Sunday 10th to Tuesday 12th July
Posted: 12/07/2016 19:57
Sunday 10th. A light to moderate WSW'ly soon backed into the SW and increased to moderate, with gusts later into the high 20 kts. Initially, ATing was the order of the day, but as the wind speed increased, the option of winching was introduced, both launch methods running in parallel until the end of flying around 1540 hrs as the greying skies started to produce rain. In the event, the day produced 15 ATs and 7 winch launches, which together led to 18 flights of over 30 minutes, with 9 over an hour. The day saw 7 private owner launches, with those taking ATs having the longest flights, Fred Brown in his Ventus having 2:11, while the best from the winch launch option was 1:36 by Martyn Johnson in his DG600, closely followed by Jon May and Steve Ball in their Duo Discus with 1:35 and 1:30 from John Marsh in his DG303. The longest flight of the day, however, again from an AT, was completed by Jim McLean in the club DG303 with 2:23. Kelly Teagle in her Cirrus had 1:30 and Colin Troise flying the DG500 solo, 1:06. A similar time of 1:04 was achieved by Mike Wood flying the DG500 solo off the first of the day's winch launches, while Steve Thompson and Alex Joyce had the longest club 2 seater flight of the day with 56 minutes in K21 JVZ. In spite of the early finish due to rain, 4 First Flight pupils were flown.
Monday 11th. The front that had brought flying to a premature halt on Sunday, crossed the site around 0640 hours on Monday, but the post front conditions didn't clear sufficiently to allow flying to commence until around 1330 hrs. By this time the wind had become a moderate W'ly, so it was again a winching day, 9 launches being flown before flying stopped around 1720 hrs. The day's launches were distributed fairly evenly between the 2 K21s, JVZ and KLW and the DG500, with Colin Troise in the latter, posting the only >1 hr flight of the day, with 1:21. Colin later flew the same glider for 53 minutes and so contributed 2 flights to the 6 of the day which exceeded 30 minutes. John Carter and Anton Mahnke, flying KLW, also contributed 2 >30 minute flights, with times of 40 and 49 minutes while Tom Dale, flying the DG500 solo, was content to have a single flight of 57 minutes.
Tuesday 12th. The day started sunny with a light NW'ly flow and ATing off runway 24 commenced just after 1000 hrs, continuing until around 1630 hrs, by which time 23 ATs had been flown behind one of other of the two EuroFoxes, this launch total being a function of the all action nature of the ground crew, as shown in the next photo.
The light wind and cross wind take offs led to some long ground runs, and, consequently, good views of the climb out by visitors traversing the public footpath around the southern edge of the airfield above the White Horse. The early morning sunshine soon produced some Cumulus but this rapidly spread out to cover the sky, although at times good lift was still to be found under an 8/8 layer of cloud with embedded Cu, as shown in the following photo, the base of the spreadout being around 5,000' asl .
Although there were a few subsequent periods of sunshine, the trend was for the sky to become progressively cloudier, with the result that the majority of the 10 flights to exceed 30 minutes in duration were flown before lunch time. Graham Taylor led the way with 1:30 in the DG303, while Rob Bailey in his ASG29t, after an early engine burn on the way to Helmsley, had 2:31 as he visited Pickering, Carlton, Guisborough SW, Helmsley and Thirsk, covering 111 km in the process. Rob reported the best climbs in the Guisborough area due to sea breeze effects. The club welcomed 4 pilots from RAF Linton on Ouse, who, flying with Paul Whitehead in the DG1000, had an average flight time of 43 minutes, this including 1:06 for one of their number, Richard Waugh. 5 First Flight pupils were also flown on the day, with George Rowden taking one of them, Andrew Smith, for 42 minutes in the DG500, while Steve Thompson and Richard Margetts had 3 flights of 56, 20 and 39 minutes duration, illustrating the variable nature of the day. Emerging from its recent ARC, the T21 also took to the skies, the first pair of intrepid aviators, Les Rayment and Ian Johnstone, nicely anticipating the warmth of this year's summer as the following photo shows, with Les later aviating again, this time with Mike Smith, visible in the photo in corpulent mode, for company.