Wednesday 5th to Monday 10th October

Wednesday 5th.  Cloudy skies with a low cloudbase and a fresh WSW’lywind that steadily increased to strong with gusts to 40kts, meant no flying, but didn’t stop the contractors from laying the concrete in front of the hangars and workshop.

Thursday 6th.  An initially light W’ly soon increased to strong and with scattered heavy showers causing occasional gusting to 40 kts, no flying was again possible, although a careful eye had to be kept on the picketed gliders to ensure they didn’t go off on their own.

Friday 7th.  A transient ridge brought in a good flying day, the wind being a light to moderate NNW’ly and thermals developing by late morning.  18 ATs were flown with 6 generating flights of over an hour. Two seater operations dominated the day with 3 of the club 2 seaters flown and Jon May contributing the only 2 private owner launches of the day in his Duo Discus xt, the first with K Kelso chalking up  the longest flight of the day at 2:33.  Jon then followed this up with the last launch of the day, when, in the company of Sam St Pierre, he added another hour to the day’s flying total.   Syndicate partners Les Rayment and David Ryall checked out each other’s flying with 1:22 in the DG500 and Colin Troise posted the only solo flight of the day, just failing to beat the 1 hour barrier with 58 minutes also in the DG500.   3 Trial Lesson pupils were also flown on a day with a taste of summer in respect of Cu filled skies and cloud bases rising to around 4000′ asl.  Jack McGregor certainly seemed to enjoy it at the following picture shows.


  The only thing missing was an appropriate summer temperature, the day’s maximum being 12C, although on reflection this was also typical of some days of summer.   The contractors returned to site to remove the shuttering and backfill up to the new concrete, this allowing the gliders, tugs and ground equipment, which had had to be left outside due to the civil works, to be returned to the hangars and tractor shed at the end of the flying day.

Saturday 8th.  2 slow moving warm fronts kept the site in cloud all day and with 2 mm of drizzly rain adding to the mix, no flying was possible except on the simulator, where a group of 8 Scouts and Scouters from Sunderland were introduced to gliding.

Sunday 9th.  Saturday’s warm fronts deposited 9 mm of rain overnight and left the site in a warm sector, full of  cloud, bits and pieces of drizzle and accompanied by a moderate to fresh W’ly.  The associated cold front crossed the site at around 1530 hours, its approach being accompanied by gusty winds that peaked at around 35 kts.  Flying was shared between the simulator, where another group of 5 Scouts, this time from Swaledale, were coached in flying skills and reality, where 7 winch launches were flown in both K21s.  The  bases of the lowest clouds  were variable, between 400′ and 1000′ QFE, throughout the day and while no flight exceeded an hour, 5 exceeded 30 minutes, with John Marsh having 57 minutes in the K21 with R Maskell  before sharing another K21  flight with Martyn Johnson, the pair of them getting to 2000′ after finding some weak wave before they were called down so Martyn could take the Scouts on the simulator. 

Monday 10th.  I write this from an almost deserted Sutton Bank on a cloudy day, cloud base being just a few hundred feet QFE, and the WSW’ly wind averaging around 25 kts and gusting over 35 kts.  With rain visible just to the south from  an almost stationary wavy front, flying prospects for the day can be confidently predicted to be zero.

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