Thursday 13th to Thursday 20th December 2018
Posted: 20/12/2018 21:54
Thursday 13th. The ESE'ly flow continued under the influence of a blocking high over Scandinavia, being initially moderate to fresh but than declining to become light to moderate. With parially cloudy skies with a base around 4,000' asl, operations got under way off runway 20 around 1030 hrs and continued at a leisurely pace until the last flight landed an around 1430 hrs with 6 ATs flown, all dual in K21 JVZ. The conditions allowed tows to 3,000' QFE, and Derek Smith and David Watson made the most of their tow to post the longest flight of the day, 21 minutes, as lift was non-existant although Paul Whitehead and Kieth Davey managed 20 minutes of a lower tow, these being the only flights to get into the 20's.
Friday 14th. Similar conditions to those of Thursday, ie a light to moderate ESE'ly and partially sunny skies meant a similar gliding day, with little chance of staying up. A later start and a later finish saw 8 ATs flown off runway 20, with the day's 4 First Flight pupils being given flight times of 24-25 minutes by Tony Drury in K21 JVZ. Paul Whitehead and Mike Smith also took advantage of a tow to 3,000' QFE to have 24 minutes in the K21, while Keith Davey's 2 flights in Astir HVK accumulated 39 minutes of flight time. While most landings were on runway 20, the last flight of the day landed on runway 06.
Saturday 15th. Approaching storm Diedre brought fresh ESE'ly winds with gusts over 40 kts and a wind chill of -10C, meaning it was a non-flying day. However, it was Diedre's threat of snow and freezing rain that brought about the postponement of the Club's Christmas Dinner and associated prize draw which will have to be re-scheduled.
Sunday 16th. Diedre had quickly departed the UK, leaving the site in a light to moderate ESE'ly that slowly veered into the SE. Partially sunny skies meant flying could get underway around 1030 hrs and 17 ATs were flown off runway 20, utilising all the available 2 seaters as 5 First Flight pupils and 7 Scouts were introduced to the joys of gliding. Andy Hatfield, taking advantage of the high tows that were available, flew 3 of the 4 flights that lasted 30 minutes or more, these all being in the DG1000, while John Marsh, flying K21 JVZ solo, had a 30 minute flight as well. The high humidity led to some problems with canopy misting and flying came of a halt around 1530 hrs with the final flight landing on runway 06.
Monday 17th. A light to moderate wind that varied in direction from SE to SW and back to ESE was accompanied by a low cloudbase that restricted launch heights although away from the hills the day was quite sunny. The less than ideal conditions meant that there were only 2 ATs flown, both in K21 JVZ, and of limited duration, the first by Graham Evison and John Carter and the second by Brian Wise and Ken Duxbury during the late morning.
Tuesday 18th. Tuesday was a very wet day as an active cold front made slow progress eastwards across the UK. 11.4 mm of rain fell during the day ensuring that no flying took place.
Wednesday 19th. A very murky day at site as a moist and cold, light to moderate SE'ly brought in copious amounts of cloud that blanketted the site at times, the wind backing into the E towards the end of the day. So another non-flying day.
Thursday 20th. Sunny skies away from the hills tempted a few pilots to visit the site, but the approach from Thirsk gave a good view of the site in cloud as the light to moderate, moist E'ly continued to blow. A clearance around midday raised some hopes of flying as the wind veered into the SW and increased to moderate, but a succession of showers with an accompanying low cloud base meant the gliders remained in the hangars.