July 20th: We had a very "interesting" day at Stanton.
Stephen Nesser volunteered to instruct along with the scheduled instructor Andrew Wood.
We had the K-21 and the Owl both operational by 9 AM.
We had 8 instructional or check off flights and 14 regular operations flights.
Ironman Greg Sotebeer towed all 22 flights with very little break.

Some milestones today -

  • New member and licensed glider pilot Dennis Ballew got signed off in the K-21 and celebrated by taking his son on his first glider ride at Stanton.
  • Ben Norman earned his back seat sign off in both the K-21 and the Owl
  • New member Nick Widmar got 3 instructional rides including his first 300' rope break.
  • Kevin Tesmar got signed off for solo and celebrated by making a beautiful landing on his first solo flight this year.
  • Dan Zimmerman took his first two solo flights this year and "enjoyed" some serious Stanton Blue Hole sink on the 45.
  • Dana Walsh took his wife on her first glider ride and Paul Remde took both of his parents up for separate rides in the DG-1000.
  • Dana Walsh took his wife on her first glider ride and Paul Remde took both of his parents up for separate rides in the DG-1000.
  • The weather was quite variable and most pilots were unable to find much usable lift.
  • Congratulations go out to Mike Schumann. He launched at about 2 PM to give a ride, caught a couple of good thermals, and stayed up for exactly 60 minutes. He launched again at 4 PM to give another ride and enjoyed 8 kt lift for over an hour.

As this was my first day as FOO, I would like to thank Sarah Anderson and Dan Smith for "mentoring me" through the process.
Another great day of soaring!

February 8th: While most of us were hunkering down in the middle of a tough Minnesota winter a couple of our members had a better idea. Through the airwaves came the following message:
Hello Fellow MSC Members, (could have added "Wish you were here")
As some of you may be aware, for the past week we have been in Marfa, Texas receiving glider training from soaring great Burt Compton at Marfa Gliders.

We were attracted tp Burt's school primarily for two reasons. First, his world-wide reputation for providing outstanding glider flight and safety instruction and second by his offer of free lodging and a free checkride at the successful completion of our training program.

Lou left and Burt right

Beginning last Saturday, February 2nd, we each flew several times a day with only a one day break on Wednesday. During that time we received excellent insstruction in glider flying, soaring and safe ground and flight operation.
Baring a major blizzard in Minnesota this Sunday, we will be returning as the two neest rated glider pilots of MSC. We are both eaagerly anticpating the 2013 Soaring Season and associating with our fellow pilots and club members.
Blue Skies and Good Lift,
Lou Chouinard and Ben Norman

May 30th: Congratulations to our own Steve Fischer for passing his Examiner certification process. The FAA dispatched two to conduct the review: Marilyn Pearson, Principle Operations Inspector at the Windosor Locks, CT FSDO and Ron Linn who is the General Aviation ASI OPS Inspector based at MSP FSDO. After an intensive and long ground and air examination Steve emerged with flying colors!

May 22nd: Welcome to our new members to the MSC!

May 13th: With the success of the day before our Chief Instructor Dick Andrews announced:

This coming weekend there will be 3 days of informal soaring competition for any qualified soaring pilot that is interested. On Friday, May 18 there will be an informal Sport Class contest day using a TAT (turn area task). We will be using a start cylinder, a number of turnpoints and a finish cylinder. Hank Geisler will be flying the Stanton Super Cub for our tows. There are at least a couple of volunteers to help run the launch line. Dan Shallbetter is organizing a cookout for Friday night.

The number of "contestants" for Friday is limited. Please let me know if you are planning to come. On Saturday and Sunday we will either do additional Sport Class TAT type tasks or chose a totally different format if participants prefer. The competition will be scored by handicap so know your glider handicap - you can look up the handicaps at the SSA website.

Alas it was not to be. The weather demons reacted forcefully and the event was cancelled. Monday however dawned bright and with a good sounding pilots gathered to make the best of what remained. Dan Shallbetter flew a very nice 323km triangle to Austin, Blue Earth and return.

May 12th: Finally, after weeks of anticipation a week-end of good soaring weather!  Chris Kimble, after weeks of preparation and disappointment, was ready to fly the Junior and go for his first cross-country.  JC Cunningham volunteered to crew for him.  Chris' story:

I took off in the Junior at 1:50 pm, got off tow at about 2800' MSL (per my altimeter; I'm not sure yet what the IGC file has to say about release altitude) and found a couple of nearby thermals that took me to 7091' MSL (per IGC file) in 12 minutes. I then radioed my crew volunteer, JC Cunningham, that I was heading south.

The day was blue with widespread sink and some strong thermals here and there. I flew a pretty straight path to Dodge Center, thermaling several times en route, picking up 600' or so a couple of times. I never got lower than about 5000' MSL until I was over Dodge Center. I toyed with the idea of flying back to Stanton, but decided to follow others' advice to land at a new airport, for a change. I flew 4-5 miles south of the airport to circumnavigate the big wind farm, just for fun, then landed on the grass strip (runway 04) at 3:09 pm, according to the IGC file. JC had just arrived in my car, towing the Junior's trailer.

Navigation was a lot easier than I thought it would be; you can see the Dodge Center airport from a long ways away. Hassling with the trailer took more time than JC or I anticipated.
Thank you, JC, for your help and advice!

On his first cross-country Chris accomplished his Silver C distance and Silver C altitude gain.  Next - 5 hours to complete his Silver C badge.

Chris was not alone in taking advantage of the eegood albeit blue conditions.  Andrew Wood completed a 320km triangle to Austin, Winona and return, Dan Shallbetter flew 179km and Paul Remde completed a 125km triangle in the DG1000.

May 11th Club Meeting: Brian Utley made a presentation of the Red Bull sponsored Stratus project "Mission To the Edge of Space". A project to achieve a parachute jump from over 120,000 feet. Thanks to Jay Biggs for a video recording of the presentation. The recording can be seen on YouTube by clicking here

April 28th: Stephen Nesser is honored at the Minnesota Aviation Hall of Fame Banquet as the recipient of the 2011 Minnesota Aviation Artist of the Year. A strong showing by MSC members celebrated this prestigious award to our club member.

Stephan’s art has twice featured on the cover of Soaring Magazine (April 2004 (Jim Hard portrait) and May 1994). The British soaring magazine, Sailplane and Gliding, has twice published articles about his paintings (April-May 2000 and February-March 2001).

April 28th: Our President George announces: All Hail the new Clubhouse Senior Chief of Operations! Steve Sweet, CSCoO.  Our pangs of thirst are ameliorated!

April 15th: George Underhill wrote: The weather finally cooperated yesterday and the 2012 soaring season is underway. The flightline was quite busy with activity with both the K-21 and Owl in service. Duty instructor Andrew Wood regained his currency as well as instructors Dick Andrews and Tom Rent. Andrew flew twice with new member Jordan Gerrish and also with Dana Walsh. Adam Koller completed a flight review with Dick and even our trusty tow pilot Scott Elhardt switched ends of the rope and regained his landing currency. Phil Schmalz, John Ward, Sarah Anderson, Marilyn Meline and myself got our first rides of the season with either Dick or Tom. Dan Shallbetter assembled his ASW -28 and found two hours of flight before the lift shutdown. Tom gave two orientation rides. Twenty seven tows for the day. Thanks to Andrew for ins tructing, Scott for towing, and FOO Sarah (and temp FOO's) for keeping things safe.

April 6th MSC Membership Meeting: The Dick Andrews presentation detailed the SSA Badge program with the requirements for each badge.  This is part of the MSC program to stimulate interest in cross country flying. You can find a copy of this interesting presentation here.  A shortened video of the presentation is available on YouTube here

April 3rd: Dick Andrews announces: On Sunday, April 1 (no foolin'), Chris Kimble completed the requirements for the Bronze Badge by passing the written exam.  He is making preparations for the distance component of the Silver Badge.  He is signed off for assembly and disassembly of the Junior and has checked out the trailer and had a trailer hitch installed on his retrieve vehicle.  Here's hoping the weather provides a good opportunity for Chris to accomplish his Silver Distance as well as the Silver altitude gain and 5 hour duration this season!

March 19th: Sarah Anderson announces: Greetings fellow glider guiders,

With the warm spring, it seems we will try to schedule the first day of operation for Saturday March 30th. We will ( weather permitting ) run normal operations from then onwards...

Right now, things look good for ( an unprecedented? ) March start - the field is in good shape, our insurance is valid from March 30th and the aircraft are ready. So watch your calendar for Tow, Instructor and FOO assignments. It's only two weeks away!

March 7th: MN Association of Soaring Clubs Banquet hosted by the Red Wing Soaring Association.

March 2nd Stephen Nesser conducts the 2012 Mandatory Safety Meeting. Because of the warm weather everyone is anticipating an early start to the season.

January...Dreams of Spring...Laura Hohensheldt flying her Schleicher Ka6

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