Friday 24th to Wednesday 29th. Strong winds, low cloud, rain and turbulent cross wind take offs either individually or collectively meant no flying over this period apart from some in the benign conditions of the simulator.
Thursday 30th. At last, sunny skies and a very gentle, N’ly wind encouraged many pilots, frustrated by a lack of flying over the previous week, to turn up, empty the hangars and fly. Even the closure of Sutton Bank by a jack knifed lorry during the morning failed to deter them. With flying starting at 1014 hrs and continuing until around 1650 hrs, 38 ATs were flown by the majority of the club fleet and 9 private owners. Initially sunny skies were soon filled with young Cu but with waterlogged ground, initially cloud base was as low as 700′ QFE, but flying above the, at first, scattered puff balls was a magical experience. At least that was the opinion of one of the 3 Trial Lesson pupils of the day as well as more experienced pilots. Cloud base slowly rose, eventually reaching around 3000 QNH and with the best thermals averaging about 3 knots, a number of pilots enjoyed soaring on a very pleasant late September day. Around 10 of the day’s flights exceeded an hour and although most pilots stayed local, Lindsay McLane in his Ventus and John Ellis in his Nimbus 3 both used cloud climbs to venture further afield, with both topping 6500′ and John flying a task of around 170 km in a flight of just under 3 hours. By late afternoon most of the small to medium sized Cu had disappeared leaving some very large Cu congestus over York and the coast while the wind started to freshen from the south in advance of tomorrow’s forecast rain. John Carter, flying the club DG303 had just under 2 hours while the longest 2 seater flight was by Andy Parish/A Dinsdale in the DG1000 at 35 minutes. Both the latter aircraft were derigged and placed in their trailers at the end of the flying day in preparation for a club expedition to Millfield starting on Saturday.