Saturday 1st. Bright blue skies and a light NE’ly greeted early risers but cumulus rapidly overdeveloped to produce a complete overcast with a low base and showers. 14 ATs were squeezed out of the day, 13 of which resulted in the visiting Scouts getting their first taste of gliding. Some additional good news was that the Rotax Falke returned from its planned maintenance at Bagby.
Sunday 2nd. A cold, light to moderate NE’ly airstream prevailed, bringing in a mixture of low cloud, rain and hail showers which limited flying to 3 ATs off runway 02. Steve Briggs, flying the K21 solo, distinguished himself by having the lowest tow and the longest flight of the day, 26 minutes. With flying terminating due to the weather around 3pm, John Marsh, who else, cut the grass on the southern half of the airfield.
Monday 3rd. A full briefing room demonstrated the unequal contest of hope over experience as a fresh to strong N’ly, which gusted to around 30 kts, continued to bring in showers and low cloud, preventing any flying. Hope did result in the tug and a K21 being brought out of the hangar but experience soon had them back in again. Kevin, Graham, Bruce and Trevor, attendees on the first gliding course of the year, were, however, introduced to gliding on the simulator.
Tuesday 4th. The wind had dropped to a light NW, allowing operations off runway 24 with landings on any of 30, 02 or even 20. Cumulus, visible over the Pennines from early in the day, appeared locally around 11am, and 7 private owners took advantage of the first soaring day of May, along with all the club 2 seaters and the Falke. 22 ATs were flown in total with the course members flying in both the K21s and the Falke and Ian Willows assisting Andy Parish with the course instruction. 9 of the day’s launches resulted in flights in excess of an hour, with Albert Newbery/Bill Payton journeying to Ullswater in their DG1000T, and meeting a Duo Discus from Skelling Farm over the Lake. A band of overcast initially impeded their progress west and meant the use of their engine on the way back. Lindsay McLane launched early in his Ventus but found the going hard to the south, having to resort to his engine near York. Abandoning his intention of an O/R to Grantham, Lindsay also crossed the Pennines to Kirby Stephen before returning to Sutton. George Rowden, declaring Beverley/Pontefract/Sutton in his LS8t, had a good run down to Beverley and then ran into the same band of overcast skies near Pontefract. In spite of a climb to cloudbase courtesy of Ferrybridge power station, the return leg to Sutton found no further lift requiring an engine burn over Wetherby. Dean Crosby/DG200 andNick Gaunt/LS7 both ventured to the west but were thwarted by the same overcast. The good thermals and sunny skies at Sutton were also replaced by overcast as the day progressed, but not before Mike Wood reported a 5 turn climb of 1000′ in his T21, Colin Troise had 1:25 in the club DG1000 and Ian Willows gave course member Trevor Gammidge a 1:16 soaring flight in the K21.
April turned out to be a good month for cross countries with the kms flown equalling the best for April over the last 7/8 years. This was, however, not matched by height gains, with only 1 claim on the National ladder. Details of kms flown and heights gained are to be found on the notice board at the back of the briefing room, together with individual pilot contributions. Details of current claimants of the club Trophies, the positions of leading YGC pilots on the National Ladder and the overall position of YGC in terms of kms flown, height gained and National ladder points accrued are to be found via the members page of the club website.