Thursday 17th to Wednesday 23rd November
Posted: 25/11/2016 12:12
Thursday 17th. After 3mm of rain overnight, a brief flyable spell of weather allowed 3 ATs to be flown in the DG1000 before an approaching front brought more rain in the afternoon, the wind veering into the west after the passage of the front, having been a light to moderate S'ly. Winter visitor Andy Wallace had 2 flights, the first of which saw him take a tow to 4k and record a flight time of 23 minutes, while Andy's second flight was for 15 minutes off a 1.8 k tow, both flights being with Andy Parish. Winter visitor Al Monkman took the first flight of the day with Andy Parish, again a tow to 4k, and managed a 27 minute flight.
Friday 18th. Friday dawned with a light to moderate W'ly blowing, this progressively backing into the SSW over the course of the day. Flying commenced around 1040 hrs and continued until 1330 hrs before lowering cloud caused the cessation of activities. K21 JVZ, the DG500 and Astir DPO were all flown, with 3 flights exceeding 30 minutes. Andy Parish and Paul Bulmer had 43 minutes in JVZ, Geoff Wright 38 minutes in DPO and Steve Thompson flew the DG500 solo for 32 minutes.
Saturday 19th. The first named storm of the winter, Angus, brought high winds and heavy rain to the south of the UK, but a light to moderate E'ly to Sutton, this slowly backing into the NE. A weather flight by Andy Parish and Andy Tyas in the DG500 proved to be the only glider flight of the day, as the low cloud base precluded further activity. However, the base was sufficiently high to allow the Falke to have 5 flights while the 6 strong Durham University group spent some useful training time on the simulator.
Sunday 20th. With storm Angus tracking E over the southern N Sea, a light to moderate N'ly flow with extensive low cloud covered the site, a front crossing the site around 0800 hrs and bringing a little rain. Conditions did not improve significantly following the passage of the front, the residual low cloud precluding any flying.
Monday 21st. An active but un named depression following in the track of Angus produced a steadily strengthening NE'ly flow, this eventually becoming fresh with gusts of 40 kts as the barometric pressure fell 11 mb in 7 hours. Rain associated with the depression began to fall around 1200 hrs and continued for the rest of the day, becoming very heavy in the early evening. Consequently. there was no flying.
Tuesday 22nd. Monday's depression eventually produced around 26 mm of rain, this mainly falling during the overnight period, with Tuesday's legacy being a dull, cloudy day with bits and pieces of light rain and drizzle from overcast skies in a light to moderate mainly N'ly wind. A non flying day was the inevitable result.
Wednesday 23rd. With high pressure becoming established from the SW of the UK, Wednesday was a flying day, with operations off runway 02 into a moderate NNW'ly to start, this becoming N'ly and declining to light to moderate later. 9 ATs were flown in either K21 KLW or the DG500, 4 of these being for the day's First Flight pupils. Initially, operations had to contend with areas of low cloud but later large blue gaps opened up and this, together with good visibility meant the club's visitors had some pleasant winter flying to enjoy. A complete lack of lift meant it was a up round and down day, with no flights over 30 minutes, the nearest to this particular target being the 23 minutes achieved by George Rowden and First Flight pupil Chris Davies in KLW, with Graham Evison taking the other 3 First Flighters for between 20 and 21 minutes in the DG500. Polly Whitehead flew the only solo flight of the day, 18 minutes in KLW, while Peter Robinson had 3 flights with Paul Whitehead in KLW, the principal difficulty of the day's flying being avoiding the areas of visible water on the airfield on landing. The wet airfield meant that a period of glider washing was required before hangaring, this activity being accompanied by a picturesque sunset as the following photos show.