After a record breaking April (more of that later) we move into the better weather in May – pah! May Day no flying due to a nasty south easterly with more east then south and 2 days later a cold north easterly. This time though more north than east so we were able to fly. Quite a late start to flying as the low cloud base at the start of the day was hardly encouraging and there were lots of folks doing jobs around the place. First launch (2 up in a K13) was to 1,800′ (just below cloud base) and Martin S found bits of lift off the ridge keeping us airborne for 17 minutes. Encouraged by the prospect of ridge lift folks threw them selves at it but to limited avail. Almost half the flights achieved double digits but the 17 minutes was still the one to beat until Rob J clocked up 19 minutes.
The airfield was looking good with the grass freshly cut (very fresh – just that morning) but it did result in lots of digging out grass from the winch rollers and at one point both K13s landed and discovered the braking effect of newly cut, sticky, grass. Lots of digging out of grass from the wheel boxes and removing the wheel in one case. While that was going on it was suggested Ken R take the Vega as there was a cable just sitting there. For some reason he thought he was being oversold the benefits of the ridge but took the Vega anyway – returning 58 minutes later just as we thought he must have landed out.
Now what about that record April? Most number of launches and flying time for any April (well, over the last 10 years, stats for years before that not readily to hand). 495 launches (previous best 354). Flying time less spectacular 175 hours compared to 166. Average flight time was 25 minutes compared to last year of 29 minutes. In terms of year-to-date stats (flying year, not calendar) this year is the best in terms of launches but not for total flying time.