Tuesday 3rd to Thursday 5th October 2023
Posted: 05/10/2023 21:12
Tuesday 3rd. An overnight front cleared the site just in time for flying to get underway around 1015 hrs as a moderate WSW'ly slowly veered into the W, providing good hill soaring conditions, with some thermal and, later in the day, wave. A launch total of 30, comprising 22 via the winch and 8 ATs, the latter including 4 First Flight pupils, gave rise to 25 flights of over 30 minutes with 17 over an hour and 9 over 3 hours. The majority of flights used hill and thermal lift , with the ridges working well, 900'-1300' QFE being a typical operating height band, with thermal climbs to typically 3-3.500' asl. Most hill soaring flights used the main W'ly ridge to High Paradise Farm, but the Forward ridge and Black Hambledon were visited by some, including Kestrel 19 pilots Clive Swain and Chris Teagle, Steve Scothern in his Discus, Albert and Martin Newbery in their DG1000t, visitor P Cooer in the club Discus and Guy Hartland/Steve Kirk in K21 KLW. Albert and Martin encountered some transient wave over Black Hambleton enabling them to climb to 4,100' asl while visitor Graham Morris in his ASW27 climbed to 4,700' asl 5 km west of site. Bob Calvert used the engine of his Discus 2ct to contact the wave over the forward ridge and climb to 6,900' asl, increasing this to 7,700' asl 6 km NNE of Boroughbridge before circumventing Ripon without finding any more useful lift. Returning to soar locally, Bob then contacted more substantial wave close to Sutton towards the end of his 7:48 flight and climbed to 8, 300' asl taking the following photo as he flew adjacent to a wave bar illuminated by the setting sun.
Wednesday 4th. A generally cloudy day, with the wind now a moderate to moderate to fresh SW that slowly veered into the WSW provided another hill soaring day but with more wave flights, with 3 pilots getting above 12,000' asl. The soaring opportunities meant that the day's 16 winch launches realised 14 flights of over 30 minutes with 12 over an hour, with the day's 8 private owner launches contributing 8 of these. The best wave contact area was around Felixkirk, with 4 of the day's wave flights commencing there, two of them resulting in climbs to 13,600' by Fred Brown in his Ventus ct and 12,300' asl by Steve Scothern in his Discus, although both pilots spent a long time hill/thermal soaring before contacting the wave, nearly 5 hours in Fred's case and 2 hrs in Steve's. Visitor Graham Morris in his ASW27 and Dean Crosby in his LS10t found some wave in the same area but had to be content with climbs to 5,200' and 5,900' asl, with John Carter flying K21 KLW solo also getting to 5,100 in the same area. Visitor Paul Whitters in his Standard Cirrus climbed to 4,600' asl 3 km WSW of site after hill soaring for 1.5 hrs, while Bob Calvert in his Discus 2ct used his engine to contact the wave 6 km SW of site, climbing to 11,900' asl and going SW to the Garforth area before finding a good climb 6.5 km NNE of Boroughbridge to his peak altitude of 13,600' asl. Bob followed this up by making a visit to the environs of Catterick before returning to site. A photo from Bob's flight is shown below.
Two seater flights to reach or exceed an hour included Clive Swain/Tony Kirby, Bruce Grain/I Weatherspoon and Steve Codd/Andrew Cowley, all achieved via hill soaring with operating heights typically1.000'- 1,300' QFE, although Steve/ Andrew had to recover from a low point of 200' QFE at one point in their flight.
Thursday 5th. A slow, southerly moving cold front over southern Scotland was preceded by an overcast that produced a few showers and was low enough to preclude flying, the wind being a moderate WSW'ly that slowly backed into the SSW.