Wednesday 8th to Thursday 9th March 2017
Posted: 09/03/2017 21:19
Wednesday 8th. A light to moderate W'ly and decreasing cloud amounts produced a good, blue wave day, with most of the day's 20 ATs contacting and getting good climbs. Pilots reported rough conditions low down and even in the lower part of the wave system but this turbulence was compensated by 8kts of lift in the best spots. 8 of the day's flights exceeded an hour with a further 8 exceeding 30 minutes and 3 First Flight pupils were treated to some great views from a high vantage point. Jesper Mjels took the DG303 to 15,000' (all altitudes asl) over Disforth and had a little cross country trip to Darlington and back, covering 85 km, in his flight of 3:09. Colin Troise climbed to 10,500' in his flight of 2:06 in the Discus and Polly Whitehead did her bit for International Women's Day, taking K21 KLW to 10,000' solo in her flight of an hour. Others achieving good climbs included David McKinney and Steve Ogden, both of whom, flying Astirs, had their best ever wave climbs with peak altitudes of 10,000' and 8,500', while Dick Cole and Steve Thompson got to 9,000' in the DG1000, a useful height from which to practice their planned spinning exercise. Dick later repeated the exercise with Paul Bulmer in the DG1000, this time from 10,000', while Bill Payton, having failed to contact the wave on his first flight in the Discus, did better on his second and was another pilot to get to 10,000'. Other two seater pilots to enjoy the experience included Paul Whitehead and Resh Khodabocus who climbed to 9,200' in the DG1000 and Graham Evison and B Gardner who reached 9,000' in K21 JVZ. To summarise, it was one of those "you should have been there" days.
Thursday 9th. A fresh WNW'ly and blue, sunny skies meant it was a winching day, but only 5 flights resulted as the wind soon backed into the NW providing very turbulent conditions for take offs and landings on runway 24, with gusts of up to 32 kts recorded. The 5 flights generated 2 of over an hour with 2 more over 30 minutes, Derek Smith with Geoff Hughes in K21 JVZ and Paul Whitehead with George Goodenough in the DG500 being the > 1 hour pilots having 1:04 and 1:01 respectively. Colin Troise flew the only solo flight of the day with 42 minutes in the DG303, a similar time being reported by Paul Whitehead and Mark Newburn in the DG500. Pilots reported turbulent conditions aloft with ridge triggered thermal, cloud base being around 4,000' asl, the thermals also tending to form streets which allowed some penetration up wind of the site. The cessation of flying just after lunch did not mean the end of the day's excitement, for the day also saw the arrival of the club's new Astir trailer which had been collected from its German manufacturer and brought back to Sutton by John Ellis and Stuart Heaton.