Friday 23rd to Wednesday 28th October 2020
Posted: 29/10/2020 10:32
Friday 23rd. A light to moderate SSE'ly opened the day with the first launch off runway 20 seeing Dave Campbell take G Donald, a First Flight pupil, for a 20 minute flight in K21 KLW. Rain from an approaching cold front then caused flying to be suspended for a couple of hours, the wind behind the front veering into the WNW and declining to light. Three further ATs were then flown behind Eurofox Oscar Foxtrot, all by the Army visitors, with N Sexton in their LS4 having the longest flight of the day, 35 minutes off a 4,000' tow.
Saturday 24th. A wet and windy day was forecast and the day complied, with 12 mm of rain falling from 1300 to 2100 hrs. An moderate to fresh SSE'ly that gusted into the high 20's was initially the story, although it decreased to light by the end of the day. Accordingly there was no flying.
Sunday 25th. A moderate S'ly wind that veered into the SW at times and decreased to light to moderate as the afternoon wore on, provided some soaring opportunities on into-wind slopes and via some weak thermal. Darren Lodge in his LS8-18 made the most of the conditions with the longest flight of the day, 3:10, and the best climb, to 4,300' asl. Most people managed to get to 2-2,500' above the hill while staying local and some ventured a little further, Bill Payton and Dave Thompson in the DG1000 going west to the East Coast Main Lint in their flight of 1:31, while Nick Gaunt explored the lower reaches of the atmosphere as he emulated the YGC glider pilot's claims of old by flying the southerly ridge to Stonegrave, being 350 ' above Sutton at that point. He then returned to Sutton before flying the westerly ridge to Paradise Farm in his flight of 2:20. Others to break the 1 hr flight mark included John Ellis in his DG808, 3:06, Bob Calvert in the DG303, 1:21, and syndicate partners John Marsh and Tony Drury in the DG500 with 1:01. In addition, a further 9 flights had between 30 and 56 minutes utilising the available lift.
Monday 26th. A crop of heavy showers in the morning, depositing 3.0 mm of rain, delayed the start of flying until after lunch, the wind, initially a light to moderate S'ly veering into the W as the sky cleared. The hill therefore came into play with 6 of the day's 8 ATs off runway 24 exceeding 30 minutes, with 2 an hour. Ian McFarlane/Nigel Clarke in the DG1000 and Bruce Grain/M Pokrzyk in K21 JVZ both had 1:12, while Steve Thompson/Alex Patterson in the DG1000 had 46 minutes off a 4,000' tow. Earlier, Steve, this time with R Hodge in K21 KLW had 43 minutes off a more modest 2,000' tow while Steve Ogden, had the only solo flight of the day in KLW, flying for 44 minutes.
Tuesday 27th. There was no flying as a deep depression to the NW of the UK threw its front over the whole of the country resulting in a wet day at Sutton. 8.1 mm of rain fell between 0900 and 1700 hrs, a light to moderate SE'ly becoming a moderate to fresh W'ly around 1500 hrs. with gusts into the high 20 kts.
Wednesday 28th. A cloudy and showery day, with a light to moderate SW/SSW'ly wind still resulted in busy launch point, with 28 ATs off runway 24, with some landings on 20. Visitors from Lasham and elsewhere, as well as home based pilots, provided 10 private owner launches, with the main bowl of the hill and to a lesser degree the White Horse ridge, generating some smooth and extensive lift reminiscent of wave. Nobody climbed to much over their launch height but general QFE operating heights were in the 1-2,000' range. Visitors and YGC pilots shared in the 7 flights to exceed an hour with visitors Nigel Clark having 2:05 and Mr Lewinton in his ASW20, 1:38, while YGC pilots Darren Lodge in his LS8-18 had 1:31 and John Carter and Peter Goodchild in the DG1000 1:18. Ian Gallagher and Dave Cockburn shared both a flight time of 1:13 and glider, the DG303 but not at the same time, with Bruce Grain and Robert Wood topping the list of the 9 flights to exceed 30 minutes with 57 minutes in K21 KLW.