Thursday 28th to Friday 29th September 2023
Posted: 30/09/2023 17:41
Thursday 28th. Overcast skies and a moderate SSW'ly wind prevailed all day with 13 ATs off runway 24 leading to 7 flights of 30 minutes or more, the 4 private owners who launched accounting for the day's 4 flights of an hour or more. 2 of these flights, Dean Crosby's 3:40 in his LS10t and Clive Swain's 2:40 in his Kestrel 19, were the result of hill soaring at 700'-1500' plus the occasional thermal, the variation in hill soaring height being probably due to wave influence. Fred Brown in his Ventus ct had 2:28 mainly hill soaring, but did climb to around 2,500' QFE in some weak wave over the forward ridge. Bob Calvert's 5:06 included a wave climb to 12,400' asl 9 km SE of Aysgarth after initially contacting the wave 6 km NW of Boroughbridge, with subsequent climbs NW of Boroughbridge and N of Pateley Bridge. From his peak altitude, Bob then flew to the vicinity of Grassington and visited Garforth before returning to Sutton providing the following photo from his flight.
Friday 28th. A busy day at Sutton as a forecast of wave led to 13 private owner launches, with 3 AT launches for the day's 3 First Flight pupils complementing the 25 by winch off runway 24, 22 of these resulting in flights of over 30 minutes, with 17 of these over an hour. Soaring was via hill and thermal for most pilots as a moderate WSW'ly blew, with 4 pilots having high climbs in wave, although patience and persistence was required by some of these latter pilots. One of these was Bob Calvert in his Discus 2ct who soared locally for over 5 hrs between 2,500-5,500' asl before eventually contacting the wave over the main bowl and then, via a series of climbs between Sutton and Boroughbridge, reaching 13,400' asl, using this altitude to visit Garforth and Harrogate North before returning to Sutton in his 8:06 flight. Contacting the wave was more straightforward for Dean Crosby in his LS10t who contacted to the NNE of Thirsk, climbed to 13,300' asl and then visited Barnard Castle and Boroughbridge, while visitor Graham Morris in his ASW27 who also contacted the wave in the same area as Dean and climbed to 12,400' before visiting Ripon, Wetherby and Boroughbridge, returning to Sutton to do some local soaring before landing. Chris Teagle was the other pilot to have a significant wave flight after spending a long time before contacting the wave, eventually reaching 9,700' asl in the same area as Dean and Graham and then visiting Catterick before returning to Sutton. A number of other pilots had wave climbs to 5,000'-5.500' asl but couldn't progress any higher, this group including Fred Brown in his Ventus ct, Chris Handzlik in his DG300 and John Ellis in his DG808. Greater than 1 hr pilots flying club gliders included Conrad Thwaites whose 1:24 in the Discus included a visit to the Thimbleby ridge and a 300' QFE low point and Sarah Stubb's 1:37 in the Astir off the last launch of the day, while 2 seater pilots to have more than an hour included Derek Smith/John Dore in K21 KLW, John Carter/Rod Brister in the DG500 and Dave McKinney/Paul Steer in K21 JVZ, mainly using hill and thermal lift.