Saturday 16th to Monday 18th May
Posted: 19/05/2020 13:51
Saturday 16th. Following the very welcome news that recreational flying could recommence with certain restrictions, specifically that all flying must be solo, the YGC restarted flying today. The board had decided that to maintain compliance with current social distancing rules, a phased return to gliding was to be implemented, with attendance at site being initially by invitation only. Accordingly, the CFI, deputy CFI and senior instructors and tug pilots mainly populated the flying log on the first day back after the Coronavirus lock down. The weather was also cooperative, with a moderate, mainly W'ly flow leading to ATs off runway 24 behind the Eurofox and lift in the form of thermal and wave. The day's 11 ATs led to 1 flight of an hour and 6 > 30 minutes, with 3 pilots achieving significant wave climbs. The longest flight was by Dave McKinney who flew K21 JVZ for an hour and climbed to 5,100 asl, the same height being achieved by Paul and Polly Whitehead in K21 KLW, their flight lasting 42 minutes. The best climb of the day was by Paul Whitehead, who in a solo flight in KLW reached 6,200' asl during his 38 minute flight. Derek Smith, with 3 flights, the best of 45 minutes, Dick Cole with 43 minutes and Bruce Grain with 36 minutes made up the list of pilots with 30-59 minute flights. All flights stayed local in accordance with a Board decision to prohibit cross country flying under the present restrictions of social distancing.
Sunday 17th. A similar day's weather to Saturday led to a busy day on site, the only change in conditions being a backing of the wind into the SW, this leading to an improvement in wave conditions, with thermal also being available for soaring. The Eurofox was again the tug of choice with 22 ATs off runway 24, resulting in 7 flights of over an hour and 9 further flights of over 30 minutes. Steve Thompson took the opportunity to fly his Discus, being aloft for just over 3 hours and climbing to 8,600' asl, one of 7 flights to climb to around 6,000' or more. Bob Beck, flying the DG1000 solo, reached 7,400, Dave Campbell (Discus) and Dave Watson (solo K21 JVZ) 6,900', Paul and Polly Whitehead (DG1000) 6,700', Ron Beezer (DG1000) 6,000' and Kelly and Chris Teagle (K21 KLW) 5,900', all asl. Dave Campbell, Ron Beezer, and Paul and Polly Whitehead's flights all exceeded an hour, with Toby Wilson, Chris Collingham and Ian McFarlane joining this group off the last 3 flights of the day. In accordance with the no cross country rule, local flying included visits to Osmotherley, Northallerton and Thirsk as well as the ridge to Boltby.
Monday 18th. The wind continued to be moderate, this time out of the WSW, but it was a much cloudier airstream, so the main source of lift was hill and wave, 9 ATs were flown off runway 24 behind the Eurofox, with the last 4 launches of the day being via the winch. ATing resulted in all the day's significant wave climbs and all the 6 flights of over an hour, with 4 additional flights of over 30 minutes. Albert Newbery set the ball rolling off the first flight of the day, climbing to just over 7,000' asl solo in K21 JVZ. In fact Albert had a very varied day's flying, for in addition to the above flight, he later took a winch launch in JVZ as well as flying the tug and the Falke. Albert's first flight of the day was followed by Bill Payton, who took K21 KLW to 7,900' asl, with John Ellis getting to just over 4,000' asl in JVZ off the next flight. Later in the day, Mark Newburn climbed to 10,000' asl in KLW in the longest flight of the day, 2:20, with Bill Payton accumulating 4:36 off three flights, two of these being in the DG303. CFI John Carter took the opportunity to test fly the recently returned DG500 for 1:10 on another interesting soaring day at Sutton.