Sunday 8th to Monday 9th March 2010
Posted: 09/03/2020 21:11
Sunday 8th. A moderate and at times moderate to fresh SW'ly blew all day accompanied by cloudy skies. All 10 of the 13 winch launches of the day resulted in flight times of at least 30 minutes, with 2 leading to flight times of over an hour. Conrad Thwaites and Les Rayment had the longest flight, 1:22 in K21 JVZ, venturing at far north as Kepwick and as far west as Thirsk, climbing to a maximum altitude of 3,400' asl in the process, so there was more than just ridge lift available. Another mutual flight, this time by Toby Wilson and Ben Dawson, again in JVZ, also exceeded an hour, 1:07 to be precise, while the next best in terms of duration, was yet again a mutual in JVZ, 41 minutes by Toby Wilson and Arthur Docherty. Apart from Conrad and Les' climb to 3,400' asl (2,500' QFE), most of the other flights operated in the 1100 - 1800' QFE range, the exception being Paul Whitehead and Junior/Student member J Barker who never climbed above 700' QFE in the 29 minute flight off the last launch of the day in K21 KLW. However, this combination did have a longer and higher flight earlier in the day.
Monday 9th. The moderate SW'ly was still blowing, but the initally blue skies had clouded in by briefing. The relatively low cloudbase, although not a restriction on flying, did result in the decision to winch rather than AT. The day's total of 12 winch launches resulted in all flights exceeding 30 minutes, with 4 being > 1 hour. Bruce Grain and Paul Bulmer in K21 KLW, set the ball rolling with 41 minutes off the first flight of the day, whileArthur Docherty rigged and flew his ASW20 for 2:33, the longest of the day. Arthur registered the highest climb of the day in thermal, 3,400' asl, this being cloud base at the time. Cloud base slowly came down as a front approached, its accompanying rain arriving around 1500 hrs, with the wind backing into the SSE and strengthening, although by this time flying had come to an end. Other > 1 hour flights were by Nick Gaunt who flew the Discus to the Tontine and back in his flight of 1:15, being helped by thermals, while Jesper Mjels had 1:30 in Astir DPO. Ian McFarlane and an Air League pupil had exactly an hour in K21 JVZ, the activity on the ground and in the air being filmed as part of an Air League project to encourage young people into flying. Monday was a busy day for filming, as a BBC film crew were also on site to produce more material for their gliding based film. The other solo pilot of the day, Rob Bailey had 57 minutes in the Discus, while Bruce Grain and Jan van de Hoek had the longest 2 seater flight, 50 minutes in the DG1000. Among all this activity, George Rowden flew 2 First Flight pupils, one of whom was a Jet 2 pilot based at Leeds/Bradford airport. Apart from thermal activity, the hill provided consistent lift with an average operating height of around 1,000' QFE, although landing and subsequent ground handling required some care due to some very soft patches on the airfield.