Saturday 18th to Thursday 23rd November 2023
Posted: 23/11/2023 20:28
Saturday 18th. Atlantic fronts crossing the UK brought low cloud and rain, so there was no flying as the light SE'ly veered into the WSW and increased to moderate.
Sunday 19th. An almost stationary occluded front over the north of England brought low cloud and rain at times to the site, as a light SW'ly slowly increased to moderate, so there was again no flying.
Monday 20th. The occluded front had not moved very far away, so the site was again affected by low cloud and light rain/drizzle at times as light to moderate WNW'ly slowly veered into the NNW, continuing the spell of non flying days.
Tuesday 21st. The movement of another front across the area during the morning was expected to lead to brighter weather and a chance of flying. However, although the weather did brighten up, the cloud base did not improve much and light rain showers continued well into the morning. The only flying was the return of the Pawnee from maintenance work at Bagby, Tom Dale being the pilot.
Wednesday 22nd. A cloudy, but dry day with a moderate, to at times moderate to fresh W'ly, allowed flying to get under way around 1045 hrs, with a day's launch total of 9, comprising 5 via the winch and 4 via ATs off runway 24, 2 of the ATs being for First Flight pupils. A day of hill soaring saw 7 flights exceed 30 minutes with 2 exceeding an hour. Maximum climbs were up to 2,200' asl (1,300' QFE) with most pilots maintaining 900'/1,100' QFE along the ridges as far north as Black Hambleton, 18 km from Sutton, with the Forward Ridge also visited. Konrad Kawalec had by far the longest flight of the day, 4:05 in Astir DPO, spending most of his time soaring the Main Bowl with 1 excursion to High Paradise Farm, some 7 km north of site, while Dean Crosby in the Discus had 1:06 visiting Black Hambledon, but finding his and the day's best climb to 2,700' asl in front of the main ridge. Dean later had another flight of 30 minutes in the Discus during which he again visited Black Hambleton and also included a trip along the forward ridge. Steve Thompson/Brian Whitfield had 57 minutes in K21 KLW, with 3 flights of 45, 46 and 47 minutes being flown, the P1 and glider in all 3 cases being Clive Swain/KLW and the P2s being Neil Amos twice, once off a winch launch and the other via an AT, with the other flight being with a First Flight pupil. The day ended with a nice sunset photographed by Guy Hartland.
Thursday 23rd. A moderate to fresh and at times fresh WSW'ly that slowly veered into the WNW was accompanied by gusts into the mid 30 kts so, although all other conditions were favourable, the general strength and particularly gustiness of the wind ruled out any flying