Friday 9th to Saturday 10th December
Posted: 11/12/2016 12:58
Friday 9th. A mild, light to moderate, initially S'ly airstream brought copious amounts of low cloud and periods of mainly light rain, the cloud shrouding the site. A gradual change in wind direction into the WSW did not lead to any great improvement in the weather so Friday became a non-flying day.
Saturday 10th. An active front across the south of the UK did not extend its rain into North Yorkshire until the evening, so a full flying day was the result, the moderate WSW'ly slowly decreasing in strength and backing slightly as medium/high level cloud covered most of the sky, patches of lower level cloud coming and going. Flying commenced just before 1000 hrs with John Marsh in the DG303 and Jesper Mjles in Astir KRN soon winched onto the hill, the lift there being in sync with an un-forecast and unmarked wave system that lifted John to a maximum height of 4,900' asl and Jesper, who ventured further west, to a maximum height of 9,600' asl. Climb rates at moderate altitudes were low, typically 1-2 kts, but increased to around 4 kts higher up. Jesper recorded the longest flight of the day, 2:34 while John had 1:52. Bob Beck and Chris Booker had 1 hr in K21 KLW to start and later had 38 minutes in the same glider. K21 JVZ, with George Rowden and Charlotte, one of a group of Wakefield Scouts who had come to experience gliding, suffered a unplanned, early release on the launch that saw them start hill soaring at 100 ' QFE and were pleased to find the hill working. This, however, was not the fate of the sixth winch launch of the day, which found no significant hill lift and landed after a short flight, the lack of lift possibly the result of wave interference or a decrease in the wind speed. Winch launching was therefore abandoned and replaced by ATing, 19 of the latter being subsequently flown off runway 24 behind the Super Cub. 2 of these latter flights led to durations of over an hour, with a further 10 exceeding 30 minutes, as large areas of zero sink or patches of weak lift were encountered on most flights. Tony Drury, with 1:15 in the DG303 and Andy Tyas with 1:11 solo in K21 JVZ were the > 1 hr pilots, while Steve Thompson and Steve Ogden continued with their progress towards Steve's Bronze Badge with flights of 45 and 36 minutes in the DG500, the former flight including spiral dive and spin content. The remaining 6 visiting Scouts were flown in the very smooth conditions as were 4 First Flight pupils, 3 members of the Durham University Gliding club and YGC members, George Rowden giving First Flight pupil Tracy Agar 39 minutes in the DG500 and Jamie Quartermain giving Scout Dan Ambler the same time in the DG1000. After washing some dirty gliders and tug, the result of operating of a wet airfield, before putting them safely away in their hangars, many of the day's pilots were joined by other members for the YGC Christmas Dinner, all 4 courses being excellently prepared and served as usual by Liz and her helpers, photos of some of the attendees following.
Post dinner entertainment was provided by the Christmas raffle, in which Chairman Chris Thirkell, ably assisted by Steve Thompson and Andy Wright distributed the prizes to much banter from the 40+ attendees. President Nick Gaunt, after thanking all for a successful year, posed some gliding challenges for 2017, namely a 500 km flight totally within Yorkshire and a 6 times repeated out and return from the club to the Tontine within an hour, using hill lift.