Thursday 4th to Monday 8th October 2018
Posted: 08/10/2018 21:38
Thursday 4th. Cloud initially was below hill top level as a moderate S'ly blew and light rain fell. The cloud base slowly rose as the day progressed, the wind veering to become SW and the day became flyable to late to allow any flying to take place.
Friday 5th. The site was again in cloud as a moderate NNW'ly blew, the conditions worsening as it started to rain around midday. With no prospect of an improvement, the hangar doors remained firmly shut.
Saturday 6th. Overnight rain had cleared by morning and with a light to moderate NW'ly blowing, this tending to become NNW later, operations off runway 02 commenced around 1040 hrs and continued until the last landing around 1830 hrs. With no useable lift to speak of, it was a circuit day, with only Albert Newbery and one of the day's First Flight pupils having a flight in excess of 20 minutes, 22 to be precise, in K21 KLW. The day's 20 ATs included some for Liz Sparrow and Claudia Hill, members of the UK Women's gliding team who were on site with a further 10 women glider pilots as part of a Women's gliding event at the club organised by Kelly Teagle.
Sunday 7th. A light SE'ly and a sunny morning greeted those attending briefing, and although skies clouded over later to an extent , soaring conditions improved as the day progressed, a significant wind veer to S'ly with a associated increase in strength to moderate, providing wave soaring opportunities later in the day. 9 pilots climbed to 5,000' asl or more, with Rob Bailey's climb to around 10,500' asl being the best of the day. Next best was Nora v G in the Discus getting to around 9,500' asl on her first solo wave flight which she described as epic. Chris Booker also had a first, a first wave flight in his recently acquired LS1, getting to 8,900' asl, the climb having to be truncated due to fading light, a situation also experienced by Toby Wilson in his Std Cirrus as he hill soared from a 1000' tow. Brian Wise and Chris Ogden climbed to 8,700' asl off the last flight of the day in K21 KLW, while Tim Robinson and Claudia Hill, in Tim's Duo Discus, climbed to just over 8,000' asl and Mike Collins took Astir DPO to 7,300' asl. All of the 19 flights to exceed 30 minutes came in the afternoon with most of the 11 flights to exceed an hour taking off after 1400 hrs. A good first day for a group of visiting pilots from Husbands Bosworth who brought a DG505 and a Duo Discus.
Monday 8th. An initially light SW'ly meant ATs off runway 24 into a wave cloud filled sky, the conditions tempting 2 private owners to rig as well as the visiting group from Husbands Bosworth. A day of cloudy conditions over the Pennines and wave slots closing and opening meant an interesting day for all, but lift on the wind facing portions of the hill provided a refuge for those who had to descent hurredly or failed to contact the wave at all. The light SW'ly soon became light to moderate and then moderate to fresh, leading to a change to winching around 1530 hrs. 14 of the day's 16 launches, 12 via AT and 4 via the winch, exceeded 30 minutes, with 6 exceeding an hour. Contacting the wave was relatively easy from an AT, mainly flown behind the 120 hp Eurofox demonstrator, with 7 of these flights climbing to 5,000' or more. Martyn Johnson in his DG600 came off tow below 2,000' asl and climbed away, finding the climb to 10,000' easy but thereafter climb rates were slow. An attempt to progress westwards inditially led to a climb to 13,000' but further progress west led to a significant loss of height and realisation that the target wave bar was in the airway. A transition to a good looking wave bar over Leeming was therefore made where Martyn left a 4 kt climb at 19,900'. Visitor Tim Robson took Rob Bailey for a flight in Tim's Duo Discus and reached 11,300' in visiting Northallerton and the Tontine, while Chris Teagle reached 10,600' in his Kestrel and covered 194 km with TPs at Harrogate North, Richmond, Wetherby and Northallerton, a fall back flight from his declared 500 km. John Carter took visitor M Allen for his first wave flight, reaching just over 8,000' in K21 JV, while George Rowden and Tony Drury used up the last remaining hours on K21 KLW in taking their respective First Flight pupils to between 5,500 and 6,500', all altitudes asl.