Saturday 8th to Tuesday 11th April 2017
Posted: 11/04/2017 21:35
Saturday 8th. Saturday was a typical blue, anticyclonic day, with moderate to poor visibility and little in the way of usable lift with only 2 of the 35 ATs of the day exceeding 30 minutes, although the higher tows for the day's 7 First Flight pupils ensured they had flights of at least 25 minutes. The day tempted 5 private owners to launch but only Duncan Pask in his LS10 had a soaring flight with a flight time of just over an hour, Jon May and Andrew Bingham providing the only other flight of over 30 minutes with 40 minutes in the DG500.
Sunday 9th. The initially light SE'ly gradually increased in strength and veered into the NW, causing the launch method to change from ATing to winching mid afternoon. The 22 ATs saw 8 Scouts and 4 First Flight pupils flown, while 3 of the flights exceeded an hour and a further two 30 minutes. Rob Bailey, flying his ASG29 flew 105 km, visiting Kirbymoorside, Sutton on the Forest and another personal WPt in his flight of 2:14 as the inversion eventually broke, but had to battle 20 kt winds. Darren Lodge had 2:33 in his LS8 while Mike Collins, flying the Discus also exceeded an hour with 1:08. The 11 winch launches generated a further flight in excess of an hour with an additional three over 30 minutes, with Jesper Mjels having 2:13 in the DG303. John Ellis, self launching in his DG800, contacted wave and reached 8,300' asl, from which height he couldn't see the ground due to haze. The two seater charge for maximum duration was led by Steve Thompson who, with Chris Booker had 42 minutes in K21 KLW, followed by John Marsh and George Clayton with 37 minutes in K21 JVZ.
Monday 10th A light to moderate WNW'ly slowly declined to become a light N'ly as the early promise of a good thermal day dissipated due to spreadout, although Martyn Johnson found sufficient lift to visit Northallerton and the Tontine before returning to Sutton via a large detour to the east over the North Yorkshire Moors, eventually landing after a flight of 2:23 in his DG600. Martyn was the only pilot to exceed an hour with the other private owner to rig, Ian Johnston, having 53 minutes in his DG300. Ian's time of <an hour but > 30 minutes was also achieved by 6 other flights including that of John Carter, who had 39 minutes in K21 JVZ with David Anderson and followed this up with 31 minutes with Tyler McGregor in the same glider.
Tuesday 11th. A light WNW'ly increased to become moderate with gusts into the low 30's during the afternoon, before moderating slightly as a cold front made slow progress down from the NW. The early ATs found climb out to be rough but, as a compensation, the associated wave to be strong, with a number of pilots climbing over 10,000' asl. After 8 ATs the wind speed had increased to a point where winching was the preferred launch method and 8 launches were subsequently made by this method before your scribe left site, Tuesday ab initio flying continuing into the evening, this being reported later. The day's 8 ATs all led to flights in excess of 30 minutes, with 5 greater than an hour. David Latimer had 5:21 in his Ventus while John Ellis had 5:05 in his DG800, David reaching 9.500' asl and visiting Barnard Castle and Boroughbridge, while John reached 12,500' asl and explored the eastern slopes of the Pennines from north of Leyburn to south of Pately Bridge. Jesper Mjels, flying the DG303 reached 15,000' asl in his flight of 3:22, with Martyn Johnson climbing to 14,400' asl and visiting Harrogate North before landing after 2:51. Ron Beezer, flying the Discus, left a 6 kts climb at around 12,000' asl due to having no oxygen, but visited Tockwith and Ripon to record 78.8 cross country km in his flight of 1:36. John Carter and Phil Turner reached 7,500' asl in K21 JVZ, in their flight of 57 minutes, while George Rowden took his First Flight pupil Peter Greenfield to the same height in the DG500, landing after 35 minutes. Jon Hart's AT check flight with Ron Beezer in K21 KLW saw them immediately contact the wave and later in the day, when winching replaced ATing, Jon's winch check flight, this time with John Carter, led to a flight of 1:16 in the DG500. The change to winching coincided with something of a reduction in wave activity, with much lower climbs being recorded, nevertheless, it remained eminently soarable and 6 of the 8 winch launches exceeded 30 minutes and 4 of these exceeding an hour. Bob Beck and Simona Latimer had 1:17 in K21 JVZ, while Alan Beaumont had 1:04 solo in KLW, Alan finding the wave stopped at around 5,500' asl. Steve Thompson, flying Celia Mawson in KLW, one of the 5 First Flight pupils of the day, visited her home village of Osmotherly, after climbing in wave to 4,000' asl.