Friday 23rd to Tuesday 27th December
Posted: 27/12/2016 20:20
Friday 23rd. An active cold front associated with storm Barbara crossed the area around 1330 hrs bringing a temperature drop of 3.4C and a short period of intense rainfall and gusty winds, these peaking in the low 40 kts. With the average winds being moderate to fresh S'lys, becoming fresh W'lys after the passage of the front, the gliders stayed in the hangars.
Saturday 24th. Storm Barbara continued to affect the site as a very showery, moderate to fresh and gusty W'ly blew all day, with peak gusts into the mid 30 kts. Shower activity started to decline in the afternoon but too late to allow any flying to take place.
Sunday 25th. Storm Conor, following Barbara on a track between Scotland and Iceland, re-intensified the winds which, blowing from the SW, were fresh with gusts of up to 38 kts. The overnight passage of Conor's warm front left the site in the depression's warm sector and a maximum temperature of 13.8C was recorded at RAF Linton on Ouse. Although the fresh and gusty winds meant it was another day of no flying, Christmas day is the only day in the year on which the YGC is not open for business.
Monday 26th. Conor's legacy, like Barbara's, was to leave the site in a fresh W'ly flow with peak gusts into the high 30kts, the temperature having fallen to more usual values with the passage of Conor's cold front. The wind conditions, although tempting, were deemed too gusty for flying, so again the gliders continued their Christmas holiday while a merry band of around 9 members enjoyed a multi-course meal expertly cooked by John Ellis, the merry maybe being more a function of the accompanying liquid refreshment.
Tuesday 27th. After the storms of Christmas, Tuesday saw the establishment of a strong area of High Pressure over southern England, this yielding a light to moderate initially S'ly flow over the site, the wind veering into the W as the day progressed. Flying got underway around 1030 hrs off runway 24 behind the Super Cub, the skies being milky blue due to the presence of some thin high level cloud. Lower level cloud, initially to be seen to the SW of the site, slowly progressed NE'wards, its regular banding across wind suggesting the presence of wave, and Mark Newburn, flying the DG303 soon reported contact, climbing to around 4,500' asl, before the system collapsed, Mark arriving back on the ground after 45 minutes. Many of the subsequent flights, out of the 16 flown on the day, experienced wave lift to a greater or lesser extent, the stability of the system increasing as the afternoon wore on with the result that average flight times steadily increased. Consequently, although Tom Dale and Mark Newburn, flying the DG500, recorded the only flight time of over an hour, 1:14 to be precise, 8 other flights exceeded 30 minutes, with Ken Arkley having 51 minutes in the DG303, Fred Brown and Chris Ogden 45 minutes in K21 JVZ and Jamie Quartermaine and Andy Tyas 44 minutes, again in JVZ. The wave did not seem to extend much above 5,500' asl but provided some soaring interest and some very pleasant views as the photos below, provided by Fred Brown and John Carter, show.
Jamie Quartermaine, as well as helping out with instructing, took the Falke on an O/R trip to Long Preston to get an aerial view of an archaeological dig he is currently involved with, this being one of the two flights undertaken in the Falke on the day.