Author Archive for Frank Paynter

Dr. Frank (TA) Paynter has a PhD in Electrical Engineering. He retired from a successful 25-year civil-service career in 1993 and spent the next 15 years as a antenna researcher at The Ohio State University in Columbus, OH, retiring again in 2008 to become a full-time soaring bum. He is the author of the book “Cross Country Soaring with Condor”, co-authors (along with Scott Manley) the popular Condor Corner column for ‘Soaring’ magazine, and is a regular contributor to the Condor section at SoaringCafe.com. Along with Mark Hawkins, he is part owner of Hawke Tracking, the company that provides SPOT tracking services for contests and clubs. Before soaring came along, Frank was a national champion skydiver and still holds the record for the most number of consecutive dead-centers in skydiving competition. Frank started soaring in the mid-1990’s at Caesar’s Creek Soaring Club near Waynesville, Ohio and instantly fell in love with Cross-Country racing. Now he goes to as many contests as his wife of over 30 years will allow, and spends his winter months racing and instructing in Condor.

Mifflin Day 3 Redux: Too much of a good thing?

Mifflin is internationally famous for its ridge days, and we typically get one ridge day per contest here.  Well, we got one yesterday, but I’m thinking now it was a case of “be careful what you ask for – you might get it”.  I’ve been flying here in contests for over a decade, and yesterday’s…

Mifflin Airport Review – Take II

Today (and quite possibly tomorrow as well) is a rain day here at the Mifflin Region 2 Soaring Contest, so Karl Striedieck was gracious enough to sit with me and go over the many airports/airstrips in the current (2014) database to cull out the bad and verify the good ones.

Mifflin Day 3 – Sometimes the magic doesn’t work

I believe it was in ‘Little Big Man’ where an indian (Native American to be politically correct) Medicine Man decides to end his own life using his special powers.  When he doesn’t die, his comment to Dustin Hoffman was “Sometimes the magic works, and sometimes it doesn’t”.  Well, that’s what happened today at Mifflin; CD Pepe…

Mifflin, Day 2 – All the food groups

Today was a classic Mifflin non-ridge day.  A very unstable air mass with a significant cap kept us from getting T-storms, but we had just about everything else – wave, wave suppression, 8-10kt thermals, streets (some even aligned with the wind), blue holes, high overcast, spreadout, rain showers, snow showers, and just about anything else that…

Mifflin Airport Review

I apologize for the lateness of this post – I was tied up with repairing my wing wheel, and replacing leaky air tubing on my glider :-(.  Anyway, here is my (personal, biased, and more than likely insane) take of the airports/airstrips in the Mifflin contest area.  As always, if an airport/airstrip isn’t mentioned, that means…

Repairing TA’s Wing Wheel

At the recently concluded Bermuda High regional contest, TA’s wing wheel suffered an unfortunate encounter with a crew vehicle, and came off a bit worse for the wear. In the immortal words of scorer Rick Sheppe “every wing wheel ends its life by being run over”, and so it was with mine. The good news…

Bermuda High Airport/Airstrip Review

Since I am planning go directly from the Perry Regional to Bermuda High for their regional, it’s time to do the Airport/Airstrip review for that site as well.  My basis for this review is the 2013 18m waypoint database. My first, second, and third impression was “Wow – this is a clean site!  I could only find…

Perry (Wagener, SC) Airstrip Review, Part III

In our last episode, we saw the melding of the Spartanburg and Perry airport/airstrip waypoints, the correction of old photo era turnpoint offsets, and other minor corrections.  The result was a pretty complete and robust Perry waypoint database, which was then published in its various file formats as ‘Perry2014a’ on John Leibacher’s wonderful Worldwide Soaring…