West Michigan Soaring Society

Welcome

The West Michigan Soaring Society is a low key group of RC pilots with a passion for all forms of RC soaring. Whether your interests lie in winch, high start or electric launch, hand launch or aerotow, have never flown, or are an experienced contest flyer, WMSS has a spot for you. Our members come from all walks of life, from young to old, and we all enjoy the challenge of finding lift and soaring. Come join us to fly, learn, or just watch. We are open to anyone with an interest in soaring, and even if you’ve never flown anything before, we can let you safely try your hand at flying. If you find yourself daydreaming in the clouds and marvel at hawks and eagles mastering the rising air currents, come join us at WMSS. Spread your wings and soar!!!

Woody Contest a Success!

This past Saturday we held our first sanctioned contest since we lost our Sparta, Mi field about 4 years ago. John Winstanley is our CD. He contributed most of the effort making awards, scoreboards and the lion’s share of  work that goes into pulling off a sanctioned contest. Thanks for all the work John. You did a wonderful job preparing for this woody contest!

The Clarksville area sod farm is an ideal location, far enough inland from Lake Michigan to develop very good thermal activity. This area is glider country. The setting is very rural, quiet, away from any traffic, homes, local/regional airports and most flight paths; it is an ideal place to fly RC gliders. On this day the winds were about 4-6 mph all day and the temperatures in the mid 70’s.  Puffy cumulus clouds drifted over head throughout the day. My first flight was about 10:15 a.m. and lasted 19:37 seconds flying an Oly II wonderfully built by Ed Whyte.

Larry Storie drove down with his wife from Traverse City pulling his winch built on a trailer. Larry flew a stretch wing Sagitta winning first place in the ladder competition. John Winstanley took second place flying his beautiful Windrifter built by Cal Posthuma years ago. Cal is pictured holding his glider on the Skybench Aerotech website. Click on the Windrifter under the Nostalgia Contest kits. I came in 3rd flying the Whyte built Oly II. I also captured the longest flight of the day with it toward the end of the competition, 35:48 seconds, if memory serves.

We started off with 8 contestants. One dropped out early on with glider problems. We had two winches available with retrievers, a third winch without retriever and a powerful bungee cord. For some reason the bungee cord was very popular Saturday. I would say most flights were flown off bungee.

We appealed to flyers on RC Groups but without much response sadly…but their loss. This was a glider pilot’s dream day. The good news is one of the GLASS (Greater Lansing Soaring Society) members, Allen,from Lansing showed up after seeing our contest posted. These people lost their field about 5 years ago. Allen is delighted with our flying field. He spent almost the entire day watching, visiting and running the winch retriever. This sod farm is one of two the WMSS members register with the AMA and have exclusive flying rights. The other is in Hudsonville Mi. Please, any of you glider guys from Lansing, Kalamazoo, Battle Creek, MI. contact any of us listed on the “Contact Us” page for more information. Our goal is to increase members and become one of the strongest glider clubs in Michigan. Any glider flying is welcome. Larry Weller

Wide open space in quiet rural area. 3 fields generally available. Check our "Glider Flying Fields" page.

Wide open space in quiet rural area. 3 fields generally available. Check our “Glider Flying Fields” page.

 

Check out that sky. This was the perfect contest weather.

Check out that sky. This was the perfect contest weather.

 

Fun Fly Contest – Clarksville 06-25-16

At the end of the day everyone is still smiling and the gliders still in tack. Click to enlarge.

At the end of the day everyone is still smiling and the gliders still intact. Click to enlarge.

The winds Saturday were 5-15 out of the South with cycles of good lift, temperature near 90 degrees when we broke up about 3 p.m. Weather was clear and the sod farm in beautiful condition. Eight contestants competed with power and winch launch. This was the first time several members competed.

John Winstanley is the contest director for WMSS. John made the rules lenient for us less experienced. Three flights were flown with a 6 minute duration.  Landing with in the radius of the 25′ landing tape was considered in bounds worth 25 points. Landing on the mark of 6 minutes worth another 25 points. The total minutes of all 3 flights are converted to seconds with each second counting as 1 point. Any additonal points for landing are added to the total and the pilot’s ranking is in order of points.

It was fun. Everybody seem to survive with the gliders they brought with them.  Our next contest, which is a “woodie” is AMA sanctioned and open to pilots from anywhere. That will be held at the sod farm in Clarksville too, scheduled for July 16 -17* (*will be an alternate if bad weather on Saturday).

Francois introducing us to Kite Chairing. This is why he is our leader.

Francois introducing us to Kite Chairing. This is why he is our leader. Click to enlarge.

It was gusty toward the end of our contest. We’re not quite sure what is going on here but Francois said,”I got to get some prairie wheels on this chair.”

Memorial Day flying at Clarksville

Here are pictures of John’s Explorer. That’s a lot of sailplane. Flies wonderfully. Launch picture captured a “lucky break” just ahead of the chute before tension got too high.

I went out with my DLG for a while.

-Tim Gess

IMG_20160530_112812_411IMG_20160530_112856_659

May 21st Fun Fly Contest – Clarksville, MI

Our Club Vice President and Contest CD John Windstanley writes:

   Hey WMSS, I really enjoyed today, great fun.  Today’s contest task was 3 rounds of 5 minutes with a 25 point in-or-out 25 foot landing.  The winners are Francois 4th (449 points), Jim McConnell 3rd (515 points, although his last flight was 10 minutes long.  Still a max in my book.  Jim Martin 2nd (552 points), and Tim 1st with an 805.  I’ll take last place for never finding my own lift and just piggy backing off of everyone else, ha!
Here’s a video of a beautiful day…

Flying Today

 

Francois and I got out for a bit of flying in Coopersville today. There was lots of sunshine and very little wind, but not much lift to be had. Francois had the long flight of the day with 7 minutes on his Radian. I was close behind with 6 minutes on my Laser 2m. Francois also flew his Olympic II. I was going to fly my Duck but was having electrical connection issues on the left wing that was preventing the flap from working correctly. Flying season is officially open. 🙂

I love it when I stick the landing…

I love it when I stick the landing...

The Radian and the Laser 2m…

The Radian and the Laser 2m

Snow Fly 2014

For the 9th year in a row the WMSS has braved the weather to get in some winter flying. This year it was particularly difficult this year with 10 degree temps and 15 mph winds. Tim Gess generously held the event at his home in Clarksville. It was a great time for all and the Chili was excellent and well appreciated. We had a great time and even with the bad weather there was lift was to be found. Here’s who attended from Tim’s email:

Carolyn, Cliff, Kathy, John, Tom, Ben, Nate, Dennis, Richard Alban (from Lansing), and Paul (Tim’s dad) all made for a warm time on a very cold day.

Here’s a video John Winstanley put together (will need Quick Time):

dh-snow-fly

https://docs.google.com/file/d/0BzNPqIi2WR1rY0l6MjFVaFNNXzQ/edit

WMSS

 

 

Breaking News:

The 2017 Woody Contest is coming soon, Saturday, June 24 and Sunday June 25! This year  the contest will be held at Walter’s RC Park – 8548 Morrison Lake Rd, Saranac, MI 48881 is located about 1 mile north, as the crow flies of our regular Clarksville sod farm. The field location was changed because Walter’s has all the facilities we need for the contest, parking, free short term camping, porta potty and other amenities to make the event more comfortable for the entrants. We love our sod farm but this venue makes more sense for the contest.

DATES: June 24-25, a two day event with each day a separate contest

LOCATION: Walter RC Park, Home field of the Ionia County Model Club, which is easy to find and very close to the I96 exit
59. Field website: walterrcpark.com

TASKS: 3-5 Minute Ladder (we’ll decide at pilot’s meeting), Longest flight (pilot decides attempt), 25 point in or out LSF level
1 landing

AIRCRAFT: Built up wood wing/tail, glass fuselage fine, winch, bungee, or motor assist launch (motor runs emulate winch 
launch) 

AWARDS: 1st, 2nd, 3rd plus Junior/Senior Ladder, Longest flight

ENTRY FEE: Adults $10 Junior/Senior $5

CAMPING: FREE, Big rigs or tents near entry gate East side of complex, food, water, his and her’s porta johns on site. Come
Friday, leave Sunday or Monday

FREQUENCY: Pins are available for 72/75 MHz but you may have to share, 2.4 GHz works best for this type of event.

PILOTS MEETING: 9:30 AM, event start 10 AM, last launch 3:00 PM. When last competitor lands field opens to general
flying.

QUESTIONS: Call or email, John Winstanley CD, 734-516-6213johnw5734@aol.com  

Keep your eyes here for more formal flying information.

Visitors are always welcome.

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