only to have to break off the climb when they were enveloped in cloud.  All the pilots reported murky conditions aloft, the lack of contrast making it very difficult to see cloud approaching.  Those who remained earthbound busied themselves making fittings to allow the remaining K21 to be degrigged and safely put in the open trailer in readiness for its trip down the hill for its ARC, the return journey hopefully being made by the DG500 to maintain the club 2 seater fleet at 2.  Photos of the final stage of this activity with the open trailer are shown below.




Just before sunset the skies cleared, providing a nice view of some isolated Lenticulars and rotor.


Wednesday 16th to Thursday 17th November.

Thursday, November 17th, 2011

Wednesday 16th.  The flow of moist, cloudy air from the ESE continued with very poor visibillity and cloud base just above the site.   Flying was again not possible.

Thursday 17th.  Flying was delayed by  low cloud and mist, but conditions had improved enough by lunch time for operations to commence, Peter Guest being first off in the Astir and finding some areas of zero that allowed him to stay up for 30 minutes.  A build up of cloud with a base at around 800′ QFE threatened to interrupt flying, but this cloud slowly disappeared and with clear air to the south,  flying continued, with 9 ATs eventually flown.  The light to moderate SSE’ly provided some soaring opportunities with Mike Wood utilising hill triggered thermals off the main bowl near Gormire to soar the Ka8 for 53 minutes, even climbing to 800′ QFE at one point.  Jon Hart, went one, or is that 13, better by having 1:05 in his Vega, this time utilising some weak wave over Byland Abbey that at one time generated a climb of 400′ to get Jon back over his release height.  David Ryall and Rob Bailey also found some weak wave in the DG1000 and managed 37 minutes, contributing to the 50% of the day’s flights that equalled or exceeded 30 minutes in the air.  Andy Parish contributed to the other 50% by taking an aerobatic flight in the K21 to practice his inverted flying and other manoevers accompanied by George Rowden.  The single Trial Lesson pupil enjoyed her time in the air and the day’s flying activities included a visit from the light aircraft  shown below, the pilot making an interesting take off parallel to the winch track on its NW side.  The second photo shows David Campbell about to refuel the tug after being duty tuggie for the day.




Saturday 12th to Tuesday 15th November

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

Saturday 12th.  The start of flying was delayed until late morning by low cloud and later in the afternoon the low cloud returned, stopping flying at about 1530 hrs.  In between, 19 ATs  and a single Falke sortie were flown off runway 20 into a light SE’ly that slowly backed into the S.  The AT total included 8 flights for a group of Scouts from Huddersfield and 4 Trial Lessons.  It was a 2 seater day, with both K21s and the DG1000 flown, although Peter Goodchild did his bit to redress the balance by taking  a launch in Sam St Pierre’s DG200 and later flying the K21 solo, with Ross Cleave  also taking a solo launch in the K21.  Peter’s DG200 flight notched up the longest single seater flight of 32 minutes, aided by a high tow, but bits and pieces of lift allowed some of the 2 seater flights to approach the 30 minute mark, while George Rowden flying Janet,  one of the Scouters, found some weak wave.  This allowed them to climb up from 1000′ QFE to 1300′  and clock up  38 minutes, the wave being visible below them as a series of bands of clearer and murkier air.  Meanwhile, on  the single Falke flight of the day, Ritcie Toon and John Ellis visited Scarborough.

Sunday 13th.  After the brief escape from extensive low cloud on Saturday  the wind backed  into the E, feeding in extensive low cloud and drizzle, the cloud shrouding the site and preventing any flying.

Monday 14th.  The light to moderate flow, now from a more ESE’ly direction, continued to feed in low cloud, although this time the base was just above hill top level.  While no flying was possible, the trailer, now containing one of the K21s, had its final preparations for its journey to Poland and set off around lunch time in the capable hands of Chris Thirkell and David Lynch.  Chris is hoping to provide a photo diary of the journey so  watch this space.

Tuesday 15th.  I started to write this contribution to the YGC Blog on the club computer under a completely grey and featureless overcast brought in on a  light to moderate E’ly.  Lindsay McLane arrived in time for briefing in, or is that on, his autogyro, but left shortly after, so cloud base was above hill top height, but not sufficiently above to suggest flying would be possible today, particularly as a continued feed of low cloud off the North Sea was forecast.  The air was, however,  dry enough for George Rowden to open up his trailer and allow the breeze to remove the internal condensation.   The air mass continued to dry out with the cloud disappearing by lunch time and we had a visit from a light aircraft whose pilot availed himself of a cup of Brian’s tea before taking off from runway 06.  Colin Troise, who was busy typo checking the hard copy of  Andy Parish’s presentation on Airfield Organiser duties, due to be the first of this winter’s lectures this coming Saturday, the 20th, seemed determined to fly the DG1000, but with very poor horizontal visibility I am not certain he did as I left site early afternoon.

Tuesday 8th to Friday 11th November

Sunday, November 13th, 2011

Tuesday 8th to Friday 11th November.  A persistent, moist, light to moderate wind from a SE’ly quadrant blew everyday, shrouding the site in cloud for virtually the whole period and preventing any flying.  Work continued to prepare the club trailer for its trip to Poland with one of the club’s K21s,  its departure from site due on Monday 14th via the Hull - Zeebrugge ferry.   Other essential maintenance work was also undertaken, but CFI Andy Parish, Office manager Josephine and site cat Cirrus had a very quiet week in terms of members and visitors.   Flying was possible on Saturday after the clearance of low cloud and there was even some soaring, but the writer had to leave before the end of the flying day so a detailed summary will not be available until early in the new week.  A proposed new set of Rules governing club Trophies for 2012, including the addition of 2 new trophies based on OLC rules, has been posted on the club Forum with a hard copy available in the briefing room.   Comments are invited and can be made via the club Forum or via the office to  the club Ladder Steward, George Rowden.

Saturday 5th to Monday 7th November

Monday, November 7th, 2011

Saturday 5th.   Grey skies, low cloud and rain in a light to moderate NNW’ly meant no flying for the majority of the day, the visiting group of 8 Scouts retreating to the simulator to experience the delights of gliding.  Brightening skies by mid afternoon did allow Andy Parish and Diane Thomas to have 2 flights off runway 02 with the usual lumpy climb outs, but the majority of those present were engaged in preparing for the Firework party which was enjoyed by a good crowd of people as clear skies moved in after dark, with a supper provided by Brian the caterer.  Thanks to David Latimer for the firework display which was greatly appreciated.

Sunday 6th.  Clear, blue skies all day, with a light to moderate N’ly, allowed 18 ATs by 3 of the club’s 2 seaters and 2 sorties in the Falke off runway 02.  With no lift within reach, flight times were generally in the range 15-20 minutes, but Colin Troise and Phil Lazenby had 26 minutes in the DG1000 mainly due to a high tow.  Chris Bowden had an even higher tow but a shorter flight, 16 minutes solo in the K21, as he practiced his aerobatics.

Monday 7th.  Arriving at the club for the morning briefing allowed attendees to witness a thick, low overcast advancing from the SE, this quickly extending off to the NW and dispelling any  hopes of flying.   Thereafter, the  major activity was fettling the Club 2 seater trailer in preparation for its trip to Poland with one of the K21s, which is to have a  comprehensive refurbish.   Having fettled the K21 trailer, the major fettlers, Stewart Heaton and Peter Clay, moved on to sort out the electrics on the DG1000 trailer.  A photo of Stewart and Peter at work on the K21 trailer is shown below.


Wednesday 2nd to Friday 4th November

Friday, November 4th, 2011

Wednesday 2nd.  A moderate to fresh SE’ly kept the site in cloud until early afternoon, cloud base only rising to just above site level  after that, so no flying was possible.  A visiting member noted that the site appeared to be sitting in the middle of a wave bar!!  The non-flying conditions did however, allow redundant flying members to progress the filling in of the areas between the new concrete outside the hangars and workshop with road plannings.

Thursday 3rd.  7 mm of rain overnight was followed by brighter skies in the morning, although again low cloud in the light to moderate SE’ly wind prevented any flying before lunch.  Thereafter, the cloud started to increase without any improvement in cloudbase, the non-flying nature of the day being rounded off by an late afternoon thunderstorm.  The infilling excercise with road plannings was also completed, greatly improving access to the hangars.  Thanks are due to all the club members who in spite of the hard work involved, seemed to enjoy themselves operating various pieces of civil engineering equipment.   Hard work was also put in preparing for the club party on November 5th.

Friday 4th.  The rain which started at around 4 am continued until early afternoon, depositing another 5 mm, the brighter skies which followed being confined to the lower ground, as the base of the orographic cloud over the club in the light E’ly, then S’ly and finally SE’ly wind managed eventually to rise to around 100′ QFE.  With the work outside the hangars and workshop completed the hired civil engineering equipment was collected by its owner.

Saturday 29th October to Tuesday 1st November

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

Saturday 29th.  A moderate SE’ly veered into the SW as a front brought rain in the late afternoon, but not before 11 ATs had been flown, with all the club 2 seaters in action supplemented by a single private owner launch.  3 of the day’s launches were for a group of Scouts and another 3 for the day’s Trial Lesson pupils, but intermittent low cloud hampered proceedings somewhat, but didn’t prevent Paul Whitehead reaching 6000′ asl in wave in his Pegase in the longest flight of the day, 1:46, the only flight to exceed an hour.  John Marsh and D Audley also found some lift in their flight of 42 minutes in the club DG500 while the Rotax Falke had 2 sorties. 

Sunday 30th.  A light SSE’ly started the day but this veered into the SW by the end , the initially cloudy skies clearing as the day progressed.  22 ATs were flown with this time  club fleet utilisation being shared between 2 of the 2 seaters, the K21 and DG1000 and  2 of the single seaters, the Discus and DG303.  There were 3 private owner launches with Steve Ball having 2 in his LS8, the second resulting in a flight of 1 hour in which Steve contacted wave and climbed to 5500′ asl.  Wave was also used by a number of other pilots with 5 recording flights of over an hour, Rob Bailey, having had a shortist flight in the club Discus, then flew his ASG 29t for 2:20, venturing 6 wave bars west and reaching around 11,500′ asl before approaching darkness meant a rapid return home.  Other pilots having an hour or more included Liz and Kevin Keily in  the K21 with 1:05 and Matt Woodhouse,  who, on  the last flight of the day solo in the K21, also had the same flight time.   4 Scouts from South Yorkshire and 5 Trial Lesson pupils were flown.

Monday 31st.  Cloudy skies deterred would be aviators and, although the day’s light rain  was confined to the morning, the cloud base in the moderate to fresh SSE’ly never rose sufficiently to allow any flying.

Tuesday 1st November.  The overnight cold front had taken its rain off into the North Sea leaving the site in a light to moderate, but moist, SW’ly that initially shrouded the site in  orographic clould, delaying flying until midday.  This did, however, allow the DG500 to be degrigged, put in its trailer and taken down to North Yorkshire Sailplanes for its ARC.  Work also started  on replacing the rather muddy infill between the new concrete access ramps in front of the hangars and workshop with road planings, with Duncan Pask operating the mini Digger, George Rowden the vibrating roller and a number of people, including Stewart Heaton and Jack McGreggor the bucket equipped tractor.   Expert supervision was provided by Albert Newbery while the shovel brigade were led by Chris Thirkell.  By the end  of the day, one of the areas between  the concrete slabs was filled with compacted road plannings, another area had been dug out and a 3rd area was partially cleared.  While all this was going on, John Ellis, his right arm in a sling following a recent operation on his shoulder, applied wood preservative to the benches and picnic tables outside the bunkhouse.  Well done John.  Oh, and as we are a gliding club, some people also flew, logging up 10 ATs off runway 24 in one of the club’s K21s and 3 of the single seaters.  The early orographic cloud was replaced by an increasing cloudbase and some nice Cu, this allowing Eric Preston in the Discus and Mike Wood in the DG303 to each have over an hour in the air, Eric having 1:46 and Mike having 1:03 off the 2nd and 1st ATs of the day respectively.  Thereafter, The Cu disappeared and flight times reduced with Andy Parish and Ian Hunt having 24 minutes in the K21.