Tuesday 22nd to Saturday 26th March
Posted: 26/03/2016 21:48
Tuesday 22nd. A light, mainly NW'ly blew throughout the day, the sky being filled with a total overcast which was, however, high enough to permit flying although not soaring, this being reflected in the flight times, with nobody exceeding 30 minutes. Most of the closest approaches to that particular gaol were achieved early in the day, with Andy Parish and Chris Knapp having 28 minutes in the DG1000 off the first flight of the day, David Campbell and Peter Whitcomb having 25 minutes in K21 KLW off the 2nd flight of the day and visitors Ross Morris and T Beasley having 21 minutes in the DG1000 of the third. Paul Whitehead, flying in K21 JVZ with Lyn Bell, one of the day's 6 First Flight pupils , upset this particular sequence by having 24 minutes of air time during the afternoon. In all the day saw 22 flights of which 4 were in the Falke.
Wednesday 23rd. Another cloudy day, but this time the wind was a light to moderate W'ly, conditions that encouraged the visiting group from Crowland GC to fly their Astir thus contributing to the 12 ATs of the day. Like Tuesday, the conditions were again not particularly conducive to soaring, but Wednesday did generate 2 flights of over 30 minutes, Andy Parish and Peter Robinson somehow managing to eke out 35 minutes of flying time from a 1000' tow in K21 KLW, while visitors M Newton and P Hardingham had 31 minutes in the same glider. KLW and the DG1000 were kept busy with 5 First Flight pupils and the Falke contributed 3 sorties to add to the day's flights.
Thursday 24th. A slow moving weak front led to some light rain during the morning, and although it dried up in the afternoon, the associated cloud never became high or broken enough to allow any flying to take place, the wind being a moderate SSW'ly.
Friday 25th. The front had departed overnight leaving the UK under the influence of a ridge of high pressure. This led to a convective soaring day, the wind starting light from the SSW, veering into the NW and then slowly increasing to become a moderate SW'ly later. Convective conditions were slow to get going but the day did encourage a good turnout at the launch point and activity in the trailer park with 11 private owners rigging. In all 44 launches were made by AT and 4 by winch when the wind strengthened during the afternoon. The conditions led to a number of cross country flights and the first land out of the year, Nick Gaunt being the possessor of that particular honour while his flying of his LS7 came to a premature end. Others who also departed the site, but subsequently returned by the same mode of transport, included Rob Bailey who flew the club Discus around Market Weighton and Wetherby South to cover 145 km, having to undertake some significant diversions to get round large blue holes in his flight of 2:30. Jon May and Steve Ball flew their Duo Discus to Rufforth and Ripon in a flight of 1:27, while Martin White did the 100 km Sut/Pocklington/Rufforth/Sut triangle in his Pegase, his flight time being 1:50. The longest flight of the day was by Darren Lodge who was aloft for just over 3 hours in his LS8, with a number of other pilots exceeding 2 hours, these including Tony Drury with 2 hours in his DG300, George Goodenough with 2:09 in his Cirrus and Duncan Pask in his LS10 with 2:18. Steve Ogden flew the club DG303 for 1:48 while Fred Brown topped the 2 seater table with a flight with Charles Willoughby of 1:12 in K21 KLW off the winch, this mode of launch also seeing Andy Parish and Conrad Thwaites have 1:06 in the DG1000. In all 15 flights exceeded an hour and an additional 8 exceeded 30 minutes on what was the best soaring day of the year so far. The day's aviating was completed by 2 sorties in the Falke while 6 First Flight pupils chose a busy day for their introduction to gliding.
Saturday 26th. A low overcast and a steadily increasing S'ly wind, this becoming fresh and gusting into the high 30 kts, meant it was a non flying day at Sutton, the rain arriving at the site around 1800 hrs, just in time to wet those members arriving for a flight safety meeting. The topics covered by CFI Andy Parish included, radio communication. particularly with the RAF stations at Leeming and Linton, rigging, tug upsets, field landings and stalls and spins. The meeting also had a presentation by the a member of the ATC team at RAF Leeming responsible for glider liaison, who stressed the importance of glider pilots communicating their position and intentions with ATC while about to enter the vicinity of RAF airfields so as to allow fast jet and other traffic to be safely routed away.