Saturday 9th. A moderate westerly that quickly decreased in strength and veered into the NW meant that the winch was brought out of its storage area, parked near the launch point in readiness for being taken to the end of runway 24, but not used. Instead, 12 ATs were flown off runway 24, the change in wind direction and strength leading to some interesting climb outs as the tug/glider combination flew into the curl over at the edge of the hill. On the other hand subsequent approaches onto runway 30 were reasonably straightforward. The National Rally week of the Vintage Gliding Club at Sutton Bank officially ended today and it was therefore fitting that Mr Kerley, one of its members, topped the endurance stakes with a flight of 56 minutes in somewhat tricky soaring conditions. However, most people managed at least 30 minutes in the air. YGC member, Bob Calvert, another of the 6 private owners to launch, had 45 minutes in his Discus, while Martyn Johnson/Ken Duxbury flying K21 JVZ, had 28 minutes. 2 seaters were the only club gliders to be flown, 2 of these flights for Trial Lesson pupils, but the flying day came to an abrupt halt when an intense thunderstorm developed close by, bringing a torrential downpour that resulted in the office roof leaking, the severity of the leak being 6 on the bucket scale. The local A168 was closed by floods near Topcliffe but the rain wasn’t all bad news as the opportunity was taken for the simulator to be put to use.
Sunday 10th. A day of initially light and variable winds but with low cloud and showers delayed launches for a while, but eventually 22 ATs were flown, 2 by private owners and the rest in 3 of the club’s two seaters and the Discus. Developing soaring conditions led to 4 flights over an hour. with Rob Bailey in the Discus and Andy Hatfield in Astir EBM having 2:14 and 2:09 respectively. Rob Calvert in his Discus and Colin Troise flying the DG1000 solo had 1:43 and 1:04 each. 3 Trial Lesson pupils were flown and John Marsh/L Sucharov had the best of the two seater flights with 43 minutes in K21 KLW.
Monday 11th. A light to moderate NNE’ly airstream brought in extensive low cloud, complete with showers and eventually more general rain so no flying was possible.
Tuesday 12th. The wind had stayed in the NNE and remained light to moderate, but with a higher cloudbase and fewer showers, flying started at around 1030 hrs and continued until around 1630 hrs by which time 16 ATs had been flown. 2 of the 3 private owners rigging, Rob Bailey in his ASG 29t and Lindsay McLane in his Ventus2t contributed to the 4 pilots who exceeded an hour in the air, Rob clocking up the longest recorded time in the air with 2:46. Some of this time was spent pair flying with Lindsay out to the east coast where the cloud base was significantly lower at around 1500′ in places. Lindsay then departed to the south leaving Rob to visit Scarborough before visiting Pocklington and cloud bases of 5000′ before overdevelopment led to a return to Sutton. Bob Calvert and Denise Grimshaw had 1:45 in the DG1000 while Jesper Mjels had 1:27 in the Discus. Mike Wood, flying the Astir just failed to beat the 1 hour mark with a flight of 53 minutes. 2 Trial Lesson pupils had a pleasant introduction to gliding.
Wednesday 13th. The light flow from the NNE continued with soaring conditions improving slightly compared to Tuesday. 21 ATs were flown, with 3 two seaters and 4 single seaters of the club fleet and 2 private owners contributing launches. Ron Beezer demonstrated that soaring was possible of the first flight of the day with 2:08 in the Discus, but Rob Bailey was again aloft for the longest time, with 3:04 in his ASG 29t transiting Durham Tees Valley airspace for an O/R to Durham before visiting the east coast again and dodging hail showers. The period from 1100 hrs to 14oo hrs provided the most consistent soaring period of the day, during which Bob Calvert/Denise Grimshaw had 2:01 in the DG1000 and Mike Wood clocked up 1:12 flying the T21 solo. Mike Cox, an early solo pilot, had 1:15 of his second launch of the day to obtain a Bronze C leg. Well done, Mike. Just to prove that soaring was possible later in the day, Andy Parish accompanied by Heinrich Hoeth had 1:10 in the DG1000. All in all, 6 flights exceeded an hour and there was also time for 2 Trial Lesson pupils to be flown, one of whom, N Armstrong, had 42 minutes in the air in the company of Brian Wise in K21 KLW.
Thursday 14th. The early, moderate ESE’ly freshened and backed into the E as the day progressed, eventually causing a change of runway from 02 to 06. 28 ATs were flown, the first few having to be terminated at 1500′ QFE due to the relatively low cloud base. All the day’s flights were in club 2 seaters with all 4 utilised as Resh Khodabocus’s new doctors group were introduced to gliding on a corporate day, 22 of the day’s ATs being undertaken for this purpose. With no opportunities to soar, circuits were the order of the day, with Derek Smith/A Neep and Les Rayment/G Cardwell managing 20 minutes each in the DG500 and K21 JVZ respectively to provide the longest flights of the day. Flying was of course combined with a good cooked lunch courtesy of Brian so a good day was had by all, as the following photos show, the first showing the new doctors group and the second the same group with the YGC tuggies and instructors who provided the flying experience.
Friday 15th. A day of frequent, heavy showers kept the gliders in the hangars.
Saturday 16th. A deep depression centred over the country meant of day of general rain and strengthening S’ly winds as a series of fronts crossed the site. No flying was possible, so the competitors for the first day of the Northerns were welcomed by Competition director Andy Parish, introduced to the Northern’s team and requested to return for a briefing at 1000 hrs on Sunday 17th June when improved conditions were anticipated. The only flying of the day was on the simulator.