Tuesday 13th to Thursday 15th September 2022
Posted: 16/09/2022 16:01
Tuesday 13th. High pressure extending into the UK from the west meant a day of light winds, initially from the NNE before turning into the S. Isolated Cumulus formed by mid morning,but slowly advancing high cover from the south depressed convective activity by mid/late afternoon. Initial ATs were off runway 02 but changed to 20 later. Due to the non-flying day on Monday, a number of First Flight pupils were rebooked for Tuesday and, by the end of the day, 8 had been flown by Craig Scott and George Rowden, contributing to the day's total of 36, with the last Tuesday evening flying adding 13. Soaring was limited to the period from around midday to 1500 hrs, with 7 soaring flights, 4 greater than an hour and 3 between 30 and 60 minutes. All but one of the flights of >an hour were by the 3 private owners who launched, with Sarah Stubbs joining the list having exactly an hour in Astir DPO. Most pilots found it difficult to get above tow height, with Clive Swain's 3,700' asl being the best of the day, while most average climbs being typically a knot, although Albert and Martin Newbery found a 4.2 kt climb as they flew around 50km , mainly to the south of the site. To compensate having the best climb rate, Albert and Martin had a number of low points, at least one of which led to them using the engine of their DG1000t. Bob Calvert in his Discus 2ct, flew around 120 km, mainly to the east of Sutton, struggling with weak thermals for the second half of his 2:47 flight, while Clive flew around 100 km in his Kestrel covering the same area as Bob in his flight of just under 4 hours. The last of this year's Tuesday evening flying ended with the successful solo of Ivan Maczka, so well done Ivan, a post solo photo which shows Ivan with instructor Fred Brown being included below.
Wednesday 14th. A light to moderate NW'ly blew all day with the UK sandwiched between high pressure to the west and low pressure to the east, periods of convection giving way to overcast skies at times. 18 ATs were flown off runway 20 with landings on 02, with the 2 private owners who launched recording the only 2 flights to exceed an hour, while a further 5 flights had between 30 to 60 minutes, as soaring conditions lasted from around 1300 to 1600 hrs. Bob Calvert's 1:42 in his Discus 2ct was the longest of the day, with Bob's flight and Derek Smith's 1:12 in his DG800 finding typical average thermal strengths of 1 kt. Both pilots stayed local with Bob climbing to 4,000' asl at one point, although Derek had to make do with 3,000' asl. The 2 seaters were kept busy with 2 Day Course members and 5 first flight pupils, the Day Course members having 3 of the 5 flights to last from between 30 and 60 minutes, with the remainder of these flights being by 2 of the day's First Flight pupils.
Thursday 15th. The synoptic situation had not changed significantly, so it was again a day with a light to moderate NW/NNW'ly wind and operations off runway 02. A initial medium level overcast slowly drifted off to the south, allowing thermal activity to develop by midday. Although there were some strong climbs, 3-4 kts being typical, the Cumulus tended to spread out, so it was often difficult to locate the areas of lift under the spread out clouds and in addition, the thermals were turbulent at low levels with average climb rates of 1-1.5 kts. 7 private owners launched, accounting for all 6 of the flights to exceed an hour, with the main period of soaring being between 1200 and 1600 hrs, although Peter Goodchild had just over an hour in his PIK 21t after launching at 15:18 hrs. Cloud base rose to just under 5,000' asl although Fred Brown climbed to 5,300' asl in his Ventus 2t as he flew to just SW of Churchhouses before visiting Carlton Bank and the Tontine in his flight of 2:24. Fred survived a 900' QFE low point soon after launching, with Clive Swain in his Kestrel also struggling to get away from site before journeying to just NW of Malton and NNW of York. George Rowden in his LS8-18 set off on a 230 km task but suffered intermittent battery failure on approaching his first TP at Lantoft, so returned to Sutton and soared locally, landing after 3:17 and covering in all around 130 km. Roger Burghall in his ASW20 and Paul Bulmer in his Libelle were the other private owners to launch, with Roger having 1:30 and Paul exactly an hour as they soared locally. Nigel Burke was kept busy flying the day's 5 First Flight pupils and while no one else exceeded 30 minutes, Guy Hartland/Angela Jorgenson came close with 25 minutes in K21 JVZ.