Archive for May, 2012

Friday 25th to Monday 29th May

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

Friday 25th.  The anticyclone was well in charge resulting in a warm, sunny, blue day with a strong low inversion that prevented any usable convection from forming.  The conditions deterred the visitors from Shalbourne and Stratford from rigging and launching so the AT total for the day only reached 11, 2 of those for Trial Lesson pupils, all the flights being in the club K21s although there were 2 Falke flights.  Flight times were typically  in the 15 to 20 minute range, with Ian Plant taking one of the Trial Lesson pupils for 27 minutes courtesy of a 3000′ tow.

Saturday 26th.  Although the anticyclone had started to decline, the conditions remained unsoarable due to the low inversion and flying did not commence until around midday , with again, only 2 of the club 2 seaters being flown.  Flying did however continue until 2045 hrs due to an evening visit by members of the Yorkshire branch of the Royal Meteorological Society, their visit to site culminating in a BBQ.  In all 19 ATs were flown, but the paucity of lift was illustrated by the longest flight being of only 22 minutes off a 2900′ tow by Messrs Smith and Beezer in the K21. 

Sunday 27th.  The good sunbathing weather continued, in the moderate ENE’ly flow, but soaring conditions continued to be absent, with the result that circuits were again the order of the day.  14 of these were flown, all but two in the club 2 seaters although Andy Hatfield flew the Astir for 23 minutes off a 3000′ tow.  This was beaten for duration by John Marsh who took his Trial Lesson pupil for 25 minutes of a similar tow in the DG500, one of 2 Trial Lesson pupils to be flown.   There was a single private owner launch when the T21 was flown for another circuit.

Monday 28th.  The wind had switched around from the ENE to become a S’ly, with the resulting change in air mass allowing convection to develop in the afternoon as the anticyclone continued to decline.  The conditions resulted in 3 private owner launches and13 club fleet launches, with two 2 seaters and 3 single seaters flown, the last flight landing at 1745 hrs.  Bob Calvert had 4:30 in his Discus enjoying the strong lift and cloudbase of over 6000′ asl, and taking a cloud climb to 8500′ asl and experiencing some airframe  icing as a result.   Rob Bailey took his ASG 29t for a tour of the North Yorks Moors, visiting Guisborough and the coast and having a RT conversation with the Red Arrows who were in the Saltby area.  Ron Beezer in the Discus and Brian Wise in the  DG 303 both had over an hour in the air, contributing to the 6 solo pilots to exceed this duration, while Mike Smith took one of the day’s 2 Trial Lesson pupils for 22 minutes in the K21.   

Addendum.   My apologies are due to Ross Hume whose first solo flight on the 22nd of May was not recorded in the Blog by yours truly.  A belated congratulations Ross.

Tuesday 22nd to Thursday 24th May

Friday, May 25th, 2012

Tuesday 22nd.  With high pressure becoming established, it was more of a day for sunbathing rather than gliding as the temperature peaked in the high teens.  However,  the visiting pilots from the Stratford and Shalbourne GCs together with YGC members kept the flight line busy from 1000 hrs to 1700 hrs and 48 ATs were flown off 02 into a moderate N’ly.   2 Trial Lesson pupils and 5 members of the Durham University GC also contributed to the day’s activities and while most pilots had to be content with a tow and a subsequent descent, there was a short period of soaring in the afternoon which saw visitors Morgan and Pike have 1:34 in the Janus and home grown member Duncan Pask have 1:15 in the Ka8, the only  pilots to exceed an hour.  Resh Khodabocus, determined to get flying time in the Astir, took a tow to 5000′ QFE and was rewarded with 38  minutes in the air while Sharon Kerby had 40 minutes in her ASW 24 of a lower tow.  The Falke was also kept busy with 4 flights.

Wednesday 23rd.  The high pressure had intensified slightly, but the day became soarable from just after midday to around 1600 hrs, resulting in 18 of the day’s 40 ATs generating flights in excess of an  hour.  Cloud base rose to around 3000′ asl but thermal strengths were moderate with the result that a missed climb usually meant a return to site for a landing.  7 Trial Lesson pupils were flown, with 16 private owners launching and 3 of the club’s two seaters and 3 of the single seaters being utilised.  Club 2 seater and single seater utilisation would  have increased by 1 in each case, but the warm conditions meant that neither the canopy on the DG500 or the DG303 could be locked shut.   Visitor Monslow had the longest flight of the day, 2:23 in his ASW 20 while Messrs Harris and Prentice had 1:22 in the Pucatz.  Among YGC pilots, Duncan Pask had 1:25 in the Ka8 and John Marsh and Durham University member A Llewellyn had 1:00 in the K21 and there was a single Falke flight. 

Thursday 24th.  Another day of warm sunshine saw the soaring period extend from 1100 hrs to 1700 hrs, the still intensifying high pressure resulting in lighter winds and poorer visibiity, although thermal strengths improved compared to Wednesday.  Operations commenced off runway 24 with landings on 20, the day’s total of 45 ATs comprising 21 by private owners, with utilisation of the YGC fleet including 3 of the 2 seaters and 2 of the single seaters.  In addition there was a single Falke flight.  Visitor Martyn Davies had 2:27 in his LS8, the longest flight of the day, while John Marsh/M Kayser had 1:15 in the DG1000, 2 of the day’s 14 flights to exceed an hour.  Visitor Martin Clarke converted to the Astir and really got the hang of it on his 2nd flight when he soared for 1:04 while visitor J Walters had 1:14 in the club Discus.  Brian Wise and Tony Waddoup took advantage of the pleasant conditions to fly the T21, the second of their flights lasting for 55 minutes and 5 Trial Lesson pupils were also flown.  In the evening, a group of  9 friends and associates of Gordon Wallace enjoyed a flight and a steak supper, the latter provided by caterer Brian.  A change in wind direction into the NNE as flying recommenced,  meant that  take offs were from 02 and landings were on either 02 or 06.

Saturday 19th to Monday 21st May.

Monday, May 21st, 2012

Sarurday 19th.  Rain in the morning and low cloud for the rest of the day kept the gliders in the hangars, while the cool and moderate N’ly flow kept the pilots in the clubhouse, although a couple chose to fly in sunnier skies on the simulator.  The club welcomed pilots and gliders from both the Shalbourne and Stratford GCs with the hope of better conditions for the  new week starting on Sunday.

Sunday 20th.  The moderate N’ly flow continued, but the day was dry and the cloud, although low, provided sufficient gaps to allow flying to commence at 1030 hrs and continue until 1730 hrs, during which time around 30 ATs were flown.   The conditions provided some  navigation challenges,  but no one got lost.  The visiting pilots from Shalbourne and Stratford took the opportunity to get airborne with 16 launches in their own gliders, Messrs Harris and Elison putting up the longest 2 seater flight of the day as conditions improved a little in the afternoon, 27 minutes in their Puchacz, just beating the 26 minutes of Messrs Pike and Greenwood in the Janus.  No YGC single seaters were flown, the 2 K21s and the DG1000 providing flights  for the rest of those wanting to fly, including Tony Dury who made use of his Learn to Fly package to have 4 flights with John Marsh in the K21, the longest being 21 minutes.   2 pilots managed to find sufficient lift to exceed an hour in the air, Barry Kerby having 1:27 in his LS8 via a series of short cloud climbs, the cloud base not increasing much over the day.  The last flight of the day saw Bob  Calvert make use of a downwind convergence to soar for 1:07 in his Discus.

Monday 21sr.  The moderate N’ly  flow continued with the broken cloud allowing operations to commence at around 1015 hrs,  albeit with a cloudbase of less than 1000′ QFE.  After 2 flights the cloud thickened and lowered, the gaps disappeared and flying was suspended pending an improvement.  The opportunity was taken for George Rowden to take Kadie, a Mile High aspirant , for a flight on the simulator, while Dick Cole entertained a busy briefing room with a presentation of his fast jet flying in the RAF.   The cloud started to break up after lunch allowing operations to recommence off runway 02, the gaps being big enough for George Rowden to take his Trial Lesson pupil Ray for the longest flight of the day, 22 minutes in the K21, there even being a bit of thermal lift at about 800′ QFE below the still low cloud base.  Resh Khodabocus also made use of the improved weather to fly a successful first flight in the Astir, so congratulations Resh.    The opportunity was then taken for Kadie to be launched on her Mile High flight in the K21, the required altitude being reached behind the Pawnee, only for both tug and glider to be advised of encroaching low cloud  soon after separation.  A full brake descent was therefore employed by the K21 to safely deposit the glider on the ground after only 16 mins total flying time, the tug having landed previously.  Shortly afterwards, the low overcast rolled in and in anticipation of no further flying to add to the day’s 8 ATs,  the kit was put back in the hangars, the closing of the doors coinciding with the complete disappearence of the cloud, to leave the site in unbroken, if somewhat hazy, sunshine.

Tuesday 15th to Saturday 19th May

Saturday, May 19th, 2012

Tuesday 15th.  Another cloudy and cold, N’lyflow brought in some showers in the morning, these disappearing by early afternoon, leaving overcast skies and a low cloud base.  Martyn Johnson busied himself with soldering on suitable connectors onto a new batch of battery chargers, the existing ones having reached the end of their useful life.  Apart from this and a busy office, there was no other activity.

Wednesday 16th.  The  pressure had risen 10 mbs in 24 hours as high pressure moved in, the resulting light NW’ly flow giving excellent visibility and the prospect of a good soaring day.  This  persuaded 12 private owners to rig and be among the first to launch on long cross countries, the good conditions being demonstrated on the first flight of the day when David Campbell/Chris Stothard had 58 minutes in the K21.  Soaring conditions were initially very good, with strong thermals and cloud base rising to over 6000′ asl locally, but moister air moved in later to generate large areas of overconvection, the resulting lack of lift meaning abandoned tasks, engine deployments and one landout.  Andy Wright was one of those able to complete his task, a 510  O/R to Royston in his Nimbus 3t, while Dick Cole, flying with Chris Gill in the club DG1000 did 269 km on a Beverley, Tontine/ Market Weighton YoYo, but had to back track on the homeward leg in order to get enough height to do a final glide under the overcast.   Jesper Mjels completed a 156 km Sut/Pontefract/Tontine/ Sut task, Mike Smith turned Pocklingon/ Burn in the club DG303 and Ian Johnston did an O/R to Pocklington.  Derek Taylor did 427 km of his 530 km  declared task before the overcast led to the deployment of the engine in his ASW 22, while Chris Teagle abandoned his declared 300+ task enroute to Burn to clock up 202 km after turning Hemswell and Helmsley.  Richie Toon in his LS7 and Rob Bailey in his ASG 29t also declared the same task as Chris and made it back to site, although whether they completed the task is not known.  Ken  in his LS8t and Martyn Johnson in his DG600 both attempted variations on  a Sut/Pontefract/Staindrop/Garforth/Sut task, but the increasing overcast caused Ken to abandon the task on the leg north to Staindrop while Martyn, having turned Staindrop, was brought to earth around Catterick.  His chosen field ticked all the right boxes in regards size, surface. slope, stock etc being a large turf farm.  Overall, 16 of the day’s 29 ATs exceeded an hour with, flight times peaking at 6:30 and those staying local enjoyed some good flying before the skies clouded over, and even then CFI Andy Parish showed what could be done, clocking up 1:42 in the club Discus, this and the subsequent 2 seater launch with Richie Toon/David Lynch in the K21 being made behind the Eurofox tug which called in briefly en route to southern climes.  3 Trial Lesson pupils were flown.    The day had a happy climax when Mike Cox successfully soloed in the K21, having 44 minutes before remembering his pre-flight briefing to do a good circuit.  He then did a full brake descent from 5000′ asl in order to comply asap.  A photo of Mike receiving his wings from an equally happy, or on the face of it more happy, Ian Plant is shown below.


  Thursday 17th.  After the good conditions of Wednesday, May reverted to type with a light SSE’ly, accompanied by a low overcast and rain, preventing any flying.

Friday 18th.  The fronts responsible for the non-flying day on Thursday still straddled Northern England so another non-flying day in a cool, overcast, rainy and moderate ENE to NE’ly flow resulted.

Saturday 19th.  With the fronts still over the north of England but weakening, early morning rain ceased, but the leaden skies continued, the wind having gone into the North and the temperature into single figures.  So again a non-flying day.

Saturday 12th to Monday 14th May

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

Saturday 12th.  A light NW’ly that backed into the W later, provided a good soaring day, resulting in a crop of cross countries and 50 ATs as an anticyclone replaced the low pressure systems that had dominated May so far.  Approximately 3,500 km were flown by 13 gliders, with Dave Latimer in his Ventus ct leading the way with an undeclared 662 km with turning points at Newmarket and Pendrock in Wales.   With the evening approaching, Dave had to get his engine out after passing Rufforth on the way home.  Conditions were not however, straightforward, as areas of overdevelopment caused some tricky moments for Derek Taylor in his ASW 22 on his 529 km YoYo, while Rory O’Conor had to resort to the engine under grey skies after having completed 411 km of an O/R to Newmarket.  Andy Wright, attempting an 750 km, completed 420 km in his Nimbus 3t before he succumbed to the overdevelopment in the Midlands and likewise, Steve Ball/John Ellis in Steve’s Duo Discus xt managed 108 km of an  300km O/R to Grantham when one of the Trent valley power stations failed to provide any lift.  Other cross country pilots were Stewart Heaton/Albert Newbery in their DG1000t, Lindsay McLane in his Ventus, Rob  Bailey in his ASG29, Peter Goodchild in Sam St Pierre’s DG200, Richie Toon in his LS7, Kelly Teagle in her LS6c, Tim Stanley in his ASW 20 and Derek Smith in his Ventus ct.  Maximum flight times were in excess of 8 hrs with 26 of the day’s flights exceeding an  hour.  Among all this cross country activity, 4 Trial Lesson pupils were flown, there were 2 Falke flights, while among club glider activity, Dave Campbell had 2:07 in the Astir and Fred Brown/Robin Hutchinson  1:22 in the DG1000.

Sunday 13th.  The anticyclone had drifted off to the SE, and with a low pressure system to the north, the day was characterised by cloudy skies and a moderate to fresh SW’ly that  provided a busy day’s winching.  Starting at 1000 hrs and continuing until 1740 hrs, 39 winch launches were flown in the majority of the club fleet with 7 private  owners also launching.  12 of the day’s launches gave flights in excess of an  hour, with Bob Calvert having 2:39 in his Discus, Jon May/Steve Ball 2:01 in their Duo Discus xt, while Ron Beezer had 2:08 in the club DG303 and Colin Troise/J Davis, 1:03 in the DG1000.  Chris Teagle, flying his LS6C managed to find some wave that took him to 5, 000 asl over Northallerton.  6 Trial Lesson pupils were flown.

Monday 14th.  The rain bearing fronts of the depression to the north had crossed the North of England overnight, leaving the site in a showery, moderate to fresh WSWly that veered into the W late in the day.  Most of the showers missed the site, allowing 16 winch launches to be  flown, with Jesper Mjels, one of  the 2 private owners to fly, staying aloft for 5:34 in his Pik 20, one of the 8 flights to exceed an hour.  Fred Brown took advantage of the conditions to practice  winch launch failures with Ian Plant, while John Marsh, after enjoying 2:23 in the DG303 combined with Ken Duxbury to post the 2 longest flights in  a club 2 seater, 31 and 34 minutes in the K21.

Wednesday 9th to Friday 11th May.

Friday, May 11th, 2012

Wednesday 9th.   An initially light and variable wind became a  light to moderate ESE’ly before veering into the E at the end of the day, as another depression approached from the SW.  Soaring conditions were the norm for much of  the morning and early afternoon, but thermal activity declined as the cloud cover increased later.  20 ATs were flown with all 4 club two seaters, the DG303, Ka8 and 2 privately owned gliders contributing, 8 of the day flights exceeding an hour.  There was a single Trial Lesson flight.   Rob Bailey completed a Sut/Pickering/Pocklington/Sut triangle as his sought to increase his average cross country speeds and Bob Calvert continued to reduce his capital cost/flying hour in his Discus.  Chris Thirkell had the longest flight of the day, 2:16 in the Ka8,  while the course members continued to amass hours and launches with Andy Parish/Mike Cox having an hour in the DG1000.  The undoubted highlight of the day was Diane Thomas’ first solo, initial nervousness  quickly giving way to calm contentment as a good circuit was flown and Diane’s  subsequent receipt of her wings from Albert Newbery is captured in the following photo.


With a non-flying day confidently predicted for Thursday, the course members made a night of it in the bar, providing DIY music and finally retiring to bed at 4 am.

Thursday 10th.  Yesterday’s approaching depression had arrived by first light Thursday, so a day of low cloud and rain ensued, keeping the hangar doors well and truly shut.  The time was, however, profitably spent in repairing a radiator leak on one of the tractors.

Friday 11th.  The remnants of the low cloud and rain from Thursday’s depression dragged their feet across North Yorkshire, giving a morning of low cloud and rain in a moderate NW’ly wind.  The course members were however busy with lectures on circuit planing and airmanship.  Following lunch the skies started to clear and with a moderate WNW’ly blowing, the first flight of  the day, at 1445 hrs,  saw Bob Beck and remaining course member Tony have 41 minutes in  the K21, during which a large shower gave them off the clock  climb and sink rates before forcing  a landing.  Colin Troise and Jesper Mjels followed them aloft on the second and final flight of the day in the DG1000,  only to be quickly brought back down to earth by the same shower.  With the airfield very wet, the time taken to wash the DG1000 wasn’t that much less than its flying time.

Sunday 6th to Tuesday 5th May.

Thursday, May 10th, 2012

Sunday 6th.  A light SE’ly, blue skies, with Cu blossoming late morning promised a good soaring day and so it turned out, although hail and snow showers developed to hinder those on cross countries.  Flying commenced just after 1000 hrs and continued until just before 1800 hrs, generating 41 ATs, including 18 by private owners.  The T21, after a long lay off, graced the skies in the hands of Mike Wood and co.    The good conditions led to over 1500 km being flown cross country and 27 flights over an hour, with virtually all the club fleet flown, and the 5 Trial Lesson pupils certainly chose a good day for their first flights.  Derek Taylor in his ASW 22, Andy Wright in his Nimbus 3t, Rory O’Conor in his DG800 and Chris Teagle in  his LS6C all completed 300’s, Derek doing a round tour of North Yorkshire, Andy an O/R to Belvoir Castle, Rory an anticlockwise circumnavigation of the Doncaster Class D air space and Chris a YoYo along the eastern flank of the Pennines.  Steve Ball/Robin Huchinson did 146 km in Steve’s Duo Discus xt, visiting 5 Yorkshire turn points, while Phil Lazenby, flying the club DG303, tried to improve on an previous >100 km FAI triangle time, but although completing the 133.5 km task, was thwarted for speed by hail showers over the Wolds that required a long and slow diversion to get to the Fridaythorpe turning point.  The good soaring conditions persisted until late, with the last two flights of the day both  exceeding an hour, with Karl Schneider Zapp and Katherina Zapp having the longest flight in a club 2 seater with 1:13 aloft in the K21.  Ken Arkley, flying his LS8t, visited Eggborough power station for a top up on his flight and provided the following picuture.


Monday 7th.  Today saw the start of the second course  week of the year with members Peter Wright, Nigel Dixon and Tony Drury.  Cu blossomed early in a moderate SE’ly and although the skies progressively clouded over as a depression approached from the SW, flying was unaffected and  continued until 1700 hrs.   15 ATs were flown, all in one or other of  the club 2 seaters with Derek Smith and Junior Andrew Forman managing the only flight in excess of an hour with 1:17.  The opportunity was also taken for the course members to fly on the simulator, while 2 Trial Lesson pupils were flown in the real world.

Tuesday 8th.  A moderate SSW’ly led to the temperature reaching the dizzy heights of 12C, resulting in some reasonable soaring conditions, 8 hours of operation, utilisation of all but one of the club fleet  and 5 private owners launches.  11 of the day’s flights exceeded an hour, with Bob Calvert in his Discus spending 5:45 aloft in what proved to be a fruitless search for wave.  Lindsay McLane also disappeared for a significant period in his Ventus,   while Ken Arkley had 2:20 in his LS8t.  David Campbell took Astir EBM for a 41 minute test flight, following which, Phil Lazenby took  the same glider for a flight of  1:27.  Albert Newbery/M Hollowell in the DG1000 and Bob Beck/Peter Wright in the K21 each had 1:06.  The day’s flying also included 3 flights with  Trial Lesson  pupils and 2 flights in the Falke.

Friday 4th to Saturday 5th May

Saturday, May 5th, 2012

Friday 4th.  The N’ly flow continued to bring in a low overcast and showers and the course members called in a day (or a week) in the early part of the afternoon and departed.    Later the skies cleared but too late to allow any flying.

Saturday 5th.  The weak cold front that had moved south on Friday did nothing to change the persistent N’ly flow but did bring in even colder temperatures under initially clearer skies.  So with 2 Day Course members, 4 Trial Lessons and any number of frustrated glider pilots to fly, the launch point on runway 02 was soon busy.  However, so was Cu development, with the result that showers were soon visible around the site.  The ones that crossed the site were mostly  light and fell as hail or snow grains, but  a significant shower caused an hours cessation of flying around lunch time.  Apart from the showers and areas of overdevelopment, some good  lift was available, with 9 of the 44 ATs of the day generating flights of over an hour and the conditions tempting 8 private owner launches.  Jon May and Steve Ball had 4 hours aloft during which they did an O/R to Hawes in their Duo Discus xt, with a bit of help from their engine, something David Latimer could have done with over Masham in his Ventus ct, his engine failing to cooperate and resulting in  him landing out.  Bob Calvert continued to reduce the cost/hour figure on  his newly aquired Discus with a flight of 3:19.  Robin Hutchinson/Fred Brown topped  the endurance stakes in the club 2 seaters with a flight of 1:21, a loop in strong lift resulting in a full regain of height and a second loop.   Duncan Pask, flying the Astir had the longest flight in  a club glider with1:25, finding the conditions improving towards the end of the flying day as the skies cleared to leave some nice looking Cu.  Meanwhile, Mike Smith found time from his flying to assist John Ellis to repair a further section of the hangar doors.

Wednesday 2nd to Thursday 3rd May

Thursday, May 3rd, 2012

Wednesday 2nd.  A moderate to fresh  N’ly blew all day, accompanied by extensive low cloud so the course members again availed themselves of  the training available on the simulator before brightening skies in  the afternoon led to a investigative weather flight in the Falke.  This revealed a hole in the overcast close enough to the club to be utilised, although the general cloud base was still only around 500′ QFE.  David Campbell and Dave Winter took the first flight in the K21 at around 1515 hrs to confirm the hole was a wave slot, the resulting lift enabling them to put up the longest 2 seater flight of the day, 1:28.  Thereafter, all the course members enjoyed their first taste of wave soaring, with flight times in excess of an hour and gains to between 4,100 and 6,200′ QNH.  Andy Parish/Resh Khodabocus also jumped to the upwind slot that had appeared and explored it to the east towards Wombledon airfield.   The wave lift was effective from quite low down and while the wind was a moderate to fresh N’ly at airfield level, it veered into the NE and reduced to light/moderate at altitude.  On the 6th and last flight of the day, Jesper Mjels, flying the Astir, gained to 9,500′ QNH in his flight of 2:19.

Thursday 3rd.  The N’ly flow continued to bring in overcast skies, but this time no breaks appeared, the cloud base  increasing briefly from 500′ QFE to 1000′ QFE during the afternoon before lowering again.  The conditions did however allow the course members to do some circuit training in the Falke.  Pawnee Tango Mike was also returned  to site, the cause of its recent mechanical fuel pump problems having been traced to  the fact that the gear having the cam which drives the mechanical fuel pump had been fitted in the wrong place during the engines recent rebuild.  The opportunity was also taken to fly the Super Cub down to Bagby to have its charging problems resolved, while course members assisted in the re-rigging of Astir EBM after its recent ARC.  John Ellis and George Rowden meanwhile, aided by Bob Calvert, used the bucket equipped tractor to fill in a large depression in runway 20/02 abeam the members car park.  The bare patch was then re-seeded and clearly marked as an area to be avoided to allow the grass to germinate and become established.

Saturday 28th April to Tuesday 1st May

Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

Saturday 28th.  Low cloud, showers and a moderate to fresh NE’ly kept the gliders in the hangar but meant that the simulator was put to use.  The enforced rest from actual gliding meant that the members were fresh for the AGM in the evening, one of the highlights of which was the presentation of the Chairman’s award to Albert Newbery for his services to the club, not forgetting his recent and notable TV appearances with Hugh Dennis. Presentations were the order of the day for in addition to Albert, Nick Gaunt was formally appointed Club President.  In his speech of acceptance, Nick noted that some 60 years ago he had been asked to leave the club as he was deemed unsuitable, which just goes to show the benefits of persistence.   Photos of Albert with his award and Nick being presented with the President’s Badge of Office by Chairman Graham Evison  are shown below.





Sunday 29th.  A dull morning with a moderate to fresh NNE’ly all too soon turned to heavy rain and sleet as the temperature struggled to stay on the positive side of zero.  With the wind gusting to over 30 kts, it was a day to stay at  home with the central heating on.

Monday 30th.   A much brighter, drier and warmer day saw the  first gliding course of 2012.  This got off to an exciting start when, on the first flight of the day, Pawnee Tango Mike suffered a mechanical fuel pump failure, the resulting aborted AT providing both Les Rayment, flying the  tug and David Campbell, flying the K21, with the opportunity for some rapid decision making which they both completed successfully.  Thereafter, a further 18 ATs were flown,  mainly in the two K21s with a couple of flights in the Astir for good measure.  Conditions in the late morning were encouraging, for although cloudbase was only 1700′ QFE, thermal strengths were good and the course members profited with David Campbell and Alex having the longest flight of the day, an hour in the K21.  Prospects for better soaring conditions as the cloud base rose were, however, dashed, as the initially moderate ENE’ly  freshened as  sea air pushed in, killing convection and resulting in circuits for the rest of the day, although Duncan Pask, flying the Astir did manage 27 minutes aloft during the afternoon. 

Tuesday 1st May.  Overcast skes and a moderate to fresh, gusty NNE’ly wind with occasional rain, forecast to become more general, led to a decision to concentrate training on lectures and simulator work for the course members.  Ian Plant provided an informative Powerpoint based lecture on approach and landing techniques and this was followed by time in the simulator to allow 3 of the course members to put the theory into practice.  Resh Khodabocus, the other course member, spent his time in the hangar being briefed by David Campbell on flying the Astir in anticipation of a possible conversion flight later in the week, weather permitting.  The course members then set off to visit the Yorkshire Air Museum at Elvington.