Saturday 23rd to Monday 25th April 2022
Posted: 07/05/2022 20:08
Saturday 23rd. With High Pressure to the NW and Low Pressure to the south, the persistent NE'ly flow prevailed, keeping temperatures in the mid teens in spite of virtually unbroken sunshine. The strength of wind, moderate to fresh, was the main factor in there being no flying.
Sunday 24th. Little change in the synoptic situation meant another non-flying day again due to the strength of the NE'ly wind.
Monday 25th. Although little had apparently changed synoptically, the day dawned with overcast skies and a light NNE'ly wind, this increasing over the middle of the day to become light to moderate. The start of operations off runway 02 was delayed slightly to allow the cloud base to rise, the first flights recording a value of around 1700' QFE with consequent low flight times. Clear areas gradually developed allowing higher tows, with separated Cumulus and bases around 2,000' QFE developing around 1300 hrs. The apparently better conditions persuaded 4 private owners to launch, but appearances were deceptive, resulting in mixed outcomes for these potential cross country pilots. Thomasz Rusin in his Janus Standard had two attempts to soar, with a best flight time of 30 minutes. The other 3 private owners had flight times of 2:00, 2:08 and 2:33, the 2:00 by Steve Thompson in his Ventus bT requiring an engine burn shortly after release to recover from a low point of 1,000' asl, Steve's subsequent cross country attempts being limited to points 9 km to the NW, 18 km to the ENE and 13 km to the SSE. Steve did eventually climb to 5,000' asl in what I can only assume was a cloud climb, this giving his best average climb rate of 3,2 kts. Rob Bailey in his ASG29t flew for 2:08 but again was limited in his cross country ventures to 8 km NNW and 12 km NE. Rob's best altitude was 3.500' asl with a best average climb rate of 4.3 kts. Chris Handzlik in his DG300 was aloft for 2:33 but no trace is available for his flight to determine where he went etc. The only other flight to get to or above 30 minutes was by George Rowden with one of the day's 5 First Flight pupils, their 30 minute flight resulting from a slow climb from 1200' QFE to cloud base at 2,000' QFE.