Thursday 19th to Saturday 21st September 2019

Posted: 21/09/2019 20:49

Thursday 19th.  Blue sunny skies were again a feature of the day as the anticyclone continued to dominate the UK weather, winds being light and variable but mainly from the SSE, so operations were off runway 20.  Some Cumulus appeared in the afternoon, but these were mainly over the Pennines, these being investigated by Rob Bailey who took a high tow to the west followed by an engine burn in his ASG29t starting his soaring flight over Dishforth. Rob then continued to Ripon and then to the NW over Leighton and Roundhill Pennine reservoirs SW of Masham.  Rob was in the air for 2:25, by far the longest flight of the day, with no one else getting over an hour and only one other flight getting over 30 minutes.  This undoubted achievement, nay honour, fell to Bruce Grain and Roy Webster who had 35 minutes in the DG1000.   All 4 two seaters were busy as the 4 course members continued their flying training and Astir HVK was the mount of 4 different solo pilots with Reg Rowlinson, Paul Bulmer, Paul Frost and Martin Clowes, with 2 flights, all venturing skyward. 

Friday 20th.  Early morning fog in the Vale of York soon cleared to leave another blue, sunny and light wind day with operations again off runway 20 into a SSE'ly flow, this tending to increase in strength as the day progressed.  A low and strong inversion resulted in little if any convection, so it was again a circuit day the tug being kept busy with 37ATs.  Flight times were predominately in the range 15-25 minute range with only one flight in excess of 30 minutes.  This was achieved by Kevin Kiely and Mile High pupil Mr Crane with 39 minutes in the DG500 virtue of their 4,400' QFE launch height.  All but 6 of the day's flights were in club 2 seaters, the exceptions being 3 flights in Astir HVK by Andy Tyas, Chris Knapp and Keith Davey and 2 solo flights in K21 by Liz Kiely.

Saturday 21st.  Low stratus streaming over the moors just to the east of the site soon disipated, leaving another day of hazy blue skies and little in the way of lift, as a moderate E'ly blew.  Operations off runway 06 were delayed while a minor problem was fixed on Pawnee FEV, but got underway around 1100 hrs and continued until the last landing at 1720 hrs, with a launch total of 16.  10 of these flights were for club members, the balance being for 4 First Flight pupils and 2 guests of club members.  One of the latter was Amy Shepherd, the daughter of a local farmer whose field Toby Wilson had landed in recently and whose offer of a compensationary flight had been taken up.   Conditions aloft were relatively benign compared to the turbulent conditions on climb out, and pilots reported patches of zero, although these were transient enough to have little effect on flight times, with the best, 25 minutes, being achieved by George Rowden in K21 KLW with one of the day's First Flight pupils.  Towards the end of the day, syndicate partners Jamie Quartermaine and Mark German had 2 flights together in the K21, while earlier, Josh Brookes had spent 1.5 hrs on the simulator with Andy Parish exploring launch failure options from all the Sutton runways. 

The annual YGC expedition to Millfield is underway and Polly Whitehead has provided the following report on the first day of flying.

The DG1000 and DG303 travelled up last night (Friday) towed by Bob Beck and Martin Joyce, arriving quite late at the Borders Gliding Club. The DG1000 was rigged today, the weather exceeded expectations and Martin and Bob flew for 2:12, reaching an altitude of 14,800 ft. Apparently, the tow was somewhat sporting. They did a small tour of Northumberland, travelling to Berwick, Holy Island (Lindesfarne) and the Farne Islands. Then Bob and Keith Davey flew for 2:35, but only making an altitude of 8960ft (I don't know where they went). Paul Whitehead and Jim McLean rigged quickly after their noon arrival on site. Jim achieved 9220ft during his flight of 2:36 and visited Bamburgh, taking a look at the castle; Paul climbed to 8830ft during his 2:48 flight and went out to sea past Lindesfarne because he could. Unfortunately, Paul's main wheel went flat before landing so he had to derig on the airfield, and consequently FJO is in its trailer tonight ready for some TLC tomorrow. Everyone doing their own thing socially tonight, so no shenanigans to report!! We expect more YGC arrivals tomorrow.

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