Friday 31st May to Wednesday 5th June 2109
Posted: 05/06/2019 21:59
Friday 31st May. A day of moderate WSW'ly winds that slowly backed into the SSW meant it was ATing off runway 24 into a cloudy sky, although later in the day the cloud started to break up and landings then were onto runway 20. The portion of the main bowl between Gormire and the A170 worked well, but the main objective for the majority of pilots was contacting wave. This proved to be difficult due to the amount of cloud, with any wave slots being small and transient. However, the later reduction in cloud provided better opportunities and 3 pilots managed to contact the wave, with 2, Martyn Johnson in his DG600 and Jesper Mjels in his DG400 climbing to 13,500' asl and 15, 250' asl respectively, with Jesper also visiting Masham, Knaresborough and Wetherby to cover 153 km. Most of Martyn's flight time of 3:11 was spent at relatively low level. as repeated attempts to climb in the wave were defeated by closing wave slots. However, persistence and a low level foray to Thirsk eventually proved successful. Jesper's experience was much more straightforward as, launching later as the cloud started to break up, he self lauched into the wave. The next best height was 6,300' asl acheived in the Ka8, with both the day's Ka8 flights exceeding an hour, while a further 6 of the day's 12 launches exceeded 30 minutes.
Saturday 1st June. A light to moderate SSW'ly wind slowly backed into the S as the day progressed, the change in direction accompanying increasingly cloudy skies and eventually rain, which led to the end of flying around lunch time after 13 ATs had been flown off runway 24 with landings on 20. Although no one had over an hour of flying time, there was some wave and hill lift to be had, Graham Evison taking his First Flight pupil to 6,000' asl in the DG1000 in a flight of 34 minutes. Chris Ogden, flying Astir DPO, had the longest flight of the day, 46 minutes, closely followed by Andy Parish and John Dore with 43 minutes in K21 KLW and Ron Beezer and Konrad Kawalek with 41 minutes in K21 JVZ, with a further 3 flights exceeding 30 minutes. Les Rayment flew a First Flight pupil in his T21, before also flying the same glider with Steve Ogden as P2.
Sunday 2nd. A moderate SSE'ly slowly veered to become WSW'ly by the end of the day, as a number of showers threatened, but did not overly disrupt operations, with 17 ATs flown off runway 20. Some lift on the southern ridge extended times for 5 flights, while Les Rayment and Mile High aspirant R Maddison had the longest flight of the day, 49 minutes in the DG500. Les later had the second longest flight of the day, sharing 48 minutes with Conrad Thwaites in K21 JVZ. The club also welcomed a group of visiting pilots from the Essex and Suffolk GC who took the opportunity to have some site check flights prior to their week at Sutton Bank.
Monday 3rd. A moderate and at times gusty WSW'ly meant a day of winching off runway 24, with plenty of lift on the hill, and from thermal and wave elsewhere. The result was that 26 of the day's 33 launches exceeded 30 minutes and of these 19 exceeded an hour, while a number of cross countries were flown and climbs to 19,500' asl acheived. Steve Thompson in his Discus covered the longest distance, flying the club 305.7km wave task with TPs at Ripon, Eastgate, Pateley Bridge, Eastgate and back to Ripon. Steve contacted the wave near Masham and had a maximum height of over 12,000' asl. Jesper Myels in his DG400 flew 202.6 km with TPs at Rufforth, Hawes, Tontine and Helmsley climbing to 19,427' asl, a slightly greater altitude of 19,507' asl being acheived by Martyn Johnson in his DG600, while visiting Masham, Northallerton and Ripon. Martyn had a 200' cable break to start his flight and then descended to hill level to establish a low point for his subsequent climb. Visitor Vernon Bette in his Lak 17 climbed to 12,500' asl and visited Northallerton, Bill Payton and Malcolm Winter climbed to 10,300' asl and visited Hawes, Pateley Bridge and Tontine in Bill's DG1000, while Nick Gaunt reached 9,700' asl in his LS7, visiting Tontine, Northallerton and Dishforth. Paul Whitehead, flying his Ventus, initially contacted the wave and flew south to near Pontefract before returning north but hampered by air traffic restrictions, fell out of the wave and failing to get his engine to start, eventually landed out just west of Scotch Corner. The gusty conditions meant none of the club single seaters flew, but those flying club 2 seaters enjoyed the day with Bruce Grain and Tom Armstrong, John Carter and John Shaw, Les Rayment and Nigel Burke, Brian Wise and Geoff Turner, Bruce Grain and Tony Kirkby and David Campbell and Chris Ogden all having flights in excess of an hour.
Tuesday 4th. An approaching depression led to increasing low cloud, a intially light ESE'ly wind increasing to moderate as it backed into the ENE, and eventually rain. Flying was restricted to 4 ATs off runway 20, all in K21 JVZ, with 3 of these for First Flight pupils and, with no useable lift, flight times were all in the range 20-27 minutes. However, visitor Kaz Fucs took the opportunity to have a site check with Bruce Grain. The evening saw the Tuesday group host a BBQ party with attendees including non Tuesday group members, enjoying good food, drink, a selection of games and convivial chat.
Wednesday 5th. A day of extensive cloud at about 4,000' asl nevertheless provided some lift from thermal and wave conditions. although the lack of any stable wave slots meant climbs were restricted, with visitor Martin Hargreaves in his Lak 17 climbing to 6,500' asl before abandoning the climb as the wave slot closed. Martin's flight of 2:23 was the longest of the day, with 2 of his colleagues from the Essex and Suffolk GC, Doug Johnson in his Discus T and Vernon Bettle in his Lak 17 also registering flights of between 1 and 2 hours, with Vernon visiting Boroughbridge. They were joined by Duncan Pask who had 1:11 in his LS10, while John Carter and Ken Duxbury had 50 minutes in K21 JVZ, topping the list of the 6 flights to have between 30 and 59 minutes in the air. The visitors contibuted all but one of the 13 private owner launches on the day, the moderate, mainly S'ly wind having none of the warmth normally associated with this wind direction.