Thursday 4th to Tuesday 9th May 2017.
Posted: 09/05/2017 20:02
Thursday 4th. The wind speed had now increased to become moderate to fresh from the NE, although it veered into the ENE later, gusting up to 28kts in the early afternoon. Operations commenced off runway 02 behind the Pawnee, but later were switched to 06 as the wind veered, the skies remaining blue with isolated Cu forming downwind of the site. 10 ATs were flown, with all four 2 seaters utilised, but the conditions did not favour soaring, with only 1 flight exceeding 30 minutes, that by John Carter and Colin Troise in the DG1000, which, aided by a 4,000' tow, lasted 41 minutes. John and Mark Newburn, flying the DG500, managed 25 minutes while Andy Parish took Diane Hall, one of the day's two First Flight pupils, for 23 minutes in the DG1000. A number of other members decided to spend time on the simulator practising their cloud flying techniques.
Friday 5th. Friday was another sunny day, as the moderate to fresh ENE'ly continued to blow, operations being off ruway 06. Cumulus developed well downwind of the site above the eastern flanks of the Pennines and around mid afternoon had progressed sufficiently eastwards to allow 1 of the day's flights to register a flight time of 1:01. This was by Steve Thompson and Simona Latimer in K21 KLW, the only glider to be used on the day. Steve and Simona's flight was the last one of the day, with only 5 ATs flown, there being a long break between the first flight of the day at 1028 hrs and the second at 1319 hrs. Dick Cole, flying with Mr Beveridge, was the only other pilot to exceed 30 minutes of air time with 47 minutes having taken off just before Steve and Simona.
Saturday 6th. An overcast had moved in overnight and remained in place all day, the ENE'ly having declined to become light to moderate, the lack of sunshine and the wind making it feel cold. 16 ATs were flown with 4 First Flight pupils and 4 Scouts being among those taking to the air, although staying up in it presented something of a problem due to the lack of lift. Fred Brown, flying two of the day's First Flight pupils topped the duration list with 27 minutes with Laura Smith and 25 minutes with Mark Halligan, both in K21 KLW while Andy Parish and Jan van de Hoek also had 25 minutes in the same glider. Solo flying was restricted to a couple of flights with John Shaw having 22 minutes in K21 JVZ off the last flight of the day, the day also seeing the Falke have a single flight.
Sunday 7th. Saturday's overcast had thickened and lowered and this in combination with the now moderate N'ly flow, restricted the day's maximum temperature to around 9C. The low cloud base precluded glider flying but the Falke had 3 flights to maintain a run of flying days.
Monday 8th. The run of flying days came to an end on Monday, as Sunday's conditions of a low overcast and a chilling moderate N'ly flow continued, precluding any flying. However, the site was visited by an enthusiastic group of Beaver Scouts in the early evening, with John Carter introducing them to gliding via some videos, a close up view of a glider and a session on the simulator.
Tuesday 9th. The overcast remained in place but had had risen to provide a flyable day with a cloud base of 2,000' QFE, the continuing N'ly wind having declined to become light to moderate. Operations started off runway 02 but switched to runway 24 in the early afternoon as the wind progressively veered to become S'ly by the start of evening flying, the skies clearing to clear blue at the same time. Thermal conditions became established by early afternoon as the skies cleared with Paul Whitehead and Martin Clowes having 58 minutes in K21 JVZ and John Carter and First Flight pupil S Hanley having 38 minutes in the DG1000, peak climb rates of 4-6 kts being reported as the cloud base rose to around 3, 700' asl. Tony Drury, flying K21 solo, had 34 minutes in K21 KLW on a day when 12 ATs were flown before the start of evening ab initio flying with Kelly Teagle and Fred Brown instructing. The day saw Ron Beezer and George Rowden successfully complete their 5 year instructor re-validation via Falke flights with Paul Whitehead and glider flights with Andy Parish. Congratulations are also due to Steve Thompson on becoming a Full Cat instructor earlier in the month.