Thursday, August 7, 2014

Blogging must be awfully hard work, because I seem to avoid it at all costs.  Now I'm posting enough to break our tradition of making an annual entry on this site, but I'm taking the easy road by copying verbatim an excellent email sent by one of our members. 

Soaring Friends,

On Saturday, the 26th of July 2014, at 7G8 it looks like an ordinary flying day, the members untying the gliders, unraveling the tow ropes, warming up the golf cart, laying down the different paraphernalia on the table and setting up the shading tent with the Cleveland Soaring logo on its side. The day's tow pilot is warming up the Scout and making its test flight of the day. But the day is not an ordinary day, a member since the founding of the club decided to come for a visit, to reminisce the good old days and to feel the excitement that the sport brings and also to share narratives of his accomplishments gained from years of dedication to the sport that we love.

Steve Raab had been a long-time instructor for the club and had trained a long line of eager students longing to fly free like the soaring birds of the sky. Through the years of flying at different airports, he had been as ubiquitous as the thermals and the wind currents we like to play with, always there to provide rides, instructions and tows to whoever need it. He had also performed at the Cleveland Air Show, one of his performances being instrumental in inspiring me to feel the visually exciting movements he was performing through the air. I was also fortunate to have him as my main instructor and the one to solo me. One of the ultimate experiences that a soaring pilot would ever have is flying in a wave, that powerful force of nature that could hurl you at more than a thousand feet per minute but feel like you are hanging on a length of string and not realize the lift until you gaze at the variometer and the altimeter that are moving at incredible indications, but preceded by violent turbulence in the rotor clouds that your only goal is to try to stay attached to the tow plane. Steve had experienced it at Black Forest Soaring in Colorado when he went to the hypoxic altitude of 37,000 ft. ASL. This is an altitude where if you close your air vents and exhale, ice crystals will form on the canopy.

Steve made two flights with his former student, Dave Tiber, now an instructor himself and I'm sure that Steve flew the SGS 2-32 like a bird taking to the sky, while the tow pilot, George Ponti and I chased them around to take some images. We hope that Steve enjoyed his visit which would be quite different from the more sedate environment that he resides in now and that the other CSS members felt honored to have a club legend in their midst, akin to the feeling that the eaglets would have when the eagle returns to the nest.

Monday, April 21, 2014

In more than one way, this has been a long winter.  Northeastern Ohio spent a lot of time under cloudy skies, under inches of snow, and well below freezing temperatures.  We will all have a better appreciation for the Ohio summer, whatever it may hold. 

For the Club, we also spent a lot of time in the hangars bent over various projects, crawling under engines, and digging into wings.  Whether it was washing and waxing gliders, repairing the previous season’s dents and dings, or trying to finish the never ending annual inspection on the tow plane, a lot of members stepped up to the challenge of keeping the Club flying.  These members receive quiet thanks from every one of us every time we drive to the field expecting to fly.  It’s not magic that keeps the tow plane’s propeller turning, or makes the glider fleet airworthy every spring.  It’s the hard work and dedication of the members rising to the challenge of a love affair with flying. 

As the snow melts and the ground dries, I encourage all of you to brush up on the often forgotten knowledge of weather minimums, radio procedures, and to schedule some time with a flight instructor to answer any questions you may have.  Go over the weight and balance information for your favorite glider, review the VFR sectional, and get ready for your annual club check flight.  You’ll need to have that once-a-year flight with a club instructor prior to solo flight in a club glider, and three landings before you can carry passengers. 

Even after a winter of flying powered aircraft I plan to spend as much time as possible high above the green fields of Ohio in quiet solitude, wondering how the other half on the ground lives.   Mother Nature owes us some bright sun, light winds, and puffy cumulus, will you take advantage of it when she makes due? 
See you at the airport!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Season Opener

Cleveland Soaring kicked off the season on Saturday, March 30th.  Yes, it was a little chilly but the thermals warmed our hearts.  12 flights with one lasting more than an hour.  Not too bad for March!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

CSS Remembers Frank Ebersberger

It is with great regret that we announce the loss of another CSS member.  Frank Ebersberger passed away on March 7 after suffering a massive heart attack in late February.  Frank was active with CSS from 2009 through 2011 but had to sit out the 2012 season due to a shoulder injury.  Frank E (as he was affectionately known around here) was about as positive a person as you’ll ever meet and knowing him enriched all of our lives.  We will miss his great optimism, generosity and sense of humor.  Frank was 78 years old.  Soar in Peace, Frank!