Tuesday 19th to Thursday 21st March 2019
Posted: 22/03/2019 17:08
Tuesday 19th. A generally cloudy day, the morning's light SSE'ly veering and strengthening around midday to become a moderate SW'ly, with flying not getting underway until 1230 hrs. From that point on, the day's flying consisted of 3 First Flight pupils, flown by Tony Drury, 7 flights for members, P1 being Brian Wise and six 5 year instructor refresher flights for John Tayler and Fred Brown under the watchful eye of Paul Whitehead who was assisted by Derek Smith. The day did not provide much in the way of soaring opportunities, with the longest flights of the 16 flown on the day being around 20 minutes duration.
Wednesday 20th. A light to moderate WSW'ly blew for most of the day, tending to back into the SW as the day progressed, a warm air mass ensuring a pleasant day of sunny intervals. The synoptic conditions also led to wave, this being contacted by a number of pilots, with visitor Tim Milner making the most of the opportunity by having 5:41 aloft in his LS3, during which he climbed to 11,3000' asl and did an O/R to Appleby, some 185 kms. While no one else managed such a climb or covered such a distance, a number of pilots climbed to between 4-5,500' asl, the list comprising Tony Drury who took one of his First Flight pupils to 5,600' and another to 4,400', G Wright who flew Astir HVK to 5,500', Steve Thompson and Andrew Wilmot who took the DG1000 to 4,900' and John Tayler and Ann Crick who got to 4,000'. The club welcomed back Phil Lazenby who had a 1:01 check flight with Steve Thompson in the DG1000, including a foray to Northallerton. This followed Phil's return from down under and was one of 4 flights to exceed an hour, with a further 7 exceeding 30 minutes.
Thursday 21st. A light to moderate W'ly opened the day with wave evident from the word go, although this was forecast to disappear from late morning. In the event, wave conditions continued all day although becoming more difficult to contact , this not being helped by a diminution in cloud cover and a backing of the wind into the SSW, so that all launches to contact the wave took off at or before 1300 hrs. The day saw 20 ATs off runway 24 behind Pawnee EV, the mix of launches including 3 by private owners, 1 for a First Flight Pupil, and the balance by club members, with 11 two seater and 9 single seater flights. The wave was height limited, with the maximum altitude of around 7,000' asl acheived by George Rowden in his LS8-18 and by Tim Milner and Tony Wiseman in the DG1000. Tim and Tony covered the longest distance, with an O/R to offshore Hartlepool, around 115 kms, while George covered 110 km, including going north east to the edge of the Durham Tees Valley airspace. Somewhat surprisingly, the wave weakened to the west and was strongest to the north and east, while at soaring heights horizontal visibilty was only moderate due to a layer of haze. The number of pilots climbing above 5,000' asl was six, with Paul Whitehead in K21 JVZ getting to 5,200' twice, first with John Dore and then with Peter Robinson. The others were visitor Andrew Wilmot in his ASW19, 5,600', Reg Rowlinson in Astir DPO, 5,800' and Dick Cole, who took the Discus to 6,700' and flew north to the Tontine in his flight of 2:10. This was one of the 6 flights to exceed an hour, with George Rowden's 3:31 being the longest of the day, while a further 2 exceeded 30 minutes. Emphasising the change in ease of contacting the wave, no flight taking off after 1300 hrs had a flight time of greater than 24 minutes, in spite of earlier launched pilots continuing to soar the wave at and around 4-5,000' asl in the vicinity of the site.