Southern California Soaring



Southern California Soaring
Southern California
A Publication of the Region 12 Soaring Council
November/December/January 2004/2005
[email protected]
Doug Levy Wins 2004
On-Line Contest
Is Region 12’s Doug Levy the world’s best glider
pilot? He may well be. Last year, Doug won the USA
Aerokurier On-Line Contest, and placed tenth in the
International Contest. This year, Doug won both contests. Doug flies his 1-26 with the Skid Row Squadron, which is based at Warner Springs.
The OLC champion is the pilot who annually has
the highest handicapped score for the best six flights
during the OLC season, which begins and ends in
early October. This year, Doug’s handicapped flights
ranged from 846 points to 1024 points. To receive the
same scores in a Discus, a pilot would have had to fly
six flights ranging from 914km to 1106km. The actual distances of Doug’s six best flights ranged from
517 km to 625km. During a summer when most of us
2004 World OLC winner Doug Levy
didn’t fly a single 500 km flight, Doug flew eight of
them – and in an 1-26.
Other Skid Row pilots also did well in the 2004 USA Contest. Garry Dickson was 5th, Joedy Gregory was 8th, and Mike Wills
was 11th. Non-Skid-Row pilots in the top 20 were Marty Eiler in 9th, Mark Navarre in 14th, Garrett Willat in 15th, and Jim Payne
in 16th. Erik Larsen placed 6th when the standings are expanded to include motorized gliders. The OLC webpage has the complete US standings (including motorized gliders), as well as the International standings for pure gliders.
There will be a couple of rule changes for the 2005 season. The distinction between pure and powered gliders will be eliminated. This will have little effect on the USA standings, where most OLC entrants fly pure gliders. It will have more effect in
the International standings – Doug would have placed 10th rather than first if the new rule had applied to the 2004 contest.
Another change is that flights of less than 50 points will not be scored (though they still will be posted on the website). Apparently, some pilots in Europe took repeated sledrides on poor days in order to run up their OLC scores. This rule change aims
to end that practice.
The 2005 OLC season has already started, so join in the fun. The OLC website has the latest day’s scores, and the present
contest standings. For information on entering the contest, see Doug Levy’s article on page 8 of this publication’s January/
February 2004 issue.
New Publication Schedule
In order to keep the volunteer editorial staff happy, the publication schedule of Southern California Soaring will change. The
normal bi-monthly schedule will continue for the May/June, July/August, and September/October issues. However, the remainder of the year will now be covered by an issue for November/December/January, and another for February/March/April. The
latter will be the annual hardcopy issue, which now will arrive at your mailbox in early February.
We are pleased that is now getting approximately 2000 visits per month when we publish a new issue, and
nearly 1000 visits in the other months. Not bad for a Region with about 1,200 SSA members. However, we still aren’t satisfied – we know that many Southern California pilots do not read the newsletter, and many others haven’t even heard about it.
We encourage our readers to get the word out.
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2005 SSA National
Convention to Feature
Mike Melvill
Southern California Soaring
SCS Table of Contents
Doug Levy Wins 2004 On-Line Contest
New Publication Schedule
2005 SSA National Convention to Feature Mike Melvill
The 2005 SSA National Convention and Air Sports
Background of the Sierra Wave Project
Expo will be held on February 9-12 at the Ontario,
California Convention Center. This year’s Convention
Wow, It Is Lonely Out Here: A Utah Outlanding Story
promises to be an exciting and unique experience. The
Thanksgiving Soaring at New Cuyama
Speaker Program is packed with many new topics not
presented at previous conventions. A “Focus on Clubs”
2003 Thanksgiving at Santa Ynez
seminar series and luncheon will highlight specialized
Region 12 Director Updates
issues facing those groups. If, for some strange reason,
you tire of hearing about soaring, you will be able to
Post-Op Report from the SSA Booth at the 2004 AOPA 13
learn how to get spacecraft to Saturn, or watch via hidDirector Reports
den camera a bald eagle spread its wings and fly for the
first time.
Equipment Corner
Exhibit hall attractions seen for the first time will
Dust Devil Dash 2004
include a Grob 103 modified as a flight simulator, as
well as a computerized testing facility that measures
Soaring News
mental and physical performance such as reaction time
and visual ability, and live expert demonstrations around sailplanes and motorgliders (facilitated by a mobile sound system). Also
new will be 10-20 minute scheduled presentations at exhibitor booths. Weather permitting, an outdoor demonstration of electric
powered and glider models with wingspans as small as five inches and weights of only a few grams will take place on Saturday.
Plan to arrive in Ontario early this year: The free SSA-sponsored “Soaring Software Academy” represents an exciting expansion of our traditional convention. It begins at noon on Wednesday, Feb 9th at the Doubletree Hotel. In a distraction-free classroom
setting, manufacturers/distributors of SeeYou, WinPilot, Glide Navigator II, and StrePla will conduct free, intensive seminars on
the use of their desktop and PDA products. This is the only time during the entire convention that at least one other event won’t be
competing for your attention. The “Academy” is an excellent opportunity for those already owning these products to enhance their
understanding (bring your lap-tops and PDA’s). It also is a terrific way to comparison shop. If deemed a success this year, the
event is likely to expand in 2006.
A historic set of fourteen “Super Soaring Lithographs” (vintage early 1970’s) will be on display. These are some of the most
beautiful photographs ever taken of sailplanes, and will be sold in a silent auction that will benefit a
fund to replace the badly leaking roof of our Hobbs office.
Continued on Page 3
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Southern California Soaring
Our Friday evening dinner event features the entertainment and wit of composer/musician Ed Kilbourne (whose CD
“Cloudbase,” filled with songs of soaring, is well known to many), paired with Charlie Spratt, M.S. (Master Storyteller). The
roast held to honor Charlie at last year’s convention in Atlanta was both a sell-out and hilarious. Everyone had the feeling Charlie’s storytelling was “just getting warmed up” at the end of that evening,
The “grand finale” of the 2004 SSA convention will be the Saturday night Awards Banquet, featuring special guest speaker
Mike Melvill. The first person to reach space aboard a non-government sponsored craft, Melvill piloted SpaceShipOne to an altitude of 328,491 ft. during its first space flight, and to 337,500 ft. during its first X-Prize flight. His talk is entitled: “Twice Silver
Distance Straight Up and Down with a Glide Ratio of 7:1.”
The Ontario Convention Center and hosting Doubletree hotel (909-937-0900) are a free two minute shuttle bus ride from Ontario International Airport, with scheduled service from all over the U.S. Make your convention plans now, using the registration
form in the present issue of SOARING, or online at
Many local volunteers will be needed to staff the convention. Watch for an online volunteer sign
up system soon.
Background of the Sierra Wave Project
By Bertha Ryan
In 1933 a glider instructor named Hans
Deutschmann was flying a Grunau Baby at
Wolf Hirth’s glider school near the small Silesian town of Grunau in Europe. But something
wasn’t normal. The little glider was staying up
in conditions where there should not have been
any lift. Hirth climbed into another glider, and
aero-towed through very rough air to the general
location. The two pilots explored the unusual
lift until sunset more than an hour later. Hirth
called the lift long-wave, believing it was
caused by some distant mountains.
Pilots who noticed the strange looking lens
shaped cloud associated with this previously
unknown source of lift called it Moazagotl. In
1937 a doctoral candidate in meteorology
named Joachim Kuettner decided to investigate
this newly discovered lift. He theorized the
glider pilots were soaring in a standing wave.
He confirmed this hypothesis by studying the
Sierra Wave: Up Close and Personal. Photo by Bob Harris on his record
results of barographs placed in sailplanes during
flight on February 17, 1986.
a contest in the area. Later that year he flew a
glider himself in this type of lift and climbed
above 3000 meters. His altimeter did not register beyond that altitude, but his barogram showed he had soared above 22,300 feet.
He completed his studies in 1939 with a thesis containing a description of atmospheric waves.
In the United States in 1940, Harland Ross, John Robinson and Lewin Barringer were experimenting with wave lift based on
what they had heard about the German flights. Then along came World War II, and soaring pilots had other concerns along with
the rest of the world.
During the war, the United States Navy established a base at Inyokern, and then in 1945 moved it a few miles east to China
Lake. A B-29 from the base flying in the area on an upper-air-weather investigation project noticed a strange phenomenon. The
pilot mentioned it to a Navy meteorologist who had read about something similar in European reports. A seed was planted.
Meanwhile, soaring pilots Harland Ross and a Bishop native, Bob Symons, had started a flying school in Bishop at the end of
World War II. Both were convinced of the good soaring in the area, and they started making flights in what Bob called the Sierra
Wave. Their business soon had a fleet of war surplus airplanes and sailplanes. Between them, they flew, explored and then
documented this meteorological phenomenon. In 1948, Symons and Ross decided to pursue separate aviation interests. However, their prior efforts together won them SSA’s prestigious Eaton Trophy in 1949.
By the late-40’s, the good soaring conditions were well known to Southern California pilots. The pilots flying the wave included Paul MacCready (early in his wide-ranging career), John Robinson (World Diamond Pilot Number One), Betty Loufek,
Bill Ivans, Dick Lyon, Lyle Maxey, Fred Walters, Bill Bowmar, and many others. Mostly flying WWII surplus sailplanes, these
Continued on Page 4
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Southern California Soaring
pilots came to Bishop to investigate a source of
lift that gave them good flights in the lee of the
Sierra Nevada on days when the wind was
strong from the west.
Bob Symons, who had been exploring these
weather conditions, was flying a P-38 from
Bishop under various contracts – mostly seeking ways to increase water availability in the
Owens Valley. On March 5, 1950, Bob was flying his P-38 (actually the photographic version
F-5) and took advantage of wave conditions to
try something new. He soared the P-38 with
both engines dead and propellers feathered for
more than an hour between 13,000 feet and
31,000 feet. Maximum climb rate was 3000 feet
per minute. The ground winds were strong and
blew the roof off a hangar at Bishop Airport. It
was on this flight that he took the famous picture that accompanies this article.
Bob and other soaring pilots (many members
Sierra Wave in the Owens Valley. Taken from a P-38 with engines off and
of the Southern California Soaring Association) got propellers feathered from north of Bishop looking south towards Inyokern.
together and decided it was time to organize a for- Photo by Robert Symons on March 5, 1950. Colorization by Mary Dixon.
mal study of the Sierra Wave. Bob showed his
Also in China Lake Navy collection.
wave photos to the Navy at China Lake in order to
arouse interest. The pilots on the base associated
Bob’s experiences with the stories of the B-29 pilot. Dr. Wolfgang Klemperer, who had been a glider pilot in the very early days
of gliding in Germany, and held World C Badge Number One, gave scientific inspiration and encouragement. Dr. Joachim Kuettner had moved to America, and lent his expertise and support. Vic Saudek, a glider pilot recently transplanted from the east to
Southern California, made the first effort to submit proposals for possible funding of Sierra Wave exploration.
As a result of the efforts of these individuals, the Air Force, UCLA, and the Navy at China Lake, agreed to sponsor a program
designed to learn more about the Sierra Wave. Under the direction of Project Manager Victor M. Saudek, initial preparations
began at Inyokern with the help of the Navy. Surplus Navy Pratt-Read sailplanes owned by the Southern California Soaring Association were outfitted for high altitude flights, and tested at Inyokern Airport. Soon the operation moved to Bishop. There, a
small team was assembled, along with many volunteers from the enthusiastic soaring pilots of Southern California. Ed Minghelli
prepared the gliders along with people like Herman Stiglmeier, Pete Bonataux and so many others. Gus Briegleb was instrumenContinued on Page 5
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tal in these tasks, and also provided the tows necessary to get the Pratt-Read sailplanes from their
place of restoration to Inyokern for testing, and
eventually to Bishop for the project flights.
Joachim Kuettner was the Scientific Field Director of the project. Ray Parker became the Field
Operations Manager. Harold Klieforth was the Project Scientist as well as the UCLA Field Representative. John Robinson was Chief Pilot. Larry Edgar became Chief of Equipment because of his expertise in many aspects of aviation. Betsy Woodward joined the group as Project Assistant and Scientific Flight Observer. Dick Eldredge handled
Data Management. Even the very young Einar
Enevoldson, perhaps as a hint of his future direction, joined the group for a short time as a part time
As the project continued, flights over 40,000
feet became commonplace. The project continued
through the early ‘50s, and was extremely successful. It greatly increased the understanding of the
Sierra Wave, and led to improved safety of airliners
and other aircraft flying in similar conditions. As additional accomplishments, Bill Ivans, Larry Edgar,
Harold Klieforth and Betsy Woodward set altitude records that were unbroken for many years:
Southern California Soaring
Sierra Wave Project Participants. L to R: Back: Dr. Joachim Kuettner,
Dr. Wolfgang Klemperer, Larry Edgar, John Robinson. Front: Vic
Saudek, Dick Eldredge, Ray Parker. From the collection of Victor M.
Saudek and others.
December 30, 1950, William S. Ivans, Jr., 40,100 feet.
March 19, 1952, Larry Edgar and Harold Klieforth, 44,255 feet
April 14, 1955, Betsy Woodward, 40,000 feet
Sierra Wave Project Pilots. L to R: Betsy Woodward, Oats Schwarzenberger,
Dr. Joachim Kuettner, Larry Edgar, Harold Klieforth. From the collection of
Victor M. Saudek and others.
In 1961, Paul Bikle broke Bill Ivans’ record
with 46,267 feet, and then Bob Harris set a
new mark in 1986 with 49,009 feet. Sabrina
Jackintell exceeded Betsy Woodward’s record
in 1979 with 41,460 feet.
Another interesting flight during the project
was made by Dr. Kuettner, who made the
world’s first cross country soaring flight in
wave -- 373 miles. In celebration of this accomplishment, OSTIV established the Kuettner Prize for the first straight line flight of
2000 km or more. Klaus Ohlmann received
this award at the SSA Convention in 2004 for
his flights in Argentina. As Kuettner said many
years later: “My most memorable flights in the
wave were when I went cross-country and had
the opportunity to explore the extent of the
wave system.”
Many of these pilots and participants have
left us now -- Bill Ivans, Paul Bikle, Dick Eldredge, Ray Parker, Herman Stiglmeier, Pete
Bonataux, Gus Briegleb, Dr. Walter Klemperer, Vic Saudek, Bob Symons, Harland
Ross, Lyle Maxey, Wolf Hirth, Johnny RobinContinued on Page 6
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Southern California Soaring
son, Lewin Barringer. But many others are still with us – Larry Edgar, Harold Klieforth, Betsy Woodward, Einar Enevoldson,
Dr. Joachim Kuettner, Ed Minghelli, Betty Loufek, Anna Saudek Hutchinson, Dick Lyon, Bill Bowmar, Fred Walters, and Paul
Look around you at soaring events. That older person watching with a special light in his eyes may be one of these pioneers.
Take a moment to speak with them and absorb some of the adventures of thee early days of Sierra Wave exploration. Their legacy lives on in the wave soaring we all enjoy.
A highly recommended book about the Sierra Wave is “Exploring the Monster, Mountain Lee Waves: The Aerial Elevator,” by
Robert F. Whelan. The June 2002 issue of SOARING magazine reprinted an early article by Larry Edgar about his experience
flying in the Sierra Wave.
The Pioneers at NSM Landmark Dedication, 2002. L to R: Betty Loufek,
Anna Saudek Hutchinson, Dick Lyons, Ed Minghelli, Harold Klieforth,
Dr. Joachim Kuettner, Betsy Woodward, W. Ross, Paul MacCready, Mrs.
Bob Symons, E. Hovind, Larry Edgar, seated Fred Walters.
Bill Ivans on the cover of FLYING magazine
after record flight. June 1953.
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Southern California Soaring
Wow, It Is Lonely Out Here: A Utah Outlanding Story
By Ray Williams
July 23, 2004 was a Friday of great promise for my long flight endeavors. Flying my 21 meter Caproni A21, I planned a 1000
K task from Ely, Nevada to Kanab, Utah to Tonopah, NV and back to Ely. Weather reports were for scattered thunderstorms and
cloud bases to 16-17,000’. At first, the weather and cloudbases matched the forecast. But after turning Kanab, there was a considerable amount of overdevelopment. Soon, I needed to proceed more northerly to avoid the rain squalls and overdeveloped areas. My luck ran out when the great lift location I was working began to drip very rapidly. The other good lift areas also turned
into rain squalls.
With my altitude rapidly disappearing I searched for the most suitable places to land. The only signs of civilization were one
dirt road and two farm houses. It was obvious this was a remote part of Utah. There was an attractive meadow area that would
have been a good place to land, but there were no roads by it. So I elected to make my landing on the dirt road, which was almost into the wind. Oh boy! The wind was now registering 35 knots on my GPS, and I saw that the road was bounded by a fence
on the east.
I quickly decided to land parallel to the road, on a flat area covered by sage brush. I held off the touch down as long as possible, landing about 100 feet from the fence with a very short 100’ roll out. I expected to find some major damage on the glider.
However, the brush was low, and the only obvious harm was some scratches, some loosening of the rivets on the gear doors, and
a superficial crack in the fiberglass molding on the vertical stabilizer.
Just before landing, I had tried to contact other pilots, but with no success. Now on the ground, my cell phone disclosed no
service! I marked my coordinates on the map with great care. I was at least 100 miles south of Ely, and since the road was dirt it
would have little traffic. There was no settlement in sight.
I had landed about 32 miles north of Modena, Utah in the Hamlin Valley. Modena is located almost directly west of Cedar
City, and just east of the Nevada/Utah border. According to the website,
Modena “was once a booming railroad and mining town with a population of nearly 3,500. . . . Modena lost its luster of yesteryear and has dwindled to a community of about 50 people now. Although many gold and silver mining claims are still being
Continued on Page 8
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Southern California Soaring
worked, the people are scattered around
the area and not living in town. Modena
has a small convenience store with grocery items, gasoline, a post office, and
café.” In fact, the post office has now
Ten minutes after my landing, a truck
came down the road. Now, that was a
happy sight! The occupants drove over
to take a look at the glider, and to check
on my well being. They were a local
farmer (Mike Flinsphach) and his helper,
and they said that the only local source of
communication was in one of the houses
I had seen from the air. The person who
lived there had a radio for communication, but had left for town that morning
and was not due back until the next day.
Mike suggested I go to his ranch
house and use their phone. We arranged
the dogs and tools so I could sit in the
truck cab. One dog was a typical farm
dog that rode in the back. The other was
a toy poodle that had rolled in the cockle burrs till totally coated, and which I had to hold in my lap during the entire trip to the
farm house. I estimate that Mike’s house was about 25 miles from my landing site, as it took almost an hour to get there on the
dirt road. We didn’t pass a single person, so I began to comprehend how lucky I had been to have them find me.
I called Ely with my coordinates and approximate driving instructions. The response was that seven other retrieves were in
process with no one available until the next day. The people at Ely promised to phone my wife Mary with the news, as she still
expected me to return this evening. I requested the crew bring some plywood to aid the retrieve over the brush.
Mike and his wife Colleen were gracious hosts, and prepared food, sandwiches and drinks to fortify me for the night with the
ship. Mike insisted I take his work truck to return to the ship and he would retrieve it the next day on one of his trips to his north
I didn’t pass anyone on the road going back to the ship. The truck was equipped with a high power rifle, a 2 million power
spot light, plenty of ammunition, a shovel, a 5’ crow bar, three twenty ton railroad jacks, and a Pulaski. A Pulaski is a fire fightContinued on Page 9
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Southern California Soaring
ers axe with a sharpened hoe on the back of the blade. My emergency kit included a space blanket and water and snacks.
The cockpit proved too restricting to sleep so I opted for the truck cab. I was grateful I had the space blanket, as otherwise the
chill of night on the 6000 ft. high desert would have been very uncomfortable. Four cars passed in the night -- three in convoy at
9:30PM, and one at 12:30AM pulling a trailer. Whoops, I wonder if the crew decided to come after me at night after all? They
would not see the glider or truck from the road. I got the spot light connected to the power plug and started flashing it down the
road in the direction of the trailer. No one came back!
The next morning I surveyed the location of road, glider and potential sage brush problems. Fortunately I had gloves in the
glider, and I started to take a few swings with the Pulaski. I found that it efficiently clipped off the sage at ground level. Before
long, I cleared enough so we would be able to roll the ship to more level ground.
About 10 AM, a hay truck with a young driver stopped, along with an accompanying pickup driven by his even younger 12
year old brother. They helped me position the glider in the area I had cleared. I spent the next hour entertaining them with stories about my soaring adventures.
The farmer showed up at noon and advised that Mary had called to announce the departure of my retrieve crew. A Park
Ranger showed up about 1 PM, and took down information for his report. His radio didn’t work in this valley, so he could not
get a position report on the crew. He did admire my progress with the Pulaski, though. He had no knowledge of the condition of
the road going north, which could save over 40 miles on the return trip to Ely. But he did think the road went about 85 miles before getting to pavement (he was right).
The crew arrived at 3:30 PM. It consisted of two high school boys, another glider pilot volunteer, Willy Strand, and the local
Ely FBO operations manager, James Adams. They didn’t bring any plywood, so my clearing activities with the Pulaski really
made a big difference. Before long, we had positioned the glider behind the trailer for disassembly. The extra hands made short
work stowing the glider as the Caproni is a heavy glider. Mike (the farmer) stopped by to pick up his truck as we were loading
the fuselage into the trailer, and refused to accept any reimbursement for their help. The farmer’s helper didn’t say much, but just
grinned and nodded. He was about 400 pounds and 6’8”, and I think he could have lifted the whole plane if necessary
We returned on the road that went north, which seemed like an eternity as we couldn’t go any faster than 40 MPH, and we had
a few washout areas from the previous day’s thunderstorms. We hit one washout too fast and bent the trailer axle to an alarming
degree. We finally limped back into Ely at 8:15 PM.
Lessons learned: Try to stay in touch with fellow pilots so someone has an idea of your location (earlier notice to Ely would
have had a crew enroute the same day). Make attempts on all frequencies when getting low. Cell phones may still work when a
final glide is eminent. Review your emergency kit, and replace outdated materials -- batteries, biscuits, trail mix and water packets. Tie down screws are easier to use than stakes when no rocks are available.
Ray bases his Caproni at Tehachapi.
Thanksgiving Soaring at New Cuyama
For a number of years, Caracole Soaring has spent
Thanksgiving weekend at Santa Ynez. This year, it will
move its Thanksgiving get-together to New Cuyama.
Where is New Cuyama? About 30 miles northeast of Santa
Ynez by air, but 90 miles by road. The closest towns are
Santa Maria and Bakersfield, each about an hour away.
New Cuyama is a tiny town with one bar, one
restaurant, one motel and one gas station. It has a 3500’
paved airstrip with no based aircraft. To get there, take the
I-5 to just north of the Grapevine, then head west on
Highway 166 for about 47 miles. The airport is a half mile
south of the highway on the west edge of town.
How is the soaring? Cuyama Valley lies east-west. The
5800 foot Sierra Madre range south of the field will offer
mountain soaring opportunities. So there may be ridge,
thermal or wave lift. It will be drier than the coastal
valleys. It is the closest airport to the Sisquoc Condor
Sanctuary. Contact Cindy Brickner for more details at
760-373-1019 or
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Southern California Soaring
[The following story is about the 2003 Caracole trip to Santa Ynez. Though Caracole will not be at Santa Ynez this year, tows
are available there over Thanksgiving weekend (though not Thanksgiving Day) from Windhaven Glider Rides. Ed.]
2003 Thanksgiving at Santa Ynez
So let’s start with what it wasn’t: It wasn’t a contest
to see who could go the farthest (although of course it
was probably Gary Ittner). It wasn’t about who could go
the highest (it might have been Kevin Wayt), or who
could stay up the longest (probably Paul Trist) or who
could go the fastest (most likely it was Jim Norris, but
he was in the RV6 so it didn’t count). What it was,
actually, was Thanksgiving at Santa Ynez, and it was
just about exactly what Thanksgiving is supposed to be:
a chance to relax, to hang out with some really good
friends, to socialize, to maybe do some flying, and to
just generally enjoy the heck out of a nice long weekend
and reflect on just how lucky we were to have that
I think it is fair to say that the Thanksgiving glider
event at Santa Ynez got its start as a bunch of Cal City
glider types making an annual migration to a place
where funny green stuff grows in the dirt, and there is a
really big lake just over the hills to the South. Having
been involved in this endeavor in one capacity or
another essentially since its inception, let me give you a
flavor for the type of
Continued on Page 11
By Derek Lisoski
Kevin Wayt over the Santa Ynez mountains. Photo by Mark Saunders.
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Southern California Soaring
activities that tend to prevail at this annual event.
First off, it appears to involve a lot of eating. In this
category, the Marriot all-you-can eat Thanksgiving
buffet deserves special mention the last two years
running, but the outright winner is the traditional
Saturday night barbecue hosted by Windhaven. In 2003,
at least 40 people helped finish off mounds of sausages,
pounds of hamburgers and a few gallons of beer. It is
always fortunate that there is a couple of days to recover
after Thanksgiving and before this stellar example of
culinary excess.
Yet another recreational opportunity is available in
the form of flying, driving, riding or just ogling very
loud, extremely fast, excessively exotic machinery;
preferably of a variety that requires the combustion of
large quantities of fossil fuel. The featured competitors
in 2003 were a 365GTC4 Ferrari (courtesy of Dave
Romer), a Factory 5 Cobra (Greg Chaffee), a Vans RV-6
(David Nye) and a brand new Turbo 182 (Doug Easton).
The Cobra took first honors in dBs-per-gallon, and
probably would have won best-elapsed-time-to-Solvang,
Hot cars. Photo by Jason Mukherjee.
except that the RV-6 had a big advantage once they
passed the end of the runway.
Almost everybody at Santa Ynez seems to be able to reach into the back of their automobile and pull out a model airplane.
This year we had a bunch of hand-launch gliders and a beautiful 18” wingspan scale Spitfire electric model built by Carlos
Miralles. These guys fly their models in the early morning and in-between flights in the full-scale aircraft. Given the weather
forecasts for the weekend, on Wednesday I overheard several people wondering if they should bring even more models for
alternative entertainment, since it didn’t appear that the weather was going to cooperate.
As it turned out, we did a LOT of (full-scale) glider flying. Weather-wise, 2003 had to be one of the best 4-day weekends
ever, with all 4 days being soarable, altitudes of 17k+ in wave, pretty good ridge lift on Friday, and even the occasional thermal
thrown in for variety.
At least 10 private gliders flew, and the ASK-21 from Caracole, the Grob 103 from SCDSA and the DUO Discus were
airborne practically continuously taking rides, flying instructional flights, or just goofing off. This was all in addition to the
regular ride schedule for Windhaven, and it made for a rather busy launch staff, although there were only occasional armwrestling matches for takeoff position. Jeremy Storey and Elias Wagner from Caracole did an excellent job of running wings,
retrieving tow ropes and generally making sure everything on the ground was running smoothly.
Here are some comments from those who attended:
Rob Kaptein (6G): For me Santa Ynez was the first ridge
soaring, the first Duo Discus flight, the first wave flight and
the prettiest environment I ever flew in. Not to forget, a
bunch of very friendly glider pilots.
Matt Halper (6G): The best was flying over the tree covered
coastal range in the wave's smooth lift.
Paul Trist (BC1): Flew 6:10 min in wave in BC ASW-28:
11,200’ max alt; 20 nm max distance.
Kevin Wayt (RW): The hospitality is second to
none! Great food, friendships, and soaring all in one place
on such a great weekend...should we be thankful and are we
blessed or what?
Peter Kovari (8V): Fun, great socializing!
SCUMs Jeremy and Elias. Photo by Rich Varley.
Continued on Page 12
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Brian Iten (17): Great flying, great friends and great food (even though I didn’t order the Tri-Tip from Red Barn this year).
Carlos Miralles (6G): Great time as usual! It was especially enjoyable to meet club members I haven't flown with before and
introduce them to soaring.
Chuck Griswold (7X): We always have Thanksgiving twice. The family gets together on Wednesday and does the traditional
thing. Then Thursday I tow my glider plus trailer to Santa Ynez for the Turkey week soaring festival with the Santa Barbara
bunch. Turkey dinner buffet at the Mariott is the best buffet on the west coast. Started out with a green salad then green mussels,
salmon, and shrimp. Next came the turkey, ham, and roast beast. Then on to the Banana Foster and ice cream. Wash it all down
with red wine and finish with a cup of coffee. That was just a small part of what the chef had to offer. Hard to beat.
Region 12 Director Updates
At the recent SSA Board meeting in Colorado, Region 12
director Jim Skydell was elected to the Executive Committee,
and now is one of the SSA’s four Vice-Chairs. This shows
how far one can go in an aviation organization when half of
your last name is “sky.” Jim also is in charge of planning the
2005 Convention in Ontario, and – perhaps most noteworthy – is an Assistant Editor of Southern California Soaring.
After several years of exemplary service, Larry Tuohino
has left his position as Director at Large. He has decided to
take a break from his efforts to market soaring and raise
funds for the SSA Foundation. He reports he will spend more
time with his family, as well as continue as SSA Governor.
Larry’s shoes are large ones to fill. The Board could have
elected an SSA member from any region to the vacated position, but instead choose Region 12’s own Doug Easton (DG800B). Doug was elected because of his interest in promoting the SSA and soaring (recently demonstrated by his successful efforts to present soaring at the Camarillo Airshow,
and his help with the SSA display at the AOPA Convention).
Doug Easton
Page 13
Southern California Soaring
Post-Op Report from the SSA Booth at the 2004 AOPA
National Convention
By Jim Skydell, Region 12 Director
On October 21-23, a dozen Region 12 glider pilots staffed an SSA-sponsored both at the AOPA convention in Long Beach,
CA, using the theme: “Soaring, THE High Performance Rating.” We shared a double length booth with Pat Costello, who joined
us to support soaring and the SSA. The synergy of our side by side backdrops was an extremely impressive and professional
Pat Costello’s Booth.
SSA’s newly refurbished trade show booth.
Five people were in the booth at all times over 3 days, and there was little time to rest. The booth was perfectly positioned in the
exhibit hall, at the top of a "T" intersection. With permission of the filmmakers, we ran clips from Redline Sky, A Fine Week of
Soaring, and Smokin' (from the U.K.) on a 42” plasma screen television. The videos stopped people in their tracks. This gave us
a chance to slip along side and ask, "Ever flown a glider?" Close to 60% said “yes,” though fewer than 10% had glider ratings,
and roughly 5% were actively flying gliders. Of those who
said “no,” nearly everyone voiced something along the lines
of "I've always wanted to do that." Many people were
referred to the SSA web site to purchase the videos.
We distributed roughly 350 SOARING magazines and
SSA membership applications, and a similar number of
Region 12 "Soaring in Southern California" trifold brochures.
The Region 12 brochure listed all glider clubs and
commercial operators in Region 12, and included a reminder
card for our February convention, information about the
basics of glider add-on ratings, and a $10 discount coupon for
glider rides at Region 12 soaring FBOs.
Since virtually 100% of attendees were power pilots, we
also distributed a detailed information sheet regarding the
glider add-on rating. Many were surprised that the glider
add-on satisfies the BFR requirement, and by the few number
of flights required to obtain the rating. Not many understood
that the FAA views motorgliders as gliders, and that medical
David Norinsky and Peter Kovari working the crowd.
certificates are not required.
Continued on Page 14
Page 14
Southern California Soaring
We pushed our $99 Special Lesson very hard. The Special included the "Glider Flying Handbook” (donated by the SSA),
along with a half hour instructional flight and a half hour of ground school. We stressed that this flight could be the first toward
earning a glider rating. The SSA donated one $99 Special for a free drawing, and we collected 145 names and addresses for
marketing. I believe our prize was the most valuable one being given away in the entire show. The winner was Gary Reed, a
Citation pilot from Compton, CA. He was very excited about taking his free lesson, and thought he would go ahead with the addon rating.
Torrey on TV, World Records, Drawing.
$99.00 Special
Roughly 80% of the attendees were from California, and most seemed very interested in attending our own convention in February. I met several “ex” SSA members, and was not shy about saying “we need you back.” I made contact with several companies who are considering a booth at the SSA Convention, as well as the publisher of Pilot Getaway Magazine, who is thinking
about doing a feature on soaring.
Sincere thanks to the Region 12 members who helped with the booth. Doug Easton, SSA Director-at-Large (elect) lent us his
TV and edited the video clips. Other Region 12 pilots who staffed the SSA booth were Dave Raspet, David Norinsky, Peter
Kovari, Jason Mukherjee, Fred Bonar, Mike Koerner, Dave Romer, Derek Lisoski, Doug Turner, and Charles Vorsanger. They
did terrific work over 3 days, selling soaring to many hundreds of power pilots.
Thanks also to Pat Costello for his help. Unfortunately, immediately after setting up the booths, Pat had to return home to
Tempe because of illness in his family. We missed him, but did our best to sell aviation insurance (or at least pass out his literature). Finally, thanks to all the SSA staff at Hobbs (Rhonda, Gaynell, Alan) who printed and shipped everything to the show, as
well as coordinated things with the event decorator.
Was it worth all the work and expense? It will be difficult to assess our return on investment. A clue that we were successful
will be a jump in R-12 SSA membership, or perhaps an increase in our own 2005 SSA Convention attendance. Given the clearly
high level of interest displayed by the AOPA attendees, it appeared to be a “target rich” environment.
Although it was certainly fun talking to people about soaring, the next time I decide to spend 3 days in a row doing something
like this, someone take me out behind the wood shed for a little chat, please.
Director Reports
Our webpage has a new section – Director Reports. Cindy Brickner has posted her notes of the October director meeting in
Denver. Go to:
Also, the SSA e-newsletter is now on-line. See it at:
Page 15
Southern California Soaring
Equipment Corner
Discus 2c/18 flies
The Discus 2c/18 is now flying. This new glider
will accept 15 meter as well as 18 meter tips. To
compensate for the additional adverse yaw of the
longer tips, the D2c takes the fuselage of the Ventus
2c, with its taller tail. The joint for both sets of tips
is well inboard, with the 15 meter version keeping
the same wing as the existing D2. For more information on this new glider, including a 3-view, see
page 7 of
Schleicher ASG-29
Recent Schleicher glider models have carried
the prefix ASK, ASH, or ASW. The “AS” stands
for “Alexander Schleicher,” while third letter refers
Discus 2c.
to the glider’s principal designer – Rudolf Kaiser,
Martin Heide, or Gerhard Weibel. Weibel recently
retired, and has been replaced by Michael Greiner.
Greiner now has his first design, the new flapped ASG-29. This new ship has interchangeable tips for 15 and 18 meters. As
with the Discus 2c, Ventus 2c, and forthcoming LS10, the joint for the tips is well inboard, which enables the designer to optimize
the outer panels for both 15 and 18 meters (as well as reducing wing panel weight).
In 15 meter mode, the ASG-29 appears nearly identical to the ASW-27, with only a slightly different wing planform. At this
time, it is unclear whether Schleicher will continue to build the ’27, though there would appear to be little point in building two
gliders of almost identical design.
Although the ’29 will not be offered as a self-launcher, it will be available with Schleicher’s sustainer engine. Presumably,
pilots with the sustainer engine will normally fly in 18 meter mode.
Schleicher predicts that the glider will first fly in mid-2005, with first deliveries occurring in early 2006. For more information, see Michael Greiner will discuss his ASG-29 at the SSA
Convention on February 11th.
ASG-29 3-view.
Page 16
Southern California Soaring
Windward Performance, based in Bend, Oregon, has for several years built the ultralight (155 pound) 11 meter SparrowHawk. The company now has a design for a new
15 meter ship which it has named the DuckHawk. Why this name? According to Greg
Cole, the designer, DuckHawk is an old American name for the Peregrine Falcon, the fastest animal on the planet.
Cole claims some impressive specifications for the ship – 300 pound empty weight,
VNE of 200 knots, and glide ratio of 49:1. One interesting feature of the DuckHawk is
that it uses the same fuselage as the SparrowHawk. Thus, it has a very small vertical tail
for its wingspan.
Classified Ad
Strong Para Cushion 26' Lo Po Back Pack. Manufactured 12/86. Fresh repack/inspection. Blue. $650. (951) 302-0456. CA
Dust Devil Dash
2004 By Rich Gillock
The annual Dust Devil Dash launched
from Tehachapi’s Mountain Valley Airport
this year on September 11, 2004. Before
takeoff, one pilot commented that “this looks
like 1-26 weather.” Well, he was right, and
he was wrong. The winner this year was
Doug Levy flying his 1-26 to Kingston, NV
for a scratch distance of 292.98 miles and a
handicapped distance of 483.42 miles. However, there also were some very good flights
by glass ships.
Everyone flew the Northern route this
year, most of them landing in Nevada for one
of the most successful Dust Devil Dash’s in
years. For some, though, Nevada wasn’t
good enough. In a Nimbus 4D, Mark Mahan
and Craig Shaber flew to Twin Falls, Idaho,
for a scratch distance of 552.27 miles. But
their handicap distance of 428.56 miles was
only good enough for third place, as Kevin
Continued on Page 17
At Eureka, Nevada airport after the DDD – Doug Turner, Brian Iten’s crew
Marci rae Blue, Brian, and Doug’s crew Krista Keizer and her dad Alan.
Page 17
Southern California Soaring
Wayt captured second in his Ventus C with a flight to Jackpot, NV for a scratch distance of 516.85 miles and a handicap score of
452.24 miles.
There were 19 entries this year. Everyone was able to get out on course, with all but 4 of the pilots making over a 200 mile
scratch distance from Tehachapi. There was only one off-field landing, and with no damage. Congratulations to all of the pilots
who flew well and safely.
Thanks to Larry and Jane Barrett, who provided extra tow pilots, and opened a window in their student schedule to allow us to
get up and away. Thanks also to weatherman Dan Gudgel, who brought us a great weather forecast, and helped tow us to the lift.
Also thanks to all of the crews who made their pilot’s flight possible.
Call Sign
Landing Place
Raw Distance
HCP Distance
Doug Levy
SGS 1-26B
Kingston, NV
Kevin Wayt
Jackpot, NV
Mark Mahan/
Craig Shaber
Nimbus 4D
Joslin-Magic, Twin Falls, ID
Marty Eiler
ASW 27
Wells Airport, NV
Ramy Yanetz
LS 4
Elko Airport, NV
Josh Knerr
Yerrington Airport, NV
Doug Fronius
Hawthorne Airport, NV
Rich Gillock
SGS 1-26D
Mina Airport, NV
Doug Turner
Eureka, NV
Peter Kovari
Std Libelle
Austin Airport, NV
Bryan Iten
Discus B
Eureka, NV
Austin Airport, NV
Larry Tuohino PIK 20
Jeff Byard
Genesis II
Current, NV
Tom Riley
American Spirit
Minden-Tahoe Airport, NV
Jim Staniforth
LS 6
Minden-Tahoe Airport, NV
Ian Cant
Russia AC4B
Bishop Airport, CA
ASW 20
Bishop Airport, CA
Ron Hodge
SGS 1-26D
Olancha Airport, CA
Del Blomquist
SGS 1-26A
Cantill (near Jawbone Cyn), CA
All Dust Devil Dash results, from the initial race in 1985 to this year’s race, are available at http://www.
Page 18
Southern California Soaring
Soaring News
The last several months have seen several glider displays at airshows and schools. The ones that have been reported to us:
Santa Barbara Airshow
The biannual Santa Barbara airshow (this year officially
entitled A Day at the Santa Barbara Airport) was held on
September 25. While there were not many planes in the air
or on the ground, this may have helped highlight the glider
display. On display were an ASH-25 (Claudio Ponte and
Garrett Calhoun), a Mosquito (Bud Gilbertson), and a Discus (Greg Arnold and Ron Worley). In addition to Bud
and Greg, glider pilots at the show included Jim Norris,
Mark Saunders, Dave Romero, Fred Ebner, and Bob
There always was a small crowd around the gliders.
Some people apparently were unfamiliar with the concept
of a glider, questioning whether it really was towed into the
air by another plane. Others questioned the safety of a contraption that lacked an engine. One commented that this
was a hobby for “thrill-seekers.” Visitors also included a
significant numbers of former glider pilots, or people who
had started but never completed glider flight training.
Bud Gilbertson (dark blue shirt) shows his Mosquito at the Santa
Barbara airshow.
Continued on Page 19
Page 19
Southern California Soaring
Orange County Soaring Association
OCSA has displayed sailplanes at 2 to
3 airshows each year for as long as its
members can remember. This year they
were at the Riverside Airshow on March
26, the Hemet Airshow on June 5, and the
Corona Air Faire on Oct 2. The attached
photo shows the gang at the Corona event.
OCSA Members at Corona.
Miramar Airshow
Kathy and Rob Morgan’s Ximango motorglider.
The 2004 Miramar Airshow on October 15th,
16th, and 17th promoted soaring with both static and
flying displays. On the ground, show attendees
could inspect both a Ximango motorglider (Kathy
and Rob Morgan) and an ASW-24 (Treasure and
Don Buman). In the air, Bret Willat (with his wife
Karen towing) flew both daytime and evening glider
aerobatic routines on all three days.
The Morgans and Bumans worked the entire 3day airshow. Others volunteers who helped them on
various days included both neophytes to soaring and
seasoned veterans from the AGCSC club in San
Diego -- Brad Pitzer, Paul Simpson, Gary Michell,
Ed Slater, Byron Lowry, and Fred DeGroot. Show
visitors went away with a number of handouts, courtesy of Region 12 Director Jim Skydell, Director at
Large Larry Touhino, and the SSA. In addition to
his aerobatic routine, Bret Willat and his family
manned a booth which promoted their Airsailing
operation at Warner Springs.
School Display
On September 18th, Ron Worley displayed his Discus at the second annual "Adventure Hill" at Ventura Missionary Church
Elementary and Middle Schools in Ventura. Activities included a barbeque, food booths, a rummage sale, a silent auction, live
bands, Jolly Jumps for the kids, and various displays. Ron reports that the sailplane was the most popular display. Turnout was
good with around 300 attendees, despite competition from several other events including the Point Mugu Airshow. All the kids
sat in the glider, and maybe we gained a few future pilots.
Page 20
Southern California Soaring
26500 West Agoura Rd.
Suite 102-726
Calabasas, CA 91302-2969
Due to the strong support of Region 12 members and
our advertisers, the size of Southern California Soaring
has grown rapidly. You may find that printing it at
home makes for easier reading. When finished with
your printed copy, may we suggest that you drop it off
at your favorite FBO/Club for others to see? Thanks for
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Contact Us
Editor: Greg Arnold - [email protected]
Assistant Editors: Sean Ford - [email protected], Jim Skydell - [email protected]
Advertising Editor: Jim Skydell - [email protected]
Webmaster: Sean Ford - [email protected]
Thanks to everyone who helped with this issue.
To all Region 12 members: Many soaring-related businesses support our efforts to revitalize and enhance soaring activities by advertising in Southern California Soaring. Please do
your best to return the favor.