Thursday 15th to Saturday 17th June 2023

Posted: 18/06/2023 13:13

Thursday 15th.  At last a great soaring day, with high base Cumulus, strong thermals and a light to moderate initially NE'ly wind  that veered into the ESE.  Operations were primarily off runway 20 although runways 02 and 06 were occasionally used for landings.  The day's launch total of 27 included 15 for Air League sponsored Year 10 school children and 9 for private owners, at least 6 of which flew >250 km cross countries, with possibly a 7th and 8th as I don't have a trace for Ben Dawson who flew for 3:25 in his Cirrus, while Bob Calvert flew at least 180 km in his Discus 2ct via an indicated O/R to Shap, with his trace becoming spasmodic when on the other side of the Pennines.  The >250 km flights were by Fred Brown in his Ventus ct, 276 km, 302 km by Rob Bailey in his ASG29t, 316 km by Andy Wright in his Nimbus 3, 322 km by both Derek Smith in his DG800 and Steve Thompson in his Ventus bt and around 400 km by Bill Payton/Dave McKinney in Bill's DG1000t.  Both Bill/Dave and Andy flew into Scotland, Bill/Dave visiting Dumfries and Andy visiting Canobie, some 22 km NNW of Carlise.    The Lake District was another popular destination with Derek Smith visiting Bassenthwaite,  Steve Thompson and Rob Bailey both visiting Rydal Bridge and Rob going on to visit Haydon Bridge 8km west of Hexham.  Fred bucked the trend of flights to the west to north segment by visiting Doncaster NW although he also visited Hawes, while Steve visited Burn and Derek Wetherby on the southern portions of their cross countries.   Pilots reported great conditions at times over the Pennines and Lakes with regular  climbs to 5,000' asl and to over 6,000' asl at times although Steve had a scrape at Hawes.  Back at base, the Air League sponsored flights kept the average flight time low, but Andrew Wilmot in his ASW 19 had over 3 hours locally, while late in the day Bruce Grain/Jane Rennie had exactly an hour in K21 KLW.   

Friday 16th.  Another great soaring day, with this time the wind being a light SSE'ly resulting in operations off runway 20.  The day's ATs numbered 29, with 5 of these for First Flight pupils and 15 for private owners,  2 of whom stayed local, 3 of which I don't have a trace for, while the other 10 flew cross countires, with 8 of  these flying over 225 km.  John Ellis in  his DG800 had the longest flight, 383 km, visiting Doncaster before going on to Skelling Farm and Grassington.  Andy Wright in his Nimbus 3 again visited Canobie in Scotland, calling in at Ripon on the way back to cover, 304 km, while Fred Brown in his Ventus ct flew 302 km visiting Tontine, Pontefract, Kirkby Stephen and Helmsley.  3 pilots visited the Lakes, Clive Swain in his Kestrel and Steve Thompson in his Ventus bt both turning Kendal, with Clive adding in Pateley Bridge and Kirkby Stepen for 225 km and Steve Hawes, Burn and Masham for 334 km, while Paul Whitehead in his Ventus cxt flew to Ambleside before returning via Wetherby and Pontefract, a distance of 320 km.  Greg Corbett and Chris Teagle, both flying Kestrel 19s, flew 236 and 243 km respectively, Greg having TPs at Bottesford and Conisborough Castle and Chris visiting Tontine. Burn. Tontine and York.  Toby Wilson, flying his Standard Cirrus, had a bit of a frustrating day, for after abandoning his original plan to do a 300 km O/R to Belvoir Castle, he declared Selset Reservoir/ Wetherby South but struggled to get to Selset and finished up flying an 139 km O/R to Barnard Castle.  Sarah Stubbs flew the local 100km triangle around Rufforth and Pocklington and then added on a trip to Tontine to cover 139 km in Astir DSU, while Arthur Docherty in his ASW20 flew around 100 km visiting Malton, Tontine and Guisborough SW.  Local flying included John Forrester having 2:52 in Astir DPO having earlier had the shortest flight of the day in the same glider, 8 minutes, while Paul Bulmer in his Libelle and Polly Whitehead in her ASW24 had over 2 hrs each.  In a virtual repeat of Thursday's flying, Bruce Grain/Jane Rennie had 56 minutes in K21 KLW late in the day.

Saturday 17th.  A light to moderate wind from a S'ly segment saw 31 ATs off runway 20, with an occasional landing on 02.  A spreading high overcast limited soaring opportunities, while there were even some light showers in the area, the first rain since the 18th May.  Soaring flights of over 30 minutes were limited to 6, with 2 of these over an hour, as 5 private owners rigged and launched.  Darren Lodges's 1:48 in his LS8-18 was the longest of the day, with noboby leaving the local area, while Bob Calvert's 60 minutes and James Prosser's 50 minutes owed much more to engine power than thermal power.  Adam Sayer 46 minutes in Astir FSH was the result of finding a weak thermal that gave him a slow climb of around 500'. The day's 5 First Flight pupils had a pleasant introductions to gliding, while the Falke flew a navigational exercise around Fridaythorpe and Garforth.   

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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