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In This issue...

President's Message

Change of Venue

On the Nature of Leadership

The ABC Program

Pegasus Ponders

We need more CFI's

Did you Fly on October 13??


SSA Convention

Cadet Youth Flight Scholarship

Meet the Member

A Belated Congratulations to...

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2002 200120001999199819971996DecemberNovemberOctoberSeptemberAugustJulyJuneApril

December, 1996

President's Message

Seasons Greetings. We should be thankful for the good soaring which has produced several badge legs. We should also be thankful for our fifth accident free year of operation. But most of all we should be thankful for the companionship of our fellow club members as we indulge this passion. I hope you soared through 1996 and that the lift will be with you in 1997. -Spencer

Change of Venue

All members are invited to the Planning Meeting at Shane's Signs , Manassas Park, VA. on Saturday, January 4 at 11am. This is another opportunity to express your ideas on Club issues. Please make your plans to attend now; it's your club!

The Annual Meeting of Skyline Soaring Club is also to be held at Shane┼s on Saturday, January 18th from 1 to 3pm. This is a Biggie so make plans now to attend. While there's plenty of space and heat at Shane's, seating is limited, so bring a folding chair and help us out.

Directions to Shane's Signs: Take I-66 and exit on 28 South. Approximately 6 miles, take a left on Manassas Drive, go 3 blocks and turn left on Euclid. Shane's is 2 blocks on the right. 8393 Euclid Ave., Bay I, Bull Run Warehouses. (703) 335-8185.

On the Nature of Leadership

Read the Club's by-laws lately? They're interesting.... They provide for a Board of Directors which "..normally conduct[s] the day-to-day business of the club." And which elects the officers of the Corporation! Powerful bunch of suckers, this Board!

There are six members of the Board, all elected at the Club's annual meeting from the Charter and Full members. The Annual Meeting is now scheduled for January 18, 1997 at Shane's Signs in Manassas Park, VA.

In Jefferson's original ideal of a republic of free citizens, a "citizen-farmer" represented his constituency and guided the course of the nation. It was considered a high obligation of a gentlemen (yes, he lived in a very non-PC culture!) to serve his country by serving in government. The flow of citizens from private to public life and back again be constant.

So it should be with our Club. Like a young nation, we're grown and matured to the point that it's important to our continued success that out leadership reflect the interests and needs of our members. And like good citizens, we all have a responsibility to speak up and serve, meaning also taking a turn in the barrel of Directorship.

I'm thinking now of those whom I plan to nominate for Directors in 1997. Any full member is a candidate for this nomination, and all full members should expect to serve a term or two during the course of his/her membership. If you'd particularly LIKE to take your turn this coming year, tell me, and you'll to go the top of my list of nominees. - Jim Kellett

The ABC Program

Did you know that, as an SSA Chapter, our Club actively participates in the "ABC" program? Do you know what it is??

There are really four badges - A, B, C, and Bronze - reflecting an increasing level of skill. Each badge is a small, plain round pin with the N designation (for US pilots) and a number of stylized seagulls on it - very similar to the FAI badges you┼ve probably seen, but without the silver or gold wreath that appears on the FAI badges.

The program is a bridge between the FAI's badge program - which begins with the Silver "C" - and the normal course of training that a pilot endures to get his FAA license. It provides an excellent and thorough preparation for a glider pilot's first cross-country, and offers clear benchmarks for your skills in logical increments to prepare you for "serious" (and even more pleasurable) soaring.

Jim Kellett is the Club's SSA Instructor, and is authorized to issue these badges upon successful completion of each badge's requirements. While the following is not a complete list of requirements, the major illustrative accomplishments required are:

  • A badge - solo flight
  • B badge - solo soaring flight of at least 30 minutes from a 2,000 foot release
  • C badge - solo soaring flight of at least 60 minutes from a 2,000 foot release; two hours solo logged time minimum; and accuracy landings with the SSA Instructor
  • Bronze badge - complete ABC, log 15 hours solo time, two flights of more than two hours, three solo spot landings observed by the SSA Instructor, and a written test.

Interested? Contact Jim at <jkellett@shentel.net> or (540) 678-4798.

Pegasus Ponders

(It's hard to be nostalgic when you can't remember what happened!)

Jim Kellett

Ten Years Ago (SOARING Magazine, December, 1986): "The lady at the cleaner's had told her about a friend who was flying along and decided to dip a wing in the cloud. His wife had pleaded with him not to, but he did it anyway. "And do you know, that cloud just flipped the plane right over and they went into a tailspin! I just don't know how you can fly" - Issac Van Patten Note: now I understand the reasoning behind the FAA's "clear of clouds" rules!!

Twenty Years Ago (SOARING Magazine, December , 1976):

"Most everybody has his thing, some goal that he achieves; Mine will be a distance flight the SSA believes. I once flew more than fifty miles, oh what an epic flight! But then I found, to my dismay, I hadn't done it right.
It seems you need a barograph to draw a record true, Because they'll never take your word for where or how you flew, Though I can prove just what I did and make a perfect case, An infinite amount of proof won't substitute that trace!

An do, my friends, remember this, so you don't join us fools: It's not just skill that makes a goal, YOU GOTTA KNOW THE RULES!" - Pemberton Drinker

Thirty Years Ago (SOARING Magazine, December,1966): "The long-awaited National Geographic story on soaring is scheduled to appear in the January edition of that magazine. The 26 page article was checked very carefully for errors by the SSA office at the request of the National Geographic editors, a fact which should insure its accuracy."

We need more CFI's

On November 2nd, we had six pilots (James, Sergent, Weaver, Gardner, Popp, and Little) take dual instructional flights for various purposes (primary training, solo checkflight, BFR, ridge checkout, etc.). Fortunately for me, Jim Kellett and Spencer Annear were around for part of the day to fill in while I was flying with other students. Even so, Mike Linenberger was not able to take an instructional flight, and Tim James only had a single dual flight and did not have the opportunity to experience the ridge. This was not an unusually high student load at 8W2. I can tell you that it is a tremendous challenge to provide professional-caliber flight and ground instruction to more than three or four students in one day. I dread the day that students are turned away from the club because we don't have enough instructors to handle the load.

We have actively pursued student members: providing instruction is in our charter, and I would say that our strong commitment to instruction is a strength of our club over the other glider operations (both club and commercial) in the area. But perhaps we've done too good a job.

This is not the first time that the club has faced a shortage in a critical skill area. I remember the not-so-good old days when towing was basically shared amongst about four pilots. We worked hard to build the cadre of qualified towpilots, and that problem is resolved now. We have five active flight instructors in the club (Annear, Ayers, Kellett, Neitzey, and Parrish), and could use at least three more. If you've been wondering how to give something back to the sport, this is one excellent way to do it. The rewards, although not financial, are nevertheless substantial. Please feel free to speak with me or any of the other CFIs if you're interested in learning more about becoming a flight instructor. -Joe Parrish

Did You Fly on October 13??
If you did, we need your help.

We have a bit of a crisis - Tony Bigbee mentioned earlier that there was a problem getting the forms and money to the Treasurer for the activity on October 13, and now it appears that all of it was lost in the mail. All we know is that there were 21 flights that day, and that two of our new members had submitted their initial fees that day.


Stacy Barber,
Treasurer Skyline Soaring Club
43192 Moshupe Way
South Riding, VA 20152

If the original check ever turns up, she'll just not cash it. But we need the payment now to meet current bills, so it would be appreciated if you duplicated your check now. If you paid cash, the Club will just have to "eat it".


Please note that 1997 dues are payable in January. Owner members dues are $175 while non-owners owe $295. Initial payment for new members is now $305.

SSA Convention

Once again, it's time for the winter meeting of the Soaring Society of America, this year the 25th one! It's going to be in Arlington, TX and runs Thursday through Saturday, January 30-February 1.

If you've not been, it's a "pilgrimmage" you really should do. (This one will be the tenth for Pat and me! And we've loved every one!) The camaraderie of being in a major convention center with hundreds of people who know what to do when the wind quits is very comforting! And you get to meet those people you usually only read about - the Schweizers, Tom Knauff (better yet, Doris Grove), Karl Streidick, George Moffatt, the SSA staff, and dozens of others. And you can drool over the latest wonderbirds in the exibition hall!! The talks/events are really useful and interesting - in many cases, this is the only place you can actually see and touch and talk to the builders of planes and instruments.

So think hard about a winter break in 1997! The details are in the current SOARING magazine. -Jim Kellett

Cadet Youth Flight Scholarship

Thanks to Tom Knauff for posting the reminder about the challenge period expiration on the "CADET" Youth Flight Scholarship (Dec. 31, 1996). He said it better than I would have. Let me just add a few details:

1) Please excuse the "spamming", if that's what it sounds like, but it's JUST THIS ONCE: If SSA can get to $20,000 in gifts to the CADET fund by 12/31/96, the program will be permanently endowed: no more requests!

2) The more sponsors of the CADET program, the more it reflects the community spirit that keeps a lot of us interested in this sport. Besides individuals like Tom, whole Clubs & FBOs have made important gifts: Sandhill SC, Sky Sailing..(list on request). JOIN 'EM before 12/31/96, when the FINAL list of sponsors will be compiled.

3) I know that many clubs around the USA have small learn-to-fly "scholarship" funds of their own, that sit IDLE year after year because the hard part isn't conducting the training, it's FINDING any young people in the first place! The CADET program is designed to direct kids to YOUR site that are discovered with national-level PR power. Before it's too late (12/31/96!), please pool any such idle fund in the synergistic CADET program--like Sandhill SC did.

4) The proven CADET program offers you the most pragmatic, most concrete, most immediate action you could possibly undertake to get more young people AWARE of soaring. And (unlike me!) all you have to do is write a check. Isn't the future of the sport worth once what you might spend on a tow? Please understand that the "winners" (2 $600 scholarships, 3 sets of books, 5-20 SSA memberships) are just an excuse to get dozens to visit gliderports, hundreds to write for info, thousands to at least see the word "soaring" in a National Financial Aid Guide--every year. Thanks for listening--just this once. Details at the SSA web pages at http://acro.harvard.edu/SSA/articles/y_scholars.htm and more pages to come. See also the display Ad, p. 51 in the December SOARING and too-late-to-classify Ad at the very end of the magazine. I wish space allowed me to copy here the wonderful letter of appreciation from 1995 winner Nathan Maloy, which is scheduled to appear (too late! ack!) in the January issue.

    John H. Campbell Chair,
    SSA Youth Committee

The Skyline Board has approved a $100 donation on behalf of the general membership of the Skyline Soaring Club. Please also consider an individual contribution to this very worthy cause. Donations received before 12/31/96 will be matched 1-to-1 by a generous benefactor. -Joe Parrish

Meet the Member

Joseph M. Rees

I grew up in a small town of 350 in the hills of southern Indiana at a time when, for some folks, going to the bathroom at night involved shoes and a flashlight. I can also remember the sheriff bringing in the remains of a still or two.

Indiana is known for two things; basketball and politics. Since I was too short to go inside and not a very good outside shooter, I wound up going into politics (after a short stint in the Army and while I was still in college) where I flew as a passenger in a succession of small planes around the Indiana countryside; in and out of small airports (some of which were paved); at all times of day and night and in all conditions. I loved it.

I passed up a career in banking (the 9-3 hours posted on the door looked good) for the uncertainty of a career in politics and came to Washington with Senator Birch Bayh in 1969. It was during this period that my interest in flying waned. In 1972 I was on the last flight into National before they closed it due to Hurricane Agnes. After that experience, my stomach would get queasy and my palms would perspire if I even thought about flying. I was thinking at the time that this must be what flying through flack was like. The plane was bouncing all over the sky, pots were banging around in the galley and everyone was being really quiet (except when they brought the smiley bags to their face).

Unable to find gainful employment after six years on Capitol Hill (although I did find the lovely and talented Sherry Saunders who became my wife), I turned to lobbying (the alternative was to go back to Indiana and bag groceries at the IGA). Most of my lobbying work is in the health field representing hospitals and physicians but I have also done work for songwriters, music publishers, CBS and the NFL.

I can't remember who told me about the soaring operation at Warrenton, but I wound up taking my first few lessons with Don Robb in a Grob 109 at Leesburg in 1983 (the same year we adopted our son Patrick); and then, learning to fly on tow at Warrenton (scaring more than a few tow pilots). A few turns in a sunny sky over the Virginia country side and I was hooked. Soaring also has some relevance to the kind of business I am in - it depends on rising columns of hot air and you spend a lot of time going in circles.

And, finally, I have found the mental and physical demands of soaring to be very relaxing. The total concentration required acts as a white wash for the mind pushing all other thoughts aside and placing everything in its proper perspective.

Editor's Note: Joe's timeless story of misspent youth (and adulthood) is the last in the bank. If you haven't told your story yet, please get it to me for next January's Skylines. -thanks, Phil.

A Belated Congratulations to

Matt Little who became a Private Pilot on October 13, Shane officiating!