Thursday 10th to Saturday 12th September 2020.
Posted: 13/09/2020 14:45
Thursday 10th. A initially light NW increased to light to moderate around lunch time as it backed into the WSW. Early sunny intervals provided convective conditions but an approaching front brought increasing cloud so that those planning cross countries had relatively short tasks in mind. It was a busy day at the launch point, with 35 launches in total, including 15 by private owners, two of which, Rob Bailey and John Ellis posted their flights on the BGA Ladder. Rob declared a Hemsley, Humber Bridge, Pickering task but had to resort to the engine of his ASG29 to get back from Pickering, covering 139 km, while John completed his 123 km task in his DG808 with TPs at Goole and Pocklington, managing to find lift under the increasing overcast as the front approached, Visitor Andy Balkwill in his LS8-10 visited Pickering, Langtoft and York, with York and Elvington being visited by Nick Gaunt in his LS7 and York and Market Weighton by Bill Payton and Stuart Heaton in their DG1000. Andrew Clusky explored the lift over the North York Moors in his Shark, visiting Carlton and the Tontine while Martyn Johnson mixed lowland and upland with visits to Ripon and Helmsley. Those flying club gliders stayed local but contributed to the 22 flights that exceeded 30 minutes and the 9 that exceeded and hour with Bob Calvert having 1:52 in the DG303, Alan Beaumont 1:06 solo in the DGD500 and Bruce Grain/David Smith 1:17 in the DG1000. The flying list also recorded 6 First Flight pupils and more importantly, a first solo by Tony Kirby in KLW, so congratualtions to him.
Friday 11th. The wind had become a moderate SW'ly so intially, runway 20 was in use, but increases in wind strength and direction, the latter to WSW, led to a change in runway to 24 from around midday and a change to winching from just before 1500 hrs. The day's launch total of 20, 14 ATs and 6 via the winch, inlcuding 7 by private owners, yielded 16 flights of over 30 minutes, with 10 exceeding an hour. Hill and wave lift led to a number of pilots getting good climbs. with visitor Barry Kerby flying his Duo Discus solo, climbing to the day's best altitude of 12,600', while Paul and Polly whitehead in the DG1000 got to 8,400', visitor Barry Monslow to 6,270' in his LS8-18 with later, Andy Balkwill flying the same glider to 5,600', visitor Neil Croxford taking his LS4 to 5,600' and Bruce Grain and Dave Thompson in K21 KLW getting to 4,800', all asl. Most pilots climbed and stayed local, but Paul and Polly Whitehead visited York as did Andy Balkwill, while Barry Kerby visited Carlton Bank and the AI west of the site. Paul and Polly Whitehead's 2:21 was the longest flight in a club 2 seater, followed by Bruce Grain/Dave Thompson's 1:12 in KLW, while Dave Watson was the only solo pilot in a club glider with 57 minutes in the DG1000.
Saturday 12th. A moderate wind of between SW and W produced a day of reliable hill lift, some convection and wave, the latter only becoming established in the afternoon. 22 ATs and 17 winch launches served a busy launch point with all the available club gliders and 12 privately owned gliders flown. With demand high, club 2 seater flights were limited to around 30 minutes, but in spite of this, 31 of the day's flights exceeded this time, with 15 exceeding an hour. the majority by private owners. The day had started with milky blue skies and little evidence of wave and those launching in the morning found some tantalising wave lift that never became susbstantial, with slow climbs that vanished after a maximum gain of 1000 to 1300'. Fred Brown climbing to 4,200' and George Rowden 3,800' asl. Extensive cloud then formed to produce a few light showers and some convection, this providing some strong climbs to an altitude of around 3,500' asl. However, after lunch the skies started to clear and from mid afternoon the best wave flights of the day were flown, the best being by Bob Calvert in the DG303 who, off a winch launch, climbed to 10,700' asl in a flight of 2:51. Later still Cambridge GG visitor Phil Atkin in his ASW 20 climbed to 10,200' asl and his compatriot, Mr Maskell took his Duo Discus up to 8,600' asl off the penultimate launch of the day. Darren Lodge in his LS8-18 had the longest flight of the day, 3:43, but those flying single seat club gliders also made the most of the conditions with Andy Wilson and Simon Altman in the Astir and Conrad Thwaites in the Discus all having between 1:01 1:11. Activity was not however, confined to the skies and launch point as a willing band of voluteers organised by Toby Wilson set about installing an earthen berm along the edge of the road bordering the NE end of runway 24 to deter excursions by lampers onto the airfield. A picture of Toby and Naomi Kennard at the end of the working day is shown below.