March, 1999

Edited by Carol Patterson


The Arizona Soaring Association is a chapter of the Soaring Society of America. It is a non-profit corporation in the State of Arizona for the purpose of fostering the sport and science of soaring and educating the public on motorless flight in Arizona.

Officers and Directors, 1999

President John Goodman 395-9334 Vice President Peter Van Camp 842-2953

Secretary Bob Blakemore 483-6482 Treasurer Cliff Hilty 374-5387

Director Carol Patterson 561-5454 Director Rick Rubscha 878-6750

Director Kirk Stant 933-1572 Director Jason Stephens 545-0965

Director Mike McNulty 994-9658


Ship Manager Kirk Stant 933-1572 Contest Manager Tony Smolder 942-6519

Equipment Rick Rubscha 878-6750 Legal Advisor Peter Van Camp 842-2953

Membership Arnie Jurn 279-7840 Newsletter Ed Carol Patterson 561-5454

Airspace Mike McNulty 994-9658 Safety Jason Stephens 545-0965

Historian Ruth Petry 274-3968 Social Director Patti Johnson 374-5387


Tuesday, March 23, 7pm General Membership Meeting Barros Pizza - Coral Gables & 7th Street, Phoenix

Tuesday, April 6, 7pm Board Meeting Barros Pizza - Coral Gables & 7th Street, Phoenix

The lark is here!

ASA Statistical Data for March, 1999 Web site:

Current Membership Count 90, Reciprocal Newsletters 10, Air Currents Circulation for March 1999: 100

AIR CURRENTS is published monthly but the Arizona Soaring Association to disseminate news, opinion, education and items of interest to members. The subscription rate for non-members is $20/yr. Complimentary copies are mailed to: editors of sister publications on an exchange basis, regular members, advertisers, and non-members who have contributed materials for publication. Articles on any subject pertaining to soaring are welcome. Electronic submissions by Email, modem or IBM compatible floppy disk are preferred. Typed or clearly hand written submissions are also acceptable. Please submit to: Air Currents, c/o Carol Patterson 8903 W. Salter; Peoria, AZ 85283 561-5454.

ADVERTISING POLICY: Non-commercial advertising from ASA members will be printed without charge. Other advertising will be printed, on a space available basis, at the following rates: full page, $10; half page, $5; less than half page, $3.


Date Location CD

March 6 Estrella None (Practice Day)

March 7 Estrella None (Practice Day)

March 20 Turf None (Practice Day)

March 21 Turf None (Practice Day

April 3 Estrella Cliff Hilty

April 4 Estrella Neal Olshan

April 17 Turf Bob Blakemore

April 18 Turf Bob von Hellens

May 1 El-Tiro Oliver Spatscheck

May 2 El-Tiro Rick Rubscha

May 15 Estrella Bill Poore

May 16 Estrella Andy Durbin

May 29 Willcox Neil McLeod

May 30 Willcox Bill Prokes

May 31 Willcox Kirk Stant

July 24 Turf Mike Parker

July 25 Turf Ralph Bergh

August 7 Estrella Barbara MacLean

August 8 Estrella Casey Lenox

August 21 Turf Mike McNulty

August 22 Turf Hans Heydrich

September 11 Estrella Tony Smolder

September 12 Estrella Alan Reeter

September 25 El-Tiro Nilton Renno

September 26 El-Tiro John Leibacher


Other Contest Dates

June 7 - 11 Region 9 - Penrose, Colorado

June 15 - 24 Standard Class Nationals - Minden, Nevada

July 6 - 15 15 Meter Nationals - Hobbs, New Mexico


Arizona Soaring Association Board Meeting Minutes: February 2, 1999

The meeting was held at Barros Pizza, Coral Gables & 7th St. Phoenix, Arizona.

The meeting was called to order at 8:00 PM, A quorum was present.

Attending: Bob Blakemore

Cliff Hilty

John Goodman

Kirk Stant

Mike McNulty

Rick Rubscha

Carol Patterson

Peter Van Camp

Jason Stephens

Also Attending: Tony Smolder

President John Goodman asked that the minutes of the January board meeting be submitted and approved. There being no amendments the minutes were approved as read.

President Goodman then proceeded with the committee reports.

Kirk Stant reviewed with the board the Grob’s operating utilization report for 1998. The report showed that the Grob had flown 227 times accumulating 438.3 hours. The aircraft generated $6200 in revenue against $3138 in expenses. Kirk asked for a motion to authorize the paying of the aircraft insurance through July of 1999. Motion was made and approved.

Mr. Stant also asked the board to consider a motion to allow funds to be allocated and spent on the updating of the Grob’s interior. After some discussion the board approved an amount up to $400 to be allocated for this purpose. Mr. Stant is to make the arrangements as appropriate with these guidelines.

The board also discussed modifications to the interior of the Grob 102. After some discussion and upon the advice of council it was decided that no modifications should be made or allowed without the prior approval of the Club Ship Manager and the appropriate paper work to support such modifications. Mr. Stant was asked by the board to notify all parties of this policy.

Mr. Tony Smolder then gave a contest report. He asked that the board approve a motion to charge as an annual fee $30 for all those parties who are interested in using the club’s oxygen system at Turf. The board approved the motion and appointed Cliff Hilty as the person responsible for the maintenance of the system and checkout of the people who wish to use the system.

Mr. Smolder submitted to the board a list of updated turnpoints that will be used by the ASA in 1999. He also discussed with the board remote starts and other GPS format issues. A full discussion of these issues is to be held at Estrella Sailport on the first practice contest day which is March 6, 1999.

The board then approved a motion to appoint Patti Johnson as the social director for 1999.

President Goodman then asked Peter Van Camp to discuss with the board his analysis of the club’s aircraft insurance policies. Mr. Van Camp pointed out to the board that the Lark posed some interesting issues with regard to coverage as it relates to "innocent occupants". He recommended to the board that they consider a motion to raise the second seat insurance liability to $200,000 from the existing $100,000. After some discussion the board approved the motion and authorized that the appropriate insurance premium be paid to increase this particular coverage.

Mr. Van Camp encouraged the board to maintain its standards with regards to the demonstration of proficiency for the various aircraft that it intends to operate. In addition he suggested to the board that they maintain a list of CFIG’s that have the authority to sign off pilots prior to their first flights. The board asked Mr. Stant to put the appropriate procedures in place.

President Goodman then asked Cliff Hilty for the treasurer’s report. Mr. Hilty reported that the club had taken in $494.50 from membership fees and $66 for book sales for a total of $560.50. He also indicated that the club had disbursements of $2,237.00 for various activities most of which related to the acquisition of the Lark or the operation of the Grob 102. The checkbook balance after these entries is $1,034.34. The savings account has a balance of $12,750.00.

Mr. Hilty then presented to the board the 1998 Annual Report. This showed that the club had taken in revenues of $32,843.12 against expenses of $23,231.67. The complete report is part of the records of this meeting and available to any member upon request.

Mr. Hilty then presented to the board the proposed operating budget for 1999. This report showed revenues of $8,225 against expenses of $10,513. The revenue shortfall is because of the pre-payment of two-year dues regarding the acquisition of the two place Lark in 1998. The shortfall will be offset from the monies set aside in the savings account for this purpose. After some discussion the board approved the 1999-operating plan.

The spring party will be held following the first contest day at Estrella on April 3, 1999. There being no further business the meeting was adjourned at 9:30 PM local time. The next meeting will be at the same location Tuesday March 2, 1999.

Bob Blakemore


I have inserted 1 accident reports from the NTSB at Suggestions are always welcome!

Report 1

NTSB Identification: FTW98LA406. The docket is stored in the (offline) NTSB Imaging System.

Accident occurred SEP-23-98 at WALLER, TX
Aircraft: Nicks PW-5, registration: N110WN
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

On September 23, 1998, approximately 1519 central daylight time, an amateur-built experimental Nicks PW-5 glider, N110WN, was substantially damaged when it collided with terrain during final approach to landing in a pasture near Waller, Texas. The commercial pilot, the sole occupant and the owner/builder of the glider, was fatally injured. No flight plan was filed and visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the Title 14 CFR Part 91 personal cross country flight that departed Coulter Field Airport in Bryan, Texas, at 1350. The flight's intended destination was the Soaring Club of Houston Gliderport near Waller.

Full narative below


On September 23, 1998, approximately 1519 central daylight time, an amateur-built experimental Nicks PW-5 glider, N110WN, was substantially damaged when it collided with terrain during final approach to landing in a pasture near Waller, Texas. The commercial pilot, the sole occupant and the owner/builder of the glider, was fatally injured. No flight plan was filed and visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the Title 14 CFR Part 91 personal cross country flight that departed Coulter Field Airport in Bryan, Texas, at 1350. The flight's intended destination was the Soaring Club of Houston Gliderport near Waller.

The driver of a ground chase vehicle following the glider on its 37-nautical mile flight reported that about 1500, the pilot radioed that he was climbing over the Navasota Municipal Airport. (The Navasota Airport is located about two thirds of the way between Coulter Field and Houston Gliderport.) Approximately 1505, the pilot radioed that he was departing Navasota and heading toward Houston Gliderport. About 10 minutes later, the pilot radioed that he was "too low to make Houston Gliderport and too far from Navasota" and that he "had a pasture in sight and was landing out."

A witness, who was seated on his front porch, reported that he observed the glider coming from the north-northeast towards his house, at an altitude of "25 to 50 feet above the ground." The glider "made a sharp left turn away from the house," and its left wing tip hit the ground. The nose of the glider then impacted the ground "hard at a fairly steep angle," and the glider "slid sideways" and came to a stop.

The accident site was located approximately 3 miles northwest of the Houston Gliderport. According to the FAA inspector who examined the site, the glider impacted in an open field with a "slight uphill grade" to the south. The witness's house was located at the south (top) end of the field. Wreckage was distributed along a line that extended 112 feet south from the initial ground scar. The first piece of wreckage, found 26 feet from the ground scar, was the left wing tip. This was followed, in order, by the left wing, right wing tip, canopy, fuselage with right wing attached, and horizontal stabilizer.

An autopsy was performed by Paul W. Shrode, M.D., at the Joseph A. Jachimczyk Forensic Center of Harris County in Houston, Texas. Toxicological tests performed by the FAA's Civil Aeromedical Institute (CAMI) detected dextromethorphan (cough syrup) and trimethoprim (antibiotic) in the pilot's urine and liver. According to Dr. Canfield of CAMI, neither of these medications should have caused impairment.

According to a relative, the pilot had accumulated 3,263 total flight hours, of which 1,661 hours were in gliders. He had accumulated 15 hours flight time in N110WN.

Humor from down under!

(This is great reading; and I might say not without some reflection. In any event our ole' buddy "Woody" needs to hear from all of us. GZ)


It's good to hear from someone back in the Old Country.

We arrived on Saturday, November 7. On Sunday, November 8, we just happened to find ourselves at Benalla. How, you might ask, did I manage to convince Kathy that this was a good thing to do the day after we arrived? Well, this being Australia, most everything is closed on Sunday. So as we sat in our hotel room, I said "I'm bored just sitting around this hotel room." To which Kathy replied "So, am I". Things were looking good so far. "Hey, why don't we take a drive and see the country side. Maybe we'll see some kangaroos or koalas", I replied. Of course, her response was an enthusiastic "Sure".

Since Melbourne is on the south coast, there was only one direction to head, North, which just by coincidence is in the direction of Benalla. So off we go, oohing and aahing as we drove through the open country and rolling hills and commenting on all the differences between here and the U.S. There were momentary periods of excitement, or should I say panic, that interrupted this tranquil scene I as drifted back over to the right hand side of the road while enjoying all this scenic bliss. This maneuver was not without benefit though, as we both learned how they swear in Australian and other quaint colloquialisms. Apparently, though, hand gestures are the same in any language.

Although Kathy may have questioned my knowledge of Australian wildlife habitations when I suggested we might see some uniquely Australian critters, I was fully vindicated during this drive. Not only did we see kangaroos AND koalas, we did happen across one wombat. We are hoping, however, at some point during our stay, we will be able to see these same animals before they have become road kill.

Anyway, after about two hours of driving, I suggested we might get off the highway at the next town and grab a bite to eat. Well, what do you know, the next town was Benalla. "Hey, look at that", I said as we took the exit ramp towards town, "The sign there says that the Victoria State Gliding Centre is located nearby". "Gee, since we're already here, maybe we should drop in and have a look around. I've heard it's a pretty nice operation." At that point, what could she say?

And it is a first class operation. Paved strip for power. Grass, yep GREEN grass, runways for gliders. The "clubhouse" features two lounges, a restaurant, bar, pool table, briefing room, and administrative offices. There are hangers for all the club ships as well as the private owners. The club fleet consists of 4 two-place Larks, a PW5, Jantar Junior, 3 Mosquitos, 1 or 2 Hornets (I kinda lost track at this point) a Nimbus 3 and a Bergfalke (or something like that) motor glider for "paddock" landing practice. I hear that they have a Discus, or maybe it's a Ventus, on order. Oh yeah, there are 3 tow planes. I'm starting to think that maybe my plane crashed on the way to Australia and I ended up in glider pilot heaven.

Two weeks later found us at Baccus Marsh, where there are three glider clubs operating. This drive in the country ploy seems to work when there is something more to look at than cactus. This time we got to see flocks of cockatoos (live animals this time) flying over the countryside. They seem to flap too much though, so are probably not very good thermal markers. Anyway, all the folks at Baccus Marsh were very friendly. The big appeal to this operation is that it is only 20 minutes from were we work. The down side is that the field elevation is 1500 ft and it is located under the 4500 ft msl floor of the Melbourne Class B airspace. Hmmm. Let's see. 4500 minus 1500 is, ah .... And how far does this class air extend? Ten miles to the west and even farther to the north and south. East is not good either because the floor drops to 2500! That, coupled with the strong marine influence, seemed to make the cross-country possibilities rather limited. Oh well, so much for convenience.

Two weeks later, back at Benalla, getting a field checkout in one of the Larks. Boy, the guy that told us that the Lark "spins like a top" wasn't kidding. As I was getting my briefing, I was wondering why the instructor kept emphasizing spin recovery so much. In fact, during the check ride, that's about all he wanted to see, other than a reasonable pattern. Well, after performing the spins "up close and personal", I can see why they place their emphasis where they do. The stall has a nice crisp break, the aircraft assumes an almost vertical attitude, and rotates slowly about the CG. "Recover", says the instructor from the back seat. Neutral stick, full opposite rudder...Nothing. Finally after about another turn, the rotation finally stops. Of course, at this attitude speed picks up VERY rapidly and it takes about a 3g pullout to keep from overspeeding. A 2-33 this ain't! In fact, on the first attempt, the stick was a little forward of neutral so our recovery was more like the bottom half of a split-S. It makes a believer out of you.

Will fly "locally" to get the lay of the land and airfield identification from various directions the next time out. By then it should be the peak of summer and I'll see if I can knock out that Diamond Distance leg. My real motivation, though, is to write to all the ASA guys about and gloat while you're sitting around eating pizza, crying in your beer, telling lies about the great flights last year and wondering how long it will be before someone can make it all the way to Wickenburg. I heard it snowed in Phoenix this last week. Hmm, bright and sunny down here.

Thanks again for thinking of me. We'll be back in 2000 with a glass ship. Maybe by than, I'll have a bunch of hours in that Nimbus 3.

(Doug Bell)

Arizona Soaring Association

1999 Contest Series Registration Form

Mailing Address

Pilots Name:


Street Address:










E-mail Address:


Aircraft Information

Sailplane Type:


Reg #:


Contest #:


Crew Information

Crews Name:


Vehicle Type:


License #:


Pilot Experience

Highest FAI Badge Held:


Previous Contests Flown:


Scoring Method You Plan to Use



Flt Recorder




Recorder/GPS Type:


Arizona Soaring Association & Contest Entry Fees:

Yearly Contest Registration (ASA members only)

Includes: All contest days, contest packet, scoring, season stats.



ASA yearly membership (required for yearly registration)

Includes: Newsletter, parties, and use of club aircraft$35.00



Daily contest registration (non-ASA or ASA)

Includes: Contest packet, scoring

$10.00 (1st day)

$5 (ea. additional day)


ASA T-shirt (not included with any of the above)

Please indicate size: (S, M, L, or XL)

$15.00, Qty:




Total Amount Paid (Make checks payable to A.S.A.) :

Mail to: Tony Smolder, 17223 N. 31st Dr. , Phoenix, AZ 85053


Ship Manager’s Notes for March

1. The Lark is here. It was assembled in the rain Sunday, March 7, and after a successful test flight by Steve Lowry (with Bill Rae in the back seat), 2 Turf CFIGs (Roy Coulliette and Rick Brown) were checked out by Steve. Roy and Rick then checked out Bill Poore and myself that same afternoon, and I managed to get in an hour of soaring (1000’ gain to 6000’, under the overcast) with Carol Patterson in the back seat before we tied the Lark down for the evening. It’s big, its heavy, and it flies nice, with plenty of handles to keep you busy and a really nice radio and vario (full up RICO electric TE w/speed to fly, etc). And it lands like a Cadillac! Since Sunday, several other ASA members have checked out in it. At present the canopy frame needs to be adjusted so it will latch easier, and there is a crack in the canopy that is stop drilled but needs to be fixed more permanently, so anyone flying the Lark needs to be extremely careful with the canopy. Fixes are on the way to correct these items, but until they are fixed PLEASE BE VERY CAREFUL HANDLING AND LATCHING THE CANOPY.

2. To go with the new glider, the ASA aircraft operations procedures have been updated to include the new rates and checkout procedures for both gliders. There are now 2 books in the Turf office, the existing white Grob 102 book and a new blue Lark book, both of which contain everything needed to get checked out in the gliders (aircraft manual, checkout procedures, open book tests, etc.). By the time you read this, all this updated information should also be on the ASA web site.

3. Briefly, the Lark checkout consists of completing an open book test, then taking a high tow (we all did 4000’) with a CFIG to review spin characteristics and handling of the flaps and landing gear. If you want to get checked out, I suggest calling Turf and setting up a time with Roy Coulliette or Rick Brown. We are working on checking out more CFIGs when time permits.

4. The Grob 102 flight manual is now on the ASA web site thanks to Russ Husted. We will get the Lark flight manual on the web as soon as possible, but it’s a big sucker so it may take a while! Until then, there is a copy at Turf in the blue ASA binder.

5. "AS" (our Grob 102) now has a new interior and a fresh annual, and it’s ready to go. The new interior was done by Barbara Knutsen, and it is spectacular. Way too nice for a club ship…and it’s even fireproof (I’ve got the paperwork to prove it) so you can relax about flying around this summer surrounded by forest fires. Seriously, stop by and take a look at it sometime. She also makes canopy covers, by the way.

6. I want to thank all the ASA members who spent a wet and cold Sunday helping to put the Lark together and get it ready to fly. I have photos, by the way, so you can someday show your grandchildren how it used to be, in the good old days before carbon fiber and automatic control hookups, when men were men and crews were hard to find…

7. Finally: My two years as the ASA ship manager are up in April. As by then I will have another glider to worry about, the ASA needs to find a new Ship Manager. Any volunteers out there? The pay and benefits are excellent, it’s a turnkey operation, training will be provided, and no experience is required… Seriously, you don’t have to be an A&P or a CFIG, you just have to want to give something back to the ASA. And if you are thinking about moving up to a ship of your own sometime in the future, it’s a great way to find out what’s involved. Interested, give me a call. Soon. Please. NOW!

Kirk Stant

Ship Manager

(602) 935-7216 days

ASA Contest Series News

The racing season is finally here! On Saturday, March 6th several ASA racers took advantage of the scheduled practice day to get in some much needed race practice. The conditions were predicted to be a little weak so the Task Master Hans Heydrich called a short task of Estrella, Potters, Eds, and return for 97 miles. It proved to be a good call for the day as only 6K and TS1 were able to complete the task with raw speeds in the low 50’s. The other pilots either turned around near Potters or flew locally. The line-up for the day:

6K – Hans Heydrich, Ventus B – 97 miles / 51 mph

TS1 – Tony Smolder, Ventus B – 97 miles / 50 mph

KC – Casey Lenox, LS-8 – 20 miles (constructive land-out at Potters)

BP – Bill Poore, Ventus B/16.6 – 20 miles (constructive land-out at Potters)

NXS – Mark Hardesty, ASW-20 – 20 miles (constructive land-out at Potters)

ME2 – Bill Prokes, Std. Cirrus - local

2B – Rick Rubscha - local

18 – Barbara MacLean, Std. Cirrus – local

GY – Andy Durbin – pilots meeting only

After a very satisfying day of racing the results were reviewed on the club laptop PC while enjoying a cold Becks compliments of 2B.

Now for those that missed the meeting!

Be sure you attend the next pilots meeting on March 20, 1999 at 10:30 am at Turf to be briefed on some new rules that will be implemented this year.

Contest preferential entry deadline is April 1, 1999 so be sure to get your registration form in before then and avoid a $10 late surcharge ($50 after April 1st)


ASA Glider Scheduling Procedures

1. Scheduling of the Grob and Lark is on a first-come, first-served basis for all current ASA pilots on all non-ASA contest days. Contest day procedures are covered below.

2. Schedule the gliders by calling Turf Soaring School at 439-3621, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Mon-Sun. The Turf desk can check to see if either glider is scheduled and enter you name and the time block you wish to fly in. Be sure to provide a phone number where you can be reached.

3. For local (non-XC) flights there is an initial 2-hour limit. If no one else has reserved the glider after you by the time you takeoff, you should check back with Turf Ground on 123.3 before your 2 hours are up. If no one else wants the glider you can continue to fly until another ASA member contacts you and asks to fly the glider. For this reason, it is important to remain on 123.3 as much as possible when in the local area. Periodic check-ins with Turf Ground are encouraged. In all cases, plan on landing no later than 5 minutes before the start of another scheduled flight.

4. Badge (5-hour, silver distance, etc.) and contest flights have no specific time limit. "Fun" cross-country flights can be scheduled for more than 2 hours, but should be flown later in the day if possible (after 2:00 p.m. is recommended). This allows local flights to be flown before the X-C flight. Blanket "9 to 5" scheduling of either glider for any reason is absolutely not allowed and will result in a severe Beer Fine!

5. Pilots should be ready to take off at the beginning of their scheduled time. A 30-minute grace period is allowed; after that the glider is no longer reserved and is free to be flown by any ASA pilot. If you cannot make your scheduled take off time, please call Turf to cancel or change it.

6. On ASA contest days, scheduling priority is given to ASA members who will be competing in the Grob and Lark. Pilots wishing to fly in the contest must reserve their glider no earlier than one month and no later than on week prior to the contest day in question. If a contest pilot has not specifically reserved a glider by one week prior to a contest day, the glider can no longer be reserved for that contest day and is available to be scheduled for non-contest flights.

7. Every attempt should be made to allow maximum use of the Grob and Lark by as many ASA pilots as possible. This includes making local flights before or after badge and contest flights on a non-interference basis. Cooperation is the key here!

8. Special scheduling procedures for ASA flying activities such as the Parawan, Utah XC week will be published as necessary in the ASA newsletter, no later than one month prior to the activity.

9. Suggested flying time blocks for the Grob and Lark at Turf are:

Time of Day

Type of Flight

9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

Field checks, pattern tows, etc.

11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Local flying

1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Local flying, short X-Cs

3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. (or later)

Local flying, cross-country

OR: 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. (or later)

Cross-country, badge flights, 5-hour

Kirk Stant

Ship Manager

All Aboard a 1-26!

A letter from Cliff Hilty to George Powell after flying George’s 1-26 at Warner Springs!

Hawkeye, I can't fully express the wonderous fulfillment that flying Snowflake last Sunday has given me. I would not have expected such excitement, anticipation and yes, even longing to experience that again. Of all the experience's I have had in this sport that we love so much, "Nothing" I repeat "Nothing" will compare! Let me recount the events for you! And please feel free to send this to all of the Skid Row Pilots and anyone else that you might want to see it! (Because Hangman sure won't!)

We started the day out rough, with not enough sleep and way too much beer the night before (Isn't that typical for 126'ers?). But things started looking up around 9:00 or so with some breakfast and painkillers under our belt. We headed off to the glider port.

Once there, our gracious host, Hangman, got everyone legalized into the office and got the report on the weather. Wave conditions! We then headed
over to the other side to line up the gliders. After some needed explanations (after all I hadn't flown a 1-26 in a few years and Hangman is the self exclaimed and proven Demi-God of this plane) we lined up in Skid row style of the Elephant Walk to the other side. Once there, I ended up in front, and foreseeing the next launch asked Hangman where we were going? He said we should go to the South East and up on the ridge for some ridge soaring. Now, not being in a 1-26 in a couple of years, and the wind on the ground at about 20 knots gusting to 25, I wasn't too comfortable with this and was a little worried about making it back upwind to the airport. And even though Hangman assured all of us that it was a "No Brainer" I opted to tow upwind in an effort to contact the wave. It took quite a while and a high tow to get there (3.8k agl) but contacted it and proceeded to climb in blissful 2-3knots to 16k msl. Mean while one by one the 1-26'ers launched and got into the wave, with the exception of one! One lone dog, One man, bent on out doing his less experienced buddies, and one man who could prove once and for all who is Top Dog in the Soaring world! Yes that man was out to prove something, he was on a mission! He launched and towed to 1.5k agl released and proceeded to work his ASS off to prove his manhood! Yes if you haven't guessed it That man is none other than the infamous, the one and only "Hangman"!

Now what I have described so far, although pleasurable in its own right, is not what has given me the most pleasure in this most remarkable flight.
No, the most enjoyable part of the flight by far was listening while, myself, Don Boardman and Flip Purvis were somwhere above 13k msl, at
a strange gliderport, in unfamilar planes and unfamilar territories when Hangman announced " Tell Warner Unicom that Hangman is landing at Chanies Ranch and they'll have to come and get me"! Yes Glider fans this was the moment I have been waiting for and I am taking this time to extol upon all
of you the pleasure that I found that day thru the unselfish efforts of the one, the only, My friend "Hangman"! Thanks Doug!

And Thanks go to You Hawkeye, and 2X4 for the loan of the 1-26s that made this all possible! Also "Happy Birthday Hawkeye" may you have many great flights throughout 99 and many years to come! And although I probably won't go out and buy a 1-26 today, I will always look at them a little differently from this day forward!

Sincerely Yours

Cliff Hilty (CH) Ventus B

If we are all just dust in the wind, then I want to be at the top of a "Huge Dust Devil".