Sunday 21st to Tuesday 23rd June 2020
Posted: 24/06/2020 12:28
Sunday 21st. Some early rain that stopped around 1000 hrs delayed the start of flying, with the first AT off runway 24 into a moderate SSW'ly taking place just before midday. This AT was the only one of the day as the wind veered into the WSW and increased to moderate resulting in a switch to winching, with a further 6 launches flown. Hill lift was mainly utilised in the main bowl with thermal also available to provide soaring opportunities, resulting in Tony Drury flying the DG303 for just over an hour and a number of pilots having between 30 and 60 minutes flying time, 43 minutes being the achievements of David Watson and Ian McFarlane in K21 JVZ off the AT launch and also John Carter and Nora van Genugten, also in JVZ, off the last winch launch of the day. A number of launches were flown to further evaluate the effect of the screen between the front and rear cockpits of JVZ.
Monday 22nd. A bright start to Monday was followed by an increase in cloudiness as a moderate S'ly blew, leading to operations off runway 20. The day's 21 ATs made use of limited hill lift in the main bowl and White Horse, thermal and wave to provide 14 flights that exceeded 30 minutes and 4 that exceeded an hour. John Ellis in his DG808, while soaring the hill noticed an wavy looking cloud over Black Hambleton to the north and as the hill was only working in the main bowl decided to use his engine to go and investigate. That proved to be very profitable for he contacted the wave and eventually climbed to around 12,000' asl, and visiting a number of local and not so local TPs including the Tontine, Northallerton, Leyburn, Pateley Bridge, Harrogate North, Knaresborough and Rufforth. His flight of 4:36 was by far the longest of the day. Having an engine was not, however, a prerequisite for contacting the wave as John Carter and Mark Newburn in K21 JVZ, climbed to just under 6,000' asl in a 47 minute flight, with Mark subsequently climbing to around 7,000' asl in a flight of 1:20 in the DG500. Duncan Pask in his LS10 climbed to 5,000' asl in his 44 minute flight while Polly Whitehead, flying solo in K21 KLW, twice climbed to 5,400' asl in her flight of exactly an hour. The reason for the two climbs was varying cloud amounts which threatened to close wave gaps. Polly and husband Paul had earlier had a 43 minute flight in the Falke. Les Rayment, flying his DG808, one of 5 private owners to launch, had 59 minutes. A new combination of pilot and glider saw Steve Thompson take a launch and fly Lindsay McLane's Ventus for 1:23 as sadly, Lindsay has taken the decision to give up gliding and I am sure that I am not the only one to wish him all the best for the future.
Tuesday 23rd. A light to moderate S/SW'ly blew all day with a forecast of a good soaring day leading a number of private owners to rig. However, extensive medium level cloud persisted for most of the day only dissapating towards the end of the afternoon to give the best conditions of the day. 18 ATs off runway 20 led to some mixed fortunes, with 5 flights exceeding an hour and a further 3 thirty minutes. Andrew Cluskey in his Shark had the best flight of the day, visiting Danby, Pickering, Pocklington and Sutton on the Forest in his flight of 2:23. Andrew reported a straight glide return from Danby to Sutton along a cloud street, changing a 800' below glide at the start to a 800' above glide at the finish. John Ellis decided to visit the Tontine in his DG808, but gave up while a few km short and made a return to local soaring at Sutton in his flight of 1:07. Nigel Burke in his DG 808, George Rowden in his LS8-18 and Nick Gaunt in his LS7 all had flights of just over the hour while staying local, with pilots reporting difficulty in finding good lift under the predominately cloudy skies, cloudbase being around 3,500' asl. The variable nature of the day was amply demonstrated by Nick Gaunt, who on his second flight in his LS7 was back on the ground after 21 minutes and by Steve Thompson who taking 2 launches in his Discus was only able to add 45 minutes to his log book. Late in the day, with the skies clearing, Mark Newburn had 1:11 flying the DG500 solo and climbed to cloudbase at 4,500' asl.