Friday 10th to Tuesday 14th June 2022
Posted: 18/06/2022 20:49
Friday 10th. A moderate/moderate to fresh SW'ly slowly veered into the WSW on a day that provided lift in the form of hill, thermal and wave. Operations off runway 24 comprised both winch and AT, with 30 of the former and 11 of the latter, including17 private owner launches. 3 of the AT launches led to climbs to over 5,000' asl with 9 originating from winch launches, the highest climb being by Martyn Johnson in his DG600 to 12,200' asl over Topcliffe off a winch launch, although it took him 1.5 hours to climb above 5,000' asl. Next highest was Fred Brown in his Ventus bt who contacting the wave some 5 km NW of site climbed to 8,000' over the forward ridge before climbing to 10,700' over Topcliffe and visited Ripon. Jesper Mjels in his DG400 climbed to 8,900', contacting the wave between the Tontine and Northallerton and visiting Leeming and Dishforth. Other pilots utilised thermal lift to go cross country, with Bill Payton and Dave McKinney being aloft for just over 5 hrs during which they visited Ripon, Grimwith Reservoir, Clapham Reservoir N, Appleby, Brough and Catterick before returning to site, a distance of around 270km, attaining a max altitude of 5,500' asl enroute. Bill and Dave's flight was not, however the longest of the daym as Clive Swain in his Kestrel flew for just over 7 hours. Like Clive,most other people remained local, although Steve Thompson in his Ventus bt went to Masham and Chris Booker took his LS1 to Dishforth. Peak thermal climb rates were typically 4-5 kts. Sarah Stubbs took advantage of the mix of lift to complete her 5 hours in the Astir so congratulations Sarah.
Saturday 11th. The synoptic situation had not changed much, so it was again a mixture of AT and Winch launches off runway 24 as the moderate to fresh SW'ly again slowly veered into the WSW. Lift was again provided by hill, thermal and wave but unlike on Friday, only 4 flights had significant wave climbs, 2 from the 10 AT launches, 1 from the 12 winch launches with the other climb being by Jesper Mjels self launching in his DG400. Jesper climbed the highest, to around 18,000' asl 7 km NNW of Ripon, while Paul Whitehead, taking a winch launch in his ASW24, climbed to just over 15,000' asl near Masham having contacted the wave just ENE of Ripon. Paul visited Ripon, Darlington and Boroughbridge, covering around 135 km in the process. The other two wave flights came off ATs with James Prosser taking his Ventus bt to 10,000' asl having contacted the wave over Thirsk, subsequently visiting Ripon, Pateley Bridge and some 12 km N of Sutton before landing. John Carter and Neil Shead, undertaking instructor training in the DG1000, climbed to just over 10,000' in the wave having contacted it over Knayton and demonstrated the strong lift by starting a spin exercise at 4,500' asl and after doing 4 more finished up at 9,000' asl. John also provided a nice photo of the wave.
Nobody else climbed above 5,000' asl, with Chris Handzlik in his DG300 and Darren Lodge in his LS8-198 both getting to around 4,800' asl. Thermal and hill lift in addition to the above wave flights led to 17 of the day's flights exceeding 30 minutes, with 9 of these exceeding an hour. The longest flights in club gliders were by Malcolm Morgan/Scott Parker with 1:10 in K21 JVZ, while Adrian Noble/Eamon Dowler had 1:04 in the same glider. Just to prove it wasn't that easy of a day, Toby Wilson landed out at Bagby in his Standard Cirrus.
Sunday 12th. Another day of moderate to fresh WSW'lies led to 29 winch launches off runway 24 but the wave proved to be much more difficult to contact, with only Jesper Mjels self launching in his DG400 climbing to 16,400' asl over Darlington. This followed a low point of 1400' QNH near the Tontine before contacting the wave over Northallerton. Jesper then did a tour of local TPs, going as far north as Newton Aycliffe, as far west as Masham and as far south as Wetherby in his flight of 6:25, one of 8 flights to exceed an hour, with a further 11 being between 30 and 60 minutes. Bob Calvert in his Ventus ct, taking off just before Jesper also had over 6 hours in the air, but in the absence of a trace details of his flight are not available. Hill and thermal soaring were the means of staying up for most pilots, with peak altitudes being around 3,500 to 4,000' asl, although Bob Beck/Samone Latimer climbed to 4,700' asl in their 1 hour flight in the DG1000. All the 6 private owners who launched had more than an hour, while in addition to Bob/Samone, Conrad Thwaites flying the DG303 had 1:12 while soaring the ridges to Thimbleby.
Monday 13th. A generally cloudy day with a moderate W'ly blowing led to 15 ATs off runway 24, with either 24 or 20 being the choice for landing. Thermal and hill lift meant that 9 flights exceeded 30 minutes, with 5 of these being over an hour, 4 of these being by the 4 private owners who flew, with Rob Bailey in his ASG29 and Andrew Cluskey in his Shark having around 2:15 each. The conditions didn't tempt either pilot to depart on a cross country, with Rob having to recover from a 1200' QNH low point. Cloud base eventually rose to around 3,800' asl, but peak thermal strengths were only around 3.0 kts. Jesper Mjels went wave hunting in his DG400, using the engine to explore as far west as Leyburn and to climb to 5,700' asl, but all to no avail. Back at site, Dave McKinney/John Maclean had 43 minutes in K21 JVZ while Bruce Grain/Mike Barker had 42 minutes in the same glider. Adrian Funnel, flying JVZ solo off the penultimate flight of the day had 1:20 taking off just after the last of the 4 First Flight pupils of the day.
Tuesday 14th. A light W'ly blew all day so operations were off runway 24, with 24 or 20 for landings and with a reasonable soaring forecast, the launch point was busy all day with 47 launches. Conditions aloft were somewhat tricky however, so only 15 of the day's flights exceeded 30 minutes, 4 of these being over an hour, all by private owners with 3 of them going cross country. Rob Bailey in his ASG29 went the furthest, 258 km via Pocklington to Bakewell and back via Pocklington, taking 3:13 and surviving a 980' asl low point on the way back, just north of Doncaster airspace. John Ellis, flying his 1st cross country of the year in his DG800, did an O/R to the Humber Bridge, 166 km, but had to resort to his engine some 10 km east of site on the way back, having had a number of low points during the flight. Indeed, after his initial self Launch, John had to resort to his engine again before starting the task. Andrew Cluskey struggled to get onto his final glide on returning from a 156 km flight with TPs at Rufforth and Scarborough and like John, had to resort to his engine this time some 5 km east of site. The other private owner to launch, Simone Latimer stayed local in her Discus for just under 3 hours. The longest flight in a club glider was the 53 minutes by Julian Pratt flying Astir, while Dave Murgatroyd had 52 minutes solo in K21 KLW and Guy Hartland/Andrew Wilmot had 50 minutes in JVZ. The Tuesday evening group continued flying until the late evening with the last flight landing at 2135 hrs.