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Soaring News - November 2020 and Season Summary

The club operations officially closed November 21 for the 2020 season, one day short of our planned 22 nd ending date. Total flights were 553 including 35-day members and 5 gift certificates. Of the 23 OP days canceled due to weather, 15 of them were on Wednesday. A profitable season with 16 more flights compared to 2019 even after a May 23 start due to the Corona Virus.

The club is actually on a down trend of total flights of 704 in 2017, 608 in 2018, 537 in 2019 and 553 in 2020, this should be a Board Meeting discussion on perhaps adding new members, new students or more flights from active members. The Corona Virus certainly has not helped our club flight activity even though the club implemented a Virus Safe Plan which worked with no members reporting virus symptoms.

Total flights in the K13 was 284, K21 159, K7 48, ASW15 4, G103 25, with a total of 222 flight hours. The ASW15, our lowest flight time glider during 2020, did 14.3 hours during the 2019 season. Thanks to great club support from our members, students, tow pilots and instructors for a profitable season, we were concerned after a late start if the club would just break even, we did much better.

Tow Pilot totals was 244 for Shipp, Neese 234, Bateman 58, Brandon 17 and Kerry 3.

Instructor totals was 102 for Matt, Rick 57 and Dino 39. Brandon is now flying full time in a Cessna Citation CJ3 and tows when he gets a break from the CJ3.

2020 Highlights:

● Total flights were 553 including 35 guest flights and 5 Gift Certificates.

● New members Angelo Fanaras, Robert Drew, Russ Dotson, Craig Pearson, Eric

Vanriper, Jacob Smith, and Chris Pang. Welcome to the club!

● Most flight in one month was August with 130 flights, 22 on a Saturday with

Neese towing and Clark instructing. Two other days had 16 flights, great month!

● Most of Neese’s 234 tows were in gusty or cross wind conditions but ended the

season with smooth light wind. Runway 23 grass was used several times due to

marginal cross winds. Most cancel days were due to wind.

● Nate Kemppainen made his first 12-mile cross country in the K13 with supervision

from Shipp followed by a solo cross country. Hope to see more cross country in


● Ludwik Lembryk completed a glider Private Certificate and Jared Staib Soloed.

● Brian Navarette completed a Silver Badge.

● The Club purchased a Grob G103 from Kerry Brown and completed 25 flight

hours, mostly check flights. A Becker radio will be installed during the 2021 annual.

● A 1980 member Charles (Chuck) Botzko visited our club.

● Ops was canceled 23 days due to weather, 15 of those days were on Wednesday.

During 2019, we canceled 48 days (22 Wednesday Ops) so Michigan weather was

actually better during 2020 with less days canceled compared to 2019.

● ADS-B GDL-82 installed in the Pawnee during the annual inspection. Tune to

Flight aware and enter N4815Y to see it’s activity towing.

● Maintenance was very low due to members taking good care of equipment; a

couple of flat tires, a blown fuse and battery harness.

● Steve Rusinowski made some long cross-country flights in his newly purchased

304CZ, Bill Lynch purchased Steve’s ASW19.

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


Enjoy the Winter, attend every Webinar you can, stay safe from the Virus, see you

next year. I will be contacting some of you to help with Glider-Pawnee Annual

Inspections, probably February-March 2021.

Tom Shipp.

Photo Credit: Brandon Schultz


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