Off We Go...
Ridge Race Open to All
Let's Do It
Heads Up-A S-KWISE
Russia AC-4c continued
What is a Good Soaring Pilot?
Look Out!-The Dreaded Salmon Slip!
Off we go...
Now is the time for the Board to identify someone or several people to share in the responsibility of keeping the Pawnee and 2-33 flying. Before I go I will outline what I think needs to be done in the near future. The Pawnee 50 hour engine oil analysis was OK. It had fewer particles than would be expected in any new engine. We will send the sample for spectrographic analysis, but it is a foregone conclusion that it will be OK.
We must do this each 50 hours. The task includes draining the oil and taking a small sample as it drains from the engine. They we remove the filter, cut it open with a special cutter that we have purchased and then cut out the paper filter with a large knife. If the are any particles, we will see them when the paper filter is opened like an accordion. I am telling you this, because I am not going to be there every time it needs to be done. Right now Serge and Bill Bentley know the drill, and others should also learn it. Tow Pilots must check the tack times to determine the need for oil change. WE WILL VOID THE WARRANTY ON OUR NEW ENGINE IF WE DO NOT DO THIS TIMELY. I have had a placard made which is somewhere in the hangar and needs to be installed on the panel. It reads "OIL CHANGE DUE AT _________ HRS TACK TIME" Tow pilots should advise the DO and the DO should advise me immediately when the time is approaching so that the oil change can be accomplished without shutting down operations. With the Board's approval, I would like to set a limit of 55 hours after which operations would be suspended pending the oil change. If we allow it to reach that time without notice, the responsibility for having to shut down operations will have been placed on the prior DO. However, if we don't make sure that we don't exceed 50 hours, we will pay a bundle for repairs if there is a failure and the warranty is voided by our inaction. I will be gone for several weeks of the summer and I will not be out there enough to monitor the tack times. It is up to the membership to ensure that we perform this task timely.
I would also like to repeat my request of last year, that the tow pilot wipe the propeller blades after the end of the day, as well as the leading edge of the wings.
We should also rotate the tires when they begin to wear on the outside. We can extend the life a tire by about 25% if we do this regularly. Again, Serge and Bill know the routine, but we need to develop other experts who can do it. I am going to buy six new wheel bolts and weld tabs on the heads so it will be easier to remove the tires. The are two new sets of tires in the hangar. Serge will patch three spare tubes so that we will always have the parts we need. We will also buy spare cotter pins which will be stored in the Pawnee cabinet.
Possibly in two or three weeks, I would like to take the Pawnee to John Ayers place to paint the Red trim. I will need a crew of at least two for this project. At least one of the crew would drive my car to John's. We would work for the day and bring it back to FRR in the evening.
Finally, John Lewis and I were able to bleed the brakes of the 2-33
and I think they were solid. However, it still needs a good rolling check
to verify that they are working correctly. I still need to install a new
W&B placard on the panel. The current figures are more conservative
than the new so we can operate safely until I make the change. Actual
minimum solo pilot weight with ballast is 103 lbs and without ballast is
135 lbs. I will complete this task next week. More later if and before I
go. (See Bill's Maintenance Report that precedes the Roster.-editor)
Ridge Race Open to All
$100.00 is to be awarded to the first pilot to complete a documented Ridge Flight according to the following:
Let's Do It
The Club has its own phone at FRR. The phone number is (540) 622-2729. It's one of those 2.4 Gz cordless units, and it's been tested to establish that it works fine at least to midfield!
This phone is a six month experiment approved by the Board to ascertain if it serves sufficient purpose for it's approximate $30/month cost. You should hear in the very near future some guidelines on how the members (particularly duty officers) can use it. For starters, you should know that the line has no approved long distance carrier, but will accept 800 or 888 dialings if you need to make a credit card call. DO NOT use any "dial arounds" to make outgoing long distance calls! And do NOT allow the phone to be used by anyone other than a CLub member (or FRR management)
It's on an answering machine in the FBO office. Enjoy!
For more information, contact Jan Scott at <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Also of note... With all of those Secret Service agents strutting around, acting important, they zealously jumped on any suspicious activity. If anything out of the ordinary was observed, it was immediately stopped. Unfortuantely, our date to get the new phone line installed happened to be that Thursday that big Al showed up at FRR. The poor Sprint technician showed up and was swarmed over by Secret Service Agents. "Yeah, right kid. Sure you're supposed to install a phone line today. Why don't you come back later."
This was Skyline Soaring's first Open House day, to introduce ourselves to our compatriots at our new soaring site. Kit Carson was to be the tow pilot and was the first on the scene followed by ADO Bill Wark, myself and John Ayers rounded out the crew as our instructor. Since the wind was from the east we set up camp down the hill at the turnaround area on runway 09. This provides a nice grassy area to keep the planes off of the runway as well as the waiting pilots. We launched John Ayers-who needed to get current-from 09 with Shane along as an a guide since John had not flown at FRR for some time. They landed on 09 rolling to a stop at the top of the hill where we had re-convened at the behest of the FBO. John took two more flights to attain his currency. By this time, the first of our guests had arrived. Chip Sprague is a student power pilot at FRR and a local resident. He was eager to jump in the glider with John at the stick. Kevin Fleet had freed the Sprite from the hangar and had towed it to the launching area of runway 09, launching and landing into the wind before we could get Chip into the air. We launched the K with guest in tow from 27 with the agreement that they would land on 09 which they did without incident.
Our next guest was then on the scene looking for his piece of adventure. Bob Warren is from New Jersey and was in the area visiting his in-laws. He was driving down the road when he spied the K making a landing. He immediately cancelled whatever plans he had and turned into the airport. As soon as Chip was out of the glider, Bob was in. When John landed you could see that indelible grin coming from Bob's face through the canopy. I bet he still has that grin on his face.
Member launches began after that. Mike Cordova tried his hand in 081. Bob Michael took a turn in the Sprite. Both landed after brief flights but the wind had picked up to the point to where we suspended operations. More guests came down to view our operation. Mary Ellen Hutchins, who has a 172 in the hangar next to the Pawnee, dropped by with her friend Terri Sealock and Terri's father. Mary Ellen is the local veterinarian and tried soaring with the previous group at FRR. She seems very interested in our group and we may see more of her. John Lewis had his membership chairman hat on and got the names and addresses of the guests. We waited for the wind to subside and voted to send up one more flight to see what the conditions were like. Bob Michael gave Jim Garrison his field check in the K, and their takeoff in the cross wind was enough to convince us to shut down for the day. Apologies to Jonathan Kans, Ed Lehr, John Lewis and anyone else who came out and did not get to fly.
Miss Daisy is a babe!!! Miss Daisy is back together and has a new outfit. Muchas gracias to Bill Vickland for all of the work that he put into her over the winter. Thanks also to Bob Collier, Jim Kellett, Bob Feierabend and everyone else who assisted Bill stripping Miss Daisy down to her skivvies, sanding her bones, priming, re-skinning, painting and assembling her. I bet she will fly like a dream. Shane will put some SSC logo decals on her soon. Come on out to the airport to see Miss Daisy, but don't tell your wife you are going to see another woman. -Ralph Vawter
Heads Up-A S-KWISE
I suggest that the person would be safer walking near the tail, and lifting the tail with a hand under the horizontal, close to the fin. Alternately, and even easier, putting Joe Parrish's flight bag, or something equally massive, in the front seat will reduce the load on the tail to mere grams, and put no one at risk of:
I have seen planes with a roller-blade wheel bolted through the tie-down hole. If the tie-downs are not used in the hanger, perhaps one of our more "aerobic" members has a pair of worn wheels that could be tried.
We got spoiled by operating on the turf at New Market. At Front
Royal, on the pavement, we will need to accept greater wear, and the
possibility that wear will make the aircraft un-airworthy if not caught
and repaired in time. For example, try really hard to NOT have the wheel
brake engaged when touching down.
Russia AC-4c continued
The various AC-4 models have similar specifications, so we will focus on the retractable gear "c" model that we have decided to buy. It has a wing span of 12.6 meters and the L/D is reported to be approx. 34:1. These specs are very similar to the 1-36 that many of us have flown, which has a wingspan and L/D of 14 meters and 31:1, respectively. However, the AC-4c weighs 335 lbs empty and has a gross takeoff weight of 605 lbs. The 1-36, on the other hand, has an empty weight of 475 lbs and a gross takeoff weight of 710 lbs. Thus the AC-4 is a very light sailplane and with its small dimensions it is very easy to move around on the ground. The wings weigh only about 80 lbs each, and are secured by a single pin with a nice cam action that is inserted part way and turned to draw the wings tightly together, and then inserted fully and locked.
Despite its light weight, Dick Johnson told us that the AC-4 is very sturdily built and that they have flown them for several years at TSA. Another feature important for both safety and simplicity of assembly is that all controls connect automatically, which reduces the risk of missed connections. Several AC-4 owners have told us that assembly and disassembly take only a few minutes to complete. The cockpit is simple but roomy, with a small but adequate instrument panel and adjustable rudder pedals and seat back. The canopy is a two-piece design and opens sideways.
The cockpit was comfortable, but did have high sills that made it somewhat awkward to exit. The AC-4 can be ordered with a ballistic recovery system (BRS, a $2,000 option), which provides an alternative to the traditional "bail-out" type parachute. We decided to order the BRS system with our AC-4c. Finally, the aircraft has a polyurethane finish rather than gel-coat. Flight tests and pilots' observations have indicated that the AC-4 handles very nicely although it is apparently very light on the controls, which can cause problems for new pilots who are transitioning from training gliders to the AC-4. It sounds very similar to the 1-36. There seemed to be 3 options in buying one's first sailplane.
One, many pilots had enthusiastically recommended the 1-26 as a perfect first glider due to its simplicity, climbing ability, and low cost. The 1-26 also has a well-deserved reputation for strength and safety, which would be especially important for new pilots transitioning to cross-country flying. Two, used fiberglass sailplanes such as the ASW-19 or LS-3 would provide excellent performance and are available for $30K or less. The third option was to buy a new sailplane of the World Class type, namely the PW-5, AC-4, or L-33, which like a used ASW-19-like glider, would cost about $30K including a trailer. (A fourth option was to buy a new Ventus or the like. This was clearly out of the question and will not be discussed further).
So why did we choose the AC-4 over other options? Many experienced pilots and instructors we've spoken to and several articles we've read have recommended that new pilots would be well advised to gain several years experience in low to moderate performance sailplanes before moving on to higher performance models that are more difficult to handle. This seemed to be a very prudent thing to do, and this point was driven home to us by a serious accident last summer involving a new glider pilot who's first sailplane was a high performance model. He apparently was distracted while thermalling over a hilltop and his glider stalled and spun into the trees. Perhaps with more experience he would have recognized the incipient stall and reacted to prevent it. The AC-4 will spin, but it is reported to have a pronounced pre-stall buffet that would provide warning to the pilot of the impending stall.
Another safety issue was the BRS option, which we decided to accept. Although BRS's have seen little use in gliders to date, they have been very successful in the ultralight and hang glider communities and we felt that the BRS would provide an additional margin of safety. We also were very attracted to the AC-4 by the simple assembly and disassembly procedures, and the retractable gear option that will provide better performance than the fixed gear models and also allow us to adapt to a retractable gear aircraft before moving on to higher-performance models in the future. Several of these features of the AC-4 are not available on the PW-5 or L-33.
Finally, we liked the idea of purchasing a new sailplane. We didn't
feel we had adequate time to devote to maintenance or refurbishment of an
older aircraft. So, for better or worse, we have chosen the AC-4 with
retractable gear. Assuming all goes well, i.e. there isn't another
economic meltdown in Russia, our new sailplane should arrive at the
dealer's in July or August. All we need to do now is get our pilot's
licenses! Otherwise Joe P. says he will need to fly the Russia himself 20
or 30 times to make sure we can handle it! I don't think he's kidding
What is a Good Soaring Pilot?
I believe that in the final analysis, a good soaring pilot is one who completely understands his or her own skill level, is fully aware of his limitations, and flies within those limitations regardless of external pressures.
Note that this has nothing to do with the certificate level or ratings held by the pilot. It has everything to do with a pilot's ability and willingness to be realistic and frank with himself, with his fellow pilots, and with his instructors.
A good soaring pilot is not necessarily the one who can land in a 30 kt crosswind or the one who holds all diamond awards. A good soaring pilot is the one who brought a friend out for a ride, sees beautiful cu's and other pilots taking off into a 10 kt crosswind, and is not embarrassed to tell his friend that the crosswind is too high for his ability. It is this ability to self evaluate against existing conditions. It is the ability to safely fly the glider in all conditions that the pilot judges are expected to develop. A poor pilot is one where "(the pilot's ego is writing checks that his skill level and judgement cannot cash)" so that he might fly out of gliding range of the airport with no training or skill in cross country or outlandings.
The problem for the new student pilot is not low hours, it is that he or she has not spent enough time in the air and talking and flying with pilots of various skill levels to have a baseline for judging his new and limited capabilities, against expected conditions. This is the reason an instructor assesses conditions and decides whether a student pilot may fly.
It is my hope that by spending a few moments considering the question:
"what makes a good soaring pilot" that each of us will strengthen his or
her own pilot quality, and contribute to the pilot quality of fellow club
members and the general soaring community.
Look Out!-The Dreaded Salmon Slip!
Not only does proper scanning keep the occasional 727 out of your armpit, but it dramatically improves the pilot's ability to maintain constant and consistent bank angle, heading, and airspeed. If you're looking straight ahead and/or at the panel more than about 5% of the time, you're NOT scanning!!
Read. Think. Do.
Speaking from the Examiner's point of view, inadequate scanning is
grounds for the issuance of a "Notice of Disapproval of Application", the
dreaded pink slip. It's actually salmon in color. So we'll call it the
dreaded "Salmon Slip".
We (Gliders) will fly Right Hand Patterns-regardless of which runway is in use.
We continue to recommend a mid-field entry at a 45 degree angle, but of course it's always the decision of the PIC to fly the pattern entry as necessary. Our experience has been that good thermal activity exists to the north of the field (when the wind does not prevent thermal development). This will normally provide appropriate loitering (to the north of the field) and a cross wind entry over the east end of the runway for landing on 09 or the 45 degree entry to downwind for landing on 27.
One additional consideration-We should avoid the area south of the
runway, as Reggie points out a history of bad air south of the field when
ever winds are from the south, and as spring and summer approach, we will
see more and more para-gliders (powered parachutes) and ultra lights south
of the field. This, plus the history of good thermal activity north of the
field, is the reason for keeping us on the north side as much as
Pawnee Tire Replacement The Club will experience heavy tire wear at FRR. I suspect that we will wear out at least three pairs of tires during the year. In addition, if the Club wishes to save about 25% of the cost, it must regularly rotate and swap the tires. Both tires wear on the outside and the left wears more rapidly. Therefore, before the left tire wears through the tread, the tires should be removed, swapped from left to right and rotated. I have purchased two new sets of tires, located in the hangar, that should last most of the season. If additional tires are needed, they can be purchased through Aircraft Spruce at $68 each. The tires are Air Hawk 6:00 x 8. Phone: 1-800 831-2949. Put it on your credit card and send the invoice to Stacy. There are three spare tubes in the hangar that Serge has patched and verified as useable.
The procedure is as follows:
The key warnings are as follows: