Saturday 21st to Monday 23rd November

Post Script to Friday 20th November.  Following the writer’s departure from site, Friday’s flying produced a further 2 flights exceeding an hour with Brian Wise in  the club Discus having 1.25 hrs and Dean Crosby in his Standard Cirrus having 1.1 hrs.

Saturday 21st.  A 10 mb drop in pressure over daylight hours was not surprisingly accompanied by a cloudy, wet, SE’ly flow that deposited another 9 mm of rain.  No flying was possible except on the simulator, when a club member and a group of 6 visiting Scouts plus their leaders experienced virtual flying.

Sunday 22nd.  A strong and strengthening S’ly was the order of the  day so it was a 2 seater only operation with the club DG500 and DG1000 in action via 10 ATs off runway 20.  3 Trial Lesson pupils were flown, with one having 2 flights as the first found only strong sink which resulted in an much too early return to site.  Flight times were generally around 20-40 minutes with bits and pieces of lift being found on and forward of the southerly ridge.  Jack McGregor and guest C. Scott found more bits and pieces of lift than most, contributing to their flight of around 1.25 hrs in the DG1000.

Monday 23rd.  A windy and wet night, with a further 6 mm of rain, left the site in a fresh to strong, very gusty W’ly that delayed the start of flying until around 1130 hrs, by which time the wind and gusts had abated. The wind  continued to moderate, dropping to around 10 kts around lunch time before slowly freshening again.  9 winch launches were flown off runway 24, all by single seaters, including 2 private owners.  Those flying early and late found little difficulty in staying up on the hill and well forward of the hill, with wave rotor  present.  Those flying around the lunch time hours found the hill lift marginal, with an erroneously reading variometer in Robin Hutchinson’s Swordfish adding to his difficulties of staying up.  Mr Richardson, flying his V-tailed SB5 managed to survive the tricky patch around lunch time to give himself a flight time of 3.25 hrs, while Conrad Thwaites flying the club DG303 had just over an hour, reaching 2300′ QNH  during the flight and penetrating as far forward as Bagby when the expected lift under the leading edge of the cloud turned out to be strong sink.  Most of the day’s other flights were in the range 25-45 minutes, a time span more affected by the availability of  free 30 minutes flying in club single seaters than the conditions.

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