‘It’s an ill wind that blows nobody any good’

A couple of Sundays ago on the 15th October it was misty and low cloud. The SSW wind didn’t bode well for a great day’s flying. Cloudbase of about 1200′ initially meant aerotowing was a waste of money, and it didn’t lift and start to break up until mid-afternoon. On these kinds of days it’s not unusual to sit about in the club house, get bored and fed up by lunch time and then go home. Fortunately this didn’t happen on Sunday. We winched most of the morning and early afternoon practising our low circuits and cable breaks. When the cloud base had lifted to about 1800′ and started to break up a little, we tried an aerotow. The small gap in the clouds turned out to be a wave slot and we were then able to enjoy a couple of hours in the sunshine above the clouds.

We find it very hard to predict when wave will set up over Parham. On this occasion it seems that we have the approach of hurricane Ophelia to thank. This gave us a cold front out to the west, strong winds at altitude, and a SSW wind sweeping up over the downs. We wouldn’t have found the wave if two things hadn’t occurred. Firstly we had stayed at the club winching instead of going home in disgust, and secondly, we had pupils keen to take an aerotow launch at the first sensible opportunity.

Let’s look out for the next hurricane and hope it delivers more wave.


Cadet Scott Munnoch pulls alongside in the LS4 at 3,200ft