Friday 10th to Monday 13th May 2019

Posted: 14/05/2019 15:42

Friday 10th. The brief postponment of Steve Thompson's cross country course did wonders for the weather as Friday produced, instead of the forecast showers and thunderstorms, a soarable day, a light ESE'ly bringing brightening skies with embedded Cumulus. This allowed some 16 ATs to be flown off runway 20, with 11 flights exceeding 30 minutes and 3 of these exceeding an hour. Rob Bailey, Martyn Johnson and Phil Lazenby were the > 1 hour pilots with Rob having 3:20 in his ASG29 as he attempted a Sut/Guisborough/Snainton/Guisborough/Sut task but abandoned it at Carlton Bank. He did, however, manage to get a photo of Ingleby Bowl with Bilsdale beyond as illustrated below.

Martyn visited Pickering, Kirbymoorside and Carlton as well getting as far east over the moors as Westerdale in his 2:29 flight in his DG600, while Phil took the DG303 to Helmsley and Easingwold in his 1:16 flight. Back at site, Tony Drury was busy flying the 3 First Flight pupils of the day, one of whom he gave a 54 minute flight while Andy Parish and Jerry H-N had 50 minutes in K21 JVZ and Bruce Grain and Tony Palmer had 49 minutes in K21 KLW.

Saturday 11th. Friday's frequent heavy showers turned up on Saturday, drifting south on a light to moderate N'ly. Flying was therefore disrupted, particuarly in the afternoon, with only 3 flights out of the 9 flown on the day taking off after 1300 hrs. The morning had provided some soaring conditions with Jon May in his Ventus ct and John Marsh in his DG303 taking advantage. Jon flew 147 km with TPs at Boroughbridge, Burn, Goole and Pocklington in a flight of 2:33, while John had 1:30 of extended local soaring. Andy Parish and Jerry H-N were again the best of the rest with 52 minutes in K21 KLW, while Stewart Heaton flew a Mile High pupil for 33 minutes in the same glider.

Sunday 12th. A establishing high pressure system brought the best soaring day of the year so far, with a light SE'ly, excellent visibility and strong thermals to 5,000' asl plus. It was not all plain sailing, however, as sea air from the Humber estuary led to poor conditions for those going south and meant some pilots had to resort to their engines. The day's 53 launches off runway 20 led to 39 exceeding 30 minutes, with 27 of those exceeding an hour. Bill Payton flying his DG1000t with Lee Grinrod as P2, bucked the trend of south based cross countries by going N/NW, visiting Hexham, Brampton, and Tebay and a number of other TPs in their flight of 5:33. Bill reported tricky conditions to start, with a low cloud base and weak thermals but over the Pennines things greatly improved wth cloud base getting to 7,500 asl in places, although very variable. Bill's flight time was not the highest of the day, as Rob Bailey was in the air for 6:30 as he went down to Saltby but had to contend with poor conditions on the way back that resulted in an engine burn. Other pilots having to resort to their engines included Paul Whitehead who did an O/R to Rotherham and John Ellis who also went south. Andy Wright, who did 305 km in his Nimbus 3 with TPs at Rotherham, Thirsk and Goole NE, joined the engine out group, but fortuitously, ran into a thermal before starting it. Nick Gaunt was another pilot to exceed 4 hours in the air as he visited Pateley Bridge and Humber Bridge, before running out of bridges and turning Rufforth, Pocklingon and Carlton Bank. Steve Thompson and Polly Whitehead finally put cross country theory into practice as they flew the DG1000 196 km around Beverley and Catterick in another flight of over 4 hours, a milestone also reached by Conrad Thwaites in his Discus. Chris Teagle flew his Kestrel 19 203 km around Pontefract/Leyburn/Harrogate N and also provided the following photo while Chris Booker did 141 km in his LS1, abandoning his longer declared task just north of Sutton.

The day's top congratulations, however, go to Nora van Genuten and Simona Latimer, who both flew Silver Distances in their Ka6e and Discus respectively.

Monday 13th. The anticyclone over the UK had intensified and although the wind remained as a light to moderate S/SE'ly, the Cumulus were slow to form and never did completely, so a mainly blue day resulted. The conditions resulted in 39 launches off runway 20, with 17 by private owners, including one by the T21, Tor Taverner and Tony Drury taking it for 1:05, one of the day's 22 flights which exceeded an hour. Although good climbs were to be found and cloud base reached around 5,000' asl, the mainly blue conditions and large areas of strong and continous sink meant that only 5 flights went far from the site, most people preferring to remain relatively local. The more adventurous included Bill Payton, who unable to find a P2, flew his DG1000t solo on an O/R to Camphill, Andy Wright who used the engine of this Nimbus 3 to get a high start for his O/R to Belvoir Castle and Lindsay McLane who abandoned his original plan of an O/R to Alton Towers and instead flew Ripon/ Pontefract/York. The above were joined by Steve Thompson and soaring course member Dave McKinney who flew the DG1000 on an O/R to Burn, by Rob Bailey who visited Wetherby and Pateley Bridge before continuing on to Whernside, finding some wave that took him up to 6,300' asl, and John Ellis who did an O/R to Market Weighton. Rob has provided the following photo of the reservoirs flanking Great Whenside from the top of this wave climb.

Pilots reported some tricky conditions at times. Bill and Andy's flights both exceeded 4 hours, while day member A Wilmott flew his ASW21 for 3:30 and a further 9 pilots had between 2-3 hours aloft, the majority of these being by private owners, but Andy Parish and Peter Robinson made sure club 2 seaters were not forgotten by having 2:01 in K21 KLW. Club single seater pilots Martin Clowes in Astir HVK and visitor Bob Spiller in the Discus both had over an hour on a interesting soaring day at Sutton.

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