Tuesday 14th to Friday 17th June
Posted: 17/06/2016 20:39
Tuesday 14th. Initially, a light N'ly with a medium level overcast meant that flying could commence around 1100 hrs from runway 02, although the prospect of limited lift, except to the NW meant that there was no scoring task for the Northern's competitors although a free distance task was open to them. In the event, a number of cross country flights were flown with Bob Bromwich taking off in in his LAK17 fes aroound 1230 hrs and covering 121 km, turning back just before Warcop on the other side of the Pennines and then having to resort briefly to his engine on the way back to Sutton. Later in the day, Andy Hatfield in the club DG302, made use of a convergence to visit more local turn points at the Tontine and Oswaldkirk to record 56 km, while John Carter and Mark Newburn, taking off the the club DG1000 around the same time as Andy, covered 31 km, with a visit to Helmsley in their itinerary. These flights were 3 of the 5 > 1 hr on the day, with the longest flight being 2:45 by Richard Kalin in his Ventus although he didn't submit a trace of the flight, while Graham Morris in his ASW27 had just over an hour. Steve Codd and Adrian Roberts had 51 minutes in the DG500, one of 5 flights to achieve > 30 minutes in the air. In all 29 ATs were flown, the majority off runway 20 as, shortly after commencing flying, the wind became a light to moderate SE'ly. Ragged Cumulus, with a base around 2,500' asl, formed under the overcast with a base around 5,000' asl, this allowing George Rowden to almost take the day's Mile High pupil to the required altitude in K21 JVZ, while the other 2 First Flight pupils had smooth flights from 3,000' tows. Flying operations, which included a single Falke sortie, concluded around 1830 hrs.
Wednesday 15th. The depression, responsible for the almost unremitting un-soarable and often un-flyable weather, remained in place over the UK with little signs of moving its position, so Wednesday was another scrubbed day for the Northern's competitors and a non flying day for YGC club members. The simulator, however, provided flying of the virtual kind. The lack of real flying did, however, allow John Carter and David Watson to undertake a number of minor maintenance tasks on club gliders, including sorting out the wheel brake on Astir DPO. Later in the day, the cloud base was deemed high enough to allow Mark Newburn to take the Astir on a test flight, with full brake operation during a simulated field landing to be demonstrated. The cloud base, at 800' QFE, proved to be just high enough for the task, which Mark successfully concluded, simultaneously making it another flying day at Sutton (just). The lack of the hustle and bustle of a busy gliding day was somewhat compensated by the hustle and marked bustle of a Bristol Hercules, sleeve valved piston engine, being run. Brought back to operation by a local enthusiast, the running of the engine can be seen on this accompanying video.
The Northern competitors then retired to the clubhouse for a social evening.
Thursday 16th. Little change in the overall synoptic situation meant little change in the prospects for flying, never mind soaring, as the wind returned to the N becoming light to moderate accompanied by a low overcast. However, there was flying of sorts as a couple of the younger Northern's competitors did manage 3 aerotows by a model tug and glider. The first flight, off a table outside the hangar, was limited in duration and altitude as the float plane tug and balsa glider proved to be a low power to weight combination. A second attempt from a first floor vantage point, and with the floats removed from the tug and the balsa glider replaced by a paper one, proved altogether more successful, although the landing was out of sight behind the clubhouse. The 3rd and final flight started promisingly from it first floor take off point but ended dramatically as the elastic power tug ran out of power and nose dived into the ground, taking the glider with it.
Friday 17th. The weather continued in its cool, cloudy light to moderate N'ly mode, the wind strength slowly lessening as some light rain spread from the north preventing any chance of a contest day. Contests did however continue on the simulator, with Chris Boden holding on to the lead he had established earlier in the week with a 111.2 kph speed over the 100 km, Sut/Ripon/Wetherby South/Sut task in a fully water ballasted DG800, Katie Byrne was in second place with a speed of 105.4 kph with Andy Hatfield third at 96.1 kph. Simon Brown, flying Hors Concord, completed the task at 132.6 kph while John Carter improved on his first run at 109.4 kph to clock 128.6 kph on his second, but real not virtual complaints to the stewards meant that only fully paid up Northerns competitors were deemed eligible to compete for the virtual cross country prize and then only via a single flight.