25th July to 15th August 12

The gap in the blog is due to your scribe being on holiday so this catch up will be somewhat of a short summary of each day.

25thJuly.  A muggy day with a low overcast in a moderate NNW’ly wind kept everybody on the ground.

26th July.  The wind had switched into the SE but the low overcast remained this time producing some drizzle so again no flying.

27th July.  A moderate W’ly brought a soaring day, resulting in 28 ATs and a number of cross countries, with pilots reporting difficult conditions within 50 km of the site but better conditions further south.  Andy Wright  in his Nimbus 3t and Derek Taylor in his ASW 22 both flew 300’s while Bob Calvert, attempting his Gold Distance, landed out near York.  Phil Lazenby and George Rowden both abandoned their tasks, George due to finding his Camelbak had drained out during the  tow to launch on his first flight and then finding a complete overcast after turning this first turning point on his second cross country attempt.  Later in the day Colin Troise contacted wave and reached 9000′ asl while  12 of the day’s flights exceeded an  hour.

28th July.  A light WSW’ly increased to moderate during the day and brought in a few showers, but not before a number of pilots had contacted wave.  Derek Taylor in his ASW 22 used the wave to clock up 170 km and reach 9,500′ asl while Martyn Johnson in his DG600 and Phil Lazenby in his Pegase reached 8,500′ and 9,500 ‘ asl  respectively.  14 Private owners flew on day of 28 winch launches with Chris Gill off first in the Astir, returning much later to claim his Silver duration with 5:32, so well done Chris.  15 of the day’s flights exceeded an hour, but conditions could be a little tricky as Don Austin found out when he landed out in his Kestrel.  The day’s operations were completed by a single flight in the Falke.  This was the first day of the OLC based competition and although entrants were limited in number, 318 km were flown.

Sunday 29th.  The moderate WSW’ly increased to fresh at times, so it was a day of both winching and ATing, albeit  one hampered by showers.  4 of the day’s 10 winch launches exceeded an hour with Rob Bailey in the DG303 having 2:09 and Martyn Johnson in his DG600 having 2:03 while none of the ATs did.  In the defence of ATs, 4 of them were for Trial Lesson pupils.

Monday 30th.  The moderate to fresh wind continued, this time from the W, so again a mixture of winch and AT launches were flown, 16 of the latter and 4 of the former.  Most of the club fleet were flown and 8 private owners took to the skies, aviators being rewarded with 11 flights of over an hour, the honour of the AT being restored as 9 of these flights came from that launching method.  This was the second contest day of the OLC based competition, and provided to be a good day with 680 kms being flown.

Tuesday 31st.  A light SE’ly that slowly veered into the S brought in generally cloudy skies and some light rain/showers later in the day.  13 ATs were flown, but the conditions didn’t favour staying up so the OLC pilots could only drum up 36 km during the day.  Rob Bailey, flying the Astir managed the only flight in excess of an  hour, 1:09, although Albert Newbery and Pauline Luty came close with 52 minutes in K21 KLW.

Wednesday 1st August.  A low overcast in a moderate SE’ly delayed launching until early afternoon, with 7 ATs flown thereafter, none of which resulted in a flight exceeding an hour.  Rob Bailey, flying the DG303, came closest with 45 minutes.  Not surprisingly it was a non contest day for the OLC pilots.

Thursday 2nd.  A light to moderate SW’ly airstream provided a busy day with 29 ATs flown and 10 private owners launching.  The OLC contestants covered 318 km in total and contributed to the 10 flights that  exceeded an hour, contest Director Dave Latimer having 4:30 aloft in his Ventus ct. 

Friday 3rd.  Another flying day at Sutton, the light to moderate SSE’ly becoming WSW’ly by the end of the day.  Although the numbers of pilots having flights in excess of an  hour was only 4 from the 26 ATs, the OLC contestants managed to amass 458 km between them, proving that following the weather on moderate days can result in enjoyable flying.  Dave Latimer again set the standard with 3 hrs in his Ventus ct.  Les Rayment in his Ventus ct and Bob Calvert in his Discus were not far behind with 2:30 and 2:21 respectively.

Saturday 4th.  The wind had backed into the SE and backed further into the E as the day progressed, a few showers forming later in the day.  It was the last day of the OLC comp, and 298 km were flown, giving a total for the whole week of 2,109 km, a very creditable total given the weather and the limited number of competitors.  Jon May/Steve Ball in their Duo Discus xt, one of the OLC competitors had the longest flight of the day, 2:47, while Dave Latimer in his Ventus ct had 2:08,  amassing sufficient Kms to be the contest winner.  These OLC competitors  provided 2 of the 4 flights to exceed an hour from the 21 ATs flown.   Don Austin did his bit towards YGC/RAF relations by landing out at RAF Leeming. 

Sunday 5th.  A hazy start to the day turned to rain in the afternoon so flying was limited to 5 ATs and a single Falke flight in the light and variable wind that settled in the W as the rain arrived.  With no lift, circuits were the order of the day.

Monday 6th.  Frequent and heavy showers in the moderate W’ly airstream kept the gliders in the hangar.

Tuesday 7th.  The moderate W’ly flow continued but contained fewer showers, so 9 ATs were flown, with Martyn Johnson being one of only two private owners to launch.  Martyn  was rewarded with 3 hrs in the air in his DG600, while Peter Clay had 2 hrs in  his Ventus ct.  Club members flying the club’s 2 seaters were content with flights of 30-50 minutes.

Wednesday 8th.  A moderate W’ly flow eventually brought with it some good soaring conditions, particularly in the afternoon when the cloud base had risen from its earlier 2,400′ asl value and a good sea breeze developed to the east of the site.  Derek Taylor circumnavigated the Doncaster air space to clock up 334 km in his ASW22, while Phil Lazenby flew 180 km in his Pegase, both pilots taking advantage of the sea breeze to gallop along the final legs of their tasks.  41 ATs were flown over the day, with most of the club fleet utilised and 9 private owners launching, 9 of the day’s flights exceeding an hour.  The day also saw a visitor from Pocklington land before an AT return home.

Thursday 9th.  Another good soaring day as the intially SW’ly veered into the W but remained light.  39 ATs were flown, the club fleet being well utilised and 16 private owners taking advantage of the conditions.  Conditions to the south of the site were not as good as those to be found locally and those who went off on long flights south had to abandon them, as demonstrated by Andy Wright who abandoned an O/R to Thrapston in his Nimbus 3t and Derek Taylor who abandoned an O/R to Kettering.  On returning to the better conditions in Yorkshire, Derek did Sut/Tontine/Rufforth/Sutton at 99.8 kph.  20 of the day’s flights exceeded an hour and the instructors were kept busy with training, 4 Trial Lesson and a Learn to Fly package pupil as well as a mile high flight.

Friday 10th.  A light NNE’ly veered into the E and strengthened slightly towards the end of the day, providing moderate soaring opportunities that resulted in only one flight of the day’s 11 ATs exceeding an hour.  This was by Liz Kiely in her ASW 19 who had 1:03.  The majority of the day’s 2 seater flights were for Trial Lesson pupils while Ian Plant/S Singleton had 53 minutes in K21 JVZ.  In the evening 7 Scouts were introduced to gliding. 

Saturday 11th.   Overcast skies in a hazy, SE’ly flow that backed into the E by midday, didn’t temp many people to fly.  Consequently, only 5 ATs were flown, although Roger Burghall launched in his ASW 20 but couldn’t find any lift.  Later in the afternoon, conditions improved slightly, allowing Rob Bailey to take his son for a 1:08 flight in the DG1000.  Some pilots decided to artificially extend their flight times thus keeping the Falke busy with 6 sorties.

Sunday 12th.  The moderate ESE’ly flow continued as the first day of Task Week dawned and aspiring cross country pilots girded up their loins for the fray.  Task week Director Phil Lazenby nominated a number of local turning points for pilot selection and Rob  Bailey in his ASG 29 visited Northallerton and Ripon before having to resort to his engine.  Peter Goodchild visited Pickering and Helmsley before returning to Sutton while Chris Gill, flying DG303, successfully completed his first field landing the other side of Hemsley, so well done Chris.  Rob won the day, followed by Chris and Peter on a day when 11 ATs were flown including 3 Trial Lesson pupils.

Monday 13th.  A moderate SE blew all day accompanied by cloudy skies with some suggestion of thermic conditions.  The Task week competitors were set an ecclesiastical theme with turn points at Church Houses, York and Beverley Minsters, the chapel at Chapel Howard, Ripon and the Tontine, for Mount Grace Priory.  Only course director Phil Lazenby and Rob Bailey launched into a very unpromising sky with Phil returning shortly after, but Rob visited Castle Howard, York and the Tontine all at low level in a flight of 3:16, before an engine start was required from his ASG 29t.   Back at site 5 other ATs were flown, with John Carter having two flights solo in the DG1000, the first of 23 minutes and  the second of 55 minutes.  He then flew with P1 Colin Troise for his 3rd flight of the day  in the DG1000, some localised lift near Ampleforth, which could have been wave, enabling them to stay aloft for 1:03.

Tuesday 14th.  The day started with the site in cloud and rain in a light to moderate SE, but Task Week Director Phil Lazenby, hopeful of a clearance as the overnight front cleared to the east, set an AAT task of Sut/Bev/Wetherby South/Sut, the Bev and WBS turn points being 15 km radius areas.  He then announced that although Rob  Bailey had won Day 2, the rules didn’t allow anyone to win more than one day and under such conditions the day winner was awarded one point less than the second placed pilot.  However, as no one else had scored this gave Rob a day’s score of -1.  Fortunately, since he had made a meriotious flight, this earned Rob a bonus of 1 point making his day score zero.  Phil’s skilfull interpretation of the scoring was matched by his prediction of a good soaring day for, by late morning, the sky started to open up and the cloud base to rise, allowing flying to commence around midday.  Thereafter, 28 ATs were flown off runway 20, with the majority of the Task Week entrants setting out on the  task.  Peter Goodchild completed the task and also completed his Silver C with duration and height gains achieved.  Congratulations Peter.  7 pilots completed the task, with Derek Smith continuing in his Ventus ct to cover 337 km.  Phil Lazenby completed his task of Sut/Gaf/Bev/Sut only to discover he couldn’t recover his igc trace from his logger just to prove he isn’t an expert at everything.    11 of  the day’s flights exceeded an hour and back at site a Learn to fly package pupil and a Mile High aspirant took advantage of good soaring conditions as the cloud base rose from an initial 3000′ asl to over 5000′ asl and some 5 kt thermals were to be had.   By late afternoon, the sky looked very good indeed, and Resh Khodabocus took advantage on his third flight of the day in Astir   KRN to have 1:24 aloft.  Pilots reported some good climbs but also some tricky conditions and 3 pilots landed out.  Jon May and Steve Ball landed out at Rufforth in their Duo Discus xt, John Shaw landed out at Pocklington in his LS7  and Andy Parish/Duncan Pask landed out near Flamingoland in the club DG1000.

Wednesday 15th.   The forecast weather was for a short soaring window before a deepening depression brought rain mid-afternoon.  The less than ideal conditions were further compromised by 30 kt ESE’ly winds at soaring height, so the task for the Contest pilots was self selection of a number of local turn points, mainly to the west of the site.  In the event, high cover dampened down any thermal activity so no one attempted the task, although 5 ATs were flown off runway 06 into a freshening wind in either K21 KLW or the DG1000, flying coming to an end at around 1300 hrs.  With no lift, circuits were the order of the day.   The morning was enlightened by Course Director Phil Lazenby’s review of yesterday’s flying.  Jon May/Steve Ball explained why they landed out at Rufforth in their Duo Discus xtthey were so convinced they could climb away from a low point that  they became too low to use the engine.  Andy Parish explained his landout in the DG1000 as being due to the distraction caused by an overfull bladder, while John Shaw found the pull of the airfield at Pocklington too great, in fact so great he had 2 winch launches and an AT in order to return to Sutton.  Task Week winner for Tuesday 14th was Peter Goodchild as the result of his completed Silver C legs, while  the glider handicap system was proved to be very effective with gliders ranging from the Discus to the ASG9 all earning within 5 points of each other for completing the task.  In the evening the Task  Week Dinner was successfully held.