Friday 26th to Sunday 28th February 2021
Posted: 01/03/2021 13:39
Friday 26th. A Department of Transport ruling that flying to enable instructors to achieve recency was allowed, led to the resumption of limited flying at Sutton after local parties such as the Police, local councils etc were informed. The limitations on flying at site were made more severe as the refueling pump for the tugs refused to wake up from its enforced idleness, so the planned gliding activities on the day had to be postponed. However, it was possible for the Falke to fly and a single sortie was undertaken, lasting 24 minutes into a blue and sunny sky with some streeting cumulus present. Operations were off runway 24 as a light to moderate W'ly blew. The honour of captaining this first flight or even of being P2 has to remain a mystery as I have no access to the paper flight logs at the moment.
Saturday 27th. The weather remained sunny with a light WSW'ly wind as an anticyclone remained over the UK and alternative arrangements to refuel the tugs enabled some still limited flying to continue. Operations were off runway 20 with a single Falke flight of 48 minutes and 3 glider flights in K21 JVZ behind Pawnee TM being the day's total. The Ktrax flight log indicates some soaring took place, registering some moderate height gains and a longest flight of 29 minutes.
Sunday 28th. A very light ESE'ly blew as the anticyclone continued to hold sway and provide sunny blue skies with some cumulus. With an alternative refueling operation now fully established for the tugs, runways 24 and 20 were busy with take offs and landings as 4 Falke flights and 21 flights in K21s KLW and JVZ took place, the latter behind Pawnee TM. A lack of any significant lift meant it was a day of circuits as the instructor cadre proceeded to achieve the recency requirement of 3 take offs and landings in the last 90 days. Toby Wilson has provided the following photos, the ones from the clubhouse roof being taken while Toby, Ian McFalane and Fred Brown replaced a rather raggy windsock and did some other socially distanced maintenance work on the windsock mast. The first photo of a sunny panorama is followed by one of Ian McFarlane undertaking roof top maintenance.
The following photos are for all you currently non-flying glider pilots to remind you of what Sutton Bank looks like from the air and secondly a reminder of what lift looks like, as close inspection of the variometers will reveal a 1 kt climb rate. Roll on the total resumption of flying.