Saturday 3rd to Thursday 8th December
Posted: 08/12/2016 16:13
Saturday 3rd. Another foggy start to the day for those living in the Vale of York, while clear conditions at Sutton allowed flying to commence at just after 1000 hrs as a light NE'ly blew, this gradually veering into the E. High cover ensued there was little surface heating, consequently, it was a circuit day with those taking the highest launches having the longest flights, but with a group of Scouts and 2 First Flight pupils to fly, the launch point was busy and 28 was the day's launch total. The lack of any soaring opportunities meant the club's single seaters remained in the hangars, but all 2 seaters were flown, with Ass Cat instructor Malcolm Morgan, formerly of the Cambridge GC, providing 23 minute flights for a couple of the Scouts and one of the day's First Flight pupils. Although no single seaters were flown Tony Drury flew K21 JVZ solo for 18 minutes while Chris Booker gave himself and his instructors an early Christmas present by successfully accomplishing his first solo off the penultimate flight of the day. A photo of Chris with his wings is shown below as dusk descended, so well done Chris.
Saturday also was last day at site for a while for CFI Andy Parish who, by the time you read this, will have arrived in North Island, New Zealand for an extended stay. Paul Whitehead has therefore taken over as CFI assisted by John Carter with Paul being on site and in charge at least 3 days a week and John 4.
Sunday 4th. Saturday's quiet weather continued into Sunday as the high pressure remained in charge, the wind being a light to moderate ESE'ly. Morning cloud slowly dispersed to give a sunny afternoon, and although it was again a non soaring day, 22 ATs were flown, a further group of 6 Scouts and 5 First Flight pupils being introduced to gliding. Graham Evison dominated the duration list with 3 of the day's First Flight pupils, taking Yvonne Bushby for 24 minutes, G Allard for 21 minutes and P Muldoon for 20 minutes all in the DG500 and all the result of high tows. Mike Collins had 2 flights in Astir DPO, the longest of which lasted 20 minutes while Tony Drury also made use of DPO with a flight of 16 minutes.
Monday 5th. The cold and quiet weather continued under the influence of the high pressure, the wind being a light to moderate SSE'ly, accompanied by high, thin cover. Flying commenced at around 1030 hrs but terminated around 1300 hrs due to lack of demand. Steve Thompson instructed on all the day's 5 ATs in the DG500, flying twice with Steve Ogden with the objective of working towards the completion of Steve's Bronze badge. The quiet conditions meant that maximum flight times were around 20 minutes.
Tuesday 6th. The high pressure started to show signs of decline as depressions made progress towards the UK from out in the Atlantic, the wind increasing from light to moderate to become moderate, while backing from the SSE into the SE. The combination of low temperatures and increasingly humid air led to extensive fog and low cloud that shrouded the site and prevented any flying.
Wednesday 7th. A cold and cloudy morning with a light to moderate SSE'ly blowing led to the start of flying being delayed until around 1230 hrs. Thereafter, the cloud lifted and the temperature rapidly rose into double figures as air from the sub tropics reached the site. 6 ATs were flown as some weak wave was used by at least two of the day's 6 flights, Jesper Mjles having 58 minutes in the DG303 and Ron Beezer and Paul Bulmer having 29 minutes in K21 JVZ. Jesper climbed to 3,700' asl, reporting wind speeds of 55 kts, this being confirmed by those following his flight on the Open Glider Network display in the clubhouse who noted Jesper travelling backwards over the ground while flying at 50 kts into wind.
Thursday 8th. A kink on a trailing front from a depression over Norway brought 12.7 mm of rain and low cloud to the site, this not clearing until late afternoon as the S'ly wind veered into the NW, the change being too late to allow any flying to take place. However, Kieran, one of the day's Trial Lesson pupils turned up late morning with his supporter group so, after a cup of tea, Kieran was taken on the simulator under the tutelage of George Rowden where it was a day of hill lift with thermals, the soaring experience more than making up for the weather outside.