Wednesday 1st to Saturday 11th July 2020
Posted: 12/07/2020 14:26
Wednesday 1st. The change of month did not bring a change of weather, as a light and variable wind was accompanied by a low overcast that brought bits and pieces of rain and more general rain from late afternoon. While there was no gliding, the Falke did have 3 flights.
Thursday 2nd. The light to moderate, now N'ly wind, was again accompanied by a low overcast and light rain and drizzle at times so there was no flying.
Friday 3rd. An initially moderate SW'ly soon increased to fresh with 30 kt gusts so there was again no flying.
Saturday 4th. The SW/WSW'ly had declined to become moderate, and although still cloudy, the base was high enough to allow flying, with the method of launch winching. 5 launches in club gliders was augmented by 6 private owner launches with 8 of the launches leading to flights in excess of 30 minutes, 4 of these being over an hour. Most of these were by private owners, with Toby Wilson having 2 flights in his Std Cirrus, one of 1:22 and the other of 1:07, with Arthur Docherty in his ASW20 having 2:55. Chris Booker's LS1 also had two flights, Chris having 49 minutes and later, Derek Smith having 1:04. Those flying club gliders were not to be left out, as Bruce Grain and Martin Joyce had 1:23 in K21 JVZ and Rob Bailey had 1:04 in the Discus. The day's hill soaring opportunities were spurned by Jesper Mjels who, taking off in his DG400, on the last flight of the day, contacted wave and climbed to around 10,000' asl in a flight of 2:36.
Sunday 5th. The SW'ly had become fresh as an unusually deep depression tracked to the N of Scotland. With the wind gusting into the low 40 kts, there was no flying other than of loose objects.
Monday 6th. The wind had become a moderate NNW'l,y slowly backing into the WNW'ly over the course of the day. Initial operations were off runway 02 but switched to 24 with the backing of the wind. Occasional showers and overconvected skies limited soaring with only Martyn Johnson in his DG600 with 51 minutes and Bruce Grain and Ian Bullous in K21 JVZ with 30 minutes getting to or exceeding the 30 minute milestone. Duncan Pask in his LS10 made a valiant effort to join them with 29 minutes flying time on a day with 5 ATs.
Tuesday 7th. Another predominately cloudy day, with light rain and drizzle at times but one that did allow some limited flying, 6 ATs off runway 24 into a light to moderate WSW'ly being the sum of flying activity. The lack of any useable lift meant flight times were low, the best, 22 minutes, being by Albert Newbery and Tony Kirkby in K21 JVZ. The 6 flights were evenly divided between dual and solo, Alan Beaumont, Andy Tyas and Sue Ahern being the solo pilots flying the DG500, K21 KLW and the Discus respectively. Tony Kirkby and David Eccles, the latter with 2 flights, were the P2s under the watchful eye of Albert Newbery. The gliding activity was augmented by 3 Falke flights.
Wednesday 8th. Another generally cloudy day, but one that did provide some soaring opportunities via convection. 8 ATs were flown off runway 06 into a light to moderate/moderate E/ESE'ly with 6 of these providing the pilots with flights of over an hour. Bill Payton topped the list with 2:12 in the DG303, with all the other > 1 hr pilots having between 1 and 1:20. The soaring pilots included those flying dual, with John Carter/Roger Taylor and Bruce Grain/Sam Powell representing this group, while Bob Calvert in the Discus, Chris Knapp in the DG303 and Rob Bailey in the Discus were the solo pilots.
Thursday 9th. A slow moving occluded front over the south of the UK that had been the cause of the cloudy skies over the previous few days had moved further north resulting in 15.2 mm of rain overnight and a subsequent damp and dreary day at site. A brief drier period did, however, allow a single Flake sortie
Friday 10th. Bright blue skies and warm sunshine made a welcome appearence at site, allowing operations to commence off runway 02 around 1030 hrs as a light to moderate NW/N'ly blew. However, a trough over the east of the UK meant rapid Cu growth with heavy showers arriving in the early afternoon, limiting flying to 5 launches, only one of which exceeded 30 minutes. This was by Jerry HN who, after check flights with Bruce Grain in K21 JVZ, had 2 solo flights in the same glider, the last of which lasted 32 minutes. The remaining flight of the day was by Andy Evans who also flew JVZ solo.
Saturday 11th. A prospect of a good soaring day led to a busy trailer park and a day's total of 39 ATs off runway 24 behind the Eurofox, the wind being a moderate NW'ly and then a light to moderate W'ly. Early and rapidly developing Cu led to large areas of spreadout that led to some tricky conditions with many potential cross country pilots being restricted to local soaring. The conditions can be gauged by the fact that of the 19 private owners who launched only 6 ventured far from site. Those that did reported large areas of spreadout, with embedded Cu of variable base sometimes widely separated, but some strong lift at times. The 39 launches resulted in 32 flights of over 30 minutes, with 19 of these being over an hour. Two pilots had > 4 hour flights; Rob Bailey in his ASG 29 who flew 348 km with TPs at the Tontine, Scunthorpe and Grantham and Andrew Cluskey who flew for 4 hrs in his Shark covering 200 OLC kms while visiting Masham, Carlton and a significant proportion of the North York Moors. Three pilots had 3+ hrs, with John Ellis having 3:33 in his DG800 when turning Market Weighton and Leyburn but having to resort to his engine shortly afterwards. George Rowden in his LS8-18 flew 200 km visiting Goole NE, Pontefract and Catterick while Derek Taylor had just over 3 hours in his ASW22, with visits to the Tontine, Northallerton, Masham and Burn. 2 hour plus pilots included Toby Wilson in his Standard Cirrus who flew 135 km around the Tontine, Pocklington and Rufforth, Bill Payton and Albert Newbery who visited Northallerton, Masham, Ripon and York in their DG1000 and Dave Latimer who visited Helmsley and Ripon in his Ventus. The other 2+ hour pilots who stayed local were Darren Lodge in his LS8 18 and Arthur Docherty in his ASW20. The majority of the day's flights were by solo pilots but the 2 seater list was expanded by 3 flights in the T21 by Tor Tavener/Nick Gaunt, Les Rayment/Brian Wise and Brian Wise/John Dore. John was the only member to have a >1 hr flight in a club 2 seater, this being 1:11 with Bruce Grain as P1.