Wednesday 19th to Friday 21st June 2019
Posted: 22/06/2019 13:04
Wednesday 19th. 8.1 mm of rain between 0600 to 1100 hrs delayed the start of flying until around 1400 hrs, the wind being light from the NW until backing into the SSE late in the day. The poor start to the day meant a lack of members on site, so the 5 ATs flown off runway 24, with most landings on 20, were mainly for the 4 First Flight pupils of the day. John Carter, John Tayler and Andy Parish shared the P1 duties with John Carter managing 2 flights of 30 minutes for the visitors in K21 KLW.
Thursday 19th. The increasing influence of the Azores high pressure meant a good day's soaring at Sutton, with hill, thermal and some wave to be utilised in a moderate wind varying between WSW and SW. Another group from the Air League, members of the Durham University GG and YGC members meant it was a busy day at the launch point and trailer park with 46 launches in total off runway 24, 40 via the winch and 6 via AT, with the Falke adding a further 2 flights to the day's total. A number of pilots contacted the wave which was patchy and weak, with 9 pilots getting to 5,000' asl or more, the top three climbs being to 9,000' by Martyn Johnson in his DG600, 6,100' by John Ellis in his DG800 and 5,700' Nigel Burke in his DG800. In addition to wave climbs a number of pilots flew thermic cross countries with John Ellis doing an undeclared 261 km around Aysgarth, Pickering, Malton and Grimsworth Reservoir after having failed to get to Hawes on his declared task due to the strength of the wind and the weakness of the thermals in that area. Steve Thompson, flying his Discus, and under a three line whip to be home for an evening engagement, flew a conservative 157 km task with TPs at Carlton, Leyburn, Sutton start W and Harrogate North but getting back to Sutton around 1400 hrs added on the 100 km Sutton, Pocklington, Rufforth, Sutton triangle. Martyn Johnson wave hunting in his DG600, found the wave was messing up the thermals and vice versa, but completed a 79 km O/R to Pateley Bridge while Phil Lazenby battled against the wind in the Ka8 and visited Boroughbridge and Ripon to cover 53 km. In the meantime Dave McKinney in his ASW28 visited Ripon, the Tontine and Guisborough W. In all there were 8 private owner launches with 14 of the day's flights exceeding an hour and a further 6 exceeding 30 minutes. Those flying club aircraft also made the most of the day with Frank Wilson having 2:21 in the DG302, Alan Beaumont 1:18 in Astir HVK, Brian Wise iwht 1:10 in the Discus and CFI Andy Parish joined in with 1:12 in the Discus. The 2 seaters were mainly employed flying the Air League visitors on First Flights, but Brian Wise and Paul Bulmer had 1:07 in K21 KLW.
Friday 21st. The high pressure had strengthened its influence over the UK's weather so the wind had decreased to become light to moderate, varying between WNW and W. With the prospect of another good soaring day, the trailer park was soon busy, as was the launch point, the first winch launch of the day being just before 1000 hrs. 8 winch launches were flown before the decreasing wind speed favoured ATing off runway 24, with 31 flown, making the day's total 39, with all but 5 of these exceeding 30 minutes and 16 an hour. 3 of the 9 private owners who launched flew 300 km cross countries. John Ellis in his DG800 and Steve Thompson in his Discus both flew 349 km with TPs at Doncaster NW, Staindrop and Burn while George Rowden in his LS8-18 flew 305 km, turning Snainton, Selset Reservoir and Fridaythorpe. All three pilots reported mixed conditions with some very good areas of separated Cumulus yielding strong climbs and other areas of patches of spread out with weak and broken lift or large blue holes. Other pilots to fly cross country included Martyn Johnson who flew 171 km in his DG600 around Pateley Bridge, Carlton and Leyburn, Kelly Teagle who visited Northallerton, Catterick and Ripon in her Kestrel 19 and Conrad Thwaites who flew the 100 km local triangle around Rufforth and Pocklington as well as visiting Ripon and Masham. Jim Mclean, flying his ASW24 turned Carlton and Burn but landed out at Rufforth on the way back to site. Two seater pilots also joined in the fun with Paul Whitehead and Chris Thompson in the DG1000, the Kiely's, Kevin and Liz in K21 KLW, Bruce Grain and Joan Wilson in K21 JVZ, Bruce nnd Tom Armstrong in the DG1000 and Andy Parish and Andy Tyas in JVZ all having between 1-1:30 hrs. Other > 1 hour pilots included Martin Clowes with 1:39 in Astir HVK, Mike Collins with 1:02 in the Ka8, and Peter Robinson with 1:22 solo in JVZ off the penultimate flight of the day while Paul Bulmer just failed to get to an hour with 58 minutes in his Swallow. Among all this activity, John Carter, flying with Paul Whitehead, passed the first stage of his Motorglider Instructor Rating, so well done John.