Friday 18th to Monday 21st May 2018
Posted: 21/05/2018 21:55
Friday 18th. A light to moderate SW'ly blew for most of the day until a sea breeze front arrived in the early evening causing a change in wind direction to ENE'ly. The day was essentially blue with extensive Cirrus, the combination limiting cross country flights and soaring, but not entirely the latter, with 5 flights of over an hour and a further 8 over 30 minutes, this out of a launch total of 24 AT's. 3 flights were clustered around 2 hours, with Lindsay Mclane in his Ventus having 2:01, Bill Payton and Dave McKinney in the DG1000 having 2:00 and Duncan Pask in his LS10 having 1:57. Peter Clay had 1:17 in his Ventus while Nick Gaunt demonstrated the unpredictablility of the day by landing out in his LS7 Stan and Joan Wilson had 51 minutes off the penultimate flight of the day in K21 KLW, with Andy Parish and Ken Duxbury having 48 minutes in the same glider. Later in the day Andy had 41 minutes with Brian Brock and off the last flight of the day, the same time with one of the visitors from Stratford GC, Andy Bulkwill.
Saturday 19th. A light to moderate SSE'ly blew all day, so operations were off runway 20, with all the morning flights being of the up round and down variety, but from just after midday convection really got going, although primarily marked with wisps rather than more solid Cu. A sea breeze over the Vale of Pickering was used by Andy Wright in his Nimbus 3 as he completed a 150 km task around Burn, Fridaythorpe and Pickering while Rob Bailey in his ASG29 ventured over to the Yorkshire Dales,. visiting Ripon, Kirby Stephen, Garsdale Head and Harrogate North in his flight of 175 km. Steve Thompson, having visited the west coast at Morecombe Bay earlier in the week, decided to see how the other half lived and flew a 90 km O/R to the east coast, arriving there just south of Saltburn. Most of the other 17 flights to exceed an hour stayed relatively local to the site, with the visitors from Stratford GC enjoying their first full day at Sutton, non more so than Andy Bulkwill who had the longest flight of the day, 3:53 in his LS8 while YGC member Darren Lodge flying his LS8 had 3:20. Geoff Gale, another Stratford visitor had 2:11 with the rest of the > 1 hour pilots all having between 1-2 hours. Soaring was possible right up to the early evening with Andy Parish and one of the day's 5 First Flighters, Gerry Murphy, having an hour in the DG1000 off the penultimate flight of the day, this taking off at 17:02 hrs.
Sunday 20th. The high pressure maintained a light to moderate ESE'ly flow over the site, the skies remaining essentially blue until around 1330 hours when some wispy Cu appeared. This was the trigger for some busy launch point activity as 17 private owners queued for a launch and with soaring conditions being maintained into the early evening, the day's launch total reached 53 ATs, with 23 leading to flights over an hour and an additional 9 over 30 minutes. As with Saturday, most of those launching stayed relatively local, but 3 pilots put their flights on either the BGA Ladder or OLC. Pilots reported a cloud base of around 5,000' asl, with John Ellis flying a 218 km task around Pickering, Market Weighton Northallerton and York in his DG800 with the return to Sutton being a little marginal for a standard circuit so a straight in approach to a downwind landing on 02 was made. Rob Bailey visited Guisborough and Fridaythorpe to cover 143 km in his ASG29, while Chris Booker visited Helmsley, Thirsk and Thimbleby during his 2:26 flight in the DG303. Others to venture from site included Barry Kerby and Chris Edkins who visited Thirsk and the NE end of the North Yorkshire Moors during a 4:13 flight in Barry's Duo Discus, Peter Clay with a 3:27 flight around Ripon and Market Weighton, Martyn Johnson with a 2:35 flight with TPs at Kirby Moorside and Church Houses, while Barry Monslow flew his LS8 around Carlton, Danby and Stamford Bridge in his flight of 1:56.
Monday 21st. Synoptically nothing much had changed and a light to moderate ESE'ly blew for most of the day, this backing into the E as the day progressed, resulting in some landings on runway 06. With the prospect of some afternoon soaring opportunities, a number of private owners rigged and moved their gliders adjacent to the launch point on runway 20 but with nothing much happening by mid afternoon the majority decided that it was best to wait for another day. The skies remained blue over the North Yorks Moors all day, although significant Cu development could be seen over Tees Valley to the north and later, over the Vale of York to the west. This latter convergence was used by a number of pilots from mid afternoon, with Barry Kerby and Barry Monslow taking a cloud climb to around 7,000' asl in their Duo Discus in a flight of 2:44. John Carter and Derek Taylor also used this lift to climb to around 5,000' asl in K21 KLW during Derek's check flight of 45 minutes during which time they visited Northallerton. Andy Bulkwill had the longest flight of the day, 3:21, as he flew his LS8 around the Tontine, Hutton Rugby, Church Houses and Topcliffe, the only other pilot to exceed an hour's flight being Tony Drury who had 1:30 in his DG303. Among those just failing to cross the 1 hour barrier were Mike Greenacre with 54 minutes in the Astir, and Alan Beaumont with 43 minutes in the same glider. A film crew with the task of shooting some film for an advert extolling the attractions of the North York Moors utilised K21 KLW with John Carter as P1 and the Eurofox with Bob Beck P1 for the excercise, the 3 aircraft take off down runway 20, the Pawnee (Andy Wright)/K21 combination being filmed from the Eurofox providing an interesting shot in itself.