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What is your club doing to recruit new contest pilots?



 
 
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  #1  
Old October 18th 17, 04:48 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
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Default What is your club doing to recruit new contest pilots?

Just curious... what is your club doing to recruit new contest pilots?

Secondly, what are YOU doing to recruit new contest pilots, especially those pilots in their late 30's and 40's?

Please share your story with us and consider asking yourself how YOU can help recruit members back at your home club to participate in their first contest in 2018.

Thank you!

-Chris Schrader
*SSA Director, Region 6 (OH, IN, MI, KY)
Growth & Retention Committee Chair
  #2  
Old October 18th 17, 05:01 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Luke Szczepaniak
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Default What is your club doing to recruit new contest pilots?

It is my opinion that to recruit pilots in their 30's and 40's clubs have to sow the seeds when the candidates are in their teens and 20's. Once hooked and established in adult life the pilot will come back to the sport.

To succeed clubs must encourage young pilots to fly cross country and take part in contests. The single most important factor is access to a glider with a serviceable trailer. Off-field landings should not be frowned upon - they are a normal part of flying without an engine.

Luke Szczepaniak



  #3  
Old October 18th 17, 05:34 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
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Default What is your club doing to recruit new contest pilots?

I agree Luke, I belong to a small club (35) with only 2-33's 1-26 and a 1-34, over the past couple of years I have encouraged 1 20yo 2 58yo and 2 65yo to purchase their own glass ships and to start some modest xc. Contests are still a little out of there skill level but I am hopeful and I try to continully invite them to the ASA races as they are a no pressure race venue to get aquainted with rules and procedures. The club ships rarely go xc as there is a 1hour time limit if people are waiting. I try and emphasize the need to get there silver badge most importantly, the 5 hour duration.

CH ASW27 and Ventus B (for sale)
  #4  
Old October 18th 17, 10:51 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
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Default What is your club doing to recruit new contest pilots?

On Wednesday, October 18, 2017 at 10:48:56 AM UTC-5, wrote:
Just curious... what is your club doing to recruit new contest pilots?

Secondly, what are YOU doing to recruit new contest pilots, especially those pilots in their late 30's and 40's?

Please share your story with us and consider asking yourself how YOU can help recruit members back at your home club to participate in their first contest in 2018.

Thank you!

-Chris Schrader
*SSA Director, Region 6 (OH, IN, MI, KY)
Growth & Retention Committee Chair


Chris, we at Chicago Glider Club introduce new x-country and future contest pilots to the sport by calling a task on every weekend that is suitable. These are mostly TAT or MAT calls with a min time of 2-3 hours. Flights are sent to SH and Mike scores them using Winscore. The handicaps we use include the actual weight at the time of flight so that water ballast is allowed. The best 8 flights of a season count toward the NISC (N. IL Soaring Contest) Champion title. Rules are here, all Chicagoland glider clubs can and do participate:
http://chicagogliderclub.org/index.php/nisc
Herb, J7
  #5  
Old October 19th 17, 04:03 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Scott Manley[_2_]
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Default What is your club doing to recruit new contest pilots?

Condor is a computer-based glider flight simulation of contest flying. It can and has been used by many aspiring competition pilots to develop and refine their cross-country and competition racing skills. The Condor online world includes many opportunities to develop and test one's racing skills against serious race-minded pilots from all over the world. On a more local level, clubs can (and some do) sponsor regular "race nights" where members can compete with each other either in-person (around a table like a friendly card game) or from home over the network. If used in combination with competition mentoring, Condor is a great tool for getting club members excited about trying the real thing, not to mention very well prepared for it.

Respectfully submitted for your consideration,
Scott Manley CFIG (a.k.a. The Condor Guy)
  #6  
Old October 20th 17, 01:59 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Sean Fidler
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Default What is your club doing to recruit new contest pilots?

I second Scott on this. Simulate, simulate, simulate. Train as you fight, fight as you train. Practice at low cost and with no pressure first, then slowly raise the bar.

Condor has, unfortunately, also had a history of being rejected (or scoffed at) by many in the US soaring community, and this attitude still exists. “It’s a game or a toy...” That said, a simulated contest day (we did a full two day Condor contest in 2012 in Ann Arbor, MI, great fun) or some practice in Condor’s online environment (US Soaring Server) would be a great way to help and encourage new contest pilots (especially younger ones). Condor could help get them up to speed faster on how to manage our current rules, program and manage soaring flight computers (essential with US 100% TAT tasking (complex) and start and finish procedures) and to build general experience. The rules (and tasks) we use here in the 🇺🇸 can be very challenging to newer pilots. People generally don’t like sports where the initial complexity is outrageous. I argue are rules are just that. Condor is a great option and is greatly underutilized here in the USA as a training tool.


On Thursday, October 19, 2017 at 11:03:41 AM UTC-4, Scott Manley wrote:
Condor is a computer-based glider flight simulation of contest flying. It can and has been used by many aspiring competition pilots to develop and refine their cross-country and competition racing skills. The Condor online world includes many opportunities to develop and test one's racing skills against serious race-minded pilots from all over the world. On a more local level, clubs can (and some do) sponsor regular "race nights" where members can compete with each other either in-person (around a table like a friendly card game) or from home over the network. If used in combination with competition mentoring, Condor is a great tool for getting club members excited about trying the real thing, not to mention very well prepared for it.

Respectfully submitted for your consideration,
Scott Manley CFIG (a.k.a. The Condor Guy)


  #7  
Old October 20th 17, 02:02 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Sean Fidler
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Default What is your club doing to recruit new contest pilots?

I second Scott on this. Simulate, simulate, simulate. Train as you fight, fight as you train. Practice at low cost and with no pressure first, then slowly raise the bar.

Condor has, unfortunately, also had a history of being rejected (or scoffed at) by many in the US soaring community, and this attitude still exists. “It’s a game or a toy...” That said, a simulated contest day (we did a full two day Condor contest in 2012 in Ann Arbor, MI, great fun) or some practice in Condor’s online environment (US Soaring Server) would be a great way to help and encourage new contest pilots (especially younger ones). Condor could help get them up to speed faster on how to manage our current rules, program and manage soaring flight computers (essential with US 100% TAT tasking (complex) and start and finish procedures) and to build general experience. The rules (and tasks) we use here in the 🇺🇸 can be very challenging to newer pilots. People generally don’t like sports where the initial complexity is outrageous. I argue that our US rules are just that (scoring takes many hours for example).

Condor is a great option to prep new pilots fror contests or CC (needless to say primary instruction) and is still greatly underutilized here in the USA as a training tool.


On Thursday, October 19, 2017 at 11:03:41 AM UTC-4, Scott Manley wrote:
Condor is a computer-based glider flight simulation of contest flying. It can and has been used by many aspiring competition pilots to develop and refine their cross-country and competition racing skills. The Condor online world includes many opportunities to develop and test one's racing skills against serious race-minded pilots from all over the world. On a more local level, clubs can (and some do) sponsor regular "race nights" where members can compete with each other either in-person (around a table like a friendly card game) or from home over the network. If used in combination with competition mentoring, Condor is a great tool for getting club members excited about trying the real thing, not to mention very well prepared for it.

Respectfully submitted for your consideration,
Scott Manley CFIG (a.k.a. The Condor Guy)

  #8  
Old October 21st 17, 12:51 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
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Default What is your club doing to recruit new contest pilots?

An equally important question to “What is your club doing to promote soaring?” Is the inverse, “What is your club doing that does not promote soaring?”

If you really want to know why Soaring is shrinking, ask those who have quit the sport. While no club is perfect, there are many common attributes to clubs that turn off those who come to join and find another hobby instead.

Here’s one. So many clubs fail to have “things to do” for the spouses, friends and family who come along to hang out. There’s a general snobiness that is uninviting to anyone other than the pilot that discludes the better half. You can’t just win the pilot over into joining, because the spouse/Friend/family will not support the pilot with spending a day or weekend out at the gliderport.

Other failures of clubs are being unorganized. Club ships having to be rigged before each day of flying is a major hassle. Clubs need to have small hangers that you don’t have to pull every other glider out to get to the one you want to fly. Max size of a hanger should have 4 aircraft in it. T Hangars are great, you can get it in and out conveniently. The bigger the hangar, the more frustration.

Clubs need to encourage senior members to not be so self serving. If all an experienced glider pilot does in a club is blast off on a 5 hour flight every Saturday expecting others to crew for him, he is an anchor to the club.. If this pilot can fly for that long, then perhaps every other time he needs to get the two place glider out and take less experienced members soaring to share his knowledge. This is helping other members learn to have more enjoyment out of the sport.

Formal cookouts are a must. Any holiday needs to be celebrated and not taken lightly. BBQ cookout with potluck is easy and a bonfire is essential. This gives something to do for the non pilots.

Glider clubs need to take a lesson from Country Clubs. Replace golf with gliding, and keep all the other activities.

Country Clubs aside from the golf course are known for their social get togethers. Whether it’s hosting a speaker, having a luau, having a corn toss championship or just having a simple bonfire with hot chocolate and S’mores for the kids - there needs to be “things to do” outside of the gliding. This brings people out for a good time. Without this, your club will lose members.

  #9  
Old October 21st 17, 01:02 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
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Default What is your club doing to recruit new contest pilots?

And I will further my above comments with a powerful statement:

If you are not inquiring with those who have quit the sport to ask them directly, then the truth is that you honestly could care less if the sport thrives or dies.

Soaring may be in decline because deep down inside the members truly do not care if it is in decline. The most common characteristic of a club that prospers is that the clubs spirit truly wants a large participation.

Keep this in mind when you are voting for your leadership.
  #10  
Old October 21st 17, 02:04 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
JS[_5_]
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Default What is your club doing to recruit new contest pilots?

Again I will give reference to my club in Australia.
Here's a direct link to the Keepit Regatta.

http://www.soaringstuff.net/KeepitRegatta/

Part of the description:
"The Keepit Regatta is a fun, friendly and informal regatta, with entries restricted to 30 gliders. The idea is for early cross country pilots to be able to fly with experienced pilots to gain experience and confidence without the pressure of a competition. We found out that many experienced pilots come along just for a great no stress flying week."

And just received this reminder...

We also do 4-Day handicapped mini GP’s every long weekend (5 per year) and Keepit Fast. http://soaringstuff.net/KeepitFast/

Part of the description:
"KeepitFast is a fun and relaxed training/coaching event with goal to improve XC performance and competition results. This is targeted to competition and serious XC pilots wishing to improve their skills in a relaxed environment. There is no need to be a Top Gun, this is open to any pilot with Silver C and above that is comfortable going cross country but it is not suitable for for XC beginners."

And of course...
"In the last 2 years we have added 11 cabins"

There is a link to the club website in the above links.
Those attending the 18m Nationals will appreciate that Bruce and Brad are members of Lake Keepit Soaring Club and sometimes coach at these events.

Jim
 




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