Sunday 23rd to Tuesday 25th April 2017
Posted: 25/04/2017 19:25
Sunday 23rd. A light N'ly that slowly backed into the W increasing to light to moderate, provided a cool, unstable air mass that meant a very good soaring day ensued, the conditions encouraging 12 private owners to launch. 42 ATs were flown, the flights for the 6 Scouts and 3 First Flight pupils being virtually the only ones to not exceed 30 minutes flying time. 18 of the day's flights exceeded an hour and a further 12 thirty minutes, with a number of cross country flights undertaken. Lindsay McLane flew a 300 km O/R to Belvoir at such a pace that on arriving back at Sutton, decided to carry on to Barnard Castle. This didn't prove to be one of his better decisions, as somewhere on this additional O/R, recourse to the engine had to be made. Paul Whitehead, on the other hand, decided on a cautious return to cross country flying in his Ventus after a break of 6 months and declared a 118 km triangle with TPs at Pocklington and Ripon. Finding the conditions to his liking and, soon shaking off any rustiness, Paul completed 3 circuits to amass 354 km. Lindsay and Paul notched up the 2 longest flights of the day with 5:50 and 4:41 respectively, while Darren Lodge, flying his LS8-18 was a further pilot to exceed 4 hours with 4:33 of local flying. Steve Thompson, flying his Discus, covered 231 km in visiting Guisborough, Pontefract and Market Weighton in his flight of 3:18, while Les Rayment visited Ripon, Pocklington and the Burn/Goole area in his Ventus, being also a > 3 hour participant with 3:36. Gerry Murphy, flying Astir DPO, had 2 flights totalling 4:18, the longest, in the afternoon, being 3:07, while Ron Beezer/Lee Grinrod and John Carter/Paul Frost made sure the 2 seater pilots enjoyed the conditions, with 1:40 in the DG1000 and 1:06 in K21 respectively. The day wasn't all plain sailing (or more properly plain gliding) however, as Mark Newburn landed out at Rufforth, being AT retrieved by Derek Smith in the Eurofox. In amongst all this activity there was a single Falke flight.
Monday 24th. A mid morning cold front heralded the arrival of some Arctic air which led to a wind chill temperature of -2C at 1900hrs. The front itself rapidly crossed the site, precipitating 0.8 mm of rain in the process, with the subsequent weather being characterised by a moderate NW'ly that steadily increased to become fresh by the end of the day with gusts up to 38 kts. A single launch at 1400 hrs saw John Carter take Mile High pupil Mr Gray up in K21 JVZ, their climb behind the Eurofox being assisted by some strong thermals and a high (6,000'asl) cloud base. At altitude, the wind was in excess of 40 kts and their arrival back on terra firma after 35 minutes saw the end of glider flying for the day, although the Falke managed to fit in a flight before the wind strength increased too much.
Tuesday 25th. The Arctic air had become well established, with an overnight low of -2C and a wind chill of -9.7C at around 0500 hours, the wind remaining moderate to fresh from the NNW and gusting to 35 kts. The slim chances of flying were further reduced by the passage of showers, some of these being heavy and wintry in nature and becoming more widespread as the day progressed so those who wanted to fly did so on the simulator. Although the chances of any Tuesday evening flying remained poor, an alternative programme of talks on aspects of gliding were offered by organiser Steve Thompson to those who turned up.