Monday 16th to Monday 23rd October 2017
Posted: 23/10/2017 15:44
Monday 16th. Early morning brightness with a light to moderate E'ly flow soon went downhill as ex Hurricane Ophelia approached the west of Ireland. The wind soon strengthened and veered into the SE with the cloud thickening and lowering as the tropical maritime air raised the temperature to a maximum of 17.3C. With the wind soon a fresh SE'ly gusting to over 30 kts, the gliders remained in the hangars.
Tuesday 17th. Ophelia's continued nearby presence meant it was a windy start to the day, with a fresh and gusty SW'ly blowing, the gusts reaching the high 30kts. However, the wind soon started to moderate and around early afternoon had decreased to moderate to fresh allowing winching to commence, although this was confined to 2 seater flying only. Flying came to an end around 1730 hrs, by which time 9 launches had been accomplished, with the majority of these leading to flight times in excess of 30 minutes. Bill Payton, flying K21 KLW off the first flight of the day had one of the two flights to exceed an hour with 1:09, while Jesper Mjels, flying the DG1000 solo had 2:51 during which he contacted wave and climbed to 11,400' asl visiting Patley Bridge in the process. Most of the other flights stayed local although Bill Payton, sharing a 56 minute flight with Tor Tavener in K21 JVZ later in the day, flew the ridge as far north as Thimbleby, while John Carter and T Kirkby had 57 minutes in KLW
Wednesday 18th. Some initial sunshine in a light E'ly flow was soon replaced by cloud, the base of which eventually became too low to allow glider flying. However, the early brightness did allow 3 ATs to take place off runway 20, two of which saw Derek Smith and R Gate take K21 JVZ for a combined flight time of 19 minutes. Will Blackburn, on the other hand, took advantage of the early blue skies to give his Mile High pupil his dues in K21 KLW, the high tow resulting in a flight time of 31 minutes. The lowering cloud base was not as much a restriction for the Falke which had 2 sorties.
Thursday 19th. An active but slow moving front kept the site in cloud and rain for most of the day, the latter amounting to 12.4 mm. Consequently there was no flying as the initial light to moderate E'ly soon strenthened to moderate and backed into the ENE as the day progressed.
Friday 20th. A light westerly opened the day but was accompanied by a low overcast and light and patchy rain. The conditions slowly improved as the wind slowly increased to moderate and backed into the WSW, brighter conditions in the late afternoon allowing flying to commence around 1600 hrs. However, the improvement was short lived and the day's flying soon came to a halt as the low cloud returned, but not before Will Blackburn had taken one of the day's First Flight pupils for a 46 minute trip in K21 KLW to record the only flight of the day.
Saturday 21st. Flying got underway off runway 20 around 1015 hrs as a moderate to fresh SSE'ly blew, this increasing to become eventually fresh to strong with gusts into the high 30kts, as storm Brian approached. The kit had by this time been safely returned to the hangars as operations had not lasted for long, the strengthening wind being accompanied by lowering and thickening cloud. This led to the onset of rain around 1400 hrs, this continuing until the early evening, 14.4 mm falling during this period. Consequently, flying was restricted to three ATs. Only the two K21s were flown, with Andy Parish taking A Patterson for 40 minutes in JVZ and C Kawalki for 34 minutes in JVZ, the remaining flight being one of 25 minutes by Kelly Teagle and P Hancock in KLW.
Sunday 22nd. Some rain which fell before briefing was the only precipitation during the day, as a light to moderate, but gusty WSW'ly blew, allowing 11 winch and 1 AT launches to be flown. The single AT off runway 24 saw John Carter and Mike Collins attempt to contact wave via a slot to the SW of the site. However, the slot proved to be transient, with the result that an instrument descent was required, with John and Mike joining the winch launched pilots on the ridge for the rest of their 1:19 in the DG1000. The lift on the ridge proved to be strong but rough, enabling most of the day's flight to exceed 30 minutes of air time, with 3 flights from the winch exceeding an hour. Paul Whitehead and C Davis emulated John and Mike's duration of 1:19, but this time in K21 JVZ, while Bill Payton and Chris Booker had the longest flight of the day, 2:13 in the DG500, during which they flew an O/R to Roseberry Topping along the western and northern escarpments of the North Yorkshire Moors via the Tontine and Captain Cook's Monument, maintaining 800-1,200' QFE. Bill and Peter Goodchild then repeated the task in 1:22 later in the day, again in the DG500, while visitors M Morgan and J Bayford just failed to breach the 1 hour mark with 58 minutes in K21 JVZ. While not flying, a number of members responded to the call from Steve Thompson to paint the doors of the northern hangar, this being accomplished over the weekend, with the doors of the southern hangar yet to receive the same treatment.
Monday 23rd. A light to moderate ESE'ly flow was accompanied by a low overcast that grazed the site at times, occasionally thick enough to produce some light rain and drizzle. Correspondingly, there was no flying.