Cafe Columns

The 2014 Snowbird Contest

Ah, Thanksgiving!  Food, family, football….and flying?  While most of the soaring activity in the northern climates of the U.S. takes a winter hiatus, Harris Hill Soaring Corporation (HHSC) held its 72nd annual Snowbird contest on the Friday and Saturday (Nov. 28/29) after Thanksgiving.  (History of Snowbird is here) Snowbird is not like most contests.  First…

Lights out! Spot on! The flying musicians from Stoelln!

Note: The entire interview in German can be found HERE! The following interview has been roughly translated into English to preserve the meaning of the artists. A little thing, which first started off as a little joke on Stoelln airfield (Brandenburg/Germany) has finally evolved into a truly serious hype throughout the German-speaking soaring community. What I am talking about is not some…

Grandpa Wolf’s spot-sledding contest

The early sunsets and the brown leafs are painting a fail-safe picture: Autumn is coming and the number of reaming soaring days is limited. But even though, or maybe just because of that a number of pilots is gathering especially in that time of the year to celebrate and compete in a very special and…

Probably A Stupid Idea!

Monday evening, 6pm. It’s August and central Germany is experiencing rain and cold temperatures for around a week already. I guess autumn is coming early this year. I just returned from my summer vacation in Savoy/France the Sunday before (I’ve been hiking) and my dirty laundry is piling up in front of me. Actually I wanted to…

GTA Race at Monroe, GA

Report for the GTA race at Monroe, GA August 23-24 A Class Cumulative Score Rank Points ID Name                  Glider 1      1999   FS Silva, Fernando ASW-27 2      1933   BZ Mittell, John      ASW-27 3      1759   H6 Ruf, Chris         303 Mosquito 4        965   FP Pin, Francois    ASW-27 5        915   DL Linnekin, Dennis ASW-27 B Class Cumulative Score 24-Aug-14 23-Aug-14 Rank Points…

Farewell to Frank Paynter (TA)

I am very saddened to learn that my friend and mentor Frank Paynter (TA), a long time Soaring Cafe contributor and racing enthusiast has been dealt the terminating blow from the SSA. Their decision from Frank’s email to me summarized is: No contests the rest of this year, no Seniors, no Perry, and no Nationals next year, anything past…

Ireland’s First 500km Flight by Kevin Houlihan

My mother always claims that June 22nd is really the longest day. It certainly was for her in 1954 because on that day in that year I, her firstborn, arrived. I’m not sure if she has recovered yet. June 22nd this year was, for me, the longest day ever – in a glider.  I pedaled…

Tullahoma, Tenn GTA Race – Day 3

I’m writing this from the comfort of my home office back in Columbus, Ohio.  I got home about 3am Ohio time this morning, after an uneventful drive back from the Tullahoma.  We got in a 3rd day on Sunday – a 2hr TAT.  Conditions were variable – OK to very good to the north of…

Tullahoma, Tenn GTA Race

I’m sitting in my Micro-Castle here at the Tullahoma GTA (Georgia-Tennessee-Alabama) race site, on Saturday July 5, waiting for my brain to wake up and smell the coffee.  Tullahoma regional airport (KTHA) is a great soaring site, with lots of ramp space for assembling gliders, huge runways with at least two separate grass runways, and a…

1-26 Championships Wrap-Up

No update for a few days, I know. I hate it when that happens, so here is the rest of the story. Thursday was, I think, the 5th attempt at Day 2. The morning meeting wasn’t very optimistic on the weather and Hutch called a 12:30 grid time. We decided to squeeze the annual 1-26…