Air Currents February 2000


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. 

2000 ASA Officers and Directors
President Rick Rubscha 623-878-6750
Vice President Skip Atwell 480-473-1337
Treasurer Mike McNulty 480-473-4480
Secretary Mike Stringfellow 480-595-5450
Director Bob Thompson 602-938-9550
Director Jim Tagliani 602-437-1382
Director Carol Patterson 623-561-5454
Director Steve Oldham 623-214-7424
Director Gary Hedges 480-314-9427
ASA Committees
Aircraft Manager Jeff Reynolds 602-482-9723
Contest Manager Tony Smolder 602-942-6519
Membership Arnie Jurn 602-279-7840
Social Director Bob Blakemore 480-563-0740
Saftey Director Gary Hedges 480-314-9427
Airspace Advisor Mike McNulty 480-473-4480
Newsletter Editor Carol Patterson 623-561-5454
WebSite Administrator Jim Tagliani 602-437-1382
Legal Advisor Peter VanCamp 623-896-9413 n/a
Historian Ruth Petry 602-274-3968 n/a
Program Directors Bob Thompson
Steve Oldham


Tuesday, February 22, 7pm General Membership Meeting Barros Pizza - Coral Gables & 7th Street, Phoenix Tuesday, March 7, 7pm Board Meeting Barros Pizza - Coral Gables & 7th Street, Phoenix Tuesday, March 28, 7pm General Membership Meeting Barros Pizza - Coral Gables & 7th Street, Phoenix

General Membership Meeting February 22, 2000 "Boundaries" & "Skyfoools"

Couple of videotapes.... 1 on sailplane testing in Germany ... with the title of "Boundaries", and the other is a funny spoof on all sorts of attemts of foot-launched flight called "Skyfools". Boundaries has some testing of the DuoDiscus, amongst other gliders, and some awesome footage of wing-wobble and fuselage wobble (poorly built gliders with some scarry aerodynamic problems). Skyfools should elicit mass quantities of laughter at some of the oddest European flying contests ever imagined!

Bob Thompson..

ASA Statistical Data for February 2000

Web site: Current Membership Count 97, Reciprocal Newsletters 10, Air Currents Circulation for February, 2000 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.


Cross Country Seminar and Mentoring Flights

This is to announce that the ASA will be conducting a series of XC seminars and mentoring flights at Turf Soaring School for all skill levels of cross country pilots on the following dates:

March 25, 26 - Basic XC skills presentations & mentoring flights to emphasize making it around the course April 8, 9 - Intermediate XC presentations & mentoring flights (flying with water ballast) May 6, 7 - Advanced XC presentations & mentoring flights (improving course time and long flights)

These will be full days, starting at 9:00 am with presentations and flights in the afternoon, followed by debriefing.

The following pilots have volunteered their time to serve as mentors for the seminars and mentoring flights:

1X - Bob von Hellens, Discus B PT - John Goodman, LS-3a 2E - John Leibacher, LS-6 6K - Hans Heydrich, Ventus B CH - Cliif Hilty, Ventus B 71 - Alan Reeter, LS-8 KC - Casey Lenox, LS-8 TS1 - Tony Smolder, Ventus B

The first day (March 25th) each student will be paired up one-on-one with a mentor pilot and will remain with that mentor for all three seminar sessions. Each day a short presentation will be presented, followed by the mentor/student briefing and XC flights. We will wrap up the evening with a debriefing around the tie downs.

Since the desire is to keep a one-on-one relationship between the mentor and student we unfortunately have to limit this session of seminars to a total of 8 students. Also based on the mentor sailplane types we also need to have similar performance type planes for the students (ASW-19b, SZD-55, Pegasus, 304CZ, DG-303, Grob 102, SZD-59, ASW20)

There is no cost (except for your tows or group retrieves) for this seminar, but your mentor pilot might appreciate a cold beer or Saturday night dinner.

What you will need to provide are: Sailplane Adequate retrieve vehicle Desire to learn and commit to XC flights

I will be accepting applications on a first come basis.

Please include the following in your reply E-mail: Name, Aircraft Type Total hours in Gliders Total cross country flights/miles Longest XC flight Competition experience What you would like to get out of the seminar Soaring goals for 2000

Tony Smolder e-mail:

ASA Race Series Calendar

Date  Location  Contest Director 
April 1  Turf Mike Parker
April 2  Turf Mike McNulty
April 15  Estrella Bob von Hellens
April 16  Estrella Bill Prokes
April 29  Turf Andy Durbin
April 30  Turf Cliff Hilty
May 13  El-Tiro Bill Poore
May 14  El-Tiro John Goodman
May 20  Willcox Hans Heydrich
May 21  Willcox John Leibacher
June 10  Bisbee Casey Lenox
June 11  Bisbee Neil McLeod
July 15  Estrella Mark Hardesty
July 16  Estrella Ralph Bergh
July 29  Turf Kirk Stant
July 30  Turf Ron Mastaler
August 26  Estrella Alan Reeter
August 27   Estrella Rick Rubscha

Other Arizona Contest's

Contest Date Location
Region 9 West May 28 - June 3 Turf
SW Soaring Championships September 2, 3, 4 Estrella
SW Soaring Championships September 9, 10  - Turf Turf

Safety Corner

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

Report 1 NTSB Identification: CHI00LA033. The docket is stored in the (offline) NTSB Imaging System. Accident occurred NOV-13-99 at EAST LYNNE, MO Aircraft: Schweizer SGS-1-34, registration: N7646 Injuries: 1 Serious. On November 13, 1999, at 1430 central standard time, a Schweizer SGS-1-34, N7646, operated by a commercial glider pilot collided with the terrain following a loss of control while in the traffic pattern to land at Richters Field, East Lynne, Missouri. The pilot was seriously injured and the glider was substantially damaged. The 14 CFR Part 91 flight was operating in visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed. The local flight originated from Richter Field at 1400 cst. Full narrative below CHI00LA033 On November 13, 1999, at 1430 central standard time, a Schweizer SGS-1-34, N7646, operated by a commercial glider pilot collided with the terrain following a loss of control while in the traffic pattern to land at Richters Field, East Lynne, Missouri. The pilot was seriously injured and the glider was substantially damaged. The 14 CFR Part 91 flight was operating in visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed. The local flight originated from Richter Field at 1400 cst. The pilot reported the accident occurred when he returned to land following a local flight. He reported that while on short final to runway 18, at an altitude of 350 feet above ground level (agl), the glider encountered a gust of wind and it turned left of the runway heading. He reported he elected to perform a 360 degree turn to the left to realign the glider with the runway heading. The pilot continued to report that while on a northerly heading "violent turbulence" and a sink rate were encountered. He reported he was unable to level the wings and the glider stalled, impacting the terrain. A glider pilot who witnessed the accident reported seeing the glider at an altitude of approximately 200 feet agl southeast of the runway on a westerly heading. He reported, "I thought it was a reasonable position for right turn to landing, but lower and slower than I would like to have seen." He reported the glider then made a turn to the left (away from the runway), and after about 270 degrees of turn, "...the nose dropped dramatically." He reported he then lost site of the glider. He reported the glider came to rest approximately 100 feet southeast of where it began its turn southeast of the runway. The witness reported they often landed downwind with a wind of 10 knots or less, to minimize ground handling. The location of the wreckage was also comfirmed by the Cass County Sheriff's Office. The pilot reported the local winds were from the northwest at 2 knots. The witness reported the local winds were from 200 degrees at 10 knots. The winds reported at the Kansas City, Richards-Gebaur Memorial Airport, located 18 miles northwest of the accident site were from 220 degrees at 15 knots. This weather observation was taken 23 minutes after the accident occurred.

Arizona Soaring Association Board Meeting Minutes: January 4, 2000

The meeting was held at Barros Pizza, Coral Gables & 7th St. Phoenix, Arizona. The meeting was called to order at 7:00 PM, A quorum was present.

Attending: Bob Blakemore Skip Atwell Carol Patterson John Goodman Rick Rubscha Bob Thompson Mike McNulty Jim Tagliani Steve Oldham Special Guest: Jeff Reynolds, Peter Van Camp

President John Goodman called the meeting to order by welcoming the incoming board members and extending his appreciation to those board members who are outgoing. President Goodman then asked that the minutes of the last meeting be read and approved. After some discussion Peter Van Camp moved that minutes be amended to reflect his dissenting vote with regard to returning the Lark aircraft to service. The amendment was approved and the appropriate correction entered into the record.

President Goodman then briefed the board members on the officer positions and committee heads for the ASA before preceding with the election for these various posts. President Goodman then asked for nominations from the floor for President. Carol Paterson nominated Rick Rubscha. There being no other nominations Rick was elected as President for the ASA for the fiscal year 2000. The nominees for the offices of Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer were as follows: Gary Atwell for Vice President, Mike Stringfellow for Secretary, Mike McNulty for Treasurer. After some consideration and discussion the following nominees were elected to the respective positions noted above. The committee heads were also approved and recorded as follows: Aircraft Jeff Reynolds Contest Director Tony Smolder Membership Arnie Jurn Social Director (Open Position) Safety Director (Gary Hedges) Airspace Mike McNulty Newsletter Carol Patterson Web Site Admin Jim Tagliani Legal Advisor Peter Van Camp Program Director Thompson/Oldham

The treasurer's report was deferred to the February meeting, as a family emergency required that the treasurer be out of town. Treasurer elect Mike McNulty noted that he would work with Cliff Hilty in order to prepare the annual budgets for the February meeting.

It was reported to the board the ASA's request to the SSA for a Region Nine West Contest had been approved. Tony Smolder will report at the next meeting the details concerning this event and the proposed organizational contest team. It is expected that the budget for this event will be approved at that time.

The speaker for the January meeting was also approved as Jim Tagliani indicated that he had some rare home video footage of Charles Lindberg flying a primary glider in California. Other speakers will be announced at the February meeting.

The board then held preliminary discussions regarding the possible sale of the Lark aircraft. It was decided that a more in depth hearing of the various ideas would heard at the February meeting. The board intends to solicit input from the general membership at the January general meeting.

President Rubscha then asked that Jim Tagliani update the ASA Web Site to reflect the changes in positions of the officers and committee heads. Consideration for changes in aircraft operating guidelines was deferred until the February meeting. The meeting was adjourned at 9:30 PM.

Secretary Bob Blakemore

A Letter to the Editor

ASA Club Aircraft Future

By Bob Thompson

As a newly elected member of the Board of Directors of the ASA I am getting quite an introduction to the workings, ways, and politics of the ASA. At the last ASA General Membership meeting I raised the idea of selling the Lark and getting another club glider that had a "real" 2 place capacity. The discussion that followed rambled and covered quite a few opinions about a lot of things, ranging from what to do, to legal liabilities, to what the club was all about, to what the club wanted to do. Most members of the ASA share a genuine love for soaring, but from there we certainly are a very diverse group! Background for the discussion

Last year the association, after many months of discussion, decided to purchase another 2 place glider (to replace the Balenik that was damaged while being transported on a highway in its trailer), and a Lark 28 was picked as the one to get. We ended up getting a "deal" on a glider in Houston, TX..... but like most "deals", this one came with baggage. The glider had been damaged and not completely repaired. The ASA paid to have it repaired in California. The glider was delivered to Arizona in a semi-repaired condition, some of which has been fixed by Jeff Reynolds, the ASA aircraft manager. Unfortunately, the glider, which was advertised to have a payload of 418 pounds came plackarded at 323 pounds..... which makes the aircraft legal for 2 small people or 1 1/2 others..... NOT a true 2 place aircraft. Perhaps its total coverage with paint and some internal repairs have resulted in this astoundingly low payload capacity. Regardless, more than 2/3 of the people I have wanted to take up for a glider ride have been to heavy for a legal flight, so I have not taken them. Bummer.....NOT what I, nor most others who put their $400 into the pot to purchase this aircraft, had in mind. I have about 75 hours (mostly solo due to the weight restrictions) in the beast. As I am in-between gliders, at least it has been something to fly. Assembling and dis-assembling is quite a chore... for a lot of people, as I understand it. More than a few pilots have reportedly flown the glider substantially over gross capacity with 2 people. But, as it is the only association 2 place, numerous pilots seem to not be concerned about the weight limitation. NOT GOOD! The glider has become a bit of a festering sore for the association, resulting in some feelings among some members, providing an antagonistic atmosphere, rather than a positive, cohesive one.

ASA Mission Statement

The Arizona Soaring Association is a nonprofit corporation established in 1955 in the State of Arizona. The purpose is to foster and educate the public on motorless flight in Arizona.


1. Based on the above Mission Statement of the ASA I feel the ASA should have a 2 place glider. But it should have a capacity that is reasonable for taking people with a wide range of weights up. One of the main reasons I joined the ASA was to be able to fly the association Balenik..... which we no longer have. I would be satisfied if we got rid of the Lark and got another Balenik. I would be happier if we got another 2 place aircraft that had not only a larger weight capacity, but also a reasonable glide. There are some of these out there. 1. ASK 21 35:1 529 lb payload fiberglass ? 2. Grob Tw Astir 38:1 468 lb payload fiberglass ? 3. Grob 103A Tw 35:1 468 lb payload fiberglass $29K 4. Lark IS-32 46:1 419 lb payload all metal $40-44K

2. A few members, some of which are employed in the legal profession, feel the association has no business owning a 2 place aircraft, as they feel the liability issue is greater than that of a single place association aircraft.

3. Some members felt the ASA was originally a "racing club" for people who already owned their own gliders, and felt the ASA had no business owning / renting out any gliders of any kind.

4. There seemed to be a substantial contingent of folks last year that were interested enough in getting an association 2 place, that they each forked out $400 to help purchase what ended up being the Lark. However, looking at the log book of the Lark it is glaringly evident that most have seen the Lark and have no intentions of flying it because is has not lived up to their expectations / investment.


There are a number of options facing us:

1. Make no changes... keep the Lark.

2. Sell the Lark and consider the purchase of another 2 place aircraft.......Balenik, Grob, ASK, IS-32, ???

3. Sell the Lark and stuff the association treasury.

4. Sell the Grob 102 and stuff the association treasury even more.

5. 3 + 4 above, But put the $$ into a better 2 place.

6. 3 + 4 above, But put the $$ into a better performing single place.

7. Probably several more.

What to do

Well, all you members out there, let your feelings, thoughts, and preferences be heard! I'm a phone call or e-mail away. Snail-mail is fine, too.... just 32 cents more expensive.

Best of lift,

Bob Thompson (new board member) (602) 938-9550 4319 W. Larkspur Glendale, AZ 85304