The member-focused newsletter of the SOSA Gliding Club

September 2022

End of Summer Update
by SOSA President – Joerg Stieber

With just three weeks left to the end of the summer 2022 it is time to take stock and give you an update.

What a Great Season!

So far, we have been blessed with a great soaring season this year. It was rare that a weekend day was rained out. In July we had many opportunities for long cross-country flights. July 10th and 14th were exceptional days with over 9,700km posted to the OLC by SOSA pilots. On July 14th Jerzy flew 962km which yielded 1,010.43 OLC points. This is the first and only flight over 1,000 points that has been posted in the Ontario / Quebec Region since the inception of the OLC Canada. Another, perhaps even more outstanding flight was Adam Zieba’s 642km flight in a Junior, achieving a score of 927.9 OLC points. It took Adam 7 hours and 44 minutes to complete the flight. I remember a discussion a few days earlier among our up-and-coming aces, about whether it was possible to fly a gold distance (300k) with a Junior. The consensus was that it was not possible. Well, Adam certainly proved them wrong.

Some pilots said July 14th was the best soaring day they had ever experienced at SOSA.

August started a bit slower with soaring conditions during the XC Training Week not being great. We still managed to complete some meaningful flights and other XC exercises. Thanks to Rafael Bravo for organizing the XC Training Week. The participants’ entry fees will be donated to Youth Flight Canada to keep the Youth Jantar insured and flying.

We still had a number of strong soaring and cross-country days in August, and we should have a few more before the season ends.

A good number of our pilots achieved their Silver distances (50km), some completing all requirements for the Silver Badge. Several pilots achieved Gold Distances (300km), two Diamond Goal flights, one Diamond Distance (500km) and a Canadian Record (200km Speed to Goal). Congratulations on these achievements.

In the Online Contest (OLC) Canada, SOSA is currently leading in the Club category with 82,614km, ahead of Montreal Soaring Council with 66,160km. In the Airfield category, Rockton is leading with 80,484km over Chipman AB with 73,152km. SOSA pilots are also leading in the categories OLC-Plus Champion and Speed-OLC Champion – check it out here.

The OLC season ends on September 19, so let’s keep our fingers crossed that we carry our leads over the finish line.

Flight Training

With so many new members joining at the start of this year, we had reached our training capacity and had to put a hold on accepting more students in July. Fortunately Sean Christie, a newly-trained instructor, hit the ground running and committed to instruct regularly on Saturday mornings, which made a big difference – thanks Sean. That and a number of first solos and completed flight tests have allowed us to admit more students from the waiting list of currently 26 prospective members.

I also want to recognize Tom Coulson, Pat O’Donnell and the group of instructors who are running the Tuesday evening training as well as Rafael Bravo for spearheading Friday evening winching.

By my count so far, we have achieved 5 first solos and 6 Glider Pilot Licenses this year – congratulations to all.

Currently we have 34 active students. While I expect some of them will complete their flight tests soon, we still have a need for instructors to commit time more regularly, and to declare their availability on Click N Glide ahead of time so that students are informed.

Several of our new members have asked me when our flying season ends. The season for meaningful cross-country flights will end around mid to late September. A few years ago, I had a 400k flight on Sept 30th, but that was exceptionally late for a longer flight.

Training, however, will continue as long as the weather allows. In some years we have flown well into November. In 2020, we were winching all day on November 29 – it was a wonderful late fall Sunday. In winter, once the ground is frozen, we will continue winching on weekends, as long as there is not too much snow to move the gliders around. This year, we started the season on Sunday, January 16th with 22 winch launches. During spring check flights, I see a significant difference between pilots who stopped flying in October and pilots who flew a few times throughout the winter. Therefore, even if you are not a winch pilot, come out to fly with us. An instructor will help you with the launch and pass control to you after release to fly the circuit, approach, and landing.

How are we doing financially?

Thirty-six new members joined us this year, 30 of whom were not licensed. In total we currently have 138 members, 129 of whom are flying members, and 27 junior members. This is slightly above our 10-year average for flying members.

As of Aug 31 we have had 2,423 flights flown at SOSA this season.

We have also processed a total of $44,000 in intro sales via the website so far this year and have flown more than 180 intros since late May. A huge thanks to Michael Chazot for managing the scheduling of all intro flights and making sure they are captured in Click N Glide. Thank you also to Greg Pattinson our midweek intro pilot, Reza, Farid, and Sahil who have regularly flown intros on the weekends, Poul Hansen for coordinating and flying aerobatic intros, and to Duncan & Lexie for the midweek tows.

With a high level of training activity, and intro flights back in full swing, our finances are tracking favourably against pre-COVID levels. If we don’t run into any major bumps on the road ahead, we should have a good year which will allow us to add to our reserves for the future purchase of gliders to keep our fleet up to date.

Thanks to our entire Membership & Marketing team for such a stellar job.

Fleet Renewal

As you may know, we have a brand-new DG-1001 Club on order, which is on track for delivery early next year. It is a very versatile glider which can be used for basic training, aerobatics and cross-country training. If you want to learn more about this glider and how it fits into a club environment, watch a brief 5-minute video from Pureglide in New Zealand.

On the single-seat side, we recently came across a used Discus 2 with relatively low hours. After having lost a similar opportunity last year, we acted quickly on this one to secure it. The glider will be on its way from California shortly and should arrive at SOSA around mid-September. Thanks to Dave Springford who spearheaded the transaction and organized the transport to Ontario. We are planning to complete the certification and registration formalities over the fall and winter to have the plane ready to fly in spring. The new D2 will replace the LS-4 (DW).

Looking ahead

Hoping that the good weather will continue into the fall, we should strive (we need all hands on deck!) to get all our solo students to flight test standard and all our dual students to solo.

We used to hold a friendly Precision Landing Contest every September which was very popular. Like so many things, we had to cancel this event for the last two years. This year we want to bring this tradition back and plan to hold the contest on Saturday, September 24 (rain date Sept 25). You can sign up for the event on Click N Glide.

On September 24 we will also have our last BBQ for the season. Thanks to the Social Committee, particularly Kathy, Reza, and John, who have put a lot of hard work into creating these opportunities for us to get together as a community. It’s been fun to be able to get together regularly again, building relationships outside of the cockpit and meeting each other’s friends and family.

We will have a question-and-answer session with the Board during the Sept 24 BBQ. If you have any questions, please send them to Dale in advance.

In closing, I want to thank my colleagues on the board for being such a great team – it is a joy working with you!


Fall SOSA Events at a Glance

Sept 24 – Precision Landing Contest & BBQ (rain date Sept 25)
Sept/Nov (date TBD) – SOSA Airspace Briefing update
November (date TBD) – Fall Work Weekend
Weekly, starting in November – Joerg's Transport Canada Exam Prep

Safety update
Malcolm McLaren
Chief Flying Instructor

Earlier this month we had a close call between a club glider on a long final leg and our towplane turning final for Runway 18. Our tow pilot was looking for opposing traffic on the glider's base leg for 18 and didn't pick up the glider to their far left. As the tow plane turned right onto final, the left wing presented a momentary blind spot for the tow pilot. This is where the close call happened. Both planes landed without incident, but this could have been disastrous. A good reminder that we need to fly our standard circuits for safety. High key starts a runway length our from the threshold and a runway length over for the downwind leg. Base leg is half a runway length from threshold to turn onto final. In this case, if the glider pilot had flown a standard circuit, it would have been more likely that the tow pilot would have spotted them and abbreviated the flight path.

On August 12, a club member was found to be very close to mid-air traffic into Hamilton just south of the Lynden area. At the time, the glider was in Class E airspace, but was thermalling in the pathway to Hamilton's Runway 12. The power traffic made a small deviation to avoid the glider and continued into Hamilton without incident.

As glider pilots, we need always to be aware of where we are in the sky at all times, and especially taking into account the traffic heading into and out of the larger airports. We're seeing an increasing volume of traffic every year, so we all need to do our part to make these traffic pathways as safe as possible.

We're planning a presentation to discuss airspace in more detail this fall. Stay tuned for an update.
A summer's eve to remember!
Our monthly BBQs keep getting better. And bigger. The latest event, on Saturday September 3, attracted more than 90 people and featured gourmet foot-long hotdogs, salads, sauteed onions, chips and a birthday cake. The latter was to mark the 80th birthday of the WW II vintage LK-10, the oldest still-flying two seater in Canada, lovingly maintained and flown by Dale Guenter, Rafael Nunes, Kathryn Huntsman, Martin Brassard and, until recently Herrie ten Cate.

Herrie, as most of us know, is heading back to British Columbia to take up residence near Invermere (a short distance from Panorama resort, SOSA skiers take note). The former SOSA president, current environmentalist, fashion icon and all around good guy was feted, celebrated and caked. We wish him safe travels, happy trails and many return visits.

The BBQ bar was also raised significantly with a spectacular demonstration of radio-controlled airplane acrobatics (all of which, according to aerobatic instructor Poul Hansen existed in dramatic contravention of all known physics). Thanks to Michael Soh and friends for the excellent show. (The Metallica soundtrack was a nice touch.)

The next and final BBQ of the season will take place Saturday September 24. If the weather cooperates, we'll also have the spot landing contest the same day (rain day if required will be Sunday September 25 for both). Please indicate your attendance on Click N Glide well in advance, so we can lay in the appropriate amounts of grub. Cost will be $10 per adult, $5 per youngster. You can pay cash or via your SOSA account.

Please note: Signing up on Click n Glide for a BBQ does not mean you will be billed automatically, we will have signup sheets available at the event to keep track of all accounts that should be billed.   

SOSA's bees be busy beeing

Our experiment with beehives is going well. Tucked away in a quiet corner not far from the Runway 28 flightline (far enough away so that our operations shouldn't interfere with theirs), they appear to be healthy, happy and productive. Stay tuned for an update on final totals of honey produced. As always, we aspire to have the best GH/GC (gallons of honey per gliding club) ratio in Canada....
Anyone need a thresher or two?

Also tucked away in a quiet corner of the property are what appears to be two vintage threshing machines. How they got there is a bit of a mystery, as is the question of what to do with them. Suggestions can be directed toward our grounds director Michael Viechweg.
When a stacked hanger looks this good,
you need a photo
Thanks again to these towdogs

A tip of the bucket hat to the hardest working guys in show business. We'll be seeing less of Lexie and Duncan as we head into the fall, but rest assured we worked 'em hard over the last half of the summer. Good luck with school and work and we'll see you again next year!
That which comes apart is put back together

Dave Springford offers a Junior rigging workshop for Sandro Do Valle, Lexie Stone and Annie Keay, after a land-out by Julia Clitheroe. Many hands make light work.
Friday sunset winching

Sunsets are getting earlier, faster! As we moved into late August, this last launch of the evening took place just before 8pm.
Fall winching update

For those interested in winching, we will continue to winch Friday afternoons in the fall, weather permitting (and we have the big spot-landing contest day coming up! We want to break the 100-launch mark for the day!).

As the days get shorter we will move the start time forward so that we have at least three hours of daylight for each session. At some point when the field no longer supports aerotow operations, we will move winching to the weekend, if the field is in reasonable shape. During winter we will continue winching, as long as it is cold enough, the ground is frozen and there is no snow or the snow is well packed (and there are enough hardy souls to endure the cold - remember, there's no such thing as bad weather; only bad clothing choices!)

A few notes going forward:

- Please keep signing up in the Click'n Glide winching event every week for a precise head count. Please make a note if you are not able to be there for the beginning of the session (or the end) - we need a critical mass of students/drivers/instructors to kickoff the session, and if we can't guarantee it from the signup list, we may cancel.

- If you change your mind about attending a session, please remove your name from the list to avoid miscounting - be considerate to the people making a commitment to be there. Some people take time off from work and drive long distances, so we need to be mindful of others.

- If anyone can be there earlier on Fridays, please DI the gliders and move them to the very end of the active runway. Also get the warning boards out. That will allow us to start as early as possible.


Checkup time

One of the ASK-21s about to head off to XU in London for its annual. With a busy year, we've had a number of snags, which have required quick action and lots of help to keep the fleet airworthy. Thanks to all who've stepped up to haul and mend. 
Weather. Always weather

Last chance for SOSA Golf Shirts

The shirts are well designed and of a high quality with moisture wicking technology, odour protection, and a UPF 30+ rating keeping you dry, comfortable, and protected from uv rays. The SOSA logo is embroidered on the upper left side. The shirts are perfect for both the cockpit and social events!

Inventory: 2x XXL, 2x XL, 1x S
Price: $39.55 (inc. HST)
How to purchase: You can send $ to the treasurer via e-transfer or have the $ charged to your SOSA account. Contact James Wood if you have any questions. 

Acceleration Week 2022
Despite some weather challenges, we had a very successful acceleration week, with lots of flying, lots (and we mean LOTS) of wind, a full day of rain, a couple of snags and a severe lack of aviation fuel (happily replenished by Thursday).

Most importantly, we saw two final flight tests successfully completed (congratulations to Dan Aber and Andrew Opris!) and a couple of other milestones among the other students, including Jose Reyes, Ray Ledderhof, Ian Newby-Clark, Sandro Do Valle, Logan Fuller, Jeff Keay, Gurpreet Mukker, Aaron Soto and Maarten Zijlstra.

Many thanks to instructors Malcolm McLaren, Ray Wood, Jerzy Szemplinski, Chris Wilson, Angelo Quattrociocchi and Bill Vollmar. Also to tow pilots Lexie Stone and Duncan Duong. And, as always, timekeeper/ground crew stalwart Annie Keay. 
Cross-country Week

The 2022 SOSA cross-country clinic took place August 1- 5. We had a large cohort of 16 participants, seven instructors and three tow pilots. As usual, the clinic is mostly geared to licensed pilots with a Bronze Badge wanting to go for their Silver Badge flights, but some participants are much more experienced (Gold Badge and up) while a few had yet to complete all the Bronze Badge requirements. The purpose of the clinic is to provide pilots with the tools to confidently fly away from final gliding distance of the home field. This is achieved by providing dual XC flights if the weather permits, as well as carrying out training flights to improve thermalling skills, discuss land-out options and techniques, etc. In addition, “shepherded” flights are done, in which an instructor and a clinic participant fly in separate gliders, while the instructor tries to avoid making a fool of himself by landing out while the student completes the task… (I am sure this has happened).

This year the weather was mixed. We were able to fly four out of five days, but flights were mostly local due to marginal soaring conditions. The only day with (marginal) XC conditions was Tuesday August 2nd, but even then the conditions were tough, with high winds, low cloud bases and weak thermals. We had a few achievements for the day, with participant Jesse Miller (XC) and shepherd Sergei Morozov (MS) flying close to 240 km, and Michael Chazot attempting his first cross-country flight in his new (to him) LS-8, as well as experiencing his first out-landing near Woodstock due to the abject failure of his shepherd (who shall remain nameless…).

On the other days, we had some soaring weather that allowed for thermalling practice under tough conditions. Monday was a typical day, with 20+ knots of wind and cloud bases at 3000 ft MSL. Even then the group made the most of the day, with Sergei and Michael Soh flying for 3+ hrs in difficult conditions. We also had briefing and classroom sessions and extensive discussions on varied topics.

All in all a good week of flying and learning for all, even if the conditions were not ideal – and it's useful to remember that in most cross-country flying days, at some point the conditions will not be ideal.

Thanks to all the instructors and tow pilots who gave a week of their valuable time (Rafael N/Hans/Malcolm/Joerg/Ray/Chris/Rafael B/Poul and Duncan/Lexie) as well as the Arcus owners and Hans for providing their beautiful machines for part of the week.

Joerg provides a morning weather briefing to the XC week gang.
Daily hangar unstacking and inspections before the briefing.
If you outland it, we will come. And take selfies. Crack team makes short work of a Brantford area outlanding.....
.... and reassembles back at the field.
Post XC refreshments selfie!
Bronze Badgering
Rob Russell

For SOSA’s Bronze Badger program, 2022 has been our busiest year since I started helping out the late John Brennan with his camps in 2015, where my small part was trailering and Junior rigging. The program has changed considerably since then, with a structured XC PTR Card and moving all the classroom-based lessons online.

John would be quite disappointed with some of the things I’ve removed from the formal training, “Never forget the beer. Must be ice cold and delivered within 10 minutes of the poor thirsty pilot landing.” Some things, you see, can only be learned at the end of the flying day by finding ways to convince other pilots to share their experiences.

When I say this was our busiest year, it’s because 15 Badgers completed the duel in-flight exercises (Puslinch landing, Speed-to-Fly, Field Selection, Final Glide) in two separate exercise days. Part of this surge of participants was catching them up after a slowdown during the first two summers of the pandemic, and part of the surge was because we’re now doing a better job at progressing post-licence students to cross-country so that fewer of them buy sailboats and disappear.

Membership director James Wood will be speaking more about how the post-licence curriculum fits in to the larger objective of maintaining a healthy number of sustaining cross-country members so that we can financially justify a second Duo Discus and a third Discus 2.

Bronze training for the badgers started in February, when I got the list of 2021 SOSA members that were checked for local flying in the Junior, but not yet checked for cross-country flying. This is the entry criteria in to the Bronze program, and I send those invitations each winter – along with a long list of YouTube training videos and mandatory attendance at Hangar Talk zoom sessions. Each participant gets his/her own XC PTR Card (kept on the bus) to track their progress.

July 2nd was our first big day for the flying exercises, with 11 badgers showing up at the buttcrack of dawn to open the hangar and set up the flight line for an incredibly efficient operation (we logged 54 CPT3 takeoffs that day). We had about an hour of briefings before the candidates went to pair up with instructors, and I took a golf cart up to Puslinch to take care of the ground operations.

Some July 2nd photos and video here. 

Thanks to excellent coordination between the two airfields in the #bronzebadgers Slack channel, we managed to get all 11 candidates to Puslinch and back between 11:30am and 5:30pm. Ken Chute, our generous neighbour at Puslinch, enjoyed sitting in the shade all day to watch it all happen and marvel at just how much traffic we could see and identify on the live tracking. At the end of the day, Ken was even kind enough to donate an original Pawnee POH for our library.

Unfortunately, my schedule prevented me from committing to a followup day until Sep 3rd, but we were still able to gather 4 more badgers to sign up. My optimism for the day triggered a bit of Murphy’s Law, and I had to deal with a work emergency from 1am-6am, and continue managing that emergency for the rest of the day.

Fortunately for me, I was able get enough of a break from work for the critical parts of the morning briefing, and Annie Keay very generously agreed to come with me to Puslinch to take care of the ground operations while I kept yelling on conference calls. Without Annie’s help, the day would not have worked out, and I know she’s looking forward to all the beer lists that she’ll be on! Enough golf carts were snagged and grounded that she had to learn to drive a car – I had spliced up a tow rope for it the night before.

With only one ASK-21 available to us that day, Annie and I were at Puslinch from 11:30am-4:30pm for just 4 flights, and my work calls finally wrapped up in time to finish the skipped parts of the morning briefing sessions during the BBQ.

Getting 15 people through the flying exercises doesn’t mean that we have 15 Bronze graduates this year; many of them still have to finish other components of the XC PTR on their own (a two-hour soaring flight uploaded to OLC, three consecutive precision landings, a Radio certificate, etc.). We’ll get a final tally of Junior XC Checkouts from the red books over the winter.

In addition to the expected next steps for those graduates to complete their Silver/50k flights (and paperwork!), we’re now starting to see our past badgers getting to the end of their XC PTR Cards, and this year, Peter Kupcevic became our first program alumnus to get all the way to the GGC MayFly accomplishment – I can’t wait to read his Windsock article about that experience (ed: me too!)! His assigned 2023 objective will be to mentor some more SOSA members in to joining him at the 2023 MayFly.
Bronze badgers enjoying the verdant Puslinch Lake airfield. Good weather, good day, (mostly) good landings!

(Above, clockwise from bottom left:  Our host Ken Chute with pilot Joe Tam and instructor Rafael Nunes; Jeff Keay with instructor Ray Wood; Dan Aber with Rafael; Joe with Rafael; and Radu Dragusin with Ray. Photos courtesy Annie Keay.)
Local berries provided evidence of an imprecise landing. 
(Bob Harvey on tow, shortly before hitting a 7-knot thermal. Summer ain't quite over!)

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:

Jeff Keay and James Wood (who are always looking for contributors, ideas and photos!).
Emeritus editor: Herrie ten Cate.

Please get in touch with story ideas, articles, photos and video.

Subscribe to Windsock here.


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