The forecast was for good soaring conditions even by summer standards, and here we are well into September. What’s more, it delivered pretty much as promised, even on Liz’s day (it must have missed her swap with Tim). Here’s what Liz said:
As forecast, conditions were good; I saw climbs up to 6kt sustained average (thanks Chris for lending me B1 to find them in towards the end of the day!). Best weather was to the SE although Phil and Chris aiming at a 300k Shepton Mallet / Parham got stuck with a blue hole between Salisbury and Southampton which caused them to have to abort the task and head for home. Had they got across it, reports were of excellent conditions to the east as well. To the north however as forecast it wasn’t so good – various people tried to go that way and all gave up around Newbury-ish. Around 3pm the nice streets that had been set up all day seemed to dissipate which seemed as if it might be the end of the day, but in fact it continued to work in the blue, and then some splendid streets set up that were still working at 5 when the top cover finally damped it all down.
I finally got to fly the Vega at the end of the day and confirm that it scratches very nicely in the last broken thermal of the day, averaging around 0.2kt from 850′ to just over 1000′ before I decided it was time to go and try those comforting airbrakes. No need to overshoot anything there, is there!
A great time was had I think by all – including Stephen’s 1-day course whose grin was probably a thermal source in itself. I hope we’ll see him again.
Stephen’s stats analysis tells us that we did more hours today than any day in the preceding 3 years. We also had several hundred km XC (mainly Chris and Phil’s, but also a couple of quick 60k out-and-returns in flights of just an hour or less, and Trevor took the Skylark a-wandering. Well done to all.
No doubt Pete would have added to them in 737, but he was otherwise occupied – completing his Full Category Instructor’s qualification, congratulations.