Thursday 7th to Saturday 9th April 2022
Posted: 09/04/2022 21:52
Thursday 7th. A moderate to fresh and at times strong NW'ly peppered with showers meant there was no flying.
Friday 8th. The depression that had given Thursday's strong winds had moved away eastwards leaving the site in an arctic air mass, as a moderate/moderate to fresh N'ly blew. Operations were off runway 02 with 18 AT's flown, the initially good thermic conditions deteriorating as extensive showers developed, mainly to the S and SW of the site with those at site mainly light and of soft hail 3 cross countries were flown, these pilots delivering the 3 flights to exceed an hour, with a further 6 flights exceeding 30 minutes. All three cross country flights were affected by the showers; Rob Bailey's attempt to get to Rydal Bridge in the Lake District having to abandoned at Garsdale Head in the Pennines. However, Rob in his ASG29t still managed a 209 km flight by visiting Garforth before returning to Sutton. Chris Knapp in the Discus turned Rufforth, but his attempt to go to Harrogate North was blocked by showers so he returned to site after flying 62 km. Nick Gaunt in his LS7 had a short flight from his 1st launch but went cross country on his 2nd, also visiting Rufforth and York East before, north of Sutton he had to turn back due to showers and the same happened when he flew east of Sutton, so he then landed back after covering around 140 km. Peak altitudes were around 4,700' asl, with best climb rates around 4.5-5.0 kts. The longest 2 seater flight of the day saw visiting instructor Andrew Watson take M Stone, a day course member, for 36 minutes in K21 JVZ, while later in the day George Rowden took his 2 youngest granddaughters for their first glider flights.
Saturday 9th. The forecast of moderate NW'ly, which can mean a non-flying day at Sutton, persuaded 2 private owners to trailer their gliders down to Rufforth, the club DG1000 having been derigged into its trailer in anticipation that it too would be taken to Rufforth. In the event, although the wind was light to moderate and at times a moderate NW'ly, it was deemed to be flyable and 16 ATs were flown, all but one behind the Pawnee, as the initial phase of the launch proved to be sporting. The turbulence on take off and landing did lead to a couple of short breaks in flying, as did some soft hail showers from the middle of the afternoon. Nevertheless, the initially good soaring conditions led to 3 cross country flights although, again, the extensive development of showers led to the abandonment of set tasks. Rob Bailey in his ASG29t rounded the Tontine and Beverley but returned from there, abandoning his intention to fly to Horncastle due to shower development, covering 166 km in the process. Andrew Cluskey in his Shark, flew a 140 km O/R to Goole while Chris Teagle in his Kestrel 19 did a 61 km O/R to Sutton on Forest, his intention to go further, again thwarted by showers. Fred Brown and Ian Bullous in K21 JVZ, spent their 1:27 flight dodging showers local to Sutton, having at one time seen the site disappear under a shower. Fred and Ian, plus several other pilots, reported very smooth, steady lift around the front and edges of advancing showers. Other pilots to enjoy flights of over an hour, in addition to those mentioned above, were Jamie Quartermain/Julian Pratt in K21 JVZ with 1:05 and Albert Newbery and Duncan Pask in K21 KLW with 1:01. 4 other flights had durations of over 30 minutes, the best of these being the 55 minutes by Simon Altman and Thomas McCullujh in JVZ. At the end of the flying day, the DG1000 was taken from its trailer and rigged. As a footnote, the 2 pilots who went to Rufforth both took 2,000' ATs, but were unsuccessful in converting these to soaring flights.