Friday 26th to Wednesday 31st January 2018

Posted: 31/01/2018 20:19

Friday 26th.  Cloudy skies in a moderate NW'ly that subsequently decreased to become light, meant that it was a gliding rather than a soaring day.  14 ATs were flown off runway 02, with some behind re-engined Pawnee Tango Mike.   A predominance of sinking rather than rising air meant that even off 3,000' tows flight times were, at best, 21 minutes, but this release height did at least mean that the day's 4 First Flight pupils each had a  flight time of at least 20  minutes.  For members taking lower tows, flight times were in the range of 11 to 18 minutes although Duncan Pask did manage 20 minutes off a 2,200' tow in the Astir.

Saturday 27th.  Low cloud and periods of drizzle  persisted all day as the moderate SSE'ly progressively veered to become a WSW'ly, the low cloud preventing any flying.

Sunday 28th.  Morning rain cleared by 1100 hrs, but the clearance was accompanied by strengthening WSW'ly winds, these becoming fresh and gusting above 30 kts.  Members hopes of flying once the rain stopped were therefore dashed.

Monday 29th.  An eastwards travelling Atlantic front brought low cloud and rain but the skies cleared from about midday, allowing flying to commence off runway 24 into the moderate, but gusty, W'ly wind.  The first winch launch of the 4 flown on the day, demonstrated the turbulent nature of the air, leading to a decision to only fly 2 seaters, but pilots John Carter and Nick Gaunt posted the longest flight of the day as they did an O/R to Boltby in K21 KLW.  Members Tony Kirkby and Colin Troise and visitor Andrew Wilmot subsequently flew with John Carter in KLW, John and Tony recording the best height of the day by climbing to 1300' QFE.

Tuesday 30th.  Tuesday brought initially blue skies, but these progressively clouded over, as a moderate SW'ly blew, the increasing cloud marking the presence of wave. The wind speed and direction led to a decision to winch but after 2 launches of limited duration, it was decided to revert to ATing and a further 13 launches resulted.  The wave proved to be a little capricious, but a number of pilots recorded significant climbs, among them Nigel Burke with a climb to 8,700' in the DG303, Ron Beezer and Martin Clowes to 8,200' in K21 KLW, Ron Beezer in the DG303 to 7,400', Andy Parish and Ke Jing to 6,500' in K21 JVZ, Alan Beaumont to 5,300' solo in the DG500, while Tony Drury took one of the day's 4 First Flight pupils to 6.000' in KLW, all heights being asl.  9 of the day's flights exceeded 30 minutes with 4 of these exceeding an hour, visitor Andrew Wilmot being one of these as he flew his ASW 19 for 1:05.  Flight paths extended out west to between the A19 and A1, north to just south of Osmotherly and south to Easingwold.

Wednesday 31st.   A variable and gusty WSW'ly that ranged in strength from light to moderate to fresh meant it was another hill soaring day, with 9 winch launches off runway 24.  Flying was briefly interrupted in the early afternoon when the wind gusted into the low 40 kts, but recommenced after about an hour.  The day's 9 launches led to 4 flights of greater than an hour and a further 2 greater than 30 minutes, with Derek Smith flying for 2:47 in  the DG303, during which time he utilised the hill lift as far north as Black Hambleton and climbed to  3,700' asl in weak wave.  The other pilots to exceed an  hour's flying time were Bill Payton and Tony Kirkby with 1:17 in the DG500 while doing an O/R to the Tontine, Graham Evison and Chris Haresnape in K21 JVZ with 1:05 during which they climbed to 3,500' asl and Bill Payton and Ken Duxbury in K21 JVZ with 1:01.

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