Friday 15th to Saturday 16th March 2024

Posted: 17/03/2024 14:26

Friday 15th.  A light to moderate to moderate WSW'ly blew, accompanied by a mainly overcast sky that produced a  number of light showers, the conditions also providing some hill and wave soaring from the day's 12 winch launches off runway 24.  7 flights exceeded 30 minutes with 4 of these over an hour, with visitor Colwyn Darlow in his LS10 st having by far the longest flight, 4:10, during which he eventually climbed to 9,500' asl near Ripon.  Colwyn spent over 2 hours trying to connect with the wave via a number of forays to the west and accompanying engine use but couldn't find a gap in the cloud deck until eventually finding one 4 km to the SE of Thirsk, climbing there to 6,400' asl.  After proceeding to the Ripon area and  his peak altitude, Colwyn returned to site via Harrogate North and Sutton on Forest but having let down well to the SE of site through the only visible hole in the cloud deck, had to use his engine to get back to Sutton.  Colwyn provided the following photo. 

All the other pilots to have > an hour made use of hill lift on the main W'ly ridge, generally maintaining 8-1200' QFE with peak heights of 1200-1500' QFE, the general and peak heights tending to increase over the day.  The pilots included, Fred Brown in his Ventus 2c, who made it to the forward ridge only to find poor soaring conditions there, Graham Cooksey/Steve Morgan in K21 KLW and Austin Hartland in Astir DSU, with the best of the rest being Guy Hartland/Paul Bulmer with 40 minutes in KLW.

Saturday 16th.  The day started bright and sunny but progressively clouded over as an Atlantic front made progress across the UK, light rain arriving at site around 4 pm, by which time 23 ATs had been flown off runway 20 into an initial light SSE'ly that backed into the SE and increased to moderate.  Before the frontal cloud arrived, Cumulus developed, allowing some thermal soaring with cloud base initially around 1,400' QFE but eventually rising to around 2,600' QFE, average climb rates being 0.5 to 1 kt, with peak rates typically around 2-2.5 kts.  7 of the day's flights exceeded 30 minutes, with 6 exceeding an hour, 4 of  these by private owners.  2 of these flights, by Rob Bailey in his ASG29t, 1:54 and Steve Thompson in his Ventus 2b, 2:01,  did not provide a Flarm trace so I  have no information as to where they went, but while most other pilots stayed local, Colwyn Darlow in his LS 120 st did fly a couple of sorties down to the area around York, the first to 6.5 km NW of York before returning to the home area and then returning south  to 6 km  SE of Rufforth before returning to site,  Colwyn did.  however, had to resort to his engine on a number of occasions to avoid a field landing as a result of the low cloud base and weak thermals.  The other > an hour pilots included Chris O'Doyle in the Discus, with 1:24, Clive Swain, solo in K21 KLW, 1:35 and Bob Calvert in his Discus 2ct with1:18.  The day's flights included 3 for First Flight pupils and a  single flight by the Falke.          

This blog describes a snippet of life at the Yorkshire Gliding Club. Why not take a flight and try it yourself, or we can teach you to fly as a full club member.

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