Friday 2nd to Sunday 4th September

Posted: 05/09/2016 19:55

Friday 2nd.  A light to moderate W'ly blew all day, too gently to accommodate winching, but sufficiently strong to provide hill lift which was augmented by thermals and later in the day by wave.  23 ATs were flown of runway 24, with 7 by private owners, most of these Slingsby Week attendees, although some had already departed for their home clubs.  As well as visitors and members, the launch point was busy with 8 First Flight pupils as Friday evening flying saw the last flight of the day land at 2000 hrs.  The soaring conditions meant that the majority of the day's launches resulted in flights of over 30 minutes, with 10 of over an hour.  Martyn Johnson in his DG600  almost made it to 6 hours with 5:56, while Slingsby Week pilot Angela Veitch had 4:20 in her Olympia 2.  4 other pilots exceeded 2 hours and the same number exceeded an hour. Late in  the day the wave set in which resulted in the last 3 flights climbing to around 11,000' asl.  Andy Parish with Mile High pupil Colin Westwood released at 5,300' asl but continued up to 11,000' asl to make it into a 2 Mile High flight in K21 JVZ, setting the scene for those that followed.  This was Slingsby Week attendees Bill Cook and Ken Reid who took  the club DG1000 to the same height from a lower release point, while Andy Parish repeated his climb to 11,000' asl in JVZ, this time with member Andy Oakley, to round off another interesting and rewarding soaring day at Sutton.

Saturday 3rd.  Early brightness soon disappeared as a depression tracked across the UK, rain starting at 1100 hrs and continuing for the rest of the flying day, the accumulated rain amounting to 15 mm.  Correspondingly, there was no flying.  So ended a good week of flying for the Slingsby Week Rally and Rally Director Phil Lazenby has provided a summary of the week which follows.  Phil also had the pleasure of spending his 5,000th gliding hour in the Olympia 463 he part owned some 25 years ago.


The 2016 annual rally turned out to be one of the most successful in terms of flying achievements. Throughout the week the wind was generally from a westerly direction providing hill soaring every day with wave and thermals thrown in for good measure.  In five days vintage gliders took 86 launches and clocked up around 150 hours in the air.  Amongst the many highlights Mike Armstrong’s x/c flight of 195kms round 4 BGA TP’s in his Olympia 463 demonstrated that gliders don’t have to be made of plastic to go places.  A further example was a landing N of Thirsk by the visiting T21 after a wave climb to over 6000ft.  It being 2016, an Olympic theme for the week seemed appropriate and “gold” medals were awarded each day to the winners of the day’s events. These events were announced in retrospect after finding out who had done what the previous day.  Thursday got the month of September off to a cracking start with a sky full of wave throughout the day, fortunately with a short wavelength which allowed the vintage machines to go some way upwind.  Height gains averaged around 6500ft due in part to all launches being by aerotow which was the best option for conditions on that day. In fact the wave system did not go particularly high and a maximum height of just under 9000ft by Dave Cornelius in the K6 matched the highest by club members flying glass. The best gains by vintage machines were around 7000ft by the SB5 and the Skylark 4, both of which had ended back low down on the hill before contacting the wave proper. Overall the oldies climbed an aggregate of more than 50,000ft in the wave on that day.Over 40 rally and club members enjoyed an excellent meal provided by Liz and helpers in mid week. This was followed by a quiz which was fiercely contested; naturally the winning team received gold medals at briefing. YGC staff and members worked hard to ensure our visitors had a safe and enjoyable week at Sutton Bank.  Thanks are due to them and also Hill Aviation who sponsored the bottles of wine handed out to daily winners.

Sunday 4th.   Saturday's depression had moved off into the North Sea, but was sufficiently close by to cover the site in a low overcast that initially produced bits and pieces of rain as a moderate N'ly wind blew.  While the wind remained N'ly it slowly decreased in strength to become light and by late afternoon clearer skies arrived allowing flying to commence just after 1600 hrs.  9 AT's were subsequently flown allowing the visiting group from the Stratford GC to get in some site checks although the conditions ensured that their flight times were short, the longest flight, by Barry Kerby and K Buchanan in K21 JVZ being of 18 minutes, this time being readily exceeded by each of the 2 flights flown in the Falke.  The day also saw the arrival on site of John Tayler in his newly aquired Aeronca Champ which is to be based at Bagby, the following photos being provided by John Carter.

Proud owner Sept                                                                                            John Tayler's Champ Sept

This blog describes a snippet of life at the Yorkshire Gliding Club. Why not take a flight and try it yourself, or we can teach you to fly as a full club member.

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