Wednesday 2nd to Friday 4th May 2018

Posted: 06/05/2018 14:58

Wednesday 2nd.  An eastward travelling front brought low cloud and rain to the site, the cloud and rain starting to clear around 1100 hrs and allowing flying to get underway in the early afternoon, the wind having become a variable, but generally moderate, WSW'ly, having veered from its initial direction of SSE'ly with the passage of the front.  The onset of flying allowed 2 of the day's booked First Flight pupils to be flown by our new summer instructor Stanislas Sawicki who likes to be known as, and hereafter will be called, Stan.  Bob Symmonds continued with his holiday course and chalked up another flight of over an hour (1:21) in the DG500 with John Carter, while Andy Parish and Chris Thirkell later had 52 minutes in  the DG1000, with the day's total of 5 ATs being completed by Andy and Stan having a familiarisation flight in K21 KLW.

Thursday 3rd.  An establishing high pressure system brought of day of sunny skies and scattered Cumulus, these tending to spread out later in the afternoon and provide a few problems to those attempting cross countries, the wind, generally from the SW having become light to moderate.  The promising soaring conditions led to a busy launch point with 33 ATs the day's total, 9 of these being for private owners, many of whom set off on tasks to the north or south.  Andy Wright in his Nimbus 3 and Lindsay Mclane in his Ventus both completed ~300 km tasks, Andy turning Scunthorpe,Tontine and Market Weighton, while Lindsay flew an O/R to Belvoir.  Both reported tricky conditions at times with Andy spending a lot of time below 2,500' asl and Lindsay encountering areas of overconvection, particularly north of the Humber on his return leg, having had much better conditions further south.  The overconvection led to a number of pilots abandoning their intended tasks or resorting to their engines, these including John Ellis in his DG800 who completed around 255  km of  his  298 km Scunthorpe/Tontine/Market Weighton task, Rob Bailey who abandoned his 237 km task, Scunthorpe/Tontine/Masham after 180 km in his ASG29 and Steve Thompson who covered 127 of his 176 km task around Guisborough/Catterick/Tontine/Harrogate North in his Discus.  However, it was not all abandonment as Albert Newberry and Stuart Heaton completed a 126 km flight around Knaresborough, Goole NE and Market Weighton in their DG1000 and Phil Lazenby visited Ripon and Northallerton in the club Discus.  52 hours were flown in total, with 4 pilots having 3-4 hours, another four 2-3 hours and another four 1-2 hours.  The latter group included John Carter and Bob Symonds, (again), Mike Greenacre in the Ka8, Mike Collins in the Astir and Bill Payton and Nigel Burke in the DG500.  In addition, a  further 12 flights exceeded 30  minutes.  The Falke also had a busy day with 5 flights.

Friday 4th.  The anticyclone had furthered established itself, bringing a light to moderate and initially SSE'ly flow to the site, this latter veering into the SW.  Unlike Thursday, the anticyclone's inversion limited useable convection to such an extent that only one of the day's 22 ATs off runway 24 resulted in a flight of over an hour, with only another 3 over 30  minutes.  The longest flight, 1:06 saw Colin Troise and Nora v G defy gravity for 1:06 courtesy of a series of, to quote Colin, very bitty thermals mainly off the White Horse car park, while the +30 minute flights were flown by Tony Drury and one of the day's First Flight pupils in the DG500 with 38 minutes, 34 minutes by Steve Ogden in the DG303 and 32 minutes by that man again Bob Symonds in K21 KLW, this time with Andy Parish.

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