Tuesday 3rd to Wednesday 4th July 2018

Posted: 04/07/2018 20:14

Tuesday 3rd.  The day started with predominately cloudy skies with a light N'ly blowing, this having a tendency to veer into the NNE.  The initial cloud base was high enough to allow operations off runway 02 to commence just after 1000 hrs and continue, courtesy of the Tuesday evening group, until 2138 hrs, the intervening period seeing 48 ATs undertaken.  The cloudy skies slowly reduced in extent, eventually becoming predominately blue, with isolated and shallow Cumulus by late afternoon, the conditions tempting a number of private owners to set off on cross countries.  Rob Bailey in his ASG29 did a double O/R to Doncaster NW, covering 290 km, describing the early conditions as good before  it became blue, the last return to Sutton being more of a struggle.  Lindsay McLane in his Ventus also flew into West Yorkshire with an O/R to Sheffield East, 160 km, while Martyn Johnson in his DG600, anticipating the development of blue conditions, visited more local TPs, Boroughbridge, York, Ripon and Helmsley to cover 118 km.  John Ellis, setting off in his DG800 on a declared 300 km with the first leg to the SE of the site, found conditions quite difficult with bitty climbs and abandoned the task to fly an undeclared O/R to Market Weighton, a distance of 104 km.  All the above pilots had between 2 and 4 hours flying time, as did Albert Newbery and Stuart Heaton in their DG1000t, while visitor Mr Cooksey from Pocklington had 1:06 in his Standard Cirrus as he and his syndicate partner from Pocklington, who also flew, explored the local area ahead of their return to Sutton to fly in the Northern Regionals later in the year.  The above pilots contributed 6 of the 7 flights to exceed an hour on the day, the remaining > 1 hr flight being by Stan and new member Sam Galloway who had 1:05 in K21 JVZ.   The soaring conditions led to an additional 10 flights exceeding 30 minutes with John Carter and Peter Robinson heading this particular list with 59 minutes in JVZ, while Andy Parish and Anddrew Bedford had 44 minutes in a second flight in K21 KLW having earlier had 43 minutes in the same glider.  The day saw 5 First Flight pupils take to the air, with the day's flying including 2 flights in the Falke.

Wednesday 4th.  Although little had apparently changed synoptically, the morning skies were covered in a grey overcast, an early Falke flight determining that its base, at around 1,000' QFE, meant that pure glider operations were delayed.  This delay came to an end around 1500 hrs following the break up of the overcast, the skies then continuing to clear until eventually blue skies prevailed.  All the flying was carried out in the two K21s, with course members Mike Bennet, John Crossman and James Gibson having at least 2 flights each, these predominately being for circuit training as they  put into practice the theory and simulator flying they had been undertaking during the non-flying morning under Steve Thompson's tutelage.  Geoff Turner had a busy flying day as he started the day with a flight in the Falke with John Tayler to practice field landings.  He followed that up with 2 flights with John Carter in K21 JVZ before having a solo flight in the same glider.  The day's total of 3 Falke flights and 12 launches, all off runway 20, included a single First Flight pupil, but with low launch circuit training ATs predominating and an absence of much usable lift, none of the flight times exceeded 22 minutes..

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