Saturday 29th July to Wednesday 2nd August 2023
Posted: 02/08/2023 20:52
Saturday 29th. A light to moderate SSW'ly slowly veered and strengthened to become a moderate to fresh WSW'ly resulting in a day of 21 ATs, 8 winch launches and a single Falke flight. A shower caused a half hour delay in flying shortly after operations commenced, but thereafter conditions improved with 2-3 kt thermals to a 4,500' asl cloud base, hill lift and wave to over 15,000' asl. The pilots who contacted the wave did so in a variety of ways and locations. Darren Lodge in his LS8-18 initially hill soared at around 1100' QFE before using thermals to get to Felixkirk where he contacted the wave, climbing to around 10,200' asl. Bob Calvert in his Discus 2ct, used thermal to get to the vicinity of Masham, but finding no wave used his engine to get to the vicinity of Northallerton, whence to Tontine and then to the vicinity of Thirsk, contacting the wave there and eventually climbing to around 13,500' asl. Using his altitude, Bob flew west to near Hawes and then to Tockwith before returning to site. John Ellis in his DG800 also used thermal to get to the vicinity of Leyburn via Northallerton, but like Bob then used his engine enroute to Kirby Moorside via Masham and it was at Kirby Moorside that John contacted the wave, climbing to 12,000' asl. The only other pilot to contact the wave was Clive Swain in his Kestrel 19. After doing an O/R to Tontine, Clive contacted the wave just to the north of Thirsk and eventually climbed to his maximum altitude of 16,300' asl 10 km south of site and then flew to the northwest of Masham, returning to site via York. Ridge, but mainly thermal soaring was the norm for all the other soaring flights, the day's total being 24 in excess of 30 minutes of which 15 were over an hour. Most pilots stayed within an area bounded by Tontine, Northallerton, Leeming, Ripon, Easingwold and Helmsley but Steve Thompson in his Ventus bt visited Aysgarth, returning to site via Northallerton. Cloud base eventually rose to around 4,500' asl, with average thermal climb rates being around 2-2,5 kts, although peak climb rates of 4-5 kts were to be had.
Sunday 30th. The WSW'ly wind remained moderate to fresh. initially overcast skies breaking up to provide sunny intervals with showers and then clouding in again as a front approached from the west. 12 winch launches off runway 24 yielded 7 flights of over 30 minutes with 4 of these being over an hour. Thermal and hill lift allowed Fred Brown/ L Emmons off the first flight of the day in K21 KLW to have 1:07 while flying the main ridge between site and High Paradise Farm multiple times and maintaining 800-1100' QFE. Later, with Steve Thompson, Mr Emmons flew further north to 1 km ESE of Tontine, returning via the forward ridge for some more hill and thermal soaring on the main bowl, landing after 1:27. Dean Crosby in Astir DPO also had 2 flights, the first of 47 minutes hill soaring the main bowl at 1200'-1500' QFE and them climbing to 2,000' QFE in some wave upwind of the ridge. Dean's 2nd flight saw him soar to High Paradise Farm before venturing west to RAF Topcliffe where he used thermal and wave to climb to 3,000' QFE. The longest flight of the day was by Bob Calvert in his Discus2ct, 3:33, during which he used his engine to get to Thirsk where he contacted the wave to climb to 8,700' asl. Continuing in he wave he reached his maximum altitude of 10,400' asl 6 km SW of Thirsk and then set off west, getting to 6 km north of Pateley Bridge before going further north to 13 km east of Leyburn and then south to near Wetherby before returning to Sutton, covering around 160 km. Bob provided the following photo of the prefrontal wave.
Monday 31st. The depression with its fronts arrived, bringing rain from 1000-1900 hrs, with accompanying low cloud, the wind, initially moderate from the SW decreasing to light late in the day. Accordingly there was no flying.
Tuesday 1st August. The legacy of Monday's depression was low cloud and drizzle/light rain, this delaying the start of flying until after midday, when there were 2 ATs off runway 24 into a light to moderate W'ly, both resulting in extended circuits off 1700' tows. Flying then ceased until the arrival of the Tuesday evening group who had an additional 8 ATs, 5 of which were 1100' tows for circuit training, The only flights to exceed 20 minutes were by Toby Wilson/Elliot Hall in K21 JVZ, with 23 minutes and Steve Thompson/Lincoln Emmons with 38 minutes in K21 KLW, both assisted by weak lift on the main bowl ridge which delayed rather than arrested their return to earth.
Wednesday 2nd. A unusually deep depression for August brought low cloud, some 24 mm of rain and an initially light NW'ly to North Yorkshire, this veering into the NNE and strengthening to moderate, as the centre of the low slowly slipped away east into the North Sea. Consequently, there was no flying.