Wednesday 18th to Friday 20th January 2017
Posted: 20/01/2017 16:43
Wednesday 18th. With little change in the synoptic situation, although the wind had now become a light W'ly, Northern England continued to be under the influence of the weak weather front that locally immersed the site in low cloud, preventing any flying.
Thursday 19th. The centre of the high pressure had moved nearer to the site with the result that the wind, although still predominately from the west, had become light and variable. The other change was the disappearance of the low cloud, the continued overcast having a base around 1500-1700' QFE, this being deemed high enough to allow flying to take place. The resulting 5 ATs, all in the DG500, gave rise to a maximum flight time of 14 minutes, by Graham Taylor flying solo, with Graham also having the next longest flight, a 12 minute check flight with Paul Whitehead. The rest of the ATs yielded flights of 10 minutes, including one in which Paul gave Ian Johnston a winter check. After a break for lunch, flying continued with the Falke, its 3rd and final flight landing after 1600 hrs to demonstrate that the maximum flying had been derived from an seemingly unpromising day.
Friday 20th. The low cloud had returned in a light SSE'ly flow, shrouding the hill and restricting visibility to under 50 metres, this proving to be a frustration to Mike Brown who had arranged to be on site to demonstrate the simulator to some interested aviators from the midlands who had planned to arrive by microlight. It was not, however, a totally wasted day as Mike demonstrated the virtual reality goggles to George Rowden. The low cloud slowly began to disperse around lunch time with sunnier conditions slowly becoming visible to the south, these finally arriving at site around 1500 hrs. However, their late arrival and the absence of any anxious-to-fly members meant it was a non-flying day at Sutton.