Wednesday 13th to Saturday 16th April.
Posted: 16/04/2016 20:32
Wednesday 13th. The site was still under the influence of fronts circulating around a depression to the SW of the UK and this meant another cloudy and wet day at Sutton, a further 5 mm of rain falling over the 24 hour period, the wind being a light NE'ly. Unsurprisingly, there was no flying although Fred Brown's use of the airfield for casting practice earlier in the week, caught on the following photo, overestimated the wetness of the runway's, as the prospect for catching a fish remained Bleak.
Thursday 14th. Another dull and cloudy day, but looking on the bright side, the day was essentially dry in the cool, light to moderate N to NNE'ly wind. The low base of the extensive cloud threatened to lift and break in the early afternoon, but this was just a fleeting reminder of what flying weather looked like and the cloud soon returned to square one, ie unflyable. The grim weather did not put off all the visitors to the site, as the following photo shows, this being taken by a member of the company who are producing a ground feature at the northern end of runway 02, which will feature in the air to ground shots accompanying the Tour de Yorkshire cycle race, due to ascend Sutton Bank on the 1st May. Given the poor visibility a suitable caption fr the photo might be "Are you there deer?"
Friday 15th. A light and variable wind that at times blew from the W and S before eventually settling to blow from the N, was initially accompanied by bright if not sunny skies and a high cloudbase, although this flyable weather soon gave way to increasing cloud and eventually rain in the mid afternoon as a cold front approached from the north. The opportunity was therefore taken to fly, with 3 ATs undertaken, these taking advantage of the high cloud base with tows to 3,000', 4,000' and 4,500' QFE. The 3,000' tow saw Andy Parish take First Flight Mr Chilcott for 22 minutes in K21 JVZ, while Mark Newburn took JVZ solo to 4,000' and landed 30 minutes later. Mark then took off again with Andy Parish in JVZ for some aerobatics that saw them burn off 4,500' in 15 minutes.
Saturday 16th. Yesterday's approaching cold front cleared the site overnight, leaving blue, sunny skies, an overnight frost and a moderate N'ly wind. The duty team duly started to prepare the gliders and equipment for the day's flying only for the skies to quickly cloud in and the first of the day's frequent and heavy snow showers to arrive. A photo of JVZ sitting out one of these snow showers is shown below.
Brief sunny interludes between the CuNims did allow the Discus, recently returned from its ARC, to be rigged, the following photo showing Tony Drury undertaking a brief rest from his task of taping up the wings, while the opportunity was also taken by Steve Thompson to provide a viewing of Astir KRN's trailer for a potential buyer.
Steve's salemanship proved to be successful with the potential buyer turning into a actual buyer. However, the latter's attempt to tow his new purchase off site was delayed by a sticking wheel brake, this requiring Steve to undertake some additional maintenance as the next photo shows.
The end of a not so perfect day came with the news that the Super Cub, on lease to the York GC at Rufforth while their tug is away for a major check, had suffered a nose over accident while taxying, although the extent of the damage to the engine. propeller and airframe is still to be clarified.