Friday 25th to Monday 29th May

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.