Thursday 22nd to Monday 26th September 2022

Posted: 26/09/2022 20:13

Thursday 22nd.  Skies gradually clouded over as a cold front make slow progress across the UK, with the first drops of rain arriving mid afternoon and terminating flying, the moderate SSW'ly slowly backing into the S.  The scene was set for some pre frontal wave with the  increasing cloud causing a few rapid descents as wave slots threatened to or did close.  Craig Lowrie in his DG800 took the 1st AT of the day off runway 24, contacting the wave between Kilburn and Wass and climbing to 5,400' asl before a closing slot caused a descent and a spell of hill soaring the southern ridge.  This proved to be not sustainable and Craig landed after around an hour.  Bob Calvert in his Discus 2ct, launching after Craig, also climbed to 5,500' asl between Kilburn and Wass but them flew west with climbs south of Topcliffe, 6 km north of Dishforth and half way between Ripon and Pateley Bridge, this latter climb taking him to 9,500' asl. Bob then flew further west to Grimwith Reservoir before meeting a wall of cloud at the cold front and returned to site via Masham, covering 100 km in the process. Visitor G Burkenshaw in his DG303 climbed to 7,500' asl south of Bagby before investigating the wave downwind of site in the vicinity of Old Byland.  None of the day's 2 seater flights climbed above 4,100' asl, this being achieved by Bruce Grain/John Carter in K21FYF, but a number of others did use wave lift to extend their flights, with the day's > an hour flights numbering 3 and those between 30 and 60 minutes numbering 2. While  the former were all by private owners, the 30-60 minute flights were split between Ian Bullous who had 53 minutes in his DG800 and Bruce Grain/Andrew Bedford who had 32 minutes in K21 JVZ.  The day's 13 launches included one for a Day Course pupil and 4 for First Flight pupils.

Friday 23rd.  A light to moderate N'ly slowly backed into the NW on a day of thermal soaring after a sunny, blue start.  The first 5 of the day's 19 ATs off runway 24 were extended circuits with landings mainly on runway 02, the Cumulus only forming late morning and not providing any significant lift until around 1330 hrs. Thereafter, cloud base rose to over 4,000' asl, with the best average peak climbs of 4.5 kts although average climb rates were typically 1.5-2 kts.   Visitor Graham Morris in his ASW27 had the longest flight of the day, 2:52, covering around 160 km as he visited Masham, Northallerton, Castle Howard and just W of Northallerton before returning to Sutton.  Ian Bullous in his DG800 had 2:05 with visits to 8 km W of Masham, Leyburn and Northallerton returning to site after covering around 70 km.  The other > an hour pilot was visitor G Burkenshaw in his DG303 who had 2:06 of local soaring.  The day's total of 5 private owner launches was completed by 2 flights in the T21, piloted by Tor Taverner and then Rod Brister, with the day's  5 flights of of between 30 and 60 minutes being headed by Graham Cooksie/John Dore with 59 minutes in K21 JVZ and the 52 minutes by Sarah Stubbs in Astir DSU.  Ken Foster, a pilot from Rufforth landed  his Junior at site before having an AT retrieve.   The Falke meanwhile flew to Gainsborough before returning to site via Boroughbridge.

Saturday 24th.  A low overcast and light showers meant no pure glider flying, but didn't prevent a Falke from Millfield making the journey to Sutton, landing and then making the journey back.  Not to be outdone, the Sutton Falke had 3 sorties, the first being a field landing exercise for Tomer Altman under the tutelage of Jamie Quartermaine, the second a cross country for Dave Cockburn/S Pickering who visited areas around Malton and Kirbymoorside and included a field landing practice near Stonegrave before returning to site.  The 3rd flight saw Tom Dale/Simon Altman have touch and go circuit practice at site.

Sunday 25th.  A mainly overcast day with a light to moderate W'ly eventually provided some good soaring with hill, wave and even the occasional thermal available.  However, soaring didn't get going until around 1340 hrs by which time the wind, still W'ly, had increased to moderate, with, thereafter, 10 of the day's 24 ATs leading to flights of over 30 minutes, with 6 greater than an hour.   Visitor Graham Morris in his ASW27 had the longest flight, 3:33, mainly in hill lift with a few weak thermals, generally maintaining 900' QFE, although a spell at 300-450' QFE was negotiated before a recovery to 900' QFE.  This variability in hill lift was due to wave influence, with flight times and operating heights being the luck of the draw.  Bill Payton/Sarah Stubb's 2:40 in Bill's DG1000t was another case in point, with Bill and Sarah visiting Black Hambleton and the forward ridge and maintaining 7-800' QFE for the first 60% of the flight but then surviving a spell at 300 -500' QFE, including a low point at 100' QFE, before recovering to a height which allowed a circuit to be flown onto runway 24.  Laurie Clarke/John Dore, on the other hand had a straightforward hour soaring the main bowl at 600-900' QFE and Laurie later flew with Ivan Maczka in K21 FYF for 57 minutes maintaining 9-1100' QFE when using the main bowl and the next bowl north, while Jesper Mjels had 1:32 flying Astir DSU mainly maintaining 12-1300' QFE,  although the flight included a  low point of 400' QFE.  Bob Calvert in his Discus 2ct was the only pilot to contact the wave.  After climbing in hill lift in the main bowl. Bob used his engine to proceed to the south of Northallerton, contacting the wave there as indicated from the day's RASP forecast. and climbing to 5,500' asl.  Pressing westwards Bob climbed to 7,700' asl 5 km SW of Leyburn and then to 9,800' asl 8 km SW of Aysgarth, using this height to fly to Ingleton and Settle before returning to site, a distance of around 180 km.  Bob reported at least 3 wave systems, with 2 of them roughly at right angles to and interfering with each other, giving the best, if somewhat turbulent lift at the corner, with marked churning in the cloud at this point.  It was also noticeable that the N/S orientated wave clouds showed depressions and peaks downwind of the E/W orientated wave clouds. 

Monday 26th.  A moderate and at times moderate to fresh NNW'ly  slowly backed into the NW, conditions that render flying from Sutton Bank a problem due to turbulent conditions, particularly on take off.  Consequently, there was no flying and the visit by a group of young aviation enthusiasts sponsored by the Air League was cancelled.   


This blog describes a snippet of life at the Yorkshire Gliding Club. Why not take a flight and try it yourself, or we can teach you to fly as a full club member.

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