Wednesday 5th and Friday 7th April 2017

Posted: 08/04/2017 15:26

Wednesday 5th.  The overnight passage of a weak cold front left the site in a light to moderate N'ly that soon backed into the WNW, with the result that the first two AT launches of the 15 flown on the day were off runway 02, while the rest were off runway 24.  The day provided some tricky thermal soaring allied to some wave, with one of the two private owners to launch using thermals to stay aloft and the other wave.  Derek Smith was the wave utilising pilot, taking his Ventus to just under 11,000' asl in a flight of 2:46, the initial climb being in the Easingwold area before Derek moved north to repeat the climb over Northallerton, with around 100 kms travelled in total.  Nick Gaunt, on the other hand, used the broken thermals of the day to just get into cloud at around 4,000' asl in his flight of exactly an hour, this being a second attempt, the first ending after 13 minutes when Nick released at 1,000' QFE only to find the expected thermal was not there.  The usable thermal activity was confined to the mid afternoon, as Albert Newbery and Robert Taylor Atkins had 55 minutes in the DG500 when taking the next launch after Nick's.  Other than the above soaring flights, the rest of the day's flights were of the slow descent variety, with only John Wright and Arthur Doshchyn managing to exceed 20 minutes with a flight time of 21 minutes in K21 JVZ.

Friday 7th.  Members and visitors arriving at site for the morning briefing were disappointed to find the forecast blue skies replaced by 8/8ths stratocumulus at 2,000' QFE for as far as the eye could see.  Undeterred, flying got under way from runway 24 just after 1000 hrs with 29 ATs being flown before the last flight landed at around 1815 hrs,.the initial  light NW'ly slowly backing into the SW over the course of the day   Flight times reflected the non-soaring nature of the day until the cloud started to break and cloud base to rise in the late afternoon, although Graham Taylor somehow managed to stay up for 36 minutes around 1330 hrs.  The improvement in the weather led to one flight exceeding an hour and another 2 to exceed 30 minutes, John Marsh in the DG303 having 1:04 and Arthur Doshchyn 37 minutes in Astir KRN, with Mike Smith demonstrating the increasing length of the usable soaring day, not to mention his undoubted skill, as he had 41 minutes in the DG303 around 1730 hrs.

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