Soaring News - October 2021


The club did only 36 flights this month and canceled 9 Ops days due to weather, total flights for the season is 476. A prior revenue projection showed a minimum of 450 flights to break even, higher than normal guest rides are helping support the club revenue. A date to end the 2021 soaring season has not been determined, we have traditionally ended before the Thanksgiving weekend but if the weather forecast looks OK, we may go until the end of November. The grass runways normally close for the winter at the end of November.


With temperatures decreasing, our summer thermals are also decreasing even though there may be some days we can get a 30 minute to an hour flight. With colder weather, cold feet and hands could determine the length of flight. Dress warm.


The builder of the little Pawnee shown in the photo in last month’s Soaring News was not given credit for a great build. Don Parish purchased the Pawnee plans and built it from scratch using the plans and painted it to match our club Pawnee tow plane. The only difference is that it’s missing a tow hook. Great job Don! More photos of the Little Pawnee can be obtained from Tom Neese and Neal Miller.


The club tow pilots have gotten some well-deserved attention this year, Tom Neese reached 2000 tows, Tom Shipp was awarded the Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award and most recently Vaughn Bateman became a part time Movie Star. Vaughn became a movie star on October 19 when he participated in the filming of a Danish documentary about William S Knudsen. Knudsen was a Danish-American automobile executive who was commissioned to oversee the war production effort during WWII. The filming was completed in a B-25 while flying out of Willow Run Airport. The one-hour flight included flying up the Detroit River from Lake Erie to Belle Isle. The filming continued after the flight is on the ground at Willow Run.


The movie is scheduled to be released in January of 2023 and if you want to see it you may have to make a trip to Denmark. (Vaughn will continue towing for ASC but may be available for autographs!)


Airport construction has ended for the year with the completion of taxi B and will resume next year the first week in May. Runway 11 and 23 grass are open for use. Note, the surface is soft due to the large amount of recent rain so don’t rotate the glider while stationary, it will create holes in the surface.


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. Pay attention to speed, the SSA accident reporting shows most accidents are during the landing phase, and are operator error. When using RW23-5 grass, we have to relearn our aim point.


Tom Shipp/Bob Kuehne

Photo Credit: Unknown!

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