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Cumulus Soaring, Inc. Newsletter

In This Issue


SSA Convention 2010

Minnesota Soaring Club Youth Program

Barograph & GPS Flight Recorder Calibration

New Naviter Oudie PNA

Chile Grand Prix

TrackLog App for iPhone

Bad News for Owners of Older DG Sailplanes

New Soaring World Record Claims

SPOT-2 Recall

Advanced Soaring Made Easy - New 2nd Edition

New Products

The Sun Ship Game - DVD

Soaring Waypoint and Airspace Resources

NK News

Cross Country Soaring - Winch Launching in Florida - Now

News from LXNAV

Glide Navigator II Users - Your Feedback Needed

The Otto Lilienthal Medal - Awarded to Hana Zejdová - Book

SSA Soaring
Magazine Archive

Soaring Gifts Web Site - By Tom Rent

2061 KM in the Sierra Wave - HD Video Download

Lange Antares DLR-H2 Fuel-Cell Powered Airplane Flies

New Trig TT22

SALE Items

Photo of the Month

Fun and Interesting Links

Coming Next Month

Wrap Up


Subscribe to This Newsletter

Join Our Mailing List

Popular Items

Trig TT21 & TT22

Mountain High Oxygen Systems

SPOT-2 Satellite Messenger

Canopy Cap

Condor Soaring Competition Simulator

EW microRecorder



NK ClearNav

Cambridge Aero Instruments
302, & 303

LX Navigation Colibri

Nimbus iPAQ Cradles

Tasman V1000 Variometer

Glide Navigator II


SeeYou Mobile
Oudie PNA

Bowlus Maxi Gap Seal Tape

Softie Parachutes from Para-Phernalia 

Quick Links



Issue: 10

January 19, 2010

Dear Soaring Enthusiast,

Greetings from cold Minnesota.  We have had more than our share of snow and cold weather this winter, but the soaring season is only a few short months away.  We usually start flying in early to mid April.  I can't wait!

Florida Vacation
Since the last newsletter our family had a wonderful 1 week vacation at my parents' place in Florida.  We all enjoyed the beach and pool and even an airboat ride in the Everglades - that was a hit with the entire family!

Other Family Fun
Since our daughter Sara was adopted from Ethiopia, we have strived to get her connected to her Ethiopian culture as much as possible.  Recently, a local group called the Ethiopian Kids Community offered Ethiopian Dance classes which all 3 kids enjoyed.  They rehearsed for 10 weeks (1 day a week) and performed at the Ethiopian Kids Community Genna (Christmas) Celebration.  You can see photos and videos of their performances using the links below.
Photos | Video 1 | Video 2 | Video 3 | Video 4

I am really looking forward to some great soaring events in 2010.  The SSA Convention will be fun (I really enjoy catching up with my soaring friends) and I'm very excited to be flying in the Sports Class Nationals in Parowan in June.  I'll be flying with Dick Andrews and Fred Hewitt in their DG-1000S.   I have enjoyed flying in a few regional soaring contests over the years, and I have been Contest Manager and Competition Director for a few soaring contests, but this will be my first chance to fly in a national contest.  It will also be my first chance to fly at Parowan.  I have heard a lot about Parowan - I can't wait!

Thank you for taking the time to read the newsletter.  There is a lot of interesting soaring news to report from around the world, and I have been very busy adding new products to my web site.   I hope you will enjoy it.  If you do, please tell your soaring friends about it by forwarding the following link to them:

Would you believe that over 3400 glider pilots from around the world read this newsletter?!  I am amazed and flattered.  I will do my best to keep it interesting and worthy of the time you spend reading it and clicking through the links. 

If this is your first newsletter - Welcome!  If you missed any of the previous issues of this newsletter, they are all available here:

Note: Click on the small images on this page to view much larger versions of the images.

Good Soaring,

Paul Remde

SSA Convention 2010
The Soaring Society of America Convention for 2010 will be held in Little Rock, Arkansas from Thursday, January 28th through Saturday, January 30th.  There will also be some special training sessions on Wednesday (see the schedule at: http://www.ssa.org/convention/schedule.asp), January 27th and a CFI Revalidation Clinic on Tuesday, January 26th and Wednesday, January 27th.  Since the SSA opted not to have a convention in 2009, I am really looking forward to seeing everyone! The soaring community is a neat group of people.  What will be the highlight of the convention this year? - definitely the wonderful people! 

On the business side - I have expanded my display booth up to 4 10x10 spaces.  I am looking forward to hosting Uli Schwenk and Daniela Schwenk from Jaxida Cover and Condor fan Scott Manley.  I had fun following Uli in the Chile Soaring Grand Prix last week where he finished in 4th place (only 1 point behind 3rd place).  It will be fun to get to know him and Daniela.  Scott Manley is a big promoter of using the Condor soaring flight simulator as a flight training tool.  It will be cool to have Condor running in the booth - Thanks Scott!  Southeast Aerospace will also be sending someone to help demo and answer questions on the new Trig TT21 and TT22 Mode S Transponders.

Volunteers Needed
At the last convention I was extremely grateful to the many volunteers that helped me get my booth setup, broken down at the end, and helped gather books for customer orders.  You people really helped me serve the soaring community.  I am looking for a few good volunteers again this year.  I will be offering some form of "thank you" for all volunteers - such as $10 store credit for every hour worked in the booth.  I especially need help setting up on Wednesday, January 27th from 10 AM to about 5 PM.  
Please let me know ASAP if you can help.  Since the setup takes place before most people will arrive at the convention, any help from local soaring pilots would be greatly appreciated.  We will have a lot of work to do, but it will be fun watching the convention hall come together - and greeting soaring friends I haven't seen since the last convention 2 years ago.  I will also need a lot of help taking everything down on Saturday, January 30th at 5 PM.  I will also need help during the show.  I will have a sign-up sheet in the booth for volunteers to help fulfill customer orders during the show.  Please stop by and sign-up for an hour or 2, or 3.  I realize that I'm asking a lot when I ask for your help.  But I really can't afford to pay to hire people to work in my booth.  By helping me, you will be helping me serve the soaring community, and helping me support my family.

I am extremely thankful that both my father Richard and my lovely wife Renee have agreed to help me in the booth at the show.  I couldn't do this without their support.

I will be doing 2 formal presentations at the convention.  I hope you will be able to join me.

  • NK ClearNav Demo and Q & A Session
    Wednesday, January 27, 4 to 5 PM
    Where: Convention Center, Carway II
    Chip Garner (ClearNav software programmer) will join me for this overview and question and answer session the NK ClearNav.  We may also discuss NK's plans for a new speed-to-fly variometer.  Note that this presentation is on Wednesday, the day before the convention officially starts. 
  • Soaring Product News
    When: Friday, January 29, 2:30 PM
    Where: Convention Center-Ballroom C
    I look forward to giving this talk at every SSA Convention.  It is an overview of what is new in the soaring market.  I will mention new soaring instruments, books, videos, etc.  I will also give insights into the interesting features and pros and cons of each product.  This talk is always very well attended, so arrive early to get a good seat. 

The 2 presentations below will be done by Scott Manley.  They both sound fascinating to me.

  • Glider Flight Simulation-Including Instructional/Proficiency Update
    Saturday, January 30, 3 PM
    Where: Convention Center, Ballroom B
    Overview by Scott Manley
    At the SSA 2008 Convention in Albuquerque, Trace Lewis and I did a pair of presentations on using flight simulation to improve glider flight instruction, to maintain your glider flying proficiency in the off-season, and to develop/polish your cross-country and competition skills.

    We also hosted the simulator in the convention exhibit hall to provide attendees with an opportunity to get some hands on experience “flying” the sim.

    At the time, the idea that flight simulation could be applied to glider flight instruction was largely untested. No one was actually doing it. That is no longer the case.

    This presentation will begin with a quick overview of the educational applications of flight simulation to the sport of soaring, including:
    • Primary Flight Instruction
    • Proficiency / Recurrency Training
    • Acquisition of New Soaring Skills
    • Promotion of the Sport of Soaring

    An Instruction Update will follow including:
    • The Challenges of Glider Flight Instruction
    • Why Flight Simulation is the Answer
    • A 20-minute Flight Simulation Demonstration
    • Some Eye-Opening Case Studies

    The presentation concludes with:
    • Question & Answer
    • A Special Guest Appearance by The Blue Angels

    If you are someone who provides glider flight instruction, or someone who has ever received it, you won’t want to miss this presentation.
  • Introduction/Demonstration of Networked Flying Including Team Cross-Country Flying
    : Saturday, January 30, 4 PM
    Where: Convention Center-Ballroom B
    Overview by Scott Manley:
    If you think flying a glider flight simulator solo is fun, imagine sharing the experience with 31 of your closest friends or maybe even some fellow glider pilots in France, Germany, or Japan.

    This presentation will provide you with an introduction to networked/multi-pilot glider flight simulation, including:
    • An Overview of the Under-lying Technology
    • A Group High-Speed Ridge Run in Ajdovscina, Slovenia
    • Question / Answer
    • A Repeat Performance by The Blue Angels

    If your idea of fun is flying a fully-ballasted ASW-27 while racing your friends down a 25 KM ridge in Europe, all in the comfort of your home and at a fraction of the actual cost, you won’t want to miss this presentation.

FLARM at the SSA Convention
There may be some interesting announcements at the SSA Convention regarding the availability of FLARM in the USA.  Below are details on 2 related talks.  I look forward to learning more.

  • Collision Avoidance with FLARM, Six Years of Experience and Outlook
    Who: Urs Rothacher of FLARM
    When: Friday, January 29th, 10 AM
    Where: Convention Center-Ballroom B
  • Team and Buddy Flying Using PDAs and FLARM
    Who: Lee Kuhlke
    When: Friday, January 29th, 1 PM
    Where: Convention Center-Ballroom C

FREE SPOT-2 Drawings
  Cumulus Soaring, Inc. Display Booth, Convention Hall
When: 11 AM and 4 PM, Thursday, Friday and Saturday
I told SPOT I would be promoting the SPOT-2 at the SSA Convention and they kindly offered me 6 free SPOT-2 units to give away during the convention.  Cool!  The only possible issue is that SPOT-2 units are temporarily unavailable.  Hopefully I will receive the units in time for the convention.  Assuming that they arrive in time, I will have raffle tickets available in my booth.  Stop by any time and get your ticket (one per person) and we will put the matching ticket into the drawing bucket.  Important: You must be present to win.  We will have only the numbered tickets - not names.  If we draw your number and you are present, you will win.  If we draw a number and the holder of the matching ticket is not present, we will draw again until we find a winner that is present. 

Please Pre-Order High Value Items for Delivery at the Convention
Let me know in advance if you are planning to purchase any high value items from me at the convention.  I will bring as much of my inventory as possible, but I can't bring everything, and I have a limited supply of all items.  By ordering in advance you will avoid shipping charges.  I would be glad to hand deliver any soaring item you desire.

Special Convention Pricing

  • Mountain High - 10% off all EDS systems
    This discount is in effect already.  Order immediately and I will pay for the shipping to my office and hand deliver the items to you at the convention.  However, you don't need to be at the convention to get this discount.  It applies to all orders of "EDS systems" (systems which include an EDS O2D1 or O2D2) from now through February 15th.
  • XCOM 760 Radio Packages
    The special package prices below are only valid during the convention.  Wiring connectors included.  Pre-made wiring harness optional.
    • $75 discount on single-seat glider package including XCOM 760 Panel Mount Radio, XCOM Boom Microphone and XCOM Speaker. 
      Total price after discount: $1251
    • $100 discount on two-seat glider package including XCOM 760 Panel Mount Radio, XCOM Remote Head, 2 XCOM Boom Microphones and an XCOM Speaker.
      Total price after discount: $1849


Minnesota Soaring Club Youth Program
The Phil Schacht Memorial Youth Scholarship got off to a great start in 2009! Offered by the Minnesota Soaring Club to support young soaring pilots working towards FAA glider pilot certification, two scholarships were awarded to young student pilots for the 2009 soaring season, 16 year-old Tyler Hastings and 14 year-old Andrew Walt. Both students made excellent progress in their training and have a growing passion for the sport. The scholarship covers membership in the Minnesota Soaring Club for one season for the purpose of flight training plus an SSA membership for the period of the scholarship. Recipients are responsible for tow plane charges and glider rental. The scholarship is for one soaring season and an awardee has the option to reapply for the scholarship for the next year. Club member Deb Smith was key in developing the program and getting it up and running. In years past two club members have donated their club memberships back to the club – Harry Meline at the time of his death and Mike Willey when his job responsibilities made it necessary for him to move out of Minnesota. A key third membership was donated back to the club by Sue Schacht, widow of Phil Schacht, a long time club member and enthusiastic instructor in the club as well as a talented aerobatic power pilot. Phil was killed in an aviation accident in 2008. The club also raised additional funds through donations and a raffle so that each scholarship recipient received $300 toward flight expenses for the 2009 season. Having eager young student pilots active in the club has brought new life to our instructional program and given us the satisfaction of sharing our love of soaring with others. Send me an email if you have any questions.

Dick Andrews
Minnesota Soaring Club - www.mnsoaringclub.com
Chief Flight Instructor
SSA Master Cross Country Instructor
Barograph & GPS Flight Recorder Calibration
Barograph and GPS Flight Recorder Calibration - Approved by the SSA
On January 15, 2010 Cumulus Soaring, Inc. received approval from the Soaring Society of America as an approved GPS flight recorder and barograph calibration lab.  

Send your unit to me and I will calibrate it quickly and accurately. 

My calibration lab meets all the requirements put forward by the SSA for Category 2 Calibration Labs.  You can see details on the SSA web site here: SSA Calibration Lab Requirements.  I also follow all the procedures and requirements set forward by the FAI in the Sporting Code Section 3 (Gliding), Annex C, Appendix 8 "Calibration of Barographs" (and Electronic Flight Recorders) which is available here: http://www.fai.org/gliding/sporting_code/sc3c.

Brands Supported
I should be able to calibrate all brands and types of barographs and flight recorders.  I definitely can calibrate and re-seal the brands listed below.

  • Replogle Barographs
  • EW microRecorder
  • LX Colibri, LX7000, LX7007, LX8000
  • Cambridge 302, GPS-NAV
  • Garrecht Volkslogger

Fast Service
I realize that there are times when calibrations are needed urgently.  1 day service is standard.

Barographs must be calibrated every year and GPS Flight Recorders must be calibrated every 2 years.  Calibration is necessary if you are using the unit as flight evidence for badge or record flights.

Please include a check for $75 plus the estimated return shipping cost.  UPS Ground is usually about $20 (with insurance).  If you overpay I will include a refund check in the box with the unit.

Shipping Address
The shipping address is on the bottom of every page on this web site.

Please include a note in the box with the information listed below.  I can't send it back to you if I don't have your name and address.  I can't contact you with questions if you don't include your phone number or e-mail address.

  • Name
  • Address
  • e-mail
  • Phone Number
  • Barograph or Flight Recorder Type and Serial Number
  • Desired return shipping method (UPS Ground is standard)


  • Calibration Table
  • Calibration Graph
    The included Calibration Graph makes it easy to convert measured altitudes to calibrated altitudes.  Most other calibration labs do not include this graph.

Details are available on the Services page.

New Naviter Oudie PNA
The Oudie is a PNA that is nearly perfect for use in gliders. Many current model PDAs and PNAs suffer from some "gotcha" issue such as the lack of a serial port, or low resolution, screen too small or too large, etc. The Oudie is the perfect size for use in a glider and offers a built-in GPS and built-in RS-232 serial port - so it can talk to soaring flight computers and flight recorders. The 5" diagonal screen is a little larger than a PDA, but the overall footprint is much smaller than the existing "high end" soaring navigation displays. The display offers the same brightness as existing PDAs - which is not as bright as we would prefer, but is acceptable for many pilots. It is not as bright and does not offer the same screen resolution as the NK ClearNav, but it has a much smaller footprint and costs much less. The screen resolution is 480 x 272 pixels. That is more than an iPAQ h3900, the same as the Bendix King AV8OR and less than iPAQ 310 or ClearNav. I played with an AV8OR and was very satisfied with its screen resolution. The price is not set yet, but it will be more than a PDA, but much less than an NK ClearNav. Click on the image above to view a larger version. I predict that the Oudie (with its built-in GPS) will be popular both for pilots looking for a portable system in club and rental gliders, and pilots looking for a semi-portable mounted system wired into a glider's electrical system and connected to a soaring GPS or flight computer.

It is a Personal Navigation Device (PND) which runs SeeYou Mobile natively. What makes it different than any other device on the market is the ability to perform all of the most important tasks for glider pilots right out of the box. It features:

  • Large 5" screen (same brightness as all other PNA devices
  • Landscape and Portrait screen orientations
  • Integrated GPS for stand-alone operation
  • Serial communication cable (doubles up as charger)
  • Bluetooth serial communication
  • Preinstalled SeeYou Mobile
  • Preinstalled worldwide Vector maps

Screen Size: 5" diagonal
Screen Resolution: 480 x 272 pixels
Overall Size: 135 x 86 x 14 mm (5.3 x 3.4 x 0.55 inches)
Memory Expansion: microSD card, It accepts either standard or high-density (greater than 2 GB) cards . It also has 4 GB or internal memory (of which 2GB will be used by pre-installed world wide vector maps).

With Oudie there will be no more empty batteries, lost data, re-installations and re-registrations. All the data is kept in flash memory so even if the battery goes dead all you have to do is refill the battery and everything is there. No setup, no installation, nothing. Since it comes with SeeYou Mobile and worldwide Vector Maps installed, initial setup is greatly reduced. You still need to transfer waypoint and airspace files to the device through the microSD card, but that is about it.

Question: Can I run WinPilot or StrePla or Glide Navigator II on the Oudie?
Answer: No. Those software products have not been upgraded to run on devices like this one.

External Power
I imagine that the internal battery will power the unit for only an hour or 2.  Therefore it will probably be necessary to power the unit either with an external portable battery such as the Socket Mobile Power Pack, or to power it with 12V using its supplied 12V to 5V power converter.  I will design power and data cables when the units are available.  The Oudie works great with the Socket Mobile Power Pack and that standard USB to mini-USB cable (included with the Oudie) can be used to connect them together.  I will do battery life tests when I receive my first Oudie, but I expect the combination to run for over 12 hours on a single charge.

Mounting Options
The unit includes a suction cup mount designed for use in a car. Since it has a mechanism for pulling a strong suction (ideal for use on a glass window in a car) it may or may not be idea for use on an expensive and flexible glider canopy. I don't recommend using similar devices in gliders because they "dimple" the canopy when in use and may cause crazing over time.
You may therefore want to consider a RAM-HOL-PD2 cradle with a RAM-B-SCMK-RAP-B-201-RAP-B-238 suction cup mount or RAM B-size mounting arm, or GNeck2-Assy-Panel or GNeck2-Assy-Side gooseneck system.

- Details

Chile Grand Prix
Last week I very much enjoyed following the 3rd FAI World Sailplane Grand Prix in Chile!  It was neat to be able to view the positions of the sailplanes over Google 3D maps - in real time.  The commentary was excellent. 

Congratulations to Sebastian Kawa on another big win.  He seems to be unstopable!  He finished far ahead of everyone else in points.  It was nice to see local (to Chile) pilot Carlos Rocca Vidal finish in 2nd place.

Below are the top 6 finishers:

  • Sebastian Kawa, Poland, Diana 2, 69 points
  • Carlos Rocca Vidal, Chile, Ventus 2b, 55 points
  • Mario Kiessling, Germany, Ventus 2ax, 47 points
  • Uli Schwenk, Germany, Ventus 2, 46 points
  • Thomas Gostner, Italy, Diana 2, 43 points
  • Tilo Holighaus, Germany, Ventus 2, 24 points
  • Complete Results

It was especially fun because I sort of know 2 of the competitors.  I don't know Uli Schwenk yet (other than from watching soaring videos such as Gladiators of the Sky and Champions of the Wave) but I look forward to getting to know him at the SSA Convention.  He will be representing his company Jaxida Cover in my booth at the convention.  He finished the contest in 4th place - only 1 point behind the 3rd place finisher.

I know Tilo Holighaus a little from meeting him at many SSA Convention in the past.  I have always been impressed by him.  He is in a similar place in life as me - with young kids.  You probably know that he and his mother run Schempp-Hirth - maker of some of the best sailplanes in the world.  He finished in 6th place - flying a glider from his factory of course.

 - www.grandprixchile.org (the photos and videos are nice)

TrackLog App for iPhone
TrackLog is a very cool FREE app for iPhones.  It essentially turns your iPhone into a GPS tracker.  You install a small app on the iPhone and enable it.  It then sends your GPS position and altitude to the TrackLog web site through the phone network (assuming you are in range of cell towers).  You can then track the phone (as long as the app is running) on the TrackLog web site. 

I can't say for certain how well it will work while flying in a glider, but it may make it possible for your friends to track you in real-time while you fly.  Unlike SPOT tracking, the position updates multiple times a minute.  You can setup secure tracking pages and pages for displaying all the gliders in your local soaring club or soaring contest.

Some rec.aviation.soaring technical gurus stated that iPhones won't connect to the network when above 3000 feet or so.   I look forward to testing it myself.

Tip: For some reason the tracking web site can't display all the information when using Internet Explorer.  It works great with Apple's Safari - which was used for the screen capture above.

I don't sell this or support it and I can't say I'm an expert at it yet, but it looks cool to me so far!


Bad News for Owners of Older DG Sailplanes
DG has announced that they can no longer afford to offer free support to owners of gliders built before the current owner (Friedel Weber) acquired the company.  They clearly state all the reasons on their web site (see link below). 

As a small business owner who gets a lot of phone call and e-mails from customers expecting free support, I can understand (to a certain extent) where Mr. Weber is coming from.  He needs to pay employees and fees to government agencies to keep those sailplanes flying. 

However, the plan to improve the business situation is very controversial.  It requires all owners of older DG gliders to pay an annual fee of 245€ (~$368 U.S.) to have access to support, and to keep their sailplane legal to fly. 

There have been extremely strong negative reactions to this news from around the world.

If you are interested, please read the text of the page in the link below completely through.  Many of the questions and complaints posted in newsgroups are answered on the web page.  Really... read it all the way through before reacting.


I don't have a strong opinion on this.  I can understand the business situation, but I fear that not enough glider owners will sign up for the service agreement to make it work.  I hope a solution can be found that will improve the business situation, keep the company going, and minimize the impact on all owners of DG sailplanes.  I agree that the past situation is unacceptable for the company.

I have been extremely impressed with the way Mr. Weber has run the company since he bought it.  The photo at right shows Mr. Weber.  He seems genuinely interested in doing a first class job of supporting the gliding community.  The web site is excellent and I have heard only good things about the quality of their products and the support they offer.  Their e-mail newsletter is also extremely nice.  I very much enjoy flying in a DG-1000S often.  It is a fantastic and high quality sailplane.

The news does not directly affect owners of sailplanes manufactured by the current company.  However, if the plan fails and the company continues to lose money, there has been much speculation about how the company will continue.  It would be a huge shame if they became forced to stop supporting the older DG sailplanes, or they go out of business.

Other News from DG
 - Latest Newsletter - Includes: Ursula Hänle's
Petite Plastic Plane Patch Primer, Free photo calendar, 3 videos showing a simple yarn stall warning device.


New Soaring World Record Claims
On December 13, 2009 Terry Delore and co-pilot John Kokshoorn have set a new world soaring record for distance using up to 3 turnpoints (yet to be ratified) flying an ASH-25 in New Zealand.  The distance achieved was 2499.2 km.  Wow!  Congratulations!

Details on the FAI web site

News Article

However, amazing German pilot Klaus Ohlmann has also been targeting the same record category and has also made some extremely impressive flights in his Nimbus 4DM flying in Argentina.  Also on December 13th, 2009, Klaus and co-pilot Christoph Ritter (also from Germany) flew 2511.1 km. 

Details on FAI web site

Then, on December 28th he flew 2643.2 km with his wife Sidonie Ohlmann as co-pilot. 

Details on FAI web site

Note: Some of the links above include flight logs!

These are just a few of the many interesting new world record claims.  You can see all the latest world record claims here:

SPOT-2 Recall

Spot recently announced that there is a problem with some (most) SPOT 2 units shipped before December 14, 2009.  The battery indicator light is defective and indicates that the battery is low when it is not yet low.  I have also had 2 customers report that pressing one button caused messages related to other button presses.  For example, pressing the “Help” button sent a 911 message.  SPOT states: "During recent testing, we discovered that some of the new SPOT 2 devices might not meet battery and messaging operating specifications." 

The good news is that they will replace any SPOT 2 units free of charge.  They pay for shipping in both directions and even include a free month of service.  You can see details here: http://www.findmespot.com/exchange/ .

Due to the issue, I have sent back all the units in my stock and expect new (better) units to arrive in late January of 2010. 

It is unfortunate that there is an issue, but I'm very happy with the pro-active response and free replacement units from SPOT.

Please do not send your SPOT 2 unit(s) back to me.  I’m sorry, but I can’t help you.  Use the link above to get them replaced for free by SPOT.

The text below is copied from the SPOT 2 Exchange web page.

Spot LLC is dedicated to providing the highest quality and best performance products to our customers, therefore, Spot LLC will be conducting a voluntary return on any new model SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger™ (SPOT 2) purchased since October 1, 2009. During recent testing, we discovered that some of the new SPOT 2 devices might not meet battery and messaging operating specifications.

Affected Units: SPOT 2 (not SPOT-1)

To see if your SPOT-2 unit is affected by this issue, please do the following:

If you have activated your SPOT-2 unit, login to your account at https://login.findmespot.com , click on the My GPS Locations tab and a message will display indicating if you have an affected SPOT-2 unit.

If you have not activated your SPOT-2 unit, do not activate. We highly recommend you return your product for replacement at your earliest convenience.

The Exchange Process
Replacement units are anticipated to be available in early 2010. More details to follow.

If you exchange your eligible unit, you will also receive 1 additional month of your current SPOT service plan and associated services.

Once exchanged, you will receive a new SPOT-2 unit.

Please follow this process to receive your return shipping materials. These will be sent you upon completion of the form.

Ship only your SPOT-2 unit and take out batteries prior to shipping.

Important notes
This does not affect SPOT Satellite Personal Tracker (SPOT-1) nor is it an upgrade program to transition from SPOT Satellite Personal Tracker (SPOT-1) to the SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger (SPOT-2).

For more questions:
Please call toll-free 1 (866) 727-7733
Email: SPOTexchange@findmespot.com  

Thank you for being a SPOT customer and we sincerely apologize for any inconvenience. SPOT LLC is dedicated to providing the highest quality and best performance products to our customers.

Advanced Soaring Made Easy - New 2nd Edition
New 2nd Edition
This is an awesome book!  The new 2nd edition has almost twice the number of pages of the 1st edition and is printed in full color. A chapter on technical issues has been added and Bernard delves much deeper into such issues as flight analysis, psychological issues, competition flying, meteorological matters, wave flying etc. All graphics are in color and many additional spectacular and high-quality photos have been added.

Gliding is a fascinating sport and without a doubt the most peaceful, most affordable and by far the quietest form of aviation. To soar effortlessly like an eagle has been one of man's age-old yearnings and many thousands of pilots around the world today regularly experiences exactly this and enjoy the beauty, challenges and delights of this unique sport.

Gliding means flying modern machines of great beauty and elegance for hundreds of miles in total comfort and without resorting to engines. Success depends on the skill of extracting the necessary energy from the atmosphere around them. Real determination to succeed is a good starting point but good progress and full enjoyment requires some study as well. A basic theoretical knowledge is essential for success and that's what this book is all about. It not only covers all sources of energy for soaring, but it also deals with weather analysis, flight preparation, mental aspects, safety matters and competitive flying. In short, it is a first class training aid to guide pilots from local soaring to advanced cross-country flying and beyond.

Press Release
Fast and exciting cross country flights are what most glider pilot dreams are made of. Others aim for high altitude lee wave flights or aspire to doing well in competitions. Sadly even to this day there is precious little literature available focusing on real practical help and assistance to the ambitious glider pilot.
Bernard Eckey, a German born record pilot, instructor and head coach of the South Australian Gliding Association (now living in Australia) has closed the gap with his new book: "Advanced Soaring Made Easy". He is encouraging pilots to move out beyond the circuit area and experience the exciting world of advanced soaring. His comprehensive work is clearly written and presented in a very attractive format.

Making the difficult transition from a solo pilot to a confident soaring pilot is what the first chapter is all about. Rather than floating around, learning very little the aspiring aviator can use the information provided and turn valuable background knowledge into essential thermalling skills. A beginner adopting this approach is likely to get on a steep learning curve and will soon enjoy the sport to the fullest. He will find a fascinating aerial world awaiting further exploration.

The second chapter deals with the important issue of soaring weather, and especially the prediction for soaring conditions for the day ahead. By using practical examples the author makes this difficult subject easily understandable and even explains numerous other relevant weather related issues such as sea breezes, convergence lines, etc.

Other chapters deal with such important topics as flight preparation, safety, off field landings, mental preparation, ridge soaring, wave flying, flying competitively and advanced cross country flying with guidelines for proven flying tactics and methods for speed improvement. The advanced cross country pilot gets advice on reducing the workload in the cockpit and even learns about aerotow retrieves, effective use of flaps, etc.

A total of 134 drawings and graphics and over 163 very attractive photos help to shed light on the various subjects. Glider pilots will find it hard not to try the many practical hints and suggestions on their next flight and further their enjoyment from this fascinating sport.

Because the author has refrained from using any jargon even pilots with a rather basic command of the English language will find the book easy reading. Pilots with an ambition to practice gliding in different parts of the world will find this book an extremely valuable source of information and a first class introduction to gliding terminology.

Quantity Discounts
A dicount of 20% is available for batch purchases of 15 or more books at a time.  You may want to go together with a group of soaring club buddies and order this book to use as the basis of a cross-country soaring study course.  Or, if you if run a glider operation, this book looks great out on display in your office/hangar.  It is a great extra purchase for your students or glider ride customers.

Review by Dr. Richard Q. Agnew of Australia
R Agnew's ASME Review.pdf

Review by Paul Remde
This is one of my very favorite soaring books.  In addition to the many wonderful and high-quality soaring photographs it contains many well written explanations of countless subtle aspects of soaring.  It is easy to read and Bernard does an excellent job of explaining complex and detailed subjects.  I thoroughly enjoyed reading the 1st edition.  I can't wait to read the 2nd edition!

 - Details

New Products
Below are few new products available from Cumulus Soaring, Inc.
  • Goddard PLX800-1 Cable
    Cable, 1 m (3.281 feet), For connecting a Goddard PS-5a to an LX8000's round PC connector.  Round, female, 5-pin Binder connector for LX8000 "PC" connector, This cable provides 2-way RS-232 serial connections. It does not include power connections. There is a DB-9f connector at the PS-5a end and a round, female, 5-pin Binder connector for connection to the LX8000's "PC Connector" - on the LX8000 wiring harness.
     - Details

  • LET L-33 Solo Model Kit

  • Schleicher Ka-4 Rhönlerche Model Kit

  • 2010 Soaring Photo Calendars

The Sun Ship Game - DVD

This new DVD release is from a new video master made from a film print, so it looks super.  As you can see in the photos at right, the new version of the film is much sharper and more vivid.  And yes, it does include the Bee Gees music - as in the original film.  The DVD menu has 9 chapters, a photo gallery and closed captioning. On the DVD box itself is an essay by Robert Drew on "Why and How The Sun Ship Game" (see DVD case images at right) and a review Doug Jacobs (see DVD case back cover at right, and review text below).

Review by Doug Jacobs - Former World and 8 time U.S. National Soaring Champion

If you're like me, The Sun Ship Game serves as the standard against which to measure all attempts to convey soaring in motion pictures.  Centered on a remarkably determined George Moffat's pursuit of a National Championship on the way to multiple World Championships, it captures like none other the majesty of the slender wing and graceful vulnerability of glider against the big, big sky and heartstopping terrain of Marfa Texas.  Yet even more compelling is its captivating story of eyeball to eyeball struggle between pilots to win, to excel against one another, to accept the tribulations, sacrifices and danger of this beautiful but little known sport despite its meager prizes.

Bob Drew, noted documentarian, pulled this triumph together in the early 1970's, capturing on film the amazing aerial footage never before seen of gliding competitions and blending it with an up close and personal window into the personalities and aspirations the pilot contenders, their families and friends, strengths and flaws, into an all-too-human montage of the soaring scene.  The result was a classic that has inspired and motivated hundreds of soaring pilots of my generation.

However, inspired as we were, we were equally annoyed that well traveled films in the possession of the SSA were often scratched, patched and in generally poor quality.  An attempt to save the work through converting it to VHS was only partially successful, but nonetheless cassettes were snapped up by collectors eager to have their own copy of this remarkable story.

Now comes deliverance - Bob has taken the original masters and professionally converted them to DVD format.  Back is the amazing clarity and color quality of the original film and terrific sound (especially if you're a BeeGee's fan - break out the paisley!) of the original for you to savor without the distractions of failing media.

The chance to own and view this work should not be missed by any serious soaring pilot, and studied intensely by those who chose to compete.  A masterful story, one that belongs in the collection of everyone that shares our devotion to this compelling and amazing sport.

Review by Paul Remde
I'm very happy that this classic soaring film is available on DVD.  It is a fun and interesting trip back in time.  It is more than a soaring documentary, it is a film which digs deep into the skills and philosophies of 2 very different soaring contest pilots: George Moffatt (contest number XX) and Gleb Derujinsky (contest number CI).  The action begins at the 1969 Sugarbush Regional Soaring Contest and ends at the 1969 U.S. Nationals Soaring Contest in Marfa, TX.  Toward the end of the film the battle ends up being between George Moffatt and Wally Scott.  This is a time when a "flight computer" was a circular paper glide calculator - and they were not adopted as necessary "technology" by all glider pilots.  The film documents many interesting off-airport landings.  Some of these pilots were willing to risk landing straight ahead (on course) in order to use every bit of altitude to get a few additional point for the day.  One of my favorite scenes shows George using a saw to cut off the tip of his sailplane's wing and attach longer tips. It is hard to watch the sawing, but neat to see what was done to improve the performance of the sailplane.  It is also interesting that during this era every contest pilot had a dedicated crew that followed them around the course with the glider trailer in tow.  There is high-drama near the end of the film as George makes a bold move on the last long leg of the final task in the U.S. Nationals.  I love this film!

George Moffat's reaction to the DVD version - as printed in the January 2010 edition of Gliding International

"The Sun Ship Game, Bob Drew's remarkable film of the 1969 Nationals in Marfa, Texas, has long been the best-ever film of what competition soaring is all about.  In it he captures not only the beauty of soaring but also the dramatic aspects of the competition and the tensions between the leaders, their differing philosophies, and their wives, families and crews.  Now Bob Drew has taken the original master and professionally converted it to DVD.  I recently saw the result, and it is breathtaking as to color, sound and clarity.  I did the flying for most of the thunderstorm scenes, and the sharp color and clarity brought them vividly back to life.  Nothing in this film was staged.  Everything you see was filmed as it happened.  This new DVD version is surprisingly vivid and new despite having been filmed forty years ago."

Below is an excellent overview found on the rec.aviation.soaring newsgroup.  It was posted by Aldo Cernezzi.  He states that it was provided to him by "a close friend of the director."

"Some words on the film: As far as I know, The Sun Ship Game is the only real movie, not a documentary, dedicated to soaring competitions. It has was filmed at great expense (about 300-400,000 U.S. dollars in 1969, equivalent to at least 10 million Dollars today), privately financed without any perspective of reasonable revenues -- by the Director and producer Robert Drew, for one of its great passions, soaring.

I consider Bob an exceptional person, and his movie, which in 20 years I have probably watched and shown over 20 times, is a true masterpiece dedicated to soaring competitions. Its beauty is revealed gradually, when, through repeated viewing, one understands the untold in the conversations between the pilots. I recall in particular a confession: "…soaring pilots - a champion is speaking -we become aware that our talent, when we win a contest, is inexplicable; and we live therefore with the fear of losing it…"

I suggest a visit here: http://www.drewassociates.net/ to see how much and what Robert Drew, as one of the prominent figures of the "cinema verité", has filmed in its professional life. This movie is a wonderful "gift" that this director-soaring pilot has given to the world of soaring.

The plot of the narration is based on the major difference in the personalities of the two protagonists, Gleb Derujinsky, CI (an advertizing director, the first one to appear in the film, on a bicycle in New York) and George Moffat, XX (a professor, who appears in a classroom teaching English literature). Gleb, an instinctive pilot, is described as "unbeatable when he's in top condition", but he's also sometimes inconsistent. Moffat, on the other hand, is a cold "analytical-numerical" pilot flying a modified Cirrus with longer wings, but we finally see that he's also "human after all" through his flying and the suffering against Wally Scott who had a new ASW-12.

George will win (at least) two World Championships, Marfa 1970 and Waikerie 1974. Gleb, instead, will drive form Marfa to Mexico in order to get a divorce, always followed by Bob's movie cameras.

The movie features a gallery of prominent figures of soaring, including, Klaus Holighaus, Stouffs Sr., and Hal "The Judge"
Lattimore, contest director."

 - Details

Soaring Waypoint and Airspace Resources
In the soaring community we owe so very much to a few very smart and resourceful people who make soaring waypoint and airspace information for us.  To name a few examples:

John Leibacher's Worldwide Soaring Turnpoint Exchange
For many years we enjoyed the awesome Worldwide Soaring Turnpoint Exchange web site by John Leibacher.  He makes soaring waypoint and airspace data files available for just about every soaring site in the world - formatted for use with just about very type of soaring flight computer and flight logger.  Thank you John!

 - http://soaringweb.org/

Ted Wagner's Just Soar site
A few years ago Ted Wagner brought his Just Soar site online.  It is also a great resource for U.S. airspace information.  I use it often to generate airspace files for use in Glide Navigator II, SeeYou, etc.  Thank you Ted!

 - www.justsoar.com

Lynn Alley's US Aviation Information site
A year or 2 ago, Lynn Alley created his US Aviation Information site.  It can be used to create waypoint and airspace files for any location in the U.S. It is also a fantastic resource. 
He recently added to the site the ability to generate airport data files in the .stx format - as used by the NK ClearNav.  You can ask the site to generate a waypoint file centered around your favorite gliding site, and it will create a file that works great in your ClearNav.  The site also generates waypoint files in .cup (SeeYou), .ndb (ILEC SN10), .dat (Cambridge and Glide Navigator II and others) file formats.  This is fantastic news for NK ClearNav owners!  Thank you Lynn!

 - http://www.xmission.com/~lalley/aviation/

NK News
New Variometer!
The NK Soaring Team has been very busy, quietly working on the design of a variometer that will be the perfect mate for the ClearNav Display and a state-of-the-art stand-alone speed-to-fly instrument. The design team, corralled by Richard Kellerman, includes Dave Ellis, Phil Schlosser and Chip Garner, with plenty of input from volunteers including Rick Scheppe, John Cochrane, Frank Paynter, John Good, Peter Purdie and Paul Remde.

Our goal is to bring to soaring a completely new variometer unmatched in performance, features, and price.

We encourage all of you to stop by our booth at the upcoming SSA Convention in Little Rock, AK and share your ideas so we can go back to PA, digest all of your thoughts, and next summer introduce a vario that will one day be considered the “standard”.

New ClearNav Online Manual
NK has created a new "online" manual for the ClearNav.  It is available here:
ClearNav Online Manual
It can also be downloaded and unzipped and viewed on your computer.

New ClearNav Quick Reference Cards
The new Quick Reference cards are available here:
ClearNav Downloads

New ClearNav Software and Firmware
You can download the latest ClearNav software and firmware here:
ClearNav Software

What's New in ClearNav version
Below is a list of enhancements in the ClearNav software.  One point that is not highlighted as much as it should be is that the ClearNav can now connect to and work with an L-NAV (or S-NAV) and GPS-NAV combination


  • Display of waypoints on Task Edit and Destination pages is now much faster.
  • Improved icons in several areas.
  • Improved debug/performance logging added, with automatic log rollover
  • Improved communications with CAI-302/LNAV and FLARM devices
  • Enhanced leader line for better course line tracking after making a manual turn in an area. Now a short blue leader line continues to point along the best track line for further area penetration even after selecting 'Turn Here' in an area. This helps to minimize off-course excursions.
  • Better pre-start support with more visible annunciation of below-start-height and time-below- start-height status
  • Better last area turn support with a very visible 'time to finish' enunciator


  • Dual-seat support
  • Condor simulator support
  • More GUI improvements

A more complete list of bug fixes and enhancements is available here:
ClearNav - What's New

PC Simulator
NK has created a PC ClearNav Simulator which makes it possible to try out the ClearNav on your computer.  It is also a great way to "brush up" on the ClearNav software over the winter - or before a flight.  However, although the PC ClearNav Simulator is very handy, it is much easier to use the ClearNav's handheld remote (connected to a ClearNav) than it is to use your PC keyboard and the PC ClearNav Simulator.  The buttons on the handheld remote are easy to identify and use with your thumb.  I recommend printing the image above to use as a reference when using the simulator.  To print it: right click on it and select "Print Picture".  You can download the PC Simulator here:
ClearNav PC Simulator

Printable Manual
It was never quite finished, but the ClearNav Manual I wrote is still available.  I recommend that you download it and print it - and read it!  It is a very large document, but it is a handy reference and good learning tool. 
ClearNav Printable Manual.pdf

Free Online Resource for Generating ClearNav .stx Waypoint Files
A year or 2 ago, Lynn Alley created his US Aviation Information site.  It can be used to create waypoint and airspace files for any location in the U.S. It is also a fantastic resource.  He recently added to the site the ability to generate airport data files in the .stx format - as used by the NK ClearNav.  You can ask the site to generate a waypoint file centered around your favorite gliding site, and it will create a file that works great in your ClearNav.  The site also generates waypoint files in .cup (SeeYou), .ndb (ILEC SN10), .dat (Cambridge and Glide Navigator II and others) file formats.  This is fantastic news for NK ClearNav owners!  Thank you Lynn!  - http://www.xmission.com/~lalley/aviation/

Cross Country Soaring - Winch Launching in Florida - Now
Will you be in Florida between now and February 28th?  If so, you will want to go to Immokalee Regional Airport and get a winch launch with Don Ingraham of Cross Country Soaring.  Don usually operates his glider business from Faribault Airport in south-central Minnesota, but he has relocated to Florida for a few weeks this winter.  If enough people come fly with him this year he will be more likely to go back next year.  If you've ever met Don and his lovely wife Kathy, you know that they are a lot fun to be around.  The entire family has relocated to Florida for this wonderful work/vacation getaway. 

You can see details here: http://www.crosscountrysoaring.com/florida.html

You can check out his flight schedule and sign-up for a ride or instructional flight here: http://plus.calendars.net/xcsoaring

OK, I must admit that this is a shameless plug for a very good friend.  Don is a great guy.  But you won't get to meet just Don, another of my best friends, Dick Andrews (and his charming wife Pam), will be down in Florida to help out and hang out with Don and gang.  So go join the fun!!!

Below is a note from a satisfied customer - posted today on the rec.aviation.soaring newsgroup.

"I had a great time trying a few winch launches with Don at Immokalee Airport (KIMM) today. Honest 2000' launches. If you have never tried a winch launch, you have missed a great thrill in soaring.

He will be there a few more weeks and still has gaps in his schedule. Don't let them go to waste!

Vaughn (A guy who hopes this will turn into an annual event)"

Don Ingraham / Cross Country Soaring winch video
With a boom out in front of a Grob 103 Twin II sailplane and a video camera out there shooting back at the glider, we winch launched, flew a few wiffer-dills and then landed. Cool angle! Makes me want to go again just watching it.


News from LXNAV
The LXNAV company is a spin-off company from LX Navigation.  It is run by Erazem Polutnik and Uroš Krašovic, both having years of experience in designing firmware and hardware for glider instrumentation.  Erazem is the author of the SeeYou program, a very well known flight planning and analysis tool for glider pilots.  Their main product is the LX8000.  The LX8000 is a high end vario navigation system with extremely bright color display. - Details: lxnav.com

LX8000 Updates
New firmware version 2.2 is the result of continuous development of the LX8000 software. Among some bug fixes and speed ups, there has been a lot of new functionality added for leisure pilots as well as for top competition pilots:
• Customization of navigational pages with LXStyler (very cool!)
• Flarm update firmware and obstacles with SD card
• Load/save profile to SD card or USB reader
• Increased size of second line in message box
• Additional airplane types
• Wind vector around airplane
• Reduce warnings for FLARMs with options.
• Warning can be relative or absolute bearing to other object.
• Final glide with cross wind and colored MacCready setting.
• Minimum MacCready setting as a function of wind

 - Details

The LXStyler is a powerful new customization tool for the LX8000. Using it, you will be able to modify existing navigational pages or add new navigational pages. It allows you to choose from 80 different data symbols to suit your needs. You can also change the shape and size of an airplane or remove unnecessary elements.  With this powerful tool you can make your LX8000 display exactly the information you want to display, and organize the screens the way you desire, so that you can quickly access the information that you want at hand.

LX8000 PC Simulator
The LX8000 simulator is a fully functional simulator of the LX8000 which works on the Windows operating system. You can select and replay any flight stored in the IGC file format.  

If you don't already own an LX800 - the simulator is a great way to "play with" or "test fly" the LX8000 at home to decide whether it is the right product for you.  However, please keep in mind that it is much easier to twist the 4 knobs and press the 6 buttons with your fingers than it is with a mouse.

If you already own an LX8000 the simulator is a great way to get to know it better while safely on the ground.  Its perfect for refreshing your LX8000 skills in the spring. 


  • Press Ctrl+Enter to enter full screen mode.
  • Click on the SD card to insert or remove SD card.

- Details

Glide Navigator II Users - Your Feedback Needed
Do you fly with Glide Navigator II in your cockpit?  Would you like to see enhancements to it?  Recently there have been new connections make with programmers interested in moving GN II forward.  However, getting them motivated to work on GN II requires that we have a good understanding of the number of pilots flying with GN II, and the devices they are running GN II on.  I have a list of people who purchased Glide Navigator II, but many of the e-mail addresses are out of date, and some of the former GN II users have moved on to other software programs.  l need to know how many people are using it currently. 

Some enhancements that have been highly requested include:

  • Make it possible to use OpenAir airspace files in GN II
  • Enable the use of large waypoint and airspace files
  • Fix the memory issues which cause GN II to crash after 4 to 8 hours when it is run on an iPAQ hx4700 or iPAQ 210
  • Enable the display of simple maps with rivers, lakes, cities, etc.
  • Enable the display of vector maps (which are easy to disable when not needed.)
  • Enable the display of altitude AGL by supporting a ground elevation database.
  • Add support for contest finish cylinders
  • Add total task time calculations based on MacCready setting

Please send me a quick e-mail with answers to the questions below.  Please copy and paste the questions into the e-mail and add your comments below each question.  Please e-mail your responses to me at paul@remde.us.  Only reply if you are currently using Glide Navigator II.  If you have already moved on to another product and don't plan to use GN II in the future, there is no need to reply.

Questions for Current Glide Navigator II Users - Please reply ASAP

 - Approximately how many glider pilots at your gliderport are flying with Glide Navigator II?

 - One what Pocket PC type (Compaq Aero 1550, iPAQ 3800, etc.) are you running Glide Navigator II?

 - On what PDA or PNA would you like to run Glide Navigator II?

 - If you could pick 3 enhancements that you would like to see in Glide Navigator II in the short term, what would they be?

 - Of course, new features will cost money in terms of paying programmers.  If we charge $50 for an upgrade (depending on the features) how likely are you to buy an upgrade in the short term (0% (not likely) to 100% (very likely))? 

The Otto Lilienthal Medal - Awarded to Hana Zejdová - Book
This is a very interesting little book - in many ways.  It starts with a nice history of Otto Lilienthal's contributions to aviation and goes on to describe the FAI (Fédération Aéronautique Internationale) award bearing his name.  It then describes the first time the medal was awarded to someone in the Czech Republic - to Hana Zejdová.  The reason I stated that the book was interesting in many ways is that many aspects of the book make it interesting to just about any pilot - especially any glider pilot.  I learned a lot from the book, and I was inspired by the book.  I learned a lot about Otto Lilienthal and other award winning legends of aviation.  I learned much about the many amazing accomplishments of Hana Zejdová.  The book was more about Hana than Otto or the Medal - which is fine.  I was inspired by how Hana has overcome many challenges and discrimination and earned more world records than anyone else in aviation history (man or woman) - a total of 57 world records to date.  I enjoyed reading about Hana's success as a soaring contest pilot, and her amazing record setting adventures in Australia.  I also found here plans for the future equally intriguing.  The ICADA Project has among its goals to fly a glider across the Atlantic Ocean and even around the world. 

This book should be appealing to every glider pilot, young and old, male and female.  It should be especially appealing to women.  It is a story of a woman overcoming many obstacles and achieving greatness.

Excellent Photography
Along with her obvious drive to set world records in sailplanes, Hana has a passion for photography.  The book is filled with many wonderful photos taken on her soaring adventures.  These are very high quality images!  You can see a few examples at right.  All the photos at right are in the book (without the copyright watermarks).  As someone who enjoys taking photos of sailplanes, I have become a fan of her soaring photos.  You can see a collection of her glider photos here:
Hana's Photos

About the Author
The book was written by Hana's father, Vladislav Zejda.  He obviously loves his daughter very much and has done much to support her love of aviation.  He is also a soaring world record holder and accomplished soaring contest pilot.  Below is the text from the "A word about the author" page of the book.

Vladislav Zejda (1934) began to fly in Brno at Medlánky airfield in 1951, first Czechoslovak World record holder in gliding, Champion of Czechoslovakia and France from 1957, successful member of the national team in the 50's.  During the period of "normalization" after 1968 was not admitted to the national team.  As an instructor, he trained dozens of pilots who became successful sportsmen, transport and military pilots.  After 1989, as an old-pensioner, organizes trips to Australia and takes part in preparation of gliding expeditions that have broken many gliding records for the Czech Republic.  Thanks to him, Kangaroo expeditions and the Icada project have international significance.

Review by Kathleen Winters - Sailplane Pilot and Author of Anne Morrow Lindbergh - First Lady of the Air

"I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, an inspiring and entertaining account of Hana Zejdova’s stellar achievements in soaring -- she holds 57 world records to date! --and the hardships she overcame on her path to greatness. Readers will learn of her struggles and sacrifices along the way, and her ongoing dedication to the sport of soaring. Accompanying the narrative are many scenic photographs taken by Hana."

- Details

SSA Soaring Magazine Archive
The Soaring Society of America has recently announced a very nice member benefit.  They are in the process of putting every issue of Soaring magazine up on the SSA web site.  So far, they have every issue from 1999 to 2008 available.  What a great resource!!!  The web site is easy to use and the scans displayed on the web page are of good quality. 

However, the best way to view the magazines is to click the "Download PDF" link in the top-right corner of the screen.  That downloads a very high quality version of the magazine.

Thank you SSA for making this available!  Nicely done.  I can't wait for more years or magazine scans to be available.

  - http://www.ssa.org/magazine/archive/

A Similar Soaring Magazine Archive Site
A 3rd party (not SSA endorsed) Soaring archive is also available.  It is much more complete (30 years), and the hard work should be applauded.  Thank you John Leibacher, Kathleen K. Taylor and Bertha Ryan for your hard work in making this excellent resource available.  However, I find the user-interface on the SSA site to be more intuitive - but I imagine that this site can be improved over time.  The data is awesome.

 - http://soaringweb.org/Soaring_Index

Soaring Gifts Web Site - By Tom Rent
Tom Rent is a glider pilot here in Minnesota.  He flies a Schweizer 1-35.  He has put together an interesting web site with a wide assortment of soaring gifts for pilots of full-size and RC gliders.  There are hundreds of items to choose from - including: soaring hats, shirts, mugs, ties, bags, mouse pads, magnets, greeting cards, buttons, stickers, postage stamps, and even sneakers and skateboards!  The list of available items is ever expanding.  Many items are customizable.

 - Soaring Gifts

2061 KM in the Sierra Wave - HD Video Download
This is a fantastic new High-Definition video from Kempton Izuno and Gordon Boettger.  It documents Gordon's amazing 2061 km wave flight on May 10, 2005 in his Kestrel 17.  If you click on the small images you can see full resolution images - showing how high the quality of the video is. 

The film is available as a paid download for $8 for QuickTime or Windows Media Player or $4 for an iPod version.  You order it using the link below.

I thoroughly enjoyed the film!  There isn't any in-cockpit video, it consists mainly of narration and high-resolution photographic images.  The in-cockpit photos really take you along for the journey.  He starts out with the items he brings along in the cockpit and finishes with flight statistics.  In between you learn about the very large crab angles required to stay in the best part of the wave when flying with very strong cross-winds - and many other interesting points.

Is it worth $8? - YES!  It is worth much more than that.  I highly recommend it.  Download it to your computer and share it with your soaring friends.  Try to get them all to buy it - which is the best way to encourage Kempton to make many other HD soaring films.

I have long enjoyed reading Kempton's write-ups of his big soaring flights in the Sierras in his Libelle and other gliders.  In recent months I have enjoyed the HD soaring videos he has made available at: http://hdsoaring.blogspot.com/

Preview on YouTube (not at full HD resolution):

Order your download here:
(also includes nature photos by Gordon)

Lange Antares DLR-H2 Fuel-Cell Powered Airplane Flies
In July of 2009 the Lange Antares DLR-H2 Fuel-Cell Powered sailplane flew for the first time.  It is an interesting design study and the first piloted fuel-cell airplane to fly.


Article on AvWeb

Article on DLR

New Trig TT22
Trig has just announced the new TT22.  It is identical to the TT21 - except that it is more powerful (250 Watts vs. 125 Watts).  The TT21 is a Class 2 Mode S transponder.  The TT22 is a Class 1 Mode S transponder.  If you want to fly at altitudes over 15,000 feet, you may want the TT22.  However, the TT22 uses more power.  My guess is that most glider pilots will opt for the TT21 since it uses less power and functions fine up to 35,000 feet, and costs $500 less.  However, it is my understanding that the TT21 isn't rated (legal?) for use over 15,000 feet. 

The TT22 is expected to be available in February of 2010.  The price will be $2395.

The TT21 has been extremely popular.  I have had zero quality issues with TT21 units so far.

- Details

SALE Items
Cambridge Aero Instruments
GPS-NAV Model 10 - $595
The GPS-NAV Model 10 was the first IGC Approved GPS Flight Recorder.  Although they are no longer approved for world or national records, they still work great for badges, state records and soaring contests - or just-for-fun flights.  These units are in high demand because there are many L-NAV and S-NAV owners who would love to have a GPS-NAV to "complete" their Cambridge flight computer system.  The L-NAV and S-NAV do not connect directly to a PDA - the GPS-NAV acts as a bridge - sending L-NAV or S-NAV vario and airspeed data up to the PDA along with GPS data from the GPS-NAV. 

This unit is serial number C0QD.  It has been upgraded to version 6.0 (the latest firmware version).  It is "Palm-NAV Ready".  That means that it works great with Glide Navigator II, SeeYou Mobile (or just about any soaring flight software) on a PDA.  I believe the hardware is also the latest version.  That is required to be "Palm-NAV Ready".

I tested the unit and it seems to function fine.  I connected it to Cambridge Aero Explorer on my PC.  The screen capture at right shows the diagnostic data for this unit.

The unit is complete with mounting base and wall charger.

The internal 12V battery has been replaced with a brand new battery.

Note: GPS-NAV LCD Navigation Display not included.  New LCD Navigation Display Units are still available for $410 here: http://www.cumulus-soaring.com/cai_prices.htm#CAF-013x

Links to more details on the GPS-NAV products

Cambridge Aero Explorer Plus Version (4MB), May 12, 2004

This unit has not been calibrated recently.  The IGC requires calibration every 2 years if the unit is to be used for badge and record flight verification.  I can calibrate the unit here for $75.  I will also replace the backup battery for an additional $10.  For You can see details here:

 - Details

Dittel Battery Box - Used - $220
This is a used item.  It has some scratches but looks like it will work perfectly.  A DIN connector and mounting base are included.  The new price is $320. 

This is an extremely nice battery box.  This box offers stainless steel construction, a very useful battery voltage level indicator and a circuit breaker for battery protection. Mounting plate included. Designed to hold a 7.2 Ah battery like the
Includes a battery indicator which allows a quick check of the battery status at the press of a button.  One LED on indicates 11V, each additional LED indicates 1 additional volt.
Maximum Battery Dimension: Length: 6", Width, 2.5", Height: 4"
Connector: 2-pin DIN connector with locking ring,  The battery box comes with a single connector which is generally used to connect to the glider electrical system.  I recommend a 2nd DIN-2m connector for connecting to a battery charger.

Note: Battery not included.

You can see the new version here: http://www.cumulus-soaring.com/dittel.htm#H00098

 - Details

Used ILEC SN10-2 2nd-Seat Repeater: $620 
This unit had the screen replaced at ILEC in Germany in the spring of 2008 and was lost in transit for many months.  It is in perfect working condition.  This is a fantastic deal for someone that wants a spare backup unit, or has a 2-seat glider that needs a 2nd seat repeater to go with an existing SN10B in the front seat.  The RAZ vario meter is not included but is available for $175.  The required wiring harness is not included but is available for $80.  For a total of $620 + $175 + 80 = $875 you get a complete system.  That is $620 off the $1495 price of a new system.  Note: This is not an independent SN10 system.  It is the 2nd-seat "slave" to an SN10B.  Please send me an e-mail if you are interested in buying it.  You can see details on the SN10-2 here:

 - Order

Winter MacCready Ring for 304 CZ - 17m
I'm not sure how I ended up with this extra ring, but I don't need it. It is designed for use on a standard 57 mm Winter W-5453 variometer in knots.  It does not include a bezel ring, but they are available if necessary.  Most Winter variometers made in recent years already include the necessary grooved bezel ring. A set like this one normally sells for $83. I am selling it for $45.
 - Details

Photo of the Month
New regular feature - Photo of the month
Please send me your favorite soaring photos and I'll include my favorites here.  I just love soaring photos!

The photo above was sent to me by Tom Bjork.  It is titled "November over Tahoe".  That is Lake Tahoe in the background near Minden, Nevada, USA.  Tom is flying his PIK-20D and the photo was taken from the towplane by Fred Lasor of SoaringNV.  Nice shot Fred!  Click on the image above to view a much larger version.  Thanks for sending it to me Tom!  You should definitely send it to the SSA for use in Soaring magazine and the SSA Calendar.
Fun and Interesting Links
Below is a collection of fun and interesting soaring links.

Interview with Klaus Holighaus by Martin Simons
Klaus Holighaus flew hors concourse in the Australian National Gliding Championships, held at Cunderdin, West Australia, in January. The following is an account of two tape-recorded interviews with him on 6th and 7th January 1979. The discussions took place on the runway under the shade of the wing of Klaus' Nimbus 2C while awaiting take off.

Doug Jacobs' collection of soaring presentations.

Contest Corner by John Cochrane - New Articles
 - Contest Corner

Interesting U2 spy plane night landing in Cortez, CO by Chinese pilot
This is a very interesting story, told by the pilot.  It gets good after a short introduction.


British Gliding Association Safety Flash - Tug Upsets http://www.gliding.co.uk/forms/SafetyFlashTugUpsets.pdf  http://www.gliding.co.uk/bgainfo/safety/newsletters.htm

DFS Reiher

Central Indiana Soaring Society - 2009 - Smiles Video - Clever!

DG-1001M video

ArcusT video

Videos from Bruno B4, Ridge soaring in ASW-20
from Logan, UT to Pocatello, ID
Logan, UT wave

YouTube page of Sergio Lins Andrade of Brazil http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=PUOFT

Video of Tony Smolder and the Tucson Soaring Club, by local news station

Tony Condon's Cherokee II Blog http://cherokeesailplanes.blogspot.com

Very large (1/2 scale?) model ASW-15b sailplane

Chile Grand Prix video from 2009 (not the recent 2010 competition)

Used iPAQ Store
I have not used this store, but it looks interesting.

American flag decals for your glider tail. http://www.anyflag.com/misc/decals/american.php

Funny Video
These just crack me up.  I've seen many versions of this video on YouTube.  They take a scene from a film with people talking in a different language and put completely unrelated subtitles over it.  This one is hysterical!  It shows Hitler yelling at his terrified staff because the local airport wants the soaring club to move to a different airport.

Distance Record in a Blanik
by Rand Baldwin and Bill Elliott

Dutch Winch Launch Video - To 1450 meters in 2 minutes

Animated rendering of Flight 1549 Hudson Landing Flight
 - Link

Puchacz Aerobatics at Sunset

Landing on Tow

Restored TG-6 Takes Flight Video

Video of 1/4 Scale (165" wingspan) Model of Schweizer TG-3

Scottish Antares 20E in Argentina? http://scottishglidingcentre.com/blog/  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=57ShHhQlubo

Videos from Grégoire Vuissoz
Here is a new video I made with some of the best shots I took during the 2009 season (flying in the alps over Switzerland), hope you enjoy!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eO6GJLDqnYY , or http://www.vimeo.com/7851527  (you can download it in HD if you log in)

Mike DA Mustang and Friends

Interesting kids video - A great effort to get kids interested in aviation.

New Issues of FAA Aviation News - A very nice newsletter

NASA Ares rocket test firing photos and video

First Flight - "Front Electric Sustainer" System for Sailplanes
by Luka Znidarsic of Slovenia


DG Newsletter - "Everything Depends on the Side String" http://www.dg-flugzeugbau.de/seitenfaden-e.html

DG-1000 Wing Test Video
 - View From Inside Test Chamber 
 - View from Outside Test Chamber

777 Wing Failure Test

Glider Acro 2009 - ASW-27B

DG-1000 aerobatics

Puchacz Low Pass

DuPont Soaring Thunderhead

Fly with the birds

Soaring video from Luke Szczepaniak
With the cross country season coming to a close in the flatland's of the northern hemisphere I thought that some of you may enjoy my video compilation from the 2009 gliding season.  I normally fly out of SOSA Gliding Club, (www.sosaglidingclub.com) in Ontario, Canada. I fly a SZD-55.
 - Photos

Bob Hoover interview video on EAA web site http://www.eaa.org/video/timelessvoices.html?videoId=45895140001

Ion Tiger 23 Hour Flight

Rolling Downhill Launch

Coming Next Month
  • Photos and highlights from the SSA Convention in Little Rock, Arkansas
  • Photo of a local CG-4a military glider restoration in progress
  • More fun links and soaring news from around the world
Wrap Up
Thank you for taking the time to read this newsletter.  I hope you have found it interesting. If you did, please tell your friends about it.  Please mention it in your local soaring newsletter.  Please direct them to:

I consider myself a servant.  Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help you find the right soaring instruments for your needs, or help you learn how to use an instrument or software product.  Also, let me know if you have any suggestions for products or services to add to my web site, or ways that I can serve you better.

I feel blessed because I love my job.  I enjoy serving the soaring community.  Like you, I am passionate about soaring.  Thank you for your business, I sincerely appreciate it.

Fly Safe,

Paul Remde

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Cumulus Soaring, Inc.
8661 Connelly Place | Savage | MN | 55378 | USA
1-952-445-9033 | paul@remde.us