Thursday 1st to Monday 5th April

Thursday 1st.  A fresh to strong W’ly that slowly decreased during the afternoon brought good hill soaring and strong thermal conditions.  19 winch launches were flown with 12 of the flights exceeding an hour andmost of the club fleet in action as well as 2 private owners.  Mike Smith, flying the club DG303, used thermals in his Silver duration flight of 5:06, the only threat to the completion of his 5 hours coming from internal sources that were overcome by traditional means.  This flight completes Mike’s Silver Badge so congratulations to him.  Bob Beck and Nigel Burke had 2 hours in the DG1000 to record the longest 2 seater flight of the day.

Friday 2nd.  Friday brought a moderate SE’ly and generally cloudy skies.  The low cloud base first delayed launching and then rain arrived that stopped it all together.  Consequently, only 2 ATs were flown in the K21, although the simulator was also brought into action.

Saturday 3rd.  The wind had stayed in the S’ly quadrant again bringing in cloudy skies and showers, some of them heavy, before more general rain arrived in the late afternoon.  No flying was possible, with the result that the simulator was again put to good use.

Sunday 4th.  A light to moderate W’ly was a feature of the day that also initially saw  generally cloudy skies. These gave way to brighter conditions in the afternoon, although some showers led to a break in operations.  16 ATs were flown from a carefully selected dry area on runway 20, as most of the airfield was extremely wet after the rain of the preceding days.  Only the  K21s  of the club’s fleet were flown but there were 5 launches by private owners, including visiting pilots from Gransden Lodge.  One of these, Peter Baker, flying his LS8 had a flight of  2:10 in the thermal conditions that developed, while home pilots Steve Ball/Jon May flying their Duo Discus had 2:45, visiting Masham during the course of their flight.

Monday 5th.  A  front with associated rain cleared to the east by 1000 hrs, leaving the site in a cloudy SW airstream, the overnight rain, although light, adding to the sodden nature of the airfield.   The low cloud base kept the gliders in their hangars, an improvement in cloudbase and visibility coming too late to provide a flying day.   Dick Cole kept himself busy leading an instructor’s training course, while an informal discussion on instructing developed among members who assembled for morning coffee/lunch.

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