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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!

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 (, DerbySoar).



2015 Club Contest Dates Set in Stone!

2015 Club Contest Dates Set in Stone!

Read the rest of this entry »

LASS Pilot Figures Out Slope Soaring!

LASS Pilot Figures Out Slope Soaring!

Frankfort KY Slope 4/29/2010The Successful Soaring Pilot:

He’s got the thermal AND slope bug since he’s had great days doing both. With a very short amount of time in the hobby, he worked through the usual dumb thumb newbie learning pains,  he stuffed his ego aside so that he could speed up the learning process and persued hi new passion – with passion!  RC sailplanes. He joined the LASS with a Radian, and quickly moved up to a Mini AVA (100″ version, electric launch).

He practiced, listened and learned and is working hard to learn to read air and avoid trees during landings.

This was taken at our Slope in Frankfort Kentucky.

We’ve been blessed with quite a few great days of slope lift… and he took advantage of most of them. We’re proud to have have had him flying with us.

(Pictured is Bob Summers, 71 years old, completing his LSF5 8 hour slope task!)

It took 62 years but it was worth it cuz we got a SIGN!

It took 62 years but it was worth it cuz we got a SIGN!

Sailplane clubs WORK in public parks because we don’t fly our models there….we fly our models FROM there.
There can be 20 sailplane pilots  standing on a public park field and no one in the park …walking dogs, hiking, playing Frisbee, etc  would realize it unless they looked up.
When we fly our sailplanes you can hear…..birds, kids, the breeze, the trees, crickets, dogs.
Our field started as a power club flying site in the park in 1950 ish….adjoining the park is a small tree nursery and the owner lives on the property. The noise from the modelers flying  in the mornings as pretty annoying.  So he stopped by the club and asked them not to fly early on weekends.  They responded completely the wrong way and followed it by doing things to further annoy him….and that cost them the use of the park for RC powered models.
The glider guys were allowed to stay .
Our club the Louisville Area Soaring Society was later formalized in order to assure the park officials that they were protected from liability and so that use of rc models would continue to add to the park’s natural attractions.
Over the years, Ed and other club members did all the right things to show that RC sailplanes are good for the park, its neighbors and its other users.  At that same meeting many of the neighbors including the guy who mentioned that powered models were being flown again…all recounted how magical the sailplanes seemed, and how they’d seen hawks and buzzards fly with the models, and how they felt that the sailplanes actually added to the beauty of the park.
If there was a conflict between our members using the site (even with a permit for the time) and other users (little league, cross country events, picnic’rs), we’d pack up!
We made it clear to members that we were ‘guests’ at the park, that its a privilege for us to use the site – not a right. We never left litter and we volunteered as a club to help with park improvement projects like mulching the playground area.
Ed made sure that permits were paid and in place, he kept in close contact with park management..and in the end we have been rewarded with a sign…. I saw it for the first time at our club flying Suday.
Ed called me over saying I had to see something…. When I realized what I was looking at I just dropped on my butt and stared…and grinned!
Its a big deal….and it only took 62 years.
Huge thanks to all the members who did the right things that gave the Parks Dept the confidence that the Louisville Area Soaring Society has maintained a character through their actions at the site which earned us… a sign!
The only official Public Park RC Soaring site in maybe the entire USA?  If not for sure in Kentucky :-).
(Electric LAUNCH Sailplanes are welcome! One 30 second motor run per flight)

It’s slope season!

It’s slope season!

Earlier this week, LASS Prez Ed sent out a note:

“Just a brief note. Guys the warm spell we are experiencing right now is a perfect time to visit the slope in Frankfort. Dick Weidner and I went up there yesterday (Thursday). The air was some of the best I have ever seen. You could roll or loop to your hearts content with NO loss of height. The lift band went very far out from the hill.”

And then on Sunday (12/17) we put out the notice that LASS was heading out for a full-frontal attack on the Frankfort slope!

10 pilots from all over showed up. Tom Hill from Tennessee even made the trek to fly with us and showed us some great DS maneuvres with his Moth 60. Gordy brought out his trusty RnR Synergy 5 and whipped some DS doughnuts. I finally had my Polecat Hammerhead in a groove and made it squeal through some DS turns. Dave Smith was flying a slick Halfpipe.

Tony Utley experimented with some aerial photography with mixed results – more info on that to come, for sure! Ken Marks showed up with his trusty Bowman’s Hobbies Scooter and his mountain bike for a little excitement afterwards on the Capital View Trail.

Photos were taken!