Archive for December, 2011

Friday 23rd to Friday 30th December.

Friday, December 30th, 2011

Friday 23rd.  A light N’ly that slowly increased to moderate brought in overcast skies and 3mm of rain.  Consequently, the hangar doors remained firmly shut.  A noticeable drop in temperature from 7C to 4C occurred during daylight hours.

Saturday 24th.  A moderate to fresh SW’ly gusting to around 30 kts was accompanied by overcast skies that brightened later, but the low cloud base did not rise sufficiently to allow flying to take place.

Sunday 25th.  A fresh to strong SW’ly gusting to over 40 kts, ensured that no one was tempted to fly on the only official non flying day at the Yorkshire Gliding Club.  Instead, a select group of 9 members enjoyed a very leisurely, enjoyable and sumptuous Christmas dinner.

Monday 26th.  The fresh to strong SW’ly continued to blow, again with gusts of over 40 kts,  creating frustration for the members present who could witness evidence of wave to the west.  Two visitors from Eden Soaring were given a tour of the indoor facilities by John Marsh.

Tuesday 27th.  Although the wind had died to virtually nothing before picking up from the SE, low cloud and rain again meant that no flying was possible, clearing skies late afternoon coming too late.  As the memories of Christmas Day’s culinary delights faded, the everyday delights of Brian’s bacon butties were greatly appreciated.

Wednesday 28th.  With another deep depressions passing to the north of Scotland, a fresh to strong W’ly blew all day, average wind speeds reaching 30 kts with gusts in excess of 45 kts.  Needless to say, no flying was possible.

Thursday 29th.  The initially  fresh to strong W’ly slowly moderated over the day, but heavy showers interrupted flying so that only 6 winch launches were flown utilising the K21, DG1000, DG303 and Discus.  3 of the day’s flights exceeded an hour with Jesper Mjels having 2:48 in the DG303 during which he reached 3,500′ asl in weak wave and visited Northallerton.  Colin Troise and Albert Newberry had 1:30 in the DG1000 and David Campbell/Phil Jones 1:17 in the K21  courtesy of the hill lift. 

Friday 30th.  An initially light NW’ly slowly increased in strength, steadily backing and eventually becoming S’ly by nightfall as a front brought rain by early afternoon.  Due to tug problems with flat batteries, only 2 ATs were flown off runway 24 before the rain arrived, the forecast wave being noticeable by its absence.  Peter Guest and Ken Arkley each flew the K21 solo with Peter haivng 25 minutes off a 3000′ tow.  Duncan Pask’s attempt to fly the Ka8 was frustrated as the rain arrived just as he was preparing to launch.

Friday 16th to Thursday 22nd December

Friday, December 23rd, 2011

Friday 16th.  A cold and moderate N’ly kept the temperature just above freezing and brought in some low base sleet and snow showers that prevented any flying.

Saturday 17th.   Early showers in a light NNW’ly delayed flying until after lunch andan increasing wind speed curtailed flying to 4 AT’s and a single Falke flight, the ATs  utilising the K21, DG1000 and DG303 .   There was no lift so flight times were in the 10 to 18 minute range, John Marsh and Ken Kelsopropping up the duration stakes with the only 2 seater flight of the day, albeit of a 800′ tow .  Colin Troise posted the 18 minutes flying the DG1000 solo again off a low AT of 1000′ .

Sunday 18th.  A light W to WNW under bright blue skies produced a full day’s operations with 16 ATs flown from around 10oo hrs to 1545 hrs and 2 Falke flights.   With lift in short supply, no one managed an hour but Mike Smith gave C Jickells, one of the day’s 7 Trial Lesson pupils, 40 minutes in the DG1000 to record the longest flight of the day.  No doubt due to the difficulty of staying up, there were no single seater flights, the K21 and DG1000 being the only gliders in use. 

Monday 19th.  A light to moderate SE’ly heralded the approach of a depression and accompanying fronts that provided plenty of low cloud and rain, keeping the gliders in the hangars.

Tuesday 20th.  A light W’ly and a bright morning encouraged an early start to flying,  and although cloud increased during  the day, flying continued until 1530 hrs.  A limited turn out of members meant that only 6 ATs were flown, with the K21 and Discus utilised, while the Falke had 2 flights.  Dick Cole, flying the Discus, and Phil Jones/Chris Thirkell, flying the DG1000, both managed flights of over an  hour in weak wave, Dick having 1:07 and Phil/Chris 1:11. 

Wednesday 21st.  A light S’ly was accompanied by low cloud and rain as another depression and accompanying fronts crossed the country.  A clearance and wind shift into the W occured  in mid afternoon but too late to allow any flying.

Thursday 22nd.  A light to moderate initially WNW’ly that slowly backed into the SW in a  warm sector produced a very good wave day.  Initially cloud amounts were relatively low, but tended to increase as the day progressed. However, significant gaps and slots were always available.    15 ATs were flown off runway 24, with every flight contacting the wave and heights between 5 and 11,000′ asl being achieved.  The K21 and DG1000 two seaters  and the DG303, Discus andAstir were flown.  Initially the wave pattern was hard to decipher, with an absence of continuous bars andthe best climbs, peaking at around 6 kts, seemed to be confined to a few hot spots.  As the wind backed, the cloud became more organised and the wave stronger, with pilots reporting peaks of 10 kts.  Bob Beck was first off in the DG303 returning after 2 hrs, this time only being beaten by Sue Aherne/Howard Marshall who had 2:06 in the K21 andreached around 7,000 asl.  George Rowden in the Discus, Mike Wood in the Astir and Ben Dawson in his V tailed  5B5E all climbed to around 11,000′ asl  while Andy Parish in the DG303, Rob Bailey in the Astir and Harry Clark, flying the DG1000 solo in an attempt to get his Gold height, all reached between 9-10,000′ asl.  Fred Brown took Pauline Luty to a her new best height of 7,500′ aslin the DG1000 in a flight of 1:15.  Some pictures of the wave around midday are shown below.



On the last flight of the day John Ellis had his first flight for a while following a shoulder operation, taking to the air in the K21, with George Rowden acting as safety pilot.  By this time there was much more cloud about but the wave had strengthened.  The next couple of photos, show John back at home in his natural element and enjoying every minute of the 51 minute flight after coming off tow at 1200′  QFE.




Tuesday 13th to Thursday 15th December

Saturday, December 17th, 2011

Tuesday 13th.  A fresh to strong WSW’ly, gusting to in excess of 45 kts, kept the gliders in the  hangars, the afternoon also having a few showers.

Wednesday 14th.  The WSW’ly had moderated a little but not sufficiently to allow any flying.  Hopefuls, Diane Thomas and John McCormack, removed a task from the to-do list by  spening their time edging the footpaths and painting and storing the picnic benches.

Thursday 15th.  A light NW that progressively backed into the SW and freshened gave a flying day, although the morning sunshine gave way to cloudier conditions in the afternoon.  8 ATs were flown from late morning to mid-afternoon with the K21, DG1000 and Astir utilised.  In spite of the westerly component to the wind the hill was not working and most flights didn’t quite make the 30 minutes, Andy Parish and Pauline Luty having 23 minutes in the K21 while  Resh Khodabocus managed a solo flight in the K21.  Colin Troise, however, single handedly managed to make it a soaring day with an hour in the DG1000 by finding some weak wave off a high tow, the weakness of the wave accounting for the fact that he never regained his release height.  Colin reported that the wave had a low amplitude and short wavelength of around a mile but of sufficient robustness to keep him between 3-4,000′ asl.  The other major happening of the day was the arrival of the Air Ambulance, Sutton being a diversionary airfield for a fogged in Bagby.

Postscipt to the Wedding Day of Fred and Hazel Brown.

Les Rayment and Vicky have both  kindly sent me some photos of the happy event, which are shown below.

The first shows Kelly Teagle  and Pauline Luty at RAF Topcliffe after delivering the wedding K21 for Fred and Hazel.


The second shows newlyweds Fred and Hazel about to depart for Sutton


Fred and Hazel arriving at Sutton


And after a quick change, the happy couple posed in front of their Wedding conveyance.


 At Sutton Matt Woodhouse agreed to play the part of Santa but not before being persuaded to take part in  a risque game of Lucky Dip with Derek Smith’s wife Sharon, Vicky awaiting her turn in the background


 After giving a  hand in getting Matt kitted out, Vicky looks very pleased with the effort and a fine Santa Matt looked too, his task being to give out favours to the ladies.


A task Hazel having no hesitation in reciprocating.


In response to many enquiries, applications to be  next year’s Santa, which should  include your vital statistics, should be given to Josephine.

Thursday 8th to Monday 12th December

Monday, December 12th, 2011

Thursday 8th.  With an peak average wind speed of 45 kts from the West, gusts of over 65 kts locally and 5 mm of rain, it was a day for nailing your boots to the ground.

Friday 9th.  A day of sunny intervals and some light showers should have been a flyable one in a light to moderate WNW’ly, but this time it wasn’t the weather that kept the gliders in the hangar but the lack of members.

Saturday 10th.  A moderate W’ly with generally sunny skies saw ATing commence around 1100 hrs off runway 24 and continue until 1600 hrs, by which time 15 ATs had been flown in the K21, DG1000, Discus and Astir.  Chris Bowden, flying the Discus and Duncan Pask flying  the Astir contributed 1:01 and 1:09 respectively to the day’s flying hours total, with Robin Hutchinson and Trial Lesson pupil W Fisher adding 30 minutes in the K21.  The highlight of the day was however the flight of Kelly Teagle and Pauline Luty to RAF Topcliffe in the K21.  No, this wasn’t a landout, this was to allow newly weds Mr Fred Brown and Mrs Hazel Brown to fly  the K21 back to Sutton, tuggie Les Rayment being the aerial equivalent of the best man.  Arriving at Sutton, Fred and Hazel celebrated their nuptialday with a couple of loops, before landing and joining  the 130 wedding guests in a  reception in the club house.   Congratulations to the happy couple.   If someone would like to send me some photos of the day I will post them on the blog.

Sunday 11th.  A moderate  SSE’ly that slowly veered into the S as the day progressed brought a long period of rain plus cloud that shrouded the site, preventing any flying .  The adverse weather at least prevented  the wedding revellers from having to make a decision of whether to fly or not.

Monday 12th.  A moderate to fresh SSW that slowly veered into the WSW before rapidly veering into the S as the generally sunny/bright skies clouded over  during the mid afternoon, saw 8 ATs and a single Falke flight off runway 20.  Club fleet utilisation was confined to the K21 and DG303, the early flights in both these gliders being hampered by rapid cloud build up that resulted in an abandoned weak wave climb at 3,100 asl by Mike Smith in the DG303.  A retreat to the hill was not successful as the wave was out of phase, causing poor soaring and rough conditions.  Mike Wood had 43 minutes in the DG303, again a mixture of weak wave and hill lift.  George  took Sarah and then Gaile, 2 Trial Lesson pupils, for flights of 32 and 37 minutes respectively, the flight with Sarah again being affected by rapid cloud build up but this time a retreat to the hill saw it working between 800 to 1000′ QFE.  Finally Rob  Bailey, flying the DG303 had 1:14 with a patient climb in wave to around 3,700′ asl before landing on runway 24 as the wind gusted to around 25-30 kts.  Although the conditions were now winchable, a lack of custom saw the gliders and tugs safely packed in the hangar and the doors shut by around 1515 hrs.

Tuesday 6th to Wednesday 7th.

Wednesday, December 7th, 2011

Tuesday 6th.  A light to moderate WNW blew under bright skies and 9 ATs were flown off runway 24.  The hill was working, albeit weakly, with average soaring heights being of the  order of 600′ QFE.  The wind backed into the SW and  lessened later in the day, putting an effective end to hill soaring, but not before John Carter and David Campbell had each managed over an hour aloft  in the Astir, while Ian Plant and Resh Khodabocus had 29 minutes in the K21, these 2 aircraft being the only ones utilised.

Wednesday 7th.  A fresh to strong W’ly with gusts to over 38 kts kept the fleet in  the hangar, and allowed those members present to watch a virtually continuous train of showers pass over the Pennines but never reach the site.  The only outside activity was by Ken Arkley and George Rowden who washed their trailer prior to joining the list of private owners who had taken their gliders off site for the winter.

Sunday 4th to Monday 5th December.

Monday, December 5th, 2011

Sunday 4th.  A moderate W’ly saw the winch in action and John Marsh off in the DG303 on  the first flight of the day, subsequently landing after 1:49.  Chairman Graham Evison flew with Saturday night’s lecturer, Jon Trueman, for 38 minutes in the DG1000 before the wind died at around 1100 hrs leaving Jesper Mjels scratching at low level on the hill.  Before too long the wind picked up again and winching restarted, only for the wind to suddenly veer into the NNW causing the happily soaring gliders to return to earth.  That is with the exception of Jesper Mjels, who flying the Astir, managed to soar the little bit of NW facing ridge around the corner from the main bowl well enough to gain sufficient height to do a circuit onto runway 33, having been in the air for 109 adventurous minutes.   An attempt to continue flying via aerotowing around 1415 hrs was first frustrated by  Pawnee problems and then by the arrival of low cloud and rain, the latter turning to the first snow of winter as the hangar was packed.  The day’s efforts resulted in 8 winch launches involving the 2 available club 2 seaters, 3 of the club’s single seaters and a single private owner launch.

Monday 5th.  The first lying snow of winter could be seen on the tops of the Pennines to the west and there were traces on the verges at the top of Sutton Bank.  Ian Plant, deputising all week for Andy Parish, arrived chilled to the bone as a result of his motor cycle journey from Tyneside, but was soon revived by some hot coffee and TLC from Josephine which involved a warm blanket.  The windsock indicated a surprisingly light and variable wind given the synoptic situation, so AT’ing was the order of the day off runway 24 once the ice that had formed on wings had been removed.   Trade was reasonably brisk with the K21, DG1000, DG303 and Astir flown, operations being interrupted around 1300 hrs by the arrival of a snow storm.  At least this allowed a leisurely lunch provided by Josephine in the absence of Brian due to domestic calls.  Flying resumed after lunch and the day’s operations totalled 10 ATs, Jesper Mjels having 1:47 in the DG303 in which he reached 4.000′ asl in weak wave.  Several pilots also sampled the weak wave, while for those content with hill lift, this provided some turbulent conditions as the cloud base lowered to around 1000′ QFE  in advance of the lunch time snow storm.  Colin Troise/Ben Dawson shared 2 flights in the DG1000, the first truncated to 29 minutes by the approaching snow storm, the second topping  the hour mark with 1:13.  Mark Robinson, after a check flight in the K21, had two flights in the Astir, while John McCormack took to the skies with Ian Plant in the K21 after a longish absence.

Friday 2nd to Saturday 3rd December

Saturday, December 3rd, 2011

Friday 2nd.   A moderate to fresh SW’ly that slowly backed into the S as the skies clouded over, provided another soaring day at Sutton, with hill lift and weak wave to around 3-4,000′.  K21 KLW returned refreshed from its ARC and was test flown by John Tayler before joining the DG1000, DG303, Discus and Ka8 in providing wings for members.  3 of the day’s flights exceeded an hour with Colin Troise/Mike Smith having 1:16 in the DG1000 and Rob Bailey having 1:39 in the Discus.  Reg Rowlinson had 1:36 in the Ka8, the wi peed aloft meaning he spent most of the time over the same spot on the ground, but much more importantly,he completed his second Bronze C leg.  So well done Reg.  Congratulations are also due to Ken Kelso, a Chipmunk pilot who caught the gliding bug via a summer course and on the last flight of the day soloed in  the K21.  Pictures of the happy Ken with CFI Andy Parish are shown below.  Also shown is a picture of Ken with Tuggie for the day Phil Jones, another PPL pilot who joined the YGC relatively recently and flew his Silver C this summer.



Saturday 3rd.  Saturday capped off a week of soaring weather, the initially fresh to strong W’ly restricting flying to the 2 seaters before lunch with the gradual moderation in wind speed allowing unrestricted flying thereafter.  16 winch launches were flown with both available 2 seaters and all the single seaters with the exception of  the Ka8 flown.  The conditions pre lunch prevented a group of Scouts from getting into the air but they were accommodated on the Simulator and were so impressed, they talked about building their own.   5 of the day’s flights exceeded an hour, with most people having in excess of 30 minutes, while Robin Hutchinson, the only private owner to rig, had 1:25 in his Swordfish.  Jon May had 1:02 in the DG303 before taking to the air again with David Lynch in the DG1000 and showing him the aerials of the repeater station near Osmotherly from below.  Mike Wood had 58 minutes in the Astir while Roger Burghall and Chris Bowden had 55 minutes in the K21.  Although the wind moderated over the day the air got decidedly lumpy after lunch up to about 1400′ QFE, presumably due to rotor effects from the forecast wave.  The latter led to  the wave box being opened but no one subsequently troubled the Newcastle ATC.  In the evening, Jon Truman, an ex YGC glider pilot and now a RAF   instructor on Tucanos at Linton on Ouse, gave an informative lecture about Tucano  operations in and around the Vale of York.  The benefits of keeping the RAF ATC at Linton informed of our position and intentions when soaring in the area was successfully emphasised.

Wednesday 30th November to Thursday 1st December

Thursday, December 1st, 2011

Wednesday 30th.  A moderate to fresh S’ly blew all day, the generally sunny skies of the morning gradually clouding over as the day progressed.  10 ATs and a single Falke flight comprised the day’s activities, flying starting at 1018 hrs and finishing at 1520 hrs.  With some wave lift to be found in front of the southern ridge, 2 of the day’s flights exceeded an hour, Chris Thirkell having 1:04 in the Discus and Colin Troise 1:03 flying the DG1000 solo.  Flights in the Ka8 and the Astir and a single private owner flight contributed to the day’s flying, with most flights contacting the wave, which, although relatively weak, gave climbs  to around 5,000′ asl.  Mark Prickett/Ken Kelso had 54 minutes in the DG1000.

Thursday 1st.  The wind had veered into the SW by the start of flying and decreased to light/moderate, but the early flights off runway 24 found weak wave over the A19.  This remained in place all day so that of the 12 ATs off runway 24, 7 exceeded an  hour.  The wave was gentle, most pilots reporting 1-2 kts with maximum altitudes being in the range 4-7,000′ asl.  Bob Beck flying the DG1000, introduced Ken Kelso to the joys of wave soaring, finding their best climb over Easingwold and the pair of them doing a number of loops to lose height on the way back to Sutton in a flight of just over an hour.  Mike Wood, flying the Ka8, reached 6000′ asl over Thirsk and also indulged in a few loops to lose height.  As well as the DG1000 and Ka8, the Astir, DG303 and Discus were also flown on a day that grew increasingly cold as the early brightness gave way to  much cloudier skies.  Visitor David Arblaster, flying his Pegase,  almost had the longest flight of the day, 1:56, but was just pipped by Rob Bailey, who, flying the DG303 had 1:58.  It was a busy day for the Falke with 5 flights.