Thursday 25th to Saturday 27th May 2023

Posted: 29/05/2023 15:46

Thursday 25th.  A sunny start lasted until late morning with Cumulus forming and then spreading out so that most of those attempting cross-countries returned to site by 1400 hrs.  Operations were off runway 20 as a light to  moderate SSE'ly  blew with the day's launch total being 19, of which 13 were >30 minutes and 9 were greater than an hour.  Cloud base rose to around 4,500' asl with best average climb rates around 2 kts.  Bob Calvert in his Discus 2ct flew around 215 km with  his 1st TP close to Ripon and then Gainsborough, Stamford Bridge and Sutton, being a late finisher at just after 1500 hrs.  Andy Balkwill in his LS8-18 flew 151 kms with TPs at Ripon, Harrogate North and York, while Chris Booker in his LS1 flew around 125 kms with a 1st  TP at the Tontine before abandoning his task just SSW of Pocklington and returned to site as the spreadout moved in.  Steve Thompson was another pilot to abandon his task, covering around 100 km with TPs at York and Ripon before returning to site.  Visitor Barry Kerby in his Duo Discus t visited York, Boroughbridge and Thirsk before soaring locally, the latter being the choice of all the other >an hour pilots.  The club's 2 seater pilots took advantage of the early soaring conditions with Clive Swain/John Forrester having 1:03, Peter Crawley/Kristine Balkwill having 1:18 and Guy Hartland/Steve Morgan having 54 minutes.

Friday 26th.  A light and variable wind brought another soaring day, albeit with some overcast periods.  25 ATs were flown off runway 20, with 16 resulting in > 30 minute flights of which 12 were > an hour.  There were 6 significant cross country flights, with Bob Calvert doing around 270 km with an O/R to Pateley Bridge followed by a circuit of the local 100 km triangle and finally flying a convergence between Snaiton and and Boroughbridge.  Steve Thompson flew his Ventus bt 255 km with TPs at Rotherham and Market Weighton, while Fred Brown covered around 175 km in his Ventus ct with TPs at Tontine, Boroughbridge, Hemsley and Castle Howard.  Les Rayment in his DG800 flew the local 100 km triangle before flying locally, while Andy Balkwill in his LS8-18 flew a combined 140 km, 80 km on his 1st flight around Guisborough West and Tontine and 60 km on his 2nd flight with an O/R to Rufforth.  Andy also climbed to the highest altitude of the day, 6,100' asl on his second flight, 4,500' asl being more the norm. For those flying club gliders, Bruce Grain took a visitor from Burn for 1:25 in the DG1000, and late in the day, Konrad Kawalec had 1:42 in Astir DPO and Laurie Clarke had 53 minutes in the Discus. 

Saturday 27th.  A light to moderate SSE'ly eventually veered into the W, precipitating a runway change from 20 to 24 late in the flying day, a day of variable cloud, high bases, typically 5,500' asl and moderate thermal strengths.  7 pilots flew cross countries, with Andy Wright's 278 km around Wetherby, Staindrop and Pontefract in his Nimbus 3 being the longest.  Andy ran into some dead air at times, having to have 2 goes to reach Staindrop.  Bob Calvert in his Discus 2ct had the longest duration, 5:17, as he explored conditions over the Pennines between Pateley Bridge and Aysgarth, while Albert Newbery and Stuart Heaton flew around 115 km in their DG 1000t visiting Wetherby South and Helmsley with an intermediate visit to site.  Les Rayment covered around 95 km getting to Sutton on Forest, close to Boroughbridge, back to site followed by a visit to near Ripon, while Sarah Stubbs flew the Discus around 70 km covering a similar route to Les and Darren Lodge spent most of his 4:04 flight locally but included an 60 km O/R to Rufforth. The day's 26 ATs included 2 AT retrieves for pilots landing out at Sutton while competing in the local club competition at Rufforth, while those pilots flying club gliders also enjoyed the soaring day with Andy Tyas having 1:10 in Astir DPO, Chris Collingham/Ed Dowler having an hour in K21 JVZ and Bruce Grains/James Horton having 1:04 in K21 KLW.

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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