Monday 6th to Tuesday 7th November 2023
Posted: 09/11/2023 10:30
Monday 6th. A light to moderate SW'ly wind in an unstable air mass, brought in frequent and at times heavy showers, so there was no flying.
Tuesday 7th. A day of sunny intervals, as a light to moderate W'ly slowly veered into the WNW. Flying commenced around 1020 hrs with Clive Swain/Derek Taylor taking the first of the day's 23 ATs off runway 24, 6 of which were for private owners and 4 for First Flight pupils. Clive and Derek's flight was the first of 15 to exceed 30 minutes, with 7 flights exceeding an hour, pilots finding hill, thermal and wave to extend their flights. 4 of the flights of >1 hr were by private owners with Bob Calvert in his Discus 2ct having 4:24, Dean Crosby in his LS10t having 2:50, Chris Handzlik in his DG300 having 2:14 and Tony Drury having 1:56 in his DG303. The majority of climbs got to 3,500' to 3.700' asl either via thermal or weak wave but Bob found some better wave over Masham, getting there via engine use, and climbed to 7,600' asl, before visiting Leyburn, coming back to the home ridge and then climbing back to 6,200' asl in wave east of Northallerton via thermal over the forward ridge before returning to site. Bob provided the following photo from his flight, the presence of CuNims over the Pennines showing the unstable nature of the air mass.
Dean worked the area around Thirsk but slowly lost height returning to the main bowl to hill soar at around 1100' QFE before finding a thermal over the forward ridge that took him to his best altitude of 3,100'. A spot on the main W'ly ridge some 3,5 km north of site was a favoured place for thermals with Chris Hansdzlik in his DG300 utilising a number there to climb to his best altitude of 3,400' asl, while Tony Drury in his DG303 spent most of his flight in the same area climbing to his best altitude of 3,700' asl over the forward ridge. Apart from Bob, most pilots experience of wave was limited, with Steve Thompson finding a little near Felixkirk, but spending most of his 1:25 flight in the Discus thermalling, with a best altitude of 3,500' asl. However, Clive Swain/Tony Kirkby in K21 JVZ spent most of their 1:00 flight maintaining 3,200-3,400' asl in wave flying a WNW/ESE beat of around 4 km just to the ESE of Knayton. The two other flights to exceed an hour were Conrad Thwaites in the Discus, his 1:01 being a mixture of hill soaring as far north as Kepwick and thermal, while Clive Swain/Al Gallego's 1:08 was primarily via hill soaring at 900-1300' QFE as far north as High Paradise Farm.
Post Script. If you missed the visit of Matt Baker to the YGC and his flight with CFI Bruce Grain on the Channel 4 More programme "Matt Baker: Travels with Mum and Dad" on Monday evening, it is still available to view on Channel 4 catch up. Look for Series 2, Episode 2, Herriot Country.