Wednesday 3rd to Friday 5th July 2024.

Posted: 07/07/2024 12:01

Wednesday 3rd.  Morning low cloud and rain delayed the start of flying until midday with a legacy of generally cloudy skies and a light to moderate SW'ly wind.  There were 6 ATs off runway 24 and I Falke flight, the ATs including 2 for First Flight pupils, with  the majority of landings on 20, with 2 of the day's flights being over an hour.  The first of these was by Clive Swain/Duncan Pask in K21 JVZ, their 1:07 the result of hill soaring the main bowl at 500-800' QFE.  Bob Calvert, taking off  in his Discus 2ct around 1700 hrs, had 2:30, describing the conditions as having post frontal instability with transient wave.  After connecting with the wave with the  help of his engine 5km to the west of Thirsk, Bob climbed to 10,000' asl SW of Thirsk, visited the Ripon area and Leeming before returning to site and doing a spot of hill soaring at 800-1100' QFE, including a trip to High Paradise Farm.

Thursday 4th.  A moderate to fresh and increasingly blustery W'ly saw flying come to a halt around 1300 hrs due to the strength of the wind after 9 winch launches off runway 24. John Carter/Chris O'Boyle had 3 of these in K21 KLW as part of instructor training while the remaining 6 flights all exceed  30 minutes with 3 of these over an hour.  Clive Swain's 5:40 in his Kestrel 19 was thermal based with a cloud climb to 6,200' asl, cloud base being around 4,500' -5,000' asl with the thermals being strong, peak average rates being over 6 kts.  Martyn Johnson in his DG600 had 3:22, using a mixture of thermal and weak wave with a peak height of 5,100' asl, while Chris Collingham/Neil Amos in K21 KLW had 1:02, mainly using hill lift on the main westerly ridge but including a thermal climb to 5,100' asl.  High speed approaches were the order of the day.   3 visitors also arrived by air from Denbigh in preparation for the start of Competition Enterprise on Saturday 6th July, these comprising Chris Gill in an Arcus, Jules Anderson in his Discus bt and the Denbigh tug.  Chris, who spent his early gliding career at Sutton, had climbed in wave to 19,200' over N Wales and after heading N over the Irish Sea, made landfall over Barrow in Furness before turning E, braving cloud and rain and having to use thermals over the Vale of York to get sufficient height to land at Sutton.  Jules Anderson in his Discus bt also made it to Sutton but had to use his engine before leaving the Lake District.

Friday 5th.  The W'ly wind had declined in strength to become moderate by the start of the flying day and declined to light to moderate by the end of it.  Consequently, launching was by a mixture of winch and AT off runway 24, 27 of the former and 8 of the latter, which included 4 for First Flight pupils.  The day provided a mixture of hill, thermal and wave lift, enjoyed by members and some more visitors for Competition Enterprise with 31 flights exceeding 30 minutes and 23 of these exceeding an hour and a number of cross countries flown.  Dean Crosby in his LS10t flew a 262 km task in wave with TPs at Staindrop/Penrith East/Pateley Bridge and Tontine, climbing to a peak altitude of 10, 500' asl, joining Bob Calvert  and Fred Brown in the Shap area.  Bob's 9:24 flight was the longest of the day, all spent in wave between 6,500 and 10,200' asl and visiting the Lake District as well as Penrith, with a return to Sutton via Wetherby South and Northallerton.  Fred's 4:06 included a task of 219 km with TPs at Shap and Boroughbridge and a climb to 10,900' asl, while Chris Handzlik in his DG300 flew 278,5 km with TPs at Richmond, North Duffield and Barnard Castle, climbing to a peak altitude of 10,500' asl.  Martyn Johnson in his DG600 stayed relatively local while climbing to 11,500' asl.  Most of the wave flights made contact near Thirsk or just W of site, with Jesper Mjels in his DG400 climbing to the best altitude of the day, 14,200' asl, just to the NE of Pateley Bridge and spending most of his time over the Yorkshire Dales.  Other pilots to climb to over 7,000' asl included Bill Payton in his DG1000t, 11,500', John Marsh in his DG303, 8,000', John Ellis in his DG800, 7,900' and Clive Swain/Mark James in K21 KLW, 7,700', while a number of other pilots climbed over 5,000' asl, including visitors for Competition Enterprise.  Steve Thompson in his Ventus bt ignored the wave and flew a thermal based task to Spurn Point finding the last 40 km to the TP blue and then having to abandon his declared task on reaching Beverley as conditions on the next leg to Blyth looked poor. Steve made it back to Sutton  having flown 222 km thermals in the local area staying strong until the early evening.     

This blog describes a snippet of life at the Yorkshire Gliding Club. Why not take a flight and try it yourself, or we can teach you to fly as a full club member.

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