Wednesday 11th to Thursday 12th May 2022
Posted: 14/05/2022 22:54
Wednesday 11th. A moderate SW'ly that slowly veered into the W meant a day of winching and hill soaring although this proved to be patchy. The day's 12 launches off runway 24 led to 6 flights of 30 minutes or more, two of these being over an hour. Martyn Johnson in his DG600 was the only private owner to launch, having the longest flight of the day at 2:20, starting off his flight after release by a dive to hill level to register a low point in anticipation of a wave flight. However, in spite of searching between Thirsk and Easingwold, no wave was encountered so it was mainly a thermal flight with a peak altitude of 4,400' asl. All the rest of the day's flying was done in one of the 3 K21s, with Guy Hartland/John Dore having the other >1 hour flight of the day, 1:03 to be precise in K21 FYF. Apart from thermal activity, which allowed Guy/Rob Bottomley to get to Bagby in their 57 minute flight in K21 KLW and Bruce Grain/John Dore to do an O/R to Thirsk in their 52 minute flight in K21 JVZ, hill soaring was the norm but only a couple of flights visited High Paradise Farm with most soaring the home bowl.
Thursday 12th. A moderate to moderate to fresh WSW'ly blew all day with ATing the preferred launch method off runway 24. Hill lift, thermal and wave were available and the day's launches reflected some quite different plans and outcomes by the day's pilots. Hill lift was the mainstay of the day, reflected in the fact that only one of the day's 18 flights failed to exceed 30 minutes, John Tayler mentoring Robin Hutchinson back to gliding after an few years absence, with a short flight in K21 FYF. Hill soaring was not without its excitement, however, as off the first flight of the day, Guy Hartland/Adrian Funnell spent a significant part of their 1:38 flight in K21 KLW soaring the forward ridge at 300' QFE. They eventually returned to the main ridge, and found a good thermal that took them to 4,400' asl with an average climb rate of 3.8 kts. 7 private owners launched with 2 selecting thermal based tasks, being joined in this venture by Guy Hartland/Julian Pratt in a club K21, with the other 5 private owners looking to follow the weather/contact wave. The thermal based cross country pilots had mixed experiences mainly due to wave interference with the thermals, with Guy and Julian landing out near Sutton on Forest as shown below.
Andrew Cluskey in his Shark, attempting a Sutton/Goole/Carlton Bank/Beverley/Sutton task covered around 200 km but had to resort to his engine some 16 km ESE of site while enroute to Beverley, so abandoned his task and returned to site. Chris Booker, doing the Sutton/Beverley/Garforth/Northallerton/Sutton 200 km club task in his LS1, had a couple of 1300' saves enroute to Beverley, but more than matched this with a save from under 600' near Boroughbridge. The saving 1 kt thermal drifted him back to site, but with conditions seemingly improving, Chris carried on and completed the task. The 4 other private owners who took off before midday, all spent up to 2 hours in thermals before contacting the wave, with Albert Newbery/Stuart Heaton in their DG1000t climbing to 9,700', Fred Brown in his Ventus to 11,500' and Clive Swain in his Kestrel to 11,700' .Martyn Johnson in his DG600 found his best climb just 2.5 km north of the site getting to 15,100' asl. George Rowden in his LS8-18, taking off just before 1400 hrs, launched into weak wave but the associated slot closed so George climbed to cloud base and then proceeded westwards to an upwind slot near Thirsk, identified via sunshine on the ground. Arriving at the front edge of the cloud George found strong lift and eventually climbed to 11,500' asl over Leeming. The wave pattern was quite disorganised and the areas of lift and sink were often not where pilots anticipated them to be. Clive in his Kestrel visited Boroughbridge, Ripon, Pateley Bridge and Leyburn in his 6 hr flight, while Fred visited Masham, Richmond, Aysgarth, Harrogate North and Knaresborough, with Fred and George providing the following photos.
Guy and Adrian's 1:38 was the longest flight of the day in a club glider, with Steve Ogden, solo in K21 JVZ, almost making an hour with a flight time of 57 minutes