Wednesday 12th to Saturday 15th April 2023
Posted: 15/04/2023 20:33
Wednesday 12th. The initially broken clouds soon merged and lowered to a low overcast, with rain falling from around 1400hrs for the rest of the flying day as a moderate to fresh S'ly slowly backed into the SE, so there was no flying.
Thursday 13th. A moderate W'ly blew all day, but a lowering overcast and patchy rain from around 1100 hrs limited flying to 3 winch launches off runway 24, all in K21 KLW. Dave Campbell, flying KLW solo took the first launch, having 20 minutes soaring the main bowl at 7-1200' QFE before the rain led to a break in proceedings until the early afternoon. Guy Hartland then had 2 launches, first with J Horton and then with Steve Morgan, Guy/JH having 43 minutes, getting as far north as Black Hambledon and soaring between 5-900' QFE, while Guy/Steve had 28 minutes mainly soaring at 5-600' QFE, but sinking to 3-450' QFE for the last part of the flight and doing a truncated circuit onto a 240 track landing across runway 20. More rain then put a stop to any more flying.
Friday 14th. A light to moderate SSE'ly was initially accompanied by broken cloud but this soon became a low overcast with rain from around 1300 hrs, this continuing for the rest of the day. There was just sufficient time in the morning for Chris Handzlik to fly 2 First Flight pupils for extended circuits in K21 KLW before flying was abandoned for the day.
Saturday 15th. The weeks rain had left the airfield soft in places and with a light NNE'ly blowing, the first of the day's 15 ATs used runway 02. However the low cloud base had the glider on the ground before the tug and the combination of the soft ground, uphill tow and 2 seater led to a decision to operate off 20. The increasingly gloomy conditions also led to a break in proceedings for around an hour and a half, by which time the cloud deck had broken up, although still having a low base at around 1100' QFE. This rapidly rose to just under 4000' asl with the Cumulus Congestus giving best average climb rates of over 4 kts, with peaks of over 10 kts. All but two of the 10 flights taking off after 1250 hrs exceeded 30 minutes, with 2 exceeding an hour in the thermal conditions, with Bob Calvert's 3:09 and Fred Brown/James Prosser's 1:01 being the 2 flights to exceed an hour. Most flights stayed within 10 km of the site but Bob, in his Discus 2t flew around 180 km visiting Slingsby, Selby, Thirsk and Ripon before returning to site. Bob also did a couple of cloud climbs the best of which got him to 5,900' and provided the following post climb photos.
The last flight of the day saw Bruce Grain/Adam Sayer have 55 minutes in the DG500 during which they ventured over halfway to York, demonstrating a competition finish on returning to site. A number of pilots had check flights after the winter break including Jamie Quartermain and Dick Cole, Dick celebrating by taking his Grandson for a flight in the Eurofox.