Saturday 9th to Tuesday 12th April
Posted: 12/04/2016 17:33
Saturday 9th. A passing front deposited 5.5 mm of rain in the early morning, and its residual cloud delayed the start of flying until the early afternoon, although from then on, conditions became soarable with every one of the 8 ATs of the day exceeding 30 minutes, including the day's 2 First Flight pupils. However, later in the day, increasing high cloud from the SW put a lid on the convection. One each of the club's dual and single seater fleet flew, with the conditions tempting 3 private owners to rig and fly, with Fred Brown in his Ventus just exceeding 2 hrs of flying time and John Ellis in his DG800 almost reaching 2 hours. Others attaining or exceeding and hour were Rob Bailey in the club Discus who flew 103 km around Tontine, Thirsk, Helmsley and Boroughbridge TPs in his flight of 1:47, the conditions improving before the high overcast thickened, cloud base eventually approaching 5,000' asl. The wind remained light all day but backed from an inital NW'ly direction to become S'ly. Other pilots on the >1 hr list were Bill Payton, who had 1:23 solo in K21 JVZ off the first flight of the day and John Marsh with exactly an hour in the Discus.
Sunday 10th. Sunday dawned sunny and clear after an overnight frost, the wind being a light to moderate SSE'ly. Flying got under way just after 1000 hrs and a busy flying day ensured, the final launch total being 49, including a group of 8 Scouts/Scout Leaders and 6 First Flight pupils. All the available club gliders were pressed into service and with Cu blossoming later in the morning, there were 16 private owner launches. with both Eurofoxes providing the tows. 28 of the day's flights exceeded 30 minutes, of which 16 broke an hour, this including 5 private owners who were aloft for over 2 hours. These were Lindsay McLane in his Ventus with 3:04, Nick Gaunt in his LS7 with 2:39, John Ellis with 2:17 in his DG800, George Goodenough with 2:13 in his Cirrus and Paul Whitehead who had 2:04 in his Ventus. The only person to record his flight on the National Lsdder or OLC was Rob Bailey who, flying the club Discus, flew 107 km around the Sut/Snainton/Stamford Bridge/Sut FAI triangle in his flight of 1:59. Rob reported a Sea Breeze front near Snainton and difficult blue conditions approachng Stamford Bridge that persisted on the last leg back to Sutton. Robin Hutchinson and Colin Troise shared a 1:16 flight in the DG1000 while Chris Knapp had 1:18 in the DG303. Conditions became increasingly tricky as the wind backed into the ESE and strengthened to become moderate to fresh later in the day generating an increasing cross wind component that caused flying to be abandoned just after 1700 hrs.
Monday 11th. A depression to the SW of the UK provided a moderate to fresh E'ly flow at Sutton, with gusts exceeding 25 kts around the middle of the day, these conditions preventing any flying in the real world although, on the simulator, Dave McKinney practised his RT procedures with both Linton and Leeming while flying X country with John Carter in much more benign conditions. The day also saw David Watson give a lecture on cross wind flying as part of his revalidation as a Full Cat instructor as the following photo shows.
Tuesday 12th. A slow, northward moving, occluded front deposited 8 mm of rain overnight and a further 5 mm over the flying day, the site being in cloud for most of the above period. Consequently, there was no flying but David Watson continued his instructor revalidation with theoretical sessions in the company of John Carter and Derek Smith.