Saturday 6th to Monday 8th January 2018

Posted: 08/01/2018 19:38

Saturday 6th.  A moderate and cold NE'ly flow with associated showers limited flying operations to 6 ATs off runway 02, with 3 of these being for First Flight pupils.  With no usable lift to be had, flight times were all below 20 minutes, even from 3,000' tows, an indicator of lots of usable sink.

Sunday 7th.  The cold flow continued, this time a much lighter version from the NNE, this slowly veering into the ENE on a predominately sunny day.  The environmental conditions led to significant airframe icing that delayed launching until midday, with flying coming to an end around 1600 hrs with canopy misting the determining factor.  In between times, 17 ATs were flown behind the Eurofox off runway 20 with a minority of landings on 02.  The major interest of the day was the arrival on site of the DG1001 Club neo demonstrator in the capable hands of Bob Beck, with 5 of the club's instructors experiencing the handling of this particular model from the DG stable, all being left with very favourable impressions.  Otherwise, club flying in the DG1000, K21 KLW and Discus provided the rest of the day's launches, supplemented by 3 flights by the Falke.  The day's First Flight pupils congregated at the top of the flight time list providing 6 of the 9 flights to exceed 20 minutes, although the day's longest flight of 26 minutes was flown by Brian Wise and H Roocroft with 26 minutes in KLW.  Darren Lodge and Roger Burghal were the only pilots to fly solo, taking the Discus up for 22 and 25 minutes respectively.

Monday 8th.  The high pressure responsible for the weather of the past few days had drifted off to the east with the result that a cold and moderate E'ly flow had become established.  Although sunny, it was another cold day with a wind chill temperature of -7C, so that the launch cabin became the favoured roost for those at the launch point, this being at the extreme west end of runway 06.  The first AT of the 8 flown on the day behind the Pawnee, saw John Carter and Mark Newburn in K21 KLW confirm a lively take off, 30-40 knot winds at flying heights and  severe sink on the lively, final approach to runway 06. Due to the conditions, the day's First Flight pupils were cancelled, but a further 5 of the club's instructors were able to have the pleasant experience of flying the DG1001 Club neo demonstrator, again with Bob Beck as guide.  The best that the day could offer in terms of soaring were brief periods of zero sink, so that nobody was able to stay up for more than 30 minutes, with Bob and Steve Thompson getting closest with 28 minutes.  This was from a 4,000' tow but did include some spinning and stalling excercises as Steve explored the handling characteristics of the DG1001.  Mike Smith, trying out his new padded jacket, flew first with John Carter in KLW and then with Bob in the DG1001 Club demonstrator and Geoff Turner would also have had 2 flights but a problem with the starter motor of the Pawnee led to the second flight having to be abandoned at the launch point.   The only other flying on the day saw Tom Dale and Will Blackburn take the Falke on an O/R to Fishburn.

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