Rob Russell has completed the prototype of the FLARM tracking base station, which has been installed on the clubhouse antenna mast.
It still under evaluation, but so far it has shown great promise, identifying gliders east of Ottawa. We look forward to see SOSA pilots flying across south Ontario on real time.
If there's a FLARM equipped glider in the air at SOSA, you might be able to see it online at:
The 2017 SOSA Pilot Safety Meeting will be held at the club house on Sunday 23/Apr.
The meeting starts at 1pm and all members are invited.
1. Emergency Response Plan – Dale Guenter
2. Changes to spring spin/check flights – Chris Wilson
3. Winch launches - emergency landings – Chris Wilson
4. Flarm and Transponder operating procedures – Hans Juergensen
5. Discussion – for the good of the club – all
SOSA will host a Bronze Badge course in May and all SOSA pilots are invited.
Who should attend? Any licensed pilot with 10 or more solo hours. Ideally you should have flown a couple of good soaring flights – two hours minimum, for each flight. However, we are prepared to waive this restriction if you demonstrate adequate soaring skills.
The following items will be covered and tested:
Completion of this course will allow you to start meeting the requirements of the Silver badge.
You MUST register in advance to participate in the off field dual landing part of the course. Please contact John Brennan offline to register or sign the pink sheet at the club house.
SOSA is proud to continue its support for the Youth Flight Canada (YFC) initiative, providing a pathway into cross-country and competition for young pilots that don't have the opportunity to do so in a club ship or private ship. Getting youth (and any pilot) hooked on cross-country is a critical aspect of retaining them, or getting them back after university.
A SZD-48 Jantar was purchased by YFC after a donation was made to them for this purpose, and is hosted at SOSA.
The glider operating costs are supported through donations from SOSA members to YFC that are then flowed back to SOSA for the Youth team account. The annual operating expenses to keep the Jantar flying include the insurance and maintenance of the glider and trailer.
Also, over the last couple of years SOSA members have done significant work to the trailer and are in the process of updating the instruments.
The glider is always stored in the trailer and they are expected to rig it every day they wish to fly. The purpose here is so they are familiar with the rigging and derigging and trailer characteristics, so that it does not get damaged after landing out and retrieval.
For youth to fly the glider they need to be suitably qualified, including meeting SOSA requirements to fly the LS4. Once checked out on the Jantar, it costs them $10 per day to fly it (as many times as they want in one day).
During the 2016 season, four SOSA youth members flew the Jantar for just over 100 hrs, and it was also flown at both the Canadian Nationals and Ontario Provincials by two of or youth members. Those flying the glider are expected to care for the glider and keep it washed and waxed and to look after small maintenance items on the trailer and assist with glider maintenance (under supervision)
At the up-coming spring work weekend, I'll be collecting donations for the Youth Jantar that is based at SOSA to cover the operating expenses for the 2017 season. All donations to support the program are eligible for a charitable receipt for tax purposes. If members can donate $50 each we can keep the program running for another season.
Donations to Youth Flight Canada can be made using one of the following methods:
1. cash or cheque to Dave S. during the work weekend
2. interac email money transfer, (ask Dave S. for details), and
3. online donation through CanadaHelps.org (the lest preferred method since they take a 3% administration fee off the top). https://www.canadahelps.org/dn/15959
On behalf on this year’s Board of Directors, I would like to welcome you to SOSA for the 2017 season. We are very excited about the upcoming flying season and can’t wait for it to get started. I wanted to take this opportunity to communicate with you on several topics.
First off let me introduce you to your Board of Directors and Committees for the 2017 season:
Board of Directors
Chief Tow Pilot
Dean of Students
While the flying season hasn’t full started just yet, your board has met twice already and are busy working on a number of initiatives and activities. We have agreed that the following are priorities for us in the 2017 season:
First and foremost, the board is committed to ensuring that SOSA’s safety focus remains high. 2016 saw a marked improvement in safety incidents over the previous year, which is thanks in part to Bill Vollmar and his safety team for the work they built on top of previous committees. I think it is also important to thank all of you, our members, for your focus and commitment to our improved safety record. Whether it is in the air, on the flight line, moving aircraft in the hangar, or just general activities at the club, safety needs to remain front of mind for all members and in all activities. Let’s keep up the great trends started last year so that we can ensure 2017 is another safe year at SOSA.
I would also like to point out that Bill received the 2016 Hank Jansen Award from SAC for his Contributions to Safety. Congratulations Bill!!
We all recognize that our membership has been declining over the last few years. This decline in membership has not just been felt in our club but across the soaring community and in many other organizations. The competition for peoples’ time and money has increased and people have many more options and opportunities today. Over the years we have had a great deal of focus on marketing and growing our membership and while this needs to continue, our bigger challenge is in maintaining the membership we have. Sure, we can expect some attrition year over year, but our membership retention rate has been an issue in the last few years. Surely it should be easier to keep members than attract new ones.
So, as we organized this year’s Board portfolios, we wanted to start thinking in terms of managing and caring for our existing membership as one thing and address marketing and growing new members as a separate portfolio. This division will allow the marketing team to have an external view in development and execution of our marketing strategies and messages to targeted audiences, while also allowing for a dedicated focus internally on how best to improve the member experience, satisfaction and retention.
Thanks to Farid Ibrahim and his team last year, we made tremendous progress in integrating Free Flight at our flight line and into the financial systems of the club. We will look to further train all members on the use of the system and implement other features and capabilities of Free Flight.
We are looking to formalize more organized student training program. You will hear more on this from Martin shortly.
Here are a few key upcoming dates:
In other news
Well that is it for now. We will publish more information and updates during the season. If you haven’t signed up as a member yet, please do so soon as we would love to see you at the field early this season. Remember that April 22/23 is the spring work weekend and many hands make light work. Once again welcome to SOSA for 2017 and looking forward to seeing everyone at the flight line.
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