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SSA Board Meets in Windy City

Current and previous Board Members in Chicago.

Left to Right:  Kellet, Gaffney, Compton, Smith, Tyler, Brickner, Newill, Short, Northcraft, McDaniel, Umphres, Smith, Pixton, Black-Nixon, Dezzutti, O'Callaghan, Sorenson, Weck, McLaughlin.

   The Soaring Society Board of Directors met this week Friday (1/23/09)outside O'Hare Airport to conduct semi-annual business of the Association.  On hand were nearly all board members, and Trustees of the SSA Foundation, and the Soaring Safety Foundation.

   The Annual General Membership meeting was held for informational reports, and the presentation of awards.  Additional awards will be presented at regional venues in this off year of Convention scheduling. Expect a full Awards report in Soaring Magazine.

   Chairman Umphres conducted the Board business in a brisk fashion, yet entertained discussion on items of the 2009 proposed budget, international and domestic rulemaking by agencies, production of Soaring Magazine, contest rules changes, the submission of the US bid for hosting a 2012 World Championships in the US, and member services programs for the coming year. The 2010 Sports Nationals bid was approved for Parowan, Utah.

   The Board approved Bylaw changes resulting from the contraction of Board size due to restructuring and administration.  They acknowledged the changes of terms associated with a gift, and declined to accept the changed terms.  Following the business meeting, the Board joined other members for the awards presentation.

   Past Chairman Dianne Black-Nixon of three terms was presented a retirement gavel.

   Staff Accounting Manager Judy Black was awarded an Exceptional Service notation for reconstructing the financial records of the Association.   Dave Newill was awarded for service in growth and promotions committee efforts. The Sunflower Airport Gift Task Force members were presented with Certificates of Appreciation. 

   Youth members Trace Lewis, Sylvania Soaring Club, and Brad Towne, Caesar Creek Soaring Club,  were honored with Kolstad Scholarships, to further their education in Aeronautics and Mechanical Engineering respectively.

L to R: Umphres, Lewis, Towne, Tyler

   Chris O'Callaghan made a presentation on AOPA's initiative called "Let's Go Flying".  SSA is being invited to partner with AOPA on aspects of this program.  AOPA's focus will not be primarily on creating members, but on initiating student starts in all categories of flying.  This week an AOPA web story premiered aspects of soaring flight of value to all aviators, related to the airliner water landing of last week.  http://www.aopa.org/training/articles/2009/090122gliders.html?WT.mc_id=09012

   Lt. Col. Pravecek, the current manager of the USAFA Soaring Training Program, brought members a current review of equipment and curriculum of programs and advancement and leadership skills achieved in the flight-training program at Colorado Springs.  Each year, about 1100 incoming cadets receive an introductory flight.  Of those, nearly 550 achieve the completion of the 14-flight training program with 20% soloing.  Cadet instructors may upgrade through an 80-flight program, 72 dual, 8 solos, and each semester's 40 new trainers join the sophomore trainers to conduct 94% of the annual 16,500 glider flights.  The current Academy fleet is based on 15 L-13s, a few L-13 Acros and a few Duo Discus and Discus B sailplanes.  The conclusion?  

  " The Academy glider training program turns cadets into air-power advocates."

  Scoffing-at-Winter wardrobe-award recipient was Region 7 Director-at-Large Weck, who arrived in a Hawaiian print short-sleeved shirt for the meetings.  Brrrr.     


C. Brickner, Secretary

Posted: 1/29/2009