Friday, November 27, 2015

Secret new site

It isn't official, I guess, since there is no trace of it on their website, but there is a new glider operation in Sanford, Maine.

You'd think if you added a 2-33, a towplane, three towpilots, and three flight instructors, to your FBO and flight school, you'd let the world know about it.  But no.

Speaking of add-ons, what do you call it when a guy with an Airline Transport Pilot Certificate with single/multi/instrument/land/sea airplane ratings adds a glider rating to his CFI?

An "upgrade," of course.  Congratulations to CFI-G John Gary!

John is the latest graduate of the SoarVT program (no, not that one). Thanks to the visionary leadership of our club President, PMSC has five new flight instructors, with two more "in the wings."

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Too many instructors

Just kidding.  There's no such thing.

We just received word that we have two more glider-rated CFIs.

Congratulations to Bill Swartz and Sue Tholen!

While it is true that these two already had flight instructor certificates, it is still quite an achievement to add the glider category.

And now PMSC can say that we have a satellite operation in Sanford.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

2015 Season Ends

The 2015 Soaring season ended on Sunday with JD flying off into the sunset.

 Greg (JD), Karl (PM) and Tim (AT) had nice wave flights to 10,000' in winds up to 50 kts.  Bill O (3BA), Don (3BA), and Dakai (67) finished the season off with local flights.  Thank you Andy for Towing.  And thank you Karl for the great photos.


Thursday, November 12, 2015

Some Pictures for Last Saturday

Here are some pictures Don took last Saturday.


Tuesday, November 10, 2015


The TV station from Manchester, New Hampshire sent a reporter to wave camp, and this was the result.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Weekend Report November 7 - 8

The second-to-last weekend of the season featured low temperatures, weak lift, and lots of wind.

Nevertheless, we accomplished some good lessons and got a good bit of crosswind practice.

On Saturday, Tim (AT) took a wave tow that didn't pan out, but he was able to stay up for a little while in the turbulent thermals down below cloudbase.  Don, Bill, and Dakai each had took pattern tows in order to enjoy the experience of landing in a 15 knot crosswind.

Sunday started out with an excess of wind, but it eventually died down and allowed us to make six flights before sunset. Karl and Henry refreshed their familiarity with the 1-23, and Dakai and Don took two more pattern tows.  On the last flight of the day, Don made his first glider solo in the Blanik (Congratulations, Don!)

Thanks, Evan for doing all the towing this weekend.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Sorry, Ed

Ed Seymour held the New Hampshire open class altitude gain record from 1969 - 2015.  I feel a little bad about taking that record because Ed isn't around to defend it anymore.  He still holds the NH open class absolute altitude record.

You can read a little about Ed's long life in soaring here.



The record book was updated last month, with a pair of outstanding altitude flights by two of our club members at the MWSA wave camp.

Both flights took place on October 15.

Evan (T8) took a tow to Mount Hayes and grabbed a good low point just over the trees there. After 40 minutes of struggling, he finally got a good enough climb to allow him to sneak into the wave at Mount Madison. Eventually he topped out just under 28000 feet, for an altitude gain of 26271 feet, a New Hampshire state record.

Next to take off that day was Tim (AT), who took a 6000 foot tow downwind to just across the Maine state border, where he released.  He turned around and glided back to Gorham, and joined Evan's thermal at Mount Hayes. He contacted the secondary at Mount Carter and transitioned to the Washington primary.  His highest altitude was 23739 feet and his altitude gain was 19177 feet, both of which qualified for Maine state records.

Now that we know that the state in which you release is what counts, who will be the first to go after the Vermont state altitude record (currently 27270) out of Post Mills?

Congratulations Evan and Tim!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015


Our club is very lucky to be made up of so many dedicated volunteers, and the secret to our success is the willingness of everyone to help everyone else get in the air.

Yesterday and today, this volunteerism was exemplified in spades by two of our members, who successfully made the transition from "Expert Pilot" to "Rookie Flight Instructor."

Congratulations to CFI Evan Ludeman and CFI Moshe Braner!

Becoming a Certificated Flight Instructor isn't easy or cheap. Knowledge, experience, and skill are only the beginning.  You have to have a Commercial Certificate and then pass two more written tests and a flight test administered by an FAA Flight Inspector.

Moshe and Evan spent a week at CFI Camp in September and completed their Commercial Certificates at the end of that month. Then they sat around and waited for a month for the FAA to find a qualified Inspector, eventually choosing the obvious guy, the only one within 1000 miles of here.

The two flight tests went very well, unsurprisingly, and Evan and Moshe can now transfer their expertise to you, complete with a signature in your logbook.

CFIs are not all alike, and we are fortunate to have these two in our club.

Evan and Moshe will make us all better pilots, and they will do way better than whoever soloed this guy:

Monday, October 26, 2015

Let it snow

A little bit of snow last weekend didn't stop Willy from making the transition to the 1-23.

The plan was to tow to 3000 feet AGL to give him plenty of time to get familiar with his new glider - but after a waveoff at 2000 due to an approaching flurry, he made a few turns over Tug Mountain, flew around the snow, entered the pattern, and made a perfect spot landing.

The hardest part of the whole thing was finding enough lead ballast to go with him.

Congratulatons, Willy!

Friday, October 23, 2015

Roughing it

Back when Pete was a 1-23 pilot, he was a man of leisure.  Now that he is flying the 304, he has returned to the basics.

Here he is trying to decide whether to sleep in the glider or in the back of his truck.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Wave Camp ends

After a successful day of flying on Thursday, including a flight by Tim (AT) to 20000 feet and a cross-country flight by Greg (JD) from Gorham to Post Mills, the wet weather moved in.

Without much hope for soarable conditions in the mountains this weekend, the MWSA called it off early.

The countdown to the next wave camp has started!