Sunday 17th to Monday 18th.
Posted: 18/04/2016 21:45
Sunday 17th. The snow showers of Saturday had all disappeared leaving behind a cold airmass that initially provided a light to moderate NW'ly flow which soon backed into the W. Good looking Cumulus soon started to develop, the forecast and conditions encouraging a goodly number of private owners to rig and then disappear to all points of the compass. 41 ATs were flown, with 7 First Flight pupils, 6 Scouts and club members ensuring that all the club 2 seaters were fully utilised. Robin Hutchinson and Alex Mahnke had 59 minutes in K21 JVZ, with Robin later having 48 minutes in the same glider with Andy Tyas. All 3 available single seaters were also flown, Conrad Thwaites having 2:10 in the DG303, Rob Bailey flew 186 km in the Discus with TPs at Beverley and Pontefract, while Mark Newburn had a first cross country sortie visiting Northallerton and Helmsley in Astir DPO in his flight of 1:51. 19 of the day's flights exceeded an hour with a further 10 exceeding 30 minutes, with a number of cross country pilots exceeding 3 hours. Darren Lodge flew his LS8 around Goole, Tontine and Pontefract, covering 276 km in his flight of just under 4 hours while John Ellis flew a self confessed meander of 234 km in his DG800, visiting Richmond, Market Weighton, Rufforth and Masham. David Latimer flew a declared 219 km triangle in his Ventus with TPs at Thorngumbald and Pontefract, while Chris Gill took his 17 m DG202 around Scunthorpe, Pontefract, Rufforth and Knaresborough covering 203km with a flight time of 2:59. Kelly Teagle, flying her first cross country for 3 years, completed the 100 km Sut/Pocklington/Rufforth/Sut triangle in her Cirrus with a flight time of just under 2 hours and Tony Drury flew an O/R to Masham in his DG303. Bill Payton and Albert Newbery kept their DG1000t aloft for just over 3 hours but I have no information of where they went. Pilots reported a 5,000' asl cloud base and strong thermals although significant over convection developed late in the day.
Monday 18th. A southward travelling, weak cold front and a developing high pressure combined to give an initially cloudy, but dry day, the moderate W'ly flow gusting to around 30 kts at times, leading to some bouncy final approaches, before decreasing to become light to moderate towards the end of the flying day as the clouds disappeared. 11 winch launches were flown off runway 24 with all but one of the launches leading to a flight duration in excess of 30 minutes, 6 of the launches giving flights in excess of an hour. Wave was forecast and evident, as illustrated by this photo taken by Jon Hart from his study window.
Due in part to the mobility of the system, the wave was difficult to contact, although it did generate some very strong and rough rotor thermals to add to the hill lift, while at the same time contributing to a lack of any sort of lift on the hill. Cloud base was initially around 3,000 asl but later increased to over 4,000' asl and the day provided an interesting mixture of hill, thermal and wave lift. George Rowden, the only private owner to rig, abandoned 2 early attempts to climb in the wave at around 4,500' asl due to closing wave gaps, but eventually managed to find a clear gap over Dalton and took a climb to 7,700' asl in his LS8-18 before deciding to go downwind to a bigger gap over Easingwold which produced a 4-6 kt climb to 10,000' asl in his flight of just under 4 hours. The climb was terminated at 10.000' asl while still in 4 kts lift due to a lack of on board oxygen. David Watson, flying the DG500 had 1:27, while others to break or achieve an hour or more included John Carter and David McKinney with 1:12 in K21 JVZ, John Carter also having an hour each with Mr Beaumont in JVZ and Tom Dale in the DG500. Brian Wise and Peter Robinson, eventually deciding to take a launch at the end of the day as the wind died, subsequently managed 1:05 in JVZ while the day also saw a single First Flight pupil flown.