Tuesday 24th. The second day of the aerobatic course provided a light and variable but mainly NNW’ly wind and skies that gave good local soaring conditions late morning but also sufficient gaps to allow the aerobatic course members high tows. In all 20 ATs were flown, split equally between the course members and general flying. David Lynch celebrated his recovery from a broken leg with 1:08 in the Ka8 while Ron Beezer had 1:04 in the DG1000. Howard Marshall, David’s syndicate partner in their Ka6 chipped in with 30 minutes, also in the Ka8. Pawnee Tango Mike had its engine run which indicated a little bit of further work was required before it could return to full flying duties.
Wednesday 25th. A moderate to fresh E’ly was accompanied by cloudy skies to start, the low base precluding flying and heavy rain set in by early afternoon, continuing for the rest of the day. With prospects for the rest of the week looking dire, the aerobatic course was terminated although one of the members, Fran, remained on site.
Thursday 26th. With the low pressure centred nearby, the light SE’ly backed to N as the day progressed and strengthened to moderate. Low cloud in the morning was accompanied by heavy rain from early afternoon, creating a airfield more suitable for float plane operations than gliding.
Friday 27th. The fronts responsible for the rain of the past 2 days had moved south, leaving the site in a moderate N’ly and, with skies brightening and recognisable Cu forming by mid morning, a flying day was in prospect. An inspection of the airfield revealed a number of flooded/wet patches but not sufficient to prevent flying and Andy Parish/Ross Hume took the first launch just before noon and returned just over half an hour later to report 2-4 kts under a cloud base of 1700′ QFE. Thereafter, a further 9 ATs were flown, 2 for Trial Lesson pupils and 1 for Bob Calvert in his new purchase, a very smart Discus, HSJ. Bob had 1:48 in the air and took a cloud climb to 5000′ QNH, reporting 4-5 kts in cloud. Colin Troise, flying the DG1000 managed to find one of the really soggy bits of the airfield on landing, creating a spectacular bow wave of very muddy water that reached the upper surface of the wings and the tailplane, requiring the glider to be returned to the hangar apron for a overall wash before being returned to the flight line. A short period of overconvection mid afternoon coincided with Mike Wood’s first flight in the Astir resulting in a landing after 20 minutes, but undeterred, Mike took a second launch and more than doubled his first flight time with 43 minutes, the cloud base having risen to around 2700′ QFE. On the last flight of the day, Colin Troise and George Rowden had 1:07 in the DG, a low save after around 25 minutes in the air being followed by a climb to just under 4000′ QNH, the sky by this time having completely clouded over. In spite of this complete overcast, patches of weak lift allowed the flight to continue, the clearing visibility allowing a good view of a number of flooded river valleys. Interestingly, between 2500 and 3000′ QFE, the wind was a light NE’ly with a temperature of -3C. The day’s flying was completed by the movement of Pawnee Tango Mike to Bagby by Jesper Mjels, while Diane Thomas spent her day titilating up the ladies loo.