Sunday 14th to Tuesday 16th February
Posted: 23/02/2016 14:10
Sunday 14th. A moderate N’ly blew all day, with occasional snowfall from a number of showers that crossed the site during the day. 5 ATs were flown between 1100 to 1300 hrs, but the conditions were not conducive to soaring with none of the flights exceeding 30 minutes. Martin White and Steve Wilson came closest with 27 minutes in K21 JVZ, while John Carter and Mark Newburn had 20 minutes in the DG1000. The opportunity was taken to rig the Discus and it was then flown by Roger Burghall for 14 minutes, with the only First Flight pupil of the day having a 3,000′ AT in the company of Graham Evison. John Carter has provided this picture of the DG1000 and Eurofox at the launch point with one of the day’s snow showers looming in the background.
Monday 15th. Overnight, a succession of snow showers had turned the site white, but the moderate to fresh N’ly and further snow showers meant that flying was not possible on a very cold day at Sutton.
Tuesday 16th. An advancing series of fronts from a vigorous depression to the NW of Scotland were expected to lead to increased cloudiness and a strengthening S’ly wind at site, plus an increasing possibility of wave. This turned out to be a good summary of the day’s weather, the AT’s flown off runway 20 before lunch finding that the western end of the southern ridge was working to a degree, with 2 flights able to record durations of 37 minutes. These were by Albert Newbery and Day Course member Jordan Ball in K21 JVZ and Andy Parish and George Rowden in K21 KLW. After lunch, with an stronger S’ly flow and increased cloudiness, that included some medium level lenticulars, the emphasis was on wave climbs, the best being by Andy Parish and Chris Thirkell in KLW who reached 5,800′ asl in their flight of 1:03, and Albert Newbery and Keith Davy in JVZ who reached 5,000′ asl in a flight of 54 minutes. Later flights of the 11 flown on the day found the wave not as cooperative, with heights of around 3,000′ asl attained, but as some form of compensation, one of them, Andy Parish and Chris Haresnape’s flight in KLW recorded the longest flight of the day at 1:06. As the day progressed, the snow and the underlying ground started to thaw, resulting in the accretion of muddy slush behind the main and nose wheels of the K21s, this subsequently freezing solid and proving very difficult to remove during the end of day pre-hangaring wash down of the gliders.