Friday 12th to Saturday 13th May 2017
Posted: 14/05/2017 12:40
Friday 12th. A shallow depression moving slowly northwards over the Irish Sea gave rise to a lowering base to the cloud sheet and eventually a few spots of rain that led to flying being abandoned for the day in the mid-afternoon, the wind being a light to moderate SSE'ly. The preceding flying, amounting to 13 ATs, were, in the absence of any usable lift, of the up round and down variety, with 8 of them being for another group of RAF personnel from Linton on Ouse. Two of this group provided the longest flights of the day with Will Smith having 22 minutes in K21 KLW in the company of David Bradley and Andy Fellows having 21 minutes in the same glider with Andy Parish. The unflyable late afternoon saw the simulator brought into action.
Saturday 13th. Friday's depression was still moving slowly northwards to the west of the UK with the result that the site was still under 8/8ths cloud with a base at around 1500' QFE. However, the wind had veered into the SSW and strengthened to become moderate, with the result that the northern end of the main bowl provided surprisingly good and consistent lift with operating heights around 1,000' QFE with patches of lift elsewhere. Andy Parish, and Malcolm Morgan, an Ass Cat originally from Gransden Lodge who has moved into the area and joined the YGC, amply demonstrated the soarable nature of the day by having 1:35 off the first flight of the day in K21 KLW. The availability of hill lift continued throughout most of the day before declining as the wind speed dropped and the direction became S'ly. However, the hill lift was complemented by some thermal activity as the base of the overcast gradually rose to over 3,000' QFE. The conditions encouraged 3 private owners to fly, all making the most of the conditions by providing flight times of 3:05, (Jon May and Steve Ball in their Duo Discus), 2:29 (Martyn Johnson in his DG600) and 2:01 (John Marsh in his DG303. Mike Collins, flying Astir DPO for 1:46 completed the >1hr list, with Fred Brown, first with Jan van de Hoek in K21 JVZ with 47 minutes and then with guest M Hindle with 43 minutes in the same glider, providing 2 of the other 5 flights to exceed 30 minutes. The good visibility was appreciated by the day's 3 First Flight pupils, as 15 ATs were flown off runway 24 with the majority of landings on runway 20.