Thursday 6th to Tuesday 11th June 2019

Posted: 12/06/2019 12:55

Thursday 6th.   A light S'ly, not a direction noted for good soaring weather, nevertheless did provide one today, with 34 ATs off runway 20, including 21 by private owners.   The 18 flights in excess of an hour ranged from the 6 hrs flown by Bill Payton and Chris Thirkell in Bill's DG1000t as they visited Pateley Bridge, Pontefract, Market Weighton, Driffield, Beverley and Malton, to the 1:04 flown by visitor S Jones in his Standard Cirrus, there also being another 8 flights in excess of 30 minutes.   A goodly number of cross countries were flown, both declared and undeclared, with 2 pilots posting distances in excess of 300 km on  the BGA Ladder.  These were Rob Bailey in  his ASG29 with 335 km, an undeclared task around Pateley Bridge, Haydon Bridge and Garforth after low cloud prevented him from getting to one of the  TP's in his declared task.  The other > 300km pilot was Paul Whitehead who flew a total of 393 km via 2 tasks, 217 km with TP's at the Tontine and Rotherham and then 176 km with TP's at the Tontine, Market Weighton and Pontefract.  Visitor Jerry Newbery  in his Lak 17 flew 194 km around Catterick and Beverley, while YGC's Toby Wilson flew 182 km around Catterick, Knaresborough and Harrogate North in his Standard Cirrus.  Pilots reported cloud base in excess of 5,500' asl, but the day was not all plain sailing, as Steve Thompson in his Discus and visitor M Hargreaves  both landed out.   Other pilots to go cross country inlcuded visitor V SBettel in his Lak 17 who flew O/Rs from Sutton to Guisborough, Beverley and Catterick and Nick Gaunt who flew his LS7 to Pontefract, Humber Bridge and Beverley from a secound launch, the first having him back on the ground after 25 minutes.  The only club single seater to fly saw Chris Knapp have just over 2 hours of local soaring, while Bruce Grain and John Dore had 1:36 in K21 JVZ off the second flight of the day, paving the way for a good soaring day at Sutton.  The day also saw the return of the Rotax Falke to the site after its delayed return from a maintenance trip.

 Friday 7th.  An approaching front meant flying was restricted to the first half of the day, the light to moderate E'ly backing into the ENE as the rain approached. Launching was initially off runway 20 as were landings, but later operations changed to runway 06. The majority of the day's 8 launches were in one or other of the K21s, with 5 First Flight pupils flown, this 2 seater litany being relieved by visitors Kaz Fucs in his Club Libelle and D Johnson in his Discus t, the latter pilot posting the longest flight of  the day, 46 minutes, with no one else getting beyond 29 minutes, this being by Bruce Grain and a First Flight pupil.

Saturday 8th.  Low cloud and rain from 1100 hrs meant it was a non-flying day, the day's maximum temperature of 11.6C being reached at 0930 hrs, with the minimum of 9.1C being reached at 1330 hrs as the light to moderate wind slowly backed from NNW into the WSW.

Sunday 9th.  Sunday proved some reasonable soaring  with an initially moderate WSW'ly wind slowly backing into the SE over the course of the day.  13 out of the day's 36 launches were by private owners, and a number of cross countries were flown, with pilots reporting cloud base above 5,000' asl above the North Yorkshire Moors but poorer conditions elsewhere, particularly to the south.  This resulted in some abandoned leg, particularly for Steve Thompson in his Discus who abandoned  his leg to North Duffield but still flew 131 km with TPs at theTontine, Market Weighton and Pickering.  Similarly, Toby Wilson abandoned his attempt to get to Pocklington but instead flew to Ripon in his Standard Cirrus in a 103 km task that included TPs at the Tontine and Northallerton.   Chris Booker recorded 91 OLC km in his LS1 with an O/R to the Tontine and then forays to the SE and SW, but the longest flight of the day was by Bill Payton and Dave McKinney in Bill's DG1000 who did an estimated 150 km circumnavigation of the Durham Tees Valley airspace that included a leg out over the sea between Redcar and Hartlepool.  Their 3:14 flight was the 3rd longest of the day, Darren Lodge heading this particular list in his LS8-18 with 3:45 and Martyn Johnson having 3:26 in his DG600.  Martin Clowes accumulated 3:47 from 2 flights in Astir DPO, while Mike Collins had 1:24 in the Ks8 and Simon Altman 1:03 in the DG303.  None of the day's flights in club 2 seaters breached the 1 hour mark, the closest being the 54 minutes flown by Robin Hutchinson and Kieran Williams in K21 JVZ.

Monday 10th.  A light to moderate N to NE wind meant operations off runway 02, on the first day of a weeks gliding course run by Ron Beezer with course members Richard Sharp, Christina Griffiths and M Craston.   Cloud and rain visible to the SE slowly advanced towards the site with some light rain around midday  that threatened the continuation of flying, but the rain petered out, allowing flying to continue until just after 1400 hrs when a combination of lowering cloud and more persistent rain led to flying stopping.  Up to this point, 16 ATs were flown, with the course members getting 2/3 fiights each and a Day Course member, D Smith getting 2 flights.  The early flights had the opportunity for some soaring in  weak thermals and Bruce Grain and Richard Sharp managed 37 minutes in K21 JVZ, with Ron Beezer and M Craston having 27 minutes in the DG1000, and George Rowden having 26 minutes in the Ka8, climbing to cloud base which was around 4000' asl at this time.  In addition to all the above 2 seater flying, 2 First Flight pupils were also flown.   

Tuesday 11th.  A combination of low cloud, a gusty NW'ly wind and rain from 1000 hrs meant it was a non-flying day. 

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