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Support the US Women's Team Competing at the 19th FAI WWGC

Make your monetary donation online using the form below - today!

In-kind donations (e.g. airline miles, equipment) are also much needed and appreciated.  If you would like to discuss an in-kind donation, please contact us at mylegacy@ssa.org.

The 19th FAI Women's World Gliding Championships will be held this coming winter in Lake Keepit, Australia. 

You can track the progress of the Women's Team’s preparations and contest reports during the contest at https://ussoaringteams.org

Your contribution, no matter how modest, is important and greatly appreciated!

Donate the cost of just one tow - $45. Spread it over 5 months at just $9/month.

Posted: 4/29/2019


2018 Flight Training Scholarships

Joelle Sherbeck

Age at Award:
Flies at:Soaring Club of Houston
Award:Costello Insurance Primary Training Youth Scholarship

Photo #15023 | JoelleJoelle is a delightful young woman who has been actively pursuing her private license. I (Ken Sorenson) have been her primary instructor at the Soaring Club of Houston. She soloed in Nov 2017 and has been working steadily on her flying and knowledge skills ever since.  We are planning to complete her practical test this Spring or early summer. She is very appreciative of the scholarship she received and is aware of the commitment it implies (as evidenced by her HISD-day support).

 

Progress Log:

Date Comment
 Nov 2017  Solo
   Passed PPG Written

 

Walter W. Young III

Age at Award:
Flies at:Blairstown, PA -
Award:Costello Insurance Primary Training Youth Scholarship

As a young African American and member of the Dr. Forsythe Chapter of Black Pilots of America (BPA), Walter hopes to encourage other minorities to seek careers in aviation,  which is a group that is underrepresented in aviation careers.

Progress Log:

Date Comment
   Solo
   Passed PPG Written

Posted: 4/4/2019


Five Lessons Learned from the Seniors

By Michael Marshall – JWGC 2019 US Team Member Photo #14705 | Give Now

The 29th annual Senior Soaring Championship is finished! Every year, the organizers invite at least one junior pilot to fly the competition as a guest. The combination of a large, very talented field of pilots and dynamic east coast soaring conditions make the Seniors an excellent training ground for European contests. This year, I was fortunate to be invited by Rich Owen to fly the Seniors as a guest in preparation for this year’s Junior World Gliding Championships in Szeged, Hungary where I’ll be flying a Discus-2a in Standard Class. Rich graciously offered me the use of ZO, his personal ASG-29Es for the contest. What a sweet ship!

 Photo #15018 | ZO in its element

ZO in its element! Photo courtesy of Ben Johnson.

I want to share a few lessons learned from the Seniors. I hope you’ll find them useful, whether you’re looking to start soaring cross-country, improve your cross-country soaring skills, or to fine tune your racing. Here goes:

  1. Make a plan before you takeoff (but don’t be afraid to change it) – As a guest, I was last to launch every day. The task committee did an excellent job of designing tasks to use all (or very close to all) of the available soaring weather. This meant I had to takeoff, climb up, and move to my planned starting point in the start cylinder immediately. On the first contest day, I planned when to start, but failed to plan where to start. As a result, instead of focusing on sampling conditions (e.g. trying to determine the average climb rate, which side of the clouds are working, etc.) and lining up clouds for my first leg pre-start, I lost valuable time trying to determine where to start, which brings us to -

  2. You don’t need an optimal start – By spending too much time trying to get an optimal start, you risk being caught below final glide altitude when the day starts to die (e.g. in Florida, as the sea breeze moves in late in the day). I should know; my failure to adequately plan my start before takeoff was one factor that contributed to my safe landout 10 miles short of the finish on the first contest day. Starting 500 feet higher on a 2.5 knot average thermal day saves 2 minutes. On a 1000 point day with a 3 hour task, this equates to less than 12 points (1000 points/180 minutes x 2 minutes < 12 points)! However, you lose 400+ points if you don’t make it home at the end of the day!

  3. Don’t get greedy – It is often tempting to push just a little further to get a few extra miles. For example, on the first contest day, I had final glide made, but it meant returning home 5 minutes under time. Instead, I pushed further south into an encroaching sea breeze to try to squeeze a few extra miles out of the day. I would have lost a few points by returning home under time. Instead, I lost over 400 points in a landout.

  4. Keep your mind (and your eyes) open – Sailplane racing and cross-country soaring require two primary decision making loops. The outer loop focuses on the big picture, like which cloud line to follow or how deep to turn in a turn area. The inner loop complements the outer loop by focusing on the microscale decisions, like centering a thermal or changing flap settings, required to execute the big picture. However, the outer loop is easily compromised, especially during stressful situations. As a result, it is easy to get “tunnel vision” and to forget to continually reevaluate the big picture using the latest information. If you don’t keep your eyes open, you may miss the circling bird (or glider), or the cycling cu, or ________ that may make all the difference. I made several poor tactical decisions – like following dissipating clouds in the lee of lakes near Winter Haven – because I got distracted making microscale decisions and forget to continually reevaluate the big picture.

  5. Know the birds in your area – Not all birds circle in lift (nor do all glider pilots). In Florida, it paid to look for soaring birds like bald eagles to mark good thermals. Other types of birds were hit or miss. And not all species act the same way in every location. You’ll probably turn up empty chasing seagulls in Florida, but the seagulls in Nephi, Utah are surprisingly good thermal markers. A little local knowledge can go a long way, especially when the going gets rough.

My experience at the Seniors wouldn’t have been possible without a huge amount of support from the soaring community. First, I’d like to thank all of the Seniors contestants, contest management, and volunteers for welcoming me to their party. I’d also like to thank Bo Michalowski and Ben Johnson for the outstanding photographs. For those of you that don’t know Ben, he takes air-to-air shots from a Duo Discus to raise money for the US Soaring Team. Thanks also go to Doug Jacobs for flying with me on the third contest day and to my Dad (Don Marshall), Frank Spittel, and Bill Foster for crewing for me throughout the contest. Lastly, special thanks go to Leigh Zimmerman, Pete Alexander, and Rich Owen. Leigh Zimmerman is the mastermind behind getting me to the Seniors; without her, none of this would have been possible. Pete and Rich spent countless hours coaching me and working with me to fine tune my racing skills. In addition, Rich was an incredibly welcoming host who generously offered me the use of his ASG-29Es.

My next stop is the Region 5 North contest. I’m fortunate to have an excellent mentor and coach for the contest in Eric Mozer. We’ll be further fine tuning my east coast soaring skills while sharing his beautiful ASG-32Mi. See you in Perry!

Photo #15019 | My coaches

My coaches - courtesy Bozena Michalowski

Posted: 3/26/2019


Ways to Support the US Soaring Team

Future soaring pilots being mentored

We greatly appreciate the support of our donors through both major gifts and the annual Eagle Fund Drive!

 


 


Contact us at mylegacy@ssa.org or (575) 392-1177 8 am - 5 pm M-F Mountain Time
The SSA (EIN 95-1932120) is a 501(c)(3) Public Charity. Contributions are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.

Posted: 7/21/2018


Ways to Support Junior Soaring

Future soaring pilots being mentored

We greatly appreciate the support of our donors through both major gifts and the annual Eagle Fund Drive!

1.   Scholarships for pre and or post solo flight; and CFI-G ratings Photo #14705 | Give Now

    1. A $50K donation will endow a NAMED scholarship of $2K/year in perpetuity

    2. A $2K donation will fund a NAMED scholarship of $2K for one year

    3. A donation under $2K will be pooled with others of the like to create one scholarship for each $2K collected.  If less than $2k is collected in any one year, it will be rolled over to future years.

    4. An addition to the Gross Cadet Scholarship endowment

    5. An addition to the Bultman Youth Scholarship endowment

2.  Subsidy of Juniors participating in sanctioned SSA Competitions Photo #14705 | Give Now

    1. Donations for this are added to the Rules Committee Junior Competition Endowment. Income from this endowment is used to fund the Junior Rebate program, which subsidizes 90% of contest entry fees and contest tows for Juniors participating in SSA sanctioned competitions.

    2. A donation of $50K or greater would create a NAMED endowment that would operate with the same rules and procedures as the Rules Committee endowment.

3.  Subsidy of Juniors participating in a Junior World Championship  Photo #14705 | Give Now

    1. A donation that can be used up to its entirety (at the discretion of the US Team Committee) for supporting the next JWGC team.

    2. A donation that is added to the underlying endowment, where the yearly income is used to support every future JWGC.

    3. Note that a donation of $50K or greater can create a NAMED endowment that operates with the same rules and procedures as in (2).

    4. An addition to the Mozer Junior Champion Trust.

4.  Donations to the Youth/Junior Committee  Photo #14705 | Give Now

    1. These funds are used to subsidize non-flying costs of operating a Junior Cross Country or Competition Camp (e.g. travel and living for participants and mentors).

5.  A new way of supporting Junior soaring. Photo #14705 | Give Now

    1. A gift of $50K or greater will create a NAMED fund that will operate according to rules mutually agreed between the donor and the SSA. This could be operated as either an endowment (where the annual investment income supports the purpose) or a “use at will” fund.



Contact us at mylegacy@ssa.org or (575) 392-1177 8 am - 5 pm M-F Mountain Time
The SSA (EIN 95-1932120) is a 501(c)(3) Public Charity. Contributions are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.

Posted: 7/20/2018


Why Giving Matters

Future soaring pilots being mentored

We greatly appreciate the support of our donors through both major gifts and the annual Eagle Fund Drive!

The Distant Horizon

We've all heard a lot of talk about the trouble with our sport being that it's full of folks like me -- old folks with funny hats. Trouble? We're the ones who hold the key to soaring's future. We're the ones who've reached the stage in life where we can think about generations to come and what we can do for them. Some of us are lucky enough to be able to provide material help for those who will follow us into the air on silent wings and are fortunate enough to need to be concerned with estate planning. In this regard soaring can help us while we help the future of soaring. Current gifts to the SSA can produce immediate income tax savings. Planned gifts can produce current tax savings while augmenting current income. Other kinds of gifts produce estate tax savings. We're now at a stage in life where we look toward a distant horizon far beyond our own time. The SSA's gaze is also firmly fixed on the long-term.

The Flight Plan

We generally don't leave the ground without some fairly clear plan for the flight. The SSA's has set its course with six major missions foremost in mind. Endowment resources are necessary to assure the success of each of them. Broadly these missions are:

  • Securing Soaring's Future
  • Providing Lifetime Learning
  • Expanding our Opportunities to Soar
  • Fostering America's International Competitiveness
  • Encouraging New Generations of Soaring Pilots
  • Achieving Safer Soaring

To enable Lifetime Learning the SSA must provide a wide range of services and information to the membership. Soaring magazine, web sites, e-mail lists and newsletters are just some of the communications media that must be developed and used. Training materials at all levels from ab initio through advanced cross-country must be developed and disseminated. Access to improved weather services should be provided. Volunteers will require staff support to do these things effectively. Long-term stable resources are a must.

Expanding our Opportunities to Soar requires a long-term program within SSA to help establish new soaring sites and to protect and foster existing ones as air and land spaces become ever more crowded. Your contributions will provide support for site development and preservation programs and help establish capital funds that can be loaned to clubs and commercial operators for related purposes.

Fostering America's International Competitiveness means providing U.S. international teams with ongoing, stable endowment funded support the will permit the participation and training of our very best pilots and the development of a truly world class team.

The SSA is committed to Encouraging New Generations of Soaring Pilots by helping enthusiastic youth enter and blossom in the sport. Your contributions will help the SSA develop programs and scholarships to encourage high-school youths to earn their wings and to help college-aged youth continue learning and soaring through university and local soaring clubs.

Achieving Safer Soaring is an unending task for the SSA and its Soaring Safety Foundation (SSF), undertaken with a goal of making soaring the safest of all sky sports. The Soaring Safety Foundation has a complete program of safety practices and publications. Your contributions will help continue current programs and sponsor future ones.

We greatly appreciate direct gifts of cash, securities, and in the form of planned gifts. We look forward to the opportunity of discussing with you plans for including testamentary gifts to the endowment in your will and other estate planning documents. We hope you will consider establishing charitable trusts for the SSA's benefit and/or participating in the planned giving programs sponsored by several large financial institutions. We'll be delighted to aid you with the appropriate professional assistance that these matters may require.

A major gift endowment gives rise to many opportunities to immortalize the names of donors or other individuals who donors may designate. The Society wishes to maintain the maximum possible flexibility in this regard, and will gladly explore ways of fulfilling donors' wishes. Members' suggestions for naming opportunities are always welcomed.


Contact us at mylegacy@ssa.org or (575) 392-1177 8 am - 5 pm M-F Mountain Time
The SSA (EIN 95-1932120) is a 501(c)(3) Public Charity. Contributions are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.

Posted: 7/18/2018


Tax-Smart Donating - Use Your IRA

Future soaring pilots being mentored

We greatly appreciate the support of our donors through both major gifts and the annual Eagle Fund Drive!

If you will be 70½ by Dec 31st keep reading...

The IRS requires that we take a "Required Minimum Distribution" (RMD) from our IRAs starting in the year we reach 70½.  This amount must be counted as ordinary income on our tax returns.

IRA funds are heavily taxed whenever we draw them out since they are ordinary income. What’s more, the tax burden never goes away – even our heirs will pay income tax on IRA funds they receive from the estate (quite different from stocks they may inherit), and federal estate taxes may apply, as well.

However, once we reach 70½ we are allowed to direct up to $100,000 per year from a regular IRA to a charity an not have to report the amount as income, saving having to pay the taxes on that amount from our IRA! So you get to donate money on which virtually no tax has ever been paid.

There is some fine print (important but not onerous) to be aware of, so PLEASE check with your tax advisor and consult with us on the details before proceeding.

Though it may be tempting to simply write a check to the SSA, the slight extra work of giving from your IRA can be a much more effective donation method in terms of tax savings to you!

CLICK HERE to download a letter you can use to authorize a donation from your IRA.


 


Contact us at mylegacy@ssa.org or (575) 392-1177 8 am - 5 pm M-F Mountain Time
The SSA (EIN 95-1932120) is a 501(c)(3) Public Charity. Contributions are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.

Posted: 7/17/2018


Tax-Smart Donating - Use Appreciated Securities

Future soaring pilots being mentored

We greatly appreciate the support of our donors through both major gifts and the annual Eagle Fund Drive!

Donating Appreciated Securities Enables Larger Donations and Less Taxes than Donating Cash

If you have securities that have appreciated in value, giving them directly to the SSA (rather than selling them first and donating the cash) allows you to receive a tax deduction for your gift without incurring capital gains taxes.

Generally, this method benefits donors who already itemize deductions. However, the exact savings to you depends on multiple things, and you should discuss your specific situation with your tax advisor first.

Below is a general illustration of how this giving method can work.

Your've have generously decided to donate $10,000 to the SSA. You own shares of stock that you bought for $5,000 over a year ago, and today, the shares are worth $10,000. You decide to use this to fund your donation. If you sell the stock and donate the cash, you would end up paying capital gains tax on the $5,000 gain.  If you’re in the highest capital gains tax bracket (20%), the federal tax on the gains would be $5,000*23.8%=$1,190. Depending on what State you live in, there may be additional state taxes. Thus selling the stock and donating the $10,000 in cash would end up costing you at least $11,190.

However, if you donate the shares, you do not have to recognize the gain (thus, you can give the $10,000 without paying the $1,190). The SSA is able to sell the shares at their current market value without having to pay the capital gains tax and thus gets the full $10,000.

Note that in both the cash donation and the stock donation case you get to use the donated amount as an itemized deduction up to the applicable IRS limits (which are different for the cash and stock cases - consult your tax adivisor).

Though it may be tempting to simply write a check to the SSA, the slight extra work of giving appreciated securities can be a much more effective donation method in terms of tax savings for you!

If you wish to donate appreciated securities to the SSA, please contact us for assistance with the required paperwork.
 


Contact us at mylegacy@ssa.org or (575) 392-1177 8 am - 5 pm M-F Mountain Time
The SSA (EIN 95-1932120) is a 501(c)(3) Public Charity. Contributions are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.

Posted: 7/17/2018


Society of Eagles Members as of 4/12/2019

Photo #14700 | Bald Bald Eagles

Aggregate donations of $50,000 or more

  • Clifford P. Robertson, III
  • Anonymous
  • Rudy Kunda
  • Pat Costello
  • Ben Greene Estate
  • Lawrence Wood
  • Robert L. Robertson
  • Conrad Hilton Foundation
  • Burke Family Trust
  • Mozer Family Trust
  • Page Family Trust

   

Photo #14702 | Solitary Solitary Eagles

Aggregate donations of $10,000 or more

  • David Robertson
  • Phil Umphres
  • Dianne Black-Nixon
  • Nelson Ittner
  • AIG Insurance
  • Karl Striedieck
  • Lea County State Bank
  • Leon Brashkamp
  • Doug Jacobs
  • Alice Johnson  
  • Silicon Valley Comm. Bank
  • G. Tim Welles    
  • Sam Zimmerman
  • Kenneth Sorenson
  • John H. Weber
  • John Stoffel

 

   

Photo #14701 | Golden Golden Eagles

Declared intent to donate $50,000 or more

  • Carol Ann Garratt
  • SSA Foundation Trustee
  • Fernando Silva
  • Beth Ann & Paul R. Schneider
  • Christopher Woods
  • Anonymous SSA Mbr

      

Photo #14703 | Tawny Tawny Eagles

Declared intent to donate $10,000 or more

  • Phil Umphres
  • SSA Director
  • Anonymous Region 11 Member
  • Larry Tuohino

 

    

Other Members

Who have declared their intent to donate

  • David Britton      

 

 

 


Contact us at mylegacy@ssa.org or (575) 392-1177 8 am - 5 pm M-F Mountain Time
The SSA (EIN 95-1932120) is a 501(c)(3) Public Charity. Contributions are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.

Posted: 7/12/2018