Friday 19th to Saturday 20th and Thursday 25th to Friday 26th August.
Posted: 26/08/2016 21:44
Friday 19th. A day of low cloud in a moderate SE'ly, with rain setting in in the early afternoon and continuing into the evening, amounting to 10 mm, meant it was a non flying day.
Saturday 20th. A moderate to fresh SSE'ly greeted those attending briefing, the wind slowly increasing during the day to become a fresh SSW'ly with gusts to 34 kts, the conditions meaning the gliders stayed in the hangars.
Thursday 25th. A slow moving cold front deposited almost 20 mm of rain over a period from 1400 hrs on Thursday to the early hours of Friday, the wind being light from the ENE. The lack of real flying was partially compensated for Alistair Monkman and Andy Wallace, mini course pupils, by sessions on the simulator, these including, as well as gliding, some low level flying in the Lake District in a F35.
Friday 26th. A moderate SW'ly and a low cloud base meant multiple changes of plan for those pilots considering cross countries, but the early flights in the club 2 seaters confirmed the presence of the forecast wave and this proved to be the principal, but not the only means by which the day's cross countries were flown. Friday evening flying was proceeding smoothly when your scribe left site, so this report covers activities up to 1700 hrs. By this time 33 ATs had been flown off runway 24, with landings on 20, but with the wind slowly veering into the W, landings reverted to 24 later in the day. All of the available club aircraft were flown and private owners contributed 10 ATs. The initially low cloud base rose quite quickly and the associated thermals were both strong and turbulent at times, indicative of rotor thermals. Transfer into the wave system from thermals was not particularly straightforward for some pilots and early on, climb rates were low with no lenticulars to speak of, the sky being more representative of a convective day. However, later in the afternoon the wave became more visible as the convection died. 19 of the day's flights exceeded an hour with a further 9 over 30 minutes, while 2 pilots exceeded 4 hrs and a further 6 exceeded 2 hours. Martyn Johnson in his DG600 claimed the highest altitude of the day, getting to over 17,500' asl over Ripon in his flight of 4:42, while Fred Brown got to 12,500' in his Ventus visiting Ripon, Catterick, Wetherby and Northallerton, a distance of 179 km. Les Rayment, initially struggled to contact the wave, but when he did, visited Ripon, Catterick, Harrogate N, Richmond and Northallerton in his Ventus, climbing to 10,000' asl and covering 163 km. Other pilots to reach 10,000' asl or thereabouts included Colin Troise in the club Discus, this being his second flight of the day in this glider, Phil Lazenby who reached a draughty 9.862' asl in the club Ka8, having taken off for a nice hill soaring flight and George Rowden who got to 10,080' asl and covered 111 km visiting Harrogate North, Sutton, Tontine and Northallerton in his LS8-18, the O/R from Sutton to Harrogate N, costing a height loss of nearly 6,500', some of this being recovered after recontacting the wave near Northallerton and climbing back to 7,500' asl. Some pilots spurned the wave flying and used thermals to fuel their cross country flights. Bill Payton and Naomi Kennard flew 170km in Bill's DG1000t, with TPs at Pontefract and the Humber Bridge, the DG1000's t coming in handy some 20 km short of Sutton. George Goodenough went downwind in his Standard Cirrus but wished he hadn't as he met many of the gliders competing in the 2 seater competition at Pocklington, while Steve Thompson completed his declared task in his Discus, the 184 km he flew in thermal including TPs at York, Guisborough SW and Rufforth. Steve also flew the longest flight of the day, 4:42. Other pilots to have > 2 hrs included John Marsh with 2:56 in his DG303 and Frank Wilson with 2:38 in Astir DPO. Mini course pupils Alistair Monkman and Andy Wallace had a good final day, both spending over an hour in the DG500 with Paul Whitehead, while Chris Knapp visited the Tontine and Thirsk in the club DG303 and Charles Willoughby had 1:38 in Astir KRN. In among all the above activity, 5 First Flight pupils were flown and the Falke had a single sortie. A member of the public, walking on the footpath which borders the western and southern edge of the site, sent in this photo of the DG500 on tow behind the Eurofox set against an attractive skyscape.