Wednesday 15th to Thursday 16th February 2017
Posted: 16/02/2017 20:25
Wednesday 15th. The light to moderate to moderate SSE'ly flow continued, as did the very poor horizontal visibility, in spite of the day starting off sunny, although cloud spread in later. The poor visibility was such as to prevent any flying.
Thursday 16th. A depression had tracked to the north of Scotland, leaving the north of England in a WSW'ly flow of sufficient strength and clarity to allow not only flying to take place but hill soaring underneath an overcast at around 1,500' QFE. The overcast broke up a little after lunch, allowing sight of some nice looking lenticulars above, but in spite of some promising initial climbs in 4-6 kts, nobody made a significant wave climb, Jesper Mjels, flying Astir KRN reporting the best climb to 3,500' asl. 26 winch launches were flown, with Jesper and 3 other pilots registering flight times in excess of an hour, Dave Campbell leading the way with 2:11 in the Discus off the first flight of the day. Colin Troise and Les Rayment were the other 2 > 1 hour pilots with 1:05 each, Colin in the DG303 and Les in the Discus. 17 of the remaining flights exceeded 30 minutes as the 7-800' hill soaring conditions of the morning improved after lunch to 1300-1500', as the wind speed increased. Paul Whitehead and Alan Bateman had 56 minutes in the DG1000, Derek Smith and Steve Thompson 50 minutes in the same glider, with Steve going on to have 49 minutes with Phil Turner in K21 KLW. Day Course pupils Ken and Sandra Gittins accumulated 2.5 hours from their combined total of 4 glider flights with Albert Newbery and George Rowden, with Ken also having a later flight with Albert in the Falke. Howard Marshall demonstrated the low landing speed of the Ka8 at the end of his flight of 39 minutes and there was even time for a unplanned First Flight pupil to be introduced to hill soaring after what had been a long period of weather related flying inactivity at Sutton.