Upcoming SSA Convention Coverage at the Café

As most of our readers know, the Soaring Society of America (SSA) sponsors a biennial extravaganza (a.k.a, the SSA Convention) for Northern Hemisphere pilots who are experiencing severe winter withdrawal symptoms and badly need a soaring fix. Of course our Southern Hemisphere brethren are also welcome, since they will soon be entering their own season of short days and weak thermals.

The 2012 convention was held in Reno, Nevada, which is once again the venue for this year's event. Reno's proximity to Minden and other famous soaring sites, and the possibility of strong mountain wave lift is another draw for pilots who want to mix real flying with a trip to the convention.

The SSA convention is the largest event devoted exclusively to the sport of soaring in the Western Hemisphere, and is, by attendance, likely the largest such event in the world, with the possible exception of the World Gliding Championships.

The convention proper begins Thursday, February 27th and concludes with the annual SSA Awards Banquet on Saturday evening.

The Soaring Café will be on the scene all three days. Although we can't cover every talk and event, we will attempt to provide our readers with the most complete and timely coverage possible. We will be posting photos of speakers, gliders, equipment, gadgets, and anything else that we think might interest our worldwide audience of soaring enthusiasts. We will also post video interviews with sailplane manufacturers, equipment vendors, selected speakers, and other soaring notables. Throughout each day, I will be issuing FaceBook messages and tweets when I encounter something particularly interesting in the exhibit hall or while attending a talk or other event. Our Twitter handle is @SoaringCafe.

Longer videos will be processed at night and most will likely be published serially during the week or two following the convention, but photos, short articles, and short videos should appear on our site and on FaceBook within hours of the reported events. Each post to the website will be accompanied by a tweet for our Twitter followers and will be reflected to FaceBook. Longer articles will be posted to the Café as time permits.

If you can attend the convention, we strongly encourage you to do so, but if you can't, we'll try our best to be your surrogate eyes and ears.

Our convention coverage will begin Thursday, February 27th, so stay tuned!

Rand Baldwin

Rand is a Soaring Cafe Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief.Fascinated by soaring since early childhood, Rand learned to fly sailplanes while in graduate school (at Harvard’s Center for Astrophysics), and earned his private glider rating at Yankee Soaring in Plymouth, Massachusetts. He joined the M.I.T. Soaring Association in 1974, where he completed his Silver Badge and became a flight instructor. After moving to Huntsville in 1977, Rand flew and instructed on weekends at Eagleville Sailplanes south of Nashville, Tennessee. In 1985, he and a handful of other soaring enthusiasts organized the Huntsville Soaring Club at Moontown Airport. Rand chaired the 1996 SSA National Convention and has served as an SSA Director-at-Large, SSA Governor and State Record Keeper for Alabama. He has set two U.S. national soaring records and many AL and TN state records.

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