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Labor Day GTA Race

Chilhowee Soaring hosted the annual Labor Day Georgia-Tennessee-Alabama (GTA) regional sailplane contest and announced today the winner of the three-day event was Bill Elliot, flying his Schleicher ASW-27 “WE” to a cumulative score of 2,545 points. “It was great fun as well as quite challenging weather”, Bill stated, “The first day put all but one of the pilots on the ground short of the finish as the lift died early in the afternoon, but the last two days made up for it with really great conditions. Chilhowee is always a wonderful location to soar and the hospitality makes for an even more enjoyable event.” Tasks for the event ranged from a 113-mile course encompassing Chilhowee, Monroe, McMinn, and Hardwick airports, all the way up to a 217-mile triangle course with turnpoints at Sevierville, TN and Dalton, GA. Eleven pilots participated in the weekend event, including US Soaring Team members Dick Butler (Open Class), Francois Pin (World Class) and Dave Stevenson (Club Class) who will be competing in Europe next year at the World Soaring Competitions. More information on the US Soaring Team may be found here.

The GTA Race Series is an informal competition; more or less a group of friends that get together around 6-8 weekends a year and fly cross-country. Pilots crew for one another, fly at several sites, share experiences and learn from one another (including several that have flown in Regional, National and International competitions), enjoy great camaraderie, and have a blast together. Newcomers and visitors are always welcome. Races are scored individually each day with a possible maximum of 1000 points. We schedule about 18-23 race days in a season [weather only permits us about 10-16 days]. For season winners we count only the best days, so you don't have to attend all of them. Each season ends with Trophies handed out for both Classes at an Awards dinner. Some pilots use the GTA as a stepping stone or practice for sanctioned regional and national competitions; others just to fly cross-country with friends. Several pilots come with families who hang out together while we race; others come and rely on the rest of us to crew for them. Either way it is fun and relaxed. Many fine racing days end around a campfire and BBQ. More information on the GTA Race Series may be found here. More information on soaring and sailplane racing may be found at www.ssa.org.

Chilhowee Gliderport has offered rides, instruction, and towing since the late 1970ús. It is a great place to come spend the day watching the beauty of soaring, hitching a ride, or the start point for a long cross-country flight. Chilhowee is nestled in the scenic foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Open year round, pilots will find with good thermal soaring spring through fall, excellent ridge lift fall through spring, and occasional wave flying. Chilhowee has excellent cross-country potential for those seeking that ultimate flying adventure. A powerful Pawnee towplane will quickly launch your sailplane and FAA certified commercial glider pilots provide rides. Primary instruction for the new pilot or transition training for the current power pilot who wants to add a glider rating to their license is also available Family recreation makes it enjoyable for pilots and family alike, with nearby hiking, swimming, white water rafting and trout fishing on the scenic Hiawassee & Ocoee rivers. Scenic campgrounds, rustic bed & breakfast as well as comfortable hotel lodging are all available nearby.

More information may be found at www.chilhowee.com or by calling (423) 338-2000.

Posted: 9/8/2005 By: General News

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