Friday 13th to Tuesday 17th January 2017
Posted: 18/01/2017 14:04
Friday 13th. A shallow, southward travelling depression over the North Sea brought strong winds and some snow to the site. The winds, initially fresh and gusting to 40kts, slowly moderated over the day but never sufficiently to allow flying to take place. The combination of a thin layer of snow and the gusty winds did, however, allow the resulting turbulence over the site to be visualised in the snow devils that were photographed by John Carter and are included below.
Saturday 14th. The departing depression of Friday left the site in a cold, light to moderate WNW'ly flow that didn't produce anything much in the way of lift. Consequently, the 16 ATs of the day only generated 2 flights of 0ver 30 minutes, and both of these were the result of 3k tows rather than significant amounts of rising air. Andy Hatfield was P1 on both flights, first with one of the 3 First Flight pupils of the day, J Orley, recording 33 minutes in K21 KLW and then 32 minutes with D. Crossley, a guest of Naomi Kennard, in the DG1000. Thereafter, 23 minutes of flight time seemed to be a popular choice, with both Steve Ogden and then Martin White, both in Astir KRN and Martyn Johnson and T Wilson in the DG500 registering this flight time. Martyn and his P2, however, seem to deserve the biggest plaudit, as their 23 minutes came from a 2k launch height. Saturday also saw JVZ, recently returned from it ARC have a test flight with John Carter at the controls before resuming its workhorse role in flying operations.
Sunday 15th. A front within an developing anticyclone crossed the site around 0730 hrs, its 6 mm of rain ending around 1030 hrs, leaving a legacy of low cloud that shrouded the hill and prevented any flying. Sometime during the weekend, the DG1000 was derigged, put in its trailer and taken down the hill for its ARC while those on site spent a profitable time rearranging the contents of the north hangar, this providing more space for the hangared aircraft.
Monday 16th. Another weak front had virtually stalled over the UK within the high pressure system, resulting in another 3mm of rain falling between 0300 to 1200 hrs and the site remaining in cloud, with the inevitable result regarding flying.
Tuesday 17th. The cloudy, and blocking high pressure, showed no sign of moving or declining, so the site remained in cloud, with light rain and drizzle at times, as a light to moderate SSE'ly slowly declined to become light over the course of the day.