Wednesday 17th to Friday 19th May 2017
Posted: 19/05/2017 14:33
Wednesday 17th. A cloudy, damp airstream covered the site for most of the day, the wind being light and variable but generally from between SE and SW. The rain was patchy, amounting to 4.6 mm over the day, with some dry spells allowing the Falke to have 2 flights as cross country course attendees did some field landing exercises.
Thursday 18th. Thursday began with blue skies and a light to moderate wind that, although commencing in the N, progressively veered into the WSW. Cumulus started to develop early in the day, its low base soon rising to eventually reaching around 5,000' asl by the late afternoon. The conditions led to a busy day at the launch point with 35 ATs flown and, as well as those private owners who set off on cross country flights, all four members on the cross country course experienced cross country flying, albeit one of them somewhat differently, as they tackled a 98 km, Sutton Start S/Pocklington/Rufforth S/Sutton Bank task. The one to undertake the task differently was Chris Booker, who, flying with course tutor Steve Wilkinson in the DG500, launched into a dead period and soon landed back. However, Chris did fly the task later in the Falke. However, Peter Wright, David McKinney and Toby Wilson all successfully flew the task in either the DG1000 or DG500 with either Andy Parish or Steve Wilkinson as their P1. Bill Payton in the Discus and Steve Thompson in his Discus also flew the same task, with Steve continuing on with the intention of adding another ~100 km triangle, this time with TPs at Catterick and Masham to his days cross country kilometres. This plan came unstuck as Steve ran out of lift north of Northallerton and landed out. His day's adventure didn't finish then, as threats from first a herd of cows and then a slurry spraying operation materialised but, fortunately, came to naught. The variable conditions meant that contacting lift from launch was a bit of a lottery, with Paul Whitehead's luck being out on both of his launches in his Ventus, while others, including Albert Newbery and Les Rayment in Albert's DG1000t enjoyed over 2 hrs soaring. 2 hours plus was also enjoyed by Duncan Pask in his LS10 as he visited local TPs, while John Ellis visited areas to the west towards Aysgarth in his DG800. John ran into huge sink when approaching Aysgarth, which although only lasting for around a second, peaked at 68.7 kts according to SeeYou. Visitor Mr S Whittaker visited areas to the east around Kirbymoorside in his Vega, while home based Vega owner, Jon Hart, visited the Tontine, Northallerton and Thirsk. The day's launches included 2 for First Flight pupils and 16 for private owners, as well as one for a pilot from Rufforth who landed out at Sutton and had an aerotow back late in the afternoon. In spite of the variable soaring conditions during the day, 13 flights exceeded an hour and a further four 30 minutes. Congratulations are also due to to Charles Willoughby who successfully completed his Bronze badge.
Friday 19th. A shallow and slow moving depression tracking northwards up the North Sea resulted in a cloudy and wet day at Sutton with consequently no real flying, although the simulator was used for a First Flight pupil and a junior member. The cross country course came to an end with a detailed and instructive review of the cross country flying of Thursday using the data available on SeeYou, the course members all enthusiastic to put what they had learned into practice and complementary towards the course tutors, Andy Parish and Steve Wilkinson.