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The Decline of Soaring Awards



 
 
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  #11  
Old March 24th 20, 02:13 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Bob Whelan[_3_]
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Default The Decline of Soaring Awards

On 3/24/2020 4:31 AM, Mike N. wrote:
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


Much good, basic feedback/advice from others already. Two - somewhat redundant
- points for consideration: 1) XC *can* be safely (and satisfyingly and
'funly') self-taught with a modicum of common sense (don't hit things you
don't want to hit; don't put yourself in the position of 'being *forced*' to
hit things you don't want to hit; fly within your existing skills, and *not*
within some imagined 'XC-necessary' skills; etc.), and 2) high L/D (whatever
that may mean to any individual) is *NOT* fundamentally necessary to going XC.
And as I'm sure others will be eager to point out, YMMV and a person *can*
kill themselves in soaring by doing things in a less-than-sensible fashion.
Don't do what they did, and remember - perfection is never an option. Live
life accordionly...

"Soaring for Diamonds" was the first book I found in a library after bumbling
into soaring way back when. Great read! Years later I obtained a copy for
myself. Minor reviewer's nit - Joe Lincoln (author) was "up to" a 1-23 by the
time he bagged his diamonds. He didn't really *need* it, I suspect he was just
impatient!

I trained in a small club in the MD mountains; it trained in a 2-33 and had a
1-26 and a member-owned tug. No XC training per se that I ever noticed, just
basic inputs from my instructor, mostly in response to my questions. My
instructor was an old guy of about 30 who - I later (after my first landout)
learned - had built his own 1-26 from a kit. So far as I could tell, he seemed
to know about what he taught...which emphasized the basics: don't stall in the
pattern; pick a decent field if you're gonna have to land out *before* you're
down to pattern altitude; you're in charge - so act like it. It was sufficient
when soon after solo I bumbled my way into needing to make an off-airport
landing...without even trying to! Other than the elevated heart rate and
sweaty palms (telling 'em to stop didn't help, ha ha), it was little different
than landing at the airport - every late-training/subsequent-solo approach to
which had been an intentional short-field approach over a pretend obstacle.

Result? Successful OFL; no damage; greatly increased belief in what ye
instructor had been telling me! Never looked back. Began ownership by
partnering with instructor and another newbie new glider-only pilot in
instructor's 1-26; soon enough 'was forced to' (job location change) purchase
a 1-26 outright in which I (unofficially) completed my Silver Badge.

Have been amused ever since by pundits convinced - as judged by their
willingness to share their opinions - XC is impossible in (used to be) 30:1,
and is today seemingly 35/1 or even 40/1 ships. The late great Dick Johnson
begged to differ (cf: old "Soaring" mags; superb resource!), as do I, members
of the 1-26 Association, Uneek (also with a Most Excellent article in the
latest "Soaring" mag as well as a longish history on RAS of fundamentally
sensible soaring-/XC-/pilot-centric food for thought. And no, I've never met
the man...)

It's been interesting to infer your own soaring-centric growth over the past
few years on RAS, John F. Best of continued luck!

Bob W.

---
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  #12  
Old March 24th 20, 02:39 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Dan Marotta
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Default The Decline of Soaring Awards

Well, I was on your side until you said, "retired old men sitting on a
nest egg".* That's a perfect description of me.* I worked long and hard
for what I have and I deeply resent the "gimme" attitude of a lot of
today's younger folk.

Having said that, I and a lot of my peers, learned cross country soaring
on our own, by trial and error, or with a mentor who would lead or
follow along on a flight and give advice.* Take a look at the cross
country soaring chapter of The American Soaring Handbook. There's all
the information you need to fly cross country.* And, no, it's not to my
knowledge available for display on your smart phone. Get off your ass,
quit complaining, and do something for yourself.

I know it's hard to hear that, but you can't always be led by the nose.

On 3/23/2020 9:57 PM, 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?


--
Dan, 5J

  #13  
Old March 24th 20, 03:25 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Bret Hess
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Posts: 88
Default The Decline of Soaring Awards

I agree with Daniel. I did all my XC training on Condor, and went on my first XC flight in a Grob a year after my rating. XC training is about decision making.

Fly Condor with TeamXC. You get about 4 hrs of XC training a week.
  #14  
Old March 24th 20, 04:49 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Martin Gregorie[_6_]
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Default The Decline of Soaring Awards

On Tue, 24 Mar 2020 08:13:15 -0600, Bob Whelan wrote:

Much good, basic feedback/advice from others already. Two - somewhat
redundant - points for consideration: 1) XC *can* be safely (and
satisfyingly and 'funly') self-taught with a modicum of common sense
(don't hit things you don't want to hit; don't put yourself in the
position of 'being *forced*' to hit things you don't want to hit; fly
within your existing skills, and *not* within some imagined
'XC-necessary' skills; etc.), and 2) high L/D (whatever that may mean to
any individual) is *NOT* fundamentally necessary to going XC.


Agreed. From personal experience, I think flying mini-triangles is very
useful for a flegling XC pilot. It gives yoyu experience in navigating to
the next point in a self-declared task while remaining close to your home
airfields and its as good a way as any to discover that you don't need to
take *every* thermal you come to while you're learning to efficiently
find, center and climb in the better thermals.

Something that worked for me, anyway, was to not worry about XC speed
until you have taught yourself to get high and stay high rather than
periodically having to stop and dig yourself out of a hole or even land
out. So, don't worry too much about XC speed until you have learned the
trick of staying high - learning that dramatically reduced my landout
rate.


--
Martin | martin at
Gregorie | gregorie dot org

  #15  
Old March 24th 20, 05:10 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Joel Flamenbaum[_2_]
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Default The Decline of Soaring Awards

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?


For the most part I agree with Mr Foster and the plight of small soaring clubs. However, I do take major exception with his last remark regarding "retired old men who are sitting on a nest egg large enough (to) afford a new JS3 or Arcus M" - First but not foremost I am an old man 77 years of age and I passionately love aviation, particularly soaring. I have been blessed to have owned an older 2-33 and a used LS3a for too brief a time - Secondly, I have never been able to "sit on a nest egg" With luck my current nest egg (COVID19 aside)just might enable me to buy a high time 1-26. So John I am asking that if you know of anyone including yourself that would be willing to underwrite a small loan so I could die a happy man and fly an Arcus before I croak. Written with some humor.
  #16  
Old March 24th 20, 05:12 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Marton KSz
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Default The Decline of Soaring Awards

I found it really difficult to get into XC flying locally, even at a club that was well staffed with great CFIs.
The solution was to join another club, that was located at one of the best soaring sites in the U.S. in Nevada. The instructors of my club were happy to teach XC flying there, but the prerequisite was really the location and the conditions.

I would encourage you to get to some good soaring sites (Ephrata, WA) in the summer where you can get a good feel of XC flying, or visit a well-established soaring site down south for e.g. two weeks.

On the other side, some clubs make weird decisions that make them look like a commercial-like operations and indirectly prevents their growth. E.g. they're not implementing a good, long-term financial plan to cover club glider accidents, but make pilots-at-fault responsible to pay a huge lump sum if something goes bad; this makes perfect sense for all the wealthy JS3 owners who already pay $500 for insurance, but just scares young generation pilots away.
  #17  
Old March 24th 20, 05:29 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Dave Walsh[_2_]
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Default The Decline of Soaring Awards

Wearing my old foggies hat, a question: why is it necessary to
have an expensive glass two seater to teach cross country? I seem
to remember it was possible to set off on cross country in a "low"
performance single seater. Of course it resulted in field landings
and was a desperately slow way to learn. But it was the norm a
few decades ago; some instructors even flew X-country in K13s.
The extra costs of long aerotow retrieves from failed attempts are
very minor costs compared with the Club funding an Arcus Turbo.

I think a key issue is the mind-set of the Club instructors & X-
country pilots: a good Club is Key.

PS This method is probably why I am still so poor at X-country.

  #18  
Old March 24th 20, 06:37 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
John Foster
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Default The Decline of Soaring Awards

On Tuesday, March 24, 2020 at 8:39:40 AM UTC-6, Dan Marotta wrote:
Well, I was on your side until you said, "retired old men sitting on a
nest egg".* That's a perfect description of me.* I worked long and hard
for what I have and I deeply resent the "gimme" attitude of a lot of
today's younger folk.

Having said that, I and a lot of my peers, learned cross country soaring
on our own, by trial and error, or with a mentor who would lead or
follow along on a flight and give advice.* Take a look at the cross
country soaring chapter of The American Soaring Handbook. There's all
the information you need to fly cross country.* And, no, it's not to my
knowledge available for display on your smart phone. Get off your ass,
quit complaining, and do something for yourself.

I know it's hard to hear that, but you can't always be led by the nose.


Dan, 5J


Thanks for your feedback, Dan. I apologize if I offended you (or anyone else that resembles that remark). That was not my intent. However, I am frustrated by the rising cost of so many things in soaring. I too, deeply resent the "gimme" attitude of so many younger folks today, and my comment about the nest egg was in no way intended to sound demanding of a hand-out, but rather that it is getting more difficult to start something or branch out from the normal operations unless you are sitting on a pile of money.

The idea of practicing with Condor really appeals to me. So does the idea of using a 1-26. However, here again, the price seems to be slowly climbing for a decent one of these too. Tackling the problem of instructors who feel incapable of teaching XC--well that's another matter I guess. But I like the idea of partnering with another member who does do XC to sit in the back seat of the 2-33.
  #19  
Old March 24th 20, 06:45 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Curt Lewis - 95
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Default The Decline of Soaring Awards

Just to jump in with SGS 1-26 comments..
There may be some reluctant to consider the 1-26 as a "cross-country machine" for being more difficult to achieve what they may consider "cross-country distance". Remember that the performance handicap on the 1-26 is 1.65 ..... therefore a 30 mile flight (even close-in triangle) in a 1-26 is a comparable accomplishment to a 50 mile flight in an older standard class glider. That's pretty respectable for a beginner!

So be be proud of those shorter 1-26 XC flights. I own/race a Genesis and a 1-26. Some of my most rewarding flights have been in the 1-26.

Always remember that one of the benefits of XC in the 1-26 is that your probably going to land out closer to home

Curt Lewis
ASEL-CFIG
Genesis 2
1-26B
  #20  
Old March 24th 20, 06:48 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
[email protected]
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Default The Decline of Soaring Awards

John early A and B models can be had pretty reasonably. I just got a B for 4k. Sure shes dirty n needs sprucing up but nothing major. Great thing about these birds is the ratty ones perform just as good as the clean ones, its the guy sitting behind the stick that matters lol.

Even if u find one that needs some fabric work, that is not expensive and u can do it yourself with a little tutoring in your garage. If/when u get serious about finding a 1-26 drop me a line. I will be happy to help u find one and also put u intouch with some 1-26 guys up in WA.
Dan
 




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