Saturday 13th to Monday 15th April 2019

Posted: 15/04/2019 21:28

Saturday 13th. A moderate and cold ESE'ly then E'ly blew with 25 kt gusts around the middle of the day, the maximum temperature not getting above 7C, all due to the anticylone over Scandinavia. The first of the 30 flights of the day was off runway 20 with Andy Parish and Kelly Teagle doing a weather check in K21 JVZ. Their subsequent landing on runway 06 confirmed that a runway change was necessary, so all subsequent ATs were off 06. Half of the day's launches exceeded 30 minutes as some strong thermals were to be found, particularly over the moors , with streeting at times, the highest climb recorded getting to over 5,500' asl. 13 private owners elected to fly, with all of those trying cross country tasks deciding to go off upwind. However, this proved in most cases to be a wrong decision as cloud base rapidly declined towards the east coast, with Rob Bailey, who did an O/R to Snainton twice before going downwind to Ripon, a 204 km task, reporting a 1,000' cloud base at Snainton. Most of the other pilots going east gave up due to the lowering cloud base, among them Jon May who did 107 km in his Ventus ct turning back SE of Malton, Chris Booker, 76 km in his LS1, visitor Artur Klapa 70 km in his Nimbus and Toby Wilson with 64 km in his Standard Cirrus. Chris, Artur and Toby were all attemping a Snainton/Wetherby task. Lindsay McLane in his Ventus got as far east as Terringon while also visiting Rufforth, with other cross country pilots doing extended local soaring. Visitor Alex James in his LS4, while trying to reach Pocklington, landed out east of York, the relevant farmer demanding a bottle of Gin and 3 Chocolate Easter Eggs as the landing fee. All of the 10 flights to exceed an hour were flown by private owners, with flight times ranging from 2:31 to 1:02, while the longest of the flights in club gliders were by Andy Parish and Nora van Genugen, 48 minutes in K21 JVZ and by Andy and John Shaw in the DG1000 with 39 minutes.

Sunday 14th. Sunday still had a E'ly flow, somewhat less windy than Saturday, but predominately cloudy and unattractive skies meant fewer people flew and staying up was much more of a problem. Of the 8 ATs off runway 06, only one exceeded an hour, Steve Thompson managing 1:05 in his Discus after a bit of a struggle. A number of pilots found significant sink that reduced flight times to under 15 minutes, while others found bits ans pieces of lift, John Marsh and John Douglas, for example, having 29 minutes in the DG1000. The vagaries of a hilltop site were, however, best illustrated by a comparison of the last two flights. John Carter and visitor Bob Symonds, taking off on the penultimate flight of the day were one of the flights that found nothing but sink, being back on ground after 15 minutes. However, they were then followed by Colin Troise, who taking off as they landed and flying the DG1000 solo, found sufficient lift not only to stay up for 54 minutes but also to register the best height of the day, 4,000' asl.

Monday 15th. The E/ENE'ly wind had strengthened to become moderate to fresh and with gusts around 30 kts and although the gliders and ground equipment were readied for action, it was eventually decided that staying on the ground was the sensible option.

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