2017 LASS Season is Passed and Was Fun!

2017 LASS Season is Passed and Was Fun!

Let’s start with what’s changed:

Not too much, we gained a few pilots and lost a few, membership of actual active soaring pilots stayed stable.  Then came September, schools bussing kids in for cross country events in the evenings…. as in approx 200 cars parked on the flying field, grid lock for all who wanted to get into the park for any reason and in general some frustration.  We have contacted the person in charge of permits and made our frustration known, apparently many park users have also called.  He told us that parking on the field is not allowed and meetings will be held with the schools to change that part of their actions.  We explained that in the past we have flown while the kids ran, since they run on the perimeter and we fly from the field not over it.  But that single school use expanded to multi-same evening usage causing the parking problem.  More to come on this topic.

RC Sailing!
Our Vice President Marc found a new pond in his area (Norton Commons) that is perfect for sailing the big rc sailboats, no weeds no fishing line and a great drop in place that has clearance for the boat’s deep keels.  Well I had one but Marc wasn’t interested, then we sailed mine and he was hooked!  Turns out that about 5 of us had sailboats but because there was nowhere to conveniently sail them, they had been collecting dust in garages and basements.  Didn’t take long before we were on the pond on days when it was too windy or the park was too busy to fly!  We don’t race but we do chase and occasionally play tag by gently smashing into each other! :-) As you can see from the photo (taken by commodore Ron Allen:-) the boats are gorgeous on the water.

IMG_3975What didn’t change:

We all had a lot of rc soaring on our field. Challenges were the grass cutting, heat, wind.

Pilot skills in general improved significantly, likely due to getting more flying time in due to electric launch models and interest in Task Soaring (contests).  Our “Two Channel” club event took the biggest hit, but so did our club ALES event since most of the guys were gone to ALES events in Dayton or Columbus.

Big Club Contests Held in 2017:
DerbySoar 2107  was held at Hayes Kennedy but on a different field, it was a success weather wize and attendance wize, the formerly known as the BlueGrass Mid America Champs held in Lexington by the Bluegrass Soaring club was taken over by us since their club has disbanded due to lack of participation and their flying site was turned into a corn field :-(.  We held it on our club field with the help of the Dayton club and again we had great weather and attendance so our treasury has grown, and maybe for the first time we carried a surplus over after usual club expenses/fees into 2018!  So we are in good shape for this coming season.


Big Club Events for 2018!

We  be hosting the DerbySoar on our field (June 23&24) which is an Unlimited Mixed Launch Thermal Duration two day contest, same as last year….as well as the Mid Am Soaring Champs (September 15&16) to be held on our club field at Charlie Vettiner Park, Louisville (Also Unlimited Mixed Launch Thermal Duration)

(Unlimited Mixed Launch Thermal Duration is a combination of electric and winch launch models flown side by side.  The E-launch models have a device which limits their launch height to 150m and they are urged to have their altitude reached prior to reaching the line created vertically by the winch turnaround pulleys, so E-launched models are not allowed to go driving around during their 30 second motor run to altitude.)

New Big Club Contest for 2018 – Chi/Lou F5J Event

For 2018 we will be hosting (in conjunction with some of the Chicago club members) an F5J USA Tour Event May 19 & 20th.  (F5J is electric launched sailplanes, where launch altitude is penalized for a 10 minute flight task, a pilot loses 1 point per 2 meters from his hand to motor shut off. A recording display device in the model is read upon landing to indicate at which altitude the pilots motor was shut off, (read 10 seconds after actually).  The device also shuts off the motor if 30 seconds of run time are exceeded, the idea is to see who can get a max flight of 10 minutes from the lowest starting altitude).  This is a new-ish class and a test event for us.  We are calling it the Chi/Lou F5J.

Club 2 Channel and Ales weekend events : At least 4 of us are again planning on attending monthly contests in Ohio etc, so likely our club contest activity is over unless conditions and schedules and weather cooperate.  In any case we are planning to enjoy a lot of rc soaring this season (and RC Sailing!), mostly evenings and weekends.

You can reach me with questions or dates and times etc at GordySoar@aol.com

Photo taken by Tom Rhodes (Iphone 4) in the evening  this past summer while I was doing first hand toss flight tests on a Vladimir Models Maxa winch model (156″ span pure rc sailplane, no motor!).  I managed to catch a small thermal and just as Tom snapped the photo, a hot air balloon lifting off in the distance, moved into the frame.


IMG_3346 6

2016 DerbySoar is in the bag!

2016 DerbySoar is in the bag!


27904918425_3dbe5e8a3b_n IMG_00146 DerbySoar2016_front

It was HOT, held at Hays Kennedy Park this past weekend of June 24,25,26. RES and ALES Friday then two days of Unlimited Mixed Launch TD. Awards included a Louisville Slugger engraved bat for the Over-all TD Champion and the famous and unique Louisville Slugger Home Plate award for the top landing two day scores.

Jerry Shape earned the Bat for the third year in a row







Tulsa visitor D.O. Darnell took the Home Plate home flying an E-launch ship.







Norm Potti took RES







I won ALES








The club members really stepped it up a notch to get the contest set up and run and packed up. Steve and Kathy Gammons really went above and beyond learning the scoring program, setting up the scoring tent, etc and doing all the work, plus creating the winners’ trophies!

Their son kept the event going by organizing the line retrieval system, then drove the cart and trained Wisdom, our other helper.27292365024_5101136db2_b






John took an amazing amount of great photos and worked his tail off from start to finish.  Click on DerbySoar2016 to reach the link to all his photos.


Ron Allen had cataract surgery but came out to do what he could almost straight from the hospital!

Shaun stopped by to see if he was needed both days.

AJ from Bluegrass Soaring came through to help as needed as well as supplying a turnaround.

Will we do it again next year? YES!



Here’s a list of OVSS contests in the MidSouth area.

Download it here: 2016 Mid South Soaring Contest Schedule



2, 3 Toledo Ohio Toledo Model Show

16, 17 Delmont PA ESL/OVSS Combined TD Contest

23, 24 Dayton DARTS Club TD

30 Iowa Misty Meadows OVSS TD (Second day May 1)

May 1 Iowa Misty Meadows OVSS TD


7,8 Tullahoma Coffee Airfoiler’s ALES (Mother’s Day)

14, 15 Dayton DARTS Club TD

28, 29 Greenville SC 29 Memorial Day Mid South 


4, 5 St Louis MVSS Gateway Open Mixed Launch TD

11, 12 Fairborne OH MOSS,DARTS Joint ALES #1

18, 19 USA Father’s Day

24,25, 26 Louisville LASS Derby Soar ALES, RES, Mixed Launch TD 


2, 3, 4 USA Independence Day Weekend

16, 17 Dayton DARTS Unlimited TD

27, 28 Muncie Unlimited NATS

30, 31 Muncie ALES NATS


13, 14 Dayton DARTS Club TD

20, 21 Lafayette IN Cloud Jockey’s

27, 28 Chicago SOAR Mixed Launch TD


3, 4,5 USA Labor Day

10, 11 Lexington Mid-America Soaring Championships

(F3K Team Select Muncie)

17, 18 Muncie Masters & Nos Muncie

24,25 Fairborne OH MOSS/DARTS ALES

24, 25 Shelbyville The Bruce F3K (DLG)


1, 2 Muncie OVSS Fall Roundup

15, 16 Dayton DARTS Club TD 

28, 29, 30 Ocala, FL Tangerine Soaring Masters, ALES & Mixed Launch TD

2016 Club Contest Series Off to a Great Start!

2016 Club Contest Series Off to a Great Start!

Photo from our first club fly, February

Photo from our first club fly, February (I’m the one taking the photo!)               LtoR – Shaun, Marc, he who must be un-named, Steve, Ron, Tom


Club contest CD’s Steve Gammons (2Ch) and Marc Marcum (ALES) stepped up and got things going as planned!
Steve kicked off with an ambitious 2ch start on March 13th but weather cancelled us.
But he brought home a home run for April with 5 pilots, 4 rounds and really good weather.
Marc started his season on April 2, and again good weather and 5 rounds!
Steve is in-it-to-win-it again this season, putting in lots of practice for both events and his scores so far show it.
(he dominated last season too!)
We will attempt 5 rounds per contest if possible.

2 Channels-you-can’t-use (spoilers or flaps) Series

Setup 9:00 am –  Pilots’ Meetings 10:00 am

CD Steve Gammon 

Sat 3/13 Cancelled due to bad weather

Sat 4/10    Big success! Good conditions, 5 pilots “Steve G dominates!”

Sat 5/15

Sat 8/7

Sat 9/11

Sat 10/9
Club ALES Series

Set up 9:30am – Pilots’ Meetings 10:00 AM

Sun 4/3  3 pilots, 5 rounds

Sat 5/7

Sat 6/4

Sat 7/9

Sat 8/6

Sat 9/17

Sat 10/8


2016 Club ALES#1 and 2ch #1 Report

2016 Club ALES#1 and 2ch #1 Report

CD’s Steve Gammons (2 Channels-You-Can’t-Use) and Marc Marcum  (ALES) were both happily surprised to see the turn out at their first events.

Steve’s first date was an ambitious March 13th but the weather didn’t cooperate so it had to be cancelled.  And his second choice date in April threatened to be windy and hot but turned to be a really nice day,  He had  5 pilots and we flew 4 rounds.   Steve’s been working really hard to get his soaring skills back after a lot of years away from the hobby and club, and it showed last season and it looks like he’s going to dominate again this season as he won the series last season and took his season opener too.
Marc lucked out will a really good day all around but only 3 pilots came.  No worries because the day turned out to be really good soaring and even though Marc was very weak due to very serious and recent surgery, he provide 5 rounds!  He should have stayed home to recover but he wanted to insure you guys would have the events promised.
Steve was again the pilot most tuned up but I managed to edge him out by making all my times.
That day there were a lot of ground thermals, so landings were a challenge, I was flying the new Calypso foam ship, out of a possible 250 landing points I only managed 60! Steve did well to hit 100 points and Marc the guy who has been religious about practicing the 20 second landing pattern till its become automatic, racked up 115 points!
Guys, our two CD’s give up all the family, house, etc plans to put activities for us, at minimum reply to upcoming event posts so that they can plan how many high starts/landing tapes to set up.  Even if you can’t fly, we always need timers to help.
Take a look at the score sheets, I work hard to record and publish them.  Analyze the flight times and landings.  Better yet make sure that your scores on on the reports too! :-)  
2016 LASS 2CH #1
2016 LASS ALES #1

2015 Season in the Bag!

2015 Season in the Bag!


It was my first full year as Club President and its been a whirlwind season : 14 club contests, 6 Two Channel, 8 ALES contests, and the three day first ever Louisville Area Soaring Society “DerbySoar”  3 day event!

And for the first time in awhile 4 new member sailplane pilots!  And sport soaring activity at the field was at a level that it was common to see at least one pilot up on most good weather days…even some not so good weather days!

Electric Launch has been a quiet success at our flying site which is noise sensitive.  All of our members are now actively using Altitude Limit Switches in their E-launch Sailplanes and having a ball.

The pilot skill level is far beyond that of general members in the recent past years. Every single pilot can now land their models on a landing tape!  Its a big deal because it takes skilled pilots. I am especially proud of all our pilots who have traveled to participate in contests outside our club field.  I believe all have brought home trophies!

I’ll be adding results and more detailed news/photos later.
The LASS 2016 Executives:
Gordy Stahl Pres

Marc Marcum VP

Ron Allen Treas.

Steve Gammons Safety/PR


LASS 2 Channel Contest #2 in the bag!

LASS 2 Channel Contest #2 in the bag!

This past Sunday (17th) 6 club members met to do bloody soaring battle off high starts at our magnificent Charlie Vettiner club flying site.  It was WINDY!  But SSW winds are friendly to sailplanes, so we got the landing tapes up while a couple of our pilots agreed to check conditions aloft.  Steve uses a Taranis with taking altimeter and his Fling was hitting over 400′ consistently on the club winches!

Ron Allen flew a new Fling 2m, Lee flew his AVA Pro, Dave F his custom covered Fling 2m, I Shaun flew his Gentle Lady and I chose my old beat up Paragon.  Three rounds and a fly off of the top three pilots, seeded and MOM, it was Lee who dominated ending up with over 600 points over the group.  Steve was second and Dave third.

Every one helped roll high starts, and landing tapes.

All agreed a really fun day of flying together, smiles on all confirmed as they left the field.

Wish you all could joined us, but next month we fly again Saturday June 6 (ALES) and Sunday June 14 (2 channel).

Remember its “two channels you can’t use”, spoilers or flaps, every size and ever other control mix are welcome!  Electric Launch is also welcome in the Two Channel contest, Electric Launch ships launch last, and their timers tell the pilot to shut off when his model has reach the approximate same altitude as the high started ships.

See you next month!



The New Big Louisville 3 Day Event! DerbySoar 2015

The New Big Louisville 3 Day Event! DerbySoar 2015

The MidSouth was a huge success for the club and its attending pilots, Hayes Kennedy proved to be an outstanding venue and its neighbors came over to cook lunch for the group….pretty cool stuff, so we figured “hey our equipment is tuned up, we now have more active members by about 10 that we did during the MidSouth last year, soooo we decided to start a new LASS Contest tradition, the DerbySoar. This year it is June 26,27,28.  ALES and RES on Friday, Two days of Unlimited Mixed Launch soaring Saturday and Sunday.

Mixed Launch means Electric Launch Sailplanes with their motor Altitude Limit switches set a 150m/30 seconds.  Nothing different than years before but todays electric motor/battery technology makes it all even.  We are excited that this event will be the second in the country to include Mixed Launch, making the DerbySoar more welcoming and inclusive than any other TD event East of the Mississippi.

You can find out more or pre register at http://www.rcflightdeck.com/event_details.cfm?event_id=4365. (RCFlightDeck.com, DerbySoar).



2015 Club Contest Dates Set in Stone!

2015 Club Contest Dates Set in Stone!

Read the rest of this entry »

Louisville Hosting the MidSouth Soaring Champs… AGAIN!

Louisville Hosting the MidSouth Soaring Champs… AGAIN!

This is a new era for the Louisville Area Soaring Society!  In with the new, out with the old…. Founding member and club president for life Ed Wilson has stepped down from club administration and so we have a brand new President (Allen Burnham).  We have some new young members who have really stepped up to help build the club too. Dion was a new member three years back but took up the job of CD of our brand new 2 channel club contest series (two channels you can’t use…spoilers or flaps, everything else is legal!).  That was in spite of being active in cycling, a dad, and very busy with career!

The MidSouth is a traveling contest, having been hosted by Memphis, Tullahoma, Huntsville, Wilson SC, Pensacola, Atlanta, and Louisville in the past. It is the major soaring event in the MidSouth region.  This year it was Louisville’s turn to accept or pass on….we held a club meeting, elected officers, and voted on the opportunity……YES was the unanimous vote!  We are proud to be the host and taking it VERY seriously. We have an excellent, tested site near the river at Hayes Kennedy Park.  We have already rebuilt 6 winches to match, we will have matched new batteries, line, full time chargers running, matched pedals with nice wood bases, new line too :-).

We are planning on a golf cart to shag chutes to keep the pilots flying instead of walking.  You can find more info about the event as it develops on RC Groups Sailplane Events section.

Or send a note to GordySoar@aol.com