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Soaring News - September 2020

Photo Credit: Susumu Morita

The Corona Virus doesn’t seem to be affecting the club in regards to flights, we did 103 flights this month compared to 130 last month, total for the year is 461. Our students Ludwik Lembryk and Jared Staib, who are close to taking their Practical for Private Pilot Certificate, have been huge contributors to the club total flights. Thanks to our members for supporting the club, we are close to the projected break-even number of 480 flights.

We experienced an incident with the K13 this month. The spoilers popped open on takeoff from RW29 near the airport fence East of Sand Creek Road, they were popped back in quickly, glider ballooned, released, turned left and landed in a soybean field just West of the taxi way at the end of RW29. There was no apparent damage and the glider was towed out with the club Ops Cart. Some lessons learned; the spoilers won’t normally pop open if properly locked before takeoff, if spoilers do pop open, they should be eased back closed to prevent ballooning. Closing the spoilers doesn’t require quick action since the Pawnee will still climb most of the time with spoilers open. Times when it may not climb over the trees at the end of RW29 is with a glider at near gross weight such as the K21 and G103 on high density altitude days, low wind speed and high humidity. Refer to the following from Matt on checklists.

An update on checklists by Matt Schultz:

As a response to several instances of dive brakes opening in the last few years, I would like to offer this approach to checklists.

My students become accustomed early on to tackle the checklist item by item. Each line is stated out loud and the appropriate item touched and verified. One way that I have changed the way the checklist is approached is how the “controls” item and the “dive brake item” are confirmed.

As we go down the list, I have the student check ALL controls. Not just the stick. The rudder gets checked, the trim is moved forward and back. Then the dive brakes are checked for free movement extending and then retracting. (My best students look over both shoulders and confirm a dive brake extends on each wing). I have the student then let them REST CLOSED. As the checklist is continued, the item “dive brakes closed and locked” is performed. The dive brakes are physically locked and secured. Once that sound is heard there is no question that the dive brakes are closed and locked. This procedure works on the printed checklist as well as the ABBCCCDE checklist if that is the one you prefer to use.

It is just my observation; I see most dive brake instances are happening with experienced pilots. The students are still very thorough and do not want to have an accident or incident. They take their time and perform the checklist in order. They do not rush the checklist, and are encouraged to start over from the top if they are interrupted. With the recent occurrences I ask that the ground crew to take an active roll in listening to the checklist being performed prior to take off. I will from this point on also be stressing the importance of checklists during flight reviews. It is easy to become complacent when flying similar airplanes on a regular basis. If we monitor each other, maybe we can prevent this from happening in the future. Last but not least, we do not want to keep scaring our tow pilots. They are a great resource, we don’t want them to fly away…………



Thanks to all who are wearing masks and keeping the distance rules to reduce our risk of the COVID 19 Virus. The amount of known positive cases is still high so we all need to continue practicing the 6 feet distance rule, wear a mask, use sanitary wipes and hand sanitizer when necessary. Since the FBO building is still closed to the public, the club has provided a portable toilet located near the club hangar for members use.

Google Calendar update; If the weather is favorable, an invite email will be sent, members who do not respond will be considered to decline. The invite includes the scheduled instructor, tow pilot and weather, if at least 3 members accept, a confirme mail will be issued. If the Operation is canceled, an invite will also be sent as information that doesn’t require a response, you may check the calendar to determine why the event was canceled. Sign in to the club web site is required to access the calendar and other member material. You may also access the calendar directly by clicking on the Google Calendar link located at the bottom of any member invite email.

When turning from base to final keep your aim point on target, nose down and speed up. Outside rudder is OK but inside rudder is a control position for spin training. FYI, the G103 should be flown at 55 knots down wind and final and land on the main wheel, this is about the same speed for the K21.

Tom Shipp.

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