Saturday 23rd to Monday 25th September 2023
Posted: 26/09/2023 16:35
Saturday 23rd. A light to moderate SW/SSW'ly blew all day, with flying commencing off runway 24 around 1300 hrs following a morning of low cloud and light rain/drizzle. The clearance brought in some thermic conditions before cloud cover started to increase by mid afternoon. 16 ATs were flown, with 5 by private owners, 3 of whom had flight times of between 3:14 to 3:20, although only Bob Calvert in his Discus 2ct strayed far from site, spending some time in the Ripon area, the flight there being aided by his engine, Bob then came back to site to soar locally joining Fred Brown in his Ventus ct and Darren Lodge in his LS8-18. The area of lift used locally by these 3 pilots was approximately 5 km by 6 km centred on Lake Gormire, with peak altitudes of 4,000' to 4,500' asl. The only other flight to exceed an hour saw Malcolm Morgan/Jack Stevenson have 1:12 in K21 KLW, also soaring locally, while the only other flight over 30 minutes was by Malcolm Morgan in the Discus this lasting 36 minutes.
Sunday 24th. A moderate S'ly blew all day bringing in an overcast that never got high enough to allow any flying.
Monday 25th. A moderate to fresh SSW/SW'ly blew all day, providing hill, thermal and wave soaring opportunities which were gratefully accepted by 20 of the 25 ATs flown off runway 20, with 15 of these launches leading to flights of over an hour and an additional 5 with flight times of between 30 and 60 minutes. 4 private owners of the 11 who launched,, contacted wave and climbed to over 10,000' asl, although for Fred Brown in his Ventus ct and John Ellis in his DG808 patience was required, with Fred spending around 2 hours thermal/hill soaring before contacting the wave just to the north of site and John spending some 1-1/2 hrs in thermal and hill lift before contacting the wave over Thirsk. The wave was not clearly marked, as the photo below from Bob Calvert shows, and Fred climbed to around 11,000' asl over Topcliffe before flying to Masham, abandoning any thought of going further before returning to site.
John Ellis set off from his max altitude of 11,000' asl over Thirsk and did an O/R to Rufforth losing 5,600' in the process and spending the rest of his flight soaring locally, while Bob Calvert encountered the wave over Sutton and climbed to his peak altitude of 13,800' asl some 7 km east of Masham, continuing west to the vicinity of Hawes before running SE to Pontefract and then returning to site. Chris Teagle in his Kestrel 19 contacted the wave over the forward ridge and flew a 119.4 km task with TPs at Catterick (reaching his peak altitude of 12,600' asl in that area) Harrogate North and Masham before returning to Sutton. Chris Handzlik in his DG300 and Toby Wilson in his Standard Cirrus both had moderate wave climbs to between5/6000' asl with Toby visiting Northallerton. but the other private owners had to make do with thermal based flights, either staying local or, in the case of Bill Payton/Albert Newbery in their DG1000t, visiting Boroughbridge and Masham. Sarah Stubbs in the Discus had 1:57 and was one of the pilots flying club gliders to have an hour or more, the others being Laurie Clarke solo in the DG1000. Clive Swain/Mark James in K21 JVZ, Dave McKinney also solo in the DG1000 and Clive Swain/Steve Morgan in K21 KLW of the last flight of an interesting soaring day at Sutton.