Tuesday 3rd to Thursday 5th October 2017
Posted: 10/10/2017 19:14
Tuesday 3rd. A light to moderate WSW'ly slowly strengthened over the course of the day to become moderate, the initial ATing operations, being complemented by winching from mid afternoon. A combination of hill soaring and wave led to a number of good climbs with only 2 of the day's 17 ATs and 4 winch launched flights failing to exceed 30 minutes, with 11 exceeding an hour. Tim Milner and T Kirby set the ball rolling off the second AT of the day with a climb to 10,700' asl in K21 KLW, during which they visited Catterick, Northallerton, Ripon and Helmsley in a flight lasting 2:22 . Tim then repeated the exercise in KLW off a later winch launch this time with Andrew Wilmot, getting to 10,100' asl in another flight of over 2 hours. Others climbing to over 7,000' asl included Albert Newbery and Bill Payton who reached 9,600' asl in their DG1000t, visiting Redcar, Guisborough, the Tontine and Northallerton during their flight of 3:22. Visitors J Bane and Wheeler climbed to 7,600' asl in the DG500 while Ian Bullous got to 8,500' asl in his DG800. Other visitors, Adrian Noble and Craig Lowrie , while not ascending to such heights, did have 2 hours each in their respective DG300 and DG800, with Adrian doubling his flying time for the day with a later second flight with B Crump having 1:53 in the DG303.
This morning’s briefing refered to the strong winds (30+) and called a re-brief at 12. Launching commenced slightly earlier with our 1000 with Bob and Martin, who, after an initial struggle near Newton Tors, managed a climb to over 10,000. Other pilots were not quite as skillful and a lessening wave saw most of them top out below 6000. Dave B. Had a site check in Millfields 505 then flew his ASW28. Les flew with Joan in the in the 1000. Meanwhile, Sue decided to visit Alnwick Castle and picked up several ideas from the Poison Garden (watch out, Mike!). John Carter arrived on site and watched with interest the launches and landings in the turbulent conditions (more 70/80 kts approaches).
Wednesday 4th. The WSW wind continued to blow, remaining moderate all day, but this time accompanied by extensive cloud cover and bits and pieces of rain and drizzle that eventually caused flying to terminate just before lunch time with 5 winch launches accomplished. No body exceeded an hour but most flights lasted in excess of 30 minutes with visitor Adrian Noble having 59 minutes in his DG300, Steve Thompson 41 minutes in the Discus and Andy Parish and Geoff Burkenshaw 37 minutes in K21 KLW.
Millfield Report. The briefing was quite short as it was raining outside with cloud above the hills and a gusty little breeze. Alistair called a re-brief at 12, but most people left. However, after 90 minutes the rain had stopped and conditions had improved, so Alistair asked for a couple of guinea-pigs… John C and Colin were found. So with JC as P1 we aerotoed to 3000 ft. Having dropped back down to nearer two thousand we then spent the next hour soaring Newton Tors between 2200 & 2600. Quite early on we were joined by Bob and Sue in Milfield’s 505, who were able to reach nearly 3000. Having landed both the K21 and 505 Alistair then took the K21 with a Milfield member and returned very shortly after with tales of severe turbulence. End of flying.
Thursday 5th. The overnight passage of a small but active depression, left the site in a moderate to fresh WNW'ly flow with gusts around 30 kts, overnight and early morning rain amounting to 4.2 mm. Flying commenced 1017 hrs and continued until around 1630 hrs, the conditions restricting the flying to the two seaters of which 5 were by the club K21, JVZ, the only other launch being by Bill Payton and Albert Newbery in their DG1000t. Soaring was by hill lift, and Bill and Albert used it to do an O/R to Carlton via the Tontine in their flight of 2:40. Andy Parish and Geoff Burkenshaw had an hour in JVZ off the second flight of the day and almost repeated the exercise with a later flight in the same glider, this time extending their duration to 1:09. John Tayler and Nigel Burke almost made it to an hour in JVZ but had to be content with 55 minutes.
Millfield Report. Thursday 5th started very blue but the clouds soon appeared and 3000′ tows to the College Valley were the order of the day. John and Roy took the first launch using our 1000 and climbed to 6000′. The 1000 later flew to 4000′ with Les and Sue, and then with Bob and Joan who were the stars of the day at 12500′. JE flew his 800 twice and on his second flight, getting to 11500, went feet-wet beyond Berwick. Tim and David both flew their own gliders, as did Colin, who managed to get into some severe down-wave east of the Cheviot and get himself picked by a field in the Harthope Valley (previously considered an unlandable valley by Millfield). My thanks to JE, Sue, Joan and Richard (tuggie) for assisting in establishing position and communication and to Bob, JC, and Roy for coming to fetch me. Only blades of grass and my pride were damaged in this saga!