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How do we inspire pilots to truly take up cross country soaring ?



 
 
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  #1  
Old August 15th 15, 04:09 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Sean Fidler
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Default How do we inspire pilots to truly take up cross country soaring ?

From another thread recently, thought it might be a good topic to paw around with everyone...

For me, soaring is great fun. I've been doing it consistently for about 5 years now. I've met a bunch of amazing, great, kind people and have learned a tremendous amount about the sport (light years left to go). Thru and thru, as a group, soaring pilots, their friends and family are among the nicest, smartest most interesting people I have ever met. I am attracted to this immensely.

Part of the reason I have devoted time and energy to the sport is that am truly inspired by what competition/cross country pilots are capable of doing in gliders. I am still fascinated by it and want to be a part of it. This, for me, was huge. Glider pilots are amazing pilots, PERIOD.

I probably never would have truly learned of the sport (and what it really is at the highest levels), or been so attracted to it if my dad was not involved. Having a family member with a high performance glider, flying it regularly and promoting how amazing the sport could be all the time was key. Having access to a high performance glider and a group of local friends who could mentor me and take me out on cross country flights shortly after I got my license was the key moment. Would I have got my license if the motivation was just flying around the airport? Probably not.

Those experiences flying with the Ionio boys on short, mentored cross country's "set the hook" for me and eventually led to me buying a glider so that I could fly with everyone rather than leave my dad back at the airport whenever I was flying. Of course once I bought my first glider so I could fly with this gang regularly, the learning curve grew dramatically. The hook set deeper. And so on.

Flying clubs are important to US soaring "health" I suppose but they also seem to lack in areas. They often don't have much to offer in terms of even moderate performance gliders. They often don't promote or in some cases even allow cross country.

It seems that European clubs are more into cross country which is more challenging and more rewarding than local flight, which I think gets old after a year or so. If some inspirational figure is not actively encouraging and facilitating cross country glider flight (the whole point of the sport I think) at that key moment in a glider pilots career, I think they come to the conclusion that they have checked the box and move on.

Obviously without glider clubs more focused on taking pilots into cross country levels, one has to have the financial means to do it on their own. I dont see that as a real problem as numerous 40:1 gliders are available for the same price as a small sailboat or powerboat, which almost everybody seems to have these days (jet skis, snowmobiles, etc). It's a matter of priority. Gliders I suppose are for one person (usually) where a boat (or other rec toy) is for the whole family.

But Europe seems to have an entirely different dynamic with respect to soaring. More youth, larger numbers, etc. U.S. numbers have been steadily declining for 25 years.

One thing I learned in business school. It's often better to adopt successful competitors methods even if at first you don't fully understand them yet. Our clubs (and the SSA) should be talking to European clubs and picking their brains for advise. I wonder how many have actually done that. Perhaps take a trip to Europe on summer and spend a few weeks with a successful club, talk to the people, etc.

Oddly, my flying is at a location that actually IDs itself as IONIA NON CLUB. They don't like the politics. :-).

The rules is a small thing overall but debating the rules is an important thing in terms of competition pilots. My suggestions usually would make getting into competition soaring simpler for the new pilot. I do think our rules are too complicated, but the rule makers are all GREAT PEOPLE, working hard and want nothing but the best for our sport.

Sean
7T
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  #2  
Old August 15th 15, 04:18 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
jfitch
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Posts: 1,134
Default How do we inspire pilots to truly take up cross country soaring ?

On Saturday, August 15, 2015 at 8:09:43 AM UTC-7, Sean Fidler wrote:
From another thread recently, thought it might be a good topic to paw around with everyone...

For me, soaring is great fun. I've been doing it consistently for about 5 years now. I've met a bunch of amazing, great, kind people and have learned a tremendous amount about the sport (light years left to go). Thru and thru, as a group, soaring pilots, their friends and family are among the nicest, smartest most interesting people I have ever met. I am attracted to this immensely.

Part of the reason I have devoted time and energy to the sport is that am truly inspired by what competition/cross country pilots are capable of doing in gliders. I am still fascinated by it and want to be a part of it. This, for me, was huge. Glider pilots are amazing pilots, PERIOD.

I probably never would have truly learned of the sport (and what it really is at the highest levels), or been so attracted to it if my dad was not involved. Having a family member with a high performance glider, flying it regularly and promoting how amazing the sport could be all the time was key.. Having access to a high performance glider and a group of local friends who could mentor me and take me out on cross country flights shortly after I got my license was the key moment. Would I have got my license if the motivation was just flying around the airport? Probably not.

Those experiences flying with the Ionio boys on short, mentored cross country's "set the hook" for me and eventually led to me buying a glider so that I could fly with everyone rather than leave my dad back at the airport whenever I was flying. Of course once I bought my first glider so I could fly with this gang regularly, the learning curve grew dramatically. The hook set deeper. And so on.

Flying clubs are important to US soaring "health" I suppose but they also seem to lack in areas. They often don't have much to offer in terms of even moderate performance gliders. They often don't promote or in some cases even allow cross country.

It seems that European clubs are more into cross country which is more challenging and more rewarding than local flight, which I think gets old after a year or so. If some inspirational figure is not actively encouraging and facilitating cross country glider flight (the whole point of the sport I think) at that key moment in a glider pilots career, I think they come to the conclusion that they have checked the box and move on.

Obviously without glider clubs more focused on taking pilots into cross country levels, one has to have the financial means to do it on their own. I dont see that as a real problem as numerous 40:1 gliders are available for the same price as a small sailboat or powerboat, which almost everybody seems to have these days (jet skis, snowmobiles, etc). It's a matter of priority. Gliders I suppose are for one person (usually) where a boat (or other rec toy) is for the whole family.

But Europe seems to have an entirely different dynamic with respect to soaring. More youth, larger numbers, etc. U.S. numbers have been steadily declining for 25 years.

One thing I learned in business school. It's often better to adopt successful competitors methods even if at first you don't fully understand them yet. Our clubs (and the SSA) should be talking to European clubs and picking their brains for advise. I wonder how many have actually done that. Perhaps take a trip to Europe on summer and spend a few weeks with a successful club, talk to the people, etc.

Oddly, my flying is at a location that actually IDs itself as IONIA NON CLUB. They don't like the politics. :-).

The rules is a small thing overall but debating the rules is an important thing in terms of competition pilots. My suggestions usually would make getting into competition soaring simpler for the new pilot. I do think our rules are too complicated, but the rule makers are all GREAT PEOPLE, working hard and want nothing but the best for our sport.

Sean
7T


I will point out that European numbers have been in decline for a similar period, at a similar rate to the US, just starting from a higher plateau. GA numbers also seem to be in decline. For whatever reason, I just don't think aviation is the same magnetic for young imaginations that it once was.
  #3  
Old August 15th 15, 04:28 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Dan Marotta
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Posts: 4,601
Default How do we inspire pilots to truly take up cross country soaring ?

In a word (or two) - "smart phones". How often do you see young people
that don't have their heads down and both thumbs working at near-light
speed?

On 8/15/2015 9:18 AM, jfitch wrote:
snip
I will point out that European numbers have been in decline for a similar period, at a similar rate to the US, just starting from a higher plateau. GA numbers also seem to be in decline. For whatever reason, I just don't think aviation is the same magnetic for young imaginations that it once was.


--
Dan Marotta

  #4  
Old August 15th 15, 05:29 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
son_of_flubber
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Default How do we inspire pilots to truly take up cross country soaring ?

Due to my present endurance limitations, I keep my flights to less than 2.5 hours. The terrain and lift conditions where I fly are complicated and a recurring challenge. I'm not bored. I often need to find lift on the way back to the airport and landing out is always a possibility. But I'm not flying XC.

Here's the thing. I fly 3X as frequently as most XC pilots at my club. For the most part, they only fly on 'good XC days', and the coincidence of 'good XC days' with 'days off' is infrequent in Vermont. I'm not sure that I would/should want to ever fly that infrequently.

I have fun flying on a lot of 'marginal days'. Timing my launch to coincide with the 1-2 hours of workable lift on a marginal day is fun.

So sure, I'm trying to extend my endurance so that I can fly real XC flights. But I hope that flying on marginal days does not lose it's appeal. If at some point, I join the ranks of XC pilots that only fly infrequently, I may very well quit the sport at that stage. Maybe when I reach that stage, I won't have to fly so frequently to maintain my currency. I'm in no rush to quit the sport, so my present fun and extremely slow progression to fly XC seems a good way for me to enjoy the sport for many years to come.

Do XC pilots ever recover the joy of flying on marginal days?
  #5  
Old August 15th 15, 05:39 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
[email protected]
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Default How do we inspire pilots to truly take up cross country soaring ?

Reply to all 3 posts.

Sean, how much fun actually flying gliders is doesn't matter that much to the initial "sale" An interested visitor will at most get a 20 minute "sleigh ride" in a glider but spend hours on the ground at the airfield. The thing that makes the "deal" possible is the environment at the gliderport. Unfortunately, most are fly blown armpits of creation populated by not very friendly people. Guess which one makes the biggest impression?. What to do is obvious.

Yes, participation in all aspects of aviation is shrinking. Our bad press is mostly to blame. From the evening news to stand up comics, people are being frightened away from aviation. All of aviation needs to mount a PR campaign to offset this. We also need to become absolutely militant about reducing accidents. We are far too tolerant of unsafe practices.

Dan, be very careful about overgeneralising. I did an informal survey in shopping malls observing about 1000 young people. My numbers say only about 10% were fiddling with cellphones. That's still a big number but it's not 100%. My impression is they do this when they are bored and have nothing else to do. We can give them something more interesting.

Keep the overall numbers in mind. If 1,000 people walked onto US glider operations seeking flight training our infrastructure would be saturated. We just need to figure out how to find that 1,000 in a population of 310 million.

Bill Daniels
  #6  
Old August 15th 15, 07:21 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Andy Blackburn[_3_]
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Posts: 608
Default How do we inspire pilots to truly take up cross country soaring ?

On Saturday, August 15, 2015 at 9:39:44 AM UTC-7, wrote:
Reply to all 3 posts.

Sean, how much fun actually flying gliders is doesn't matter that much to the initial "sale" An interested visitor will at most get a 20 minute "sleigh ride" in a glider but spend hours on the ground at the airfield. The thing that makes the "deal" possible is the environment at the gliderport. Unfortunately, most are fly blown armpits of creation populated by not very friendly people. Guess which one makes the biggest impression?. What to do is obvious.

Yes, participation in all aspects of aviation is shrinking. Our bad press is mostly to blame. From the evening news to stand up comics, people are being frightened away from aviation. All of aviation needs to mount a PR campaign to offset this. We also need to become absolutely militant about reducing accidents. We are far too tolerant of unsafe practices.

Dan, be very careful about overgeneralising. I did an informal survey in shopping malls observing about 1000 young people. My numbers say only about 10% were fiddling with cellphones. That's still a big number but it's not 100%. My impression is they do this when they are bored and have nothing else to do. We can give them something more interesting.

Keep the overall numbers in mind. If 1,000 people walked onto US glider operations seeking flight training our infrastructure would be saturated. We just need to figure out how to find that 1,000 in a population of 310 million.

Bill Daniels


Bill and I talked about this at the Nationals a couple of years ago. There are three related challenges: intake, conversion and churn.

- Intake is the number of people taking an introductory ride, or are ins some way given an initial introduction to the sport.

- Conversion, is the percentage of people who transition to solo, licensed pilot, XC pilot, racing pilot.

- Churn, is the number of people who get all the way through the conversion "funnel", are in the sport for a (short or long) while then drop out.

The balance of these three effects determine the size of the racing pilot pool year by year.

A big chunk of churn is related to demographics and aging of the baby boom, some is related to the pressures of modern life. Retaining an older pilot for a few more years only buys you a few more years, but given the current profile of the pilot community there might be some work to do.

Intake is expensive, especially with a conversion rate like ours, which IIRC, is around 1% of those who are introduced to the sport actually become a licensed pilot, let alone a regular XC or racing pilot. This is partly a time and money issue, but at the higher levels it is one of finding a mentor to bring you along. At the RC meeting last year we hosted a gathering of local XC, OLC and racing pilots. The most profound comments were around the lack of an onramp to racing, to lean the skills by flying (following, really) a better pilot to see how it's done.

Team flying using the radio is allowed at the regional level. For better or worse Flarm following has reduces some of the "where'd you go?" issues associated with flying with someone. It's kind of fun to run around the course with other pilots from time to time. Bruno's hybrid events have seen a higher proportion of pilots flying at least one, but seemingly more that one, of the assigned tasks as a learning experience - and because it allows you to fly with buddies.

I think there is something that each of us could do in increasing the conversion rate of new XC and racing pilots.

9B
  #7  
Old August 15th 15, 07:31 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Bob Whelan[_3_]
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Default How do we inspire pilots to truly take up cross country soaring?

On 8/15/2015 10:29 AM, son_of_flubber wrote:
Snip
Here's the thing. I fly 3X as frequently as most XC pilots at my club. For
the most part, they only fly on 'good XC days', and the coincidence of
'good XC days' with 'days off' is infrequent in Vermont. I'm not sure that
I would/should want to ever fly that infrequently.

I have fun flying on a lot of 'marginal days'. Timing my launch to coincide
with the 1-2 hours of workable lift on a marginal day is fun.


"Roger that!"
- - - - - -


So sure, I'm trying to extend my endurance so that I can fly real XC
flights. But I hope that flying on marginal days does not lose it's
appeal. If at some point, I join the ranks of XC pilots that only fly
infrequently, I may very well quit the sport at that stage. Maybe when I
reach that stage, I won't have to fly so frequently to maintain my
currency. I'm in no rush to quit the sport, so my present fun and
extremely slow progression to fly XC seems a good way for me to enjoy the
sport for many years to come.

Do XC pilots ever recover the joy of flying on marginal days?


Recover? Are there any that lose it (as distinct from those who try XC only on
days when bricks can soar)? Some of my most memorably fun & satisfying flights
have been on what, at preliminary best guess, appeared to be anywhere from
unsoarable to pure survival days. A few of those turned out to even be
awesomely good XC days, though most were pretty much as they looked, though
soarable. And - and here's a key point - if a person takes a tow (or snap)
every chance they make for themselves, then tries to hang on until they're
forced to land by absence of lift, over time they'll begin to learn that it's
more often soarable - XC, too! - than not, regardless of one's
"pre-experiential" preconceptions.

I obtained my license in Maryland (Cumberland) which is where I also made my
first landout, but actually learned (as in, taught myself through reading,
brain-picking and flying-until-forced-to-land) to fly XC in the intermountain
west. Out west was where I began to realize a person's mental outlook was
fundamentally important to how (fast) they clumb the XC learning curve. Many a
time at my home club I'd take tows on what I soon began to call "Eastern days"
when fellow club members demurred due to (low cloudbases, preconceived
notions, etc.). Most of those days proved soarable, and XC soon became part of
those days' picture...and yet I'd typically return to find almost no one else
had towed or even stayed up long locally. That was in the late '70's & early
'80s and the local soaring scene (wonderfully enough) has changed hugely from
those unenlightened days of yore.

Point being - and *especially* for relatively inexperienced-in-time soaring
pilots - odds are your post-release-experience will prove considerably
different (likely, better) than your ground-based guess...IF you hoist
yourself aloft, and IF you seek to hang on by your fingernails (should it be
necessary). Eventually "hanging on thermal-by-thermal by one's fingernails"
morphs to "reading what a day is likely to sustain" and - voila! - low-stress
XC, with short retrieves (if necessary).

One memorable cloud-free day yielded ridge-generated tops to ~ 2.7k' agl
(measured relative to the flatlands), and, after several ridge hours, a real
sense of joy when a buddy eventually towed in a similar-performing ship.
Mutual "boredom" and his residence's airpark field about 12 miles away,
resulted in us deciding to "go for it." If we didn't find a thermal away from
the ridge, our "convenient out" was an abandoned/former airstrip at a private
school halfway to his residential airstrip; in any event we'd retrieve each
other, if necessary. An hour or so later we were back on the ridge, savoring a
gratifying little XC. Had it not been so late in the day, we could've likely
gone considerably farther, despite the low thermal tops & absence of clouds,
because often, the toughest part of going east from Boulder was reaching I-25
due to irrigation and - on "somewhat breezy days" which that one wasn't -
wind-induced thermal suppression until some miles away from the foot of the
mountains.

On another day (which began foggy), I drove the the field late "just because
of pent-up demand" despite murk and visibility of perhaps 5-8 miles. It was a
weekend. No one else wanted a tow, but I found rigging help...and about 4
hours later came back from Rifle, CO, on what turned out to be a booming day,
on both sides of the continental divide, while never experiencing more than
*maybe* 15 miles visibility (which for westerners can be psychologically
unsettling, it's so uncommon). Everyone had gone home, and per the departing
towpilot, only one other tow that day. I corralled a passerby to help me
derig, and drove home hardly able - judging from the invisible mountains and
murky sky in my rear-view mirror - to believe the day's soaring experience.

And, yes, there were those days of multiple tows when I simply refused to
believe my failure to be able to remain aloft was due to the day and not me!

YMWV,
Bob W.
  #8  
Old August 15th 15, 10:52 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
David Hirst
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Default How do we inspire pilots to truly take up cross country soaring ?



I think there is something that each of us could do in increasing the conversion rate of new XC and racing pilots.


In New Zealand, we're seeing the same decline as pretty much everywhere but there are a couple of programmes in place which might (just might) turn things around. Off-topic slightly, getting the kids re-engaged is about getting them to form their own gliding-and-social organisation (youthglide.org.nz) and that seems to be working quite well. I think Abby Delore gave a talk about Youthglide at the SSA conference a couple of years ago.

Back on-topic. After much head-scratching, a bunch of pilots decided that the key to retaining pilots was to get as many as possible into X Country - not denying that there's always a place for the pilots who just like to fly locally but it's the ones who go further who don't tend to drop out of the sport.

The next question was how to do get people into XC. One answer is to lower the (perceived) barriers to flying contest tasks. Most club members have access to club gliders but it's the whole mountain of "there's no way I could fly that far" that seemed to pose the biggest hurdle.

As a consequence, the Racing Committee have made a major revamp to the rules this season, to the effect that contest classes aren't so much based on "Std/15m", "Club", "18/20m" etc. but more "Beginner", "Intermediate" and "Advanced", i.e. based on pilot ability rather than glider performance. You can still fly with the big boys if you want (and get the points and prizes), but you can also turn up in a 18m glider and enter the "beginner" contest. We trialled the scheme informally last season and got a good number of new pilots to come along to contests and fly 75 - 150km tasks. Unsurprisingly, they had a blast! It'll be interesting to see the results this season.

Another thing that may help the decline is the sort of coaching programme that Australia is using for its cross-country pilots, which came out of a whole bunch of work that the Australian Institute of Sport developed, completely unrelated to gliding.

Interesting times. Watch this space.

DH
  #9  
Old August 16th 15, 12:25 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Sean Fidler
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Default How do we inspire pilots to truly take up cross country soaring ?

Dave,

These are fantastic ideas. I don't think anyone ran with the ideas at the SSA convention that it was presented at unfortunately.

Rather than a one class fits all, the idea of breaking classes (and perhaps tasks) down into smaller, appropriate groups seems very appealing (all the way around).

A few years ago we had some regional contests in Ionia. We generally had both FAI and a Sports class. Some really wanted the easier tasks that sports class typically offered (even some experienced pilots with 18m gliders). Others wanted to race with the "hot shots' in FAI even thought they had older gliders (knowing they would probably end up near the bottom). We didn't really know how to handle this. We could certainly see the desire these pilots had to do what "they wanted" rather than what "we wanted!" We of course let them do what they wanted.

In sailing, lots of classes and lots of trophies works very well. Rather than having 60 boats (for example) in one class and only one winner...why not have 4 classes of various skill level and experience. In sailing it might be broken down into professional, corinthian, Women, Jr's, etc. They all race the same race course, but are scored as an overall AND in the individual classes. Trophies and recognition is of equal importance for all classes. Also little awards such as most improved, best first time attendee, capsize award (see land out award) are well liked.

In soaring, I could see a breakdown by SSA ranking. 100-90, 90-80, 80-70, etc. We could also start a beginner class. I agree (no brainer really) that all involved would have more fun and more of a chance to compete with pilots of equal skill level with more segmented classes. It would be less intimidating. More trophies, more excitement and hopefully a steady graduation thru the ranks as one improves. People enjoy recognition and to feel a sense of accomplishment. When someone gets trophy in front of a crowd, it is a great moment for them and really "set's the hook" in a good way. We should be maximizing these moments for our contests participants AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE! Far more than we do today.

I personally could care less if I was racing with 30 gliders or 5 of my general skills level. The truth is that we always end up racing with 3-5 gliders anyway at most contests. The 3-5 of our skill level. Interesting points DH. Thanks for sharing!

Sean

On Saturday, August 15, 2015 at 5:53:00 PM UTC-4, David Hirst wrote:

I think there is something that each of us could do in increasing the conversion rate of new XC and racing pilots.


In New Zealand, we're seeing the same decline as pretty much everywhere but there are a couple of programmes in place which might (just might) turn things around. Off-topic slightly, getting the kids re-engaged is about getting them to form their own gliding-and-social organisation (youthglide.org.nz) and that seems to be working quite well. I think Abby Delore gave a talk about Youthglide at the SSA conference a couple of years ago.

Back on-topic. After much head-scratching, a bunch of pilots decided that the key to retaining pilots was to get as many as possible into X Country - not denying that there's always a place for the pilots who just like to fly locally but it's the ones who go further who don't tend to drop out of the sport.

The next question was how to do get people into XC. One answer is to lower the (perceived) barriers to flying contest tasks. Most club members have access to club gliders but it's the whole mountain of "there's no way I could fly that far" that seemed to pose the biggest hurdle.

As a consequence, the Racing Committee have made a major revamp to the rules this season, to the effect that contest classes aren't so much based on "Std/15m", "Club", "18/20m" etc. but more "Beginner", "Intermediate" and "Advanced", i.e. based on pilot ability rather than glider performance. You can still fly with the big boys if you want (and get the points and prizes), but you can also turn up in a 18m glider and enter the "beginner" contest. We trialled the scheme informally last season and got a good number of new pilots to come along to contests and fly 75 - 150km tasks. Unsurprisingly, they had a blast! It'll be interesting to see the results this season..

Another thing that may help the decline is the sort of coaching programme that Australia is using for its cross-country pilots, which came out of a whole bunch of work that the Australian Institute of Sport developed, completely unrelated to gliding.

Interesting times. Watch this space.

DH

  #10  
Old August 16th 15, 01:09 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Andy Blackburn[_3_]
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Posts: 608
Default How do we inspire pilots to truly take up cross country soaring ?

On Saturday, August 15, 2015 at 2:53:00 PM UTC-7, David Hirst wrote:

I think there is something that each of us could do in increasing the conversion rate of new XC and racing pilots.


In New Zealand, we're seeing the same decline as pretty much everywhere but there are a couple of programmes in place which might (just might) turn things around. Off-topic slightly, getting the kids re-engaged is about getting them to form their own gliding-and-social organisation (youthglide.org.nz) and that seems to be working quite well. I think Abby Delore gave a talk about Youthglide at the SSA conference a couple of years ago.

Back on-topic. After much head-scratching, a bunch of pilots decided that the key to retaining pilots was to get as many as possible into X Country - not denying that there's always a place for the pilots who just like to fly locally but it's the ones who go further who don't tend to drop out of the sport.

The next question was how to do get people into XC. One answer is to lower the (perceived) barriers to flying contest tasks. Most club members have access to club gliders but it's the whole mountain of "there's no way I could fly that far" that seemed to pose the biggest hurdle.

As a consequence, the Racing Committee have made a major revamp to the rules this season, to the effect that contest classes aren't so much based on "Std/15m", "Club", "18/20m" etc. but more "Beginner", "Intermediate" and "Advanced", i.e. based on pilot ability rather than glider performance. You can still fly with the big boys if you want (and get the points and prizes), but you can also turn up in a 18m glider and enter the "beginner" contest. We trialled the scheme informally last season and got a good number of new pilots to come along to contests and fly 75 - 150km tasks. Unsurprisingly, they had a blast! It'll be interesting to see the results this season..

Another thing that may help the decline is the sort of coaching programme that Australia is using for its cross-country pilots, which came out of a whole bunch of work that the Australian Institute of Sport developed, completely unrelated to gliding.

Interesting times. Watch this space.

DH


Interesting ideas. It has been tried at a small scale in the US in places with good effect as far as I can tell. Maybe there is something that can be done more formally. I do get the sense that people don't want to spend too much time at the "kids table" so being able to hang with the more experienced pilots (in the air and on the ground) seems to be important aspect of all of this, That was the potential to learn from more experienced pilots is opened up.

9B
 




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