Tuesday 13th to Saturday 17th February 2018
Posted: 17/02/2018 11:26
Tuesday 13th. A slow moving occluded front kept the site in cloud all day and deposited a new layer of snow, albeit not very thick. Consequently, there was no flying.
Wednesday 14th. After a cold and clear night, the temperature at Topcliffe dropping to -7.4C, another Atlantic front brought more low cloud, fresh SSE'ly winds and rain to the site, the rain starting around 1300 hrs and continuing for much of the rest of the day. It was, therefore, another non-flying day.
Thursday 15th. The passage of Wednesday's front left the site in a moderate to fresh WSW'ly and flying got underway around 1015 hrs when Andy Parish and Dave Campbell took the first of 3 winch launches, the gustiness of the wind leading to flying being suspended around 1130 hrs. Albert Newbery and Paul frost had the longest flight of the day, 28 minutes in K21 KLW, during which they climbed to 2,500' asl.
Friday 16th. Friday started with sunny blue skies and a light to moderate SW'ly flow, continuation of good flying conditions leading to 17 ATs off runway 24, although the encroachment of a high but thickening overcast dampened down the sunshine. The wind conditions meant the hill was only working to a degree, with fractious wave leading to somewhat frustrating brief climbs and only visitor John Williams in his Libelle getting established and climbing eventually to 8,600' asl in his flight of 4:14. Andy Parish and Joan Wilson in K21 KLW were the only other pilots to achieve a flight of an hour or more, during which they climbed to 4,300 asl, while a number of other flights exceeded 30 minutes with climbs to between 3,500-4,000' asl. These included Albert Newbery and Allistair Brown who had 47 and later 30 minutes in the DG500 and Tony Drury who gave Fiona Scrase, one of the day's 2 First Flight pupils, 36 minutes of flying time, also in the DG500.
Saturday 17th. A weak occluded front meant the day started with the site in cloud and rain although a clearance was expected later in the day. However, the wet state of the airfield led to the day being declared non-flying with activity confined to the simulator and to carrying out some canibilsaiton work on Pawnee FRY.