Friday 22nd to Wednesday 27th March 2019
Posted: 29/03/2019 09:38
Friday 22nd. A moderate SSW'ly that slowly backed into the SW brought a day of unbroken overcast but one that was high enough to allow flying. The two club K21s, JVZ and KLW provided the mounts for the 11 winch launches of the day, the hill then providing the lift to generate 2 flights in excess of an hour and a further 5 in excess of 30 minutes. J Eccles, a visitor from Husbands Bosworth, had the longest flight of the day, 1:03 while flying JVZ solo, while earlier he and Paul Whitehead had an hour in KLW during which they visited Boltby, Coxwold and Bagby, helped by some wave. The overcast restricted wave climbs, but Polly Whitehead, flying JVZ solo, recorded the best altitude of the day, 3,300' asl, but had to break off the climb at cloud base while in 4 kts of lift.
Saturday 23rd. Saturday brought a day of light winds varying in direction between WSW and WNW, the thin high cover not too much of a curb on thermal production or enthusiasm for flying, with 15 private owner launches, many of these being of gliders returning to site after their winter hibernation elsewhere. Consequently, the 40 ATs of the day produced 23 flights in excess of 30 minutes, including 10 in excess of an hour, with a number of pilots exploiting the lift to exceed 2 hours. In spite of the thermal conditons and the ability to stay airborne, nobody was tempted to venture far from the site, with Chris Booker going as far as Osmotherly in his LS1 and clocking up 63 OLC kms. Those exceeding 2 hours were Darren Lodge in his LS8 with 3:11, George Goodenough in his Std Cirrus with 3:03, Rob Bailey with 2:29 in his ASG29 and Martin White in his Libelle with 2:09. In the evening the UK Junior team provided a talk on flying faster cross countries to a interested and goodly assembly of members.
Sunday 24th. A moderate WSW'ly meant it was a winching day but, with the wind becoming moderate to fresh with gusts into the high 20 kts, flying came to an end around 1330 hrs after 19 launches. A combination of hill, thermal and wave soaring resulted in 3 flights > an hour and a further 9 > 30 minutes, with some cross country excursions. Bill Payton, flying Astir DPO, visited the Tontine and Rufforth in his flight of 2:57 during which he climbed to 9,200' asl and covered around 100 km, while Paul Whitehead, flying the ASW 24, visited Masham and climbed to around 4,100' asl in his flight of 2:28. John Tayler, flying with visitor Martin Allen in K21 KLW and Bruce Grain and Adam Sayer in the DG500 both climbed to similar altitudes to Paul, while Husband Bosworth visitors Jason Eccles and Paul Howard had just over an hour in K21 JVZ.
Monday 25th A moderate to fresh NNWly and sunny skies saw the first AT off runway 24 be the only one for a while due to the turbulent conditions on both take off and landing. However, the wind slowly declined in strength so that by the early afternoon it had become moderate, allowing flying to recommence. Thereafter, 15 AT's off runway 24 followed with the visitors from Husbands Bosworth contributing 6 of these launches and Colwyn Darlow and Rob Cooke providing both of the the day's flights to exceed an hour as they soared their Discus for 1:18 and 1:07 respectively in the hill soaring/thermal conditions. Paul Howard, another HB visitor, was the only other pilot to fly solo, this time in HB's DG505, with all other flights being in either of the YGC's K21s. Bruce Grain, first with Andrew Bedford and then with Jan van de Hock had 54 and 52 minutes respectively while Chris Booker had two BI training flights with John Carter.
Tuesday 26th. A light to moderate WSW'ly that veered into the WNW was accompanied by generally cloudy skies but ones that contained significant holes that advertised the presence of wave. Initially take offs and landings were off and on runway 20, but after 3 launches operations were switched to runway 24 where the remainer of the day's 27 flights were launched. Flying was suspended briefly around 1500 hrs due to turbulence, but resumed later with flying eventually coming to an end around 1730 hrs. A number of pilots contacted the wave, with climbs above 5,000' asl acheived by Peter Clay in his Ventus, 5,800', Rob Bailey, Discus, 7,200', Bruce Grain/Mike O'Neil, K21 JVZ, 7,400', Martin Allen, Discus, 7,400', Bruce Grain/F Bradley, K21 KLW, 7,800', John Carter/Chris Booker, KlW, 8,000', J Walker, Discus, 8,200', Chris Booker, LS1, 8,700' and N Walklett/S Guy, DG505, 10,000', the latters first flight in wave. John Carter and Chris Booker may put in a claim for the highest ever BI Training flight, John's photos being included below, the first showing Northallerton through a wave slot and the second confirming the high rates of climb possible on the day.
Rob Bailey ventured furthest, covering 85 km in visiting the Tontine, Bedale, Ripon and Knaresborough in his flight of 1:32, one of 6 pilots to exceed an hour's flying time, with a further 8 exceeding 30 minutes. YGC and the HB visitors together contributed 11 private owner launches to the day.
Wednesday 27th. The light to moderate WSW'ly flow remained in place but the cloud cover had increased to 8/8ths, its base at around 3,000' QFE not being a restriction to flying operations. ATs off runway 24 commenced around 1030 hrs and continued at a gentle pace until 1600 hrs, with 12 launches. Pilots found bits and pieces of lift over the area around Bagby and the hill working surprisingly well given the relatively light wind conditions, the available lift allowing Steve Thompson to have 2:33 in his Discus and Duncan Pask to have 1:24 in his LS10 and also giving him the opportunity to try out his engine after its winter break. The majority of the rest of the day's flying saw a plethora of 1,000' tows as Mike O'Neil and Peter Guest brushed the cobwebs off their circuit planning, while John Ellis had a welcome return to gliding with John Carter in the DG1000 that included some spins. The 2 > 1 hr flights were matched by 2 > 30 minute flights, the latter by Colwyn Darlow in his Discus, 42 minutes and George Rowden and First Flight pupil David Murdoch with 40 minutes in the DG1000.