Wednesday 8th to Saturday 11th November 2023
Posted: 13/11/2023 10:27
Wednesday 8th. Morning rain from a frontal system soon cleared to the east allowing flying to get underway by early afternoon, by which time the SE'ly wind had veered into the W, its strength quickly declining from moderate to fresh to light by the end of the flying day. The result was 6 winch and 1 AT launch off runway 24, with 4 flights in excess of 30 minutes, one of these being over an hour, all from the winch, the AT being the last flight of the day as the wind died. Jesper Mjels/Arthur Docherty had the longest flight of the day, 2:30 in the DG1000, speniding most of the time hill soaring the main ridge but finding some weak wave that took them to their maximum altitude of 4,200' asl over the forward ridge. The following photos from their flight provide good views of Lake Gormire and the the airfield above the main bowl.
Dean Crosby, flying Astir DPO, had the next longest flight, 48 minutes, soaring both the main bowl and the one to the north, initially at 6-700' QFE and then at 750-850'QFE, while Derek Smith/Bob Calvert had 33 minutes in K21 KLW, climbing to 1,000' QFE in the bowl just N of Gormire off their 500' winch launch and then maintaining 6-700' QFE on the ridge before landing. The other soaring flight saw Chris Collingham/C Stroward have 30 minutes in K21 JVZ off the first flight of the day.
Thursday 9th. A light to moderate and at times moderate SSW'ly slowly backed into the SSE as a front advanced from the SW, its rain comemcing after sunset. 13 ATs were flown off runway 20, the majority of which resulted in extended circuits, with only 2 flights equalling or exceeding 30 minutes. The 30 minute flight was by Clive Swain with one of the 4 First Flight pupils of the day in K21 KLW, a slow descent to 1,500' QFE being followed by the maintenance of that height for a while, their trace incicating the use of a thermal. Two other 2 seater flights got close to 30 minutes, C O'Boyce/Steve Kirk in KLW and Dave Campbell with another First Flight pupil in K21 JVZ finding lift over the Southern Ridge between site and Wass and each having 29 minutes. Dave and his pupil climbed off tow to 3,700' as, while the pilots of KLW maintained their release height of 3,400' asl in the same area. Bob Calvert in his Discus 2ct was the only pilot to have over an hour, his 2:56 being via a combination of engine use and a wave climb to a maximum altitude of 6,700' asl just to the north of Harrogate North, this following a climb to 4,300' asl just to the NNW of Dishforth and 6,500' asl just to the north of Boroughbridge. The Falke, on the other hand had a trip to Clay Bank on the north facing escarpment of the North Yorkshire Moors following 3 touch and go landings at site.
Friday 10th. A sunny day with a light to moderate NNW'ly wind that slowly backed into the WNW promised a full day's gliding, but a lack of members and other trade restricted flying to 3 ATs off runway 02. A lack of any significant lift limited flight times, with the average for the day's 3 flights being 15 minutes, Guy Hartland/Brian Whifield's 18 minutes in K21 KLW being the best of the day.
Saturday 11th. A moderate NW'ly had the wind sock cavorting around its pole, the turbulence on the take off from runway 02 normally experienced under these conditions delaying the start of flying until around 1130 hrs, by which time the wind had dropped to light to moderate and eventually became light. The delayed start to the flying did, however,ensure that all those on site took part in the national 2 minute silence in remembrance of those from the UK and Commonweath who have died in conflicts around the world. The excelent visibility was appreciated by the day's 5 First Flight pupils and members alike, and while the best flight time was only 23 minutes, by Bruce Grain/Adam Sawyer in K21 JVZ, those flying did find patches of zero/reduced sink over Sutton village and even some weak, low cloud base thermal in the early part of the afternoon. Consequently, 6 of the day's flights lasted for 20 minutes, including the one by John Carter and a visiting instructor from Burn, Neal Shead, who took the DG1000 for a spinning excercise off to the the north of the site.