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What is your club doing to recruit new contest pilots?

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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.

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.
Old October 21st 17, 02:04 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
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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.


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.

Old October 21st 17, 08:54 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 11:48:56 AM UTC-4, wrote:
Just curious... what is your club doing to recruit new contest pilots?

We host seminars each winter to teach subjects such as Beginning Cross Country 101, or Glider Racing 101. We have had great response will fully packed rooms.

Feel free do download our presentations and use them for your club:

We might do 2 this winter. One subject that I want to tackle is how to disassemble and assemble the Cirrus that we have for club members to take cross country. This is one barrier, many new pilots have never done glider assembly, so are uncomfortable with landing in a field and trying to figure out how to put it in the trailer.

It is not that hard to find one or 2 experienced pilots to put something together for a presentation in the morning, then lunch and then maybe an afternoon activity [short field landing, flying together, disassembly etc].

Old October 22nd 17, 03:25 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
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Default What is your club doing to recruit new contest pilots?


I hope your club is NOT sending students up for their certificate without having participated in an assembly/disassembly.

The regs are very clear that a pre-solo pilot must have received training in and logged instruction in the following area(s)

Part 61.87 (i) (13) Procedures for disassembly and assembly of the glider;

As a pilot examiner I look for the specific endorsement of the CFI that this instruction has taken place.

In our club all the members have opportunity to assemble a disassemble the gliders at the beginning and end of the season and we make a special effort to log that in their training record.



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