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The SSA booth has become a rallying point for SSA members to stop by to meet their friends and share their thoughts and comments with Burt and Kathie. A video player attracts many of the younger set who are amazed when they see the excitement of a real sailplane chase in the movie “Dawn Flightâ€. Middle-age pilots, or those wanting to become pilots, stop by to ask how they can get started in soaring in their locale and how they can add a glider rating to their current rating. Older pilots stop by to reminisce about soaring experiences they had in their earlier lives and talk about how they want to get back into soaring. For each of these categories Burt and Kathie (and other SSA volunteers who stop by to help in the booth) have answers that make them feel welcome in the sport. They suggest membership in SSA and reading of Soaring magazine, SSA.Org or Glidingmagazine.Com as regular ways to keep up on developments and to read about exciting events in the soaring world.

This year there are again sailplanes on the Oshkosh flight line where interested people can stop by and actually touch a sailplane up close. The representatives for the planes are happy to talk about the features of their particular sailplane, and they probably spend even more time talking about the generalities of glider flying and, once again, promoting the SSA. The sailplanes on exhibit span the spectrum in size and weight from the Stemme S-10VT to the lightweight Apis kit sailplane.

The Apis, in particular, is symbolic of the new move of general aviation toward simple lightweight aircraft, including sailplanes. The location of the Apis by the main Flight Line Entrance attracts a spectrum of people, and specifically attracts younger people with its modern looks, simplicity, low price and good performance. Robert Mudd, its representative in the US and a long-time SSA member from Ohio, is careful to answer questions from prospective buyers, or just from prospective people at Oshkosh who are attracted to the sport by seeing such an aircraft.


Posted: 8/4/2003 By: General News

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