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SSA Elections Underway

Region 2 Candidates:

Louis Fitzpatrick

I joined Philadelphia Glider Council in 1989 and learned to soar. I have served on the Board of Directors, Finance Committee and President and as the current Vice President. I serve as the Chief CFI-G and as a member of the Safety Committee. I am part owner of an ASW-19B and have over 600 hours of flight time. Most weekends find me splitting time between instruction and cross-country.

Best practices developed within clubs and FBO's need to be shared. Membership growth and perhaps even more importantly, membership retention are key areas for membership growth development. We need to learn from each other, but better communications must be established, not only within each Region, but across the SSA. As an example, PGC has devoted a lot of energy over the last several years in growing the size of the club and developing strong programs to serve the members' needs. Instruction standardization and a proactive safety stance have been critical. We have developed a mentor program to help the newbie and our participation at the Willow Grove NAS air show each year has aided in membership recruitment. The instruction staff has been grown over the last several years. We have worked hard to obtain a near 100% pass rate and developed a good rapport with the FAA. Current projects are implementation of cross-country instruction and an intra-club competition.

My business experience at Johnson & Johnson provides me with a strong skill set that would allow me to contribute to the goals of the SSA leadership. I have extensive experience in project management, business planning and team building.
My vision in serving on the SSA is to work for the same goals on the Regional and National level that have been achieved at PGC: increase the retention rates and grow the sport. This can only be accomplished with energy and improved communications. Regional Directors must be accessible and responsible to the SSA members.

John Godfrey

I soloed in 1966 at age 16 as the beneficiary of a CAP scholarship and discovered soaring in 1983. Since that time I have owned a Libelle, ASW-20 and now an ASW-27B. Before becoming based at Ridge Soaring, I was an active member of the Butler Soaring Club in Region 3 and served as Treasurer for several years. My soaring achievements are to date modest (Commercial glider, PASMEL, Diamond distance and goal, 5 regionals with unremarkable performance).
If elected I look forward to proactively discovering and promoting the interests of the individual, club and commercial members in Region 2.

Additionally, I see two key issues facing our sport: growing the membership and protecting our airspace use. Without the responsibilities of instructing or club operations, I plan to devote more time to SSA matters than might otherwise be possible. To support my soaring, I am the Vice President of Customer Support for a publicly held software company.


Thomas Knauff

I have been flying since 1968 and am a co-founder of Ridge Soaring Gliderport in Julian, PA. I am a Life member of the SSA and have served on the SSA Board of Directors in the past and also on the Soaring Safety Foundation. I am an FAA Pilot Examiner for gliders and an Aviation Safety Counselor as well as an SSA Instructor.

I have many state, national and world soaring records and in 1983 established the world's longest goal and return flight of 1647 kilometers. I have also written glider flight training manuals to train people and help them enjoy the sport more.

If elected, I would work to make the organization stronger by fostering and promoting the sport, increase membership, protect our airspace and make our sport safer for the future of our soaring community.

Region 5 Candidate


Billy Singleton

A member of the SSA since 1985, Billy Singleton has served on the Board of Directors for the past five years and currently serves as Chairman of the Soaring Safety Foundation and Editor of the Sailplane Safety Newsletter. An active flight instructor for the past twenty-three years, Billy is an FAA Pilot Examiner for gliders in Alabama and Mississippi. He also serves as an Aviation Safety Counselor and SSA instructor in his home state of Alabama. Billy is a member of the Birmingham Soaring Society and the Alabama Wing of the Civil Air Patrol.

Access to airspace, increased regulation and security, and soaring safety are examples of the many challenges to be faced by members of the soaring community in the future. To meet these and other challenges, the Board of Directors of the Soaring Society of America must work to make the organization strong, responsive and representative of the needs of all members. Billy would greatly appreciate the opportunity to represent Region Five in these and other issues as a member of the SSA Board of Directors.

Region 7 Candidates


Bob Nady

Bob learned to fly (in gliders) in a Slingsby T21b Sedbergh in India in 1966. Upon returning to the USA he joined a local club, earned his glider commercial and CFIG in 1969, both of which have been current since. He has been a glider pilot examiner since 1978 and has served the DSM FSDO as an Aviation Safety Counselor for many years.

Bob thought long and hard about returning to soaring some of what had been such an enjoyable avocation. To fulfill this, he was elected to the SSA Board of Directors in 1990. Activities have included chair of the Club and Chapter Committee, and he has been very active with the Civil Air Patrol joint efforts with both cadet encampments as well as the SSA-CAP Steering Committee. Bob would like to serve another term on the Board.


Steven P. Wasilowski

Steve Wasilowski has been flying airplanes since 1972 and gliders since 1992. In addition to his DG300, Steve owns an award-winning 1948 Luscombe.
Steve currently serves as Director at Large for the SSA. In that role he chaired the ad hoc Speaker's Committee for the 2002 SSA Convention. He has agreed to serve in this role again for the 2003 Convention in Dayton, Ohio.
Until 2000 Steve held the post of club secretary, vice president, and president for Sky Soaring Glider Club, Hampshire, Illinois. As an officer of Sky Soaring Glider Club, Steve was deeply involved in saving Sky Soaring Airport from liquidation and commercial development.

Steve has served as Illinois state governor of the Soaring Society of America. In that capacity he organized the first SSA Town Meeting.

Steve has more than twenty years of banking and real estate experience. He is currently responsible for appraisal services, environmental due diligence and construction loan risk management for commercial real estate at The Northern Trust Company, Chicago.

Steve earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Architecture from the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee in 1977. Steve has served on various civic boards including the Elgin Board of Education and the City of Elgin/Metra Rail Task Force.

Steve is running for a board seat in order to help foster the sport of soaring and help make the SSA more responsive to the needs of recreational glider pilots.

Region 8 Candidate


Stephen Northcraft

As I reflect upon my over 10 years as the Region 8 Director, it is interesting to note a few changes in the SSA. When I became a Director, the average tenure of the Directors was well over 10 years; today the average is closer to 5. Communication to the membership was solely through Soaring. Today the SSA has what is arguably the most accessed soaring web page in the world with over 10,000 hits/week, and is recognized as the source for soaring information. The web and e-mail have given even the smallest voice an economical forum for expressing their opinions to the Directors and the membership. Gone are the days, and expense, of mass mailing to get your point across — as the recent controversy over the computer system has more than adequately demonstrated.

Where will the SSA be in another 10 years? It will be interesting to see. The SSA continues to struggle with dwindling resources and an increasing demand for services. What some see as solutions, others see as problems. The challenge to resolve these issues and move the SSA forward is before all of us. As your chosen representative, I will continue to serve you in shaping the direction and future of the SSA.

Region 10 Candidate


Dean Carswell

Dean Carswell has represented Region 10 since 2000. He has been President, and is presently Chief Flight Instructor of Texas Soaring Association. He lives in Midlothian, Texas with his wife Tammie; both Tammie and his daughter Lindsay are also certified glider pilots.

He has twice been awarded the SSA Exceptional Service Award, first in 1998 for compiling and editing the 1997 Sailplane Directory, and again in 2002 for developing the SSA Master Instructor Cross-Country Program. He is a frequent contributor to Soaring Magazine, including collaboration with Dick Johnson in his flight test evaluation reports, and is the author of the new Cross-Country Handbook for Students.

His 2,700 hours of soaring experience include an FAI Gold badge with two Diamonds. He is a regular presenter of the Soaring Safety Foundation's Flight Instructor Review Clinics presented at several locations around the U.S. each winter. As the SSA's Chief Master Instructor, he is responsible for the Master Instructor Cross-Country Program.

If re-elected to the Board of Directors of the SSA, Dean intends to maintain his focus primarily on safety, training and other operational issues as well as representing the members of Region 10 and helping resolve regional problems.

Region 12 Candidates


Cindy Brickner

Beginning in 1974, Cindy worked the counter at a soaring school. Two years of intermittent part time there, under three businesses, networked into a full-time position at SSA headquarters in Santa Monica in 1977. Cindy advanced from receptionist through member services, was the “Badge Lady†and lastly, Advertising Director for Soaring Magazine, until 1984 when SSA moved.

Cindy was a private pilot 1976 to 1990. She volunteered and managed several Regional contests, crewed and soared for fun. In 1990, Cindy opened Caracole Soaring at California City, added Commercial, then CFI-G, and tow endorsement and finished Diamond Badge 852. A few of her cross-country flights netted National records. In 13 years at California City, her FBO has hosted 12 Regionals, 10 wave camps, Spring safety seminars, Wings programs, 25 Boy Scout intro flight days, and seen zero school/renter glider accidents.

Cindy would like to see better representation of the student/renter recreational pilot's interests and the FBOs on the Board. This doesn't mean she neglects cross-country or racing points of view! An outreach by SSA to under-5-year members and to the public is needed to show the value and viability of the SSA, and continue its health and services in coming years. “Few in the Region would know the recreational, business and administrative sides of soaring as I do, and are able to serve,†says Cindy.


Hannes Linke

I was first introduced to the joy of soaring as a young man of nearly 15, growing up in Germany. Once I had taken my first ride in 1953, I knew that soaring was what I wanted to pursue. Like many others I was hooked from the very beginning and began my flight training almost immediately. Following my initial training and achieving solo flight, I continued by working on the badges and eventually became a certified flight instructor. I moved to the U.S. in 1963 and took up residence in Southern California.

In 1964 I joined the SSA and continued my love of flying. Recreational flying is great but competitive flying has come to take up a lot of my involvement with the sport. I have served as Competition Director for the Smirnoff Derby, the Hitachi Masters of Soaring, the Barron Hilton Cup and the World Gliding Championships. I have continued to be involved as a Steward at the last four World Gliding Championships. For the 38 years I have been involved with the SSA I have served the last 14 as the Region 12 Director. I have enjoyed my service to Region 12 and wish to continue to serve for another term. If re-elected I would represent this Region and the sport of soaring in Southern California.


Posted: 8/22/2002 By: General News

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