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Standard Class / Club Class / World Class
31st FAI WGC - Prievidza, Slovakia
Mike Smith: Standard Class
Mike Smith started soaring in 1975 at the age of 15, when he and his dad attended the Schweizer Soaring School in Elmira, New York. Though he soon had a burning desire to fly cross country, his club, like many in the U.S., frowned on having their equipment go cross country. Finally, in 1984, he became part owner of a Centrair Pegasus. After a summer of cross country flying, he flew his first contest that fall in New Castle, Virginia. He was hooked. Over the years he’s flown the Pegasus, an ASW-19, an ASW-20, and now an LS-8-18. While averaging only a regional or two per year, he realized it would take a much larger commitment to become really competitive. In 1999 he began to get serious and started to fly as many contests, and especially nationals, as possible. Along the way he’s won a couple of regionals and placed in the top ten of many nationals. After finishing third in the Standard Class Nationals in 2005 and 2007, he won the Sports Class Nationals in 2007 and the Standard Class Nationals in 2008. In 2009 he participated in the Pre-Worlds in Prievidza, Slovakia, and will fly in the 2010 World Championships at the same site in July. It will be his first World Championships. Mike is a member of the Mid-Atlantic Soaring Association and flies out of Fairfield, PA. He is a tow pilot and has served on the board of directors and as Vice President. He considers himself fortunate to be able to race on the weekends with some of the best pilots in the country, all members of M-ASA. He was recently elected to the Rules Committee and spends his working hours flying as a professional pilot.
Peter Deane: Standard Class
Peter Deane (50), has been flying sailplanes since 1986 and has approximately 1700 hours in gliders over 23 years. Learning to fly at Hummingbird Haven in California in a Blanik, he progressed on to the Ka-8 (1st cross country), Pilatus, HP-14 , ASW20 and now his Standard Class LS8-a. He has numerous Regional championship wins in regions 11 & 12, and holds 1000km diploma #265 as well as the National 750km O&R speed record of 95.4mph for all classes set in his LS8 in 2002. He has flown in 8 National championships including Standard, 15m, 18m and Sports class in his 15m LS8. Peter is based in the San Francisco Bay area and has been heavily involved in promoting cross country and fun weekend racing in Region 11, and has served on the PASCO (Pacific Soaring Council) board for over 15 yrs in a variety of roles including President. He was awarded the Les Arnold Award for service to Soaring in 2008. Peter is an Engineering Director and Technologist in the semiconductor industry. This will be his first World Championships.
Ryszard Krolikowski: Club Class
Ryszard Krolikowski is a petroleum equipment engineer from West Milford, New Jersey. He began flying in Poland at the age of 15 and currently has over 2000 hours of flight time. Although, he grew up and trained in northern Poland he is a U.S. citizen and has been living in the country for 20 years. Ryszard took a break from soaring for a few years after arriving in the states. He reignited his soaring career with the help of Henry Nixon while encouraging his children to get their wings at the Valley Soaring Club in Middletown, New York. Today Ryszard is an active member of Aeroclub Albatross based in Blairstown, New Jersey.
Sean Franke: Club Class
Sean Franke is a third generation glider pilot who soloed at age 14. Sean has accumulated over 3000 hours in the air and has flown National soaring competitions since 1990. Currently he has eight State and two National soaring records. As part of the US Junior soaring team in 1991, 1993 and 1995 Sean competed in Sweden, France and Poland. When not competing he can be found flying for fun at Warner Springs, CA and mentoring local pilots.
Sean’s day job is CEO at Electronic Merchant Services (EMS) Inc., a registered ISO / MSP with US Bank - Minn. MN. EMS is a leader in credit card merchant processing providing service to retail, mail order, phone order, business to business and e-commerce merchants.
François Pin: World Class
François started soaring at age 13 in the French Alps. He lives in Knoxville, Tennessee where he works as a research scientist at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. He was the program chairman of the 1999 SSA Convention in Knoxville, has written several articles for Soaring magazine, is the president of the World Class Soaring Association, and is chairman of the IGC Light-end Committee. He has logged about 3,000 hours in gliders, has flown in 17 U.S. Nationals, is the 2004 US World Class National Champion, has 1000 Km diploma # 245 from 1993, and has been a member of the U.S. Team for the 1999, 2001, 2003, 2006, and 2008 World Championships of the World Class. He enjoys the particular strategies and challenges of racing in the monotype World Class. His wife Dottie has been an always-encouraging and gracious crew for many contests over the World. She is looking forward to crewing at the event in Prievidza, and to supporting a top performance of the Team.
Bill Snead: World Class
Bill Snead learned to fly in 1955 in a single-place Schweitzer 1-19. Jim Turnbow taught Bill to fly using the Skimming method. The student is pulled behind a car on a 300 foot rope while the instructor watches from the car. Instruction is given between tows. At first, the student is pulled fast enough to balance the wings and balance the glider on its one wheel. The glider is, however, towed too slowly to fly. After this phase is mastered, the glider is towed fast enough to lift off then the car is slowed, before the student can get high enough to cause damage. The next stage is climbs to increasing heights with landings straight ahead. Then comes ninety degree turns on to a cross runway. Finally a solo is made with an auto tow and a 360 degree pattern.
Bill earned his Silver “C” in a TG-2 while participating in the 1958 US nationals at Bishop, California. He was very active in glider competition from 1967 until 1978 flying a Ka-6BR, HP-14T, and a Standard Libelle. In 1976, Bob Eli and Bill founded the Fault Line Flyers glider club. Bill was inactive in soaring from 1978 until 1999. Since 1999, he has been back in soaring flying a PW-5 in the World Class. Bill has flown the in the last eleven USA World Class Nationals. In 2008 and 2009, Bill won the World Class Nationals. He earned his Diamond distance and Diamond goal in the PW-5. In addition, Bill has set five World records in the World Class, free out and return distance, and free distance, distance to a goal, free three-point distance and maximum FAI triangle distance. In the summer of 2003, Bill flew in the World Class World Championships in Nitra, Slovakia.
Bill’s wife Nancy has supported Bill’s flying habit for over forty years. Nancy is considered by many in the sport, if not the best all round crew, to be the world’s most accomplished trailer backer.
When not soaring, Bill serves as President of Texas Crushed Stone and Chairman of the Board of the Georgetown Railroad.
Dick Mockler: Team Captain
I didn't discover Soaring until I was about 30 years old when, as a bachelor father, I took my three kids to Texas Soaring Assn. for something to do together on the weekends. All of us soloed. The males went on to successfully compete in regional and national contests. My office wall is decorated with 30 Contest medallions. I have had the privilege to count as friends many of the US Soaring greats including Dick Schreder, George Moffat, Wally Scott, Dick Johnson and Charley Spratt. My daughter Deb was my crew until she went off to college and my new wife Lysle took over. I have been TSA president twice and treasurer 5 or 6 times and usually had some role. I was also a SSA Director for two terms. Over the years I have been competition director several times in national, regional and local contests. I unofficially accompanied the US Team to Poland when David was on the team.
Chip Garner: Standard Class (Reserve)
Chip Garner got the soaring bug early and soloed at age sixteen at Hemet in California. Since then he has put on over 4000 gliding hours, competed in over 35 national contests frequently placing in the top three. Chip's recent wins include the 1999 Standard Class, 2001 Open Class and 2005 and 2006 Standard Class. Attracted to competitive soaring for the competitive outlet it provides and the intense mental challenge, Chip has represented the U.S. on four previous world teams. Living in Santa Fe New Mexico, Chip's local field of Moriarty provides excellent conditions. Moriarty based Albuquerque Soaring Club is first in the world in the OLC (Online Contest) League and second in the OLC Classic. Working as a sailplane instrument designer, Chip has been able to develop some of the most compelling new instrument technologies found in most competitive cockpits. Beyond competitive soaring Chip is a member of the Albuquerque Soaring Club.
Phil Gaisford: Club Class (Reserve)
Phil learned to glide in the UK while at high school, using things like disused wartime runways, home-made launch vehicles, piano wire and Skylarks. He soon got interested in competition flying, making the UK team in 1992 and was Swiss national champion in 1993. His wide ranging contest experience includes the UK, France, Switzerland, Germany, Hungary, and since 1994 of course most sections of the US. Phil owns a Discus 2 which he flies with Greater Boston Soaring Club, where he is also the chief flight instructor. When not gliding, he works for a major computer manufacturer, currently working on power and thermal (no not that sort of thermal) management solutions for data centers and servers.
The Standard Class is another class that limits span to 15 meters. In addition, gliders cannot use performance increasing wing flaps, a restriction that tends to make Standard-class gliders a bit less expensive. The Club Class is the handicapped class. Gliders across a reasonably wide range of performance are allowed; each is assigned a handicap based on its performance qualities. The Club Class has its roots in the idea that gliders with mid range performance, while no longer competitive against modern designs, offer an affordable and available alternative. The World Class is the "one-design" class - all pilots must fly the PW-5 "World Class" glider. Tight equipment rules ensure that all gliders are equal in performance. The World Class is a one design class with the PW-5 as the glider of choice. The World Class concept embraces the concept of an affordable, safe and competitive glider. The PW-5 was selected after winning the World Class Glider Competition organized by the FAI.