Sunday 18th to Thursday 22nd December
Posted: 22/12/2016 21:08
Saturday 17th. Further to my previous Blog, I received a couple of photos which shown the foggy end to Saturday's flying. The first was taken following the parking of the Tug at the launch point after the last launch of the day and shows the fog advancing up runway 20, while the second shows the DG1000 fog bound at the end of its landing roll with the tractor getting into position to tow the glider back to the hangars.
Sunday 18th. Saturday's fog had cleared leaving a quiet day with very light winds, mainly from the S/SE, the generally blue skies allowing 18 ATs to be flown off runway 20, but with little in the way of lift to extend flights. Consequently, it was a circuit day with maximum flight times of 25 minutes, these generally being obtained from 3,000' tows with the day's First Flight pupils. Thus, John Carter with Paul Whitehead in K21 JVZ (no relation to our acting CFI) , John Marsh with Lindsey Whitehead in K21 KLW and John Marsh again, this time with Mark Dunn in JVZ, had 25, 23 and 23 minutes respectively. The only other pilots to join this group were Jim McLean and Polly Whitehead in KLW with 25 minutes and Mike Collins who had two flights in Astir DPO of 24 and 23 minutes. The day's flying was completed by 4 Falke sorties. With quiescent flying conditions, the major excitement of the day was provided by an early outbreak of Christmas cheer as either a packing case of Father Christmas hats fell of the back of a lorry or a single hat found its way onto many heads as the following montage of those present on the day shows.
Successful identification of all those in the photo will be suitably rewarded, so leave your entry, together with your name and membership number in the office.
The following photo, provided by Jim McLean, lends credence to the rumour that in order to enhance the reputation of the YGC, a strict dress code for winter flying is to be applied. The photo shows John and George modelling the apparel for P1 and P2 so as to be colour coordinated when flying K21 KLW or the DG500, while a blue version is being made available when flying K21 JVZ and the DG1000. A late request to Santa for a personal outfit in your size is suggested while the office will be able to help determine inside leg measurements.
Monday 18th. The very quiet weather conditions continued to prevail, with Monday's very light winds from the SE quarter matching those of Sunday, as did the lack of any soaring opportunities. The AT total for the day only reached 5, with flying coming to a halt around 1230 hrs although whether this was weather related or a lack of demand is not known to your scribe. The single First Flight pupil flown on the day, Gareth Leyland had 20 minutes in K21 JVZ with Steve Thompson while John Carter and Chris Haresnape had 25 minutes, the best of the day, in K21 KLW. Alan Beaumont and Dick Cole each flew JVZ solo and from lower tows recorded flight times of 14 and 13 minutes respectively.
The lack of late December soaring opportunities at the YGC did not extend to the club at Papawai in New Zealand from where Andy Parish now flies and from which he sent this report, together with some photos.
"A quick note to keep you informed of how I am getting on in NZ. I arrived on Friday evening and got to the gliding club on Saturday morning. On Sunday I was checked out and received my ratings. We had a couple of flying days that were not too exciting - soarable with hill lift, bits of thermal and bits of wave but nothing to write home about. The weather has been pleasant and warm. On Friday I had a busy day with 11 winch launched flights and 3 hours. There was 5 knots to 6000'. Today (Sunday) it waved as the attached photos show. Initially nobody got in the wave as it was very hard work in rotor thermals and my pupil - a young girl kept feeling sick and we'd have to go back down. Anyway I changed pupils and we climbed through the rotor and into the wave proper. Broke off the climb at 9500' as that is were the airspace starts. Home for tea. More promised for tomorrow.
The photo taken from the ground shows the high bar which must have been up at 20,000' or more and stretched from one horizon to the other." The middle photo shows a climb of 6kts at 8,000'.
Tuesday 20th. Although Tuesday was a bright day for those in the Vale of York, the moderate and moist S'ly kept the site in orographic stratus all day so there was no flying.
Wednesday 21st. A moderate to fresh SW'ly, gusting to 30 kts slowly moderated and veered into the W as the day progressed, but fairly frequent showers meant the gliders remained hangar bound. However, better conditions towards the end of the day allowed the Falke to have a single flight.
Thursday 22nd. A light to moderate S'ly slowly veered into the west and increased to moderate, the initially clear skies clouding over towards the middle of the day as a weak occluded front slipped south-eastwards, the front bringing a number of showers which caused a few flights to land prematurely. However, while initially lift was confined to the southerly facing section of the main bowl, the change in wind direction and strength provided lift over a larger area and greater depth, with maximum heights of 3,200' asl being attained, with the wind change also resulting in operations moving from runway 20 to runway 24. 3 of the day's 20 ATs exceeded an hour, with a further 8 exceeding 30 minutes, with Colin Troise/David McKinney having 1:50 in the DG1000, Paul Whitehead and Geoff Turner 1:17 in K21 KLW and Bob Beck 1:10 solo in the DG1000, Bob surviving the showery interlude in the middle of the day. Colin reported a temperature of -3C at 3,000' and a wind speed of 45 kts. Duncan Pask in Astir DPO amassed 57 minutes, Steve Thompson 53 solo minutes in KLW while Chris Gill and Liam Watt had 48 minutes in K21 JVZ. 4 First Flight pupils were flown on the day at Sutton, the opportunity to soar making up for the cold and, at times, wet conditions.