Thursday 17th to Tuesday 22nd March 2022

Posted: 23/03/2022 13:48

Thursday 17th.  A initially moderate WSW/SW blew, increasing to moderate to fresh over the middle of the day, with the result that the launch method changed from AT to winch around 1300 hrs.  Lift was available via hill, thermal and for some, significant wave, with some cross countries flown. Chief among the latter were Khris Handzlik who flew his DG 300 to Barnard Castle, Catterick, Ripon and Northallerton, climbing to the day's best altitude of 11,500' asl  in his flight of over 5 hours and Fred Brown in his Ventus. who went north of Masham and visited Ripon, Wetherby, Sherburn and Boroughbridge, climbing to around 10,000' asl in his flight of 2:18.  Others to contact the wave were Chris Collingham who, flying the Astir reached 9,000' asl, Jim McLean in his ASW24 who reached 5,200' asl and Laurie Clarke, who taking a First Flight pupil in the DG1000, climbed to 4,500' asl in a flight of 40 minutes. I don't have a trace of Thomaz Rusin's flight of 3:20 so where he went and how high he climbed remains unknown to the writer. The high wave proved to be out of reach to those who winch launched, with the maximum altitude reached in the afternoon being just over 3,000' asl, but with hill soaring the main source of lift these flights provided 5 of the day's 11 flights  of over an hour and 4 of the day's 10 flights of between 30 and 60 minutes.  Bill Payton and Rod Brister in the DG500 had the longest flight of the winch launched pilots, 2:12, exploring as far north as Black Hambleton as well as the forward ridge.  The day was not however, plain sailing for Clive Swain and John Forrester, who landed out in K21 JVZ near Kepwick, the following photos by Fred Brown and an unknown photographer illustrating the highs and lows of gliding.


Friday 18th.  With a large anticyclone centred to the east of the UK it was a day of blue skies and a moderate SSE/SE'ly wind.  The day didn't deliver much in the way of lift, with only one flight exceeding 30 minutes, that being by Dave Thompson, who flew the Discus for 32 minutes using some weak thermal and similarly weak lift off the White Horse ridge.  A number of flights did equal or exceed 25 minutes some helped by weak thermals, such as Steve Thompson/John Forrester in K21 KLW with 27 minutes and Bruce Grain/Eamon Conney with 28 minutes in the same glider.  Laurie Clarke took a 3k tow to give one of the day's First Flight pupils 26 minutes in K21 JVZ while Rob Bailey had 25 minutes in his ASG29t off a 1700' tow, one of 3 private owners to fly.

Saturday 19th.  The anticyclone was still in place but with squeezed isobars over the east of the UK, with the result that a moderate to fresh ESE'ly blew all day, the conditions deemed to be not suitable for flying.

Sunday 20th.  The wind was now in the E and, starting as a moderate breeze, slowly declined to become light to moderate over the flying day.  Accordingly, operations were off runway 06 although an occasional take off and landing used 20.  The day's 14 ATs behind the Eurofox were mainly by the club's 2 K21's but also included 2 by private owners, who made the most of the day's thermals, which provided climbs to around 4,200' asl and the best but rare peak average climb of up to 4.4 kts.  Darren Lodge in his LS8-18 stayed local for the whole of his 2:35 flight, while Andrew Clusky ventured a little further to Oswaldkirk and Brandsby in his flight of 2:20.  Two other flights exceeded 30 minutes, Bruce Grain/John Forrester having 36 minutes off an 1100' tow, while Bruce, this time with Tomer Altman had 32 minutes off an 1800' tow.

Monday 21st.  With not much changing synoptically, hazy blue skies and a light to moderate SSE'ly were the order of the day with not much in the way of lift ,while the horizontal visibility was very limited.  The conditions did not tempt many people to fly, with the day's 4 ATs off runway 20 including 2 for First Flight pupils  and the remaining 2 by Dick Cole and Andrew Bedford each flying a K21 solo.   Andrew's 25 minutes was the longest of the day  off a 2500' tow, with the White Horse ridge providing some spotty lift, while Dick Cole had 23 minutes off a 2000' tow also using the available lift off the same place.

Tuesday 22nd.  Conditions had changed very little as the Anticyclone persisted to the east of the UK, so hazy blue skies, poor horizontal visibility and a light to moderate SSE'ly that slowly backed into the ESE were the order of the day.  None of the 10 ATs off runway 20 behind the Eurofox led to flights of over 30 minutes, with George Rowden's 27 minutes with one of the day's 4 First Flight pupils being the longest, some lift off the White Horse ridge helping and even providing a 200' climb.   The other 3 First Flight pupils were each given 21 minute flights, with Guy Hartland and Roger Taylor having 24 minutes in the DG500, while Martin Newbury had the only solo flight of the day in the Discus.

This blog describes a snippet of life at the Yorkshire Gliding Club. Why not take a flight and try it yourself, or we can teach you to fly as a full club member.

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