Saturday 4th to Friday 10th January 2020
Posted: 10/01/2020 19:54
Saturday 4th. High cover with a light NW'ly soon gave way to clear blue skies and a light to moderate W'ly that meant a busy day at the launch point, with 26 launches in total, comprising 10 ATs and 16 winch launches, the latter being the only method of launch from early afternoon. Nobody climbed above their AT release height, but the hill was working fitfully, so the day produced 4 flights of greater than an hour and a further 4 in excess of 30 minutes. Duncan Pask led the way with 1:44 in Astir HVK, followed by John Marsh in the DG303 off the first flight of the day. Darren Lodge with 1:28 in the Discus and Tony Drury with 1:07 in the DG303 completed the list of pilots flying for over an hour, while Chris Ogden with 56 minutes in Astir DPO headed the > 30 minutes list, being the only pilot with a flight of over 30 minutes from an AT. Dad, Steve Ogden, not to be outdone, had 54 minutes in Astir DPO, with Chris Booker having 48 minutes in the Discus. That man Chris Ogden, after sampling 2 ATs, had a winch launch with Bruce Grain in K21 KLW to add another 36 minutes to his log book.
Sunday 5th. A light to moderate WSW'ly slowly backed into the SW on a cloudy day with the occasional light shower, a heavier version leading to the cessation of flying early afternoon, The hill, together with some weak wave, led to 2 flights of > than an hour, with a further flight exceeding 30 minutes from 6 winch launches, John Marsh's 1:29 in the DG303 was the longest of the day and included a climb to 2,000' QFE, the highest of the day. Ian McFarlane and Tony Kirby in K21 KLW had the next best climb to 1800' QFE in their flight of 39 minutes, while Steve Thompson in Astir DPO couldn't match them for height but did stay up for 1:10.
Monday 6th. A low overcast with a gusty, moderate SSE'ly blowing was not condusive to flying, so the hangar doors remained shut.
Tuesday 7th. Another day of a low overcast, with this time the wind being a stronger, moderate to fresh SE'ly that progressively veered into the S, the conditions not persuading anyone to fly.
Wednesday 8th. The wind had become a light to moderate WSW'ly with broken high cover, so operations were off runway 24 with 12 ATs flown. Most pilots were able to take advantage of hill lift, while more than a few contacted wave, with 3 getting to 10,000' asl or more. Steve Thompson flying his Discus climbed to around 12,000' in a flight lasting 4:21, venturing as far west as the A1, while Rob Bailey flying Discus HVR, climbed to 11,000' asl and flew a local cross country with TPs at the Tontine, Northallerton and Thirsk, his flight lasting 2:35, reporting an outside temperature of -25C at altiude. Steve provided the following photo from the day.
Gerrard Wright, flying Astir DPO, climbed to 10,000' asl over Bagby in his 1:21 flight, while Graham Evison, flying returning Trial Flight pupil Andy Took, broke off his flight in K21 KLW at around 6,000' asl in order to return to site and provide the glider for the next waiting pilot. John Carter, test flying the DG1000 after its recent inspection, found a steady 4 kts over the forward ridge but, like Graham, broke off the climb at around 5,000' asl to return to the site after 16 minutes.
Thursday 9th. An southeastward travelling cold front deposited 14.7 mm of rain overnight and into the morning, leaving the airfield very wet, as a light to moderate, initially ENE'ly, eventually became a NW'ly from around 1200 hrs at which point, the rain petered out. The wet airfield and a legacy of low cloud meant there was no flying.
Friday 10th. A sunny day with a initially light SW'ly blowing saw ATs off runway 24 get under way around 1040 hrs, 20 launches following before misting canopies led to the cessation of flying mid afternoon. The wind backed into the S over the course of the day and increased in strength to light to moderate, so some later landings were on runway 20. The increasing wind speed led to some weak hill and wave lift towards the end of the flying day, with the 3 flights to exceed 30 minutes all being flown in the afternoon. George Rowden, with First Flight pupil Robert Kilday in the DG1000, managed to climb 500' from their release point in a flight of 34 minutes as a local, low level lenticular developed and provided a very nice multi-ringed glory. Rob Bailey flying the Discus, had the longest flight of the day, 40 minutes courtesy of localised hill lift. Ian McFarlane flying another of the day's 4 First Flight pupils in the DG1000 off the last flight of the day joined the > 30 minute list with 31 minutes.