Wednesday 8th to Saturday 11th December

Wednesday 8th.  A strong and cold N’ly blew, keeping the temperature at -2C and blowing the snow around.  No flying was possible.

Thursday 9th.  The wind had died to a light NW and a slow thaw had started as the temperature climbed to the dizzy heights of 3C.    However,  the  thick snow on the airfield prevented any flying.

Friday 10th.  With pressure peaking at around 1027 mb as the  centre of the high started to move away, the winds remained light from the WNW and the  thaw accelerated as the temperature reached 6C.  A couple of private owners took the opportunity to move their trailers off site, but Rob Bailey had some difficulty moving his, even getting Andy Parish’s Land Rover stuck at one point.

Saturday 11th.  A call to arms resulted in a number of members turning up at the club, including Chris and Kelly Teagle with 1 month old Elliott, although he appeared reluctant to pick up a shovel, as the following photo shows.

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The first task of the day was clearing the deep but fast melting snow outside the hangars using the bucket equipped tractor.  While this was going on,  K21 KLW was rigged and, with the hangar apron cleared, one of the Pawnees was wheeled out and started up with the airfield starting to turn green.

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Les Rayment then aerotowed KLW for a test flight by Andy Parish with George Rowden acting as observer.  After a series of stalls, loops, chandelles and inverted flying, the K21 was declared well and truly tested and landed on runway 20, the wind being very light from the WNW.  This was the first of the day’s 4 flights, Fred Brown having a solo aerobatic flight, Roger Burghall having a flight with Andy Parish as part of his instructor renewal, and Dick Cole taking Howard Marshall for the third aerobatic flight of the day. 

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The view from aloft was very picturesque, with the Vales of York and Pickering still snow covered but the Pennines to the west snow free, a reminder of the very cold temperatures that were experienced in the Vales and the limited westward extent of the major snowfall.  The North Yorks Moors to the NE of the site were still completely white with a deep covering of snow, contrasting with the area around Sutton Bank which was very patchily covered.

Howard and David Lynch had earlier moved their trailer off site and the opportunity was also taken to derig the club DG1000 and put it in its trailer prior to its journey down the hill for its ARC.  Derigging club gliders always leads to a great deal of  discussion as the next photo shows.

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With the ground still frozen,  the melt water is currently pooling on the surface so if you are coming to the club, put on some waterproof shoes or preferably boots.

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