Tuesday 5th to Saturday 9th July.
Posted: 09/07/2016 21:22
Tuesday 5th. A front had crossed the site in the early morning, depositing 12.4 mm of rain and leaving a legacy of low cloud that delayed the start of flying until just before midday. the wind being a light to moderate N'ly, although this progressively veered to become a light S'ly by the end of the day. 15 ATs were flown, the improving thermal conditions enabling 9 flights to exceed 30 minutes with 3 exceeding an hour. 3 private owners launched, with Martyn Johnson in his DG600 posting a flight time of just over 3 hours, while Phil Lazenby had exactly an hour in the Ks8 off the last flight of the day. Andy Parish and the last of the 4 First Flight pupils of the day, M Dickens, had 1:05 in the DG1000, taking the time to to visit Easingwold, Thirsk and Castle Howard, while Duncan Pask had 50 minutes in his LS10 and David Watson and Michael Wallace had 41 minutes in K21 KLW as the course members continued to accumulate flying time.
Wednesday 6th. Thin high cover greeted the day, the wind being a light to moderate W'ly, but this did not stop Cu forming and the latter encouraged 9 private owners to launch, contributing to the 32 ATs of the day and providing sufficient lift to generate, 13 flights of over 30 minutes, including 11 over an hour. Those pilots who set off on cross countries were frustrated by the disappearance of Cu as the high cover thickened and lowered in response to the approach of an Atlantic front. Steve Thompson in his Discus covered 119 km of his declared task around Carlton and Market Weighton, but turned back before reaching the latter as the conditions deteriorated. Rob Bailey also abandoned his 107 km declared task around Snainton and Stamford Bridge before reaching the latter, to cover 74 km in his ASG29t, with both pilots reporting cloud base around 4,500' asl. Phil Lazenby, flying the club DG303 landed out a couple of fields away from Lindsay McLane's house and after being retrieved by Steve Thompson, Stuart Heaton and Lindsay, as shown in the following photo, retired to Lindsay's for a cup of tea.
Lindsay had earlier flown his Ventus for 2:35, a similar time being achieved by Martyn Johnson in his DG600, while John Carter and Howard Marshall had 1:15 in the DG1000 and Duncan Pask 1:47 in his LS10 before the demise of soaring occurred around 1300 hrs. Others to take advantage of the day's soaring window were Martin Newbery with 1;13 in Astir DPO and Bryn Evans with 1:53 flying K21 JVZ solo. Flying continued until 1740 hrs, by which time 6 First Flight pupils had been flown and the Falke had had two sorties.
Thursday 7th. After low cloud had delayed the start of flying until early afternoon, the moderate WSW'ly provided a conundrum for the duty instructor regarding the method of launch, winch or AT. 2 winch launches in the DG303, first by John Carter and then by Derek Smith proved that the preferred method was by AT and this method was used for the additional 9 launches flown on the day, flying continuing until 1820 hrs. 3 of the day's ATs led to flights in excess of 30 minutes although there were none over an hour, John Carter and Michael Wallace getting closest to this particular target with 46 minutes in K21 KLW. Tom Dale, flying the DG303 was next with 45 minutes, but this did include Tom's first solo wave climb to 5,500' asl, so well done Tom. While all this was going on, Stuart Heaton and Albert Newbery made themselves useful by fitting new cables to the winch and undertaking other maintenance.
Friday 8th. A moderate and at times fresh W'ly meant there was no uncertainty regarding the method of launching, and by close of play, just after 2ooo hrs, 40 winch launches had been flown, leading to 22 flights of over 30 minutes, including 6 greater than an hour. The day's launch total and late finish reflected the addition of Friday evening flying, much appreciated by the 5 Scouts and additional First Flight pupils who totalled 6 on the day who were flown during the evening period. The day's clearing skies, revealed some nice looking evening lenticulars, but nobody was able to contact the wave, although this was not through want of trying. Steve Thompson, one of the 2 private owners to rig, posted the longest flight, just over 3 hours, with Jesper Mjels having 1:35 in the DG303 late in the day. Earlier, Ron Beezer had 1:27 in the the same glider, while tw0 seater pilots to enjoy over an hour of hill soaring included Paul Whitehead who had 1:13 with D Frost and 1:04 with Ken Duxbury both in the DG1000 and David Watson, flying with Mr Turner, had 1:17 in K21 KLW.
Saturday 9th. Eastward travelling frontal systems soon shrouded the hill in cloud, with rain, amounting to 6.6 mm, falling for most of the day, a clearance arriving around 1800 hrs. The only flying to be had was on the simulator where George Rowden took some similarly grounded hot air balloon pilots, who had journeyed north to a weekend meet in Thirsk, for introductory gliding flights. This activity was the meat in a sandwich of discussion that compared and contrasted the sports of gliding and ballooning .