Sunday 27th March to Thursday 31st March
Posted: 31/03/2016 22:02
Sunday 27th. A moderate to fresh SE'ly soon became a SSW'ly with the wind gusting into the high 20's by early afternoon and a peak gust of 49 kts being registered around 1600 hrs.. This, coupled with a rapidly lowering cloud base, meant there were only 2 ATs flown before flying was abandoned for the day. The first flight of the day, a spin check with John Marsh and Colin Troise in the DG1000, was flown with a high cloud base and even found some wave to provide a few hundred feet of lift and help provide a flight time of 30 minutes. John Carter and Richard Watson then followed in K21 KLW and registered the same flight time, the lowering cloud base meaning it was the last flight of the day. As the following photo, provided by Colin Troise shows, initially, the airfield was populated by a visiting crowd of young bucks and old deers who were replaced by the usual crowd somewhat later.
Monday 28th. A moderate to fresh NW'ly that slowly backed into the W, the wind gusting into the high 20's, was accompanied by frequent, heavy showers that prevented any flying.
Tuesday 29th. The windy and showery theme continued with the wind now a moderate to fresh SW'ly and the showers somewhat less frequent but still adding another 5 mm to March's rain total. The improvement over Monday's weather was insufficient to allow any flying.
Wednesday 30th. Another 8 mm of rain overnight meant that the airfield's soft patches had become more extensive, but with a light to moderate W'ly blowing and a good looking sky, particularly after lunch, it was a busy day at the launch point. 18 ATs were flown, 7 for First Flight pupils, with the conditions generating a single flight in excess of an hour and 9 of greater than 30 minutes. It was a day when only the club's 2 seaters were flown, although this included all 4 of them. with Andy Parish and Tony Drury in the DG1000 posting a flight time of 1:14. Tony later almost doubled the number of flights exceeding an hour with 53 minutes solo in K21 KLW, while John Carter enjoyed 3 flights of over 40 minutes, one of 47 minutes with Andy Beaumont in the DG1000, one of 46 minutes with Peter Robinson in K21 KLW and one of 45 minutes with Chris Booker, again in the DG1000. The day's flying activities included 2 flights in the Falke and a visit from the Yorkshire Air Ambulance, the latter being the key to the later arrival of 6 Land Rovers carrying Mountain Rescue teams in what was assumed to be an exercise. John Carter has provided the following photos of the visit.
Thursday 31st. A ridge of high pressure promised a good soaring day, and so it turned out to be, the soaring opportunities being enlivened by a convergence that crossed the site around 1630 hours turning the light to moderate W'ly into an E'ly of the same strength. The convergence provided some good soaring conditions with some very strong lift at times along its length, average climb rates of up to 7 kts being reported. The day was also characterised by very variable cloud bases, the bases over the North Yorkshire Moors being anything up to 1,500' higher than those over the Vale of York and at times adjacent clouds also showed marked differences in the height of their bases. Convection started early over the Moors but was very slow to get going over the Vales of York and Pickering, this leading to much changing of cross country tasks. Rob Bailey flew to Guisborough SW and back twice before visiting York in the club Discus to cover 180 km while George Rowden visited a number of local TP's as well as exploring the extent of the convergence to cover 166 km in his LS8-18, at one point climbing to 5,200' asl. The conditions and forecast encouraged 2 pilots to try for their Silver Durations, Mark Newburn achieving his with 5:10 in Astir DPO, but Richard Watson, flying the DG303, was forced to land early into his attempt due to problems of a personal nature. Mark's flight was the longest of the day, although Lindsay McLane had 4:12 in his Ventus, as he ventured south, while George and Rob had 3:07 and 2:54 respectively. John Carter and Naomi Kennard topped the 2 seater list with 1:32 in K21 JVZ, while the length of the soaring day can be judged by the fact that Mark Newburn's landing was around 1800 hours and Baz Soneveld had 1:08 solo in the DG500, also landing after 1800 hrs. 3 First Flight pupils flew on a day when 12 flights exceeded an hour and a further 9 30 minutes. George Rowden has provided the following photos of the convergence that provided such good soaring opportunities on a good day at Sutton.