Tuesday 23rd May 2017
Posted: 24/05/2017 11:18
Tuesday 23rd. A high pressure system to the south of the UK meant it was a sunny day at Sutton with a moderate breeze, this starting off in the WNW and slowly backing to become WSW'ly by the end of the day. Cumulus started to appear quite early but the cloud did not overdevelop and by the end of the afternoon the Cu had become relatively isolated and accompanied by lenticulars, the accompanying wave being enjoyed by some of the day's pilots while affecting some of those who went cross country via thermal lift. 36 ATs were flown, as the Tuesday evening flying extended the flying day until after 2100 hrs, with 12 private owners launching during the day. Most of the pilots who went cross country via thermals had a struggle at times, with the lift being weak and broken and limiting climbs to 2.500'-3,500' asl, well below the base of the flat Cumulus, although occasional climbs were much stronger and went to 4,500' asl. Among those experiencing these conditions were Andy Wright in his Nimbus 3 who covered 196 km via Humber Bridge and Scarborough, Bill Payton, flying his DG1000 solo, who covered 210 km with TPs and Scunthorpe and Scarborough and Phil Lazenby in the Discus who turned Wetherby, North Dufield and Pocklington, a distance of 125 km. George Rowden, taking off in the early afternoon in his LS8-18 flew the 106 km Sutton/Snainton/Stamford Bridge/Sutton FAI triangle, while Ron Beezer flew 93 km in his Nimbus 2 with TPs at the Tontine and Knaresborough and visitors Barry Kerby and P Challas did an O/R to York in their Duo Discus, a distance of 62 km. John Ellis attempting a thermal based 300 km task found conditions increasingly difficult as he went south but then heard Nick Gaunt reporting contacting wave so John abandoned his task and flew to Harrogate North where he contacted the wave and subsequently visited Ingleton and Masham before returning to Sutton, a distance of exactly 300 km. Nick meanwhile had contacted the wave over Pateley Bridge in his LS7 and continued west to Sedbergh, then the A66 as it drops down into the Eden Valley before doing a high speed return to the Tontine, then on to Guisborough SW before returning to Sutton after covering around 250 km in a flight of just under 6 hrs, the longest of the day. Lindsay McLane, taking off in his Ventus was one of a number of pilots to breach a 3 hour flight time but I am unaware of where he went. The prospect of wave soaring had been indicated earlier in the day by Colin Troise who, flying the DG1000 solo, reached 6,500' asl in his flight of 1:41 and wave soaring became the main activity for the Tuesday evening pilots with Andy Parish and Martin Clowes getting to 9,000' asl in K21 KLW and a number of other flights getting to around 7,000' asl. One of these saw Steve Thompson and Christina Griffiths burn off most of their 7,000' with a continuous spin in the DG1000. In all, 21 of the day's flights exceeded an hour, with a further 11 exceeding 30 minutes, the latter including the day's 2 First Flight pupils, on another grand day out at Sutton.