Tuesday 17th to Friday 20th March 2020.
Posted: 21/03/2020 16:23
Tuesday 17th. A cloudy and mild day resulting from a moderate WSW with a tendency to back into the S meant it was a winching day, with 13 off runway 24, although landings were on 20. The southerly component of the wind meant most soaring utilised the main bowl and the White Horse ridge, with only a few forays north towards Boltby. Only one of the day's flights didn't make it past 30 minutes with 5 exceeding an hour, the longest being by visitor Timo Wilken, 1:44, and he followed this up later with the third longest, 1:28, both flights in his ASW 19. Splitting Timo's durations was visitor Richard Maskell in his ASW27 with 1:38, while visitor Andrew Watson flying the Cambridge GC's K21, completed the > 1 hr list with two flights, one with Chris Brooker and the other with Yizchen Chen. Home grown pilots Albert Newbery and Tom Wiseman almost joined this group with 58 minutes in K21 JVZ.
Wednesday 18th. The day started off cloudy and damp with on and off light rain in the morning. However, this eased off by lunch time and although troubled at times with low cloud, flying got under way in the early afternoon with ATs off 24 into a light to moderate SSW'ly wind. The majority of the ATs were to 1000' QFE due to the cloud, with only a few of the 12 flown getting to 2,000' QFE, Andrew Watson and Yizhen Chen in K21 HTV had a flight of 38 minutes of theirs and Bruce Grain and Eszter Elam had 23 minutes in K21 JVZ off theirs, otherwise flight times off the lower tows were typically 10-15 minutes. The best flight of the day by far, was by visitor Chris Barrett who had 1:12 in his ASW19, successfully garnering what lift there was off the southerly facing part of the main bowl. The day's flying was completed by Andy Evans' sortie in the Falke.
Thursday 19th. A developing high pressure system led to a day of light winds gradually veering from the WSW into the ENE and broken high and medium level cloud which allowed the development of Cumulus. The resultant thermal soaring conditions led to 10 of the day's 18 ATs exceeding 30 minutes with 5 > an hour. While take offs were from runway 24, landings were mainly on 20 but, as the wind veered into the ENE, also on 02 and 06. The thermic conditions led to some local forays, with Phil Atkins 3:15 flight in his ASW 20 taking him to Carlton Bank and Thirsk, the Tontine, Carlton Bank and Pickering being visited by Rob Bailey during his 2:50 flight in the Discus and Richard Maskell venturing to Ingleby Bowl, Osmotherley, Helmsley and Lastingham while flying his ASW27 for 2:37. Meanwhile, Bill Payton and Chris Brooker visited Carlton Bank, Kirbymoorside and Church Houses in the DG1000, all the above flights the result of the best soaring conditions being over the North Yorkshire Moors. The only other flight to reach an hour was by John Carter and Martin Clowes in K21 JVZ. The day's aviating included two flights in the Falke and a visit from a Yak 12.
Friday 20th. The High Pressure had become more firmly established close to the UK, the result being a moderate wind from between NNW and NE. Operations were therefore off runway 02. Cumulus were soon forming in the otherwise blue sky and the resultant thermic conditions led to some cross country flights from the day's 10 ATs. Richard Maskell went the furthest in his ASW27, going west to Ripon, then south to Wetherby, north to Masham, south to Ripon and then east back to site in his flight of 2:31. Rob Bailey flew the Discus and visited Pickering, Boroughbridge and Thirsk in his flight of 2:27, while Toby Wilson flying his Standard Cirrus for just over an hour visited Helmsley. Cloudbase eventually rose to over just under 5,000' asl over the Pennines with a tendency to street. The day's list of 4 flights of over an hour was made up by Nigel Burke and Tom Dale who had 1:21 in K21 KLW, with Bruce Grain and N Walkett just failing to breach an hour with 55 minutes in KLW off the last flight of the day. This in fact turned out to be the last flight for a while as the decision was taken to close the club due to the Coronavirus outbreak.
I hope to be back in the not too distant future to resume reporting the activities at the Yorkshire Gliding Club but in the meantime, keep safe.