The grey sky looked unwelcoming, with low clouds scudding across an amorphous vault in the brisk east wind. So those present set to, ever hopeful, washing gliders and cleaning canopies. But when airliners inbound for London were seen beneath a high overcast it emerged that there was at least some clear air. The weather check flight launched to 1400 ft through an opportune gap, leaving the winch cable dangling from the cloud deck. Conditions above cloud were smooth and clear and flying between the ‘cotton wool’ one encountered broad tracts of wave-like smooth lift. The strong crosswind made it more interesting, holding station close to the airfield whilst planning the best route back to the circuit between the clouds.
And so flying proceeded with check flights for all but the most seasoned aviators in these unusual and challenging conditions. I think it is fair to say that much was learned about keeping clear of cloud and cross wind landings in a strong wind gradient, but most particularly by the driver who demonstrated an accomplished slow roll with the cable trailer.