Saturday Sept 2nd 2017
Posted: 03/09/2017 22:51
Andy's briefing was brief - it was going to be a very good day with x/c potential. There would be numerous gliders in the air in the local area and beyond so a good lookout was paramount.
It being the final day of the Slingsby Rally Phil Lazenby and Nick Gaunt thanked the visiting pilots and crews for coming to join us and exhorted them to return next year. Corny Cornelius spoke on the visitors' behalf saying how much all of them had enjoyed the week and indeed previous rallys - thats why they keep coming back! Seven soaring days in succession had been a welcome bonus this year.
In the event conditions were good with sometimes strong thermals leading to cloud bases topping 5000ft. Reports from the Humber area were that difficult conditions there and down into Lincolnshire spoiled the fun. This led to abandoned declared flights and an engine burn for those who had pressed on. John Ellis thought it was a case of the sea air coming in very early, probably due to the very light and variable winds.
The 2-seaters coped with a long list of pupils, check flights and trial lessons thanks to the efforts of the instructors, many of them not on the roster. The club Discus had a couple of flights, one being flown by a visitor from the Cambridge club and the other by Tom Dale having a break from his marathon tug driving duties during the previous week. Naomi Kennard reached Ripon flying the Astir in her two hour flight and was chuffed to have "slipped the surly bonds of Earth" ( quote from High Flight ) having been well out of gliding range of the club. Its certain she will be off again soon. Prior to that flight Mark Brewer had converted to the Astir which he flew for over an hour, seemingly enjoying the new experience. To complete the list of "firsts" Chris Booker converted to the DG303 which he flew for 2.5 hrs and claimed an OLC distance of nearly 100km. Quite a day. The only other club single to fly was the Ka8, Phil Lazenby absconding from his airfield organiser duties for a couple of hours and turning Boroughbridge and Kirkbymoorside aided by the good end of day thermals.
12 private owners rigged and flew with flight times generally between three and five hours. Darren Lodge in the LS8, Chris Teagle in the Kestrel and John Ellis in his DG800 all recorded flights in excess of 220km but it must be assumed that this distance was matched or exceeded by other pilots too modest to record their flights. Duncan Pask completed the requisite 50km+ flight for his Silver distance turning Burn and returning to Sutton Bank. Lets hope his trace confirms this as two previous attempts had been thwarted by technical problems and somewhat obscure badge rules. Congrats Duncan. Two of the Slingsby Week pilots had the good sense to delay their return home so they could have another day enjoying soaring over Yorkshire. Angela Veitch (Sky) added another 3 hours to her impressive total for the week and John Castle in the SB5 also roamed the local area for over 3 hours before setting off for Hus Bos. On a final vintage note Les Rayment had two hour long flights in the syndicate T21, first with Mike Wood and later in the day with Joan Wilson. Les looked the part with goggles, helmet and what appeared to be an arctic survival jacket causing the log keeper to enquire who the strange guy in the glider was.
It had been yet another safe and successful days flying with exceptionally good soaring conditions coinciding with a weekend again. It seems the weather Gods are on our side at last.