Wednesday 15th to Friday 17th June 2022
Posted: 19/06/2022 11:24
Wednesday 15th. A favourable soaring forecast brought out the members, with the launch point on runway 24 busy with 31 launches, as a light, mainly W'ly blew. Cross countries were the order of the day, with tasks into the Dales popular, variations on a Sutton/York/ Dales/North Pennines/Sutton task were flown by a number of pilots who reported slow going over the lowlands but much improved conditions over the Dales and Pennines, with peak climb rates of 4-5 kts and cloudbase around 6,000' asl. Steve Thompson in his Ventus bt, and John Ellis in his DG800 both flew a 306 km task, with post York TPs at Sedbergh and Croglin, (15 km west of Alston) before retuning to Sutton. Andrew Cluskey in his Shark substituted Alston for Croglin, a 290 km task, while Chris Handzlik's attempt to visit Ambleside after York was thwarted by sea air, so a visit to Shap was substituted before returning to Sutton, a distance of 252 km. Rob Bailey in his ASG29 did a 365 km task around Carlton/Kentmere ( 4km NW of Ambleside) /Haydon Bridge/Grimwith Reservoir/Sutton and Bill Payton, flying his DG1000t solo, flew around 250 km, with visits to the areas of Clapham Reservoir N/ Shap/Brough and Northallerton before returning to Sutton. Exceptions to flights to the Dales/Pennines included Derek Taylor's 230 km flight via Sheffield East and the Tontine and Paul Whitehead in his ASW24, who flew around 160 km visiting York, Pateley Bridge and Stamford Bridge. while Toby Wilson in his Standard Cirrus flew the local 100 km triangle with TPs at Rufforth and Pocklington. Those flying club gliders also made the most of the day with Julian Pratt having 2:21 in Astir DPO, Adrian Funnel 2:18 in the same glider, Sarah Stubbs 1:53 in the newly acquired Astir DSU, Guy Hartland;/Mike Barker 1:18 in K21 FYF and Andrew Watson/Andrew Bedford 1:03 in K21 KLW.
Thursday 16th. High cover for most of the day restricted soaring as a light to moderate S/SSW blew, with operations off runway 24 and landings on 20. The conditions did tempt 3 private owners to launch, and while I have no information regarding Bob Calvert's flight in his Ventus ct, Martyn Johnson had 1:39 in his DG600 finding better lift under a high cloudbase of 5,300' asl over the northern facing escarpment of the North Yorks Moors near Carlton Bank. Martyn's was the only recorded flight of over an hour, while the 5 flights of between 30 ad 60 minutes included the 59 minutes by John Forrester in Astir DPO, the other 4 flights in this group being all between 30 and 35 minutes. Apart from members flights, there were 5 flights for First Flight pupils with the last flight of the day landing at around 1730 hrs.
Friday 17th. An initial moderate SE'ly wind led to operations off runway 20 but a change to a WSW'ly flow led to a change in runway to 24 around midday,, the day's launch total being 21. A high overcast was thin enough to allow thermal activity and with the change in wind direction, later flights could hill soar and there were some indications of wave, but only John Ellis in his DG800 make significant contact, climbing to around 10,400' asl over Thirsk. While best heights for most were around 4,000' asl, Adrian Bennett in Astir DPO climbed to 4.600' asl in his 2:24 flight, one of the 7 flights to exceed an hour, with a further 8 flights being over 30 minutes. The longest of these was the 55 minutes by Colin Troise in his DG600, Colin following that up with 47 minutes solo in K21 FYF later in the day. The longest flight of the day saw Martyn Johnson in his DG600 find some weak wave between site and Thirsk, but explorations further west were not productive, so Martyn finally landed back at site after just over 4 hours. 6 private owners flew, contributing 5 of the flights to exceed an hour, with the aforementioned Adrian Bennett and Andy Evans' 1 hour solo in K21 FYF making up the balance. While nobody ventured too far from site, Chris Teagle exploration the ridges north to Black Hambledon in his Kestrel being one of the furthest, it was another interesting flying day at Sutton, with Graham Cooksey, taking the last flight of the day with the last of the day's 7 First Flight pupils, managing to maintain 3,000' asl in weak wave for 15 minutes of his 28 minute flight.