The member-focused newsletter of the Southern Ontario Soaring Association
Spring 2022
Can you feel it? Spring is in the air!
Can gliders be far behind?

Despite the rain, the cold, the occasional snow flurries and lingering snowdrifts in front of the hangar doors, hopes for a (relatively) dry and (relatively) early spring remain as high as a 5,000-foot cloud base.

To that end, mark your calendars for SOSA's spring work day, scheduled for Saturday, April 23rd. (Unless there's a blizzard.) Come on out and congratulate your fellow members for getting through another long winter. Lots to talk about and lots to do.

More information about specific task requirements in coming days, via Click and Glide.

Let the season begin! 
New season, new President, new(ish) Board

A note from our new SOSA president Joerg Stieber, who was confirmed at the Annual General Meeting held virtually on Saturday, March 5, 2022:

I want to start by thanking Dale Guenter for his great leadership over the past three years, guiding SOSA through the challenges of COVID with wisdom, compassion and a clear vision.

While the pressures and uncertainties of COVID created numerous difficult issues and sometimes led to divisiveness in this and other clubs, Dale always set the tone for a harmonious environment at SOSA where every member feels welcome, and everyone keeps pulling in the same direction.

Dale certainly leaves very big shoes to fill. Fortunately, in his new role as Secretary, he will continue to offer support and wisdom, which should help enormously with a smooth transition.

Let me introduce you to the new Board and Team:
  • Tom Coulson - Treasurer
  • Dale Guenter - Secretary
  • Malcolm McLaren - Chief Flying Instructor (ably assisted by Martin Brassard and myself)
  • Angelo Quattrociocchi - Director of Aircraft Maintenance
  • James Wood - Director of Membership & Marketing
  • Michael Viechweg - Director of Grounds
  • Jeff Keay - Director of Communications (and member "at large," helping out James, Michael and Angelo)
  • Safety Officer - Hans Juergensen
  • Chief Tow Pilot - Dave Springford
  • Dean of Students - John Estey
  • 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

I was certainly hoping we'd finally be done with COVID this season, able to fully focus on our operations and training. Clearly this is not the case. Don't throw those masks away just yet.

According to the U.S. Centres for Disease Control, the BA.2 subvariant of Omicron is now the dominant form and infections and hospitalizations are on the rise again-- a sixth (count 'em) wave. I'm hopeful this will be a brief and relatively mild resurgence, with a steep drop-off, not affecting our operations in a significant way.  However, as we've learned, there are no guarantees. We need to continue to be careful and may have to react quickly if things become more serious.

Even though the government has for now rescinded several mask mandates, it may still make sense for us to fly dual with well-fitting masks. It will help to keep us safe, particularly the person in the back seat. Another line of defence would be the use of quick tests, which have been and hopefully will continue to be available for free or at low cost in pharmacies and grocery stores. It would probably be a good idea to pick up a pack. And let's continue to have candid and compassionate conversations with one another about this.

Maintaining a modern fleet
According to our 5-year plan, the replacement of the LS-4 with a state-of-the-art Standard Class single seater (i.e. Discus or D2 – ideally with 18m extensions) is due next year. We are keeping a close eye on the used market and, if an opportunity arises, we need to be prepared to move quickly on it. It is certainly possible that we will see the LS-4 replacement this year. If you are considering buying a glider, it would be wise to take a good look at the LS-4 and, if you like it, to be ready when it becomes available.

Our brand-new DG 1001 club 2-seater is scheduled to arrive in spring 2023. The DG is a very versatile plane and will fit well in our flight training program for basic training alongside the ASK-21s, spin training, aerobatics and, with 20m wind extensions, also for XC training.

(In the past two years COVID prevented us from making full use of our Condor2 Flight Simulator. This season we should be able to use the simulator as a meaningful tool to support our flight training operation. We will need more instructors to become current on it.)

Intros are back
We've done reasonably well financially during the pandemic, but we were not able add much to our reserves. This year we will push more Intros to generate cash for future aircraft acquisitions. Flying Intros is a great way to introduce novices to the magic of silent flight. It is also a good first step on the way to becoming an instructor. So, why not get Intro-rated early in the season and have fun flying passengers, while also helping to earn funds for future fleet improvements? (Thanks Michael Chazot, for coordinating intros and Farid Ibrahim, for volunteering to be our chief intro pilot this season!)

Upcoming events
  • Work Day – As noted above, Spring clean-up day is Saturday April 23rd
  • Hangar Talks – will finish April 17 with Dave Springford’s talk about Instruments and computers in our club gliders
  • Online Ground School – Thursday evenings, four sessions starting April 7th
  • Pre-Season Primer – five sessions to review Aerotows, Spins, Slips, Circuit, Approaches and Landings, starting in early May
  • Bronze Badge Program – info available on the website. Thanks, Rob Russell!
  • Acro Program – info available on the website. Thanks, Poul Hansen! 
  • XC Clinic – first week in August. Thanks, Rafael Bravo!
  • Acceleration week – planned for Aug 29th-Sept 22. Thanks, Malcolm McLaren!

For the fall we should think about an excursion either to the Allegheny Ridges or joining the MSC Wave Camp in Lake Placid. I'm open to suggestions.

Let’s have a safe and great Soaring Season with lot’s opportunities for Badge Flying and moving up the personal achievement ladder!

See you at the field.

Check Out Book reminder
Malcom McLaren
Chief Flying Instructor

Just a quick reminder to contact Bill Vollmar with a picture of your Blue Book (i.e. the page that has your picture and dates, your medical license and GPL). Bill gets this information onto your page so it's easier for the instructor to sign you off after your spring/spin check ride is completed.

You can text him at 519.242.5203 or email at

Currency: all pilots

In preparation for our annual Spring and Spin Check flights, please complete the SOSA Currency Survey 2022 here if you haven't already done so. This year's form has two sections, data for the last 12 months and data for any flights you had this year. I realize, given the solid snow pack in January and February that only few of you have flown this year. It only takes a few minutes to enter the data.Thanks and all the best

Joerg, CFI Team

Spring 2022 towplane notes

Dave Springford
Chief Tow Pilot

All three towplanes are serviceable and ready to start towing when the weather and field conditions improve.

All tow pilots require a dual check flight in KXJ before towing. Any tow pilot who was actively towing last season and who can safely take off and land KXJ from the rear seat may, after their spring check, conduct spring checks for other tow pilots. If the spring check doesn't involve towing a glider, then the flight time is billable to the pilot at the regular club rate. Complete the flight card at the back of the sign-in book in the plane.

For this season, we will go back to the sign-in sheets for each plane and block entries in the logbooks. Only one block entry per day should be made in the logbooks and it shall be done by the last pilot to fly the plane that day.

As has been done for the last two seasons, I will put up a Google sheet where tow pilots can sign up for weekend towing duties and select their preferred dates instead of having dates assigned randomly. Using this system, it's expected that all tow pilots will sign up for duties. Those who do not sign up will be assigned to field manager duties. Watch your email for notification that the Google sheet is ready to be used.
AGM Wrap-up

Dale Guenter

We had a great turnout for the annual general meeting videoconference, including three brand-new pilot members joining SOSA. Welcome aboard to:
  • Jesse Miller
  • Marco Martins
  • Willem-Maarten (Martin) Killstri

Our new president Joerg Stieber has introduced the new leadership team, as you've seen above. I'd also like to acknowledge and offer huge thanks to our departing board members for their incredible work and dedication over these last two challenging years:
  • Andrew Corrigan
  • Sergio Correia
  • Mo Attia
  • Chris Kamarianakis

Take a bow, guys. But don't go too far-- institutional memory is an extremely valuable commodity!

We also announced some awards. Congratulations to the following awardees:

The Ken Larmour Award
  • Awarded to a first-year pilot who made a significant contribution to the club: John Estey. John progressed rapidly in his training and at the same time took over responsibilities as Dean of Students.

Junior Trophy (formerly the 1-26 All-Round Trophy)
  • Greatest cross-country distance flown in a Junior in the year. James Wood flew a total of 614km in Juniors. His best flight was a 240km out and return to Toronto Soaring on May 8th 2021.

 The Doug Winger 500
  • Awarded annually for the fastest triangle (500km) flown out of SOSA. Dave Springford achieved the best speed of 88kph on a 505km triangle on June 22nd 2021.

SOSA Flight Achievement Trophy
  • Awarded for a significant flight (anywhere) by a SOSA pilot. Awarded to Luke Szczepaniak for his epic 861km flight on June 1 2021, yielding 915 OLC points; possibly the longest flight ever recorded by SOSA. You can find the details of this flight in our last edition of Windsock.

The Royal Crown Cola Soaring Trophy

  • Awarded annually for the best flight (anywhere) by a Silver C SOSA pilot. Awarded to Alex Depoutovitch for his flight of 274km on June 23 2021.

Douglas C. Winger Memorial Trophy

  • Awarded for a significant contribution by a tow pilot. Awarded to Dave Springford, who not only did a lot of towing, but also recruited a group of summer tow pilots, planning their training, ensuring scheduling, maintaining both the tow planes and the gliders, always being available and responsive whenever there was a club aircraft maintenance "emergency."

Dr. Wolf Dietrich Leers Award
  • Awarded to the SOSA instructor of the year. Awarded to Joerg Stieber, who flew twice as many instructional flights as the runner up this year, kept a team of instructors going and recruited more so that training could continue over the challenging last seasons, planned and delivered videoconference hangar talks and an intro to gliding course, carried out one-on-one mentoring of license candidates through to their successful completion of their TC pilot exams; all in all, playing a huge role on keeping SOSA going last season.

The Reinhard Award

  • Awarded to Ray Wood for his significant contribution to non-flying operations at SOSA: maintaining and coordinating runway cutting, managing runway 18/36 drainage, managing and coordinating our tractor replacement (again!), maintaining all the cutters and tractors (including overhaul of the MF255 exhaust), rebuilding the winch roller and initiating our weather station project (and thanks also to Rob Russell for running with this to ensure an integrated IT solution).

Member At Large Award
  • For a significant contribution to overall operations at SOSA. Awarded to Diane Leonard, as a completely dedicated, talented and reliable grass cutter extraordinaire. Without her, we would be flying a lot less!

Congratulations again. You're an inspiration to all of us.

Website refresh!

James Wood

Myself and volunteers on the Membership Experience team are working on updates to the SOSA website. We're updating much of the content, in particular the most visited sections, with new content, photos, and video. This process will be ongoing in order to keep the site fresh and relevant to both members and the public we hope to attract to the club. Take a look at the Advanced Training & Members sections to see what we have updated so far. 

We're always looking for high-res digital photographs capturing life at SOSA; in the air, on the ground, at the clubhouse, campground or BBQs. If you have anything you think would be of interest, please share with me at (Ed: Windsock is always looking for great photos too. Share with

We're also wondering if anyone has GoPro or D-SLR video footage, as we're also looking for content that may be appropriate for promotional videos.


And speaking of barbecues...

James Wood and his crack team of social butterflies on the SOSA Social Committee (Kathryn Huntsman, John Estey, Reza Darvish, Jeff Keay) have a vision: it's time to re-establish SOSA's legendary congenial post-flying clubhouse ambience!

We begin with a new member orientation day (everyone welcome) on April 30th, followed by regular BBQ get togethers on the last Saturday of every month from May through September, bad weather and mosquitoes bedamned!

Keep an eye on the SOSA Calendar and Click N Glide for more details. Suggestions welcome.

Aerobatics is back!

This season we'll see a return to aerobatic training.

Each lesson comes with focused ground briefings to maximize learning during the in-flight portion of training. Lessons include: 
  • Safety and emergency procedures: Before your first flight, you will cover safety topics in the event of an emergency; emergency situation decision-making, emergency egress, reserve parachute handling and use.
  • Unusual attitude recovery: You will slowly and safely open up your flight envelope to include recovery from flight attitudes including positive and negative Gs, vertical up, vertical down, inverted flight and advanced stalls and spins. You will focus on early detection and prompt authoritative recovery. This is the foundation on which you will safely learn basic aerobatic maneuvers.
  • Basic aerobatic maneuvers: Loops, wingovers, turns, spins, hammerheads, slow rolls.
  • Combination aerobatic maneuvers: Split S, reverse half-Cuban, half-Cuban, Immelman, half snap-roll split S, half-loop, half-snap, quarter-cloverleaf, etc.
  • Aerobatic sequences: You will begin preparing for aerobatic competition by learning energy management while linking maneuvers.
  • Aerobatic instructor rating: Get your own glider aerobatic instructor rating and learn how to teach these skills to others.

Contact Poul Hansen via Click N Glide for more information. Classes are tentatively planned for Thursday evenings.

(Late last season, Michael Chazot had an introductory flight with aerobatics instructor Scott McMaster. You can have a look at some of his pretty awesome video here.)
🇺🇦 Ukrainian connections 🇺🇦

Sometimes we at SOSA make connections with world events in unexpected ways. In case you missed it, Herrie ten Cate has captured a remarkable interview with a Ukrainian glider pilot for his podcast The Thermal, available here. He talks about how the current conflict is affecting himself and fellow pilots.

We've also become aware, through our fellow member Sergei Morozov and his wife Oksana Denysenko, of a connection with a local children's hospital in Ukraine, which is in need of funds for kids who have lost parents as a result of the Russian invasion.

"The fund, Help for the sake of the future, assists the whole hospital," Oksana says, "but especially the newborn intensive care and neonatal pathology departments. They still need medical devices and medications, equipment and special food for newborns."

A link for the fundraiser is available here. Or, if you would like to find out more, contact Oksana directly at

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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