Soaring News - Opening 2023 Season
We’re getting close to another season hopefully with more flyable days than last year. We have a few changes to tell you about, though modest, and some updates on the fleet, new students and more.
First, we need your help! We need more people flying more often. Ludwik has been trying to single-handedly support the club with his flying, but more flying is more health for ASC. Our last year was pretty abysmal, financially, and flying too. With a few gliders down, pretty lousy weather, and some unexpected maintenance, we ran at a loss for the first year in a long time. We’ve got reserves, so we’re square for now, but the club needs to fly these planes to stay viable, and for us to stay safe. Get out there, learn a new glider, explore an old glider friend, learn to tow, learn, train, then fly our cross-country courses.
On to a few changes. Because of generally increased fuel costs and inflation of basically all our costs we’re forced into some modest price increases for the first time in many many years. We’re increasing full member dues to $350/year, and increasing our base tow by $2. We’re a non-profit, so all the money goes to support our operations. And our barbecue.
The fleet has had a fair share of unfortunate occurrences last year. We had an incident early in the season that damaged the K21 rear canopy. The good news is that we have the plane nearly back together and back in the hangar ready to go. Thanks to Steve, Ludwik, and others who helped disassemble, order parts, drive gliders all over, and finally put it all back together. Thank you!
In other news, the ASW15 is less fortunate, and likely out for the season, due to a wing rib AD that requires inspection and repair. That’s super hard to find, but Steve R. continues to look for affordable options. But in the meantime, he may be loaning us another single-seat for us to use this season. More on that as we shore up training and flying requirements.
Aside from those issues, we’ve had the usual bevy of issues from flat tires, to wrong brake fluid in the Grob, to more, I’m sure.
This year, I’d like to propose a hangar cleanup on April 1, so we can get things identified, organized, straightened, and generally tidy. We keep the hangar relatively in order, but it’s time for us to give it a once-over.
In other news, Tom Shipp, our stalwart tow pilot for so many years, is hanging up his towing wings. Vaughn B and Tom N will still be towing for us, but we are for sure in need of more. First, thank you Tom S for all the amazing rides into the sky - I and many others soloed with you, and it’s been a lot of fun over these years. Thanks! Tom will still be flying with us, but I bet only on days when he can close a triangle, or get at least 6 kts lift.
In other towing news, we’ll be trying to find and make some tow pilots too. One of our new members, Noha K, is starting work on her tailwheel. I’ve got some time to finish to be able, but I’ll tow once there too. We’ve got a few other candidates in the pipeline, but if you know of anyone who’d like to tow, the Pawnee is a great plane, towing is a great skill, and we need more people to cover more times to get more members flying.
We have scheduled our mandatory spring safety meeting and checkout day on Saturday April 1st, 10am to 12pm, so block your calendar, and hangar organization happening after. An invite will be sent when we are approaching the day. We will also be setting up a Zoom for those remote, and recording the meeting as well.
Risk has prepared a fun Agenda for the Safety meeting. We will open the meeting with club business and move to the safety portion where you will be divided in 3 groups to make things more interactive. We will also cover the K13 operation limitations (see document attached on the fleet page for the K13) and introduce the Soaring Safety Site visit.
That’s what I’ve got for now, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me or any of our board members at any time.