Winter 2009 Newsletter

L-33: Everyone who has flown the Blanik L-33 likes it. Jerry Mowbray showed us the installation in his L-33 and we installed the oxygen tank, regulator, and battery in a similar fashion. We have a new Becker transponder and encoder coming which will be installed in place of the clock on the instrument panel. We will tow the Blanik to Stead for the installation.
BLUE TOW: We have a new starter which Kelly Aerospace replaced for us free and we bought a new oil cooler and the prop should be coming this week. Hopefully we’ll have Blue in operation in a couple of weeks.
FINANCIAL: Sierra Fliers LLC has $247 in the bank and NSA has the $15000 CD plus $17646 in the checking account. After we pay for the transponder and installation we should end up the year close to $15000. Most income and expenses are in for the year.
NORMA BURNETTE has been keeping the albums current for ASI. She would like some photos of people and happenings this summer such as Thermal Camp,
Sports Class, etc. for the album. Norma doesn’t have email so you’d have to mail photos to her that she could put in the albums. Her address is: 1285 Baring Blvd #192, Sparks, NV 89434.
FUEL PAD: COOT (Roger Harris) was the project leader in forming and pouring the cement pad for the tow planes at the fuel pit so the planes can be taxied closer to the pump. Goose, Chukar, and Blackhawk helped out. It came out very nice.
CROW (Frank Waxham) made a lot of connectors to our Blanik and new batteries.
BISHOP: Somehow word has gotten out that pilots could sign up for Bishop and now we have 5 pilots for the early camp 23-26 June and 3 pilots for the later camp 27-30 June, of which 4 are NSA members. I suggest you email Chukar at: or let
me know some other way which camp you would like to attend. This in no way obligates you but will give you priority if you attend. We have a request for 1 club glider for the later camp. At this point we will not schedule anyone for the whole weekend of 26-27 June and you‘ll be expected to crew one day.
Ed Putnam is still trying to get prices to paint 09H, the 1-26.
Wave: We have had a couple of good days wave soaring from ASI. Skimmer got the L-33 to 14000’ and had to stop from going higher because the oxygen wasn’t installed and Stoney and Alan Young got the ASK-21 to 18000‘. Stoney will check you out in wave in the ASK-21 for $25/hour plus tow which is an absolute steal for club members.
TRAGEDY: We just learned of the accident involving Hal Chouinard. Hal flew in all of our Sports Class Contests. He was an easy going pilot and always seemed happy and he was a friend to all of us. We will indeed miss him.


1.  FAA Certificate number  2.  Glider ratings  3.  Flight Review date  4. Date of Birth

at: or at:  Pete Casti, 7847 Cadiz Ct, Sparks, NV 89436

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Drake says, "Gladiator Skimmer returns triumphant."









The following is from Doug Morton of Bighorn Soaring Club in Wyoming. We checked out Doug at NSA a few years ago. He was asked about their ground launch procedure.We have been doing auto launch with a pickup and 1500 foot hollow braid rope. We have a tow hook that fits into a 2 inch tow receiver. The rope we have been using is old and weak and although it has been good to get us started we have now purchased a 3/8 inch green twisted braid 1800 foot rope. We are hoping to get 1 to 1.2 thousand feet agl. It won,t be high enough for reliable soaring (although I have had long soaring flights in the 1-26 off 900 to 1000 foot auto launches) but we are hoping to decrease the cost of training and have some fun on poor lift days. Doug
From Stew Crane:
In the early 60’s in NSA, before my pop (Ltc [Ret] Bill “Pappy” Crane) bought the first tow plane (a Super Cub), we only ground launched.
We flew off of what we called “Glider Valley”, the dry lake west of the range west of Stead. It is bordered on the south, curving west and around north to the Bordertown Club by highway 395. It is now called Cold Springs.
We towed with Buick convertibles (about 1955’s or ’56’s I seem to remember) with automatics. My pop got some braided steel tow target cable from XXX??? (unofficially, Stead AFB), 3/8ths diameter, I think. We used 2,000 feet and attached a pilot parachute near the glider end (like on a winch cable, to keep the cable from coiling up and tangling after glider release). We had plenty of room to tow west and curve around to the north paralleling 395. Would start towing at the SE side of the dry lake, back up against the base of the ridge (which we ridge soared on 3-4 afternoons a week).
With a 2,000 foot cable, the best altitude we could do was about 1,100 feet AGL. We’d release and hightail it from the NW side of the dry lake over to the ridge and start ridging – unless we hooked a thermal on the way across. A not totally unusual occurrence.
A good car driver could continue driving in a circle as the pilot chute gently let the glider end of the cable drift earthward, and, deposit the hookup end just a few yards from the next launch. We always had a backwards facing safety observer. What I can’t remember is if we hooked the cable to the rear bumper with a release or had it bolted.
Sometime in the mid-later 60’s, Carl Herold towed off with his KA-6 on a blustry day. About halfway back across the lake after release, he hooked a thermal in the pre-frontal instability that took him to 13K or so. In that window he picked up some secondary off the range bordering Sierra Valley to the west, that took him on up, and as the front was just passing, he climbed in it and went N.E. with it across Nevada. At one point he guestimated his groundspeed over 200. He worked all the way across NV and northern UT and turned north, south of Pinedale, WY in another completely different WX system. Said he was in the mid-hi 20’s under an anvelhead in smooth lift. He landed at Jackson Hole, WY.
After paying the gas bill for that retrieve, he said THAT was his last out only flight. He always tried to do Out and Return after that.
We’ve got a lot of projects coming up: waxing gliders, repacking parachutes, weight and balance, websites, new rudder locks, and much more.
We need your help.
Fly Safe, Have Fun.


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