Air Currents March 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
March 28, 2000 ASA meeting that you had to also bring your own VCR. Thus, at the
February ASA meeting there was no entertainment. For the March meeting "Boundaries" & "Skyfoools"

No one told Bob Thompson that when you brought a videotape to show at an Jeff Reynolds will bring a VCR and Bob will bring his "Skyfools" videotape back. The video, which lasts 26 minutes, should bring LOTS of laughs and guffaws from the crowd, especially if copious quanties of beer have been consumed prior to the showing. The film was produced in France, and features numerous contests of unpowered flight that stretch one's imagination (L/D contests across rivers, launching a paraglider while wearing stilts or scuba fins, etc). Come one, come all, and bring your belly laughs.... Tuesday, March 28, 7pm, Barros Pizza.

ASA Statistical Data for March 2000 Web site:
Current Membership Count 97, Reciprocal Newsletters 10, Air Currents Circulation for March, 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:
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 1 accident report from the NTSB at Suggestions are always welcome!

Report 1
NTSB Identification: IAD00FA023

Accident occurred FEB-23-00 at PLYMOUTH, MA Aircraft: Aerotechnik L-13 SEH VIVAT, registration: N64RG Injuries: 1 Fatal, 1 Minor.

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 February 23, 2000, at approximately 1442 eastern standard time, an Aerotechnik L-13 SEH
Vivat, a motor glider, was destroyed when it collided with trees during approach to runway 24 at the
Plymouth Municipal Airport (PYM), Plymouth, Massachusetts. The certificated flight instructor was
fatally injured and the certificated private pilot sustained minor injuries. The flight originated at PYM,
approximately 1400, for the local instructional flight conducted under 14 CFR part 91. Visual
meteorological conditions prevailed. The purpose of flight was for the private pilot to receive a
biennial flight review. A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Inspector interviewed the pilot in the
hospital. According to the Inspector's record of conversation, the pilot said: "Before the flight, [the
flight instructor] said it was windy and that they should fly conservatively. [The flight instructor] sat in
the right seat and he was in the left seat. After departure, they had been 'thermaling' over runway 24
and 33 between 2,000 and 3,000 feet for sometime. He was flying the glider until they were on
downwind for landing. He was not comfortable with the approach, because he is used to landing with
power. He turned the airplane over to [the flight instructor] who normally lands without power. He
thought the base turn was going to be tight and [the flight instructor] was 'carving' the turn toward the
runway. The whole event happened in a matter of seconds and he noted the airspeed to be around
70 knots. He thought [the flight instructor] was going to try and balloon over the trees. The glider hit
a 'sink' and was being pushed downward into the trees. [The flight instructor] stated, 'He was not
going to make the runway and would head for the grass instead.' The glider started coming down
through the trees, when it caught the right wing on a tree and came to rest on the right side." A
witness was in his office located on the airport around 1445, when he learned that the glider had
crashed and responded to the crash site. According to his written statement, he said: "I drove to the
area and climbed the fence to get to the glider. The glider was on a heading of about 300 degrees
and was inverted with a small part of the cockpit/canopy visible (the left side). I could see a person
moving in the airplane, and I lifted the now inverted left wing over my head to open the hole between
the fuselage and the ground so he could crawl out. I then assisted him to his feet and walked him to a
log where he sat waiting for EMTs. I tried to feel for a pulse on the other occupant, but was unable
to find one. The passenger told me his name and was coherent and talking well. When I asked how
the accident occurred, he told me that they hit three downdrafts. After the first, they attempted a
restart of the engine, which was unsuccessful. After the second downdraft, he said that the
pilot/instructor, remarked, 'We aren't going to make the runway, we will have to put it on the grass; I
hope we don't scratch it too much.' The passenger stated there were no communications between
him and the pilot after that. The passenger then stated that the third downdraft put them into the trees
just short of a clearing at the approach end of the runway." On-site investigation revealed the airplane
crashed approximately 1/4 mile east of runway 24 on a heading of 270 degrees. The airplane
collided with several pine trees before coming to rest partially inverted on its right side approximately
105 feet from the first point of contact. Approximately 19 feet of the right wing was sheered from the
airplane, and located at the base of a pine tree. The propeller was feathered and engine continuity
was established my manual rotation of the propeller. The landing gear was extended, the spoilers
were deployed, and the flaps were found retracted. No pre-mishap mechanical deficiencies were
noted with the airframe or engine. Weather at PYM, at 1452, was wind 220 degrees at 16 knots
gusting to 23 knots, few clouds at 8,500 feet, and visibility 10 statute miles. The flight instructor held
a commercial and flight instructor certificate for gliders and a private pilot certificate for single-engine
land airplanes. The passenger held a private pilot certificate for gliders and single-engine land
airplanes. He was owner of another L-13 SEH Vivat glider and reported a total of 200 hours in
make and model.

Arizona Soaring Association Board Minutes: February 1, 2000

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

Rick Rubscha Bob Thompson Skip Atwell Gary Hedges
Mike McNulty Mike Stringfellow Jim Tagliani
Bob Blakemore Peter Van Camp Jeff Reynolds Tony Smolder
Kirk Stant

President Rick Rubscha called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. The minutes of the previous meeting were submitted and approved as read. The treasurer's report was deferred to the March meeting.

Legal Advisor Van Camp then re-introduced the subject of the Lark payload and passenger liability problems that had been first raised at the previous meeting. He reiterated the board's legal responsibility for the use of the Lark in violation of its payload limits and for non-permitted aerobatics. The club's current insurance for passengers in the Lark was only $200,000, a sum Van Camp considered insufficient for any major contingency. He emphasized the need for the club to keep good records to mitigate its liability. In the passionate discussion that followed, board members and guests suggested several remedies. Ship manager Reynolds proposed permanent banning of violators for life from the use of club ships. The general consensus was, however, that the problem lay mainly with the Lark, which Kirk Stant referred to as an "attractive nuisance". A motion was proposed and seconded to carry out a weight and balance on the Lark before its annual maintenance and passed after a short discussion. The President further moved that the Lark be offered for sale to the public at $15,000 with a minimum price of $14,000. Thompson seconded the motion. Reynolds suggested that a buyer might already be available, and after a discussion, the motion was passed unanimously.

Contest Director Smolder said that the number of local turnpoints this year would be reduced to about 100, removing some that had proved problematic with other airspace users and others added to give better local coverage nearer to Turf. Region 9 Contest had 17 registered contestants so far, with 10 deposits received. He was predicting around 30 total participants, but expected to have a better final number after the March 31st preferential registration deadline. The contest would be held for a week, with the Sunday as a practice day and the following six days for the contest. His proposed budget, which included $700 for the purchase of a new club radio, showed a projected profit of at least $1,000 and was attached for the record.

Safety Director Hedges said he would attempt to keep club members up to date with safety issues, including publications in the club newsletter and web site.

Web Site administrator Tagliani said that he had been uploading new material onto the club web site, including the current list of directors, and was also reviewing improvements to its design. He still had to resolve some issues of available space on the server.

Program Director Thompson said that speakers at club meetings would be announced on the hot items section of the web page.

Kirk Stant said he was trying to arrange a party for aircraft annuals at Turf for the last week of March, possibly for the Saturday and Sunday mornings. It was added that this would be for gliders registered in the experimental category only.

In New Business, Tony Smolder said that he was holding another cross-country seminar, in which 8 mentors would be available on a one-on-one basis for students to help them develop their flying skills. The three weekends proposed were March 25/26, April8/9 and May 6/7. So far, four of the available slots were taken.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:30p.m.

Mike Stringfellow

A Letter to the Editor

From the desk of
Al and Nancy Hume February 20th 2000

Dear Carol,

It occurred to me that perhaps some of the "older" ASA members would want to know that Al, on Feb. 12th had a quintuple by-pass heart surgery, a.k.a., "The David Letterman Special"!

He is home now and making slow but steady recovery and the prognosis is very good. We understand that a full recovery will take several months. However he has vowed to play in an April Bridge tournament! His approach to bridge tournaments is much like his approach was to soaring competition, so.... Come April he will be there for the first hand!

Nancy Hume

SSA National Meeting / Lift 2000

By Bob Thompson

I attended the SSA national meeting / Lift 2000 in Albuquerque last week. It was a busy time for me, as I had a booth to man, and had lots of pilots interested in Ball Varios and FlightPro software. There seemed to be a smaller attendance in both displays and attendees. One
interesting outcome is that the SSA and USHGA have worked out a "joint venture" where both organizations share some things to save lots of money. Such as... they have both magazines (Soaring and Hang Gliding) submitted to the printers as 1 bid... and saved $50,000 last year. The organizations will continue to be separate organizations, but will look into other ways to work together to jointly reduce costs.... and increase their presence when dealing with others... such as the FAA. An example of that would be 25,000 voices on a topic have more pull than one group of 10,000 and another of 15,000. The unified voice has value in many ways. I'll explain a bit
more at the ASA meetng on Tuesday 3/28.

Bob Thompson

For Sale

For Sale:
Standard Cirrus B "AV"
Cambridge M-nav
Winter Mechanical vario
Radair 360
Dual batteries
Factory ballast tanks
Upholstered cockpit
Pushrod seals
Security 150 chute
Eberle Trailer
Wing stands
Camera and mount
Vehicle water tank with electric pump
Manufactured 1972
1220 hours

$14,500 or best offer
Jeff Turner
(480) 940-4050 eves

Hilty Humor

Subject: Ostrich
Date: Tue, 21 Mar 2000 15:35:14 EST

A man walks up to the bar with an ostrich behind him, and as he sits, bartender comes over, and asks for their order.
The man says, "I'll have beer" and turns to the ostrich. What's yours?" "I'll have a beer too" says the ostrich.
The bartender pours the beer and says "That will be $3.40 please," and the man reaches into his pocket and pulls out exact change for payment.
The next day, the man and ostrich come again, and the man says "I'll have a beer," and the ostrich says "I'll have the same." Once again the man reaches into his pocket and pays with exact change.
This becomes a routine until, late one evening, the two enter again. "The usual?" asks the bartender.
"Well, it's close to last call, so I'll have a large scotch" says the man. "Same for me" says the ostrich.
"That will be $7.20" says the bartender.
Once again the man pulls exact change out of his pocket and places it on the bar.
The bartender can't hold back his curiosity any longer. "Excuse me sir. How do you manage to always come up with the exact change out of your pocket every time?"
"Well," says the man, "several years ago I was cleaning the attic and found an old lamp. When I rubbed it a Genie appeared and offered me two wishes. My first wish was that if I ever had to pay for anything, I just put my hand
in my pocket, and the right amount of money will always be there.
That's brilliant!" says the bartender. "Most people would wish for a million dollars or something, but you'll always be as rich as you want for as long as you live!" "That's right! Whether it's a gallon of milk or a Rolls Royce, the
exact money is always there," says the man.
The bartender asks "One other thing, sir, what's with the ostrich. The man replies "My second wish was for a chick with long legs!

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"

Subject: 1999 Darwin Awards
Date: Thu, 16 Mar 2000 16:58:19 EST

One of the long awaited moments of each new year is the awarding of the
Darwin Award. This prestigious award recognizes those people, who
through stupid and inane actions kill themselves, thus improving society by
removing their genes from the gene pool. So here are the runners-up for
this year's award.
15 July 1999, Alabama) A 25-year-old soldier died of injuries sustained
from a 3-story fall, precipitated by his attempt to spit farther than his
buddy. His plan was to hurl himself towards a metal guard-rail while
expectorating, in order to add momentum to his saliva. In a tragic
miscalculation, his momentum carried him right over the railing, which he
caught hold of for a few moments before his grip slipped, sending him
plummeting 24 feet to the cement below. The military specialist had a
blood alcohol content of 0.14%, impairing his judgement and paving the
way for his opportunity to win a Darwin Award.
11 August 1999) A 42-year-old man killed himself watching the eclipse
while driving near Kaiserslautern, Germany. A witness driving behind him
stated that the man was weaving back and forth as he concentrated on the
partially occluded sun, when he suddenly accelerated and hit the bridge
pier. He had apparently just donned his solar viewers, which are dark
enough to totally obscure everything except the sun.
(25 May 1999, Ukraine) A fisherman in Kiev electrocuted himself while
fishing in the river Tereblya. The 43-year-old man connected cables to
the main power supply of his home, and trailed the end into the river.
The electric shock killed the fish, which floated belly-up to the top of the
water. The man waded in to collect his catch, neglecting to remove the
live wire, and tragically suffered the same fate as the fish. In an ironic
twist, the man was fishing for a mourning meal to commemorate the first
anniversary of his mother-in-law's death.
(16 August 1999, Germany) A hunter from Bad Urach was shot dead by
his own dog on Monday. The 51-year-old man was found sprawled next to
his car in the Black Forest. A gun barrel was pointing out the window, and
his bereaved dog was howling inside the car. The animal is presumed to
have pressed the trigger with its paw. Police have ruled out foul play.
(1999, Nicosia, Cyprus) Under similar circumstances, an Iranian hunter
was shot to death near Tehran by a snake that coiled around his shotgun
as he pinned the reptile to the ground. Another hunter reported that the
victim, named Ali, tried to catch the snake alive by pressing the butt of his
shotgun behind its head. The snake coiled around the butt and pulled the
trigger, shooting Ali in the head.
(August 1999, Australia) Drinking oneself to death need not be a long
lingering process. Allan, a 33-year-old computer technician, showed his
competitive spirit by dying of competitive spirits. A Sydney, Australia
hotel bar held a drinking competition, known as Feral Friday, with a
100-minute time limit and a sliding point scale ranging from 1 point for
beer to 8 points for hard liquor. Allan stood and cheered his winning
total of 236, (winners never quit!) which had also netted him the
literally staggering blood alcohol level of 0.353, 7 times greater than
Australia's legal driving limit of 0.05%. After several trips to the
usual temple of overindulgence, the bathroom, Allan was helped back to his
workplace to sleep it off, a condition that became permanent. A forensic
pharmacologist estimated that after downing 34 beers, 4 bourbons, and 17
shots of tequila within 1 hour and 40 minutes, his blood alcohol level
would have been 0.41 to 0.43, but Allan had vomited several times after
the drinking stopped. The cost paid by Allan was much higher than that
of the hotel, which was fined the equivalent of $13,100 US dollars for not
intervening. It is not known whether Allan required any further mbalming.
(28 January 1999, London) A flock of sheep charged a well-meaning British
farmer's wife and pushed her over a cliff to her death. Betty Stobbs, 67,
was charged by dozens of sheep as she brought them a bale of hay on the
back of a power bike. The sheep rushed forward and rammed the vehicle,
knocking Betty and her bike over the edge of a vacant 100' quarry near
Durham, in north-eastern England. "I saw the sheep surround the bike. The
next thing she was tumbling down the incline," neighbor Alan Renfry told
First Runner Up Award goes to ...
(22 March 1999, Phnom Penh) Decades of armed strife has littered Cambodia
with unexploded munitions and ordnance. Authorities warn citizens not to
tamper with the devices. Three friends recently spent an evening sharing
drinks and exchanging insults at a local cafe in the south-eastern
province of Svay Rieng. Their companionable arguing continued for hours,
until one man pulled out a 25-year-old unexploded anti-tank mine found in
his backyard. He tossed it under the table, and the three men began
playing Russian roulette, each tossing down a drink and then stamping on
the mine. The other villagers fled in terror. Minutes later, the explosive
detonated with a tremendous boom, killing the three men in the bar.
"Their wives could not even find their flesh because the blast destroyed
everything," the Kasmei Kampuchea newspaper reported.
And the 1999 Darwin Award winner is ...
(5 September 1999, Jerusalem) The switch away from daylight savings time
caused consternation among terrorist groups this year. At precisely 5:30
Israel time on Sunday, two coordinated car bombs exploded in different
cities, killing three terrorists who were transporting the bombs. It was
initially believed that the devices had been detonated prematurely by
klutzy amateurs. A closer look revealed the truth behind the untimely
explosions. Three days before, Israel had made a premature switch from
daylight savings time to standard time in order to accommodate a week of
Slihot, involving pre-sunrise prayers. Palestinians refused to "live on
Zionist time." Two weeks of scheduling havoc ensued. The bombs had been
prepared in a Palestine-controlled area, and set on Daylight Savings time.
The confused drivers had already switched to standard time. As a result,
the cars were still en-route when the explosives detonated, delivering to
the terrorists their well-deserved demise.

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"