Thursday August 9th 2018
Posted: 10/08/2018 22:48
The previous evening RASP had been full of promise with various shades of red over our flying area for much of this day. So pilots had gone to sleep dreaming of the “big one” with long lines drawn on fantasy maps. Reality in the morning; RASP revealed a not so subtle change in the gliding forecast and the shades of red had changed to 40 shades of yellow, green and blue with just a hint of pink here and there. It seems that the low tracking SE of the country had exerted its influence further north leaving much of our area in an unstable airmass with showers. There were indications that things would be better E of the A1 and so this turned out.
Even so enthusiastic rigging went ahead in the private owners park and club gliders were on the line early under a mostly clear blue sky. Obvious signs of Cu to the west persuaded the braver x/c pilots to set off before noon and these pilots were rewarded with interesting and successful x/countries reflecting their skills in getting the best out of a demanding day. Amongst these was Lindsay McLane who disappeared for several hours; we guess his flight took him into the northern Pennines. Paul Whitehead (Ventus) declared a yoyo 300k and turned Durham in the better conditions. On his way to Doncaster he met up with the showers that plagued much of Yorkshire during the day and deviated to turn Burn at which point he resorted to the engine. Drax had attempted to seduce him with very obvious signs of strong lift but as he was at chimney height common sense kicked in. Meanwhile Steve Thompson also left early on his 300km task and turned Carlton Bank on his way to the next TP at Burn. On his way back north he too ran into an extensive shower near York and crept back into Sutton Bank just making it on to r/w 24. Rob Bailey had the most success completing his 300k round
Hellvelyn Helvellyn and Hexham after starting and finishing through threatening showers around the club. Others to leave the site included Bill Payton and Stuart Heaton in their DG1000T visiting Carlton Bank and Bedale. Jonathon May in his Ventus also turned Carlton Bank, then Knaresborough, before a hurried return back to base.
Club 2-seater flying continued between the showers allowing instruction for members, experience of the joys of Sutton Bank for three visiting pilots from Burn and about half a dozen trial lessonists. One of these got a bonus after his first flight with Stan resulted in a quick return due to fast approaching rain. When things improved he was offered a second bite of the cherry and was very appreciative of our concern to give value for money. Good PR Stan! Later in the afternoon the Astir and Discus HVR had short flights, the pilots showing uncanny judgment in taking launches just as soaring conditions went downhill. Names withheld.