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.

Minden Nevada Airport/Airstrip Review, Part II

Having failed miserably in my original attempt to solicit local knowledge input via direct appeal to the Minden crowd and the contest organizers, I have included the entire contents of my September 2013 Minden Nevada Airport review below, updated as appropriate with the most recent Google Earth images.  Note that although I reviewed every airport/airstrip…

Minden, Nevada Airport Review

Last September, I did a full review of all the Minden, NV waypoints, as my (now) normal preparation for flying at a new site. When it was done I had identified more than 20 airports/airstrips that I deemed ‘problematic’ in one sense or another (nonexistant, too narrow for 18m, brush growing on or near the…

Perry (Wagener, SC) Airstrip Review, Part I

Authors Preface:  As many of you have already discovered, I password-protected this post so I could show it to Al Tyler and get his input before making the review public. This turned out to be an epic mistake, as Bill Elliott was apparently deluged with complaints and/or requests for access (sorry Bill!). So … I’m…

Eagleville, TN Airstrip Review

As part of my 12-step crash recovery program, I have taken a solemn vow to never go to another soaring site without first having done a thorough Google Earth review of all the airports/airstrips in that site’s waypoint database.  Never again will I arrive at an ‘airstrip’ waypoint only to discover that it can’t be…

Landing Field Safari at Seminole

Yesterday was a rain day at the Seminole Gliderport (SGP), so John Mittell (BZ) and I spent some quality time touring possible landing fields in preparation for the upcoming 2014 Seniors contest. Although the SGP soaring area is pretty benign in general, the last few miles coming into SGP can be ‘interesting’ (especially from the west!) if you…

Excel Logging Spreadsheet for Gliders

A friend of mine commented the other day that he couldn’t find a decent logging application that could create log entries from IGC files.  I have a fair bit of experience with automating Excel spreadsheets using VBA (Visual Basic for Applications), and I was bored out of my skull (it’s winter, don’t you know), so…

January in Sunny, Warm?? Florida

I’m writing this from my camper at Seminole, having escaped from frozen Ohio for a sneak preview of the 2014 season.  My excuse was the January running of Andy McQuigg’s Weekend Grand Prix race series, but really I was just finding it too hard to wait until the Seniors in March ;-). I started out…

Condor 4-Day Xmas Cup

Today (Monday Dec 30, 2013) is the last day of the 4-day 2013 Condor Xmas Cup, an online racing adventure in beautiful New Zealand.  This is the sixth year of this world-famous soaring contest, hosted by Erik Praznovsky of Slovakia (http://www.virtualsoaring.eu).  This year, 157 pilots from 27 different countries entered the event (Just as a comparison,…