Monday 24th to Tuesday 25th July 2023
Posted: 25/07/2023 17:00
Monday 24th. A moderate N'ly slowly decreased in strength to become light, the day's operations leading to 18 ATs off runway 02 but only 2 resulted in flight times over 60 minutes with only 1 other flights extending over 25 minutes. The two long flights, 3:49 and 3:17, were by the 2 private owners who flew, Bob Calvert in his Discus 2ct and John Ellis in his DG800, but both had to use their engines at least once but in very different circumstances. Bob had to use his shortly after release just east of the site and then went on to spend most of his flight 9 km SE of Sutton trying to make something out of some weak wave, this resulting in a climb to 6,300' asl. John on the other hand flew south but had to use his engine near the Doncaster NW TP and again at Rufforth. John then went on to have his best climb to 4,800' asl 13 km south of site on his return. The only other flight to exceed 25 minutes was by Bruce Grain/Neil Paveley in the DG500, who had 26 minutes, helped by a weak thermal that maintained their altitude for a while. The day also saw 5 First Flight pupils flown, mainly by Laurie Clarke, with an average flight time of 20 minutes.
Tuesday 25th. Cumulus blossomed quickly after a sunny start, as a light to moderate NW'ly backed into the W and increased to moderate. The convection soon led to heavy showers developing and this led to the abandonment of flying just before 1400 hrs after 11 ATs and a single Falke sortie had been flown off runway 24, most landings being on 02. Four private owners launched with mixed results, 3 of them having flights of over an hour, Dave McKinney/Steve Kirk in K21 KLW joining this group with 1:05, gaining to 3,700' asl in some moderately strong thermal. Bob Calvert in his Discus 2ct flew to Northallerton, Oswaldkirk, Easingwold and Tontine in his 2:15 flight, while Chris Handzlik in his DG300 visited Rufforth and Tontine to clock up around 100km, being able to cruise along between Sutton and Rufforth at 3,500' to 4,500' for 20 kms without circling and climbing to a maximum altitude of 6,500' asl later in the flight. Derek Smith in his DG800 covered around 195 km visiting York, 8 km SW of Masham, Wetherby and Tontine in his 2:38 flight, with a best altitude of 4,800' asl. John Ellis in his DG800 was the one private owner to miss out, having to use the engine of his DG800 shortly after his self launch and returning to site after a flight time of 25 minutes. No one else extended their flights beyond 25 minutes, with Clive Swain giving two of the day's 4 First Flight pupils 24 and 23 minutes in K21 JVZ and Guy Hartland giving James Inglesfield 23 minutes in K21 KLW off the last flight of the day, all courtesy of weak thermals that delayed their return to earth.