Saturday 19th to Wednesday 23rd October 2019

Posted: 24/10/2019 14:21

Saturday 19th.  Patchy rain and low cloud in a light to moderate SW led to a slow start to a wave weekend at Sutton.  However, brighter skies as the wind veered into the WNW allowed flying to get underway off runway 24 around 1600 hrs, with 13 ATs being flown, all in club 2 seaters.  There was no wave or any other form of lift to be had so it was essentially a circuit daywith only one flight, that by Ron Beezer and R Carter in the DG1000 geting beyond 30 minutes flying time, 33 minutes being achieved.   Most other flights were in the 12-18 minutes range although Ron Beezer and Chris Haresnape, in K21 KLW, and Chris Collingham and Simona Latimer in the same glider with get over 20 minutes, with 23 and 21 minutes respectively.

Sunday 20th.  A light to moderate WNW'ly slowly veered into the NNW over the course of the day but the only flying was on the simulator as low cloud and rain from 1300 hrs ensued no flying was possible.  Those looking to improve their wave awareness and wave flying skills were not totally deprived however, as lectures on all aspects of  wave and wave flying were provided by Kelly Teagle, Dave Latimer, Steve Thompson and Paul Whitehead.  Also, with the simulator set up with wave flying conditiions,  a number of pilots were able to put theory into practice.

Monday 21st.  The moderate NW'ly flow slowly decreased in strength to become light but the accompanying light rain and drizzle in the morning and persistent low cloud in the afternoon meant no flying was possible.

Tuesday 22nd.  The wind had become a light to moderate S'ly but with  a medium level overcast  flying got underway around 1030 off runway 20.  However, after lunch, the change in wind direction to SW, meant a change of runway to 24.  In all, 12 ATs were flown, with the only private owner launch of the day, by visitor Tim Robson accompanied by Jerry H-N in Tim's Duo Discus, finding some weak wave over Hawnby and climbing to around 5,400' asl in  his flight of 1:50.  No one else managed over an hour, although 2 flights exceeded 30 minutes helped by high tows.  Bruce Grain took one of the 4 First Flght pupils of the day for 33 minutes in the DG500, while off the last flight of the day, John Carter and Mark Newburn had 40 minutes in K21 KLW off a 4,000' tow.   Peter Guest was the only solo pilot of the day, flying Astir DPO for exactly 30 minutes.

Wednesday 23rd.  A light to moderate SSE'ly blew all day, showing a tendency to veer into the SE as predominately blue skies prevailed, with cloudier conditions developing later in the day.   High wave clouds over the Pennines encouraged a number of private owners to launch, including, Steve Thompson in his Discus, Tim Robson in his Duo Discus, John Ellis in his DG800 and Albert and Martin Newbery in their DG1000t, Albert and Martin having 2 launches.  These private owners provided all the flights to exceed an hour, with John Ellis having 2:20, Tim Robson having 2:18, Albert and Martin having 1:39 and 50 minutes and Steve having 1:07.  The main reason for these soaring flights was wave, although Albert and Marin did have to recourse to their engine at times.  These pilots explored as far as Ripon, Carlton and Northallerton, but a connection with the higher wave over the Pennines was not found, peak altitudes being around 5-6,000' asl.    Areas of  wave were also to be found nearer to site,  with Jim Mclean and Polly Whitehead in the DG500 finding some wave over Bagby that peaked at 5 kts, but again topped out around 5,000' asl in their 45 minute flight and later John Carter and Joan Wilson had 43 minutes in K21 JVZ.  The westerly end  of the southern ridge over the White Horse also gave some weak hill lift at times allowing Phil Turner to have 39 minutes in Astir DPO before deciding that a return to runway 20 was not on with runway 24 a better option.   Apart from all  the  above activity, the 2 seaters were kept busy with 4 First Flight pupils, a group of RAF pilots from Linton on Ouse and members all contributing to a launch total of 24.       

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