Monday 25th to Wednesday 27th October 2021
Posted: 27/10/2021 20:37
Monday 25th. A light to moderate SW'ly veered into the WSW and strengthened to become moderate providing soaring opportunities via hill lift and weak wave, albeit with a number of showers that meant a wetting for some. 25 ATs were flown off runway 24 with all but 2 landings on the same runway. The conditions led to 6 private owner launches, their pilots providing 5 of the 6 flights to exceed an hour, with Darren Lodge having just over 3 hours, Jesper Mjels 2:33, Martyn Johnson 2:21, Steve Thompson 1:28 and Fred Brown having just over an hour. The additional flight to exceed an hour was flown by Geoff Hughes in the DG303 while another 9 flights had between 30 and 60 minutes. The longest of the latter was the 40 minutes by Paul and Polly Whitehead in K21 JVZ while 3 of the day's 6 First Flight pupils were also in this group. Most pilots did not stray too far from site and climbs off tow were modest, a few hundred feet at best. However, Jesper used the engine of his DG400 to contact the wave further west and climbed to a maximum altitude of around 8,500' asl, visiting York, Ripon and Masham in the proces. Jesper's otherwise uneventful flight had an eventful ending when, after landing, he was unable to open his canopy. Acting CFI Paul Whitehead was soon to the rescue but after deciding his approach was too much like taking a sledgehammer to crack a nut (see below) left it to John Tayler to release Jesper using a little manual dexterity and an Allen key.
The day was also marked by Chris Collingham's first flight in the Astir while Phil Lazenby claimed a club record for the highest aggregate age in a club 2 seater, 162, for his 28 minute flight in the DG500 with Brian Wise. However, Phil was to be disappointed as that particular record is believed to be held by Albert Newbery/George Rowden who had an aggregate of 166 when flying a mutual in K21 KLW earlier in the month. Any other claims for this achievement should be sent to George Rowden when they will be summarily dismissed.
Tuesday 26th. A moderate SSE'ly soon backed to become a moderate to fresh SW, this very mild airstream bringing in copious amounts of cloud whose base was too low to allow any flying.
Wednesday 27th. The very mild airstream of tropical maritime origin continued with the maximum temperature a balmy 17.6C. With the average wind being moderate to fresh and gusting into the high 20kts, the winch was set up in anticipation of an improvement in the cloud base. However, this remained stubbornly around 500' QFE all day so no flying was possible except on the simulator, where more benign conditions allowed George Rowden to allow 3 young members of the same family to try their hand at gliding and thermal soaring.