Saturday 16th to Tuesday 19th April 2022

Posted: 20/04/2022 21:26

Saturday 16th.  Extensive low cloud delayed the start of flying until around 1330 hrs, with 2 Falke flights opening proceedings before ATs commenced around1350 hrs with Kelly Teagle/Adam Sayer taking to the skies off runway 20 as a moderate SSE'ly blew. Towards the end of the day Adam flew the only solo flight of the day, 16 minutes in JVZ.  Lift was hard to come by, with only 1 flight of the 20 on the day exceeding 30 minutes and 2 others exceeding 25 minutes.  Visitors Phil Morgan and Jamie Minx in their Janus were the > 30 minute pilots with 48 minutes, 7 weak thermal climbs being the basis for their soaring flight, while Simon Altman, undertaking a BGA Mini Instructors Course with Dan Kershaw, had 26 minutes in the DG500 and Bruce Grain/S Bailey had 28 minutes in the DG1000.  Later in the day Dan had a second flight with Simon in the DG500 before later flying with Arthur Docherty who was also a participant in the BGA Mini Course.  The White Horse ridge provided intermittent, weak lift that delayed descents but the lift was never strong enough to generate any significant climbs.

Sunday 17th.  The wind was initially from the SE but backed into the SSE later, being moderate/moderate to fresh and  compared to  Saturday, the air mass was even more stable.  Consequently, there were no soaring flights and limited launches, the day's total off runway 20 being 8, the first one of these being a weather check by Kelly Teagle and Dave McKinney in K21 KLW. There was one flight of >30 minutes, visitors Phil Morgan and Jamie Minx's 34 minutes in their Janus resulting from a 3,000' tow. The next best, 20 minutes, came from the last flight of the day, Dave McKinney and visitor John Douglas flying KLW.

Monday 18th.  A light to moderate/moderate SW'ly was initially accompanied by extensive cloud which, although not restricting launches, did restrict any thermal activity.  This situation lasted until around midday when the cloud broke up as the wind veered into the West, with thermal and wave to explore during the rest of the day. Chris Handslik in his DG300 was the first to soar, using thermal to get to Masham and then encountering wave which he then used to visit Burnhope Reservoir before returning to Sutton, a total task distance of 176 km, operating between 6-8,000' asl for the majority of the wave portion of the flight.  The other pilot to record his flight on the BGA Ladder was Rob Bailey, who flew a 308 km thermal based task in this ASG29t, with TPs at the Tontine and Horncastle, reporting better thermal conditions south of the Humber and wave on returning to North Yorkshire.  Rob's 4:13 and Chris's 3:33 flights were the longest of the day, with a further 10 flights of greater than an hour and an additional 8 of between 30 and 60 minutes.  I didn't have access to any other traces from Monday, so I do not know if any other cross countries were flown, but Darren Lodge in his LS8-18 with 3:06, John Marsh in his DG303 with 2:33, Paul Bulmer in his Libelle with 2:03 and Ian Bullous in his DG800 with 2:10 were some of the 13 private owners who made good use of the conditions.  Those flying club gliders also enjoyed the day with Dave Thompson in the Discus having 1:21, Dave Watson in the DG303 having 1:11 and Guy Hartland/Chris Ogden in K21 KLW having 1:06.  At the end of a good day's soaring, the launch total was 38, with 5 of these for First Flight pupils.

Tuesday 19th.  A light NNW'ly greeted the day, this veering into the E and increasing to light to moderate on another soaring day at Sutton, the soaring potential being shown on the day's second launch when Guy Hartland/Barry Stephenson had 51 minutes in K21 KLW.  7 private owners launched, with 5 of these by visitors, but although providing 3 of the day's 8 flights to exceed an hour they stayed relatively local, as did 3 more of the >an hour flights, Chris Knapp in the Discus having 1:17, Guy Hartland/Naomi Kennard having exactly an hour in K21 KLW and then Guy having 1:34 with Rod Bristow in K21 JVZ.  The two remaining flights of over an hour were flown by Bill Payton solo in his DG1000t and Rob Bailey in his ASG29t.  Both were cross countries and shared TPs at Carlton Moor  and Grassington, with Rob then going to Haydon Bridge before returning to Sutton, (303 km), while Bill reached Selset Reservoir before returning to site via Stanhope and Richmond , (240km). Conditions over the North Yorkshire Moors and Pennines were excellent to start with, but the transition from the former to the latter required crossing the blue Vale of York.  However, large showers soon developed over the Pennines leading to some low points and after crossing his finish line at SU1, Rob had to resort to his engine to get sufficient height for a return to Sutton Bank.  Bill's peak altitude of 5,200' asl and Rob's of 4.900' asl were the highest of the day, with those staying local to site typically reaching 3,700 to 4,000' asl, while peak average climb rates were 4-4.2 kts.  In addition to the 8 flights of >an hour, there were 5 additional flights of > 30 minutes,  Flying continued into the evening as the Tuesday evening group finally got going after having to cancel the 2 previous attempts to fly due to the weather.  Their contribution to the launch total resulted in a day's total of 41.     

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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