Monday 14th to Thursday 17th March
Posted: 17/03/2016 20:42
Monday 14th. Monday dawned with a light to moderate E'ly blowing, an inversion at around 2,500' QFE and patches of Cirrus coming and going throughout the day. 15 ATs were flown, initially from the western edge of runway 20 but, after a couple of launches, the launch point was changed to allow take offs on runway 02, with some subsequent landings on 06. Both K21s were flown on a day when John Ellis rigged and flew his DG800 and 2 First Flight pupils were introduced to gliding. Lift was spasmodically available during the day in the form of blue thermals and weak wave, with David Campbell and returning member Andy Beaumont making the most of it and having 43 minutes in JVZ, a time only exceeded by John Ellis' 57 minutes, some of this being provided by his engine. The best club aircraft solo flight time was by Chris Thirkell in JVZ who had 26 minutes, just beating George Rowden, solo in KLW, who had 25. Michael Conoran, visiting from Camphill for some pre competition practice in a forth coming K21 based aerobatic competition, had 2 flights, the first with John Carter as passenger, as he flew the required aerobatic sequence in KLW keenly watched by those on the ground.
Tuesday 15th. The vagaries of High Pressure dominated weather were well illustrated on Tuesday, as the sunny skies of Monday were replaced by a low overcast in a light to moderate NNE'ly wind, the overcast occasionally showed signs of opening up. This it but never did sufficiently to allow any gliding, although the base was high enough to allow the Falke to fly a single sortie.
Wednesday 16th. Early low cloud burned off around mid morning, allowing flying to commence at 1130 hrs and continue until after 1700 hrs. 10 ATs were flown during this period in either K21 JVZ or the Discus, the wind being a light to moderate NE'ly that slowly veered to become ENE'ly. The improving conditions included some thermal activity and pilots reported 2-4 kt climb rates to a cloud base that started at around 2,900' asl, increased by around 500' and then decreased to around 2,500' asl over a relatively short timescale. Andy Parish, flying with new member Neville Gittus, made the most of the conditions to record 58 minutes in JVZ, with Tony Drury making the best reply on behalf of the day's solo pilots with 37 minutes in the Discus. Derek Smith, flying JVZ solo had 30 minutes while Rob Bottomley just failed to join the > 30 minute brigade with 28 minutes, also solo in JVZ.
Thursday 17th. With the high pressure still in charge, but with its centre closer to the site, Thursday saw a repeat of the initial cloudiness and mid morning clearance of Wednesday but with lighter winds from the NNW-WNW and a lack of usable lift, although this didn't seem to apply to a pair of local Buzzards. 19 ATs were flown, with K21 JVZ and the DG1000 providing the steeds for 2 seater pilots and the Discus and DG303 meeting the needs of solo pilots. The sunny and pleasant weather even encouraged 2 private owners to rig, John Ellis having 47 minutes in his DG800 and Rob Bottomley having 22 minutes in his Discus t. Tom Dale, flying the Discus was the only member to keep a club machine up for at least 30 minutes, being chased by a trio of flights at 24 minutes. The latter comprised Derek Smith and David Bradley in the DG1000, Derek and David Watson, also in the DG1000 and Steve Ogden on his first flight in the DG303, so well done Steve. Congratulations are also due to Baz Sonnevelt who had his 3rd re-solo in a glider, the other 2 being at Husbands Bosworth and Camphill following his first ever solo in Holland. A picture of Baz just about to embark on his second solo flight of the day is shown below.
The club also welcomed Les Merrit from Saltby who arrived in his Falke in order to undertake for some excercises as part of progress towards the issue of his motor glider instructor rating, Paul Whitehead joining him in the cockpit as assessor/examiner. A photo of Les's Falke and YGC's Falke is shown below, the registration of Les's aircraft, G-CSEXE, being hidden behind the wing on the photo in order not to offend our more sensitive readers.