Saturday 5th to Tuesday 8th March

Saturday 5th.  A generally cloudy day with a low overcast and a moderate N’ly that declined and veered into the E meant that no gliding was possible.  However, the recently repaired and rerigged Rotax Falke was given a flight test by Dick Cole, declared fit and subsequently had a second flight.   The lack of flying allowed Duncan Pask, Mike Smith and John Ellis to make good inroads into the task of felling the Silver Birch saplings in the cleared area of woodland to the east of the northern end of  runway 02. 

Sunday 6th.  A light SSE’ly  was again accompanied by overcast skies, but the cloud broke and eventually disappeared allowing 14 ATs and 3 Falke flights off runway 20.  One of the K21s, the DG1000 and the Discus were flown, the latter for the first time by Katriana Zapp who enjoyed it so much she had a second flight.   Congratulations Katriana.  Phil Jones, who went solo recently, doubled his solo flights with a flight in  the K21, and Rob Bottomley, the only private owner to launch, had a flight of 45 minutes, the best of the day.  The longest 2 seat flight was by Mike Smith and his Trial Lesson pupil, Mr Cox, who had 26 minutes, one of 3 Trial Lessons of the day.  Derek Taylor, doing his annual spin checks in the DG1000 landed on runway 06 as the wind backed into the E, the last time he  landed there being some 15 years ago.   An early finish to the day allowed John Marsh to roll the landing area of runway 24.   A welcome visitor was summer tuggie Ian Plant who dropped in for tea and cake in a Grob 109, en route from Full Sutton to Currock Hill.

Monday 7th.  A light to moderate S’ly was again accompanied by extensive low cloud that prevented any flying until around 1430 hrs when the cloud started to disappear.  Mike Smith took 2 guests up for around 20-25 minutes each in the K21, although the views were restricted by very  poor visibility.

Tuesday 8th.  In spite of  blue skies and a  light S’ly, the start of flying was delayed by extremely poor horizontal visibility until around midday when the wind steadily increased to fresh and veered into the W.  Early flights were by AT off runway 24, but with the increasing wind, the winch was deployed by early afternoon and the northern end of the main bowl started to work.  An early high AT had climbed in wave up to 7,500 asl, and by early/mid afternoon, it became possible to start off on the hill, climb in rough thermal and transition into the wave which gave regular climb rates of 6-8 knots and peaks up to 10kts.  A maximum height of 9,000′ asl was reported by the time your  reporter had to leave site mid afternoon, the climb being terminated while still in lift, so more details of the day will have to wait for his visit later in the week.

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