Thursday 5th to Tuesday 10th September 2019

Posted: 12/09/2019 14:30

Thursday 5th.  A moderate WNW'ly with a tendency to veer into the NW led to an early AT off runway 02 and a subsequent landing on 30, but the turbulent conditions led to a decision to suspend flying for a while.   Flying resumed an hour later with 3 successive Falke flights off 24, with glider flying recommencing around 1400 hrs, the launch method now via the winch.  4 winch launches were flown before flying was again suspended  and not started again until around 1630 when a single AT off runway 24 completed flying for the day.  Some thermal and restricted hill lift off the NW facing part of the main bowl was utilised by Jesper Mjels in the DG303 to extend his flight time to 56 minutes, but no one else exceeded 30 minutes.

Friday 6th.  An southeastward travelling cold front with its attendant low cloud and rain delayed the start of flying until early afternoon, with the first winch launch at 1352 hrs followed by 7 more, as the passage of the front provided a moderate W'ly wind.  5 of the day's flights exceeded 30 minutes with 2 exceeding an hour, Jesper Mjels again taking the DG303 for the longest flight of the day, 2:30, as a combination of thermal and hill lift allowed him to investigate wave possibilities over the East Coast Main Line.  Wave, however, remained elusive, with Jesper's best altitude 4,500' asl.  Ian McFarlane and John Dore were the other >1hr pilots with 2:10 in the DG1000, while course members Joan Hartley and D Troise had 59 and 41 minutes respectively with Andy Parish and Robin Hutchinson in the K21s.  Andy also had 54 minutes with visitor Chris Hatton off the last flight of the day.  

Saturday 7th.  An early AT off runway 02, as a moderate N/NE'ly blew, was followed by a pause in flying as the decision was taken to take the relatively unusual step of winching off this runway.  Winching commenced in the early afternoon and continued for around an hour with 7 launches flown.  The thermal conditions led to a number of pilots attempting cross countries, although with mixed fortunes.  Rob Bailey in his ASG29t, went west to the Lake District, enjoying the excellent visibility and great views as he flew an O/R to  Pooley Bridge, covering 235 km.   Toby Wilson, attempting to improve on his speed around the Sut/Pocklington/Rufforth/Sut 100 km triangle in his Standard Cirrus, didn't quite make it back to site and did his 5th field landing of the year, while Chris Booker landed his LS1 at Bagby after failing to find any lift after his winch launch.  Rob Bailey's 3:35 was the longest flight of the day, one of 4 > an hour on the day,  with visitor Barry Kerby in his Duo Discus having 1:40 and Bill Payton and Andy Hatfield having 2:20 in Bill's DG1000 off the last flight of the day.  A video of the event is included below.

Sunday 8th.   Sunday provided one of the best soaring days of the year, with good, well distributed Cumulus, a high cloud base, excellent visibility and light winds.  The trailer park was soon busy and ultimately the day's 28 launches inlcuded 14 by private owners, with many flying cross countries after launching from 20 into the light, mainly SW'ly wind.  The longest flight of the day saw Rob Bailey visit Market Rasen and Upward Hangar in his ASG9t, 423 km, Rob finding excellent conditions south of the Humber, but then having to contend with something of a struggle to get home as the day died.   Another pilot to notch up the kms was John Ellis who diverted from his declared task due blue conditions on the way to one of his TPs, but nevertheless flew 394 km as he did an O/R to Grantham before adding on visits to Carlton and Malton in his DG800.    Darren Lodge in his LS8 and Chris Teagle in his Kestrel 19 both flew a 205 km YoYo task, Sut/Goole/Sut/Pocklington/Sut, while Toby Wilson in  his Standard Cirrus improved his speed around the local 100 km triangle to 76.5 kph.  Les Rayment visited Leyburn, Scunthorpe and Rufforth in his DG800.   7 flights exceeded 2hrs with another 6 between 1-2 hrs as those who flew relatively locally also made full use of the conditions.   Another of the Stratford GC visitors, Phil Challans, flew 1:29 in the DG303 with Tim Stanley having 1:10 solo in K21 JVZ.  Two seater pilots also joined in the fun with Ian McFarlane and Naomi Kennard having 1:32 in  the DG1000 and John Marsh taking his guest G Johnson for just short of an hour, again in the DG1000.  Among all this activity, the Falke added a further 5 flights.

Monday 9th.  Slow moving fronts brought a mixture of low cloud and rain that persisted all day as a light to moderate E'ly slowly weakened and veered into the ESE, preventing any flying.

Tuesday 10th.  A light W'ly that strengthened to light to moderate and backed into the SW, brought thermal and hill soaring conditions, the former being sufficient to allow some limited local cross countries.   ATing off runway 20  was the launch method for the majority of the day, with 16 flown, but the strengthening wind led to a change to winching around 1700 hrs as the Tuesday evening group took over operations, a further 8 launches by this method resulting.   Visitor Andy Balkwell in his LS8 visited Pickering and Church Houses in his flight of 2:45, the longest of the day, with Rob Bailey in his ASG9t YoYoing between Sutton and  Ripon and Thirsk in his flight visiting local TPs.  Visitor Phil Challans had 1:14 in the DG303 to be the 3rd pilot to exceed an hour, while Bruce Grain and R Taylor had 53 minutes in  K21 JVZ, one of 4 flights to have between 30-60 minutes aloft.   The day's flying activities also included 3 sorties by the Falke.

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