Tuesday 30th April to Friday 3rd May 2019
Posted: 03/05/2019 17:17
Tuesday 30th April. Those travelling to the club for the morning briefing mainly left home in foggy conditions and were pleasantly surprised when approaching the site to find it in sunshine. although the fog/low stratus was not very far away. The trailer park was soon a hive of activity, but the fog/low stratus remained stubbornly in place, only slowly clearing as a light ESE'ly blew. Flying eventually got underway around 1230 hrs but by 1300 hrs the first extended flight times were achieved with Bruce Grain and Mike O'Neill having 40 minutes in the DG1000 and Mike Greenacre 42 minutes in the Ka8. This signalled a rush to launch by eager private owners, with 11 of them launching over the next 3 hours, although some found the poor visibility, low cloudbase and eventual blue conditions not to their liking and nobody went very far from the site. Nevertheless, 4 launches yielded flights in excess of an hour and a further six more than 30 minutes. Those exceeding an hour were Martyn Johnson in his DG600 with exactly 2 hrs, Rob Bailey with 1:50 in his ASG 29, Albert Newbery and Bill Payton with 1:12 in their DG1000 and George Rowden with 1:09 in his LS8-18. Polly Whitehead flying her ASW24 topped the >30 minute list with 53 minutes, with Artur Klapa having 51 minutes in his Nimbus and Bruce Grain and Malcolm Dinsdale having 43 minutes in K21 JVZ. By the time the Tuesday evening group arrived to take over procedings, the air was devoid of any lift, so a good evening of training ensued, the group's 13 launches off runway 20 adding to the 16 done of the same runway during the preceeding part of the day.
Wednesday 1st May. A bright start with a light W'ly blowing led to operations off runway 24 around 1130 hrs, but increasing cloudiness from a old decaying front led to the termination of flying around 1430 hrs after just 4 ATs, 3 of which were for First Flight pupils, The only club member to fly was Mike O'Neill who took Astir HVK for a 30 minute flight.
Thursday 2nd. Another bright and sunny start saw the rapid development of showers, some of which were heavy and one of which affected the site during the middle of the day. A change in wind direction from WNW to N during the day led to a change from operations off runway 24 to runway 02 but the obvious convective conditions were not reflected in flight times, with none of the day's 8 ATs leading to flight times in excess of 30 mimutes. Mike O'Neill, flying Astir HVK, almost made it with 29 minutes from the only single seater flight of the day, while John Carter/Phil Hardwick had 28 minutes in the DG1000 and later had 25 minutes in the same glider.
Friday 3rd. A cold front slowly moving south over the UK brought rain and low cloud to the site, the rain easing by early afternoon but the cloud base never rose sufficiently to warrant the start of flying.