Tuesday 7th to Thursday 9th May 2019
Posted: 11/05/2019 10:14
Tuesday 7th. A slow moving depression meant that the day started with periods of rain at site as a light ESE'ly blew. Steve Thompson's cross country training course therefore started the week with a talk on field landings but, with the prospect of a drier interlude before further rain arrived , plans were made for field landing theory to be put into practice. After the talk, the course members, Chris Thirkell, Polly Whitehead and Dave McKinney took a trip out with Steve to visit local fields to assess important parameters such as size, slope, crop etc including a visit to a large grass field south of Kilburn which the farmer had previously agreed could be used for field landing practice. When the promised dry interlude duly arrived the DG1000 was launched with Steve and Chris aboard. After releasing at 2,000' QFE the slow descent allowed the previously inspected fields to be viewed from the air before Chris planned his approach and landed in the pre-selected field. They were then retrieved by the other course members aided by John Carter and Bruce Grain, the DG1000 being speedily derigged and returned to site with its subsequent rigging being completed in 15 minutes before it was safely put back in the hangar before the rain reappeared.
Wednesday 8th. The slow moving and slowly filling depression had become almost stationary, with its attendant front draped across the north of England. Consequently, it was another day of low cloud, periods of rain and just for a change, a moderate to fresh E'ly gusting into the mid 20 kts. The cross country course members therefore had another day of theory under the expert tutelage of Steve Thompson.
Thursday 9th. The depression finally started to drift away as it continued to fill but its attendant front still remained in place over the north of England. The rain therefore was lighter and patchier and eventually ceased as brighter conditions slowly developed , the wind being a moderate NNW'ly. Conditions, however, never improved sufficiently to allow any flying, never mind soaring to take place, so Steve's vocal cords has another busy day transmitting some further pearls of wisdom on cross country flying. With the forecast of heavy showers and possibly thunderstorms over the next couple of days, the decision was taken to suspend the course and reconvene on Sunday with the course extended into Monday.