Thursday 21st to Friday 22nd April
Posted: 23/04/2016 18:33
Thursday 21st. The high pressure that had brought the pleasant Spring weather, slowly transferred its centre into the Atlantic, with the result that the S'ly wind slowly backed into the NE, a prelude to the return of an Arctic air mass, but not before the highest temperature of the year was reached, 15.2C. Skies were again blue and with convection slow to get going, only 5 of the day's 15 ATs managed flight times in excess of 30 minutes, most of these being in the afternoon when a few Cu appeared. The conditions were, however, eminently suitable for the 5 First Flight pupils of the day, who, courtesy of their 3,000' QFE tows, provided 4 of the > 30 minute flights. The exception was David McKinney who. flying the DG303 solo, topped the duration list with 34 minutes. A large proportion of the other club member's flights took advantage of the low cost Eurofox tow to 1,000' QFE to practice approach and landing skills, while Lindsay Mclane had a winter spin check with Andy Parish in the DG1000. The day's flying was completed by a single Falke flight.
Friday 22nd. The beginnings of the Arctic air mass made its presence felt with the light to moderate NNE'ly flow providing a maximum temperature of only 11.3 C, the coolness of the airstream becoming progressively more noticeable as the day progressed. The instability of the air mass did, however, lead to the early formation of Cu with a base of around 3,500' asl, the sky readily filling in with cloud, but seemingly without affecting the production of usable thermals. As a result, 9 of the day's 10 ATs off runway 02 led to flights in excess of 30 minutes, with 4 exceeding an hour. Sue Aherne took Astir DPO up for a 1:44 trip, her take off behind Eurofox IOF being captured in the following photo which also shows the broken nature of the cloud cover, this getting progressively less as the afternoon wore on, with the base rising to 4,500' asl.
Sue's Astir flight followed that of Steve Thompson who celebrated his return to aviation medical fitness, following his recent heart operation, by jumping into the Astir and having a flight of 1:40 during which time he visited the Tontine and Helmsley. A photo of a very happy and contented Steve after his landing is shown below.
The other pilots to achieve flights of > 1 hour were Colin Troise, who had 1:14 solo in the DG500 and visitor Mark Lench from Rufforth, whose objectives of soaring from Sutton, enjoying one of Liz's great lunches and checking out a recent club parachute purchase were all achieved, the first objective via a 1:06 flight solo in K21 JVZ. The day also saw 2 Falke flights, while George Rowden took 2 First Flight pupils for soaring flights, having to resort to full air brake deployment on both flights in order to limit the flights to the required time. Andy Parish and Fred Brown flew the last flight of the day in JVZ, which, after some aerobatics, resulted in Fred successfully having his instructor license revalidated.