Tuesday 9th to Thursday 11th April 2024.

Posted: 13/04/2024 10:01

Tuesday 9th.  Heavy rain  in the early hours and during the afternoon, plus accompanying low cloud ensured there was no flying, the light to moderate SSE'ly veering  into the WNW as the clearance arrived late in the day.

Wednesday 10th.  A bright if overcast start to the day soon faded as a weak Atlantic front made progress eastwards across the UK bringing some light rain after lunch, the wind being a moderate S'ly.   There was no flying mainly due to the waterlogged state of the airfield.

Thursday 11th.  Predominately cloudy skies featured during the first part of the day, these breaking up later, but cloud base was always high enough to allow flying as a moderate WSW'ly blew, decreasing to light later.  The conditions meant a winching day of 26 launches, supplemented by 2 ATs and a late self launch by Pete Goodchild in his Pik 20E and plenty of hill soaring and some long/high wave flights.  The longest wave flight was by Bob Calvert in his Discus 2ct who, after exploring the forward ridge. used his engine to contact the wave just to the west of Sutton climbing there to 6,200' asl.  He then flew NW to SE of Dumfries before returning to Sutton via Wetherby South, a estimated distance of over 430 km with a maximum altitude of 9,800' asl 6,5 km to the ESE of Masham.  The highest climb of the day was by Fred Brown in his Ventus ct who, after flying for over 2 hours in hill lift waiting for a wave slot to appear, found one 3 km WNW of Sutton climbing to 10,600' asl some 5 km N of Thirsk.  Setting off to the NW, Fred did an O/R to Appleby, 185 km, with a climb to 19,100' asl just to the east of Brough.  Steve Thompson in his Ventus bt also spent a couple of hours hill soaring before contacting the wave 5 km SSW of site, climbing to 8,300' asl 5 km WSW of Sutton and then flying to Ripon to do a 209 km Ripon/Haydon Bridge/ Ripon O/R at 80 kph, (~250 km including for the Sut/Rip O/R)  with the cloud cover breaking up over the Tyne as the following photo shows.   Steve commented on the strength of the wave, showing the following photo of his instrument panel with 10 kts lift at 100 kts. 

The other wave cross country pilot was Chris Handzlik in his DG300, who taking off in the early afternoon, also contacted the wave 3km to the W of site and then flew a 148 km task with TP's at Barnard Castle and Pateley Bridge, also commenting on the strength of the wave and climbing to 10,600' asl just to the S of Barnard Castle.  Back at site an additional 15 flights exceeded 30 minutes with 7 exceeding an hour, all this soaring being in hill lift, excursions north to Black Hambleton and the Forward Ridge being common and operating heights being up to 1,600 QFE and generally 8-900' QFE, although some notable low points were recorded.  The list of > 1 hour flights via hill soaring comprised Guy Hartland/Roger Taylor in k21 JVZ, Steve and Eileen Scouthern in their Discus, Albert/Martin Newbery in the DG1000, Bill Payton in Astir FSH, Paul Whitehead/Samuel Bachelor in the DG500 and Clive Swain in the Discus.   John Carter/Dave Mckinney took the DG1000 via an AT on a > an hour flight, including a trip to just E of Northallerton and a climb to 7,400' asl, indulging in some spinning excercises on the way back to site, while the Falke had a trip around Stamford Bridge and Knaresborough.     

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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