Wednesday 11th to Thursday 12th May.
Posted: 13/05/2016 12:45
Wednesday 11th. A moderate to moderate to fresh E'ly blew all day as the low over southern England remained in place, skies being overcast until mid afternoon when the cloud started to break up. The conditions did not encourage any to fly in the real world although some members of the Aim Higher course did embark on the local Sut/Rufforth/Pocklington/Sut 100 km triangle on the simulator while putting some of the "Go Faster" advice of the last few days into practice.
Thursday 12th. The depression to the south had slipped away to the west, with the result that the wind had become a moderate NNW'ly, the skies being sunny over and to the south of the site although extensive low cloud could be seen to the north and west. 16 ATs were flown off runway 02 behind the Pawnee, the early flights being of the up round and down variety, but later wave set in and, as a result, 7 of the day's flights exceeded 30 minutes with 4 exceeding an hour. The club welcomed multiple Gliding World Champion Sebastian Kawa to the site prior to his evening lecture and he took the opportunity to fly, first of all in the company of CFI Andy Parish in the DG1000, but not before Seb had been given a warm, ney cheeky, Yorkshire Welcome by "I'll blow in your ear and follow you anywhere" Sue Ahern, as the following photos show.
Once the wave conditions had become established, most pilots elected to tow to 2,500/3,000' QFE in front of a wave bar about 5 miles to the north of the site where climb rates of 2 kts were typical, and the extensive cloud to the north and west was evident, as the following photos show.
John Carter, flying first with visitor Kaz Fuks in K21 JVZ and then with Anton Mahnke in K21 KLW had flights of 1:01 and 1:19 respectively, while visitor Martin Hargreaves from the Essex and Suffolk GG had 55 minutes in KLW with Andy Parish and George Rowden had 58 minutes solo in JVZ. As well as having a 56 minute flight with Andy Parish in the DG1000, this being snapped by John Carter from K21 JVZ as shown below,
Seb Kawa also flew with Anton Mahnke for 1:17 and took the last flight of the day with Andy Hatfield, again in the DG1000. On this flight, at Sebastian,s instigation they went west and released at 1200' QFE on front of a patch of cloud over the caravan site between Sutton Village and Bagby, using the lift there to gain height before progressing up wind to north of the Bilsdale TV mast which could be seen at times sticking out of the wave bar above it. By this time a low level wave bar had developed down wind of the site, as shown in the following photo, and the pair then flew southeast as far as Strensall near York before returning to site, recording a flight time of 1:31.
After hangaring the gliders and tug and enjoying a 2 course meal prepared by Liz, members and visitors alike enjoyed a eye opening talk by Sebastian on his recent expeditions to Nepal in order to fly in the Himalayas and plans, yet to be realised, to explore gliding conditions in the Antarctic Peninsular, the Caucasus and even the Kamchatka Peninsular in the far east of Russia as his priority turns from winning World Championship competitions to expeditions and height, speed and distance records. These plans are based on predicted soaring conditions via a enhanced RASP model which operates at a much reduced mesh size. The question and answer session which followed covered a diverse range of topics and gave a fascinating insight into the expertise and qualities required to be a multiple world champion.