Saturday 12th to Monday 14th March 2021
Posted: 14/03/2022 21:36
Saturday 12th. A moderate to moderate to fresh S'ly blew all day giving some lift on the southern ridge along with thermal activity. I have not yet received the day's log sheet so a more detailed report will follow shortley.
Sunday 13th. A slow moving occluded front draped along the east coast of the UK associated with a low pressure centred just to the north of Northern Ireland, kept the site in low cloud and light rain so there was no flying.
Monday 14th. An initially moderate WSW/SW'ly wind increased to moderate to fresh over the day, with hill lift, spells of thermic activity and some tantalising areas of weak wave to keep things interesting. ATing off runway 24 was the initial choice of launch, but as the wind strength increased, winch launching became an option, with 14 ATs and 10 winch launches flown. Thermal activity allowed Rob Bailey in the Discus, Laurie Clarke in his DG300 and Bill Payton in the Astir to fly some modest cross countries, Rob going SW on an O/R to Knaresborough, Laurie going SE to north of Castle Howard and Bill going NE to the mouth of Ingleby Bowl via Carlton Bank, all with flight times of 1:20 to 1:40. While a number of pilots climbed above 4,000' asl, Bill also posted the best climb to 5,200' asl. Average thermal strengths were typically 2-2,5 kts but Rob recorded an climb at an average fo 4.4 kts and Bill one of 4.7 kts. The pilots taking off late morning had the best of the thermal conditions, as a medium level overcast then moved in so hill lift and weak wave became the means of staying up. George Rowden flying his LS8-18t on its first flight of 2022, did a engine test run that doubled as the means of getting to the thermals disappearing downwind as the medium level overcast moved in and then found a patch of weak wave west of Gormire that kept him around 3,000' asl for some 40 minutes until the sky cleared allowing thermal activity to begin again, his flight time being 2:37. Of those sampling the hill lift, Bruce Grain and Paul Bulmer, flew the DG1000 as far north as the Kepwick ridge, returning via the forward ridge in their flight of 57 minutes. In all, of the day's 25 launches, 8 exceeded an hour and a further 12 had between 30 and 60 minutes. It was not all plain sailing, however, as Nick Gaunt and Adrian Funnel landed out north of the Gallops in Nick's T21. News of the retrieve will probably make interesting reading.