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The Decline of Soaring Awards



 
 
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  #1  
Old March 24th 20, 03:57 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
John Foster
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Default The Decline of Soaring Awards

I read the recent article in Soaring and it has got me fired up. I have been a member of a small club in Washington State for the last 2 years, learning to fly. The club has a 2-33 and a Lark and a Pawnee. That's it. Badge flying has not been an emphasis, even though one qualifies for at least the A badge once you solo. Part of the reason is that there is very little emphasis on cross-country flying, mostly because most of the club pilots don't like flying the Lark, and it is too big of an ordeal to disassemble the 2-33 and transport back to the airport should an off-field landing occur.. As a result, most people just fly the 2-33 in circles around the airport, never venturing outside gliding distance. The club has been in the market for a decent glass two-seater to do cross-country flying with, but there is no budget for this. And the one CFIG is getting about ready to hang it up, and has not had much interest in teaching cross-country flying, at least in part due to the club not having appropriate aircraft for training students to do this. While the Lark is perfectly capable of flying cross-country, it is still not regarded by club members as a good glider to learn this in.

At the recent SSA convention, some of the club officers were discussing the dilemma with other folks from other small clubs, and again and again they encountered the same problem--aging out CFIGs and club gliders not up to the task of learning cross-country flying in.

Most of the loudest voices we hear here on RAS seem to be indifferent to the plight of smaller clubs. These people are typically close to large metropolitan areas with a very large (and wealthy) population base to draw from, and are members of large, well-established, and well-funded clubs. But the reality is that there are many small clubs that don't have a CFIG that will teach cross-country or they don't have a club trainer they can teach it in, and they don't have a membership base that can support/afford a $50-75K glass two-seater capable of cross-country training, let alone a motor glider that could be used to practice going through the motions of off-field selection and setting up an approach. Why? Because they can't afford it.

So, in order to save the sport, get more more young people flying, and make it more accessible to people other than retired old men who are sitting on a nest egg large enough afford a new JS3 or Arcus M, what can we do? How can we make it more affordable?
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  #2  
Old March 24th 20, 04:19 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
2G
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Default The Decline of Soaring Awards

On Monday, March 23, 2020 at 8:57:12 PM UTC-7, John Foster wrote:
I read the recent article in Soaring and it has got me fired up. I have been a member of a small club in Washington State for the last 2 years, learning to fly. The club has a 2-33 and a Lark and a Pawnee. That's it. Badge flying has not been an emphasis, even though one qualifies for at least the A badge once you solo. Part of the reason is that there is very little emphasis on cross-country flying, mostly because most of the club pilots don't like flying the Lark, and it is too big of an ordeal to disassemble the 2-33 and transport back to the airport should an off-field landing occur. As a result, most people just fly the 2-33 in circles around the airport, never venturing outside gliding distance. The club has been in the market for a decent glass two-seater to do cross-country flying with, but there is no budget for this. And the one CFIG is getting about ready to hang it up, and has not had much interest in teaching cross-country flying, at least in part due to the club not having appropriate aircraft for training students to do this. While the Lark is perfectly capable of flying cross-country, it is still not regarded by club members as a good glider to learn this in.

At the recent SSA convention, some of the club officers were discussing the dilemma with other folks from other small clubs, and again and again they encountered the same problem--aging out CFIGs and club gliders not up to the task of learning cross-country flying in.

Most of the loudest voices we hear here on RAS seem to be indifferent to the plight of smaller clubs. These people are typically close to large metropolitan areas with a very large (and wealthy) population base to draw from, and are members of large, well-established, and well-funded clubs. But the reality is that there are many small clubs that don't have a CFIG that will teach cross-country or they don't have a club trainer they can teach it in, and they don't have a membership base that can support/afford a $50-75K glass two-seater capable of cross-country training, let alone a motor glider that could be used to practice going through the motions of off-field selection and setting up an approach. Why? Because they can't afford it.

So, in order to save the sport, get more more young people flying, and make it more accessible to people other than retired old men who are sitting on a nest egg large enough afford a new JS3 or Arcus M, what can we do? How can we make it more affordable?


You can always form a partnership with 1-3 other club members and buy a single seater. You can fly the Lark cross-country - you just have to arrange the flight such that a landout is at another airport where you can aerotow. I flew a Blanik L-13 cross-country before buying an ASW19. There is no particular magic to flying cross-country; it is just your normal flying out of gliding range of your home airport. PM me if you are interested in other tips (I am also in WA).

Tom
  #3  
Old March 24th 20, 04:46 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
John Foster
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Default The Decline of Soaring Awards

On Monday, March 23, 2020 at 10:19:59 PM UTC-6, 2G wrote:
On Monday, March 23, 2020 at 8:57:12 PM UTC-7, John Foster wrote:
I read the recent article in Soaring and it has got me fired up. I have been a member of a small club in Washington State for the last 2 years, learning to fly. The club has a 2-33 and a Lark and a Pawnee. That's it. Badge flying has not been an emphasis, even though one qualifies for at least the A badge once you solo. Part of the reason is that there is very little emphasis on cross-country flying, mostly because most of the club pilots don't like flying the Lark, and it is too big of an ordeal to disassemble the 2-33 and transport back to the airport should an off-field landing occur. As a result, most people just fly the 2-33 in circles around the airport, never venturing outside gliding distance. The club has been in the market for a decent glass two-seater to do cross-country flying with, but there is no budget for this. And the one CFIG is getting about ready to hang it up, and has not had much interest in teaching cross-country flying, at least in part due to the club not having appropriate aircraft for training students to do this. While the Lark is perfectly capable of flying cross-country, it is still not regarded by club members as a good glider to learn this in.

At the recent SSA convention, some of the club officers were discussing the dilemma with other folks from other small clubs, and again and again they encountered the same problem--aging out CFIGs and club gliders not up to the task of learning cross-country flying in.

Most of the loudest voices we hear here on RAS seem to be indifferent to the plight of smaller clubs. These people are typically close to large metropolitan areas with a very large (and wealthy) population base to draw from, and are members of large, well-established, and well-funded clubs. But the reality is that there are many small clubs that don't have a CFIG that will teach cross-country or they don't have a club trainer they can teach it in, and they don't have a membership base that can support/afford a $50-75K glass two-seater capable of cross-country training, let alone a motor glider that could be used to practice going through the motions of off-field selection and setting up an approach. Why? Because they can't afford it..

So, in order to save the sport, get more more young people flying, and make it more accessible to people other than retired old men who are sitting on a nest egg large enough afford a new JS3 or Arcus M, what can we do? How can we make it more affordable?


You can always form a partnership with 1-3 other club members and buy a single seater. You can fly the Lark cross-country - you just have to arrange the flight such that a landout is at another airport where you can aerotow.. I flew a Blanik L-13 cross-country before buying an ASW19. There is no particular magic to flying cross-country; it is just your normal flying out of gliding range of your home airport. PM me if you are interested in other tips (I am also in WA).

Tom


Those are good ideas. Thanks. How do you solve the problem of the CFIG not willing or able to teach cross-country though?
  #4  
Old March 24th 20, 06:14 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Mark Morwood
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Default The Decline of Soaring Awards

I'm not a lot more experienced than you. My regular club is busier than yours, but suburban so actual outlandings are not a good option. We do have a very good relationships with a sister club where we go for cross-country flying. However we still always train our students locally to be prepared for an outlanding as you can always make a mistake with the conditions.

In terms of training/preparation, you can still do a lot within gliding range of your club. You can get trained in outlandings, even if just by judicious use of areas of your airfield you don't normally land on. You can also set yourself mini-tasks that fly around the airfield in a triangle or box with the airfield in the middle. You'll still get the experience of trying to go a distance without just sitting in a thermal once you find it.
  #5  
Old March 24th 20, 08:22 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
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Default The Decline of Soaring Awards

John you brought up a common issue. I second Marks advise. You can actually train all of the skills needed to fly xc right there within safe gliding distance from your home field without the need for an expensive two place ship. Short field and spot landings, effecient entry-coring-leaving thermals, choosing and monitoring cruising speed, calculating and flying final glides can all be taught using your 2-33 albit you need some relatively decent soaring wx days. I have actually done this with my restored 2-22. A nice 30 mile triangle can be flown in a low performance trainer and never be more than 5 miles away from the home field. Having a xc experienced and willing CFI is not necessary. Any experienced xc flier can demonstrate the skills needed sitting back seat in your 2-33. He can also lead in the 2-33 while an inexperienced guy follows in the Lark.

As for an inexpensive xc bird, the 1-26 was actually designed around the very idea your club is struggling with. They were designed to be inexpensive, easy to fly, very easy to land in small fields and easy to crew for and of performance for guys to pursue badges up thru gold. It was intended to be the first xc ship for club use. Incidentally, the 1-26 is still responsible for earning more silver and gold badges than any other machine here in North America. Many of us have pursued the challenge of doing much more with these birds with a couple hundred guys earning all three diamonds in one, and if the xc bug really hits a club member, we have our own regional 1-26 records and a national Championship every year.

So John, there is hope and right now you pretty much have what you need to get the ball rolling at xc already in hand. You can get guys going xc without laying out big bucks for the glass.

Our club was in the same position when I moved here. We have a blanik for training and a 1-26 that was not being utilized much. Our club guys who did’nt own there own ship were slightly interested in xc but all thought it would take having a much higher performing ship. I started showing the guys what fun I could have with a 1-26 and lo n behold, now two years later we have four 1-26’s flying here along with a group of club guys taking the club ship to this years 1-26 Championships. Good luck John, any help I can lend to you guys, just drop me a line.
Dan
Dan
  #6  
Old March 24th 20, 08:33 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
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Default The Decline of Soaring Awards

Correction, 40 guys have all 3 diamonds earned in a 1-26, and about 200 earning distance, alt or diamond goal legs in a 1-26.
  #7  
Old March 24th 20, 10:31 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Mike N.
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Default The Decline of Soaring Awards

If you can find a copy for sale on eBay the book: Soaring For Diamonds is a great read. About flying 1-26 to various levels of badges, including Diamond.
This is the 1st book I read about soaring and really fired up my imagination.
https://www.cumulus-soaring.com/book...orDiamonds.htm
  #8  
Old March 24th 20, 01:34 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Eric Greenwell[_4_]
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Default The Decline of Soaring Awards

John Foster wrote on 3/23/2020 8:57 PM:

I read the recent article in Soaring and it has got me fired up. I have been a member of a small club in Washington State for the last 2 years, learning to fly. The club has a 2-33 and a Lark and a Pawnee. That's it. Badge flying has not been an emphasis, even though one qualifies for at least the A badge once you solo. Part of the reason is that there is very little emphasis on cross-country flying, mostly because most of the club pilots don't like flying the Lark, and it is too big of an ordeal to disassemble the 2-33 and transport back to the airport should an off-field landing occur.. As a result, most people just fly the 2-33 in circles around the airport, never venturing outside gliding distance. The club has been in the market for a decent glass two-seater to do cross-country flying with, but there is no budget for this. And the one CFIG is getting about ready to hang it up, and has not had much interest in teaching cross-country flying, at least in part due to the club not having appropriate aircraft for training students to do this. While the Lark is perfectly capable of flying cross-country, it is still not regarded by club members as a good glider to learn this in.

At the recent SSA convention, some of the club officers were discussing the dilemma with other folks from other small clubs, and again and again they encountered the same problem--aging out CFIGs and club gliders not up to the task of learning cross-country flying in.

Most of the loudest voices we hear here on RAS seem to be indifferent to the plight of smaller clubs. These people are typically close to large metropolitan areas with a very large (and wealthy) population base to draw from, and are members of large, well-established, and well-funded clubs. But the reality is that there are many small clubs that don't have a CFIG that will teach cross-country or they don't have a club trainer they can teach it in, and they don't have a membership base that can support/afford a $50-75K glass two-seater capable of cross-country training, let alone a motor glider that could be used to practice going through the motions of off-field selection and setting up an approach. Why? Because they can't afford it.

So, in order to save the sport, get more more young people flying, and make it more accessible to people other than retired old men who are sitting on a nest egg large enough afford a new JS3 or Arcus M, what can we do? How can we make it more affordable?


I couldn't find your name on the SSA member list, but it sounds like you might be
flying from Wenatchee. That's a lovely area to fly locally with ridge, wave and
thermals, and a good place to start a XC flight.

Why don't the members like the Lark? And why hasn't it been sold or replaced with
a glider people like?


--
Eric Greenwell - Washington State, USA (change ".netto" to ".us" to email me)
- "A Guide to Self-Launching Sailplane Operation"
https://sites.google.com/site/motorg...ad-the-guide-1
  #9  
Old March 24th 20, 01:48 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Daniel Sazhin[_2_]
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Default The Decline of Soaring Awards

Hey John,

Two thoughts:

1) 1-26 (or any other cheap, forgiving glider)
2) Condor

You can do XC in any sailplane. Sure, the high performance super-ships are good for racing *in a special class*. But to get involved in XC flying, you don't need to worry about that.

A forgiving, low to mid-performance single-seater that has a decent trailer is all you need to have a really good time and get people going cross country.

Regarding training, there are two major components. The first is building soaring skills. Getting the Bronze Badge and Silver Climb/Duration are usually good benchmarks for that. They can be done in the comfort and safety of one's home airport.

The cross country training aspect can be done in the simulator. The biggest thing really is dealing with off-field landings. You can use the simulator to demonstrate all sorts of different scenarios in all sorts of fields.

The actual "getting out of gliding distance" part is not all that important to demonstrate. You certainly could, in a Lark. It would be a great experience too. Just fly on a decent day and go toward a neighboring airport. If you get uncomfortable, land there and aerotow back. I just did a short XC over the past weekend in a 2-33... went 9 miles away and then flew with a young pilot. He had a blast!

Feel free to contact me if you want any further details on how my club gets people through the program.

Also, if any club would like to get a Condor XC-training program going, I'd be happy to facilitate. I can work one-on-one with people, or train the coaches/mentors how to use the tools effectively.

All the best,
Daniel
  #10  
Old March 24th 20, 02:12 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Daniel Sazhin[_2_]
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Default The Decline of Soaring Awards

Oh and PS: The 2-33 actually goes apart much more easily than you would think. You just need the will, practice, and a larger crew.

Recently, we got our 2-33 apart in less than an hour when it landed out.... and then together in 45 minutes. It helped that we had about nine people involved and several teams working on the wings, horizontal stabilizer, and trailer.

And we were not exactly a well oiled machine; we don't take the ship apart often exactly. If the kit and people involved had more practice, we probably could have had half the people and done it almost twice as fast.

Bobby Templin used to own his own personal 2-33 and he would land out in it without much second thought. He had some tools with him to prep the horizontal stabilizer, take off the skylight and panels to get to the controls and wing pins.

By the time the crew showed up (3 or 4 people?), it was just a matter of simply pulling the struts and wings off and putting them on the trailer. He had it down to a science!

This is not to say that the 2-33 is a super-duper XC training machine. But you COULD do XC training in it. You could land out in it. In fact, the high wing, fabric fuselage and metal wings make it very robust against crops or other kinds of damage.

My point is that a lot of XC flying is simply going out there, doing it, and figuring out how to overcome your own unique obstacles. If there's a will, there's a way.

All the best,
Daniel
 




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