The member-focused newsletter of the Southern Ontario Soaring Association
Summer 2022 Edition
What a summer so far!
OLC Update by Paul Parker

Wow! Three days in July have launched SOSA from third to the top of the list of gliding clubs across Canada on the OLC. 

Congratulations to all 41 SOSA pilots who contributed their 218 cross country flights to our club total (over 51,000 km) on OLC:

We are soaring neck and neck with Montreal, so every flight counts. Keep those flights coming in.

Rafael Bravo declared July 14th “the best day in 25 years at SOSA.”

Jerzy Szemplinski proved the claim with the longest flight ever recorded in southern Ontario at 962 kms. It makes 1000km look possible on a perfect day!

But the biggest story of the day was Adam and his 641 km flight in a Junior. What an achievement! That is surely a record that will stand the test of time.

The early leader among Canadian clubs this year was the CuNim club in Alberta which benefited from many pilots participating in the Canadian nationals.

Former SOSA pilot Chris Gough is leading the CuNim charge and holds the number one spot for best six flights, but Jersey is right behind him so another strong day could make the difference.

A surprise this year is that the Canadian Rockies club is well down the ranking because of the wet and cool start to the season in BC.

This year our total km recorded on OLC at the end of June (31,000 km) was less than the June total in last two years, but well above our 10 year average of 21,000 km.

Enjoy the rest of the season and keep logging those flights as we aim to keep SOSA at the top of the chart!

Once a champ, always a champ!
As you may have heard, SOSA president Joerg Stieber brought home the top prize, winning the FAI class at this year's National Soaring Championship in Alberta in June. He finished strong on the last day of competition, with a record-shattering flight of 526km at an average speed of 149kph! He finished the competition with an exceptional 6859 points, just ahead of former SOSA pilot (now at CuNim) Christopher Gough.

Joerg won his first Canadian National championship 35 years ago at Chipman. Nice repeat!!

Check out the full results here.
BBQ time again, join us on July 30!

Our next Saturday post-flying BBQ is coming up on July 30. Reza Darvish, our freshly-minted Silver Badge holder, will be chef du jour. On tap will be our usual delicious burgers, along with some fantastic Persian-style finger food. He’s under some pressure, following the stupendous spread put on by Kathryn last month. But hey, Silver Badgers can handle some pressure.

Remember, BBQs are a team effort; lots of help is needed at both the front and back ends of the event; especially the cleanup. Step up and there could be extra potato salad in it for you. An incredibly reasonable $7 fee per meal will apply, as usual. Pay in cash, or have it billed to your account. Hope to see you there!

Launch Fee changes

(Originally sent via Click N Glide, June 16.)

Fuel prices are finding all the lift; not just for your drive to SOSA, but also for the tows. And since we've held off increasing tow fees since 2019, the reality is we've had to do so now.

Here's the plan:
(These changes took effect Saturday June 18)
  • 1,000ft tow increases from $20 to $22
  • Each additional 500ft increases from $7 to $8.50
  • Tow for rope break exercise (approx 300ft) decreases from $20 to $15

These changes took effect Saturday July 16 (ie to fulfill our 30-day notice requirement):
  • Winch increases from $6 to $7
  • Towplane rental/hr increases from $150 to $160
Please take all of this into account as you do your mental calculations after a day of flying. Treasurer Tom will thank you!
Aerobatic intro flights are back!

Following discussions with aero pilots Poul Hansen and Scott McMaster, Intro Coordinator Michael Chazot and Membership Director James Wood, plans are to start small (i.e. two flights per week), offering aero intros for $329, which will include a 4,000ft tow and a roughly 20-minute flight. To avoid conflict with other operations, we'll target gaps in the mid-week schedule. Planned aero flights will be posted on Click and Glide ahead of time. If you have questions feel free to contact the guys directly.

For more information on all introductory flight options, see the Intro Flights page on the website.

Attn: Student pilots

The Chief Flying Instructor and team are asking all students to update their training status, to ensure that students and instructors are operating as efficiently and effectively as possible. Remember, we are a club of volunteers and we want to get everyone up and flying, regularly and often.

Please ensure your Pilot Training Record (PTR), stored on the bus, and your personal logbook are up to date and correctly reconciled with one another. This is an important part of your training and flying record.

If you haven't yet, please add your information to this Google document, which will help the CFI team to plan your ongoing training:

Flying training update:


Malcom McLaren
Chief Flying Instructor

This has been an exciting season so far and a busy one with 32 new students joining in 2022. This makes for a busy flying season for all of our instructors and an often daunting workload. So, I'd like to offer many thanks to all of our instructors, who give up their personal flying time to make this possible. With Tuesday evening training well underway, aerobatics training on Thursdays, winching on Fridays, as well as the usual schedule of training on weekends, we are a very busy club.

I also want to recognize the extraordinary efforts of our chief tow pilot Dave Springford, who's been busy getting our new (and growing) team of tow pilots up to speed. (Let's not forget that, winching aside, no tow pilots means no gliding!)

As of early July, we've had 1169 flights, of which 659 are student/instructor related. Seventy-plus intro flights have been flown so far and that total continues to grow at or near capacity. We have five new licensed members this season who are flying their own gliders, towing or flying solo as they work through our fleet of airplanes. We have two new students who are now flying solo (congratulations to Dan Aberg and Hardik Chheda!) and more expected to go solo soon.

On July 2-3 Rob Russell ran a successful Bronze Badge off-field landing exercise to Puslinch Lake with 10 students. A long but rewarding couple of days, according to those students and instructors who attended.

Our Authorized Person, Tom Coulson, would like to see students who have reached their required 20 instructional flights start to prepare for writing the pre-solo exam, as this needs to be completed before any solo flights can be done. 

Another exciting week is coming up at the beginning of August with SOSA's cross-country camp, so let's hope for good weather, like last year.

Towards the end of August is our Acceleration Week, dedicated to training for students to finish off the required exercises in their pilot training records, in preparation for their flight tests.

That's all for now. See you at the flight line.

Equipment update: looking good!

Angelo Quattrociocchi
Maintenance Director

The big news is that we finally got the Puchacz back online for the first time since the end of last season. There was a concerning scratch or crack along the belly of the fuselage, forward of the main landing gear.  It was brought to XU for annual inspection and repair (which was done beautifully), but we discovered a leaky main landing wheel inner tube when first trying to use it. Big thanks to Jerzy Szemplinski for providing and replacing the tube. I know a lot of people have been waiting for this (spinnable) glider to return to operation and I thank you all for your patience.

The Citabria had a flap issue earlier this season which delayed some tow pilot training, but we are now in good shape with all our tow planes.

Some of the more minor things continue to pop up (canopy struts, etc.) and we continue to work to address these. Thanks to all of you who report the snags in Slack or our snag sheets, and especially to those who invest their time helping to fix them.


(One of our K-21s on its way to an XU annual.)

Flightline operations and Click N Glide


James Wood
Membership Director

As Malcolm mentioned, with many new students joining this season there has been a high demand for instructors at the flight line. We’re working with the instructor group to ensure as much consistent availability as possible. (Thanks again to all the instructors who’ve been generously volunteering so much of their time so far this season. It’s greatly appreciated!)

One area we have received feedback is that the lists in Click N Glide can be misleading and unclear, leaving students to wonder if they are likely to fly or not. As such, I want to clarify how CnG fits into the overall SOSA operations & procedures.

At a high level, CnG is a way for us to coordinate duty roles & intro flights, plan for events, send important messages, and forecast demand for different aircraft in the club fleet day-by-day. It’s an easy way for members to communicate their intentions in order to facilitate the matching of resources with demand.

However, CnG's scope is limited. It serves only as a prediction for the day. It does not replace the standard SOSA operating procedures for flight operations and flying priority, detailed below:

  • Flying priority is determined by the Field Manager (FM) on a "first come first served" basis using "The List" at the flight line.
  • The list contains space for pilot names and gliders for members to indicate their preference. Pilots wishing to fly a club glider “shall” write their name at the bottom of the list and place a check mark in the column for the aircraft they wish to fly. The first uncrossed name at the top of the list is the next pilot for that glider.
  • Once launched, the pilot’s name shall be crossed off the list by the Field Manager or designate. If the member wishes to fly again that day then they can add their name back at the bottom of the list after landing. Note that student pilots are allowed two flights in a row with an instructor or one dual and one solo, if the first flight is less than 30 minutes and the total flight time does not exceed one hour. Note also that if you are the one doing the daily inspection (DI) as the glider comes out of the hangar in the morning, you have priority for first flight(s).
  • Placing your name on the list obliges you to remain available to help with flight line activities. Unless engaged in other club business, pilots disappearing from the flight line will have their names crossed off or placed at the bottom of the list at the discretion of the Field Manager.
  • The Field Manager may at any time alter any priority standing in the list but this will only be done to achieve fair and efficient aircraft use.
  • At the discretion of the Field Manager, pilots who aren't ready for launch when the tow plane is in position can be removed from the grid.
  • The list should be on the bus next to the Time Keeper or on the picnic table if the Time Keeper is outside. It should not be carried around by the Field Manager.
  • On weekend and holiday mornings from 0800-1300, priority for dual training in the K-21s is given to pre-solo students, or solo students in need of a dual flight before their next solo flight

The following are recommended best practices for new students using CnG to plan their visits to SOSA: 

  • Put your name on the generic student list 2-3 days in advance if you are planning to come out. Always include a comment as to when you will arrive at SOSA and your goal (e.g. 10:00am, spot landings).
  • If you are immediately added to a waitlist, CnG will send a message to all instructors saying there are instructors needed for this day.
  • When signing up for a specific event (e.g winching, aero, etc) you do not need to also sign up on the generic daily student list.
  • Always check Instructor availability before heading to SOSA. If you see there is still a student waitlist, it means the operation will likely be short of instructors and it may take the full day to get through the list. Latecomers to the flight line should understand that they may not get a chance to fly on busy days.
  • Remember, the Field Manager's list is the source of truth for flying priority on the day, not Click N Glide.
  • If you are signed up in CnG for a specific day and your plans change, please make sure to take your name off.

Recommended best practices for instructors when using CnG:

  • Always add yourself to the "Instructor Availability" list when you plan to instruct.
  • Please include a comment if you will only be able to instruct at a specific time or with specific students.

All members at SOSA are hoping to get in as much great flying as possible. The SOSA operation works best when both students and instructors sign up as early as possible, conveying their intentions for the day in a timely and clear fashion. We will always do our best to ensure that everyone at the field gets a chance to fly. Thanks all! 

You say potato. I say OH SH*T.

Dale Guenter

It was a perfect blue day (made for the beach, not for soaring, as it turned out) and I had an itch to get far from SOSA. And, after a great thermal in Brantford a mere 460 km short of my 500, well......

But this is not about making low saves, planning circuits or avoiding obstacles. It could be about how to select a field, and this one was great in all respects (yes I did that part right) EXCEPT that it had 14-inch-deep furrows that were all but invisible until I passed over the fence. (Tom Coulson verified they were invisible when we flew over again a week later.) As we now know, that kind of manicured field contains newly-planted potatoes (nurtured, in this case, by a somewhat fussy farmer).

This story is about great (heroic, as it turned out) ground crew who come to help even when they have lots of other things planned. Many of you have been that person. On this day in June, there were three fantastic friends: Ian O'Reilly, Alex Depoutovitch and Herrie ten Cate.

Little did they know, this was going to be one of the worst retrieves of all time. 

Landing in the centre of a 14-inch furrow, about 40 furrows from the little road down the side of the field and about 1,000 feet from the nearest end of the furrow, in soil that sinks and spreads out like sand, hefting that heavy Jantar beast to the nearest exit was a chore, to say the least.

We had very creative thinkers, so after admitting we couldn’t carry it across 40 furrows to the closest road (and trailer), there was a new idea every 10 feet, for how to shove this thing through the dirt down the furrow to the closest exit. Long boards were moved back and forth to roll on, the tail dolly was off then on, a leather belt became a ploughing harness (thanks Ian), and numerous other tweaks were adopted to improve efficiency. After about 90 minutes, getting close to the end and nearly dead, compassionate neighbours across the road came and lightened the final stretch.

The pizza and beer we devoured on the way home were not nearly enough thanks for what these guys did. Happily, the extent of the damage was one trashed landing gear door, some long cosmetic scrapes on the fuselage belly from the furrow walls, and ten pounds of rich, potato-growing dirt inside the wheel well.

Key learning: Avoid potato fields. I just can't tell you exactly how.

The return of Dan Aberg

(Ed: this is such a great story, proving that it’s never too late to commence-- or resume-- your flight training. Thanks to Dan for sharing.)

Dan Aberg
SOSA pilot

I’m back.

Sometime in early June of 1974 was my first day flying a glider. I was nearly 14, but I felt like a big man sitting at the controls of a Schweizer 2-22. The guy sitting behind was instructor Dixon Moore. Not a man easily forgotten. 

What a summer! So much to learn, so much fun. After school let out, I spent weeks living in my tent, by the big hangar with all those planes. Flying at every opportunity, I managed to solo that summer (and got dunked in a rainwater barrel as a reward). What fun! Forty-eight years later I’m back. Not a kid anymore, but I sure feel like one.

Looking around, there are quite a few faces I remember— Chris Wilson, Pat O’Donnell, John Malby, Scott McMaster and Steve Burany— some still flying, still instructing. That is some dedication to the sport.

Chris was one of my instructors back then; now too. “Danny” back then, “Danny” today. For many years I have wanted to get back flying, but life sometimes has a way of getting in the way of the fun stuff. I was feeling jealous when my daughter recently got her power pilot’s license. I knew it was time for me. On June 28, 2022 I soloed for the second time. It was every bit as thrilling as the first time, back in the summer of 1974.

Collision avoidance: Always top of mind

Speaking of blasts from the past, we found this article from the August/September 1999 issue of the UK-based Sailplane and Gliding, by a young up-and-coming pilot and author by the name of Stieber.... 

Still worth a read! (See page 20.)
Mid-season safety check-in

Bill Vollmer
Safety Committee

Safety officers from clubs across the country have commented on incidents that have occurred this season:
  • Members using personal phones while flying: A solo student took a call while on tow and was reported by his tow pilot for erratic flying;
  • Two clubs reported hard landings by students who were close to solo;
  • A wing runner's "under shoulder" signal for "take up slack" was confused with "all out";
  • A note from York Soaring that air traffic control is warning commercial flights about gliders in their flight path based on transponder transmissions using the discrete glider code. This seems to be working well.

Instructor currency review
The option to attend power pilot instructor pilot refresher training course has been removed; SAC plans to replace this option with a SAC online training course. There would be a half-day training course on the internet and a followup training with all instructor pilots from the club.

Next meeting will be November 16, 2022.
SOSA's clubhouse: The early years
(Maybe the tree looks familiar. This is the site of the clubhouse from around 1963. More of an outhouse, actually. See how far we've come! Thanks to Uli and Dave for the memories.)
Grounds report:
Garbage and the rocks of Rockton


Michael Viechweg
Grounds Director

An increasing number of members are voicing their environmental concerns and many of these issues, in their own way, are tied to our environment. There are a number of items that everyone should be aware of:

Clubhouse Garbage Issues
Although we have a housekeeper, we need to have everyone treat the clubhouse as they would their own home. Herrie ten Cate, myself, and others have repeatedly spent time dealing with the garbage on Sunday evenings and Monday mornings. 

Here are some simple rules:

  • NEVER put raw garbage in a bin.
  • ALWAYS use a garbage bag.
  • NEVER, NEVER leave a garbage bag outside unless it’s in a bin. I found a ripped garbage bag outside the kitchen that an animal had been into, with predictable results: strewn, shredded garbage; terrible smell and an animal that will likely return looking for more (not good for us or them).
  • PLEASE sort the recycling properly, as per the Hamilton style, which is posted on the kitchen wall. 

The Field
A tire was abandoned next to our bin, by whom we’ll never know. This is dumping. And that costs the club money to remove. We should also remember that propane tanks, trailers and old furniture shouldn’t be disposed of here.

Herrie, before he heads west, is working on a bin system for the flight line bus so that we can more easily recycle and dispose of waste at the flight line. I know he’d appreciate your help.

Be aware that we have ticks on the field. Bug repellant is advised. If you find one on you or a fellow member, remove it carefully (in the latter case, ask permission first!) and save/photograph it if you can. You might also want to seek medical attention for a shot to ward off Lyme Disease.

We have beavers. And a dam deep in the bush north of runway 21. The dam appears to have been abandoned; we’re working on removing it, as it’s creating a flood risk.

Workshop & Equipment
If you’re unsure, please ask someone which fuel to use in an engine (e.g. gas, diesel, premix).

Please take care not to mow into the many rocks we have lurking beneath the thin layer of soil here at the aptly-named ROCKTON airfield. Especially in/around the campground, where they’re everywhere. Tough on motors and blades, as you can imagine.

I’ve been getting lots of questions about the potential for electric equipment and vehicles. And not just from our growing squadron of Tesla owners! The Board is keeping this in mind as it considers options as equipment comes up for repair or replacement. It’s a great concept. Current concerns are about high initial outlay costs and ongoing maintenance and our collective ability to keep things in good repair. I look forward to a continuing discussion.

Camp Grounds
Those of us with trailers know that we’re responsible for keeping our areas mowed and tidy. We can perhaps all help one another if we “adopt-a-lot” by mowing a little extra here and there, in particular the empty campsites or those of an absent neighbour. This will help to keep the mosquitoes and ticks at bay. And I’m sure your neighbours will return the favour when you need it. And remember-- avoid those rocks!

(Strewn, raccoon-ravaged garbage: It's a bad thing, people.)
First impressions
from one of our newest "tow dogs"
(Bless 'em all!)
Duncan Duong (above, centre, with Lexi Stone foreground, and Zachary Collins, right) 

Affectionately known as "Bee Wee," this PA-25 Piper Pawnee is a unique creature and difficult to describe in words. Since the Pawnee is single seat, my first flight was also my first solo flight in the type. Take off was uneventful but the landing felt daring and rather scary.

As I was lining up the runway on my first (long) final, I remember thinking "I don't want to destroy this beautiful airplane on my first landing." Dave Springford patiently awaited my first touchdown with his radio held close to his ear.

What a time getting acquainted with this airplane! On most days, BWY is lovely to handle. It has a roomy interior with a classic, industrial look on the inside-- minimalist styling, nothing fancy-- just enough to get you airborne safely. Other days, it’s like a bucket of bolts, casually losing 2-5 screws and a couple of inspection hatches on the airframe. That said, it has the most towing horsepower in the fleet and is pretty reliable.

The first time I got to fly BWY,  we were picking it up from “Burlington executive” after 50 hours of maintenance. I had great joy flying back behind Dave. I won’t forget flying low across a small slice of Southern Ontario; it’s quite different for a Blue Noser like me.

BWY is docile to handle, forgiving once airborne but with a rather stiff suspension (even for a young back). I figure this encourages a soft landing! The plane is a great teacher, increasing my existing admiration for gliding and flying in general. I'm thrilled to be here this summer. See you on the flightline.
SOSA recognizes the passing of a legend
Terence Macartney-Filgate, a member of SOSA for more than 40 years, died in Toronto on July 11 from complications related to Parkinson's. He was 97.

In short, he was a legend: World War Two Royal Air Force pilot, groundbreaking and award-winning filmmaker, documentarian, raconteur, teacher, club member and friend. Terry and his wife Lorna Novosel met at SOSA in the 1980s. She was also a longtime member, tow pilot, instructor, CFI and board member.

Joerg, who reached out to Lorna with condolences on behalf of SOSA, recalls that Terry, on one of his significant later birthdays, noted with some pride that "today I flew a glider with a student and I towed."

Lorna has let us know that a celebration of a long life well-lived will take place in the fall. He is survived by his wife and three children, Michelle Macartney-Filgate, Adrienne Campbell and Terry Macartney, and five grandchildren.

Details of his is extraordinary life and career are detailed in this Globe and Mail profile and here in Variety Magazine.
Sunset/sunrise over Rockton airfield
(This is one of our favourite winching phenomena. Sunset turns into a brief, glorious sunrise as the glider gains altitude. Thanks to Bob Munroe for the photo.)
2022 SOSA Executive, Officers & Directors

President - Joerg Stieber
Treasurer - Tom Coulson
Secretary - Dale Guenter

Chief Flying Instructor - Malcolm McLaren
Aircract Maintenance Director - Angelo Quattrociocchi
Grounds Director - Michael Viechweg
Membership & Marketing Director - James Wood
Communications Director - Jeff Keay

Chief Tow Pilot - David Springford
Dean of Students - John Estey
Safety Officer - Hans Juergenson
Safety Committee - Bill Vollmar, Will Nyland
Flying Committee - Rafael Nuñes, Michael Viechweg, Herrie ten Cate
Social Committee - Kathryn Huntsman, Jeff Keay, John Estey, Reza Darvish
The SOSA Windsock is written/edited/published by:

Herrie ten Cate, James Wood and Jeff Keay.

Please get in touch with story ideas and articles.

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