Friday 28th October to Tuesday 1st November
Posted: 01/11/2016 20:28
Friday 28th. The wind had declined to become a light W'ly, this backing into the SE towards the end of the day. In spite of the low wind speed, the first AT of the 23 flown on the day, saw Alan Beaumont fly K21 JVZ solo for 1:37 and reach 6,200' asl, a precursor to a day that saw 9 flights exceed an hour and a further 5 thirty minutes. The conditions also encouraged 10 private owner launches, with Darren Lodge and Ken Arkley, both flying LS8-18s, recording the longest flights of the day, 3:30 and 3:19 respectively, although I have no report on the highest altitudes they reached. Visitors Carol Pike and Phil Morgan from Shallbourne GC had 1:33 in their Janus and another visitor, Jon Garner, had 40 minutes in JVZ in the company of Andy Parish. A number of pilots experienced the quiescent joys of wave flying, including Polly Whitehead, who reached 5,600' asl flying JVZ solo, while the 4 First Flight pupils of the day, including a Mile High sortie, chose a good day to experience soaring. Flying continued until 1720 hrs, with the Falke having 2 flights.
Saturday 29th. Saturday was predominately cloudy, the low base restricting glider flying to 3 ATs in the middle of the afternoon, the inititally light S'ly veering into the SW and increasing to light to moderate. The low cloud base can be judged by the release heights of the 3 ATs, which were 1100', 1000' and 800' (all QFE) and were flown for 3 Scouts from a group of 8, the remaining 5 being given the experience of gliding under much less restrictive conditions on the simulator. The cloud base was not such a problem for the Falke which flew once.
Sunday 3oth. A light W'ly greeted those arriving at site for the morning briefing, the wind slowly backing into the S over the course of the day, although this did not create any runway selection problems as the low cloud base precluded any gliding activity apart from that provided by the Falke which was busy with 5 flights.
Monday 31st. A light, mild S'ly blew all day, the site being bathed in glorious October sunshine above a sea of fog in the Vales of York and Pickering and in many of the steep sided valleys in the North Yorkshire Moors. Taking off on runway 20 was not an option due to the foggy Vale of York which obscured landing sites should an AT failure occur. Accordingly, operations were conducted off runway 02, the climb out being over the clear, un-obscured fields to the north of the site. 12 ATs were flown in one or other of the club's 2 K21s and the DG500. Although a lack of any lift meant the day's maximum flight times were of the 20+ minute variety, the combination of foggy valleys, sun drenched moorland and excellent visibility more than made up for the low flight durations. For the record, John Carter and First Flight pupil Fred Suddron had the longest 2 seater flight of the day, 21 minutes in K21 JVZ, while Andy Evans had 24 solo minutes in K21 KLW. Thereafter, John Carter and the day's other First Flight pupil, Mika Sherman, in JVZ, Phil Morgan/Carol Pike in their Janus and Andrew Peacock in his MiniNimbus all had 19 minutes. At the end of flying, K21 KLW was derigged and placed in the workshop for some TLC prior to its trip down the hill for its ARC. John Carter has provided the following photos of the scene.
Tuesday 1st November. A southward travelling cold front crossed the site during the early hours of the morning, depositing 0.3 mm of rain, but more importantly leaving the site in a cold polar air mass. The remnants of the front cleared the site mid morning and thereafter, sunny intervals were the order of the day, the N'ly wind starting off moderate but slowly declining to become light by the end of the flying day. 22 ATs were flown, including 4 private owner launches with, somewhat surprisingly, some usuable thermic activity in the mid afternoon. The latter resulted in 1 flight of over an hour, Rob Bailey taking the Discus around some nearby TPs, and 12 in excess of 30 minutes. The latter included Paul Whitehead and visitor Bob Symonds with 55 minutes in K21 JVZ, visitor Jon Walters with 50 minutes in his Vega, Andy Parish and First Flight pupil David Tucker with 45 minutes in the DG500, visitors Carol Pike and Phil Morgan with 43 minutes in their Janus and Steve Thompson and David McKinney with 41 minutes in the DG500. In addition to reports of 2-4 kt thermals to a 3,500' cloud base, some pilots reported weak wave with the best climb, from 3,300' to 4,300' asl, being by Jon Walters. The excellent visibility contributed to a very pleasant day's flying, and was particularly appreciated by the day's 4 First Flight pupils and Helen who flew the Falke with Paul Whitehead as instructor.