Sutton Bank

Deafpilots visited Yorkshire Gliding Club over the weekend of 4th-6th October.

The usual crew, Paul, John, Yoav, Rodney, Joan and Dave were all there and this time we were joined by a new face, Terry from Dumfries.

Sutton Bank airfield is right on top of the North York Moors National Park and offers stunning views.  The launch is something to see, particularly on the west run when the aerotow takes you over the ridge edge, and the ground suddenly falls below you.


On Saturday morning we were greeted with wave in the sky, so following the weather briefing, we rigged the DG-500 then John and Paul took the first flight.

Morning Wave

Taking a high aerotow it wasn’t long before we contacted the wave and climbed above cloud to 6,000 ft, where we enjoyed the stunning views.

Wave                Sun & Clouds

The sun is always shinning above the clouds!

We used the flight to get John familiar with the local landmarks, then after being airborne for an hour, and keeping a close eye on the disappearing gaps in the cloud, it was time to make the inevitable decent back to terra firma.

Meanwhile Terry had got himself on the flying list, and was soon sitting in the cockpit of a club K21 glider with an instructor waiting for his launch.

Yoav and John took the next flight in the DG-500, found some weak wave before falling back onto the ridge, managing to stay airborne for about 45 minutes.

Unfortunately the next flight with Rodney in the DG-500 was a short one, perhaps we released from the aerotow too early. 🙁

The last flight of the day was Joan and John in the DG-500, again finding a little bit of weak wave, but nothing strong enough to make a climb, we fell back onto the ridge and managed some hill soaring.

sutton bank

It was soon the end of a great day and everyone had managed to fly at least once.  It was time to put the toys away and find a pub!


Again there appeared to be some wave in the morning so Dave and John flew the DG-500 but didn’t have much luck.  Next Terry and John tried and again where back on the ground before long.  The wave was constantly moving and recycling, making it hard to soar.

Meanwhile Yoav, Rodney and Joan flew the club fleet.  Yoav came back with a huge grin on his face, finding some wave and staying airborne for 44 minutes.

Both Rodney and Joan were checked out by instructors and given the ok to fly solo. 🙂

Rodney and John took the last flight after lunch and the timing couldn’t have been more perfect.  A huge wave bar appeared in front of the ridge and soon we were climbing at 200 ft per minute, eventually reaching 4,500 ft.  The wave bars were constantly moving, so we jumped forwards onto the next bar several times before they eventually disappeared.  After an 1.5 hours in the air it was nearly 4pm and time to land and prepare for the journey by road south.  What a way to finish a weekend!


Rodney soaring the wave bar

Rodney soaring the wave bar

Deafpilots had a great weekend.  Many thanks to all at YGC for welcoming us to the club and I am sure we will be visiting again.

Our next meeting will probably be spring 2014, possibly at RAF Wittering again.

Watch this space.