November 1999 Air Currents


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

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 Mike McNulty 994-9658


Ship Manager Jeff Reynolds 482-9723 

Contest Manager Tony Smolder 942-6519

Equipment Rick Rubscha 878-6750 

Legal Advisor Peter Van Camp 896-9413

Membership Arnie Jurn 279-7840 

Newsletter Ed Carol Patterson 561-5454

Airspace Mike McNulty 994-9658 

Historian Ruth Petry 274-3968 

Social Director Patti Johnson 374-5387 



Tuesday, December 28, 7pm General Membership Meeting Barros Pizza - Coral Gables & 7th Street, Phoenix

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



ASA Statistical Data for December, 1999 Web site:

Current Membership Count 92, Reciprocal Newsletters 10, Air Currents Circulation for December, 1999:102

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.

Safety Corner

I have inserted 2 accident reports from the NTSB at Suggestions are always welcome!

Report 1

NTSB Identification: NYC99LA170.

Accident occurred JUL-08-99 at ERWINNA, PA

Aircraft: Pilatus B-4, registration: N20RK

Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

On July 8, 1999, about 1530 Eastern Daylight Time, a Pilatus B-4 glider, N20RK, was substantially damaged while landing at Vansant Airport (9N1), Erwinna, Pennsylvania. The certificated commercial pilot was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the local flight. No flight plan was filed for the personal flight conducted under 14 CFR Part 91.

Full narrative follows


On July 8, 1999, about 1530 Eastern Daylight Time, a Pilatus B-4 glider, N20RK, was substantially damaged while landing at Vansant Airport (9N1), Erwinna, Pennsylvania. The certificated commercial pilot was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the local flight. No flight plan was filed for the personal flight conducted under 14 CFR Part 91. The pilot stated that he flew a left traffic pattern to Runway 23 at 9N1. On short final approach, approximately 100 feet from the runway threshold, a gust of wind forced the glider to the left, into trees. When asked about other available runways, the pilot stated that the other runways are reserved for "motorized" traffic. He further stated that although he did not obtain a full weather briefing, he did telephone a recorded weather forecast system, provided by the National Weather Service. At an airport approximately 17 miles away, at 1551, the reported winds were from 280 degrees at 10 knots, gusting to 19 knots, and varying from 250 to 320 degrees.

According to a Federal Aviation Administration Inspector, and a representative from Pilatus, there was no maximum demonstrated crosswind component for the accident glider. Examination of the wreckage by the inspector revealed no pre-impact mechanical malfunctions, nor did the pilot report any.

Report 2

NTSB Identification: LAX00LA009

Accident occurred OCT-13-99 at WAIALUA, HI

Aircraft: Schweizer SGS-2-33A, registration: N17914

Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed.

On October 13, 1999, at 1427 hours Hawaiian standard time, a Schweizer SGS-2-33A, N17914, impacted terrain while attempting to return to the airport after encountering an unfavorable wind condition at Waialua, Oahu, Hawaii. The glider, operated under 14 CFR Part 91 by the Civil Air Patrol, Hawaii Wing, sustained substantial damage. The airline transport pilot, on a supervised solo instructional flight to obtain a glider category rating, was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions existed for the local area flight that had departed from the Dillingham Airfield at 1418, and no flight plan was filed. The student pilot stated that there are no weather facilities at the uncontrolled field, other than windsocks that are located at each end, and midfield of the airport. He stated that the forecast for winds on the day of the accident were from the northeast due to the northeast trade winds, and runway 8 was in use. The pilot indicated that he also received local weather information from other glider pilots who had been flying prior to his departure. The pilot stated that the takeoff was normal with turbulence experienced at 500 feet above ground level (agl). After departure he noted that the winds were from the northeast and were light and variable. He said that at 2,000 feet agl he released the glider from the tow plane and began to lose altitude instead of gaining altitude. He turned to the north, away from a ridge where a strong sink rate had been reported, and proceeded to the practice area. While at empting to return to the airport, the pilot made an off-field landing. He believed that the surface winds were still from the northeast and landed on a heading of 080. During the landing rollout the left wing contacted a dirt berm; the glider turned 180 degrees from the initial landing direction and came to rest in a ditch. A Federal Aviation Administration inspector arrived on-scene to inspect the glider an hour later and noted that the winds were from the northwest.

Arizona Soaring Association Board Meeting Minutes: October 5, 1999

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

The meeting was called to order at 7:30 PM, A quorum was present.

Attending: Bob Blakemore

Cliff Hilty

John Goodman

Kirk Stant

Carol Patterson

Rick Rubscha

Mike McNulty

Peter Van Camp

Special Guest:

Jeff Reynolds

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

Secretary Blakemore then presented to the board Jason Stephens letter of resignation. Following some discussion the board regretfully accepted the resignation and duly noted such in the records of ASA.

President Goodman then proceeded with the committee reports. Cliff Hilty gave the treasurers report, which showed receipts for the month ended October 6, 1999 at $2,986.00 against expenses of $281.96. The checking account balance at the end of the period is $2,704.04. The savings account balance was reported to be $10,783.08. The board then approved the treasurer’s report.

President Goodman then asked Jeff Reynolds for the aircraft report. Jeff reported to the board that aircraft billings in the second quarter were $2,248.00 and that $1,802.00 had been collected. He indicated that two accounts were delinquent and he would be contacting those members shortly. Jeff also noted that the Grob’s utilization in the first quarter was 244 hours but only 28 hours had been logged in the third quarter. Jeff reported that the canopy on the Lark had been repaired and was airworthy.

Following the report on the Lark the board then considered and approved a $500.00 charge back to Steve’s Soaring for unsatisfactory repairs performed on the Lark. The charge back will be offset by the original holdback that was agreed upon at the time of the Lark’s delivery from Steve’s Soaring. President Goodman will send a letter confirming the board’s action.

Carol Patterson then updated the board on the monthly newsletter reporting that the circulation is 102; 92 for memberships and 10 as the result of reciprocals. Carol reported that things were going very well with the help of Arnie Jurn (labels) and Bill Bartell for electronic distribution. She encouraged everyone to contribute—new material is always welcomed.

The board then considered candidates for the 2000 board of directors. Outgoing directors are John Goodman, Cliff Hilty, Bob Blakemore, Kirk Stant, and Jason Stephens, as the result of resignation.

Mike McNulty reported that a speaker from TRACON would be addressing the general membership in October. It was further reported that Tom Barrett would be speaking at the general membership meeting in November. All of this information and more is posted on the ASA Web page.

Their being no further business the meeting was adjourned at 9:30 PM

Bob Blakemore


Adopt a Strip

"Adopt a Strip" By Cliff Hilty

Fellow ASA pilots, for the past couple of years there has been a growing group of us pilots involved in the cleaning of forgotten and little used landing strips. Here in Arizona we are very fortunate to have an abundance of private and public strips in some of the most remote areas of our cross country routes. We started several years ago "cleaning" these strips and making them more friendly to landing a sailplane at. This started out as a couple of us going out with implements of destruction (saws, rakes, axes and such), and clearing away brush and vegetation that encroached on the once wide runways. Some of the first ones were "Turf North," "Luke 4" and "Clementine Mine." Unfortunately with only hand tools and a few people it took quite a bit of time to clear even small areas of encroachment and therefore several days to get a cleared strip large enough to support a safe landing in a sailplane.

Two years ago I purchased an International 460 farm tractor. Later in the year I purchased a wide front end and Gannon for it and just this past spring I purchased a front end loader for it. And most recently with help from PT, I purchased a trailer large enough to handle moving the tractor and attachments to the strips we intend to clear.

This fall so far we have cleared two strips, one I call Bell Road, that is located about 11 miles SW of Luke 4 and 25 miles NE of I-10 Intersection, and Turf North again. While doing these we came to an amazing discovery!

We discovered that using the tractor is extremely effective and time saving.

That we could clear a strip completely in an afternoon, depending of course on how bad it is and how far away it is. And also that it is expensive to move and operate the tractor.

All of this is leading me to the purpose of this article. And that is, as much as I want to continue to clear strips to make it safer and easier to go cross country, it is becoming a burden to me financially. I would like to propose an alternative that I call "Adopt a strip!" This would entail an individual or group of people getting together and financing a strip of their choice to be cleared. After talking with PT (Who supplies the 1 ton dually required to pull the trailer) I have come up with the following costs. First, the tractor uses about 5 gallons an hour, and average strip clearing is 4 -6 hours.

Second the dually gets only about 6 miles to the gallon when hauling the tractor. This comes out to about $60.00-80.00 for a strip in the north valley area and $80.00-100.00 in the south valley area (i.e. Estrella) for fuel costs.

The other related costs, John and I are willing to absorb (maintenance, fluids, brakes, insurance ECT.). Neither John nor I want to "make money " doing this and would just like to see as many good landing areas as possible. If there is any interest in doing this I would propose the following. Find a strip that "you have always wanted to KNOW that it is safe to land and explore it. It will have to have a decent road ( if you would pull your trailer with glider in it on the road ) within a couple of miles. Go there to ensure accessibility, and check the extent of brush, garbage etc. that is there and call me to set up a day and time to work on the strip. I and John are willing to do strips almost anywhere in the state but the further away the more it will cost and the longer it will take to get there and thus reducing clearing time. If there is enough interest in an area, i.e., Tucson or Estrella areas we can set up two or more strips for the weekend and save some travel costs. Call me and set up a day and time to meet and clean the strip. On the day of cleaning, bring some extra people and hand tools such as shovels, rakes, bow saws etc. It works well if there are at least 3-4 people to "move debris" after the tractor goes through.

We have been very successful with the ones that we have done so far and I have a commitment from Peter VanCamp to clear another area on Luke 4.

We have a great time and are promoting cross country safe soaring at the same time. I hope to hear from you soon.

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"

For Sale

15 meter ship for sale!!!!
Email Address:
Please check the following for a picture of my ship.
I have a great 15 meter ship for sale, if anyone is looking. It is listed now for $19,800 but if anyone made me a good offer, the ship would have a new home. It's been 2 years since I got to fly it and that is just a waste. So if you know anyone who could use the ship please let them know.

Thanks!!!! Ross Folkers

(Last update September 99')