Friday 13th to Sunday 15th October 2017
Posted: 16/10/2017 12:29
Friday 13th. An extensive cloud sheet persisted in the moderate to fresh S'ly flow, the latter slowly veering into the SW by the end of the flying day. The base of the cloud did, however, allow flying to take place, the ridge between Gormire and the A17o ascent of the escarpment providing lift and soaring time for those who flew. In all 8 aerotow launches were flown, generating a single flight of over an hour, that by Colin Troise solo in the DG500 with 1:01 and another 6 of more than 30 minutes. Among these were Steve Thompson and J Harltley with 50 minutes in K21 JVZ, while Steve also had 42 minutes with Phil Turner in K21 KLW. Will Blackburn, flying the 4 First Flight pupils of the day gave Rayleigh Flyles from this group the longest flight with 35 minutes in JVZ.
Saturday 14th. A moderate SW'ly that varied between SSW and WSW meant it was intially a winching day, but with the wind decreasing to light later in the day, ATing became the preferred launch method. The initially extensive cloud layer was later punctured by isolated wave slots that allowed a few pilots to get into the sunshine above the cloud, but as the slots were few and far between, noboby ventured too far from the site. The day's 20 winch launched flights generated 17 flights of over 30 minutes and 7 over an hour, with visitor John Williams in his LS8 having just over 6 hrs and Jesper Mjels in his DG400, just under 5 hrs, John getting to 8,700' asl and Jesper to 7,000' asl. Neither, however, ventured too far from the site due to the cloud cover, John going as far as York and Jesper visiting Masham and Northallerton. Colin Troise and Tony Drury in the DG500, off the last winch launch of the day, also used the wave to get to just under 6,000'asl in their flight of 1:48, but all the rest of the winch launched flights had to be content with hill soaring, Duncan Pask in his LS10 having 2 hours and Derek Smith and Peter Goodchild having 1:37 in the DG1000 as Peter embarked on cloud flying training. The change to an ATing option around 1430 hrs resulted in 7 of the 9 ATs exceeding 30 minutes in the air with 4 greater than an hour, but also resulted in more pilots enjoying wave flying. Phil Lazenby reached 8,000' asl in his flight of 1:31 during which time he visited Boroughbridge and Northallerton in the DG303, while Andy Hatfield stayed more local in the Discus while climbing to 5,000' asl in his flight of 2:17. Paul Whitehead and Nora v G climbed to 6,000' asl in the DG1000, Paul earlier having taken D Wilcocks to 6,200' asl in the DG500, the return from the wave slot near Topcliffe being intially at VNE as cloud base was only 1,500' QFE.
Sunday 15th. The initially moderate SE'ly flow was accompanied by low cloud and very poor visibility that prevented any flying, but the wind then veered into the SSW, the lowering humidity resulting in an increase in cloud base, a reduction in the cloud cover and improved visibility. However, pilots reported a layer of very poor horizontal visibility from about 2,500 to 3,500' QFE although vertical visibility remained good. Once again, pilots had a choice of launch method and with flying starting at around 1330 hrs and finishing around 1700 hrs, 18 launches were flown, equally split between the two launch options. None of the AT'ed flights exceeded an hour, but some of the pilots launching by this method found and used some weak wave, Fred Brown getting to 4,400' asl in his Ventus and Kelly Teagle 3,500' asl in her Kestrel 19, two of the 5 private owners to fly on the day. While not getting into the wave, those winch launching posted the longest flights of the day, with John Marsh having 1:55 in his DG303, Phil Lazenby 1:32 in the club DG303, Bill Payton and Stuart Heaton 1:03 in their DG1000 and Colin Troise 1:02 in the Discus. John Carter and Phil Turner did however record the longest flight in a club 2 seater with 51 minutes in K21 JVZ off the first AT of the day, reaching 3,900' asl in the process. Jesper Mjels, using the engine of his DG400 to good effect, recorded the best climb of the day getting to 15,500' asl and visiting Masham and Ripon, further ventures afield being constrained by the extensive cloud cover and lack of wave slots. The day also saw 3 Scouts and 3 First Flight pupils flown.