Above all, Minden is known for wave conditions. Wave camps of yore boasted scores of gliders, a hundred pilots, and dozens of diamond badges. Crowds were so big that lectures and meals were held in a conference room at the local casino. Since 2009, SoaringNV has worked to revive the Minden Wave Camp tradition.
This year, we had 18 attendees. Six pilots flew their own gliders. Two pilots came for lectures only. The other ten shared SoaringNV ships, solo and dual. Attendees came from Hong Kong, Japan, Canada and domestic locations from Virginia to Oregon.
The format of camp is simple: lectures focused on safety, health, and navigation in wave. And flying. Lecturers this year included: Doug Armstrong on forecasting wave, Mark Montegue, Pacific Area Soaring Council (PASCO) liaison to the FAA and safety officer on wave window operations, the new squawk code, and PCAS, Einar Enevoldson and Ed Warnock on the Perlan Project, Dr. Morgan McCarroll on aeromedical factors of high altitude flight, Rick Walters and Pete Alexander on reading the sky, Kempton Izuno distance flight in wave.
On Thursday, for something completely different, we heard from local resident Frank Murray, one of six CIA pilots to fly the A-12. We will never again mix up the A-12 with the SR-71. He passed around parts of the airplane, discussed performance characteristics in detail, and talked about the politics of the program. For over an hour, the unpowered-flight crowd was totally engaged in this tale of high altitude power flight. Details of this program were classified until 1991.
The lectures are reliably scheduled, but the flying is dependent on Mother Nature. This year, we had wave every day. Yes, wave every day. We also had wave three days prior to camp. A few of the days, we had to call ground operations when ground wind speeds exceeded the thresh hold for safe movement on the ramp.
Achievements this year:
Milan Petkovic: Diamond Altitude
Bruce Patton: Diamnond Altitude
Doug Mueller: Diamond Altitude
Ed Warnock: Personal altitude best, dual 28K
Tim Gardner: Flying his own DG300, Tim flew to FL270 in the wave window on 28 March as part of a 400K flight, 620K flight on 29 March made him #1 in the world on OLC for speed, and 30 March, Tim got 680K of credit on OLC making him 3rd in the world. His flight software ‘See You’ had his flight total at 950K.
We are already planning our camp for next year. The speaker program next year will be April 4-7, 2013. We are thinking of extending the flying to include days before and after the speaker portion of the event. Put those dates on your calendar and stay tuned for details as they happen.