Aero Club Albatross Seminars

2020 Aero Club Albatross Seminar | Risky Ridges!

The slides/notes for all the 2020 lectures are available here.

Karl will describe the numerous ways in which ridge flying can go wrong. Karl has captured nine World records on the ridges, including an exceptional 1362.68 km triangle distance. As a racing pilot, Karl has been National Champion 17½ times, represented the US Team at 13 World Gliding Championships, and is a member of the US Soaring Hall of Fame.

When the ridge is not working well, what do you do about it? Robert Cook (Cookie) will discuss the options and solutions when the ridge conditions deteriorate. Cookie is an experienced CFI, with over 30 years and 5500 hours instructing gliding and soaring. He has completed two Diamonds in a club 1-34.

Jonathan will lead a discussion on the challenges and process of transitioning from one section of ridge to another. Transitions are often the most difficult stages of ridge flying, requiring experience and judgment to do safely and efficiently. Jonathan is an experienced ridge pilot, having flown and competed in hang-gliders and sailplanes since the 1970s. His accomplishments include a 500 mile flight in a 1-26!

Bill Thar will lead a discussion on preparation and task planning for ridge flights. Ridge flying requires a tremendous amount of technical knowledge in order to be prepared for all stages of a ridge flight. Bill will point out the tools to build your situational awareness and set your expectations for your ridge flying. Bill Thar is an accomplished soaring pilot, having completed many long ridge flights, including a 750km FAI triangle.

What makes a ridge work? Erik will present on how ridge shape, wind speed and direction interact to make lift. Next, he will discuss safety and traps such as illusions when maneuvering in close proximity to the terrain, box canyons, and more. Erik Mann is a long-time CFI and an accomplished racing and record pilot, Barron Hilton Cup winner, who also completed a 1000km Diploma.

Richard Kellerman, our regional weather expert will show us what a good ridge day looks like, what to pay attention to in the weather models and how the weather go wrong. Richard is an accomplished racing pilot, Barron Hilton Cup winner, won several competitions and completed a 1000km Diploma.

2019 Aero Club Albatross Seminars

The slides/notes for all the 2019 lectures are available here.

Gliding to Soaring: Thermalling Techniques by Robert Cook

Robert Cook (Cookie) will introduce the fine art of thermal soaring. He will present thermalling in the simplest terms for beginners and the tactics and strategies of finding and exploiting this important form of lift. Cookie is an experienced CFI, with over 30 years and 5500 hours instructing gliding and soaring. He has completed two Diamonds in a club 1-34.

Reading the Sky by Erik Mann

What do you do when you climb up in a thermal? Now you have to go find the next one! Erik Mann will discuss the strategy for finding thermals, how to read clouds and the ground to best increase the odds to climb up once more. Erik Mann is a long-time CFI and a successful racing and record pilot, who has also completed a 1000km Diploma. 

Learning to Train by Ron Schwartz

May the Schwartz be with you! But just how do you get the Schwartz in your cockpit? By practicing of course! Ron will teach practical training techniques that you can use to improve your flying. Ron aka: The Schwartz is a seven time 1-26 Champion and successful ridge pilot, having completed a 1000km diploma flight in his 1-26.

Your First Competitions by Hank Nixon

Once you learn to go cross country, what better way to put your skills to the test than by racing? Glider competitions are a great way to develop soaring skills in a fun environment with experienced pilots and mentors. Hank will introduce how to get involved in the competition racing scene. Hank is a successful racing pilot, having won several National competitions and represented the US at World Gliding Championships.

Advanced Ridge Soaring Technique with Karl Striedieck

Karl will discuss the nuances of how to fly the ridge faster and farther. The discussion will be moderated by William Thar, an experienced Aero Club Albatross ridge pilot, with opportunities for Q/A with the audience. Karl has captured nine World records on the ridges, including an exceptional 1362.68 km triangle distance. As a racing pilot, Karl has been National Champion 17½ times, represented the US Team at 13 World Gliding Championships, and is a member of the US Soaring Hall of Fame.

Soaring Convergences Lines with Michael Opitz

Michael will present on convergence lift. On the theory of how they form, reading the sky to spot their features and how to soar this exciting form of lift. Mike has represented the US Team in three World Championships, placing 2nd at the 1987 WGC in Australia. A successful National competitor, Mike has won two US national competitions and is a leading force at the Nutmeg Soaring Club in Freehold, NY.

Multiprocessing with Doug Jacobs

Doug will explain the decision-making process in the demanding art of cross-country racing. He will present his 3/30/3/30 cognitive model for managing and prioritizing decisions and maintaining situational awareness. Doug has represented the US Team in nine World Championships, earning the Gold at the 1985 15 meter class World Gliding Championship in Rieti and two Bronze medals in 1987 and 1991 respectively. He is a 14-time US National Champion and member of the US Soaring Hall of Fame.

Flying Faster with John Good

John will examine cross-country optimization techniques, especially associated with Speed-to-Fly theory. He will explain some issues with classic MacCready theory and how an understanding of these can lead to better cross-country speeds in thermal conditions. John has coached the US Team and is the current holder of ten US National Records. John has been a member of the US Team at many World Gliding Championship events, serving as crew, Team Captain and report author.  He was the Deputy Championship Director/ Task-setter at the 2012 WGC in Uvalde, Texas and brings a wealth of international rules knowledge as Captain.

2018 Wave Seminar

Wave Theory/Mechanics with John Bird

Discussion about how wave and rotor work. How do the fluids work? What determines if a wave will propagate?