Thursday 16th to Tuesday 21st of November 2017
Posted: 21/11/2017 19:09
Thursday 16th. Some early morning rain, as a front cleared to the east, delayed the start of flying until around midday, the moderate SW'ly wind by this time having veered into the WNW and decreased in strength to light to moderate. Only 3 AT's were flown off runway 24, all in K21 JVZ, one of these being for a Mile High pupil, Sara Lufman, who Andy Parish took for a 30 minute flight. Andy later bettered this time off a lower tow, having 38 minutes with Peter Robinson to add to the 18 minute flight he had with Ron Linton off the first flight of the day.
Friday 17th. A light to moderate SSW'ly flow gradually veered into the WSW and strengthened to moderate, not enough to allow winching but providing a full day's flying with hill lift and wave to use. 31 ATs were flown, with all the available 2 seaters and 2 of the single seaters in action with, additionally, 4 private owners launching. 17 of the day's launches led to flight times of >30 minutes, with 7 > an hour. Visitors John Williams in his LS8 and Dave Bieniasz in his Discus, showed up well on the duration stakes, John having 3:57 and Dave 1:22. The wave was difficult to contact, but John Williams did so after a long struggle, eventually climbing to just under 10,000' asl and visiting Northallerton, Pateley Bridge and Leyburn. Home grown pilots Nigel Burke in his DG600 and Dave McKinney in the DG303 both contacted the wave, Nigel getting to 5,500' asl in his flight of 1:28 and Dave to 8,000' asl in his flight of 1:13. Tony Drury made the most of his 1 hour flight with Mile High pupil Andy Jackson by climbing to 6,300' asl, while Brian Wise and Graham Cookson got to 4,000' asl in the DG1000 in their flight of 1:14. Apart from all this soaring activity, the 2 seaters were busy introducing 7 RAF personnel from Linton on Ouse to gliding, as well as a further 3 First Flight pupils, and to round off a busy day, the Falke had a single sortie.
Saturday 18th. The wind had now become a light to moderate NW'ly, and with turbulent take off and landing conditions expected, First Flight pupil flights were postponed and a visiting Scout group experienced virtual flying on the simulator with Mike Smith, some members also taking advantage of its more placid flying conditions. Real flying resulted in 10 ATs off runway 24, the start of flying being delayed until around 1115 hrs. Darren Lodge in his LS8 was first to take off and landed back after 3:20 having found variable hill lift and weak wave to use, the latter elevating him (and the glider) to around 3,700' asl. Darren's was one of 5 flights to exceed an hour, with visitors John Williams in his LS8 and Dave Beiniasz in his Discus also having around 3 hours of flight time, John posting the best climb of the day by ascending to just under 5,000' asl. Toby Wilson in the Astir and Paul Whitehead and Mike Collins in the DG1000 were the other pilots to exceed an hour, Toby having 1:29 and Paul/Mike 1:04, with the DG1000 finding some wave lift and climbing to just under 4,000' asl as they explored out to the forward ridge. All the other flights on the day exceeded 30 minutes.
Sunday 19th. Sunday dawned cold and clear, the early blue and sunny skies gradually filling in with a thin, high overcast as the light W'ly backed into the SE over the course of the day. The absence of any usable lift meant that the majority of the day's 26 ATs off runway 24 resulted in flights of < 30 minutes, this particular milestone being only reached or exceeded by 3 flights, one of which was for Mile High pupil Dominic Atkinson who had 38 minutes with Tony Drury in the DG1000. Duncan Pask, without the benefit of a high tow, but perhaps aided by the engine of his LS10, had 45 minutes, while Toby Wilson without the benefit of either, had 30 minutes in the Astir. Tom Dale and Mark Newburn, flying K21 JVZ, made a manly effort to join the above aviators but came a little short with a flight time of 28 minutes. The more quiescent conditions did, however, allow 4 Scouts to experience gliding, they being joined in this by 3 of the day's other First Flight pupils.
Monday 20th. Sunday's approaching high cover had been transformed into low cloud and rain, some 8 mm of the latter overnight, as a front slowly crossed the UK, the wind being initially light from the SW before veering into the WSW as the front cleared to the east. The clearance did little to improve the situation in respect of the overcast which remained close to the hill top and consequently there was no flying.
Tuesday 21st. Monday's depression and associated fronts was followed by another, resulting in a further 14.4 mm of rain falling, mainly overnight, the overnight minimum temperature of 9C demonstrating the tropical maritime origin of the air mass. While the cloud base slowly rose off the hill and the light S'ly veered into the SW before returning to the S, the wind increasing to moderate, the post frontal clearance did not lead to anything like a high enough cloud base, something of a pity, as away from the uplands, over the Vale of York to the west, appeared some nice looking wave bars.