Saturday, Feb. 18, 2006, Elgin, IL

I spotted this event in Soaring Magazine. John DeRosa, Scott Wolf and the crew at CLGC really did a tremendous job putting this event together. The venue was the Elgin Community College Business Conference Center in Elgin, IL. The auditorium was comfortable and the food was great, but the big attraction was the speakers: some of the most recognizable names in the sport. The program was definitely a bargain, and certainly worth the drive. Consider supporting this event in 2007. There was a dinner scheduled after the event. That's where all these photos were taken.
George Moffat literally "wrote the book" on this sport, and it was a great priviledge to be able to be with him at this event. George described a systematic approach to help low to medium-time pilots could improve their skills. He was signing his latest book, "Winning II", and the line was so long that it almost delayed the rest of the program. It's amazing the things you can pick up when "hanging" with some of the world's best glider drivers. George described the glider pilot's "Dream Vacation" - flying the French Alps. And actually, it's relatively inexpensive. Here's the link to the French National Gliding Centre if you're interested.
Tom Knauff spoke frankly about safety. He challenged glider pilots to improve the safety record, stating that "what we do is not that difficult." Tom is highly qualified to speak on the subject, since his "Ridge Soaring" operation in Pennsylvania has an excellent safety record. Tom challenged pilots to improve their knowledge of and appreciation for safety issues, and to take their responsibilities seriously. His admonition: "read, review, train."
Burt Compton has to be one of the most personable pilots you will ever meet. Burt operates Marfa Gliders in Marfa, TX, the site of several US National Contests in the 1960's and 70's, and the World Soaring Championship in 1970. Burt discussed aspects of Soaring safety, with special attention to safety issues when soaring "Out West", where the best soaring months are May through October, and cloudbase heights can reach to 18,000 feet. Burt thinks that flying right here in the Midwest is the best place to learn how to fly "cross-country".
Curt Lewis, pictured here on the right, gave an impassioned presentation on Buying That First Glider. Curt covered absolutely all the bases. Hopefully CLGC will post his PowerPoint slides, which proivide a comprehensive checklist for sailplane shopping. Curt is a former President of CLGC. One of the great things about attending meetings of other clubs is that you get to meet great local soaring personalities. Curt flies with his son, Trace, who soloed on his fourteenth birthday in 2004. That's John DeRosa, CLGC's current President, pictured at center.