Thursday 19th to Friday 20th May
Posted: 20/05/2016 21:21
Thursday 19th. A light to moderate SSE'ly blew at the start of the day, veering into the SW as more Atlantic fronts approached from the west, their rain arriving around 1630 hours. A late start saw 5 ATs flown off runway 20, the only club glider to be flown being K21 JVZ with the flying log also recording a private owner launch that of David Watson flying his DG200, which he did for 26 minutes. While no one flew for more than an hour, Andy Parish and Caz Fuchs had 43 minutes in JVZ, the extended flight time being the result of some weak wave which, as well as giving more air time, allowed the intrepid pair to climb 300'.
Friday 20th. A moderate W'ly saw the winch deployed, although the morning also saw some light showers and extensive low base, cloud. The cloud started to break up and by mid afternoon, the sky was dotted with fat Cu, although to the south an approaching layer of medium and high level cloud was visible, this gradually lowering as the wind backed into the SW and decreased in strength. In spite of the less than promising start to the day, 20 gliders launched off runway 24, including 5 by private owners, 15 via the winch and 4 via AT when the wind temporarily dropped and ridge stopped working in the late morning. For those of you good at maths and unable to reconcile the total number of launches with those from the winch and AT, the additional launch was a self launch by Ian Bullous in his DG800. Due to the late development of good soaring conditions, the cloudbase getting to 4,000' asl by late afternon, no one flew any significant cross countries although staying up was relatively easy, via hill, thermal and even some wave lift. Martyn Johnson in his DG600 produced the best climb, to 5,300' asl in his flight of just over 3 hours, with George Rowden getting to 4,300' asl , a few hundred feet above cloud base, by soaring the windward side of a Cumulus in a flight of just under 3 hours in his LS8-18. Steve Thompson, aloft for 2:20, visited the Tontine twice in his Discus while the aforementioned Ian Bullous had 1:49 and ventured to the other side of Northallerton. All the above pilots took winch launches, but Ian Johnston, flying his DG300, had 1:44 off an AT and Andy Parish and Diane Thomas had 1:10 in K21 JV via the same launch method. In al,l 8 of the day's flights exceeded an hour with a further 7 exceeding 30 minutes and the day also saw 2 First Flight pupils flown, while Jon Morris, last year's tuggie, dropped in in an open cockpit Evans VP1 for a cup of tea and a chat. The writer left site around 1730 hrs as those intending to fly on into the evening started to arrive, so the evening activities will be reported later.