Friday 29th to Sunday 1st May 2022
Posted: 08/05/2022 15:49
Friday 29th. A light and variable wind brought a day of thermal activity which resulted in 29 launches off runway 20, 10 of these by private owners. All but 4 of the day's flights resulted in flight times of over 30 minutes, with 17 flights of over an hour, ranging from Clive Swain's 6:37 in his Kestrel to Tony Drury's 1:03 solo in K21 FYF, this glider being the result of a swap involving YGC's DG500, which is now at Dunstable, the home of the London GC. Only two of the day's pilots entered their flights on the BGA ladder or OLC, with Steve Thompson in his Ventus B completing a 205 km task around Burn, Ripon and North Duffield. Steve described the conditions as low, in respect of cloud base, a bit flat in respect of thermal strengths and blue in places. The low cloud base certainly applied for the majority of Steve's 2:48 flight with climbs to only 2,500/3,000' asl but towards the end of the flight a climb to 4,1000' asl occurred as conditions improved to give a best average climb rate of 3.6 kts. Chris Handzlik was the other pilot to register a flight on the BGA ladder. Chris flew his DG300 to Pateley Bridge and loitered in that area waiting for the cloud base to rise, However, it never did and Chris eventually returned to Sutton, and O/R of 78 km after 3:19 in the air. Rob Bailey was the only other pilot to have a flight of more than 3 hrs, but I do not know where he went for 3;37 in his ASG29t, and this unknown element also applies to the other 6 pilots who had 2 hours or more in the air, Dave Thompson with 3:09 being the only one of this group to fly a club aircraft, in Dave's case the DG303. Two seater flying included 2:27 by Albert Newbery and Stuart Heaton in their DG1000 while Ian Pattingale/Adrian Funnell in K21 KLW and Dave McKinney/Peter Robinson in FYF both had flights of over an hour, Dave and Peter's 1:06 being off the last flight of the day.
Saturday 30th. A light SSE'ly soon veered into the west and increased to moderate as a front made slow progress eastwards. Conditions in advance of the front were good, with high cloud bases and strong thermals, so a number of cross countries were flown and the day's 40 ATs off runway 24 produced 20 flights in excess of 30 minutes, with 9 being over an hour. 5 flights were posted on the BGA ladder ranging from Tomer Altman's 41 km solo in K21 KLW as he flew repeated O/R between Thirsk and Sutton Control Point N and Rob Bailey's 308 km in his ASGt with TP's at the Tontine and Horncastle. The other pilots to record their flights on the BGA ladder were Toby Wilson in his Standard Cirrus with 156 km around the Tontine, Rufforth South and Market Weighton, Darren Lodge with 134 km around Market Weighton and Burn in his LS8-18 and David Watson's 92 km in his DG200 around self selected TPs, one of which was 10 km SW of York. David, taking off late didn't intend to fly a cross country but was tempted by the conditions which included a high cloud base, around 6,500' asl and strong thermals, with peak average climb rates of over 4 kts. Most of the cross country pilots set conservative tasks in line with the forecast increase in cloud ahead of the approaching front, but this arrived later than forecast. Adam Sawyer, solo in K21 JVZ, Martin Watt in the Astir and Chris Knapp in the DG303 all had flight times of between 1:07 and 1:49 while later in the day they were joined by Ben Dawson in the DG303 and Chris Booker in the Astir with flight times of between 1:09 and 1:20. The conditions also tempted the T21 syndicate to fly, their 3 flights with Nick Gaunt as P1 amassing a total flight time of just over 2 hours, while Malcolm Morgan/David Key had the longest 2 seater flight of the day with 1:01 in K21 JVZ.
Sunday 1st May. A light to moderate SSE'ly slowly declined to become light, as overnight rain finally ceased around 1100 hrs. The low base cloud associated with the rain band slowly rose but never reached a height above the airfield to allow flying to take place although the site did have a visit from a Falke from Pocklington.