Wednesday 11th to Thursday 12th October 2017
Posted: 13/10/2017 18:19
Wednesday 11th. A cloudy and damp, moderate and predominately SSW airstream, gusting into the mid to high 20's, led to a day of low cloud and bits and pieces of rain that precluded any flying. This is the sort of day to retire to the simulator and take part in the winter competition to post the fastest time for the Sutton Bank/Tontine/Carlton/Sutton Bank triangle in a K21. Details of the competition and help in setting up the task on the simulator can be obtained from Mike Brown who has already posted a speed of around 115 kph just to set the ball rolling. If you fancy a longer task then the Sutton Bank/Pocklington/Rufforth/Sutton Bank, 100 km triangle is also available.
Thursday 12th. The air mass had dried out compared to Wednesday and the wind, although still from the SW had decreased in strength to become light to moderate in response to a rise in atmospheric pressure. The overall result was a good wave day, with most pilots contacting and either using the wave for significant height gains, going cross country or both. Most pilots preferred to take ATs to contact the wave so out of the day's 28 launches only 2 were via the winch, with Mike Smith taking the first of the latter in the Ka8 and climbing up to 6,500' asl in a flight of 1:14, so setting the norm for the day. The hangars soon emptied of club gliders, as did some of the trailers as 9 private owners launched to achieve some notable cross country flights and gains of height. Visitor John Williams from the Trent Valley GC flew 429 km in his LS8 turning Hexham, Harrogate North, Hexham before returning to Sutton, a flight that took over 6 hours and included a climb to 17,000' (all heights asl) while YGC pilot John Ellis flew a 238 km task at 114 kph with TPs at Ripon, Selset Res, Wetherby, Leyburn and Thirsk the overall speed suffering from getting low as a result of pushing a little too hard. Steve Thompson abandoned his declared task due to cloudy condtions and instead flew an undeclared 314 km in his Discus with TPs at Kirkby Stephen Station, Wetherby South, Richmond and Harrogate North, his best climb getting him to 12,000'. Andrew Bedford flying P2 with Tim Milner in K21 KLW reached 11,400' off the first AT of the day, and later in the day the same pairing reached 13,500' in the DG500, Andrew's total flying time for the day being just over 7 hours. Other high flyers on the day included Fred Brown in his Ventus who climbed to 15,500' and visited York, while among the 13 flights to reach around 10,00' were Stuart Heaton and Albert Newbery in their DG1000, Duncan Pask in his LS10 and Dave McKinney in the DG303. The highest climb was accomplished by Jesper Mjles who reached 19,500' in his DG400 while in the vicinity of Burnhope reservoir, while a special plaudit should be made of Will Blackburn who took Steve Hopkins, one of the 5 First Flight pupils of the day to 10,000' and back to earth in 37 minutes in the DG1000, recording a steady 9-10 kts of climb on the way up.