Monday, December 14, 2009

New Members

Two new NCSA members, who started as Trial members this summer:

Biff Forbush is our most distant club member. He lives in New Haven, CT where he teaches and does research in Cell Physiology at Yale....and commutes to Mountain View (and Byron) to visit Maja. "Flying is something very different for me, and it is fun to have the new challenge"

Maja Djurisic is one of our very few women members. She moved west from the east coast a couple of years ago for a post doc research position in Neurobiology at Stanford. She had a wish to learn to fly and this seemed like a good moment in her life to tackle it. "So, I found NCSA, with very friendly and supportive instructors and members. It turned out that I like flying much more that I ever thought I would. It makes me happy".

On our recent Work Days' struggles to install the control surfaces on our Blanik 53AS, Maja was in great demand, due to her persistence and nimble fingers when attaching cotter pins etc



Monday, December 7, 2009

Scholarship Recipients' Solo

Sunday November 15th,2009 was a big day for John Pericich, who had his first solo in Blanik EV exactly one month after his 14th birthday. John is the first recipient of the Cunningham Youth Scholarship Fund, a memorial fund in memory of Dave Cunningham, who loved to encourage youth to fly.

Dave's widow, Kathleen Cunningham arranged to come to Byron for John's solo and also meet our new Scholarship recipient, Russell Reed.

Kathleen Cunningham with John and his parents

Kathleen wrote: " I was very glad to be there for John's solo. It gave me goose bumps to see him take off and land so successfully and I felt very good (for me and for Dave) to have been a small part of making his adventure in flying possible."

Kathleen was also able to meet Russell Reed, who has recently been accepted as a recipient of the Scholarship also; Russell soloed late last Spring and Kathleen also enjoyed seeing Russell fly on Sunday. She wrote: " I am just happy that these two fine young men are receiving benefit from Dave's fund! "

Pasted below is the essay Russell sent to the NCSA Scholarship Committee
when applying for the Scholarship:


September 23rd, 2009

Dear NCSA Scholarship Committee,

For those of you that do not know me, my name is Russell Reed. I have been taking lessons with the club for about a year now. Prior to flying out of Byron, I took lessons at a glider port in Morgan, Utah. I moved to the Bay Area just over two years ago to attend the California Maritime Academy. I am a full time student here, and am on track to graduate with a degree in Marine Engineering in 2011.

I am applying for the Cunningham Youth Scholarship. I feel I am a well-qualified candidate for the scholarship.

I have always loved flying. When I was about 13 I began paragliding, and before I was 14 I had my license. That is what instigated my love for flying. About a year later, my dad stopped paragliding, which made it nearly impossible for me to get out flying on a regular basis.

Once I got my drivers license I decided to upgrade from paragliding to soaring. I was able to make the trip for Salt Lake City to the Morgan Soaring Center on a regular basis. Had I waited till I had enough money to begin lessons, I believe I would already have my glider rating by now, but I didn’t. The sporadic nature of my lessons made for slow progress. Once I moved to the Bay Area, I stopped lessons completely for a year.

The reason I initially came to this school here, was to attempt to receive a commissioning in the Coast Guard as a pilot. Once I got here, I realized that I thoroughly enjoy marine engineering. I abandoned my goal to fly for the Coast Guard, and set out to simply fly for fun. Once I graduate, I will have large chunks of time off from work each year. I have been thinking that being a sailplane instructor, among other things, would be a rewarding use of my time.

I started flying again last year. The engineering program at the California Maritime Academy is very difficult. Sometimes, looking forward to a weekend of flying was all that got me through the week.

I have been paying for a majority of my flying from a portion of my student loans that, in past years, has been refunded to me from a small scholarship I am receiving. Due to the large budget cuts imposed on California schools, tuition has gone up 30% from last year. Needless to say, I am no longer receiving any leftover money from my student loans. This is making it more and more difficult to afford flying.

With financial assistance from this scholarship, I believe I can complete my glider rating by years end.

Thanks for your consideration!


Russell Reed

Friday, November 27, 2009

New CFIG in Byron

We have a new CFIG in Byron, a Frenchman called Tristan Duplan. Tristan started his flying dreams as an airplane pilot at the nearby San Jose airports and quickly transitioned to taildraggers at Aerodynamic Aviation, (then Amelia Reid Aviation), where he teaches airplane. He now has an Airline Transport Pilot license with privileges to fly land and sea planes. Born in France, he relocated to California in 2000 as a software engineer working for Cisco Systems. Tristan has always been interested in expanding his horizon in the flying world and as such started developing interest in flying gliders. After being introduced to the soaring basics in the south bay with friends, Tristan decided to start flying gliders at Byron in May 2009, got his commercial glider add-on license 3 months later and his instructor glider add-on license soon after that.

He is also part of the tow pilot crew at Byron. Over the summer 2009, he was able to experience some of the Sierra soaring weather at Minden including wave flying under the watchful eye of Michael Schneider and Michael Voie, got his self-launch endorsement from Rolf Peterson in the Grob 109B at Byron and kept training with Monique Weil at Byron. He looks forward to the 2010 training camps and more safe cross-country flying. He is now part of the CFIG (glider instructor) crew at Byron and looks forward to flying with you.

Friday, September 18, 2009

The Castro Trio

New life for Eric Castro's Diamant: N1795, now THE CASTRO TRIO - Jason Proctor and Sebastien Belanger have joined Eric Castro in THE CASTRO TRIO.

Cirrus Auction Winner

Fritz Henshaw won the Auction for the Standard Cirrus - also he had his first GLIDER SOLO recently.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Progress on the 1-26; Mike Shapira's Schweitzer Limbo

Mark Violet organized a mini-workday to try to get the 1-26 airworthy. It had flunked annual because the total energy tube was dangling where it could jam the control cable and because the elevator central hinge had too much play.

Hero of the day is Mike Shapira who refastened the tube. See how he did it at

Same link also shows the offending bolt from the elevator hinge that Sam's going to replace.


Sunday, July 5, 2009

New Glider Instructor Mike Voie

Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, Congratulations to Mike Voie, who became a Flight Instructor Glider today in Byron on Independence Day, a pleasant day, with a cool breeze (17Kt down runway 23, just strong enough that Mike decided agains a crosswind landing!). Here he is before the Checkride

And another photo after he completed the Instructor Glider Practical Test, and a little cool water was poured on his head to wash the perspiration.
Examiner Dan Gudgel and Tow Pilot Boris are congratulating Mike

Mike will now ask for "willing victims" to sample the new CFI-G

Well Done Mike!

I am soo happy to have another instructor to share the load,...


New Member Dhiren Ghandi

Welcome to Dhiren, (pronounced as in "the rain", as in "the rain in Spain"), Gandhi who became a new NCSA member today, a pleasant, quiet Independence Day in Byron!

The above photo was taken last weekend, with MikeVoie and Ray Rauen. Dhiren lives in Danville and works for San Mateo County. His youngest son has just graduated from High School and Dhiren now has time to learn how to fly, which has been his desire for many years


Monday, June 29, 2009

Mike Voie gets the Bronze!

Congratulations to Mike Voie, who completed the requirements for and received his Bronze Badge on June 27th. Well done Mike!

Next is a check ride this Saturday..........!!!!!!!

Mike is achieving some milestones in reverse - He was awarded his Silver Badge last summer! He finally managed to take his Bronze written exam on May 31st - this year.

as Morteza wrote:
> What do you mean bronze? This dude is doing 200-300km flights on marginal days. He should be getting his gold ;-)>

He will get his gold and more very soon.... First he needs to write up his experiences during the Air Sailing Cross-Country camp.


Monday, June 15, 2009

New Private Glider Pilot

CONGRATULATIONS TO SAL LOPEZ who achieved his long sought PRIVATE PILOT, GLIDER (add-on) this past Saturday evening.

Sal had not flown power for a long time and it took him longer to earn this glider rating than he had thought. He did not give up, he persisted and kept his eye on his goal, and - in addition to his instructional flights in Byron - he participated in last summer's Soar Truckee Thermal Camp - together with Len Edmondson and Mark Violet (see photos below) organized by Richard Pearl.

Sal flew with most of the NCSA club instructors, - Boris Deianov, Rolf Peterson, Richard Pearl, Mike Schneider, Monique Weil and the late Dave Cunningham. Thanks to Mike Schneider, who shepherded Sal through the final part of his preparation for the Private Glider Checkride, and to Dan Gudgel our Examiner Designee, who came from Monterey on Saturday at 6PM to finish the Practical Test.

Well done Sal, new Private Pilot Glider


Monday, June 8, 2009

Dead Stick Landing at Byron

We had an interesting situation yesterday at Byron.

I was the tow pilot and was positioned on the runway 30. The glider was already hooked and the rope was tight. I was just looking at the panel, to verify oil temp and pressure and waiting for the glider call to start rolling. Instead of the usual "rope is tight ..." call, I heard "16Y, do you see the airplane of the runway?". I looked up and didn't see anything, the airplane nose partially obstructs the view ahead. I looked to the side and this is when I saw an airplane rolling on runway 12 towards us. It was a warbird (not sure exactly what it was) (T-28B, ed.) and I noticed the propeller was not turning (he was close enough to see that!), he was decelerating and moving to the right side of the runway.

I remained in position until the airplane stopped on the side of the runway, maybe 50 feet from us. After the initial shock, I realized there was more than enough room to start the takeoff roll and the glider announced they also were ready to do it. Since this is was clearly the fastest way to get out of the runway, I decided to take off and the rest was uneventful.

It turns out that the warbird had an engine seizure at 6,000 feet, about 6 miles from Byron and he elected to land there. During the emergency, he didn't have the time to fetch Byron frequency and since he was not on flight following, he didn't have ATC to ask for it either. He just broadcasted on 121.5 and landed on the first runway he saw, which happened to be 12.

I sure am happy that we didn't start the take off roll 10 seconds earlier.

Note to self: verify that there is nothing on the runway right before starting the takeoff roll, by looking not only over but also to the side of the towplane cowling. Or, position the towplane slightly to the side so as to have unobstructed view of the runway ahead.

Thomas Daniel

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

NCSA's Newest Member

We had 2 "firsts" on Sunday:

CONGRATULATIONS to TRISTAN DUPLAN - NCSA's newest member on his first glider solo, and to PAUL McDONALD on his FIRST GLASS SHIP CHECK-OUT.

Sorry, no picture - Paul worked non-stop on Sunday as our very efficient Field Manager for 27 tows - Thanks to Leonardo Pavese for the 27 tows!


Ken Ferguson's Last Tow Day

Saturday, May 23rd, was Ken's last day towing for us in Byron and he experienced the roughest ever tows, with winds at the end of the day of SW 25Kt gusting to 30Kt. The tow plane rocked up, down and sideways, with the glider attempting to follow.

We celebrated his hundreds of tows for NCSA (137 tows in 33 hours in 2008) with chocolate cake and cherries.

See you in the air Ken, and thanks for the tows.


And special thanks to Ken for all the tows he volounteerly provided us (especially me...) during weekdays, saving some of us the agony of seeing a great soaring day goes wasted. Some of my best Byron flights were on weekdays thanks to Ken.

Ken, you will be missed. Hopefully you'll have more time to fly your own glider now...



Thanks for all the tows the last few years. I'd like to echo Ramy's comment... some of my most memorable flights from Byron were on weekdays, which wouldn't have been possible if it weren't for you.


Friday, May 15, 2009

New Glider Rating!

Congratulations to Paul McDonald- from his first flight in a glider 29 years ago to his commercial glider rating!

Dan Gudgel writes it up.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Recent SSA Badges and FAA WINGS

Congratulations to Russell Reed and Len Edmondson who recently completed requirements for and earned their SSA "A" Badges,and to Mark Violet, who completed requirements for and earned his SSA "C" Badge, and to Sal Lopez and Mark Violet who both passed their Bronze written exams.

Several club members recently completed the requirements for and achieved the Basic phase of the "new" FAA WINGS:
Dale Roberts; Phil Hoyt; Charlie Ferguson, Mark Violet and Yuliy Gerchikov. They will receive a WINGS pin, now provided by Avemco.

The goal of the FAA WINGS is to improve proficiency and make flying safer.

Well done guys!!


Friday, April 24, 2009

Mad Dash to Arizona, a flight to the borderland - 4/15/09

(View the youtube video clip HERE)

I have been wanting to fly to the border for long time. My quest started almost 10 years ago when I did my first attempt on breaking the Hollister Mad Dash straight out distance. After years of flying mostly straight outs in hang gliders, it felt natural to me, so during my first season on my first sailplane (LS4) I was focusing on breaking Tom Hubbard's 185 miles record to the Grapevine, and indeed on 5/11/2000 I finally made it to Tehachapi. Back then, Tehachapi and Mojave were considered the ultimate goal, and no one dared thinking much further.

The following year I made it to Mojave, and the year after I made it to Barstow. But the real break through came with Brian Choate's historic flight to Palm Springs area in 2003, some 362 miles from Hollister. What was so unusual about his flight, was that after sinking like a rock on the back side of the Gorman pass, a few minutes from having to crash land on a dirt road, he contacted wave at 800 ft AGL(!), taking him all the way to 18K which gave him over 100 miles final glide to Bermuda Dunes. The idea that it might be possible to fly thermals to the Grapevine, then transition to wave flight, was born, but no one (including Brian) really wanted to repeat this, so we all continued focusing on thermal flights.

Around this time we started to talk about flying to the Mexican border, first as a joke, but later as a real goal. Making it to the border became the ultimate dream flight for Eric Rupp and myself. I continued attempting to break the mad dash record at least once every year, and while continuing making it further and further all the way to Hemet, it became evident that breaking Brian's record is going to be very challenging, and will require an epic day, mostly due to the complex terrain further south which requires multiple shear line transitions, in which the sun usually won the race. While gaining more experience on how to actually accomplish the task, I also became more creative with my retrievals. Usually my wife would crew for me while we were going on trips down south, but occasionally I used other methods of self retrieve, such as landing at gliderports and flying most of the way back the next day, or taking a Southwest airline back home after landing not far from Ontario.

Then, on 6/21/08, 5 years after Brian's flight, the ultimate breakthrough came with Eric's outstanding 444 miles flight to Calexico, making him the first man who made it to the border. Eric proved that with the right day, preparation, determination and skill, nothing is impossible. For a while it seemed like this fight will seal the Hollister Mad Dash, as there is no where to go further south without landing in Mexico, until Kempton suggested Yuma, AZ, as the ultimate goal, as it sits further east right where the 3 corners of California, Mexico and Arizona meet. There is practically nowhere to go further from there as it is all surrounded with border, restricted areas and many miles of unlandable terrain with no airports. A quick check confirmed that by overflying the airport by a few miles, the 10% requirement for new mad dash record can be met. What's more, Yuma is directly downwind from Hollister in NW wind, making it the best goal for NW wind wave.

On April 14, it became evident that the next day is going to be the day. A large very cold low pressure was moving down with strong NNW flow. All the forecast models and blipmaps pointed to moderately strong NW wind with relatively high base cu's (up to 9K) all the way from Hollister to the grapevine.

This is especially rare since often there are no clouds near the grapevine, and if there are, they are typically too low to safely cross the passes in strong wind. In addition, the wind was predicted to be much stronger, up to 50 knots, further south, virtually guaranteeing wave down wind of the pass. Yuma suddenly looked doable, and if all goes as forecasted, it may even be easy. But the hardest task was to overcome all the logistic obstacles. First we needed to generate enough excitement to justify a tow pilot on a day when HGC is closed and the runways were closed for maintenance till noon. Once this was accomplished (thanks Quest!), the next problem was to get time off from work for the 2 days the trip will require, find a babysitter and convince my wife that driving for 12 hours, alone, with a trailer, can be fun. Apparently my level of confidence in the weather forecast was so high, that I managed to make it all happen. I then sat down with my computer until late at night, analyzing maps, flight traces and weather, and carefully planned the flight. I figured that even a noon launch, which is relatively late for record attempts, will still do thanks to the strong wind. But it was also clear that the key to make it is the transition to wave south of the Grapevine. It will not be possible to accomplish such a distance using only thermals in 7 hours so early in the season, as the Mojave Desert thermals are relatively poor this time of the year. Without wave I would have landed somewhere in the Mojave desert in 30-40knots wind, not so pleasant.

On the morning of the flight, everything looked as expected. The forecast was still holding, and cu's were everywhere and already high enough when I arrived at Hollister airport around 10AM. I knew that today is the day. I even shared my plans and my goal with few friends, but avoided announcing it on hgcgroup so not to jinx it, as last time I announced my intention to go to the border, I landed at Panoche instead. Due to the downwind nature of the flight, and the expected wave flight, I decided not to bother with water ballast.I took a local tow around 12:15 and released around 2000 ft AGL west of the airport, put promptly dropped to 1500ft AGL before finding a good climb to 5500ft. In retrospect, I should have dropped another 100 feet or release a little earlier, as it turned out I missed diamond altitude by 100 feet!

The first portion of the flight up to the grapevine was uneventful. Bases were around 6K near Hollister, rising to 9K further south, exactly as blipmap predicted, and it was relatively easy to follow the clouds, with a 15+knots tailwind. The lift under the clouds was strong but often choppy, and I decided not to spend time trying to core if I didn't find the core right away, and just kept going. I took the usual route over the mountain ranges to Taft, and then moved further south east towards the Grapevine, where the Kern Mountains are lower and narrower, allowing safe jump to Mojave. The ridge tops there are around 5000 ft. Knowing that the wind was predicted to be over 50 knots in this area, I decided I will not attempt this if I can not get high enough before the pass. I slowed down significantly to get as high as possible (9000 ft) before I committed to go over the back, and by the time I got over the ridge top, at 3:20PM, I was down to 8000 ft. The wind was still below 20 knots on the upwind side, so with 3000 ft clearance above ridge top, and 3000ft or more above glide to the nearest airports in Mojave, it felt completely safe to hop over. I did hit more then 20 knots down on the back side, but for very short time and only lost 1000 ft or so before I hit the wave at 7000ft near Quail Lake/Gorman area. . The wind was blowing twice as strong down there. Landing in the Mojave desert would have been "interesting", but the look of the wave clouds did not left much to worry, the wave was obviously working there. Cloud base was about the same as in front of the pass, around 9000 ft, and it only took me 3 to 4 turns to establish in the wave in front of it. In less then 20 minutes I was approaching 18,000ft, with climb rate often exceeding 10 knots. Once I got close to 18, I pointed the nose downwind with 50 knots tail wind and ground speed of 120-150knots, following numerous wave undulations, perfectly spaced from each other, towards Palm Springs.

I got down to 10,000 ft over San Bernardino before I hit the Cajon pass/Big Bear wave, but this one was only good to 14K with relatively slow climb, but I needed all the altitude I could get to be able to fly over the top of the clouds to the next gap without risking sinking into the clouds. The ground below me and in front of me was often completely obscured by clouds. Although I didn't need it, it was reassuring to have a turn and bank indicator. I knew I needed to be near 18,000 feet over San Jacinto to be able to go on a 130+ statue miles of final glide to Yuma. And indeed downwind of San Gorgonio Mountain I finally found a good climb back to 18K, right in front of San Jacinto, then one last climb to 17,500 ft down wind of it, near Palm Springs, before I went on final glide.

My flight computer was showing I had Yuma with at least 4000 ft to spare, but before I got too excited I realized it was assuming 50 knots tail wind all the way down to the ground, which I knew will not be the case, as the Yuma AWOS was reporting less then 20 knots. As such, I decided to fly conservatively and stopped a few times in weak wave lift, although it was not really needed. It was interesting to notice how far down wind of the mountains I could find wave patterns of sink and weak lift. I needed to navigate around the restricted areas and through the 4 mile corridor between them, flew by the Mexican border, and received clearance to land from Yuma tower. I arrived over Yuma at 2500 ft, then over flew the airport by additional 3 miles to meet the straight distance requirement, before turning back to land at Yuma International Airport shortly after 7PM. I was greeted by the friendly FBO who also provided me with the airport courtesy car so I could drive to the nearby motel and wait for my wife who was still 5 hours behind. The next day it took us 12 hours to drive back home.

The flight trace can be viewed on OLC:
Pictures are on hgcgroup:

Total OLC distance = 810.6KM (504 SM), 6:49 hours, 118.82 km/h. Straight Out distance to goal = 489.4 SM (787.6km) - a new Bay Area/Hollister record and first flight to Arizona from Hollister.

A special thanks to Quest who towed us on his day off, to Joy for coming to help us on the ground, to Matt who brought this special day to our attention, to Kempton for suggesting Yuma as goal and providing great insight into the Gorman wave, and last but absolutely not least, to Katia, my lovely wife and crew extraordinaire, for driving 1000km in 12 hours to retrieve me, and putting up with me the rest of the time.

Ramy Yanetz
ASW27 "TG"

I was reflecting over my recent flights and realized again why I am so adicted to the sport of soaring. After almost 30 years of soaring (20 in hang gliders and 10 in sailplanes), I can still find new excitement and new experiences in almost every flight. I am not aware of many other sports which can provide the same. In one week I had 3 flights, each provided new experiences - I flew the furthest from start than ever before (nearly 800 km), went to places I never been before, including over the Ocean by Big Sur, altitudes I never imagined possible (nearly 15,000 feet in thermals over the Big Sur coastal range, as high as pilots over the Sierras that day), and flight regimes I rarely experienced before such as transitioning from thermals to down wind wave dash. I also realize that although soaring is mostly an individual activity, none of this would be possible without the dedication of the FBO's, clubs, tow pilots, friends who can be relied upon for retrieves, and of course spouses, who put up with their husband's somewhat selfish pursuit. :-)

Thank you all,


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Unusual Day at Byron

Sunday at Byron was an unusual day for winds. We started off with very light winds favoring runway 12. Later the winds shifted, became stronger nearly straight down 23. I found our tow pilot Steve Yoder to be very accommodating and personable, taking us just where we wanted to go.

In the morning, I was discouraged by the local weather here in Albany, and called Mike Schneider to set up some ground school time during what I imagined would be a long, marginally flyable day. He immediately encouraged me, saying, "I intend to fly." On 580 east, I could see the promising blue patch of sky in front of me. It drizzled slightly as we towed FB and EV out to the line, and the rain more or less left us alone for the rest of the day.

Larry brought out his yellow Nevada desert special glider and had a go at it, but tied down after one flight. I flew solo twice in EV, one high and one pattern. I was able to sustain altitude just under a cloud base of about 2800, but was able to work no more lift down about 1500 ft. It was good practice for me to land on an unfamiliar left pattern on 12. John, our youth scholarship student was out, and flew with Mike. They reported weak lift. I had the opportunity to observe his and others' slips on final 23 from nearly directly below with strong head wind. Looked like anti gravity. Vertical landing.

Eric Yeargan flew with Mike. I had some good talks
with him. He said how using the radio overloads him on landing. "It's enough to concentrate on approach angle and airspeed." I've been there. I guessed that he's going to solo with fewer flights than I. Eugene was out and flew once as Mike's last student of the day. Mike S. bridged the language gap with flying gestures. I heard Eugene talk on the radio for the first time.

Dmitry Chichkov made an appearance on his cool radio-controlled electric powered skateboard, saying he needed to take some photos of the main gear on his Rossia glider. (When I saw the board alone I thought Buzz was paying us a visit) It had been a long time since I'd seen Dmitry out. I asked him briefly about the RASP, and learned he's still working at the same place. It was a do-it-yourself day, as the scheduled FM did not appear, so duties were split informally between Eric, Fritz, and myself.

The jumpers were using elevator 1 most of the day, a much smaller craft than elevator 2. As they IFR jumped, through the clouds, Steve and I wondered if it was legal. Steve made his first tow off 23, first asking me for advice. I suggested he talk to Mike. "Make a left turn at about 100 ft to avoid windmills and rising terrain." At the end of the day Mike gave an hour of much appreciated ground schooling. Having recently soloed, it's all new territory, and resetting of goals and priorities.

I changed the battery connector on EV to the Anderson power pole, and so this is the first day that we flew with both the new Sonnenshein batteries, numbers 8 and 9. The radios were strong all day, and Mike surmised that one of the batteries had fully recharged in an hour's time. On the negative side, the new connectors do not provide a firm connection. And EV's battery came disconnected when I fished out a parachute cover from behind the seat. Apologies for what I've forgotten or left out. Even though I came prepared for the work with all manner of rain and cold
weather gear, it turned out to be quite pleasant, listening to the red-wing blackbirds calling from their hiding places in the tall green spring grass.

Leonard Edmondson

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A Diamond in Minden!

"I have been after this last diamond since 2005 and Last time I missed it by 300'. I was not going to make the same mistake today!

Lets hope the badgelady does not find any technical problems with the trace or application."


"Wave kicked up again this afternoon in Minden, and Morteza Ansari, who has been chewing his fingernails all January and February waiting for his chance, got up here from the Bay Area in response to our wave alert to give it a try. He launched in SoaringNV's LS-4 just after lunch, got off tow at 7,600' MSL (2,900' AGL) and poked around looking for some strong, smooth lift. The Minden West window as already open for another SoaringNV glider, so there was no delay as Morteza worked up to 18,000 and beyond. We had excellent visibility again, with clouds only up to around 12,000', so remaining clear of clouds was not a problem. About an hour after launch Morteza decided he had enough altitude for the diamond and the Lennie pin, so he headed home.

Analyzing the trace after his flight it appears he turned around at around 26,500', for a total gain of approximately 18,000'."

Fred LaSor


Saludos de Chile!

Great flight in Santiago over the Andes foothills in a Super Blanik L-23. Also see OLC file under Chlile 03/08. Saw a condor in flight. The mountains are big and steep, the thermals are narrow and choppy and you fly really close to the rocks to get good ridgelift. Also, it is different to fly over parts of a city of 5 million people, as you can see in the attached photo.

See you in April!

Peter Kelemen

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Recent Achievements


-Well done guys! Now to finish up the flying tasks of that badge....,

Thanks to Ramy Yanetz for sharing his experiences on cross-country soaring from Byron - in particular on the decision making process which led to his recent field landing.

Thanks to Larry (buried in Grob KP in these photos) and his assistants, who worked hard on removing and re-installing 2 sets of wings for Grob Annuals.

Thanks very much,


Sunday, February 22, 2009

Successful Safety Seminar

NCSA had a very successful Safety Seminar - FAA Wings eligible - yesterday - with 58 persons attending.

Allen Silver, our parachute rigger, giving a presentation on Bailing out.

First Recipient - Dave Cunningham Youth Scholarship

John Pericich, aged 13 - and his parents, John and Katherine

Monday, January 26, 2009



Eric Nelson: "A" Badge
Mike Shapira: "A" Badge
George Papich: "A" Badge
Seth Dunham: "A, B, C" Badges
Phil Hoyt: A, B, Badges
Mark Violet, "C" Badge, Silver Altitude,
Larry Suter: Silver Distance; Gold Altitude,
Mike Voie: "C", Silver Badge
Taylor Nichols: Bronze Badge duration

Glider checkouts,:
Taylor Nichols: 1-26, 1-36, 2-33
Mark Violet: 1-36 and 2=33
Ramy Yanetz: KP
Larry Suter: KP
Roy Moeller: KP
Mike Mayo: KP
Bruce Roberts: KP
Mike Voie: KP
Jason Proctor: KP
George Papich: G-103
Seth Dunham: 1-26; G-103, SS

New Glider Ratings, WINGS:
Mark Violet: Private Pilot Glider
Seth Dunham: Private Pilot Glider
Larry Suter:, Commercial Glider Written Exam passed 96%
Taylor Nichols
Larry Suter,
Mike Voie,
Bruce Roberts
Mike Mayo,
John Randazzo,
Yuliy Gerchikov

Taylor Nichols: ASI thermal camp
Mike Voie: ASI Thermal camp
Larry Suter: ASI X-C camp
Jason Proctor: ASI X-C camp
Michael Green ASI Lead Pilot + Presenter
Mark Violet: thermal camp+ Mountain Soaring Camp - Truckee
Len Edmondson, Truckee Mountain Soaring Camp
Sal Lopez, Truckee Mountain Soaring Camp

New Gliding Sites:
Ramy Yanetz: Hemet
Seth Dunham: Truckee
Mike Voie: Air Sailing

First X-C flight:
Larry Suter: Not by the "one leg >10sm" definition. Did that last year.
However, I feel like this year I took my first xc baby steps.

Seth Dunham: (dual) 230km; longest leg: 68km; frozen toes

First Contest:
Larry Suter: OLC

Seth Dunham: First Aerotow in AS Byron to Truckee; first XC flight (dual). Longest flight in Truckee: 4.5hr SS. First Wave flight (dual)- flew in a DG 505"took my dad flying"; took my nephew flying
Mike Mayo: 8/17 Farthest landout. Adin, California, from Truckee. Many miles beyond Spalding, the middle of nowhere. 258 Km by OLC.
8/12 Fastest in USA according to OLC. 2nd fastest in world. 135 Km/hr over 596 Km. Beaten by a Slovenian going back and forth in wave (~90K further and 2K/h faster).
Morteza A: Had a ~ 600km flight visiting all the major attractions of southern Utah and be nsariyond: out of Parowan to Wayne Wonderland, Bryce Canyon, Grand Canyon, Zion, Cedar Breaks

Mark Violet: Longest flight 3.5 hours Highest altitude 14,000’.Longest flight at Byron 2 hrs; Highest flight at Byron 5000’
Ramy Yanetz: Looks like upgrading my glider resulted in
my best year ever, with most miles, hours and speed flown than any previous year!

Larry Suter: Highest, 17.9K. Longest OLC distance of 120 sm was a
personal best. Several longest in time flights, up to 4.5 hours but still
haven't done the five hour thing (because of "the coldest feet during a
glider flight" personal best). silver distance four times before the flight recorder
finally worked for the whole flight. Is that a record?

Michael Green, age 79 and still racing, slower yet made it back each day of the Nationals at Montague.Let's not forget the training flights, not just the private glider thrills:
Taylor Nichols: 2.7hr flight in 1-26 at Air Sailing
8/17 Farthest landout: Mike Mayo:Farthest landout. Adin, California, from Truckee. Many miles beyond Spalding, middle of nowhere. 258 Km by OLC.3/30: -Closest landout: Ben Hirashima, ,1/4 mile NW of C83
Shannon Madsen: first field landing - near town of Milford, CA (West side of Honey Lake off hwy 395) - on first day of Air Sailing Sports Class contest
Note: Advanced and Standard categories: - a winner in previous year in std becomes "adv"

1.Ramy Yanetz: 16,980 statue miles
2.Shannon Madsen: 5323sm
3.Rolf Peterson: 3,348 mi Total Cross-Country Aerotow Glider (ASW 20) (18 Cross-Country Flights in ASW 20)
Jim Conger, 6036 sm (OLC)
Mike Mayo: 2800 sm
Michael Green: 2,646 sm (from OLC
Peter Kelemen: 1064sm
Larry Suter: 1232sm
Seth Dunham: 238km (dual)
1.Ramy Yanetz: 315 hrs
2.Shannon Madsen: 161.2
3.* Rolf Peterson: 117 hr Total (incl 34hr instr)): 28 hr Motorgliders + 89 hr Aerotow Gliders
1. Jim Conger 128hr
2.Larry Suter: 96.7
3.Mike Mayo: 84:18 hr
Michael Green : 82.3hr
Peter Kelemen: 68.7hr
Morteza Ansari: 65hr
Seth Dunham: 48hr
Mike Voie: 35 hours
Mark Violet: 32hr
Eric Yeargan: 6.9hr
Charlie Ferguson: 6.5hr
Len Edmondson: 14hr
Taylor Nichols: 13.2 hr

Monique Weil 94.2hr (includes 85.2
i. Adv:
1. Ramy Yanetz: 651 sm from Truckee
2.Shannon Madsen: 512sm
3. Rolf Peterson: 365.65 mi
ii. Std:
1. Jim Conger: My longest flight was 713km (443sm) - Truckee, Schulmann Grove, Nervino, and return.(Jim's shortest flight: I went from Truckee to Carson city and promptly had to land.
Truckee staff started referring to me as a "lawn dart" after that...)
2. Morteza Ansari: 646KM (401.4miles)3.Mike Mayo: 370sm
3. Mike Mayo:370sm
4.. Peter Kelemen: 239sm
Michael Green : 225.8 sm
Larry Suter: 120sm (on OLC)
Len Edmondson: 20 sm
i. Adv,
1.Ramy Yanetz: 255 sm KP (with passenger) from Truckee
2. Shannon Madsen:71sm (SS flight from Byron)
1.Morteza Ansari: 168km (104.4 sm SS from Byron)
2.Larry Suter: 65sm (OLC) with Len on Nov 8
2.Len Edmondson: 65sm with Larry 11/8
Michael Green: 6 sm
Longest (time:) flight :
Mike Voie: 6 hr ASL
Seth Dunham: 4.5hr in SS at Truckee
i. Adv:
1.Ramy Yanetz: 325 sm
2.Shannon Madsen: 254 sm (Byron - Firebaugh - Stockton
- Byron)
3.Morteza Ansari: 262KM - 162.8 sm
1.Mike Mayo: 141sm
2.Larry Suter: 15sm past KTCY
Michael Green: 6 sm
1 Ramy Yanetz: 6.5hr
2.Shannon: 5.9hr
3.Morteza Ansari: 4.8hr
1.Mike Voie: 4 hr
2. Mike Mayo: 3:21hr
3.Larry Suter: 3 hr
Mark Violet: 2.3hr
Len Edmondson: 2hr
Eric Yeargan: 0.8hr

i. Adv:
1.Shannon Madsen: 25,000' Minden wave window
2.Ramy Yanetz: 18,000'
3.Mike Mayo: 18,000'
Peter Kelemen: 17.900'
1.Morteza Ansari: 17,999'
2.Larry Suter: 17.9
3.Mike Voie: 17,500' TRK
Len Edmondson: 17,000'
Seth Dunham: 15,600' Truckee (SS)
Mark Violet: 14,000' ASI
Fritz Henshaw: 12,500'
Taylor Nichols: 10,500'
Eric Yeargan: 4,400'
i Adv:
1.Ramy Yanetz: 16,100' in wave
1. Shannon Madsen: 14,400'
2.Larry Suter: 10,500'
3.Mike Mayo: 8,500'
Morteza Ansari: 7,500'
Len Edmondson: 7,000'
Fritz Henshaw: 6,400'
Mark Violet: 5,000'
Taylor Nichols: 4,500'
Eric Yeargan: 4,400'
i. Adv:
1.Ramy Yanetz: 120MPH along 300 statute miles over the white mountains
2.Rolf Peterson: 81.02 mph 303.43 mi
3.Shannon Madsen: 80.3mph over 512sm

ii. Std:
1.Mike Mayo: 135KM/hr (84mph = 72kt) av over 370miles
2.Morteza Ansari: 119.3 km/hr 74.1 mph over 646 km out of Parowan
3. Michael Green: 54.3mph over 225.8 sm
Peter Kelemen: 52mph, 237 miles
1.Ramy Yanetz: 58MPH along 146 miles in KP from Truckee.
2.Shannon Madsen: 36.5mph over 71sm
3Morteza Ansari: 65km/hr out of Byron
Len Edmondson: 70 kt?
STATE RECORDS: Records set:

Rolf Peterson: State Records
California Sports Class Free Out and Return Distance
Nevada Sports Class Free Distance
Utah Open Class Single Place and 15 Meter Class Three Turn
Point Distance
other records:Larry Suter: Flew silver distance four times before the flight recorder
finally worked for the whole flight. Is that a record?

12. TOTAL NUMBER OF FLIGHTS IN 2008 (*includesCFI's instructional flights)
1.Mark Violet: 79 flights
2.Larry Suter 73
* Rolf Peterson: 146 [33 flights + 113 Instr flights] (85 Motorglider Flights + 61 Aerotow Glider Flights)

Len Edmondson: 58 flights
Shannon Madsen: 40 flights
Michael Green: 28 flights
Peter Kelemen: 27 flights
Mike Mayo: 26 flights
Taylor Nichols: 25 flights
Morteza Ansari: ~20 flights
Eric Yeargan: 18 flights
Fritz Henshaw: 13 flights
Charlie Fersuson: 13 flights
Jim Conger:
Ramy Yanetz: 4383km / 12 flights listed under NCSA in OLC 2008
Rolf Peterson: 2,417 mi OLC 12 OLC flights
Shannon Madsen: 8473 km and 29 flights
Jim Conger 6036 sm (128hr)
Morteza Ansari: 14 flights; 4942KM total
Peter Kelemen: 1799miles 13 flights
Mike Mayo: 1693 sm, 9 flights
Larry Suter 17 flights totalling 1100sm
Michael Green: 2,646sm 24 flights
Contests: Larry Suter OLC
1. Monique Weil :218 instr flights/85.2 instr hrs
2. Rolf Peterson: 113 Glider Instruction Flights =
78 Motorglider Instruction Flights + 35 Aerotow Glider Instruction Flights
34 hr Total Glider Instruction =
19 hr Motorglider Instruction + 15 hr Aerotow Glider Instruction

Ken Ferguson: 33.2hr 137 tows
Dennis Vied: 19.8hr 113 tows
Tom Hail: 20.0hr. 95 towsFor almost 10 years, 243 hours in N4116Y and 910 tows. 3.7 tows per hour. :-) No wonder my knees hurt. Imagine how Ken feels!

NOTE: Pilots are strongly encouraged to post their flights on the NCSA page in OLC, to help the club rankings.
#12 of 50 US clubs in 2008 - 226 flights: 74,732.72 km
list of pilots:Buzz, Shannon, Peter K, Ramy, Yuliy, Jim Conger, Larry Suter, Morteza, Mike Mayo, Uwe, Rolf,

Rolf Peterson: 2,417 mi OLC 12 OLC flights

Ramy Yanetz: 4383km / 12 flights listed under NCSA in OLC 2008

Shannon Madsen: 8473 km and 29 flights
Jim Conger 6036 sm (128hr)
Morteza Ansari: 14 flights; 4942KM total
Peter Kelemen: 1799miles 13 flights
Mike Mayo: 1693 sm, 9 flights
Larry Suter 17 flights totalling 1100sm
Michael Green: 2,646sm 24 flights
Adv:RAMY YANETZ 16,980 miles Looks like upgrading my glider resulted in my best year ever, with most miles, hours and speed flown than any previous year
Std: JIM CONGER 6036sm1. My longest flight was 713km (443sm) - Truckee, Schulmann Grove, Nervino, and return.

MONIQUE WEIL 218 instr flights/85.2 instr hrs

List of 2008 Instructors:
Mike Schneider,
Rolf Peterson,
Boris Deianov,
Dave Cunningham
Buzz Graves,
Richard Pearl,
Monique Weil

KEN FERGUSON 137 Tows: 33.2 hr towing

List of 2008Tow Pilots:
Uwe Kleinhempel
Ken Ferguson
Tom Hail
Boris Deianov
Brian Forsyth
Dave Stroh
Thomas Daniel
Bruce Walters,
Don Brown
Rolf Peterson
Mike Schneider
Dennis Vied

MIKE SCHNEIDER: spent dozens of hours to keep the towplane running,
checking out tow pilots, instructing, pitching in when needed.

SETH DUNHAM: PPG; A ,B, C, Badges: check out in 1-26,G-103, SS,
First Aerotow in AS Byron to Truckee
First Wave flight (dual)- flew in a DG 505
Longest Flight is 4.5 hrs at Truckee. (132SS
Flew at Truckee for the first time
First XC flight (dual) 230 km, longest leg 68 km, frozen toes
First Wave flight, 15,600' highest altitude in Truckee (SS)
Flew in a DG 505
Took my dad flying
Took my nephew flying

Seth Dunham: 4.5hr in SS; altitude to 15,600'
- Longest flight in club ships
i adv:
Ramy Yanetz: 255sm with KP out of Truckee
ii. Std:
Morteza Ansari: 168 km (SS) out of Byron:104.4 sm

-Survived FourthYear as NCSA President:
NON FLYING AWARDS to be reviewed for next year -
BUZZ GRAVES - "A Very Special Flight" -