Tuesday 5th. Apart from a slight wind change, strength now light to moderate and direction SSE’ly, the almost stationary depression remained over the UK providing yet more low cloud that shrouded the hill plus a little more rain, 4 mm overnight, so there was no flying.
Wednesday 6th. Nothing much had changed synoptically, so the site remained in cloud with bit and pieces of rain throughout the day as a moderate SSE’ly wind blew and nobody flew.
Thursday 7th. An active front crossed the site around 1300 hrs after depositing a further 21 mm of rain. The passage of the front led to a marked wind change from SE to W with gusts to around 30 kts as the front passed, the average wind speed being light to moderate over the rest of the day. The clearing skies revealed a very wet airfield, which of itself ruled against any flying, but the clearance did at least come in time to provide a nice sunset, the low sun producing some nicely illuminated and coloured undersides to the clouds departing to the east. Prior to this, the DG1000 was trailered down to North Yorkshire Sailplanes for its ARC, while Diane Thomas hoovered out the accumulated dried mud and other debris from the cockpits of the club gliders. Thank you Diane.
Friday 8th. Another lump of cloud associated with an isolated frontal feature gave the site another 3.3 mm of rain during the morning, but the front cleared by midday, it associated cloud rising off the hill and breaking to yield an afternoon of sunny intervals. The great improvement in visibility allowed the flooded fields and river valleys of the Vale of York to be readily seen, as was the saturated nature of the airfield, so although acceptable flying conditions prevailed above ground level, the wind, post clearance, being a light to moderate S’ly , the state of the airfield ruled against any flying operation.
News from Australia. Phil Lazenby has reported some very good soaring weather from near Perth, Australia between Christmas and New Year. The longest flights flown over the above period have included 863 km in a Ventus, 840 km in a ASG29, 800 km in a dry Discus, and 720’s in a LS8 and a Standard Cirrus. The 2 day period saw Cu with bases at 12,000′ on day 1 rising to 16,500′ on day 2. Phil flew his longest ever distance, 604 km at an OLC speed of 92 kph in a friends Standard Jantar on day 2 but, after 7 hours in the air, decided to cut short a possible 700 km attempt. Phil has also flown a OLC 350 km at 99.6 kph in the same water- less glider, but regretted having spent time taking photographs that contributed to him not achieving a speed of 100 kph. A couple of Phil’s photos are shown below, the first showing him waiting for the day to develop before taking off and the second photo shows him climbing at around 9kts while passing 13,100′. The vario on the right of the panel was not working. The Standard Jantar’s fin markings are maybe a Western Australian comment reflecting the difference between the current Western Australian and UK soaring weather.