Eurofox – Members Questions

 

Capability

 

What are the aircraft’s limitations to launch the full range of YGC gliders in range of weather conditions on all runways?

 

Eurofox is equivalent to the YGC Super Cub.  The limitations are the same, and the tail wheel version of the Eurofox tug will outperform the nose wheel tug that has been successfully flown from Sutton Bank.

 

What will be done to test out these limitations before final acquisition?

 

Eurofox UK have YGC at the top of their list for a visit with the tail wheel tug in October.  The dates will be publicised well in advance, so come along for a free (cost of 3 litres of AVGAS) tow and see for yourself.

 

What will be “acceptable limitations” as far as the club is concerned both from a utilisation and cost/benefit perspective? (i.e. at what point does the aircraft lose its viability?)

 

From the trial flying already carried out, the Eurofox is a more ‘viable’ tug than an aging Pawnee that is already ‘unviable’, and only survives to tow the heaviest gliders when required (not often).

 

Tug pilots

 

What additional training will be required?

 

Maximum 1 hour type conversion, and tail wheel refresher is anticipated (cost for tuggies c10 litres of Avgas).

 

Given the range of capabilities in the current tuggie team will Eurofox usage be restricted to a subset of the team?

 

No.  Not sure why the question is asked, but no one will be forced to fly the Eurofox if they do not wish to!

 

 Technical issues

 

Are any special techniques required to avoid overstressing the gearbox (as in other Rotax installations) and if so what are they? If not, why not?

 

The Eurofox UK Chief Engineer answers this one – the query was about a minimum rpm of 4000 in the descent at high IAS off tow and gear box wear:

 

 

Hi Richard

 

It would seem that there is always some ‘expert’ somewhere who picks up a snip of information from who knows where and passes it on as gospel! In all my time working on and flying 912 engines, not once have I heard of this one. Maybe, just maybe this is something peculiar to that engine/prop combination, but I can assure you that in all the applications I know of there is absolutely no problem. To put it in context, my own a/c which is a Pioneer 300 with v/p constant speed propeller has no engine RPM  limitations of any sort at any pitch setting-there has been zero issues in just under 800 hrs in 5 years . Quite what one would be doing below 80 kts in course pitch beats me anyway! If this was a generic problem with all 912’s, in all a/c then believe me I’m sure I would have got to hear about it!

 

Anyway, the Eurofox towing prop can be in no way described as course pitch, it’s very definitely set fine. At 4,000 rpm even with that fine pitch prop and 80 kts, you would never descend but merely keep flying!  I’ll try and find out where that piece of ‘info’ re the Ximango may have originated from, just as a matter of interest. Anyway, I will however repeat that you will not have a problem – witness the 2,000 hr tug at Nitra, Aeropro’s base, which has had no problem in all that time.

       

I often get phone calls from a/c owners, nothing to do with Eurofox, in my capacity as a Rotax approved engineer, asking strange questions about things they have heard on the grapevine and I have to put them right from a position of knowledge. 

     

When I descend off tow after release, I reduce power considerably and speed up, shutting the oil cooler flap after about 10 seconds, purely to conserve heat in the oil-just a personal good practice thing really. I don’t pull fully to idle purely because the sink rate dictates I need to get back to the airfield! I certainly don’t have to ‘manage’ my power setting to conserve cylinder head temperatures as the engine is highly temperature stable. 

       

My apologies for the above ramble, but I hope it will be of help. I just think that a lot of gliding club members, especially those without experience of modern power plants, will need gentle persuasion/education in the huge benefits these power plants have to offer-but then I know you are a convert yourself!!

 

Very best wishes-Adrian

 

And from the owner of Eurofox UK’s demonstrator:

Adrian/Richard

I wonder if the minimum rpm limit at coarse prop setting is stated as a minimum in the coarse pitch cruise, so as not to operate the aircraft above max manifold pressure? Just something peculiar for that aircraft type.

 

I cannot see its relevance to a fine pitched, higher rpm glider towing or heavy circuit work training environments (of which the Rotax 912 has been the standard at many schools for well over 15 years)

Roger

How will other members/tug pilots technical concerns be dealt with before final acquisition?

 

See above! 

 

Ground handling

 

Is the Eurofox sufficiently robust to survive the current hangar packing/unpacking and ground handling approaches used on the current tugs?

 

Yes, ground and load testing evidence reveal an extremely strong and robust aircraft.  The new concrete has been a huge improvement for ground handling and reduction of hangar rash.  Eurofox ground handling can be safely accomplished by 2 people without back damage, and without pulling and pushing on struts, fins, tail planes. 

 

Costs/Benefits

 

Is the attached price list an accurate representation on known costs (i.e. is that what we’re going to pay)?

 

Yes.  Build costs at the Aeropro factory will fall to your Project Manager (holiday).  Final assembly will be done in the YGC workshop by a small team of ‘hand-picked experts’ (yet to be notified).  17% of the VAT will be recovered back to YGC in the normal way.

 

Can we have more detail of the build process – who needs to be involved, when, where, how will it be managed/signed off, and what is the detailed cost breakdown of the build phase? 

 

(Note: these questions are based on members understanding that 350 man hours – 10 man weeks will be needed to complete the build)

 

Banbury GC is just finishing their build, and working to 250 man hours.  The aircraft comes to the UK ready to assemble rather than build, and assembly is in 3 phases; FWF (engine installation, Fire Wall Forward), Instrument panel and avionics, and Controls (stick and rudder pedals + brakes.  Rudder, elevator, flaperons, trimmer).  Build, certification, and routine maintenance are supervised and ‘signed off’ by LAA Licensed Engineer, and YGC will be enrolled with LAA in the near future by your Project Manager.  Only the ‘signing off’ work attracts a charge, we (YGC) do the work.

 

 

 

Why are we spending such a large proportion of our capital when we’re already haemorrhaging money?

 

Other funding for Eurofox is being sourced.  The YGC Board has secured an option now frozen at 2012 prices.  At present, YGC would invest around ½ its capital funds in a Eurofox tug.  The return on that investment will be at 10% rather than the paltry 2% that the Bank gives us for lending them the money for their bonuses (Sorry I could not help that!).

 

The YGC Board is not aware of any financial difficulties afflicting YGC apart from loss of income entirely due to the weather.  However, at close of play on 29 July 2012 the YGC tug fleet was comprised of 1 x Super Cub u/s with a leaking fuel tank, 1 x Pawnee u/s with an engine oil pressure problem, and 1x Pawnee flying on an hours extension while awaiting 2 new tailplanes.  This situation is summed up by the big word beginning with ‘h’ in the question, and is why the Eurofox project is underway.

 

CFI’s Eurofox Price List


Base Aircraft

 

Eurofox Rotax 912ULS 560 kg                                    £37,450 (advertised base price)

Essential Options

Oil inspection hatch                                                          £125
Carb Heat                                                                       £295
Landing light                                                                     £90
Wingtip strobes                                                               £425
Fuel pump                                                                       £335
Glider tow kit                                                     £1950
Antenna                                                                           £180
Tundra tyres                                                                    £420
Registration letters                                                           £100
Canopy and door cover                                                    £80

 

Sub total (VAT ex)                                                       £41450

Sub total (VAT inc)                                                      £49740                       

Desirable Options

Cabin heat                                                                       £325
Door vents                                                                       £75

Sub total (VAT ex)                                                       £41,850
Sub total (VAT inc)                                                      £50,220

Additional known costs (VAT inc)

Retractable towrope winch                                             £2000
Instrument fit FLARM                                         £600
Radio                                                                             £1000

(Note: may want further instruments – depends what is included as ‘basic engine and flight instruments’)

Grand total (VAT inc)                                                £53,600.


Plus build and transport costs   

 

Project Manager will absorb some expenses by ‘holidaying’ in Slovakia, and the volunteer build team will work for the Club.

 

LAA Membership, registration and Inspectors’ fees will be approx £1500; a pessimistic guess, because I have not done the accurate sums yet!

Tuesday 24th July

Tuesday 24th.  A light to moderate SSW’ly slowly veered into the WNW over the day, the early morning blue skies quickly clouding over as a decaying front moved south.  Overcast skies then became the norm although blue skies and lenticulars could be seen all day over the Yorkshire Dales.  In spite of the overcast skies there were some weak thermals to be had and some weak hill lift although this was only successfully exploited by the Ka8.  16 ATs were flown off runway 24 with most pilots choosing to land on 20.  Both K21s and the Ka8 were flown from the club fleet and there were 3 private owner launches while 5 Trial Lesson pupils were flown.  Albert Newbery/Stewart Heaton went wave hunting in their DG1000t, but failed to find any, the weakness of the thermal activity meaning a couple of engine burns were necessary to regain the site after just over 2 hours aloft.  Messrs Vaughan and Johnson, visitors from Lasham, also had to use the engine of their DG1000T to remain airborne after a very low pass along the hill.  David Lynch and Peter Cranley had an hour and 1:31 respectively in the Ka8 on a day in which its ability to use weak lift was clearly demonstrated, while Andy Parish with Trial lesson pupil Mary Grayson put up the longest club 2 seater flight with 38 minutes in K21 KLW.  An aspiring Mile High pupil waited patiently but ultimately unsuccessfully for the cloud to disperse to allow his flight to take place, his departure from site late afternoon being inevitably followed by the sky clearing around 1700 hrs.  Congratulations are in order for Peter Wright who re-soloed after a layoff and finished off the day with 2 solo flights in the K21.   Meanwhile work to repair the Office roof began with Josephine setting up shop in the foyer to the clubhouse and very happy she looked in  her new surrondings.p724035820120724_01

 

Removal of rotten timbers and replacement by a RSJ took place during the day, some addtional steelwork support work being undertaken by Fred Brown, and very professional he looked too.

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Wednesday 18th to Monday 23rd July

Wednesday 18th.  A fresh SW’lythat quickly veered into the W with gusts to 30 kts provided a hill soaring day for club  and course members.  The start of flying was delayed by showers but flying started just after 1100 hrs with 22 launches following.  Three of the club 2 seaters were flown and 2 of the single seaters while Richie Toon took two launches in his LS7.  7 of the day’s flights exceeded an hour with most pilots  having between 30 and 50 minutes in the air, the notable exception being Chris Gill who had by far the shortest flight, 1 minute, as Andy Parish tested his winch failure recovery skills.  John Carter/L Gallagher had 1:05 in K21 KLW just beating the John Carter/J Gallagher combination in the  same glider who had 1:04.  Rob Bailey had 3:04 in the Discus and Chris Gill made up for his 1minute 2 seater  flight with 1:07, also in the Discus.  Course instructors, John Carter and John Marsh so enjoyed the conditions that they shared a flight of 20 minutes late in the day.

Thursday 19th.  A moderate NW’ly that slowly veered into the NNE over the  course of the day brought in generally cloudy skies and an absence of virtually any lift.  25 ATs were flown, predominately in three of the club two seaters, although Rob Bailey had a flight in the Discus, the only one of two solo flights in the  day, the other being Andy Parish who had a flight in the DG500..  Flying continued until just before 1800 hrs and the club welcomed back a previous holiday course member, John Kliszat, who has purchased a Learn to Fly package.  Ian Plant and Malcolm X (not the Malcolm X, as a surname was not entered in the log) had the longest flight of the day, 51 minutes in K21 JVZ, while John Carter/L Gallagher had 37 minutes.  The day’s flying included 3 flights in the Falke.

Friday 20th.  A light and variable wind blew all day and 24 ATs were flown in total, 17 during the day and a further 7 in the evening for a group of visiting Scouts.    3 of the day’s flights were for Trial Lesson pupils while, Mike Rolph, a returning course member added to his solo flight time.  Soaring conditions were at a premium with only 3 flights over 30 minutes, John Marsh/L Gallagher in K21 JVZ and Andy Parish/C Callagher in the DG5oo both managing 36 minutes aloft.  Only 2 solo flights were flown, Mike Rolph’s as noted above and Mike Wood, who, flying  the T21 solo, had 28 minutes. 

Saturday 21st.  A light S’ly that strenthened to moderate as it veered into the WSW brought a good thermal soaring day .  55 ATs were flown with most of the club fleet and 28 private owners launching to take advantage of the good conditions.  Flying started just after 1000 hrs and continued until just before 1800 hrs, with a Learn to Fly package  and 5 Trial Lesson pupils choosing a very good day to fly.  Derek Smith posted the longest flight of  the day 364.2 km @ 66.2 kph (all speeds handicapped) in his Ventus 2ct, while Derek Taylor in his ASW 22BL and Andy Wright in his Nimbus 3t both flew 305 kms, Derek an O/R to Grantham and Andy an O/R to Belvoir Castle.   All the above pilots reported mediocre conditions east of Doncaster but very good conditions further north with Derek Taylor adding an O/R to Scarborough, 107.6 km @ 75.9 kph after completing his main task.  Phil Lazenby completed an 155.3 km task @ 62.5 kph while Rory O’Conor, after visiting  the other side of the Pennines in his DG800, decided to fly the Sut/Pocklington/Rufforth/Sut 100 km triangle on his return to Sutton, which he did @ 89.2 kph.   Axel Mahnke’s 5:56 in his ASW 20  was the longest flight of a day when 35 of the 55 flights exceeded an hour. Albert Newbery/Bill Payton had 4:21 in their DG1000t, while Steve Ball took Club Chairman Graham Evison for 2:45 in Steve’s Duo Discus xt.    Among the club fleet, Andy Parish and D Clare had 1:29 in the DG500 while R Walton had 2:04 in Astir EBM. To add to the flying there was a single Falke sortie and given the busyness of the day, congratualtions are due to Duncan Pask and Pauline Luty for launch point organisation and log keeping.  The day provided a good YGC welcome to 3 visiting pilots from Lasham who managed 5:25 off 2 flights in their DG1000T. 

Sunday 22nd.  The wind had settled into the SW and although initially light, strenthened to moderate as the day progressed.  35 ATs were flown on a day when wave flying was the norm, with flying continuing until just before 2000 hrs.  Club flying utilised the three available 2 seaters with  only the Discus utilised but the conditions tempted 15 private owners into the air.  Many pilots climbed to at least 6.000′ asl withwave conditions improving as the day progressed with early flights,  such as Rob Bailey’s midday launch in his ASG 29, resulting in  climbs to around 8,000′ asl.  Fred Brown got to 9,000′ in his Cirrus, Lasham visitors Baites and Vaughan in their DG1000T climbed to 10,000′  while Axel Mahnke in his ASW 20 peaked at 11,000′ and Bob  Calvert in his Discus topped out at 12,000′.  The 2 seaters were not to be left out with Bob  Beck/ Mat Walton climbing to 6,000′ in the DG500.  The highest climbs required some patience with Axel Manhke having 5:13 aloft and Bob Calvert 7:06.  Ron Beezer, flying the club Discus had 2:29 while Martyn Johnson/ Joan Wilson had 2:01 off the last flight of the day.  A Learn to Fly package and 6 Trial Lesson Pupils certainly choose a good day to experience gliding and the day’s flying activities were rounded off by 2 flights in the Falke.  The day’s 35 ATs resulted in 17 flights which exceeded an hour.

Monday 23rd.  The SW’ly wind had moderated a little but the wave was very much in evidence first thing and Andy Wright, David Latimer and Richie Toon all took advantage to post some wave cross countries.  Andy Wright flew a 350 km task @ 56.7 kph in his Nimbus 3t in the lee of the Pennines, having to abandon his declared task due to extensive cloud cover to the north and  David Latimer flew a 225 km task @ 112.5 kph in his Ventus 2ct also along the lee of the Pennines.  Richie Toon crossed the Pennines to Ullswater and returned, covering 227 km @67.1 kph.  Both Andy and David climbed to over 19,000′ asl, being 2 of the 4 YGC pilots to exceed that height on the day.  Rob Bailey flying his ASG 29 was one of the  four to climb above 19,000′  and in doing so achieved his Diamond Height gain, so congratulations Rob.  The other pilot, who shall be nameless, confused QNH with QFE with the result that he robbed himself of a Diamond height gain, so condolences to him.   Contacting the wave was relatively easy before midday, but thereafter, thermal activity led to broken wave at low levels, the extensive Cu having a 2,500′ QFE base.  Consequently, those pilots taking off after midday spent their time local soaring without contacting the wave but were compensated by some strong lift, George Rowden having a 7 kt average climb at one point in his LS8t.   By late afternoon, as the thermals died, the wave re-established itself at low levels and by around 1700 hrs could be readily contacted, as Ian Plant and George Rowden found out when they took the last of a group of 20 Scouts for a flight.  Ian Plant, flying his Scouter in  K21 KLW climbed to 7,000′ asl before breaking off the climb and returning to site at a 100 kts.  George Rowden, after spending 3 hors aloft in his LSt during the afternoon  failing to contact the wave, flew his Scouter to 6000′ asl and back to site in 25 minutes in the DG500.  The day produced 37 ATs, 11 of which generated flights of over an hour.    David Latimer,s flight of 6:46 was the longest of the day, with Duncan Pask having 3:04 in the Discus and Ian Plant/Peter Wright, 52 minutes in K21 KLW.  Thanks are due to Albert Newbery for a long day’s tugging, while Mike Smith and Jack Macgregor did the dint of instructing with the Scouts.  Thanks are also due to Pauline Luty and Joan Wilson for organising the launch point and log on another busy day at Sutton Bank.

Monday 16th July to Tuesday 17th July

Monday 16th.  A light to moderate SSE’ly brought in a morning’s full of low cloud and rain, the clearance not making an appearance until evening, too late to allow any flying.  The Gallagher family, comprising an uncle, 2 nieces and a nephew, were introduced to their week’s gliding course via lectures and the simulator.

Tuesday 17th.  A moderate W that backed into the WSW as the day progressed saw 17 ATs and 2 winch launches flown, the latter being at the end of the flying day.  Two Trial Lesson pupils, a Mile High aspirant and 3 Falke flights added to the day’s activities with K21 KLW, the DG500 and three of  the club’s single seaters being put to use.  On a day with some soaring potential, most pilots had at least 30 minutes in the air, with late morning/early afternoon proving to be the best time to stay aloft.  Rob Bailey had 2:14 in the Discus, David Campbell 2:02 in Astir KRN and Chris Thirkell 1: 56 in the DG303.  Andy Parish and P Hanneman kept  the 2 seater flag flying with 1:00 in the DG500.

Wednesday 11th to Sunday 15th July

Tuesday 10th.  The YGC/BGA Simulator stand at the Great Yorkshire Show attracted long queues of primarily young teenagers some of whom had to be gently persuaded that the simulator was not a video game but a tool to teach people to fly, with one youngster enquiring where the bombs were!   The benefits of a Trial Flight as a present for enthusiastic youngsters was stressed by the YGC members manning the stand, some of whom are shown on the following photos.

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Following torrential rain, the show was then cancelled due to the state of the car parks, with Quad bikes, 4WD vehicles and even a bulldozer used to get people out of the mire shown in the next photo.

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Wednesday 11th.  A moderate NNW’ly backed into the W as rain and thunderstorms arrived early afternoon, but not before 9 ATs had been flown in K21 JVZ,  the DG500, Discus and DG303.   Importantly, John Kliszat and John Leonards started to put all that simulator and theoretical training into practice as they had a few flights each as part of their holiday course.  Flight times were generally below 30 minutes but Rob Bailey had just over an hour in the Discus with Albert Newbery/Pauline Luty having 25 minutes in K21 JVZ off the last flight of the day.

Thursday 12th.  A light to moderate WSW’ly accompanying a weak ridge of high pressure, brought a good soaring day, enabling the 2 Johns on the holiday course to get a taste of what gliding is all about.  47 ATs were flown with 9 private owner launches and most of the club fleet utilised.  A number of pilots disappeared for 3-5 hours but only Phil Lazenby put his flight on the National Ladder, a 167 km tour of North Yorkshire, only marred by a late launch, a forgotten declaration and a post task foray to Masham that resulted in a land out at Bagby as the thermals died. Stewart Heaton/Albert Newbery were reported to  have visited Burn in their DG1000t in a flight of 3:11 and John Ellis was similarly reported to have visited Leyburn in his Nimbus in his flight of 3:38.  14 of the day’s flights exceeded an hour including Rob Bailey in the Discus with 3:41 and Ian Plant with returning holiday course member Mike Rolph with 1:09 in the DG500.  3 Trial Lesson pupils enjoyed a day of excellent visibility and a 5000′ asl cloud base while 2 flights in the Falke completed the days flying activities.

Friday 13th.  A moderate NE’ly under predominately cloudy skies produced some wave.  Good bars and gaps were formed over the North Yorks Moors but the wave appeared to be out of sync with the western edge of the moors as a single and very variable bar formed over Sutton Village giving inconsistent climb rates with no downwind bars to be seen.  8 ATs were flown, mainly in K21 KLW, the DG1000 and Discus, but Bob  Calvert was the only private owner to launch in his Discus.  Maximum heights achieved were of the order of 5000′ asl, and 3 pilots exceeded an hour in the air, the aforementioned Bob  Calvert and Rob Bailey, who had 1:43 in the Discus.  Colin Troise and his passenger had 1:44 in the DG1000.  The day’s flying  included 2 flights for Trial Lesson pupils. 

Saturday 14th.  A light WSW blew all day and with flying continuing from just after 1015 hrs to just before 1700 hrs 23 ATs were flown, 6 by private owners and the balance in the club K21s, DG500 and Discus.  Although soaring conditions were not brilliant, 4 flights exceeded an  hour and the instructors were busy with 1 Day Course member and 5 Trial Lesson pupils.  Jon May/Steve Ball had 3:30 in their Duo Discus xt, Rob Bailey had 2:50 in  the Discus and Colin Troise/Korrina Schneider Zapp had 47 minutes in K21 JVZ.  The Falke was also busy with 3 sorties.

Sunday 15th.  Sunday saw the wind in the same WSW’ly direction but with an increase in strength to moderate.  The day saw a mixture of  strong thermals, a convergence over Osmotherley and wave, which cancelled out the hill lift at times, so launching varied between the winch, 17 launches and ATs, 32 being flown off runway 24.  12 private owners launched with all the club fleet, with the exception of Astir KRN and the Ka8, flown.    The duty instructors were again kept busy with 2 Learn to Fly package and 6 Trial Lesson Pupils, as well as club members and, with good soaring conditions, 29 of the day’s flights exceeded an hour.  Around the site, maximum altitudes in the wave were around 6000′ asl, but those pilots who ventured further west were rewarded with higher climbs.  Martyn Johnson, flying his DG600 got to over  8,300′ asl and Bill Payton in his Ventus cxt along with Don Austin in his Kestrel, got to around 12,000′ in  the lee of the Lakes, but had to spend a little time hill soaring Cross Fell before recontacting the wave for the ride home.  Lindsay McLane had 5 hrs in his Ventus 2t and Bob Calvert 5:42 in  his Discus.  Jon May/Steve Ball had the longest 2 seater flight with 2:51 in their Duo Discus xt while Bob Beck and Fred Brown shared a flight of 2:12 in the DG1000 and   Andy Hatfield put up the longest flight in a club single seater with 3:19 in the Discus.

Sunday 8th to Tuesday 9th July

Sunday 8th.  Flying was delayed until after midday due to low cloud in a moderate NNW’ly, the cloud base increasing sufficiently by early afternoon to allow 6 ATs in two of the club’s 2 seaters, 4 of which were for Trial Lesson Pupils.  With an absence of lift, the longest flight of the day was by Les Rayment and his Trial Lesson pupil, R Burrell-Jones, who had 22 minutes in K21 JVZ.  2 Falke sorties were flown while R Walton had 20 minutes solo in the K21, an evening clearance coming too late to provide further gliding opportunities. 

Monday 9th.  The dreary, cloudy and dank conditions continued, with the moderate wind now in the NNE.  The overcast skies were accompanied by periods of light rain with an accompanying low cloudbase, so the only flying for the two Johns on the holiday course was on  the simulator, with CFI Andy Parish providing some additional class room lectures.  The BGA Simulator left the site for the Great Yorkshire Show ground in Harrogate, in preparation for the opening day of the show on Tuesday 10th.

Tuesday 10th.  A light SE’ly that slowly veered into the WSW over the day brought periods of rain, some of it heavy, and low cloud that enveloped the site at times.  Consequently, it was again a day of simulator flying and class room lectures for the course members, this time by Flying Director Dick Cole, the subject being the Principles of Flight.  It was also the first day of the Yorkshire Show in Harrogate, but the weather meant that it was also the last day as atrocious ground conditions meant that the rest of the week’s show was cancelled.  A report on the activities on the YGC stand at the show will be provided in the next Blog.

Tuesday 3rd to Saturday 7th July.

Tuesday 3rd.  A moderate SSWly flow that backed into the SE brought generally cloudy skies and some showers but allowed 15 ATs to be flown with K21 JVZ, the DG1000, DG303 and the Discus to be flown from the club fleet.  Lift was generally non-existent or, if present, very weak, so flight times were generally in  the 15- 25 minute range with only 2 flights managing to break the 30 minute barrier.  Derek Smith with one of the day’s four Trial Lesson pupils, B Millard, had 33 minutes in the DG1000, while Rob Bailey had 32 minutes in the Discus, but at least the course members Mike Rolph and Mike Greenacre got into the air.  The day’s flying activities were  completed by 3 flights in the Falke.

Wednesday 4th.  A muggy and moderate SE’ly blew all day bringing in lots of cloud, some of it low, and a succession of showers.  A brief period of better weather mid-afternoon allowed 3 ATs to be flown, all in K21 JVZ, with Ian Plant and Mike Greenacre managing 28 minutes off their AT.

Thursday 5th.  The wind was mainly L&V but became a moderate ENE later as some thundery showers in the morning moved away.  Flying commenced around 1330 hrs and continued until around 1715 hrs during which time 14 ATs were flown.  Again lift was in short supply, with flight times in the 10-20 minute range, but Ian Plant and Mike Rolph just failed to beat the 30 minute mark with 29 minutes in K21 JVZ.  Alan Dowd and Chris Gill vied for the longest single seater flight with 17 minutes each in the Astir, flights in the Discus and DG303 producing shorter flight times.  2 Falke sorties were flown but the highlight of the day was  the first solo flights of the 2 course members, Mike Rolph and Mike Greenacre, who made their flights more memorable by taking off from runway 20 and landing on runway 06.  Congratualtions to them both.   Photos of Mike Rolph after landing in K21 JVZ, Ian Plant presenting Mike Greenacre with his wings and the 2 Mikes celebrating their achievement in time honoured fashion are shown below.

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All the excitement and achievement was, however,  not confined to the airfield, for inside the workshop, Paul Whitehead and David Watsham assembled, connected  and finally soloed in the BGA Simulator which is due to be manned by YGC members at the Great Yorkshire Show starting on  the 10th July.  The picture below seems to indicate that Paul (P1) and David (P2)  have not got to grips with the “You Have Control/I have control” dialogue as the ground approaches.

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Friday 6th.  A moderate N’ly that slowly veered into the ENE kept the site in cloud for the majority of the day and produced some torrential downpours, particularly in the morning, so the only flying undertaken was on the simulator. 

Saturday 7th.  A L&V flow was accompanied by stratus that blanketed the site during the morning, but eventually lifted, the wind becoming a moderate NNE’ly by the end of the day.  Flying commenced at 1240 hrs with a sky already full of towering Cu, the  accompanying lift providing Andy Parish and Peter Crawley the opportunity to have just over an hour in the DG1000 from the first flight of the day.  The sky then rapildy filled with cloud and a few light showers developed before the sky opened up again later in the afternoon, allowing Andy Parish and Bicester member Chris Palmer, to have an hour in K21 JVZ off the last but one flight of the day.  In between times, Rob Bailey managed to hang on to a succession of weak climbs to record the 3rd flight of the day to exceed an hour, 1:21, while John Shaw, flying his LS7 and trying out some new electronic flying aids  found a nice wet patch on the airfield on his return and spent more time washing his glider clean than time in the air.   2 Falke sorties were flown and 3 Trial Lesson pupils certainly enjoyed their time in the air including the appropriately named 12 year old, Tom Sutton.

Friday 29th June to Monday 2nd July

 June 29th.   A moderate to fresh mainly SW’ly flow brought in frequent light showers .    Consequently, there was no flying and the visit of a Group of Scouts for an evening’s flying had to be postponed.

Saturday 30th.  The wind had stayed in the SW but had increased a little compared to Friday and although showery, the showers were not as frequent as Friday but tended to increase in intensity as the day progressed, some particularly heavy ones causing flying to cease around 1500 hrs.  Nevertheless,  a part day’s gliding was enjoyed, launching being by both winch and AT.  The day’s launch total was 19, 14 by  ATs and 5 by winch  with 3 of the club’s two seaters and 2 of the single seaters being flown, while 3 private owners launched and there was a single flight in the Falke.  Flight times averaged around 30 minutes with 4 pilots having over an hour in the air, Bob Calvert in his Discus having 2:42 off an AT, while Martyn Johnson had the best of the winch launches with 1:08 in his DG600.  It was a Discus day as Brian Wise had the second longest flight of the day, 2:06 in the club Discus.   Bob Beck/Mr Ince put up the longest 2 seater flight with 55 minutes in the  DG1000 while  Ron Beezer was the only other pilot to have over an hour with 1:04 in the DG303. 

Sunday 1st July.   Flying was delayed until just before midday by low cloud, but a full day’s afternoon and evening flying was had, with 24 launches off the winch in the moderate SW’ly, albeit with overcast skies.  4 private owners launched to join the club’s 2 K21s, the DG1000, Discus and DG303 in the air.  1 Trial Lesson pupil was flown, there was a single Falke flight and 10 of the day’s flights exceeded an hour with Steve Ball and Jon May having 1:42 in their Duo Discus xt and Les Rayment/Ian Johnston having 1:08 in the DG1000 just to prove what 2 seaters can do.  John Marsh and Rob Bailey contributed 3 of the flights over an hour with John having 1:33 and then 1:14 in the Discus and Rob making up for a shorter first flight by having 3:02 in the Discus on his 2nd flight of the day, taking off at just after 1700 hrs and landing just after 2000 hrs during which time he rode the summer wave to around 12,000′ asl and visited Darlington, Catterick, Masham and Boroughbridge on his 30 minute descent.

Monday 2nd July.  A day of overcast skies and periods of light rain in a moderate SSE’ly, meant there was no flying for the members of the  holiday course which started today, so some of the day was profitably spent in the briefing room.